Update 43 is now available for testing on the PTS! You can read the latest patch notes here: https://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/en/categories/pts
Maintenance for the week of July 15:
• PC/Mac: No maintenance - July 15

Update on Cyrodiil Performance & Upcoming AOE Tests

  • Nevasca
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    Test 2 sounds reasonable but test 1 would just kill the game. 3s on all abilities? What do you do in those 3s? LA spam? lol
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  • dvonpm
    dvonpm
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    Ode2Order wrote: »
    Sounds like you found the root of the problem! Well done! I'm happy to see you communicate clearly about how to move forward from this point, and I hope it will bring us to a solution (:

    H o w e v e r
    The constant loading screen issue also exists in Craglorn, where it is arguably even worse (sometimes can't even catch a breather to teleport OUT of there). There are no issues with skill casting, as I doubt there are that many AOEs being spammed there, but obviously I don't have the numbers. The issue sometimes even persists in Craglorn trials, mostly in Aetherian Archive (from anecdotal experience). What I would like to ask is if you could look into that zone as well please?

    Thank you for trying to make this a better game with good performance!

    Agree. Craglorn load screens are a nightmare. It's a separate issue so I don't want to detail, but I do wonder if it is related to the Cyro load screens in the north of the map.
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  • Ishtharo
    Ishtharo
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    Interesting, but maybe look at limiting casting in groups? How about 3 Eye of the Storm/Magicka Detonation per group? Maybe stop Hiti’s Hearth from stacking at all? Killing solo play isn’t going to fix the real issue: ball groups.

    The issue isn't ball groups so much as ZOS not able to fix their own spaghetti code. "Our server's aren't working, must be the players."

    That's bad game design AND bad programming all wrapped into one.
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  • Kadoin
    Kadoin
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    Sorry but do you play your own game? These changes are absurd, half of the classes won't be bale to work.

    Templar - Jabs THEIR SPAMMABLE is AoE so you can't jab for 3 seconds or a ramping cost on your spammable. I don't need to explain how stupid this is.

    Warden - Sub assault used once every 3 seconds - ramping cost for 5 seconds you might as well give it a 5 second time before it goes off.

    Smallscale PvP dies if these go live. There is no skill in running around in big groups, I could run around in a 24 man group with no gear if these changes go through and not have a single issue.

    Why do you hate Small Scalers?

    How is sub assault affected? If you are casting SA more than every 3 seconds then you're doing it wrong...

    It says that you can't cast it for 3 seconds, meaning that you can't recast it if a person moves before the 3 seconds without a penalty or outright "CD" despite the skill only doing damage after 3 seconds anyway.

    It's why blanket changes are always a BAD IDEA. They decided to make "rule breakers" and "special cases" and now use a blanket change to debuff the special cases and rule-breakers, destroying things that aren't, similar to the heal changes.
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  • Azramel
    Azramel
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    I'm glad there's an initiative to improve performance but something isn't adding up. Im sure everyone who participates in pvp noticed that during Midyear Mayhem, the performance on pop locked servers was much better than the performance outside the event with 1 or 2 bars of population across all alliances. How is it that the performance is so bad when Cyrodiil is dead compared to when Cyrodiil is populated during an event?
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  • Kimberlin
    Kimberlin
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    this change would kill both pve stam and mag templar builds that use jabs so good job zos
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  • Sm0ke
    Sm0ke
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    Lol, you wanted nerf ball groups?
    You will get them, but do not forget that you will also get your solo nerf and become more vulnerable to ball group.
    ZoS stop breaking you game mechanics and accusing players of creating lags.
    Allocate individual server for Cyrodiil.
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  • Alucu
    Alucu
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    Im curious as to how can you avoid players resorting to full single target specs these weeks to farm that double AP. Or how you will encourage people to use AoE. Because if people is privy to this, they can adapt or take advantage of it. Rendering the tests results moot
    Edited by Alucu on July 27, 2020 3:41PM
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  • RodneyRegis
    RodneyRegis
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    Changes should not affect PVE, but should also not affect BGs. Cyrodiil is where the problem lies.
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  • Machete
    Machete
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    Dynamic ult generation would solve a lot of ball group problems ZOS. Just saying.

    Old school dynamic ult would mean the more active you were in combat outnumbered the more ultimate you got. It was based around hitting and taking hits instead of kiting until you got ultimate, proxed up all AoEs, then using ultimates on the timer.

    Lemon-Party

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    Taliana Silverthorn, Stamina NB, AD
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    Lily Hlaalu, Stamina NB, EP
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  • Soul_Demon
    Soul_Demon
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    @ZOS_RichLambert
    Maybe you at ZOS could just issue the players 'cards' that we throw down in turns. Basically you respond to what you see in game, with this component taken out of the game its turn based combat with game limited responses. In other words each player drops their cards and we see who guessed right with 3 seconds for them to know what they should have used but no ability to use it---

    Imagine if you will how long it would take for single target skills to bring down a mob of 40 players---they would be rezzing up at third kill behind you and it will be an absolutely endless battle. Those who dont rezz would simply port back at last keep and be able to have more than enough time to get back to the fight before the players there were taken out providing an endless stream of players to any fight. Unbelievable.


    Edited by Soul_Demon on July 27, 2020 3:44PM
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  • falkler
    falkler
    Soul Shriven
    I have seen very good server performance at MYM and where were about 3 ballgroups in one keep with no lags. Hmmmmmmm? Maybe the trouble is in your servers and not in AOE skills?
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  • MurderMostFoul
    MurderMostFoul
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    If drastically changing AOEs is what it takes to improve performance in Cyrodiil, so be it.

    However, it will require a drastic overhaul of soooo many different abilities. To make these AOE changes work, ZOS will need way more ability changes than it has ever done in any prior balancing pass.

    People crying about Jabs? Obviously this will be one of the abilities that sees major changes. What should worry you more is whether or not ZOS can pull off such a massive re-balancing. Everyone, not just Templars, are going to need to be prepared to rethink their entire builds if ZOS makes these AOE changes and performs the necessary universal skill rework. It will be a massive undertaking and I'm worried ZOS won't pull it off.

    AOE changes could be fine, especially if they fix performance, but only if ZOS gets the skill overhaul right. Otherwise, they could fundamentally break combat beyond repair.
    Edited by MurderMostFoul on July 27, 2020 4:26PM
    “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
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  • Moonsorrow
    Moonsorrow
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    If any of those 4 ends up being permanent everyone will quit except people like Dwemer Paleontologist.

    No idea why i laughed to that, even i am worried about all of this.. You know one of them not sure if laughing or crying feelings kind of day suddenly. :joy:

    But if classes aoe skills are being gone through after the test FAST, and actually so that they keep their unique (what is left of them) feeling and abilities.. this might not be all bad and actually could end the massive ballzergs aoe spam where you know they are coming near when server starts to lag and every ability takes 3-5 seconds to work if works, or freezes screen completely or makes you disconnect from the server, so in that case the price to pay for 3 seconds cooldown for AOE spam for a game that works is not that bad..

    I play solo & small-scale the most times and think we can adapt to this, since would not had to deal with massive aoe spamming zergs anymore, but more like individual skills, single target abilities with coordinated aoe with proper timing instead of continuous spam.

    @ZOS_RichLambert It is nice that you are testing these things, and also it is wise to do so in a Live server for proper data. Hope you will share the results with us, well not every detailed metric obviously (if could, would be awesome though) but the effects of each test phase atleast on how they affect things.

    Will be there testing and giving honest feedback. Double AP appreciated as a bonus, cheers! :p


    Edited by Moonsorrow on July 27, 2020 3:43PM
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  • technohic
    technohic
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    Azramel wrote: »
    I'm glad there's an initiative to improve performance but something isn't adding up. Im sure everyone who participates in pvp noticed that during Midyear Mayhem, the performance on pop locked servers was much better than the performance outside the event with 1 or 2 bars of population across all alliances. How is it that the performance is so bad when Cyrodiil is dead compared to when Cyrodiil is populated during an event?

    I've always assumed that was because the organized ball groups that do this, are not able to get everyone into the pop locked queue.
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  • Cheezits94
    Cheezits94
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    So uhm.. how does healing work with that?

    On my templar healer, all skills (breath of life, purge, siege shield, mutagen, ritual, healing springs, combat prayer...) are technically an AoE as they hit random people around/in front of you. As a group healer, I don't have single target damage skills slotted, because with healer CP and sets, I hit like a wet noodle anyways.
    The only targetable, non-AoE-heal that comes to mind is the Psijic Guild heal skill, since you need to target a specific person with it.
    If you can't even spell sets, locations and items, you probably have no clue what you even are talking about.

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  • Firstmep
    Firstmep
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    If drastically changing AOEs is what it takes to improve performance in Cyrodiil, so be it.

    However, it will require a drastic overhaul of soooo many different abilities. To make these AOE changes work, ZOS will need way more ability changes that it has ever done in any prior balancing pass.

    People crying about Jabs? Obviously this will be one of the abilities that sees major changes. What should worry you more is whether or not ZOS can pull off such a massive re-balancing. Everyone, not just Templars, are going to need to be prepared to rethink their entire builds if ZOS makes these AOE changes and performs the necessary universal skill rework. It will be a massive undertaking and I'm worried ZOS won't pull it off.

    AOE changes could be fine, especially if they fix performance, but only if ZOS gets the skill overhaul right. Otherwise, they could fundamentally break combat beyond repair.

    Jabs being AOE is both a blessing and curse in one. Its aoe so it can be avoided by not being in its area, but also allows it to hit through dodgeroll for example.
    Its a unique ability, if i wanted pure single target ill just use flurry thanks.
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  • Sandman929
    Sandman929
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    If drastically changing AOEs is what it takes to improve performance in Cyrodiil, so be it.

    However, it will require a drastic overhaul of soooo many different abilities. To make these AOE changes work, ZOS will need way more ability changes that it has ever done in any prior balancing pass.

    People crying about Jabs? Obviously this will be one of the abilities that sees major changes. What should worry you more is whether or not ZOS can pull off such a massive re-balancing. Everyone, not just Templars, are going to need to be prepared to rethink their entire builds if ZOS makes these AOE changes and performs the necessary universal skill rework. It will be a massive undertaking and I'm worried ZOS won't pull it off.

    AOE changes could be fine, especially if they fix performance, but only if ZOS gets the skill overhaul right. Otherwise, they could fundamentally break combat beyond repair.

    Agreed. Templar is the obvious issue with cooldowns or cost increases for AOE, but there are soooo many things that will need to change if this is the direction to improved performance.
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  • red_emu
    red_emu
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    Also, your test is extremely biased!

    People will go into Cyrodiil and simply quit the game after 20 minutes. Most of us play ESO as the only MMO because of no cooldown, dynamic combat. I can't actually believe you would think we are this stupid? Of course perfomance will be 1000 times better, because there will barely be anyone playing and ball groups will simply not play.

    Please understand: BALL GROUPS CAUSE LAG, not AoEs, not Sustain, not Spammables, not CP, not Templars, not Pets, not Pizza getting overcooked.... ball groups casting 24 aoe abilities per second in an 8 meter radius of the group leader is what kills the game. You can actually smell the lag in Roebeck, when a ball group is running around the walls in Chalman.

    Instead of looking how to discourage ball gameplay, you do this?

    Who does your PR? Because this 4 week 'test' is nothing but a PR stunt!!!

    Step 1:
    Create an elaborate test and disguise it as something that's supposed to improve perfomance.

    Step 2:
    Run the test, ignoring the fact that 75% of players will simply not play in Cyrodiil.

    Step 3:
    Gather and analyse the data.

    Step 4:
    Data: There was no lag for 4 weeks, when during prime time all 16 players on the server were doing PvP stuff. Everyone was doing PvE stuff instead and there was insane lag in PvE.

    Step 5:
    Analysis: All 16 players in Cyrodiil experienced no lag with cooldowns on skills. All 1198 players in PvE experienced lag with no cooldowns on skills.

    Step 6:
    Conclusion: introducing cooldowns will fix the game.

    Step 7:
    Explain to your shareholders, why your company is sinking like Titanic because of a failed PR Stunt.

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  • blendertoes
    blendertoes
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    Wow, just wow. Whoever thought that it was a good idea to "test" by deleting an entire class deserves a prize. As was stated above, the "test" should be ground based AoEs that way you prevent class and weapon spamables from being affected. Does not seem like rocket science.

    If there are changes to class and weapon spamables that will mitigate the affect of the changes proposed in this test, then you should probably announce them so that people can take them into consideration when theorycrafting.
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  • Idinuse
    Idinuse
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    As part of our ongoing performance optimizations, we have been spending a lot of time analyzing and addressing problems in Cyrodiil. I'm going to give a summary of what has happened over the years, what we have been doing to alleviate the problems, and our future plans.

    When talking about ESO server performance, it is important to understand that all abilities in the game (with some exceptions) have a "soft" limit on the number of times they can be executed. An example of a "hard" limit on an ability is an ability that can be executed one time every two seconds, enforced by the server. ESO doesn't have many of those. Instead, we designed the game to have soft limits, which mean you can execute as many abilities as you want as long as you have the resources - Stamina or Magicka - to cast them. There is a global "cool down" timer on all abilities, which is set to 1000 milliseconds.

    The design goal of soft limits in any game is to allow players to create builds that let them execute abilities more often depending on build choices made, and not to have hard ceilings on damage or healing per second. This gives a lot of control to the player, which makes for a really fun and interesting system, but it can lead to situations where players cast too many abilities too quickly (and continuously) if strict limits on resources are not enforced.

    Over the years, player power has grown considerably. With the addition of the Champion System, various armor/weapons sets, and changes to abilities, we have reached the stage where players - with the right build - can cast near-infinite numbers of abilities. If you add in a properly managed group, with some focused on damage and some focused on healing and regen boosts, you have a perpetually running never-ending stream of abilities.

    With that in mind, consider how Area of Effect (AOE) abilities work: when cast, they look at a specific target area - almost always the area directly around the caster - find targets, and perform the ability. Each of those steps requires server calculations.

    At launch, Cyrodiil’s processes were able to keep up with the number of AOEs cast, because most players couldn’t cast that many of them: they ran out of Magicka or Stamina, so they had to use AOEs judiciously. Over time, as player knowledge grew and regen builds grew in power, more players could cast more and more AOEs before running out of resources.

    During these years, we found and fixed many performance issues in Cyrodiil, and we continue to do so. We've fixed significant issues, uncovered more, and continue to find and fix with every Update.

    However, one foundational issue remains. At some point, we crossed a threshold where most players in PvP were able to cast endless AOE abilities, without ever running out of resources. This is done through player knowledge, builds and group mechanics – resulting in a constant stream of AOEs with many players never using any other type of ability.

    This is not what we intended, but part of the fun of Elder Scrolls games is designing a build that has unexpected and powerful results, and we allowed it. However, as this behavior grew more prevalent, we reached a point where casting so many continuous AOE abilities in such a small area started to overwhelm the server process for that area, leading to situations where the "lag meter" spikes and the server becomes unresponsive for a period of time.

    Our initial response to this problem – starting with Update 22 – was to find (and fix) more than a few problems with AOE ability calculations and make them more performant - and we stayed (mostly) ahead of the problem. But as more players reached maximum Champion Level and more players started utilizing this particular method of "AOE spamming", we have reached the point where we cannot fix this issue around the edges: we need to address the core problem, which we will be starting with Update 27.

    To do this, we will need to first do some analysis, and we can only do this on the live servers. As much as we try to avoid running tests on live servers, they are the only place where the combination of player behavior, specific builds, and mass battles happen. So, starting the week of August 24, we will be running a series of tests on the live PC servers – both NA & EU, only in Cyrodiil. Please note that we will not be running these tests on any Console servers. Each test should take about a week, but if needed, we will extend the testing time.

    The first round of tests we are planning will focus on Area of Effect (AOE) abilities in Cyrodiil and will make it more difficult for AOE abilities to be the only abilities used, adjusting cooldown, cost and regen values of all AOEs (damage and healing).

    Specific details on the tests we will be running in Cyrodiil are as follows:
    • Test 1 – Shared global AOE cooldown - 3 second timer. This test adds a global 3 second shared cooldown to any AOE ability. This means that when you cast an AOE, you will not be able to cast another for 3 seconds. For example, as a Templar, if I cast Ritual of Retribution, I wouldn’t be able to cast Puncturing Sweep for 3 seconds.
    • Test 2 – Individual AOE cooldown - 3 second timer. This test adds an individual AOE cooldown to each AOE ability. This means that when you cast an AOE, you will not be able to cast that same AOE ability for 3 seconds. For example – as a Templar, if I cast Puncturing Sweep, I wouldn’t be able to cast Puncturing Sweep again for 3 seconds.
    • Test 3 – No cooldown, global ramping AOE cost. This test adds a global ramping AOE cost for each AOE cast. Similar to how streak or roll dodge works, where when you cast an AOE you receive a debuff for 5 seconds, each stack of the debuff increases the cost of any AOE cast.
    • Test 4 – Individual AOE cooldown – 3 second timer, global ramping AOE cost. This test adds an individual AOE cooldown to each ability as in test 2, but also combines that with a global ramping cost from test 3.
    During the times that any of these tests are active, we will be awarding double Alliance Points for anyone active in Cyrodiil.

    After we complete the above tests, we may try other combinations of cooldown, cost, and regen values on AOE abilities. However, we need to run these tests first and then assess the data. We will then let everyone know what we found and how we will move forward. We will be very upfront, but please be aware that if these tests confirm our hypothesis, then chain-casting AOE abilities will no longer form the core of the ESO PvP experience in the way it has for the last few years. We would then go through each class and ensure that there are viable builds for each and make adjustments as necessary.

    The code for these changes will be going into today’s PTS patch, and we will be running some basic tests throughout the day on Tuesday in Cyrodiil to ensure we’re able to make the above changes without requiring any maintenance or downtime. Once we launch Update 27 for PC on August 24, we will announce when one of the tests are beginning through an in-game announcement and will have a forum thread detailing which test is currently being performed. Remember, these tests will be limited to Cyrodiil, so AOE abilities in other PVP spaces (Imperial City and Battlegrounds) and will remain unchanged for now. We will evaluate how these tests go, and let everyone know next steps.

    Thanks for being patient and understanding with these tests. They are extremely important for the team and will help us work towards improving Cyrodiil performance.

    What about the players that never seem to have any cool down what so ever on anything?
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  • MurderMostFoul
    MurderMostFoul
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    Kadoin wrote: »
    Sorry but do you play your own game? These changes are absurd, half of the classes won't be bale to work.

    Templar - Jabs THEIR SPAMMABLE is AoE so you can't jab for 3 seconds or a ramping cost on your spammable. I don't need to explain how stupid this is.

    Warden - Sub assault used once every 3 seconds - ramping cost for 5 seconds you might as well give it a 5 second time before it goes off.

    Smallscale PvP dies if these go live. There is no skill in running around in big groups, I could run around in a 24 man group with no gear if these changes go through and not have a single issue.

    Why do you hate Small Scalers?

    How is sub assault affected? If you are casting SA more than every 3 seconds then you're doing it wrong...

    It says that you can't cast it for 3 seconds, meaning that you can't recast it if a person moves before the 3 seconds without a penalty or outright "CD" despite the skill only doing damage after 3 seconds anyway.

    It's why blanket changes are always a BAD IDEA. They decided to make "rule breakers" and "special cases" and now use a blanket change to debuff the special cases and rule-breakers, destroying things that aren't, similar to the heal changes.

    @ZOS_RichLambert

    The above got me thinking. What if most AOEs functioned like Sub-Assualt?

    Most AOEs could be reworked into delayed occurrence skills where spamming them would cancel the occurrence from the prior casts. This means their effects don't occur in rapid succession, straining performance, but we avoid cool-downs which run counter to the core feel of combat.
    Edited by MurderMostFoul on July 27, 2020 3:49PM
    “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
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  • heaven13
    heaven13
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    Kimberlin wrote: »
    this change would kill both pve stam and mag templar builds that use jabs so good job zos

    If you're talking PvE, it would affect more than just jabs. A huge number of templar skills are AoE based and used in PvE: sweep ultimate, jabs, shards, nova, solar barrage, and pretty much every single skill in the restoring light line plus the shield for some templar tanks. That's JUST PvE affected skills. There's even more once you add in PvP things and look at skills like explosive charge that are enemy targeted but affect all enemies in the area so probably also counts as AoE.
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  • TineaCruris
    TineaCruris
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    I am totally baffled as to why they can't just implement what ever changes were made during the MYM event on a full time basis. What ever those changes were helped a ton. It didn't bring us back the the utopian good ol days, but it got us most of the way there.

    Why can't we just implement the MYM changes on a full time basis and go from there?
    Edited by TineaCruris on July 27, 2020 3:52PM
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  • Bucky_13
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    heaven13 wrote: »
    Best news I ve heard in a long time for this game.

    If these changes indeed take place, we will see not only a significant improvement in performance but also the end of the abomination called "ball groups".

    It won't affect ballgroups nearly as much as you think. Individual cooldowns will be affected but a ballgroup of 20+ people is still going to be able to spam AoEs and cross heal as a group which is still a butt load of calculations. This is another case of individual players being nerfed while groups remain mostly unaffected.

    I want another test where cooldown are tied to the group. If one player casts a specific aoe heal, no one else in the group can cast it for 3 seconds
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  • Elsonso
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    Wow, just wow. Whoever thought that it was a good idea to "test" by deleting an entire class deserves a prize. As was stated above, the "test" should be ground based AoEs that way you prevent class and weapon spamables from being affected. Does not seem like rocket science.

    If there are changes to class and weapon spamables that will mitigate the affect of the changes proposed in this test, then you should probably announce them so that people can take them into consideration when theorycrafting.

    Keep in mind that they are doing a variety of tests to evaluate how performance changes, not testing or implementing a solution.
    Edited by Elsonso on July 27, 2020 3:50PM
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  • Earthewen
    Earthewen
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    forztr2 wrote: »
    @ZOS_RichLambert
    Have you thought about basing the cooldown or cost increase on the the total area affected by the AOE?
    So for example Sweeps which is cone and 8 meters could have a cooldown of 1sec and Purge which is a circle of radius 18m 6secs.

    Sweeps only affect approx 100m2 and Purge covers 1000m2 why punish both the same?

    The problem with that is that the entire animation for the Sweeps is probably about 1 second. that would negate what their goal is here.
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  • ad4mss
    ad4mss
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    I wonder how many people have only noticed this part in this long and very important announcement:
    "During the times that any of these tests are active, we will be awarding double Alliance Points for anyone active in Cyrodiil."

    :smile:
    Edited by ad4mss on July 27, 2020 3:52PM
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  • RodneyRegis
    RodneyRegis
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    I am totally baffled as to why they can't just implement what ever changes were made during the MYM event on a full time basis. What ever those changes were helped a ton. It didn't bring us back the the utopian good ol days, but it got us a lot of the way there.

    Why can't we just implement the MYM changes on a full time basis and go from there?

    I'm guessing the answer can be provided exactly in pounds, shillings and pence.
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  • Ambrokid
    Ambrokid
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    Approaching 200 responses, mostly negative, some irrate, in under 2 hours. Yeah, something tells me this idea isn't going to go well.
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This discussion has been closed.