Elder Scrolls Online: Clockwork City Changes Explained

The Elder Scrolls Online changes with every major update: Horns of the Reach, Morrowind, The Dark Brotherhood, etc. And, now with Update 16: Clockwork City launching today, more changes are coming to the base game. Let’s take a look at this patch that is literally hours away and see just what Zenimax is adding and changing. As always we will stick to the major game changers and important changes, not every nitty gritty thing. For those of you interested in the full list of changes, please see the Patch Notes page on the ESO Wiki.

Clockwork City DLC Additions

We’ll start with the things being added in Update 16 and first up is the zone itself. Players will get to experience the realm of Sotha Sil who is one of the 3 Gods of the Dark Elf Tribunal, along with Vivec and Almalexia. He is known as the “Clockwork God” and thus the name Clockwork City. The Clockwork City contains 2 new Delves, 2 new World Bosses as well as a brand new Trial called: Asylum Sanctorium. Added with this Trial are brand new “Asylum Weapons” which are similar to Master and Maelstrom Weapons, in that they contain unique benefits and bonuses. Something interesting about these Asylum Weapons though is that there are two versions of each, allowing players who don’t complete the Trial on Veteran to still gain a slightly less powerful version. In addition to the new Asylum Weapons, Zenimax has also added 3 new Crafted Sets and and 3 new Dropped Sets.

Along with the new Weapons and Armor Sets, Zenimax is also adding two new crafting Motifs. The Apostle Style can be obtained by completing certain Daily Quests in Clockwork City that aid the Brass Fortress and combat Clockwork foes. And the Ebonshadow Style can be obtained by completing certain Daily Quests in Clockwork City that aid the Blackfeather Court or pit you against shadowy foes. Also, to complement these new Motifs, Zenimax is also adding 2 new Motifs to the previous DLC: Horns of the Reach. The Dreadhorn Style can be obtained by defeating bosses in Falkreath Hold. The chance of obtaining Chapters and Style Items increases with the difficulty of the dungeon. The Bloodforge Style can be obtained by defeating bosses in Bloodroot Forge. The chance of obtaining Chapters and Style Items increases with the difficulty of the dungeon.

Trait Tracker

Equipment tooltips now have an icon next to the trait that communicates the trait’s status and inventory views have a column dedicated to displaying this iconography. The Deconstruction screen will now group items based on trait status, such that items that you are more likely to deconstruct are sorted to the top. And finally, the Sell screen at Vendors will list Ornate items at the top.

(no icon) No Trait/Researched

eso-trait-tracker-icons Can Research
eso-trait-tracker-ornate Ornate
eso-trait-tracker-intricate Intricate
eso-trait-tracker-changed Changed

Clockwork City Transmutation System

A new way of altering your equipment is available in this update. Transmutation allows you to permanently change the trait of an item to one of your choosing! The requirements to utilize Transmutation are as follows:

  • Transmutation can only be done at a Transmute Station, which is a new service station found in the Brass Fortress. Home furnishing versions of these stations may also be purchased for Writ Vouchers from Rolis Hlaalu the Master Writ Merchant.
  • Transmutation requires Transmute Crystals, precious resources occasionally received for successfully completing Veteran PvE activities such as Pledges, Trials, and Arenas, and several PvP sources such as Rewards for the Worthy, Battleground end of match rewards, and AvA end of campaign rewards. Transmute Crystals are an account wide, capped currency which cannot be banked or traded.
  • Transmutation requires having previously researched the desired trait.
  • Jewelry cannot be transmuted.

What this means is that players will finally be able to change awful Traits on gear they’ve had for months. This will ease the burden of farming for that perfect Sword, Shield, Staff, Bow or what have you, as players can take whatever Trait they have and turn it into something new. This will reduce the price of all equipment at vendors, so be prepared for that. I feel really bad for those players who deconstructed their Maelstrom Staves that didn’t have Sharpened…I’ve been keeping to Burning Spellweave Swords that are not the right Traits and I am so fucking glad I hung on to them! This addition is a godsend!


Clockwork City Class/Weapon Changes


  • Deceptive Predator (Falcon’s Swiftness morph): This morph now increases the duration to 14 seconds, in addition to granting Minor Evasion.
  • Nature’s Grasp: Increased the range of this ability and its morphs to 28 meters from 22 meters.
  • Bursting Vines (Nature’s Grasp morph): Increased the projectile speed for this morph by 100%, and increased the heal from this morph by 10%.
  • Frozen Gate: This ability and its morphs now allow you to have up to 3 gates active at a time, up from 1. Its initial spawning visual effects are now visible to enemies.
  • Feral Guardian: Increased the Health of the bear summoned by this ability and its morphs to 25,000 from 20,000.
  • Secluded Grove: Increased the cost of this ability and its morphs to 90 Ultimate, up from 75.


  • Petrify: This ability and its morphs are no longer 30-second disorients. Instead, they are 2.5 second stuns that cannot be blocked or dodged, and they can be placed on multiple targets. We also reduced the cost of this ability and its morphs by approximately 23%.
  • Shifting Standard (Dragonknight Standard morph): This morph now increases the duration of the standard to 25 seconds, and the standard can be shifted an unlimited amount of times. Shifting the standard no longer refreshes the duration, and the cost of this morph is now the same as the base ability.
  • Reflective Scale: Increased the duration of this ability and it morphs to 6 seconds from 4 seconds.


  • Agony: This ability and its morphs is now an ally-targeted spell that heals them over time and damages you for 50% of the amount healed. We also renamed this ability to Malevolent Offering.
    • Malefic Wreath (Agony morph): This morph now grants Minor Mending when it deals damage to you, and has been renamed to Healthy Offering.
    • Prolonged Suffering (Agony morph): This morph now decreases the amount of self-inflicted damage dealt to you to 35% of the amount healed, and has been renamed to Shrewd Offering.


  • Crystal Blast (Crystal Shards morph): Increased the splash damage of this morph by approximately 25%.
  • Rune Prison: This ability and its morphs are no longer 30-second disorients. Instead, they are 2.5-second stuns that cannot be blocked or dodged, and they can be placed on multiple targets. Increased the cost of this ability and its morphs by approximately 16%.
    • Rune Cage (Rune Prison morph): This morph now deals damage to the enemy if the stun lasts its full duration. The Defensive Rune morph continues to place a buff on you that will stun the next enemy that damages you.
  • Crystal Shards: This ability and the Crystal Fragments morph no longer stun the enemy hit. The Crystal Blast morph continues to stun the initial enemy hit.


  • Eclipse: This ability and its morphs now returns damage whenever the affected enemy casts a direct damage attack. It still grants crowd control immunity when the effect ends and can now be removed by Break Free. Eclipse can also now be placed on an unlimited amount of enemies as a baseline effect. Increased the damage of this ability and its morphs by approximately 67%.
    • Total Dark (Eclipse morph): This morph will heal you when the target casts a direct damage attack.
    • Unstable Core (Eclipse morph): This morph adds area of effect damage when the effect ends.
  • Solar Barrage (Solar Flare morph): This morph now has a cast time that matches the base ability, and now causes you to pulse point blank area of effect damage every 2 seconds for 6 seconds.
  • Healing Ritual: Reduced the cast time of this ability and its morphs to 1.2 seconds from 1.5 seconds.
  • Cleansing Ritual: Increased the cost of this ability and its morphs by approximately 14%.


  • Acid Spray (Arrow Spray morph): Increased the damage over time of this morph by approximately 65%. Increased the duration of the Damage over Time applied by this morph to 6 seconds from 5 seconds, causing it to tick for one additional instance of damage.
  • Scattershot: This ability and its morphs no longer apply a 5-second disorient to enemies hit. Instead, they now apply a 1.5 second stun.

Destruction Staff

  • Elemental Storm: Reduced the damage of this ability and the Eye of the Storm morph by approximately 12%. The damage on the Elemental Rage morph remains unchanged.

One-Hand and Shield

  • Shield Wall: Increased the cost of this ability and its morphs to 135 Ultimate from 100.

Restoration Staff

  • Panacea: Increased the cost of this ability and its morphs to 125 Ultimate from 100.

Heavy Armor

  • Immovable: Reduced the cost of this ability and its morphs by approximately 5%.
  • Wrath: This passive ability has been replaced with the Revitalize passive, which increases the resources your Heavy Attacks restore by 12/25%.
  • Rapid Mending: This passive ability no longer increases the amount of resources your Heavy Attacks restore, as that effect has been moved to the new Revitalize passive. It continues to increase your healing received by 4/8%.

What we can take away from this is that Wardens and Dragonknights got buffed a decent amount. Sorcerers got nerfed pretty hard in PvP, but not so much in PvE. Zenimax is still trying to get Templars to use the Eclipse Skill, which they probably will now because it’s much better.

Eye of the Storm got nerfed yet again because it is pretty game breaking. Shield Wall and Panacea got huge nerfs. Heavy Armor lost the Weapon and Spell Damage from Wrath and is now only useful to “Tanks”. And finally Zenimax is all but removing Disorient from their game as they’ve changed nearly ever Skill that applies it to something else.

Clockwork City Miscellaneous Changes

  • Reduced the duration of the stun applied to you when you are knocked off your mount to 2 seconds from 3 seconds, and you will now gain crowd control immunity after this stun expires.
  • The Master and Maelstrom unique enchantments have been rebuilt as Item Sets, with the new Asylum Weapons following suite as an Item Set and not an enchantment. This means you can now safely enchant and re-enchant these weapons, and still gain the special ability-altering benefit.
  • Many of The Master and The Maelstrom Item Sets have undergone significant rebalancing:
    • Titanic Cleave (Master 2H): Increased the damage bonus to Cleave’s direct damage to 2000 from 688.
    • Puncturing Remedy (Master 1H&S): Increased the heal amount from Puncture to 2500 from 2150, and it now grants you Spell and Physical Resistance equal to the amount healed for 3 seconds.
    • Stinging Slashes (Master DW): Increased the damage bonus to Twin Slashes’ bleed to 1500 each tick from 516.
    • Destructive Impact (Master Destro): Increased the damage bonus to Destructive Touch’s direct damage to 1500 from 516.
    • Rampaging Slash (Maelstrom 1H&S): Your Low Slash will now cause your next fully-charged Heavy Attack used within 5 seconds to restore an additional 2000 Magicka and Stamina.
    • Precise Regeneration (Maelstrom Resto): Increased the amount of Magicka restored by Regeneration critical heals to 800 from 481.
    • Champion Level raised from 660 to 690.
  • Adjusted the minimum level for the following Normal Difficulty dungeons to Level 45 for the purposes of using the Dungeon Finder:
  • Adjusted the minimum level for the following Veteran Difficulty dungeons to CP160 for the purposes of using the Dungeon Finder:

Final Thoughts

I think for the most part Zenimax got it right here and most of these are good changes. With the addition of the Transmutation system players will be able to save themselves some grinding by using the Transmute Crystals. You’ll still have to farm for the Crystals, but that could be a lot more fun than just running City of Ash 800 times in a row.

Zenimax seems to be slowly trying to separate PvE and PvP, first with Sets and now with Morphs of Skills. We’ll see just how this pans out over time, but they’ll have to be careful. Stamina and Magicka Morphs of Class Skills might pigeon-hole certain Classes into playing PvE or PvP exclusively as Stamina or Magicka if they outright make PvE and PvP Morphs.

Sorcs and Heavy Armor users are going to be butt hurt as hell come launch of Update 16 (particularly PvP Sorcs). While I understand the removal of the Stun, I think they would have been better off to lower the damage of the Skill, since now Sorcs in PvP are pretty hosed. Heavy Armor users lost quite a bit with Wrath, which all but ends the last remaining players’ days wearing this in PvP.

I like the addition of the new Asylum Weapons and I like the approach Zenimax is taking with them. It means I need to go farm some gear, but that’s part of the fun right? Also, setting a minimum level cap on the hardest Dungeons (when you use Dungeon Finder) was long overdue, especially since they added the 15 minute penalty if you quit. I might actually be able to get something done now…

Thoughts on the changes? Insights of your own to share? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Also, if you’re playing ESO, you’ll probably want to know more about builds! Check out this Magicka Templar guide, or these in-depth sets guides.

You would also enjoy 10 Things you Missed in Grahtwood and finding out why I’m still playing ESO 3 years later!

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3 comments on “Elder Scrolls Online: Clockwork City Changes Explained”

  1. Avatar Fexelea says:

    Patch is live on PS4 today~ ! Enjoy :D

  2. Avatar Lich180 says:


    You know with all the changes, the thing I’m most excited about is the level changes to certain dungeons. No more level 10s getting White Gold Tower. Not that it’s undoable, just very difficult and time consuming.

    Transmutation is cool as well, but it’s pretty dang expensive. The economy is gonna hurt, but I think material and temper costs will rise, what with all the good stuff needing to be upgraded now.

  3. Avatar Castielle says:

    I have 2 Burning Spellweave Swords that need new Traits! I am so excited!


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