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Update 24 Combat Preview

ZOS_BrianWheeler
ZOS_BrianWheeler
Lead PvP Designer
Hey gang!

With Update 24 rapidly approaching, we want to give everyone an idea of the changes in store for combat and abilities. There will of course be highly detailed patch notes when the PTS hits with developer comments, but this post covers the broader themes from the update.

The combat changes in Update 24 are more narrow in focus than those we made with the ability audit in Update 22 and 23. Out of that audit came a few things laying under rocks for a while that came to surface, which we are addressing in Update 24 (mainly Damage over Time abilities). We are also looking to address feedback regarding Wardens, Sorcerers, and Dragonknights specifically in the realm of identity.

First off, let’s talk about Damage over Time (DoT) abilities. In Update 23, we made changes to “over time” abilities to make them more competitive and align to a numerical standard. This resulted in more variety in builds compared to Update 22. However, it’s swung the pendulum a bit too far in the other direction. As we’ve stated before, our audit pass doesn’t mean our numbers are engraved in stone, and this is a case where we missed the mark and are looking to correct that. In Update 24, we will be pulling back on the power of Damage over Time abilities, but not Heal over Time abilities. This will reign in some of the damage we’re seeing in PVP, but should not inhibit the completion of trials, dungeons, and arenas. We’ve also adjusted our standards of Area of Effect-based DoTs to once again do similar damage to single target counterparts, but with a much greater cost.

With the Necromancer, we achieved a very clear identity throughout their class kit. You all have expressed strong desires for other classes to get updates to match that identity and we are listening! In Update 24 we are giving Dragonknights, Wardens, and Sorcerers several updates to reinforce class identity, and in some cases, grant new gameplay options. We do plan on having a more in-depth pass at all classes in the future, but for now, we wanted to make a few changes to abilities that didn’t have enough function to their kit beyond “this ability just does damage”. Ultimately, we want to make sure class abilities have good usage cases and bring something extra. For example, Warden’s Dive ability was either Magicka or Stamina based, and that was it. We’re adding a secondary effect of putting enemies off balance when hitting enemies further than 12 meters away. It’s these types of adjustments we’re looking to add to classes as a whole to bring more identity and functionality without heavy reliance on skill lines outside of their class kit.

Lastly in Update 24, we are adding several quality of life additions. Major and Minor buffs will now display what they actually do instead of just displaying their name in your character sheet or on your gear. Sprint and Mount Sprint are now handled by the server more efficiently. You will notice that your stamina bar will drain gradually instead of in chunks, and functionality will remain basically the same; we lowered the cost of Sprint, and fixed an old bug where you could sprint infinitely after mounting. These changes are part of a larger effort to reduce the amount of information the ability system has to handle in combat. We are looking to do more passes like this to Block, Roll Dodge and Sneak in the future.

That wraps up the bigger picture of changes coming in Update 24! Remember, this post is not all encompassing and along with all of the above, there will be many bug fixes which will be in full detail in the patch notes.
Wheeler
ESO PVP Lead & Combat Lead
Staff Post
  • BohnT2
    BohnT2
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    I think it's a bad idea to refuse any changes to healing over time from the get go.

    We might run into a situation where we go back to a too high Time to kill which might make it impossible for certain specs to secure kills due to hots healing for more than they can dish out
  • SirAxen
    SirAxen
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    Czekoludek wrote: »
    So it's gonna be another patch with weak, unintresting magblades? **** it, I'm out.

    Talk about putting the cart before the horse.
  • crazywolfpusher
    crazywolfpusher
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    Oh btw, in those quality of life changes i would like to see Critical Resistance % values, same thing with armor and penetration. That would be very helpful to understand what's going on with those numbers. Also maybe somewhere to check the cost of sprint dodge and block.
  • bilbobaggins30
    bilbobaggins30
    Soul Shriven
    I'm actually stoked for this update! Now, if we could tune the Ability Altering Weapons to give rise to more choices in PvE than just the vMA weapons (competitive DPS wise), that would be my dream! However, classes need more identity, and for that, I'm thankful of that.

    This alone makes me excited:
    "We’ve also adjusted our standards of Area of Effect-based DoTs to once again do similar damage to single target counterparts, but with a much greater cost."

    Yes, AoE should cost more than Single Target, that is fair. The AoE nerfs were unjustified, until you said you would buff them in exchange for a higher cost. Fair, I am dealing damage to more than 1 target, it should cost more resources.

  • MasterSpatula
    MasterSpatula
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    You have no idea how much better about the game it makes me feel just to read the following words:
    this is a case where we missed the mark and are looking to correct that.

    However:
    With the Necromancer, we achieved a very clear identity throughout their class kit. You all have expressed strong desires for other classes to get updates to match that identity and we are listening! In Update 24 we are giving Dragonknights, Wardens, and Sorcerers several updates to reinforce class identity, and in some cases, grant new gameplay options. We do plan on having a more in-depth pass at all classes in the future, but for now, we wanted to make a few changes to abilities that didn’t have enough function to their kit beyond “this ability just does damage”. Ultimately, we want to make sure class abilities have good usage cases and bring something extra. For example, Warden’s Dive ability was either Magicka or Stamina based, and that was it. We’re adding a secondary effect of putting enemies off balance when hitting enemies further than 12 meters away. It’s these types of adjustments we’re looking to add to classes as a whole to bring more identity and functionality without heavy reliance on skill lines outside of their class kit.

    I'm really begging you not to try to retrofit the Base Game classes with the 1 skill line for damage, 1 skill line for heals, 1 skill line for tanking paradigm. I'm hoping this isn't your plan, but in case it is, I want to remind you that the classes were designed around SnB and Resto as the primary ways to play the support roles with a few class abilities sprinkled in to supplement those weapon skills. The skills that give the classes their distinctions give us, your players, joy. They are part of the story of our characters. Keeping us attached to the characters we've grown to love should be one of your most vital goals.

    I'm not saying there's no wiggle room to change some abilities, but the class lines should largely remain in the heterogenous way they were designed. Class skills that provide essential utility and class identity (like Power Surge) should not be shifted into a different role. If an ability is to be radically changed to a fundamentally different role, it should be one that's underperforming and is underused. Which isn't to argue against balancing (nerfing) overperforming skills. But you should probably avoid straight-up taking away things that give your players joy.

    The full skill lines simply weren't built to service individual roles in the MMO Trinity and shouldn't be refit for them. Doing so would not serve the goal of strengthening the flavor of each class.
    "A probable impossibility is preferable to an improbable possibility." - Aristotle
  • Revokus
    Revokus
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    @ZOS_BrianWheeler What about Blastbones ? and other issues with the Necromancer class in pvp ?
    Edited by Revokus on September 5, 2019 12:00AM
    Playing since January 23, 2016
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