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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.