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Elder Scrolls Online

Elder Scrolls Online 

General Discussion  » You can only use 5 skills at a time

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56 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 12/30/07
Posts: 177

OP  4/23/14 10:02:25 AM#1
What??? Only 5 buttons on the ability bar. Don't understand why they implemented this.

Novice Member

Joined: 2/22/04
Posts: 184

Come play with us Danny......

4/23/14 10:06:34 AM#2

I think its annoying too and I don't fully understand why they did it this way.

All I have heard is that they wanted to minimize what you see on the screen for deeper immersion.

That kind of makes sense but I would still prefer more.


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/08/10
Posts: 1296

The strong are sometimes wrong but the weak are never free.

4/23/14 10:07:09 AM#3

Limited still sets for action games is all the rage. To be fair, after 15, you can swap weapons IN combat so  you do have access to 10 stills total plus two attacks from your left and right mouse buttons. Personally I prefer a few more options but it is not bad.

The design idea behind a limited skill set is that you can put choice into the build by only allowing a few skills to be used at a time while still allowing people to be able to obtain access to very large repertoire of skills. So you allow for a very flexible system that still limits character from being over powered and forces role choices. Otherwise it would devolve into building the one perfect build that can fill every role on the fly.

All die, so die well.
Join SOLA in ArcheAge.


Elite Member

Joined: 2/21/06
Posts: 5364

4/23/14 10:08:27 AM#4

Two Words: Game Console


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/26/09
Posts: 1169

4/23/14 10:09:55 AM#5

How many buttons would you want?


Would you be happier if the game had 100 skills and the entire screen was full of buttons to press but totally obscured the actual game?


It is what it is. Either get on playing it or don't. You can have 12 skills at any time, if you are not happy with that then the game is not for you.


Elite Member

Joined: 1/18/07
Posts: 2053

4/23/14 10:11:36 AM#6
Originally posted by JeroKane

Two Words: Game Console

One word:  ^This^

"If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor


Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/28/11
Posts: 274

4/23/14 10:15:00 AM#7
RPGs are getting dumbed down just like people

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/11/03
Posts: 3002

4/23/14 10:16:09 AM#8
Originally posted by dbgager
What??? Only 5 buttons on the ability bar. Don't understand why they implemented this.

I dunno.. on console Skyrim has.. 2? Including consumables. Plus, you need to bind weapon swaps to these.

On PC Skyrim has.. 8.. possible key binds. Including consumables. Plus, you need to bind weapon swaps to these. 9 if you include the shout.

Oh.. and ESO has 6 (not 5), per weapon swap.. totalling 12. Weapon swap does not take up at a hotkey.

ESO has 7 per weapon swap, if you include the consumables.. totalling 14. Weapon swap does not take up a hotkey.

Conclusion? Most hotkeys of any elder scrolls game.. ever.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/15/07
Posts: 1098

4/23/14 10:16:10 AM#9
Console controllers only have a few buttons, so that's how many skills you get.

RIP City of Heroes. One of my favorite MMO's.

  User Deleted
4/23/14 10:16:51 AM#10
Originally posted by rodingo
Originally posted by JeroKane

Two Words: Game Console

One word:  ^This^

I dont' really see it much.

Gamepads have 12 buttons, couting arrows. ESO buttons:

1- for main attack

1- block

5- skills

1- ultimate

1- swap weapon set

9 buttons total, not taking into consideration the dodge and tab target button. But yeah, i'd prefer maybe 2 or 3 more. However, the combat system is what matters in the end. Personally, i feel ESO's combat, despite the animations, was quite good and engaging from my beta experience. 


Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/29/08
Posts: 2531

4/23/14 10:23:19 AM#11
Originally posted by dbgager
What??? Only 5 buttons on the ability bar. Don't understand why they implemented this.

Welcome to weeks ago.  Please feel free to look up one of the many, many lengthy threads devoted to this dead horse.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/08/10
Posts: 1898

4/23/14 10:28:32 AM#12

ESO has a pretty deep combat system. But if you look at just the hotbar you will miss it.

5 regular skills

1 ultimate skill

light attack

heavy attack






weapon swap which opens up another hotbar with 5 skills + 1 ult.


But the depth comes from how you create your class and how various skills and their morphs interact with each other and with other people in your group. The limited bar offers a very low barrier to entry, so if you're not a very capable player, you aren't left struggling, but the skill cap is very high and the more time you dedicate to your build and learning the intricacies of combat, the more you're rewarded with a great gameplay experience. Reminds me of GW1 and their MTG inspired class building system.


Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 5031

4/23/14 10:32:15 AM#13
Originally posted by dbgager
What??? Only 5 buttons on the ability bar. Don't understand why they implemented this.

First, please count next time.

ESO has:

1 consumable

5 regular skills

1 ultimate

not to mention the mouse skills which make a pretty significant difference in combat (light attack, heavy attack, block, bash, CC break) as well as the sneak & dodge skills.

This also ignores the fact that everyone (at minimum) gets double this from weapon swap. Or if you're a sorcerer (using Overload) you get a 3rd action bar, effectively trippling your base skillset. All of which can be rotated in the middle of combat.

- Some will claim the reasoning behind this is 'consoles', and for certain other games they might be right. However there is no design plan mentioned atm to port ESO for consoles. In fact they have said the exact opposite, even going as far as to deny controller support (though you can still find ways to play it on a controller from you're PC if you know what you're doing).

The reality of the limited skillbar isn't some mass conspiracy to make more console games. In fact this mentallity actually originated from PC games. You can look at any MOBA and see the limited skill bar. Inspite none of them being available on console. It's because the few games that have massive skill bars (almost all of them being MMOs) do not benefit from their complexity. The UIs tend to be cumbersome and clunky, and this makes it harder for players to get into such games. As others have stated in the past, having the 100+ skills that games like WoW / EQ had did not make the game any more strategic or complex. Many of those skills were redundant, and most were situational at best, leaving only a small selection of skills that actually got used on a regular basis.

Games like Guild Wars 1, CoX, etc. have shown us that you can have a limited skill bar, but still have a ton of strategy and complex combat. It all comes down to how well designed the skills are, and how much depth the combat has, rather than how many buttons you can fit on a bar, or how many UI bars you can put on a screen.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/14/13
Posts: 743

4/23/14 10:39:30 AM#14

Try sorcerer or mage or whatever it was with 2 pets,then you have 3 button combat.


Ps.I bet that GW3 is going to have 1 button combat and that 1 button is going to do snare,root,aoe,DoT,freeze,kill and death.

and people are going to call it revolutionary.

Pss.I also bet that Zenimax is going to revamp their combat at some point (hear my prayer Crom!)

So, did ESO have a successful launch? Yes, yes it did.
By Ryan Getchell on April 02, 2014.
**On the radar:**


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/29/13
Posts: 171

4/23/14 10:42:01 AM#15
Originally posted by dbgager
What??? Only 5 buttons on the ability bar. Don't understand why they implemented this.

They did it this way so they could cater for the console market. Publishers are only interested in $$$ not whether the game is dumbed down to hello kitty level. The next "evolution" in MMO gaming will be even simpler so ppl can play on their mobile devices because that's where the next round of $$$ is.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/29/13
Posts: 171

4/23/14 10:49:03 AM#16
Originally posted by aesperus
Originally posted by dbgager
What??? Only 5 buttons on the ability bar. Don't understand why they implemented this.

- Some will claim the reasoning behind this is 'consoles', and for certain other games they might be right. However there is no design plan mentioned atm to port ESO for consoles. In fact they have said the exact opposite, even going as far as to deny controller support (though you can still find ways to play it on a controller from you're PC if you know what you're doing).

Its releasing to PS4 and Xbox One in June 2014.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 10/03/06
Posts: 416

4/23/14 10:50:53 AM#17

Light attack, Heavy attack, Block, 5 skills x 2, Ultimate x 2, Weapon Switch, "Usable" wheel for 12 or so items such as potions, Dodge, Sprint, Sneak, Synergies, interrupt.

That's at least 16 keybindings and 12 assignable skills to juggle (excluding movement and jumping) for your every day combat.

You can also do different combo's and synergies. For example, if you block a heavy attack your opponent becomes disoriented, you can now fire your own heavy attack which will cause a knockdown. Some skills also give Synergy skills to your allies which they can activate, you can for example use a ground effect that slows/mitigates damage/does damage while also giving allies in the area a skill that makes them invisible and heals (this skill can also be morphed so 2 people with that skill could have different effects). And other synergies such as one skill affecting another.

There is loads of complexity and fun here. Personally i would have wanted 1 or 2 more skills per weapon set, but it works pretty well as it is.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/02/10
Posts: 458

4/23/14 10:53:02 AM#18

Fewer active skills = dumbed down... >.>

Are you guys also complaining about how you have to chose which morph you go with and how come you can't have them all?

It's called "making choices". That game with the 200 skills is ----->. Let me know if you actually have more than 5 in your main rotation, and the other 195 are skills you use once/week to once/month.


Advanced Member

Joined: 4/25/12
Posts: 139

4/23/14 10:55:55 AM#19
Originally posted by dbgager
What??? Only 5 buttons on the ability bar. Don't understand why they implemented this.

This was actually answered by the studio themselves.  It has been answered in ever thread that has come up with this.  The developer stated they didn't want you playing the UI they wanted you looking at the game.  With games with tons of hotbars you end up looking at the hotbar most of the time instead of the game surrounding you.  Then you need macros so you can cast this before that etc... 

I am not totally happy with the system either but it is the way things are going.  I would like a few more to choose from  for class skills but I will take what I can get.  It also makes games easier to cross platform and already stated 100's of times.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/07/14
Posts: 423

4/23/14 11:03:45 AM#20
I initially disliked this, but I've come to appreciate it quite a bit.  You make interesting choices and can construct a variety of viable builds.  In the limit of 96 keys you end up with specialized builds, such that a true "healer" class has a lock on healing.  This just isn't so in ESO.  And - let's be honest - most of those 96 keys in most MMOs end up being slight variations on the same theme or specialized gimmicks.
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