Back in October when Bill and I were at the Elder Scrolls Online Event we each chose a class to play in the demo. The Dragon Knight and the Templar were both playable back in October. This time however we got to check out the Sorcerer class. I chose the Sorcerer because we had done plenty of writing on the other two. So here then is the Sorcerer in all its glory.
Before we start to go through skills and statistics, remember that any class can use any weapon or wear any armor. This is very much an Elder Scrolls trait and holds true in the online game as well. So the team feels strongly that even though you do pick a class to play, they do not want characters defined by their classes. As you will see on the Interviews, most of the team continues to experiment with the best builds in the game. In playing a Sorcerer I ran around primarily with a sword and dagger and was able to fight, dodge, use weapon skills, and still cast my spells.
You begin with three skill sets on your character: Weapons, Armor, and Class. The Class list unlocks three skill trees for the class you play. So in the Sorcerer's case there is: Storm Calling, Dark Magic, and Daedric Summoning. From the skills I read, Dark Magic is very much crowd-control style spells. Things like knockbacks, and stuns all come out of this skill line. Daedric Summoning is exactly that. It gives you buffs and allows you to summon the Daedra; I had a little imp following me around and loved it. Storm Calling is the last part of the sets and that gives the Sorcerer the ability to cast Lightning spells.
I did not use Dark Magic much, but after reading through the preliminary skill list it was clear that this is the crowd-control tree. This combination could be deadly with a bow or two handed sword to really dish out some damage while you control where your opponents are. The first skill was like a root ability. The sorcerer begins the game with a destruction staff that shoots fireballs. So when you choose your first skill at level two this is a good one to keep enemies in place.
Daedric Summoning was great fun. I wanted it because it was a demo and I liked the idea of an imp following me around. He was great, only if he did not have a one minute time limit, I think that is under review though and they are looking at ways to make the daedra permanent. You can summon Atronachs eventually which we saw in the video for AvA. This tree also gives you a lot of buffs.
The last tree was Storm Calling which I also put a point into during the demo. Mage’s Fury was a great lightning spell which ramps up in damage and then hits the mob at the end of duration with a punch in damage. This tree also has Lightning Form near the top which was said to be pretty effective in AvA. It also gave you some solid ranged attacks to work with.
You are going to hear this word a lot in the coming articles and videos as the classes in the game really do mix and match skills. As I said earlier, I played my Sorcerer wielding a sword and dagger and sneaking around a lot. I did put points in the dual-wield skill to get a cool attack with both weapons. This and my Mage’s Fury Lightning attack were my two main ways to finish off mobs early on in the demo.
The hot topic among the dev team really was how they were specc-ing their classes. Each skill levels up as you use it. So my Mage’s Fury attack continued to advance the more I cast the spell. You really can start to see some combos as you build your character. I did run around with a bow for a while which made me great at all-ranged combat, but was tough when NPCs got close. I really liked the Destruction Staff that you began the game with as well; you also get access to a Restoration staff for healing. Paul Sage did say the other schools of magic from Elder Scrolls are in the game in one form or another, but did not say much else about it.
Another very important announcement was that at 15th level you get the almighty weapon swap ability. This is a way for you to max out your skill bar with another set of skills. So you get five skills on your bar plus the Q button for quick-slot items. The swap really gives players a way to have ten skills ready at any given time in a fight. It’s kind of like Guild Wars 2, if I had to compare it to anything.
The Sorcerer was a lot of fun to play and brings in some powerful spells. Matt said one of his builds was a Sorcerer with a two-handed sword and heavy armor. The possibilities are endless with the progression of the game. We will have other articles on that later this week. For now, Elder Scrolls gives players a great class with the Sorcerer and does not pin you down as a robe-wearing, staff wielding, grey bearded fellow in a pointy hat! That alone is reason enough to think about trying one come launch. Battlemage? Yes, please.