The Elder Scrolls Online Preview: It’s Like Skyrim – Online
At character creation, I was able to choose from three different races (Breton, Orc and Redguard) of the Daggerfell Covenant alliance and a class. Classes are less about handing you a hard set of abilities and more about giving you choices. For example, the Sorcerer class had three damage-dealing skill sets to draw from: Dark Magic for stuns, disorients and knockbacks; Daedric Summoning for combat pets, damage shields and curses; and Storm Calling for pure damage. As you level, you can put points in any of these trees as long as you’ve achieved a minimum skill in that tree (which is accomplished by using skills in that tree).
Though I chose to be a Sorcerer, I wasn’t stuck in light armor wielding a staff. I mean, I started that way, sure, but along the way I looted a two-handed hammer. So I used that to bash in the skulls of a few mobs and when my skill went up, I was able to put skill points in the tree related to two-handed hammers. A little later when I picked up a bow, I again was able to skill up through basic use and then unlock advanced abilities in that weapon line.
And this applies to armor as well. If I found medium or heavy armor, I was able to wear it. Though there are bonuses to wearing light armor, early in the game I simply grabbed whatever was an improvement to my low level gear and was happy for it.
Soon I was pulling a little bit from all the skill trees to take down my foes. I would summon an imp that automatically attacks whatever I do, then call down some lightning to get the mob’s attention and swing my hammer down on its head a few times (or plink it with arrows).
You can truly build whatever kind of class you want with this system, just like in Skyrim. Other “starter” classes included Templar, which had healing options, and Dragonknight, which had tank-specific options, if you wanted to take on those roles later. But all classes have access to the restoration staff weapon line, which allows for healing, and in group situations, there doesn’t have to be a dedicated tank. So pick your class and enjoy the flexibility. The developers noted that there will be a system to swap out weapons mid-combat to grant you the skills tied to that weapon (a la Guild Wars 2) as well as a way to respec if you find your hard-earned skill points misspent.
There is one more class yet to be announced that will be in before launch, I was told.
You will be able to have characters in all three alliances and you can also play one character through the content of the other alliances. The content will scale up to your characters level, so there’s no need to create an alt to experience all the PvE goodness the game has to offer. Each of the three alliance areas will offer 120-150 hours of content at launch, with 50 being the level cap.
There are more than just class, weapon and armor trees. There are also skill trees for PvP, Achievement and Lore skill trees, and Racial trees, including one for Vampirism and another for Lycanthropy. Your skill combinations are truly endless.