With patch 1.6 now live on the Private Test Server (PTS) we finally get to enjoy all the exciting changes we’ve been speaking about for the last few months. In this preview I’ll be taking a look at the Champion system, Justice System, and I’m even going to discuss some of the aspects of PvP that will be changing.
How has Survivability in PvP changed?
Area of Effect damage is something that is by far one of the most effective tactics in PvP. A little too effective in some cases. While 1.6 increases the effectiveness of AoE by having it hit up to 60 possible targets they also revamped the way it deals its damage. Instead of it dealing its full amount of damage to the entire 60 people, in order to help survivability and not let impulse/bat swarm groups run rampant throughout cyrodiil, they’ve made the damage scale down based on the amount of targets it hits. The first six people will receive the fullest extent of the ability, while the next 24 people will receive only 50% of the full amount and the remaining 30 players will receive 25% of the full hit.
Along with this change they’ve also (and about time) implemented a Crowd Control Immunity. You will gain this buff every time you’ve been effected by a crowd control. No longer are we going to be stun locked to the point where you can’t do anything but sit at your desk and scream.
Resources have also seen a bit of a change. When Zenimax boosted the overall stats of players they also increased the cost of abilities. Part of this is to adjust for the added bonuses from the champion system but until you’ve earned enough champion points you’re going to see yourself running out of your resource a lot faster than you did before. As a healer, going through a dungeon has become a lot harder. On the live servers, (patch 1.5) I can heal through any dungeon without having to worry about magicka conservation, but now it’s a real concern. I know this sounds like a negative, but it is really a positive. Players should have to manage their resource, once you’ve hit a point where this isn’t a concern you become “god-like”, you can do anything you want without worry. Especially in PvP this is going to be a great change. Couple this with the AoE and Crowd Control change and we’re going to see fewer and fewer tower battles at the Lumber Mill/Mine/Farm resources. I can’t tell you how frustrated I get when groups fight inside a tower and spam specific abilities. These changes are going to help prevent that. While players will still do this, it won’t be nearly as effective.
All About the Champion System
We’ve been talking about this for the past couple of months. Now let’s actually take a look at what we’ll be getting.
When you first load into the game depending on your level you’ll be granted 70 Champion Point. The points will be divided up into three categories, Warrior, Thief, and Mage. Anytime you earn an additional Champion Point it’ll be for the next category from what you earned previously. For example if your last point was for the Warrior, your next point will be for the Thief.
I have included a list of all the bonuses you can place your points into at the end of this column. You can place a total of 100 points in each passive and a total of 400 points into each constellation.
The first point into a node will grant a 1% bonus to whatever area you put it into. Each point thereafter will provide you with less than 1% gain. So for example, if I put 10 points into Light Armor Focus I’d gain a bonus of 3.6% but also unlocking the additional passive, Spell Absorption.
While ZOS did mix up the constellations to provide a variety of options of all different types of players, one thing I’ve noticed is they all seem to have a very PvP’ish feel to them. An example of this is Resilient, the passive granted to you from the Lady Constellation. While it is a good bonus, it is useless in PvE as you don’t receive critical hits in PvE. Another example is a lot of the passives and nodes grant bonuses to snares, stuns, disorients etc. however they offer you zero when it comes to PvE boss fighting as those enemies tend to be immune to any and all Crowd Controlling abilities. As much as I like this champion system, and I really do, I think they need to add more PvE specific abilities. Maybe at the 120 mark allow a specific ability to effect a boss for more damage, or allow it to be crowd control, reduce the boss’s damage for 5 seconds.
There is also an ability that I think should be changed, Combat Medic in the Lord constellation. While reducing the damage received while resurrecting sounds great it serves very little bonus in PvE unless you’re attempting to resurrect someone from the center of a gas cloud. I think this passive would serve a lot better if they made it so you become immune to all CC while rezzing. In PvE this will allow you to resurrect someone without having to worry about being stunned by still be mindful of damage. In PvP it offers a very unique change to the fight. In PvP if you’re seen resurrecting someone, you get stunned. Players don’t fight you while you’re doing that, so that passive doesn’t offer much help. However if it makes you immune to CC, it then turns you into a DPS race. You either stand there and resurrect your buddy and help you get it off in time or try and defend yourself. The enemy now has to kill you before you get that other person up, as they’ll be resurrected with the Passive Revival and be granted a damage shield. I think this change could really affect the way people PvP.