Skill Overview – Nightblades, Races, Weapons!

Argonian Emote

We want YOU to use these skills

Greeting Tamriel Foundry fans. Phazius here. Myself, @Atropos and @Grimalkin got the chance for some extended play-time of ESO at PAX Prime. We wanted to collaborate to bring you all an overview of some of the available skills from the Nightblade class, some more info on Ebonheart Pact racial abilities, and the two weapon lines that we used during our playtime. We didn’t have time to record everything; but we are excited to get some new skill information out in the fan community to provoke more focused discussion. Enjoy!

The Nightblade

Jumping right into Nightblade; the first tree is Assassination, which is based on being in melee and laying down the hurt. The first thing I noticed is that all class based skills consume Magicka, where weapon skills all utilized stamina. The starting skill in Assasssination is Assassin’s Blade, an execute style skill that does almost 3 times as much damage to targets with low health. This was the first skill I picked up, which allowed me to morph it before the end of our session. The morph choices for Assassin’s Blade allow you to either extend the abilities basic range or add health return when killing an opponent with the ability. The second skill, called Teleport Strike, gives a bit more utility; its a blink style charge attack that deals damage and stuns for a very short duration.

A Nightblade preparing to unleash Teleport Strike

A Nightblade preparing to unleash Teleport Strike

The second tree is based on shadow manipulation. The starting skill is in the aptly named “Shadow” tree is Shadow Cloak which grants you a short amount of invisibility that doesn’t break when you deal damage. However you cannot regenerate Magicka while it is active. The second skills very much echos other MMO stealth classes. Veiled Strike works like Cheapshot from World of Warcraft or Paralyzing Strike in Rift. A longer stun that deals damage and must be used from stealth.

The third tree for Nightblade is Siphoning, is very dark-magic-esque, based on debuffs and draining health from opponents. Our beginning skill is Strife a damage over time effect (DoT) that heals you from some of the damage down every time it deals damage (tick) with a range more akin to a mage or archer. The second skill seems incredibly powerful its a long duration stun that deals damage over the duration. The effect is not broken by its own damage but outside sources of damage will dispel the effect.

Assassination

  • [Ultimate] Death Stroke – Deals damage to your target, and reduces their incoming healing.
  • [Active] Assassin’s Blade – Deals damage with a large bonus multiplier against low health enemies.
  • [Active] Teleport Strike – Teleport to your target, dealing damage and stunning them for a short duration.
  • [Active] Blur – A self buff that gives attackers a percentage based miss chance when attacking the Nightblade.
  • [Active] Mark Target – Place a mark on a high-health target, while marked you deal extra damage. Killing the marked target will heal you.
  • [Active] Haste – Increases attack speed of normal weapon attacks for a short duration.

Shadow

  • [Ultimate] Consuming Darkness – A self buff that gives attackers a percentage based miss chance when attacking the Nightblade.
  • [Active] Shadow Cloak – Gain invisibility for a short duration.
  • [Active] Veiled Strike – Deals increased damage and stun enemies. Requires Stealth.
  • [Active] Summon Shade – Summons a shade which attacks and debuffs your enemies.
  • [Active] Path of Darkness – Deals damage in a path in front of you, increases your movement speed along that path.
  • [Active] Aspect of Terror – Nearby enemies are afflicted with Fear.

Siphoning

  • [Ultimate] Soul Shred – Deals PBAoE damage and stuns nearby enemies. Initiates the Leeching Strike synergy.
  • [Active] Strife – Places a DoT on your target which also heals you for the duration.
  • [Active] Agony – Stuns and DoTs an enemy for a long duration, but the effect is broken by any other damage.
  • [Active] Cripple - Places a DoT on an enemy which gradually decreases its movement speed, transferring an equal speed bonus to the Nightblade.
  • [Active] Siphoning Strikes – Sacrifice a portion of your own weapon damage in to restore a portion of your Magicka and Stamina with every hit.
  • [Active] Drain Power – Debuff the attack power of nearby enemies, transferring a portion of that power to the Nightblade for each affected enemy.

 

Racial Abilities

Nord Dragonknight

Nords are naturally hardy folk

The racial abilities in ESO are inspired by traditional Elder Scrolls racial lore, however they are expanded to provide a greater variety of bonuses. Each race recieves a passive which increases their rate of skill progression with a favored weapon type. Each race also seems to have an inherent resistance to a specific damage type. The remaining racial passives vary by race and will likely have more gameplay implications, but they do seem to fit the overarching theme of the race. Lastly, every race gets a racial ultimate ability which seems fairly consistent with the unique abilities they have received in past single player TES games.

Argonian Racials

  • [Ultimate] Histskin – Greatly increased health regeneration for a short time.
  • [Passive] Restoration Expertise – Increased skill experience gain while using Restoration Staff.
  • [Passive] Amphibious – Move at full speed in water, and increased Stamina regeneration while swimming.
  • [Passive] Argonian Resistance – Increased resistance to Poison and Disease damage.
  • [Passive] Quick to Mend – Increased incoming healing from all sources.

Dunmer Racials

  • [Ultimate] Ancestral Guardian – Summon a guardian shade to protect the player.
  • [Passive] Ambidextry – Increased skill experience gain while using Dual Wield.
  • [Passive] Dynamic – Increased maximum Magicka and Stamina.
  • [Passive] Resist Flame - Increased resistance to Fire damage.
  • [Passive] Flame Talent – Increased damage from fire-based attacks.

Nord Racials

  • [Ultimate] Battle Cry – Increased outgoing damage for yourself and all nearby allies.
  • [Passive] Two-Handed Weapon Expertise – Increased skill experience gain while using Two-Handed weapons.
  • [Passive] Robust – Increased health regeneration during combat.
  • [Passive] Resist Frost – Increased resistance to Cold damage.
  • [Passive] Rugged – Increased natural Armor rating.

 

Weapon Skills

Spider boss

Sword and Board, ready to rock

I decided to stick with my very traditional sword and shield play-style, while Grimalkin picked up a fire-based Destruction staff. Sword and shield is very much set up to be a tank. Your first skill, Puncture, deals damage, taunts the target, and reduces their armor. This was the only skill I saw this early on that has a taunt effect. The second skill is Low Slash which reduced the weapon damage the target did and I think it had a slight snare. Destruction Staff skills inherit different effects based on what type it is. The first skill, Destructive Touch, its a short range but has crowd control effects. Fire causes knock-back; Frost applies some sort of stun, and Lightning cause disorientation. The second skill was Wall of Elements, which drops an area of elemental damage continually damaging enemies who pass through it.

One-handed and Shield

  • [Active] Puncture - Deals damage, reduces target Armor, and applies Taunt for 15 seconds.
  • [Active] Low Slash – Deals damage, applies Snare, and debuffs target weapon damage.
  • [Active] Defensive Posture – Reflects the next spell projectile back to the attacker. While slotted, increases the effectiveness of block, and reduces the Stamina cost of blocking.
  • [Active] Shield Charge – Charge to a target, stunning it on impact.
  • [Active] Power Bash – Deal damage and Disorient target.

Destruction Staff

  • [Active] Destructive Touch - Deals damage and applies elemental effects.
  • [Active] Wall of Elements – Create wall of AoE damage.
  • [Active] Force Shock – Deals damage and interrupts enemy casting. Interrupted enemies are stunned.
  • [Active] Impulse – Deals PBAoE damage, applies elemental effects.
  • [Active] Weakness to Elements – Target resistances to Fire, Frost, and Lightning reduced.

This is just a taste of the hundreds of active skills that are currently available in ESO. Each class and weapon tree also incorporates passive abilities that we did not have time to note while playing. Once you take into consideration armor lines, guild paths, additional story-based skill trees, PvP advancement, and other options like Vampirisim or Lycanthropy the raw number of is mind-boggling. Elder Scrolls Online will present an extremely fun challenge of tailoring your loadout for a variety of situations, making use of all the tools at your disposal. Thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoy having more skill information out in the public domain for discussion. Please feel free to follow me on Twitch, Twitter, or right here on Tamriel Foundry.

What excites you the most about these skills, is there anything that jumps out at you as a must-use for your intended build? See any synergies or combinations that look like they will be particularly deadly? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below!

151 responses to “Skill Overview – Nightblades, Races, Weapons!”

  1. Profile Photo
    BroScottcho

    Adept

    Total Posts: 219

    Orc Sorcerer

    ESOTR

    Awesome information!  While the Nightblade isn’t going to be my cup of tea the racial and weapon skills are some great information.  Tamriel Foundry has done it again, very impressive.  I can’t wait until TF stock goes public. :)

    ESO Lodge – Elder Scrolls Online Guild Tools

  2. Profile Photo
    Nybling

    Grandmaster

    Total Posts: 2121

    Altmer Sorcerer

    Entropy Rising

    @Phazius, @Atropos, @Grimalkin — Thanks for getting this information to the fans in a somewhat ‘official’ manner so we can all discuss this awesome stuff without worry. :)

  3. Profile Photo
    IceFireWarden

    Master

    Total Posts: 510

    Argonian Nightblade

    The Outriders

    I think I’m about to cry… thank you @Atrophos, @Grimalkin, @Phazius

    You guys are the best! Been waiting for Nightblade and Argonian stuff for a while: The Argonian Skill line almost goes perfectly hand in hand with the Nightblade skill line. But I’m a little disappointed that the Argonians don’t get increased experience from the restoration staff instead of dual wielding. You would’ve thought that would’ve been switched.

    Either way, I can’t way till I get a job and a credit card so I can play ESO.

    And also…

    LOOK AT THAT BADASS ARGONIAN ARMOR

  4. Profile Photo
    redguard83

    Adept

    Total Posts: 245

    Redguard Dragonknight

    Very impressive! I noticed under the Argonian racials that nothing mentioned the ability to breath underwater. Will Argonian’s have that ability in ESO or will swimming underwater work a little differently for all races?

  5. Member Avatar
    Hwrath

    Master

    Total Posts: 781

    redguard83 said on September 6, 2013 :

    Very impressive! I noticed under the Argonian racials that nothing mentioned the ability to breath underwater. Will Argonian’s have that ability in ESO or will swimming underwater work a little differently for all races?

    @Redguard83

    In my play-through, I was able to swim in bodies of water, that were deep enough, but I was unable to go under-water. While swimming, there did appear to be a reduction in my movement speed. I also noticed that when I attempted to ‘sprint’ while swimming, I did not swim faster.

  6. Member Avatar
    Nazathul

    Adept

    Total Posts: 105

    Dunmer Dragonknight

    Amazing article.. This is exactly the information that I have been looking foward to! And of course it comes from Tamriel Foundry!  Thanks for great write up guys!

    Master yourself, master the enemy- Lee Sin

  7. Profile Photo
    playerdestroyer

    Journeyman

    Total Posts: 82

    Nord Dragonknight

    Great job

  8. Profile Photo
    Isarii

    Moderator

    Total Posts: 3930

    Breton Templar

    redguard83 said on September 6, 2013 :

    Very impressive! I noticed under the Argonian racials that nothing mentioned the ability to breath underwater. Will Argonian’s have that ability in ESO or will swimming underwater work a little differently for all races?

    It’s been confirmed for a very long time that you can’t swim underwater; that would be the worst racial ever.

  9. Profile Photo
    Konahrik

    Banned

    Total Posts: 334

    Dunmer Dragonknight

    Nice info but it seems very limiting does this means if u want too be a dunmer mage best class is a dragonknight for the fire dmg skill line…

    Life is short nothing but cruelty lasts forever…

  10. Profile Photo
    m aIq

    Expert

    Total Posts: 250

    Dunmer Sorcerer

    Discover Eventide

    I hope there is a taunt attack in the 2H and DW skill lines.  With the inclusion of skill blocking rather than percentage based blocks I was hoping to see tanking work with something other than sword and board, something along the lines of a 2h or DW self-healing Templar to compensate for the drop in block effectiveness.

  11. Profile Photo
    Rymguard

    Expert

    Total Posts: 386

    Aldmeri Templar

    I wonder how effective tanking will be without defensive posture ? Depending on how much of an increase you get from it could make or brake it for tanking.

    With some of the racials being ultimates  we can guess that the Altmer would have magika regression as an ultimate. I don’t think a charm animal would work well for the Bosmer.

    Even if this is not the exact info some people where looking for it does help set an idea for some thing.

  12. Profile Photo
    Deszio

    Journeyman

    Total Posts: 65

    Imperial Sorcerer

    Awesome

     

      

  13. Profile Photo
    LooHaa

    Adept

    Total Posts: 137

    Dunmer Sorcerer

    very interesting stuff thank you! :D

    Respect creates friendships, Loyalty binds them. Hlaevi Family motto. 

  14. Profile Photo
    redguard83

    Adept

    Total Posts: 245

    Redguard Dragonknight

    Grimalkin said on September 6, 2013 :

    redguard83 said on September 6, 2013:

    Very impressive! I noticed under the Argonian racials that nothing mentioned the ability to breath underwater. Will Argonian’s have that ability in ESO or will swimming underwater work a little differently for all races?

    @Redguard83

    In my play-through, I was able to swim in bodies of water, that were deep enough, but I was unable to go under-water. While swimming, there did appear to be a reduction in my movement speed. I also noticed that when I attempted to ‘sprint’ while swimming, I did not swim faster.

    I see. Thanks for letting me know.

  15. Profile Photo
    Phazius

    Master

    Total Posts: 833

    Dunmer Dragonknight

    Entropy Rising

    @m-aiq while I didn’t see taunt pop out anywhere else on weapons when glancing over them, there might be something in the Fighter’s Guild or The Undaunted. We didn’t have access to those lists from the starting zone.

  16. Profile Photo
    Deszio

    Journeyman

    Total Posts: 65

    Imperial Sorcerer

    Dunmer look like a good Dual Wielding Dragon Knight Class

      

  17. Profile Photo
    Silver-Strider

    Master

    Total Posts: 731

    Argonian Nightblade

    The Ebon Raiders

    I can see a Dunmer being the most damaging DKs just from stacking all that fire damage.

    I’m personally just hoping that the Nightblade’s siphon abilities will stack with the Argonian’s Quick to Mend racial for the regenerating build I plan on pursuing.

     http://i.imgur.com/sgtFZya.png

  18. Profile Photo
    Marsh-Shadow

    Master

    Total Posts: 571

    Argonian Sorcerer

    An-Xileel

    Great job guys, can’t wait to make my argonian nightblade!

  19. Profile Photo
    Quel

    Adept

    Total Posts: 191

    Imperial Dragonknight

    Leo Bellatórum

    Really good information!  Thanks for sharing!

    This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper.

  20. Profile Photo
    Galahad

    Expert

    Total Posts: 371

    Imperial Templar

    Lowly Knights of Stendarr

    Good information here for the Nightblade fans! Great job, gents!

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