Updated guide to reflect current patch – 31st of December, 2015
VR Exploration Levelling Guide – Coming Soon!
- Additional guide notes added after official release
- Updates due to patches from the original game
Guide based on playing the Daggerfall Covenant faction. Works with other factions with adjustments made to quest lines and locations.
The purpose of this guide is to give players a different approach to power levelling through the early stages of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited
. Most power guides rely on mob grinding either solo or in groups and a few guides like Zygor show you quest grinding however I wanted to see if there were other methods out there mainly through exploration which is why I’ve created this. I’ve completed the first zones in beta and at launch many many times over and really just looking to excite my senses till future patches are out to increase the replayability of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited's
You will need to install the following add-ons to help you guide yourself through finding locations and collecting sky shards and lore books listed in this guide. You may find them through http://www.esoui.com
or the app at http://minion.gg/
Destinations by SnowmanDX
Lorebooks by Garkin
Skyshards by Garkin
Create your character and skip the tutorial which starts the game at Level 3. Find and fight the werewolf in the city until you hit level 4 (there are usually other players there so shouldn’t be too hard but use the starter ranged weapon if required).
You need stamina and speed for the first portion of this power guide so an optional step is to buy a horse and level the horse in apples for 30 days before starting this guide (the feeding of per mounts has been changed to riding skill per character)
. This will greatly increase the speed that the first portion will be completed in but it’s certainly not required to do the guide.
UPDATE: The introduction of the crown store has introduced riding lessons which can be purchased if you wish to speed this process up.
Before we begin we need to prepare our character with some gear. The first step is to craft (or have crafted for you) level 4 armor with the exploration trait. I used 3 pieces of light, 2 pieces of medium and 2 pieces of heavy but if you do not need to level every armor skill just choose the armor skills you require and distribute proportionally. You will also need a couple of weapon types of your choosing with the training trait.
You may like to improve the gear to increase the percentage you receive for the traits. I increased my gear to purple quality which you may say purple quality for level 4 gear is mad but as I crafted my own it means I can also use this gear to level my other characters so not really a waste in my opinion. The higher improvement the faster your level/skills will increase and a Level 4 purple item is the same armor rating as Level 10 armor, your choice but certainly not required. Also note this gear technique is no good for VR zones as the experience gain through exploration in VR zones is the same as 1-50 zones but your VR level is much higher so you will barely even make a dent. Not sure if the champion system will change this, will update if required.
UPDATE: Your training items will now work in proportion to your level for VR zones so bank these training items till you can unlock the VR zones once you have completed the main game.
The first part of this guide runs from levels 4 to 10 and collects most sky shards and lore books in and around the game world. While travelling through this first part of the guide DO NOT click/read any bookshelves as this will slow your skill progress in the second part of the guide. The aim of this first part is to run/gallop to every location on the map gaining exploration experience along the way which will increase your level. I tend to find if you zig zag your way through you should be able to get most locations without having to double back. Make sure you grab the sky shards (not the ones in the delves) and lore books that you are able to reach on your way through, if you can’t get them don’t worry you can get them on the second quest pass. Do not stop to take on mobs, just keep running through the world avoiding large groups as best you can. Once you find ‘The Steed’ mundus stone activate it for increased speed (you could always run straight to this if you know where it is which will greatly help you with the overall exploration). Once you have completed the first 4 zones the only way to get to Alik’r Desert is to travel to someone that as already opened the area up (if your unable to get here you should only be one level below). If you’re playing the Aldmeri Dominion you will need to leave the first island, if you’re playing the Ebonheart Pact to reach the northern zones you will need to circumnavigate Fort Virak in Stonefalls to reach them.
As you level up you will get slightly more experience for each location but not only does your level increase but also your skills.
UPDATE: As DLC is being released if you have access to these zones you could also use the same technique to collect even more XP boosting you even further ahead. These new DLC zones offer level scaling so you won’t be one shotted when roaming around the world.
Ok so as your skills start to level and you start collecting enough sky shards to gain skill points start putting those skill points into your class and weapon skills. Make sure you fill the bottom bar with skills (5 in total plus a ultimate) as you will get double XP for every location you find. The training trait will also be helping you get extra XP in those skill lines. Once you reach level IV of each skill, remove the skill from the bar and put another skill in its place to level. Do not use points to morph as the morph requires much more XP to level. As there is only a few ultimate skills available in the early stages of the game once you’ve levelled them all you can morph them and begin to level them again as it’s always best to have something to level, never leave any slot spaces.
As you are getting XP for the weapon you have in your hand you may like to put one or more of the skills at the bottom to level and put another weapon in your hand so you are levelling to different weapon skill lines at the same time. Adjust to suit your needs for your character build.
You should be at or around Level 10 by the time you finish exploring the first 5 faction zones. If you are Level 10, complete the welcome quest in the Alliance war for another skill point.
This next stage you need to head to the starter islands and complete the main quests found there. The current level 4 gear will be fine (even better if you’ve improved it) plus you will have better skills and a higher level however as your level is higher than the current mobs you will get very little XP for them so don’t waste time taking them out, just complete the quests where you get a fixed amount of XP which will gain you two extra levels. If you’re 5+ levels above you will get no XP from killing mobs and your quests will be greyed out however you still get XP from the quests, just not as much and if your 5+ levels below your quests will be red as will the mobs so you will get bonus XP for completing/killing these which is great if you like a challenge.
Once you have completed the starter islands head back to the mainland. If you have been following this guide closely you should be around Level 12 by this stage and have most first skills on level IV. By level 12 you can have the first two skills of each class completed plus a ultimate or two from those classes (6 skills in total plus ultimates). You should also have a weapon skill or two completed plus your armour classes. If your using extra gains like the training trait or you have multiple skills on the bar from one class the level should be between 12-17 for these skill lines which isn’t bad considering you haven’t even started the main part of the game yet.
UPDATE: If you’ve been using 50% experience boosters plus also have the 10% bonus from ESO Plus you should be sitting between Level 15-20. If you’ve been levelling with a friend for bonus XP plus using the Rings of Mara for additional 10%… well you get the idea.
The second part of this guide focuses on levels 13 to 20 by just completing quests that provide you with skill points which are the highest giving experience quests in the game. Before you begin thou you may like to invest in crafting/acquiring some Level 12 gear (or gear leveled to what you are currently sitting on)
and if you didn’t improve your level 4 gear you will definitely need some new gear as you will need to get your hands dirty. During this next part also make sure you read every bookshelf you come across, why didn’t we do that before? Well the books you read give you an entire level regardless of your current skill level so it’s better to gain a level worth say 7500xp then it is at say 700xp. Make sure the skills on your bar for this section are skills you will use to deal DPS and/or provide some support/healing benefits to yourself.
UPDATE: The Main quest line as well as the Mages and Fighters Guild quests line now all auto-scale to the level you are on when you start them. As they are auto-scale so does the XP you get and the mobs you will face.
Start off by acquiring the Mages and Fighters Guild quest lines if you haven’t already done so. The huge amount of lore books already acquired should put you around level 5 or 6 so feel free to invest some skill points in the mages guild skills. Both of these quest lines give a fixed amount of XP but they all award a skill point at the end plus any daedra/undead killed will go towards your Fighters Guild experience. Complete the first few quests here which should be fairly easy given your level.
UPDATE: You may be at the stage where you have out-leveled the content in Glenumbra and Stormhaven so if you want the skill points continue to finish the quests as per below otherwise skip to the zone that better represents your current level, choice is yours.
Next make your way to The Harborage and complete the main quest lines that are available to you. Now we want to complete the story quest lines in Glenumbra that only give you a skill point at the end. This should get you to around level 15. You should also be leveling up your morphed skills during this time which means your skill levels should be getting close to level 20 if they haven’t already. Continue to collect any skyshards in dungeons/open areas that you may not have been able to get before.
The following quests are what you need to do for this section:
MAIN: The Harborage 3 Main
MAIN: Daughter of Giants 10 Main
STORY: Bloodthorn Assassins 4 Glenumbra
STORY: Purifying the Wyrd Tree 8 Glenumbra
STORY: The Fall of Faolchu 11 Glenumbra
STORY: Angof the Gravesinger 15 Glenumbra
Once you hit Level 15 this opens up the second skill bar SO as we want to maximise the XP we get we now need to use the first bar as our primary bar to tackle mobs (you were previously levelling this before) and the second bar is used to level up skills that we are not using right now but may as we get higher levels. When you hand in a quest before you ‘complete’ the quest make sure you switch to bar 2 and you will be rewarded with XP for both bars.
On to Stormhaven where you can rinse and repeat what you’ve done in Glenumbra. Main, Guilds and Story quest lines which only give you skill points at the end. The story quest in Stormhaven is a little longer but it shouldn’t take you very long to complete, don’t bother with all the smaller quests as the XP gain isn’t worth the time involved. After completing all of these you should have hit level 20 or close to it depending on play style and gear used.
The following quests are what you need to do for this section:
MAIN: Chasing Shadows 15 Main
STORY: Sir Hughes' Fate 17 Stormhaven
STORY: Vaermina's Gambit 21 Stormhaven
STORY: The Return of the Dream Shard 21 Stormhaven
If you haven’t hit Level 20 yet and/or you require more experience in the Fighters Guild skills I suggest you tackle all of the cold harbor anchors from the last two zones but when you do just make sure you have some abilities on your bar from that skill set to increase your level faster. You can also choose to complete group dungeons that go towards the Undaunted skill line once acquired from the inn. These dungeons will also award you with a skill point at the end.
What have you achieved with this guide? Well you have achieved Level 20 with as little effort as possible (Level 30+ using different experience booster methods)
. You have all locations including way shrines mapped out which will help you in the coming adventures. You have a large amount of skills leveled up and have gained a lot of skill points along the way. Your past the first section of the game where the stories really start to become interesting and this entire guide should have taken you around 2 hours maybe 3 if you don’t have a fast steed or perhaps 4 if you’ve listen to all the dialogue. Was this different power leveling guide worth it? Only you can answer that.
May The Elder Scrolls Online provide many more adventures for you and your groups to come… good journey!
Where to next? Well after level 20 I have since moved on to Riverspire with the Mages & Fighters Guild quests, plus the main story Castle of the Worm which is a level 20 mission. You can also start the next story quest but it is a level 24 quest so make sure you can handle yourself.
NOTE: This guide will be updated to reflect any future patches that are released.