The Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind DLC is now free for all players. Given that there’s relevance to High Isle, opening up the DLC access to all makes sense, and it’s still a chance for those that haven’t had a chance to play to explore the Dark Elves’ homeland.
There's also a third and final entry in the behind the scenes dev interview series on boss design. The final part of the deep dive brings back Lead Encounter Designer Mike Finnigan and Senior Content Designer Shane Slama. This time, the two discuss designing bosses with balancing mechanics and power in mind, the role of QA, how PTS testing helps shape the final releases, and what they do after a new boss or dungeon is released.
In previous entries, the devs discussed how important lore and setting are to boss design, as well as designing for location first, then who the boss is and what their role is in Tamriel. They’ve also mentioned how a boss’ abilities also come from conceptualizing movement within the space, which is a design element that comes first. When it comes to balancing power and mechanics, they approach with some basic points they’re looking for, including how hard certain attacks might hit and even how many targets they’ll have. Some more complex attacks are balanced via playtesting, which can show you the effect of the numbers they set and from there, they can tweak the designs.
Emphasizing the role of play testing on the eventual design, and seeing it function in a build, they also bring the roll of QA into the process. On QA, Slama says “We try to have them get in and test builds of the encounters early in the process, so they can help us go down the right path. They're very highly trained players and know their stuff, so they give excellent feedback”.
If QA is the first phase that helps the team mold the roughest content into something functional, PTS testing puts it into the hands of the players, who approach from all different styles and skill levels. This provides feedback that the development team may not see. After bosses are released, some tweaks may happen, but those are usually dependent on player data or if there are bugs.