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Aetherian Archive & Hel Ra Citadel - Trials in General

Spire
Spire
✭✭
I searched the forums looking far and wide for a similar discussion, and didn't find one; leaving me to ask myself if my thoughts are my own or if others shared my feelings.

This post is intended to seek input on the structure of Trials, and how it impacts development of the community. One of the things I focus on when assembling a trial run is to be open minded, and bring in players of all skill levels. In my opinion, if we don't take the time to educate the community and bring in 'new comers', we'll never see good community growth and development.

Specific points that will be addressed are:

1) Lack of Loot Progression
2) 'DPS Check' Fights that Hinder the ESO Community Build Creativity
3) Designed with the Elite in Mind

Lack of Loot Progression

Craglorn boasts a lot of neat loot, and the two trials bring specific key sets at VR12 ranking that you can't get anywhere else. Specifically AA offers the ever coveted VR12 Warlock Set, and Hel Ra boasts the VR12 Unassailable set. Both are fairly sought after by different builds, but in terms of 'progression, offer very little.

Raid progression is generally seen as building up to the completion of a raid. Meaning you will start by attempting the first boss of a raid, eventually defeat it, move on to the next, and the cycle rinses and repeats as you learn the mechanics. In doing so, the initial bosses should be dropping loot that will help you become successful as you encounter the bosses later in the trial. Unfortunately with AA and HR, this is not the case. The vas majority of the drops are blue, and can't hold a candle to player crafted VR12 Legendary gear (nor should they). However, it does set the stage for one to think that this 'Blue' and sometimes ' Purple' gear is what is needed to advance to and successfully complete the trial; so you can begin farming the entire trial; eventually collecting all of the gear from the final encounter and then improving trial times.

I think ESO is lost on this one. The loot rewards do not provide the means to a proper progression end; which leads into the next point of this posting...

TLDR: Loot needs to be a reward based system where efforts for completing an encounter reward and prepare you for the next encounter. Though it may take multiple attempts to gather the loot needed to advance, it should be there.

DPS Check Fights Hinder the ESO Community Build Creativity

I like a good DPS gut check as much as the next guy... why? Well, as primarily DPS focused player, I like to see how big my DPS E-peen is. However, as a barrier to raid progression so early in an MMOs launch where much imbalance exists, it's hard to stay positive. ESO is an Elder Scrolls game. A community that thrives on D&D based methodology where each character is truly a unique build. A Heavy Armor wearing 2-handed mage. The stealthy ninja rogue, the Sorc Tank. All of these builds are a core piece of the fun and community that ESO has at its base. However, when it comes to trials; specifically when a DPS check is introduced, the fun is snuffed out like a gale force wind against a meager candle.

The truth is, if you look at top trial time (or just plain trial completion in general), groups consist primarily of Magicka and Light Armor builds. I know this is a whole sub discussion of how Stamina builds are severely gimped blah blah; but the point that I'm trying to make here is the creativity and diversity of builds that we have all played with as we leveled have been torn asunder by the need to present the highest DPS possible to complete DPS check fights.

I'm sure about everyone is familiar with the Wisp Mother encounter in AA. This is a fantastic fight! I love the mechanics of the encounter, but despise the fact that it's a DPS race to the finish. A race, that unfortunately, many players can't complete. Personally, I've used builds that have ranged from 300 - 850 DPS on this boss. The most fun I've ever had was with a mid-range dual wield build. However, even this build needed me to 'exploit' cast animations by weaving light attacks in to animation cancel. Yea; that's another problem with the game. When you have to be skilled at animation canceling, and not just understanding and maneuvering your character, you're creating a barrier for the community.

TLDR: In general, the community isn't filled with raiding elitists. I believe that EVERYONE with their own creative build should be able to enter into a raid and complete it. If that's too easy, make different 'modes' of raids. Normal and Elite. Let the community enjoy the wonderful content and story that you have created; don't hinder them because they want to enjoy the class they have created.

Designed with the Elite in Mind

I hinted on this slightly in my last post that the trials were designed with the elite in mind.

Now before we all get too bent out of shape with this comment, let me explain that I've been successful with a 4/4 in AA, and 3/4 (technically 2/4 as I've only done one side in the split) in HR. I do not consider myself an elitist at all; as I refuse to conform to 'forced specs' to achieve the greatest DPS. I want to have fun in the game, and specifically choose a DPS spec that is fun to me (medium armor/dual wield) that doesn't bring the greatest DPS, but is fun for me to play.

When we look at the raid teams that have the 'best' trial times, we see specific builds and classes with great preference over others. We also see a very interesting swing with PvP skills being centered as CORE PvE Trial skills above and beyond those skills that are attained through PvE content. While this doesn't specifically lean towards the 'Elite' by thought process it does in the general progression for PvE oriented players.

Let's say that you love playing a 2-handed, heavy armor night blade mage guild centered character (side note; this isn't my build; just an example). You've progressed through the content of Level 1 through VR12 by means of questing, and have been very successful throughout the game. You've grouped for dungeons, completed delves and dark anchors. Now it's time for Craglorn. You're now super excited about entering into Trials with your guild. You've got your character fully decked in VR12 Legendary gear for your spec, only to find out that your spec doesn't have enough DPS for some of the fights. What do you do? Trash your gear, well the elitists will. They'll completely trash a build, gear, etc., and replace it with a different build and gear that gives them better DPS, tank'age or heals. Why? Where is the fun in that? You're no longer a 'unique' class, you're now a cookie cutter spec.

I'd love to get some more input from you all on what your thoughts are. I hope that ESO/Zenimax employees are monitoring the threads, and will read into this more. I'd love an official response on what they really want to give to the community. Do they want to make content that forces you to spec and play a specific way, or do they want to keep the game open-ended where you can play your character your way.
  • Axer
    Axer
    ✭✭✭✭
    Agree.

    They really should introduce difficulty settings. They can cater to so many different styles of play and make the game a lot more fun by adding them.

    As yea with my guild, we are the point were the trials have become too easy for us really. They are both now just rince and repeat, 100% completion loot fests now. Which is fine, and still fun to a degree.. But I'd really enjoy a "elite" difficulty mode to really challenge us.

    EG:
    Normal:
    Could be a tad easier then now. So more casual players, or those who really want to play with sub optimal builds can have a shot.
    So AA you'd drop HP around 20%, and extend boss 3 time tell explosion by about 10 seconds, and lower axe dmg by 20%. That'd set the dps check low enough that even pretty gimp stamina builds could still complete, and make tanking the end fight pretty reasonable even on weak tank classes.
    For Hell Ra, the only real solution would be to greatly extend the tell on his 1 shot must-dodge roll attacks. Or make them not 1 shot - though imo that would take a lot of the fun out of the raid.

    Hard:
    As is.

    Elite:
    This can be either purely for achievement (insanely hard, same loot). or a mix of increased, but reasonable challenge, with a chance at slightly better rewards.

    Say:
    +20% dmg output and hp on each boss.
    Total resurrections allowed lowered to 12 (1 full wipe maximum).
    Enrange timers/dps checks enhanced by around 5-15 seconds depending on encounter.
    Bosses spawn adds faster and in greater numbers. EG: Mage makes 2 axes at a time instead of 1. Warrior summons 3 destroyers instead of 2.

    Seperate leaderboard for elite only. Weekly elite grants 2 coffers instead, with a chance at unique elite versions of loot - perhaps they have a pretty small stat boost, maybe 5% higher base dmg/armor, but also get unique skins.
    Weekly elite only rewards top 50 groups instead of top 100.

    Also check my loot overview thread and reply pls:
    http://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/discussion/111368/trial-loot-overview-very-bland-suggestions-to-improve#latest
    Edited by Axer on June 20, 2014 3:30PM
    Axer. Main tank and Leader of Crush it! (NA-EP highly skilled trials guild)
  • Aggelos
    Aggelos
    ✭✭✭
    Excellent writeup! I want more difficult encounters that use all the builds. Look at FFXIV. That game and its gear were almost an after thought. Gear increases what you are doing only "slightly" definitely not enough to use power through content. Mechanics are what you are fighting not do I have enough gear/dps to burn it before it burns me.
  • Spire
    Spire
    ✭✭
    Aggelos wrote: »
    I want more difficult encounters that use all the builds.

    Amen brother! You got the point of the post right on the nose! I'd love to see the build diversification become truly viable in end-game content. For the life of ESO to hold solid in the coming years (and launch of X1 and PS3) they need to really contemplate the need for balance changes. A raid in all cloth (minus the tank) is a pretty good indication there are problems to be fixed.

    Today's patch may change things a bit. I've got plenty of gold for a few respecs (26k a pop), and you can guarantee I'm going to bang on about every stamina build that I can to see if the viability has changed.

    Spire
    Forums: @Spire‌
    Game Handle: @NightSpire

  • AH93
    AH93
    ✭✭✭
    Completely agree, difficulty levels would help these problems so much.
    My trials team has 10 light armour staff DPS, including me, the leader will take no other builds, it's quite sad really.
    Platform: PS4 - EU
    Name: Leria Ancarion
    Alliance: Aldmeri Dominion
    Race: Altmer
    Class: Sorcerer
    Role: Magicka - Ranged DPS
    Activities: Solo, Crafting, PvE, PvP, Fishing


  • ARtChi
    ARtChi
    ✭✭✭
    Fully agree to the OP

    About the same progression here in trials, our guild is a soft core guild but we had to optimize ppl in a certain build type to be able to reach necessary dps to complete trials.

    And the dps required is insane for casual players. Nearly impossible for templar, hard even for sorc, DK or NB. On mono target average dps is around 500 for most dps oriented players. 600+ is necessary to kill last boss. It's like the devs made some dps race without knowing how players will do to break through.

    At least, if the game had clean fps and was lag free... Just one people disconnected on AA boss, and our raid is dead.


    And thats all about trials: no real strategy or gameplay is necessary (except for animation cutting, that ppl bypass with macro), just dps...

    When I entered crypt of hearths for the first time, I was very pleased with most fights. Interupt, dodge, block, were necessary to go through. Spider and bone golem bosses are really good for exemple. Than we reach last one... As the first part of the fight is pretty good, why o why put a dps race again at the end ?
    It just exclude people from playing.
    Do you think I'll bring a full medium armor NB with a bow in this dungeon, knowing last boss ? NO I WON'T !!!


    (Also I really agree on gear progression problem. Incentive in general is pretty bad. PvP skill necessary in PvE to complete, etc.)
    Edited by ARtChi on July 2, 2014 1:07PM
  • demenzia
    demenzia
    ✭✭✭
    Spire wrote: »


    Let's say that you love playing a 2-handed, heavy armor night blade mage guild centered character (side note; this isn't my build; just an example). You've progressed through the content of Level 1 through VR12 by means of questing, and have been very successful throughout the game. You've grouped for dungeons, completed delves and dark anchors. Now it's time for Craglorn. You're now super excited about entering into Trials with your guild. You've got your character fully decked in VR12 Legendary gear for your spec, only to find out that your spec doesn't have enough DPS for some of the fights. What do you do? Trash your gear, well the elitists will. They'll completely trash a build, gear, etc., and replace it with a different build and gear that gives them better DPS, tank'age or heals. Why? Where is the fun in that? You're no longer a 'unique' class, you're now a cookie cutter spec.

    Couldn't agree more on this one. It's more like "staves online". Has anyone seen a dps without a staff in trials?
  • Laura
    Laura
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    demenzia wrote: »
    Spire wrote: »


    Let's say that you love playing a 2-handed, heavy armor night blade mage guild centered character (side note; this isn't my build; just an example). You've progressed through the content of Level 1 through VR12 by means of questing, and have been very successful throughout the game. You've grouped for dungeons, completed delves and dark anchors. Now it's time for Craglorn. You're now super excited about entering into Trials with your guild. You've got your character fully decked in VR12 Legendary gear for your spec, only to find out that your spec doesn't have enough DPS for some of the fights. What do you do? Trash your gear, well the elitists will. They'll completely trash a build, gear, etc., and replace it with a different build and gear that gives them better DPS, tank'age or heals. Why? Where is the fun in that? You're no longer a 'unique' class, you're now a cookie cutter spec.

    Couldn't agree more on this one. It's more like "staves online". Has anyone seen a dps without a staff in trials?

    I haven't, no. Even pugs won't let them in.

    Agree with OP completely except that I would add that the entire thing is flawed from the ground up with its design.

    I know they were trying to do something different but a massive sprawling raid dungeon you find yourself in constant awe of that takes a long time to complete would do this game some serious justice. I totally agree with different levels of difficulty which would justify the time spent on these dungeons.
  • Spire
    Spire
    ✭✭
    Hey all - I wanted to follow up on this post today. Seems that ESO has featured another build in the 'Battlemasters Corner'; the Blood Rogue.

    I want to start this post by saying, I love these builds that people are putting together. These folks are really playing ESO, and having a great time with their characters. Trying new builds, figuring things out for themselves, and having fun the whole time.

    http://www.elderscrollsonline.com/en-us/news/post/2014/07/07/battlemasters-corner--the-blood-rogue

    However, post several patches since the original post, the same issues still exist. There is no way in hell a 'Blood Rogue' is going to go into any raid situation with any ability to contribute to the raid.

    I'm watching the VR nerfs very closely. If these extend into Craglorn raids, I'm seriously going to question the 'fixes' to the issues that are being embraced. The answer isn't to make everything easier, it's to add scalability (difficulty settings), and increase the viability of differing DPS builds. Normalize DPS to some extent so one weapon isn't vastly superior to another.
  • jovial
    jovial
    ✭✭
    Build diversity is the main weakness of ESO. There just aren't enough viable endgame builds, everyone is forced into the same niche if they want to compete or sometimes even finish content at all.

    I see no point in difficulty settings for raids, that would be easy to implement, but it would also just be a bandaid. They need to adress the deeper issues with stamina, magicka, class and weapon skills, to make melee and stamina builds more viable. That is all. Look at a game like Path of Exile, sure it's another genre (ARPG), but it has such wonderful build diversity, that diversity in itself can keep you playing a long time.

    I disagree with the OP on other aspects of raiding, like overall difficulty or things like animation cancelling being mandatory. That's basically something you have to learn to perform well, which is good in my book. Learning mechanics, be they of your class, or the boss encounter, will add challenge. And challenge is good.

    Some things will always require more twitch, or to go outside your roleplaying norm. This is a typical reason people can't beat Hel-Ra, the final boss will require you to move a lot, react fast, at least in the strategies I've seen people use for it. Some people will take forever of practice runs to do it, some might never do it.

    They should give us the tools to complete trials, the tools being a wide array of viable build options. However me and many others would prefer if raids we're kept challenging, and not opened up as a theme park you go through on rails, without any resistance, just for the sake of "experiencing the content".
  • Wifeaggro13
    Wifeaggro13
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Spire wrote: »
    I searched the forums looking far and wide for a similar discussion, and didn't find one; leaving me to ask myself if my thoughts are my own or if others shared my feelings.

    This post is intended to seek input on the structure of Trials, and how it impacts development of the community. One of the things I focus on when assembling a trial run is to be open minded, and bring in players of all skill levels. In my opinion, if we don't take the time to educate the community and bring in 'new comers', we'll never see good community growth and development.

    Specific points that will be addressed are:

    1) Lack of Loot Progression
    2) 'DPS Check' Fights that Hinder the ESO Community Build Creativity
    3) Designed with the Elite in Mind

    Lack of Loot Progression

    Craglorn boasts a lot of neat loot, and the two trials bring specific key sets at VR12 ranking that you can't get anywhere else. Specifically AA offers the ever coveted VR12 Warlock Set, and Hel Ra boasts the VR12 Unassailable set. Both are fairly sought after by different builds, but in terms of 'progression, offer very little.

    Raid progression is generally seen as building up to the completion of a raid. Meaning you will start by attempting the first boss of a raid, eventually defeat it, move on to the next, and the cycle rinses and repeats as you learn the mechanics. In doing so, the initial bosses should be dropping loot that will help you become successful as you encounter the bosses later in the trial. Unfortunately with AA and HR, this is not the case. The vas majority of the drops are blue, and can't hold a candle to player crafted VR12 Legendary gear (nor should they). However, it does set the stage for one to think that this 'Blue' and sometimes ' Purple' gear is what is needed to advance to and successfully complete the trial; so you can begin farming the entire trial; eventually collecting all of the gear from the final encounter and then improving trial times.

    I think ESO is lost on this one. The loot rewards do not provide the means to a proper progression end; which leads into the next point of this posting...

    TLDR: Loot needs to be a reward based system where efforts for completing an encounter reward and prepare you for the next encounter. Though it may take multiple attempts to gather the loot needed to advance, it should be there.

    DPS Check Fights Hinder the ESO Community Build Creativity

    I like a good DPS gut check as much as the next guy... why? Well, as primarily DPS focused player, I like to see how big my DPS E-peen is. However, as a barrier to raid progression so early in an MMOs launch where much imbalance exists, it's hard to stay positive. ESO is an Elder Scrolls game. A community that thrives on D&D based methodology where each character is truly a unique build. A Heavy Armor wearing 2-handed mage. The stealthy ninja rogue, the Sorc Tank. All of these builds are a core piece of the fun and community that ESO has at its base. However, when it comes to trials; specifically when a DPS check is introduced, the fun is snuffed out like a gale force wind against a meager candle.

    The truth is, if you look at top trial time (or just plain trial completion in general), groups consist primarily of Magicka and Light Armor builds. I know this is a whole sub discussion of how Stamina builds are severely gimped blah blah; but the point that I'm trying to make here is the creativity and diversity of builds that we have all played with as we leveled have been torn asunder by the need to present the highest DPS possible to complete DPS check fights.

    I'm sure about everyone is familiar with the Wisp Mother encounter in AA. This is a fantastic fight! I love the mechanics of the encounter, but despise the fact that it's a DPS race to the finish. A race, that unfortunately, many players can't complete. Personally, I've used builds that have ranged from 300 - 850 DPS on this boss. The most fun I've ever had was with a mid-range dual wield build. However, even this build needed me to 'exploit' cast animations by weaving light attacks in to animation cancel. Yea; that's another problem with the game. When you have to be skilled at animation canceling, and not just understanding and maneuvering your character, you're creating a barrier for the community.

    TLDR: In general, the community isn't filled with raiding elitists. I believe that EVERYONE with their own creative build should be able to enter into a raid and complete it. If that's too easy, make different 'modes' of raids. Normal and Elite. Let the community enjoy the wonderful content and story that you have created; don't hinder them because they want to enjoy the class they have created.

    Designed with the Elite in Mind

    I hinted on this slightly in my last post that the trials were designed with the elite in mind.

    Now before we all get too bent out of shape with this comment, let me explain that I've been successful with a 4/4 in AA, and 3/4 (technically 2/4 as I've only done one side in the split) in HR. I do not consider myself an elitist at all; as I refuse to conform to 'forced specs' to achieve the greatest DPS. I want to have fun in the game, and specifically choose a DPS spec that is fun to me (medium armor/dual wield) that doesn't bring the greatest DPS, but is fun for me to play.

    When we look at the raid teams that have the 'best' trial times, we see specific builds and classes with great preference over others. We also see a very interesting swing with PvP skills being centered as CORE PvE Trial skills above and beyond those skills that are attained through PvE content. While this doesn't specifically lean towards the 'Elite' by thought process it does in the general progression for PvE oriented players.

    Let's say that you love playing a 2-handed, heavy armor night blade mage guild centered character (side note; this isn't my build; just an example). You've progressed through the content of Level 1 through VR12 by means of questing, and have been very successful throughout the game. You've grouped for dungeons, completed delves and dark anchors. Now it's time for Craglorn. You're now super excited about entering into Trials with your guild. You've got your character fully decked in VR12 Legendary gear for your spec, only to find out that your spec doesn't have enough DPS for some of the fights. What do you do? Trash your gear, well the elitists will. They'll completely trash a build, gear, etc., and replace it with a different build and gear that gives them better DPS, tank'age or heals. Why? Where is the fun in that? You're no longer a 'unique' class, you're now a cookie cutter spec.

    I'd love to get some more input from you all on what your thoughts are. I hope that ESO/Zenimax employees are monitoring the threads, and will read into this more. I'd love an official response on what they really want to give to the community. Do they want to make content that forces you to spec and play a specific way, or do they want to keep the game open-ended where you can play your character your way.
    Well ill put it in fewer words. End game activites and loot across the board suck in this game. it was untested ,poorly thought out and absolutely horribly implemented.

    If they were going to make end game Crafting and content mesh they need to make all purple and gold mats come from End game dungeons. and to circumvent the issues with lower. make VR12 mats there own seperate tier. right now you can node *** your way to the top with never touching a dungeon or any group content for that matter. Even still this would be a *** implementation.

    The idea that i am entitled to the best most legendary items in game simply because i can buy or craft them is garbage . the generation of instant gratification has destroyed MMO's. the genre is doomed and will try to cater to as many people as it can for large sales and *** retention until the consumer tells them to Go jump in a river.
  • Anjelicus
    Anjelicus
    ✭✭✭
    DPS checks are fine IMO, as long as you cant skip mechanics because of your groups DPS... I feel we need something in place to keep the mechanics of these bosses a priority, as opposed to stacking and healing through it. Granted its only a couple bosses, but those bosses would be challenging if you still had to follow the mechanics.
    Vokundein
    Legend Gaming Website | Join Us
    Guild Twitch Live Stream
    Anjelicus - Head of PVE
    VR14 Templar // VR14 Nightblade // VR14 Dragonknight // VR10 Sorcerer
    PTS - Veteran Dragonstar Arena Developer Challenge Conqueror
  • Auralia
    Auralia
    ✭✭✭
    Iam really disappointed in how unbalanced this game is. It's resulted in me cancelling my sub. I wanted to take part in trials, but I dislike how all dps has to use 1 build to be optimal and succeed.

    I made my main character as a stealthy assassin type using a bow mostly and it's the playstyle I enjoy most. The guild leader doesn't mind if I use a bow. But that's the thing, I know if I use my mostly stamina bow build in trials, I will let the guild down and we probably wont succeed.

    I know I could do trials if I used a staff and light armor, but that's just lame, I wanted to play an assassin and if I wanted to be a mage I'd have rolled a sorc or Templar. I feel there is nothing else to do in this game now that I've reached max lvl and there are no rewards or nothing else to keep me playing. All I got for completing every quest in every zone was a stupid worthless blue necklace from Caldwell. ><
  • rashkosh127ub17_ESO
    there are certain hybrid bow builds you can use that can put out between 800-1k dps. You wouldn't be breaking any records but you would be able to get through the current two trials.
  • M'Hael
    M'Hael
    ✭✭
    Well put sir!

    I'd toss in a few more tools like /readycheck and a raid boss lockout feature for hard/elite modes so you can "save" your groups progress should you choose to do so.
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