ZOS_Gilliam of the Combat Development Team at ZOS:

Today, the combat team would like to you officially welcome you to 2022 by giving you some insight on what’s coming to combat in the first update of the year! We’ve been keeping a close eye on all the adjustments we made over 2021 and we’re relatively happy with how the game has been evolving combat wise with character expression and freedom of build choices, and we are dedicated to continuing this work through and through where it matters most.

In Update 33, the changes are focused on making almost every player ability in the game scale dynamically with your highest offensive stats when applicable. Similar to what we’ve worked on with passives and item sets, we want to ensure you feel empowered to pick an ability or weapon based on the gameplay mechanics and expression they offer you first and foremost, with fewer restrictions. This means any ability that used to scale exclusively with Spell Damage and Max Magicka will now dynamically scale with Weapon Damage and Max Stamina, and vice versa. With this, we want to retain the identity of many playstyles by reinforcing ability cost as a limiting factor in how frequently you can engage with abilities, but with less concern as to how powerful that ability is based on what stat path you’ve chosen.

We’ll also be dual sourcing buffs on abilities and item sets like Major Prophecy with Major Savagery, with the same thing applying to Brutality and Sorcery. In the long term, we plan on simply merging these bonuses so there are fewer names and effects you need to worry about, but there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that will result from that; as such, it may take quite some time before we’re able to do that.

In addition to the continuation of hybridization, we’ve also gone through many abilities and cleaned up some of their functionalities, making sure the ones that aren’t used as often received some sprucing up to make them feel more up to par with abilities of their like. This is in addition to the usual bug fixing and back-end improvements and targeting of outlier abilities or sets for balance adjustments. Some of these are larger in adjustment, such as Power Bash’s new functionality of being treated as a Bash attack, or Piercing Javelin’s new functionality of living up to its name and piercing through block. Most of the adjustments are not as flashy or different but instead gain added quality of life improvements like increased durations for easier management or scaling adjustments. For example, the morphs of Lotus Flower giving you the choice of gaining more healing overall or a significantly longer uptime for less micromanagement.

That wraps up this update’s combat adjustments! While the number of changes is by no means small, with the hybrid work we’ve been doing in the past, we hope this pass is far less turbulent than things have been recently. The goal here is to open the door to more build freedom and diversity. For some players, we know such changes will instill a sense of needing to spend time and effort changing your loadouts, but we believe the long-term benefits will be worth it. Thanks for reading and we hope to see you all in Tamriel!