A First Look at Templar Skills in ESO

Character Attributes Panel

Character Attributes Panel

Yesterday’s QuakeCon livestream gave fans the first public look at some gameplay, character progression, and exploration in ESO. The presentation is worth watching in its entirety, but some useful bits of information that could be grabbed involved details on several of the class skills for the Templar, as well as a brief glimpse of the Mages and Fighters guild skill lines. I’ve reproduced below all the skill information that could be taken from the livestream in order to present the opportunity for discussion of some of the skill mechanics implemented in ESO. After listing the skills, I’ll provide some basic analysis below to get the ball rolling.

Templar Aedric Spear:

  • [Ultimate] Radial Sweep
    • Instant Cast
    • 6 meter radius
    • 75 Ultimate
    • Deals 104 Magic damage to nearby enemies. 
  • [Active] Puncturing Strikes
    • 1.1 second channel
    • 8 meter radius
    • 113 Magicka
    • Four hit attack for (19,19,19,19) damage to enemies in front of you.
    • Last hit knocks back closest enemy.
    • Last hit deals 20% additional damage.
  • [Active] Piercing Javelin
    • Instant Cast
    • 20 meter range
    • 94 Magicka
    • Hurl a spear causing 81 Physical damage.
    • Knockback target 5 meters.
  • [Active] Focused Charge
  • [Active] Spear Shards
  • [Active] Sun Shield
  • [Passive] Piercing Spear
Templar Dawn's Wrath Skill Line

Templar Dawn’s Wrath Skill Line

Templar Dawn’s Wrath

  • [Ultimate] Nova
  • [Active] Sun Fire
  • [Active] Solar Flare
  • [Active] Baclkash
  • [Active] Eclipse
  • [Active] Blinding Light
  • [Passive] Enduring Rays

Templar Restoring Light

  • [Ultimate] Rite of Passage
  • [Active] Rushed Ceremony
    • Instant Cast
    • 28 meter radius
    • 155 Magicka
    • Heal a nearby wounded ally for 105.
    • Morph 1: [Active] Honor the Dead – Restore magicka when healing low health allies.
    • Morph 2: [Active] Breath of Life – Heals up to 3 targets.
  • [Active] Healing Ritual
  • [Active] Restoring Aura
  • [Active] Cleansing Ritual
  • [Active] Rune Focus
  • [Passive] Mending
Mages Guild Skills

The Mages Guild Skill Tree

Mages Guild Skills:

  • [Ultimate] Meteor
    • Instant Cast
    • 28 meter range
    • 150 Ultimate
    • Deals 75 Fire damage.
    • Deals 60% to enemies within fire.
    • Knocks enemies back 8 meters.
    • Requires Mages Guild rank 9.
  • [Active] Soul Trap
    • Instant Cast
    • 28 meter range
    • 54 Magicka
    • Deals 75 Magic damage over 10 seconds.
    • Fills a soul gem if enemy dies while affected.
  • [Active] Magelight
    • Instant Cast
    • Self-targetted
    • 75 Magicka
    • Summon a light that reveals hidden and invisible enemies within 12 meters.
    • Reduces max magicka by 5%
    • Requires Mages Guild rank 3.
  • [Active] Equilibrium
    • Instant Cast
    • Self-targetted
    • No cost
    • Trade 60 health for 60 magicka.
    • Requires Mages Guild rank 4.
  • [Active] Fire Rune
    • Instant Cast
    • 28 meter range
    • 141 Magicka
    • Create a Fire Rune at target location for 30 seconds.
    • Deal 75 Magic damage when an enemy enters the area.
    • Requires Mages Guild rank 5.
  • [Passive] Persuasive Will
  • [Passive] Potency
Fighters Guild Skill Line

Fighters Guild Skill Line

Fighters Guild Skills

  • [Ultimate] Dawnbreaker
  • [Active] Expert Hunter
  • [Active] Circle of Protection
  • [Active] Trap Beast
  • [Active] Silver Bolts
  • [Passive] Intimidating Presence
  • [Passive] Bounty Hunter

Dunmer Racial Skills

  • [Ultimate] Ancestral Guardian
  • [Passive] Ambidextry
    • Increase XP gain with the Dual Wield skill line by 15%.
  • [Passive] Dynamic
    • Increase maximum Magicka and Stamina by 6%.
  • [Passive] Resist Flame
  • [Passive] Flame Talent

It’s nice to get a feel for so many of the skills in-game, even if it’s only a name in some cases. I think it’s interesting to note a couple of things. Almost all skills (except Equilibrium in the Mages Guild tree) feature a resource cost of either Magicka, or Ultimate. We also know from past expo demonstrations that certain weapon skills consume Stamina. All of your character’s abilities in ESO will draw from these three resource pools. The Ultimate resource is interesting; ultimate abilities are not cooldown based, and have different costs each. The ultimate resource regenerates naturally during combat, with extra ultimate earned when you successfully block or dodge an enemy blow, or interrupt a spell. This gives players the flexibility between choosing a low-cost ultimate that they can reliably incorporate into a combat rotation, or instead relying on a high-cost “trump card” to fall back on in dangerous situations.

Aedric Spear

The Templar’s Aedric Spear Line

The Aedric Spear line for the Templar class seems to feature short-range magic attacks to augment a melee style of combat. Some crowd control in the form of knockbacks allows a Templar to control the flow of combat by choosing when and who to engage. The line offers some versatility between single target (Piercing Javelin) and AoE (Puncturing Strikes), but the fact that the Aedric Spear ultimate is a low-cost PBAoE nuke makes it seem like this is an ideal soloing or trash-clearing spec, that perhaps does not offer as much versatility in PvP or in prolonged boss fights.

We weren’t able to see any ability descriptions for the Dawn’s Wrath tree, but we did get a look at the skill names. Judging from the vocabulary used in these names, it sounds to me like more of a ranged DPS tree, with magical nukes and perhaps some crowd control.

We have known for some time that Restoring Light is the Templar healing tree, but from this video we got specific details on one of it’s core abilities, witnessing the morph choices for Rushed Ceremony. This ability seems like a bread-and-butter combat heal, instant cast time with a reasonably low Magicka cost, it can be morphed to heal up to three nearby allies in a 28 meter radius. Alternatively, it can be morphed to restore magicka whenever an ally is successfully healed. In organized PvE groups with a dedicated tank, this may be a superior option, allowing a Templar healer to better manage his Magicka reserves.

The Mages Guild skill tree is very interesting indeed. Each successive ability requires a higher rank within the guild itself in order to unlock. Somewhat sensibly, this line seems to offer a “general practitioners” variety of magical abilities, giving everyone access to an AoE ultimate attack, as well as a variety of utility skills like the classic Soul TrapPerhaps the most interesting ability in the bunch is Magelight, allowing the player to toggle on a light source which reveals nearby hidden enemies while passively increasing their critical chance. This will undoubtedly be a crucial ability for Cyrodiil, with all players in ESO having the ability to sneak. I wonder if you will be able to slot Magelight on your secondary hotbar and keep it active even after switching back to your primary weapon set. Depending on the scaling of Health and Magicka, Equilibrium could become an important skill for healers and ranged DPS characters in PvE encounters, deliberately incurring a small amount of damage that can be easily healed through AoE while regenerating Magicka in order to maintain damage output. Fire Rune seems like it could be a good utility skill for stealth characters who can plan an attack by setting this trap in a strategic location. The delayed nature of Fire Rune damage would allow for some nasty front-load if combined with a stealth opener.

We aren’t able to see much about the Fighter’s Guild, but it does look like their abilities seem interestingly related to “hunting”. We know the Fighter’s Guild in ESO has undertaken a mission to thwart Molag Bal by fighting his Daedra and Undead, so perhaps these abilities will be designed to assist in that pursuit. I also think it is interesting to see Persuasive Will in the Mages Guild Tree as the first passive, which mirrors Intimidating Presence as the first passive in the Fighters Guild. I suspect that these skills have something to do with the conversation system which has been confirmed in ESO, perhaps increasing your chances of successfully persuading or intimidating an NPC in dialogue.

Dunmer Skills

Dunmer Racial Abilities

Lastly, we got a glimpse of the Dunmer Racial skills. We could only see the name of some of the passives, but it is fairly obvious what Resist Flame and Flame Talent do, reducing incoming fire damage while increasing the damage dealt by fire based spells respectively. The ultimate, Ancestral Guardian is a familiar reference to the classic Dunmer racial ability from the single player games, allowing the player to summon a spectre of vengeance into battle. Ambidextry is an interesting passive… it will give the player no long-term benefit at max level, so therefore could be viewed as worthless by powergamers. I suspect that each race will have one skill line that they receive a comparable leveling bonus towards, a line that is likely in line with their racial lore. For example, you might think that Bosmer would level their Bow skill more rapidly than other races. Dynamic seems like perhaps the best of the bunch, increasing the combat resources available to all Dunmer by 6% each. The effectiveness here will depend on the scaling of these resources with level and gear, but percentage based bonuses are almost always viable, so this looks tasty indeed.

Let’s get the discussion rolling. What do you think about the skills showcased above. Care to make any predictions about what will be the most useful skills to grab? Think the Templar looks like a balanced and versatile class? How do you hope the Mages and Fighter’s guild lines will work in-game? Let us know in the comment section below!