What is the Justice System?
This is probably one of the most requested and anticipated features. However it’s full implementation won’t be included in the 1.6 update. This update will only include the thievery aspect of the justice system. So if you wanted to be that upstanding citizen who wants to uphold the laws and regulations set forth by King Emeric/Queen Ayrenn/Jorunn The Skald King, you can’t, least not yet.
When you go into any city not just a major city you’ll notice certain NPCs will have a white glow around them. The white glow will indicate that NPC is part of the justice system. You can either pickpocket that person, or murder them. Regardless of which option you choose ensure there are no witnesses otherwise you will incur a bounty on your head.
To pickpocket an NPC, go into sneak and go behind your unsuspecting victim. You’ll be given some new text, E to pickpocket, along with your chance to successfully pickpocket them. There are three difficulties when it comes to pickpocketing, easy, medium, and hard. Hard is typically the guards and they start at a 20% chance to succeed, while easy is 40% and medium is 30%. If you stay behind the person long enough they will become more susceptible to the crime and you chance to steal will increase by 20%, but only for a few seconds. It becomes a bit of a mini game at this point.
You can increase your likelihood of successful pickpockets through the new skill line called Ledgerdemain. The more thievery you do without getting caught by a guard (or one day a player enforcer) you’ll earn XP towards the Ledgerdemain skill line.
- Improved Hiding – Reduces the Stamina cost of sneaking by 10% - 1/4
- Light Fingers – Increases your chance of successfully Pickpocketing by 10% - 1/4
- Trafficker – Increases the number of fence interactions you can use each day by 120% - 1/4
- Locksmith – Improves your chance of forcing locks by 10% - 1/4
- Kickback – Reduces bounties you willingly pay to guards and fences by 10% - 1/4
So if you become a master thief you can increase those pickpocketing chances from 20% up to 60%. If you score it at the right time you could potentially get it to an 80% success rate. With guards typically being the hardest NPCs to steal from, I hope they have the best items.
Throughout the cities you’ll encounter locked houses. These houses will be your best way to level your skill line. Not only do these houses sometimes have people inside for you to murder (if you choose), but they will sometimes have lockboxes within them. These lockboxes typically have the higher quality loot items in them that sell for a decent amount of profit as well as the action of picking locks offers a large amount of XP towards the Ledgerdemain skill line.
In the event you get caught by a guard, you’ll be given two options, pay off your bounty or flee. If you choose to pay off your bounty all the stolen items in your inventory will be taken from you as well as the gold for the bounty. If you decided to flee make sure you know where you’re headed, guards do a lot of damage and they all seem to be Dragonknights, so beware of the Chain Pull and talons. Throughout the cities there are outlaw refuge points. These are safe havens for outlaws and also a place for you to fence your items or to launder them so you can either keep it or sell it to a vendor. You can only fence and launder so many items per day as the vendors down there do not want to get any more attention from the guards. You can also purchase a guild trader within the refuges.
That pretty much covers everything I’ve had the pleasure of playing in ESO 1.6. There is so much more to be seen and discussed. The combat animations have changed the provisioning revamp, and even some of the skills which have been altered or completely changed. So if you haven’t already, I highly recommend downloading the PTS and enjoying this patch early so you can plan the changes for your character.
Editor's Note: Be sure to check out page 3 and some amazing charts on the effects of the Champion System.