Below you'll find the topics we discussed with the Class Reps during our meeting yesterday, with the notes compiled by the Reps themselves. In this meeting, we discussed some of the goals we have for Update 20 and beyond, making sure they're hitting on the larger pain points currently in-game. Usual caveat: This is not a list of everything that will be changing, and may not include every piece of feedback that was received.
Beforehand, we [Class Reps] sent ZOS a bunch of documents, videos, and charts covering previous pain points, community feedback since our last meeting, observations on the PTS process and launch of update 19, and DPS/resource management comparisons. Tasear also has a list of bugs that is being kept up to date.
ZOS’s high-level goals and things actively being worked on for update 20
Specific Class goals for update 20
- Smaller number of high impact changes
- Harness Magicka and Conjured Ward skills are overshadowing and diminishing the role of healers
- Light and Medium Armor do not compare favorably to Heavy Armor (mostly in PvP: it’s easier to get good damage, sustain, and mitigation from heavy)
- Duel Wield is an end-game PvE requirement because of the Blade Cloak skill
- Want to get class DPS and resource regeneration more in tune with each other
- Address inconsistent ability ranges (Embers 5 meters, Whip 8 meters, Flames 10 meters)
- Hardened Armor morph needs improvement
- Power Lash stun does not synergize well with class theme of control. Also want to move away from high burst+stun mechanics
- Piercing Mark is too hard of a counter for stealth gameplay
- Dark Cloak Minor Protection buff is too short
- Would like to have players choose between high damage or strong healing rather than current model
- Better ability to control opponents in PvP
- High DPS too reliant on Bear
- More fluid rotation rather than buff spamming
- Needs a unique buff to offer groupmates
- Bound Armor needs to be more worthwhile
- The Overload skill is awkward with the class kit: it’s either a gank gimmick or not used much
- Crystal Fragments needs to be more cost effective
- Need an ultimate for burst damage
- Agree that Templars fighting over repenting corpses is undesirable
- Make Focused Charge easier to use in melee range
- Make the Spear Wall passive more applicable
ZOS is working on making sure CC mechanics, specifically breaking free and CC immunity, are more reliable.
Goals beyond Update 20 that ZOS is currently working on:
- It is too difficult to land untargeted AoE abilities such as the Templar Puncturing Strikes ability
- They know players don’t like feeling forced to be vampires
- More diversity for Tank gearing
- Want to make healing both more valuable and rewarding for end-game group play
- Also, aware that Battlegrounds need to do a better job with medals and showing healer contributions
- Make Streak ability work better on uneven terrain
- Improve the unique feel of each class
- Pets more predictable and easier to manage.
- They know players want the “Ice Mage” theme
- Some classes need better resource regeneration while blocking
After this, ZOS asked if any points not listed above needed emphasis. Class reps responded:
- Stamina classes, in particular Dragonknight and Sorcerer, need to get more out of their native kit and feel a better sense of identity rather than just a collection of weapon abilities.
- Stamina diversity in DPS is also lacking as gear and weapon bars are almost identical between classes.
- Templars still need some form of pro-active defense. Sun Shield is an obvious candidate for reform as it’s not a popular skill
- Sorcerers are still going to lack options and are crammed for bar space. Rune Cage changes have come fast, and many feel they are right back to where they started with relying on Master Destro staff
- We talked about giving an instant cast option for a lower damaging Crystal Blast morph
- Templars sharing corpses for Repentance would solve the fighting-between-allies problem, but may have undesirable PvP consequences as denying enemy templars was a legit gameplay mechanic
- High burst damage from stealth (mostly via Snipe and Overload) needed better ques (as opposed to flat nerfs). ZOS told us they were working on bugs (such as Snipe health desynchs) to help and suggested that they may look into PvP burst damage more generally
- PvE DPS diversity is a huge pain point. This lead to a more in-depth discussion.
Class reps brought up the unsatisfying “meta” that some groups are just loading up on Nightblade DPS, with just one other support class (DK tank for Engulfing Flames, Templar healer for Purify and PoTL, Sorcerer off-healer for Conduits). To address this, the following points were raised:
- Each class ought to bring something to the team that is both important and meaningful
- More specifically, each class DPS should do this to avoid the “meta” issue described above
- The class minor buffs that they are currently providing (such as minor sorcery and minor savagery) are too small. It’s better just to load up on the “BiS” DPS class
- Wardens really lose out here. ZOS knows this and said they will give something else for Wardens to offer.
- The Nightblade class brings the highest DPS and is the only one that feels fluid. The other 4 classes often bottom out on sustain, while the Nightblade keeps doing its smooth rotation.
- The Nightblade can do this with blue max stat food; the other classes don’t even keep up with sustain drinks
- The other classes could devote more into resource management, but while doing so addresses the issue with their rotations, they’re further behind in DPS
- We’d like the Nightblade to be the model for the other classes
ZOS acknowledged this and pointed out a solution may not be easy as they want to avoid the danger of making each class necessary to complete a trial.
Other issues brought up:
- They want to prevent a scenario where a real-life issue caused the stamina Warden to drop raid and then they couldn’t do the trial because no other stamina Warden was available
- They indicated they are looking for a fine balance between these extremes and to chip away at the problem to get to where we’d all like to go
- Absorb Stamina glyphs doing magicka damage went on the list to be changed.
- Why was heavy attack melee range reduced from 10 meters to 7? To make the ranges standardized and avoid problem of why basic attacks are hitting but not abilities
- Why do small daggers and range light attacks do more DPS than huge Axes and melee light attacks? Melee has a hard time Vs. opponents using Swift jewelry. ZOS says they will look more closely into Duel Wield Vs. Two-Handed damage.
- Channeled abilities and those longer than 1 second (like Templar Puncturing Strikes) miss out on Light attacks, which are a big DPS contributor.
- ZOS said this was a valid point and will look into it.
- Healing/Tanking Diversity
- Healers want to be more valuable and wanted. Battleground recognition.
- Some Healing skills, in particular from the Restoration Staff, just aren’t good options (like Force Siphon and the other morph of Combat Prayer that many people don’t even know the name)
- ZOS indicated there are looking at the discrepancy of stamina regeneration while blocking for all tanks
- Reps indicated that while this is good, the problem goes deeper as Wardens already have good stamina sustain and DK tanks still dominate since DK tanks provide a valuable DPS buff in Engulfing Flames.
- Some of this is perception as many people mimic what the notable guilds do.
ZOS then indicated having classes bring unique gameplay was a long-term goal for beyond Update 20.
Question and Answers:
What can we tell people?
- Pretty much anything that comes up in our meeting. ZOS is not going to share things with the Reps that they are not comfortable going public.
What about Frost Staffs?
- The heavy attack is too long for a taunt. Taunt does not provide Major fracture/breach
- ZOS wanted to know if players are switching from stamina to magicka blocking
- At first, we did. But now most tanks preserve their magicka to cast skills
- This unfortunately has made the Tri-Focus passive useless or a pain to constantly switch skill points in and out of it.
- Reps said Frost Staff is used mostly a back-bar tank weapon or for the easier dungeons rather than Trials.
- ZOS acknowledged this and will look into it for a future update.
- Frost staff is intended to be a tanking/control element as opposed to a DPS element.
Why does Crystal Fragment instant cast have a tiny cast-time and drops block?
- That’s a bug and ZOS is looking to fix that.
Stamina players are at a disadvantage when it comes to synergies because most of them do magic damage and scale of magicka stats.
- ZOS acknowledged the discrepancy
- This lead to a more specific discussion about synergies.
- It was agreed that certain ranged synergies such as from Inner Fire and Trapping Webs were too restrictive in who was eligible to activate them (range is too narrow, angle is too acute, only one specific target, etc.).
- Certain Nightblade heal oriented synergies are not powerful enough.
- Many of the actual synergy animations are uninspiring and don’t feel impactful (compare to say Gravity Crush or Ignite).
Some class AOE oriented Ultimates were falling out of favor. Wardens are the exception here as Permafrost is quite good.
- ZOS said they are looking to make the other morph better as most people just use it for the 8% maximum stat passive.
We came back to Sorcerers for the last topic.
- ZOS is firm in their stance that high burst damage skills combined with stuns are undesirable and is looking to get away from that.
- ZOS said they are aware that Crystal Fragments ability needs to be more efficient.
- The Reps repeated the feedback that the Crystal Blast morph also needs an update and reiterated the idea of giving sorcerers the choice between instant cast high damage and instant cast medium damage with a stun.
- Initial and early feedback for Sorcerers is that their class is walking in place with the buff-nerf cycle to Rune Prison.
- Also, some are wondering why the other morph that wasn’t an issue, Defensive Rune, can now be dodged.