Awww yeah. Everyone's favorite ability, right?
I mostly play a sorcerer, and mostly in pve. So I decided to change it up and do some pvp at the ripe old age of VR13 with some crafted VR11 stuff (I've been lazy, shush). Well, nothing's going on in the campaign so I do what every pve minded person does. Explore and quest. AKA camping in a delve waiting for a mini boss to show up. I got a visitor, and he wasn't my color and apparently was filled with murder. Or maybe since the delve was a stone throw away from his keep he felt the need to defend it.
I'm not filled with as much murder, but a fight ensures and using my pve mindset of 'lets make sure I don't die' I use the bubbles. 10 minutes later neither of us got under 80% hp. I walked out, we parted ways.
TLDR; Found out why hardened ward is mentioned so much on the forums, for myself. And I'm FAR from the best or someone who has maximized their potential. (I have no champion points strengthening my bubbles)
I don't really like speaking about stuff until its seen first hand, and turns out with enough blueberry juice I won't die. I'm not good at game so can't really murder-ify while doing it, but sure someone else could've in that situation. Well, not dieing makes the pvp game boring, and boring is bad. My yellow, murder filled amigo is probably disappointed. So is the boss that I still haven't killed. Cause they live to check off people's achievements, I'm sure.
So here's my feedback. Based on personal experience. I don't know everything, so don't assume I'll cover the basis or say exactly what you want to hear, or suggest the next best revolutionary method that turns ESO pvp into the best thing ever.
Hardened Ward is great. Allows a glass mana-cannon to survive in intense situations, and solo content.
Hardened Ward is awful. Allows a glass mana-cannon to survive in intense situations, and solo content.
When I dungeon with people then crap happens and I live. Everyone is generally happy. When I'm in Cyrodiil crap happens and I live. The other people seem pissed.
Yeah yeah, I know. Two situations. Not really similar. But the game is set up so power in PVE is related to power in PVP. Well being able to damage and survive is really strong. As content gets harder that's almost necessary in PVE, but doesn't belong in PVP. You know. Balance and all that.
Solutions? I don't know. Not going to pretend to know. Simple answer is 'NERF THE WITCH' but you're affecting more than pvp. You'll end up with sorcerers dieing off faster in pve. Taking more HP damage, stressing out healers more. Then compensating by moving points from magika to hp then not being able to damage OR survive anything. So yeah, I got no perfect solution. Things are too complicated for me.
The great thing about ESO. You can be a strong force to deal with and you can customize that force and feel like the all powerful whatever wearing the faces of your fallen enemy. But that kind of flexibility makes a really whack pvp model. The unique Cyrodiil buff, which changes how the skills work is probably the best solution for this stuff.
Here's obligatory imperfect suggestions anyways.
Make a campaign where you don't play your character, but one of several cookie cutter builds (DPS, TANK, HEALER). Its against the elder scrolls way, but super easy to balance because everyone has to be the same. Be really interesting to see how well this works with the added benefit of not worrying about custom skill/item balance. It would all be a combination of your party, and how well you play.
Make Hardened Ward a toggle that makes damage hit Magika (With multiplier) before HP (And it no longer protects pets). Allows for mistakes in PVE, but in PVP your damage and protection come from the same resource. The more you damage, the less your protection is going to work. The more protection you want, the less damage you'll want to do. Sure, you can use stamina while its up, but without points in stamina you wont do as much damage, and your protection will be weak with all points in stamina. It also means you open yourself to have your Magika burned off completely. (This can't stack with any spell absorbing abilities for obvious reasons)
Change how damage effects shields. (Maybe this is a thing and I'm just dumb) Poison and bleed ignore shields completely. Don't care how much magical power you have. Being in a bubble doesn't plug up the gaping hole in your chest. And let some % of damage through a shield naturally with every thing else.
Thanks for putting up with my ramble. Have a nice day.