Zenimax Online Studios release a blog post highlighting some of the changes to ESO PvP in Update 19 Wolfhunter. Below is the post but I’d like to give my two cent in opinion on these in the video below.
As the Three Banners War rages on in Cyrodiil, new Alliance War items, Battlegrounds, plunder, and more awaits those who engage in The Elder Scrolls Online’s PvP game modes. Read about all the new features coming with Update 19 in this preview article.
Situated on the border of Cyrodiil and Reaper’s March, Istirus Outpost was once a hotly contested Alliance War stronghold, but now, it is the location for a series of hard-fought Battlegrounds matches. This new map features a large arena at its center, and it is circled on one side by a ruined tower and the other a deep trench. Most notably, this new Battleground is only semi-symmetrical, meaning the way each team navigates the map will be different, based on their spawn location.
“When designing Mor Kazgur, we forced players to always know what’s going on around them,” explains Brian Wheeler, ESO’s Lead PvP Designer, “But for Istirus Outpost, we’d see what it’s like to push map knowledge a bit more. As a result, each individual location has a different gameplay feel to it.”
By making this new arena semi-symmetrical, it places emphasis on map knowledge and control, and it’ll encourage you to find different pathways between the map’s hotspots.
In addition to this, Istirus Outpost is also the first Battleground that allows players to mount. Previously, if you wanted to navigate an arena as quickly as possible, you had to either sprint or use an ability, consuming resources.
“When we were playtesting Istirus, we found that the map felt pretty large, and because we liked pushing the concept of it being wider and bigger, mounts became necessary to ensure you’re not losing resources when running from point to point.”
With this new mobility option, you are able to get into the fight quicker than ever, ensuring that the action never lets up.
Keep Recall Stones
Update 19 also introduces a new Alliance War item: Keep Recall Stones. Now, if you have a Keep Recall Stone, you can instantly teleport to any of your faction’s currently owned Keeps, potentially saving you a long trip.
You are able to use Keep Recall Stones from your Inventory or Quickslot wheel to teleport to a Keep or Outpost. Note that much like typical Keep teleportation shrines, you can’t teleport to a location that is under attack and flagged. You also won’t be able to use the stones when in combat, from inside the Imperial City, while standing near a Keep, Resource, Outpost, or Town, or while carrying an Elder Scroll.
“With Keep Recall Stones, we want to give players a means to get across Cyrodiil quicker that is not dependent on the Keep transit network,” explains Wheeler. “It opens up a style of play that our players don’t have right now, allowing transit to some Keeps that might not otherwise be possible. You can go deep into enemy territory, take a Keep, and then have your people instantly recall to that location.”
You are able to pick up a Keep Recall Stone for 20,000 Alliance Points, but they also have a chance to drop within Rewards of the Worthy bags.
If you pay close attention to the ever-shifting tides of battle, Keep Recall Stones are a powerful-but-expensive tool to ensure you’re always right in the middle of the action, and because of this, the team is going to closely watch how they are utilized after they go live.
“This’ll shake up gameplay in Cyrodiil quite a bit, so we’re going to heavily monitor their use to see if any further tweaks or changes are required after launch.”
Keep Degradation & Resource Changes
With Update 19, we’ve also made a major change to Cyrodiil’s Keeps and their surrounding Resources. Now, both Keeps and Resources have two levels, and Keeps will suffer degradation should they lose their Resources prior to an attack.
“This means that if you capture its Resources first, a Keep will be easier to take,” explains Wheeler. “This makes it more important than ever to defend your outer objectives, and it is designed to give additional incentives for players to fight over the Resources.”
With these changes, the time it takes to assault and capture a Keep will be dramatically faster should you have first captured the Resource points around it. If you’re defending a Keep, pay close attention to your Mine, Lumber Mill, and Farm – should they come under assault, you might need to venture beyond your stronghold’s high walls.
New Battlegrounds Outfit Styles
Update 19 also introduces a set of all-new Battlegrounds-themed Outfit Styles. Now, you’ll be able to earn the Outfit Style pages for the three Battlegrounds teams: Pit Daemons, Storm Lords, and Fire Drakes.
Each new Outfit Style page has a chance to drop when completing a Battlegrounds match, however, you’ll have a much higher chance of receiving a page the higher your team places. Specific Outfit Styles are awarded based on the Battlegrounds game mode:
- Pit Daemons Outfit Styles can drop from Deathmatch games
- Storm Lords Outfit Styles can drop from Capture the Relic and Chaosball
- Fire Drakes Outfit Styles can drop from Domination and Crazy King
Finally, should you place on one of the Battlegrounds Leaderboards, you will also have a strong chance to receive an Outfit Style page from each of the three teams. With these new Battlegrounds Outfit Styles, you’ll finally be able to show your true colors when fighting in the arena!
Become a Gladiator
If you’re a veteran of the Alliance War, Update 19 allows you to earn the striking Arena Gladiator Costume from Cyrodiil. To earn this AvA-exclusive costume, you must collect 50 Arena Gladiator Proofs. Like the Arena Gladiator Helmet introduced in Update 18, you can acquire these materials by completing Conquest daily quests in Cyrodiil.
Once you have the materials, simply purchase an Arena Gladiator’s Exultation from any War Researcher for 10,000 AP and use it to receive the new costume in a Runebox.
For those willing to put it all on the line in Cyrodiil, war has never been so profitable!
Stay in the Fight
Whether you’re a merciless Battlegrounds competitor or grizzled veteran of the Alliance War, Update 19 is bringing a host of new experiences and rewards for its PvP players. Be sure to check out the Patch Notes forum for all the details on the upcoming Update 19. Let us know if you intend to get back into the fight with Update 19 on Twitter @TESOnline and Facebook.
Update 19 will arrive in tandem with the Wolfhunter DLC game pack as a free base-game patch on August 13 for PC/Mac and August 28 on PlayStation®4 and Xbox One. The Wolfhunter DLC game pack will be available free for ESO Plus members and for purchase with Crowns from the in-game Crown Store.