Dueling is coming with Update 12 along with One Tamriel and a plethora of other exciting features, all of which will be entirely free. However, let us focus on dueling. Dueling isn’t just about poking friends with pointed objects or hurling magical balls of energy at people, but that is a very fun aspect of it. It’s about character improvement and advancing your character in ways you probably would have never thought of.
I am a major advocate for character diversity. I do not think any character should be cookie cutter. It loses that MMO feel which is probably why I do not enjoy World of Warcraft anymore. Class diversity is nigh obsolete in that game. However, that is another article for some other time. Elder Scrolls Online allows players to build their characters any way they want and they have designed the game with the philosophy that no one build will be the best. Of course, with the amount of options there are in ESO it is impossible to nail this ideology down perfectly, but it is very close. So close that now with the ease of dueling we are going to see even more unique builds and play styles.
Testing out build ideas and concepts was not an easy thing to do in the past. You had to know someone from the enemy alliance, coordinate campaigns, find a secluded spot in Cyrodiil so you won’t be harassed by other players, then finally test out your build against them. If you needed to change abilities or reallocate attribute points or champion points you had to leave Cyrodiil, go to your respec locations, do what you need to do, then go back to Cyrodiil and fight again. A huge pain in the rear, right?
Well, not any longer. Now you can test your builds right outside the respec locations, or anyone within the PvE world of Tamriel. It is so incredibly easy now for you to test out those unique and crazy idea builds that on paper, sound like they should work but you never had the time to dedicate to test.
How exactly does dueling work in Tamriel?
Similar to other games that allow dueling, you just go up to someone, use your social wheel (the round thing with the “Invite to Group”, “Send Whisper”, “Invite to Trade” etc. are located) and choose Invite to Duel. That player will receive a notification asking if they wish to partake in your shenanigans and they have the choice to accept or decline.
If accepted, a flag will be dropped between both players. This flag will be the center of the dueling circle (it’s a large area), if any player steps outside the dueling area they will be notified they are out of bounds and will have a countdown appear on their screen allowing them time to get back into the dueling area otherwise the fight will end in a forfeit. For those who are thinking they’re going to get annoyed with the spamming on duel request notifications, don’t worry, ZOS has implemented a feature to prevent that. If you don’t want to get the notifications of duel requests you can go into your social options and enable the auto decline feature. So you’ll never get the duel request but you’ll still be able to initiate a request, so you can annoy others.
Dueling is to the death, like it should be. Once, or if, you die you will be prompted with the death recap window and a free resurrect. This was my biggest concern when I found out it was to the death and not to the first killing blow. I did not want to have to waste soul gems or have to run back from a wayshrine every time I died.
ZOS has been working on this dueling feature for some time and it shows. They have also implemented this mechanic in such a way that no outside player interference can happen. Once you begin the dueling, no player outside the fight can buff or heal either player. NPC Guards and mobs can still do harm to the combatants but not actual players.
Knowing this, I really hope Zenimax releases an area that is filled with smaller arena styled sections. Each arena offering different types of added mechanics. So for example, one arena could have tigers along the edges and if the combatants get too close they aggro, think of the movie Gladiator. I think these areas could offer up some exciting RP experiences and also could provide interesting areas to do a tournament style dueling competition. Okay, I just got myself extremely excited for a feature that does not even exist. Come on Zenimax, please make this happen!
There are even achievements associated specifically for dueling. If you are like me and are an achievement hunter you are going to be spending a lot of time dueling players just to earn these. This is such a great idea and is often overlooked. Achievements are a great way to get more people to do different aspects of a game. There are players that will dueling solely to get these achievements and that’s okay, but without these achievements they would have never taken part in dueling. Who knows, they might get hooked on it and will join the 1v1 Ladders system and become the best dueler.
They’re also opening up the API for modders to create addons that can track your dueling progress, win:loss ratio, which class you beat the most, which class you have the hardest time against. These types of statistics will provide players a major insight to their characters. These stats exist already in Cyrodiil fights but they are not accurate to how well you fight against that class, rarely do you encounter players 1v1 outside of an organized fight club. Cyrodiil stats will be screwed because you’re not the only one hitting that target and that target isn’t the only one hitting you. So we’ll really be able to see how well you can hold up against all the other classes.
That being said, this is also a great tool to really nail down any balancing issues that are present in the game. As I mentioned earlier with the amount of build options there are there will always be something that appears to be better and with dueling and these statistics we’ll be able to help provide Zenimax with a lot more detail on what’s happening between the classes.
As you can tell, I’m slightly excited for dueling and I’ll be on the PTS testing out this new feature. What are your thoughts about dueling? Will you be taking part or is it simply not for you?