The Elder Scrolls Online Craglorn Content Update Q&A With Paul Sage
Post by Dan @ 12:22pm 22/05/14 | Comments
With The Elder Scrolls Online's first major content update since launch -- the new Craglorn zone for high level group adventuring -- now expected in the next few days, developer Zenimax Online Studios is undoubtedly as busy as ever, but Creative Director Paul Sage still made the time to answer some of our questions.
AusGamers: Craglorn content is already accessible on the public test server, so why the hesitation to announce a release date?
Paul Sage: We want to put it out when we feel it is done. We are getting the balance tweaked on it and getting the known bugs fixed. It is looking like, at the time of this interview, it will be released this week.
AusGamers: A maximum character level bump to veteran level 12 is accompanying the Craglorn content update, can you explain the reasoning behind a 2 level raise, and are incremental cap raises something TESO players can expect semi-regularly as a part of future content updates?
Paul: Our original plan was to bump up Veteran Ranks with every significant content push. That may change as we let the majority of the players catch up. We want to make sure a majority of our players enjoy our content updates.
AusGamers: More than just new content, Craglorn is being rolled out as part of a patch that will also implement a swathe of balance changes across the classes. Is there a technical reason such changes have been coupled to the content release?
Paul: Not so much technical as logical. After going live and even in the last days of Beta, we were still getting a lot of data about classes and how each performs. So we want to make sure to tie all of these together. Obviously, pushing any changes with a major update is a good thing. Having fewer updates is better for keeping the service up and people playing.
AusGamers: There’s no reports on new crafting motifs from Craglorn, yet there is distinct new gear to be found in the new zone. Are there plans to release new motifs like Yokudan in the near future?
Paul: We do have plans to release new motifs in the future. I don’t know that it will be Yokudan, but it will be new styles.
AusGamers: You can enter Craglorn from veteran rank 1, which is obviously a low bar as the content is reportedly geared much higher, and for groups. Can you feasibly accomplish much of anything there as a solo vet rank 1?
Paul: It is more difficult, but yes. I think it is very feasible for people to go in at Veteran Rank 1. There isn’t that much of a power difference between Veteran Rank 1 and Veteran Rank 5, as an example. However, in Trials, where every little bit matters, you’ll probably want to be the correct rank.
AusGamers: How does the loot level vary throughout the zone? Will loot levels be set for each delve and trial, or will they all scale to your group’s level? What about loot in the public overworld?
Paul: Loot is dropped to your veteran level. This means if you are veteran level 1, you will get veteran level 1 gear.
AusGamers: Premium loot from the bosses of Craglorn’s dungeons and trials will presumably continue to be bind on pickup for each individual player’s account, and therefore untradeable. Can you explain the philosophy behind that design choice?
Paul: There’s certain gear we want players to have to experience content to achieve. Trading for this gear means the content could be ignored. That isn’t always the best choice. So we want to be sure to have a mix, but in later levels and with later content it leans more towards needing to experience that content for specific gear. However, it should be mentioned that gear of equal power can be achieved through crafting or through the Alliance War. We make sure that there is equivalence in power through all of the ways a player wants to play, but certain styles, looks, etc. need to be achieved by doing the content.
AusGamers: If players want to compete on leaderboards on trials, they’ll be after every advantage they can get, so are you concerned that will encourage more people to simply join their faction’s dominant Cyrodill PvP campaign for the additional buffs, at the expense of other more balanced campaigns?
Paul: If we’re being honest, a bit. However, putting too many restrictions in can harm the overall fun of the game. We don’t want to harm the normal player for the actions of a few, so any restrictions we put in have to be very, very carefully thought out.