Dark Brotherhood Changes ▶ ESO DLC Update Guide

With the PC release of the Dark Brotherhood
DLC this week, Elder Scrolls Online has come full circle, fulfilling the promise of Veteran
Rank removal. Having played the beta and launch of the game over 2 years ago, I am simply
amazed at how far the game has come since that time. Zenimax never gave up, religiously
improving an adventurous endeavor that many thought would die off quickly due to an identity
crisis of being a hybrid MMO/RPG. Zenimax, however, succeeded at reinventing core game
mechanics and turned the game into a best-seller by dropping the subscription model early 2015.
Today I want to give you guys a brief run down on some of the NEW changes that came
with the latest major Update, as they are the most comprehensive to date, and enlighten
you on what they mean for the future of Tamriel. The Champion System was added in 2015 to essentially
give capped players a reason to keep playing. Players who hit Veteran Rank 1 gained Champion
Points that could be spent on a variety of passive skills which increase in potency with
each point spent. These passives increase Damage, Defense, Regeneration and a variety
of other effects. While this came with a slew of problems, it did have one major benefit,
which was that the Champion Points you earned were shared across all of your characters. This meant you could roll an alt and have
hundreds of Champion Points at Level 1, giving you a significant advantage in Dungeons or
PvP. The system encouraged playing more than one character, however players still complained
that it took too long to level up to Veteran Rank 16, and so Zenimax has now removed the
Veteran Ranks to accommodate. Level 50 is the new cap, and since your Champion Points
carry over to your alts, you could have a max level character of another class in 8
hours or so if you now wish. Happy Alting! As a character converts from Veteran Ranks
to Champion Ranks, it is simply awarded 10 Champion Points per veteran rank. If you were
Veteran Rank 16, and had 200 Champion Points, you now have Champion Rank 200. If you were
Veteran Rank 3 and had 200 Champion Points, you are now Champion Rank 200. If you were
Veteran Rank 3 and had 50 champion points, you are now Champion Rank 50. If you were
a Veteran Rank 16 and had 90 Champion Points, you are now Champion Rank 160. The current
cap for Champion Points is 501 and you will now see the number a player possesses next
to their name plate instead of VR16. For the most part they remain largely the
same. Where a Set or Weapon might have been Veteran Rank 12 before, it is now instead
Champion 120. The stats, damage and defense remain the same as they were at Veteran Rank
12. Really the only difference is that now Weapons, Armor and Sets are gated behind Champion
Ranks. Since your character will automatically be given 10 Champion Ranks for each Veteran
Rank you had, you’ll still be able to use all the gear you could before the change.
The best gear currently requires Champion 160 and is expected to increase in future
Updates. The advantage is, of course, your alts are now the level of your most played
character, and can enjoy endgame gear. With the Update came 10 new sets, changes
to 8 existing ones and scaling improvements to others. 4 of these new sets were actually
added to the Imperial City, and are gated behind that DLC as you need to barter with
the Tel Var Stone Vendor there in order to obtain them (you can of course, purchase them
from other players). 3 are new crafted sets and 3 can be obtained from the Daily Reapeatable
Quests or chests around Gold Coast. The most intriguing of these sets is Pelinal’s Aptitude
which makes your Weapon and Spell Damage the higher of the two values, allowing for some
interesting new builds. Of the 8 existing sets that got revamped,
the 2 most notable changes are to the Dreugh King Slayer Set and the Viper Sting Set. Dreugh
King Slayer now passively provides Major Brutality, effectively gimping the Set (except in some
situational builds), and the Viper’s Sting Set got a huge increase to the damage you
deal. The other 6 sets were improved, but not enough to be worth noting. Many Sets have now been scaled to Champion
160, most notably are the Trials Sets and ALL PvP Sets. Furthermore, you can no longer
purchase Sets directly from the Elite Gear Vendor and other Vendors in Cyrodiil, but
now must purchase boxes that drop pieces at random. These boxes have a considerably reduced
cost (20,000 AP), and and are also separated into type (light, medium, heavy), and playstyle
(defensive/offensive). You may also purchase Hew’s Bane boxes, which drop pieces of 6
of the Thieves Guild Sets. All in all, these changes should drastically
improve build variety and give the economy of the game a much needed boost. I myself
am looking forward to getting Ravager at Champion 160! A
few things have changed on the crafting front.
First, Poison Making has been added to the Alchemy craft. New crafting ingredients have
been added to make this possible, and many of them drop from enemies (yay for less bag
space!). Just as with potions, you will need higher level Alchemy in order to make more
potent poisons. Secondly, there have been some improvements
made to Traits. Notably are the changes to Well-Fitted, Charged, Sturdy, Powered, Defending,
Nirnhoned, and the addition of Prosperous and Decisive. Well-Fitted now reduces the
cost of Roll Dodging as well as Sprinting, making this a serious consideration for Stamina
builds. Charged and Infused could both be used in some very specific builds, and might
become more mainstream. Powered will now be a staple on most Restoration Staves and Sturdy
will be a must on most Shields. Defending actually gives a lot of Resistance now and
is worth considering if you need a bump in defense. Nirnhoned simply increases your Weapon
Damage by a % now, which is just awesome! These changes should, again, help to shake
up variety, get some creative builds going and really break up that cookie cutter formula
the game has possessed for quite some time. Lastly I want to talk a bit about the Skill
changes that came with this Update. Firstly I’ll cover the buffs and nerfs to some prominent
skills: Wrecking Blow – Got a major nerf, as the
knockdown and stun were completely removed. It instead has been added to Dizzying Swing,
which lost it’s Maiming properties, forcing the player to now choose between the knockdown
or the extra damage. I expect to see many more people running Dizzying Swing now, as
the knockdown is just too good. Dawnbreaker – Now deals Physical Damage
(thank god!), and now knocks down ANYONE in its Smiting morph. It also no longer does
extra damage to Undead/Daedra. This is huge because it has long been used to deal with
Vamps in PvP. Mage Light – Is no longer a toggle and both
versions now detect stealth. I expect many players will slot this in their PvP build
now more than ever, as the Radiant morph now reduces the damage taken from stealth by 50%
AND prevents you from being stunned. Guard – This skill was completely changed
and used to be useless. Now it sends 30% damage from a player of your choice to you until
you turn it off or move out of range. This skill now has a legitimate place in PvP and
PvE. It’s only drawback is the 15m range, which will be hard to stay within in PvP.
I was fully expecting a morph that increased the range, but no such luck. Hoping they change
to one in a future patch. Perhaps the biggest change to Skills in the
Update was to the Fighters Guild line. This whole line has been almost completely redone
and where the line used to be effective very situationally (mainly fighting undead), they
have broadened the scope of most of the skills to make them effective against any enemy.
While it remains to be seen how these changes will affect builds and playstyles, you can
expect these Skills to be used in some niche builds. One thing to note is that many Skills that
have Stamina morphs or variations have now been changed to deal Poison, Disease or Physical
damage so as to be benefited by Champion System passives like Mighty. This is a great change
and should help to improve the DPS of many existing builds and help to create new ones. Elder Scrolls Online has had me playing for
over two years now, thanks to a developer team that not only listens to the players,
but acts smartly on their suggestions. A lot has changed in these past 26 months, and with
more DLC content being added it is actually a great time to consider subscribing to ESO
Plus to enjoy the perks to inspiration, experience, free access to DLC and of course, to take
advantage of the “expanded crafting inventory” from the “Craft Bag”.


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