The Elder Scrolls

A very long post on the possible implementation of bound weapons, magicka weapons and “spellcrafting.”

TheElderScrolls5 - A very long post on the possible implementation of bound weapons, magicka weapons and "spellcrafting."
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-Intro-

So we all know that when it comes to magicka weapons, this game is severely lacking in options. If you're a magicka build, you use a destruction staff–particularly a flame staff or a lightning staff if you're a DPS. Frost staves were delegated as tanking weapons, I assume to help facilitate magicka tanking builds, and then of course there are restoration staves which are strictly for healers.

That's four weapon types across two skill trees.

By contrast stamina characters have Bows, Axes, Swords, Maces, Daggers, Greatswords, Warhammers and Battle Axes–eight types of weapons, four of which can be either dual-wielded or used with a shield to access two different skill trees, with the remaining four delegated to the two-handed and bow skill trees.

It's fairly clear that when it comes to both gameplay and roleplaying options, magicka characters get the shit end of stick so to speak.

Now, fixing this issue is obviously not going to be easy from a balance/development standpoint, as there are numerous X factors to consider, and nothing ZOS does is going to make everyone happy, but I'm of the mindset that it can and in fact should be done, and I think most people agree with me on that point.

What we can't seem to agree on however is exactly what kind of options we would want in regards to a new magicka weapon. I've seen ideas ranging from wands, one-handed+spell, bound weapons, bound weapons+spell, etc. There's a lot of neat ideas, but no agreement on how to get it done.

By far though the most popular ideas involves bound weapons or weapon+spell, so I thought I would conjure up some ideas as to how they could work. I have two to present to the community–both of which solve two big issues; the lack of magicka weapons, and the lack of use for enchanting materials.

So with that said, here's what I've come up with. Do note much inspiration was taken from you, the good people of Reddit, by reading through various posts over months of discussion.


-Bound Weapons, No New Skill Tree-

By far the easiest, albeit least inspired idea for the weapons themselves are to just make bound weapons magicka versions of existing weapons. Simply put, just have bound swords, bound axes, bound bows, bound greatswords etc.

When equipped, bound weapons cause your light attacks, heavy attacks and weapon skills to be based off of your magicka and spell damage, whereas the standard versions we've been using all this time will continue to be stamina.

That's really it. No new skills, no new morphs, no extra work. Use a bound weapon if you're magicka or a normal weapon if you're stamina.

As far as cosmetic ideas go, really, all they would have to do is use existing motiff styles to create the bound weapons, and then make them look "ethereal," the same way bound weapons in Skyrim are just daedric weapons that look "ethereal." In this way, no new motiff chapters are needed. Alternatively, bound weapons can just have their own style, and we can just customize them ourselves at an outfit station.

-Why?-

Because really, it's the easiest option that requires the least amount of work. Also because compared to the next idea, it would fit in seamlessly and not interrupt gameplay all that much. Simply put, implementing bound weapons in this way prevents players who already know all weapon traits from having to research new ones, and makes it so that there isn't any need to implement new motiff chapters at all.

It also allows players who want to use them right away to do so on day one–just go in, craft your new weapons, re-spec and you're done, maybe possible you'd have to farm new weapons, depending on the implementation method, but that's just the way things go.

Now admittedly, more work would have to go into balancing these out–after all we still want there to be good reasons to use destruction staves as opposed to, say, dual bound weapons, but at the end of the day people are still going to use what they like to use, and the meta is still going to meta.

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And on the plus side, we could finally get rid of that damn taunt on ice-staves because then we'd have bound 1-hand+shield to replace it, and all of us cryomancers could finally go back to being trash DPS.


-1-Hand Weapon + Spell-

The second idea involves using a 1-Hand weapon (or a bound weapon, in case they wanna hammer home the fact you're using magicka) in your main hand and a spell in your offhand. This idea, naturally, would require its own skill tree, and thus need more work making skills, animations, balancing those skills, the works.

I don't want to start speculating on ideas for passives or weapon abilities, but I think a good place to start is to separate them into categories that already exist for destruction staves–fire, shock and ice. However, there's also room for other types of damage in your offhand–poison and disease come to mind, perfect ideas for any necromancer or plague doctor.

Essentially, the spell in your offhand is what determines the damage type as well as the effects of your weapon abilities.

-Why?-

Because this idea is fun and more inspired than the first. It still makes it so that no extra work is needed to create new weapon models or motiff chapters, and opens up both new spell options and weapon options for budding mages everywhere, while also possibly allowing mages to use poison and disease-type magics previously unavailable to them outside of stamina morphs for class abilities.

It also could, in a sense, allow us to craft spells. More on that below.


-Using Underutilized Enchanting Materials To Create New Magicka Weapons-

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By far the most underutilized crafting materials (aside from jewel crafting materials) are those used in enchanting. When crafters hit CP 160 and max out their enchanting skills, they're using Repora, Itade, Rekuta, Kuta and their choice if essence rune to make glyphs. Ta, Jejota and Denata are never used outside of making decon fodder for your alts, or to put crap glyps on crap training armor for your alts that they will just replace in 10 levels. As far as potency runes go, those fall to the wayside just as soon as you pass their level. 9 time out of 10 there's never any reason to buy them.

On non-crafted gear sets, equipment already drops with enchantments on them. Low level gear doesn't matter, as it will get you through to the next level no matter what, but max level set pieces typically drop with a gold enchantment already on them. That even makes Kuta in some instances a bit redundant.

Seriously, show of hands, who regularly has over 75 Kuta, over 400 Rekuta, and so many Ta , Jejota and Denata runes that it's a wonder your craft bag doesn't collapse into a singularity? Anyone?

Given that we're discussing bound weapons and possibly equipped spells, I think the perfect solution here is to kill two birds with one stone–make bound weapons or spells at the enchantment workbench using runestones.

-Regarding Bound Weapons-

Let's assume that bound weapons are the idea ZOS goes with, regardless of what form they take. How the hell do you craft a bound weapon? Well, this is what I've got. Feel to criticize it along with everything else;

  1. Base Ingredient: Ta Aspect runestones. Let's face it, we have a lot of these and need an excuse to get rid of them. Using these to create a basic white rarity bound weapon makes the most sense.
  2. Level Ingredient: Potency runestones. These are what we're going to use to determine the level of the weapon, and again it makes the most sense. They already determine the level of enchantments, so let them determine the level of your magical slashy paddles.
  3. Extra Ingredient: One filled soul gem OR one style material if applicable. Or both, I don't know.
  4. Refinement: 2 Jejota for green, 3 Denata for Blue, 4 Rekuta for Purple, 8 Kuta for Gold. Again, this just makes sense and fits in seamlessly with existing weapon crafting.
  5. Trait: Same as regular weapons. No need to learn traits here, as it uses whatever traits you already know for the weapon type you're making.
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Alternatively, we can do it this way;

  1. Bring regular weapon to enchanting workbench to transform it into a bound version.
  2. Transforming the weapons in this way costs X number of Potency and/or aspect runestones. The number is left up to the developers discretion.

The first way is more intuitive and adds a whole new aspect to enchanting. This would however require us all to go out and farm weapons again if we wanted non-crafted sets, and naturally causes the prices of mats to increase thanks to higher demand. Comes with the territory I suppose.

The second way is the most convenient, because then we don't have to go out and farm for weapons we essentially already have. Just take an existing weapon, apply some enchanting and there you go. We still make more use of enchanting materials this way as well.

-Regarding Spells-

Now let's assume that ZOS wants to add a 1-Handed + Spell skill or a Bound Weapon + Spell skill. We'd need to be able to craft a spell weapon for our offhand the same way we can craft shields for our offhand. How do we do that, I hear you ask.

Well, we can do that at the enchanting workbench too! Spellmaking is already a thing in the Elder Scroll as any fan of Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind or Oblivion will tell you. Since there's already a precedent for spell making in-universe, adding it to ESO as part of making magicka weapons just feels right. To craft them;

  1. Base Ingredient: Ta Aspect runestones + 1 of the following: Dekeipa (Frost spell), Meip (Shock spell), or Rakeipa (Fire spell). Others could include Haoko (Disease spell) or Kuoko (Poison spell). Different spells for different passive/skill effects.
  2. Level ingredient: Potency runes of the proper level. You get the picture.
  3. Refine Ingredients: You already know where this going. Jejota, Denata, Rekuta and Kuta.
  4. Traits: Weapon traits could easily carry over to this, although we'd need to learn them again seeing as how this would be a brand new weapon type.

The spells themselves could exist in the form of either a scroll or a spell tome, which again is equipped in the offhand. Attacking with this weapon would alternate between slashing and blasting. Blocking with a 1-Hand + Spell could conjure a ward, just for funsies.


-Conclusion-

I feel like this goes without saying, but this topic was just for fun–an attempt at brainstorming possible ideas for solving the lack of magicka weapons by finding ways to implement new ones. Of course, there's still a conversation to be had about how this effects meta builds and PVP, but that's a whole other can of worms I don't want to get into.

Mostly, I just wanted to share some ideas I had brewing, but I also want to hear what you guys think? Are my ideas shit? How would you improve them, or what would you add to this? Got any other ideas for magicka weapons? How would you implement them? Do you think we really need more magicka weapons at all?

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