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The Conundrum of Balance Part Deux

Josh Hay Posted:
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Further down the rabbit hole we go… I’m going to try to make this column as readable as possible, but if you get lost in the shuffle on this post, I apologize.

I’m going to be taking a different direction with this post. I want to continue talking about class balance and at the end I will talk about weapon and armor balance. I mean, we could debate about balance all day or whether or not one class is better than another. I think we can all agree on one thing though, Warden sucks. Just kidding. They have gotten some much needed love, but what about the other classes? As we all know, each class has three skill trees you can follow along with your chosen weapon tree. Are they all equal to each other? No, of course not. We don’t live in a perfect world.

I will be using my main class and my main character, my Nightblade, as an example. We have for our three skill trees, Assassination, Siphon and Shadow. I use a combination of Siphon, Assassination and Destro skills for my main weapon and for my secondary weapon I use Siphon and Resto staff skills. Even though I have a lot of Assassination skills unlocked, I do not use them at all and rarely have. Why? Well, in my opinion I feel that the assassination tree is weaker than the other two. Deathstroke, the ultimate, can be a really useful and powerful skill. However, the only skill that I could see myself potentially using over the long term is a morphed Impale.

For those of you who do use the assassination skill tree, what use do you find for it? Am I just missing something? Regardless, I would like to go back to the obvious class that sparked this whole thing with me: The Warden.

This class really just gets overshadowed by all the rest. I was really, really excited when they announced Wardens. I loved the whole bear aspect with having what seemed like really decent skill trees. What did we end up with? A not so good class, that since release has received some love. But is it enough to warrant playing my Warden? No, because everytime I do, I just feel like my other characters can just do so much more. I can out damage my Warden with my Nightblade, out tank with my Dragon Knight and out heal with my Templar. So, again what would be the point? I know I am harping on this a lot but I feel like this is a really good point for talking about balance.

What can be done to the Warden to make it better? We can always say “Buff X and Nerf Y”. But what would be buffed and what would be nerfed? I don’t want the Warden to become overpowered. I would just like it to be on par with the four others. What would you buff? What would you nerf? I would definitely like to see your opinions on this.

There are a lot of things I feel that need to be more correctly balanced in this game, not just the Warden. It’s not as perfect as one might think or want to believe. Besides Warden, I would love to see some changes made to bows and one-hand/shield as well. Don’t get me wrong: Balance is an extremely hard thing. ZoS has to balance for PvE and PvP purposes. One class or skill tree might be extremely efficient in PvP but really terrible in PvE. 

Lastly, I want to jump into the discussion of Weapons and Armors. Let's start with weapons.

Over time, I have used the majority of the weapon choices we have in Elder Scrolls Online. In fact, I think ZoS did a great job on the selection but I definitely would like to see more added down the road. (Scythe anyone?) There was a time where all we saw was Destruction Staves and two handers gunning down everyone in PvP. Luckily since then, there have been some changes. There is more of a variety now than there was before, but does that mean we have come to a balanced state? I still don’t think so, but it’s gotten better. I still feel that one-hand and shield is a little weak. I also feel that bow skills could be a little better as well.

I will admit I haven’t touched either bow or one hand/shield skill trees in a while but some of my close friends are pretty unhappy with their choices. However, we have a ton of freedom in Elder Scrolls Online and they have since refunded their points and leveled other skill lines. I said previously that on the majority of my characters I run the Destro/Resto combination, I just feel that it is one of the more powerful combinations in the game. The damage I can output and the sustain I am able to afford is just amazing. I have very, very little downtime. For those of you who currently played or have played in the past, what is/was your chosen weapons?

That will wrap it up for now. We could delve into this forever, but I think it would get old after awhile. My final question for you all, the readers is this: How do you feel about the current state of Elder Scrolls Online balance? If you like it or dislike it, tell me why in the comments. 

Thanks for joining me again down the balance rabbit hole 


Josh Hay