ESO – Design Issues

While I am happy to have a respectable parse, I think of an interesting design issue this system causes for ZoS.

ESO is the first game I’ve gotten seriously into the end-game. I know WoW had mythic levels, scaling raids, and I participated somewhat, but was usually a healer and not trying to maximize my DPS char.

I don’t know what the spread is in other games, but here, there is a 10x or more damage difference between novices and experts. Heck, there is a 10x increase in my own dps since I started playing again, and a 5x difference from when I became interested in more than overland content roughly 6 months ago!

Some of that is gear and level and so on, but all the same, I think you could take a novice and expert and give them an identical char (say on a test server) and the expert will easily do 3 or 4 times as much damage, possibly more. In this situation, some players will barely parse 30K. Other will reach 60K, while a smaller group will do 90K or 120K; entirely based on their skill at performing the rotation (weaving and uptimes) using the identical chars as the other player!

The experience these groups have against the content will be VASTLY different. The 30K group will face every mechanic, perhaps struggle or fail. The longer the fight, the more time for mistakes and the more resource drain on supports. The 60K group will proceed carefully and progress, the 90K group won’t have much trouble, and the 120K group will burn stuff down so fast it is almost trivial to them Both the 90K and 120K group will seek vet trials, the 60K group will find it difficult and challenging, the 30K group has no hope.

Also there is boss design where something happens every 10% health lost – e.g. Bahsei in Rockgrove, who summons adds every 10% health lost. The 40K group can wear him down and deal with adds, where the 120K group might actually need to throttle themselves or they will have multiple adds from killing him too fast!

I think that’s why we see the normal, veteran, veteran hard mode, and then trifecta (speed run, no deaths, vet hard mode) splits. Offer a difficulty level to each group that they can opt into.

Anyway, it’s been fun “getting good” and I still have a ways to go. It took a lot of work to go from 20K to 90K and it’s probably even harder to get to 110K. But it’s a fun goal to work for. I feel like I’m in a good spot, doing decent damage and also decent at healing. I need more practice tanking, and I plan to address that as well. I’d just like to be competent at each role to give myself max flexibility trying to find a slot in a group.

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