With the new Elder Scrolls Online Homestead update coming soon, I wanted to have a look over how far ESO has come since I started playing only roughly a year ago.
The last time I wrote about ESO all the way back in March 2016, I had created a character called Viole and was only leveled to level 9. Not too long after that, I deleted this character and created a new one. With my current character, Rubie, I am now Level 50 and Champion rank 213! (At time of publishing, of course).
It used to be that once you hit level 50 you would be transferred to level 1 again, but level 1 veteran rank. Each veteran level was like earning 5 -10 normal levels. There were tougher enemies and more experience points. A few updates ago, this was changed to have champion levels to get champion points. You also gained earlier access to the other alliance area. These alliances are Daggerfall Covenant, Aldmeri Dominion and Ebonheart Pact. If you started as a member of the Daggerfall pact, once you hit veteran ranks then the Aldmeri Dominion and Ebonheart Pact were accessible.
This isn’t the case now. You can now access every alliance from the start of the game. No restrictions.
The enemy levels were also changed. Enemies at the different alliances were set to specific levels; like if you’re second alliance area was the Aldmeri Pact then the levels were set to a starting point of veteran rank 1 and increased as you progressed through the alliance story. Veteran rank 6 was the minimum level for the third and final alliance, Ebonheart Pact. Once Champion ranks were added to the game, the veteran rank leveling of the 3 alliance were also altered to suit. The Veteran rank 1 minimum level alliance was changed to Champion rank 10 and the veteran rank 6 minimum level alliance was changed to Champion rank 80.
A more recent update has seen the enemy levels system essentially removed from the game altogether. Each enemy’s level scales to suit the level of your character. I like this alteration to the leveling system as it opens the game up to all players. This leveling system also opens up the use of any of the DLC to players of any level. It used to be that the enemies were automatically set to Veteran rank 16 (Champion rank 160). This meant that there was a drastic difficulty spike for those areas. Unless you went with other higher level characters, you stood minimal chance of completing anything in the area.
I like the fact now that none of the game is locked and whichever character that I play as, however high or low of a level, I can do anything within the game.
Champion Ranks System
Having just spoken about the Champion ranks a little, I’d like to go a little further in depth with it.
You gain experience points towards 3 different major constellations; the thief, the warrior and the mage. They will be leveled up alternatively; once you receive a warrior point, the next you will receive is a thief point and then a mage point. The cycle then returns to the warrior point.
Inside each major constellation, there are another 3 minor constellations. Each of these come with different passive abilities and gameplay buffs. Passive abilities, such as master gatherer, plentiful harvest, synergizer and wind running, add permanent effects to your game. For each minor constellation, there are 4 unlockable passive abilities. These are unlocked when a certain amount of champion points are applied to that constellation. Below you will find the passive abilities unlocked for the minor constellation, the lover, within the major constellation, the thief.
To activate Master Gatherer, you must apply 75 thief champion points to any part of the lover constellation. The effect that master gatherer has on your game is that gathering time from resource nodes is reduced by 50%.
To activate Plentiful Harvest, you must apply 10 thief champion points to any part of the lover constellation. The effect that plentiful harvest has on your game is that you get a 10% chance to double your yield from normal resource nodes.
To activate Synergizer, you must apply 30 thief champion points to any part of the lover constellation. The effect that synergizer has on your game is that you are granted with 2 ultimate ability points whenever a synergy is activated in combat.
To activate Wind Running, you must apply 120 thief champion points to any part of the lover constellation. The effect that wind running has on your game is that your movement speed is increased by 2% for all movement types as well as also granting you 10% regeneration to your health and magic while sprinting.
Each constellation has a selection of passive abilities to help improve your game.
Currently, the maximum champion rank is capped to champion rank 561.
There have been significant improvements to the general world environment, giving the game a smoother, more defined look. To me, it looks amazing!
But I have to say that the main graphical improvements go to the look of the enemies, armour and weapons. It all looks so much more defined. Spriggans used to look just like a simple stick but now they actually look like small living trees.
Lets take one of the world bosses, Trapjaw, for example. Trapjaw looked just like a normal crocodile with a few extra spikes in his armour. Not much different from a basic crocodile enemy. Trapjaw now looks a lot bigger, a lot tougher and has a more distinctive appearance. He looks so much more dragon like.
As with a lot of other in-game graphic improvements, the resource nodes have changed in appearance slightly. Now they are more noticeable as well as being more distinctive and defined. For example, the mining nodes actually look more metallic and lke rock.
Much like Trapjaw, the look of world bosses has been greatly improved.
Along with that, there has been changes to how the fight with the world bosses works. If you were a somewhat higher level than the world boss, it sometimes felt as though there was nothing special about it. Just like fighting a normal enemy. Now, no matter what level you fight the world boss, it will be a challenge. It has a feeling of fighting a recognised enemy with the toughness of the boss. It adds a legendary feel to the enemy.
Along with all this, there have been a lot of changes and improvements across the game.
Take the area on the map, Craglorn, for example. Craglorn was created specifically for a group of 4 players. Not the best if you don’t play in groups or have a smaller group like I have. I group with Mr J and his dad a lot when playing ESO so we couldn’t enjoy exploring and questing in Craglorn. This has now been changed to be more player friendly, with the minimum group members lowered to 2. We can now go and explore a whole new area as a group of 2 or 3, instead of needing a 4 player group.
There are 10 character races in the game, 3 different ones for each alliance and the Imperial race. Each race had different racial passive abilities. For example, the passive ability for the Nord race, which is Reveler, was experience gain for the two-handed weapon skill line was increased by 15%. Improvements have now seen a second ability added to reveler, which sees an increase of duration by 15 minutes for any drink consumed.
Some weapon and armour traits have also been altered. The Exploration skill, which gave you an increase in experience from exploration tasks like discovering towns and wayshrines, has now been changed to the Prosperous skill. This gives you an increase to gold found.
Quest rewards have also been improved. You are given better quality equipment rewards from quests, as well as receiving extra rewards in the form of equipment, glyphs and skill points from the Harborage main story quests.
Duelling has also been added to ESO, where you can invite other players to duel with you. Once the invite has been accepted, a duel starts in 5 seconds and you fight each other. Although there is an in-game achievement for duelling a certain number of times, there is no gold or experience reward. The duelling is just for fun. If you don’t want to duel with other players, you can just decline the duel invite or tun on the setting to automatically decline the invites.
To go along with the voice chat option already accessible on ESO, a text chat option is available. This is great for those without a microphone or who just don’t want to use the voice chat. Like when we play as our 3 player group. We usually have a party created on the PlayStation system where we use the party chat and leave the voice channels within game. Now, if there is something I am looking for or someone asking for help, I can quickly type it on the text chat.
As well as the look of resource nodes changing, there have also been improvements to how much you can gather from the nodes. With the rune nodes, instead of having 3 different rune nodes hanging around Tamriel, there is now only one type which allows you to gather at least two of the different types of rune from each node you gather from.
Wow! That is so much improved upon in ESO since I started playing almost a year ago. And that’s not all! Things such a crown crates have been added and the ability to change the look of your character after you have created them. I’m now eagerly awaiting the Homestead update, which I have my fingers crossed to it coming tomorrow when the ESO PlayStation servers go offline for maintenance. I don’t think that’s the case though. I don’t think we’ll see the Homestead until February.
I’ll definitely be writing about the update once it is here.
Happy Gaming from me and my group!
Do you play Elder Scrolls Online? Does it look like your type of game? I’d love to hear from you with your opinions. Feel free to get in touch.