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Thrilled with Spellcrafting/Scribing; disappointed with the execution

Anumaril
Anumaril
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I was absolutely beside myself with excitement when they teased Scribing during the Global Reveal stream yesterday, but when they got to the segment where they explained how it works I was crushed. Based on how they explained it, we'll get 1 additional pre-made skill per non-class skill line (or even ONLY weapon skill lines, it's not clear yet), and we just pick what kind of damage/healing it does, and then a small secondary effect too.

To me this is not Spellcrafting, and I'm sure many players feel the same way. What I was looking forward to was making (non-OP) spells that fit my desired style of gameplay. I love playing a necromancer, but I've always been disappointed with the lack of melee minions, so I would've made a sword-wielding minion spell with low damage I could use for overland content. Likewise I would've made a basic firebolt spell in blue like what NPC necromancers use, so that I don't have to use the Flame Skull skill (I never liked the skull visual in it; I much prefer a regular blue firebolt like NPCs have).

Now that I think of it, I probably would've also made a toggle ability that gave me really low health/magicka regen (and nothing else) so that overland content could actually be challenging.

I understand the need to be cautious with something like Spellcrafting. You don't want people to make OP spells like in Oblivion. But the system they announced feels overly restrictive. Surely they could've given us more freedom in the spells we can create while also putting a dynamic ceiling on the base damage of those spells so they don't become overpowered. It's likely too late for ZOS to reconsider the implementation of Scribing, but I was certainly hoping for something more. I can only hope that they update the system in the future, and that they release a LOT of spell visual packs too (at this rate that seems to be my only hope of replacing the Flame Skull visual with a regular blue firebolt).
  • aspergalas4
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    Anumaril wrote: »
    I was absolutely beside myself with excitement when they teased Scribing during the Global Reveal stream yesterday, but when they got to the segment where they explained how it works I was crushed. Based on how they explained it, we'll get 1 additional pre-made skill per non-class skill line (or even ONLY weapon skill lines, it's not clear yet), and we just pick what kind of damage/healing it does, and then a small secondary effect too.

    To me this is not Spellcrafting, and I'm sure many players feel the same way. What I was looking forward to was making (non-OP) spells that fit my desired style of gameplay. I love playing a necromancer, but I've always been disappointed with the lack of melee minions, so I would've made a sword-wielding minion spell with low damage I could use for overland content. Likewise I would've made a basic firebolt spell in blue like what NPC necromancers use, so that I don't have to use the Flame Skull skill (I never liked the skull visual in it; I much prefer a regular blue firebolt like NPCs have).

    Now that I think of it, I probably would've also made a toggle ability that gave me really low health/magicka regen (and nothing else) so that overland content could actually be challenging.

    I understand the need to be cautious with something like Spellcrafting. You don't want people to make OP spells like in Oblivion. But the system they announced feels overly restrictive. Surely they could've given us more freedom in the spells we can create while also putting a dynamic ceiling on the base damage of those spells so they don't become overpowered. It's likely too late for ZOS to reconsider the implementation of Scribing, but I was certainly hoping for something more. I can only hope that they update the system in the future, and that they release a LOT of spell visual packs too (at this rate that seems to be my only hope of replacing the Flame Skull visual with a regular blue firebolt).

    You aren’t the only one with these sentiments. I think we just have to hope ZoS has the confidence to really throw some weight behind this system going forward and it becomes a staple each update or chapter release to release new spells to customise or allow us more options to customise existing ones. There’s plenty of scope for visual customisation so hopefully they capitalise on it. Am very much hoping eventually all weapon, class and guild skills have at least a handful of visual options per spell to fit different themes.
    While they are at it they should also provide new weapon anims that some of the NPCs use and more. Let us hold our weapons and attack differently.
    Edited by aspergalas4 on January 19, 2024 8:56AM
  • Zodiarkslayer
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    I agree. First, I was curious and then very disappointed.
    read, think and write.In that order.
  • WrathOfInnos
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    I expected the base spells/animations (grimoires) to be pretty limited initially, but it is odd they are tied to weapon skill lines. I’m actually surprised we get so many (11 if my count is correct). At least 5 of those will be available to all builds, and the benefit to putting them into existing skill lines is that they gain all the passives. It sounds like there is a ton of customization with the Scripts, so overall I think this could make a great system.
  • emilyhyoyeon
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    Yeah what you were hoping for is the same as me. I'm really counting on them adding more stuff, like what would be essentially skill reskins, in the future.

    I don't think I'll make much use of scribing until then. But styling yes.
    Zirasia Firemaker, imperial fire mage & sunbather _ Deebaba Soul-Weaver, argonian spirit minder & soul gem collector
    Tullanisse Starborne, altmer battlemage noble & ayleid researcher _ Qa'Rirra, khajiit assassin & dancer
  • Fata1moose
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    I think it’s initially limited but I see a ton of potential in the system. Adding this piecemeal will allow them to balance it. I would like to see class spammables next as those are commonly used skills.

    As I mentioned in the global reveal thread:

    I think a 1 handed plus magic weapon skill line could pair really well with the Scribing system. The pyromancer emote makes me really want to have the ability to wield a fireball in one hand.

    You could have the typical 5 skills + ult but have every one be scribable. Fireball, lighting, and ice shard that could be altered into AoEs, DOTs, etc. The skill line would be cool in itself, provide new gameplay and convince people to invest in both Gold Road and whatever chapter the 1H+magic skill line came from.

    Would love for these spells to have more oomph than what’s currently there, make them feel powerful through reverberating explosions, crackling of lightning and make the effects powerful too as a fireball hits an opponent or someone gets shocked with lightning.

    Edit: Also love the idea of the Necromancer getting a melee summon through scribing.
    Edited by Fata1moose on January 19, 2024 2:37PM
  • Soarora
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    I think there’s a lot of theorycrafting potential. Just with the two skills I’ve seen, I can tell there will be another revolution in tanking. Since we do not know what the other skills will look like, it is still possible that a new summon (mages guild?) or spammable may appear.
    PC/NA Dungeoneer (Tank/DPS/Heal), Trialist (DPS/Tank/Heal), and amateur Battlegrounder (DPS) with a passion for The Elder Scrolls lore
  • sh4d0wh4z3
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    I'm interested in it too, but they played their cards too close to their chest with the reveal, and the example they gave with the bow skill leaves much to be desired.

    I was hoping for a system where we could modify our current skills by swapping out effects for something else. Just to give a random example, add major savagery/prophecy to mystic siphon at the cost of replacing the resource regen. At this point in time, scribing skills seem too niche to be effective outside solo questing.
  • Tornaad
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    There is no reasonable way in an online game for them to mirror the kind of thing we saw in Oblivion for spell crafting and for them to balance the game. Given the limited info we have, there is not a lot we have to make judgment off of, however, I am still excited.
  • S0Z0H
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    Anumaril wrote: »
    I was absolutely beside myself with excitement when they teased Scribing during the Global Reveal stream yesterday

    Ya, and idk bout anyone else, but there wasn't a question that this "spell crafting" would be a toned down version of what we had in TES Oblivion. Cuz this IS still an MMO, like you know how much work it would take to keep everything balanced , especially in a PVP setting. Like that would be madness wouldn't it?
    Perhaps they could go full SpellCrafting in PVE? And dial back the complexity for PVP? No disrespect to the PVP community here ( God knows they usually get the short end of the stick )

  • opaj
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    We were never going to get spellcrafting like in Oblivion. Those of us who have been following along expected something like what was presented at QuakeCon 2014.

    And I think we may be getting something very similar to that.

    In that presentation, it appeared that a crafted spell had three components: the base effect, a modifier, and a quality level. The modifiers were quantitative modifiers, like "AOE" or "Ultimate" or "Over Time". Spells were divided into spell schools, which presumably would have had their own passive abilities to unlock.

    So instead of a "base effect", we get a modifiable skill (like the Bow's "Vault" skill from yesterday's preview, or Soul Magic's "Soul Touch" skill from the article). Instead of being tied to a magic school, it's tied to one of our existing skills. I'm not thrilled that some abilities will be tied to specific weapons, but this does allow all of the new abilities will be able to take advantage of existing passives.

    In the mock-ups of the old system we saw, if you wanted to make an AOE Fireball like Oblivion's classic "Enemies Explode" spell, first you'd need to find a tablet for "Fire Bolt". Then you'd have to apply the "AOE" focus to it. You couldn't give it a DOT burn, unfortunately, so we can see how the old system was limited.

    In the mock-ups of the new system they showed yesterday, you could take the "Vault" grimoire, set its first script to fire damage and its second script to damage over time, and you'd basically have an archery-based "Enemies Explode" spell. The new limitations are that you have to be using a bow and you can't make it into an ultimate ability (from what we've seen), but I suspect the way they've implemented Scribing may actually give us more options than what the old proposed system would have.

    This all depends on what grimoires they add to the game. It sounds like they'll keep adding more grimoires over time, but as I turn what we've seen over in my head, I get more hopeful.
  • Nihilr
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    I think they are executing this system perfectly. It's a conservative approach to see how it fares before they expand upon it to other skill lines. It was never going to be "every skill line" overnight. They are still adding lore and zones every year on top of these systems which I greatly appreciate.
  • MudcrabAttack
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    I like the customization but probably won’t like leapfrogging backwards over and over during a long fight
  • Northwold
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    But this was always going to be the case, whether you call it spellcrafting, scribing, or whatever, and was ALWAYS the essential problem with people requesting spellcrafting as some sort of wholly customisable gameplay mechanic.

    In an MMO, any skill *must* be balanced against other skills. With something like spellcrafting, by definition, you are going to end up with a very, very restricted set of options for which any other player can muster a similarly restricted match.

    If you don't do that, if you allow infinite combinations of effects at players' whims that can't be planned for in advance, the game's balance will break. For that reason, totally customisable spellcrafting of the type people seem to envisage plain can't happen.
    Edited by Northwold on January 21, 2024 3:28PM
  • aspergalas4
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    Nihilr wrote: »
    I think they are executing this system perfectly. It's a conservative approach to see how it fares before they expand upon it to other skill lines. It was never going to be "every skill line" overnight. They are still adding lore and zones every year on top of these systems which I greatly appreciate.

    Everything they do is done with a conservative approach to the point we barely get any content year on year. They need to start actively pushing the boat out and really throwing themselves into their own game if they want it to last. It's painful to watch developers meekly throw some crumbs our way until they receive some kind of praise for their efforts in order to build their confidence up to throw some more crumbs later on. Give us the CAKE up front.
  • Animar111
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    Personally I think they are not going all out spell casting but taking a wise precaution in introducing adjustable skills, this lays a good base for further advancement down the road with out off balance.
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