Class Rep Meeting Notes

Introduction

This page is here to list up all the Class Representative Notes from all the Meetings, the meeting notes usually get released by ZOS on the Official ESO Forum. They do NOT 100% reflect all the things that were talked about, some stuff might have been gone missing in the Meeting Notes, but they should be pretty accurate overall.


[Class Reps] Meeting Notes – September 25

Released by Gina Bruno, the original article can be found here.

Yesterday afternoon, we met with our Class Reps to discuss the changes currently on the PTS. But first, before we get to the meeting notes – we know everyone feels strongly about the changes made to Annulment and Conjured Ward in last week’s PTS patch, and we’ve been reading everyone’s feedback both in-game and across various forums and chats. As we mentioned during our meeting with the Class Reps yesterday, we are open to making adjustments as long as we are still meeting our original goals.

We’ve had a lot of discussions over the past week, and after digesting everything we’ve seen and read, in addition to talking with the Class Reps, we’re making the decision to revert the cast time for both of these shield abilities. In one of the upcoming PTS patches, Annulment and Conjured Ward will now be instant-cast abilities that scale off your maximum Magicka (as they do on live currently), but cap the total shield amount to 40% of your character’s maximum health. Our goal with the damage shield changes has been to address the fact that you can create builds that maximize damage while ignoring defense. We think it’s great some players want to play like a glass cannon, but those builds should have tradeoffs in reduced survivability. By limiting damage shield strength on max health, it makes the health stat much more attractive than it was previously for damage shield users.

So with that, below are the meeting notes compiled by the Reps themselves.

Class Rep Meeting with ZOS for Update 20

We approached this meeting differently. Previously we went for more of a “here’s a list of all the pain points” approach, which meant that while the Devs heard a lot of concerns, there was too little time for interaction as to why those were concerns. This meeting we wanted to actually discuss and communicate with the Devs why they made certain controversial changes. This meant we got a lot more insight into their thinking and, importantly, they got more on why we (and thus the community) felt some changes would not improve the game. We felt the drawback to this approach could be minimized by emailing ZOS the list of class/role specific issue we had. Basically, this means there is stuff we emailed and otherwise communicated to ZOS that isn’t in this document.

Sorcerer Shields:
We spent at least 30 minutes discussing shields. The gist of ZOS’s explanation to us what that they wanted to even the survivability between Stamina and Magicka (the specific example that a Magicka build could spam shields without paying attention to a Boss was used), ZOS wanted sorcerers to make more difficult decision regarding their class defense rather than just stack Magicka and have large shields, and ZOS feels that shields are quite a potent defense mechanic in that they are both excellent reactive and can be used proactively (something Breath of Life cannot do).

Every rep that spoke remarked that sorcerers already have to make difficult decisions with builds because sustain is an issue and lack of bar space, which means they already have trouble securing legit kills in PvP (i.e. not kill stealing by spamming mage’s wrath). We also noted that making shields so they can be critically hit was already a significant nerf that deserved testing on its own, and that the one-second cast-time will get sorcerers killed in a competitive PvP environment. We also said that ZOS has hit sorcerer offensive capability pretty hard the past year, which makes the sort of build diversity they want harder. They acknowledged this and did more than insinuate that sorcerer offense is going to be reformed in the future (at one point, a dev asked out loud if they could be specific. They could not). We told them without these offensive changes it was asking too much to hit the sorcerers with a nerf to their defense first and make them wait for this vague promise in the future. We also mentioned, numerous times, that the mechanic of cast-times is something that is disliked by many people because it breaks the flow of the fluid and ast paced combat that defines ESO. We also went through a bunch of other various reasons that folks on the forums and discords brought up. In short, we pressed and that’s why it lasted over 30 minutes.

With the changes to resistances, having instant cast damage shields is even going to make them even stronger in PvE. We acknowledged this as a potential issue and agreed some adjustment was going to be needed. ZOS seems to be open to refinements and reforms that match their desired goals. The Devs have indicated they are well aware of the feedback, they saw the memes, they know this is a huge change. Some ideas were bounced around. Someone (I forget who) brought up the possibility of lowering the shields to a desired size for PVE and adjusting Battlespirit so they aren’t useless in PvP. My impression is that ZOS is agreeable to making a different sort of adjustment, but they still want to keep their goals of Stamina Vs. Magicka survivability, want some sort of diversity into how sorcerers defend themselves, they don’t want a Magicka build spamming shields while ignoring PvE mechanics. The Devs ended our conversation with the thought whether or not a morph choice would be well received, that is if one morph had a one-second cast time and you got a large shield and another morph which removed the cast-time, but you’d get a smaller shield (the strengths were not mentioned specifically).

There’s only so much I can type and not every detail from our conversation is printed above. I came way from this conversation with the impression that the Devs are open. They know it’s a big change, they know there are potentially better ways to achieve their goals.

Champion Points
While not a update 20 specific concern, we spent a fair amount of time discussing the Champion Point system because it is our belief that the power creep in this system is responsible for many of the issues ZOS is trying to address in the first place (such as players being able to avoid mechanics, not have to make difficult build choices, and the feeling that healers are not needed). The Devs indicated that the CP system is intended to counter-balance itself, that is, I can get X% buff, but that is negated by your -X% buff. The Devs indicated the way multipliers and other mechanics currently work means that counter-balance is not quite right. The class reps agreed and added the problem goes deeper; since Bosses don’t have CP, they aren’t getting the -X% modifiers. The end result is that players quickly out-scale and become too strong for any PvE content that gets released.

We also said it was unfortunate that much of our class identity has been taken away because the Champion System (and gear) has so much power.

Dragonknights
Stamina DKs still want some form of identity. Poison changes only affected their cheap skills. We made it crystal clear that players don’t like Noxious Breath and wouldn’t like it even if it miraculously always hit. We got the impression the Devs are aware stam DKs want some sort of damage skill and could be nudged further in that direction if it was something more than asking for a generic “stamwhip!”

Magicka DKs. ZOS told us according to the target dummy parse, the sustain loss from Flame Lash is made up for the higher damage from Eruption and heavy attacking. We acknowledged that may be correct, however PVP gameplay is a dynamic beast, where Eruption is not easily used for an offensive DK and heavy staff attacks are easily dodge or blocked. The reps were clear in communicating that the changes have made PvP sustain a pain point. The Devs accepted this logic.

Reps also talked about how the core issues revolving MagDK is the way they currently fit in the meta. They don’t have the control to keep up with opponents, as we’re in a meta that revolves around forward momentum, immov pots and very fast targets. And that MagDKs can’t easily deal with bleeds and defiles in most builds – thus putting DK in a sort of limbo when it comes to open world PvP.

Player Speed
ZOS told us they are aware players are moving too fast and are too difficult to target with melee and short ranged abilities. They want to slow us down. Swift Jewelry was something that was specifically mentioned. The Major Expedition buff being too strong was hinted at. The reps agreed that players are too fast and that Swift Jewelry is a primary offender, especially when it was additive to other speed boosts and Forward Momentum. The reps did not agree that the Major Expedition was too strong. It was mentioned that diminishing returns may be a better way to address the issue than flat out nerfs as it is the stacking of speed that is the primary issue.

Sorcerers:
Much of their feedback was included in the discussion with shields. Sustain isn’t good, mobility took a hit, offense was nerfed, etc.

The week 2 changes to Dark Deal were needed and the skill is something that sorcerers can work with now.

We talked about sorcerer ultimates. The loss of a third bar from Overload has crowded sorcerers’ bars and ZOS is asking players to completely change how the class is played. ZOS indicated that they were thinking of changing one of the Ultimates into a Stamina morph since they were the only class that didn’t have one and the reps simultaneously said “Air Atronach”.

Overall we felt that from a Stamina sorcerer perspective, update 20 was more about what was being taken away, rather than was being added to make the class more interesting to play. The same, of course, is true from a Magicka perspective.

Wardens:
We raised concerns that even if a Warden’s DPS parse was now within acceptable standards (we feel this is debatable as some testing indicate a DPS loss), how this came about could have been done differently. The Netch and Shalk changes were welcome for sustain, but it was puzzling why Swarm, a skill many Wardens think is dull and dislike the cast twice and get higher damage mechanic, got such a high cost increase. ZOS stated magicka Warden sustain was better than Stamina after all of the buffs (Betty Netch restore, Shalk cost reduction) which is why they focused on the Swarm ability, which was extremely cheap and not used by stam Warden.

The Bird of Prey change was nice in that a player could gain the benefit with less buff spamming, but the option to actually cast the skill to also buff damage on the other bar is an unfortunate loss.

The return of a stun was welcome, though the Artic Blast change was the one instance where there was disagreement between the reps. One of the reps strongly felt that the stun should have been put on the other morph as the damage on Artic Blast was an ability that enabled the very sort of build diversity ZOS seeks. This was answered that difficult choices had to be made and that it was not possible to please everyone. The Rep still felt if people had to be displeased, it should have been the other morph.

Nightblades:
There was a feeling the patch was more about what was being taken away rather than what was gained. Nightblades DPS is still good, but tank and healing NBs were particularly affected by the changes. More of this will be put into the respective sections

It was also mentioned that the cumulative changes to Nightblades, in particular the loss of healing, has turned the class into more of a “brawler” that relies on non-Nightblade stuff like gear that defines their builds.

We were running low on time, so specific Nightblade feedback will be sent to the Developer team.

Pets:
No critical resistance and the shield change mechanic means they are squishier. ZOS indicated to us they are willing to look at specific problematic PvE fights in which pets do more harm than good via triggering boss mechanics, dying, etc. The reps already have a thorough list and will send it to the Devs.

Soldier of Anguish set:
We voiced our displeasure over the abusive potential of this set. The debuff cannot stack, but it can be refreshed, which the reps said was still problematic. The reps also indicated that this set should not be compared to a damage oriented proc set such as Viper since damage is affected by battle-spirit and other resistances whereas this set is not. ZOS indicated they are willing to adjust the parameters of the set, specifically whether the cooldown should be lengthened and the value of how much debuffed healing. The reps indicated that perhaps it was better to redesign the set, in light that similar one-target proc sets (such as Sloads) have often caused problems and had to be eventually be nerfed. The idea that it would debuff a group of players (obviously for a lower amounts) was one suggestion.

Tanks:
DKs are still the top, the shield change made them even more desirable.

Templar tanking is much improved, although they are still lacking in the control department.

Nightblade tanking was centered on Tavas and that is going away. In general, it’s probably a good thing not to have classes depend on a single set of gear, but update 20 is not offering an attractive alternative for nightblades. ZOS indicated they are aware NB tanking sustain is dependent on light attacking (not easy) and avoiding certain hits (now not possible). There was some back and forth as to exactly what sort of fights and scenario NBs fall short on, however we were running out of time. We will follow up with an email to get everyone on the same page.

More tanking feedback was sent to ZOS in lieu of time constraints

Healers
Healers did not believe that shield changes would make them more desirable. What healers want most of all is too have impactful skills that make a tangible difference to other players such that groups would genuinely feel they were better off to have the healer than another DPS. This led into another discussion about how we think the CP system and power creep has made it easier for groups to avoid mechanics and just DPS burn stuff without the need for healers.

Nightblade and sorcerer healers have concerns with Update 20. Twilight Matriarch will have less shielding and loss of Overload bar and additional skills means sorcerers have to make adjustments and do so without getting any buffs to compensate. Nightblade healers won’t be able to be as offensive or aggressive in their healing, which again compels change via nerfs rather than buffs.

We also mentioned that it would be a good idea if healers had access to impactful skills that could not be replicated via gear or overlapping buffs from DPS. The Siphon Spirit skill, to take one example, is terrible (cast time, has a cooldown, and offers redundant buffs more efficiently acquired elsewhere). This used to be an interesting and dynamic skill that was a stable of healers back in the day.

Tasear has an extensive list of more specific feedback that was passed to ZOS.

Templars
Considering time constraints, it was agreed that it would be better if Joy Division provided the critical feedback in a comprehensive written email rather than rush through stuff. Note from Joy: “Jabs damage, evasion mitigating templar spammable, minor vitality loss, minor protection uptime, Crescent Sweep mechanics are the main points. Other minor ones will be included as well.”

Other Mechanics
Duel Wield Enchantments are much more powerful than other weapons as both are full strength (so is infused) and will have more uptime. ZOS indicated they are aware of this.

ZOS asked us about our feelings about heavy attacks, whether or not we felt they were worthwhile. We indicated the Stamina model was smoother mostly because they were faster, easier to connect in PVP (or would be if players weren’t zooming around) for the sustain, and fit the pace of the game better. In contrast, Ice and Inferno attacks feel slow, not very impactful, and were too easy to deny resources in PvP via dodge or tapping block. Lightning staff as a channel felt ok because the user was always doing something (although single target damage is not great).

The class reps indicated that speeding heavy attacks them up would be desirable, but players are mostly looking for impact and to feel like they accomplished something worthwhile by taking the time to do a heavy attack rather than using a skill. Resources are ok, but it feels more of a chore and something that had to be done just to resume a DPS rotation rather than the heavy attack itself being impactful.

Forward Momentum, Shuffle, and Evasion. We were under a time crunch and did not discuss these related mechanics nearly enough. Forward Momentum enabling heavy armor builds to be more maneuverable than medium armor was identified, and ZOS indicated this was undesirable. Forward Momentum was also identified as one of the mechanics that enabled players to be too fast. It would not surprise me if this skill was adjusted. Evasion is a topic that deserved more discussion. We indicated it was difficult to judge the impact it would have in PvP and PvE setting as only so much can be done on the PTS. We did express our concerns that heavy armor, mostly in conjunction with non-heavy armor things (specific sets like Fury, Evasion, Forward Momentum, mostly Stamina stuff), will still make for stronger PvP builds than medium.

Healing Ward:
The reps believed that the initial small heal played a critical role in PVP (e.g. getting out of execute range) and would upset the already precarious power balance between Magicka Vs. Stamina in PVP. Magicka is already going to get hit with whatever change comes about with Hardened Ward and Harness Magicka, and this is going to exacerbate matters such that people may just roll a heavy armor Stamina warden.

Blackrose Weapons and other arena weapons: Did not have time to discuss. We will email our feedback about them as well as the proposal that all the arena weapon should receive a 1-piece bonus.

Wrapping Up:
We ended on DPS parses and we wish we had more than 3 minutes to continue this conversation as it finally got to the heart of many “pain points” the community has. In terms of damage output, at least when it comes to a target dummy parse, we did acknowledge the classes are relatively close to each other (especially Stamina). So from the perspective of a class not being allowed to a trial raid, that is the fault of an uniformed raid lead, rather than the damage capability of a class.

However, we felt how players were getting that DPS and how these goals were achieved could be done better. Specifically, we felt there’s a lot of heavy attacking, certain classes have to spell symmetry while other can infinitely sustain a light-attack rotation, certain skills got nerfed (e.g. DK Flame Lash), and other things that are either not fun or have negative effects in other aspects of the game.

In short, it is fair to say DPS parses are better and more in-line, but the gameplay to get the DPS is not as enjoyable. This statement made an impression on the Devs (one made a point to repeat it).


[Class Reps] Meeting Notes – August 16

Released by Gina Bruno, the original article can be found here.

Below you’ll find the topics we discussed with the Class Reps during our meeting yesterday, with the notes compiled by the Reps themselves. In this meeting, we discussed some of the goals we have for Update 20 and beyond, making sure they’re hitting on the larger pain points currently in-game. Usual caveat: This is not a list of everything that will be changing, and may not include every piece of feedback that was received.

Beforehand, we [Class Reps] sent ZOS a bunch of documents, videos, and charts covering previous pain points, community feedback since our last meeting, observations on the PTS process and launch of update 19, and DPS/resource management comparisons. Tasear also has a list of bugs that is being kept up to date.

ZOS’s high-level goals and things actively being worked on for update 20

  • Smaller number of high impact changes
  • Harness Magicka and Conjured Ward skills are overshadowing and diminishing the role of healers
  • Light and Medium Armor do not compare favorably to Heavy Armor (mostly in PvP: it’s easier to get good damage, sustain, and mitigation from heavy)
  • Duel Wield is an end-game PvE requirement because of the Blade Cloak skill
  • Want to get class DPS and resource regeneration more in tune with each other

Specific Class goals for update 20
Dragonknights:

  • Address inconsistent ability ranges (Embers 5 meters, Whip 8 meters, Flames 10 meters)
  • Hardened Armor morph needs improvement
  • Power Lash stun does not synergize well with class theme of control. Also want to move away from high burst+stun mechanics

Nightblades:

  • Piercing Mark is too hard of a counter for stealth gameplay
  • Dark Cloak Minor Protection buff is too short
  • Would like to have players choose between high damage or strong healing rather than current model

Wardens:

  • Better ability to control opponents in PvP
  • High DPS too reliant on Bear
  • More fluid rotation rather than buff spamming
  • Needs a unique buff to offer groupmates

Sorcerers:

  • Bound Armor needs to be more worthwhile
  • The Overload skill is awkward with the class kit: it’s either a gank gimmick or not used much
  • Crystal Fragments needs to be more cost effective

Templars:

  • Need an ultimate for burst damage
  • Agree that Templars fighting over repenting corpses is undesirable
  • Make Focused Charge easier to use in melee range
  • Make the Spear Wall passive more applicable

ZOS is working on making sure CC mechanics, specifically breaking free and CC immunity, are more reliable.

Goals beyond Update 20 that ZOS is currently working on:

  • It is too difficult to land untargeted AoE abilities such as the Templar Puncturing Strikes ability
  • They know players don’t like feeling forced to be vampires
  • More diversity for Tank gearing
  • Want to make healing both more valuable and rewarding for end-game group play
    • Also, aware that Battlegrounds need to do a better job with medals and showing healer contributions
  • Make Streak ability work better on uneven terrain
  • Improve the unique feel of each class
  • Pets more predictable and easier to manage.
  • They know players want the “Ice Mage” theme
  • Some classes need better resource regeneration while blocking

After this, ZOS asked if any points not listed above needed emphasis. Class reps responded:

  • Stamina classes, in particular Dragonknight and Sorcerer, need to get more out of their native kit and feel a better sense of identity rather than just a collection of weapon abilities.
    • Stamina diversity in DPS is also lacking as gear and weapon bars are almost identical between classes.
  • Templars still need some form of pro-active defense. Sun Shield is an obvious candidate for reform as it’s not a popular skill
  • Sorcerers are still going to lack options and are crammed for bar space. Rune Cage changes have come fast, and many feel they are right back to where they started with relying on Master Destro staff
    • We talked about giving an instant cast option for a lower damaging Crystal Blast morph
  • Templars sharing corpses for Repentance would solve the fighting-between-allies problem, but may have undesirable PvP consequences as denying enemy templars was a legit gameplay mechanic
  • High burst damage from stealth (mostly via Snipe and Overload) needed better ques (as opposed to flat nerfs). ZOS told us they were working on bugs (such as Snipe health desynchs) to help and suggested that they may look into PvP burst damage more generally
  • PvE DPS diversity is a huge pain point. This lead to a more in-depth discussion.

PVE diversity. Class reps brought up the unsatisfying “meta” that some groups are just loading up on Nightblade DPS, with just one other support class (DK tank for Engulfing Flames, Templar healer for Purify and PoTL, Sorcerer off-healer for Conduits). To address this, the following points were raised:

  • Each class ought to bring something to the team that is both important and meaningful
    • More specifically, each class DPS should do this to avoid the “meta” issue described above
  • The class minor buffs that they are currently providing (such as minor sorcery and minor savagery) are too small. It’s better just to load up on the “BiS” DPS class
    • Wardens really lose out here. ZOS knows this and said they will give something else for Wardens to offer.
  • The Nightblade class brings the highest DPS and is the only one that feels fluid. The other 4 classes often bottom out on sustain, while the Nightblade keeps doing its smooth rotation.
    • The Nightblade can do this with blue max stat food; the other classes don’t even keep up with sustain drinks
    • The other classes could devote more into resource management, but while doing so addresses the issue with their rotations, they’re further behind in DPS
    • We’d like the Nightblade to be the model for the other classes

ZOS acknowledged this and pointed out a solution may not be easy as they want to avoid the danger of making each class necessary to complete a trial.

  • They want to prevent a scenario where a real-life issue caused the stamina Warden to drop raid and then they couldn’t do the trial because no other stamina Warden was available
  • They indicated they are looking for a fine balance between these extremes and to chip away at the problem to get to where we’d all like to go

Other issues brought up:

  • Absorb Stamina glyphs doing magicka damage went on the list to be changed.
  • Why was heavy attack melee range reduced from 10 meters to 7? To make the ranges standardized and avoid problem of why basic attacks are hitting but not abilities
  • Why do small daggers and range light attacks do more DPS than huge Axes and melee light attacks? Melee has a hard time Vs. opponents using Swift jewelry. ZOS says they will look more closely into Duel Wield Vs. Two-Handed damage.
  • Channeled abilities and those longer than 1 second (like Templar Puncturing Strikes) miss out on Light attacks, which are a big DPS contributor.
    • ZOS said this was a valid point and will look into it.
  • Healing/Tanking Diversity
    • Healers want to be more valuable and wanted. Battleground recognition.
    • Some Healing skills, in particular from the Restoration Staff, just aren’t good options (like Force Siphon and the other morph of Combat Prayer that many people don’t even know the name)
    • ZOS indicated there are looking at the discrepancy of stamina regeneration while blocking for all tanks
      • Reps indicated that while this is good, the problem goes deeper as Wardens already have good stamina sustain and DK tanks still dominate since DK tanks provide a valuable DPS buff in Engulfing Flames.
      • Some of this is perception as many people mimic what the notable guilds do.

ZOS then indicated having classes bring unique gameplay was a long-term goal for beyond Update 20.

Question and Answers:

What can we tell people?

  • Pretty much anything that comes up in our meeting. ZOS is not going to share things with the Reps that they are not comfortable going public.

What about Frost Staffs?

  • The heavy attack is too long for a taunt. Taunt does not provide Major fracture/breach
  • ZOS wanted to know if players are switching from stamina to magicka blocking
    • At first, we did. But now most tanks preserve their magicka to cast skills
    • This unfortunately has made the Tri-Focus passive useless or a pain to constantly switch skill points in and out of it.
  • Reps said Frost Staff is used mostly a back-bar tank weapon or for the easier dungeons rather than Trials.
  • ZOS acknowledged this and will look into it for a future update.
  • Frost staff is intended to be a tanking/control element as opposed to a DPS element.

Why does Crystal Fragment instant cast have a tiny cast-time and drops block?

  • That’s a bug and ZOS is looking to fix that.

Stamina players are at a disadvantage when it comes to synergies because most of them do magic damage and scale of magicka stats.

  • ZOS acknowledged the discrepancy
  • This lead to a more specific discussion about synergies.
  • It was agreed that certain ranged synergies such as from Inner Fire and Trapping Webs were too restrictive in who was eligible to activate them (range is too narrow, angle is too acute, only one specific target, etc.).
  • Certain Nightblade heal oriented synergies are not powerful enough.
  • Many of the actual synergy animations are uninspiring and don’t feel impactful (compare to say Gravity Crush or Ignite).

Some class AOE oriented Ultimates were falling out of favor. Wardens are the exception here as Permafrost is quite good.

  • ZOS said they are looking to make the other morph better as most people just use it for the 8% maximum stat passive.

We came back to Sorcerers for the last topic.

  • ZOS is firm in their stance that high burst damage skills combined with stuns are undesirable and is looking to get away from that.
  • ZOS said they are aware that Crystal Fragments ability needs to be more efficient.
  • The Reps repeated the feedback that the Crystal Blast morph also needs an update and reiterated the idea of giving sorcerers the choice between instant cast high damage and instant cast medium damage with a stun.
  • Initial and early feedback for Sorcerers is that their class is walking in place with the buff-nerf cycle to Rune Prison.
    • Also, some are wondering why the other morph that wasn’t an issue, Defensive Rune, can now be dodged.


[Class Reps] Meeting Notes – July 20

Released by Community Manager Gina Bruno, the original article can be found here.

Below you’ll find the topics we discussed with the Class Reps during our meeting last Friday, with the notes compiled by the Reps themselves. The main goal was to have them present the biggest pain points and concerns currently on the PTS in regards to combat balance (note this meeting occurred before PTS v4.1.2). This is not a list of everything that will be changing, and may not include every piece of feedback that was received. We also want to stress that some items may be addressed during this current PTS cycle, while others may be held until Update 20.

PVP:

  • Incap Strike: ZOS will change in future update (stun if NB has 125 ultimate) to make the skill predictable for users because of wild health fluctuations in Cyrodiil. Reps felt this was worth testing.
  • Snares: Lowering the duration is moving in the right direction. Though Class Reps mention something about Major/Minor system if more needs to be done.
  • Defiles: ZOS knows some sets are over-performing. Have plans in future updates to make uptime about 50%.

Werewolves:

  • Many Players seem to like changes
  • We talked about the delicate balance between werewolves having a relative easy time getting good DPS because they only have one bar and the danger in making it overly simplistic with light attack spam.
  • We took time to mention some sets are and could overperform with werewolf. Also mentioned how using skills where a DPS lost.
  • It was mentioned that actually DPS parses don’t reflect some gameplay scenarios.
  • ZOS looking at parses to see how the skill line interacts with item sets.

Set Feedback:

  • Balorgh: Set has dynamic potential. Let’s keep an eye out for specific abuse (potentially werewolf). Could bring back bombing; not intended to work with Overload.
  • Vykosa: ZOS putting proc on Bash makes it so players are in better control. Good change.
  • Haven of Ursus: Feel this set is not usable.
    • The synergy spawns behind the boss (actually need to take several steps to reach it) and requires the tank to move boss which is not a good thing. If a DD or Healer tries to get the synergy, they will die because boss cleave.
    • The synergy area is extremely small. Need to be a lot bigger as it currently forces players to move to a specific place. Same reason Essense Thief is not a good set, due to there being others that give comparable benefits without requiring the movement.
    • The cooldown of the set (12 seconds) doesn’t fit the cooldown of the synergy (20 seconds) as you can activate the first synergy but cannot activate the second one due to different cooldowns.
    • The proc requirement is way too high. A very situational set shouldn’t ask this much to work as tanks don’t usually go below 50%.
    • The synergy is good for the team but don’t do much for the tanks themselves. Shields tend to break almost immediately as a tank while holding bosses because they have no resistances. Something else would be a lot better for tanks in terms of survival. If the synergy stays the same, it should at least proc in front of the tank in a way that it will go to the group so they can use the shield.
  • Moonhunter: Magicka characters have a hard time keeping up proc to make it worthwhile.
Pain points from the PTS

Sloads:

  • ZOS wants this to be good versus heavy armor blockers
  • ZOS will make the proc a dodgeable projectile
  • Reps indicate concerns that this will biased against magicka-based characters who rely on shield or block (who are not heavy armor perma-blockers) and thus still make it the default go-to set for things like Battlegrounds. More adjustments probably needed.

Rune Cage:

  • ZOS is looking into making it dodgeable
  • ZOS is looking long term into adding a better messaging system to warn players.
  • Reps are divided about this. Basic problem of max range unblockable stun is still there. Players who manage stamina better off, but again this biases against certain classes more so than others.
  • Some suggestions that players brought up are that sorcerers would like options not tied to Rune Cage. Crystal Blast still a hugely unpopular morph, what about giving it an instant proc?
  • Ultimately more discussion is needed here. Will look for further PTS feedback to see how players respond.

Siege:

  • Mixed bag. More effective at defending outer keep walls (good). Players have made adjustments by knocking down more breeches (good)
  • Devastating on Inner keeps where defenders’ movement is restricted, and attackers’ siege can overwhelm the defenders on top floor (bad)
  • Overlapping and stacking catapult ground effects are very strong and players don’t have much counter-play, especially on inner Keeps.
    • It was mentioned that even siege shield and negate aren’t good counter play for inner keeps as much anymore.
  • More specific details will be further communicated to developers
  • Wheeler looking into making the siege bubble more effective vs siege
Class Stuff

Templars: The “you get a buff, but you also get a nerf” disgruntlement was communicated.

  • Channeled Focus change is a net nerf to many play styles.
    • ZOS mentioned some changes are coming.
  • Radiant destruction: 480% execute damage surely will help out to make that skill viable again in PvE, but in PvP there might be concerns with Templars spamming this skill from max range, even on enemies not within execute range.
    • ZOS will buff execute damage to 480% to account for lost weave/enchant procs.
  • Solar Barrage: The AoE DPS loss pain point was communicated and ZOS understands this.
  • Rune focus: 20 seconds of rune focus buff with old costs results in 3780 net magicka on the channeled focus morph, which is a fair deal for the gained mobility.
    • ZOS will revert the cost increase and extend the duration by 2 seconds.
  • Stamplar sustain issues:
    • Burning Light returns Stamina, this will help Stamplars and Templar tanks.
    • We need to stop fighting our Templar brothers for repentance. Rework suggested. Restoring Aura could use some improving.
      • ZOS stated changes are coming in future at some point
    • Power of the Light – only 1 Stamplar able to use in raid, and is the final explosion fixed?
    • Hitbox of Sweep Ultimate is wonky and sometimes doesn’t hit.
  • Templar healers are becoming less happy as they feel less competitive in some some gameplay scenarios and only perceptive and magicka templar DPS (being perceived as almost the weakest) is only reason they are invited.

Wardens: The not feeling loved disgruntlement was communicated

  • Various small quality of life improvements were suggestions brought up by the players were brought up, including:
    • Short buffs like Bird of Prey need to be longer
    • Swarm projectile too slow, double cast feels like a punishment, not engaging or rewarding gameplay
    • People will ask for a viable frost mage playstyle until it can be done
    • Sustain is too limited. Either reduce costs of Fissure and other magicka skills or increase magicka returned by Betty Netch
    • Nature’s Grasp rubber bands you. Other morph should burst heal the caster as well. Both morphs should begin healing as the skill is cast, not once you arrive at the target
    • PvE magden would benefit greatly from sustain buffs.
    • Warden healer are mostly happy
  • It was brought up that sustain is strained for PvE DPS and PvP in general
  • Nature’s Grasp usability issues including rubber banding and healing not starting until you arrive at the ally, which is slow for quick reactionary play
  • The issue of a CC option was communicated, and ZOS indicated they are looking into it
  • Wardens need to bring something unique to the table for groups in general (health buff given by Warhorn, players may already have their resistance buffs active, etc)

Sorcerers: See above with Rune Cage

  • Tasear has a document for pet bugs ongoing pet bugs.
  • Still lacking cc options, feeling tied to Rune Cage
  • Stamina Sorcerers want to get more out of their class (bars dominated by weapon/generic abilities) and want to bring more to a group.
  • Sorcs want frag to stun. What about a new Crystal Blast proc which ccs but doesn’t deal bonus damage? Could reduce the damage of the base ability and increase the damage of Crystal Frag’s proc to avoid the “high damage ability having a stun” issue
  • Overall looking forward to playing with shortened snare durations
  • The PvE problem of being in raid just to provide Liquid Lightning synergy while being carried by inefficient gear was communicated.
  • Sorcerer healers also not bringing anything unique or class oriented to group

Dragonknights: Stamina DKs feel left out

  • Stam DKs want more class harmony and don’t feel Noxious Breath is worth using
  • Dragonknights appreciate the changes to Wings and the intent behind World in Ruin (although stam DKs would like a bit more here)
  • Mag DKs feedback says Powerlash stun impedes their ability to control opponents.
  • Searing Strike and Fiery Breath are not easy to land on opponents. Perhaps make Searing Strike 7 meters?
  • PvE – Stamina and magicka sustain needs helps.
  • PvE – Engulfing flames. Will send specific feedback to ZOS about how the expectation that the tank will provide this buff leads to pigeonholed PvE raid setups.

Nightblades: See Incap stuff above

  • Dominates ranged PvE DPS. Lots of off-healing, great sustain, strong numbers. Reps EMPHATICALLY emphasized the preferred resolution to this is *not* to nerf NB, rather to make it so the other classes feel just as strong and provide unique benefits to groups that can’t be acquired elsewhere via gear or such.
    • One example was Crystal Frags need to be brought up to level of Assassin’s Will
  • Nightblade Off Healers stepping too much on the toes of Healers
    • Be careful about flat out nerfs because solo Nightblades need their class tools
  • Melee mageblade still needs work. Need to address Concealed, Assassin’s Blade, melee tools to avoid inadvertently buffing destro
  • Destro is too forgiving
General Issues
  • Stamina DPS not happy their light attacks are not rewarded for the increased danger they are in compared to magicka light attacks
  • Class, Role, Stamina/Magicka (in short choice of the character you play) needs more uniqueness and to bring something wanted to group that cannot be acquired elsewhere.
  • Having a trial or dungeon mechanics favor being in melee would be a welcome change

Healers:

  • Battleground changes still don’t recognize healer contributions (medals, achievements, their own “column” on the scoresheet, etc.). ZOS says they are aware of this and changes will come
  • Mend wounds skill being reverted back (to non-toggle). This is welcome.
  • ZOS says Lotus Flower fix is coming
  • Positive reception of Hanu’s Compassion set
  • Still big concern: feeling wanted in four-person dungeon groups.
    • DPS sorcerer or NB can fill the “healer” role along with strong DPS
      • This is talked about because incoming damage doesn’t require as much healing as it used to along with some mechanics being one shots.
  • Tasear has specific class pain point & general issue document to send to ZOS

Tanks: See above with DK engulfing flames and gear sets

  • Common pain point: Tanks want to feel awesome and powerful, i.e., be tanks, and not DPS buffers
    • Being awesome and powerful might help another pain point: doing something more in PvP than holding block (which everyone wants!)
  • Discussion about making all classes desirable in their different way to group. Uncoupling that role from the expectation they provide Engulfing Flames would help here as it would open up the role for non-DKs.

Bug Reports: We have a systematic sheet we are updating, and ZOS is referring to it.

General Impressions and Overall Themes
  • ZOS has indicated they are aware of the issues the community has sent them and even if concerns have not been addressed in this update, they are still working on a lot of stuff
    • More than once, the devs said “We planning on doing that in update 20.”
    • Hang in there.
  • ZOS has shown a willingness to keep working on stuff that the community feels more needs to be done. Several devs during the meeting asked us to be more specific about certain vague issues we spoke of. This is encouraging.
  • We communicated several times the desire for each class and role to feel they are bringing some meaningful contribution to their group. In conjunction with the previous point, this is probably a good way to express future “pain points”. It’s one thing to say, “buff X,” but it would be more helpful to let the devs know how buffing X would improve the game in the “big picture” of things.
  • The next PTS update (#3) might NOT address the specific things we talked about in the meeting. That does not mean it was forgotten, ignored, etc., it means the devs are currently working on issues and to look in a future PTS update.


[Class Reps] Meeting Notes – June 7

Released by Community Manager Gina Bruno, the original article can be found here.

Below you’ll find the topic points we discussed with the Class Reps during our meeting yesterday. The main goal was to have them to present the biggest pain points and concerns for each class, which we’ll be digesting and taking into consideration for any future changes. This is not a list of everything that will be changing, and may not include every piece of feedback that was received. Again, they were asked only to focus on the biggest pain points from the community at large.

Dragonknights

  • Coagulating Blood and passive problems. Coagulating Blood is a good heal, but it’s secondary effect of major fortitude is often redundant and doesn’t feel useful enough for the cost of the skill.
  • Some DK passives feel underwhelming like Elder Dragon and World in Ruin.
  • PvP players feel overly reliant on Sword & Board and Vampire archetypes. Would like a bit more mobility. Adding a short snare immunity (2 seconds) on Wings might make non-vampire option attractive.
  • Stamina Dragonknights don’t feel like Dragonknights. They were really strong prior in PvE because heavy attacks were strong, now that technique isn’t as good. Also there’s a feeling the stamina DKs don’t get much out of the class as some passives like World in ruin offer little value to them. Molten Armaments offers what they want but is the “wrong” buff.
  • Several concerns were brought up for Magicka DK:
    • Power Lash misses a lot
    • Burning Breath cone also misses target. Noxious breath (stam morph) good for PvP, not as much for PvE.
    • Sustain needs help
    • Not wanted for melee DPS
  • Key abilities like Flame Lash, Burning Breath and Burning embers feel clunky to use (different ranges, cone not hitting hit boxes, et al)

Nightblades

  • The Cloak-Detect play-counterplay is too extreme. Either cloak is *really* strong if a player can disappear with impunity or is *really* weak when the player can not disappear at all and their main skill feels useless. Need more of a middle ground.
  • Obvious/bad morph choices that limit diversity. Debilitate, Power Extraction, and Manifestation of Terror for example. Also, some morphs have good ideas but need a bit more. Dark Cloak is a good heal, but minor protection buff is too short for example
  • Incapacitating Strike. Seen as an overloaded and does too much. Reverting original mechanic of stunning when target has higher health was a popular opinion.
  • Some Nightblades have indicated some non-cloak defense options would help when they do get marked or detect potted.
  • Nightblades dominate as DPS, but underperform as tanks pigeonhole them and limit diversity
    • The “sap” tank playstyle, for instance, is no longer possible
  • Some players would rather have Agony back than Malevolent Offering.

Sorcerers

  • Mobile themed class doesn’t feel mobile. Bolt Escape “whiplash” effect, losing momentum especially up/down hills. Very susceptible to snares/roots. Class should be able to kite better
  • Pets in PvP. Hard to control/die/have a mind of their own. Steals buffs from players. Paradox in a way, because in duels a “zookeeper” Sorcerer is a nightmare to fight (especially now they can cast them while CC immune). The more chaotic PvP gets, pets quickly lose their usefulness.
  • The post Crystal Frag version has lost a lot of what was once a defining feature. Sorcerer now feel formulaic and boring, especially now that dual wield isn’t really a thing. Destro Reach sorcerers are cookie-cutter and require specific reward weapon, rune cage auto stun while meteor drops feels cheap and is certainly unsatisfying for the target.
  • Stamina based sorcerers are unhappy they don’t feel much they get much out of the class as Hurricane is the only damage ability they used.
    • The idea of a stamina Air Atronach morph (ala Ra Kotu from Hel Ra) was mentioned by several people.
    • Also a number of sorcerer passives don’t help the Stamina sorcerer
  • Sustain in PvE is a pain point. Dark Deal is hard to fit on a sorcerer bar for to remain competitive DPS
    • Wrobel questioned “Is lack of bar space because Sorcerer has too many good abilities?”
    • Yes and no. Sorcerer has good abilities, but must slot them to play well. For example, Sorcerer and Nightblade both have +8 % magicka boosts, sorcerer needs to slot a skill that does no damage, the Nightblade does not. Also Pets take up dead bar spots
  • Masel’s chart has 46% of concern pet-oriented. Aside from boss fights that preclude pets (like Mage in AA), the Twilight tormentor morph was seen as particularly weak and the Clannfear too expensive for taking up two skills and dies to mechanics.

Templars

  • Offensive skills are too awkward/impractical/just not very good. Solar Barrage cast time ruins flows of nice DPS rotation. Radiant Destruction execute is a DPS loss. Sweeps channel is long, doesn’t make some DPS rotations, hard to hit targets in PVP.
  • Poor stamina management. Makes tanking hard. Makes a long DPS rotation against bosses unsustainable.
    • Repentance needs actual corpses and an enemy not to repent them first. Causes arguments with allies in Teamspeak who gets to use the skill.
  • Rune Focus and more generally the “House.” Having to cast and recast an armor buff that doesn’t actually do anything exciting every 8 seconds is frustrating. “House” is too hard to manage because mechanics in PvP and PvE compel movement and healing nerfs make “stand your ground” unmanageable.
  • Radial Sweep ultimate. Both morphs. Just not very good. Range is too short, damage is too low, often misses, other non-class ultimates are better/more versatile.
  • Only class without a pro-active/preventative defense (no more blinding flashes, no reflect, no non-health scaling shields, etc.) has led to PvP archetype nobody like: the “Healbot” who holds block with sword and shield and hits Breath of Life
  • Templar CC is seen as lacking and no AoE root make tanking hard and slow class feel slower
    • Shards not CCing still a sore spot
    • Eclipse CCs enemies without CCing them; ability can sometimes feel worthless vs experienced players
  • There is a feeling that a lot of Templar passives are situational, restrictive, or weak.

Wardens

  • The Bear. People like it. People are frustrated with how the Warden (good) DPS is so tied to it that when the Bear dies/can’t be controlled/takes up an AoE ultimate option, they feel let down by it. Bear getting CCed a lot was brought up several times.
    • Console players say it’s hard to control because they have to use heavy attacks
  • No class-unique form of CC. Players don’t just want a generic stun ala Destro staff, but something awesome that comes from playing a Warden
  • As a DPS, Wardens don’t really offer something unique or interesting to a group. So, if their DPS isn’t top notch, there isn’t really a reason to have them in that role.
  • The desire to be an Ice-themed DPS was something that got a lot of mention.
  • Players feel that the class has so many buff skills that come at the detriment of good combat options (such as an Ice DoT).
    • Coupled with damage skills that don’t offer Wardens tactical options make playing the class stale and hard in PvP (For example Dive [both morphs] just does damage and Growing Swarm morph seen as weak).
  • Warden players feel as though some obvious needs have been neglected (non-Bear Magicka DPS, the lack of class CC).

Tanks

  • Dragonknights are great tanks, but some tank players feel “forced” to play them rather than say a Warden tank because the Engulfing Flames buff is deemed necessary
    • Wrobel Question: “Why can’t a DK DPS provide this?
    • They can, but magicka DPS is seen as undesirable because this means taking a spot away from a stamina NB, which offers so much more.
    • It’s not an easy problem to solve as we would *like* classes to offer unique things to groups. This issue is when only the DK tanks offers something awesome and none of the other 4 classes offer some alternative awesome thing.
  • The Hardened Armor morph is undesirable as the little shield is gone almost immediately after activation.
  • Tanks want to aid the group, but the current mechanics of group buffs 1) limit to only 6 players and 2) continue to only hit the same 6 players upon further activations (it’s the old purge bug)
    • My PvP group tested this just last night. A DK igneous weapon only ever hits 6 people in our group and it’s always the same 6 players. Upon this realization, our DK immediately unslotted Igneous Weapons.
  • Hit Boxes/lack or reliable means of targeting. Hit boxes are big, this is nice for DPS, but makes it really hard for tanks to taunt/target dangerous adds. The Asylum Sanctorium Saint Llothis for example hides behind a huge Dragon and even if it’s tab-targeted, he’s hard to taunt and interrupt.
  • Lack of Gear Diversity. The Ebon / Alkosh combination is still seen as better than anything offered since.
  • Templar and Nightblades stamina management

Healers

  • Often don’t feel needed. Tank + 3 DPS is seen as more efficient and higher scoring.
  • A lot of new Healer toys/mechanics just offer heals, but healers also want to buff their group. For example, the new Cinderstrom Dragonknight morph offers a nice heal, but the skill is really expensive, the area is really small, and doesn’t offer anything to allies except heals that might not even be needed.
  • DPS dominates gameplay and when players have enough of it to skip mechanics, healers do not feel part of the team. Relegated to side-kicks
  • Healers would like some class identity. People trust templars because they bring something recognizable to raid. What does a sorcerer bring?
  • The Force Siphon (both morphs) is seen as “wrong” because everything it provides can be acquired elsewhere more efficiently
    • The double resto staff healer for example is viewed with suspicion
  • PvP line of sight checks are too punishing. Small boxes and branches act as impenetrable walls.

Non-class/role related issues

  • Defile is very strong.
    • Defile is necessary but it’s very accessible and too easily applied and reapplied:
    • Wrobel Question: Can this be countered by Healing stars in Champion system?
    • It’s hard. Befoul scales a lot better. Befoul in Green tree means players can damage and defile at same time..
    • We talked that it was fine for a player to spec specifically for defile and being strong/effective, but it’s too easy to be an effective defiler without really trying.
    • Unhealthy consequence: players a re forced to build tanky and inexperienced player get deleted.
  • More synergies. It was mentioned that there was no need to bring a magicka sorcerer into a competitive raid environment *except* the Conduit synergy. So, more synergies mean more reasons to use perceived non-meta classes. Nightblades, for instance, don’t offer a synergy. It’s not a big deal now because they are DPS meta, but a NB healer is out of luck. Also, before this patch DKs felt unwanted in PvP raids. Now, with the synergy change, DKs feel they make legit contributions with all the synergies they offer. It’s a win-win.
  • Some synergies are too finicky. The Trapping Webs synergy from undaunted requires a range and angle that is so narrow it‘s too hard to activate it. Nova, an ultimate that players already feel is too expensive and overshadowed by Warhorn needs to have it’s synergy activated and players can’t do this without moving to the absolute center.
  • Sload’s set. On its own and in isolation it’s not too bad. Coupled with things like a defile Set, a Zaan Proc, and a no CP environment it’s too much. Also, this set raises the overall toxicity in PvP because of its perception which I’d argue is a bigger concern than balance (seriously, I average 1 hate tell every 3-4 MONTHS. I got 4 in a single night just using this set).
  • Content for anything between 4 and 12 players is desired by many, because 12 is hard to organize and 4 is too little for many groups of friends, would also bring new group compositions.
  • Heavy armor still seen as more desirable for PvP, especially for stamina builds. The idea of moving the critical hit passive from the Champion tree to the Light and Medium armor skills was floated around.
  • If you are a “stamina” player, there is little distinction between the classes as weapon abilities are predominate. Only the Nightblade feels like a fluid from a stamina perspective. We mused about how some lesser used abilities like the DK Obsidian Shard could be used to help create more of a unique stamina class identity.
  • Mobility came up as pain points for three classes (sorcerers, DKs, Templars) and are seen as particularly punishing vs. magicka
    • This perhaps is less an issue with classes as the snare system needs reform
    • Wrobel question: “Does the new Psijic Skills help?”
    • They do, but it’s still a pain point for several reasons
      • Major expedition does not remove snares like Shuffle/Forward Momentum or Mist Form.
      • The Channeled Acceleration has a cast-time (bashable, you’re slower at the time you want most to be faster). The Race Against Time Morph duration is really short.
      • Mist Form is still a lot better because nothing can stop a player from going to point A to point B and gets 75% mitigation to boot.
  • More Group oriented passives: They are something that gives what many players want, identity to their class and the feeling they are offering something useful to their group/team.

The following was not discussed during the meeting as we ran out of time, but notes were forwarded to the Dev Team afterwards:

Werewolves

  • What werewolves DO NOT want
    • To become overpowered. They realize they teeter on the line.
    • To get the best dps or to become meta, or even to get directly competitive dps. They don’t want a werewolf in every group. Werewolves like feeling special and needing to exert greater effort to achieve the same or even just shy of the same results in PvE.
    • Large, sweeping reworks or changes to core mechanics.
    • For Hircine’s Bounty to scale off of stamina/weapon damage OR to cost stamina. To make it cost stamina would pressure their sustain too much. Stam sustain is already tough on werewolves. And to make it scale off of physical stats would eliminate the hybrid leaning of werewolf builds, turning werewolf build patterns into a mirror of the rest of the stamina meta and requiring damage nerfs to compensate the new builds. For example, Pelinal’s + Fury + 2 Kena (a common build and Caius’ current favorite) would become Fury + Seventh Legion + 2 Kena. Werewolves like their hybridy build patterns the way they are. Do you want to fight a werewolf with 1k more weapon damage than they already have?
  • What werewolves DO want
    • Roar to cost magicka. It’s a utility spell.
    • To be a legitimate and playable choice that can somewhat compete with other builds for PvE dps. The werewolf community is split on whether they should be able to tank or not.
    • Quality of life fixes and bug fixes. They want to be updated to the current state of the game.
    • More uptime in werewolf form. Potentially a way to add time to their werewolf form actively, such as by dealing damage or casting werewolf abilities. This might enable werewolf dps in trials where tanks hold aggro, werewolf RP, and running for long distances between fights. When asked if werewolves being able to permawolf would necessarily be perceived as a bad thing, I didn’t really get pushback from werewolves or non-werewolf players alike. Many were unsure if they would like werewolves maintaining werewolf form outside of combat, though. Werewolves want to play as werewolves without necessarily having to worry about taking damage, pouncing on things, or looking for Devour synergies.
    • More support for pack or group play, such as synergies, cross healing, or unique buffs.
  • Top quality of life concerns
    • Can’t res allies
    • Can’t use synergies
    • Can’t sneak
    • Devour synergy requires precise targeting and direct line of sight without other characters in the way, making it clunky and unwieldy to use in fights

Vampires

  • Many have requested an option to toggle off vamp appearance
  • People consider vampirism incomplete
    • Want more active abilities
    • Want more meaning to vamp stages
    • Want active and deliberate shifting between stages. Want more decision making
    • But people understand that this isn’t a high priority
  • Unequal risk/reward between PvE and PvP
    • Dawnbreaker is the main ultimate for ⅗ stamina classes, and fire damage is everywhere. Destro ult + Vicious Death are the main kill tools for large scale play, siege and especially oils are in every keep fight, mDKs deal predominantly fire damage, and this patch has shifted magicka builds more to using fire staves than ever before.
    • PvPers are shifting away from using vamp, as they find it more punishing than beneficial. They don’t consider it “risky” at this point — it just hurts to be a vamp because the damage types to which you incur weaknesses are so prevalent. The only archetypes which still widely use vamp are gankers, bombers, and immobile magicka things which need mist form to not be pinned down. Gankers and bombers do not really intend to take damage from players, and mDKs and magplars for example get rekt by snares. Magplars can’t realistically spam that purge like people can spam snares, and wings doesn’t have immunity, leaving mDKs pinned back in place as snares are quickly reapplied.