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KISSing Under the Sea (Fun Underwater Content Speculation Thread)

tinythinker
tinythinker
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Proposal For Limited Underwater Exporation

EDITED on 6/13/2017

Yes, I am are that:

- ZOS devs talked about underwater content on an episode of ESO Live as an example of how much thought and effort go into new mechanics.
- Those same devs said that the fact that they were discussing it didn't mean that they were actively working on underwater exploration.
- The current public status of such content is in limbo with no plans to assign staff for its development.


I DO NOT think this should in any ANY WAY be a priority given the longstanding issues that need addressed in the game, especially considering that any underwater system would take a year of development from initial discussions to coding to adding in artwork and sound effects and the like. Nor is this just a request, let alone a desperate plea, to add underwater content. I would love it if this were added but I don't expect that to happen, at least not anytime remotely SOON™. This is simply a fun thread to consider what a realistic balance between what players might want in the game from underwater content and what would be workable in an MMO like ESO. If you aren't interested in the topic and this kind of "What if?" speculation, no worries.

You can view the prior dev discussion on the topic from May 8th, 215 in the video below, just past the one hour ten minute mark:

Theoretical Discussion About Adding Underwater Content By ZOS Devs

As for my thoughts and suggestions on what would make for a fun and workable system for underwater content, they are outlined in the following sections...

Basic Features (General Framework)
If and when underwater content is ever introduced to ESO (and that is a *massive* "if"), which would be quite a long way off, the issue of what features to add is central. As per the armchair developer segment on the concept from the video above, lots of questions about movement, how to transition from swimming on the surface to diving and back up, whether abilities would work underwater and if so how they would be modified, whether weapons would work underwater and if they should add new types of weapons, and so on, are the start of the process.

On the forums or in chat or voice comm it is easy to think of how cool a system would be, especially a really nuanced system with lots of features. But the more code there is, and the more complicated it is, the more work it is for the players' computers and the servers to manage and process the game. Not to mention the added graphics files, sound files, and the like.

In brief: simpler is better.

A simpler concept is easier and quicker to design and can always be built upon later if new features are added. For ESO, the KISS rule ("Keep It Simple, Stupid") means that at base, your character would, in deep water, have some movement input from the controller device to dive and would have a brief animation before switching to the underwater view. Moving in three dimensions is tricky to code, but manageable as other games have done it. You would see new art in the landscape and have boundaries on all sides, the "walls" of the shore line and the floor of the lake or ocean and the transition zone of surface of the body of water.

That's it. You make a special controller input to indicate "dive" while swimming on the surface of a deeper water area, perhaps the same command you would use to dodge roll forward. Doing so, you would see plants, rocks, schools of fish etc, and you always then go back up to the surface. That is the most basic, essential form of adding underwater exploration to the game. Of course, even this would require a huge undertaking and lots of coordinated effort by ZOS. And, honestly, if this is *all* you could do, well, what would be the point? It would hardly be worth the time of the people involved when so much other content could be created that would be more fun and rewarding for players (and profitable for ZOS).

So, here are basic objects and activities that could be added without over-complicating things:

STATIONARY INTERACTABLES: ACQUIRING OBJECTS

These would include things you see while diving, like treasure chests and crafting nodes. The artwork would reflect the underwater theme, but the mechanic would be the same. If you imagine a radius of interactivity around a character, then when a character got close enough to objects like a chest or node and was "facing" it, an option would appear as on land to interact with the item and an appropriate animation would come up.

STATIONARY INTERACTABLES: PORTALS

These include holes, cavern entryways, doors, glowing magical gateways, and the like. These would function in the same way as the last category of stationary interactables, except that passing through them or clicking on them takes you to a new area.

NON-STATIONARY INTERACTABLES: NON-CHARACTERS

These refer to things like currents that move and can in turn effect the orientation and movement of the player's character but which are not sentient or alive.

STATIONARY INTERACTABLES: CHARACTERS

These are like the last category, but would include living things that can effect the orientation and movement of the player's character. Grasping vines that tangle the character, underwater creatures that grab or grapple with or use damaging attacks on the character, and other player characters.

BREATH/HEALTH SYSTEM

A timer and corresponding UI element like a shrinking meter or bar that lets the player know how long their character can stay underwater in a single dive before taking damage from lack of air.

While these basic features may seem obvious and not too complicated, the represent much more effort on the part of developers. So even really rudimentary forms of these features are a challenge and a time-sink. Therefore, the KISS rule applies to them as well. Examples of this, as well as how this could work into a DLC/base-game expansion worth the investment, are covered in the next section.

Content (Exploring, Hazards, Combat)
Other systems besides the ones mentioned in the previous section would be necessary but that complicates a fun thread too much. Other systems may be desirable for realism (such as having movement speed reduced the heavier the armor a character is wearing) but may or may not be practical. Focusing instead just on the systems described above, a fun underwater experience can be constructed given sufficient time and resources.

EXPLORING: BEAUTIFUL AREAS, NEW CRAFTING NODES, NEW TREASURE CHESTS, NEW NOTES TO READ/QUEST STARTERS ITEMS TO FIND

It would definitely make sense to have old treasure chests and collectible mats underwater, along with cute, scary, disturbing, and stunningly beautiful scenes (skeletal remains weighed down on the bottom after having been tossed in when the person was alive, notes you can interact with like messages in bottles, wrecks of ships and ruins of lost villages and cities, etc). It would be important to have a clean base UI similar to the basic default of the no add-ons PC version, too. Wouldn't want to obscure the amazing view, unless you just felt like using excessive numbers of add-ons to clutter up your dive.

The mats would be unique with no counterparts on the surface. Some might be collectible in mid-depths, and other further down, perhaps even on the bottom (if that is reachable in the area you are diving). Potions of Waterbreathing could be introduced but the limitations of duration would still make diving deep a danger for most races. Thus while some mats may float or grow on objects in shallower waters, others would only be found in the deepest areas accessible to players. The value/rarity of chest loot would follow this same pattern. The rare items could include things like motifs, recipes, gear set pieces, crafting mats hard to find on the surface, and unique rares just for underwater chests.

So, right away, going underwater means exploring new areas to see the artwork and the lore tie-ins and to acquire items that are hard to get. That is a positive step in justifying all of the trouble and cost of a new feature like underwater exploration, but it isn't enough. I mean, for me, seeing the underwater vistas and the amazing detail to match places on land like Orsinium would be enough, but generally speaking for the larger player base, it would need more. Even if the notes found and other interactables offered new quests (which may be partially or fully completed in or out of the water), there needs to be something else, even with our KISS rule.

Access to new areas goes a long way toward making the new feature worthwhile. These new areas would not all have a constant drowning threat, as they could lead to places below the surface with breathable air, to other surface areas otherwise inaccessible, or to gateways to other planes. This could be used to expand old and new zones by adding additional places accessible only through diving. New and old maps could also have deep water areas opened up a bit for more space and exploration even if they don't lead anywhere else.

Limits to exploring could include dangerous mobs including but not limited to slaughterfish, the need to breath, and pressure changes at greater depths. No currently playable race would be able to go below a certain point without getting dizzy/having the screen go blurry when trying to dive below a certain depth (not all areas would go this deep). This gives workable boundaries to sculpting underwater areas.

HAZARDS AND PITFALLS: THE RISKS FOR THE REWARDS

Threats and hazards are important as well to give risk and challenge to the new feature and its associated content. Grasping plants or fungi, giant worms or large snakes that wrap around you, and the like would offer crowd control hazards like roots and in some cases active attacks. Other mobs could use attacks as well. Simple creatures may also cause snares, similar to what algae does when swimming on the surface.

Beyond creatures of various sizes and capacities, various things could cause currents that players have to swim against, or that may drag players along, perhaps into an area that's hard to get out of, perhaps right into a (pack of) mobs. In some cases, similar to the whirlpools in the Quickwater Cave delve in Cyrodiil, you may be pulled into a different area.

And all of these are set against the backdrop of the biggest hazard, the breath/air bar, a simple UI element that degrades over time. After reaching the last quarter your character takes mild damage over time, and this increases when the bar goes below 10%. If you run out of air, you drown. Argonians would have an advantage here, of course, but people aren't going to reroll Saxhleel just to avoid drowning. And there would be consumables and what not to make sure that while the breath bar isn't something you can totally ignore, it doesn't overshadow or spoil the fun of doing underwater content.

UNDERWATER COMBAT: PVE-ONLY OR PVE+PVP

My own preference, in conjunction with KISS, would be to start combat design with a very basic combat system with unarmed light/heavy attacks, a button combo to press to grapple with/hold and opponent, and a button combo (maybe the same one) to break free if you are being held. The latter could for PCs be the familiar left mouse button+right mouse button. This simple starter system makes sense as races not native to deep water wouldn't be experts at underwater combat anyway. Even Argonians mostly dive in their daily lives to catch fish or to evade danger, not to be underwater special forces commandos.

This simplest form of underwater combat works well with the basic hazard system already discussed. Grasping plants or fungi, giant worms or large snakes that wrap around you, etc, would be escaped by breaking free just like you would break free from any other crowd control effect. Simpler, weaker underwater mobs could be fought with light/heavy attacks, and more dangerous mobs would be avoided (again, a sense of risk and danger is important). In this version of underwater exploration it is all about PvE and maybe some very limited PvP. For example, if you successfully grab someone who is low on oxygen and health, you could drown them.

To add combat focused more in depth combat for either PvE or PvP, and therefore make the system more interesting and offer more to do underwater, abilities for your bar can be added. Trying to rework the existing land-based combat system, though, would be a mess. How do those existing abilities and weapons work underwater, etc, etc? Instead, it would make more sense to add a new skill line or two created specifically for underwater fighting. Just like you can pull out a little mini-crossbow type thing with Silver Shards and shoot someone on land, so too could you use that to automatically replace your weapon in the weapon slot. add underwater fighting moves and weapons via a skill line. In fact, it might work better to have two underwater skill lines. Again, *only* active abilities from underwater skill lines would be available while swimming underwater (relevant passives that don't requiring slotting a non-underwater ability would work, though). Experience gained while having these skills equipped would level them up. The abilities from these new skill lines could be layered on top of the simpler combat system just mentioned. For instance, if you are successfully grappled and held by either an enemy NPC or PC you cannot cast any ability.

One skill line might include active abilities like:
- single target ranged damage along a straight line with decent dps but a 1 to 2 second cast time (or a channel, or a cool-down); something like Snipe, maybe using a harpoon.
- close range spherical AoE damage with snare; damage and secondary effects would build over time.
- knockback to all enemies near the caster with a big bubble explosion; enemies might be facing any which direction after getting spun around and pushed back. If this were an ult it might have a morph that reduces the remaining air meters of affected targets by 50%.

and passive abilities like:
- increases swim speed by 10% for 6 seconds after killing an enemy.
- decreases an enemies chance of breaking free of your hold and increases your chance of breaking free from an enemy hold.

The other skill line might include active abilities abilities like:
- a temporary and very short swim speed boost (30% for 4 seconds) with something that block enemy sight in a small range for 1.5 seconds; the escape button, like a squid who squirts "ink" and swims away, but with something else instead of ink.
- a short-range heal with a spherical AoE for self and an ally with a modest burst upon casting followed by a HoT.
- a buff that greatly slows the air meter of all allies in range and boosts the chance to break free of holds.

and passive abilities like:
- reduce swim speed penalty underwater while wearing medium or heavy armor by 25%/50%.
- increases how long your air meter lasts by 25%/50%/75%.[/b]


The underwater skill line might include active abilities/morphs like:
- single target ranged damage along a straight line with decent dps but a 1 to 2 second cast time (or a channel, or a cool-down)
- close range spherical AoE damage with snare; damage and secondary effects would build over time.
- knockback to all enemies near the caster with a big bubble explosion; enemies might be facing any which direction after getting spun around and pushed back. If this were an ult it might have a morph that reduces the remaining air meters of affected targets by 50%.
- a temporary and very short swim speed boost (30% for 4 seconds) with something that block enemy sight in a small range for 1.5 seconds; the escape button, like a squid who squirts "ink" and swims away, but with something else instead of ink.
- a short-range heal with a spherical AoE for self and an ally with a modest burst upon casting followed by a HoT.
- a buff that greatly slows the air meter of all allies in range and boosts the chance to break free of holds.

and passive abilities like:
- increases swim speed by 10% for 6 seconds after killing an enemy.
- decreases an enemies chance of breaking free of your hold and increases your chance of breaking free from an enemy hold.
- reduce swim speed penalty underwater while wearing medium or heavy armor by 25%/50%.
- increases how long your air meter lasts by 25%/50%/75%.[/b]


There could would be five active abilities and a full set of passives that you unlock over time, like transformed werewolves. I'm not saying my list is has the only candidates for that skill line, I just wanted to give examples of a few of each for now though not dictate them. Might fill it out later and give them names and complete ability/morph details. Some abilities would cost/scale off of magicka-only, stamina-only, or even health. Some might cost one resource to cast and do damage based on another. Most or all would have morphs for either stamina or magicka that would really change how they are used and the value they would have in combat. But here is the fun part to add more build diversity: some or all would have different effects based on your class.

Just to repeat, some (or all of the abilities) would have secondary effects based on the class of the caster, just like some destruction staff abilities have differences based on whether its element is fire, ice, or shock. In this case the versions would be fire/heat/steam (Dragonknights), shock and/or maybe daedric energy (Sorcerers), darkness (Nightblades), and light (Templars), and ice (Wardens).

To give an example of how this could work, take that ability for to blind/distract enemies and get a brief speed boost to escape. For a DK, maybe it roils the water to osbcure the enemy view while doing a small AoE in the affected sphere. For a Nightblade, maybe it is like the octopus with inky darkness as well as adding a small snare. For the Sorc, a small stun with blurry vision. For the Templar, a refracting light that increases enemy miss chance.

The gear you have now would still work, though with potential movement penalties. So while there aren't as many things to slot on your bars underwater (which makes sense), there is still diversity of bars and builds available. As mentioned, consumables like Potions of Waterbreathing could be added as well or perhaps new gear to extend the air meter (a one piece bonus from a new 2-piece set maybe to offer this). Thus while you can't completely ignore your air meter, it isn't a constant burden.

A combat system like the one sketched out in rough detail here gives players something new but not burdensome. No need to put on special gear or manually change bars. When you dive your underwater bars are automatically swapped to just like that. Underwater combat strategy would be a little different than land combat strategy, but it would also be fluid and intuitive. If a new zone had PvP and diving available, the map could be designed to let players switch back and forth. Maybe you dive underwater to get away but someone dives in after you. Maybe you dive to hide (players underwater would not be visible to those on the surface). Lots of possibilities to play with. For PvE, areas with diving could add a whole new set of possibilities for delves, world bosses, public dungeons, and group dungeons. There would be plenty of new content that could be designed could be anywhere from 10% to 100% underwater.

Better With ESO
I don't know much about other MMOs so I looked up underwater content in other games...

Archeage: special diving gear, video of diving/exploring/fighting trash mobs/treasure chest


Guild Wars 2: special gear upon diving, exploring underwater, no breath bar


Rift: underwater questing and combat, no breath bar


Then I imagined them with ESO level/style graphics and a clean UI, a nice player-made underwater add-on, a breath bar that isn't an all-consuming worry but that you can't ignore, and the combat system outlined in the previous section. I pictured this superior version of underwater content in a PvP-enabled zone, and as part of or the whole of a delve, a world boss, a public dungeon, or a group dungeon. And it... was... *awesome*.

At the moment underwater content for ESO is the longest of longshots, but it would be truly amazing if done well. If you know any player (or dev :wink: ) that should be tagged in this, feel free to add them. Thanks for reading.

Edited by tinythinker on June 13, 2017 11:47PM
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  • Alucardo
    Alucardo
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    When I first got into this game I saw the water, and the water looked good. I jumped in and was disappointed all I could do was paddle around. Some basic (KISS as you say) underwater exploration would be amazing.
    Shipwrecks, diving for pearls to sell (with the chance of obtaining a legendary one that could be sold to merchants for big bucks), treasure chests.. this is all I'd want, nothing much more.

    This is probably one of the nicest, well documented and cleanly laid out concepts I've seen. Really nice work tinythinker. No idea whose department this is, but I for one am going to tag @ZOS_GinaBruno because she's awesome and I know she'll get it to the right people ;)
    Edited by Alucardo on December 23, 2015 6:42PM
    (sqweee )>--- ۜ\(סּںסּَ` )/ۜ
  • Yolokin_Swagonborn
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    Imagine hitting an impromptu loading screen underwater and running out of air before you got back up.
    everyone is running this set it seems if everyone is running it you know it has to be op
    - Jake1576
    The difference between a "Chapter" and a DLC

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  • Jar_Ek
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    Having played gw2, champions online and a few other games with underwater sections, I would have to say I am not keen on full underwater experience. I find them clunky and not much fun. However limited underwater stuff I could get behind (undersea chests, shipwrecks, water filled passages in dungeons, etc), just not undersea combat.
  • bertenburnyb16_ESO
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    gw2 had very nicely thought out and designed under water content, with a variety beautifull and exotic landscapes and alot of (repeatable) stuff to do (so there was reason to go back more than once =/= eso content), even different weapon types and skills for every class per weapon

    it was generally disliked by the playerbase and only done once by completionists and the odd one-off that liked to play it

    then imagine zos would add under water content, it will be ill thought out, and enough content to keep players playin for a week max before totally abandoning it

    u really want zos to put alot of resources into developing under water content and everything around it, or have them try optimise (aka fix) the stuff we got and keep working on the content they have in the pipeline

    no tnx on underwatercontent
    Haze Ramoran Dunmer Dragonknight Tank/Dps – Smoked-Da-Herb Saxheel Templar Tank/Healer

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  • jim_mau
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    shoo QQ people, a lot of downers here

    Im up for some underwater stuff, not a whole zone or instance, but some interaction, maybe an underwater City, as in a bubble underwater (no swimming), the depths have a lot of room for daedric princes, lore and maybe a dragon (for all those dragon haters on other topics)

    Innovation and fun are keys to MMO life, mechanics and gameplay as well, but its not like Zos puts the janitors in the coding room because they have a deadline, they assign areas to their own expertise.
  • KingRebz
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    Tbh itll feel more like an elder scrolls game if underwater content is available. They say in Rome do as the Romans do. They also say in Earth do as the Earth inhabitants do. Y'all catch my drift?..or wave?
    V14 Sorceror [Ebonheart]
  • TheShadowScout
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    Controller input for underwater would be easy enough in my opinion. "Crouch" becomes "dive", "jump" becomes "swim up". Since we have those two already, and since they make little sense underwater, it'd be logical to repurpose them, right?

    Generally I like the concept, its so nicely done that I have little to add! Now if only ESO picked it up and ran with it... ;)
    "True understanding can be found only in the Shadow between Light and Dark..."
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  • Asherons_Call
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    Well in oblivion you could make water breathing potions with dreugh wax and slaughterfish scales. Would be an expensive potion but I'd make a few!
  • RAGUNAnoOne
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    Argonian DKs could chain and drown people I love it! please do it and add unique gear that divers can get!
    PS4 NA
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  • TheShadowScout
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    Well in oblivion you could make water breathing potions with dreugh wax and slaughterfish scales. Would be an expensive potion but I'd make a few!
    Indeed. There could be some classic options there... potions of water-breathing (add to alchemy), rings/helmets of water-breathing (add to enchanting), etc.

    I would also love to see some more immersive swimming... right now I find it mildly vexing that my characters can swim the same no matter if they are in their underwear, or in heavy armor. A small stamina cost for swimming just like running, and clothing encumbrance... make people do their underwater exploring in perl-diver loincloth style, not wearing full plate mail...
    "True understanding can be found only in the Shadow between Light and Dark..."
    Leskandera - Sneaky Dunmer Bounty Huntress
    Kelasendar - Shy Dunmer Goth Librarian
    Kes dre-Lana - Righteous Orsimer Amazon
    Alakserden Haughty Dunmer Pyromancer
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    Karel Danes Drunk Nord Mountain Man
    Elsa Dekran Imperial Deserter Piratess
    Akar-Sendel Brutal Orsimer Executioner
    Skelandera Evil Altmer Necromantrix

    Andrea Selk Melancholic Breton Vampire Waif
    Al'Serkande Fat Redguard Ex-guard Bandit
    Dane Sarkel Fabulous Breton Hedge Knight
    Ales Endark Dour Imperial Grave Guardian

    Deslankera Busty Altmer Priestess
    Selkendara Happy Bosmer Tree-hugger Girl
    Kera de'Saln Skittish Khajiit Clockwork Kitty
    Selan Dekar Stern Imperial Blood Mage Exile
    Kral Na-Dees Pale Argonian Tomb Raider
  • Gidorick
    Gidorick
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    I haven't read this yet... but when I opened this up and saw that it was @tinythinker I thought "oh! This is going to be good!"... non sarcastically.
    What ESO really needs is an Auction Horse.
    That's right... Horse.
    Click HERE to discuss.

    Want more crazy ideas? Check out my Concept Repository!
  • RAGUNAnoOne
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    Gidorick wrote: »
    I haven't read this yet... but when I opened this up and saw that it was @tinythinker I thought "oh! This is going to be good!"... non sarcastically.

    Then read it then you will see it is not good it is great :p
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  • Gidorick
    Gidorick
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    Ok. first off... here's a link to my thread about these very things http://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/en/discussion/147216/water-overhaul-suggestion

    You and I agree 100% on the fact that underwater combat MUST include a separate underwater combat skills. I like the idea of each class having their own "flair" on the underwater skills. I would even be alright with each class having their own specialized set of underwater skills... but they can't be the same skills that we have on land! They just can't.

    Awesome notes on the underwater dangers. I hadn't considered underwater hazards. I love that idea! I also envision things like fishing traps catching the player and them being "fished" out of the water onto a fishing boat... which would be the start of a quest!

    Overall, this concept goes into a bit more depth than mine does and I agree with all of it... every single syllable. A couple of notes.

    An amulet of Water Breathing is pretty standard fair for TES. I would like to see this make it into ESO.

    I mentioned in my thread that this would be an ideal way to introduce Chitin and Morag Tong Motifs. I still think it would be!

    NO UNDERWATER MOUNTS! I don't know how to stress this enough. While I agree players should be able to swim while on the back of their mounts (that is, ride their mount while the mount swims) the player would have to dismount to dive. When underwater there is NO WAY to mount anything. No horse with a snorkel, no dolphins, no squids... NO UNDERWATER MOUNTS!!!

    Underwater pets... sure... have a blast.

    Amazing thread @tinythinker . Exceeded my expectations. I thought by "Keep it Simple" you were going to dumb the suggestion down to something like "prompts at specific places that your player can activate that will play a standardized animation of your character diving down to the bottom to collect the underwater item." So glad it wasn't!

    @ZOS_RichLambert, please take this thread ( and mine too! ) to heart and know that the community wants underwater exploration... but no underwater mounts!!! :lol:
    What ESO really needs is an Auction Horse.
    That's right... Horse.
    Click HERE to discuss.

    Want more crazy ideas? Check out my Concept Repository!
  • Gidorick
    Gidorick
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    Well in oblivion you could make water breathing potions with dreugh wax and slaughterfish scales. Would be an expensive potion but I'd make a few!
    Indeed. There could be some classic options there... potions of water-breathing (add to alchemy), rings/helmets of water-breathing (add to enchanting), etc.

    I would also love to see some more immersive swimming... right now I find it mildly vexing that my characters can swim the same no matter if they are in their underwear, or in heavy armor. A small stamina cost for swimming just like running, and clothing encumbrance... make people do their underwater exploring in perl-diver loincloth style, not wearing full plate mail...

    I kind of love the idea that disrobing prior to swimming would improve swimming performance. Cool idea @TheShadowScout (yes, I know you've said it before... many times... in other threads. :lol:)
    What ESO really needs is an Auction Horse.
    That's right... Horse.
    Click HERE to discuss.

    Want more crazy ideas? Check out my Concept Repository!
  • TheShadowScout
    TheShadowScout
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    Gidorick wrote: »
    I kind of love the idea that disrobing prior to swimming would improve swimming performance. Cool idea @TheShadowScout (yes, I know you've said it before... many times... in other threads. :lol:)
    Indeed. And likely will say it again too ;)

    But I really envision something where every piece of armor gives you a penalty to swimming speed and costs you extra stamina to swim in (and in the case of diving, using up more air reserves due to the greater effort needed).
    Say... 2% per piece of "civilian clothing", 3% per piece of light armor, 5% per piece of medium armor, 15% per piece of heavy armor... Why the heavy armor so extra swim-unfriendly? Because its -heavy- armor.
    And yes, that means at 7 pieces heavy you cannot swim, but sink like a stone. Why do you think seafaring warriors didn't go for full plate, but something like chainmail they can plausibly squirm out from underwater, before it drags them too deep, or a breastplate that isn't quite as bad as a full set of plate...

    Anyways, something like that is what I am thinking of.

    Also... can we haz better underwear? It still vexes me immenbsely that our characters run around in modern looking underwear when they disrobe instead of something more theme-appropiate. Leopard skin thong and bra, linen loincloth and breastband, japanese-style cotton fundoshi and chest wrappings, silk wraps... something that looks good and fits the theme. (or bare breasts, throughout the middle ages breast supporting garmets were very uncommon... but I guess ZOS may not want to go there... despite the M rating...)
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  • tinythinker
    tinythinker
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    Interesting comments. Thanks to all who shared their thoughts.

    Imagine hitting an impromptu loading screen underwater and running out of air before you got back up.
    That's why you roll Argonian :wink: But honestly, even if Mr. Lambert saw this thread today and decided it needed to be in the game ASAP, given all of the other projects already in development I am guessing it would be late 2017 or maybe the first quarter 2018 before the initial DLC adding the new mechanics and first examples of underwater content was ready for release. If there are still super-long loading screens popping up then, I am guessing drowning now and again won't be the biggest complaint.


    Jar_Ek wrote: »
    Having played gw2, champions online and a few other games with underwater sections, I would have to say I am not keen on full underwater experience. I find them clunky and not much fun. However limited underwater stuff I could get behind (undersea chests, shipwrecks, water filled passages in dungeons, etc), just not undersea combat.
    I added a fun, novel, and simple combat system to give more reason to make underwater content tools. If a world boss every couple of DLCs was underwater, if part of a delve or dungeon was underwater now and again, etc, then in addition to exploration and gathering there could be achievements to do that use the feature. For big underwater battles, that would almost have to be a PvP enabled zone with an ocean theme, which players could readily opt out of.


    gw2 had very nicely thought out and designed under water content, with a variety beautifull and exotic landscapes and alot of (repeatable) stuff to do (so there was reason to go back more than once =/= eso content), even different weapon types and skills for every class per weapon

    it was generally disliked by the playerbase and only done once by completionists and the odd one-off that liked to play it

    then imagine zos would add under water content, it will be ill thought out, and enough content to keep players playin for a week max before totally abandoning it

    u really want zos to put alot of resources into developing under water content and everything around it, or have them try optimise (aka fix) the stuff we got and keep working on the content they have in the pipeline

    no tnx on underwatercontent
    As written in bold, colored, underlined text in the original post, I don't think this is a priority or should take precedence of over other badly needed and greatly wanted things. As for being fun for just a week, the idea presented is to add a new suite of options to content development. Sure, the first DLC with underwater content would feature it heavily, but, a few places in old maps could be spiced up as well, and new zones going forward could take advantage of it as well. "Hmm, for this next zone, let's put a world boss underwater" and "Okay, another new group dungeon to make, what if players had to swim down a long flooded passageway underwater with mobs that snare and root to make getting a speed achievement harder?" and so on. It would become a part of the regular content development.


    jim_mau wrote: »
    Im up for some underwater stuff, not a whole zone or instance, but some interaction, maybe an underwater City, as in a bubble underwater (no swimming), the depths have a lot of room for daedric princes, lore and maybe a dragon (for all those dragon haters on other topics)

    Innovation and fun are keys to MMO life, mechanics and gameplay as well, but its not like Zos puts the janitors in the coding room because they have a deadline, they assign areas to their own expertise.
    Well, if they added tools for creating and playing in underwater content, they would have to release it with a DLC that was in a coastal area and includes lots of places to dive for quests and achievements. But, yes, spicing up old maps and throwing in an underwater boss or quest area or flooding a dungeon/delve here and there for other new zones would definitely be the point. Adding new tools to give additional options for creating all new content types is the big seller for my particular proposal.


    Well in oblivion you could make water breathing potions with dreugh wax and slaughterfish scales. Would be an expensive potion but I'd make a few!
    Indeed. There could be some classic options there... potions of water-breathing (add to alchemy), rings/helmets of water-breathing (add to enchanting), etc.
    Gidorick wrote: »
    An amulet of Water Breathing is pretty standard fair for TES. I would like to see this make it into ESO.
    Yeah, I mentioned potions of waterbreathing briefly, but I like how you guys are fleshing it out. I almost mentioned jewelry but the post was getting really long. That wouldn't be hard to implement. They could add new runestones to make jewelry glyphs for waterbreathing and/or sell amulets from merchants or what not, but, however they were introduced they would need to be limited, such as slowing down how quickly the breath bar goes down but not fully making you immune forever to drowning. Hazards and risk make are part of any good challenge :)


    Gidorick wrote: »
    You and I agree 100% on the fact that underwater combat MUST include a separate underwater combat skills. I like the idea of each class having their own "flair" on the underwater skills. I would even be alright with each class having their own specialized set of underwater skills... but they can't be the same skills that we have on land! They just can't.

    Awesome notes on the underwater dangers. I hadn't considered underwater hazards. I love that idea! I also envision things like fishing traps catching the player and them being "fished" out of the water onto a fishing boat... which would be the start of a quest!
    Yeah, it would be much more fun having new skill lines and new fighting styles and would avoid a ton of issues about translating existing weapons and skills. Just slot the harpoon skill and hit a target at range when underwater. Simple, intuitive, fun.
    Gidorick wrote: »
    NO UNDERWATER MOUNTS! I don't know how to stress this enough. While I agree players should be able to swim while on the back of their mounts (that is, ride their mount while the mount swims) the player would have to dismount to dive. When underwater there is NO WAY to mount anything. No horse with a snorkel, no dolphins, no squids... NO UNDERWATER MOUNTS!!!

    Underwater pets... sure... have a blast.
    Wait... who suggested underwater mounts?












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  • TalonKnight
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    1 of the 1st let downs when the game came out, (not a big let down) But dang let us SWIM UNDER WATER....
  • Iccotak
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    The amount of tile sets and world building that would go into this would be very big.
    Not saying it shouldn't be done but that it is going to be a large undertaking.

    Best to implement something like this with a DLC. and apply it to all zones

    Also why make underwater combat a separate skill?
    Just make basic mouse attacks available. Don't create extremely dangerous enemies in the water.

    A whole other combat system for water is just going to be a complicated process.
    Keep it Simple.
    Edited by Iccotak on June 13, 2017 6:44PM
  • altemriel
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    Proposal For Limited Underwater Exporation

    Yes, I am are that:

    - ZOS devs talked about underwater content on an episode of ESO Live as an example of how much thought and effort go into new mechanics.
    - Those same devs said that the fact that they were discussing it didn't mean that they were actively working on underwater exploration.
    - The current public status of such content is in limbo with no plans to assign staff for its development.


    I DO NOT think this should in any ANY WAY be a priority given the longstanding issues that need addressed in the game, especially considering that any underwater system would take a year of development from initial discussions to coding to adding in artwork and sound effects and the like. Nor is this just a request, let alone a desperate plea, to add underwater content. I would love it if this were added but I don't expect that to happen, at least not anytime remotely SOON™. This is simply a fun thread to consider what a realistic balance between what players might want in the game from underwater content and what would be workable in an MMO like ESO. If you aren't interested in the topic and this kind of "What if?" speculation, no worries.

    You can view the prior dev discussion on the topic from May 8th, 215 in the video below, just past the one hour ten minute mark:

    Theoretical Discussion About Adding Underwater Content By ZOS Devs

    As for my thoughts and suggestions on what would make for a fun and workable system for underwater content, they are outlined in the following sections...

    Basic Features (General Framework)
    If and when underwater content is ever introduced to ESO (and that is a *massive* "if"), which would be quite a long way off, the issue of what features to add is central. As per the armchair developer segment on the concept from the video above, lots of questions about movement, how to transition from swimming on the surface to diving and back up, whether abilities would work underwater and if so how they would be modified, whether weapons would work underwater and if they should add new types of weapons, and so on, are the start of the process.

    On the forums or in chat or voice comm it is easy to think of how cool a system would be, especially a really nuanced system with lots of features. But the more code there is, and the more complicated it is, the more work it is for the players' computers and the servers to manage and process the game. Not to mention the added graphics files, sound files, and the like.

    In brief: simpler is better.

    A simpler concept is easier and quicker to design and can always be built upon later if new features are added. For ESO, the KISS rule ("Keep It Simple, Stupid") means that at base, your character would, in deep water, have some movement input from the controller device to dive and would have a brief animation before switching to the underwater view. Moving in three dimensions is tricky to code, but manageable as other games have done it. You would see new art in the landscape and have boundaries on all sides, the "walls" of the shore line and the floor of the lake or ocean and the transition zone of surface of the body of water.

    That's it. You make a special controller input to indicate "dive" while swimming on the surface of a deeper water area, perhaps the same command you would use to dodge roll forward. Doing so, you would see plants, rocks, schools of fish etc, and you always then go back up to the surface. That is the most basic, essential form of adding underwater exploration to the game. Of course, even this would require a huge undertaking and lots of coordinated effort by ZOS. And, honestly, if this is *all* you could do, well, what would be the point? It would hardly be worth the time of the people involved when so much other content could be created that would be more fun and rewarding for players (and profitable for ZOS).

    So, here are basic objects and activities that could be added without over-complicating things:

    STATIONARY INTERACTABLES: ACQUIRING OBJECTS

    These would include things you see while diving, like treasure chests and crafting nodes. The artwork would reflect the underwater theme, but the mechanic would be the same. If you imagine a radius of interactivity around a character, then when a character got close enough to objects like a chest or node and was "facing" it, an option would appear as on land to interact with the item and an appropriate animation would come up.

    STATIONARY INTERACTABLES: PORTALS

    These include holes, cavern entryways, doors, glowing magical gateways, and the like. These would function in the same way as the last category of stationary interactables, except that passing through them or clicking on them takes you to a new area.

    NON-STATIONARY INTERACTABLES: NON-CHARACTERS

    These refer to things like currents that move and can in turn effect the orientation and movement of the player's character but which are not sentient or alive.

    STATIONARY INTERACTABLES: CHARACTERS

    These are like the last category, but would include living things that can effect the orientation and movement of the player's character. Grasping vines that tangle the character, underwater creatures that grab or grapple with or use damaging attacks on the character, and other player characters.

    BREATH/HEALTH SYSTEM

    A timer and corresponding UI element like a shrinking meter or bar that lets the player know how long their character can stay underwater in a single dive before taking damage from lack of air.

    While these basic features may seem obvious and not too complicated, the represent much more effort on the part of developers. So even really rudimentary forms of these features are a challenge and a time-sink. Therefore, the KISS rule applies to them as well. Examples of this, as well as how this could work into a DLC/base-game expansion worth the investment, are covered in the next section.

    Content (Exploring, Hazards, Combat)
    Other systems besides the ones mentioned in the previous section would be necessary but that complicates a fun thread too much. Other systems may be desirable for realism (such as having movement speed reduced the heavier the armor a character is wearing) but may or may not be practical. Focusing instead just on the systems described above, a fun underwater experience can be constructed given sufficient time and resources.

    EXPLORING: BEAUTIFUL AREAS, NEW CRAFTING NODES, NEW TREASURE CHESTS, NEW NOTES TO READ/QUEST STARTERS ITEMS TO FIND

    It would definitely make sense to have old treasure chests and collectible mats underwater, along with cute, scary, disturbing, and stunningly beautiful scenes (skeletal remains weighed down on the bottom after having been tossed in when the person was alive, notes you can interact with like messages in bottles, wrecks of ships and ruins of lost villages and cities, etc). It would be important to have a clean base UI similar to the basic default of the no add-ons PC version, too. Wouldn't want to obscure the amazing view, unless you just felt like using excessive numbers of add-ons to clutter up your dive.

    The mats would be unique with no counterparts on the surface. Some might be collectible in mid-depths, and other further down, perhaps even on the bottom (if that is reachable in the area you are diving). Potions of Waterbreathing could be introduced but the limitations of duration would still make diving deep a danger for most races. Thus while some mats may float or grow on objects in shallower waters, others would only be found in the deepest areas accessible to players. The value/rarity of chest loot would follow this same pattern. The rare items could include things like motifs, recipes, gear set pieces, crafting mats hard to find on the surface, and unique rares just for underwater chests.

    So, right away, going underwater means exploring new areas to see the artwork and the lore tie-ins and to acquire items that are hard to get. That is a positive step in justifying all of the trouble and cost of a new feature like underwater exploration, but it isn't enough. I mean, for me, seeing the underwater vistas and the amazing detail to match places on land like Orsinium would be enough, but generally speaking for the larger player base, it would need more. Even if the notes found and other interactables offered new quests (which may be partially or fully completed in or out of the water), there needs to be something else, even with our KISS rule.

    Access to new areas goes a long way toward making the new feature worthwhile. These new areas would not all have a constant drowning threat, as they could lead to places below the surface with breathable air, to other surface areas otherwise inaccessible, or to gateways to other planes. This could be used to expand old and new zones by adding additional places accessible only through diving. New and old maps could also have deep water areas opened up a bit for more space and exploration even if they don't lead anywhere else.

    Limits to exploring could include dangerous mobs including but not limited to slaughterfish, the need to breath, and pressure changes at greater depths. No currently playable race would be able to go below a certain point without getting dizzy/having the screen go blurry when trying to dive below a certain depth (not all areas would go this deep). This gives workable boundaries to sculpting underwater areas.

    HAZARDS AND PITFALLS: THE RISKS FOR THE REWARDS

    Threats and hazards are important as well to give risk and challenge to the new feature and its associated content. Grasping plants or fungi, giant worms or large snakes that wrap around you, and the like would offer crowd control hazards like roots and in some cases active attacks. Other mobs could use attacks as well. Simple creatures may also cause snares, similar to what algae does when swimming on the surface.

    Beyond creatures of various sizes and capacities, various things could cause currents that players have to swim against, or that may drag players along, perhaps into an area that's hard to get out of, perhaps right into a (pack of) mobs. In some cases, similar to the whirlpools in the Quickwater Cave delve in Cyrodiil, you may be pulled into a different area.

    And all of these are set against the backdrop of the biggest hazard, the breath/air bar, a simple UI element that degrades over time. After reaching the last quarter your character takes mild damage over time, and this increases when the bar goes below 10%. If you run out of air, you drown. Argonians would have an advantage here, of course, but people aren't going to reroll Saxhleel just to avoid drowning. And there would be consumables and what not to make sure that while the breath bar isn't something you can totally ignore, it doesn't overshadow or spoil the fun of doing underwater content.

    UNDERWATER COMBAT: PVE-ONLY OR PVE+PVP

    My own preference, in conjunction with KISS, would be to start with a very basic combat system with unarmed light/heavy attacks, a button combo to press to grapple with/hold and opponent, and a button combo (maybe the same one) to break free if you are being held. The latter could for PCs be the familiar left mouse button+right mouse button. This simple starter system makes sense as races not native to deep water wouldn't be experts at underwater combat anyway. Even Argonians mostly be dive in their daily lives to catch fish or to evade danger, not to be underwater special forces commandos.

    This simplest form of underwater combat works well with the basic hazard system already discussed. Grasping plants or fungi, giant worms or large snakes that wrap around you, etc, would be escaped by breaking free just like you would break free from any other crowd control effect. Simpler, weaker underwater mobs could be fought with light/heavy attacks, and more dangerous mobs would be avoided (again, a sense of risk and danger is important). In this version of underwater exploration it is all about PvE and maybe some very limited PvP. For example, if you successfully grab someone who is low on oxygen and health, you could drown them.

    To add combat focused more in depth combat for either PvE or PvP, trying to rework the existing land-based combat system would be a mess. Instead, it would make more sense to add a new skill line or two created specifically for underwater fighting. Just like you can pull out a little mini-crossbow type thing with Silver Shards and shoot someone on land, so too could you add underwater fighting moves and weapons via a skill line. In fact, it might work better to have two underwater skill lines. Again, *only* active abilities from underwater skill lines would be available while swimming underwater (relevant passives that don't requiring slotting a non-underwater ability would work, though). Experience gained while having these skills equipped would level them up. The abilities from these new skill lines could be layered on top of the simpler combat system just mentioned. For instance, if you are successfully grappled and held by either an enemy NPC or PC you cannot cast any ability.

    One skill line might include active abilities like:
    - single target ranged damage along a straight line with decent dps but a 1 to 2 second cast time (or a channel, or a cool-down); something like Snipe, maybe using a harpoon.
    - close range spherical AoE damage with snare; damage and secondary effects would build over time.
    - knockback to all enemies near the caster with a big bubble explosion; enemies might be facing any which direction after getting spun around and pushed back. If this were an ult it might have a morph that reduces the remaining air meters of affected targets by 50%.

    and passive abilities like:
    - increases swim speed by 10% for 6 seconds after killing an enemy.
    - decreases an enemies chance of breaking free of your hold and increases your chance of breaking free from an enemy hold.

    The other skill line might include active abilities abilities like:
    - a temporary and very short swim speed boost (30% for 4 seconds) with something that block enemy sight in a small range for 1.5 seconds; the escape button, like a squid who squirts "ink" and swims away, but with something else instead of ink.
    - a short-range heal with a spherical AoE for self and an ally with a modest burst upon casting followed by a HoT.
    - a buff that greatly slows the air meter of all allies in range and boosts the chance to break free of holds.

    and passive abilities like:
    - reduce swim speed penalty underwater while wearing medium or heavy armor by 25%/50%.
    - increases how long your air meter lasts by 25%/50%/75%.[/b]


    There could be five active abilities and a full set of passives, I just wanted to give examples of a few of each for now. Might fill it out later and give them names and complete ability/morph details. Some abilities would cost/scale off of magicka-only, stamina-only, or even health. Some might cost one resource to cast and do damage based on another. Most or all would have morphs for either stamina or magicka that would really change how they are used and the value they would have in combat. But here is the fun part to add more build diversity: some or all would have different effects based on your class.

    Just to repeat, some (or all of the abilities) would have secondary effects based on the class of the caster, just like some destruction staff abilities have differences based on whether its element is fire, ice, or shock. In this case the versions would be fire/heat/steam (Dragonknights), shock and/or maybe daedric energy (Sorcerers), darkness (Nightblades), and light (Templars).

    To give an example of how this could work, take that ability for to blind/distract enemies and get a brief speed boost to escape. For a DK, maybe it roils the water to osbcure the enemy view while doing a small AoE in the affected sphere. For a Nightblade, maybe it is like the octopus with inky darkness as well as adding a small snare. For the Sorc, a small stun with blurry vision. For the Templar, a refracting light that increases enemy miss chance.

    The gear you have now would still work, though with potential movement penalties. So while there aren't as many things to slot on your bars underwater (which makes sense), there is still diversity of bars and builds available. As mentioned, consumables like Potions of Waterbreathing could be added as well or perhaps new gear to extend the air meter (a one piece bonus from a new 2-piece set maybe to offer this). Thus while you can't completely ignore your air meter, it isn't a constant burden.

    A combat system like the one sketched out in rough detail here gives players something new but not burdensome. No need to put on special gear or manually change bars. When you dive your underwater bars are automatically swapped to just like that. Underwater combat strategy would be a little different than land combat strategy, but it would also be fluid and intuitive. If a new zone had PvP and diving available, the map could be designed to let players switch back and forth. Maybe you dive underwater to get away but someone dives in after you. Maybe you dive to hide (players underwater would not be visible to those on the surface). Lots of possibilities to play with. For PvE, areas with diving could add a whole new set of possibilities for delves, world bosses, public dungeons, and group dungeons. There would be plenty of new content that could be designed could be anywhere from 10% to 100% underwater.

    Better With ESO
    I don't know much about other MMOs so I looked up underwater content in other games...

    Archeage: special diving gear, video of diving/exploring/fighting trash mobs/treasure chest


    Guild Wars 2: special gear upon diving, exploring underwater, no breath bar


    Rift: underwater questing and combat, no breath bar


    Then I imagined them with ESO level/style graphics and a clean UI, a nice player-made underwater add-on, a breath bar that isn't an all-consuming worry but that you can't ignore, and the combat system outlined in the previous section. I pictured this superior version of underwater content in a PvP-enabled zone, and as part of or the whole of a delve, a world boss, a public dungeon, or a group dungeon. And it... was... *awesome*.

    At the moment underwater content for ESO is the longest of longshots, but it would be truly amazing if done well. If you know any player (or dev :wink: ) that should be tagged in this, feel free to add them. Thanks for reading.






    yes please!!!


    and houses like this mod for Skyrim pls!!! :smiley:


    Darkwater Den - Argonian themed home
    http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/52630/?
    *********************************************************************************************************************************************
    Haishi Daikodarajen, Redguard, Stamina Dragonknight, CPs around 600, Damage dealer, Huntress of Hircine
    ** Her story (click here)**

    **Her image - click here**
    ""It's one thing to see your past from present memory. It is entirely another to step through the Dragon and be yourself remembering the present in the past as the future."
    - Karstine Zeterra (2E)


    **********************************************************************************************************************************************
    Maoimii Da, Khajiit Magicka Nightblade, CPs around 600, master enchanter, damage dealer, elder vampire shade of death
    ** Her story (click here)**
    **Her image - click here**
    "May you walk on warm sands!
    Maoimii


    meowz!!



    ****************************************************************************************************************************************************
    PC, EU

    **Ideas for making this game even more fun: Click here

  • tinythinker
    tinythinker
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    Iccotak wrote: »
    The amount of tile sets and world building that would go into this would be very big.
    Not saying it shouldn't be done but that it is going to be a large undertaking.

    Best to implement something like this with a DLC. and apply it to all zones

    Also why make underwater combat a separate skill?
    Just make basic mouse attacks available. Don't create extremely dangerous enemies in the water.

    A whole other combat system for water is just going to be a complicated process.
    Keep it Simple.

    To take full advantage of underwater setting, something between light/heavy attacks and the full range of skill you have on land is optimal. Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler. My original post said to have two or so skill lines, but I forgot that this was never updated on the forums. That evolved into light/heavy attacks, grapple/break free, and five skills. That's it. [I will be editing my OP after this reply, thanks for pointing out the need to do so.]

    You still have the uniqueness factor from #1 your class and #2 a morph. This way, you don't change your skills in the water. You unlock them and fill your bar, like werewolves do. Plus since each class has their own version of each type of ability, such as a snare, an escape, an AoE, it is more about strategy than one class having some over-powered ability.

    Why have even the base five abilities? Well, to let you do more underwater! In PvE it means, as per my original post that there can be partially flooded delves, public dungeons, and group dungeons. World bosses completely or partly underwater. Areas off of a coast or in lakes with treasures to find and mats to collect. New zones for sea-based races like the Sload and Maormer. For PvP flood some spots in Cyro and open up Lake Rumare. Have a Battleground with underwater sections. And so on and so on. To repeat what I wrote back then, don't just make underwater areas a boring novelty, have it be fully integrated into the game (over time, of course).

    Make-A-Friend! Experienced, new, returner? Help keep ESO's community strong ᕙ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ᕗ and add someone new to your friend list ʕ·ᴥ·ʔ

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    Fifth anniversary year for ESO - Share your Best Memories! ◔ ⌣ ◔

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    Support Mudcrab Mode for ESO (\/)!_!(\/)
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