Phazius here, and we’re excited to share another skill overview based on the Elder Scrolls Online build that was playable at PAX Prime and will be at London’s Eurogamer Expo. This time around, we’ll focus on the Sorcerer; a class which provides some very versatile spellcasting skill lines. It perhaps seems most natural that Sorcerer will gravitate towards ranged damage dealing in a typical mage style, however, don’t be surprised if you see a lot of tanking and melee DPS sorcerers pop up in ESO as well. Let’s dig into the skill lines and you can see for yourself what this class has to offer! I hope that this will help facilitate discussion and get you all excited about build possibilities using the Sorcerer base class. Please note that exact damage numbers and ability modifiers have not been listed, as these values are still actively being tweaked in response to ongoing feedback.
The first skill line, Storm Calling will be the bread and butter for offensively minded Sorcerers. This line is predominately damage-centric, although it offers two really great utility spells as well. I expect that the Storm Calling line will feature pretty prominently in PvP builds for this reason.
- [Ultimate] Overload – A toggle-able attack mode. While Overload is active, light and heavy attacks are replaced with empowered versions that cost Ultimate as their resource.
- [Active] Mage’s Fury – Calls lightning from the sky, dealing shock damage. This spell also applies a debuff to the target which causes them to explode, dealing bonus damage once they pass below a health threshold.
- [Active] Bolt Escape – Teleport forward in a straight line, stunning nearby enemies.
- [Active] Lighting Splash – Create a pool of electrical energy that deals damage every second to enemies within its radius. An ally may exploit the area to activate the Conduit synergy.
- [Active] Surge – A short duration self-buff which increases your Power.
- [Active] Lightning Form – Wrap yourself in electrical currents, increasing your damage reduction for a short duration while dealing shock damage to all nearby enemies.
- [Passive] Capacitor – Increases Magicka regeneration.
- [Passive] Energized – Increases the damage done by your all lightning-based magic.
- [Passive] Disintegrate – Your lighting-based spells have a chance to instantly disintegrate low health targets.
- [Passive] Expert Mage – Reduces the cost of all lightning-based spells.
There’s not a whole lot of subtlety to this skill line, but it certainly looks effective. The ultimate, Overload, is an interesting concept, it’s the first time we’ve seen an ultimate that is a toggle-able attack mode. I’m envisioning Emperor Palpatine style lightning hands here, so I hope ZeniMax makes it happen. Mage’s Fury is a combination ranged nuke with an execute-style damage bonus, which seems like it will be a bread and butter skill for DPS sorcerers. Bolt escape sounds extremely strong, teleport (blink) type abilities are so useful in PvP, and the fact that this adds an AoE stun at your departure point makes it sound like a real winner. Lightning Form seems like it could be a handy defensive ability, but it’s effectiveness as a skill will likely depend on the degree of damage reduction it incorporates. The passives really shine for Storm Calling, provided you will be using a lot of Storm Calling skills; extra regen, extra damage, reudced cost, and a chance to instantly kill things. I sense a storm brewing…
The second Sorcerer skill line, Dark Magic, focuses mainly on utility and crowd control. A sorcerer loaded out with these abilities will be an invaluable support and control class for his or her group. This line doesn’t offer much in the way of damage, but that can always be remedied by mixing these skills with other lines.
- [Ultimate] Negate Magic – Dispel enemy magic effects in an area, enemies who are spellcasting within the field are silenced and take additional damage.
- [Active] Encase – Dark shards erupt from the ground, immobilizing enemies in front of you.
- [Active] Repulse – Nearby enemies are knocked backwards and snared for a short duration.
- [Active] Rune Prison – Seal an enemy within a runic prison. Imprisoned enemies are disoriented, but benefit from increased health regeneration while affected.
- [Active] Dark Exchange – Channel dark magic, restoring your own Health and Magicka at the cost of Stamina.
- [Active] Daedric Mines – Summon 3 mines in front of you. The mines take a few seconds to arm themselves, after which they immobilize and deal magic damage to enemies who touch them.
- [Passive] Unholy Knowledge – Reduce the Magicka and Stamina costs of all abilities.
- [Passive] Blood Magic – Hitting an enemy with any Dark Magic skill heals you for a small amount.
- [Passive] Persistence – Increases the duration of all Dark Magic spells.
- [Passive] Exploitation – Increases your critical strike chance when attacking a target affected by Dark Magic.
The thing that jumps out immediately about the Dark Magic tree is the strength of the passives. Reduced cost, self healing, and increased crowd control duration, and extra damage against CCed targets are amazing additions, especially for PvP. Perhaps the best feature of this skill line is Negate Magic, which sounds hilariously overpowered. It will be really interesting to see how this skill plays in PvP, enabling a coordinated group to deny enemy spellcasting in a controlled area. Encase provides an AoE root which will fit nicely into the toolkit of tanks and support DPS. Dark Exchange look like a godsend for nukers and healers who don’t rely much on their Stamina pool. I expect the Dark Magic tree will be a staple for PvPers, and will also offer Sorcerer some nice tanking flexibility when coupled with the next skill line!
The third skill line for the Sorcerer is Daedric Summoning. These skills are heavily influenced by the Conjuration school; summoning Daedra, curses, and items to assist the caster in combat. This line offers great versatility, and could easily be incorporated into a wide variety of build types.
- [Ultimate] Summon Storm Atronach – Summons an immobile Storm Atronach at the targeted location. Enemies in the area are stunned and take shock damage. The Atronach casts lightning spells and is extremely durable.
- [Active] Unstable Familiar – Summon a Daedric familiar to attack enemies; the maximum Magicka of the caster is reduced by a small amount while the familiar is alive.
- [Active] Daedric Curse – Curse an enemy, when the effect expires all nearby enemies take damage. Only 1 curse may be active at a time.
- [Active] Summon Winged Twilight – Summon a Winged Twilight to attack nearby enemies; the maximum Magicka of the caster is reduced by a small amount while the Twilight is alive.
- [Active] Bound Armor – Summon magical armor. While toggled gain increased Armor at the expense of Magicka regeneration.
- [Active] Conjured Ward – Create a damage shield on yourself and your summoned creatures, absorbing a percentage of the damage taken.
- [Passive] Rebate – Receive Magicka back when one of your summons are killed.
- [Passive] Power Stone – Reduces the cost of ultimate abilities.
- [Passive] Daedric Protection – Increases your health regeneration while any summoning ability is slotted.
- [Passive] Expert Summoner – Your summoned creatures gain additional bonuses; Winged Twilight duration increased, Familiar movement speed increased, Atronach range increased.
I find that the Sorcerer skill lines aren’t as focused as those of the Dragonknight, and players will want to diversify across multiple skill lines in order to find the really good combinations. Many of these combinations will include Daedric Summoning abilities; this line features a good mix of offense and defense. The potential to be a true pet specialist, with two permanent pets plus a shorter duration Atronach summon seems really interesting. There is also a lot of utility in this line for tanking Sorcerers, with Bound Armor and Conjured Ward doing a lot of heavy lifting there. The passives seem conditionally useful for Sorcerers who are using Daedric Summoning abilities. Power Stone will be a passive that every Sorcerer will want, regardless of build. The AoE stun which accompanies the Atronach summon may make it the ultimate of choice for offensive Sorcerers even if they don’t care much about the pet component.
We are excited to keep the skill train rolling, and really look forward to the discussion which will emerge about the Sorcerer class. Stay tuned next week for more skill overviews, and be sure to let us know what you think about the Sorcerer lines in the comment section below. What is your favorite skill line? Think a mix-and-match strategy will have the best results? See any powerful ability-passive combinations that you hope to exploit in ESO?