Update 32 Preview & Guide—The Armory & Curated Item Set Drops

26/10/2021

Learn more about two of the big new features all ESO players can enjoy with Update 32!

Arriving in tandem with the Deadlands DLC, the Update 32-base game patch brings a host of bug fixes, balance changes, performance updates, and two new features that all ESO players can enjoy: the Armory and Curated Item Set Drops.

The Armory System

With the Armory system, you can swap your characters’ builds quickly and easily without having to manually change things like gear, Attributes, Skill Points, and more. To get started, all you need to do is acquire the free Armory Station found within the in-game Crown Store. Place the furnishing station in your home and you can begin to save and swap your builds!

For the development team, they aimed for this system to make things easier for you and your characters.

“The main goal with the Armory system was to reduce the friction for players switching activities or roles in the game,” says Kyle Nowak, the Combat Designer behind this new system. “ESO has gotten very big over the last seven years, and there’s so many different activities to do. We know that players love to specialize their characters for those activities, but with all the customization in the game, it can be difficult to completely change your character’s combat identity. The Armory is meant to alleviate that problem—after some initial setup, players can effortlessly change their character with the press of a few buttons.”

The team worked hard to ensure that the system made it as easy as possible to quickly save or change your build. After you’ve opened your Armory, you’ll see a list of Armory Slots that allow you to do the following things:

  • Equip a build from one of the Armory Slots
    • The first two slots are free, but you can purchase more from the Crown Store
  • Save a build to one of the Armory Slots
  • Rename one of the Armory Slots and assign a unique icon to it

Save your favorite builds at your Armory Station

When you equip an Armory Slot (a build), it changes the following on your character:

  • Attributes
  • Active and Passive Abilities
  • Equipped items
  • Champion Points
  • Vampire or Werewolf Curse
  • Quickslot items
  • Outfit

Any items you’re wearing that are not part of the build you’re switching to are moved directly to your inventory—easy!

In addition to the Armory Station that you can place and access in your homes, a unique Armory Assistant, called Ghrasharog, will also be available for purchase with crowns from the in-game Crown Store. You can summon Ghrasharog in most areas, and he allows you and your party to change up your builds on the fly.

Ready to help you switch builds!

Note that there are some restrictions as to when and where you can activate Ghrasharog (such as in the middle of a Dungeon or Trial run), so be sure to summon him before you begin your activities. Finally, you can acquire additional build slots within your Armory by purchasing them from the Upgrades category in the Crown Store, too (don’t forget that each one of your characters gets the first two build slots free). 

With this new system, the team hopes to see players engage in different activities more often with their favorite characters.

“We know a popular strategy with players is to have multiple characters that are each specialized in a particular activity within ESO–having a dedicated crafting character or a dedicated PVP character for example,” says Nowak. “With the Armory system, they can now have one character do it all.”

Curated Item Set Drops

Update 32 also features a major change to the way you gain and collect item sets when adventuring in Tamriel. The new Curated Item Set Drops system is designed to help you loot the specific items you want, allowing you to more quickly complete your item set collections and perfect your builds.

With Update 32, in most cases, when an item set drops from a monster, the system will try to give you something that you don’t already own. This change greatly reduces the randomness of your rewards, with each subsequent drop further reducing the potential variation until you’ve collected every piece within a set.

Collect all the gear you want with Curated Item Set Drops

For example, in Veteran Maelstrom arena, each time you clear the PvE challenge, you’ll receive a Maelstrom weapon that you haven’t yet collected, guaranteeing that eventually you’ll receive the specific item you’re chasing (in my case, the Perfect Crushing Wall staff!) Once you’ve fully collected an item set, any future drops for that set will be random as normal.

When designing this new system, the team wanted to remove some of the frustration associated with completely randomized reward drops. For Rob Garrett, ESO’s Gameplay Lead, this change builds upon other systems that came before it.

“The first step in addressing the problem was the Transmutation system back when Clockwork City launched, which allowed players to customize traits on their gear,” says Garrett. “Last year, we launched Item Set Collections to allow players to safely deconstruct and reconstruct set items without needing to re-farm them. That system, however, also served as a steppingstone for curating loot table drops on a per-player basis. Since the system knows what each player has already collected, it allows us to ensure they aren’t at the mercy of pure RNG when chasing specific items.”

Of course, this change doesn’t affect every reward drop in the game, and there are some cases where you’ll continue to receive completely randomized rewards.

“The goal was to reduce pain associated with chasing specific items, but not to completely trivialize those efforts. The loot tables themselves have not been altered, so items are still acquired from the same sources as before. It’s always been possible, for example, for randomly appearing chests in a dungeon to drop set items normally looted from bosses in that dungeon. We don’t curate the drops from those chests because the required effort to open them is minimal relative to defeating a boss. Reward chests from arenas and incursions (World Events), however, are directly tied to defeating bosses, so those drops are curated based on your collections.”

For the team, the hope is that this new experience will lessen the frustration for players seeking to gain specific items or collect entire sets.

“The most relevant impact is on expectations associated with any given item set chase. The math is straightforward in terms of calculating the maximum number of times you’d need to complete a given activity before a desired item or set of items will drop,” explains Garrett. “That worst-case scenario is far, far less ambiguous and daunting than before. We also believe this change will make the activity of filling out your item set collection “stickerbook” more broadly appealing and satisfying.”

Collect Items & Customize at Will

With the addition of the new Armory and Curated Item Set Drops, you’ll have a much easier time collecting items and both customizing and switching your builds. How are you planning to make use of these important base-game changes when Update 32 arrives in November? Is there a specific set you’re hoping to collect? Or are you excited to effortless switch builds on your favorite character? Let us know via TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Arriving in tandem with the Deadlands DLC, Update 32 will go live November 1 on PC/Mac and November 16 for Xbox and PlayStation consoles. As a base-game patch, Update 32 is free for all existing ESO players with no purchase necessary.

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