As many of you know, the Champion System is designed to be a replacement for the Veteran System. Internally, we have been implementing and testing the Champion System for the last few months. During that iteration time we’ve learned a lot. This changed some of our intended launch goals for the system. Specifically of concern is the number of Champion Points earned before the system launches. Here are four of the most salient points with regards to the number of Champion Points earned when we launch phase 3 with Update 6 and the reasons for the change:
- The system needs to be integrated in phases, leaving the Veteran Ranks in place for phase 3.
Because the Champion System is layered on top of the Veteran System, the power differential between players from Veteran Rank 1 to Veteran Rank 14 still exists. There are many reasons we haven’t fully eliminated Veteran Ranks, chiefly a sense of progression in character and itemization progression. In the current phase that progression still exists. Layering a second progression can exacerbate player separation issues, especially when there is a lot of variance in the Champion System introduction. This phased-in approach is good for the game, but with dual progression post-50, it means we have to be even more careful when making changes.
- The system should give more value for each point spent than originally conceived.
A second thing we learned is that each Champion Point needs to have more impact on the stats it is altering than originally planned. This came up frequently in our internal feedback sessions. Responding to that feedback, we decreased the number of overall points in the system (14,400 to 3,600), but kept the range of what they could alter the same. Because each point is more valuable there are less points overall in the system. Thus we can’t give out as many points with the introduction of the system as originally believed.
- The system has to account for relative power values of the game.
We had to start narrowing down on the variables for our content in the game. Because we are changing many of the abilities and base factors in the gameplay, we needed to start with less of a variance in player power to achieve a good introduction of the system. Or more simply, the more points we give out now, the harder it is to find a good place between various balance points: PvP, overland content, Veteran Content, Craglorn, Dungeons, Trials, etc…
- The system shouldn’t separate players more.
This is pretty self-explanatory, and is related to the first point. While the system is meant to have built in safeguards against players pulling away from each other too dramatically – those systems aren’t in currently. A 1-to-1 XP conversion to Champion XP was too dramatic.
Also, when phase 3 of the Champion System goes live with Update 6, all accounts that have at least one Veteran Rank character on them will automatically receive 30 Champion Points. These 30 Champion Points, though applied to your account, are distributed in full to each individual character on your account, just as Champion Points you earn are. So, if you have 5 characters, at least one of which is Veteran Rank 1 or higher, all five of those characters will have 30 CP to spend. You will not be awarded more Champion Points for having five Veteran Characters versus just one. You will also be able to begin earning Champion Points on any Veteran Rank character from that point forward.
We feel confident that our current solution is better for the enjoyment of the game overall than our originally announced design. This comes from weeks of testing the system. While iterating on solutions and changing the design is a normal and necessary part of the game making process, we definitely understand how changes to a system like this can be frustrating and seem to come from nowhere.
That said, we’re going to continue to be open about our plans and designs for the future of ESO. While a change in development like this can be frustrating, it isn’t a reason for us to not communicate. We never intend to mislead, but sometimes even our best ideas just don’t work out once they get into the game. We feel the Champion System is still going to be a fun way for you to keep customizing your character to suit your tastes and specializing in ways that make you unique. We’re looking forward to you giving it a trial run on the PTS, and sending us your feedback.
Community Manager - The Elder Scrolls Online
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