Today’s biggest announcement of the release date for The Elder Scrolls Online (April 4, 2014 for those of you who weren’t paying attention) was accompanied by the release of an epic new video from ZeniMaxacting as a teaser for the PvP component of ESO‘s endgame. The “War In Cyrodiil” trailer showcases some epic footage of player vs. player combat, and gives fans a rough idea of what they can expect in Cyrodiil. Without further ado, enjoy the trailer!
What did you think about the PvP teaser trailer? Does it get your blood pumping for the PvP aspect of ESO? Are you convinced that Cyrodiil will be a gameplay angle that you will enjoy, or will you need to try it out for yourself first? Will this be the first PvP experience for any players, and if so what are your hopes and fears for how it will feel in-game? For those of you who are veterans of PvP in a lot of MMOs, how do you think ESO will stack up to some of your most memorable past experiences? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!
Early this morning, to the great excitement of its fans, ZeniMax announced the release dates for its upcoming title The Elder Scrolls Online. To get right to the point, PC and Mac will see the game on April 4th, 2014 (or 4.4.14), with it later coming to PS4 and Xbox One sometime in June, 2014. This split release date seems to be a confirmation of their earlier promise that the game had not and would not see its release date pushed back to accommodate the console port.
In the announcement, Matt Firor also wrote of his gratitude towards the fan base, specifically mentioning an enormous growth in the number of beta applicants -300,000 in November, which took the total number to approximately 4 million- as an indicator of rising interest in ESO worldwide.
Well, there you have it folks. Take off from work, stock up the fridge, and cancel any plans. What do you think about the release date announcement? Are you surprised that the consoles are releasing slightly later? Will the difference in release dates change your platform decision at all? Let us know all about it in the comment section below!
Today ZeniMax Online released another featured video in their continued series that showcases the major features of the game. This installment focuses on some of the mechanics of character advancement, including leveling up, advancing attributes, spending skill points, and morphing abilities. Check out the five minute long video for lots of great new gameplay footage including some interesting screenshots of the character UI panels in The Elder Scrolls Online.
What do you think, is the potential for their more open-ended advancement system an evolution for the MMO genre? What do you think will be the most important choices the player will face in advancing his or her character? Have you made up your mind yet what race and class you are going to play, or will that decision depend on having all the information about abilities? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!
Whats up Foundry lurkers, Phazius here and I’m back to continue our “Skill Overview” series by revisiting the Nightblade. We pretty extensively previewed the class in our
href="http://tamrielfoundry.com/2013/09/pax-skill-overview/" >coverage after PAX Prime, so some of this information will not be new, but in order to give the Nightblade class a consistent treatment with our other articles, we wanted to be sure to give you all a full rundown on all it’s abilities (including the passives which were not reported after PAX). The Nightblade in ESOepitomizes the rogue archetype, but has enough versatility to be appropriate for a wide variety of builds. Traditionally, the Nightblade relies on stealth, subtlety, and dark magic to get in close and deliver devastating single target damage to unsuspecting foes.
The first skill tree the Nightblade has access to, Assassination, focuses on this very strategy, incorporating heavy hitting melee attacks and abilities designed to deliver high melee DPS. Assassination also gives a bit of avoidance, to help the Nightblade stay in the thick of the action for long enough to secure their kill.
[Ultimate] Death Stroke - Deals damage to your target, and reduces their incoming healing. The damage dealt is increased by your Ultimate pool.
[Active] Assassins Blade - Deals moderate damage with a large damage multiplier when used against low health enemies.
[Active] Teleport Strike – Teleport directly to your target, dealing damage and stunning them for a short duration.
[Active] Blur - A medium duration self buff that gives attackers a percentage based miss chance when attacking the Nightblade.
[Active] Mark Target – Place a mark on a high-health target; while marked you deal extra damage to the target. Killing the marked target will heal the Nightblade.
[Active] Haste – Increases the attack speed of normal and power attacks for a moderate duration.
[Passive] Master Assassin – Deal increased damage while stealthed or invisible. Successful sneak attacks stun for longer.
[Passive] Executioner – Killing an enemy with an Assassination ability restores some Magicka.
[Passive] Pressure Points – Increases the Nightblade’s critical strike chance for every Assassination ability on their current hotbar.
[Passive] Hemorrhage – Increases the Nightblade’s bonus critical strike damage for each Assassination ability on their current hotbar.
This seems to be a pretty traditional skill tree for a stealth assasin. Assassin’s Blade is your basic stabbing skill with bonus execute damage against near-death enemies. Teleport Strike is an excellent gap-closer, not only instantly closing the distance to your target, but stunning them in the process. Blur gives the Nightblade some staying power in melee by giving foes a random chance to miss attacks. this will be a super useful skill for tank Nightblades, particularly since this costs Magicka as opposed to the Stamina cost of many other tanking abilities. Mark Target is a great skill for solo or small-group PvP, and the functional nature of this ability may result in Nightblades being the “main assist” of choice in PvP groups. Haste looks more like a option to increase sustained damage-over-time, and will probably be more useful during predictable PvE encounters when the player has an opportunity to stay in melee range for an extended period of time. Death Stroke brings a crucially important healing debuff, and will be a really important tool in the Nightblade’s arsenal for taking down pesky healers. The passive abilities in this tree seem to generally reinforce the assassin theme, giving bonuses for attacking from stealth, killing targets, and stacking Assassination abilities for more burst through critical hits.
Next up, the Shadow line provides some great utility to complement the assassin style. Shadow includes a nice bag of tricks, that can be used strategically to turn the course of a fight in the Nightblades’ favor.
[Ultimate] Consuming Darkness – An AoE snare that renders the Nightblade invisibile. Attacking an enemy removes the invisibility for a short time. Allies can activate the Slip Away synergy, also gaining invisibility.
[Active] Shadow Cloak – Gain invisibility for a short duration.
[Passive] Shadow Barrier – Take less damage after coming out of stealth or invisibility
[Passive] Fortitude – Increase max Health per slotted Shadow ability slotted
[Passive] Dark Veil – Increase duration of Shadow abilities
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class="size-medium wp-image-47890 colorbox-162628" alt="ESO Stealth" src="http://tamrielfoundry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/eso-stealth-450x246.jpg" width="450" height="246" />
class="wp-caption-text">Everyone can stealth, but the Nightblade’s a specialist!
Our PAX article accidentally included the incorrect description for Consuming Darkness, so this error is corrected. The actual effect of the Shadow ultimate is really interesting, from a tactical perspective. It creates an AoE snare and opens the opportunity for group stealth. The synergy could be great for ambushing siege encampments, or as an escape tool allowing small groups to avoid being overrun by roaming zergs. Remember, everyone can stealth in ESO, but Shadow Cloak makes Nightblade the only class with a reliable in-combat stealth. In addition to opening the opportunity for sneak attacks, Shadow Cloak may be effectively used to break line of sight, avoid crowd control, or simply ditch an enemy attacker.
Veiled Strike is the only ability we’ve seen which requires stealth, I wonder if this stun will stack with the base stun duration mentioned in Master Assassin, or if the base stun is really short and this is much longer. Summon Shade looks helpful in PvE as a mitigation skill or in PvP as a distraction. Hopefully the AI on the summoned shade is intelligent enough to avoid breaking crowd control. Path of Darkness seems like a great ability for catching fleeing enemies, or closing quickly on an unsuspecting enemy. Aspect of Terror could be excellent, but it really depends on what “Fear” does in ESO; are they standing in place? are they running? does it break on damage? The Shadow passives provide a lot of elusiveness, survivability, and sustain and should be useful for engaging from stealth.
Siphoning presents an alternative approach to the Assassination tree, rather than overwhelming a foe with burst damage, Siphoning focuses on prolonging fights and wearing your enemies down with DoT’s, crowd control, and self-heals.
[Ultimate] Soul Shred – Deals PBAoE damage and stuns nearby enemies. Initiates the Leeching Strike synergy.
[Active] Strife – Places a DoT on your target which also heals you for the duration.
[Active] Agony – Stuns and DoTs an enemy for a long duration, but the effect is broken by any other damage.
[Active] Cripple – Places a DoT on an enemy which gradually decreases its movement speed, transferring an equal speed bonus to the Nightblade.
[Active] Siphoning Strikes – Sacrifice a portion of your own weapon damage in to restore a portion of your Magicka and Stamina with every hit.
[Active] Drain Power – Debuff the attack power of nearby enemies, transferring a portion of that power to the Nightblade for each affected enemy.
[Passive] Magicka Flood – Increase maximum magicka when you have a Siphoning ability slotted.
[Passive] Soul Siphoner – Increases healing taken by Siphoning abilities
[Passive] Transfer – Gain ultimate when dealing damage with a Siphoning ability
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class="size-medium wp-image-62838 colorbox-162628" alt="Spider Battle" src="http://tamrielfoundry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/SpiderBattle_epic-450x255.jpg" width="450" height="255" />
class="wp-caption-text">Nightblades will be great sources of DPS for PvE bosses
Soul Shred is a point-blank AoE stun, which is a useful control and escape tool. This ultimate arguably brings the most group utility, by allowing allies to exploit a synergy, gaining self-healing. Strife is an amazing ability in longer-duration fights, not only adding another stacking DoT to your target, but returning a gradual inflow of healing to keep the Nightblade in the fight for longer. Agony adds a long-duration crowd control which also deals damage-over-time. This seems like an absolutely incredible ability, and should probably be one of the first things on any Nightblade’s hotbar. Cripple adds a useful chase or escape skill, slowing enemies and increasing your speed at the same time. Siphoning Strikes would be great for someone preferring the rapid use of skills as their primary source of DPS rather than basic weapon attacks. This could also be as bread-and-butter ability for Nightblade tanks who require Stamina return to keep enemies engaged.Thankfully, since this is a toggle, the Nightblade can alternate by activating Siphoning Strikes whenever his or her combat resources are low. Drain Power is a great utility skill for group play, increasing your own damage at the expense of all nearby enemies.
As for passives, additional Magicka is always good, and increased healing revived from Siphoning skills is a welcome boost to Strife. The effectiveness of Transfer depends whether ticks of DoT damage activate the bonus, or only initial application of a skill. I left Catalyst for last because it’s a bit unusual, increasing the effectiveness of potions. This is the only passive that has this kind of effect, and its amazing since potion effects can be flexibly adapted for almost any scenario!
Thanks for reading and I hope this facilitates a bit more discussion of the Nightblade class. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section below, and let us know what you think the best Nightblade builds will use. Think Nightblades can be viable tanks or healers, or are they a DPS only class? What is your favorite ultimate from the three at the Nightblade’s disposal, and which weapon set do you think complements this playstyle most closely?
id="attachment_158131" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 460px">
class="size-medium wp-image-158131 colorbox-158077" alt="A Templar will be valuable to any group." src="http://tamrielfoundry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/dunmer-male-450x253.jpg" width="450" height="253" />
class="wp-caption-text">A Templar will be valuable to any group.
Hey Foundry fans, it’s time to dig into another skill overview for the Templar class in The Elder Scrolls Online. Phazius here, and I’m going to be fleshing out the skill information that we were able to scrape from the
href="http://tamrielfoundry.com/2013/08/eso-templar-skills/" >QuakeCon demo in early August. These expanded skill descriptions are drawn from the ESO version which was recently playable at PAX Prime and is on display this week at London’s Eurogamer Expo. The Templar provides players with a versatile base capable of covering three distinct combat roles. The skill lines themselves in the Templar class seem to more clearly differentiate their area of focus, unlike the Sorcerer from earlier this week where the usefulness of their class skills seems a bit mixed across roles. Most notably, the Templar class provides the only opportunity we have seen thusfar for a player to act as their group’s main healer without specializing in the use of a Restoration Staff. Additionally, Templars look like they should make capable tanks, as well as possibly the hardest hitting natural ranged nuking class in the game! Let’s dig into the skill lines themselves to see why.
While there is not spear weapon line in ESO, these skills draw inspiration from the weapon, conjuring a magical spear of light. For the many spear enthusiasts, the Templar class may offer a reasonable chance to incorporate your favorite weapon into your ESO gameplay regardless of whether it is eventually added as an expansion weapon type. These skills reinforce the holy warrior theme of the Templar, but give the player enough tools to remain a versatile and mobile fighter.
[Ultimate] Radial Sweep – Sweeps a conjured weapon in a deadly arc, dealing Magic damage to all enemies around you.
[Active] Puncturing Strikes – A four hit attack dealing chained damage to any foes in front of you, the final hit knocks back the closest enemy.
[Active] Piercing Javelin – Hurl a spear, dealing damage and knocking the target backwards.
[Active] Focused Charge – Charge to an enemy, interrupting them and dealing Magic damage.
[Active] Spear Shards – Deals Magic damage to all enemies in a target area. One target is disoriented for a short duration. An ally may pick up the spear granting both of you bonus damage for a short time.
[Active] Sun Shield – Create a damage absorption shield with strength based on your maximum health, dealing damage to nearby enemies on activation. The shield returns a damage and is replenished by a small amount each time it is struck by an enemy. The Templar no longer regenerates Magicka while the shield holds.
[Passive] Piercing Spear – Increases the critical strike chance with spear abilities and deal bonus damage to blocking targets.
[Passive] Spear Wall – Increase the amount of damage you block while you have a spear ability slotted.
[Passive] Burning Light – Adds a chance to deal bonus damage with spear skills.
[Passive] Balanced Warrior – Increases your weapon power and spell resistance by a small amount.
id="attachment_158093" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 460px">
class="size-medium wp-image-158093 colorbox-158077" alt="A Templar hurls Piercing Javelin into an undead foe" src="http://tamrielfoundry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/javelin-450x253.jpg" width="450" height="253" />
class="wp-caption-text">A Templar hurls Piercing Javelin into an undead foe
The Aedric Spear skill line presents and interesting combination of offensive and defensive abilities. This line mixes several knock backs, a damage shield, and some crowd control with raw damage. The combination of Radial Sweep and Spear Shards makes it seem like a spear Templar could be a strong AoE clearing character. Perhaps the best skill in the line is Piercing Javelin, acting as a being a (somewhat) spammable knock down, the Templar could potentially keep a foe indefinitely at bay using javelin provided he doesn’t run out of Magicka. Focused Charge is really nice for more melee-centric Templars, not only because it’s a gap closer but it also draws off your Magicka pool, leaving your Stamina intact to unleash melee attacks once you close to your target. It seems like Sun Shield might have the biggest PvE upside of all the Aedric Spear skills, although it would take a Templar tank who dedicates himself to maximizing his Health pool to capitalize on it. A damage absorption shield which scales based on your hit point pool seems really powerful, especially since the shield replenishes itself a small amount with each hit. This should make it an excellent ability to use against trash mobs, and players who attack very quickly. The passives seem to offer a balanced mixture of offensive and defensive bonuses, and seem to suggest that the One-Handed and Shield weapon line may be an attractive choice for Aedric Spearfans.
The Dawn’s Wrath line focuses heavily on damage dealing, channeling the raw power of the Sun to damage, stun, and blind enemies. PRAISE THE SUN! The ranged DPS potential for a Magicka based templar hurling spells from afar seems considerable, and I suspect this may be the go-to tree for glass cannon mages.
[Ultimate] Nova – Calls forth a miniature sun at your target location, causing all nearby enemies to deal less damage while taking damage over time. Allies may activate the Supernova synergy, dealing damage and stunning all enemies in the area.
[Active] Sun Fire – Hurls a white-hot projectile at an enemy, dealing both initial damage and additional damage over time. The target is snared for a short duration.
[Active] Solar Flare – Deal damage to the target and any nearby enemies; affected foes takes extra damage from the next attack.
[Active] Backlash – Stores up incoming damage, when the effect ends nearby enemies each take some base damage plus the full amount of damage taken by the Templar during the Backlash duration.
[Active] Eclipse – The Templar reflects negative single target spells back towards enemy casters. Re-casting the Eclipsespell becomes more expensive for a short time.
[Active] Blinding Light – Causes all incoming enemy attacks to miss. Sometimes a missed attack causes the attacker to become off-balance.
[Passive] Enduring Rays – Increases the duration of all Dawn’s Wrath abilities.
[Passive] Prism – Gain additional Ultimate when activating a Dawn’s Wrath ability.
[Passive] Illuminate – Take less incoming damage from enemies which are affected by your Dawn’s Wrath abilities.
[Passive] Restoring Spirit – Restore a small amount of Magicka when activating an ability.
id="attachment_158117" class="wp-caption alignright" style="width: 460px">
class="size-medium wp-image-158117 colorbox-158077" alt="Sun Fire mid-flight as it arcs towards an enemy goblin." src="http://tamrielfoundry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/sun-fire-450x253.jpg" width="450" height="253" />
class="wp-caption-text">Sun Fire mid-flight as it arcs towards an enemy goblin.
As mentioned above, the Dawn’s Wrath skill line has a tremendous amount of potential to act as a dedicated ranged nuker. Nova presents a very strong AoE ultimate which should pair effectively with ultimates in other class lines, although it is best used in a group where an ally can activate it’s additional damage and stun component. Sun Fire seems like a bread and butter skill, particularly in PvP for the snare and DoT which it applies. Backlash seems like a very interesting skill, while it doesn’t provide any actual defensive benefit, if the Templar can be supported with strong group healing, wading headfirst into a crowd of enemies and allowing Backlash to do work could be an effective bombing strategy. Eclipse seems like an incredible weapon in the duelist’s toolkit, skillfully reflecting incoming enemy spells. The passives in this tree give a Templar nuker really great efficiency with increased duration on your DoTs, automatic application of debuffs, and extra Ultimate and Magicka generation. Furthermore, it doesn’t sound like Restoring Spirit is linked exclusively to Dawn’s Wrath abilities, making it an absolutely “must-buy” for Templar healers as well.
The Restoring Light skill line provides an intriguing opportunity for players to operate as a full group healer without being constrained to use of the Restoration Staff weapon line. This line is fully compatible with the Paladin-esque feel of the Templar for those who enjoy the holy warrior archetype.
[Ultimate] Rite of Passage – Channels a restorative aura; nearby allies take less damage while channeling. Heals the caster while channeling.
[Active] Rushed Ceremony – Heals a nearby wounded ally.
[Active] Healing Ritual – Heals all nearby allies, the caster receives additional healing.
[Active] Restoring Aura – When slotted; you have increased Stamina and Health regeneration. When activated; allies regenerate Health and Stamina at a faster rate.
[Active] Cleansing Ritual – Instantly removes a negative effect from the caster and heals allies in an area. Allies may activate Purify, removing all negative effects.
[Active] Rune Focus – Creates an area of self protection, gaining immunity to interrupt effects and taking less damage while the effect lasts.
[Passive] Master Ritualist – Increased resurrection speed, players are resurrected with additional health with a chance of not consuming a soul gem in the process.
[Passive] Light Weaver – Your Restoring Light abilities gain the following effects; Restoring Aura – duration increased, Healing Ritual – cost reduced, Rite of Passage – take less damage while channeling.
[Passive] Mending – Increases the critical strike chance of Restoring Light abilities on allies. The magnitude of increase is based on the amount of health the ally is missing.
[Passive] Focused Healing – Increases the healing done to allies standing in your areas of protection (Rite of Passage, Cleansing Ritual, and Rune Focus).
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class="size-medium wp-image-56477 colorbox-158077" alt="A Templar healer is an interesting option for melee groups" src="http://tamrielfoundry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/4-person-group-450x253.png" width="450" height="253" />
class="wp-caption-text">A Templar healer is an interesting option for melee groups
I think the first interesting thing is that the healing passives are exclusive to Restoring Light and don’t interact with Restoration Staff heals. Rite of Passage focuses on reducing the damage your allies take, without actually healing them. Of course, the morphs that this ultimate unlock could add direct healing as well. Until we know about the morphs for sure, this seems like more of a support skill than healing. Rushed Ceremony and Healing Ritual both sound like useful instant heals, this allows Templars to be mobile combat healers without needing to channel from relative safety. Healing Ritual looks like it heals a close range around the caster, with extra healing on you, it could be the go to heal for PvP healing. Cleansing Ritual is the only way to dispel negative effects that we’ve seen so far but having it locked to a class line there’s bound to be one somewhere else. Rune Focus should be really strong in a PvP context, albeit at the expense of mobility.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this enhanced overview of the Templar class, be sure to chime in with your thoughts on the opportunities in these skill trees. Let us know in the comment section which abilities jump out at you, how do you think a Templar healer will function relative to a more traditional backline Resto Staff caster. Do you agree that the Dawn’s Wrath line is the best starting point for powerhouse magic-based DPS? Leave your thoughts below, and stay tuned for more skill overviews next week!