Elder Scolls Online Road Ahead Update
Today ZeniMax released their update for what they have plans for Elder Scrolls Online, as well as remind everyone that they'll be at QuakeCon in Dallas this year. Folks going to QuakeCon can attend a Q&A (which ZOS also plans on streaming on their Twitch channel), a panel with updates from senior developers from each department will be giving specific updates, also. They'll be hosting a meet and greet that everyone is welcome to and there will also be PvP and Trials tournaments. During QuakeCon, ZOS will also be hosting daily giveaways through their social media channels. For the full ESO schedule at QuakeCon, see this article on the official website.
Also during QuakeCon, ZOS will be discussing changes to the Veteran Rank system, which will be coming based on community feedback since ESO's launch. Players have given feedback that the Veteran Rank system is so vastly different from the levels 1-50 experience and is quite grindy. And that the effort put into the system does not yield sufficient rewards. Even though they'll announce at QuakeCon what will be happening to the system, we're given an outline of what to expect.
Because ZOS wants to encourage – rather than force – players to group, especially at max level, the first phase for revamping this content will be to slowly ramp up the difficulty in Veteran zones, so players will be able to progress through Veteran zones the same way they did leveling to 50. This change hit servers yesterday and anyone logging in now can experience the changes. This will let players experience Veteran content solo, but it will be at a slower pace than if they were grouping.
Phases two and three include a full revamp of the Veteran System, where points will be removed in favor of normal experience gains, which includes increased experience rewarded in PvP. The new system will be based on character customization and other growth mechanics. Exactly what to expect from this new system will likely be what is announced at QuakeCon. Players can expect transitions from the old system to the new over the summer.
The primary reason for making these changes is to ensure that you have meaningful choices in the post-50 PvE game experience that reinforce the design idea that you can play the way you want to play.
Another thing that is coming soon is the “Guild Extravaganza!” or massive updates and improvements to the guild system, which players can experience on the Public Test Server in the near future. A brief overview for these features includes being able to create, delete and promote guild ranks (each of which will have its own icon), guild bank with permissions set by leaders, guilds with keeps can have guild stores that anyone in their alliance can browse, guilds can also hire merchants to run kiosks for these stores which will be placed in cities throughout Tamriel, and heraldry, which will be a crest on tabards, created and purchased by guilds with members of ten or more.
Certain classes are under review for balancing, which ZeniMax is approaching with caution. Some classes, such as Dragonknight and Nightblade have had adjustments made already, and are being watched to see how they are performing under these changes. Other classes, like the Templar, have underperforming builds and are being evaluated to see how they can be adjusted to feel fun and powerful. Werewolves might see adjustments to balance strengths and weaknesses. They feel that while adjustments need to be made (and honestly, balance is an ongoing and continual process in any game like this), but they want to make sure that the changes make sense and that they're put in slowly, as to not disrupt enjoyability of play.
Other updates to be on the look for will be for itemization, combat and armor dyes. Based on player feedback, some areas of the game (and not just Veteran areas) will receive tuning in regards to armor and other item drops as rewards. This tuning will come in part to ensure players are rewarded adequately for their efforts, as well as adding in extra differentiation to appearances to make characters feel unique. Combat continues to be worked on to be more fun and fluid. Update 3 when it hits PTS will also have the new dye system to further optimize a player's ability to customize their character.