The Future of ESO Panel Round-Up

spellcrafting mini game

The Spellcrafting Mini Game

The Future of ESO Panel at Quakecon gave us some new info on many subjects. We have rounded up the most interesting bits below.

Subjects discussed in the panel

  • Imperial City
  • Spellcrafting
  • Justice System
  • Veteran & Champion System
  • New Armour & Weapons
  • Future Content & Grouping
  • Facial Animation Improvements

Imperial City

Imperial City will be “open” for players to explore in the future. Located in the middle of Cyrodiil, the Imperial City is both a PvP and a PvE zone.

ESO Imperial City ArboretumThe access to Imperial City is unlocked with Cyrodiil keep ownership. You can then enter the city through a sewer system. There’s a sewer entrance for every alliance, which allows you to try and stop enemy alliance players from entering the city. There’s a crossroads of sewers where the three alliance sewers cross path. Daedra spawn from portals here as well.

There is a safe zone for each alliance in the city. This is also where you get quests for the Imperial City. The imperials do not care about the Alliance War, but only want to save their people within the city from Molag Bal and his minions. You are the one to help them in this task. The city includes many repeatable quests with high gold and xp rewards.

Just like in Oblivion, the Imperial City has a number of different districts. Players can fight for control of each district and gain unique rewards, alliance wide PvP buffs & the ability to re-spawn in the district, and last but not least, the ability to craft Imperial Daedric Gear in said district.

Spellcrafting

In the future, players will be able to craft their own spells! Spellcrafting is unlocked by completing the Mages Guild quest line. The Mages Guild are of course behind this new invention: they have discovered ancient doorways and found special ways to organize magic.

spellcrafting preview

A preview of the Spellcrafting UI as seen in the Quakecon presentation.

Spellcrafting looks like quite a complex system at first glance. Players will be exploring Tamriel a lot, because the spells require you to find ancient doorways hidden throughout the continent, which contain stone tablets used for spellcrafting.

stone tablet eso

An example of an intact stone tablet found in an ancient doorway.

Once you enter a doorway, you can find a stone tablet. The stone tablets might be intact, some are worn down and some are broken and scattered across Tamriel.

The idea here is that the rare, more powerful spells will require you to explore more, whilst the more common, easier spells you might be able to find very quickly.

Spellcrafting involves a mini game. After you’ve located a stone tablet, you’ll use a piece of charcoal to recreate the image on paper.

Each tablet give you the base of a spell. You combine three different effects in the spellcrafting system to create the final spell. The tablets you find and recreate are tradeable and will be consumed on use.

For example, using an AOE focus with a lightning bolt spell would create a chain lightning spell and so on. Think of focuses as a morph of the spell. Using enduring focus on a flame atronach pet will turn it into a permanent pet you can conjure, whilst using the ultimate focus will turn a spell into, you guessed it, an ultimate.

The stone you use for creating the spell will define how powerful it is and how much it costs to use.

To create a spell, you need the tablet which is recreated on paper through the minigame. You then add a stone and a focus to customize and create the final spell.

Justice System

Justice System enables players to kill NPCs and steal items. You’ll receive a bounty for commiting these crimes. You will not be able to kill all NPCs. The killable NPCs are marked with the neutral yellow hue around their character.

After the justice system goes live, looting crates and other containers in towns and near vendors will be a crime. You obviously have to be in hidden mode (sneak) when attempting to steal something. The stolen items have value, and you’ll receive a bounty for stealing and killing.

It looks like you won’t be able to pickpocket anything (yet?).

eso justice system

Stop right there, criminal scum! Nobody breaks the law on my watch!

If a guard catches you in act, you’ll be faced with a familiar choice: you either pay the bounty in gold or attempt to flee (resist arrest). Paying the bounty or dying to a guard will make you lose all your stolen items.

The great thing about Justice System is that players can act as guards. Players with high bounty will be marked, and you can hunt them down. This opens up a new style of active, open world PvP.

Veteran & Champion System

eso champion points

Champion System Paths & total Champion Points available on top left of the screen.

Veteran System will receive an overhaul. Veteran Points are being removed from the game, instead, players will gain veteran points. Not playing for a certain length of time will give you a rested experience buff, giving you experience at a quicker rate.

The champion system focuses on gaining champion points during veteran ranks, which you can then use on various different passives. We now know that there’s different paths you can use champion points on. These are named after the constellations of TES lore.

Here are some of the passives from the Tower constellation path:

  • Tenacity – increase total Stamina Regen by a %.
  • Precise strikes – increase the percentage on the weapon critical derived stat.
  • Blade expert – increase the base damage any player can do with a blade. It does not increase any “extra” damage from damage type on blades.
  • Shock Boost – increase damage done by shock and increase resistance to shock.
mage realm champion system eso

This Mage path perk increases Fire damage and resistance.

Here are examples of the unlocks you can gain for  spending a specific amount of champion points:

  • 10 pts: Impatience – A significant increase to success chance at forcing locks
  • 30 pts: Fortune Hunter – Gold found in Chests is Increased
  • 50 pts Deflection – Blocking now returns a % of the mitigated damage onto the attack
  • 100 pts Counterstrike – A successful block at lower than 10% health has a & chance to prevent and return 100% of the damage back on the attack. 10 Minutes cooldown.

Champion points are only earned during the veteran ranks, and can be spent on all of your characters across your account.

New Armour & Weapons

There’s a bunch of new armour styles and sets coming in the near future. Here’s examples of the new gear:

  • Kothringi Ceremonial gear
  • Dark Brotherhood gear
  • Thieves Guild gear
  • Morag Tong gear
  • Glass Armor & Weapons
  • Dwarven Armor & Weapons
  • Undaunted Armor Set
  • Imperial Daedric gear
eso glass armor

Preview of Glass Armour

Future Content & Grouping

  • City of Ash, a new Veteran dungeon is scheduled to arrive in Update 5.
  • New solo zone: Wrothgar. Includes female giants and horkers!
  • New adventure zone: Murkmire. Includes new trials and works much the same way as Craglorn does. Is located south of Shadowfen, in the Blackmarsh province.
  • Dragonstar Arena: think of it as 4-player trials, except there are said to be more difficult. The difficulty dynamically increases. The better you do, the harder the instance will come, and the better loot you get.
  • In the future, players will be able to scale dungeons to their group leader’s level.
  • Shared quest advancement is also in the works. When a member of the group collects a quest item, the other group members’ quests will be updated as well.
  • The Undaunted guild will receive lots of new features. This includes daily dungeons, which provide another way to further increase your rank with the Undaunted. The Undaunted skill line will receive a number of new passives.
  • Completing dungeons multiple times yields undaunted keys, which are used for opening undaunted chests. These include unique items and armor.

Facial Animation Improvements

In future character faces will use FaceFX tech for improved facial animation. Currently the animations are rather lacking so this change should improve things quite a bit. Many AAA game titles use FaceFX including Star Wars: The Old Republic and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

  • Marquis

    All this looks very promising to me. I wonder how they plan to limit spellcrafting to make it balanced.
    Also, it’s a shame there’s no pickpocketing, but the player bounty system on its own should be very interesting. Can’t wait to hear more.

  • jbone

    Is there any news on new weapons being added to the game?

  • They’ll add lots of new armor & weapons like glass, dwarven, imperial daedric etc.

    When it will happen is a question I can’t answer.