Elder Scrolls Online’s Wolfhunter DLC is coming soon, and was released on the Public Test Server just a few days ago. In addition, Zenimax has released patch notes for this test version of the game, which gives us some insight into things to come. Let’s dig into these a bit and see what veteran players can look forward to. If you’ve ever wanted to try playing a Werewolf then now is the time!
ESO Wolfhunter Additions & Changes (Update 19)
The first thing we’ll cover here is the two new Dungeons added: Moon Hunter Keep and March of Sacrifices. Located in Reaper’s March and Greenshade, these two new Dungeons are very heavily Werewolf-themed. The Moon Hunter Keep was once the Colovian headquarters of the Order of the Silver Dawn, a group of peerless werewolf hunters found in western Tamriel. It was destroyed by the ancient werewolf Vykosa, who then took up residence at the estate. And, the March of Sacrifices is a section of The Hunting Grounds where mortals compete in teams for a boon from Hircine. It’s a deep ravine surrounded by impassable mountains, and populated with the most ferocious creatures of Hircine’s realm.
With these new Dungeons of course come brand new Sets, including Monster Helms, so let’s have a look at what these are!
Moon Hunter Keep
- Moon Hunter (Light)
- 2: Spell Damage
- 3: Spell Damage
- 4: Spell Critical
- 5: When your alchemical poison fires, increase your Spell Damage by 600 for 6 seconds.
- Savage Werewolf (Medium)
- 2: Max Stamina
- 3: Weapon Damage
- 4: Stamina Recovery
- 5: Your Light and Heavy Attacks rend flesh, causing your enemy to bleed for 1000 Physical Damage every 2 seconds for 6 seconds.
- Jailer’s Tenacity (Heavy)
- 2: Healing Taken
- 3: Max Health
- 4: Healing Taken
- 5: When you lose 25% or more of your Health from a single attack, you gain Major Vitality for 6 seconds, increasing your healing received by 30%.
- Vykosa (Monster Mask)
- 1: Healing Taken
- 2: When you taunt an enemy, you frighten them with a deafening howl, applying Major Maim to them for 3 seconds, lowering their damage done by 30%. This effect can occur once every 15 seconds.
March of Sacrifices
- Hanu’s Compassion (Light)
- 2: Magicka Recovery
- 3: Max Magicka
- 4: Magicka Recovery
- 5: Max Magicka
- 5: When you resurrect another player while in combat, you and the player gain Major Heroism for 15 seconds, granting you 3 Ultimate every 1.5 seconds.
- Blood Moon (Medium)
- 2: Weapon Damage
- 3: Weapon Critical
- 4: Weapon Critical
- 5: When you deal Critical Damage with a melee Light Attack, you gain a stack of Blood Scent for 8 seconds. When you gain 5 stacks, you become Frenzied for 5 seconds, increasing your melee Light Attack damage by 50% and attack speed by 50%. This effect can occur every 18 seconds.
- Haven of Ursus (Heavy)
- 2: Max Health
- 3: Healing Taken
- 4: Max Health
- 5: When you take damage while you are under 50% Health, summon Ursus’s spirit for 6 seconds. You or an ally can activate a synergy on Ursus to grant you a shield that protects you and the activator from 13954 damage for 6 seconds. This effect can occur once every 12 seconds.
- Balorgh (Monster Mask)
- 1: Weapon Damage
- 1: Spell Damage
- 2: When you use an Ultimate ability, you gain Weapon and Spell Damage for 10 seconds equal to twice the amount of total Ultimate consumed.
Many of these sets are very good. Moon Hunter gives a TON of Spell Damage, and could be kept up nearly 100% of the time in many situations. Jailer’s Tenacity is an excellent tanking Set, and might have some implications in PvP as well for certain Builds. Vykosa is an intriguing Set because it allows for situational debuffing of hard hitting bosses. And, lastly Savage Werewolf and Blood Moon are solid Stamina Sets that work particularly well with Werewolves, and this leads us to our next section.
Leveling and maintaining your Werewolf is now considerably easier because the Devour passive is now granted automatically from the very start, so you can sustain the form better at lower levels before you’ve unlocked all the other skills. Also experience required to Morph Werewolf Skills has been significantly reduced, and if you’ve ever tried to play a Werewolf before then you know what a huge change this is. Leveling Werewolf Skills was frankly a pain in the ass…
You’ll also be able to perform many more types of actions while Transformed and there have been a few other major changes which I will list here:
- You can now resurrect other players while transformed.
- You can now use synergy abilities while transformed. You will use a unique Werewolf-themed animation instead of the synergy’s usual animation.
- You can now use Siege Weapons while transformed.
- Your Werewolf timer will no longer tick down while you are reviving in place while transformed.
- This ability and its morphs no longer increase your Movement Speed or your Spell and Physical Resistance as a baseline effect. These bonuses have been moved to passive abilities in the skill line.
Blood Rage – This ability now increases the timer of your Werewolf Transformation when you deal damage, rather than when you take damage. It adds 2/4 seconds to your timer with a 5 second cooldown.
Devour – This is now the first passive you unlock in the skill line, and is a free passive that does not require you to spend a skill point. Points already spent into this will be automatically refunded. The devour corpse ability is now a 4-second channel, instead of a 4-second cast time. Every second you spend devouring a corpse increases your Werewolf timer and restores Health. Each corpse can be devoured for up to 4 seconds.
Hircine’s Bounty – This ability and its morphs now heal based on your Max Health; Hircine’s Bounty and Hircine’s Rage heal for 45% of your Max Health, while Hircine’s Fortitude heals for 60% of your Max Health. Hircine’s Rage now grants Major Brutality for 20 seconds.
Piercing Howl – This ability and its morphs no longer stun the target. Decreased the cost of this ability and its morphs to 3510 Stamina from 4050. Howl of Despair now grants the ally Empower for all Light Attacks for 5 seconds. Previously, it granted 10% more Light and Heavy Attack damage for 15 seconds.
Pounce – This ability and its morphs no longer stun the target if they were already set Off Balance.
Pursuit – This ability now also increases your Movement Speed by 15/30%.
Roar – This ability and its morphs are now instant-cast, previously 1 second. Now fears up to 6 targets, instead of 3 targets. This ability and the Rousing Roar morph no longer set enemies Off Balance. Ferocious Roar now sets feared targets Off Balance. Rousing Roar has been renamed to Deafening Roar, and now applies Major Fracture for 10 seconds to feared targets reducing their Physical Armor by 5280!
Savage Strength – This ability now also increases your Spell and Physical Resistance by 5000/10000
You can see from the changes that it will not only be easier to level up your Werewolf but also play it. Being able to fear 6 enemies at once is almost game breaking in PvP, making it the single most effective CC in Cyrodiil, and that’s before you consider the Major Fracture. Hircine’s Bounty will also heal for much more Health than before, giving Werewolves more survive ability, which helps to shore up their 2 biggest weaknesses. The other is that they generally have no way to clear snares and defiling effects, which brings us to the next section.
Snares and Defile Getting Nerfed
Many abilities that Snares or Defiles its target has been nerfed in some form or another. I won’t list them all here, but some great examples are:
Merciless Resolve – Removed the snare from this ability.
Aspect of Terror – Decreased the duration of the snare from this ability and its morphs to 2 seconds from 4 seconds.
Dark Flare – Decreased the duration of the Major Defile debuff to 4 seconds from 6 seconds.
Rending Slashes – Decreased the duration of the snare to 4 seconds from 9 seconds.
Arrow Spray -Decreased the duration of the snare applied from this ability and its morphs to 4 seconds from 6 seconds.
Lethal Arrow – Decreased the duration of the Major Defile debuff applied to 4 seconds from 10 seconds.
Clearly these changes were made to further facilitate Werewolf gameplay, however, I don’t like the direction it is taking PvP. We are rapidly approaching the point where all that matters is dealing damage as fast as you can, and there is no real need to debuff your target. I hope in the future they add some sort of other debuffs to compensate for this nerfage.
PvP and Cyrodill Changes
In addition to one new Battlegrounds map Istirus, that allows players to mount for the first time, new Battlegrounds outfits have been added to the game. Now, when you complete a Battleground, you have a chance to obtain an Outfit Style for the Pit Demons, Storm Lords, and Fire Drakes’ unique armor appearances. The chance of obtaining an Outfit Style is based on how well your team performed in the Battleground. Victors have a much higher chance to obtain an Outfit Style than do second-place finishers, and second-place finishers have a much better chance than do third-place finishers. However, even teams coming in dead last have a small chance to obtain an Outfit Style. The medals you obtain do not affect your chances at all – so you don’t have to be fancy, just try to be victorious. Placing on the Leaderboards for Battlegrounds also has a very good chance to award an Outfit Style from each of the three teams’ armor visuals.
- Pit Demons Outfit Styles are obtained by completing Deathmatch games.
- Storm Lords Outfit Styles are obtained by completing Flag Games (Capture the Relic, Chaosball).
- Fire Drakes Outfit Styles are obtained by completing Land Grabs (Domination, Crazy King).
Zenimax has added a new method of navigating Cyrodiil called Keep Recall Stones. These are a new item you use from your inventory or quickslot wheel to recall to a Keep or Outpost. These can be purchased for 20,000 AP or earned from Rewards of the Worthy. However, there are several restrictions in place to use these items:
- You cannot recall to a structure that is under attack (shown on the UI as a starburst icon).
- You cannot recall to a structure while standing inside the region of a Keep, Resource, Outpost or Town.
- You cannot use a Recall Stone while actively in combat.
- Recall Stones can be used while in Caves of Cyrodiil, but not in the Imperial City.
- Recall Stones are account bound, so they can be banked but not traded to other players.
- You cannot use a Recall Stone while carrying an Elder Scroll.
Because of the high cost of these Stones, and the fact that they only affect 1 player (unlike camps), I don’t see these making a huge impact in Cyrodiil. However, there is some potential for well organized groups who play often, and have a lot of AP to spare, to abuse these to defend their keeps easily. This could result in very lopsided campaigns where one faction has more well organized PvP Guilds.
Keeps in Cyrodiil have been tweaked so that they are further impacted by the Resources around them (Lumbermills, Farms and Mines):
- Keeps now have 2 levels per resource material instead of 5.
- Resources now have 1 level for Defensive upgrades and 1 level for Production upgrades.
- Resources will now go from level 0 to 1 in about 10 minutes.
- A Keep will now gain its levels slower from a level 0 resource, but much faster from a level 1 resource.
- Prior upgrades which were spread out across 5 levels have been compressed into 2 levels for Keeps and 1 level for Resources, but the overall strength of each upgrade at maximum level remains the same.
- Keeps once again have Degrade turned back on. However, the degrade rate is much faster; a Keep can lose a resource level in about 5 minutes instead of an hour.
What this means is that Resources will once again have a significant impact on the level of each Keep and holding Resources is more crucial to defending a Keep. Keeps will be the same difficulty as before when at Max level, but now reducing it one level will hurt much more than before. Now this may seem like a bad change, because Keeps are already so easy to take, however, all siege weapons will be more effective against players in Champion enabled Campaigns as of Update 19.
Quality of Life Respec Change
Activating respec mode no longer clears all of your points, but instead allows you to add and remove points from your abilities. You’ll still have the option to remove all points if you want a fresh start, though. This is a great change and one that should allow players to play with their Skills more often and see what they really like without breaking their banks!
The Welkynar Motif is now available from Cloudrest Trial. Unfortunately in an effort to make the game even more grindy you will only get Motif Chapter fragments now, instead of Motifs, so you will have to complete the Trial multiple times (on Veteran) just to get one Chapter.
Two new Homes have been added: Hunter’s Glade and Grand Psijic Villa. Both are huge and should tempt players into purchasing if they can spare the Crowns.
The Champion Point cap has been raised by a total of 30 points (10 in each red/blue/green constellation) for a total of 780 Champion Points. The Champion Point experience curve has been automatically adjusted with this new cap, so that earlier Champion Points require less experience and can be earned faster.
Zenimax dramatically improved the value of Artifact-quality Jewelry Crafting Master Writs, and significantly increased the value of Legendary-quality Jewelry Crafting Master Writs, in terms of their Writ Voucher payouts. All Jewelry Crafting Writs received in the future will see this increased Voucher value, but this change will not impact any Jewelry Crafting Master Writs already present in game.
You can now only select one role when queuing through the Activity Finder, and it will display next to party frames. This change was made for a few reasons. Most importantly, it streamlines the queuing system so groups can be created faster. It’s also in an effort to address the issue where players would queue as multiple roles and get assigned the role they just can’t do, leading to bad group experiences.
Overall these are some intriguing changes to the game, and being a Werewolf and having made a few Guides regarding just that subject I’m excited that us Wolves will finally be relevant in a significant role. I don’t expect it to last forever though, so I suggest if you’ve ever wanted to be a Werewolf or you tried it before but couldn’t play as well as you’d like, then perhaps now is the time to try (again). There were no significant Class changes, except Templars which are having their Jesus Beam buffed and their Rune Focus buffed. Man it feels good to be a Templar Werewolf atm.
Stay tuned because I’m going to be doing some testing to see which Sets work the best on PTS with the new Werewolf changes and get some comparisons!
If you enjoyed reading about Elder Scrolls Online be sure to check out The Elder Scrolls Online: Wolfhunter Dungeons Preview as well Upcoming DLCs for Elder Scrols Online. We also have a great guide a Breakdown of the Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset Expansion.