ESO – Slow (Re)Start

For some reason I have a tough time keeping momentum in ESO.

Part of that is choosing a race/class combo I like. ESO offers 4 human races (Imperial, Redguard, Breton, Nord), 3 elves (High, Dark, Wood), 3 “monsters” (Half-Orc, Khajit, Argonian) and 5 classes (Nightblade, Dragonknight, Templar, Sorcerer, Warden) so lots of combos in theory…

I settled on Templar, since it offers a healing line, above and beyond what every character can do by equipping and training up their Restoration Staff skill. But I have played every class through the corresponding faction starter zone to get a feel for it.

I ruled out Sorcerer and Warden since they are pet classes and I’m not really into those. Generally the pet AI in a game isn’t good and managing the pet becomes an extra thing I’d rather not deal. In LoTRO, a well timed Sign of Battle: Wizardry (when your pet procs a flank) will heal you, but if said pet dies it can be a big problem. In GW, my favorite char was a ranger except I rarely ever ran a pet build, because when I was an active player, having a pet ate up too many skills on the skill bar: 2 skills out of 8 skills (Charm Animal, Comfort Animal) plus some points into Beast Mastery or it wasn’t worth it. Although according to the wiki in 2009 and 2010 Comfort Animal and Heal as One were changed to also bring a pet if equipped, thus saving skill slot space since Charm Animal wasn’t needed.

The irony is, heroes in Guild Wars were basically pets but they had a huge amount of control and customization (positioning, armor, weapons, skill bars)… so much so that I often ran with 3 heroes (the max before yet another change allowed 7 heroes in a party) and henchman, or a friend plus their 3 heroes.

In ESO, none of the races grabbed me. I like playing short/small races because it looks awesome to be a Hobbit, for instance, attacking the shins of some giant troll, but all the races in ESO are roughly human-sized. In GW2 I like the Asura culturally because they are mad scientist/inventors but oddly enough my favorites are a Norn Ranger and Sylvari Mesmer. I’m too lazy to restart, even using experience scrolls and what not. Plus I’m on a GW2 hiatus.

Anyway, I ended up making a char based on what their “champion gear” looked like. I think this feature, previewing armor during character creation, is great – one that Wildstar had as well.

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This helped rule out some races – I mean what’s up with this inverted shoe brush helm for Imperials? Designed for Marvin the Martian?

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I think the Argonian gear looks fantastic but there is a problem – I find their tail distracting! It sways slowly and since most of my view will be from behind my character over their shoulder… nope.

Previously I dabbled in a race from each faction (Breton and Redguard; High Elf – sorry I can’t get into the looks of the Wood Elf or Khajit; Argonian and Dark Elf) and gravitated towards the Dark Elf for Dragonknight or Templar.

But first, I rolled up an Argonian Warden just to try it out.

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ESO is a beautiful game, it looks absolutely fantastic everywhere. Doing the intro quests in Morrowind and investigating inside houses, I found stunning design and layouts. This elaborate painting is one of five or six different ones, background scenery most players run by on the way to finding the thingamajig for a quest.

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Outside looks great too. One of my favorite RPGs was Morrowind and wandering the landscape listening to music selections from the original game (yes!!) was a delight.

But, the skill mix of the warden doesn’t seem cohesive to me. Summon pet attack, frost, and healing. It’s workable and wardens are meant to handle all the trinity roles but I didn’t like it so back to a previous character.

For now I’m going to push foward on my Dark Elf Templar, currently questing on the mainland around Davon’s Watch. After advancing the main quest a step or two I’ll divert over to Morrowind, where my no-longer-existing Argonian Warden once walked, and play through that before returning to the mainland.

I found a leveling guide on reddit and it had a bunch of advice, written mostly from the perspective of a max level char wanting to level an alt. I skimmed over it and will likely skip everything crafting related for now, but did come away with some great tips.

First thing is to make sure you have one skill from each class skill line on your bar. This helps level each skill line roughly equally. For Templar, the skill lines are Aedric Spear, Dawn’s Wrath, Restoring Light.

Second, make sure you have skills from your weapons on your bar as well. I’m switching between 2 handed sword and destruction staff, which I just got so I’ll be using the staff and its skills that I unlock soon. I’ll get a Restoration staff as well and give it a slot on my skill bar.

Third is armor, the suggestion is to wear all 3 types of armor since as you get hit you’ll level armor skills. A popup tip from the game said there is a benefit wearing 3 pieces of an armor type… since there are 7 armor slots I’m going to wear 3 pieces of 2 types. Later, I’ll do some wiki research and figure out what that promised benefit is. From quest rewards and drops, and perhaps vendor purchases but I don’t remember, I have 2 pieces of light armor, 1 piece of medium armor, and 3 pieces of heavy armor, so I need to buy or find that 3rd light armor piece and I’ll be set.

Fourth is to train horse riding skills – mount speed, stamina, and carry capacity can be trained up for a small fee, but only one point every 20 hours real-time. So I’ll be sure to log in every day to train my mount skills, as long as I have the gold to do it.

My armor strategy might not be optimal but players swear most anything is viable while leveling. So I’ll put that to the test.

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One thought on “ESO – Slow (Re)Start”

  1. Before the “1 tamriel” thing went in, I had 2 sorcerers, and neither of them ever used a pet. Ever. Pets were useless, so I never bothered. I heard that with One Tamriel some pet improvements were made, but…. eh. I loved my Breton lighting-death-shocker mage and my stealthy Khajit “magic buffs my melee” mage. It really worked quite well — leather armor with Bound Armor over top of it and the occasional.. um… where you turn into lightning and basically go invulnerable…. plus the lightning charge for mobility/escape and the yummy “you’re stunned for a LONG time” ultimate that let me kill lots of mobs at my leisure…. ’twas much fun. Nobody expected the dual-wielding Khajit in Leather Armor to be a sorc instead of a nightblade. Defy expectations!

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