The Elder Scrolls Online slows down combat updates to focus on the shape of combat

    
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Ah, right, the big picture.

There’s been a lot of work done in The Elder Scrolls Online over the years to make combat feel better. Anyone who played the game’s combat at launch and then more recently will attest to this fact. But the developers noticed that for all the work being done on individual updates to improve combat, there was no real work being done on the overall shape of combat. It was a series of changes based on immediate issues rather than having an overarching plan for what combat should look and feel like.

For those of you familiar with the term, this is what missing the forest for the trees looks like.

The net result is that players will notice that the game’s next update will contain fewer improvements for combat; the major plans are balance passes on underused PvP sets, racial passives, and bug fixes. This is part of a larger effort to develop a comprehensive plan for combat and move forward based on that. So you’ll have a lighter update this time, but you can look forward to a bigger plan moving forward.

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Bryan Cole

I’m curious to how this will play out. I don’t play the game due to combat being so boring and clunky so this change would be welcome indeed if it makes combat feel unique across different builds and gets me away from feeling like a mobile turret, even when ranged or melee, it all feels as if my character is a tree swinging or firing their weapon/spells. No real fluidity or ease of movement. Heck, it may just all be tied into the odd camera settings or just the animation of my characters.

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Dragon Whimsy

I’ve enjoyed my time in ESO and have nothing against it, but you’re supposed to have clearly established the “shape of combat” before launch.

Besides how interesting can the combat be when the entire open world is made to be fought by people from level 1 to max level? They have to some solution to that before I’d really care about the overall “shape of combat”.

I get that an Elder Scrolls game has unique concerns, that to truly feel like an Elder Scrolls game you have to be able to go anywhere and do anything at anytime… but being an Elder Scrolls game the open world content is always going to be the main draw, not dungeons or raids. So you have to do something so that the open world doesn’t become boring at max level.

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Daniel Reasor

Racials that make a difference have a place in single player games, where they can add value for the player via different playthroughs, but they don’t belong in an MMO. They’ll never be balanced against one another to the player base’s satisfaction.

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Bannex

I know they tried to define it but I still have no idea what “the shape of combat” means and how they doesn’t include combat improvements…

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nvidia

My biggest issue with ESO isn’t necessarily the combat mechanics, but rather the difficulty. You know exactly how the fight is going to go anytime you see a “strong” or “elite” enemy, let alone a normal one. You can get those fights down to a science and win every time, even without having fought the enemy before. And since everything scales to your level, there is rarely anything unexpected or surprising. This makes for a very easy game (and frankly boring combat) overall, with the exception of trials.

I wish they would work on a way to make PvE interesting again. I love ESO’s atmosphere, quests, and writing, but the combat is by far the weakest part of the game.

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AurochsReborn

exactly. ESO PVE combat just might be the most boring and predictable i’ve ever played. it looks ok but it just has so little impact or thrill to it. pretty shallow and unsatisfying experience. And all the weapon enchanting, crafting and such just feels like overkill and frill to an already uber easy combat system. and the animations just do not feel right.

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jealouspirate

The combat was the main reason I didn’t stick with ESO. It felt floaty and slow. Animations felt weird, and everything always seemed to have a slight delay.

The feel of combat is hard to describe, but ESO’s just felt instinctively “off”

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Skai R

There’s no weight to it. Also, I’m not a fan og combat that has “bar dancing” like eso and gw2.

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Bannex

Any game that relies on bar changing and animation canceling ends up losing me at some point

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Dwarf-Orc

I think the combat in ESO wasn’t that bad, except for the whole animation canceling nonsense. It’s been a long while since I gave it a go though, is that still a thing?

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Tulerezzer

Yep. It’s required to maximize dps and magicka/stamina regen.

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Bannex

They fix this, they’d fix a whole slew of pvp issues too

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feleran

It is not something to fix. The game’s combat is based around that, that’s how the game is meant to be played. Normal attack, ability, normal attack, ability etc.

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J

I never cared for the dual weapon set combat. Didn’t like it in GW2 and don’t like it in ESO. They feel clunky and more like something I expect to see on a controller with limits keys.

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Carebear

ESO combat is better that what it was on start yes, but is far from “done”. It stills feels “meh”. Its not Tera, BDO, GW2 which I think have very good action combat.

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agemyth 😩

While it isn’t clear what they consider the “shape” of their combat to consist of, I would love to see some substantial work done to make it more interesting again and more complex (though I know there are a lot of technical limitations with that).