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Missing Skill Point Investigation & Resolution

Community Manager
Hi everyone,

When we launched Update 28 on PC/Mac back in November, some of you ran into an issue where the Soul Trap or the Werewolf Ultimate skills had unmorphed. When attempting to re-morph these skills, they would continually reset and cause you to lose a skill point each time. Each attempt to refund missing skill points in subsequent incremental patches was unsuccessful. As we continued to further investigate the entirety of the issue, we discovered numerous other bugs that were contributing to a much larger and more extensive problem. In this post, we’ll elaborate on the current issues and how we plan to address them.

First, we need to take a step back and look at the skill system itself, which reallocates skill points in two different ways:
  • Respec-ing, which grants a full refund of all points based on system tracking, completely ignoring allocated points
  • Refunding, which measures allocations against expectations, and only returns points that are missing
We introduced Refunding in 2018 when a change to the Werewolf passive Devour removed the purchase requirement, and instead automatically granted the ability when players first acquired the Werewolf skill line. At that time, we did not take measures to refund the point back to players who had already spent a skill point on it.

Fast forward to Update 28 in 2020, when a recent change to the way we count skill point allocations caused an issue where abilities that are automatically granted - but have purchasable morphs - were not correctly counted. This caused those abilities to reset back to their base state without refunding a point. We quickly addressed the issue to prevent players from losing more points, and with it, issued a skill point refund.

After this occurred, we continued to receive complaints that skill points were still not refunded. Upon further investigation, we suspected that some players actually had extra skill points for one reason or another – more than they should, and more than normal play would grant. This means when players lost a skill point, the system did not know to refund that missing point since they had extra points to begin with. To gather more information, we added some logging in an incremental patch to help us identify the players with extra skill points.

This brings us to today where we've identified an issue with the original addition of refunds. Since 2018, it appears that some players were erroneously granted extra skill points based on the number of Champion skills they purchased. Furthermore, our data shows that some players have earned more than 20 extra skill points this way that are unaccounted for by the refund system. The more Champion Points someone had, the more likely they were to encounter this issue. But to be clear, these are skill points that these players should not have been able to earn, and that are not obtainable by players through normal gameplay means.

To correct this issue and return us to a place where we can accurately give refunds when needed, we will push a full respec for skills and Champion Points to all players in Update 29. When that happens, all extra skill points should be removed from the game and all players will have access to the same amount of earnable skill points, as is intended. The amount of extraneous skill points we remove will range from 0 all the way up to 25, depending on skill allocation when these refunds were performed. We are taking additional steps to prepare for the future including improved logging for refunds, converting our refund process to match the respec process, and better precautions surrounding how we change existing skills.

We understand these actions may be pretty disruptive to your builds; to extend our apologies for all these issues, we’ll be offering a free Ambersheen Vale Fawn pet and free respecs for all players at the launch of Update 29.

We hope this gives some insight into this issue and the related investigation we’ve been tackling since Update 28. Thank you, and we appreciate your patience and understanding while we correct these issues.
Gina Bruno
ESO Community Manager
Dev Tracker | Service Alerts | ESO Twitter | My Twitter
Staff Post
  • Maythor
    Will this address the fact that I have a character that cannot morph my werewolf ultimate, nor actually select to take any of the werewolf skills despite having been a werewolf for a good while and having spare skill points?
    Edited by Maythor on January 12, 2021 4:41PM
  • BisDasBlutGefriert
    taking screenshots and writing it down (so it will be easier to re-create) ?

    Excellent idea actually!!! Thanks! 😁👍🏻

    Although, I think I'll use my phone to snap pics. That way I won't have to keep jumping between pics and game over und over. Phone in left hand, mouse in right hand.
    Edited by BisDasBlutGefriert on January 12, 2021 5:01PM
    ~There’s a positive in every negative. Sometimes the positive is harder to find than other times, but there is ALWAYS one there~
  • Araneae6537
    Thank you for the information! :)

    Do we know when Update 29 is scheduled for or approximately when it will be?
  • relentless_turnip
    @ZOS_GinaBruno apologies, I am still a little confused. Does this mean I will need to replace all my.skill points on all of my characters? I don't mind I am just after clarification 👍
    "It is not over performing... you are under performing!"
    "I heard the bugs got a buff this patch?"
  • ZOS_GinaBruno
    Community Manager
    @ZOS_GinaBruno apologies, I am still a little confused. Does this mean I will need to replace all my.skill points on all of my characters? I don't mind I am just after clarification 👍

    Correct, once Update 29 launches (we haven't announced a date for this yet, but figure it'll be in Q1).
    Gina Bruno
    ESO Community Manager
    Dev Tracker | Service Alerts | ESO Twitter | My Twitter
    Staff Post
  • SimonThesis
    Soul Shriven
    Thank you for the clarification above!

    What does "players were erroneously granted extra skill points based on the number of Champion skills they purchased" mean? Do you mean champion skills purchased from the crown store?

    Edited by SimonThesis on January 12, 2021 5:28PM
    PC NA AD
    Theodyr Theseus
    Former Emperor of Gray Host
  • Rehdaun
    Thank you for the transparent and honest update @ZOS_GinaBruno. This is the transparency that we all want and have been asking for. That's one of two huge bugs that were introduced in U28 and I'm glad it's been identified and will be hopefully fixed in U29.

    Now how about the second game-breaking bug? The hangs, crashes and bluescreens? Referenced here in what you call your "official update post":
    Last update was on 1/4/2021 by @ZOS_SarahHecker. Any more updates or insight on that bug?
  • Maythor
    Considering the way mundus' were lost and relost last time they tweaked them, my faith that this will work out this time is pretty battered.

    I'll take screenshots of characters to try and work out if I have the correct skill points returned, but in truth there is nothing we can really do .. just accept what they give us. I don't know for sure how many skill points I should have and will have to accept how many they end up giving me, since finding any sort of fix or resolution to these sorts of issues takes years (or not at all).
  • tony5tone
    Soul Shriven
    How about fixing the Werewolf Pounce...that is still horribly broken and simply doesn't work 9/10 times. It legit has made the Werewolf build, not fun anymore when ya try to pounce and just...stand there.

    Losing one skill point, fine...hey, life goes on. Whether or not it gets fixed and refunded, life goes on for me. Having once again to reattain the skills, then those skills NOT working once reattained...AGAIN, keep the pet...fix the character FULLY. That would make folks far happier.
  • FatherDelve
    Great Idea, if, yes if there is not always that big fear in the room that something is going horrible wrong.
    But let me believe this time everything is going fine, and we wont have crashes, we wont missing CP points, skillpoints etc at the end.
  • Pyr0xyrecuprotite
    We're getting an announcement about the upcoming DLC and year-long storyline on January 21. Zos USUALLY finishes announcements of this sort by saying the next update will be put on to PTS on the following Monday (January 25). We normally expect six weeks of the new update on PTS (although based on the year-end letter, it's possible that they might extend this a bit to ensure better pre-release quality control), which gives us an expected release date somewhere around March 8 (plus or minus a week).

    Screenshots prior to rebuilding all your characters (ugh... so many now!) are a good idea.

    Re the underlying number of skillpoints though, I think there are addons on PC that keep track of which skillpoints are achieved and which are still earnable (plus where and how). If the characters with "excess" skill points are on PC, I'm curious what the addon would show. (Doesn't help if this issue only applies on consoles.) There should be SOMETHING that ZoS can learn from this if they work with the addons...
  • Izanagi.Xiiib16_ESO
    NA ~ Izanerys: Dracarys (Videos | Dracast Podcast)
    EU ~ Izanagi: Roleplay Circle (AOE Rats/ Zerg Squad) / Banana Squad
  • Pixative
    10/10 communication here and plenty of warning so I can go through and screenshot what I had on each char. Sounds like a complicated situation but this is the best way to handle it, and I appreciate that.
    Whoa relax a bit there my dude. I don't think it's going to be nearly as bad as all that, let alone on taking months to recover from. I do NOT envy you having to put the points back into 35 characters though, that's ruff :D
    At least they are giving us a lot of time to prepare. Usually when an mmo figures out they made a mistake that gave people stuff they weren't supposed to have, they drop a hotfix with no warning.
  • Varana
    How exactly would those excess skill points have been awarded?
    I mean, I certainly don't keep track of how many spare SP I have on each character every time - so it could be that one day, I had 3 free SP, and after a few CP levelups, I'd have 4 skill points?
    Does this affect every character, even those under level 50, for players with higher CP? Is every character affected in the same way, or could one character have zero excess SP and another one more than that?
    Also, seconding that question about Urichs Skill Point Finder addon.
  • DewiMorgan
    prof_doom wrote: »
    Possibly dumb question, but if this full respec sets us all back to zero (which I can't quite tell if that is what's going to happen), what's that going to ongoing research if the various research passives get set back to zero?

    Good question.

    I assume the timers will switch to max time until we re-spend the points... but for the extra training slots, do they cancel (so we need to find another training item?), or just freeze until re-unlocked again?

    If it's the former, if the training items in those slots are "forgotten", then that could be VERY pricey for people like my wife, who's currently training all her alts on nirnhoned and triune! :D

    Definitely something for us to test on PTS, if there's a way to test it, there.
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