The Elder Scrolls Online’s 2016: DLC, housing are in; veteran ranks are out

ZeniMax Game Director Matt Firor has just posted a dev blog outlining The Elder Scrolls Online’s gameplan for 2016. “With the millions of players that joined the world of ESO in 2015, our player population is very strong,” he begins. “We’re not perfect; we have things to work on, but we are very happy with where we are.”

Two DLC are on the agenda for the year: The Thieves Guild in Q1 and The Dark Brotherhood in Q2. The former should land on the test server early next month. The latter will tickle the hearts of Oblivion players as it’s set primarily in Cyrodiil’s Gold Coast locations. “We do have plans for DLC after Dark Brotherhood, but you’ll have to wait for details,” Firor teases.

ZeniMax also plans to focus more on social features and the open world with a new LFG tool, an emphasis on player level scaling, a guild search tool, and console chat. “Longer term, expect to see information about systems like a character customization shop so you can change your character’s gender, appearance, name, etc., player housing, and other systems that we’ll announce in the future.”

Of note, Firor says the team is “still committed” to removing veteran ranks. “The goal behind this change is to make the Champion system the primary vehicle for customizing your character past level 50. This work is currently scheduled for Q2 as part of the Dark Brotherhood update.”

As to common player concerns, he writes that spellcrafting is not a priority, that the PvP component of the Justice system previously discussed is now axed, and that PvP gameplay stability is being worked on.

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Tandor Shadewalker
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Tandor Shadewalker

Fenryr Tandor Shadewalker Karl_Hungus Well that’s clearly a valid opinion from a PvPer”s perspective, Fenryr. The resistance against the PvP part was clearly from the PvE perspective and a lot of players didn’t want PvP introduced into the PvE areas, and especially not in the form of a PvP penalty for PvE crimes in those PvE areas.

Matt Firor clarified in last night’s ESO Live that the decision not to run with the PvP part was taken because of the realisation that it would lead to too many game-breaking situations. He said that they favoured keeping PvP in PvP areas and PvE in PvE areas. I think the tensions between the playstyles in Imperial City underline the wisdom of that approach.

I’ve never bought the argument that the PvP part was going to be truly optional, everyone spoke all the time about how it would only apply above a certain bounty level which would mean that PvEers would either have to endure PvP or curtail their enjoyment of the PvE content. That’s not the way to handle PvE content in PvE areas, but if the PvP part could have been contained in the PvP areas I’d have been all for it.

Fenryr
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Fenryr

Tandor Shadewalker Karl_Hungus Just that this whole justice system as it is now is boring and does nothing more than flood the market with gold. I can’t understand the resistance against the PvP part. I can accept this opinion and decision but for me it’s a nail in its coffin.The new DLC better be good to compensate.

exeeter
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exeeter

Well its all part of the cycle.. fight naked and you will eventually be unable to progress as your character will be weak.
Adversely, being fully equipped, you are able to kill mobs and turn in quests etc etc, naturally gaining gold in the process.
Basically if you play naturally, do quests sell junk loot, you should always have enough gold to pay for repairs. Fighting naked is absolutely not an option.

Theo454
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Theo454

exeeter Thanks for the reply. I am curious, what if someone were to use no armor or weapons to cut down on repair costs, and fight barehanded using food and potions to make up for lack of gear? Would that be possible? I cannot see how one can be charged repair costs if one has no gear to repair. My friend told me he about spit out his coffee all over his monitor when he saw he had incurred 389 gold piece repair cost from a session of tanking and his character was around lvl 20. Might not sound like much, but to him it seemed like too high a price to pay, as he said he had trouble making good money in the game, and had no desire to craft.

Theo454
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Theo454

A little update, I heard that the reason why it’s not a priority, is because the dev who who was working on spellcrafting quit awhile back, and evidently they have not gotten around to assigning a dev to pick up where he left off yet. I know it’s just hearsay, but sounds about right. From what I had read, spellcrafting sounded really cool. I remember spellcrafting in the first Elder Scrolls game, Arena. More at this link, on why I hope they make it a priority again in the future. https://www.reddit.com/r/elderscrollsonline/comments/2xpn39/data_mining_spellcrafting_what_is_it_and_what_are/

exeeter
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exeeter

Thematically yes it’s silly, however for game balance it would give ranged builds an unfair advantage in terms of gold earned in play time.
That was the compromise they decided to make

Theo454
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Theo454

exeeter Really? I didn’t know that. I guess he didn’t realize it either. That doesn’t make much sense though, repair costs are not determined by how much you get hit and die in the game? Only by how much exp you gain? I’m really puzzled by that.

ejraptor35
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ejraptor35

sfrees80 Rift’s housing is one of the best -if not the best- mmo housing system out right now imo.  I built a replica Dragonsreach in Rift, was a lot of fun.  You’re right, ZOS would do well do create a system similar to that with aspects from Hearthfire.  SWTOR’s system is indeed lazy but it’s what the fans wanted ultimately.  Add tools similar to Landmark’s and you may just have an addicting new system in place.

Only part of your post I disagree with is your last sentence.  You know that’s not true. lol

Marelius
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Marelius

SlasherZet Marelius It will allow us to use more than 4gb of ram which will help with memory leaks. So less crashes but they need to put DX12 in which should help for the lag in PvP. If they are going with building a 64B client then they may as well throw in DX12 while doing it. 
If they aren’t putting DX12 in then I would love to know why and what jerk is directing this.

SlasherZet
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SlasherZet

Marelius I wonder what the 64bit client will do with the game…

exeeter
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exeeter

That’s not how repair costs work in eso…. it’s tied to experience gained, not from taking physical hits.

Processedknowledge
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Processedknowledge

Quincha Leilonii This.

Theo454
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Theo454

Bannex19 Speaking of tanking, a guy I know who played a tank in this game said repair costs to armor were kind of nuts, so much so that he decided to quit playing his tank character and play a sorcerer who would let his clannfear tank for him, and cut way down on his repair costs.

Theo454
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Theo454

Spellcrafting is not a priority…not good news, in my view.

thickenergy
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thickenergy

Leilonii Yep, I turn them off in every MMO, even for all the mobs. Usually only leave them on for my party/group, if that’s one of the options.

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

karmamule Sorenthaz *Hopefully* if they do add pay-to-furnish stuff (as d0ub1ep1u5g00d  coined it) it’ll be few and far between and be things that would be fairly out of place (i.e. seasonal decorations).   Or *maybe* I could be okay with things like crafting stations being purchasable with Crowns only, assuming they’d even put those in housing.   But yeahhh if it turns into RIFT where all of the useful items are Crown-only purchases, that’ll be super annoying.  
Though RIFT’s dimension stuff was a lot different and last I checked (over two years ago) the main dimension items purchasable with credits-only were things like buildings and staircases and other pre-built things that you could otherwise build with a lot of time/effort/parts.

d0ub1ep1u5g00d
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d0ub1ep1u5g00d

“character’s gender, appearance, name, etc.,”

I suppose the “ect.” does not include race. 
Even if it doesnt ill still be happy with finally having a character rename function. Its crazy to have an MMO out in 2016 without the ability to rename your character. I have a lvl 32 character I have stopped playing because I dont like the name good thing I didnt delete yet.

d0ub1ep1u5g00d
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d0ub1ep1u5g00d

Elijah Crow For that reason I will be using the toggle to turn nameplates off. 

ESO will be especially bad because they allow 24 characters including hyphens, apostrophes, or spaces so some names are very long. I know I have two characters with 24 character length names.

d0ub1ep1u5g00d
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d0ub1ep1u5g00d

karmamule Sorenthaz I agree I will not Pay2Furnish my ESO home. This is what usually turns me off of player housing in other games is that most of the good stuff is all in a cash shop. Hope thats not the case for ESO housing.

Karl_Hungus
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Karl_Hungus

Tandor Shadewalker Karl_Hungus 
Except it would’ve been completely optional for both sides. They were planning some sort of tabard system or something where both thieves and enforces would have to opt in so only thieves wearing the tabards would be able to be attacked by players wearing enforcer tabards. So you could still commit PvE crimes in PvE areas with only having to worry about PvP penalties if you put on your tabard. I thought it was a neat idea but it probably would be harder for them to implement than they feel is worth it.

Deathgod881
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Deathgod881

I’ll be trying it out once veteran ranks and lfg tool is put in

ManastuUtakata
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ManastuUtakata

Elijah Crow 
The “V” key is your friend.

Captain Crash
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Captain Crash

I’m just getting into this game and it’s super cool, plays different from most MMOs and as I level up I’m spoiled with choice on how I want to progress my character; it feels like a proper RPG. Housing will kick @#$% I can’t wait for it.

karmamule
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karmamule

SoMuchMass I’m fighting the urge to buy a Powerball ticket.  Nothing like a cool billion to make cash shop items more appealing…  ;-)

karmamule
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karmamule

Leilonii I’m thrilled they’re going to finally let console players (and presumably PC players using controller ui?) see character names instead.  For a development crew that seemed to really value immersion their LACK of that option initially was mind-boggling to me.

karmamule
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karmamule

Sorenthaz If they have rare housing item drops in game and the monetization is just to give the impatient a fast path, then I’ll be fine with it.  If things are ONLY available via real money purchases then I’ll be disappointed.  (Similar to what they do for rarer forms of armor right now, rather than how they handle mounts)  And, yeah, you’re absolutely right that character re-customization is almost certainly for-pay only.

Tandor Shadewalker
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Tandor Shadewalker

Karl_Hungus I’m delighted with the decision, I always argued against having PvP penalties for PvE crimes in PvE areas. It made even less sense after the tensions created over the mixing of PvE and PvP content in Imperial City.

sfrees80
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sfrees80

I really hope housing in ESO is like Rifts housing. It would be a crime to add a lazy, offensive form of housing like they have in SWTOR. Unfortunately, Matt and his team seem to hate ESO fans, so…

exeeter
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exeeter

Many players, myself included want these in the game. And it has been announced already that they are in the works.
Cyrodil siege pvp is a cesspool of zerg deathball nonsense. Since this game is very skills based mechanically, players want an actual pvp environment that rewards individual performance and likewise a sense of accomplishment.
Fewer players in an engagement means that each player has a greater impact on the outcome of said engagement.
Either way they have every intention of adding it, so wether or not it belongs in the game is besides the point.

Tamanous
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Tamanous

exeeter This is a skill based game however. Adding arena, with say rankings, would turn into single build elitism for hardcore players only. I personally think it would be a mistake as it would take players away from other content if progression is superior to say Cyrodiil. Battlegrounds at least preserves some diversity.

I have never been a fan of conventional design arena mechanics. It turns pvp into a mini-game (e-sport at worst)  and is not inclusive at all for the casual player.

exeeter
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exeeter

Sure but I was more refferring to the systems that were mentioned by the lead pvp designer. Arena and smallet scale battleground like pvp.
Cyrodil is a load of nonsense when you are not engaged in small skirmishes

Marelius
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Marelius

I love what he said for 2016 but I have to be careful not to get too excited like I did during beta. Love the idea of going 64b but to help with lag I hope they also go DX12. 
Oh hell who am I kidding am so excited about what is coming and I still sub to support the game. DB sounds amazing and will add so much to the game. 

I have been real critical of the developers and how slow on fixing bugs and lag but I will support them till the game dies which I hope don’t happen.

Tamanous
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Tamanous

exeeter I heard something about a CP free Cyrodiil. Ya no details on this stuff at all though. Removing barrier to pvp entry and making things more even is all I care about.

Gurnlei
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Gurnlei

Can’t wait for housing. Hearthfire was my favorite DLC for Skyrim and always modded Morrowind to customize the house you get from Redoran, Hlaalu or Telvanni.

Karl_Hungus
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Karl_Hungus

This is all very good news, apart from the PvP component to the Justice system. But at least they finally committed one way or another to it instead of just… silence.

EO_Lonegun
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EO_Lonegun

Being a new player to ESO as of Christmas it is good to know there is more content being planned.

FeveredDreamer
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FeveredDreamer

Tamanous Thanks for that feedback regarding CPs, I’ll probably end up taking another look once these changes go live but I definitely won’t be getting my hopes up again.

FeveredDreamer
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FeveredDreamer

Heard in the past that the VR ranks would be out, believed it and got burned… but I’ll definitely take another look if/when this crappy design finally goes the way of the dodo.  Overall this is a pretty awesome update :)

exeeter
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exeeter

Hmm no comment on battlegrounda and small scale pvp? That is a little upsetting

Sorenthaz
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Sorenthaz

My guess is the housing will have a lot of monetization elements around it.  And of course that “character customization shop” essentially means the equivalent of paid character recustomization which is a normal feature of MMOs at this point.  
Still, sounds like a promising year for ESO.  Lots to look forward to in the next six months.

Rozyn
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Rozyn

Leilonii Since they already confirmed on the forums they will be toggled, I hope they can also have specific choices like just on for groupmates or class icons. For the most part, I prefer not seeing names like “Butts McGee” or whatever running past lol, but options are always great.

Elijah Crow
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Elijah Crow

Previously they said “after Orsinium” but not exactly. Now they have said with the second DLC of this year so we know exactly when.

Elijah Crow
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Elijah Crow

Name, Title, and/or Guild Name. From ESO Live.

Tamanous
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Tamanous

wild_abyss Elijah Crow I just hope it’s subtle and not some massive bar. You only need to see their health or stats from the UI as is when targeting someone.

Elijah Crow
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Elijah Crow

Disappointed in the loss of the PvP Justice portion, but I can understand why it would only appeal to a small portion of the player base.. Also implementing this in a faction specific zone means you would only be against your own factions players anyway and would most likely not be as fun as other options they can work on for PvP. At least they confirmed Dueling and smaller arenas and battlegrounds previously.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

Tamanous They might bring it back to the table on a later date. It might just not be a priority for them at the moment since most people are extremely happy with the first portion of the Justice update.

wild_abyss
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wild_abyss

Elijah Crow Hey, I’m looking forward to it. I’m sick of trying to see who people are or if they’re even players.

DPandaren
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DPandaren

Tamanous Infraction They were in a weird state of Limbo. Because before they said it was going to be patched out with CP replacing it. Then later they said that they weren’t going to remove VR and liked where it was, then now they’re saying they want it out again.

Elijah Crow
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Elijah Crow

Why were they left out? I dunno, maybe because of…comment image

Leilonii
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Leilonii

Yes but you forgot the part about nameplates. NAMEPLATES! Why such a standard MMO feature was left out is beyond me, but at least they’re adding it in finally. I don’t care if people wanna turn it off and pretend they’re in a solo ES RPG, but I want the option to turn them on, for everyone and everything!

“Besides the major DLC packs, other features we are working on include scrolling combat text (which will go live with the Thieves Guild DLC in Q1), character nameplates, the ability for console players to display their character name instead of their PSN ID/XBL Gamertag, among others.”

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