Elder Scrolls Online’s racial abilities are getting revamped in update 21

    
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Grotesque.

One of the things that the folks at Zenimax are focusing on in The Elder Scrolls Online’s upcoming update 21 is balancing the passive abilities of the game’s myriad races, as combat team dev ZOS_Gilliam announced today on the game’s official forum. He explains that there are a few reasons that the devs decided to tackle this particular issue in this update. Basically, it boils down to the fact that the devs feel like the current implementation limits players’ freedom to create and play the characters they want, whether that’s because some abilities just aren’t very useful, or because a certain race’s passives don’t provide anything unique, or simply because a certain class-race combination is mathematically superior.

The post also details the dev team’s process of reworking the racial passives as well as their goals for doing so. One of the biggest goals was to avoid situations wherein a certain playstyle has “only one option for what [is] viable” and to instead give players “more effective options when picking a race for each role in tanking, healing, or damage dealing.” In doing so, however, the devs also say that they want to make sure to “retain and enhance the unique feeling and gameplay patterns” of each race so that each one feels distinct and flavorful. The full post goes into a great deal of detail, and it also lists the specific changes that are being made to each race’s passives, so if you’re interested to know exactly what kind of changes you can expect to racial abilities in the base game when the Wrathstone DLC and its associated free patch goes live in February, be sure to check it out on the game’s official forums.

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Ashley Saldivar

So every race gets some changes,then what about the imperials? Just leaving them in the dust. Looks like i will have to race change stam dk to redguard finally!

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Dankey Kang

Racial abilities are really stupid. Imagine making a game where player choice is the ethos, but then restricting players to ‘Stam Rogue’ or a Tank because their statistics don’t line up with the other choices.

Crafting boons/Movement options/active abilities would be a much better way to handle Racials instead of boring stat increases.

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Sorenthaz

Don’t see how these are necessarily bad changes, other than the obvious scaling % being nerfed to static amounts, and stealth races not getting to be as potentially powerful. There’s still some meaningful differences, but not so heavily anymore to where you’re gimped if you try to make a race/class combo work.

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Sashaa

At last! Thank the gods.

Now, they should grant one race change token per character, not one per account. Don’t be cheap, Zenimax…

K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

I don’t think the homogenization is as bad as people are saying if you look at the actual patch notes.
(1) A lot of the changes have to do with changing % of stats to flat bonuses to reduce power creep.
(2) They’ve also been trying to make each race distinctive through the racials (Argonian swim speed stays — my favorite!, potion buff retained but nerfed, disease resistance, but nerfed poison resistance, etc.).
(3) In a lot of cases, max health racials are being nerfed, probably to encourage people to use more health enchants and armors with max health.
(4) Races are getting more options, for example: to play either a mag or stam build (Altmer, Redguard, Khajiit, Bosmer), or improved hybrid viability, etc.
(5) Some races will be better DDs or tanks from the racials depending on if you want to min-max.
(6) Underrepresented races in pvp will be more viable (maybe Nords, Bretons, etc.). Over-representative races like Argonians and Imperials got some nerfs, but remain viable.

I’m not a white knight for this game or any other; if you’ve seen my past posts, you’ll know this. I tend toward being pretty cynical if anything, but the reasoning behind these changes seems legit to me this time.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Most of the changes are very minimal. There are some changes to the way stuff is figured that ends up being almost the very same in the end.

A couple of races that were super behind in some areas got a tiny bit of a boost, but in reality the numbers we’re talking about are so small that they don’t affect a lot.

The stuff is nothing to fuss over and not really anything to celebrate either. They’re such small changes in a game where players are super overpowered against the content as it is.

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NeoWolf

I can safely say racial bonuses has played ZERO part in my class choices etc.. in fact I doubt I could tell you what they even were (racial bonuses that is) lol

Those little bonuses are only really limiting the min maxers

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Doubleplusgood

I read over the changes and don’t really understand what has changed. Argonians are still the only race with 4% increased healing, so I will still feel obligated to only make Argonian healers since that is a really good buff. High elf and dark elf are also still the only race with +damage to elemental spells/magic, so I will still only make them as sorcerers. I don’t know, did I miss something? what is different?

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Mr.McSleaz

About damn time.

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Fred Douglas

This is dumb. It’s perfectly tenable to do everyday content without having a min-maxed racial choice. This just makes the race choice meaningless. Why do MMOs always homogenize their game as it ages? This won’t bring people back or attract new players.

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Bruno Brito

I really don’t think my redguard being a top level tank while being worse at dps to be good design.

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Christmas Dog

Because minmaxing crybabies who kick people from groups because of their race choice make doing “everyday content” suck. I’ve been kicked from multiple normal dungeons in ESO because I play a khajiit as a healer, which according to them, “isn’t viable” and is the “worse choice” despite never even giving me a chance.

Less ability for whiny top end raiders to hurt the game is a good thing.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

I’d never kick a khajiit from my group.

They always smell like patchouli and moon sugar.

Also, Razum Dar is kinda hot.

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Nate Woodard

What’s he got that I don’t got?! ;) Sorry, I couldn’t resist!

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Actually it has been tenable to do group content solo without min-maxed racial choices. People who don’t think so obviously just have never tried, and think that their few percentage points are making a huge difference (they’re not).

I blast through World Bosses alone as a Khajiit Sorcerer with zero stat bonuses towards magic at all. But hey I’m one of the few races coming out a tiny bit ahead with the changes (not enough to make a difference, but a tiny bit).

It’s funny, the changes totally are confusing people. A lot of people think that the bonuses are increasing even more, a lot think they’re decreasing, basically they’re almost the same only use flat numbers instead of percentages now.

They didn’t make much of a difference before, and still won’t now.

laelgon
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laelgon

I’m torn on racial bonuses because I hate dealing with min-maxers in groups who complain or kick because you’re not the optimal race and class combo, but I also like having distinctions between races that aren’t purely aesthetic. If I have to pick the lesser of two evils though, I’d say ditch the racial stat bonuses.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

They actually balanced them out a little more and they’re *less* meaningful now, but people are confused and think they’re getting boosts or something.