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Our Take on a Variety Pack Q&A

By on Oct 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm, in Buzz, News, TESO, Uncategorized  |  Comments: No comments yet

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This week, Zenimax has released a variety of questions and answers for our perusal. Some of the answers are quite informative, so let’s dive in:

In past games, weapons of one type (such as Orcish, Elven, glass, etc) were all basically the same style. In ESO, will they have different styles and will there be looks for other kinds of weapons like scimitars? – Jared Dennewitz

Our weapons and armor will have a lot of varied appearances. In fact, every race has its own weapons and armor that will progress in looks. At level one, an Orcish sword will look one way, and at level 50 an Orcish sword will look very different. There are other styles of armor and weapons in addition to the nine racial styles, unique weapons and armor, different tints for all of the armor, and different materials armor can be made from.

It sounds like ESO is going to surpass other Elder Scrolls games in terms of armor variety. The level of diversity seems rather staggering when you think of all the different styles, different armor types, and the various combinations possible. I’m glad ZOS went with their own plan, rather than copying, say, Skyrim – everyone would look identical at top level if they did that.

Related to that last question is the following:

Will I be able to wear a heavy armor plate mail with a mage’s hood and leather boots, or will it all armor be one set? – Sam Hoch

You will be able to mix and match as you see fit. We do have sets of armor and weapons that confer special bonuses to you when you wear three or more items from that set. Also, if you have gained passive skills in certain armor skill lines, you’ll also get a larger bonus when you wear more armor of that type. And, of course, you may find an individual piece of armor with a bonus trait or enchantment you really like. There will be many choices about how you gear yourself in ESO, with no “right” choice for everyone.

This demonstrates that the system Zenimax has developed allows character building with a startling level of complexity: Not only will stats and skills play a part, but so will your mixing and matching of various armor types and sets for different bonuses.

You have teased the existence of veteran points. Can you elaborate on how to get them and what you can do with them? – Rowan Marward

Veteran Points are similar to XP, and your Veteran Rank goes up as you gain them (like gaining a level). You’ll get Veteran Points for accomplishing certain tasks in the game. Imagine you were told you needed to kill a specific NPC or monster in a dungeon. If you’re level 50, you’ll get Veteran Points for accomplishing that goal. When you get enough Veteran Points, you go up in Veteran Rank. There will be lots of ways to gain VP. You could gain Veteran Points in PvP or in Adventure Zones.

VRs do improve your character’s power by granting stats and the ability to equip better gear, though the increases are smaller than the ones you’ll gain through normal leveling. This will make it easier for you to visit wherever you want in the next alliance you play, and will make it easier when you’re grouping with friends who may not be as advanced as you are.

You’ll continue to gain skill points while increasing your Veteran Ranks, so it’s really a time when you’ll be able to broaden your character’s skills. We’ll release a full write-up for VPs and VRs in the near future.

An interesting system. Will Veteran Points be ESO’s answer to fan requests for a Realm Point system ala Dark Age of Camelot? It seems like they are trying to make sure they don’t fall into the pitfall of not having anything for characters to work on at level cap, like some of the more recent MMO offerings have.

One of my favorite play styles in The Elder Scrolls games is the conjurer. I love summoning Daedra and undead to distract and harm my enemies while I batter them with spells from afar. Unfortunately, I find that in a lot of MMOs, summoned creatures are only useful against NPCs and mobs. Will summons be a viable weapon in ESO’s PvP? – Adam Schuster

We want to ensure that summons have properties in both PvE and PvP settings. Since summoning spells take up a valuable ability bar slot, we give them powerful utilities to supplement their damage and tanking potential.

I’ll give you an example with the Sorcerer’s Summon Winged Twilight ability: at first, the winged twilight simply has a ranged attack. However, the ability can be enhanced in one of two ways. Option one adds a passive aura to the summon that increases the magicka regeneration of all nearby allies. Option two causes it to cast a healing spell on you when you’re low on health. In either case, having the winged twilight out can be a huge benefit to you (and your allies) in both PvP and PvE. Plus, she still has her nifty ranged attack.

This is just one example, of course. We look at each summon individually to make sure it has a unique flavor that is useful in all game modes. And I promise you that the Summon Storm Atronach ultimate does not have the problem of being too weak in PvP right now!

I like the perspective given with regard to this answer. Skill slots are valuable in the ESO system. If you are using a skill slot for a summon, that summon better be worth it; sounds good to me. Also, they are, again, highlighting the diversity of character builds here – it seems that you’ll need to make a choice about how your summon skill evolves, just like other skills “morph” as you level them up.

Finally, I’d like to talk about the following question and response:

How will players be assigned to the PvP campaigns? Will it be based on their individual PvP skill or history, or maybe on their achievements in previous ESO campaigns? When electing to transfer to a different campaign, is the player able to choose the degree of challenge/skill of their next campaign by browsing various statistics of available campaigns? – Forrester Lavigne

Characters are assigned campaigns on a character-by-character basis within your own account. You are not allowed to have an Ebonheart Pact character assigned to the same campaign as an Aldmeri Dominion character on your account. There will be campaigns after launch with various special rules (such as higher rank requirements) that you can elect to join.

This addresses one of the more common complaints about the Mega Server with regard to PVP: Players won’t feel attached to their campaign because they aren’t persistent and they can have multiple characters in different factions. It sounds like that isn’t the case at all. Campaigns are, from what I’ve read in this response and in other interviews, semi-permanent virtual servers. Your character will be tied to one campaign unless you initiate a change, and from what I’ve heard such a change will be a costly and rare occurance. The fact that they are ensuring that players do not have characters in more than one faction in a given campaign shows that Zenimax is aware of the importance of realm loyalty and are working to enforce it with their rule set.

Be sure to read the rest of the Q&A – I didn’t talk about all of the questions here!

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