I've been playing a Templar since beta. I've made a few threads about various aspects of Templar skills but I thought I'd consolidate everything into a single, large thread.
Basically, I have the most fun on my Templar of all of my characters. Granted, I don't have most of them at near the same level, I still tend to enjoy the Templar class more. Generally, I find the Templar to be extremely powerful in some situations but lacking in internal ability synergy in others, and extremely lacking in offensive power for PVE DPS. This is partially because of magicka management issues but also because of the aforementioned lack of internal class synergy.Aedric Spear
The go-to Templar skill tree for DPS and melee builds. I find this tree to be second-best of the three, or perhaps tied with Restoring Light for the best. Most of the abilities here are very useful. Some are not so much. Some fine tuning seems needed here and there to even things out in this tree, but you'll find some staple tools here.
- My favorite Templar ultimate. Cheap, fast, effective. I think this ability is mostly in a good place. Perhaps Crescent Sweep could be a bit more useful. Since Templars are generally terrible at PVE DPS, I see little use for it. Then again, if Templar DPS viability was addressed elsewhere, maybe this would be more appealing. For now, I love Empowering Sweep. It's useful in PVP and PVE soloing alike, especially considering that I'm in light armor."Empowering Sweep."Puncturing Strikes
- I'm so tired of this ability for so many reasons. I see / hear it hundreds of times a day when I play. I can barely justify not
having it on my bar, save for healing builds. Part of that is because of our lack of offensive options, but I find it is more so because the spell covers all of your bases, even with middle-of-the-road damage. Single-target DPS? Check. AOE DPS? Check. CC? Check. Efficient / sustainable? Half check. Morphed, you can go ahead and add self-healing to that list.
That brings me to the morphs. I find Biting Jabs in a similar rut to Crescent Sweep. It sure looks appealing, but it doesn't have a good place because of the lack of pure DPS viability afflicting Templars. Good PVPers are using enough Impenetrable to nullify PVP benefits, too. The self-healing of Puncturing Sweep is great in about any situation; solo PVP, solo PVE, tanking, farming, etc. I also find it annoying that the knockback can be spammed, sometimes shutting people out in PVP. There's a reason us Templars are renowned for our "glowy-pointy-stick," and it is this spell. I love it and hate it.Piercing Javelin
- Here's a spell I never got a good feel for. The damage sucks, the range is limited, and the knockback is generally unreliable. It is usually mitigated one way or another in PVP. In the one place it is always going to work, against PVE mobs (not bosses), it is entirely unnecessary. Aurora Javelin may boost the damage but it is still weak. Binding Javelin may introduce interesting PVP options if you intend to fight from afar, but the best Templar offensives generally don't cater to this, and I'd much rather use Invasion. Having two CC abilities doesn't generally play out well because they lock each other out. Not a fan of this spell, but I suppose it has some merit somewhere.Focused Charge
- A decent enough spell, I suppose. I just find it way too situational to have a spell interrupt mechanic on my bar, especially one that requires me to be out of melee range to use it. In PVE, I am not going to hop off my target to charge at somebody else because they are casting some worthless spell at me. In PVP, you don't have time to worry about whether or not the target is casting. You charge to close in. I'd much rather use Invasion, even on a magicka build. The stun always works when the target isn't immune. No gimicks, no heavy draw to my magicka.
Most importantly, I prefer Invasion because of the stupid animation timing on Focused Charge. The FC animation often makes followup attacks unresponsive. The charge even used to put you in your enemy, often overshooting you if you don't stop running. Invasion is a smooth experience. If FC wasn't so clunky and was more effective, perhaps more templars would be convinced to drop their shields for another weapon type. There are more layers to that particular onion, but this is certainly part of my reasoning.
As for the morphs, I find Explosive Charge to be the only useful iteration of this spell. It's a great tank "pull." I find actual pulling to be ineffective on ESO because it results in sloppy agro distribution. If I'm tanking, I want to hit the crowd first and establish a foothold for my party; not pull one mob to me and have to actively sweep up the rest. Toppling Charge is just a poor man's Invasion and it taps into a magicka pool I already heavily dedicate to other tasks.Spear Shards
- I like this ability but rarely use it. I suppose it can be a nice way to help fend off a zerg, but I prefer to use it as a support ability. Blazing Spear's additional damage doesn't appeal to me. It's mediocre. Maybe it would be nice for some solo PVE stuff, but I have better abilities for that. I use Luminous Shards to support my group on my alternate bar while healing. The synergy is where this spell really shines. I think it is fairly well balanced, aside from some arguably justified concerns about long-cast spells being shut out by it in PVP. I've personally never had a problem with it. If there even is a problem, it is due to the annoying nature of CC effects in this game.UPDATE:
It never occurred to me that Blazing Spear's tick can toggle Burning Light. I guess it is far more useful than I imagined.UPDATE:[/] Wow. It's MUCH more useful than I imagined. It did 800 total damage in a single cast to one target. I'll be making much more use of this in the future.
Sun Shield - Here comes the can of worms. A lot of people hate this spell. In PVP, this is generally considered the Templar spell. It provides a whopping 30% of max HP damage shield, which for some folks puts it in the range of 1k. Alone, this is pretty powerful, but the Blazing Shield morph comes with damage returns and possible Burning Light procs that can do absurd amounts of damage to nearby enemies. I've never tried Radiant Ward, so I have little to say about it other than it looks decent if you needed the protection on a tank. I doubt you would, seeing as tanks are just watered-down DPS in this game and damage output is what truly matters at 50, or even before then.
So back to Blazing Shield. I am a heavy PVPer. I'd like to think I'm pretty good. I've been experimenting with builds for a while and at some point I decided to drop Blazing Shield. I was only using it defensively because I didn't like the feel of using it as a primary offensive ability. It wasn't my style. The thing is, I don't recall ever being killed by Blazing Shield. The way I see it, the spell punishes only those who don't pay attention.
When I die in PVP, I usually chalk it up to my own failure. Sometimes, I get into combat and just make all of the wrong decisions. Players that I could otherwise handle get the best of me because they were on their A-game and I wasn't. It happens. Sometimes, I have a PVE setup still on my bar and can't work it into a good anti-player strategy. Very rarely do I stop and think I died only because of a balance issue. It usually plays a small part here and there, but generally, I can analyze my personal setup and actions-taken and figure out what went wrong on my end. A notable exception is Nightblades killing you from stealth before your break-free animation even finishes. Blazing Shield is not an exception.
When I fight players using Blazing Shield, I simply play defense until it expires. That, or I move out of their range and open fire from a safe distance. BS has a 5 meter radius. It is easily avoided if you are not otherwise rooted / stunned / snared and unable to roll away. That all said, the spell is very powerful. Perhaps too powerful. The thing is, it can be countered. I think a reduction in power or defensive capability would be justified, but I don't think all of the crying over this spell has been warranted.
Passives - Not much to say here. They have their uses. If I want to mention one, it is Burning Light. It helps make Aedric Spear more viable but it further emphasizes the gap between AS and Dawn's Wrath from a damage standpoint. It also gives you just one more reason to spam Puncturing Strikes, because that's what we need.
A somewhat lacking skill tree in comparison to the other two Templar lines. There is a lot of potential and cool effects but major problems hinder the effectiveness of most of the skills / morphs. At least half of the spells suffer from no-brainer morphs, and one of the spells is utterly useless.
- I love the spell but can't figure out why it is so damned expensive. Why is this remotely necessary? IIRC, Dragonknight Standard has comparable utility and damage output but is 2/3 the cost. I've seen a lot of people complain about Templar ultimate generation, although I don't have a personal basis of class comparison to say, but this would seem to compound the issue. I'd also love to have any indication whatsoever of how much damage the synergy does.Sun Fire
- I often use it, I generally like it, but it is only decent. The damage is okay. The snare is useful in some situations. I think it could stand to deal a bit more damage or cost a bit less magicka. Probably the latter, since other classes tend to have more cheap, spammable options. I was amazed at the cost of Searing Strike when I fist made a DK. Why don't Templars get a nice cheap option, too?
The morphs are once again a mostly obvious choice. I used to use Vampire's Bane, but I can't for the life of me figure out how I came to that decision. It just lasts longer. You can just cast it again after the DoT expires and average higher DPS. Reflective Light is the obvious morph here. Even if the base spell needs some love, Vampire's Bane needs some additional changes.
Lastly, the animation speed is far too slow. People dodge it in PVP constantly. Just one more reason I prefer an up-close offensive with Templars.Solar Flare
- Another ability I generally like but am not amazed by. I like the burst damage. Dark Flare is great in PVP, if not a little slow. Still not as big a problem as Sun Fire's speed, but it can be dodged easily. I don't find much use for Solar Barrage. It seems like a decent enough spell but it is too costly to make good use of, especially, once again, considering Templar DPS is a no-go. It is nice to occasionally throw it in before using another attack, for the ability synergy. Nonetheless, whatever role it is trying to fill can be better filled elsewhere.Backlash
- Another spell I rarely use. I never used it solo because the cast time wasn't worth it. My DPS wasn't high enough to justify it over other direct offensive spells. It can be nice in groups, however. I am going to be taking it for a spin on my aforementioned secondary "support" bar for healing before too long. Morphed to Power of the Light, it should provide a nice boost to boss DPS. The other morph, Purifying Light, is the most useless thing since sliced bread that's been glued back together. It is truly awful. No radius is listed in the description, as so many abilities in this game tend to do (seriously, fix this. it's absurdly bad). They should just call it Purifying Puddle. You couldn't fit a mudcrab in it. Boss collision boxes are bigger than it, so tanks won't get healed by it. Hell, they probably won't even see it. This radius needs to be 3-4x bigger to see any potential usefulness.Eclipse
- Utterly useless. Sure, it trivializes casting non-boss mobs, AKA the already-trivial enemies. Useless on bosses, more bad than good in PVP. I detailed my thoughts on this spell here
. I will say no more in this thread.Blinding Light
- My favorite Dawn's Wrath spell. Kind of useful pre-morph but very useful morphed. Into Blinding Flashes, that is. I use it frequently in PVP and PVE alike. Great for tanks, great for solo PVE, great for killing players. Searing Light just needs some kind of change. The damage it deals is pathetic compared to the greatly extended effect of Blinding Flashes. I could see it being more useful if it just applied a debuff that increased damage taken by 5-10% on the target for ~8 seconds or something of the sort. That's just off the top of my head with not much consideration. The point is the current spell sucks."Blinding Flashes; Apply directly to the forehead."Passives
- Enduring Rays is nice. It adds more kick to each spell. I find it very effective in every way except effectively reducing the DPS of Unstable Core, which I gave up on, anyway. I guess Prism is nice. It provides a slight bit more ultimate here and there. I think the value could stand to be doubled, however. Illuminate is pretty cool. I always like spell resistance. It's a nice option for any type of Templar. Restoring Spirit is cool in that it reduces costs universally, but it isn't on par with the magicka management options of other classes. This is an issue I will discuss in the summary of the class, but if not for the nerf of (I believe) this passive a while back, I would otherwise say this is a great passive that has just had its good name ruined.
Love it or hate it, Templars can burst heal like nobody's business. Why? Restoring Light. One of the two major reasons I went with a Templar; the other being my history on the Paladin-like classes of other games. It's where I feel at home. Restoring Light is a crazy effective skill tree but some of its morphs could stand to pack more of a punch or weighted decision.
Rite of Passage
A Look at Magicka Management
- The only other class that approaches this ultimate for defensive / restorative purposes is the Nightblade with Soul Siphon. I love Rite of Passage. It's cheap and a great "Oh-****" button for healers and tanks alike. I prefer the Remembrance morph, as it generally provides more healing than is required as-is, but maybe somebody can find a use for Practiced Incantation. I sure can't. Well, I guess I never tried, but that's not for lack of theoretical application.Rushed Ceremony
- Another great ability with a few minor drawbacks. First off, it's expensive. It isn't the most efficient heal. That is save for the Honor the Dead morph. Honor the Dead is a great and efficient option to heal individual targets if you don't have to cast it in rapid succession, as the restoration of magicka does not stack. I keep this on my PVP and PVE bars. It is less reliable in PVP as a self-healing mechanism because it will prioritize lower health targets, even if you need a do-or-die heal for yourself. I keep multiple heals on my PVP bar, some specifically to address this shortcoming.
The Breath of Life morph is nice as well if you need multiple-target bursts. Breath of Life fires off two smaller heals the instant you hit the button, which takes a bit of getting used to, as the primary heal takes a split second before it casts. This means you get the two small ones before the large one, which can be annoying before you become accustomed to it. You will cast it expecting a large burst heal for the lowest health ally but see two others healed prior to it. It only fools you into thinking the second heal was delayed, but it takes the same amount of time as the base spell or Honor the Dead do. Not a real problem; Still a great spell.Healing Ritual
- Here's a spell I struggled to find a good use for. The cast time ruined it for me in dungeons, where I try to split my role between healing and support, and I need to trim the fat on APM. It also didn't help that I had to be positioned well in order to make it effective. When I do PVP, I play a combination of single-target killing and large group healing. This is where I found a good home for the spell. The large bursts couple well with the chaotic nature of PVP. It is also almost unique in that it is the only efficient, large heal I have that will heal me every time I cast it, even if nearby players have lower health. I don't count Cleanse as a similar guarantee it is too expensive and has a prerequisite to be able to heal me. I also mentioned HR is efficient. It is a bit pricey but the cast time allows regeneration ticks, effectively reducing the cost in a round-about manner. The large healing values more than justify the cost if you cast it at a good time to cut back on overhealing.
While I like the spell, the morphs are a bit lackluster. Ritual of Rebirth barely reduces the cast time. I figure if I'm relying on 0.3 seconds of cast time reduction to save me, I'm screwed already. Lingering Ritual is weird, but it is what I chose. The heal value is small and 8 seconds is an eternity to wait for such a minor heal, with nothing happening in between. I'd rather see RoR reduce the cast time to 1.2 seconds and have LR's heal value increased by 50% but broken into smaller heals over an 8 second period. Right now, you may as well flip a coin on this morph.Restoring Aura
- A pretty cool ability. It's always nice to have more stamina regeneration. I don't care so much for the health regen, but the stamina is great for everyone. This ability and the Radiant Aura morph are much more useful since the caps were boosted, but it still doesn't compare to Repentance. Sure, Restoring / Radiant can be used any time, but it takes one corpse to equal a lifetime of having the base spell active. It is for this reason that I still have to go with Repentance over Radiant Aura. I think Radiant aura would be more effective if it provided better passives as well as the increased range, since the range buff isn't that useful. Perhaps add 15% magicka regeneration to the passive aspect of the spell."I thought casting Repentance here would work."Cleansing Ritual
- Oh, how I love you, Cleansing Ritual. Not only do you provide synergy opportunities and a mild boost to healing, but you provide a designated safe zone for my party to stand in. It's subtle mind-control that proves us healers are really the ones in charge of dungeon groups. This is to say nothing of the PVP benefits.
Both morphs are great here. Purifying Ritual is invaluable in PVP and I honestly feel sorry for other classes because of it. Spam talons all you want and I'll just pop right on out. Dots on me? Get that crap out of here. Then there's extended ritual. More of a good fit for PVE. Set it and forget it.Rune Focus
- I like this one too. It's pretty cool for select situations. Worthless in PVP, however. It is nice for a squishy like me to take on bosses or provide spot tanking. It is a selfish spell, as it only affects the caster for the armor / resist portion. What also helps this spell is the fact that it is one of, if not the cheapest Templar spell.
Channeled Focus sucks. You would think magicka regen from the focus would be nice for alleviating the concerns of Templa magicka management, but it is not. It just returns the base spell cost and a little more. It would be nice if the value was doubled, or even tripled. As it stands, Restoring Focus is much better. I believe it even applies the healing increase to allies.Update:
If the reports that Channeled Focus restores more magicka than it says are true, it might be more useful than I imagined. It also turns out it restores the magicka whether you stand in it or not, which is a big bonus to the effectiveness.Passives
- The first two are great. They help out a lot with Templar healing. Focused Healing just flat out buffs Healing Ritual itself, which is an addition to an already fantastic spell. I don't have a whole lot of use for Light Weaver, as you may have been able to surmise with my opinions on the affected spells, but it is decent. Master Ritualist would be great if it wasn't bugged. I counted 10+ revives in a row with no gem return, which is an extreme mathematical improbability. 0.097% for 10 failures in a row.
A big issue I find with Templars is (surprise) the magicka management issue. Some agree this is a problem while others don't. I think it depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Let's look at some numbers, shall we?
Closing Statements & Sentencing
Without factoring in passive reductions, the class average magicka cost per active combat spell spread is as follows, with Templars as the baseline:
T - 100.0%
D - 102.7%
S - 115.5%
N - 103.5%
Factoring in class passives that reduce spell costs, once again keeping Templars as the baseline, is as follows:
T - 100.0%
D - 107.0%
S - 114.3%
N - 107.8%
I did not count toggled abilities or cost-per-tick abilities for these calculations. From these numbers alone, you can only conclude that the average spell cost for Templars is the lowest in the game. Average
spell cost. What it doesn't tell you is that Templar spells have a significantly smaller range of costs, rather than having some cheap and some expensive. We have no spammable abilities at a low cost. Most of the inflated values of other classes come from abilities you will use either rarely or never, while each of them has either a means of actively regenerating magicka or just cheap spells that can be used as DPS filler. Templars, while not hitting the highest cost marks, must fire on all cylinders at all times when it comes to expending magicka. So let's a look at the number of additional passives that improve magicka regeneration, as well as active abilities that do the same.Templar:
No passives for restoring magicka. Rushed Ceremony provides a 72% refund on low-health targets and Channeled Focus' provides minimal magicka regen.Dragonknight:
A passive restores 70% of the cost of ultimates as magicka, stamina, and health. Inferno's morph, Sea of Flames, restores magicka when enemies are killed, although this is hardly helpful outside of the confines of the spell. Inhale's morph, Draw Essence, restores magicka per hit. I can't say how much this is, so I don't know how effective it is. I would assume it is similar to Infero, in that it only helps refund a portion of the initial use cost.Sorcerer:
A passive restores 15% max magicka when a pet is lost. A second passive boosts magicka recovery by 10%. A third reduces the base cost of specifically Storm Calling abilities. Winged Twilight can be morphed to provide boosted magicka regeneration. Crystal Shard's morph, Crystal Fragments, can allow it to cast at reduced cost. Dark Exchange is an active ability that trivializes magicka management by restoring it at the cost of stamina. This can be risky in PVP, but it is a no-brainer in PVE DPS and healing. Mages Fury's Endless Fury morph restores magicka when it kills enemies.Nightblade:
A passive restores magicka when an enemy is killed with Assassination skills. A second passive increases max magicka 8% while a Siphoning ability is slotted. An active ability allows attacks to regenerate large amounts of magicka, much like Sorcerers can devote a skill slot to do."Wearing blue armor is also rumored to result in drastically increased magicka efficiency."
As you can see, every other class has more or simply better options to help manage magicka. Dragonknights are almost as bad off for management but they more than make up for it with cheap, spammable spells.
In summary, there are a lot of Templar abilities I feel need some refinement. Some of them are useless but others just lack a flow between abilities. I called this internal class ability synergy. Templars have a lot of up-front damaging abilities with utilities tied to them. These utilities are often worthless against bosses or redundant in PVP due to CC lockouts. Coupling that plethora of niche abilities, lacking in synergy from spell to spell, with the above-average cost of most Templar abilities, nets you a class that is allergic to high, sustained DPS. Apply a couple of those abilities to PVP and you have a class built like a freight train, but it simultaneously limits your options because of conflicting CC.
When it comes to healing, Templars really shine. Their burst heals are unparalleled. Again, the magicka issue rears its ugly head, but not in the same way as with DPS. Healing Templars should still rely on Restoration Staff abilities for minor wounds. While they must still manage their magicka more carefully than other classes, a well-geared and seasoned Templar should rarely find magicka becoming an issue while healing. Having burst healing allows you to spend more time elsewhere, such as restoring magicka with staff heavy attacks. I don't believe healing is where magicka management class improvements are necessary.
As a tank, I don't think I like any class better than the Templar. Tanks are arguably worthless in ESO compared to other games, but they are still fun in group dungeons and leveling. Magicka can quickly become an issue here, especially with heavy armor, but there are plenty of damage mitigation and evasion utilities, as well as heavy threat-producing AOE effects and support heals. I'm currently experimenting with a medium-armor-based evasion tanklar build on my alt that I'm hoping will alleviate magicka reliance and provide a refreshing approach to group dungeons.
So really, Templars are mostly great. I love playing them. They just need some refinement to really be as versatile as every class in the game should be."Templars are clearly superior. Just look."