Posted February 8, 2018 by David Latham in Feature

Elder Scrolls Online Update 17 Full Details

elder scrolls online interview
elder scrolls online interview

ZeniMax Media has today provided a significant blog post for Elder Scrolls Online Update 17, detailing how they are changing combat to be more team oriented, changing the way you’ll be using your Block, as well as inviting smaller groups to take on the huge groups of PVP’ers that traverse Cyrodiil.

In the official blog post, ZeniMax Media details five major changes coming to Elder Scrolls Online Update 17, a free title update that will accomodate the Dragon Bones DLC which was announced back in January.

Read the official descriptions of the five big changes coming to the Elder Scrolls Online Update 17 below:


Ability Synergies in ESO are designed to give players additional opportunities to benefit from teamwork and communication. Leading up to Elder Scrolls Online Update 17, we weren’t seeing groups use Synergies as effectively as we wanted, so we made them easier to use and gave them a series of buffs and fixes.

“With this update, we wanted to make Synergies easier to understand and even easier to activate,” says ESO‘s Lead Combat Designer Eric Wrobel. “Every ability that offers a Synergy now displays a clear visual indicator, such as a column of light. Once the Synergy is used, the indicator disappears. This helps other players know whether they can expect to find a Synergy there.”

Elder Scrolls Online Update 17

This visual indicator also communicates the Synergy’s remaining cooldown time, and they now fire immediately when activated, regardless of what your character is doing. These changes make Synergies more effective, and they’ll go a long way towards boosting your group’s sustain, survivability, or damage. Use them well!


In Cyrodiil, we want to encourage a wide variety of strategy and tactics, and this includes the way large groups move together. Over time, we’ve tried to encourage groups to spread out more and stack up less with various additions (e.g., the Vicious Death set) but we still weren’t seeing the changes we wanted.

To further this goal, we have removed the damage cap on area-of-effect abilities. Previously, the total damage a group of players received from AoEs was capped, but now, everybody within an AoE’s radius suffers full damage.

This change encourages large groups to spread out more and take different approaches to large-scale combat. In addition to this, it gives smaller groups opportunities to take on larger ones with smart, tactical placement of their AoEs.


Blocking was always intended to be one of ESO’s core defensive mechanics, and there are times in the game where all players need to block in order to stay alive. However, we noticed that a large gap formed between regular players and hardcore tanks where the Stamina Block Cost was too expensive for the former and almost insignificant for the latter.

To address this, the base Stamina Block Cost has been lowered and the effectiveness of Block Cost enchantments reduced.

“With this change, we wanted to cut down on the extremes in Block Cost to create a more consistent experience,” explains Wrobel. “Top-end players could get block to cost around 100 Stamina, while the average player had to spend over 2000. Since this cost can be applied four times a second, you can drain your entire Stamina bar in the blink of an eye.”

Elder Scrolls Online Update 17

If you’re an experienced tank who makes use of Block Cost enchantments, you’ll still be the best at what you do, but you will need to change up some of your tactics. However, if you block occasionally because you can’t afford the Stamina cost, you can now make greater use of the defensive option and – hopefully – stay alive!


In ESO’s PvP combat, we want to ensure that all abilities have their time and place while giving you opportunities to read and react to what your opponent is doing. However, we found that abilities with a cast time were being interrupted too often in PvP to make them viable.

With Update 17, we’ve reduced the severity of the movement speed penalty when using an ability with a cast time to allow you to maneuver more during a fight. This better supports the quick pace of battle if you like to use these abilities. However, when you cast these abilities, you’ll also now have a red telegraph indicating that you can be interrupted by your opponent(s). If your ability is interrupted, you can’t cast that same ability until after a short cooldown. But don’t worry, you’ll get your opportunity to try again.

“Interrupting the enemy stops their current cast, but makes future casts unstoppable,” explains Wrobel. “With this change, it will be easier for players to know if an ability is interruptible or not, and the strategy will shift towards interrupt timing.”

These changes add a new layer to PvP combat for both combatants, and it increases the viability of abilities that have a cast time while also providing tactical options to help counter them.


When engaging in PvE battles, we want to promote consistent and coordinated group play. With this in mind, Heavy Attacks now no longer remove the Off Balance debuff from bosses, giving everyone in your group opportunities to utilize them.

“With these changes, players can now plan around the Off Balance mechanic because it will no longer be constantly applied and removed before they can react to it,” says Wrobel. “Players in the middle of their rotations will have a greater variety of decisions to make: Do I cast this high-damage ability, or do I use my Heavy Attack to get a load of resources?”

Elder Scrolls Online Update 17

We’ve also increased the amount of resources you gain from hitting an Off Balance enemy with a Heavy Attack, and you now gain around double the amount you’d usually get. In addition to this, Heavy Attacks now benefit from the same speed boost that abilities with a cast time received above, making it easier to maneuver and land your attacks.

However, we’ve also made it so that bosses will be immune to the Off Balance mechanic for a period after it ends. This creates opportunities for regeneration phase during long boss fights and more tactical options for all.

Elder Scrolls Online Update 17 arrives on February 12 on Windows PC, and February 27 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 platforms.

David Latham

David has a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) from a Go8 university but only uses his unique set of skills writing for passion. By day he's a stay-at-home father of two, by night he responds to the Bat-Signal. Where does he find the time?