Yes, yet another WW suggestion post. I know, I know. But hear me out! I've posted the suggestion on the boards of others before but I wanted to post it again in its own thread, hopefully to get a few more eyes and opinions. Bear with me.
Werewolves have been featured in numerous Elder Scrolls titles. Because the only two that I have played and remembered are Morrowind and Skyrim, I'm going to mention those the most, but I welcome any other input on the matter.
The werewolves in Bloodmoon, Morrowind, who had contracted Sanies Lupinus, were forced to change every night. In order to regain their humanity they were forced to kill an NPC, lest they lose a massive chunk of themselves come the next day.
Skyrim and ESO werewolves both have more control over their condition, as far as game mechanics are concerned. But what aspect of those mechanics really captures the natural struggle of a werewolf? The ultimate cost has been lessened and we're able to eat frantically to try and keep our timers up, but the inner fight of a werewolf has never been "oh no, I better chew on some legs before I turn human again!"
It's been about the hunt, as we saw in Morrowind; Hircine demands tributes, demands the hunt, and werewolves who don't fulfill that hunt are stricken with pain, misery, insanity and even death. They are required to hunt, but we are not required to transform. In fact our transformation is barely a blip in the radar.
How does this compare to vampires? Vampires are always vampires. They are always aware of their condition, they must always feed to retain their humanity, their blood-sucking abilities and strengths blend in as a part of their nature during their fights. Vampires are unmistakably vampiric. Why are werewolves not equally, unmistakably monstrous? Why is our bestial nature not directly tied to ourselves?
In my opinion, the ultimate needs to change to properly reflect the nature of the werewolf.
Werewolves struggle to retain their humanity. Let that reflect in the ultimate. You have to hunt and kill to remain human, just as a vampire must feed to do the same. The ultimate should be a countdown until you utterly lose your humanity, not a countdown until you get to grow a thirty-second tail.
The ultimate should be a toggle; if a werewolf toggles the ultimate, the ultimate goes down. This has to be kept up, you have to kill as a werewolf, because if you don't... if that ultimate hits its maximum? You lose your humanity. You are forced to transform into the beast, losing access to your blades or magic; your claws and teeth must do your work for you until you regain your humanity once more. You're a beast. You have to hunt. Hircine demands tribute.
So how would this work in-game? You gain ultimate as you fight, just like you always do. Except you can use this ultimate at any time, even at 0, and doing so drains your ultimate and keeps it down. But if you don't use it, if you don't transform, if you let that ultimate hit its cap? You're forced to transform into a werewolf for the time currently allotted to us (30 seconds, I think?). During that time you don't have access to your spells, magic, weapons, anything.
And when the justice system hits, and you build up that bestial rage so that everyone can see? You better run like hell, you monster. Because being a werewolf is about just barely keeping the beast at bay. It's about fighting and clawing and biting to hold onto that one tiny sliver of sanity left inside you.
- The werewolf ultimate should reflect a werewolf's nature, and become almost a reverse-ultimate. So it is indeed an ultimate skill that you can toggle at will, but the more you fight, the more ultimate you gain, and if you don't transform before your ultimate reaches the max, you're forced to transform for a minute or so.
- Abilities that currently add a timer can offer a minor heal, HoT or something instead.