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U23 Combat Q&A
Edited by ZOS_GinaBruno on August 25, 2019 8:51AM
Thanks for everyone's patience while we collected the questions and answers for this post. Below, you'll find a selection of questions you all had relating to Update 23 combat, ability, and gameplay changes.
In general, why were there so many changes to healers in this update?
The weapon lines audit resulted in healing abilities getting altered to fit our standards for ability usage. This, combined with the overall desire to improve client and server performance, meant that some healing abilities which relied on layering or multi-casting needed to be changed.
How do you plan to address certain end game content that requires the previous healing output to make it through (i.e. vHoF HM or Lokkestiiz HM)?
We’ve been monitoring gameplay in Update 23 since it went live and all content that was beaten before this update, has been beaten again (by many guilds). Tactics have changed a bit, but the content is not unattainable as some may have initially feared.
How will you be monitoring the changes to PvE healing and how it impacts the live game going forward?
We have several metrics that measure the completion rate of trials and dungeons and can clearly see whether those rates go up or down. We also regularly play on the live servers to see how the changes affect things.
Would you revisit the recent healing changes if it proved detrimental to the endgame portion?
As noted above, we haven’t seen any major impact to end game progression. Tactics have changed and groups have needed to adjust, but all content has been beaten by many guilds since the launch of U23. That being said, we are always monitoring and will make adjustments if there are any major outliers.
Why the change to the way Healing Orbs functions?
There were multiple reasons for this change:
Do you have any plans to create a more diverse healer platform for other classes?
Yes, we do want to have more classes be able to effectively heal within their class kit.
What were the reasonings around the Stamina healing changes?
With Vigor, we wanted the choice to be a self-heal OR an AoE heal - not an all-in-one wonder like it was. For Rally, as it’s a weapon ability, it should be seen as a weapon enhancement primarily and a heal secondary.
With the ongoing skill audits, what is the ultimate goal for standardization? Where does class identity fall in the audit?
The Audit is something that needed to occur before class identity could be resolved. Imagine a yardstick with inches and centimeters changing how much distance was between each one - that’s what the Audit aimed to resolve, providing overall structure to abilities. Now that abilities have a standard to adhere to, we can address where classes achieve their unique feel working with those standards in mind. Each class will have a distinct feel and play pattern associated with a fantasy based on where their power is derived from.
What’s the design intent for all the classes?
Classes should have the tools in their class lines to be able to fill any role (Tank, DPS or Healer) with the other skill lines helping to broaden the toolset.
Which skill lines are planned for the next ability audit in Update 24?
None! We’ve finished our audit of skill lines for now and are looking to begin the process of reinforcing class identity with a few classes. This will be an ongoing process over the course of several patches.
When do you expect to start reworking/auditing the Champion Point system?
We’re actually working on it internally right now, but in terms of when we’re going to get something out publicly, that’s not anytime soon.
Stamina & Magicka
Do you have any plans on strengthening the arsenal for Stam versions of each class with their respective class abilities?
Yes, we’re looking at making Stamina builds within class kits viable. However, we are more interested in providing Melee vs. Ranged playstyles within class kits. If this results in some abilities being based on Stamina, Magicka or Health usage, we’re open to those possibilities.
It seems like you’re trying to homogenize all Stam DPS classes by giving them different passives, but making such a clear path with non-class abilities that makes little difference. Do you recognize this issue? Do you plan on waiting to see what comes from it?
Class skills need to fulfill the roles of DPS, Tank and Support for most content in the game, and weapon lines will fill out those holes. Currently this is not the case, and we are looking into resolving this in the future.
Racial balance for Stamina classes could use some improving. Do you plan on addressing this?
Yes, this is planned for a future update.
What are your feelings on the class-agnostic Stam meta resulting from the U23 changes?
We’re aware of the various restrictions based on Stamina build diversity, and are looking to make some adjustments to this in the future.
In U23, Stamina was given a decent universal stun in Turn Undead. Can we expect to see something with similar availability for Magicka in the future?
It’s something we’re aware of, and are looking to grant similar tools to both dish CC out and get out of CC.
Classes & Skills
Why were there so few changes to the Necromancer in this update?
With the Necromancer being our newest class, we’ve been collecting and reading all the feedback about Necromancers and are working on plans to address those pain points as both playing a Necromancer and against one.
With the improvements to tether mechanics in U23, are there further plans to improve the Necro corpse mechanics?
Yes, this will be discussed when planning any adjustments to the Necromancer as mentioned above.
Will Blast Bones get some tweaking to be more reliable?
Yes, we’re discussing methods to address the “confused Blast Bones” out there.
The passive Searing Heat was changed to make sure the DK DoTs were on par with other DoTs in the game. Why was a passive changed instead of making the changes on the skill itself?
The core function of an ability should be easy to grok, and the morphs and passives can stack on top of this to fulfill the flavor of a class. The change to Searing Heat was done to reinforce the idea of “you’re a DK, and this is how your DoTs get better”.
Surge feels a little underwhelming and difficult to trigger unless you’re using a healing staff. Are there any changes planned to improve the skill?
This morph is intended to be focused on healers, but we are aware of the desirability of Sorcery to other playstyles and are looking to address that in the future.
A lot of the feedback given on the werewolf changes don’t appear to be actioned upon. Why were no additional adjustments made?
We believe the werewolf is in a relatively good state balance-wise at the moment, but are continuing to monitor the live servers to see how things shake out.
Adding cast times to Ultimates appears to be a change most people here have reacted negatively to. Why are these cast times being added? What issue is the team attempting to solve with this change?
Ultimate abilities are some of the most powerful abilities in the game. We added cast times so there is counter play; we felt that having 3-4 abilities hitting you at once, including an Ultimate, is just too much. You also can’t animation cancel them because we don’t want players to be able to instantly cast them anymore. They are just too powerful.
Why are class abilities often weaker than their generic counterpart? Is it intended that there is less class identity?
As noted above, class identity is next on our list of things to hit. Our overall goal is that each class has enough tools fulfill each of the roles.
With the overhaul to AoE abilities, what is the intent on pushing players to use world skill lines over class skill lines?
It’s not our intention to push players to use world skill lines over class skill lines. We want there to be equal opportunity for players to use different abilities to fill out their builds. The ability audit was first, to establish a baseline. Class identity comes next.
What is the rationale behind reducing the damage of AoE ground DoTs?
AoE abilities should not do more damage than a single target ability on a single target. There should be a choice – if you are hitting more than 3 targets, AoE is the right choice. As it was before U23, AoE was always the right choice, in every situation.
In regards to the frequency and amount of changes made, how do you choose what to change given the community’s preferences for how certain things work?
Outside of periodic audits, the voice of the community is taken into account when we make changes to the game, not only for class balance but game direction as a whole. That said, we need to look at that feedback and decipher what the core of the issue is versus “Make this ability do X”, and consider why that is being requested and what scenarios that ability is being used resulting in that feedback.
Can you tell us what drives your decisions other than just "overperformance" with regards to skill changes? Where and how do you collect your information?
We collect data about what players are doing in the game and how they participate in the content. We also look at various public forums to see sentiment as noted in the above question, but also we play the game and experience the changes ourselves internally and live.
Are you aware of the extreme DoT rotations that have resulted from U23?
Yes, we’re aware of the current builds and rotations on Live and we’re actively monitoring.
What do you envision for group CC on tanks that don't have that in the class toolkit?
Not every class should have the same abilities and should have different types of applications for healing, damage, CC, buffs and methods of interacting with the combat system. For example, currently we understand there are some classes that are able to do certain roles better than others resulting in the “defacto” roles out there, but we want to ensure that all classes CAN tank, support and DPS, just in different ways.
Are you satisfied with the current implementation of Volendrung?
Yes. It does what it was designed to do, which is to cause mass chaos for a short while, then when its gone, things return back to normal.
Are there any changes planned for the faction lock system?
In this latest update, there are now pre-warnings when you log into the game in Cyrodiil preventing unintentional locking. We currently have no plans to remove the faction lock system.
Armor & Itemization
What are your plans for Medium armor, and bringing it more up to par with the other armor types? Are there plans to address the Stamina heavy armor meta in PvP?
We’re aware of the current strengths and weaknesses of each type of armor in the current game, and are looking into how Armor as a whole - regardless of Light, Medium or Heavy - interact with the game at a core level, not just what stats they provide.
Will the vMA Restoration staff be adjusted due to the changes to the duration of Regeneration?
We have an item set audit planned for a future update and will consider changes at that time.
- It had a high negative impact on performance
- The play pattern of the old functionality was seen as something we don’t want to reinforce in light of the performance issues
- It fell massively outside our AoE HoT standards
Community Manager - The Elder Scrolls Online
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