With Update 22 coming to the PTS in just a few weeks, we want to give you all an update on how we’re approaching combat adjustments this patch. We know there’s a lot of information out there already since the embargo lift and it’s great to see everyone excited about Elsweyr and the Necromancer! However, be aware unless it’s stated from us or included in official patch notes, it’s all subject to change until it’s on the PTS and Live.
With that being said, let’s dive into how we are approaching the Elsweyr update. First off, we are getting the Necromancer ready for prime time! This class was created with three major tenants of play:
- Create a class that feels entirely unique and different than any other class in ESO
- Create a class that embodies Necromancy in Elder Scrolls lore/canon
- Add new gameplay elements via corpses, temporary pets and emphasize positional gameplay
The Necromancer is the first class to have multiple passes by our own players prior to it launching with the Class Reps and members of the community that recently visited the studio. Their feedback has greatly helped our development process, and we believe the Necromancer is setup nicely to fill both Magicka or Stamina roles for healing, tanking or DPS. Thanks again to the fine folks that visited us, and we’re looking forward to everyone trying out the Necromancer on the PTS! .
Over the years of development, there have been numerous changes to class abilities both in function and under the hood with code. These changes have shaped the face of combat in ESO over time, but as the game has evolved with each passing year, we have accrued many changes that have fallen out of vogue. With this update, we are making several adjustments to bring abilities back in line with the current state of the game and create a solid foundation of standards for the future.
In Update 22 we have done a pass on every Class ability looking for errant or missing data. We also made sure abilities follow a coherent pattern of Rank progression that is easy to identify. For example, if an ability morph does damage, the rank progression adds more damage. If an ability morph does healing, the rank progression does more healing.
Ability coefficients and costs have also been audited to ensure that healing or damage within the type of ability (such as a DD, DoT, HoT, Direct Heal) are more consistent. The duration of abilities and sub-effects have been normalized so they adhere to patterns that fall in line with the play-style of ESO, making their use in rotations easier to handle. For example:
- Single Target DoTs have been a long standing group of abilities that were not consistent in their application of damage. Looking at these types of abilities’ duration, tick frequencies, and delays, a consistent pattern of application was missing from ability to ability. Some of these abilities have even be used as "spammable" abilities (Searing Strike), despite that being against their design. In this pass, we've restructured them to follow a standard behavior:
- If there is an initial hit upon casting one of these abilities, there will always be a delay between the initial hit and the first tick
- If there no initial hit, there will be no delay
- Delays (i.e. an ability that doesn’t hit immediately) will always be the same duration as the DoT's frequency in which it ticks.
Next were abilities that were considered out of standards based on the audit pass noted above. Some abilities contained a LOT of functionality (Incapacitating Strike), and others not as much (Teleport Strike) when looking at abilities across the board. Moving forward, abilities within the same “Category” should have a base level of performance but also have something that makes it unique. In doing this pass, we found abilities that had components which were above or below base functionality and made adjustments to bring them in line. In some cases, base damage/healing has been increased make up for the removal of additional functions. In other cases, base damage/healing has been reduced to make up for adding in additional functions.
We also took a high level pass at Class abilities, specifically looking for similar/redundant functions within each class's entire tool kit (like Mark Target granting Fracture and Surprise Attack granting Fracture). While we want there to be different abilities that operate similarly in functionality between your class, weapon, guild, and other skill lines, we want to avoid abilities within the same class to provide multiple sources of the same effect(s). This is an on-going effort for future skill lines, and we are not opposed to revisiting the structure of abilities that have already received this audit. Also note these passes were done in conjunction with the changes noted above regarding coefficient/cost/Rank progression, etc.
In terms of quality of life changes, we’ve heard your feedback about cast times being difficult to incorporate into fluid combat/rotation, and have made adjustments to many abilities with cast times to make them easier to weave and be more reliable. In most of these cases, we have adjusted the damage as well in coordination with cast time adjustments to retain the DPS you’re used to in U21.
There will be a bunch of patch notes coming for PTS soon, so stay tuned! Thanks for reading gang, and if you’ve gotten this far, here’s a little sneak peek:
- Cleave: (Reworked this ability and its morphs) Damage increased by 50%, but removed the bleed from this base ability completely.
- Carve: Retains the bleed; bleed damage increased by 25%. No longer grants Minor Heroism.
- Brawler: Removed the bleed from this ability. Increased the Shield granted from this morph by 100% at base, but reduced the bonus scaling per target hit from 100% to 50%. This means at base this ability will be 100% stronger than before, and will be ~14% stronger than previously if you get the maximum bonus.