How Zenimax has Responded to the ESO Lost Depths Backlash

By Andrew | 23 Jul 2022 | Share
How Zenimax has Responded to the ESO Lost Depths Backlash

Early last week, ZOS got an almost unprecedented amount of criticism and backlash from players on the ESO Forums, in response to the combat and balance changes that were announced and put on the Public Test Server for the Elder Scrolls Online's Lost Depths update. 

Yesterday, the developers posted another statement to the official ESO Forums, outlining their intended response to this criticism in next week's PTS version. The initial response from players, while not quite as bad as before suggests that a lot of people still aren't happy. 

What is Planned Next for ESO Lost Depths?

In the forum statement from the developers, some intended changes were outlined, in a similar manner to the original Update 35 Combat Preview that started this saga a couple of weeks ago. 

The statement is quite lengthy, but can be summarized in three main points:

  • Damage and Healing over time effects that are "Sticky", in other words cast on a target rather than on the ground, will retain their nerfed status from the first version of the PTS, having a long duration and reduced potency compared to the live servers. 
  • Static damage and healing over time effects (ones cast on the ground) will have their durations restored to 10-15 seconds, how they are on the live servers, in response to extensive complaints that the originally planned changes would render them practically useless in situations where enemies are not completely rooted to one spot. However their potency is still lower than it is on live servers, just not as much lower as originally planned.
  • Some exceptions have been made to the new skill durations, for example Stampede will have a 15 second duration, to make it fit more easily in a rotation with Carve, which will have a 30 second duration.

You can read the statement in full here.

Characters from the Elder Scrolls OnlineCharacters from the Elder Scrolls Online

How Have ESO Players Responded to These Plans?

Zenimax were obviously hoping that these changes would placate the concerns of the many players who seemed quite outraged about the original plans for Lost Depths. While there were more positive responses on the forums from players than before, the feedback still appears to be mostly negative, based on the responses to the developer post. We looked through the replies to the post on the ESO Forums to gauge the player response.

Quite a few players did signal their appreciation for the amount of communication that was coming from the developers with regards to the Lost Depths changes, as we seem to now be getting regular lengthy posts explaining the developers' plans and the reasoning behind them.

However, common complaints with the latest news from ZOS were that the new changes make it seem like they hadn't actually listened to, or understood, many of the complaints from players. There is also a lot of confusion about how any of these changes actually help new players or improve the accessibility of any content in the game. Some players said that it seems like the developers are basing all of their changes to the game on spreadsheets and mathematical formulae rather than on experience of how the game works in practice and how players are using abilities in various situations. And of course these changes did nothing to placate the common complaint that Zenimax are making abilities too standardized, something which is boring to some people.

We don't have patch notes yet for the next PTS iteration, however we can expect to see these some time on Monday. 

We hope you enjoyed this article about the Lost Depths PTS for ESO. The Elder Scrolls Online is a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) developed by Zenimax Online Studios.
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