ESO Scalebreaker Breakdown: One of the Biggest Overhauls Yet for Elder Scrolls Online

Last updated on August 15th, 2019

Zenimax has just released Update 23 Scalebreaker, and it’s time once again for our breakdown of the changes coming with this quarterly update. Scalebreaker will be changing many many Skills within the game, and I cannot honestly remember the last time so many changes were made to so many Skills at once. So for this article, we’re going to be focusing mainly on those, while covering any other major changes.

Elder Scrolls Online Scalebreaker Breakdown: One of the Biggest Overhauls Yet

Before we get into the Skills, let’s jump into one major change that should make a lot of people happy, and that is to Undaunted Pledges. Or more specifically Pledge Keys, and what they can be used for.

Undaunted Key Improvements

With the Scalebreaker Update, Undaunted Keys will now be located in the currency tab and no longer take up valuable inventory space. You can also now spend your keys directly via a store with the three pledge masters (Urgarlag Chief-bane, Glirion the Redbeard, Maj al-Ragath) in a number of ways which are as follows:

  • The mystery coffers now sold by each respective pledge master function similarly to the previous chest interactions. These provide a guaranteed monster set shoulder piece from among the dungeons associated with the pledges that NPC offers, along with a chance at a number of other rewards, for a single key.
  • The pledge masters also sell more specialized coffers at a cost of five keys each, and these will provide you with a guaranteed monster set shoulder piece from only two potential sources, allowing you to spend more keys to narrow the potential reward pool.
  • The monthly monster shoulder style pages will be available directly from the merchant for 50 keys each, in addition to continuing to be a rare drop from the mystery coffers, at the same rates as previously seen with the Undaunted chests. Note that you’ll need to log in with each character for their pre-existing keys to be converted into this new account-wide currency.

Pledge Masters will provide coffers in exchange for Pledge Keys which are now currency

These changes should improve players odds of getting exactly what they need more easily, and should save many many Pledge Keys from being wasted. Also, adding them as a currency is a nice change and frees up inventory space, which is always valuable.

Skill Lines for Alternate Characters

With the Scalebreaker Update, completing a skill line on one character now unlocks the ability to purchase that achievement and skill line on other characters from the Crown Store. Once unlocked for a character in this manner, the chosen skill line immediately advances to its maximum rank. All abilities contained within the purchased skill line arrive unranked, allowing you to advance and morph the skill as you see fit.

Unlock completed skill lines on alts by purchasing them on the Crown Store

This new Crown Store offering is located under “Upgrades -> Skill Lines” in the Crown Store. Currently, the following skill lines are available with Update 23, with The Psijic Order, Soul Magic, Vampire and Werewolf skill lines becoming available in a future update.

I’m sure I’ll make good use of this addition, as some of these Skill Lines are grindy as hell, but I’m sure there are many players out there that think this is a bad move on Zenimax’s part. It is definitely borderline pay-to-win, and makes it more likely that future Skill Lines will be made grindy intentionally to sell them in the Crown Store to Alternate Characters.

Scalebreaker Skill Changes

As mentioned above, Skill Changes and tweaks are the ultimate focus of this Update, besides the addition of the two new Dungeons. In this section we’ll take a look at what all these are, and how they will impact Elder Scrolls Online.

Necromancer

Bone Tyrant

    • Bitter Harvest:
      • The heal from this ability and its morphs is now properly synced up with the essence you absorb, resulting in less of a delay.
      • Increased the healing per tick by approximately 11%.
    • Bone Goliath Transformation: Fixed an issue where you could occasionally become stuck as a terrifying giant after casting this ability or its morphs, and never return to your frail, humanoid form. You must now find other ways to usher terror into Tamriel.
    • Bone Totem: Increased the duration of this ability and its morphs by 1 second to help improve its animation of the totem crumbling, along with adding a new function. These abilities will now pulse a fear once every 2 seconds after the initial 2 second delay, rather than only once.

Grave Lord

    • Blastbones:
      • Removed the delay of the skeleton summoned from this ability and its morphs before it would attempt to leap to its target, to help reliability.
      • Reduced the minimum range of the leap ability to 7 meters from 5 meters to reduce situations where the Blastbones becomes confused on what to do, causing it to stand still, pondering its own existence.
    • Boneyard:
      • Increased the cost of this ability and its morphs to 3780 from 3510.
      • Decreased the damage by approximately 32% per tick.
      • Increased the bonus damage modifier for consuming a corpse to 50% from 20%.
    • Pestilent Colossus: Reduced the escalating damage bonus each hit this morph deals. The total adjustment will result in an approximate 5% damage reduction.
    • Skeletal Mage: Increased the base cost to 4320 from 2430, and increased the damage per tick by approximately 90%.
      • Skeletal Archer (morph):
        • The archer’s base damage no longer ranks up by 1.1% per rank.
        • Reduced the scaling bonus to 2% per hit from 10%, which ranks up to 5% at Rank IV.
    • Shocking Siphon:
      • This ability and its morphs will now update their hitboxes when fighting large enemies.
      • These abilities no longer have a resource cost, and now scale off your highest offensive stats.
      • Decreased the damage per tick by approximately 14%.
      • Fixed an issue where the tether from this ability and its morphs would immediately break if you had bonuses to the ability range (like Battle Spirit) and cast it on a corpse further than 30 meters of you.
        • Mystic Siphon (morph): This ability now restores 35 Magicka per tick at Rank IV, down from 75.

Living Death

    • Render Flesh: Fixed an issue where the Befouled star from the Shadow tree was applying to the Minor Defile from this ability and its morphs.
    • Restoring Tether:
      • This ability and its morphs no longer have a resource cost, and now scale off your highest offensive stats.
      • Decreased the healing per tick by approximately 14%.
      • Mortal Coil: Reduced the Stamina return per tick to 35 from 79 at Rank IV.
    • Spirit Mender: Increased the cost of this ability and its morphs to 4320 from 2430, and increased the healing per tick by approximately 90%.
      • Intensive Mender (morph): This morph now heals for twice as much per tick, rather than 3 times. Reduces the duration in half, but also reduces the cost to half.

Just looking over the Necromancer changes, what they’ve done is essentially increased the cost of many Abilities dramatically, but also raised their effectiveness dramatically. This should result in better overall performance in PvP, where you need burst damage and healing, but should increase the amount of sustain needed to maintain your rotation in PvE.

Dragonknight

Ardent Flame

    • Searing Heat: Rank II of this passive now increases the duration of the affected abilities by 4 seconds, up from 2. It also increases the damage dealt of the abilities by 10%, up from 3%.
    • Combustion: Decreased the cooldown from this passive to 2 seconds from 5 seconds. This was done to help alleviate many of the duration-based ability cost increases, as well as helping this passive synergize with more build customization such as using the Charged trait.
    • Fiery Breath:
      • Increased the cost of this ability and its morphs to 2808 from 2700.
      • Decreased the DoT damage per tick by approximately 15%.
    • Lava Whip:
      • Molten Whip (morph): Reduced the stacking Spell Damage bonus from this passive to 75 at Rank IV from 125.
    • Searing Strike:
      • Fixed an issue where the visual effects from this ability and its morphs would fail to apply if the target was blocking.
      • Increased cost to 2160 from 1350.
      • Increased the DoT damage by approximately 26% per tick.

Earthen Heart

    • Ash Cloud:
      • Decreased the healing of this ability and its morphs by approximately 30%.
      • Increased the cost of all morphs to 5670 from 4590.
        • Cinder Storm (morph): This morph is now 50% stronger than the base ability, which will result in an approximate 1% heal reduction comparatively.
        • Eruption (morph): Reduced the damage over time by approximately 30% per tick.
    • Corrosive Armor: The penetration granted from this ability now only applies to the ability itself, and Direct Damage attacks or channeled attacks like Flurry.
      • If you would like more insight on this change, please read the developer comment under the Two Handed Onslaught changes, which has similar adjustments.
    • Petrify:
      • Increased the cost of this ability and its morphs to 4050 from 2970.
      • This ability no longer ranks up in cost reduction, but instead ranks up in 1.1% damage per rank.
      • Reduced the range of this ability and its morphs to 7 meters from 8 meters.
        • Shattering Rocks (morph): Fixed an issue where the heal from this ability was missing a previous rank up, which will result in an approximate 3% increase in the healing.

Dragonknights will see some improvements in some areas and nerfs in others, making their overall changes mostly a wash. Probably the biggest nerf, however, was to Petrify, which now costs about 40% more. That’s not a small amount, but will really affect PvP more than PvE.

Nightblade

Assassination

    • Grim Focus:
      • Fixed an issue where the spectral bow from this ability and its morphs could consume all of your stacks even if you failed to fire the projectile.
      • Reduced the amount of mitigation the stacking bonus of these abilities provides to 2% from 3%.
    • Mark Target: This ability and the Reaper’s Mark ability are now considered 1 negative effect, instead of 3. Piercing Mark will count as 2, due to the Reveal aspect. The conditional “if the target dies” bonuses from this ability and its morphs will no longer proc when using on pets.
    • Teleport Strike:
      • Lotus Fan (morph): Decreased the damage per tick of the DoT by approximately 22%, and fixed an issue where the final tick was not being affected by Minor Vulnerability.

Shadow

    • Concealed Weapon: Fixed an issue where casting this ability from crouch would apply the stun to your target, but not animate the stun.
    • Path of Darkness:
      • Twisting Path (morph): Decreased the damage per tick of this ability by approximately 14%.
      • Refreshing Path (morph):
        • Fixed an issue where this ability could heal you twice per tick after the first heal applied.
        • Increased the healing per tick by approximately 29%. Note the heal will be stronger than Twisting’s damage potential, because Twisting also gains increased area coverage.
    • Shadow Cloak:
      • Fixed an issue where this ability and the Shadowy Disguise morph could fail to cast if you had “Prevent Attacking Innocents” turned on.
      • This ability and the Shadowy Disguise morph now last 3 seconds at base, but are no longer affected by the Dark Veil passive. This was done to help low level characters utilize the skill.
    • Summon Shade: Increased the cost for this ability and its morphs to 4050 from 2700.
      • Dark Shade (morph): Reduced the damage per hit of Corrosive Flurry by approximately 9%. The area attack, Corrosive Slash, now deals the same damage as the normal attack, instead of dealing 20% bonus damage.
      • Shadow Image (morph): Your Shadow Image has gotten over its misguided protective nature, and will now once again allow you to teleport to it when it is on a destructible piece of terrain such as keep walls, bridges, or resource towers. It also would like to apologize for the previous frustrations in your relationship, and wants you to know that it still loves you.

Siphoning

    • Drain Power:
      • Power Extraction (morph): This morph no longer increases the damage dealt of the attack, but instead reduces the Weapon Damage of enemies hit by 200 Weapon Damage for 8 seconds.
      • Sap Essence (morph): Increased the healing from this ability by 23.3% since it was missing rank up progression, and was being reduced by 20% if you failed to hit a target with the damage of this ability. This also fixes the issue where casting the ability in rapid succession while hitting no targets would decrease the heal by 20% per cast, until it would reach -100%, and stop healing.
    • Cripple: Decreased the cost of this ability and its morphs to 2970 from 3240, and increased the damage by approximately 17% per tick.
      • Crippling Grasp (morph): Increased the initial hit damage by approximately 37%, and decreased the DoT damage by approximately 2%.

Nightblade healing was improved in this Update, but several of their damage dealing abilities were nerfed. Probably one of the biggest nerfs was to Mark Target, which now only counts as one negative effect. PvP Nightblades often overwhelm their target with negative effects, making cleansing them all nearly impossible. However, this change will help those jumped by them, and will make them a little less deadly.

Sorcerer

Dark Magic

    • Crystal Shard: Decreased the base cost of this ability and its morphs to 2970 from 3510, and decreased the damage by approximately 10%.
      • Crystal Blast (morph): The AoE portion of this ability now deals the same damage as the initial hit.
      • Crystal Fragments (morph): Increased the bonus damage dealt of the proc from this ability to 33% from 20% to retain the damage of this proc.

Daedric Summoning

    • Conjured Ward:
      • Reduced the shield size of this ability and the Empowered Ward morph by approximately 18%, and increased the cost of this ability and the Hardened Ward morph to 4320 from 3510. These changes were done to make them more comparable to the damage shield / burst heal standard.
      • Increased the shield size limit for this ability and the Empowered Ward morph to 50% of your Max Health from 40%. Hardened Ward is increased to 60% from 50%.
        • Empowered Ward (morph): The final cost of this ability is now 3780, and it no longer gains 1.1% shield size per rank as it already has a cost reduction rank up.
        • Hardened Ward (morph): Reduced the shield size of this ability by approximately 9%.
    • Rebate: Fixed an issue where this passive would dismount you if it procced.
    • Summon Unstable Familiar:
      • Decreased the special ability of this summon and the Volatile Familiar morph to 2808 from 3510.
      • Increased the damage per tick by approximately 8% of the base ability, but reduced the damage per tick of Volatile by approximately 3% since it was using the wrong rank up.
        • Summon Unstable Clannfear (morph): Reduced the healing granted from the special activation of this ability by approximately 14% to ensure it’s in line with other burst heal abilities, such as Rushed Ceremony or Dragon’s Blood.
    • Summon Winged Twilight:
      • The Zap and Kick attack from the Twilight and its morphs will now do the same damage, to help reduce volatility in performance.
      • Reduced the damage of the Winged Twilight and Twilight Matriarch by approximately 69% per hit.
        • Summon Twilight Tormentor (morph): Reduced the damage dealt by the Twilight’s Zap and Kick by approximately 35%. These attacks will now rank up in 1.1% damage per rank, rather than 5%.

Storm Calling

    • Bolt Escape: This ability and its morphs’ stuns can no longer be blocked.

      • Bolt Escape Fatigue (morph): Reduced the ramping cost increase from using Bolt Escape or its morphs to 33% per stack from 50% so it operates closer to Roll Dodge.
    • Overload:
      • The hitbox for these ability’s Heavy Attack will now properly update when fighting Dragons.
      • Fixed an issue where the Heavy Attack augment from these abilities was not gaining the 70% damage increase from Heavy Attacking Off-Balance enemies.
      • The Heavy Attack from this ability and its morphs can no longer be interrupted.
    • Lightning Splash: Decreased the cost of this ability and its morphs to 3024 from 3510, and decreased the damage per tick by approximately 37%.
      • Liquid Lightning (morph): This morph no longer increases in damage per rank and now lasts 9 seconds, ranking up to 12 seconds at Rank IV.
    • Surge:
      • Critical Surge (morph): Increased the healing granted from this morph by 10%.
      • Power Surge (morph): This morph now grants its healing to up to 6 targets, but will trigger off Critical Heals rather than Critical Damage. The cooldown is 3 seconds rather than 1, to ensure it offers similar healing to other AoE heal over times.

Sorcerers overall got a bit of a buff. Many of their pets were nerfed, though their cost is reduced, so it’s not as bad as it could have been. Crystal Frags instant procs will deal roughly the same damage and will cost 600 Magicka less, which is a huge decrease. Their Damage Shields, though slightly less effective will cost about 800 Magicka less, making it a boost overall. Bolt Escape will now Stun through block and will cost less Magicka on successive uses, making it more easily spammed.

Templar

Aedric Spear

    • Puncturing Strikes:
      • Reduced the base cost of this ability and its morphs to 2700 from 2952. Biting Jabs retains the 15% cost reduction.
      • This ability and its morphs will now use an older version of camera controls, predating the adjustments with Murkmire. This was done to prevent many of the errors occurring explicitly with gamepad mode.
    • Spear Shards:
      • Decreased cost of this ability and its morphs to 3024 from 3240.
      • Decreased the DoT damage of Spear Shards and Luminous by approximately 37% per tick, and Blazing Spear by approximately 42% per tick.
    • Spear Wall: Increased the duration of the Minor Protection granted from this passive to 3/6 seconds from 1.5/3 seconds.

Dawn’s Wrath

    • Eclipse: Reworked this ability and its morphs so you will now envelop your target in a sphere of darkness for 4 seconds, which harms them anytime they use a Direct Damage attack. These abilities can now only be active on one target at a time.
      • Their first attack causes the sphere to hinder them, reducing their Movement Speed by 30% for 4 seconds.
      • Their second attack causes the sphere to entangle them, immobilizing them for 3 seconds.
      • Their third attack causes the sphere to smother them, stunning them for 3 seconds.
      • These effect can only occur once every second.
      • Note that the sphere can no longer be CC broken early, but can still be cleansed.
        • Total Dark (morph):
          • Renamed this morph to Living Dark.
          • You now envelop yourself in darkness for 4 seconds, which protects you. Anytime an enemy hits you with a Direct Damage attack, they are immobilized for 3 seconds and you are healed.
          • This heal value has been decreased by approximately 66% compared to the original value, but can now occur every half second rather than every .75 seconds.
        • Unstable Core (morph): Each time the sphere activates on the attacker, they will take damage. This damage increases based on the stage the sphere is currently in.

       

    • Solar Flare: Increased the damage of this ability and the Dark Flare morph by approximately 4%.
      • Solar Barrage (morph): Decreased the damage of this morph by approximately 33% per tick.
    • Sun Fire:
      • Reduced the cost of this ability and its morphs to 2376 from 2700.
      • Increased the DoT damage by approximately 17% per tick, but reduced initial hit damage by approximately 17%.

Restoring Light

    • Backlash:
      • Purifying Light (morph): Decreased the healing per tick by approximately 29%.
    • Cleansing Ritual:
      • Increased the healing per tick of this ability and its morphs by approximately 95%.
      • Increased the cost of these abilities to 4860 from 4320.
      • Note these abilities continue to only tick once every 2 seconds, instead of the standard 1 second. This is due to the multi-faceted operational power this ability boasts.
        • Ritual of Retribution (morph): This morph no longer states it grants additional modifiers to the damage and healing, and instead deals damage for an identical coefficient of the heal.
    • Restoring Aura: Fixed an issue where the Minor Endurance and Intellect from this ability and its morphs were stacking with other sources.
    • Rushed Ceremony:
      • Honor the Dead (morph): Fixed an issue where this ability would cause animation stutters when attempting to cast the ability at a target who was using Mist Form or its morphs.

Templars came out about the same as they were before the Update. Spear Shards had its damage nerfed, after just having it buffed in the last Update, so that’s a shame. The devs continue to tinker with Eclipse, and still have not made it into anything particularly useful. Cleansing Ritual got a huge boost to healing, but also a large cost increase, and it was already expensive. This will help PvE players, but harm PvP players who may need to cleanse multiple times to remove many effects.

Warden

Animal Companions

    • Advanced Species: Reduced the damage increase per Animal Companion ability slotted to 2% from 3%.
    • Feral Guardian: Fixed an issue where the grizzly’s attacks could become desynced or stuck after using Crushing Swipe. This applies to all versions of the grizzly. This will result in higher damage per second for the grizzly, since it will be able to properly perform its next action more frequently.
    • Swarm: Increased the cost of this ability and its morphs to 2700 from 2430, and increased the damage per tick by approximately 17%.

Green Balance

    • Healing Seed:
      • Budding Seeds (morph): This morph now also introduces a Heal over Time while the Area of Effect grows. If the ability is consumed early, this Heal over Time is also consumed.
    • Nature’s Grasp: Decreased the heal over time for this ability and its morphs by approximately 24% per tick.
      • Bursting Vines (morph): Increased the burst heal by approximately 13%.

Winter’s Embrace

    • Arctic Wind:
      • Updated the healing from this ability and its morphs to happen faster and be focused more on the initial heal, rather than the heal over time.
      • The initial heal now scales off 25% of your Max Health, up from 15%.
      • The Heal over Time remains at 3% of your Max Health per tick, but happens every 1 second for 5 seconds instead of every 2 seconds for 10 seconds.
    • Icy Escape: Fixed an issue where this synergy was not being properly recognized by conditional bonuses, such as “When activating a synergy”.
    • Impaling Shards: Increased the cost of this ability and its morphs to 4536 from 3510, and increased the damage per tick by approximately 9%.
      • Winter’s Revenge (morph): Decreased the damage per tick by approximately 29%.

Wardens come out pretty much unscathed. Several nerfs and buffs, but they pretty much follow the same theme of the rest of the Update which is increased effectiveness at increased cost.

Two Handed

  • Berserker Strike: This ability and its morphs will now deal damage in a 5 meter radius if the initial hit successfully hits. Note the initial hit can still be dodged, since the initial attack is not an AoE.
    • Onslaught (morph): This morph no longer refunds Ultimate cost if you gain a killing blow with it. Instead, it converts the Physical and Spell Resistance into Physical and Spell Penetration for your Direct Damage attacks, and increases the duration from 8 seconds to a maximum of 12 seconds. It also no longer ranks up in 1.1% damage per rank.
  • Cleave:
    • Carve (morph): Reduced the damage over time from this ability by approximately 9%.
  • Critical Charge:
    • Critical Rush (morph): Increased the damage bonus scaling of this ability to 50% from 40%.
    • Stampede (morph): This morph no longer snares enemies hit. Instead, it now crushes the earth beneath you upon reaching your target, causing area damage to happen every second for an 8 second duration. This ability is balanced around our AoE DoT standards.
  • Executioner: Increased the execute multiplier of this ability to 400% from 350%.
  • Heavy Weapons: The axe bleed from this ability now ticks every second instead of every 2 seconds, and has had its total damage increased by approximately 24%.
  • Momentum:
    • Reduced the duration of this ability and its morphs to 20 seconds from 30 seconds.
    • Reduced the cost to 3780 from 4050.
    • This ability and its morphs will no longer apply a heal over time to you, but instead will grant Minor Endurance for the duration of the Major Brutality.
      • Forward Momentum (morph): This morph now reduces in cost as the ability ranks up.
      • Rally (morph): Increased the baseline heal from this ability by 100%, but reduced the maximum scaling bonus to 300% from 564%. The heal will now require the full 20 second duration to reach the maximum bonus, instead of reaching its maximum bonus 70% of the way through.
  • Uppercut:
    • Reduced the cast time of this ability and its morphs to 0.8 seconds from 1 second to help its reliability when being used in fast combat in melee range.
    • Reduced the base cost to 2700 from 3240.
    • Increased the damage from this ability by approximately 9%.

Two Handed was buffed in terms of overall damage, but Rally was nerfed HARD. Berserker Strike is now an AoE, and a powerful one at that. Will it compete with Dawnbreaker? Unlikely. Critical Rush damage was increased by 10%. Executioner had its multiplier increased to 400% from 350%. Axe bleeds now tick every one second instead of 2, boosting their damage by 24%. Rally no longer has a heal over time, and you must make it the full 20 seconds of the duration in order to gain 100% of the heal potential of this Skill. You can still reuse it early for healing, but it will be less effective than it used to be. This should shake up PvP a bit to say the least.

One Hand and Shield

  • Defensive Posture:
    • Reworked this ability and its morphs into a Damage Shield, rather than a weird buff. These abilities no longer passively reduce the cost of block or increase the amount of damage you can block while they are slotted.
    • Reduced the duration of the bonus from this ability to 6 seconds from 30 seconds.
    • Increased the cost to 4320 from 2430.
    • The Damage Shield scales off 30% of your Maximum Health, similarly to other damage shields like Bone Shield or Sun Shield.
    • This ability will continue to reflect once, but will now reflect any projectile rather than only spell projectiles. Reflecting an attack does not consume the shield.
      • Defensive Stance (morph): This ability no longer stuns the target if you successfully reflect an attack at them. Instead, this morph reintroduces the passive, which now increases to a maximum of 10% block mitigation and cost reduction.
      • Absorb Magic (morph):
        • This morph is now called Absorb Missile, because it can absorb any ranged attack instead of just magical ones!
        • Reduced the damage shield size to 30% from 50%.
        • Increased the heal granted from an absorbed ranged attack by approximately 29%, and will no longer remove the shield.
  • Fortress: Increased the cost reduction bonus from this passive to 7/15% from 5/10% to match our Stamina weapon standards.
  • Low Slash: Reduced the damage dealt from this ability and the Heroic Slash morph by approximately 31%. These two abilities will also no longer snare targets.
    • Heroic Slash (morph): The Minor Heroism granted from this morph will now last 12 seconds, up from 9 seconds, to better match the duration of the other bonuses.
    • Deep Slash (morph):
      • This ability now hits all targets in a 6 meter radius of your target, instead of only 2 targets in a 5 meter radius.
      • This morph now deals the same damage to all targets hit, and deals our AoE damage standard.
      • This morph also retains the 30% snare.
  • Power Bash: This ability is now considered a “spammable” attack, and adjustments have been made to properly place it in that category.
    • This ability no longer stuns at base.
    • Increased the damage dealt by all versions of this ability by approximately 94%.
    • Reduced the cost to 2700 from 3780.
      • Reverberating Bash (morph):
        • This morph retains the stun, with a max duration of 3 seconds, but it no longer applies Major Defile to the target.
        • The initial hit damage is now halved, and it will deal the other half of the damage when the stun ends. If the target is CC immune, it will not gain the other half of the damage.
      • Power Slam (morph): Reworked the passive this ability grants.
        • The Passive granted is now called Resentment, because you’re an angry person when you get hit.
        • Resentment activates after blocking any attack, and grants you 5% additional damage on your next Power Slam attack. This bonus stacks up to 10 times lasts 5 seconds, but you can only gain 1 stack every 250ms, to match the cooldown of block’s cost cadence.
  • Puncture:
    • Reduced the damage dealt by this ability and its morphs by approximately 37%, but reduced the cost to 1350 from 1701.
    • Increased the duration of the Major Fracture to 15 seconds from 12 seconds to match the taunt duration.
      • Ransack (morph): This morph no longer grants Minor Ward and Resolve. Instead, it grants Minor Protection for 15 seconds.
      • Pierce Armor (morph): The Major Breach from this morph now also lasts 15 seconds.
  • Shield Charge:
    • Shielded Assault (morph): Increased the shield size from this ability by 25%.
    • Invasion (morph): Reduced the maximum bonus to the stun duration to 50% from 88%. The max stun will now last 6 seconds, down from 7.52 seconds.
  • Shield Wall: Fixed an issue if you were holding block while casting this ability, you were unable to activate ground targeted abilities.

Overall there are a lot of changes to this Skill Line, but none will really affect how it’s played too much. The changes to Power Bash may make it viable in PvP once again, but it would have to be tested to see. I’m not happy with the Ransack change, as there are many many ways to gain Minor Protection now, and this will be wasted. Defensive Posture is an interesting change, giving a tank a Stamina Damage Shield in a pinch and increased Block mitigation. However, I don’t see many people using it except for the passive, since there are Magicka Damage Shields, and you can regain Magicka while holding Block.

Dual Wield

  • Blade Cloak: This ability has shifted into an AoE DoT category, rather than focusing on being a buff first.
    • Decreased the duration to 8 seconds from 15 seconds.
    • Reduced the cost to 3024 from 3510.
    • Decreased the damage per tick by approximately 5%, but increased the tick frequency to 2 seconds from 3 seconds.
      • Quick Cloak (morph): On top of granting Major Expedition for 4 seconds, this morph now also extends the duration to 10 seconds from 8 seconds, which ranks up to 12 seconds.
      • Deadly Cloak (morph): This morph no longer deals increased damage per tick, but instead deals damage every second.
  • Heavy Attack: Fixed an issue where you could remain in Stealth or Invisibility after landing a Dual Wield Heavy Attack.
  • Hidden Blade: Reworked this ability from a ranged spammable into a utility skill.
    • Increased the cost to 3780 from 2970.
    • Reduced their range to 22 meters from 28 meters.
    • Reduced the damage dealt by approximately 25%.
    • These abilities will now interrupt the target if they were casting an attack.
      • Shrouded Daggers (morph):
        • This ability no longer deals increased damage per bounce, but can interrupt any target hit.
        • This ability now only marks the initial target, instead of any enemy hit with the bounce. Each hit deals our AoE damage standard.
      • Flying Blade (morph): This morph allows you to reactivate the ability free of cost on a marked target, which causes you to jump to the target and gain Major Brutality for 30 seconds. This ability is off the global cooldown as well.
  • Lacerate:
    • Increased the size of this ability and the Rend morph to 8×8 meters from 8×7 meters.
    • Fixed an issue where the heal from all of these abilities could critically strike.
      • Thrive in Chaos (morph):
        • Reduced the base damage done bonus per target hit to 3% from 5%.
        • This morph no longer increases in damage by 1.1% per rank on the DoT, but instead increases the damage done bonus per target hit by 1% per rank.
        • This morph also converts the attack into a conal attack, which covers a much larger area.
  • Twin Blade and Blunt:
    • The axe bleed from this passive now ticks every second instead of every 2 seconds.
    • Increased the total damage by approximately 24%.
  • Twin Slashes: Increased the Damage over Time from this ability and its morphs by approximately 37%.

Dual Wield was buffed overall, and I suspect this was due to the fact that Bleeds no longer penetrate all Resistances. They now have a teleport ability in Flying Blade, which is an improvement, and just about every skill had its damage increased. Time will tell how this shakes out, but I don’t anticipate the same level of effectiveness, even with these changes that were seen before this Update.

Bow

  • Poison Arrow:
    • Increased the cost to 2700 from 2430 on all morphs.
    • Decreased the initial hit damage by approximately 17% on all morphs.
    • Increased the damage over time portion on all morphs by approximately 78% per tick.
      • Venom Arrow (morph): This ability now ranks up in cost reduction rather than 1.1% damage; the final base cost is 2430.
      • Poison Injection (morph): Reduced the total execute multiplier of this morph to 100% from 260%.
  • Rapid Fire: Increased the channeled damage from this ability and the Toxic Barrage morph by approximately 11%, and reduced channel time to 4 seconds from 4.1 seconds.
    • Toxic Barrage (morph): Removed the delay and reduced damage of the DoT by approximately 6% so it properly deals half the damage of the channeled attack.
    • Ballista (morph): Reduced the duration of the turret to 5 seconds from 5.5 seconds, and fixed an issue where it was double dipping in rank progression. This will result in a minor damage decrease.
  • Scatter Shot: This ability is now part of the utility category, with the below changes affect all 3 versions of the ability.
    • Increased the cost to 3780 from 2970.
    • Reduced the damage by approximately 10%.
    • Reduced the range to 22 meters from 28 meters.
    • Increased the knock back to 8 meters from 5 meters.
      • Magnum Shot (morph): This morph no longer knocks the caster back. Instead, it deals 20% more damage than the other morph, and reduces the cost to 3510.
      • Draining Shot (morph): The heal from this ability will now trigger upon dealing damage, rather than when the target is knocked back. Also decreased the heal by approximately 20%.
  • Snipe: Increased the damage by approximately 9% for this ability and its morphs.
  • Volley:
    • This ability and its morphs now deal damage every second, rather than every half second, and increased the damage per tick by approximately 11%. This will result in an overall damage loss.
    • Reduced the base cost to 2808 from 3510.
    • The range on all morphs is now 28 meters.
      • Arrow Barrage (morph): This morph no longer extends the duration, but increased the damage per tick by approximately 20%.
      • Endless Hail (morph): This morph no longer grants cost reduction, but now lasts 9 seconds and ranks to 12 seconds at Rank IV, rather than gaining 1.1% damage per rank.

Bow users shouldn’t see too much difference after this Update. Scatter Shot had its cost increased by nearly 30%, but also comes with increased damage. Volley had its damage nerfed, though the cost reduction will make this more bearable, and it can be morphed to further boost damage. Snipe had its damage increased, and Poison Arrow was changed, but remains very similar.

Destruction Staff

  • Destructive Touch: Redesigned this ability and its morphs to function as a DoT, rather than a utility skill.
    • Reduced the base cost to 2700 from 4050.
    • Reduced the initial hit damage by approximately 17%, but increased the DoT by approximately 167% per tick.
    • This ability no longer grants additional bonuses depending on the staff you are using.
    • This ability now gains 1.1% damage in rank for the entire ability.
    • Reduced the range to 15 meters from 17 meters.
      • Destructive Clench (morph): This morph retains the unique functionality for each elemental staff type you choose, but no longer deals damage over time. Flame Clench knocks the target back and stuns them for the duration; Frost Clench Immobilizes the target. Shock converts the attack into an AoE explosion, and deals our AoE damage standard.
      • Destructive Reach (morph): This morph increases the range to 28 meters and reduces the cost to 2430 at Rank IV.
  • Force Shock:
    • Increased the damage of this ability and its morphs by approximately 11%.
    • Increased the chance to apply an Elemental Status Effect to 10% per hit from 3%, since each hit is a “Direct Damage” attack.
      • Crushing Shock (morph): This ability no longer ranks up in damage, but instead decreases in cost, down to 2430 at Rank IV.
      • Force Pulse (morph): This morph no longer ranks up in damage of the initial hits, but instead ranks up in the cleave damage it deals. Also increased the damage of the cleave attack by approximately 172%.
  • Pulsar: Reduced the duration of the Minor Mangle this ability applied to 7 seconds from 30 seconds, which ranks up to 10 seconds. This morph now also increases the chance of applying the elemental type’s status effect to 15%, instead of the base 5%.
  • Tri Focus: Fixed an issue where this passive was not activating the Area of Effect damage while using a Heavy Attack with a Lightning Staff.
  • Wall of Elements:
    • Increased the duration of this ability and its morphs to 8 seconds from 6 seconds.
    • These abilities will now rank up in damage per rank, rather than cost reduction.
    • Decreased the cost to 3024 from 3510.
    • Decreased the damage per tick by approximately 33%.
      • Elemental Blockade (morph): Increased the duration from this ability to 9 seconds from 8 seconds, which ranks up to 12 seconds. It also no longer reduces in cost per rank.
      • Unstable Wall of Elements (morph):
        • This morph no longer reduces in cost per rank, but increases in explosion damage.
        • Increased the damage of the explosion by approximately 94%.
        • Fixed an issue where the final DoT tick was being consumed by the explosion.

Destruction Staff users may or may not be happy with the changes in this Update depending on how they play. Destructive Touch will no longer have a CC attached to it unless you wish to lose the damage over time it does, and since this was buffed by 167%, that seems unlikely. Force Shock was buffed to deal more damage and increase the chance of Status Effects being applied, which is great. Wall of Elements will now do less damage but will last longer. In addition, the Unstable Wall of Elements was buffed by 94%, making it a viable alternative to Elemental Blockade.

Restoration Staff

  • Blessing of Protection:
    • Reduced the cost of this ability and its morphs to 3510 from 3780.
    • Increased the healing of all these abilities by approximately 10%.
      • Blessing of Restoration (morph):
        • Increased the healing of this ability by approximately 3% since it was missing the rank up progression of the previous morph.
        • This ability now lasts 16 seconds instead of 15 seconds.
      • Combat Prayer (morph):
        • This ability no longer ranks up by 1.1% healing efficiency, but instead reduces the cost as it ranks up.
        • This ability’s Minor Berserk will no longer hit pets, since they already gain their owner’s Minor Berserk.
  • Force Siphon:
    • This ability and its morphs no longer have a cast time or a cost since they are purely debuff skills, such as Weakness to Elements.
    • The duration of this ability now begins at 18 seconds which ranks up to 24 seconds, and both morphs will rank up to 30 seconds in total.
    • Fixed an issue where these abilities would aggro your target.
      • Quick Siphon (morph): Since there is no cast time, this ability gains a new morph effect! Triggering the Minor Lifesteal debuff will also grant the activator Minor Expedition for 4 seconds.
  • Grand Healing: Converted this ability into a true AoE HoT, rather than a hybrid spammable hybrid HoT.
    • Increased the duration from 3 seconds to 8 seconds, but you may only have 1 active at a time.
    • Reduced the healing per tick by approximately 44%.
    • Reduced cost to 2808 from 3510.
      • Healing Springs (morph): This ability now grants 30 Magicka every time it heals an ally, rather than restoring 330 Magicka for up to 3 allies healed by the initial hit. This will result in a higher return if you hit all 6 targets for the full duration, but will require more coordination to obtain.
      • Illustrious Healing (morph): This ability continues to increase the duration. The new duration is 9 seconds, which ranks up to 12 seconds at Rank IV. It also increases the healing of the ability per tick by 50%.
  • Regeneration:
    • Increased the healing per tick by approximately 98%, but reduced duration to 10 seconds. It now only hits 1 ally per cast.
    • Increased cost to 2700 from 2160.
      • Rapid Regeneration (morph): This morph now doubles the frequency but halves the duration.
      • Mutagen (morph): This morph no longer attempts to grant affected targets a burst heal and purge if they were under 20% Health after the heal triggered. It will now instead heal up to 2 additional targets in your radius, and is called Radiating Regeneration to better showcase its ability to diverge to targets.
  • Steadfast Ward: Increased the base shield size of this ability by approximately 14%, but reduced the bonus scaling to 100% from 300% to better align it with other abilities, and reduce the polarizing effectiveness it has.
    • Healing Ward (morph): This morph will no longer heal you after the shield ends, because the shield hardly remains to do that. This morph will now heal you once every second for 33% of the remaining shield size instead, to ensure you gain effectiveness out of it. This heal can critically strike, due to the fact that the shield itself cannot crit.

The Restoration Staff line got a MAJOR overhaul. First off, Force Siphon will likely now become a meta skill as it has no cost or cast time, allowing continuous healing on all those attacking a Boss, and the Siphon Spirit morph adds Magicka Steal as well. Grand Healing will now not be spammable but will be a true AoE skill, and only one can be active at once. This will increase the challenge of healing a group, as often you could just spam Healing Springs for the win, in both PvE and PvP. Regeneration was nerfed into the ground, and if you thought you spammed it a lot before, be prepared to do so even more now. The duration has been cut to 10 seconds, it now it only targets one ally, and costs 20% more Magicka. The saving grace is that the old Mutagen morph has been rolled into a new one that hits 2 additional targets. Still, you’ll need to cast this twice every 10 seconds…

Light Armor

    • Annulment:
      • Reduced the shield size of this ability and its morphs by approximately 9%.
      • Increased the shield size limit for this ability and the Harness Magicka morph to 50% of your Max Health from 40%. Dampen Magic increases to 60% from 50%.

        • Harness Magicka (morph):
          • This morph no longer returns 3% of your Max Magicka when absorbing spell attacks. Instead, it restores 5% of the ability’s cost whenever it absorbs any damage. Note this value continues to increase per piece of Light Armor worn, and can still only occur up to 3 times per cast.
          • Increased the bonus modifier per piece of Light Armor worn for the Magicka return to 33% at Rank IV from 6%. Note this increase remains to be based on 5% of the ability’s cost, so each piece of Light Armor will increase the return from 5% to 6.65%.

Medium Armor

    • Evasion: Reduced the base cost of this ability to 3213 from 3672.
      • Elude (morph): Each piece of Medium Armor now increases the duration of the Major Evasion by 2 seconds, up from 1 second. Elude also grants you Major Expedition whenever you take direct Area of Effect damage, based on each piece of Medium Armor worn.
      • Shuffle (morph): Increased the snare and immobilization immunity granted per piece of Medium Armor worn to 1 second from 0.5 seconds.

Heavy Armor

    • Immovable: Reworked this ability and its morphs, and shifted the names around to be slightly more appropriate.
      • The base ability is now called Unstoppable.
      • Reduced the base cost to 3780 from 4590, which gets the 15% cost reduction, taking it 3213.
      • Increased the duration of the CC immunity granted to 6 seconds. While the CC immunity persists, you are now have 65% reduced movement speed. You cannot be stopped, but that power comes at a great cost.
        • Immovable Brute (morph):
          • Renamed this morph to Unstoppable Brute.
          • It no longer passively reduces the cost of CC break while slotted, but instead reduces the cost of CC breaking while the Major Ward and Resolve are active.
          • Increased the cost reduction per piece of Heavy Armor worn to 5% from 4%.
          • This morph also gains cost reduction as it ranks up.
        • Unstoppable (morph):
          • Renamed this morph to Immovable.
          • This morph no longer increases the duration of the ability. Instead, while the snare persists, it increases the amount of damage you can block by 5% per piece of Heavy Armor worn, but also increases the snare potency by 5%. If you are in all 7 pieces of Heavy Armor, you will truly be, Immovable. Unless Elite difficulty enemies hit you with a special move, they don’t care if you think you’re immovable.

The Armor abilities come with some interesting changes this Update. Annulment was tweaked but should function relatively the same, though it seems you will gain less Magicka return than before. Evasion got a nice buff in duration, making it much more useful. Immovable Brute and Unstoppable both seem extremely intriguing. You could theoretically reduce your Break Free cost to a very low number between Way of Arena, Heavy Armor and the Warlord Champion Skill. And with Immovable you should be able to Block so much damage you might be unkillable. I can’t wait to see how that affects PvP…

Soul Magic

  • Soul Strike:
    • Increased the damage per tick for this ability and its morphs by approximately 22%, but increased the time it takes to deal its total damage to 5 seconds from 2.9 seconds to help reduce the bursty nature of the ultimate. This also means the CC immunity granted from activating the ability lasts the 5 seconds, instead of only 2.9.
    • Increased the Reveal on this ability and its morphs to 3 seconds from 2 seconds.
    • Increased the base cost to 175 Ultimate from 100 Ultimate.
      • Shatter Soul (morph):
        • This morph’s explosion no longer requires the target to die in order to occur. Instead, when the channel is completed or ends early, it will detonate.
        • Reduced the damage of the explosion by approximately 37%.
        • Fixed an issue where the explosion was not applying the Reveal effect to targets hit, as the tooltip implied.
  • Soul Trap: This ability has been restructured to fit into our single target DoT standards.
    • Since this ability is the first ability you have access to, it will dynamically scale with your offensive stats with some extra detection abilities – if your Weapon Damage is higher it will deal Physical Damage, but if your Spell Damage is higher it will deal Magic Damage.
    • Increased the damage per tick by approximately 161%.
    • Removed the 2 second delay from these abilities.
    • This ability and the Consuming Trap will now only hit one enemy instead of up to 2.
    • Fixed many visual errors with these abilities.
      • Consuming Trap (morph): This morph will now restore 20% of your Health, Magicka, and Stamina, up from 10%, when a target affected dies. The tooltip will state the actual return to help you visualize the weight of its true power.
      • Soul-Splitting Trap (morph): This morph now converts the ability into an area of effect DoT, hitting any target in an 8 meter radius around your original target, but deals approximately 33% less damage per tick.

Soul Strike has been absolutely destroyed by this Update. It’s main use was to burst down hard to kill targets in PvP, and now that its duration is extended 2 seconds and cost raised by 75 Ultimate I can’t think of a single person who will use it. The changes to Soul Trap are interesting, however, and it can deal either Physical or Magic Damage based on your Stats. Its damage was increased per tick by 161%. It may actually be viable in some builds now.

Vampire

  • Bat Swarm:
    • Reduced the cost of this Ultimate to 250 from 275.
    • Increased the duration of this ability and its morphs to 7 seconds from 5 seconds.
    • Increased the damage dealt of the damage over time by approximately 20% per tick.
      • Devouring Swarm (morph):
        • Increased the base cost of this Ultimate to 250 from 200.
        • The heal from this ability has been brought into standards, which will result in no real set % change in power due to the previous version having several issues with scaling. The Weapon Damage scaling of this ability was approximately 800% weaker than the Spell Damage scaling, while the Stamina scaling was 1500% weaker than the Magicka scaling. The heal will now scale for half of the damage’s base coefficient (note this does not mean the heal is tethered to half of the damage dealt).
      • Clouding Swarm (morph):
        • Increased the cost of this Ultimate to 250 from 200.
        • Reduced the damage of Clouding Swarm’s activate, Materialize, by approximately 6% per hit.
        • Clouding Swarm’s Damage over Time will no longer rank up in damage, since Materialize already did. Note that due to the increase in duration of the base ability, Materialize will also be able to activated two additional times.
  • Drain Essence:
    • Removed the 1 second delay on this ability and its morphs before it deals damage.
    • The channel from this ability can no longer be dodged.
    • Reduced the damage per tick by approximately 11%, but the additional tick it now deals results in an increase of damage by approximately 89%.
    • This ability and its morphs now heal for up to 15% of your Missing Health per tick, down from 20%, to retain the 60% of your Missing Health over 3 seconds.
      • Accelerating Drain (morph): Increased the frequency of damage and healing this ability deals, resulting in 1 extra tick of damage and healing.
  • Mist Form:
    • Reduced the base cost of this ability and its morphs to 5130 from 5940.
    • This ability now lasts 4 seconds at base.
    • This ability now ranks up in cost reduction, taking the base cost to 4860 at Rank IV.
      • Elusive Mist (morph): Fixed an issue where the Major Expedition from this ability would persist even after casting the channeled effect.
      • Baleful Mist (morph):
        • This ability no longer ranks up in cost reduction, but instead gains 1.1% damage per rank.
        • Increased the frequency of damage to 0.5 seconds from 1 second, but decreased the damage of the DoT by approximately 30% per tick.

Vampires in ESO will get a bit of a boost in this Update. Bat Swarm has had its cost reduced by 25 Ultimate, and its damage increased by 20%. In addition, Mist Form had its cost reduced by about 15% at base with about a 20% overall reduction as it ranks up. This should make using it a bit easier in PvP.

Werewolf

  • Hircine’s Bounty:
    • Increased the cost of this ability and its morphs by 25%.
    • Reduced the healing to 37.5% of your Max Health from 45% of your Max Health, which is 25% stronger than the standard 30%.
      • Hircine’s Rage (morph): Increased the duration of the Major Brutality to 30 seconds from 20 seconds at its final rank.
      • Hircine’s Fortitude (morph): This morph is now 25% stronger in heal potency compared to the base, which will result in an approximate 16% reduction in healing compared to the previous value.
  • Infectious Claws:
    • Increased the cost of this ability and its morphs to 3442 from 3240.
    • Increased the damage of the initial hit by 25%.
    • Reduced the Damage over Time of these abilities by approximately 11% per tick.
  • Piercing Howl: Reduced the cost of this ability to 2869 from 3510, and reduced the damage dealt by approximately 14%.
    • Howl of Agony (morph): This morph no longer ranks up in 1.1% damage, but instead increases the damage dealt on a Feared target, up to 33%.
  • Pounce: Decreased the base cost for this ability and its morphs to 4016 from 4050.
    • Brutal Pounce (morph): The AoE damage dealt from this morph now deals the same damage as the initial hit.
  • Roar:
    • Increased the cost of this ability to 4304 from 4163.
    • Reduced the radius to 6 meters from 8 meters.
    • Increased the duration of the fear to 4 seconds from 3.3 seconds at Rank IV. All morphs now last 4 seconds in total duration.
      • Deafening Roar (morph): This ability now properly applies Major Fracture to up to 6 enemies, regardless if they were feared or not.
      • Ferocious Roar (morph): This ability now ranks up in cost reduction, rather than Fear duration. The final base cost is now 4034.
  • Werewolf Transformation:
    • Reduced the damage dealt by your Light and Heavy Attacks with this ability and its morphs by approximately 17%.
    • Increased the range of the Light Attacks to 7 meters from 5 meters, and the Heavy Attacks to 10 meters from 7 meters. This was done to help preserve the same distance from standard forms, since your character size increase was not applying to the range of your abilities, causing your attacks to appear as if they lost range.
    • This ability and the Pack Leader morph no longer apply a bleed to enemies hit with Light Attacks, or deal area damage with Heavy Attacks.
      • Pack Leader:
        • The Direwolves can no longer be targeted or die.
        • Reduced the damage of the Direwolves’ Gnash attack by approximately 70%, and decreased the frequency of its attack speed to 2 seconds from 1 second.
        • Gnash now applies Minor Maim to enemies hit for 4 seconds.
        • Reduced the damage of the Lunge attack by approximately 60%.
        • Lunge will now be cast every 10 seconds, rather than have a 25% chance every 3 seconds to cast.
        • Lunge will now snare enemies hit by 30% for 4 seconds.
        • The Direwolves will now return to your side if you travel far enough away from them, since they are lost and confused without their leader of the pack.
      • Werewolf Berserker (morph): Increased the damage of the bleed from your Light Attacks by 25%.

Werewolves saw some significant changes in this Update. First up the heal from Hircine’s Bounty was nerfed, and now does 37.5% of your Max Health instead of 45%. Infectious Claws had its cost increase slightly, and is now more front loaded with the initial hit dealing more damage, and the DoT dealing less. Brutal Pounce now deals full damage to all targets hit, and Roar has a larger radius and cost. Probably the biggest change was that Light and Heavy Attacks have been nerfed in damage but increased in range. This should help hits connect in PvP, but is less useful for PvE. Additionally the Pack Leader morph no longer gives Bleeds on Light Attacks, but does make your Direwolves untargetable and unkillable.

Fighters Guild

  • Fixed an issue where Balorg and Hulking Werewolves were not being considered Werewolves for the Fighters Guild conditional bonuses.
  • Circle of Protection:
    • Reduced the cost of this ability and its morphs to 3902 from 7987.
    • Fixed an issue with this ability and its morphs where you could not gain the Minor Protection from this ability if you had Minor Endurance active prior to entering the area.
      • Turn Undead (morph): This morph is now called Turn Evil, and fears any enemy in the area upon cast, rather than only Undead.
      • Ring of Preservation (morph):
        • This morph no longer reduces the cost of Roll Dodge while in the area, and is now considered a “Kiss-Curse” or double-edged sword morph. Instead, it heals up to 6 friendly targets (yourself included) in the area every half second. The heal is based on our AoE HoT standards.
        • Reduced the duration of this morph to 8 seconds from 20 seconds.
  • Dawnbreaker:
    • This ability and its morphs now all have a minor cast time to match their animation of slamming down the glorious Dawnbreaker. Canceling the Ultimate will not consume resources, and this cannot be bashed/interrupted from abilities.
    • Increased the damage of the DoT by 1.1% per rank.
    • This ability and its morphs no longer has the 6 person target cap, since its total area is smaller than other Ultimates, such as Dragon Leap or Permafrost.
      • Flawless Dawnbreaker (morph): This morph no longer passively increases your Weapon Damage by 5% for slotting. Instead, it grants you 300 Weapon Damage for 14 seconds, which ranks up to 20 seconds at Rank IV. This morph also no longer increases in damage by 1.1% per ranks.
      • Dawnbreaker of Smiting (morph): This morph will now properly gain its 20% damage increase, which will result in a ~1% damage loss.
  • Expert Hunter:
    • Evil Hunter (morph):
      • Fixed an issue where this ability cost more than its original form.
      • This morph no longer grants 25% reduced Stamina cost of Fighters Guild abilities. Instead, it grants up to 25% damage dealt with non-Ultimate Fighters Guild abilities.
    • Camouflaged Hunter (morph):
      • This ability will no longer costs more than the base form, and no longer grants Minor Berserk from successful sneak attacks. It now grants Minor Berserk from dealing Critical Damage from an enemy’s flank.
      • Decreased the duration of Minor Berserk to 5 seconds from 10 seconds at Rank IV.
  • Silver Bolts: This ability has been brought into our “spammable” category, and will be balanced as such.
    • Increased the damage dealt by approximately 12.5%.
    • Reduced cost to 2700 from 3510.
    • This ability no longer snares enemies hit. Spin them crossbows!
      • Silver Shards (morph):
        • This ability now hits all nearby enemies to your original target, instead of having a cap.
        • The AoE damage dealt is now 25% weaker than the initial hit, instead of 50%.
        • The AoE damage now ranks up in 1% strength per rank.
      • Silver Leash (morph):
        • Decreased the damage of this ability by approximately 25%.
        • Increased cost to 3780 from 3510.
        • Reduced the snare potency to 30% from 40%.
        • These changes will allow the ability perform much closer to other gap closer/creator abilities.
  • Trap Beast:
    • Increased the duration of the Damage over Time from this ability and the Lightweight Trap Beast morph to 10 seconds from 6 seconds.
    • The Minor Force will now properly line up with the duration rather than being 2 seconds longer.
    • Reduced the damage per tick by approximately 6%, and reduced the duration of the Immobilize on all morphs to 2 seconds.
    • Reduced the base cost to 3240 from 3780.
      • Lightweight Trap Beast (morph): This morph no longer ranks up the damage of the DoT, but instead reduces cost as it ranks up, to 2970 at Rank IV.
      • Rearming Trap Beast (morph):
      • Renamed this morph to Barbed Trap.
      • This morph no longer places a new trap in the area after the original duration ends, but instead increases the duration of the DoT applied, up to 18 seconds at Rank IV. The damage per tick has increased by approximately 33%, since it was lower than the base morph.

The changes to the Fighters Guild line are not particularly significant, though there are many. Silver Leash was increased in cost, which really sucks for tanks as this Ability was already taxing on Stamina. Perhaps the best change here was that Lightweight Trap got a major cost reduction, allowing to use this Ability for less Stamina. I don’t expect these changes to effect much gameplay wise.

Mages Guild

  • Entropy: Redesigned this ability and its morphs to operate as a DoT, rather than the strange HoT/DoT/Buff hybrid it previously was.
    • Increased the cost of these abilities to 2970 from 1620 at base.
    • Entropy and Degeneration no longer heal over time.
    • Increased the damage from all morphs by approximately 220%.
    • Decreased duration to 10 seconds from 12 seconds. Major Sorcery remains at 20 seconds, and fixed an issue where the Major Sorcery was not increasing in duration with the Everlasting Magic passive.
      • Structured Entropy (morph): This morph no longer grants Max Health for slotting. Instead, it now heals you every 2 seconds for 10 seconds.
      • Degeneration (morph): This morph no longer has a 15% chance to heal you when you deal Light or Heavy Attack damage to the target. Instead, it returns 100 Magicka when dealing Light or Heavy Attack Damage to the target while the DoT persists. Also reduced the cost of the ability as it ranks up, down to 2700.
  • Equilibrium:
    • Balance (morph): The Major Ward and Resolve will now begin their duration at 22 seconds instead of 20 seconds. At Rank IV with 2 points committed into Everlasting Magic, the duration will be a glorious 30 seconds, rather than the unsightly 27.6 seconds.
    • Spell Symmetry (morph): Increased the cost reduction granted from this ability to 33% from 28% Rank IV.
  • Fire Rune: Increased the damage of this ability and its morphs by 25% for the initial hit, and reduced the base cost to 3240 from 4050.
    • Scaling Rune (morph): Increased the Damage over Time of this morph by approximately 115% per tick.
    • Volcanic Rune (morph): This morph no longer increases the duration of the stun as the ability ranks up, but instead reduces the cost of the ability, down to 2970 at Rank IV.
  • Meteor:
    • Removed the 6 person target cap from this ability and its morphs, since it covers a smaller area than the standard AoE Ultimates.
    • Reduced the Damage over Time from this ability by approximately 13% per tick, but increased the duration so it will end on a beautiful whole number when you have 2 points into Everlasting Magic.
    • Fixed an issue where this ability and its morphs would fail to deal damage if your character died after casting it.
      • Ice Comet (morph): This morph will no longer rank up snare duration on the targets hit by the initial hit, but instead will increase in total damage dealt by 1.1% per rank. The 10% damage increase of this ability now also applies to the DoT as well.

The Mages Guild really only saw one significant change, and that is to Entropy. This will now deal 220% more damage, making it a decent DoT and will not heal you by default. The Degeneration morph will also grant Magicka each time you Light Attack a target with this effect applied, making it a modest form of sustain. I fully expect to see this morph make its way into the meta.

Undaunted

  • Blood Altar: This ability and its morphs no longer have a cast time, and now cost Health rather than Magicka.
    • Overflowing Altar (morph): This ability no longer attempts and fails to rank up in the healing the synergy provides, and instead reduces in cost as it ranks up.
  • Blood Feast and Blood Funnel: These synergies will now properly use their activator’s highest Critical Strike chance, rather than only using their Spell Critical. Blood Feast now heals for 65% of the activator’s Max Health at all ranks.
  • Bone Shield:
    • Increased the base cost to 4320 from 3780, but applied the 15% Stamina cost reduction it was missing, which will take the cost to 3672.
    • Bone Shield will now properly rank up in 1.1% shield size per rank.
      • Spiked Bone Shield (morph):
        • This ability’s damage return can no longer self-perpetuate with other damage return procs, and will no longer remove the attack from sneak attacks before finishing the attack.
        • Increased the damage return to 60% from 33% to put it better in line with the other morph.
      • Bone Surge (morph): This ability will now rank up in 1.1% shield size, rather than reducing in cost.
  • Bone Wall and Spinal Surge (synergies):
    • These synergies now affect up to 6 allies, up from 4.
    • Reduced the size of the shields to 30% of the synergizer’s Max Health from 50%.
  • Inner Fire: Reduced the cost of this ability and its morphs to 2700 from 4051, and increased the chance of applying the synergy to 50% from 25% for this and the Inner Beast morph.
    • Inner Beast (morph): This morph now also causes your target to take 5% more damage from you while the taunt persists, and added the Stamina cost reduction to this morph, taking the cost to 2295.
    • Inner Rage (morph): This morph now guarantees the synergy, instead of increasing the chance.
  • Necrotic Orb:
    • Reduced the base cost of this ability and its morphs to 3780 from 4590.
    • Reduced the damage per tick of this ability and the Mystic Orb morph by approximately 13%, but it can now deal damage every half second instead of every second.
    • You can only have 1 orb active at a time.
    • Decreased the speed to 2 meters per second from 3 meters per second to help it deal damage or heal targets more reliably as the orb passes them.
      • Energy Orb (morph): Increased the healing per tick of this ability by approximately 7%, and fixed an issue where allies affected by the Heal from this ability were unable to take damage from Necrotic or Mystic Orbs from some players.
  • Combustion and Healing Combustion (synergies of Necrotic Orbs and its morphs): These synergies will no longer remove their parent abilities when activated. This means a single orb can now provide a synergy to anyone in its path, and will not be removed for other players once it is activated.
  • Radiate: This synergy now has a 1 second delay on its activation, and reduced the damage of the DoT by approximately 11%.
  • Spawn Broodlings (synergy): Reduced the initial hit of this ability and the other versions of the morph by approximately 21%. These synergies now summon 1 spider for 10 seconds, rather than 2 spiders for 15 seconds, which will significantly reduce their damage dealt.
    • Black Widows (morphed synergy): Increased the damage of the poison applied by the spider by approximately 66% to offset some of the damage loss of the base ability. Note this synergy will still see a large efficiency loss.
  • Trapping Webs:
    • Reduced the cost of this ability and its morphs by approximately 15% since they were missing the standard.
    • These abilities now deal an initial hit of damage when they land at their target location, resulting in an approximate 75% damage increase for the caster.
    • Fixed many issues where parts of this ability would fail if the caster was silenced.

Undaunted saw a big change in Necrotic Orb, which will no longer allow multiple Orbs out at once. I’m actually a fan of this change because as a healer it isn’t exactly the most fun thing in the world to just spam Orbs over and over, and should allow healers to have some more varied gameplay. In addition, players can activate multiple synergies from one Orb, so it’s not as much of a nerf. Additionally, Inner Fire had a HUGE cost reduction which Tanks will absolutely love.

Assault

  • Caltrops:
    • Reduced the base cost to 2984 from 3510.
    • Increased the snare potency to 50% from 30%.
    • Reduced the damage per tick by approximately 60%, and decreased the duration to 10 seconds from 12 seconds. These changes apply to all morphs.
    • Caltrops now ranks up in 1.1% damage per rank, rather than reducing in cost.
      • Anti-Cavalry Caltrops (morph): Decreased the base duration to 12 seconds, which ranks up to 15 seconds at Rank IV. It also no longer increases in damage per rank.
      • Razor Caltrops (morph): This ability no longer deals initial hit damage, but instead applies Major Fracture to enemies hit by the DoT, up to 4 seconds at Rank IV.
  • Magicka Detonation:
    • Reduced the cast time of this ability and the Inevitable Detonation morph to 1 second from 1.5 seconds.
    • Increased the damage of all morphs by approximately 7% to ensure they deal our AoE damage standard.
    • Reduced the base cost of all morphs to 3510 from 4050.
    • Removed the maximum limit to the target scaling of these abilities so they may actually combat large groups of enemies for their intended design.
  • Rapid Maneuver:
    • Reduced the cost of this ability and its morphs to 6885 from 8100 for the 15% Stamina cost reduction standard.
    • This ability and its morphs will no longer remove themselves if you take an action, such as healing or damage.
    • Reduced the duration of the Major Expedition granted to 8 seconds from 30 seconds at Rank IV. Note it will continue granting Major Gallop for 30 seconds.
      • Retreating Maneuver (morph): This ability no longer ranks up in duration.
      • Charging Maneuver (morph):
        • This morph no longer grants Minor Expedition after the Major Gallop ends or is reapplied. Instead, it grants the Minor Expedition bonus alongside the Major Expedition bonus.
        • This ability no longer ranks up in duration, but instead reduces in cost.
        • Fixed an issue where Minor Expedition was ignoring range requirements, and applying to allies in lands far, far away.
  • Vigor: Adhered this ability to our AoE HoT standards.
    • Increased the duration to 8 seconds from 5 seconds, but decreased the tick frequency to 2 seconds from 1 second.
    • Increased the healing per tick by approximately 33%.
    • Reduced the cost to 2984 from 3511.
      • Resolving Vigor (morph): This morph doubles the frequency, halves the duration, and increases the healing per tick by approximately 43%, but now only targets your character.
      • Echoing Vigor (morph): This morph continues to increase the radius, but also increases the duration per rank, up to 10 seconds at rank IV, allowing for 1 additional heal tick. It also no longer ranks up in 1.1% healing per rank.
  • Warhorn:
    • Sturdy Horn (morph): This ability no longer extends the duration of the bonuses or provides Minor Ward and Resolve. Instead, it will grant 15% worth of Critical Resistance to targets affected to operate as a counter to Aggressive Warhorn.
    • Aggressive Warhorn (morph): The Major Force from this ability now lasts 10 seconds at rank IV, rather than 9.5 seconds. Be gone, duration based fractions.

Some decent changes here with this Update. Caltrops has been shifted more to a utility skill than a DoT with increased Snare and reduced damage. Additionally, the Razor Caltrops morph now applies Major Fracture, so I expect to see this run much more. Rapid Maneuver got a huge Stamina cost reduction, which is great. Vigor has been redesigned to be a strong self heal or a group heal only, so players will have to choose which works best for them. This should make small packs of Stamina players easier to kill in PvP, and potentially make Stamina healing more viable.

Support

  • Barrier: This ability and its morphs will now affect up to 12 grouped allies, instead of 6 allies.
    • Reviving Barrier (morph):
      • Reduced the heal per tick from this ability by approximately 11%.
      • Reduced the duration to 15 seconds from 30 seconds, but increased the frequency of the tick to 1 second from 1.5 seconds.
      • Added a 1 second delay to the first heal tick.
    • Replenishing Barrier (morph):
      • The Magicka restored from this ability’s conditional requirement now restores a flat amount of Magicka, rather than a percentage of your Max Magicka. Restore is now 1000 at Rank IV.
      • Reduced the amount of Ultimate restored per shield dissolve to 4 from 6. Note since this ability can now affect more targets, the total restore of both the Magicka and Ultimate can potentially be higher.
  • Guard: Reduced the base cost to activate this ability and its morphs to 3672 from 4320 since they were missing the 15% Stamina cost reduction standard.
  • Purge:
    • This ability and its morphs no longer reduce the duration of incoming negative effects.
    • Increased the amount of negative effects instantly removed per cast to 3 from 2.
    • This ability now ranks up in cost reduction, leading to a base cost of 7830 at Rank IV.
      • Efficient Purge (morph): This ability will now cost 5400 at Rank IV, rather than 5130.
      • Cleanse (morph): This morph no longer heals for 15% of the target’s Max Health if a negative effect was removed from them, but instead heals for 7-10% of their Max Health per negative effect removed.
  • Revealing Flare: Adjusted this ability to behave more closely to other reveals, such as Magelight or Expert Hunter.
    • The flare now lingers in the area where cast for 5 seconds, rather than being instantaneous.
    • Increased the base cost to 5400 from 1889, which ranks down to 5130.
      • Lingering Flare (morph): This ability now lasts 7 seconds, down from 8, and ranks up in duration to 10 seconds at Rank IV.
      • Scorching Flare (morph):
        • Renamed this ability to Blinding Flare.
        • This ability no longer damages enemies revealed, but now stuns revealed enemies for 2 seconds, which ranks up to 4 seconds at Rank IV.
  • Siege Shield:
    • This ability and its morphs now affect up to 12 allies, instead of only 6.
    • Reduced the base cost to 8100 from 9450.
      • Propelling Shield (morph): Reduced the cost to 7830 from 8496.
      • Siege Weapon Shield (morph):
        • The protection for siege weapons will now apply to all friendly siege weaponry, including your own, rather than only your allies’ siege.
        • Fixed an issue where the damage mitigation from siege attacks on players was applying to anyone in the area, instead of only you and allied players.

The gist of the changes here are that the number of players affected by some of the skills has increased to “support” larger group play, which is great. Many of the Skills had huge increases or decreases in cost, but many of these Abilities are not used overly often, so I doubt this will have much of an impact on PvP overall.

Final Thoughts

While there are a ton of Skill changes with the Scalebreaker Update, I think after you look through ALL of them (and there are a lot), you will realize that the general gameplay of ESO remains mostly the same. There were numerous cost and damage tweaks, but out of all the skill changes it was a small percentage that were drastically effected.

However, probably the most notable role affected here is the healer. Healing Springs has been changed, and healers will not be able to rely on it as their go to. Mutagen will need to be cast twice as often, which will further tax healer resources, making Magicka Recovery more important than ever. And, Necrotic Orb is now a one out at a time deal, meaning they won’t be able to spam them. This should translate to more meaningful and skilled gameplay for this role, which frankly I for one am happy about. Healing is easy, and has traditionally been more about the gear you are wearing, than mastering any sort of rotation. This should change significantly with this Update.

Lastly, I do think many meta Builds will shift after this Update, and probably more so than in recent Updates. Many morphs have more meaningful options, making it tough to decide just which you’ll want to use, particularly when it comes to Weapon Skills. I look forward to seeing what people come up with, and if anything it should at least create some change in a game that tends to hold the meta for a good amount of time.


Stay tuned for more Elder Scrolls Online content as we cover the new Scalebreaker Update and what Builds you can make now!

Avatar

Senior Editor at Fextralife. I enjoy gaming, playing and watching sports, cooking yummy food, watching a good movie and hanging out with Fex.

View my other posts

Log in to leave a Comment