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ESO in 2017

Tags: #ESO 
  • Member
    February 3

    The following was taken from the official Elder Scrolls Online page HERE

    Welcome to a new year in The Elder Scrolls Online! We had a great year in 2016. Our user base is larger than it was at this point last year, and is thriving. There are more adventures in Tamriel and more freedom in how you choose to explore them than ever.

    Now it is time to look ahead to 2017. All of you are well aware that we have already announced Morrowind, the next Chapter in ESO, which will be launching in June - but we will be also continuing to add many other great things to the game. You can expect to see more of the standard DLC you are accustomed to, including our regular commitment to upgrading, fixing, and providing quality of life additions and fixes for the game, and much more.

    Thank you all for being part of the ESO community. We have come a long way together – but the journey is just beginning, and it is going to be a lot of fun enjoying the ride together.

    This year will feature four major events:

    1. Homestead, our player housing DLC, in February

    2. ESO: Morrowind, our first Chapter release, in June

    3. A dungeon-based DLC in the third quarter

    4. A content-based DLC in the fourth quarter

    We will – of course – provide a base patch with each of these launches that will provide quality of life fixes, updates, balance changes, and other items. For more on each of these events, keep reading.

    Homestead

    I want to be sure that the awesomeness that is Homestead – the ESO player housing system – doesn't get lost in the excitement about Morrowind. Homestead is amazingly fun and will provide something that many ESO players have long requested: a piece of Tamriel to call their own. Homestead is launching in just a few days, and is by far the largest single system that we have designed and implemented for the game since launch. It is fun, provides endless opportunities for crafting, designing, and building, and we will be adding new items and homes periodically.

    Introducing Chapters

    As all of you long time players know, we have never been shy about evolving ESO over time by introducing new concepts, new designs, and doing what we need to do to make sure that ESO remains awesome and relevant. So, in 2017, we are going to make a major addition to the way content is delivered to you.

    In the past, we've released four major updates per year, most with an associated DLC. This has produced great DLC like Orsinium, Thieves Guild, and Dark Brotherhood for players in a regular cadence, and has been the perfect way to update the game with larger changes like One Tamriel. This cadence is perfect for smaller additions, but we've found that this approach is so aggressive that it hamstrings us a bit when it comes to introducing updates larger than DLC – that is, updates that include new content as well as features like system changes, new abilities, and new classes. This is why we are evolving to deliver some updates as “Chapters," with the target of having one Chapter per year.

    In any other game of this type, these would be called “expansions" – but ESO is a game unlike any other. Because ESO is not level-based, Chapters don't fit the general definition of an “expansion," which typically, in MMO-speak, means it is aimed only at existing (and usually high level) players. Chapters in ESO are different. Each ESO Chapter will feature a self-contained story and zone that can be experienced by itself without needing to travel out to the main game. Our content is never level-gated, which means you can play Chapters with an existing character, or a completely new one.

    Expect ESO Chapters to introduce things like new game systems, new classes, and a ton of new content. For example, our new Chapter, ESO: Morrowind, contains a new class (the Warden), small-scale PvP Battlegrounds, and of course, a completely new zone to explore.

    Each Chapter will be available at retail complete with new box art and packaging. It will contain the Chapter and will include the original game. All standard DLC will still be purchased from the Crown Store or be available to ESO Plus members as part of the subscription, but new Chapter content is available only via retail (including digital retail) game or upgrade purchase if you already own ESO.

     

    A new content Cadence

    Because we will be regularly introducing Chapters to ESO, we are going to make a small revision to our content delivery cadence, starting this year. We will continue to ship quarterly updates to the game – each with a base patch that has all the balance, quality of life, and bug fixes that you have come to expect. Additionally, we'll have a DLC in the first quarter of each year, a Chapter in the second quarter, a dungeon-based DLC in the third quarter, and a DLC in the 4th quarter.

     

    Morrowind: ESO's next Chapter

    As you can tell from the announcement, ESO: Morrowind is a big deal. It is our first retail launch in a while, it contains a LOT of content, and has two major new additions to the game: the Warden class, and small-group PvP Battlegrounds.

    Because Elder Scrolls Online is not level-gated, it gives us the chance to do something different from any other online game of this type. Chapters are for more than just long-time or hardcore players of the game – Chapters are designed for ALL players of the game. As I've said many times before, we have a huge variety of players in Elder Scrolls Online. Many play every day and have invested thousands of hours in the game. Some play the game once a month, some play casually with their friends and families when they have time. And some just want to play through the storylines of the game as they would any other Elder Scrolls title and then wait for the next one. With our new Chapter content, all of these will be supported.

    This means a new player will experience the Chapter as a 30-hour game, but with a hundreds-of-hours-of-content massive Online RPG to experience afterwards. To an existing player who hasn't played in a while, it's a new chance to upgrade to the current Chapter, log in and either create a new character to start fresh, or just play with an older character. For our many regular players of the game, you can just follow the quest to start the Chapter with your existing character (or create a new one) and go from there.

    Battlegrounds and Cyrodiil

    We are very excited to offer new PvP possibilities with the introduction of 4v4v4 small-scale Battlegrounds in Morrowind. However, just because we are introducing Battlegrounds with Morrowind doesn't mean we are walking away from Cyrodiil. We consider open-world PvP to be separate from small-scale PvP, and we want to be sure that we offer - and fully support - both.

    As for Cyrodiil: we know that performance (both server and client) is often not up to par, to put it mildly. These problems particularly plague Champion-ranked Campaigns and, coupled with some of the balance issues and bugs that are still present, result in an often-frustrating experience for some players. We will be addressing this in 2017 – from Champion System performance to class/armor balance to client/server performance in large battles. This is a priority for us, but as these issues are extremely complex, we will be re-thinking how some of the systems in the game interact with each other; changes of this magnitude cannot happen quickly. We are not taking this lightly – change needs to happen. We will have lots more information on Cyrodiil balance and fixes shortly, but right now, we are focusing on investigating and testing different options.

     

    After Morrowind

    I've devoted a lot of space here to discuss our new content delivery strategy and how Morrowind will work. But we're doing a lot more than that – we'll have our dungeon-based DLC in Q3 and a content-based DLC in Q4. As usual, we will be selling them a la carte in the Crown Store and they will be available to ESO Plus members. We will also delve deep into Cyrodiil performance issues and provide much needed relief. And each update will come with a base patch full of bug fixes, quality of life updates, and balance changes. We'll release much more information about all of these later in the year.

     

    As always, thank you so much for your continued passion and support! See you in Tamriel.

  • February 3

    :D 

    Not gonna lie, I am stoked about player housing even if I can't store anything... yet. 

  • Member
    February 3

    Ok, so. Morrowind. Man, that is big, big, big.

    Orsinium added so much to Lore. So much that the Lorc is still finding stuff no other site has even explored. Dunmer lore is precious and so we need screencaps of every new book, every new conversation, every new fact or legend. Like Overhate is doing now in pics, I wanna get TV to be the number one ESO Morrowind Lore resource by any means we have at our disposal.

    To say I am hyped is an understatement. This is like a puffer from a dozen sexy Dunmer ladies :D

  • Member
    April 19

    People seem to be going a little crazy over on the official forums and it seems that Deltia, a massive ESO youtuber, is very vocal in his disapproval of the patch notes. The word "nerf" is coming up a lot and I can't say I completely understand it all as like as not it won't effect me in any way, but I just want to make sure our guys here are cool. Do these changes have anyone here seeing red?

  • Member
    April 19

    Phil said:

    People seem to be going a little crazy over on the official forums and it seems that Deltia, a massive ESO youtuber, is very vocal in his disapproval of the patch notes. The word "nerf" is coming up a lot and I can't say I completely understand it all as like as not it won't effect me at all, but I just want to make sure our guys here are cool. Do these changes have anyone here seeing red?

    Everything is good. Pat and I were just discussing earlier about his rants and live stream, he's really just overreacting. While the Warden is likely to be slightly too powerful in order to build up the hype, it'll inevitably get the nerf in the patch after Morrowind. 

  • Member
    April 19

    @Phil

    Okay a bit of background. With each new DLC, expansion, etc., ZOS (as with other MMOs) introduces certain changes to the existing classes. These changes are in response to player feedback but are also in keeping with the overall direction that the gaming company wants to take.

    Yesterday, ZOS introduced the patch notes for changes in the upcoming Morrowind expansion. These patches introduced the Warden class as well as buffs and nerfs to passive and active abilities to the existing classes. I'll be honest, there were a lot of changes: some good, some great, and some that concern me a bit. 

    However, the patch notes changes are only proposed and are subject to change. The changes to the game are placed on the PTS (Public Test Server - PC only) to be tested by the players. The players then have a forum in which they can tell ZOS if some of the changes are overtuned, underwhelming, or simply broken. Based on the feedback, ZOS the releases a version 2 of the patch notes. This goes back and forth for about 2 months until the final changes are released on the live servers. ZOS is usually pretty good about responding to feedback, but they are in no way obligated to make any revisions to their proposed patch notes based on player feedback. I like to think of it as triage. ZOS has nonnegotiable changes (which are set in stone regardless of feedbacK) and malleable changes.

    The good and great proposed changes: ESO's huge problem since 1T revolves around sustaining resources in combat. In fact, it is very possible to have infinite sustain. I can literally build my magicka sorc around total damage because I can (generally) not worry about runnimg out of magicka. Think about my sorcerer video. There is no way I should be able to solo a group dungeon boss like I did. I should have been dry on resources a quarter of the way through that fight. It was a group boss, after all. IMO, this is broken and unbalanced. ZOS took out the axe and cut back much of what was creating this problem, such as passive and active abilities, champion points, etc.

    The changes that concern me: I'll be honest, Templar healers took a hit. First, there's a passive ability called Major Mending, which increases the amount of healing you do while it's active. Templars currently can have a 100% uptime on major mending, which actually makes a healer's job a cake-walk and also helps the Templar damage-dealers (they don't have to always be worried about their own health). Okay, a 100% uptime is not necessarily a good thing. The problem is that they gave it to the Warden (who won't have 100% uptime), and replaced it with minor mending. Major mending has always been a classic Templar ability. Second, the penulatimate healing ability, Breath of Life, is a powerful, expensive, omni-directional smart-heal. It is designed as an emergency healing ability that will always automatically target the lowest health ally in the group. ZOS nerfed it to be only uni-directional, in a 180 degree cone in front of the Templar. This places great stress on a group healer (especially in Trials) who, despite having to be mindful of many things, now has to ensure that the lowest health ally is directly in front of him/her. Next, Sorcerers were untouched at all. In my opinion, sorcerers were already too OP. Sustain was hit, passives were hit, stamina costs were hit, but sorcerers remained the same. Further, the Warden received a lot of what was taken from the other classes. Since the Warden only comes with the Morrowind expansion, people are griping that this is a clear pay-to-win situation (I do not agree and think the class is way overhyped).

    In short: ability costs remained the same, sustain will be a new concern (which indirectly effects stamina classes as those abilities tend to cost more), Templars took a big hit, and sorcerers are still king.

    Let me make clear on my position: I AM NOT ANGRY OR QUITTING THE GAME.

    1) This is only the first round of proposed changes. ZOS may still respond to feedback and adjust their changes accordingly.

    2) Every patch note change comes with a chorus of "The Sky is Falling." It hasn't fallen yet. On the contrary, the game population is growing. It's best to ignore the mob mentality and provide ZOS with good feedback.

    3) Deltia is acting like a spoiled man-child. He'd never admit it but his temper tantrum is due to the fact that his all-time favorite class is the Templar, and his all-time favorite group role is the healer. Need I say more?

    4) The Warden is a way over-hyped class. The class contains no burst damage potential (at least not like other classes). It does not have the tanking utility as a Dragonknight. I predict that within 2 months people will start griping that the Warden will need a buff. Don't misunderstand me, it's a great class with lots of potential as a solo hybrid damage dealer or a group support healer, and it will most likely be one of the most surviviable, newbie-friendly class. However, I still believe that a mSorc, mDK, and mPlar will outclass it in terms of raw damage output. 

    5) Builds will adapt to the final changes. Period. It always has and it always will. 

     

    Anyway, I can't speak for anyone else, but these are my thoughts on the matter.

  • Member
    April 19
    I agree completely, Patriarch. Granted, I'm not nearly as knowledgeable as you, but from what I know I think everything will work out. Especially after reading the points you brought up.
  • Member
    April 19

    Cool, it's good to know that none of you are rage quitting over this :) Thanks for all the detail, Patriarch, awesome reply. From what you're saying it looks like the sorcerer will remain incredibly powerful, sort of defeating the need for any other roles - why play a tanky DK when a Sorc can do it better? :D That you are concerned about the Templar is interesting, do you think that if the patch remains unchanged that we will see less people playing them?

    I mean, I know that the Warden will get some attention and a lot will be curious to experience that, but when things settle down again what would be your prediction? And what role does a Warden actually bring to a party, in the traditional sense? TES has always been about the three, the Enantiomorph, the Warrior, the Thief, and The Mage. From a metaphysics pov, I struggle to see who the fourth is, and from a gameplay pov, what would a Warden do that another class can't? 

  • Member
    April 19

    Phil said:

    Cool, it's good to know that none of you are rage quitting over this :) Thanks for all the detail, Patriarch, awesome reply. From what you're saying it looks like the sorcerer will remain incredibly powerful, sort of defeating the need for any other roles - why play a tanky DK when a Sorc can do it better? :D That you are concerned about the Templar is interesting, do you think that if the patch remains unchanged that we will see less people playing them?

    I mean, I know that the Warden will get some attention and a lot will be curious to experience that, but when things settle down again what would be your prediction? And what role does a Warden actually bring to a party, in the traditional sense? TES has always been about the three, the Enantiomorph, the Warrior, the Thief, and The Mage. From a metaphysics pov, I struggle to see who the fourth is, and from a gameplay pov, what would a Warden do that another class can't? 

    A sorc will only bring strong DPS, nothing else. It cannot tank very well and it's healing ability is limited.

    A Templar brings lots of utility in addition to healing. When the dust settles, the Templar will still be the go-to healer. 

    As for metaphysics, I'd have to leave that to the loremasters, but I do see the problem. The Warden can easily "morph" between the mage (healer) and the warrior (DPS).

     

  • Member
    April 21

    Kevduit, a YouTube/Streamer who provides helpful information through comedic videos, accurately summarizes how I feel about these patch notes: