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Trials in The Elder Scrolls Online Make 12-Player Parties Coordinate, Strategize and Adapt

The 12-player Trials accompanying the Craglorn Adventure Zone in The Elder Scrolls Online are going to push would-be raiders to the brink.

Trials are being added to The Elder Scrolls Online as one of the highest and hardest forms of end-game content the MMORPG has to offer so far, according to the official blog. These Trials go beyond your regular set of dungeons by not only requiring a large party, but also by being much more difficult. Every Trial run only grants your entire party a few number of overall wipes and every megaserver has a challenge for those who complete the Trial the fastest that week. Winning this weekly, time-based challenge will give your crew exclusive rewards they can’t find anywhere else.

The ESO’s Trials force your 12-man groups to stay on its toes as you must learn boss routines while you strategize, adapt and communicate as a cohesive unit. At the same time, each player must still excel in his/her area of expertise. Groups should be able to change techniques as they go along as they must differentiate when to single-target massive monsters, cause area-of-effect damage, focus-healing, etc.

The unique skill system of The Elder Scrolls Online allows for many surprising situations and events during Trial fights. For example, groups may need to split up in the middle of a fight in order to adhere to certain mechanics. Other times the group may need to stay at a certain location on the map, perhaps even stacking together to avoid a massive attack. While other occasions may force group members to be as spread out as far as possible while still being able to attack the boss within range.

Another example of this would be a burn phase during the last few minutes of a boss fight where the entire party takes massive damage until the creature dies. This means that players must save all their strongest attacks or heals for this time in order to burn the boss down as quickly as possible while the parties’ healers can ward off the imminent death of the group for as long as possible. Sometimes, this leads to many last-man-standing occasions where parties end up burning down the boss with only one or two people standing, which feels like an amazing, upset victory where your group was nearly wiped out yet still prevailed.

ZeniMax Online Studios asked their Quality Assurance team to be run like a professional, high-end raiding group. This group contains dedicated volunteers with a multitude of MMORPG experience who try to give expert feedback to help finely-tune the overall Trial experience. ZeniMax’s Quality Assurance team helped the developer settle on many of its major decisions as to the multiplayer aspects of the ESO, such as settling on 12-player teams for its Trials.

ZeniMax also explains that certain enemies, called “bannermen” must be dealt with throughout Trials as well. They will be easy to spot (as a bannerman should), but more importantly, these bannermen provide debuffs that are absolutely detrimental to your party and can cause a wipe quite quickly unless they are killed first. For example, imagine a bannerman running towards your party whose ability is to turn your group’s area-of-effect healing spells into damage.

ZeniMax has tried to make each Trial visually appealing far beyond the normal locations of Tamriel, as a form of incentive outside of gear-collecting. This gives players the incentive to see some of the most impressive looking areas in the game. Fortunately, each Trial is meant to be done in about an hour or hour-and-a-half with a decent group. Obviously, some Trial runs will be shorter and some will be faster. Nevertheless, we can’t wait to see what’s beyond the gates of Hel Ra Citadel now that Trials are being added to The Elder Scrolls Online.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 releases of The Elder Scrolls Online to happen sometime in June.

Next: The Elder Scrolls Online Initial Impressions

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