The Elder Scrolls Online at PAX Overview: Day Two

eso-spider-1363628018With PAX coming to an end we’ve gathered the latest information on The Elder Scrolls Online from Garbrac and Altair’s live stream last night to answer your ESO questions. This overview covers a wide range of topics from Spears and Combat to Skill Trees and Guild Keeps. There was a lot of information released on The Elder Scrolls Online through out PAX and there’s plenty more to come as both Garbrac and Altair get 2 more hours of hands on gameplay and an interview with the development team. Information released so far is not guaranteed to make it in the final release of the game but it gives you a good idea of what’s to come.


ESO PAX Overview:

Weapons, Armor and Combat

  • Spears and Pole arms will not be weapons in the game
  • Proper use of the Block and Finesse systems will stun PvE enemies for 4-6 seconds and PvP enemies for about 2-3 seconds.
  • Blocking an enemy’s attack greatly increases the chance for a critical hit.
  • Weapons and Armor will have Stats that improve Magicka, Stamina, Etc.
  • Your gear will scale to your character’s body
  • There will be no targeted healing
  • Some abilities allow you to setup AOE healing in a specific spot other players can use when needed.
  • Slow-Mo kills are in the game but require you to master the finesse system and weapon trees.
  • Three armor types you can specialize in: Heavy, Medium and Light. Any class can wear any armor type.
  • Combat is much like Skyrim, click to swing your sword, more around to dodge, hold right mouse button to block with your shield or sword.
  • Dodging will also be a skill that can be learned.
  • Spells, Arrows and other Projectiles do not appear to be heat seeking.
  • Mobs will learn your abilties and attempt to take advantage of your weaknesses. Extremely smart A.I.
  • If you encounter a Daedra mob one of the Daedra can sacarfice themselves to make the others in its mob more powerful. This can be prevented by stunning.
  • Gore is in, your weapons will get bloody.
  • You can not customize armor with dyes.
  • Attacks, Sprinting and Stealth drain stamina quickly.
  • Combat is fast paced at times.
  • Any class can use any weapon.


  • You can buy Seige Weapons with Gold.
  • Supply Depots like those found in DAOC will not be in ESO.
  • The Death System gives you two options: 1) Respawn at your place of death for a penalty or 2) spawn back at a “wayshrine”.
  • You can use Lock Picking during PvP, getting attacked takes you out of the Lock Picking screen.
  • Other factions can claim strongholds during PvP. Capturing these in a “chain” will allow you to travel from each more easily. Enemies can block your movement by capturing strongholds to break your chain.

Dungeons and End-Game

  • There is no Raiding, but players who enjoy raiding will get their fix with 50+ and 50++ content, open dungeons, dungeon extensions and adventure zones.
  • The development team has promises to give end-game players what they want.
  • Dungeons have Hard Modes, these are essential extended versions of previous dungeons. Players who beat a dungeon earlier in the game will have a chance to go back and visit new areas of that dungeon. These new areas are extensions of the previous dungeon’s story so the higher your level the more of the story and lore you’ll get access to.
  • Hard Modes also drop much better loot.
  • Players who reach the level cap and beat all of their Faction’s PvE quests will have the chance to pick a new Faction’s area to venture through, this is called 50+ and 50++ content. You only get to pick one new faction at a time. If you beat the Ebonheart Pact zone’s you then can choose Daggerfall Covenant or Aldmeri Dominion zones to quest in next. After you beat either of those you can move on to the third zone. These new zones will have much better loot than your original zone and the third zone you choose will have the best loot.
  • With 50+ and 50++ content you will not see enemy players while exploring enemy faction territories, only NPCs.
  • If you go into a public dungeon and you’re on a quest to kill a certain mob it will spawn instantly for you even if another group just killed it. This was put in to prevent mob camping.
  • Dungeons will have traps that you can use to your advantage if you’re cautious enough to spot them.
  • There are currently 16 dungeons in the game.
  • There will be no adventure zones at launch.

Spells, Skills and Abilities

  • There are 3 major skills trees: Class, Weapon and Armor
  • From the 3 main skill trees are 6 – 7 sub-skill trees that allow you to specialize in weapon types (one-handed, staves, dual wielding, etc.), spells and abilities.
  • Lock Picking is a skill. You’re limited to 23 seconds to pick a lock, there are 5 tumblers, you have to listen for clicks to know when you can let go of a tumbler otherwise your picks will break.
  • You can steal from NPC houses but not from other players.
  • There is an accuracy component in the game, spells and arrows will need to be aimed. No Heat Seeking.
  • Players get Ultimate Abilities start at level 14. Ultimate Abilities depend on your class.
  • Anyone can be a healer if you decided to put points into your healing skill tree. The best healer will be the Templar but that does not mean other classes can not be good healers.
  • Sorcerers can Teleport but range is limited.
  • There’s an ability that allows you to grab an enemy with a chain and pull them towards you.
  • You can do all types of crafting or focus on a specific professions (depends on available points).
  • Classes have specific perks (i.e. Templars have improved healing abilities).

Guilds and Guild Keeps

  • At launch there will be a standard guild ranking system.
  • Guilds can own keeps and can place guards, archers and possibly traps to protect their keeps. Guilds will be alerted when any of these guards get attacked and how many players are currently in the area.
  • Guild Banks, Emblems and leveling are “in the works”
  • Banners for Keeps are a “possibility”.

The Game Itself

  • Everything is voice acted except your own character. NPC lips match up extremely well to the voice acting. Voice acting has real emotion.
  • Player customization is more elaborate than past Elder Scrolls titles; neck width, nose size, body type (skinny, fat, muscular) and much more.
  • There is a loot window that will allow you to loot individual items or everything at once.
  • There is no carrying weight limit when it comes to inventory; it’s all slot based.
  • There are inventory filters for Armor, Weapons, Misc, etc.
  • Alcohol is in the game – not sure if you can get drunk.
  • Third Person view is over the shoulder and cannot be moved. There will be first person with hands in future releases, no hands in current release.
  • The Dark Brotherhood will be in the game, just not at launch.
  • There are random events that happen in town.
  • You can sheath your weapon at any time outside of combat.
  • The graphics are better than Skyrim on ultra settings but game can be played on very low settings on much older computers. No PC hardware recommendations yet.
  • There are achievements.
  • There is dialogue which allows you to make decisions; to save the maiden or not? All decisions effect you in the future.
  • NPCs will treat you differently based on your race. Altmer show disgust towards Khajiit players.
  • Mods will be allowed but only those that do not give you an advantage over other players or improved graphics.
  • You get to play through ALL of Cyrodiil but it’s somewhat zoned.
  • First round of Beta invites will go out at the end of March!
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Phill is a long time Elder Scrolls enthusiast who decided to create a community of his own. He is the founder of both The Skyrim Guild and The Shadowed Mare -- two of the earliest Skyrim and Elder Scrolls Online websites.

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