The Elder Scrolls: Online is only a few months away. As we draw closer to the release, more and more details are beginning to trickle out. So far, five classes have been announced: Dragon Knight, Nightblade, Sorcerer, Templar and Warden. We don't have a complete breakdown of every class, but we know a decent amount about the Dragon Knight, Nightblade, Sorcerer and Templar.
The Dragon Knight is a multipurpose class. Most people will probably use a Dragon Knight as a tank or standard DPS class (damage dealer). However, it can also be used as a ranged DPS or a variety of other configurations. It can dish out a lot of damage no matter how you choose to spec the class, and it's skills offer multiple uses as well.
As a tanking class, Petrify and Spiked Armor are two skills that will come in handy. Petrify allows the Dragon Knight to stun an enemy, interrupting a spell or attack. It uses a considerable amount of stamina, so you need to pick and choose when to use it. In most cases, this is something tanking classes have to do, which is right up the Dragon Knight's alley.
Spike Armor inflict enemies with physical damage every time they hit the Dragon Knight at close range. In addition, this provides damage resistance. Both of these traits are generally considered tanking abilities, but when combined with Fiery Reach, they also work well for ranged DPS.
Fiery Reach targets enemies at a distance and pulls them toward the Dragon Knight. It also inflicts a short stun on an enemy. Once again, this is a skill that works well for tanking purposes, but due to the heavy damage a Dragon Knight can inflict, this would also work as a ranged DPS ability.
The Nightblade class is the assassin of ESO, but like many other classes, it can be played a variety of ways. There are three skills trees for the Nightblade: Assassination, Shadow and Siphoning. You can focus on a single skill tree to maximize that play style, or mix and match between the skill trees to create a Nightblade class that caters to your unique play style.
The Assassination skill tree focuses on damage dealing in a straightforward manner. Many of the skills in this tree focus on dealing big damage to enemies with low health. For instance, Assassin's Blade inflicts 300 percent damage when performed on an enemy with low health.
Shadow kills give bonuses to unseen attacks. Consuming Darkness essentially gives the Nightblade the effect of invisibility. You lose the effect if you attack an enemy, but it makes it much easier to sneak up on an unsuspecting foe. Aspect of Terror is an ability that inflicts fear on nearby enemies, allowing the Nightblade to perform crowd control for the party.
The Siphoning skill line gives the Nightblade damage over time (DoT) abilities, as well as skills that allow him to self-heal. Strife is a medium length DoT that drains health from an enemy while giving it to the Nightblade. Agony is a similar DoT ability that stuns an enemy, although the stun is broken with damage from any other source is inflicted upon the enemy.
As you might expect, the Sorcerer class deals almost exclusively in magic. However, due to the system of ESO, you don't necessarily have to play a Sorcerer with a staff or other typical magic weapon. You can equip other weapons and still inflict considerable damage, or even kite enemies with a bow or other ranged weaponry, but your best spec will be as a magic damage dealing class.
Sorcerers deal with three schools of magic: Dark Magic, Daedric Summoning and Storm Calling. While we don't have a lot of information on how these three schools vary, we do know that Daedric Summoning will offer pets, while Dark Magic and Storm Calling will offer more traditional magic spells. Aside from Daedric Summoning, expect the Sorcerer to work as a ranged DPS for the most part.
Dark Magic essentially allows the Sorcerer to clear room and put enemies at a distance. You can also trap enemies with Dark Magic. We don't have details on the pets the Daedric Summoning school offers, but there will be more than one. Meanwhile, the Storm Calling school allows for elemental-based spells such as Lightning Splash.
All of your magic is based off of your Magika energy reserves. While you can issue stat points wherever you like, it would be wise to put as many points in Magika as possible. The more Magika a Sorcerer has available to them, the more damage they'll be able to inflict and the better off they'll be.
The Templar can be played as a tank or healer for the most part. It also has attacking and debuffing spells, but you're likely to see most Templar players opting to tank or heal. The three skill trees offered to Templars are Ardric Spear, Dawn's Wrath and Restoring Light.
Ardric Spear is the tanking line, which consists of abilities that work well for tanking enemies. Focused Charge is an attack that charges an enemy, interrupting a cast or ability, and dealing magic damage. Sun Shield is a magic shield that hits in an area around the Templar and absorbs damage. Piercing Spear grants the Templar an increased blocking rate and critical strike rate.
Restoring Light is the healing tree, which allows the Templar to not only heal, but reduce the damage other party members take. Rite of Passage heals the Templar and dramatically decreases the damage taken by all allies. Rushed Ceremony is your basic healing spell, while Healing Ritual cures all nearby allies and heals the Templar for an additional 30 percent. Cleansing Ritual removes negative status effects and heals allies over time.
The Dawn's Wrath skill path focuses on area of effect (AoE) damage and debuff spells. Nova inflicts massive AoE damage and lowers the attack power of enemies. Solar Flare inflicts magic damage and increases the weapon and spell power of the next attack. Blinding Light, meanwhile, causes enemies to miss all of their attacks while the spell is active.
We’ll have more on The Elder Scrolls Online in the months ahead.