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Everything needed to know about Bow/Bow in PVE - Dragonhold Update

SodanTok
SodanTok
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Changelog
  • 2019/10/23 - Updated for Dragonhold
  • 2019/08/15 - Updated for Scalebreaker
  • 2019/06/19 - Added necessary skills for Necromancer, more small changes for new patch and rotation tips.
  • 2019/05/22 - Small changes for Elsweyr
  • 2019/03/06 - Total revamp guide and update for Wrathstone patch
  • 2018/10/23 - Updated for Murkmire
  • 2018/07/17 - Updated weapon section (different trait/enchantments), added links to various (good) bow builds
  • 2018/07/17 - Updated and rewrote several parts (sustain, classes)
  • 2018/06/02 - Updated and rewrote first part of guide for Summerset patch
  • 2018/01/04 - Rewrote skills and warden section.
  • 2017/12/29 - Added information about Acid Spray (negative) value regarding stamina sustain
  • 2017/12/24 - Rewrote Champion points setup, Stamina sustain, Racial choice and Weapon setup parts
  • 2017/11/24 - Reworded weapon/trait part slightly
  • 2017/11/23 - Added Dark Deal as viable skill choice on Sorc
  • 2017/11/22 - Marked Imperial as good race choice. Reworded race/class choice to define better and worse options (than from best to worst)
  • 2017/11/21 - Changed Warden Rotation. Added Warden parses. Added recommended gear to Warden, NB and Sorc

This guide is now in maintenance mode. I will continue keeping it relevant, but I don't have time to do much of my own testing. Chances are some information might be little bit outdated or incorrect when it comes to absolute minmaxing.

DISCLAIMER: No information below is in any way based on experience using bow/bow setups in high level (score pushing) veteran trials. Everything said is based solely on my own experience and testing and different people can get different results. Everyone should be well aware that ranged stamina builds ( = bow/bow) lack on DPS, utility and survivability to either magicka dd, stamina melee dd or both to small or significant degree depending on content and user's capabilities.

Purpose of this guide is to tell people how to do well on bow builds and can't and is not supposed to rival min maxing builds and experience of min maxing build creators. If something in the guide is contradiction to their ideas and their ideas are well explained and tested (not always the case!) it is generally better to believe them.



BASICS
Race: Orc, Bosmer, Redguard, Khajiit, Dunmer, Imperial
All listed races are viable with very small difference. Orcs are by small margin the best. Bosmer and Redguard are the two sustain choices, Bosmer better for classes utilizing many class skills, Redguard for other (but its minor flavor, it really doesnt make much difference). Khajiit fit more higher crit chance builds, which can limit set and class options. Dunmer offer nothing interesting compared to Orc. Imperial are by small margin the weakest option.

Food/Drink: Dubious Camoran Throne or Artaeum Takeaway Broth on damage races. Stamina+Health (blue) food on sustain races. Lava Foot Soup option on Imperial (any class) or best on Orc Necromancer.

Mundus: Shadow or Lover
Getting high enough penetration is important. Lover is the easy choice and preferable on low CP. Shadow with penetration gained elsewhere (Sharpened weapon, gear or CP) is the best option.

SKILLS
Poison Injection, Arrow Barrage or Endless Hail are must have skills on all builds. Ballista (better morph of bow ultimate) is viable alternative (or the only option) for main ultimate across all classes. Minor Force buff source is crucial on all builds with Trap Beast (barbed morph preferred) being the best option, but Tzogvin set is great alternative when unable to get good uptime and Channeled Acceleration when not having either.
Acid Spray is quite useful even if costly in any situation and great addition for AoE DPS.

Regarding spammables the pool is bigger than it used to be with many choices of class or nonclass. Snipe being the best in damage dealing potential, but limiting with cast time while others spammables offer instant casts and useful passives. Notable Warden's Cutting Dive or Fighters Guild Silver Shards give access to strong passives which can make them useful to have even in current meta where there is less time to cast them.

Nightblade must have skills are Relentless Focus, Dark Shade and Leeching Strikes, but when able to go melee using Killer's Blade or Incap strike ultimate are possible (and best) options.

Sorcerer will always slot Bound Armaments on front bar (but preferably on both bars) for the passives and powerful active ability. If you can or have to stand in melee range, Hurricane is very good skill that offers even useful armor and speed buff. Critical Surge for some amazing self heals is always recommended when bar space allows it or content demands it. Greater Storm Atronach can be used as (superior) alternative to Ballista.

Warden skill bars will always include Subterranean Assault and Bull Netch. Cutting Dive as mentioned above, if needed instant spammable, and Wild Guardian as superior ultimate choice. Bird of Prey should fill empty spots as possible for good dmg boost and Growing Swarm when going solo or being in group that lacks Minor Vulnerability debuff.

Templar will always have Power of the Light, Restoring Focus, Repentance and Ritual of Retribution. Having any Aedric Spear skill on front bar (and if possible even back bar) for the passive is highly recommended too.

Dragonknight slots Venomous Claw and Noxious Breath when close enough to use them along with Flames of Oblivion and new Stonefist if wanting instant cast spammable or if noone else uses it to increase group dps. Ultimate can be Standard of Might,

Necromancer is one of richest classes skill wise. Blighted Blastones, Detonating Siphon, Skeletal Archer and Pestilent Colossus are must. Venom Skull is useful instant spammable. Other options are Necrotic Potency for ulti regen in trash heavy fights, Boneyard if you want to give someone or yourself synergy, Expunge and Modify can be slotted for slight cost decrease of abilities and access to own purge and Mortal Coil or Summoner's Armor if you want some more sustain. Reanimate ultimate is worth mentioning too for the impact it can have in difficult content (even more than any damage ultimate).

GEAR
Optimal gear build for most situations is Relequen set on body (always active) with Tooth of Lokkestiiz on weapons (active only on front bar), Master Bow or VMA Bow on backbar along with one of choices of monster set fitting such situation, usually Velidreth.

Set Alternatives (in order of power)
  • Alternatives to Relequen (when missing it or doing content not suitable for relequen) are Tooth of Lokkestiiz (if not used already), War Machine (warden), Twice-Fanged Serpent, Vicious Ophidian, Strength of the Automaton (sorcerer or templar), Hunding's Rage.
  • Alternatives to Lokkestiiz is Tzogvin (best) and then War Machine (warden), Briarheart, New Moon Acolyte
  • Backbar bow depends on own preference or content. With bow being very close in single target potential, Master Bow is slightly better choice for single target fights and when applying Poison Injection every 10s, where VMA bow is better for AoE or when using longer volley morph Endless Hail.
  • Monster sets have more than few choices. The fit for all situations Velidreth, Maarselok for most DPS if you dont mind bashing (and can sustain it), Stormfist for sustain boost and Slimecraw for Minor Berserk when lacking the buff from skills/healer. Another option is to simply slot 1 piece of Kraghs and 1 piece of Velidreth for stat boost. Another interesting option is Maw of the Infernal when missing health (instead of using enchant/changing attribute points).

Traits and Enchantments
  • All armor traits should always be divines with Stamina enchants (unless needing more health)
  • For jewelry traits generally 3 bloodthirsty wins having Infused is barely noticeable loss and can be useful in other situations.
  • Weapon traits slightly depend on build choice. Backbar bow is always Infused with Weapon Damage enchant. Frontbar bow can be Precise or Sharpened with (preferably) Double DoT alchemical poisons or Absorb Stamina/Poison enchantment. Since your goal is to reach at least ~5900 penetration and thats assuming you play in groups with all necessary debuffs, your class or gear choice affects if you can afford to use Precise at all. Simple way to put it, if you aren't Necromancer and no piece of gear on you gives any penetration, go with Sharpened.

ROTATIONS
Because of lack of time I am unable to test and look for best rotations for all types and classes. Over last 2 years bow/bow reached big enough renown to be included with various seriousness on various sites and youtube build videos. I recommend to look there for best performing rotations. I will describe only general idea of rotation you can put and adapt for any class and in some cases rotations I got used to and customized for content I am doing, classes I play and skills I like to use.

Basic Static Bow rotation for all classes

Choose if you go the 10s route with Arrow Barrage or 14s route with Endless Hail.

For 10s just make sure to cast once in every rotation Barrage, Poison Injection, Consuming Soul Trap and usually any skill of similar duration that doesnt improve with time.
Every second rotation reapply longer skills like Barbed Trap and other long lasting skills (14-25s) that need to be up.
And then just do your spammables and ulti when possible.
This means you will usually cast 9-10 skills every rotation.

For 14s you will do same (since this is static you will not want to bother casting skills like Poison Injection dynamially) with Hail, PI and Consuming Soul trap.
Then you recast Barbed Trap, and any longer duration skill too and fill rest with spammable and ulti.
This means casting 13-14 skills every rotation.

This will obviously not be best possible way to do it and recasting things as they drop off is generally better rather than early/late.

Spending the least amount of time on backbar results in more DPS, you can achieve that by always starting and ending frontbar rotation with light attack and shuffling most skills to front.
Being able to weave light attacks between skills is MANDATORY for good DPS on bow (generally tho everywhere in ESO)

Necromancer Rotation
Hail - Poison Injection - Consuming Trap - Swap
Blastbones (BB) - Barbed Trap - Spammable - BB - Spammable - Spammable - BB - Spammable - Archer - BB

- using Consuming Trap is optional but it helps with sustain
- Cast Siphon when it needs to be casted, but remember its out of GCD so its not meant to replace any of the skills
- Spammable choice either Venom Skull or Lethal Arrow
- Also possible to move position of Trap recast by 2 skills every rotation and then skip it for full rotation as last (or basically dynamically ^^)
- You can also slot and use Acid Spray twice on front bar if sustainable

Warden Rotation
Hail - Poison Injection - Consuming Trap - Swap
Sub Assault (SA) - Barbed Trap - Spammable - SA - Spammable - Spammable - SA - Spammable - Spammable - SA

- cast bear ulti instead of spammable when rdy, same for Netch (so preferably keep it on front bar)
- for spammable you can use Cutting Dive or Lethal Arrow
- if using Cutting Dive you can try maximizing off balance bonus to damage (stack of bleed) by noticing when off balance is active and spamming Cutting Dive instead of all other skills except Hail and (below 50% unless using Master Bow) Poison Injection
- Feel free to not use Consuming Trap or replace it with Swarm or even include Swarm as bonus instead of one cast of spammable
- You can also slot and use Acid Spray twice on front bar if sustainable

BOW MECHANICS AND OTHER DETAILS
Long Shots Passive explanation
  • It affects only bow abilities (including light attacks)
  • It is additive with all other % bonuses, notably CP (and others like Hawk Eye, Minor Berserk, ...).
That means for example on build with 10% (mighty), 18% (thaumaturge), 8% (minor berserk), 25% (hawk eye) going from 0m range to 23m range (12% long shots) will increase damage of your volley by 7.5% and not 12%.

AbCpmJf.jpg

The distances in picture are measured by the last position each skill with reported distance could be used. The red lines are the last position before long shot buff gets increased by 2%.

Useful links:
None for now. Too many things changed to link to any old source and most werent updated yet.
Edited by SodanTok on October 24, 2019 2:33AM
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  • NyassaV
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    How does sorc turn out better than warden?
    Flawless Conqueror ~ Alliance Warlord
    She/Her ~ PC/NA
    ESOFam Community Discord: https://discord.gg/gMntMb8
    I record things for fun and for info
    https://youtube.com/channel/UC0WuLVnsW177WKkKcvNuuYA
  • SodanTok
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    Hollery wrote: »
    How does sorc turn out better than warden?

    By having superior passives mostly. Stam Warden with bow has basically same problems as magicka warden when it comes to DPS. Bad passives and low damage skills.

    The sustain is also better on sorc when using Bound Armor.
    20% regen and 5% cost reduction > 12% regen and Netch

    //edit
    For the record, warden with bear does output somehow close to what Stam Sorc is capable of, still less, but close. But warden without bear just output horribly, worst of all classes, but close to what Templar is capable of (so given advantages of warden over templar it would still be better to use warden)
    Edited by SodanTok on November 18, 2017 11:46PM
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  • WrathOfInnos
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    @SodanTok Great post, lots of good information. I agree with nearly everything you said here.

    I am surprised to see your order of best classes. For DPS, Sorc doesn't really benefit from active skills (bow builds typically out of hurricane range). I have probably underestimated bound armaments and passives (including cost reduction, regen, and the passive execute). I might need to give this one more of a chance.

    As for warden vs nightblade, I have to say I have had more luck with warden.

    Comparing relentless focus with subterranean assault, the damage in the two seems similar, and both offer nice passives for being slotted. SA is AoE, RF is single target. SA can be used every 3rd skill, vs RF every 5th skill and needing a double cast every 20s (wasting 5% of your GCDs). SA and provides major fracture (AoE group debuff, good for untaunted trash, not needed on bosses). RF provides minor berserk (not needed if in combat prayer range).

    Leeching strikes can also be compared to bull Netch, since both seem to provide similar stamina restore. Netch gives 2% damage done for being slotted, vs lackluster siphoning passives for stamblade. Netch is free to cast and lasts 27s, while leeching cost stamina and must be recast every 20s.

    For other passives, NB wins with 10% crit damage. But warden wins with active skills like cutting dive (although you know I don't use this one prersonally) and the bear ultimate. It would be nice if the stamblade execute had the same range as the magicka version, but unless that happens it seems risky to use a melee skill on a ranged build. Warden also brings some nice group buffs (already mentioned AoE Maj breach and fracture) and frost cloak (if you don't have a warden tank or healer).

    In summary, your numbers do not lie, stamblade beats warden on a single target dummy parse. However, when warden gets combat prayer it seems like it would be very similar for single target DPS. Nightblade is also less forgiving to player skill or fight mechanics, since missing light attacks prevents the use of relentless focus. Warden certainly outperforms stamblade for AoE with subterranean assault. Warden also has better burst, since they can start with a delayed SA + another skill, while NB has to be 5s into battle before they can use RF.
  • WrathOfInnos
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    @SodanTok Very interesting, thanks for the detailed response. I did not know all the details about natures gift, since I typically only use lotus for VMA. Now I'm curious if leeching vines can proc natures gift. And also if there is a cooldown on natures gift. That combo looks like it could give a massive amount of stamina return, if you can get the vines onto the tank. Might even be worth the slight DPS loss for the group healing (assuming nobody else has minor life steal).
  • Lightspeedflashb14_ESO
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    Source on green lotus needing to heal *other* players to get the resource back? As far as I have seen, it just needs to actually heal, as in you don't get the 250 back if you are at 100% but you do if you heal yourself at less then 100% .


    Also Leaching only gives resources back on the 10 second heal, not the 10 seconds of minor health steal, as that is not actually a green balance heal, it is a generic debuff. Unless you have evidence to contradict everything I have seen, lotus is still the best way to activate the passive.
    Edited by Lightspeedflashb14_ESO on November 20, 2017 6:34AM
  • Tannus15
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    I've been messing around a lot with Bow/Bow too (mostly to annoy my guild mates)

    I have a khajiit stam-blade and I'm currently getting solid 30k on the skelly at any range.

    I'm using briarheart and TFS with master on the front, maelstrom on the back, no monster set, no slayer set.

    I made sure I could complete vMA and parse > 30k before inflicting it on my guild, and even then we all regard it as a bit of a joke build.
  • SodanTok
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    @SodanTok Very interesting, thanks for the detailed response. I did not know all the details about natures gift, since I typically only use lotus for VMA. Now I'm curious if leeching vines can proc natures gift. And also if there is a cooldown on natures gift. That combo looks like it could give a massive amount of stamina return, if you can get the vines onto the tank. Might even be worth the slight DPS loss for the group healing (assuming nobody else has minor life steal).

    I am not sure what mag wardens (healers and dd) do, they would obviously be better at this than stam warden (bigger heals), but yeah that should work. The Minor Lifesteal wont proc it I think (it is not your heal), but the on hit heal should do it. In real combat you will be more often than not on the other side of the boss than your tank and between you and him there will be plenty of space and potentially your bear or other DD so it would not be very easy thing to do and going out of you way to buff him is even bigger dps loss. Stricly speaking, lotus is fine as it is at procing nature gifts, it will just proc far less than every 1 second.
    Source on green lotus needing to heal *other* players to get the resource back? As far as I have seen, it just needs to actually heal, as in you don't get the 250 back if you are at 100% but you do if you heal yourself at less then 100% .


    Also Leaching only gives resources back on the 10 second heal, not the 10 seconds of minor health steal, as that is not actually a green balance heal, it is a generic debuff. Unless you have evidence to contradict everything I have seen, lotus is still the best way to activate the passive.

    What do you mean as far as you have seen? Have you actually saw it giving you resources from healing yourself? Because I did close to 5 independent test on pts and live since morrowind (in every patch) and there is clear difference both confirmed by combat metrics and subjective feeling when you heal only yourself and when you have friend to heal. Notably in VMA, where if you use bear you can sometimes gain resources from healing him, but often than not all enemies attack you and not the bear so you heal only yourself.
    Try doing some regular test on dummy with self damaging potion and notice no resource gain. Then move on some overworld enemy and do test with just yourself and then test where bear tanks everything.

    I am 99% sure it does not return resources on self heal. But I havent done the mechanics of lotus heal test since Morrowind closed beta. Back then if you lacked any HP on yourself you would not heal anyeone but yourself, not sure if that is the case still (that completely removed possibility of resource return in boss fights with constant aoe damage)

    Tannus15 wrote: »
    I've been messing around a lot with Bow/Bow too (mostly to annoy my guild mates)

    I have a khajiit stam-blade and I'm currently getting solid 30k on the skelly at any range.

    I'm using briarheart and TFS with master on the front, maelstrom on the back, no monster set, no slayer set.

    I made sure I could complete vMA and parse > 30k before inflicting it on my guild, and even then we all regard it as a bit of a joke build.

    It will always be joke build, because simply speaking it goes against the minmax nature of people playing endgame content. Why play bow and do 30-35k when you can just switch do DW and get 5k more and have blade cloak and fast heavy attacks. People can be doing just 20k dps on their DW build and they will look at is as joke build, because the game is not supposed to be played like this, every build creator and ZoS design says so.
    Edited by SodanTok on November 20, 2017 10:47AM
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  • Lightspeedflashb14_ESO
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    @SodanTok what I mean by that is when I check my combat metric after a fight and see how my resourses were coming in. I will pay closer attention in the future. Also, I am open to having my mind changed so no need to be offended (https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=What do you mean), it was not my intention to imply you had no idea what you were talking about. I use leeching vines extensively on my tank and know for sure that the minor lifesteal does not proc the passive.

    I also have to ask what makes you not use bird of prey? It removes the need to be in combat prayers range, allowing you to be further away, the minor berzerk also lasts for 14 seconds now.
    Edited by Lightspeedflashb14_ESO on November 20, 2017 11:26AM
  • SodanTok
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    @SodanTok what I mean by that is when I check my combat metric after a fight and see how my resourses were coming in. I will pay closer attention in the future. Also, I am open to having my mind changed so no need to be offended (https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=What do you mean), it was not my intention to imply you had no idea what you were talking about. I use leeching vines extensively on my tank and know for sure that the minor lifesteal does not proc the passive.

    I also have to ask what makes you not use bird of prey? It removes the need to be in combat prayers range, allowing you to be further away, the minor berzerk also lasts for 14 seconds now.

    Oh I was not offended. On the contrary. I read all the time about how this passives help with sustain so I am highly interested in just 'finding out' I am doing something wrong (it would be such a great help if it could be used reliably).

    Back before Morrowind I would definitely find use for bird of prey. Minor berserk on NB was huge part of why bow NBs were strong, because they could just get it themself and profit greatly from long shot passive. But now with the passive as additive component, with caltrops also being significantly bigger part of DPS (as nonbow skill) the range bonus is just not worth it potentially losing other healer buffs or 1gcd on cast (on warden). Plus Acid Spray is 20m range skill and on warden we use even more non bow skills that in no way benefit from it.
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  • Lightspeedflashb14_ESO
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    @SodanTok you still seem a little defensive, maybe I am reading too much into what you are writing.

    I have just got my master bow transmutated to a good dps trait, so my Stam warden is now going to be full bow/bow, she was the standard dw/bow. My question is what exactly does your warden bars look like to get the example rotation that you have there. The way my bars are set up, your rotation wouldn't work.


    Also in the parses that you have there, light attacks are doing 8-11% of your dps. I use a controller and can get light attacks barely do 2% of my dps. I know I am not the best dps, will likely never be because I can't weave like that but I still get 25-30k dps with dw/bow and around 20-25k with bow/bow. I see you getting over 35k and then saying bow/bow dps is a joke and I just am like that is crazy, though you do list out really good reasons why. Most of the dps I run into are barely hitting 15k, so if I could get a bow/bow build in my group that can do 35k dps, I would in a heartbeat.
    Edited by Lightspeedflashb14_ESO on November 20, 2017 1:16PM
  • SodanTok
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    @SodanTok you still seem a little defensive, maybe I am reading too much into what you are writing.

    I have just got my master bow transmutated to a good dps trait, so my Stam warden is now going to be full bow/bow, she was the standard dw/bow. My question is what exactly does your warden bars look like to get the example rotation that you have there. The way my bars are set up, your rotation wouldn't work.


    Also in the parses that you have there, light attacks are doing 8-11% of your dps. I use a controller and can get light attacks barely do 2% of my dps. I know I am not the best dps, will likely never be because I can't weave like that but I still get 25-30k dps with dw/bow and around 20-25k with bow/bow. I see you getting over 35k and then saying bow/bow dps is a joke and I just am like that is crazy, though you do list out really good reasons why. Most of the dps I run into are barely hitting 15k, so if I could get a bow/bow build in my group that can do 35k dps, I would in a heartbeat.

    If you weave light attack between every skill and basically perform proper animation canceling, light attack will be big part of your dps (or heavy attack on DW).

    I build the built I was using for my testing on PTS (my warden on live is PVP char, I prefer using stam sorc in PVE because of surge). It has basically the same gear and CP setup as the NB in the parses I posted. I dont have warden parses saved, but they were significantly lower than on NB. I did manage to do 35k few times, but that was alch. poisons (bad rng or good rng basically means 1k dps difference even on 6M dummy). Usual parse without acid spray was 32-33k. Usual parse with snipe instead of cutting 1-2k better. Usual parse without bear was 2k worse.

    Anyway, here is the link
    Edited by SodanTok on November 20, 2017 1:37PM
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  • Lightspeedflashb14_ESO
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    @SodanTok I am aware of why light attacks are so high but there is no chance that I will ever see light attacks in my top three, I am a PC player but I use an xbox controller and just can not light attack weave to save my life. I also main a healer, so doing 20k+ dps is a win for me when I play on my dpses. My little bosmer bowden will never be in a vet trial, so 20k dps is fine, your write up is probably the best I have seen on here, so thank you for it.

    On lotus heal giving that passive on yourself, I finally got home and played a bit and reviewed the combat log, it never did and I think that passive ought to be changed to healing yourself too. Also now that I read the passive description, it clearly states that only healing an ally will give you the resources. Really crappy.
    Edited by Lightspeedflashb14_ESO on November 20, 2017 4:29PM
  • SodanTok
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    @SodanTok I am aware of why light attacks are so high but there is no chance that I will ever see light attacks in my top three, I am a PC player but I use an xbox controller and just can not light attack weave to save my life. I also main a healer, so doing 20k+ dps is a win for me when I play on my dpses. My little bosmer bowden will never be in a vet trial, so 20k dps is fine, your write up is probably the best I have seen on here, so thank you for it.

    On lotus heal giving that passive on yourself, I finally got home and played a bit and reviewed the combat log, it never did and I think that passive ought to be changed to healing yourself too. Also now that I read the passive description, it clearly states that only healing an ally will give you the resources. Really crappy.

    Yeah, while it would be good if it worked on healing yourself I think ZoS does not want to. They should at least change the wording a little. It is clear only in context to other passives that says 'you or ally' but outside of warden there are many instances where healing ally works on yourself too.
    Edited by SodanTok on November 20, 2017 4:34PM
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  • Tannus15
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    FYI my build Bow Bow Baggins

    @Lightspeedflashb14_ESO You really are stuffed with out the light attacks on a bow/bow build, especially with a night blade. the hawk eye passive matters a lot and leeching strikes requires you to keep up those light attacks for the sustain.
    Add to that the relentless focus procs and you're in big trouble.

    @SodanTok Yeah, I use that against people. If I pull a higher % of damage on the boss, then wtf are they doing?
    Also I suck at magi DPS so when we have too many melee range DPS I can use this guy :P

    I might look at slotting Mirage to see if that can address the lack of blade cloak some-what, though honestly not standing right next to the boss and having medium armour mobility seems to make up for a lot anyway.
  • SodanTok
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    Tannus15 wrote: »
    FYI my build Bow Bow Baggins

    Lightspeedflashb14_ESO You really are stuffed with out the light attacks on a bow/bow build, especially with a night blade. the hawk eye passive matters a lot and leeching strikes requires you to keep up those light attacks for the sustain.
    Add to that the relentless focus procs and you're in big trouble.

    SodanTok Yeah, I use that against people. If I pull a higher % of damage on the boss, then wtf are they doing?
    Also I suck at magi DPS so when we have too many melee range DPS I can use this guy :P

    I might look at slotting Mirage to see if that can address the lack of blade cloak some-what, though honestly not standing right next to the boss and having medium armour mobility seems to make up for a lot anyway.

    Yeah cant say anything bad about that build, what I do differently is basically just matter of taste, on both setups you have potential to reach the same performance :)

    PC | EU | AD
  • SodanTok
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    Did more tests on Warden to show some parses. Mostly because I realized with warden +damage passives both monster set and alchemical poisons should perform better than on any class (NB cant crit monster set and Sorc cant buff poisons with phys passive). When I was at it I did even the normal stuff and even bosmer parse for comparison.

    As usual, remember all parses are subjected to RNG coming from crits, monster set procs and poison procs. Doing everything on 6M dummy to minimize the effect, but unless the parse looks too fishy I cant be bothered to repeat is several times. Plus I spent a lot of times doing just tests on any dummy so I usually know if the parse looks around what to be expected (even if crits are maybe more on lucky side).

    Album link
    I included the top parse 'of the day' even tho the procs and crits were mostly on lucky side. It was just funny see bow warden with 36.9k DPS parse on 6M (stormfist + poisons setup)

    tldr;
    I would recommend Stormfist setup even on warden now. Before it was obvious choice for stamsorc, but I figured the lesser regen on warden (8% less than stam sorc) and no execute passive is not that significant when you are getting 1-3% more damage from it.
    As for bosmer, the 1k dps loss is no way worth just 2! heavy attacks I did not have to do in whole 170s parse. And that was on stormfist setup (so even more regene)
    Edited by SodanTok on November 21, 2017 1:42PM
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  • WrathOfInnos
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    Nearly 37k on a pure bow build is very impressive. Now I need to try stormfist. I see you paired it with TFS, and I'm guessing 3 VO?

    As for race, you mention that Bosmer is not worth it. Are these parses on a Khajiit then? What are your thoughts on imperial. The 10% stamina should result in about 4-4.5% DPS (same as Redguard), but imperial also benefits from 12% health (much needed with Dubious Camoran, and lack of defensive passives, shields, or blade cloak).

    Khajiit on the other hand gets 8% crit chance. Assuming 50% crit from gear and non-racial passives, this brings crit up to 58%. With 20% crit damage from CPs and 10% from minor force the Khajiit passive is 4.6% DPS, so very similar to Imperial. If you also had 1/3 uptime on Major Force from Warhorn this goes up to 4.8% DPS.

    Basically the trade off would be 12% health vs 10% stamina regen and <1% DPS.

  • SodanTok
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    Nearly 37k on a pure bow build is very impressive. Now I need to try stormfist. I see you paired it with TFS, and I'm guessing 3 VO?

    As for race, you mention that Bosmer is not worth it. Are these parses on a Khajiit then? What are your thoughts on imperial. The 10% stamina should result in about 4-4.5% DPS (same as Redguard), but imperial also benefits from 12% health (much needed with Dubious Camoran, and lack of defensive passives, shields, or blade cloak).

    Khajiit on the other hand gets 8% crit chance. Assuming 50% crit from gear and non-racial passives, this brings crit up to 58%. With 20% crit damage from CPs and 10% from minor force the Khajiit passive is 4.6% DPS, so very similar to Imperial. If you also had 1/3 uptime on Major Force from Warhorn this goes up to 4.8% DPS.

    Basically the trade off would be 12% health vs 10% stamina regen and <1% DPS.

    Yeah all parses are on khajiit (except that one on warden with 1k less that same with khajiit). I listed imperial as possible choice and I guess I could try to make some parses to show if one is trending to be the better one (the difference wont be noticable imo). The thing is I considered just the DMG bonuses (where I believe the crit outperforms the stam with dubious), but there could be possibly interesting gain in damage if I match khajiits hp pool with the imperial one (by trading khajiit stamina for health). In the end it will depend if the regen lost is fine, or at least replaceable from other sources (without losing as much damage as was gained).
    Hard to count exact gain without eso uesp working :(

    Thats all considering the harder content. Personally on my stam sorc (with surge and hurricane) I am fine with the minimum hp pool usually, I put 10 points in health just because of veteran trials (on classic DW, but I prefer dubious even on DW) and havent found myself in situation in normal trials or dungeons where I could say the ~1.5k hp more had impact.
    Edited by SodanTok on November 21, 2017 4:40PM
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  • SodanTok
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    @WrathOfInnos
    Khajiit: 15926 HP / 29529 Stam
    Imperial: 15964 HP / 34064 Stam

    Average DPS with Imperial was 34.1k and average DPS with Khajiit was 34.3k
    With setup of of TFS, 3VO, Stormfist

    The regen on Khajiit was ~90 better, but was almost not felt, mostly because that is around 8k stamina in the whole run (and Imperial already starts with 4.5k stam advantage).
    The difference is then pretty small, but ultimate favors Khajiit imo. In this setup, poisoned DoT, poison glyphs and monster set are unaffected by the stamina gained. Neither would be alchemical poisons if I used them. But on Khajiit just monster set is unaffected.
    On top of it you dont have to use the amount of HP needed to match Imperial in most of the content you will be taking bow build (so not veteran trials). It definitely is not bad race and looks better (performance wise, bosmer pay big price for looking good) than wood elf. Even better if you go for cost reduction and not regen (so no stormfist). The funniest moment was when I skilled the passives and read the last one I completely forget about.... oh yeah yet another passive that does absolutely nothing in ranged combat.

    So it is not worth race changing to imperial (or buying imperial edition), but race changing from imperial is not worth it either.

    One thing to note, on this health setup, Khajiit would profit more from Minor Toughness (from warden or from warhorn), while Imperial would benefit more from ebon armor. Not significantly, because if both buffs were present and my calculations are correct it would be difference of ~4hp in favor of khajiit
    Edited by SodanTok on November 21, 2017 11:11PM
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  • WrathOfInnos
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    @SodakTok You are on it with the testing. Thanks for checking this. And yeah, it is annoying how many racial passives require melee range. I'm running out of questions...
  • SodanTok
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    Found out Redguard passive (at least on PTS) works with Velidreth and Poison enchant which allowed me to do this:
    sVRYluI.jpg
    25M dummy, 34k DPS, 5 TFS + 3 VO + 2 Stormfist + Inf. Master/ Nirn. Maelstrom with Poison enchant and Alch. poisons

    ...without ever going for second heavy attack and even skipping few. It is not that significant observation, but it moves redguard on top as best race choice.
    The only negative thing about it is that it could be very much unintended behavior and ZoS will jump quickly in to fix it (we cant have bow builds using their racial passives!). Hopefully they will take their sweet time like they take with Infused trait interaction on DW. Or even better, let it be and maybe even remove the melee restriction since 100-150 regen per sec hardly makes ranged builds OP when they so kindly decided bow heavy attacks should be horrible for sustain and melee are used like spammables nowadays...
    Edited by SodanTok on November 27, 2017 2:15PM
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  • Lightspeedflashb14_ESO
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    Dude, @SodanTok I am in aw that you stood at a 26 million dummy for that parse. You are a machine. You must be really bored of actually playing the game.

    I also really hate that light attacks are your second highest dps source, it is really stupid that light attacks are so necessary for top end dps. As I have said before I will never hit those numbers simply because of that and that weaving on a controller is so much more of a pain then on a kb/m setup.
    Edited by Lightspeedflashb14_ESO on November 28, 2017 6:32AM
  • SodanTok
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    I made some calculations and I think there is possibility of agility jewelry on bow (redguard) warden (any class) performing better or as good as Minor Slayer. But that was just from math. PTS does not have agility jewelry and live server does not offer very clean testing environment. So take it with a grain of salt.

    There is plenty of reasons this is wrong, maybe I made some bad assumptions. But with 27% damage from CP, 31-37% from bow passive (but only half effective because only half of DPS is bow on warden), Minor Berserk (8%) and 5% (average) from Warden passive I figured the Minor Slayer is worth only 3.2% DPS increase. Assuming I use War machine for easier calculations (so it increases stamina not crit on 1st bonus) I reach at just 5.3% from the whole 3piece. That is with golden jewelry. With purple agility jewelry I am calculating 6.25% damage bonus.

    //edit: Forgot to mention that I did not even account for light attacks in these calculations. They take 10-20% of your DPS and are boosted much more from agility than other skills are.
    Dude, @SodanTok I am in aw that you stood at a 26 million dummy for that parse. You are a machine. You must be really bored of actually playing the game.

    I also really hate that light attacks are your second highest dps source, it is really stupid that light attacks are so necessary for top end dps. As I have said before I will never hit those numbers simply because of that and that weaving on a controller is so much more of a pain then on a kb/m setup.

    Not bored at all, just enjoy pushing the limits bow/bow can do plus I am really starting to enjoy warden even in PVE (the DPS ceiling of that class is still very low, but I am pretty much fine with 30k DPS for everything I do) and I dont have yet PVE warden on live (played PVP for most of the part since Morrowind and my PVP CP is like total reverse of PVE CP)

    Bow light attacks are 2nd most damaging light attack in the game (other is 2H) and they scale with bow passives making them the best light attacks in the game. So not utilizing them will unfortunately really hurt you on any build, but on bow the most.
    Edited by SodanTok on November 28, 2017 12:46PM
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  • SodanTok
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    Updated the warden build from uesp (link)

    What I currently believe is the go to build:
    Race: Redguard for sustain (khajiit should still be more damage tho)

    Class: Warden for combination of sustain, AoE damage and avoiding snipe as spammable (even if it performs better damage wise)

    Gear: TFS for the best parses, but overall NMG. Our damage is very AoE centric with acid spray and sub assault spreading the NMG debuff far and wide. Plus our DPS will always be on the lower side of the group, losing the least of less penetration and buffing most the big hitters. Agility as jewelry instead of minor slayer. Reasons are that mathematically agility comes very close and sometimes even better than 3p of VO (in our bow situation, it is different for standard builds), as redguard we will benefit even more from more stamina, its cheap and notably very easy to replace robust (stamina) pieces with healthy if content demands so. If you dont have Master Bow, 4 pieces of VO will be always better than 3 piece of agility with random bow so remember that. Monster set can be whatever suits you best. Stormfist is still the best piece because of regen and how it synergies (it is AoE and procs from range), but you can obviously slot Velidreth (more damage, bigger sustain strain) or Mephala (imo worse than those 2). Preferably run 6 medium 1 heavy setup. You can also do 7 medium. Don't do 5 medium 1 heavy 1 light, it is not worth it.

    Weapons: We 100% in all situations use on front bar infused bow with Poison enchantment. It procs redguards adrenaline rush which is the sole reason we use redguard over khajiit (but dont be afraid, if ZoS changes this redguard is still very very close to khajiit in bow dps). On backbar we always have Weapon damage enchantment, but use poisons for content where better single target DPS (for a price of poisons) matters most like boss fights. For that reason the only viable traits to use are Nirnhoned (best), Precise (close) and Sharpened (only if you lack penetration like using NMG in 4man dungeon or casual trial settings)

    Other: I put prismatic glyphs on chest, legs and helm. You need to sacrifice some stamina for health anyway and ways to do it are through glyphs, attribute pints or jewelry traits. The advantage of prismatic glyph is that it creates magicka for free in the process. it does not matter much (since we rarely use magicka), but the window where Nature's Gift passive gives you magicka (because you just spent it on Lotus for example) instead of stamina will be smaller or wont be there at all if you are on low stamina. If you dont want or cant use them, remember to use the other way to get more health. There is no noticeable DPS loss in having at least 17k health all the time and the interaction with agility jewelry allow you to stack more health for harder content (if you dont use agility and for some reason trying harder content like veteran trials, stack more health than 17k obviously, probably 19k)

    Skills: Check the build for the standard setup (skill you should always have on warden). In situations that demand more AoE or are very anti-pet, the go to ultimate on front bar is obviously flawless dawnbreaker. On backbar you have two choices. Ballista (bow ult) for better single target or Shooting Star for more AoE (yes even if it magical ulti). You may notice the one empty spot on the warden builds. This is very crucial open spot and you will have to use it very smartly. Always predict what skill will you require in next battle and slot it there. The most obvious choices are vigor for more healing, Ice Fortress for overall damage reduction (Resistance + Protection), Shimmering Shield for anti projectile shield with ulti gain buff and Bone Shield (very weak and expensive shield, but when it comes to some really hard hitting abilities in this game, it can still protect you more than anything)
    Edited by SodanTok on December 11, 2017 12:41PM
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  • Toc de Malsvi
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    SodanTok wrote: »
    I made some calculations and I think there is possibility of agility jewelry on bow (redguard) warden (any class) performing better or as good as Minor Slayer. But that was just from math. PTS does not have agility jewelry and live server does not offer very clean testing environment. So take it with a grain of salt.

    There is plenty of reasons this is wrong, maybe I made some bad assumptions. But with 27% damage from CP, 31-37% from bow passive (but only half effective because only half of DPS is bow on warden), Minor Berserk (8%) and 5% (average) from Warden passive I figured the Minor Slayer is worth only 3.2% DPS increase. Assuming I use War machine for easier calculations (so it increases stamina not crit on 1st bonus) I reach at just 5.3% from the whole 3piece. That is with golden jewelry. With purple agility jewelry I am calculating 6.25% damage bonus.

    //edit: Forgot to mention that I did not even account for light attacks in these calculations. They take 10-20% of your DPS and are boosted much more from agility than other skills are.
    Dude, @SodanTok I am in aw that you stood at a 26 million dummy for that parse. You are a machine. You must be really bored of actually playing the game.

    I also really hate that light attacks are your second highest dps source, it is really stupid that light attacks are so necessary for top end dps. As I have said before I will never hit those numbers simply because of that and that weaving on a controller is so much more of a pain then on a kb/m setup.

    Not bored at all, just enjoy pushing the limits bow/bow can do plus I am really starting to enjoy warden even in PVE (the DPS ceiling of that class is still very low, but I am pretty much fine with 30k DPS for everything I do) and I dont have yet PVE warden on live (played PVP for most of the part since Morrowind and my PVP CP is like total reverse of PVE CP)

    Bow light attacks are 2nd most damaging light attack in the game (other is 2H) and they scale with bow passives making them the best light attacks in the game. So not utilizing them will unfortunately really hurt you on any build, but on bow the most.

    I've always held that Agility will do more for you than Minor Slayer on bow builds.
    Legendary Archer of Valenwood
    Bosmer Dragon Knight Archer. XBox One. (Flawless Conqueror Bow/Bow)
    Bosmer Nightblade Archer. Xbox One. (Flawless Conqueror Bow/Bow)
    Bosmer Sorcerer Archer. Xbox One. (Flawless Conqueror Bow/Bow)
    Bosmer Warden Archer. Xbox One. (Flawless Conqueror Bow/Bow)
    Templar's are evil..
  • Toc de Malsvi
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    Dude, @SodanTok I am in aw that you stood at a 26 million dummy for that parse. You are a machine. You must be really bored of actually playing the game.

    I also really hate that light attacks are your second highest dps source, it is really stupid that light attacks are so necessary for top end dps. As I have said before I will never hit those numbers simply because of that and that weaving on a controller is so much more of a pain then on a kb/m setup.

    You can do it just keep trying. I play on a controller on console and on PC and a year ago I didn't think I would be able to, but with some practice I have been able to improve my light weaving.
    Legendary Archer of Valenwood
    Bosmer Dragon Knight Archer. XBox One. (Flawless Conqueror Bow/Bow)
    Bosmer Nightblade Archer. Xbox One. (Flawless Conqueror Bow/Bow)
    Bosmer Sorcerer Archer. Xbox One. (Flawless Conqueror Bow/Bow)
    Bosmer Warden Archer. Xbox One. (Flawless Conqueror Bow/Bow)
    Templar's are evil..
  • Toc de Malsvi
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    SodanTok wrote: »
    @WrathOfInnos I agree that Warden in AoE fight outperforms NB (not just NB, with Acid Spray Warden outperforms every possible bow build). But AoE fights are usually the domain of Magicka builds anyway (and Warden cant even compare to them) so single target is imo better metrics to compare bow builds.

    StamSorc has this unique advantage that staying in range without hurricane and in closer range with hurricane keeps DPS pretty same while someone like Nightblade loses more by moving from long range to mid-short range. Active skills arent really required.

    If just compare the passives then
    • NB: gets crit from slotting abilities, Minor Savagery from slotting one ability, 10% crit damage from slotting one ability, 15% (s/m/g) regen for nothing, 20ult every 45s for nothing, 2 ult every recast of Leeching Strikes,
    • Sorc: gets cost reduction for nothing, ultimate reduction for nothing, 20% s/h recovery for slotting one ability (tho twice), +5% to phys damage for nothing, random execute for nothing, % weapon damage from slotting (any class) abilities
    • Warden: gets 4ultimate every 8sec for using abilities, 12% s/m recovery from slotting one ability, +2% damage per slotted ability (common combat scenario is 6%)

    Now there is probably no confusion that damage wise the NB passives are superior to warden in any way. So no need to explain that. With Sorc it is different. He has just 5% to phys damage (usually 80% of your DPS) while Warden will often have 6% to everything. In that, warden wins (for a cost of slotting 3 abilities while sorc pays nothing), but with the execute passive sorc can easily match in just damage to what warden does.
    The ultimate gain is connected to damage output and NB gets ~0.5 ultimate every second, same as warden (without shimmering) and Sorc gets cost reduction that performs better on expensive ultimates and worse on cheaper, but if the target is ballista (175 or 150 on sorc) they will all reach it at same time.

    Sustain wise, NB wins and the other two arent even close. You compared Leeching strikes to Netch, but that is too not even close. WIth Leeching strikes, Minor Endurance and 15% stam regen, NB can sustain full 6M parse without every doing heavy attack. Warden has to do one nearly every rotation for same result (sorc too). You probably think Netch is good for sustain (like most people) hence the idea they are comparable.
    Leeching strikes restore 106 stamina every light attack and 4270 stamina at the end for price of 792 stamina on full medium setup. That is 173 stamina every second not counting the light attack bonus. Lets simplify it to light attack every 2 seconds given cast time of abilities like snipe and the result is 226 stamina every second. Warden Netch gives 160 stamina every second. So it is instantly worse than simply casting Leeching and not doing anything. The only small advantage for DD is the damage increase (usually from backbar), but no need to explain how little that is and how often than not recasting Netch feels like DPS loss even if bar swapping.
    Now the 15% regen NB gets is obviously, but insignificantly better than 12% warden gets. One thing to note here is that warden needs to actually slot ability to have it and the passive actually lies in the only damage tree warden has, while NB gets the 15% even to health and it has no requirements and even lies in a tree we would not be using anything from, leaving space in the main DPS tree for actually DPS passives (mentioned before).
    One thing to note is Nature's Gift passive on warden and its interaction with Lotus, which is 20sec ability like Leeching, offering same health as Leeching (for caster), but also for group. In theory this passive with lotus would supplement warden with 250 stamina every second, outperforming Leeching strikes. In reality, healing yourself does not restore anything. Casting Lotus alone (as only magicka ability) will cost you enough magicka to force this passive to restore your magicka instead of stamina for 1/3 of its buff. But if you manage to keep yourself fully healthy (so Lotus heals others not you) and melee DD in front of you are failing at that (so they always need your heal) it can in theory perform as good as Leeching light attack. Before I simplified light attacks to every 2sec on NB but from parses it is usually every 1.7s. In theory that is 101 stamina every second and Lotus+Nature'sGift would be 187/s in absolutely perfect scenario where warden does absolutely no high attack and every light attack restores resource. I have yet to see such scenario.

    Anyway, it got too long so short on sorc. They have just 20% regen from costly skill (as is, wastes 2 slots), but which also boost your damage significantly (more than Netch would) and 5% cost reduction. Calculate the advantage of this passive more difficult, but If I just use my example of rotation on sorc I will save 1157-1319 stamina every rotation (10s) so 115-131 stamina every sec. On simply setup (no regen other than dubious) the 8% more regen than warden will be around 33/s, add that all together warden without Nature's Gift procs and Sorc are pretty much same sustain. Except Sorc does not need to cast anything for it.

    tldr;
    NB has superior damage passives both for himself and for group. NB has superior sustain in normal scenario over both Warden and Sorc. Sorc and Warden (with bear) perform about the same both sustain wise and damage wise. Warden has advantage of better mobility (but disadvantage in bear), while Sorc is limited to Snipe, but gains increased survivability from pretty good dps skill in Hurricane.

    Sorc's also get 8% more maximum stamina when running Bound Armaments.
    Legendary Archer of Valenwood
    Bosmer Dragon Knight Archer. XBox One. (Flawless Conqueror Bow/Bow)
    Bosmer Nightblade Archer. Xbox One. (Flawless Conqueror Bow/Bow)
    Bosmer Sorcerer Archer. Xbox One. (Flawless Conqueror Bow/Bow)
    Bosmer Warden Archer. Xbox One. (Flawless Conqueror Bow/Bow)
    Templar's are evil..
  • SodanTok
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    ^ Crazy how I forgot that. That alone is worth same damage as 3 Animal Companion skills (6% damage done)
    Edited by SodanTok on December 12, 2017 10:55AM
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