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[GUIDE] - ESO Exploration Power Leveling

James-Wayne
James-Wayne
✭✭✭✭✭
Updated guide to reflect current patch – 31st of December, 2015
VR Exploration Levelling Guide – Coming Soon!

RED - Additional guide notes added after official release
BLUE - Updates due to patches from the original game

eso_title.jpg

NOTE: 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 first zones.

ADD-ONS: 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

1. 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).

OPTIONAL: 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.

OPTIONAL: 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.

NOTE: 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

eso_levels.jpg

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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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

NOTE: 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.

ACHIEVEMENT: 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.
Edited by James-Wayne on December 31, 2015 5:36AM
PERTH, AUSTRALIAN | PC | NA

PING - 2014 @ 220, 2016 @ 300, 2018 @ 400+ till now and getting worse!

Characters
James-Wayne | Dark Elf | Templar
Wayne-Robert | Imperial | Dragonknight
Lili’an-Stormcloak | Imperial | Sorcerer
Zany’Lagra-Wroggin | Orc | Nightblade
Lily-Frostfang | Breton | Warden
Lilith-Zengo | Dark Elf | Nightblade
Xavitar-Spellfire | High Elf | Dragonknight
Hodor-Stoneheart | Nord | Templar
Heals-All-Hearts | Argonian | Templar
Zohan-Beastmaster | Wood Elf | Sorcerer
Sees-Life-N'Death | Argonian | Necromancer

Guilds
Aussie Elders
Valherus
Order of the Star
ESO Grand Designs
  • Morshire
    Morshire
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    Dang, that was a mouthful, but a decent read. Wish I had this guide when I started. Thanks for taking the time to put it all together. I definitely will follow this with any alts I run through.

    EDIT: Now I need to figure out how to make this work for AD.
    Edited by Morshire on February 5, 2015 9:57PM
    Follow me if I advance, Kill me if I retreat, Avenge me if I die.

    When this immediate evil power has been defeated, we shall not yet have won the long battle with the elemental barbarities. Another evil, it may be an invisible adversary, will attempt, again, and yet again, to destroy our frail civilization. Is it true, I wonder, that the only way to escape a war is to be in it?

    If I die, you are forgiven, If I live, I will kill you.
  • Nestor
    Nestor
    Community Ambassador
    Nice Guide
    Enjoy the game, life is what you really want to be worried about.

    PakKat "Everything was going well, until I died"
    Gary Gravestink "I am glad you died, I needed the help"

  • hgh2014
    hgh2014
    Soul Shriven
    great guild thank you James-Wayne
    Hassan
    El-Shbokshy
  • James-Wayne
    James-Wayne
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    I've just updated this guide to reflect the current patch with additional notes.

    More updates on the way soon.
    PERTH, AUSTRALIAN | PC | NA

    PING - 2014 @ 220, 2016 @ 300, 2018 @ 400+ till now and getting worse!

    Characters
    James-Wayne | Dark Elf | Templar
    Wayne-Robert | Imperial | Dragonknight
    Lili’an-Stormcloak | Imperial | Sorcerer
    Zany’Lagra-Wroggin | Orc | Nightblade
    Lily-Frostfang | Breton | Warden
    Lilith-Zengo | Dark Elf | Nightblade
    Xavitar-Spellfire | High Elf | Dragonknight
    Hodor-Stoneheart | Nord | Templar
    Heals-All-Hearts | Argonian | Templar
    Zohan-Beastmaster | Wood Elf | Sorcerer
    Sees-Life-N'Death | Argonian | Necromancer

    Guilds
    Aussie Elders
    Valherus
    Order of the Star
    ESO Grand Designs
  • Creation
    Creation
    Soul Shriven
    Here is my experience with this method:

    Equipment : All Armor + a Shield with Explore Trait (** I also purpled all of my gear*)
    Buffs: Patron 10% and Exp Scroll 50%
    Mount Speed: 25%
    Mundus: Steed
    Starting level 4

    Results:
    Time Spent 2 hours
    Character level: I just hit 9 before my 2 hour scroll ran out
    Skill Levels: 12 for class skills and 11 for Sword and Shield and 9 for Destro Staff
    Zones Covered: Stonefalls,Bal Foyen, Deeshan and half of The Rift

    I spent the 146 gold to go to the nearest shrine whenever I was far enough away that I would have to double back a large distance and sprinted as often as I could on my mount. I believe my character is at 18 skill points and level 4.5 on mages guild from collection of shards and books.

    I think it is an interesting idea and was a nice change up, I am not sure how effective it is though with only gaining 5 levels in 2 hours while using an exp scroll. The exp gains from discovery were really low even with all the boosters. I appreciate the idea from the OP though I believe it is ineffective and should only be invested in by those with ample amounts of gold and boredom.
  • Silica.Kun
    Very good guide! Has helped me a lot!
    Yours truly, Kea'ra
    Female-Proud DC Member
  • leepalmer95
    leepalmer95
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    ✭✭✭✭✭
    5 levels in 2 hours seems really low, i can be lvl 16+ in that time.
    PS4 EU DC

    Current CP : 756+

    I have every character level 50, both a magicka and stamina version.


    RIP my effort to get 5x v16 characters...
  • Creation
    Creation
    Soul Shriven
    5 levels in 2 hours seems really low, i can be lvl 16+ in that time.

    Ya I can breeze through that doing quests, I was going at what I felt was a pretty fast pace and using waypoints and guildies to get to spots faster when needed. Maybe I was doing something wrong, the exp for discovering was super low though.
    Edited by Creation on January 15, 2016 4:00AM
  • James-Wayne
    James-Wayne
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    Creation wrote: »
    I think it is an interesting idea and was a nice change up, I am not sure how effective it is though with only gaining 5 levels in 2 hours while using an exp scroll. The exp gains from discovery were really low even with all the boosters. I appreciate the idea from the OP though I believe it is ineffective and should only be invested in by those with ample amounts of gold and boredom.

    Thanks Creation for running the guide through AD it certainly sounds much slower then DC. I haven't personally attempted this with AD but good info to have for everyone else. I'm currently preparing my Veteran run guide through AD and EP where my times are much better but this may be due to the fact I was running Rapid Maneuver so I'll be sure to check out the other factions sometime and update the guide accordingly.
    5 levels in 2 hours seems really low, i can be lvl 16+ in that time.
    I agree its not the fastest method for grinding just levels as the guide was never built for that purpose alone but thank you for the feedback.
    Edited by James-Wayne on January 15, 2016 11:10AM
    PERTH, AUSTRALIAN | PC | NA

    PING - 2014 @ 220, 2016 @ 300, 2018 @ 400+ till now and getting worse!

    Characters
    James-Wayne | Dark Elf | Templar
    Wayne-Robert | Imperial | Dragonknight
    Lili’an-Stormcloak | Imperial | Sorcerer
    Zany’Lagra-Wroggin | Orc | Nightblade
    Lily-Frostfang | Breton | Warden
    Lilith-Zengo | Dark Elf | Nightblade
    Xavitar-Spellfire | High Elf | Dragonknight
    Hodor-Stoneheart | Nord | Templar
    Heals-All-Hearts | Argonian | Templar
    Zohan-Beastmaster | Wood Elf | Sorcerer
    Sees-Life-N'Death | Argonian | Necromancer

    Guilds
    Aussie Elders
    Valherus
    Order of the Star
    ESO Grand Designs
  • Creation
    Creation
    Soul Shriven
    Thanks Creation for running the guide through AD it certainly sounds much slower then DC. I haven't personally attempted this with AD but good info to have for everyone else. I'm currently preparing my Veteran run guide through AD and EP where my times are much better but this may be due to the fact I was running Rapid Maneuver so I'll be sure to check out the other factions sometime and update the guide accordingly.

    I was running it on EP and it was definitely a twist to leveling and something fresh, I just wanted to post my experience and feedback so that new players know what to expect. This seems more for experienced players leveling an alt that just want to do something different. I will probably mess with it again on another alt and see if I can find more efficient pathing as well or something. This type of guide could really benefits from a map with pathing to boost efficiency.
  • hehoolaughs
    hehoolaughs
    Soul Shriven
    Well thought out

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