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Update 35 PTS Combat Feedback & Upcoming Changes

ZOS_Gilliam
ZOS_Gilliam
Combat Team
Greetings, everyone. We’d like to update you all on where we are at with the PTS feedback we have seen and our plans of action. Firstly, we would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to go through the changes and hop onto the PTS to get hands-on experience before submitting their feedback. The sheer amount of data and in-game application has helped us tremendously to hone in on the problem spaces that the larger sentiments have pointed out, and has also given us a better idea of how to isolate and tackle those problems. Let’s quickly go over the main themes we would like to improve on.

There are three main issues we would like to address with some targeted adjustments in next week’s PTS patch. These mainly pertain to Damage and Healing over Time effects, as we’ve found those have been the focus of the majority of conversations between all types of players. The first is the loss of reactive gameplay with ticking Area of Effect-based abilities, where delayed tick rates make them feel far less reactive to their surroundings and further punish their lack of mobility as such. The second is how the extension of durations on Area of Effect-based abilities actively harms their effectiveness since their power has been stretched out over a longer period, further increasing their risk of targets not staying in the area. The final is how ESO has always been a game about choice, and how global standards can over-define the reality of ability portrayal and can actively harm that idea. Now, let us go over what you are probably really here for – what we are doing to address these points.

We have taken considerable time to go through and better differentiate standards for Damage and Healing over Time effects based on the type of ability it is. In next week’s patch, abilities that stick to a target (such as Fiery Breath or Lightning Form) will retain their longer duration effects, where they take longer to deal damage at an increased rate per cast, but less per second than what’s currently on the Live servers (i.e., all public servers that are not the PTS). Meanwhile, abilities that are bound to a static area, such as Wall of Elements or Spear Shards, will have shorter durations (closer or identical to their current versions on the Live servers) and less Damage per Cast, but more Damage per Second than their “sticky” counterparts. We have also adjusted the cost to be higher than those “sticky” abilities but will still cost less than they currently do on the Live servers. The standard details are as follows:
  • “Sticky” over Time effects will retain their initial PTS iteration of 20+ second durations, 2 second frequencies, with .105 coefficient potency per second (their scaling modifier divided by time), and a baseline cost of 135 per second (2700+)
  • Static over Time effects will return to their original duration of 10-15 second durations, 1 second frequencies, with .14 coefficient potency per second (U35 PTS Combat Feedback & Upcoming Changesdown from .1575 on Live, but up from .105 on PTS), and a baseline cost of 270 per second (2700+)
It is our hope these new standards better differentiate the gameplay realities these skills have, reinforcing their strengths and weaknesses, while making them easier to engage with in some ways than compared to what’s currently on Live (easier to manage “sticky” effects, and overall, significantly less cost per second drains).

We have also spent more time looking at durations of where certain skills are sourced and are going to give them base line timers that follow a common denominator. For example, Stampede will remain a 15 second effect as Carve’s final duration is 30 seconds, making it easier to create a rotation where you align a ratio of casts to one another. We hope these differing standards allow you to better decide what type of pacing your build utilizes. If you prefer a higher risk and reward playstyle that is more challenging to keep up and manage, you can opt to take Static over Time abilities. Alternatively, if you want easier to utilize and safer skills with less risk, you can choose to use more Sticky over Time abilities, or a blend of both depending on the encounter or build you’re playing against.

After these changes go in next week, we will continue to monitor feedback and act accordingly where deemed necessary, so please continue to provide constructive takes and discussions. Note that we are already planning some additional changes for the Sorcerer and Warden, based on your feedback, that will go on the PTS before Update 35 launches. A friendly reminder that providing data always helps us far more than anecdotal feedback, though both are still welcome. Finally, thank you all for your patience and time in helping up improve upon these areas. May your roads lead to warm sands.

Edited by ZOS_Volpe on July 22, 2022 4:38PM
ESO Combat Designer
Staff Post
  • Wikter_Bravo
    Wikter_Bravo
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    But why do changes no one has asked for?
    Edited by Wikter_Bravo on July 22, 2022 2:40PM
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  • Elsonso
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    Interesting changes. Thanks for the update @ZOS_Gilliam. I wasn't expecting one this week, and I was wrong. :disappointed:
    The Elder Scrolls Online: Grind Road

    ESO Plus: No
    PC NA/EU: @Elsonso
    XBox EU/NA: @ElsonsoJannus
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  • Suna_Ye_Sunnabe
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    And what about the drastic damage and heal reductions on the dots/hots themselves? Any change there, or just to timing of ground aoe dots/hots?
    Edited by Suna_Ye_Sunnabe on July 22, 2022 2:42PM
    Angua Anyammis Ae Sunna
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  • prof_doom
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    A decent start.
    Hopefully Monday's patch notes will also reflect some of the feedback about other topics.
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  • From_Siberia
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    Okay, now don't touch jabs animation. [Snip]

    Templar should stay stylish and visually beautiful but you spoil him. If you want new animations - make a new class idk, but what you're doing now is wrong. New animation looks frankly bad during use, especially third hit with head turn [Snip] and texture from one of motifs. If animation of something looks bad - I think community will tell about it, as we do now in discussion of this new patch.

    3e9222492805f9a2.jpg

    [Edited for bashing]
    Edited by From_Siberia on July 22, 2022 4:59PM
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  • Xandreia_
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    honestly, just go back to the drawing board and scrap these changes, im sure people will be ok waiting for the big update if its not going to kill the game!
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  • ESO_Nightingale
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    i really hope that you guys standardise arctic blast's dps as well, giving it 1 tick per second. as it stands, it's worst than most dots because it's damage is lower and it's cost is far higher. this is for obvious reasons, however, arctic blast is closer than ever to being a legit dps skill for pve dps. and it really should be as it's been a frost warden want for a long time. the stun still should be moved to another skill to finally offer us an on-demand stun.

    scorch should stick to intervals of 3. (3,6,9). and deep fissure dealing frost damage would be great for frost dps builds while having no impact for other builds.
    Edited by ESO_Nightingale on July 22, 2022 3:34PM
    PvE Frost Warden Main and teacher for ESO-U. Frost Warden PvE Build Article: https://eso-u.com/articles/nightingales_warden_dps_guide__frost_knight. Come Join the ESO Frost Discord to discuss everything frost!: https://discord.gg/5PT3rQX
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  • JN_Slevin
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    The most problematic of those changes atleast for me is that the class abilities like Twisting Path are worse than their non-class counterpart...

    Class abilities should be stronger. Non-class abilities should only be a "patch" if one class doesn't have that ability...
    Otherwise you get something like 2016 Stamsorc which had one class ability and therefore no identity whatsoever...
    Work hard, and you will be rewarded. Spend wisely, and you will be comfortable. Never steal, or you will be punished.
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  • NerfSeige
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    A friendly reminder that providing data always helps us far more than anecdotal feedback, though both are still welcome. Finally, thank you all for your patience and time in helping up improve upon these areas. May your roads lead to warm sands.

    Idea: also show your data, like a video of that parse you guys did and your cmx.

    Avid reader of wes’-pts-diary[RIP]

    NerfAS and Shill ruins everything

    Skinny-meta-fake, graded D, and can’t explain the law of diminishing marginal returns.

    I won’t post that Wes, I’ll get [snipped] for the last time

    Revert this patch - Audens, 2022
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  • Zezin
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    This is not exactly filling me with confidence if I'm being honest, every post made just makes it look like you guys don't even know the game.
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  • Pevey
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    This is exactly what we expected. They still don't get it.
    A friendly reminder that providing data always helps us far more than anecdotal feedback, though both are still welcome.

    You need to listen to vastly more anecdotal data and stop staring at the spreadsheets. Stop making every sticky dot in this game exactly the same, and every static dot exactly the same, and every spammable exactly the same.

    We needed some indication that the combat team understood why we were upset. We got the opposite.

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  • Sandman929
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    Is PvP even an afterthought when these changes are being tossed around?
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  • Sandman929
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    So the only effective DoTs in PvP, the sticky ones, will still be a tickle? Can we get a change where players have to stand still and let us parse then?
    Edited by Sandman929 on July 22, 2022 2:58PM
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  • MetallicMonk
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    Buff Magsorc
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  • The_Lex
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    Sandman929 wrote: »
    Is PvP even an afterthought when these changes are being tossed around?

    They keep moving the goalposts on what PvP actually is by applying that term for ToT. As long as they keep moving the goalposts like this, ZOS can argue that they keep PvP in mind with each patch. It’s not right, but it’s where they are at the moment.

    Edited by The_Lex on July 22, 2022 3:04PM
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  • Audens
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    okay but you understand this is like 5% better at most right
    unban my first account thanks
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  • Sandman929
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    Maybe you could explain how this is making content more accessible, because none of us can figure that part out
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  • Troodon80
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    I'm really happy to see this sort of communication, even if it's not exactly what everyone wants to see/hear.
    • Static over Time effects will return to their original duration of 10-15 second durations, 1 second frequencies, with .14 coefficient potency per second (U35 PTS Combat Feedback & Upcoming Changesdown from .1575 on Live, but up from .105 on PTS), and a baseline cost of 270 per second (2700+)
    If Wall/Stampede get changed back to their original timings and tick frequencies, then the enchantment procs should also return to the current Live standard? I assume you're not changing enchantment cooldowns or durations?

    You haven't mentioned anything about heavy attacks, either, and that seemed to be another contentious point for various people, as the patch notes said you wanted better for them but at the same time basically killed those builds.

    Also curious what you're doing in terms of healing, as you've only really touched on the damage elements. Will abilities like Grand Healing go back to 1s tick frequency as it is a static over time effect, while Regeneration retains the longer duration and 2s ticks since it's a sticky effect?

    @Troodon80 PC | EU
    Guild: N&S
    Hand of Alkosh | Dawnbringer | Immortal Redeemer | Tick Tock Tormentor | Gryphon Heart
    Deep Dive into Dreadsail Reef Mechanics
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  • Gederic
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    To be honest I'm in the crowd of scrap all the planned changes and try again later. There is no way this can all be addressed by the time the PTS cycle comes to a close and it is absolutely a fear that if it goes live in anyway close to its current form, which now seems fairly likely, many more end gamers will leave. The game is already looking at a brain drain and we are still in PTS week 2, not sure it can survive an entire live patch of this before the next PTS cycle...
    Ours is the Fury
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  • pamichic
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    Thank you @ZOS_Gilliam for addressing some of the concerns and laying out a start of a plan of attack. I'm on console, so no testing for me - just watching and waiting.

    Will there be an update soon on the healing over time and durations? I don't want to assume that it will allign with the DOT / sticky vs static and it wasn't fully addressed.

    Again, I appreciate the communication!
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  • CameraBeardThePirate
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    Pevey wrote: »
    This is exactly what we expected. They still don't get it.
    A friendly reminder that providing data always helps us far more than anecdotal feedback, though both are still welcome.

    You need to listen to vastly more anecdotal data and stop staring at the spreadsheets. Stop making every sticky dot in this game exactly the same, and every static dot exactly the same, and every spammable exactly the same.

    We needed some indication that the combat team understood why we were upset. We got the opposite.

    This is the big takehome point I think you need to be focusing on Zos. With all the talk about "class identity", the fact that every patch seems to push closer and closer to every ability feeling the same is not a good thing and does the exact opposite of class identity. The reason why people had outcry at the timers on everything being the same was that it made every single class' rotation feel the exact same.

    Class abilities should always be more powerful than non-class counterparts. Take a look at class abilities that aren't used; standardizing them will do nothing positive. You need to have flavor - something you often preach but rarely implement. Abilities like Cliff Racers and Flaming Skulls aren't used because they're downgrades from Silver Shards. Abilities like Twisting Path don't need to be standardized to other ground dots, because then there's no reason to use it over a different ground dot. Most class' armor abilities will go unused with the change to Resolving Vigor. Changes like this aren't healthy for the game - they may be better/easier to balance but they strip the game of the unique flavor each class brings.
    Edited by CameraBeardThePirate on July 22, 2022 3:10PM
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  • FluffyBird
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    This "sticky vs static" thing looks like some very arbitrary division made for the sake of bargaining with the community. I don't like these, they remind me of that stupid blanket halving of dual wield enchantments.
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  • Tommy_The_Gun
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    Tbh. I play this game since 2014, and It is actually very rare to see a Dev response for a player feedback like this. There were similar & drastic changes in the past, and yet this is the 1st time I see a Dev message like this in the middle of the PTS. It is very nice that you decided to come up to us and share you general concept of the adjustments... I just hope that you know what you are doing ;)

    Right now, I am giving it a benefit of a doubt, but part of me thinks that um.... this kinda looks to me like "a damage control". So that people would still participate in the next PTS sessions, and also not quit what they are doing on Live Server & not take any longer break from the game.

    I guess we will see for ourselves on Monday.

    Thanks for the news & good luck Dev team ! ;)
    A friendly reminder that providing data always helps us far more than anecdotal feedback, though both are still welcome.
    ^ This is actually very important tip, but just like receiving feedback is probably kinda difficult, it is also kinda hard to provide feedback. Keep in mind that a lot of players are giving feedback... basically for free. We are not beta testers, but we love ESO. So much so, that we are so passionate about this game that we spend our free time (on PTS & Forums) to do so in hopes that data, informations and opinions we provide has a potential, so that you can use it to make the game better.
    May your roads lead to warm sands.
    Likewise, Beeko. May you always flow safely with the river of live.
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  • BloodMagicLord
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    Why are we still constantly reworking base game abilities 8 years after the game came out? Have any of these constant changes made the game better than it was in, say, 2017? I wonder how much development time has been wasted on these constant reworks over the past few years?

    Scrap all of this, release the new dungeons with no balance changes. Spend time talking to players about their biggest concerns about the game. Play some trials, dungeons and PvP with them. Understand your playerbase. Then come up with a solid plan based on that feedback. Then stick to the plan. Get combat in a good place that pleases as many players as possible, and then leave it alone.
    PC EU | Tank | Immortal Redeemer | Gryphon Heart
    STOP CLASS HOMOGENISATION
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  • Cooperharley
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    Ok, now what about the Oakensoul ring?

    There have been so many videos, threads and comments about adding a battle spirit stipulation to it to solve the issue of balancing it between PVE and PVP. You can’t tell me that the DOTs/HOTs are the ONLY thing you guys have looked at.

    Also it’s crazy to me that anecdotal experiences and stories aren’t taken into account. The game needs to stop being looked at like a spreadsheet by y’all.
    ESO YouTube Content Creator & Templar Tank/Healer Main
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  • Sandman929
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    Has a single floor been raised by this disaster? Where's that data? If not, then this entire update only serves to annoy those from floor to ceiling.
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  • Dagoth_Rac
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    PTS 1: DPS is garbage and you won't be able to kill anything but at least you don't have to spend all your time bar swapping and micro-managing timers.

    PTS 3: DPS is garbage and you won't be able to kill anything and ... you are back to bar swapping all the time and micro-managing timers.

    PTS 1 was like 2 steps forward, 8 steps back. PTS 3 is like 10 steps backward. This does the amazing job of seemingly combining the worst of Live with the worst of PTS.
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  • Jazraena
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    Thank you for the post, Gilliam, but frankly...

    No.

    Just no.

    This is a bandaid on a waterdam. If you want detailed feedback and data on why, that has been provided by the community over the past two weeks. You have not addressed concerns.
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  • code65536
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    This addresses only some of the issues. Outside of specific classes and abilities, there are two large general issues that I did not see mentioned at all in this post:
    • Overall damage output nerf while damage requirements for content remains the same.
    • Viability of light and heavy attacks for playstyles that emphasize those over skill usage.
    Nightfighters ― PC/NA and PC/EU

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  • fripplethorn
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    This is basically stealing a jar of candy, then handing back one piece of the least desirable flavors (like a single candy corn), and expecting to be praised for it.

    Instead of messing around with stuff no one ever asked for in the first place, how about addressing ANY of the issues people have brought up over and over again. Let's start with just two easy ones from the PvP perspective:

    1) Limit heal stacks to 2 stacks of a given heal per target. Legitimate groups have 2 healers. So, 2 stacks. Eliminate the exploiting of the infinite number of heal stacks, and you get rid of a ton of issues in one easy fix.

    2) Have people be out of combat when they're, you know, OUT OF COMBAT.

    I'm certain the trial folks have a list of heretofore ignored issues as well. And instead, we get fed this nonsense that receives overwhelmingly poor responses. And the rework is THIS? Embarrassing.

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