Tamriel-time strategy: Elder Scrolls Online PvP mysteries unravelled

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Zenimax Online have done another one of their Ask Us Anything, So Long As it’s Related to the Feature Set of The Elder Scrolls Online posts. Amid the queries about armour sets and altoholicism are a number of illuminating details on the MMO’s PvP component, which takes Cyrodiil for its battlefield. We’ve recounted them for your perusal below.

First, the business of resurrection. Accepting death is never easy, but Zenimax suggest it can be more cost effective. Soul Gems can be used to resurrect fallen players during the course of a battle. Those capable of casting the Soul Trap spell can source ethereal top-ups from nearby monsters or even other players, and Zenimax expect some will resort to buying filled gems “at a premium” – but it’s not their intention to guarantee a return to the fray.

“This means that battles are actually won or lost,” they explain. “You want to make sure one side can’t just keep bringing in reinforcements, causing a battle to last forever.”

Next up is summoning – beasts, birds and burning elemental beings. Zenimax have reassured conjurers that their favoured PvE playstyle won’t be redundant against high-powered player characters – rather, that’s where their significant buffs and healing abilities will come to the fore.

“I’ll give you an example with the Sorcerer’s Summon Winged Twilight ability,” write the developers. “At first, the winged twilight simply has a ranged attack. However, the ability can be enhanced in one of two ways.

“Option one adds a passive aura to the summon that increases the magicka regeneration of all nearby allies. Option two causes it to cast a healing spell on you when you’re low on health. In either case, having the winged twilight out can be a huge benefit to you (and your allies) in both PvP and PvE. Plus, she still has her nifty ranged attack.”

Each summon spell is studied individually by the developers to ensure it has a “unique flavour” that makes itself known in all of ESO’s modes.

“And I promise you that the Summon Storm Atronach ultimate does not have the problem of being too weak in PvP right now!,” add Zemimax.

Finally, there’s the multiple ‘campaigns’ – i.e. versions of the fight for Cyrodiil – that’ll be going on at any one time. Players will be assigned to a campaign on a “character-by-character basis” – presumably to prevent players enacting Eve Online-style sabotage in the ranks of an enemy faction.

“You are not allowed to have an Ebonheart Pact character assigned to the same campaign as an Aldmeri Dominion character on your account,” say the developers. “There will be campaigns after launch with various special rules (such as higher rank requirements) that you can elect to join.”

That’s about it for now – see September’s post onElder Scrolls Online faction PvP for the facts about population caps and “Lord of the Rings charges”. Do you think you’ll be the frontlines in Cyrodiil, or venturing elsewhere in the world for more traditional MMO fare?

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