Any in-game character will have a skill bar with six slots: the first two are allocated for the weapon skills, class skills occupy the next three slots and players can place an Ultimate Ability in the sixth slot.
Weapon skills derive from the type of weapon that the character is currently equipped with. There will be more than two available, but players can only place two on the skill bar for active use. The same goes for the class skills. Basically, any three class skills can fill the three related slots on the skill bar. However, they should be chosen to support each other. All characters have a set of Ultimate Abilities, which as suspected are very powerful. That is precisely why only one can be used, thus fill the designated skill bar slot.
Armor skills also exist in the game. They are passive, so will not fill any slot on the skill bar. These skills will depend directly on the type of armor that the player is wearing. Characters do not need to use only one type of armor, but more pieces of same armor type will provide access further up the related skill tree.
In TESO, the main character stats are health, stamina and magicka. Health is the total number of life points of the character (how much damage it can take before death occurs). Stamina is a resource required for weapon attacks, sprinting, blocking and dodging. Casting spells requires magicka.
TESO’s soft-lock targeting allows the player to select its target by using a mouse-controlled reticle. That means the character has to face and aim its target to hit it with an attack afterwards. The target can only escape the attack by using dodge or evasion abilities. There is also a hard-lock targeting option that lets the player focus on a target, very useful during massive encounters (with many players and/or NPCs).
Damage and combat avoidance
For these purposes, The Elder Scrolls Online has three specific abilities.
Dodging and blocking can be used to avoid getting hit by an opponent, be it monster or another player. Through dodging the player basically moves out of the way of an incoming attack. Using his shield or weapon, the player can also block an attack.
The stealth ability allows the player to move undetected in the vicinity of enemies without entering combat. Disguises will also be available in-game as loot. Players can use these outfits to walk unrestricted near enemies.
All of these abilities along with sprint (running) require various amounts of stamina.
Synergy and Finesse
Synergy is a system in TESO that practically rewards two players for working together. This means that when one player uses an ability, the other player can interact with it at a certain moment and improve it. In other words, players are rewarded for paying attention to the fight and reacting promptly at the right moments. The benefits vary from simply helping the team to get kills faster, finesse points, to bonus Slot experience, loot and special rewards.
Synergy is not limited to players. Monsters also use this system to boost the power of their abilities, making them more difficult to kill.
Finesse is the other system that offers benefits to players that are able to efficiently use their skills during fights. Besides that, it sustains a fair reward system where no effort means no benefits. As a result, successful attacks, interrupts, blocking, using synergy and other actions will yield finesse points. Finesse points are required for Ultimate Abilities, so by earning them faster, players will be able to use their Ultimates more often. Based on the number of earned finesse points, players will also receive extra loot, gold and experience.
Player vs Player
PvP in TESO will be available in an organized form, but can also naturally occur anywhere. Players will have unrestricted access to enemy areas. The developers created bottlenecks between the three alliance territories to increase the difficulty of progressing into the regions controlled by opponents.
During Aliance vs Aliance battles, players will fight for resources and strongholds to reach the ultimate objective, taking control over the Imperial City. The highest-ranking player of the winning alliance, becomes Emperor and receives special skills that significantly boost his combat abilities. Players, guilds and alliances will have leaderboards and achievements to show their progress and fighting skills.