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Update 32 Combat Preview

Combat Team
Greetings! It’s about that time again where we have another Update coming soon, even though Update 31 just released on consoles last week. With a new PTS update lurking around the corner, the combat team wanted to give you all some deep dives into the spicier stuff coming with this upcoming patch.

In the last Update, we tried to keep things simpler with the number of changes to help combat the change fatigue many have reported, but progress cannot sleep for long as we march ever forward to improving the game. Our focus in Update 32 is two-fold: improving proc set balance and continuing the hybridization improvements from previous updates. These areas are the topics we’ve seen a significant amount of discussion on in the realms of combat balance, so we’re following up to try and get better reigns on both.

In Update 30 we introduced item proc set scaling, which aimed to lower the ease of access of “free” damage and healing from them by ensuring you needed a base line of stats to make the set really stand out. While this did help significantly reduce the overbearing success of tanky builds utilizing damage-oriented sets, it also increased the amount of damage that glass cannon and more offensive-oriented builds did by a reasonable margin. This, while an intentional result, still has the issue of the power available when stacking multiples of these sets, and how certain combinations are leading to very binary and unengaging gameplay. To target that issue, we’re introducing a new rule set for offensive item sets that have low counterplay. Now when wearing a set that deals a “burst of damage” within a 4 second window, it will prevent any other use of these types of sets for 1 second. This is to deny the ability to layer multiple effects into single attacks, significantly reducing burst potential. This rule set will be explained in further detail in the PTS patch notes, and keep in mind we are open to adjusting this along the way.

In relation to this, we’re also aiming our sights on reigning in some of the power creep that’s been coming into the game as of late, particularly affecting PvE. The dominance of Critical hits in ESO is by no means new, and despite the reduction to the overall sourcing of it, we’re still seeing it win out by a significant margin when compared to other stats. Rather than outright nerfing Critical Chance or Potency (Damage and Healing) and hurting builds that aren’t really doing more than we expect, we’ve decided to move forward with a hard cap to Critical Damage and Healing. It is our hope that this keeps Critical Chance and Potency as viable and powerful stats but also helps open up other stat and build paths. Much like the Penetration stats, these will be important to prioritize up until a point, and from there builds will want to seek out other sources of power.

To tie things up in the proc set and Critical topics for this Update, we’re also making a fairly significant adjustment that we hope the previously mentioned changes will prevent from becoming too out of hand: Proc sets that scale with your Weapon or Spell Damage, Magicka, or Stamina will now once again be able to Critically strike in Update 32. By doing this, in addition to reducing the burst potential when stacking these sets and limiting the amount they can Critically strike for, we hope to give these sets some much needed love in PvE situations where they’ve struggled to maintain viability after the removal of their ability to critically strike in ye years of olde. There will be additional balance adjustments to these values to try and prevent them from becoming the best in slot, and we’ll have rules on which ones can and cannot crit, so keep your eyes peeled for the list and details in the PTS patch notes!

Aside from these changes and the usual bug fixing and less flashy/global adjustments (like some long overdue Dragonknight love), we have one more “big” change coming this Update. As mentioned before, hybridization improvements have been a push in many Updates ever since Champion Point 2.0 was released in Update 29, and it’s something we’re continuing with as we see a lot of the good it does. ESO has always tried to hold itself to the mantra of “play the way you want” but a lot of our stats and ability calculations actively push against this concept in ways we find less than ideal. In Update 32, we’re taking the next big approach to change the concept of what a hybrid is by making all item sets grant “hybrid” stats. This means sets that grant Weapon Damage will now grant Weapon and Spell Damage, Spell Penetration will be Physical and Spell Penetration, and Spell Critical will be Weapon and Spell Critical. With this change, we hope to open up builds to new abilities and ideas, make the game more digestible and understandable to newer players, and empower you with choices when creating your dream build.

Our focus with this upcoming PTS update will be heavily concentrated on ensuring that the item set proc adjustments with critting and prevention release in a way that improves the gameplay balance, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on those topics. We look forward to seeing the myriad of discussions that pop up, as we know there will be much to theory craft and mull over. Thanks for reading and see you in Tamriel!
ESO Combat Designer
Staff Post
  • jaws343
    Those are some wild changes. A good wild.
  • CyberOnEso
    Looking really good overall. Looking forward to that DK love!

    Obviously, my mind is looking ahead to running Relequen on magicka.
    If sets are becoming hybrid it would be nice for some stamina survivability PvE buffs (I know they are already parsing the highest). As generally, they are getting more of their dmg potential from better sets overall.
    @CyberOnEso PC | EU
    The Immortal - Jack of all Trades - Armory Style Manager
    Godslayer | Dawnbringer | The Unchained | Immortal Redeemer | Tick Tock Tormentor | Gryphon Heart
  • gariondavey
    Interesting. Thanks for the update!
    PC NA @gariondavey, BG + Cyrodiil Focused Since October 2017
    Stamplar (main), Magplar, Magsorc, StamDK, MagDK, Stamblade
  • Skullstachio
    Very interesting but I have my bucket of salt on standby. Also, I wonder as to how ZOS are going to be able to address “Overpenetration?” as having too much penetration is basically a major loss to DPS and from the looks of this, I’d say Critical Damage is going to be in the same boat.
    Xbox LIVE: Skullstachio

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  • Azorean
    Still won't proc dmg sets still be useless in PvE? The spell/weapon dmg that requires is stupidly high.
    ATM using proc monster sets is less desirable vs crit or full stats MS :|

    I was waiting for that hard cap on crit :P Is the only reasonable option if you guys want to moves from crit sets.
    Otherwise we would simply change to the next crit set, because crits = free dmg
  • regime211
    When it comes to creating a dream frost build, our options are still fundamentally limited in viability. A spammable and 2 AoE DoTs being the only viable skills is a bit lacking. frost reach and frostbite have been great steps forward. But the playstyle is still lacking in comparison to fire. Did you guys have any more plans for helping to close the gap between non fire destruction staves? Specifically by way of buffing frost spells and reworking the damage type of Deep Fissure to frost to better utilise class passives and item sets?

    I have said they need to change one of the morphs of Frost gate and make that a ice spammable. But they keep thinking "Frost Clench" is it lol
  • ESO_Nightingale
    regime211 wrote: »
    When it comes to creating a dream frost build, our options are still fundamentally limited in viability. A spammable and 2 AoE DoTs being the only viable skills is a bit lacking. frost reach and frostbite have been great steps forward. But the playstyle is still lacking in comparison to fire. Did you guys have any more plans for helping to close the gap between non fire destruction staves? Specifically by way of buffing frost spells and reworking the damage type of Deep Fissure to frost to better utilise class passives and item sets?

    I have said they need to change one of the morphs of Frost gate and make that a ice spammable. But they keep thinking "Frost Clench" is it lol

    Frost reach is very good to be honest. But we still lack rotational frost skills on magicka warden. Deep Fissure is by far the best candidate without reworking an entire skill because we cast it every 3 seconds. It helps proc chilled in AoE a little bit more, interacts passively better with our class and existing sets than current magic damage shalks do. It's just better. Frozen Retreat becoming something like a frost version of Scalding Rune would be a little boring but it'd certainly be used instead of being useless like at current. Arctic Blast is a huge problem in of itself where adjusting it also means adjustments to the green balance tree etc.
    Edited by ESO_Nightingale on September 17, 2021 3:31PM
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    Frost Community Rework Ideas Cross-list:

    1: Arctic Blast 4.0 (AB4.0) (Remove healing, increase duration, add fast line moving aoe tornado that damages and stuns)

    2: Glacial Presence Buff (+10% crit damage to chilled enemies) = Added with update 25!

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  • Rex-Umbra
    Why is recovery and max stats not hybrid also heavy attacks should be hybrid.
    Xbox GT: Rex Umbrah
    GM of IMPERIUM since 2015.
  • Tommy_The_Gun
    Does that mean that proc sets will also critically heal ?
  • Elsonso
    "All item sets will now provide hybrid stats."

    Not a fan of this idea. Unless I am misreading the intent, this just seems to dilute the stats as we slowly sneak up on the idea of there just being a "combat stat" and everything draws from that.
    Never stop and ask a Miregaunt for directions...

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