ESO Quakecon The Future of ESO Panel Notes

ESO Quakecon The Future of ESO Panel with notes and videos on the upcoming ESO features.



  • Brian Wheeler – Lead PvP Designer
  • Rich Lambert – Lead Designer
  • Jeese Mcintyre – Lead Programmer
  • Paul Sage – Creative Director
  • Nick Konkle – Lead Gameplay Designer
  • Jared Carr – Art Director

Imperial City with Brain Wheeler


  • PVP zone
  • Unlocked by Corydiil Keep ownership.
  • Rid the imperial city of Molag Bal’s Planemeld, tons of bosses and mini bosses to kill.
  • Clear out enemy players.
  • Capture and hold different districts of the city. You get rewards and can respawn in that captured districts.
  • Repeatable PvE quests with high gold and XP reards.
  • Craftable Imperial Daedric Gear.
  • Arena District
    • Daedra taken over the city, thrown the Imperials into the arenas to have some gladiatorial games.
  • Arboretum District
    • Not completely taken over by the Daedra, still have some flora. You get to go in and make sure life goes on when you kick out the daedra.
  • Market District
    • You can capture this district. Once you own it, you can respawn and gain alliance bonus. Specific tradeskill stations that allow you to craft Imperial Daedric gear.
  • Temple District
    • Temple of the One in Oblivion. This is where the daedra trying to start the planemeld.
  • How do I get in?
    • Enter Imperial City via the sewers, a homage to Oblivion. There are three locations to enter the sewer with a safe zone for each alliance once you enter the sewer. There will be a lot of PvP outside the sewer entrances to stop people from getting in.
    • There is a crossroads sewer level where the three alliances cross path. There are portals that pop underneath and spawn monsters.
    • Only one alliance can own a district, you can come in to flip it and kill all the other alliance players that are in there.

Content with Rich Lambert

  • Grouping updates – 5 initiatives underway to improve grouping
    • Gamewide audit to fix quests so players aren’t separated so often
    • More quests have shared advancement (one group member collecting items will give shared credit to the entire group)
    • You will always be able to sync with your group leader’s instance.
    • Journal and quest tracker to show common quests.
    • Confirmation for quest sharing (success or fail)
  • City of Ash – New Veteran Dungeon coming in Update 5
    • Veteran mode continues the story where the village elder havn’t returned from the portal and it is your job to go in and check it out.


  • Dungeon Scaling
    • Scale dungeon level to group leader. This includes monsters, items, XP and gold.
    • Solo instance difficulty will scale to you.
  • Dungeon repeatability
    • Daily dungeon runs come to ESO – Leverage the Undaunted.
    • New passive skills added to Undaunted skill line.
    • Daily rewards through Undaunted pledges
    • Get keys to open undaunted chests in various alliances headquarters – new armors etc
  • Craglorn
    • Third chapter (Mage and Warrior were the first two chapters) will have improved itemization, new crafting trait and a brand new 12 player trial focusing on the Serpent.


  • Dragonstar Arena
    • Four player group mini trials
    • Progrsssively more difficult timed PvE encounters with better rewards.
    • Leaderboards.
    • Two difficulty modes (normal mode and veteran mode). Veteran mode will have rez restrictions and leaderboards.

Facial Animation with Jeese Mcintyre


  • Current NPC characters are like sock puppets in terms of facial animations.
  • The upgrade is powered by FaceFX. It is in a lot of games already.It takes audio and text of the dialogue and identify phonemics, the sound we make in speech and map them to mouth shapes.
  • Our artist and programmers work together to make believable mouth shapes. Our game has 120,000 lines of dialogue translated over 3 languages (your average feature length film only has 1000 lines). The humanoid and beast races have very different facial structures. Our robust character creation also allow you to modify the facial structures.

Veteran System with Paul Sage

  • Player feedback: Players like to keep the same character and going into the various alliances. Players also like keep getting new items and we are working constantly on adding new items.
  • Challenge: There is a split between players who find post 50 content too difficult and those who like the challenge.
  • There is also the issue of infrequent reward – need a predictable reward path. We have a good progression system to level 50 but this isn’t there post 50.
  • Experience too different between 1-50 and post 50. Gaining Veteran points isn’t same as gaining experience points and can be confusing.
  • We are going to get rid of veteran points, instead veteran ranks are gained by experience points. You will get a rested XP for not playing in a certain length of time to allow you to catch up to players who play more.
  • Champion system – We are going to introduce a ton of passives. As you gain experience, you get champion points to spend on passives.
  • Example passives (The Tower Constellation). You can keep putting points into them to increase their %.
    • Blade expert – increase the base damage any player can do with a blade. It does not increase any “extra” damage from damage type on blades.
    • Tenactiy – increase total stamina regen by a %
    • Shock Boost – increase damage done by shock and increase resistance to shock
    • Precise strikes – increase the percentage on the weapon critical derived stat.
  • Champion points are account wide and able to spent on all characters independently.
  • For more points you put into a path/constellation you gain unlocks.
    • 10 pts: Impatience – A significant increase to success chance at forcing locks
    • 30 pts: Fortune Hunter – Gold found in Chests is Increased
    • 50 pts Deflection – Blocking now returns a % of the mitigated damage onto the attack
    • 100 pts Counterstrike – A successful block at lower than 10% health has a & chance to prevent and return 100% of the damage back on the attack. 10 Minutes cooldown.
  • New gear, no longer restricted by Veteran ranks. New items are come in with new content in “seasons”. They will be rare to acquire in the current season. The previous season items are easier to acquire and might be even be purchaseable directly. No one will fall behind the item chase but there will still be an item chase. 

Justice System with Paul Sage


  • You can take items from crates etc as normal but instead now you are stealing items. Items will have value if they are stolen. To steal something, you need to be hidden. If a guard caught you stealing, you can pay a bounty but it remove all your stolen goods.
  • You can also murder NPCs.
  • If you cannot pay a bounty when caught by a guard, you can try to flee and guards will attack you.
  • You can also be guards and hunt down players with bounty – active world PvP.

Spellcrafting with Nicke Konkle

  • You are going to be able to find and combine various spell effects in the game and create new abilities you can put on your hotbar.
  • It is a bound system that is not completely unbalancing the game.
  • It might be something you can only do after you have completed the Mage Guild quest line.
  • Mage Guild discover new ancient doorways and found new ways to organize magic.
  • A lot of exploration in this system, you get a spell that summon a ball you have to chase to find the various ancient doorways located all over the world.
  • Inside the doorways you will find stone tablets. Some are whole, some are broken into pieces and scattered all over the world.
  • Using an interactive UI, similar to lockpicking, you will be using charcoal and paper on the tablet to recreate the spell and collect it.Once you collected the spell, you throw them into a book of all the spells you have collected.


  • Once you collected the spells, you want to recreate the tablets you found in order to learn that spell. First thing you do is to collect the base effect of the spell using the method described above. You can then customize it by using different focus (morphs).
    • Base, Ultimate, Enduring, Reduce Cost, Ritual, AoE.
    • If you put the AoE focus on Lighting Bolt you will create a chain lightning spell. If you put the enduring focus on a flame antronach it will become a permanent pet. You can use the ultimate to make the spells into ultimates.


  • The better stone you use for the tablets to create the spells, the more powerful and expensive the spell will be. Tablets can be traded with other players. Once the tablet is consumed, it will grant you the permanent ability.
  • In summary, you explore the world to collect base spells and then customize it with the six different focus and different stones for the tablets.

Combat Responsiveness with Jared Carr

  • Button responsiveness
    • We are improving the audio feedback for actions such as drinking potions and depleting magicka/stamina
    • We have fixed many bugs, such as Nightblade abilities randomly locking out and will continue to do so.
    • Better tools for QA to analyze unexpected behaviour with abilities and animation
  • Animation Timing
    • We are improving the actual timing of impacts.
    • We are improving the velocity and arcs of motion on weapon skins so that combat feels tighter.
    • We are making aesthetic improvements to combat poses and animation
  • Particle effects
    • We have now allocated more of the overall PFX budget to combat abilities
    • We have added more robust PFX priority culling rules into the system (my abilities and the enemy abilities on me are the most important and should appear first)
    • We are exposing these culling rules as player options in the UI, including a total PFX memory cap slider and a rendering distance slider.
    • We are now pre-caching all combat telegraphs to make sure they are always in memory and therefore always play.
  • Weapon swapping
    • We are now pre-caching all weapons in memory so weapon swapping is instant

New armor and weapon models with Jared Carr


Kothringi Ceremonial Armor/weapon Set


Morag Tong



Dark Brotherhood



Thieves Guild



Glass Armor


Glass armor heavy in Zbrush (left) and medium (right)



High Level PvP Armor for Ebonheart


Undaunted Armor Set from Undaunted Treasure Chests


Undaunted Armor set earned from dungeons



Imperial Daedric armor from Imperial City


Medium (left), heavy (right), ingame render of heavy on second row.



Dwemer Armor

Heavy (left), light (right)


Adventure Zone: Murkmire


  • Like Craglorn, supports 4 player content in overland and delves. Also have 12 player trials.
  • Province of Black Marsh, under Shadowfen
  • Swamp in the north, upland area in the middle, bog in the south.
  • Dominant creature is Argonian.
  • New non player character race called the Naga


  • New monsters include a dreug variant, fire turtles, argonian behemoth that eats Naga


  • Some concept arts




Solo PvE Zone: Wrothgar


  • Shared by all 3 alliances. In it up north between High Rock and Skyrim. Originally given to the Orcs when they joined Daggerfall
  • Orc’s ancestral capital, Orsinium, is in this province in the Black Mountain area.
  • The followers of the Code of Malacath are distrustful of the Orc King and his Daggerfall allies as the Bretons and Redguards destroyed Orsinium a while back. Simultaneously, the Orc Sing is sympathic a sect of another cult that wants to destroy the Malacath worshippers.
  • You are asked to help to rebuild Orsinium and determine the future of the Orcs there
  • Female giant creature added




  • Werewolves are in need of updates. Are there changes in places for werewolves?
    • Nick: Yes, absolutely. There are two phases of changes. For starters, we are going to balance the ultimate – decrease cost, increase damage etc. In the second phase we are going to add in more active abilities.
  • Who is the old man that appeared in the spellcrafting presentation?
    • Nick: That is a special stone mason the mage guild has conscripted. There are some lore around it and you can get his costume.
  • Barbershop?
    • Paul: We like to introduce a RP mechanic where players can earn these and give them to each other. It is coming, just a question of how and when.
  • When you stealing, is the bounty timer based?
    • Paul: If you incur a high bounty, you will remain Kill on sight until you pay the bounty.
  • Why do some quests get broken from one patch to another
    • Rich: Tons of moving parts. When we fix a quest in one area, it won’t work everytime and under all conditions/load.
  • When are the new facial animations coming?
    • Jesse: Unknown at this point. The technology is there, it is a production issue due to all the dialogues. Probably months of additional work. We can’t commit to a time period at the moment.
  • Plan to adding dueling feature?
    • Paul: Dueling system sound simply but it is not very simple. There are a lot of things to consider. When the Justice system is place, maybe we can get it in place.
  • What are the future plans for the PvP system
    • Brain: Imperial City coming, more gear, figuring out how to continue to progress your character, more consumables to use.
  • When will we see minigames?
    • Matt: Horse racing, better fishing system. We will reserve it until we have more information.
  • New crafting motifs?
    • Paul: Yes
  • Plans for stamina builds to compare with magicka builds
    • Nick: Medium armor already have a stamina reduction. Some stamina weapon abilities will get damage boosted. Doing some balance between spell crit and weapon crit. For ultimates it will pick to see the higher of the weapon attack speed or spell attack speed.
  • Plans for Roleplayers in the future?
    • Paul: Justice System, Guild traders. Ongoing effort overtime.
  • Respec cost too high
    • Nick: For the first week of update 3, we will make respec extremely cheap (i.e. 100 gold). After that we will reduce the respec cost by 25%. We will also add in respec for just your morphs that is really cheap (100x cheaper than a full respec).
  • PvPers have an advantage in PvE content? (i..e PvP passives)  What are you doing about it?
    • Nick: We don’t have any specific changes but we will look into it.
    • Paul: We don’t want this game to be one where if you are good in PvE, you can’t do PvP.
  • Plans to discourage Emperor trading?
    • Brian: Condense amount of campaigns from 10 to 5. We are increase the amount of AP need to become emperor (increased to 50k AP from 10k AP). Adding faster decay on siege weapons. Adding in 3 day lockout in home and guest campaign switching.
  • Are the spelltomes consumable? Can you make stamina abilities?
    • Nick: yes they are consumable. We have other plans for stamina abilities but we have a spell you can use to gain stamina (magicka to stamina).

By Dulfy

MMO guide writer and blogger. Currently playing and covering SWTOR, GW2, and TSW.

30 replies on “ESO Quakecon The Future of ESO Panel Notes”

It’s all good, didn’t expect this to get posted so fast! I don’t post often and in general I don’t see a lot of others do so either, and it’s a shame.. since you put a lot of work into updating us about ESO. Do you still play the game? Personally, I’m mixing in some GW2 while waiting for update 3, sadly however — the real fun stuff for ESO seem to be VERY far ahead, but I love the game with a passion and want to see it do well, so I’ll keep supporting/providing feedback etc.

Anyway, know that many of us appreciate your work, everyone knows about your site in my guild. ^_^

I havn’t played ESO in a couple weeks. My guild/raid leader kinda quit ESO and without a solid group to run endgame content with I havn’t been logging on as much.

Sad 🙁 Please don’t stop updating us on future content T-T this is the only site with this kind of summary available that I know of.

Then you’ll just go out and find a new guild, it does happen unfortunately sometimes guilds break up. Especially in the beginning of a mmo, where people do not find their right place. I can unfortunately not offer you anything in my guilde (EU).

Is there any news on how long it will actually take to get this stuff in the game? Are we talking over the next 2 years or in the next 3 to 6 months? I am mainly interested in how fast all the stated grouping changes will be in because grouping being a pain was the main reason I left hte game

If they’re talking about it, then it is typically within a year (at current production speed).

If they’re showing it (videos), then it is typically within half a year.

Essentially, you should see most of this this year, maybe some of it at some point early next year. If all goes well.

Or they’ll all get laid off and we’ll see none of it 😉 🙁

(actually I haven’t paid for the game so I’m obviously seeing none of it, but you get what I mean)

Honestly, I get the feeling that those updates won’t necessarily be a part of a large update (i.e. Update 3, Update 4, etc.) Seems like those things could just be put into hotfixes. So it wouldn’t surprise me to see the majority of that stuff in before 3 months.

Depends if it continues to be successful or crashes and burns like TOR did after the guild summit, where they announced a bunch of things that were ‘coming in a few months’ then never did.

It’s estimated that ESO still has around 770k subscribers. This is the third month, so there could be a drop after this month and then there’s still the 6 month drop possibility. As it goes, they’re definitely adding a good portion of stuff, but it almost seems like they intentionally held back from putting it in the game in order to use it for content updates. That’s just how I feel based on the seeming lack of endgame content.

The subscriber numbers I got from an article on Gamespot.

Well crap. Here I was, all set on making WildStar my one and only pay-to-play MMO, and they introduce ALL THIS GOODNESS! ARGH! FINE! *throws wallet at monitor* TAKE IT, ZOS!!

Some of this, and just the sheer amount of this sounds like they might really improve the game, but there’s no sense of timescale so it could take years. However, even after all this unless they drop either the sub or the purchase price its still a no for me, but at least its on steam now so could be in a sale.

You should have to.answer a question before you can post about a game…….Are you willing to pay for this game and it’s subscription cost? And if you answer no, then you shouldn’t be allowed to post and bitch. Pay your subscription with the money you saved downloading that captain America torrent cause who should have to pay to see a movie? Just remember kids, that don’t make good stuff for free, so when the only games left are guild wars, console games from giant corporate game firms like EA, and Facebook games, we can all thank guys like Jerry. Thanks Jerry.

Jerry wasn’t asking for it to be free. He was asking for it to have a price, but either B2P or subscription. I don’t see his problem with that. Considering WoW sells expansions for $40 ($50 with WoD), the subscription looks like a rip-off in comparison. Based on $15/month, you should be getting an entire expansion’s worth of content every 3 months. You don’t. And You won’t with ESO either. It rarely ever works that way. The only game I can remember that ever came close to releasing that amount of content was Rift. And that’s completely F2P now.

His argument is valid.

Its an endless debate and one that won’t be settled (people will always be cheap and people will always want to feel exclusive). However, in WoW you pay $40-$50 per expansion PLUS $15 per month. You don’t get the expansion at the cost of the subscription. One other point is your characterization of the current update model. The game has been out for four months and we have send the addition of a new zone (with three more zones announced during QuakeCon), two raids, two additional “levels” (I refuse to call veteran ranks levels), and more veteran rank dungeons.

Also, you’re comparing an antiquated release-expansion model (core game is released then expansions are sold) to a more current “living world” model that the devs espouse. With a transition such as this, a sub-fee may not be that unreasonable unless you want to go the route of Guild Wars 2 where content that could charitably be called seasonal events are sold piecemeal.

No matter what whether a game is worth a sub fee or not is a value judgment, but to completely dismiss or embrace a game only because of a sub-fee is just asking for cheap, generic, and souless clones. MMOs are inordinately expensive to make, if you are unwilling to pay for it, move along.

This is truly a wealth of information. Thanks for the effort to put this together. Believe it or not there are a couple rabid ESO fans out there waiting for this stuff! And I clarify ‘fan’ not ‘fanboy’. 😀 Respec news alone is so refreshing as I have at least one or two change to make with each of my 3 main toons.

These changes cover 99% of that needed to be done with the game for me. I feel like the Devs were listening to the players.

Only missing making werewolf a toggle ability. Keeping it as an ultimate will make it continue to be worse than vamp in every regard. Also keeps players from being able to reasonably run as a wolfpack. It is just going to continue to suck, which is sad since werewolves are my favorite supernatural creature. I prefer werewolves over dragons :/

Off the top of my head before anyone decides to argue with me here.
Skills (not even going to talk about items) that arent available without pve content:
Mages guild abilities
Fighters guild Abilities
Undaunted Guild abilities
Vampire skill line

Werewolf Skill line

Other nerfs to the pvp only playstyle
Gold for respecs / mounts is next to impossible to gather
Crafting mats stop at lvl 50
XP is vastly under par

I’m not saying i dont like pve in this game, its fine and dandy, i just dont do nearly as much of it, and when i feel like im forced to do it, i do even less. This is a sub based game, there shouldnt be so much grinding in it. We dont need frustration mechanics, especially not in pvp.

Mages Guild – Books are available in Cyro not enough to max out but everyone has to grind it this way.
Fighters Guild – Dolmens are available in Cyro, does killing player vamp + wolf count? haven’t ever checked.
Undaunted – Fair enough you don’t have access as a pvper

Vampire – 1 quest once you are infected by a player
Werewolf – As with Vampire
Don’t forget pvpers get their own 3 skill lines too

Gold – item boxes from PVP go for generally 60-90 gold each. 250g is the horse feed cost. + PVP quest gold + PVP area quests (Villages around cyro).

Crafting mats – Obtainable from deconstructing items from pvp boxes

XP – variable, I’ve leveled quick in PVP because my group is decent. Quests scale with your level so it gets better but they have said they want to address this more.

Most of your examples are pve content in cyrodiil, some of its just plain false, and exaggerated.

Currently, i feel FORCED to do pve content, to compete in pvp.

I dont need to be forced to do even more just to re-balance my pvp.

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