The Elder Scrolls Online » Discussions

Unlocking Skill Lines

  • May 24

    So as anyone that has either read the patch notes or created a new character following the Morrowind Patch/Early Access on PC should be aware of the change to how skill lines are unlocked in ESO. While in the past we had access to pretty much every skill line other then the guild ones right from the get go, now we have to unlock them through using the skill.

    From the Patch Notes:

    Skill Line Unlocking
    Newly-created characters will now have all skill lines hidden except for the 3 from their class, the goal being to improve a new player’s experience by reducing the initial number of skill line choices to a more manageable number.

    Skill lines will now unlock when your character takes specific actions.

    - Armor skill lines unlock when you equip 3 pieces of a given armor type (light/medium/heavy).

    - Weapon skill lines unlock when you get a killing blow while the weapon is equipped.

    - Crafting skill lines are unlocked when you visit the appropriate crafting station.

    - Your racial skill line unlocks at level 5.

    - The AvA skill lines now unlock when you gain Alliance Points.

    - Other skill lines will continue to unlock as they did previously, such as the Mages Guild skill line when you join the guild.

    We’ve also added some new UI features to help identify new skill lines:

    - When a skill line is added to the character, an exclamation mark will be displayed next to the Skills window.

    - Skill lines granted through quests will now display in the quest dialogue.

    - A message stating “New skill line gained” now includes an icon for the skill line.

    Note: This feature only applies to newly created characters; all existing characters will be unaffected.

     (Stupid discussion not displaying dot points properly *Shakes fist in air*)

    The reasoning behind this change I've highlighted in red, now I can understand where ZOS is coming from, but from what I've seen it hasn't worked how they intended. Since the update I've witnessed a number of players confused by the lack of skills available to them in the menu and not just new players drawn in by Morrowind but also players returning after taking a break from the game (admittedly there was only one of those).

    And yes there is a tutorial message in the game advicing people of this change, but after having seen it myself this message is relegated to a small box that appears in the lower right hand corner of the screen and can be missed, which I'm assuming is what happened to the players I mentioned above.

    So my question is this, what are your thoughts on this change?

    Personally at the very least I don't think it was well implemented, instead of having the skill lines not be visible at all they could have just had them greyed out so that new players were aware of the other skills, at the most I think it was a stupid decision that is just going to confuse people more then it will make it easier for them to understand the skills.

  • Member
    May 25

    Interesting, thanks for the info. Hard to have concrete thoughts without experiencing it first hand, which sucks. Thanks for that reminder :P

    Honestly, though, could an experienced player use it as an opportunity for RP? Just thinking that having these skill lines pop up when appropriate could actually help immersion and player to character connection. So perhaps confusing for newbies, but a win for those who like immersion etc...?


  • May 25

    Don't worry I keep rubbing salt into that wound :P

    It certainly could work out well for an experienced player who is looking for that immersion, but that's the problem, the reason they give for it is to improve the experience for new players. What part of being confused by only having a handful of the available skills is an improved experience?

  • Member
    May 26

    I'm actually for this change. My personal feeling is that discovery should be part of the experience, and when I created my Warden I liked the less cluttered UI of not having every skill line there. If I were a new player, yeah I might feel differently. But I think overall I'm behind this. Maybe down the line I'll feel differently, but I thought it was sort of refreshing. That sort of thing makes me think more carefully and be more deliberate when creating a character.

    Not sure how I feel about the racial skill lines unlocking at level 5, but it's low enough that it doesn't bother me all that much. They might have figured that for brand new players by then they'll understand how passves work and maybe that's why. Seems sort of random though. 

  • Member
    May 26

    As a long-time ESO player (I was a beta tester), it's hard to comment since I know the skills lines quite well. But, a common complaint that I hear from newer players is that they often feel overwhelmed by all the choices. This usually results in the new player using mismatched skills, i.e., a destruction staff ability on one bar and dual wielding on another bar. As much as ESO loves to tout itself as a "play as you want" game, hybrid builds are very difficult to pull off. They simply lack the power needed to complete group-level content. That said, ESO has made several changes over the last few patches that seem to be taking the game in a solo-player friendly direction, which would naturally allow for more build diversity. 

    On the other hand I do agree with Edana on the RP aspect of discovery. "Hey, I just used a 2hander and discovered a whole skill line!"

    As for racial skill lines opening up at level 5, I think the reasoning is that class, armor, and weapon skills/passives are a bit more important in the beginning. But, I'm just guessing.