The Year Ahead For ESO (2016)
Matt Frior (ESO Game Director) released a message today – ESO The Year Ahead – which summaries some of new ideas coming to ESO in 2016. I’ll provide a summary of the article here, as well as some other information about the future of ESO from sources like ESO Live.
- There is no longer any plans for the PVP aspect of the Justice System. This was going to allow open world PVP for those that opt in but has been cancelled due to balance concerns. The team at ZOS would rather have a system where PVP was done in PVP zones and safe zones are always only PVE.
- Spellcrafting is also being put on hold indefinitely due to time constraints and other priorities, not to mention balancing concerns.
- The Thieves Guild is coming to the PTS in February.
- The Group Finder is being improved with the Thieves Guild patch.
- All platforms will have native combat text (damage numbers), name plates and more UI features with the Thieves Guild patch.
- Consoles are getting optional text chat with the Thieves Guild patch.
- The Dark Brotherhood is coming around May (Q2 2016).
- Veteran Ranks will be fully removed with the Dark Brotherhood.
- A new Guild Finder system is being worked on, to assist players looking for a Guild.
- There is a “major change to zones” in the way that they “treat player levels” which could indicate that all zones will be converted into “scaling zones” so you can visit them at any level. We do know that all future DLC zones will be scaled just like Wrothgar and Imperial City.
What’s In The Thieves Guild Patch
The Thieves Guild patch is shaping up to be quite large, in terms of physical file size and just the number of new features.
- A new zone – Hew’s Bane (Abah’s Landing) – with new quests, Delves, etc.
- A new Trial as part of the Thives Guild DLC!
- A new style of gear, armor and weapons – the Thives Guild Motif.
- Some new costumes, including Thieves Guild disguises or costumes which may grant some combat or sneak benefit.
- Quests for the Thieves Guild which can be repeated each day.
- A new Skill Line similar to the Mage’s and Fighter’s Guild Lines.
- 64 Bit PC Client!
- Group Finder fixes and improvements.
- New UI elements like scrolling combat text and name plates.
- Consoles are getting optional text chat.
Removal of Veteran Ranks
The removal of Veteran Ranks is a big deal, here is what we know.
- Veteran Ranks are being removed with the Dark Brotherhood patch which is expected between April and June 2016.
- There will be no increase in Veteran Ranks past VR16 between now and when they are removed.
- The Level 1 – 50 progression will stay the same.
- The Champion System will take over character progression after Level 50.
- In order to make up for the Skill Points gained from Veteran Rank 1 – 16, the new system will reward extra Skill Points at milestone Levels in Level 1 – 50.
- So at Level 5 you will receive 2 Skill Points instead of just 1. At Level 10 you will receive 3 Skill Points instead of just 1. At Level 15 you will recieve 2 Skill Points and at Level 20 3 Skill Points and so on until Level 50 where you will receive 4 Skill Points. This will be a total of 16 additional Skill Points to make ensure that newer players can recieve the same amount of Skill Points at players who have already reached Veteran Rank 16.
- Your Champion Rank (Champion Points) will be displayed next to your Level.
- Champion Rank will determine what gear, armor, weapons and items you can equip and use.
- Once you reach Level 50 on a character after the Veteran Rank removal you will basically be at the same Level as your other Level 50+ characters because Champion Points are gained, and can be spent, on all of your characters.
The transition process is a bit complicated because ZOS wants to ensure that everyone remains at a similar “power status” as they currently are now. In this way, everyone will be able to equip and use any gear, armor, weapons and items that they currently equip or use. To achieve this ZOS will basically gift players Champion Points to ensure they meet the new requirements as follows.
- When the transition occurs you will receive enough Champion Points to make up your current Veteran Rank times by 10. So if you are VR16 you will have at least 160 Champion Points. If you have less that this number, you will be given more. If you already have more than this nothing will change so far.
- They may also gift all players some CP based on their current Veteran Rank as well. Rich Lambert mentioned here of the forums that they are considering giving 2.5 CP per Veteran Rank to all players.
Long Term Plans
Matt didn’t mention the DLC plans after the Dark Brotherhood, but did mention that several systems are in the works for later this year.
- Character Customisation Shop – expect this to allow you to change your appearance, gender, name and also Race! There was no mention of changing Class or Alliance but these might be options as well…
- Player Housing – this is still a longer term plan, but is actively being worked on. We can expect more news after the Dark Brotherhood DLC is released.
- The ability for console players to display their character name rather than their PSN ID / GamerTag is also being worked on.