Broken Spirit: Templar Changes in TESO

There’s been plenty of discussion in the TESO community discussing recent changes made to Restoring Spirit, a core Templar class mechanic for magicka sustainability. As a veteran rank Templar player in the PTS closed beta test, I wanted to try to shed some light on the issue by sharing my experience with the class and the drastic change it has underwent following the nerf. I made my way to Reddit and shared the following:

It’s hard to explain to people who don’t have experience in 50+ content, but I’ll give it a go anyway. The Templar is by far the most magicka dependent class, due primarily to it being balanced around its ability to constantly heal itself. Where the Dragonknight, Sorcerer, and Nightblade all have tools that give them tankiness, AoE CC, or long-duration buffs that aren’t magicka intensive to help them survive. The Templar is pretty much forced to heal constantly to stay alive, and this has lead to them having magicka consumption miles beyond that of the other classes.

Restoring Spirit was the only source of magicka management for the class (for those that don’t know, it was changed from restoring 4% of maximum magicka on cast to a 4% reduction to all ability costs – effectively a 90-95% nerf to its power), and without it, the most magicka intensive class in the game is the only one left without any way to regenerate magicka.

As it stands, it is near impossible to even do solo quests on a Templar in 50+ content. I have died to a pack of three mobs even after using Nova on them (though this was a particularly hard pull with some user error involved).

So the logical question at this point is was the passive OP to begin with? I don’t think it was, but I’m also a heavy armor Templar (though I have pushed magicka regen beyond overcharge after the most recent patch to no avail). Given that Restoring Spirit was a scaling % based on maximum magicka, it seems logical that at some point, it would become overpowered, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that that point had been reached by full light armor Breton/Altmer VR10 Templars stacking magicka well beyond the overcharge point.

The change to fix this would have been simple though – to make it a flat amount of magicka restored that scaled with level. In this way, magicka gained through Restoring Spirit would have always been exactly what the developers wanted it to be, and not subject to exploit by players. This knee-jerk and poorly thought out balance change has completely ruined the class.

You may think this is hyperbole, but well, it isn’t (I have provided a few screenshots of feedback from the PTS forums that the OP has edited into this thread on Tamriel Foundry. It’s important to keep in mind that in 50+/++ content, combat is much harder than it is in the leveling experience, especially when compared to what people have experienced in the weekend betas. Personally, I love this and I think that it’s great, but this is the reason that Templars are having to spam heals to begin with.

One final note is that some players have taken issue with the fact that Templars could use Restoring Spirit to recharge magicka by using stamina abilities. I would like to point out that this is something Sorcerers can already do with Dark Exchange, and that this was basically the only reason a Templar ever had to equip a stamina weapon, due to the lack of any abilities like Surge/Haste/Molten Weapons.

The strangest part is that no one in the PTS has ever thought this needed to be nerfed in the first place. I’ve never heard anyone say that Templars were overpowered, and the class has always been greatly overshadowed by the godlike Dragonknights and more than competent Sorcerers.

Many Templar players, particularly those not using light armor builds, have declared that the sky is falling and the class is ruined. While hyperbolic, it’s also not completely off the mark, either. Balance changes are a regular part of every MMO, especially during the closed beta; while the changes made are drastic and horrible, I find it hard to believe that we won’t see them addressed in some form before the game goes live. Don’t panic. If you want to play a Templar, I’m sure the class will soon be returned to an enjoyable and pleasurable balanced state.

Social Features and the Future of Landmark

Having finally gotten some experience with Landmark, I have to say I’m quite impressed with how much fun I’ve been having while playing it. I’m not even particularly interested in building games; in fact, this is my first foray into one. I’m one of the many MMO players who ventured into Landmark looking for a taste of Everquest: Next, only to be unwittingly tricked into enjoying myself along the way. It’s not that surprising in a way. Landmark isn’t just a building game, after all; it’s an MMO as well. However, it does have a long way to go on that front.

It’s no surprise that the MMO features in Landmark are currently lacking, and this is by no means meant to be taken as a criticism; it would make no sense for them to have developed those features first without the game’s core building mechanics in place. That said, the building aspects of the game are starting to look pretty good, so at this point, I’d like to take a look at what the future may hold for Landmark‘s guild and social features – these are the parts that will really bring it into its own as an MMO, and take it to a level beyond that of an overcrowded building game.

The above is the opening of an article I just published at EQNexus. Continue on if it interests you! As usual, writing I do on other sites is cataloged on the Outside Writings page if you ever need to find it again.