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Soulece

Response to information from the ESO PvP Q&A

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There was one thing that I was disappointed in not hearing about and that was the Emperor's unique abilities and his buffs to other players. Brian didn't go into detail about the armor or abilities but he did mention that "When an Alliance gets an Emperor, they really don't want to lose it". That gives us some insight into how powerful the Emperor really is at least.

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Pretty disappointed that he didn't say wether or not AoE abilities will have a cap of players they can hit. If they do, it would ruin small group RvR and render them completely useless versus the Zerg. Zerging would pretty much be the only viable option. I seriously hope they don't make this game breaking mistake.

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Pretty disappointed that he didn't say wether or not AoE abilities will have a cap of players they can hit. If they do, it would ruin small group RvR and render them completely useless versus the Zerg. Zerging would pretty much be the only viable option. I seriously hope they don't make this game breaking mistake.

As mentioned by Brian, Small group AvA is completely viable and he has seen small groups tear apart large groups all the time. Even if there is a cap on AoE, it doesn't mean that small group AvA is not viable. The combat in ESO is much different than in GW2 or DAOC. Ultimately, we know that Small organized groups can take on large zerg groups, so that is the most important question most people have been asking about AvA in ESO.

 

Edit: Here's a quote from one of his answers yesterday.

 

"We've been working diligently to find those sweet spot ratios and abilities to make it so small groups (4 players or so) can have the opportunity to take out larger groups (8-12 or more depending on the group make up) but it is a tough balance point to strike.  I can say from roaming around in small groups during our internal tests and Betas, that 2-4 player well coordinated groups have picked apart larger groups of players but then I've also been steamrolled in the exact same situation so it's a matter of who you're up against at the time and the players on the other side of the internet that determines a battle victor!" -Brian Wheeler, Lead PvP Designer.

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Do you have to use a staff to cast spells?

No, you do not need a staff to cast spells.

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Well, yeah. Sure you can defeat larger groups on the open battlefield with good kiting and focus targetting and just communicating well. You couldn't bomb stacked up zergs in front of a keep door, though. Zerging players wouldnt have to pay any attention, they could just mindlessly stack up everywhere and win a lot more engagements based on that fact. Think about it. Clumping up helps so much with buff synergies and healing, it's a tremendous advantage. Zergs have the numbers anyway, I don't see any reason whatsoever making them even stronger by adjusting the combat system in their favor.

 

If AoE spells hit unlimited enemies (if they're in the AoE zone), zerging players would have to pay attention and bad play could be punished alot better.

 

 

 

As mentioned by Brian, Small group AvA is completely viable and he has seen small groups tear apart large groups all the time. Even if there is a cap on AoE, it doesn't mean that small group AvA is not viable. The combat in ESO is much different than in GW2 or DAOC. Ultimately, we know that Small organized groups can take on large zerg groups, so that is the most important question most people have been asking about AvA in ESO.

 

Edit: Here's a quote from one of his answers yesterday.

 

"We've been working diligently to find those sweet spot ratios and abilities to make it so small groups (4 players or so) can have the opportunity to take out larger groups (8-12 or more depending on the group make up) but it is a tough balance point to strike.  I can say from roaming around in small groups during our internal tests and Betas, that 2-4 player well coordinated groups have picked apart larger groups of players but then I've also been steamrolled in the exact same situation so it's a matter of who you're up against at the time and the players on the other side of the internet that determines a battle victor!" -Brian Wheeler, Lead PvP Designer.

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Well, yeah. Sure you can defeat larger groups on the open battlefield with good kiting and focus targetting and just communicating well. You couldn't bomb stacked up zergs in front of a keep door, though. Zerging players wouldnt have to pay any attention, they could just mindlessly stack up everywhere and win a lot more engagements based on that fact. Think about it. Clumping up helps so much with buff synergies and healing, it's a tremendous advantage. Zergs have the numbers anyway, I don't see any reason whatsoever making them even stronger by adjusting the combat system in their favor.

 

If AoE spells hit unlimited enemies (if they're in the AoE zone), zerging players would have to pay attention and bad play could be punished alot better.

But then the reverse will happen for those defending the keep. If AoEs hit unlimited enemies, the zerging players would start having to pay attention but the defenders would stop having to pay attention. Defenders could just mindlessly spam AoE's, overlapping them over a chokepoint and making any chance to entering the chokepoint impossible.

 

But then that brings us to another thing Brian said:

 

"This was mentioned in another question earlier and while small groups can take on larger groups, finding that balance point is something we've been working on for quite some time to give starting players and veteran players they have the option to play how they want to at any given time and have fun. We've seen these smaller groups come out after players get their feet wet and familiar with the game and tactics, and I'm happy to report that I've seen a group of 6-8 players hold off waves of 40 or more at upper levels of Keeps which is exactly what they were designed to do.  Eventually they lost, but it proved that small groups can win if coordinated...it just takes a bit of time to develop those tactics."

 

The upper levels of the keeps are designed to help smaller numbers of players to hold off large numbers of players. This helps prevent only zergfests as a viable strategy.

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But then the reverse will happen for those defending the keep. If AoEs hit unlimited enemies, the zerging players would start having to pay attention but the defenders would stop having to pay attention. Defenders could just mindlessly spam AoE's, overlapping them over a chokepoint and making any chance to entering the chokepoint impossible.

 

But then that brings us to another thing Brian said:

 

"This was mentioned in another question earlier and while small groups can take on larger groups, finding that balance point is something we've been working on for quite some time to give starting players and veteran players they have the option to play how they want to at any given time and have fun. We've seen these smaller groups come out after players get their feet wet and familiar with the game and tactics, and I'm happy to report that I've seen a group of 6-8 players hold off waves of 40 or more at upper levels of Keeps which is exactly what they were designed to do.  Eventually they lost, but it proved that small groups can win if coordinated...it just takes a bit of time to develop those tactics."

 

The upper levels of the keeps are designed to help smaller numbers of players to hold off large numbers of players. This helps prevent only zergfests as a viable strategy.

 

No, they couldn't (overlap AoEs on a chokepoint and spam them). The resource system doesn't allow it, you can cast a few AoEs, but you can't close off an area forever. At most, smaller groups defending a keep could hold off a zerg for a few minutes (as Brian describes in his answer), but certainly not "forever". Looking at abilities like the DK pull, you have to pay attention anyway all the time as a defender.

 

Look at Dark Age of Camelot: The game didn't have an AoE cap (and by the way, I don't think ESO will either) and everything worked out just fine. Smaller groups had appropriate tools to deal with a mindless zerg, keep sieges were a lot of fun and the zerg won most of the time anyway because of the numbers.

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No, they couldn't (overlap AoEs on a chokepoint and spam them). The resource system doesn't allow it, you can cast a few AoEs, but you can't close off an area forever. At most, smaller groups defending a keep could hold off a zerg for a few minutes (as Brian describes in his answer), but certainly not "forever". Looking at abilities like the DK pull, you have to pay attention anyway all the time as a defender.

 

Look at Dark Age of Camelot: The game didn't have an AoE cap (and by the way, I don't think ESO will either) and everything worked out just fine. Smaller groups had appropriate tools to deal with a mindless zerg, keep sieges were a lot of fun and the zerg won most of the time anyway because of the numbers.

Where is the reference that says you can only cast a few AoEs? I'm assuming you are basing that assumption on DAOC.

 

As I've mentioned before, what works in DAOC does not necessarily work in ESO. They are two completely different games. They don't even have the same combat system. To say "X system won't work in ESO because it didn't work in DAOC" is a little overreaching imo. As I mentioned before, whether or not there is an AoE cap and if it make or breaks small groups is moot anyhow, because your main concern about small groups not being viable has been answered. Small group play is completely viable in ESO and small groups can take out large groups.

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Where is the reference that says you can only cast a few AoEs? I'm assuming you are basing that assumption on DAOC.

 

As I've mentioned before, what works in DAOC does not necessarily work in ESO. They are two completely different games. They don't even have the same combat system. To say "X system won't work in ESO because it didn't work in DAOC" is a little overreaching imo. As I mentioned before, whether or not there is an AoE cap and if it make or breaks small groups is moot anyhow, because your main concern about small groups not being viable has been answered. Small group play is completely viable in ESO and small groups can take out large groups.

 

Im basing that on the theorycrafting known about the game so far. It uses a resource system which means you have to pay stamina or magicka for your spells and attacks. There is no global cooldown in this game and no cooldowns generally, so this means that the limit on how many spells you can cast is determined by the amount of magicka you have. Naturally, this is going to be somewhat limited, so it's not going to be possible to just endlessly spam AoE abilities to close off certain areas.

 

Yes, you're right. DAoC and ESO are different games and use very different combat systems. They do have one thing in common, though: The PvP system. It's basically identical if you look at how Cyrodiil works compared to the Old and New Frontiers in DAoC: A territorial conflict with 3 involved Alliances at war with each other and a lot of players in one zone that try to kill each other and raid keeps. Plus DAoC had one thing that ESO will never have: long duration crowd control spells: In DAoC you could mesmerize enemies for up to one minute and if they didn't have the counter ability to that ready (purge, which had a 30 minute cooldown) they were mezzed for the full duration. What does that mean now for our discussion? Well, it means that in DAoC AoEing was insanely strong and a lot stronger than it is in ESO simply because of the fact that you could AoE mesmerize stacked up enemies making them completely vulnerable to AoE attacks. So if a zerg stacked up in front of a keep door and you landed an AoE mezz on top of them you had all the time in the world to go in there and pbaoe the hell out of them and they couldn't do a thing about it.

 

You see what I'm trying to say here? Even though AoEing was so strong in DAoC (no AoE cap and AoE mezz spells) it worked out just fine and the balance between zerging and small group warfare was really, really good. So if anything, DAoC would have "deserved" an AoE cap and not ESO. You don't have AoE mesmerize spells in ESO, it is a lot easier to break out of crowd control effects so, naturally, it is a lot easier to dodge AoE attacks. Why would anyone want to implement an AoE cap on top of that? It doesn't make any sense whatsoever and makes zerging insanely overpowered.

 

And no, the argument isn't "moot" at all. I think we're talking about two entirely different things here: What you're refering to is open field combat: small groups fighting slightly bigger groups of enemies. 4-6 vs. let's say 10-15. Yea, Brian answered that, I'm aware. And yea, AoE capping wouldn't affect that too much, correct aswell. I'm not talking about that, though. I'm talking about taking out stacked up zergs with a small group of coordinated people. That's an entirely different thing and AoE capping would strongly affect that. As I said: zerging players wouldn't need to worry about anything, they would have an unnatural advantage given to them by the combat system. Which is wrong in so many ways. And which would make zerging so insanely strong that it makes smaller groups become desperate over time.

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Im basing that on the theorycrafting known about the game so far. It uses a resource system which means you have to pay stamina or magicka for your spells and attacks. There is no global cooldown in this game and no cooldowns generally, so this means that the limit on how many spells you can cast is determined by the amount of magicka you have. Naturally, this is going to be somewhat limited, so it's not going to be possible to just endlessly spam AoE abilities to close off certain areas.

 

Yes, however you then have to take into account how vast they made their magicka pool, which they could have spent all their points into so they could be a dedicated AOE dealer. Then you have to take into account enchantments you put on your gear. They could stack Magicka regeneration enchantments and that could possibly allow them to have enough magicka and magicka regeneration to regen an AOE spells magicka quick enough to sustain AOE spells for minutes or if everything falls into place for the mage, indefinitely. Oh and I forgot that there could be some skill line perks that reduce the costs of the AOE spells as well.

 

Yes, you're right. DAoC and ESO are different games and use very different combat systems. They do have one thing in common, though: The PvP system. It's basically identical if you look at how Cyrodiil works compared to the Old and New Frontiers in DAoC: A territorial conflict with 3 involved Alliances at war with each other and a lot of players in one zone that try to kill each other and raid keeps. Plus DAoC had one thing that ESO will never have: long duration crowd control spells: In DAoC you could mesmerize enemies for up to one minute and if they didn't have the counter ability to that ready (purge, which had a 30 minute cooldown) they were mezzed for the full duration. What does that mean now for our discussion? Well, it means that in DAoC AoEing was insanely strong and a lot stronger than it is in ESO simply because of the fact that you could AoE mesmerize stacked up enemies making them completely vulnerable to AoE attacks. So if a zerg stacked up in front of a keep door and you landed an AoE mezz on top of them you had all the time in the world to go in there and pbaoe the hell out of them and they couldn't do a thing about it.

 

Yes, ESO's AvA is similar to RvR (but not identical). However, even if ESO's AvA was exactly like RvR, the fact that the combat systems are completely different, it right off the bat changes how AvA will play in comparison to RvR.

 

 It doesn't make any sense whatsoever and makes zerging insanely overpowered.

 

 It would probably make zerging insanely overpowered in DAOC, however, it doesn't necessarily make zerging insanely overpowered in ESO. As was mentioned, Brian said small coordinated groups can take out zerg groups not only in the field but also in the keep.

 

And no, the argument isn't "moot" at all. I think we're talking about two entirely different things here: What you're refering to is open field combat: small groups fighting slightly bigger groups of enemies. 4-6 vs. let's say 10-15. Yea, Brian answered that, I'm aware. And yea, AoE capping wouldn't affect that too much, correct aswell. I'm not talking about that, though. I'm talking about taking out stacked up zergs with a small group of coordinated people. That's an entirely different thing and AoE capping would strongly affect that. As I said: zerging players wouldn't need to worry about anything, they would have an unnatural advantage given to them by the combat system. Which is wrong in so many ways. And which would make zerging so insanely strong that it makes smaller groups become desperate over time.

 

 

"When players first enter Cyrodiil in our Beta's, safety in numbers is the way they go...to start. After a few nights, their tactics evolve and they learn that smaller groups are indeed quite effective in the war not only tactically, but also for fighting other players in the open field.  This was mentioned in another question earlier and while small groups can take on larger groups, finding that balance point is something we've been working on for quite some time to give starting players and veteran players they have the option to play how they want to at any given time and have fun. We've seen these smaller groups come out after players get their feet wet and familiar with the game and tactics, and I'm happy to report that I've seen a group of 6-8 players hold off waves of 40 or more at upper levels of Keeps which is exactly what they were designed to do.  Eventually they lost, but it proved that small groups can win if coordinated...it just takes a bit of time to develop those tactics. " - Brian Wheeler

 

 

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If someone puts all her or his points into magicka, that's a commitment. It means you have to make sacrifices on other ends and will have very little health so you'll die very quickly. It's a tradeoff. The whole system is, really. The great thing about it, is, though, that you can design your character the way you wish. If someone goes all in, he should be really good at that. And yea, there's magicka increasing talents and probably also enchants, but I would be surprised if you could close off an area forever.

 

Again: Yea, the combat systems are different. Only relying on that fact alone when trying to defend AoE capping makes a very weak argument. You should look at how the systems are different. And if you'd do that, you would see that in DAoC you had a lot more options available to deal with a zerg than just pure area of effect damage: Long time crowd control spells, permanent speed enhancing buffs, no fast travel chain (as in Cyrodiil), a more structured combat system, slower-paced gameplay. So AoE capping would make zergs stronger in DAoC, but not even remotely close to how strong it would make them in ESO (Because they're naturally stronger because there's less tools to deal with them).

 

See, if you have two systems in which zerging is a possibility, you have to look at what tools players have dealing with the zerg. Let's say system A offers 5 tools and system B offers 2 tools. Then you buff zergs by capping AoE spells. Question: In which system the playstyle zerging will remain more viable? System A or system B ? Exactly.

 

Again: Yes, Brian did speak on the topic "small, organized groups vs. zergs". We know that now, you don't have to bring it up every single time. No one is denying that. But it's not the point. The point is: The question "Will AoE abilities have a cap of players they can hit?" was asked several times and was not answered. That's what I'm talking about here, and have been all the time, really.

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If someone puts all her or his points into magicka, that's a commitment. It means you have to make sacrifices on other ends and will have very little health so you'll die very quickly. It's a tradeoff. The whole system is, really. The great thing about it, is, though, that you can design your character the way you wish. If someone goes all in, he should be really good at that. And yea, there's magicka increasing talents and probably also enchants, but I would be surprised if you could close off an area forever.

 

This is another great thing I like about ESO and TES in general. You can specialize yourself to a certain role if you wish. For instance, if they dump all their points into magicka, magicka reducing talents and enchantments and so on and make themselves a walking aoe turret but they are as frail as glass. A system of checks and balances always seems to work better than trying to balance classes around each other.

 

Again: Yea, the combat systems are different. Only relying on that fact alone when trying to defend AoE capping makes a very weak argument. You should look at how the systems are different. And if you'd do that, you would see that in DAoC you had a lot more options available to deal with a zerg than just pure area of effect damage: Long time crowd control spells, permanent speed enhancing buffs, no fast travel chain (as in Cyrodiil), a more structured combat system, slower-paced gameplay. So AoE capping would make zergs stronger in DAoC, but not even remotely close to how strong it would make them in ESO (Because they're naturally stronger because there's less tools to deal with them).

 

True, so let's break down what will help fight zerging in ESO. ESO doesn't have the long CC effects, however, ESO has siege equipment that can be re-purposed to fight crowds of enemies. Then of course, we have as of yet disclosed AOE effects, defenders have a quick source of reinforcements by fast travel network to their keep while the enemy zerg group does not. 

 

I'm not sure what you mean about "more structured combat system" however. Perhaps you can elaborate?

 

See, if you have two systems in which zerging is a possibility, you have to look at what tools players have dealing with the zerg. Let's say system A offers 5 tools and system B offers 2 tools. Then you buff zergs by capping AoE spells. Question: In which system the playstyle zerging will remain more viable? System A or system B ? Exactly.

 

Again: Yes, Brian did speak on the topic "small, organized groups vs. zergs". We know that now, you don't have to bring it up every single time. No one is denying that. But it's not the point. The point is: The question "Will AoE abilities have a cap of players they can hit?" was asked several times and was not answered. That's what I'm talking about here, and have been all the time, really.

 

But whether or not small, organized groups can beat zergs is the point. When I ask why capping AoE spells matters, the answer from you and others is invariably "because if they are capped, Zerging will be the only viable playstyle". However, Brian has made it clear that zergs are not the only option as small groups can destroy zerg groups. Also, he has mentioned that as people get more experience in AvA, they tend to stray away from zerging, though zerging still exists and has it's place in certain situations.

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I don't think people truly believe that it's going to be a zerg-only type game. They are just worried that the developers might make it that way and voice their own frustration as though it was.

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I suppose it's reasonable to be skeptical or worried about the quality of an MMO after so many "failed" MMOs that have popped up over the last several years. All we can really go on is the developer's word about the situation until the NDA is lifted on the beta.

 

Also, to anyone that hasn't checked back to the Q&A thread, Brian has replied to several questions that he didn't manage to get to a few days ago. You should head over there and check them out.

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@ Soulece: DAoC had a classic, targetting based combat system. If you wanted to attack someone or cast a spell at someone you had to click and select your target with the mouse. Also it had autoattacks and white hits. Furthermore it had a really unique interrupting system: If someone was casting a spell and was hit with anything during it (debuff, nuke, melee hit, whatever) the spell was instantly interrupted.

 

All of this made for a very structured and tactical combat system.

 

ESO is quite different here: It will be a lot faster and chaotic and won't have the same tactical depth. I'm not saying that's a bad thing per se, it's just different.

 

And yea, I guess we have to wait and see how things will be once the game is released or an open beta is announced.

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