Big grab bag of ESO stuff from the weekend

Some things I discovered this weekend, as a returning player. This will be old hat to veteran players, and I probably have some of it wrong, but for returning and new players, this might be helpful. So I will post it.

  1. Coffee runs- the guild has coffee runs on Saturday and Sunday mornings around 10am EST. What they do is pick a zone, do world bosses and dolmens in the zone, and they do this as a guild raid group. If you have no waypoints in those zones, never fear. You can click the party menu, right click the crown (the leader in the party list) and teleport to their location and get that waypoint. This was a lot of fun, and really helps with map completion. It is really laid back too, where we just sort of sit around killing mud crabs as people take their time meeting up. Hats off to the guild for hosting this.

  2. Vampires- My son and I decided to become vampires this weekend. Hmm, Vampire Weekend. Hmmm. Anyway I am a nightblade, and he is a sorcerer, and it works for both of us.

First off the bite. We tried it the ask-a-guildy-way. Either they were offline or on timers. So we went to the look up where the bloodfiends spawn and download the clock mod from minion to know what game time it is, and go visit the spawns. That did not work at all. There was a lot of running around (we both camped different zones, there are 3 where you can find them).

Then we tried the beg in chat way. That did not work. I did not spam it, but my son did and they got mad.

Then I tried the find-the-vampire-shrine-and-see-if-some-random-dude-will-bite-you-method. I was in the DC zone at that shrine, and a guy bit me as soon as I showed up. Scared the crap out of me. Big red beam, I go stun, then I realize it is what I wanted. I thank him and do the quest. My son spent 30-45min at the Reaper’s march shrine before some guy bit him.

Then we proceeded to duo to power up Vampire. Each skill unlocked went onto the main bar, and we ran Public dungeons as a duo. This was really fun, as those are nicely scaled to a couple of fresh 50s with crafted gear team, giving us mass pulls for xp on the Vampire line, as well as taking out content that is harder to solo. We tried regular delves, but they were too easy. We tried group delves, but they were too hard. I had more of the world opened up, and he was a fresh 50, so I would port to the shrine and he would point to me, and in this way he got one wayshrine per zone across AD, EP, DC, and we took out the public dungeon content.

By Sun night I was 10 in Vampire, and he was 9. Was it worth it? For me so far yes. I am playing a snipe stam bow build, and I was groaning for stamina loss particularly weaving light/heavy with acid rain to down packs. After Vampire with the cost reduction, and I can spam much easier now without stamina issues. Also I really like the half as long to crouch aspect of vampire. I do not think I will use the bat ultimate or the drain essence actives, but for now I am keeping mist form which seems to be a super useful AvA ability. The drain essence was fun, since as I would bow stuff down, the inevitable melee guy would come up to clock me and I would just hit drain essence, which would stop them cold and with poisons kill that one guy…fun. The rest are in passives. I do take more fire damage, but I am already pretty squishy having to dodge roll everything anyway, so it is not that bad. I also think you can use champion points to up elemental defender to offset fire damage, so that can help. I hear around 100 in that line is what it takes. For him, he was always magicka starved doing the AOE sorcerer stuff, and now he is flowing much faster though these public dungeons. So win-win

  1. AvA (Alliance v Alliance, the strategic PVP this game has in Cyrodiil). I went to Cyrodiil for the first time this weekend. I had a treasure map that I had got from doing writs that sent me into the zone.

First off to get there, open your character, click on the castle icon on top that has alliance, then click the campaign you want (I did 30-day AD standard) and hit accept, and you queue up. It was the morning so I was there with no delay.

Some basics- you start at a wayshrine deep in your alliance territory, and you can use that shrine to go to anywhere else in the world. This is your way out of Cyrodiil. Now you don’t have to google that. You are supposed to be able to use shrines to move within Cyrodiil , but I did not figure out how to do that. The only thing that works for me is to go die somewhere, then resurrect at a keep close to where you want to be. There must be a better way.

I was in the south AD end, and my treasure map was way far north up in the DC end. I have my speedy Kajit in stealth- concealed weapon, set that gets rid of stealth speed penalty, the steed mundus for faster movement…so I started zipping around exploring things. First off, Cyrodiil is HUGE. Absolutely massive huge. It takes a long time to get anywhere. I was actually running out of stamina from stealth, something that never happens PVE side. It felt like I was crossing the width of a regular zone just to go to the first skyshard on the map.

Next you have to de-stealth to do much of anything. Picking herbs, moving through gates, clicking skyshards…you have to drop stealth to do anything. I tried a delve, and was nervous the whole time thinking someone was going to gank me on a big boss pull. Nothing. Nobody ever came.

I went far north and eventually said the hell with the stealth thing, and just got on my mount and mashed the sprint key down until my fingers were cramping. This is the way you ride. Oh, you have to follow roads, because the hills are impassible. Not like the regular content, these mountains funnel you through strategic keeps and gates, which encourages people to take these points in AvA.

So about 3/4ths of the way to my destination, I see people going at it. THe map had a conflict symbol on it, so I decide to pitch in. It was 2 AD on 1 DC, so from stealth I open with 2 poisons. THe Templar isn’t even dented as he proceeds to chase me down and pulp me in about 2 blows. So yeah, those guys going at it early morning are decked out and are going to crush you. I hear you need lots of resistance and penetration to do much of anything.

So I got my treasure map, and got out. Then I went back with my son to show it to him. This time it was afternoon with a lot more people out there, and we were in a 50 person queue which took about 20 min to finally zone in. We started with skyshards, but all of that running for so little gain made us seek out the action for AvA. Off we went and joined a group taking on a keep. THey had siege and stuff, and it was amazing. Very Guild Wars 2 like in feel, with ground targets and dodge rolling. At some point the gate went down and the AD zerg ran through the wall, mowing down stragglers until we hit the main body further back which wiped us.

Thus began our AvA education. For me, anything melee was a hard pass. No. Any attempt to land a 2H attack usually meant I was locked up, rooted, stunned, and gang assaulted into a quick death. Hit and run with the bow works better, with going invis and running at the first sign I am being hunted. I have since gone to a snipe build (40yd range for the win!), and have been acquiring and levelling up the toolset to pull that off.

For my son with his sorcerer, gone was god-mode from the game. His spells were just doing squat on most people, and he would go down fast. I think champ points will swing that. But we were both able to sort of run with the zerg, pile on while more experienced players were shock troops, and have a lot of fun. Super fun. We are going to retool and head out again. We were in there long enough to unlock assault 3 and support 3. At rank 2 you can unlock Rapid Manuever, which is a 30s 30% mount and ground speed buff, which is super useful for getting around this game. I am so glad I stuck out AvA long enough to get it. Now I pop that, stealth and zip around close to mount speed while stealthed…that is fun. Sure makes gathering much easier in regular content, and gets you out of delves fast.

  1. The alt writs army thing- I have 6 characters, and only play one at a time. The rest sit in Vivec City doing writs and horse training once per day. If I do all 7 writs on a level 50, I get 4.5K gold per toon. A 30ish character gets less money, but it is still worth it. I went to elder root, reset my skills. Oh btw, I though you had to pick morphs, then pick skills. You can un-morph something in the reset skills option. Anyway I take all of the points I have, allocate to crafting stuff, and put a token point into lines that are not at 50 yet. So as I turn in writs and get experience, those lines level up. It is slow, but every bit helps. So for instance my lvl 50 Templar which has 220ish skill points has just crafting skills, and I chunked in a few points to 1h+shield and other lines that I never leveled up as a staff magicka user before, and those lines are around 10ish skill level after about a week or so of just doing writs.

That Templar is my ‘refiner’, having max crafting skills in all professions (except JC). She is the one who opens all of the hireling mail, and grinds up materials via refinement. There is a mod called Multicraft which is super helpful here. Just control left click the plus on the bar that shows up when you select an item to refine, and up goes the queue by 10 per control left click. So I can set it up to autorefine a 500 stack of material in a few clicks. She gets maximum return.

Anyone below 50 in a craft is in skill up mode. The aim here is to unlock those passives for later on. In particular I go for 3/3 hirelings so I get free stuff in the mail. But you can get improved effect for potions from Alchemy, and the same goes for food with Provisioning. While skilling up, you max out your crafting tier (eg 7/10 for woodworking if you are 35ish in woodworking) and I skip the quality upgrades. I will dump points into better yield from deconstruction. My main then dumps items into the bank, which I can then refine on alts (straight from the bank, yay!, no need to take them out of the bank to refine them). As my main is over 160 champion points, I get top tier garbage dropping, and that stuff ranks up the lowbies fast via deconstruction.

Before I grind it up, my crafter main looks for research traits. There is an addon that puts a magnifying glass research symbol on items that have traits you lack. I only am doing this on my one crafter main. That guy has blacksmithing, woodworking, clothing, and jewelcrafting. Enchanting is on one other toon, and Alchemy with all of the recipes is on another. Thus the commitment for skill points is spread over a few toons, but I suppose eventually I will just have the one guy who is a crafter do everything. The 4 he has right now is useful for set piece crafting stations, as he can produce the entire set without having to swap characters. Only enchanting is missed now, and I am slowly getting that up there.

So check for research, then mass grind on an alt. Once they hit 50, I spec out of those points in deconstruction, spec into hireling, and just reap in the rewards. I think I can go to say 1/10 blacksmthing and just not open the mail on that toon, and open it on my 10/10 blacksmith and get top tier mats. So once you hit 50, you have unlocked all of the passives and can reclaim a ton of points. My 30-something characters then have just enough skill points (around 50) to pull this alt crafting thing off.

You do want to avoid having your main lower gathering skill than the guys you are trying to rank up. For instance my main was 2/5 in jewelcrafting, and my crafter was 3/5, requiring silver ounces to do writs. So I ran dolmens in Alik’r Desert (go there, /zone to enter the zone chat channel, and type x, and you will be auto added to the raid that runs dolmens nonstop. It is great for Fighters Guild exp, and great for jewelery drops). With a dolmen grind I was able to bring my main up to 3/5, and now my mats go into my crafter alt. I also have come around to this following keen eye plan: 1/3 for woodworking, blacksmithing, clothing; 3/3 for alchemy, jewelery crafting, enchantment. I get so much raw materials in those professions like blacksmithing from the deconstruction that I really do not need to go out of my way to gather it. But I always seem to run low on herbs, enchantment, and I need a lot of JC mats. So I up the range for those and I will go more out of my way to gather them.

  1. Werewolf- My crafter main (Orc stamina Templar, Noto Boil) has around 130 skill points, and most of them are tied up in crafting. I spent a little time last weekend getting him a minimal skill set and werewolf. A guildie was super nice to bite me (Thanks Expresso?).

Here is my 75 point Orc Stamina Templar build that worked great. You just use one bar. Prior to werewolf, I use the ultimate from Dawn’s Wrath to skill up that line (the last passive of reduced cost is worth getting and it takes 50 points to unlock). Hit forward momentum and critical rush (both from 2h line) to enter battle. Then heavy weave (hold left click, and just as your heavy attack starts to land, hit biting jabs to clip that animation…takes some practice, but puts out the DPS and gives you no stamina problems). All points are in stam btw for me, and I just put health enchants on training gear to have a decent health level, and use max attributes food. If you are hurting, use repentence on corpses to recover life/stam in the fight or post fight. The fighter’s guild passive helps with damage.

Orc is one of the best choices for Werewolf since you get the sprint bonus and have high stam, which you are starved for in WW. With WW, I mostly left click spam. I can heavy attack spam if I am low, but mostly WW is about keeping things rolling so you do not leave form. Oh when you do the WW quest, do not leave the quest area. Stay there in WW form and advance your line until you have several nice passives active. With WW, pounce to close. Hiricines on a group. I lightweave (left click and clip animation with a cast of Hiricine’s). If it is really tough, you can heavy weave and use roar. Save claws of life for when you are hurt. Feed as necessary.

With this mix of 2h Templar and WW, you can WW on a boss and kill it with less of a risk to yourself. You do not build ultimate that fast, but you can clear trash fairly easy with low down time with jabs and repentence.

  1. My Kajit Nightblade main- If you got to pick one character to see most aspects of the game, it is hard going wrong with a Kajit Nightblade. The Thieves guild, Dark Brotherhood, and Legerdemain all are open to your greedy little paws. You can loot and murder your way to riches, and it is a lot of fun running from guards with all of the tricks you can use. I am going with a sniper/scout build for AvA. Vampire works well with it, letting you crouch faster and get away from the set that offsets stealth speed penalty. Your stealth radius is small. Here is my present build plan, although I am torn on the 2nd ultimate. Snipe has a big range. Load up with poisons on acid rain and poison injection. Mark is great, and if Magicka is a proble, I will swap it for relentless focus. Shadow image is extra damage and a juke move, really helps on kiting. Stealth bar has invis, the speed buff, getaway mist form, brutality, and concealed weapon for speed.

UPDATE 18Jun2019. Found this nice 11minute video on Cyrodiil basics. Worth watching.

I am now leaning towards a bow/bow build. After a lot of thought and viewing several videos, this is what I am considering.

I have seen bow/2h gank builds, but mostly those are melee builds, and you are asking for it at low CPs to go into melee in Cyrodiil. So I am opting for bow/bow on snipe. Some of what I learned

  • Focused Aim is a hard hitting 40yd range snipe that you can use on singles and get out
  • Bombard is the better spammable. It will do AOE damage and root/snare whatever is chasing you. I think I can keep this up better now that I am a vamp.
  • Poison Injection is still the DoT execute for bow, a must have
  • Draining Shot is a knockback and heal, good for burst heal and relief
  • Relentless focus now on a 5 stack will reduce damage you take by 15% and activate a spectral bow, which is part of the massive burst for Nightblades. That defensive stack is a huge benefit, and persists until you leave combat.
  • Most people are putting Flawless Dawnbreaker on their main bar with all of the attacks because it ups weapon damage by 5%, and you get another 3% from a Fighter’s guild passive.

My back bar has a lot of oh crap

  • Shadowy Disguise is the invisible move, good for getting away and re-stealthing
  • Channelled Acceleration from Psyjic can be used for a 12s 30% speed boost and it does not break stealth, and it gives you a damage buff to boot. This will replace my Charging Maneuver.
  • Vamp mist form is the ultimate get-away, reducing damage by 75%, making you immune to movement control, and giving 30% speed for its duration.
  • Reaper’s Mark is the way you knock of a pile of defense on your target, and get health back on the kill.
  • Concealed weapon is a 25% boost to sneak speed. If you combo mist + concealed, you can stun them and put them off balance.
  • Ballistae is a fire and forget pressure move. That plus your spectral bow can equal kill.

I want the stealth speed, and the sustain bow/bow builds tend to give that up for things like meditation and vigor. I went to bow bow because I can then put ballistae on the backbar.

UPDATE 25Jun2019

This is sort of my bloggy post on ESO, and I find it somewhat interesting seeing how my progression of understanding goes with time. Since posting this, I have put up 3 guides on the boards here, one on champion points, one on the bow/bow build, and one on this absolutely fun 1-shot build I am presently running.

First off I want to pass along this really nice guide on how to set up your addons and user settings fron Dottz Gaming. I literally ran the video and paused it and set it up his way and am so much happier.

In particular my new favorite addon of all time for ESO is Assist Rapid Riding. Let me tell you why. First off at level 10 you can go to Cyrodiil. Look for the quest dude when you come in and either run the tutorial (great to do if you have not done it, shows you how to work siege), or skip it. YOu get 2 skill points and 2 levels in Assault and Support. In the Assault line this unlocks Rapid Maneuver, which will morph into Charging Maneuver later. You hit this thing and you get 30% run speed and mount speed for 30s, which makes getting around the ESO world so much easier. You do not even have to PVP. Just go to Cyrodill and do the tutorial or skip it. And you come away with 2 skill points.

Now the problem with this skill is that over time you do not want that taking up a slot on your bars. When you are low level with not much it is fine to put it there, but at high level, you don’t. THe addon Assist Rapid Riding will swap Rapid Maneuver onto slot 5 when you mount, and it disappears when you use it, only to show up again when it is time to renew. Even better you can go into your keybinds, pick the 2nd tab for addons and assign a key to it to force it to do its thing when you are dismounted or in a dungeon. I bound mine to T and so if I am trying to get all the way back to the start of the dungeon, I just hit T, pop the maneuver, and rapidly run. Hats off to that addon guy. I ran all of my alts through Cyrodill and now they zip around with 30% speed on their bars.

Next I have figured out the transit shrines in Cyrodiil, and that video I previously linked shows how to do that.

I ventured into master writs. My conclusion- not worth it yet. As I do daily writs, sometimes a reward of a master writ pops up. The thing is I do not know the motifs to do any of these. Expresso walked me through the process, and you can load up a bunch of guild store mods and search for it, and buy stuff you need, but it is a huge time sink. Maybe when I am swimming in end game resources I will fill out this completionist box, but for now I will just bank them until I have inventory issues, or put them up on guildstore if that inventory becomes a problem.

I have been pushing Summerset content to try and get enough traits to have 5 traits in Jewelry Crafting (JC). As you may or may not know, the crafted sets require a number of traits researched, with typically the better sets requiring more. You have to find something with a trait you lack (or have a guidlie make you one), then you research over time to unlock it. You can get the first 3 traits easy from drops in JC, but 4 and 5 come from completion of Psijic Order and Summerset story lines. If you have the DLC for this (ESO plus), it is worth doing. YOu get the whole Psijic Order line there, and the stories are really good. And there is a ton of story there. I thought I would bang it out in a day, but man I am going on 3 days or so now and it just keeps going. The nice thing though was the Psijic order was an easter egg hunt of portals across the world and Alcast had a good guide on it, and that took about a day. There are also random portals which are like loot boxes which have jewelry in them, so doing the Summerset quests gives you quite a few of those as you go all over the place.

I did try to do Undaunted by loading up on pledges outside of the capital city (Elden Root). I found out that the people doing randoms are toxic. I was only pulling 4K dps on my NB (egads! the horror! the horror!) and I had several complaints and suggestions to move my noob butt into the meta build. I suppose the upside was I did try it out, hated it, and made up my 1-shot build which I love. The downside is that I think maybe the community is toxic and this bums me out, and maybe guildy runs might be the way to go.

My son made up a Stamina Sorcerer, and I bit him with my werewolf. Apparently they buff up, wolf out, and rampage in PVP. We had this little fantasy of being a pack in PVP after watching this video of an event with a raid full of wolves. Each WW reduces the cost of remaining transformed, so it makes sense to run as a pack. To turn him, I went to the shrine in Reapers west of the NE waypoint near the world boss, and as I got close to him the feed option came up. I fed, and now he is pack.

I had a little side project. You might find this interesting if you have a new toon and you want to unlock the world and get the most out as quickly as possible. Since these writs were making me so much gold, why not make my 7th of 9 characters and see what happens if I park him and just level on writs? So I looked at what I had, and I had no stamina sorcerer, so the Redguard stamina sorc was made. I skipped the tutorial, put one skill point into each Sorc line, one into DW, one into 2h and loaded up my bars. I did not even have a 2nd weapon bar, nor did I have dual wield weapons, but I dragged the DW skill to the bar anyway and it levels up. I then skipped all the quests and just ran to the harbor where I did the ship hop thing. Yes, I want to visit another port in the alliance. Oh boy, here I am , lets rid to the waypoint and grab any skyshards and books on the way. Back to the harbor and onto the next. And so I went by ship across AD, DC, EP unlocking all the zones and racking up XP as a no gear sub level 10.

Around level 5 I decided I needed some gear. So I went into Vulkhei Guard in Auridon/AD, hit the bank, withdrew 10K gold, trained my mount. THen I went to the weapon shop, crouched, and stole every weapon not nailed down. I went to the armorer shop too. THen I laundered the lot of it, and equipped my ill gotten gains. It takes multiple pieces of the same armor type worn to unlock that armor line, so I played mix and match in my stolen stuff until I had the lines unlocked.

I then went to get certified. Into the Fighter’s Guild. Do those quests. Into the Mages guild. Do those quests. Oh and hit the bookshelves too, since those were opening up skill lines too. Then I ground up all of the stolen gear for XP, and headed to Summerset for JC certification. Once there and certified after doing that quest, I did the daily writs, and was about level 8 by the time the world was unlocked.

One thing I noticed…the anchor symbol on the mini map is a ship, and they travel between ports. THe caravan symbol goes between inland cities. So you can go straight to Elden Root by the caravan and skip all of that tiresome running across zones. I was able to get to all those interior cities via caravans, each with a discovery bonus.

So here I was at 8, and I decided 'lets go dolmen grind in the Alik’r desert. So off I go to my discovered port, and I begin this long long ride across the desert to unlock waypoints near dolmens. There are 3. Once the 3rd was unlocked, I ran with the never-ending herd that cycles through them. I tried to join by saying ‘x’ in zone chat but the raid was full. No bother. I just ran solo and had no problem. I had a kluge of garbage skills, stolen white armor, a crappy axe, and only a decent 2H skill to smack stuff, but I still got tags. They go in a counter clockwise loop between the same 3 dolmens all night, all day, weekdays and weekends. I think it took me around 20 dolmens, cycling about 3 per 10 min to ding 10, and I had an inventory full of goodies for basically doing nothing very useful. Also I had leveled up fighter’s guild some. All that went to my JC main to grind up btw.

So it was 10. Time for Cyrodiil. I que up for the 30 day campaign, and about 20s later I am in. I talk to the dude, tell him I want to skp the tutorial, he gives me 2 skill points, and I get the rapid maneuver skill. I was 12 in storm at that point, so I could drag the ultimate to the bar and put rapid maneuver on 5.

Then it was time for my crafted set. I made him a lvl 10 set of training gear with glyphs and set pieces from my main crafter (this is what that guy lives for, twinking out my next toon). And now he is parked in Vivec City with all of my other crafting alts, doing 7 writs a day and training riding. As the crafts level up, and I put in more skill points, I will roll the guy out to grab a few more skyshards to have enough skill points to continue. I will give him a good week or so and see what level he is. That crafting xp adds up.

Because I now have a JC, I was able to do a 5 piece Hunding’s Rage set, and a 5 piece Nights Silence set (one piece was an amulet), and I had antoher 2 piece partial set on rings alone. I can do this for an alt, but my JC is at 40 now with 4 traits unlocked and it will be some time before I can do end game stuff.


Damn Snydelee, nice writeup! Thanks!
I’m a fresh 50, and new to eso. I basically just camped Elswyer . Tons of great info here… maybe too much… Ha! Nahhh, it’ll just take me some time to absorb it all.

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Good stuff.

Thanks @Snydelee for taking the time to share your experiences. This is good info! :smiley:

I haven’t been able to play much this year yet. Sounds like you guys had a lot of fun. I still haven’t tried werewolf yet. Not sure which class I’d want to try it.

Tess turned my sorcerer into a vampire last fall, but I haven’t had a chance to level her skills. Thinking I might want to vamp my stamina nightblade now too.

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I hit the character limit on the OP. SO here we go with more bloggy stuff

UPDATE 9Jul2019

Things have progressed nicely since the past update. I am around CP375 now. My son and I presently are playing a pair of werewolves. His is a stamina Sorcerer, mine is a stamina Templar. He just hit 50 last weekend, and I finally convinced him to subscribe. ‘What else would give you more fun for the next 30 days for 15 dollars?’ I asked him. He is now ESO plus, which means we can group up for DLC content now, and he can do crafting stuff.

It seems like the end game sets drop from Undaunted chests, dungeon bosses, some zones etc. And it seems like you can upgrade them at the blacksmith, or clothier or whatever appropriate profession. This is how you get yellow quality. But if it drops with a trait you do not like, well it seems like you have to transmute it, which involves a trip to Clockwork City, and 50 transmutation crystals. We did 3 pledges for Undaunted last night, and got around 5 or so of those crystals. So switching a trait on a dropped piece is no simple matter.

But it gets better. It seems like you can only switch to a trait that you have researched. The bound stuff (which seems to be what drops) can be banked and picked up by any toon in your account, so I supposes you only need to have one character with the proper skill. My son when he realized this, he then understood he could not punt on crafting for this game as he had planned, and with the infinite crafting supply bank with ESO plus, that was what changed it for him too.

Now he was really stubborn. I had given him a level 10 training set at level 10, including offhand, which he could not even use at the time. He took that set and wore it all the way to 50. I said I would make him another set, and he insisted on playing that one to the end. I made him a cp100 set (which he was because his other toon which had hit 50 had made some CPs), and he said it was like night and day. I made him a tanky heavy set, and he then became ‘the tank’.

We spent a lot of time 2-manning public dungeons and world bosses. THe latter are much more challenging and fun. We also were running group delves as a 2 person group. He would taunt and bunker, and I would wear out the biting jabs key. I do this heavy weave thing, where I maintain 4 DoTs/buffs (Power of the Light, Biting Jabs, Rending Slashes, and Quick Cloak). Left click and hold, and stick one of those (whichever is about to fall off) on the target to clip. Things die fast. Repentance to heal from corpses.

Bosses are more of a challenge than groups. What we do is both of us go werewolf. Then whoever has agro runs around trying to stay alive, while the other pours on the DPS. When we start these world bosses, people will join in, but they fail to get the basic lesson. If you have agro, run, until someone else does. Werewolf is weird in its playstyle…when you zone you lose it. So we would use a regular delve to recharge the ultimate for WW transformation, then string together as many world bosses as possible in a row across the zone. Since we both took pack leader, there are another 4 wolves running along with us. Those other wolves are really helpful for sucking up agro from the bosses too.

So he hit 160CP yesterday, and then the theorycrafting began. What sets should we use for PvP? We intend to pack roam in Cyrodiil. So far we have decided on Draugr Hulk for the crazy stamina, Mighty Chudan for the Major Ward and REsolve (to not have to spam pots, and cap), and we are undecided on the 3rd set. I scored a training version of the shoulder piece on the Mighty Chudan set last night. Our aim is to cap health and resistance for regular penentration, and go nuts on stamina. We are going to try and do 5pc medium, 2 heavy.

My Kajit stamina Nightblade has progressed nicely as well. I finished Dark Brotherhood. There was really good story there, and skills now go to rank 12. In the end it was a lot of zoning. Zone out of the lair, zone from the waypoint to the target, zone back to Gold Coast, zone into the lair, turn in, get next target, repeat. I muffed the daily a couple of times. Once I tried to slip behind a target, managed to reveal myself, and fall down 2 levels into water with the zone howling for my blood. It is done now, and I am glad I did it. For long periods I was carrying bounty, and it was harrowing. I never would surrender and always run, which made it a lot of fun. You do get some of those writs which clear bounty, so it seems like running up enough to use a writ is worth it.

I am at Thieves Guild 9. I am doing much better at that. I got a perfect run on a heist, got 30 or so rep from it, two purple bags and some motifs. Super worth it. I am getting the knack of using hiding spots, and am very paranoid about wire traps.

He now sports a full yellow quality CP160 gear set, and is doing very well with 1-shotting a lot of targets. I got him to 50 JC, and now he gathers top end mats. He is very good at clearing surveys and treasure maps.

The rest of the alts, of which I now have 8 characters, are close to crafting done. The last one is going through woodworking and blacksmithing. All are low on JC, enchanting. This means most of the armor now coming in can be ground up by a level 50 pro with max yield on materials, and this is making it much easier to turn out a full set of crafted gear.


I must say you are AWESOME and my head still wants to :exploding_head:

Thank you

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Hahah too funny!

I do the same thing sometimes when I’m too lazy to travel to the craftable-set hubs and zone questing. Leveling is so fast though and you could probably streak through most of the general quests . Now, I have sets that I can send to my lowbies when my others grow out of them.

You guys have made some progress! Thanks for sharing again. The werewolf insight is nice to have. I wasn’t aware that you couldn’t zone transformed.

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Well, you might be able to zone transformed if the zone in time is short. In instances last night I was able to retain form going through doorway loads within that zone. But any kind of main enter/exit usually means a long load time and the transform falls off.

Ah, I see what you’re saying now! That’s what I was most concerned about - doors in dungeons. If it’s time-restricted, that’ll be easier. I guess you just need to keep feeding.

Tess bit me last night before my internet went out, so I’ll get to try werewolf out today.

Well I ran across a better build editor, and started looking at the patch notes, and I have something more to post.

This is the current Nightblade build I am looking at. When 5.1 drops there will be changes to something like this. If you like this build editor, you need to create a wiki account. I just gave it a junk gmail email and name, and now I can build and save.

This character should sneak at 178% speed, and sprint at 214% I found this wiki useful for understanding how speed works in this game. The basic form is something like this

Speed = (base)(1.1 if you have minor expedition)(1.3 if you have major expedition) + (bonuses)

That base goes up and down from 1 depending on if you are sneaking etc. This is where being a vampire helps with sneaking, or using the Night’s Silence set…it takes you from the 0.65 penalty on the base back to 1. Note that minor and major expeditions are multipliers on the base, so if you have both, you start at 1.43 and go from there. Everything else gets added as a modifier, IE

  • The Steed Mundus = 10% = 0.1
  • Windrunning from Champion The Lover = 2% = 0.02
  • 7 pieces of medium armor = 21% = 0. 21 for SPRINTING (discount for sneak)
  • concealed weapon Nightblade skill = 25% = 0.25 for SNEAKING
  • sprint = 40% = 0.4 for SPRINTING

and so on. Note you can either SPRINT or SNEAK but not both.

Regarding the build prior to 5.1 release. My aim here was to big hit from stealth, and see how disgusting the damage could get melee-wise without the bow. Bar 2 in both builds is the buff and run bar. When you are crossing ground and not fighting, or if you need to rebuff, or if you need to get away, you are on bar2. The pair of concealed weapon and shadowy disguise let you go invis and resneak at will. Channelled acceleration is both a crit damage buff (minor force, 36s) and major expedition (12s) and it does not break stealth. I put Temporal Guard as the ultimate there to reduce damage by 8% (minor protection). Whether I take Mirage/Phantasmal Escape in the pre5.1 build, or Momentum/Rally in the Post 5.1 build depends on whether or not Ambush lets me gap close while snared. If so, then I can dispense with the snare clear and take Mirage/Rally. In pre 5.1 Mirage is there for greater evasion your defense against AOE. THen the last buff ability on bar 2 is Leeching Strikes, which ups survivability and sustain a lot.

Bar 1 is the same in both builds except for my spammer skill. Pre patch, Power Extraction is a 8m AOE that does around 7K dmg to all targets, and buffs you with 20s of brutality. Hard to beat for AOE spamming. Post patch, they nerf the damage down to around 3K on this AOE skill, and remove brutality from it, and replace it with a weapon damage debuff to enemies hit. Post patch they improve Silver shards with increased main target damage, increased AOE damage, hitting everyting in the 5m radius at 28yd range, with it being a Fighter’s Guild attack (and more dmg v undead/ww/daedra) and lower stamina. That looks pretty good post patch. Else I will go to something like cleave from 2H.

I like 2H because the 6% damage buff from swords via the passive goes to the abilities, and that means everything hits harder. You can squeak out more AOE with a dual wield build, but you give up some buff stacking.

Here is the open pre-5.0, with ultimate

bar 1- mark target
bar 2- channel, mirage, leech, shadowy disguise
bar 1- ambush, light, (power extract, light)xN, (killer blade, light)xN til dead
mark next target and repeat ambush sequence

Here is what is going on when you do this

  • Mark strips off 5280 spell and phys resist for 20s, and when you kill it you get a major berserk for 5s and do 25% more damage.
  • Channeled Acceleration gives you major force, or +10% crit damage for 36s
  • Mirage gives you evasion (25% less AOE damage taken) and minor ward/resolve (1320 spell/phys resist for 26s)
  • Leeching strikes means as you light weave you get stamina and health back, and it kicks in with 4K stam as it expires, which ups your sustain
  • Shadowy Disguise makes you invisible, sneak can not be broken, and guarantees the next hit crits
  • When you swap to Bar 1, Cammo Hunter gives you major savagery upping weapon critical rating by 2191
  • When you ambush, you port to your target. Since it came from invis/sneak with a guaranteed crit, you now may activate the minor berserk (8% dmg for 5s) from Cammo Hunter (needs to flank). You also crit, and Hemmorrhage 2 says now the whole group gets minor savagery for 20s, 1320 weapon critical rating. Ambush also applies a minor vulnerability to your target, where they take 8% more damage for the next 8s. Also the next light attack you do does 40% more, so as you lightweave Power Extract, you gain major brutality (20% weapon damage) and you start to melt your main target and soften up those around. WHen they are in execute range (25%) you finish with killer blade light weaving. Killer blade hits like a truck in execute range, and it heals you when what you are smacking dies. When it croaks you Berserk for 25% more damage, and you mark and ambush and repeat the thing on the next guy. Always you lightweave while doing this, IE light attack, mark, light attack, ambush, light attack, power extract, light attack, killer blade.

Now if you really want to dent it or make it dead fast, put in an incapacitating strike between the ambush and power extract. That applies a major vulnerability (20% more damage taken) to your target, hits like a truck, and gives you even more stamina/magicka return from lightweaving.

Post 5.1 you need to get Momentum or Rally to get the brutality buff, but the good news is at that time you will also get major evasion from the same ability.

This is all about quick bursting of targets, something you can do a lot of while soloing.

If your buffs fall off, go to bar 2, block if necessary or go invis, then rebuff things. You will need the 20s duration buffs more quickly than that channel.

Now I wanted mark on bar 1 since the strip of defenses combined with high crit chance and high crit damage should let you burst stuff down.

The other 1-shot build I have is fun in other ways. When you land Dizzy swing from stealth and buffed, that thing decks one guy cold. But then you are in melee range and you have to use the bow for AOE. If you AOE, you can lock them down in that arrow barrage with bombard, and melt the whole group, but post 5.1 they nerf Arrow barrage a lot (tick damage every 1s instead of 0.5s), so I was looking for something that might fare better then. I think this new build may offer good survival and good burst for groups and singles with the same 2H weapon.

On another note Here is my Werewolf Templar as he stood last night.

I am still running around in crafted gear. I suspect this weekend I will begin to score some of the dungeon sets and things will change.

I am pretty happy with Bar1. It is the main DPS bar. I will probably take the other morph of Rending slashes, but for now the bleed damage is a lot of pressure. I load up with cloak, power of the light, rending, and biting, and try to keep the buffs all running. I moved restoring focus to the 5-slot, and this is a beast. IT gives you 5K spell/phys resist, and if you stand in it, your total spell/phys resist goes up by 50%. This lets you spam jabs in big packs with safety.

Bar2 I like 4 of the 5 skills. Blinding Javelin is just not that useful in PvE. But cleansing is, and so to is the brutality buff from momentum, and so too is the channel. Repentence is still solid. Best case, I was pulling around 18K DPS in human form, and 24K in Werewolf form according to the DPS meter last night. Movement heavy fights drop my DPS.

So I will likely re-jigger the whole thing to the 2h/1h-Shield build. One of the big problems is it seems that Templar leans torwards crits, but all of that goes away in WW, and straight stamina is better for WW since it gets the 30% multiplier. The good news is ultimate does seem to come back pretty fast and I can wolf for bosses, and Templar until it is back. This likely means I might be able to lose WW and not cry and weep in Cyrodiil.


Got a lot of play in last weekend with my son. Wife went out of town to get together with her college roomates.

I am starting to sell stuff via the trader better. I had ignored that part previously and just vendored stuff or ground it up for crafting advancement. I got Master Merchant up and running and have it only load on 1 alt that does nothing but craft and post, as well as my salvager alt. Finally all 8 of my toons are maximum cloth/blacksmith/woodwork, so I am grinding up stuff for materials now. You have to run the Tamriel trade app in documents under the Master Merchant mod to update prices, but once you do so, you now have a tooltip that lets you know which items sell. My rule- if its average price is less than 1000g, I grind it up. But this results in a large number of Bind on Equip items I can post for profit, and I have maxed out 30/30 listings on the 1 trading guild I am in outside of OTG. I figure maybe with a backlog of stuff I can refill the postings during the week when I do not have a lot of game time. Sales have been slow, maybe 1-3 a day. That guild requires either 150K sales per month or 5000g fee, I paid the latter since I generate so much gold from writs now.

My son and I have started to itemize our Werewolves for PVP. Here is what I am going for now, with Mighty Chudan as the monster set (head and shoulders), Hulking Draugr’s 5 piece set for stamina, and the Prisoner’s set for sprint and magicka recovery. These sets should give what you need in WW form.

We started running pledges (3/day) at the Undaunted compound outside of Elden Root. Queue times are fast when we queue as tank + DPS. I got both a heavy and medium version of the Mighty Chudan shoulders and have 12 keys to spare. My son has missed every single roll for getting any of that. I suppose that is the problem with random results. His champion level is still too low to run the instance for the head piece, so we are holding off on that. We still run Undaunted pledges as we both need rep and he still needs the shoulders. All those keys are good for is the shoulders btw. I think we are around lvl 8 Undaunted, and yesterday the set of 3 quests got me 100 rep. There is a repeatable quest you can push it worth 10 rep each, typically sends you into a delve someplace. Not that hard, but since we are doing pledges there is not much point in doing that repeatable daily.

So we started grinding for Prisoner. This drops in Cold Harbor. Our first attempt was to do world bosses. That was slow, and we got a lot of the blessed pieces. Also we do not want any armor pieces of Prisoner since it is light, except for the belt. Now the hard part here is the build calls for impenetrable pieces, and since we are going to be very limited on transmutation crystals, it makes sense to keep farming until we get the traits we want.

We went on to try the public dungeon, and got pretty good at mowing that down as a duo. There is a route you can run in it to maximize the shots at bosses, but people were complaining and the dungeon was too crowded on Saturday. So we decided to go look for chests.

Chests in Cold Harbor can drop jewelry. What really made a breakthrough here was an addon called Harvestor, which puts giant colored pins in game to show you where stuff is, and it adds them to the map as well. This mod changed our life and really upped the amount of materials we could get. I used filters on the map to turn off wood, fiberous plants on it. We mainly go for treasure chests and platinum. You need a crazy amount of platinum, that when refined, has a chance to yield the yellow quality upgrade materials which is the way you upgrade dropped set jewelry to yellow quality. I think after all of the platinum I processed, I have enough to upgrade a single ring. You can not get this from deconstruction by the way. Only raw material refined.

Anyway with that mod I was able to map out a route in Cold Harbor to hit the chests. I got on my speedy stealth Nightblade, and was able to go close to mount speed across the zone, forcing locks on every chest. Doing this not only gave us jewelry, but also it gave us a lot of weapons. I have yet to see a mace drop, but we did get impen/shield, and a 2h sword with defensive piercing. It is by doing this that I am getting a whole lot of BOE stuff that I can now sell for profit on the guild trader. We did decide to go 5-1-1 after I got an impenetrable Prisoner belt. This meant that my purple amulet and ring were good enough, and all I am hunting for now is well traited maces. Prisoner is a DPS loss for stamina Templar, but it is more survival in PvP.

We tried our hand at Hulking Draugr. We ran that instance about 6x, and have pieces in all slots, but they are not of the right trait. I have yet to see impenetrable drop. The good news is one of the rings I got is purple, so I only need to get 4 pieces from there of the right trait. So we have a lot more grinding to do there. We are getting better at it, knowing when to mega-pull (son and I run straight to boss, where we mass kill everything that chases, this tends to confuse the PUGs, but it does speed up clear time).

I did try out my PVE build of stamina Templar in Cyrodiil. I have 5pcs Nightmother and 5pcs Hundings, with a 2h axe main and 2x1h axes for DW. Power of the light is a major thing. You stick a single with that and they just run. My Templar was doing OK, but got zerged a couple of times. I did get ambushed in a Cyrodiil delve by a sorcerer, and got flustered and died, so I have a ways to go yet. I finally have all of the stuff I want on my Templar skill point wise, so at this point it is just about champion level (now around 405CP) and gear.

We also queued for Imperial City. Why? To get the mats for Triune enchants. I dropped 48K gold on triune jewelry for my JC, and he is about done researching that trait. While we are going to use dropped rings, you can only transmute to a trait you have researched. The way you get the mats for Triune is to buy them for stones from the vendor in Imperial City sewers. You need 5000 stones to buy 1 rune. We ran around in the sewers getting all of the skyshards and points of interest. My advice- if you see a champion, which you will as you get deep into enemy territory, do not engage it. You will die and lose your stones. We did go topside too, and got rolled by the enemy which seemed to be fully PVP geared and honed at their abilities. I suppose if we do this in the future, we need to come in geared and grouped to pull it off. I did not get a single rune for about 2hrs of running Imperial City.

My nightblade is a lot of fun now. I made a lot of progress with him, completing both the Dark Brotherhood and Thieves Guild. The latter went a lot faster than the former. It is nice having both, since I can blade of woe extra NPCs to get at a chest, or woe them on the 3rd pickpocket. Picking pockets for me is almost sloppy time. I just go in and go for it, take on the heat. I have so much of those edicts which clear heat, and my passive heat loss means much of it goes away.

I tried out this build, and I did not like it so much. While power extraction is AOE, and it has a pretty good radius, it is a slowish channel animation. It will get nerfed next patch. I did put in Silver Shards/Fighter’s Guild, and like that quite a lot. It has a range on it, and buffed I can range hard hit groups. I am going to play around with it more. I tried execution from 2H, but that is not so good, and I hardly use Killer’s Blade anymore. So I will tinker around with it some. Maybe I will go ranged again with Bow.

I did score a Jailbreak set from doing Banished Cells runs on my Templar, and I upgraded this set and now have permanent minor expedition. I continue to use either Channeled Acceleration or Charging Maneuver on top. I have been using Charging Maneuver more because it uses Magicka which does not compete with stamina in stealth, and they are going to nerf the duration of Charging Maneuver for run speed next patch anyway.

Now where I am having most fun with my NB is doing chest runs in zones. You want the 75pt champion talent for upgraded gear in chests, and you will want maximum force lock. But this guy can really zip across the zone and get a lot of rewards doing so. It would be nice when I hit CP 450, since then I can get the 75pt champion skill that improves gathering. For now I take the chest ability, since getting those purple items is better than blue.

I am not sure if doing treasure maps is worth it for me now. I make so much more doing speed chest runs in a zone than I do by going for some of those treasure maps, but for now I have been combining the two activities. I really hate getting back on my Templar who does not have force lock, and I have to do the manual slow tumbler picking method.

On a grand PVP goals list, I am still torn on whether to go with my Nightblade or Templar. Both are fun in different ways. I am not sure my son and I will be able to pull off permanent WW, and right now everyone is running around with Dawnbreaker for the 5% weapon damage ability, which means you get chunked hard by that in WW form. I think I will need a solid PVP Templar build that bursts with WW. For the Nightblade, I am still torn between a crit heavy melee spec, and a ranged snipe spec. I want to run him in the delves in Cyrodiil next weekend to see how much PVP stuff he scores from chest runs that way.

Update 17Jul2019

Not sure if anyone has the endurance to keep reading this stuff, but I put it down anyway as a lengthy load screen read for anyone else to pour over, perhaps to see how players evolve in understanding of this game over time.

My son and I have been agonizing over how to make a multi purpose PVP build with werewolves. Werewolves work great in battlegrounds and for Imperial City. In fact, they are kings of the sewars if you build right using the Imperial Physique set. But in Cyrodiil where you have long distances with low monster density and distance between battles, the perma werewolf is hard to pull off. It drops, then you have to build up ultimate again in human form, and the gear you would wear to optimize WW is not optimal for human form. So if you are going with a Cyrodiil build, odds are you want to use WW as a burst button. I think the trick we identified is the Balorgh monster set which adds weapon damage equal to twice the ultimate spent means you could transform at 500U into WW and get +1000 weapon damage in WW and just have 10s of glorious wrecking.

The thing that decided it for us was this Imperial city farm build. The Imperial Physique set adds 7K stamina, which then gets boosted by WW form to something obnoxious, and if you build right you can just 1v5 as a WW there, and even take down the guardians. The set is not too bad outside of Imperial City either, so you could also run the same perma WW there. I think right now we are leaning towards Prisoner/Mighty Chudan/Imperial Physique so you get sprint replenish of Magicka in WW, and you get perma Major Ward/Resolve in WW on top of the disgusting stats from the Imperial set. You can buy the set for stones, and it is not that expensive, and this means you can buy it in the traits/slots you need, so gearing is not so bad. But this toon, as fun as it would be in Imperial City, will not work for Cyrodiil.

So my son watched a Nightblade snipe video in Cyrodiil, and he wants to do that with me. Both of us time our long range snipe on the same target to take out at the same time. Hell, if any of you want to join us in this fun, come on down. THis works for me because I have my wonderful Kajit Nightblade with a ton of skillpoints and all of the thieving stuff unlocked, and I love playing him. My son would have to take one of his alts and run it up to 50 though…not going to happen immediately, but it will.

So the plan then becomes do devise a build that can wreck stuff on the alpha strike. RIght now I am thinking something like this, with maybe a few skill subs, and the gear is not quite right. Our thinking right now is we will need to have high penetration to pull this off since most people are sitting around with high resistances. This drives us to a divine build with the penetration mundus, maybe a Spriggans set for more penetration, and opting for that in the CP lines as well. That basic build I have goes 4 fighters guild skills on the main bar for 12% weapon damage, one assassination skill to keep the crit bonus from the assassination passives (and mark to strip more armor). For now dawnbreaker for the slot bonus. Post patch maybe shift. Horn on back bar ultimate gives Major force. Minor force from channeled acceleration. Brutality from Rally. Mirage for minor wards and evasion to not get one shot.

We are thinking crafted Twice Born Star would be great with the double mundus, picking up the pen mundus and maybe weapon damage mundus. Go for 7x divine to amplify the mundus effects, and see how high we can get our damage.

Now Nightblade can guarantee a crit on the opening shot by using shadowy cloak, and this means you can plan for that, and count on all the effects that trigger from the first crit to take place for the 2nd. So snipe, snipe, go invis and try again. We were thinking one could mark as the first snipe is about to land, then pile on snipes. From what I can tell we should be hitting pretty hard on these targets in those shots, maybe able to even take out a well geared tank if we pull off 3 snipes coordinated.

I can not yet make that set, just completing my 6th JC trait (next one will likely be swift, even if I have to buy it). I am really curious how much speed boost you can get from swift jewelry. I can do the high-speed sneak and chest routine in Bangkorai to gather the pieces of Spriggans, and that should be fun.

The other thing that I have discovered is this addon Dressing Room Reborn which will let me quickly swap skills and armor depending on whether I PVP or PVE. The big rub- skill points. YOu need enough to have all of the skills you need for both builds. I am at or near that point now on both toons. THis means I can carry around a PVP set and a PVE set, and not compromise either.


Another weekend, another ESO blog post.

My son finally hit CP300 and we were able to run the instance with the Mighty Chudan helm. We both got one, and so we started the full werewolf dream rig. We both have Prisoner’s weapons and jewelry, which I got by doing Cold Harbor chest runs with my Nightblade. There is an addon called harvestor? which is awesome for showing where the chest spawns are. I filter off most everything but that. I also used the same character to do chest runs in Bangkorai for the Spriggins jewelry/weapons set for my Nightblade.

My son had enough stones from Imperial city to get the full 5-piece Imperial Physique set (all armor slots except head and shoulders). He is now a wrecking ball in the sewers and was doing fairly well above ground in Imperial city. The problem with topside is you face the winning team which is buffed, and you can get jumped over and over by the same guy who has no stones in inventory. My son had a glitch where it double docked him stones. He opened on some guy, all of his opening salvo did not hit (lag), and then the guy killed him and he lost something like 26K stones. Ugh.

I am running Hunding’s in those slots, and am really tough. Prisoner means you cost half on sprint, and you regen 1000 Magicka per second while sprinting. It is a light armor set, which is why we are running it on weapons and jewelry. For werewolf it means you can sprint almost nonstop, and recover the magicka which you use on your main heal. Mighty Chudan gives us major ward and resolve, which helps cap resistances in PVP.

I switched to DW/sword and shield, and this is how I am geared right now. I am working to get my Imperial set. My son said he would farm the stones for it (takes 5K stones per piece now). I have 2 of the 5 pieces right now.

The shield is on the backbar, and I only use the long duration stun charge. One thing that is cool about this set is I can hit Restoring Focus and Channeled Acceleration, and sprint at full speed and no stamina drain for the 12s the Major Expedition lasts. I am usually on the shield bar when I do this, so I am tougher. This has been a great way to speed run delves, and just ignore stuff. The reason why is the half sprint cost of Prisoner’s drops the stamina cost of sprint to less than the 240/s that comes back from Restoring Focus.

I went though some thinking on this setup. Flying Blade from DW gives me a 28 range spammable that applies 20s brutality. Post patch this will go down to 22 range and let me hit it a second time to teleport to the target, and serve both as gap closer and brutality buff. For now I can Power of the Light and toss a Flying Blade, and sometimes this will kill weak trash. When I am mounted using the riding assist bar, and it overwrites Channeled Acceleration with Charging Maneuver, if it bugs out (IE they engage me in combat so it can not swap back), I only lose Channeled Acceleration. I still have all the heals. Post patch Charging Maneuver will have a major expedition for a duration less than Channeled Acceleration, so this rig will let me move at max post patch.

In human form this guy is tough in instances. I can close and stun remote targets with the Invasion move. I typically am running from A to B with both Restoring Focus and Channeled Acceleration buffs active, so it really is just Invasion, bar swap, and do the routine. Or I can Power of the Light, blade them, quick cloak as I close, then jab and bleed. I like how I can block or bash on the back bar much better, which helps. In werewolf form, I just wreck stuff. DPS is not as high as the Imperial set (son is clocking in at 20K dps now, I am around 15K or so with my present rig), but I am super tanky and can just stand in most things other than 1-shot mechanics. I was able to solo quite a few world bosses with the wolf, since the heal is very strong and I am close to the cap defensively.

I got Undaunted to 9 this weekend and have the 5-1-1 build for max health. I did spend a bunch of time trying to push Champion level to 450 (I am at 442 now) so I can do the master harvester, enhanced treasure finding build. For now I have him in harvester mode, with windrunning. I have been slowly working up Legerdemain to force locks (at 12 now). I should probably focus on thieving to get that, but seems like most of my time is spent trying to get my pledges done.

I have 120 items up for sale between the guilds I am running. I think I am looking for a replacement for RED trade…they want 5K a week gold from me, and stuff moves slow on their vendor, and they got a crappy placement this week. I am looking for suggestions. I have one toon running master merchant and posting everything, with a hold list of items as soon as stuff sells. Been seeing 1-2 items move per day. Some of this treasure chest stuff has an average sale price in the 50K or higher gold range, so you can make money doing this.

I have a lot of stuff that is purple that I can not upgrade because I finally ran out of Dreugh Wax, the special ingredient to upgrade clothing items. You get this from processing raw cloth or leather, typically I see about 2 per 150. Someone was price fixing the wax this weekend, buying up all the cheap stuff and reposting it at around 6K gold each…way too expensive. Or you can get them from writs, and you can get it from 3/3 hirelings for clothing. So writs over 8 toons and hirelings over 8 toons will help me replenish. The other jam is jewelry…there are no hirelings for JC, so you just need to process bulk platinum. I upgraded my necklace on my WW, and my son gave me crap since you can buy yellow quality jewelry for Prisoners at less than the upgrade cost. Oh well.

My Kajit Nightblade is now in these specs for PVE and PVP.

First on the PVE side. I have found for running instances that Mirage is well worth it. You get major evasion, minor resolve/ward for the duration, and major resolve/ward for 6s after hitting it from a NB passive. I use Arrow Barrage for a wider area, which is more useful to me than longer duration as I hit more things and the boss does not wander out of it so much. Poison arrow is the other DoT, and Silver Shards is a great spammer right now. I keep Flawless Dawnbreaker on Bar1 for extra weapon damage. Bar 2 is the same for both PVE and PVP builds. I have the usual cloak for invis, leeching strikes to activate all of the siphoning passives and give me sustain, rally for heals and brutality, channeled acceleration for major expedition and minor force, and concealed weapon for speed while stealthed. I have War Horn on the back bar for extra punch in a fight.

Typically in PVE I am maintaining my back bar buffs as I run in sneak at high speed. I will open with barrage, then either spam silver or maybe poison arrow tough targets. I heavy weave shots, and go to the back bar to rebuff as leeching, rally, channeled acceleration drop off. If adds chase me I shadow cloak and stealth, rebuff, and reposition the barrage etc. I find most tanks do not taunt or pull enemies off of the ranged DPS, so doing this can help. I do find that I am usually in the ‘free safety’ mode of rezzing healers and DPS, or burning down adds on the healer etc. Single target I can get around 15K, and on groups I am up between 20 and 30K dps.

For PVP I had to keep leeching strikes on. Stamina drain can be fierce, and that really helps. I have build this guy with double mundus (steed + penetration) and divine, and have everywhere gone for max stamina and weapon damage…no reduced feat cost. I am in a 6medium, 1heavy build. For the main bar, I add snipe, swap in mark for mirage, and swap out poison arrow for the rearming trap.

My role in PVP is to harry the edges of the zerg with snipes. I did get out to Cyrodiil last weekend and had a lot of fun doing this. I can perch somewhere on a likely flee route from a tower, so when the zerg jumps in 1s and 2s to leave, I can pick them off. I also like to be on the path for people running back. Mark is really good in that it is 50m range and I can make them scared by marking them, or help pressure a target.

Snipe on this is potent. I can hit around 15-20K per shot, sometimes it takes many more than that. The big issue is dodge rolls. Much of what I send out get dodged. This piercing rig helps…Spriggans is over 3K piercing, the mundus is around 5-7 depending on the number of divine pieces I have, I got a sharped weapon for the bow, which adds to it, and I can mark for another 5K. Basically any cloth user has no phys resistance against me. The tough part is picking them out and acing them.

Now when you ace someone, this tends to piss off their buddies something fierce. The start the process of running in your direction, pulsing the stealth reveal, doing AOE nonsense. But the long range of snipe coupled with the fact that I can cloak/sneak and do so at high speed while turning corners means that if they chase me, all they have done is disperse the group some and break up the zerg. THis helps the main conflict.

If they are really stupid and stand near the edge of a tower, I can pop them pretty easy. FLight time of snipe means that if you are rapidly moving, sometimes something will block the view on the cast (interrupt line of sight) and the shot will not go off. Don’t be the guy standing at the edge of the tower. So this build is working great. All I need to do now is complete Undaunted (only at 5), and begin to upgrade the remaining gear. The basics are right. Oh and Slimeclaw is more damage…that minor berserk at all times helps.

Great write up!

Dusted off my Magicka Templar (Magplar) and set it up to grind champion points. The problem with my other 2 advanced characters is they now are out of training gear, and generate less CP on grinding. Magicka characters are a little better for grinding from what I could tell. I am at 447CP now, and want to hit 450 to have master treasure and master gathering at the same time.

So my aim was to have a pure crafted set character, with training on all slots, and a bar1 for DPS, and a bar2 to heal. Just get the most basic skills for both bars and nothing else.

This is the build.

First of all, you can get by with just puncturing sweeps alone. This is nice because you can load up your main bar with every skill you are trying to level, and just go to that over and over to kill things. For instance my son’s vampire bit this character, and I was trying to skill up the vampire line, so I put both vampire actives on the bar to speed the level process. Puncturing Sweeps heals you for a portion of the damage done, so it is very safe to do. You get into trouble if you get crowd controlled. With that in mind, everything else is gravy.

Skills that work well though are shown in the build. There is some theorycrafting here, so I may mess around with this some.

There are so many ways to go with Magplar- you could be the single target king, and load up with DoTs, Dark Flare as your spammer, and just keep it all on target and have that stack hit hard. If you do that you crowd out your AOE bar. With AOE you can load up with a lot of stuff outside of the Templar skill tree, but in the end most AOE is zero range, and that Puncturing Sweeps is going to heal you.

So what I have tried to do is squeeze the most damage out of a single bar, and give it a little versatility. There are 3 mage guild skills on that bar, which collectively up your max magicka by 11%. Structured empathy is a ranged DoT with a heal side effect, and when slotted gives you 8% health, but ups your magic damage by 20% for 20s. This is nice because now your Puncturing Sweep and everything else hits that much harder. Casting any Mage guild ability grants 40% more light attack damage on the next attack, so open with that, light attack, and go from there.

Blazing Spear is a nice initial hit with a DoT in a nice 8m radius. It is good for single targets or AOE, and gives a recovery synergy for others. Both it and Puncturing sweep can have a 25% chance to proc extra magic damage via Burning light.

Radiant oppression through the illuminate passive gives a minor sorcery to you and your group. THis stacks with the major prophecy from Structured Empathy. All of that goes back to support your Puncturing Sweep spam damage. Radiant oppression is an execute move upping its damage by 480% against stuff less than 50%, and it too gets amplified by all of the Mage guild stuff. Also hitting it generates 3U via illuminate.

Inner light is just there for its slotting value on Magicka (net 7%), but you can hit it if there are stealthers in the group.

I like Shooting Star in this build because it is another 2% magicka/magicka recovery, and its ultimate cost gets discounted, and you get 12U back for each enemy hit. It can work better with its tight 5m radius if you are in melee.

Now you do get a minor protection for 3s when you activate Puncturing Sweep or Blazing Spear, but on the back bar you are not doing that, which is why I swap in the Psijic ultimate Temporal Guard, which globally activates it. If you block on bar 2 with the Psijic abilities, you get a damage shield. Channeling the Channeled Acceleration ability gives you major protection for the duration of the channel. The ultimate itself can be used to go back to your old life total after a big hit. Channeled Acceleration gives you 12s of Major Expedition and 36s of Minor Force (more crit damage) on magicka cost, which is what you are going to do on foot and zipping through dungeons instead of Charging Maneuver. Charging Maneuver burns a lot of stam.

The rest of Bar2 is the bare necessities heal tool kit. You have a single target ranged heal, a ground target AOE heal and cleanse with synergy, and that beast mode channeled focus which gives major ward/resolve for 20s, even more Magicka return, and more spell/phys res if you stand on it. It all helps, but you are not a tank. Note a good swap for solo is Mutagen for Breath of life. It has a passive HoT, and an emergency auto-heal, and it works good on Bar2 for a pre fight buff.

If you want to heal others, heavy weave breath of life on Bar 2, and maintain the cleanse and channeled focus. Do not worry so much about standing on the spot for channeled focus. Block if it gets hot and the Psijic stuff will kick in.

If you are soloing and you are taking a lot of heat, dodge roll out, bar swap, and lay down the heals and blocks until you have control, then swap back and resume DPS.

For bosses with danger in melee, you can lay down the channeled focus and cleansing ritual, maybe even your channeled acceleration, then maintain structured entrophy and blazing spear DoTs while light weaving oppression.

The best set here is Julianos, which is on the non monster armor slots (everything but head and shoulders). The weakest set is Seducer, which I put in training mode on shoulder and head slots. Innate axiom is better than Seducer if you prefer max magicka to magicka recovery. Magnus Gift is on the weapon/jewelry slots. Eventually you replace it with Mother’s Sorrow, the zone set from Deshaan. Gearing here advantages DPS over healing. I went heavy chest, medium legs, rest light.

My reasoning is the pen and crit from light is too good to give up, and Puncturing Sweep heals for a percentage of the damage you do with it, so boosting its damage means you heal more. You have a lot of heal in this build, but you are going to get smacked hard if you try to stand in mechanics, so dodge roll a lot. GOing 5 heavy would make you much tankier at the expense of damage.

I had a lot of mats for staves, so I made mine yellow. I have very little Dreugh Wax, so I stopped on armor pieces at purple quality, except for the heavy chest. Rings are hard to get above blue quality for me now. As I get more crafters at high JC, I will see more upgrade mats come in from writs. I had plenty of enchants, so I did yellow quality Magicka on armor, spell damage on jewelry, and flame on the primary, absorb magicka on the off.

I dropped consecrate since my mana comes back so fast in this build.

I will start off by how I do crafting alts now, then get into more of what is going on in the usual bloggy endless drone.

For a number of reasons, it is a good idea to make alts and max out your character slots in the game. On month 1 of my subscription, I bought any race, any faction. On month 2, I bought the warden class. Now we dinged month 3, and I bought a character slot, bringing my characters to 10.

Each character can do writs daily, which directly means gold. You also passively get a flow of raw materials which can refine into upgrade materials. Oh, while I am thinking about it, there is a mail addon (the name has ‘post’ in it, cant recall it off the top of my head) that lets you in a single keystroke open all your mail and take all the items out and delete the mail. This helps with hirelings and sales. If your alt hits 50 in a crafting skill, the writs can directly return end game materials for upgrades. Each alt is also another ‘bank’, particularly if you mount train capacity on them. And finally, each alt that you run through Cyrodiil can get the monthy/weekly participation rewards, which helps with transmutation.

Upgrade materials and transmutation stones are my limiting factor now for what I want to do on my toons, so I devoted a little time to getting my alts up and ready for the daily grind. Assuming you have access to DLC (ESO plus is really worth it imo), here is the way I do it

Stage 1- Getting them functioning as a crafter

  • Make the character, skip the tutorial. Pick something you lack, IE go for one of every class in magicka and stamina versions.

  • Dink around in your UI turning on things like autoloot, your persistent health bars, all of the usual stuff you do to get that looking good. Dump all the costume pieces. Open up your gift package, and train one skill per line in your class. Equip whatever weapon you got in your starting package. Select your mount.

  • Go to the wayshrine and go to your faction starting zone. For me in AD that is Auridon

  • Go to the bank, withdraw money to get started. 10-20K gold should do it

  • Go to the bag upgrade place, buy 3 tiers of upgrades taking bags up to 90.

  • Time to rob your first set of gear. Hit the weapon shop, go steath, hide, and grab every last thing there. Repeat in the armor shop. Sneak and avoid guards. Use the secret back way to go to the thieves refuge. Put on three pieces of each armor type until you unlock the lines. Try to go for 5-1-1 armor if you can but likely you will not be there and have some gaps. Launder the set you will wear. Clear any bounty.

  • Visit the mage guild. Get the mage guild invite, get certified in provisioning. Grab the pork recipe before you leave. Go read all the books there, and grab any skyshard. Do provisioning, alchemy, enchanting certifications. Go upstairs at the undaunted area of the inn and join them too.

  • Visit the fighter’s guild, join that, and certify on woodworking, clothing, blacksmithing. Deconstruct all of the looted weapons and armor you at not using. Go to stable master and train horse.

  • Go to Summerset. You should have a wayshrine in Shimmerine. Accept the quest of the guy who runs up to you (starts Queen’s decree) but ignore it for now. Ride the road to Alinor, getting wayshrines as you go. Visit the brewer and chef and learn the tier 1 provisioning recipes so you can do the provisioning daily. Go to crafting area, certify in Jewelry Crafting. Do all of the daily writs and turn in. Wayshrine to Vvardenfell, ride south Vivec City. That will be your home eventually. I typically like to pull out some thieve’s picks and soulstones from the bank.

  • Now go do the harborage series which begins with finding the hooded character. Loot every urn in these soloed instances. Keep repeating these until you hit character level 10. I was able to solo all of this stuff with crappy looted gear and a bunch of worthless skills. You get a nice chunck of skill points doing this, with several weapon upgrades and drops of various somewhat decent gear. Add weapon skills from your primary weapon, and what will eventually be your offhand to your main bar.

  • At 10, queue for Cyrodiil. Do the quest for I have already done the training, you get 2 skill points and train up rapid maneuver. Drag that to your main bar, and use that for fast speed thereafter.

  • Go back to Summerset and do the Queen’s decree. Follow that up with the unlocking of the Psijic order by closing the portals in Summerset. Alcast has a guide for this. Now you can see Psijic order chests everywhere. Loot any thieve’s troves you find too. This gives you stolen goods which can be fenced to advance legerdemain.

  • Time for the boat tour. Go to the capital city, go to the docks, and take ships to each city in your alliance. At each city, ride to the wayshrine to unlock it, and grab any books/skyshards. Repeat this process for the other 2 factions.

  • Go to the gold coast. Go to the thieves refuge. Start the quest to open up Dark brotherhood. Go off a citizen, go to the docks, go to the lighthouse, do the first Dark Brotherhood assassination mission. Follow up the line until you unlock the hideout for the Dark Brotherhood. Load up on the quests, and ignore them. Now you can blade of woe any citizen for free stolen goods, which will speed up your legerdemain from then on, and reduce the complexity of dealing with NPCs when you are looting chests. You off the citizen in their house, loot them, and pick the chest.

  • Final part is going to the Alik’r desert. Do a ride around, grabbing any open shard, book, wayshrine until the zone is unlocked. If you did the Psijic order quests, you can close the 3 portals there while you do this. This should take you to 16, but if not, figure out where the dolmen zerg is and run around with them until you hit 16.

  • At 16 make your crafted sets. Pick training traits on everything. Don’t upgrade beyond purple quality. Enchant that up how you see fit. Use a guide to determine what build interests you ultimately. I typically go 5 pieces for the non head and shoulders slots of armor, and another 5 pieces for weapons and jewelry. Typically I only upgrade the jewelry to green. Then I make some 3rd set with a 2 piece bonus in my main damage attribute, and those are training as well. That 2 pc set eventually will be monster gear, and odds are you will get some zone set for the others stuff. A good set for weapons and jewelry is Night’s Silence which will allow you to sneak at full speed.

  • Go to your capital city, re-spec your skills to strip down to a minimum to have 5 different lines on the front bar (2 weapons, 3 class, and that rapid maneuver, use one of your class lines in the ultimate). Pick skills there you will use in your end build. Go to Vivec City and park the toon.

  • Each day log on, do writs, do horse training, bank gains, log off. Odds are one of your alts is working the deconstruct for enchanting, jewelry, woodworking, clothing, blacksmithing. If that is this character, only put skill points into deconstruction and hirelings. You do not have enough points yet to get it to 50.

Your character at this point has all of the tools to really play this game. You can move up legerdemain easy with stolen goods, murdered citizens, looted chests, thieves troves as you travel about, and eventually you will want to have legerdemain to 19 so you can force locks and quickly open any door or chest you come across. Those chests, particularly with the champion points for increased rewards from treasure chests, will give you a lot of items that sell for quite a bit in the end game on guild traders.

You also will be able to spot and open any Psijic chest. You will have a wayshrine to travel in any place in any part of the world. You have a decent starting amount of skill points. As the days add up, you will slowly advance your crafting skills with this character, as well as the level. YOur training set will maximize the experience gained from this process. You can wheel this toon out to Cyrodiil and do the minimum once per month/week to get your transmutation stones.

Part 2- Top end crafter

Eventually your alt has hit 50 in woodworking, clothing, blacksmithing, and you simply do not have enough skill points to train that out. You want to train it so your hirelings return max level end game materials, and so your writs return upgrade mats for the top end.

What I find works really well here is to do the Psijic order advancement, and do the full zone grab as you go. I typically skip the delves and public dungeons because my toons are pretty crummy at this point, and they are a time sink, but you can do the full clear. So to get Psijic order 2, you need to close 3 portals in Alik’r, Glenumbra, and another zone I can not remember. You do that, then turn in, get the follow up, and go do another 3 zones to unlock Psijic 3. This will give you a huge pile of skill points to max out those crafting professions. Dump them straight in as you do this part, IE into woodworking, blacksmithing etc. Do this until you have maxed out all of the professions you have unlocked, and maybe do a little bit more to have some banked skill points, and go back into park mode. You still want to have at least 1 functioning bar for skills, and I usually do not bother with any passives at all.

If you decide you like that toon and want to take it to 50, complete the Psijic Order unlock via zones like this, and then complete the Harborage quest series all the way to the end, and you should be 50, with a ton of skill points to properly and fully build your character.

Now on to the bloggy part of where I am and what is happening.

My son is really into his Nighblade now, which hit 20 yesterday and I made a full lvl 20 purple quality training set for him to explore. He has this week left in summer vacation, then we go to the beach, and then he goes to Field Training for the AF. It has been a good summer, and we had a lot of fun playing ESO together. He has made an alt army like me, and his Werewolf is as done as it can be without a lot of crafting support upgrade stuff, which he is building with the alt army. We had hoped to run Cyrodill together with the Nightblades sniping, and that might happen on Friday. We will see. He is sort of trying to get his account in ESO in order so when it parks everything is fine.

My werewolf finished with the Imperial Physique set. He is pretty beastly. When I go WW, I am at cap and do a ton of damage. It helped having ESO give stone rewards twice towards the end (1000, then 2000 pushed me over the end). My son farmed up another 2 pieces and I bought the 3rd to add to the other one. Eveything but the rings is yellow quality, but I need to transmute it to the right spec, and this will take some Cyrodiil alt grinding to get stones for that. This guy is my main crafter, and I finally have all of the skill points I want. I am around Legerdemain 14, and worked on that some this weekend. I want to hit 19 so I can force lock with maximum success. Imperial city has a lot of chests, but if you are in WW form you do not want to waste time picking locks, so force lock is on the agenda.

I did find out some useful things to speed up this process. Bal Foyen in EP has a main city near the harbor. That city is the place to go in this game for merchant chests. There is a central building with about 5 or more of these that you can chain pick (until someone else shows up doing the same thing). I was able to fill up my inventory with a lot of quick loot, and hit my fence limit.

An alternative to that is doing Dark Brotherhood quests. You kill off a lot of people, and tend to infiltrate homes which can be looted for stolen goods as you do it. You need an escape plan because you will have a lot of heat doing this. Since I am rolling in the gold, I just wayshrine to Vivec City, go to the water side off of the wayshrine and ride the thieves refuge and simply buy off my bounty. I typically earn more gold than I run up on bounty. A quick tip- if you are picking a lock and get spotted, complete the lock pick but do not loot. Sneak off and come back and loot. You will get maybe a 90g bounty for being spotted, but that goes up to 500ish if you loot after being spotted.

If you are looting every last thing in a house, dump from your bags everything not on the junk tab that is not worth maybe 25g+. This typically means dumping provisioning ingredients, style stones etc. Those each will vendor for your daily limit and do not sell for much, and you can get more progression by selling your fence limit in high value goods. Some will only take from each chest what is high value. This is slower. It is better to go until you have an inventory issue, then purge.

Note that with only tier 2 in force locks, you can force locks on a vendor chest if you must and have it almost doable. You do go through picks fast, but they are cheap.

If you do not have a nightblade, you can still flee. The main thing here is to run in a direction where there are no guards and sprint/cleanse/break free, always trying to sneak and drop line of sight. Having more bounty and all of your stuff you stole is better than having less.

Once I have max force lock I will spec out of all legerdemain for that. I will not be sneaking that much, but a quick pop on chests is worth this kind of grind.

I now have 10 characters, magicka + stamina versions of Nightblade, Templar, Sorcerer, and Necromancer. I have only a stamina Dragonknight, and only a stamina Warden, so there are 2 more characters in my future ESO montly rewards buying future. I do have one of every race now too.

What took up a lot of time this weekend was getting 2 new alts to the park it first stage, and one alt to the second stage as I detailed in the preamble.

What I am seeing is that as more of these guys hit 50, my upgrade mats concerns are abating. Woodworking is solid. Blacksmithing is OK. Clothing is tight since I have so many light/medium armor users. Enchanting is fine.

The tough one is Jewelry Crafting. There is no hireling for that, so I only get upgrade mats from writ dailies and processing raw materials. I am almost there with my 4th lvl 50 JC. I did hit champion point 450 though, so now I can be a master gatherer and get master treasure chests too.

Refining to get end game crafting mats is interesting. Any tier refined has a chance to give you that top tier upgrade. So when I was working on my stage 2 crafting alt this weekend, I made a point of gathering all fiberous plants, jewelry and mining nodes. I did see from that massive stack several nice upgrade grains and tempers. I think thus for a stage 1 or 2 crafting alt, getting 30 for inspiration gains, 75 for gathering, and whatever you can spare on the treasure seeker is fine. Open world chests on sub 50s does not give you anything of real guild trader value, and you mainly pop that for deconstruction fodder and legerdemain experience.

This is also why having all your stage 1 alts with 3 in deconstruction and 3 in hireling is fine. Those tier 1 mats you get on the hireling can be refined with a shot at end game upgrade. You will not get the reward from your writs directly like you will in a lvl 50 profession, but it all adds up.

I thought I was going to dust off my Dragonknight and take it to 50, but I got stuck on alt-catchup all weekend.

On the sales front, I am beginning to get a better feel for Trading Guilds. Join a guild, post 30 items. Do they move? If not, odds are that guild is not so good. I have one guild that is moving about 5x more sales per day than the others. Money is starting to flow, and perhaps if I research which trading guilds are good, I could just generate a lot more.

Learned a few decent combos for characters this weekend.

For a Necromancer, you can use the scythe and sweep from 2h (shield version) to pretty much solo anything. You shield from sweep, heal from scythe, and the world is your oyster.

For any bow user, the rain of arrows followed by heavy weave silver shards (fighter’s guild) works wonders. You want to turn on ground target assist from the settings, so when you hit the skill it will ground target immediately where your mouse presently is. The sequence is hit rain of arrows, then left click and hold for a heavy attack, and mash silver shards until both the heavy and shard go out. Typically this snares it in the arrow rain (arrow barrage has a wider radius, making it even easier). I can pretty much burn down most packs with those 2 skills, which lets me carry other skills to skill up on the main bar. Dolmen running in Alik’r can unlock the figher’s guild tree and rapidly advance to the silver shard morph that skill. I love that as a spammer skill and it gets even better with the extra damage to undead/daemon/werewolf passive and the FG weapon damage slots. It will lose the snare next patch, but do more damage and hit an unlimited number of targets.

I am still loving that harvestor addon. I use map filters to turn off that which I do not want to see. So on my magicka Nightblade, I have all of the gather nodes off so I can just zero in on treasure chests. On my stamina necromancer, I skip the chests and target JC/clothing mats. I love how this shows doors that can be picked, and chest locations for merchants. Really speeds that up. I also like how you get the purple crown to show thieves troves. I make a point of pathing through those on any character, because that is good money and free stolen goods of high value. Just be sure not to steal around NPCs.

I turned on NPC name plates which made thieving and blade of woe much easier, as well as spotting guards. I am still trying to learn what angles you can woe an NPC and not be seen. I have taken down small huts with 3 NPCs in it without anyone being the wiser, and I have had them witness and attack or flee.


I am still playing this game! Still love it. Thought I would put a few notes on where I am this far into ESO.

I am up to 11 alts, 6 of which are level 50 now. I have been going through the remaining non-50s and bringing them to 50. The main driver here is passive champion point gains via daily writs. When I just 1 or 2 lvl 50s, there was little gain. But now with 6, I am getting a level every other day or so just doing writs. I am around 475 champion points now, and that helps.

Gold is a bit interesting. I am successfully gaining gold via guild store sales and daily writs. When I go out and do my surveys with my Nightblade, I grab any chests I see, and sometimes these have items worth quite a lot on the auction house. Master Merchant and Tamriel Trade give me two values. One is an average sell price with a range, and a suggested sale price. I notice if I post at the average, it does not move, and if I post at the suggested price , it moves. But sometimes there is only an average, so typically I will post towards the lower end from average, and that can move. If there is only 1 listed, then usually the item does not move.

Where you sell stuff matters too. The trading guilds, the really good ones, can move stuff faster than our trading guild. But for things like writs, people seem to make a hike to remote vendors for those. So items on trading guild, writs on OTG seems to have the best chance for moving anything. Because I am not a fiend about selling, sometimes I get dropped from trading guilds for not making their minimum volume.

I was able to maximize my bank, and maximize the bag space by gold on all 11 alts. This dropped me to around 300K gold net worth, and now I am back up over a million. Probably not as good as trading fiends, but plenty good enough where I no longer worry about transit costs or respecification.

I have completely abandoned playing in specs that are close to what is written in the guides while levelling up. I run 3 class skills, one from each tree, and 2 weapon skills, one from each weapon. The ultimate I usually use for a class tree that is not important.

So for example say I am playing a summoner magicka sorcerer. I typically want to develop skills in the summoning line, so I will have say 2 skills on the bar from that. Dark magic in the final builds only really use crystal fragments, so typically once that is maxed out, I drop the ultimate from Dark Magic onto the bar and carry no other Dark Magic skills. Storm calling has a few utilities that show in the end game builds, so I will put one in, level it up until I max the desired morph, and then swap in something else. Same goes for the destruction and restoration staff skills…put in something that is useful in the end game, level the morph to max, then swap it out for something else. I will also have on say the destruction staff bar the restoration skill on the 5 slot, so that when the assist rapid riding skill activates and bugs out, I do not compromise a key. On the restoration staff bar, I will have the destruction skill on slot 5. Thus no matter what bar I am on, I am advancing all 3 class lines and both weapons, and having more rapid advancement on my main target tree.

By doing this I advance those skill lines slowly to 50 and unlock and level up the morphs I need, and this happens no matter what bar I happen to be on. As I max out a line and morphs, I will pull those from the bar and replace it with others from lines yet to max. Once all class lines and weapon lines are max, I then do stuff like fighter guild skills, mage guild skills, armor skills. Having those on a bar does not advance the line. If I am a vampire I will typically load up on that and level that up first, so I can spec out and reclaim those skillpoints and put them in the passives.

If you level like this you typically have a couple decent skills, and a lot of garbage that does not work. I find I can function with a spamable ability, an AOE damage skill of some kind and that’s it. As I will not have a lot of points in passives as I do this, I heavy weave the spammable skill for my main DPS, and rely upon crafted gear sets to carry the day for the bulk of DPS.

For crafted gear, it usually goes one 5 piece set for weapons and jewelry, one 5 piece armor set for chest, legs, boots, gloves, belt, and one 2 piece set for shoulder and helm. The armor set should work for the armor I want to use, medium or light typically. I usually make the chest in heavy, the legs in medium, and the belt in light and go for a 5-1-1 levelling set. A good place to do this set is level 16, which you can hit if you push the Harborage main story line, which will give you plenty of levels and blue item rewards to keep you going prior to 16. Then I will craft a level 30 set, and a level 40 set. I save those and hand them down to other alts (either it is a stam set, or a magicka set). I go with training on all items, including weapons, and buff the dps stat with enchantments. By going 5-1-1, you will max out your main armor line, and have skill in other lines in case you decide later you want to go that way. For magicka I always have a fire staff and a resto staff. For stamina, I am tending to go 2H and bow. 2H has a lot of great skills for quick leveling, and bow gives you access to more AOE as you level. I really like arrow barrage-bar swap- charge-sweep-spam execute. Stuff dies fast.

For the new alts, I typically push story and do my great tour and ding 16 with my brand new training set, then park it for a bit while I grind up items for crafting advancement. At some point I run dry on banked skill points, and I head out again, typically continuing the Psijic order tour of the world. At around I do full clears of delves, skyshards, POI’s of each zone the Psijic order sends me to, and punt on public dungeons, although it is usually fine to go solo those public dungeons first with your brand new crafted level 16 set. Around level 30 I typically have blacksmithing/clothing/woodworking maxed with skill points and a few extra to spare, and it is back in park mode doing daily writs to advance enchanting/alchemy/jewelrycrafting/provisioning. Those then it is back to park mode in the level 30 set until I am ready to push 50.

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Another update.

Now have 8 toons at 50, 3 left to go.

I have 3 ‘mules’ or characters who store stuff outside of the personal bank. It is more time consuming to lock items to avoid deconstruction, but sometimes that is necessary.

One is my guild store seller, who has all of the merchant mods and addons loaded. I do not want to accidentally grind up something valuable, so when I get a load of 50 gear, I will log her on and see if anything is worth selling before I deconstruct it.

Another mule holds crafted levelling sets and end game sets. I can filter that character’s inventory by level and find quickly a magicka or stamina set for another toon to use. I standardized on levelling sets every 10 character levels, and this seems to work fine. So say when I ding 40, I just put a 40 set in the bank, equip that, and mule the 30 set.

The last mule holds end game stuff like monster pieces (head and shoulders) and other dropped sets that are useful.

By using mules much of my 480 slot bank is now free, and I can dump in entire inventories of items to deconstruct later a few times before I have to bring on someone to grind them up. I have been thinking of banking items on another mule with enhanced inspiration for my next alt. My 11th alt just got blacksmithing, clothing, and woodworking to 50. I am not sure whether it is better to continue to grind up this stuff or just vendor it, but perhaps the inspiration stuff is worth banking for rapid advancement.

I am using the ESO build editor to ‘take notes’ from Alcast guides on which morphs to unlock per character. There may be multiple PVE and PVP guides there, some of which are older. As I am levelling up I want to at least get to rank 4 at the morph ready advancement for skills, then once there maybe grind up a morph to rank 4. So class lines and weapons are ranked to 50 while levelling. For stamina I level bow, 1h+s, 2h, dw even if none of the builds use it. Who knows what will be en vogue when I dust it off and play it. For magicka both staves are leveled. I think I found a single nightblade ‘bomb’ build that uses magicka and dual wield. I also think tanks should probably level frost staff (one of the staves is tanking, I forget which). Anyway I put all of those skills into an ESO editor and save a build like this one to quickly refer to for which thing to level next, or what to bother doing morph leveling on.

As far as bar setup goes while levelling, I typically front bar destruction and back bar restoration. I will have a destruction skill in the 2 slot, and a resto skill on the 5 slot for the destruction staff. Then slots 1, 3, 4, and U correspond to the 3 class lines, and I will double up with something that is critical. If I am running vampire, I will do drain, mist, and bats and only have 3 remaining slots. I tried doing the Dolmen run in A’likir Desert and that did not rapidly advance vampire. I think I downed maybe 20 of them and got 20% of a vampire level. Probably better with regular xp methods.

For stamina characters my levelling sets have a bow and a 2h weapon. Those are my preferences for levelling. I do not even have dual weapons or 1h+s, but I will level them up anyway. What I do is on the bow bar have maybe 2 bow skills , then put in the 5-slot a dual wield skill, and use the remaining 2 slots and ultimate for the class skills. Stuff just dies faster from bow or 2h while levelling. For 2h, I will back bar 1h+s, and carry in the 5 slot a skill for 1h+s. I have noticed on Alcast that DW+bow seems to be more PVE, and 2H and 1H+S is more pvp, which is why I level them like that.

I did the numbers, and at champion points around 480, I get 8% of a champion level per level 50 toon doing 7 daily writs. Thus my 8 level 50s give me 64% of a champion level per day just doing the daily writs. This is passive grinding of champion level. I suppose it might slow down some at higher champion levels, but you can see why I do this. 810 levels will take some time and letting my daily writs knock a chunk out of that helps.

Some impressions on the classes I ran up recently

  1. Stamina Warden

My gear sets for leveling stamina toons use bow and 2h. On the bow side this toon was really great. I had a Bosmer and that worked nicely. The pet helps a lot, and you can kite around and sometimes the bear will pull agro. I was mainly using Acid Spray and Poison Injection, and was using Draining Shot and Arrow Barrage before I unlocked those. If you heavy weave and get efficiency passives, you can pretty much spam Acid Spray. Bull Netch from Animal Companions makes stamina less of an issue, but it takes a bit to unlock. Prior to Arrow Spray, I would heavy-Arrow Barrage, and Drain Shot knockback the melee ones that would leave the zone. If all melee would come my way, I would either dodge roll back into the barrage, or lay down a new one. With good gear you can quickly mow down a pack with Acid Spray and heavy weaves, and once you get poison injection you can stack poison for even better results. Healing Thicket is a pretty crummy levelling ultimate, but it can help in a pinch. Once I got my guardian maxxed I went on to that. Sleet storm is much nicer, letting you slow and kite stuff and have that damage adding onto your poison. However that scales with Magicka, so it is really not that hot. Once Bow is 50, I refund all of the bow passives and skills, swap to 2H, and put skills on there and get 2H passives.

For 2H, most of the skills are solid. Dizzing Swing and Wrecking Blow are very different. Swing is more for crowd control, and wrecking blow works better for heavy weaving. It is odd though, with the cast time on these abilities, it sort of screws up the weaving…I do not think you get time savings. So I usually dump this one as soon as I get something better.

The Stampede morph of charge is really good now, doing solid DPS and closing the gap. Sometimes the damage field is a bit quirky, but I check my addon for cooldown remaining. If there is remaining cooldown, it is standing in the damage field. IF there is no cooldown, I have to reapply. Overall this is a great skill and I love taking it to max.

Cleave is great. If your gear stinks, take the brawler morph and heavy weave with it to maintain a damage shield. If you are not taking much damage, take carve and it will add a DOT.

I typically swap cleave for Reverse Slash and its morphs. The Slice morph is great AOE damage, and really sort of a lovely default spam. Even if you are not in execute range, Stampede’s Dot will put them in it shortly, and the splash damage is significant. Execute is more of a single target skill, and if you have ample AOE from other sources, you can go with that.

Momentum (which gives brutality) and its morphs are useful buffs. Forward Momentum is about having an immobility cleanse. Rally’s heal has been nerfed quite a bit, no longer giving tic heal, and only giving a lump sum heal as it expires. I am not sure if you punch it while it is still running whether you will get the lump sum heal then or post pone it. I think the former.

All of the Animal Companion abilities are useful DPS. Most have magicka and stamina versions in the morphs. I typically use these to put added pressure on a boss. Subterranian assault is a debuff and DOT, so open on a boss with it. Cutting Dive is good for weaving and you can spam it while you level some less useful bow or 2h morph. I prefer Fletcher Infection to Growing Swarm as I use my stamina abilities for AOE and use it mainly to pressure bosses. Falcon’s swiftness and morphs is a major expedition buff, with either offensive or defensive perks on the morphs.

Green balance tends to just give you magicka based heals, which sort of stink in a stamina build, but can help if you are pressed. They cost magicka, and I typically am not bottoming out on that. So it is a free thing to punch when you are moving or pre-pull. Soothing spores is a stamina based heal, so that is pretty useful. Living Vines and Healing Seeds stink for stamina, and are only worth taking to the morph point before abandoning. Lotus Flower in the Green Lotus morph gives you a savagery buff, increasing critical rating for a longish duration. Nature’s Grasp is pretty useless, but if you are following a bunch of people, you can target one, hit it, and move to their location by vine, which is fun.

In Winter’s Embrace, Ice Fortress is a good buff for hard pulls giving Major Resolve, Major Ward, and minor protection…solid defense for bosses. Impaling Shards, Arctic Winds and Frozen gate are magicka based tanking tools and not very useful to level up morphs on. Shimmering Shield is good defense for PVP from ranged attacks.

  1. Magicka Nightblade.

For the destruction staff line, only 2 skills show up in builds- Unstable Wall of Elements and Elemental Drain. The Unstable Wall is nice AOE damage, and it blows up for even more, so open with it and stand in it for max results. Elemental drain is a single target breach (magic resistance lowered) and magicka steal. I have used Crushing Shock as a weave ability while levelling up.

For the Resto staff line, 2 skills and the ultimate are used. Regeneration and its two morphs are used, with Radiating healing 2 additional targets, and Rapid increasing the speed of healing. Healing Ward is a shield and heal combined, which I suppose is useful in PVP. The Ultimate Life Giver is just a big heal and it autocasts whatever morph of regeneration, steadfast ward, or blessing of protection. If you are going to use this, you should probably pick up blessing of protection too.

There are 3 skills and ultimate used from the Assassination line. Soul Harvest, the ultimate, generates Ultimate while slotted, gives you a pretty good melee range magic damage strike, which ups damage for 20% for 6s, and debuffs healing by 30%…a good open in a burst mode. Impale is a ranged execute that does magic damage at 28yds, 300% more damage below 25%. Phantasmal Escape reduces AOE damage taken, and gives you an ability to strip immobility. Merciless Resolve generates damage reduction per light/heavy attack, and once capped at 10% reduction lets you use a ranged ability to add pressure damage for PVP.

Shadow for Magicka Nightblades has 3 skills of use, concealed weapon which lets you move faster in stealth and stun your target with a melee ranged hit. Shadowy disguise is an invis on demand. As a Magicka NB, I can run an entire Delve just mashing this every 3s and just go to the skyshard and boss. When you gear for magicka, it comes back fast enough where your stamina seems to be a limit for stealth. Mass Hysteria is a 3s fear for 6 enemies. I find it useful while levelling in that I can fear then position for unstable wall of elements.

Siphoning is the most heavy line for a Magicka Nighblade, using the ultimate and all but one skill. Soul Tether is a magic damage in AOE, a stun, and a heal with synergy. Swallow Soul is a DOT and lets you steal a fraction of the damge done in health return. Crippling Grasp is a ranged DOT and immobilization (pvp). Siphoning Attacks heals you and restores Magicka when you light/heavy attack, good for sustain. Sap Essence is an AOE damage and heal that grants you Major Prophecy.

I did have fun with Lotus Fan from the assassination line. You port and do single target and AOE magic damage and apply a minor vulnerability. I would do that, mass hysteria, and unstable wall of elements after pre-buffing with regeneration and take out groups in delves fairly easy. I do not think this is a decent end game thing, but it can be fun while levelling.

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The saga of the leg cramp- I had a leg cramp in the night. Like a fool I did not walk it off when it happened. So it was bothering me for a few days last weekend making walking painful. I tried a heating pad, did not use enough insulation, and burned the back of my calf, which got infected. Sigh. Moral of the story is use icy hot and take some supplement to avoid this. On a gaming side this meant I had a good stretch of time to play ESO.

On the 22nd my ESO+ membership dinged, and I bought my 12th slot. I now have stamina and magicka versions of each class. I can buy another 6 slots, so I suppose those will go torwards ‘tank’ versions of the 6 classes. They are a while off yet.

9 of 12 are now 50. I am making headway. The aim is to have all 50, then I can sort of pick one out and run it up for a bit. I did want to get the army established since the passive income is great.

Now I recognized the fact that your chances of getting master writs on a crafting daily tracks how much you have researched. This means it was time to train up this army of alts on researching traits. My starting point is my crafting main, who has completed woodworking, has 2 more jewelry traits to research, and still has a slog in clothworking/blacksmithing.

My first attempt at doing this involved a mod which shows which items in your inventory can be researched (you get a magnifying glass icon). Not sure which one it is, but I have it. I would then just dump into the bank anything that I could research, and as I would do my daily crafting quests, see what each toon could research. The problem with this is that you tend to keep a lot of stuff that most of your toons are done with, and you have multiple copies of the same one you already researched on most toons, and this bloats up the already bloated bank.

So the second solution was to load up the mod craftstore on each toon, pick a trait line across clothing, blacksmithing, woodworking, and jewelry crafting. Then craft those with the cheapest possible mats I can on my crafting main, and hold them in the inventory of each toon doing the research. I also had to have each alt invest 12+ points in research to be able to handle multiple items researched at a time which has created another skill point bind for some toons. This is very time consuming as you have to place an ‘order’, since most of my characters have a sprinkling of stuff they already know. Took me over 1hr to cycle through all of them doing this, and I only did impen armor and training weapons as the first line to do for all of them. Well that got me maybe 3-4 days of crafting buffer before they run dry again.

So now I am on the 3rd iteration- do I organically just save whatever drops that has researchable traits and have the alt army learn that way? Or do I do targeted, with a much larger item buffer, maybe 3-4 lines. Well the latter seems to be materials intensive. My stacks that once had over 3K mats are now going down, and I am not sure how sustainable this is.

So I am thinking this- go organically until the bank fills, then grind that up to create some space, and acquire more. Do this until the research times slow down some, then switch over to filling gaps per toon with targeted pieces. I am not sure if you have to have an entire trait line done, or have multiple traits researched per armor piece, or whether it just counts total number of things researched.

I might do a hybrid. Let the organic thing happen, and research those items, but supplement with about 5 banked sets in a targeted line like ‘training’. Thus pick something not training to research (depletes the pool of random stuff that comes in), and if that is not available research something from targeted.

Another thing that is slow is characters that are holding items have to be careful. I have 3 mules- one for 50 drops, one for crafted item sets, and one that sells things. I think I can lock the drops and crafted item set toons, but I need to have unlocked stuff on my guild store mule. Overall this should help.

Jewelry crafting also needs some thought. I think I need to treat it differently than clothing/blacksmithing/woodworking. You can easily get dropped rings and amulets with magicka, stamina, health, which gives you 3 from drops. I do get from psyjic chests some drops, and also from daily craft rewards other rings/amulets. I need to do a cost analysis of seeing how far up that research tree it is worth taking all my alts.

I refined my glide path for alts. Now it is

  • skip tutorial
  • set up toon with all of the settings and mod tweaks and champion points and mount
  • ride to Elsewyr waypoint, port to Auridon
  • join mage’s, fighter’s, and Undaunted guilds. Get certified. Max bag space, train mount.
  • port to Summerset, do Queen’s decree quest line and get certified in jewelry crafting
  • do all 7 daily craft quests in Vivec city
  • close the portals in Summerset, skip delves, public dungeons, dolmens, and monsters (unless someone has started that fight)
  • level 10 put on crafted training set, and go to Cyrodiil, skip training quest, get rapid maneuver
  • unlock the world by using ships/caravan masters to take me to each undiscovered zone, grab waypoint and easy shards/tomes
  • from there advance Psyjic order quest line, doing full zone clear minus world bosses and public dungeons for each zone I get referred to for closing portals.

Doing this sort of path will have me around Psyjic order 5 by the time I ding 50. That is the sweet spot as you get channeled acceleration, which is the top ground major expedition source in the game, as well as long duration burst buff. I prefer that to the figther’s guild grind for trap beast.


Here is the system I have worked out for having 12 alts doing research at the same time.

Get Wykkyd’s toolbar. I turn on research timers, enable the option for researching/total. Thus when I log to an alt I can look at that and see whether I need to go to blacksmithing, clothing, or woodworking. Sadly it does not support jewelrycrafting.

Can’t remember the name of the addon I have (or maybe it is part of Craftstore?) where items in my inventory have a symbol for intricate, and a symbol for research (magnifying glass). This lets me quickly spot for that character what items I can research.

If I need bank inventory, then I will gather research items by toon until the bank is clear. Pick up researchables, don’t even worry about multiple copies. Go down the roster until everyone is loaded up. If I get to the last toon, I deconstruct the remaining items for which nobody needs research. I do this on weekends when I am running an alt and I need bank space.

On weekdays, I dump all of the research items back into the bank, and everyone researches off of the same pot. If that is too full, I will hold items back, and after researching dump extra copies of already researched items to the bank.

I was able to get all 12 alts with maximum research for their craft skill levels, and I am up to around 18hr timers now. Suspect in a week or two research will slow down a lot.

I have been selling master writs in the guild store. They move fast. I was storing them, but then I decided to sell them to free up space. Had one go for 35K gold last weekend. Sure is nice for just passive generation by alts doing crafting dailies.

I am still 9/12ths done with 50s. Got my stamina Nec to 40, and my magicka DK to 32. My magicka Warden is 29. Going to San Fran to visit my daughter this weekend so no play for a couple weeks.