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The Markarth DLC and Update 28 base game patch are now available to test on the PTS! Read the full patch notes here: https://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/en/categories/pts/

U28 Combat Preview & Developer Update

ZOS_BrianWheeler
ZOS_BrianWheeler
PvP & Combat Lead
Today, we’d like to present to you what the Combat team has been focused on for Update 28! As always, please be aware these are just the current proposed adjustments and are subject to change during the upcoming PTS cycle. On top of a substantial amount of new item sets coming with this patch, the team has been focused on making the Major/Minor system more performant, as well as some adjustments to Frost staff and Critical calculations.

First off, let’s talk about the Major/Minor system. Originally, buffs and debuffs were designed as standard abilities, meaning they had to go through the same calculations as all abilities. As we have been moving towards making combat more performant, we identified this as a key area where we could get better performance due to how prevalent buffs/debuffs are in battles. As such, we’re shifting the buffs/debuffs system so they are calculated on the server much in the same way as Sprint and Block. With Major/Minor effects no longer being standard abilities, they will be more performant per calculation as they won’t go through the same process as other abilities do in a fight. This “hardcoding” of Majors/Minors will also make them less prone to incorrect stacking and mismatched values.

During this change, we also adjusted buffs/debuffs to bring them more in-line with our standards for item sets and abilities. This was also combined with the overall goals to increase sustain, decrease damage done, and increase damage taken. Players with builds that aren’t 100% optimized will see an increase in power, while players utilizing all Majors/Minors at once in coordinated efforts will see a decrease in power.

For Frost Staff changes, we looked at the prior goals where Magicka users could tank in PvE and PvP scenarios. We found that many of the tools provided by Frost Staff abilities either did not hold up to other tanking abilities, or directly conflicted with other Destruction Staff abilities and created some pain points in dungeons. This, in turn, led us down the path to give the Frost Staff greater viability for doing things other than tanking. The end result was a focus on two changes: Give Frost Staff users more flexibility to fill the role of a tank, and also give Frost Staff users the opportunity to better fill the roles of support or DPS.

A good example of this is the following upcoming adjustments to Wall of Frost/Flame/Shock:
  • Lowering the damage done by Wall of Frost compared to Wall of Flame and Shock
  • Removing Snare from Wall of Frost
  • Casting Wall of Frost will create a Damage shield on you and up to 5 other nearby group members that absorbs projectiles
  • Unstable Wall of Frost will apply a weaker version of the Damage Shield when the ability ends
In terms of reducing some pain points that Frost Staff users and their groups, we’ll be removing the Auto-Taunt from Tri-focus. The taunt from Frost Staff will instead reside in Frost Clench, and will taunt the enemy for 15 seconds. We believe these changes, along with several others in the Destruction skill line, will help bring some parity between the three damage options for staff users and give greater flexibility to that weapon choice.

When it comes to Critical Damage, Critical Chance, and Critical Resist, we’ve started to get a tighter grip on these bonuses in our efficiency standards and have begun sourcing more of them in the game to counter each other. While this naturally balances itself in PvP scenarios, that is not the case in PvE situations; this already powerful stat is slowly creeping up in power with each update and global increase in damage.

The main cause of this imbalance is the ease of access to gain Critical Chance in our game; we have a large amount of passive Crit enabled from passive abilities (Armor, Champion Points, Base Chance). On top of this, the raw standard of Crit Chance is higher than other DPS stats which results in stacking Crit being incredibly powerful. Due to this, certain classes scale more effectively in group content, resulting in “just stack X” in our end-game meta. While this is somewhat mitigated in PvP with Critical Resistance, we still hear a large number of complaints about the line certain classes teeter on in terms of balance in PvE as a result (either too strong, or we nerf them and they become too weak in other areas).

As such, we have created a new combined stat for Critical Chance which is a combination of Spell and Weapon Crit. This means if you see an item that grants 106 Critical Chance, it’s giving you both Spell and Weapon Crit. With this change, we are adjusting many sources of Critical Chance so they grant the new stat. This also results in fewer effects you need to track on your character. We’re making several other adjustments to individual stat faucets, such as reducing the amount of Critical Chance you can get from Champion Points and lowering the value of the Thief Mundus and Precise trait. We know this is only a small step in the larger picture of combat regarding Criticals, which we plan to continue in U29. We believe these changes will bring about better experiences, from the moment-to-moment combat to formulating your groups for Trials and PvP.

Lastly, as a little bonus not mentioned in the beginning of this post, let’s talk about Battleground queues. Over the past several updates, we’ve been running a test where the only available queue is the Solo queue. While we have seen Battleground participation fluctuate from update to update, we’ve not seen a considerable change in overall population.

We also have heard you loud and clear that playing with your friends in a Battleground is sorely missed, and we are going to test re-introducing the Group queue with Update 28. This means there will still be a Solo option, where you only fight players who queued as solo, and we will also be adding in a Group queue option! However, the Group option has a twist: you don’t have to be in a group to queue for it. You can be solo, duo, trio or have a full group of 4 and join the Group queue. When you do, be aware that you will be at the mercy of other players joining as pre-made groups as well. Due to this change in our Battleground queue options, we will be limiting the queue choices to just these two. You will also no longer be able to choose a game type; this is to reduce the risk of further splintering the queue on top of the Group or Solo options. We look forward to seeing you all back in groups in the Battlegrounds, and we will continue to monitor the feedback and participation after this change goes up with U28.

Thank you all for reading this preview and update! We look forward to having everyone playtest these changes and on the PTS and reading your feedback when it launches.
Edited by ZOS_GinaBruno on September 18, 2020 3:49PM
Wheeler
ESO PVP Lead & Combat Lead
Staff Post
  • Starlight_Whisper
    Starlight_Whisper
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    😢 going to need more space to farm frost staves for support.
  • VaranisArano
    VaranisArano
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    I will also be very interested to see how the Battlegrounds queue works out. I've been suggesting a split group/solo-only queue for a while, so I'm glad to see it get tested as an option for everyone to play as they want.
  • squinceybones
    squinceybones
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    crit go brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrip
  • HeroOfNone
    HeroOfNone
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    Looking forward to the return of group queues while keeping solo queue option. Now I'm just hoping they add in a proper ranking system so PVPers have more incentive to win other than medals.

    Interested to see how the changes to major/minor buffs will impact things. I hope it will impact malabeth and a warden builds to be lets tanky/heal heavy in PVP, if we're talking about impacting Vitality and Protection specifically.

    With the change to Critical, maybe we can see a stat added in for healing in the future, rather than deriving everything from damage and resources. I'd much rather see healers have to build and balance their stats for a bit more build variety.
    I don't see how those changes to frost staff improve it in the DD role. Making the taunt less confusing doesn't improve its use in the DD role.

    These changes, while better than the current, just reinforce the staff as a support staff. Destruction magic/staves are meant for destruction magic. I just don't understand
    How is lowering one of the main Destruction Staff skills used in PvE helping frost staff be a DPS weapon?
    Also, please make sure someone ups the drop chance for fire/shock staves of Medusa. This is ridiculous.


    Because Frost Staff is typically only used for tanking and not DPS due to Trifocus. One heavy attack and a DPS pulls the boss around and wipes out the group. With this, Wardens can now weave in attacks without fear of taunting the boss unless they have Frost Clench slotted. If you have a flame/lightning staff back bar to drop down wall of elements you can front bar your ice staff to weave in force pulse without any issue now.

    It also gives some utility to add a damage shield to the group for AOE projectile fights, but I believe that's part of the utility change, not a DPS improvement. Especially with how useless snares are with most boss fights.
    Edited by HeroOfNone on September 18, 2020 3:23PM
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  • CleymenZero
    CleymenZero
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    code65536 wrote: »
    Also, please make sure someone ups the drop chance for fire/shock staves of Medusa. This is ridiculous.

    Don't worry, after they're done gutting crit, you'll never want to use that set again. :lol:

    Wish I could click both "Agree" and "Awesome".

    Also, they react to feedback made a year ago now. The battleground queues have been a request for a long time and samr for frost staves, thing is it doesn't even seem like frost staff changes are gonna help dps at all so not only do they react wayyyy too late, it's not even a proper reaction...
  • emilyhyoyeon
    emilyhyoyeon
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    HeroOfNone wrote: »
    Looking forward to the return of group queues while keeping solo queue option. Now I'm just hoping they add in a proper ranking system so PVPers have more incentive to win other than medals.

    Interested to see how the changes to major/minor buffs will impact things. I hope it will impact malabeth and a warden builds to be lets tanky/heal heavy in PVP, if we're talking about impacting Vitality and Protection specifically.

    With the change to Critical, maybe we can see a stat added in for healing in the future, rather than deriving everything from damage and resources. I'd much rather see healers have to build and balance their stats for a bit more build variety.
    I don't see how those changes to frost staff improve it in the DD role. Making the taunt less confusing doesn't improve its use in the DD role.

    These changes, while better than the current, just reinforce the staff as a support staff. Destruction magic/staves are meant for destruction magic. I just don't understand
    How is lowering one of the main Destruction Staff skills used in PvE helping frost staff be a DPS weapon?
    Also, please make sure someone ups the drop chance for fire/shock staves of Medusa. This is ridiculous.


    Because Frost Staff is typically only used for tanking and not DPS due to Trifocus. One heavy attack and a DPS pulls the boss around and wipes out the group. With this, Wardens can now weave in attacks without fear of taunting the boss unless they have Frost Clench slotted. If you have a flame/lightning staff back bar to drop down wall of elements you can front bar your ice staff to weave in force pulse without any issue now.

    It also gives some utility to add a damage shield to the group for AOE projectile fights, but I believe that's part of the utility change, not a DPS improvement. Especially with how useless snares are with most boss fights.

    I'm aware of the taunting thing, I addressed it in my comment. I think everyone else is aware too. When we say ''how does this improve the staff for frost DDs,'' it isn't a genuine ''we genuinely don't understand how making the taunt issue less complicated helps DDs.'' I think we all do.

    I don't consider this actual improvement for frost DDs. Heavy attacks offer so little in terms of dps that making this the ONLY change to frost staves that's intended to improve frost DDs (and it's coupled with a DECREASE IN FROST BLOCKADE'S DAMAGE) is so laughable that it feels mocking.
    Edited by emilyhyoyeon on September 18, 2020 3:38PM
    destruction magic is not tanking magic. ice destruction staff must be for magicka dps
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