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Clarity on game flow

Soul Shriven
Hey everyone,

Ive been playing ES games since Morrowind, but thats about the extent of my gaming. I've never played an MMO, and had what might be called philosophical apprehensions about ESO when I first heard it announced, so I didn't get it, and simply went back to Oblivion and Skyrim. When they announced Morrowind, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to revisit my favorite world, so I got it. The way I have always played is by doing location discovery and provincial quests first, and then do the more macro lines. Naturally, I did the same here. I quested until I died regularly, then switched lands (Note: I am f'ing blown away by the enormity of this game. I've always fantasized about a more open Tamriel from a playing perspective and this really doesn't disappoint). I more or less avoided all kind of dungeons because I didn't understand them. Obviously, I understand the concepts, but I didn't understand how they fit into the game except for maybe something to do if you're bored, or have friends on the game.

So what's happened is I've almost cleared the quests on Vvardenfell, decided to do the Thieves Guild and almost cleared Abah's Landing, was curious about Shadowfen, almost cleared that, and then ended up in Deshaan and Stonefalls (my fear of the proverbial "end" stops me from totally clearing areas lol) I'm now level 34 and am only just now starting the main quest. As I've gone along, it now feels like I'm missing out on something by not fully doing the things ~other~ than questing, so I have a few questions:

-The game seems to set up that the main faction quests (Main Story, Fighters, Mages) are all location based to get you familiar with each area, does this mean you should do all of the other things in an area during that time? For instance, while I'm doing the main quest in Stonefalls, I should also travel across Stonefalls doing its dungeons, groups bosses, etc, before moving to Deshaan. Are these leveled? I had no problems doing the public dungeon in Stonefalls solo, but got massacred in the Vvardenfall public dungeon. In the beginning of the game, I tried a group boss and got slaughtered, but that was in Vvardenfell, are the Stonefalls GBs easier? If they are leveled, will it matter that I'm beyond a beginning level, even though this is a beginning zone.

-How am I supposed to do Group Dungeons? Do I just use the Dungeon Finder whenever I feel like it, or is there some sort of paradigm for it?

-I don't understand Guilds. On the surface, it seemed to me just a place for friends, but people are always in the text chat talking about having thousands of members? I spend very little in game money, and have a constant surplus of items that I could sell, so it doesn't seem logical do it only for the store; is just for a built in group of people to quest with? That can't be the only reason, so I think I'm missing something.

-I have never been to Cyrodil, everything I've read about it makes it seem like if you are sub lvl 50, you're just going to get mauled - is that the case?

-Crafting - is it even worth it before you a surplus of traits researched?

Despite my apprehensions about playing my favorite insular, lore based RPG as an MMO, I am having a lot of fun with this game. Lore has always played an outsized role for me so It's really nice to experience the entire world. Vvardenfell did not disappoint - once I saw the scaled of Sadrith Mora and Vivec City I was enamored. Reminds me fondly of my travels as the Nerevarine incarnate....
  • VaranisArano
    Hi! So the joy of ESO is that you really can wander around doing whatever you like, I'll try to provide some clarity.

    So Vvardenfell is now the new starting zone, but you can also work your way through any of the zones in order - or go through them in the order they are for the faction. DLC zones can be completed in any order, but they happen chronologically a little after all the faction zones.

    For the Pact, that's Bleakrock Isle -> Bal Foyen ->Stonefalls ->Deshaan ->Shadowfen -> Eastmarch -> the Rift
    For the Dominion, that's Khnarthi's Roost ->Auridon -> Grahtwood -> Greenshade -> Malabal Tor -> Reaper's March
    For the Covenant, that's Stros M'Kai -> Betnikh ->Glenumbra -> Stormhaven -> Rivenspire -> Alikr Desert -> Bangkorai

    Now, the Pact storyline is pretty fragmented, so you should be fine to do that story in any order. The Dominion story is pretty linear, so it will make more sense storywise if you complete the zones in order. The Covenant will make more sense in order, but its not necessary.

    A chronology for content (suggested only - this is close to how you would complete content before One Tamriel opened everything up - but you can really do it in any order you want):
    1. Your first faction, doing the Main Quest, Mages Guild, and Fighters Guild quests as you advance through your faction zones
    2. Coldharbor, where you'll advance the main quest and eventually finish the Main quest
    3. Your second faction (Cadwell's Silver)
    4. Your third faction (Cadwell's Gold)
    5. Fit in the DLC content and Craglorn in wherever you want.

    Again, the order in which you do things doesn't matter anymore. While you certainly can clear the Stonefalls World Bosses (which will require a group although they may not be quite as hard as Vvardenfell's) while you are questing in Stonefalls, they and all the content is leveled to CP 160 as are you, so that you can complete all the content at any time. It will never matter that you are not at a beginning level when it comes to killing things because enemies and yourself are all battle-leveled to CP 160. As you level, you gain in skills, attributes, and armor/weapons. (Everything used to be level-locked before One Tamriel, and you would not be able to roam anywhere near as much as you can now.)

    Group Dungeons: You can use the group finder or you can form a group and travel to the dungeon through the map. For group finder, just choose if you want to be a DPS, a healer, or a tank. You can select specific dungeons or a random dungeon which will be selected from a list of dungeons that are unlocked for your level (you can check the list by seeing which specific dungeons you can queue for). You can manually travel to any group dungeon, even those not unlocked. DPS will typically have a longer wait than tanks or healers.

    Guilds: you can be in up to five guilds, so many people use those for different things. I myself am in a guild with just my IRL friends, 3 trading guilds, and a PVP guild. Basic types of guilds: (although many guilds will combine parts of different types)
    • Trading Guilds: The game does not have an auction house, instead guilds compete to hire traders that are located around the game world. Busy locations like capital cities get competitive. If you join a trade guild that owns a trader, you'll get access to 30 slots to sell items on the guild trader's location which you can access through any bank. You'll want to pick a trader that fits your needs. There are trading guilds that are low-pressure, no sales requirements, no donations, and there are trading guilds who might have a weekly sales requirement or required donations in other to fund their weekly guild trader bid and keep their spot. There are many trading guilds and I'm sure you can find one that works for you. It can be as easy as asking in zone chat for a low pressure trading guild. (if you want to trade without joining a guild, you can try selling in zone chat.)
    • PVE Raiding Guilds: These guilds focus on PVE content like group dungeons (4-man dungeons) or trials (12-man end game dungeons). Some trials guilds will have requirements, but most should provide training for how to become better with your chosen role. If you want to run group dungeons or trials regularly, it can be helpful to have guildies to ask instead of relying on groupfinder. I've filled in for people who needed help in a dungeon who asked in guild chat.
    • PVP Guilds: These guilds run in player vs player zones like Cyrodiil, Imperial City, Battlegrounds (4v4v4) or dueling. PVP in Cyrodiil and Imperial City is determined by your faction, so pick a guild that fits your faction. Most PVP guilds run regularly and will help new members find their feet in PVP.
    • Social Guilds: These are good places to hang out and get to know your fellow players. Many guilds, not just social guilds, will have events, raffles, auctions, and quest events. Additionally, a guild is a built in place to go "hey, I've got a question..." and get help from your guildmates. Many times, guildmates will help each other with crafting gear or with transport, since you can travel to guildmates for free. Some guilds will also have guildhouses where they might have various crafting stations, especially set crafting stations, so you don't have to run all over Tamriel to craft your gear.
    • Roleplaying guilds: These guilds have a theme and a story that they focus their roleplaying around. You might see Dunmer guilds roleplaying about the Great Houses or vampire guilds trying to put a vampire on the throne of Cyrodiil as part of their roleplay. if storytelling is something you want to explore, look for a cool bunch of people who are telling the sorts of stories you want to be a part of.
    I'm probably leaving something out here, but overall guilds form an important part of the society and economy of players in Tamriel. You got five of them to use, and you can leave and join guilds without any consequences. If a guild isn't right for you, leave it and find another that will welcome you.

    Cyrodiil - heh, I started going into Cyrodiil in order to get skyshards and fish. I've kept coming back and now I regularly PVP, so...
    Start with Joy_Division's guide to the midyear mayhem event. It'll explain a lot about how Cyrodiil works and how to be effective:
    There are multiple campaigns, including Kyne, which is a no CP, below level 50 server. If you want to start getting into Cyrodiil, Kyne may be a good place to start.
    As for getting mauled, I'm pretty sure that everyone who goes into Cyrodiil as a new player gets mauled. Eventually, you get experienced enough to maul back :) I wouldn't worry about getting mauled, just keep going and keep learning.

    Crafting - definitely start researching traits. Crafting is useful right now if you are relying on yourself to craft gear as you level, but if you can get gear from a guildie (if you have the mats, many will help craft training gear for you) or want to rely on looted gear, you can afford to wait on investing skill points into crafting. You will have enough skill points as you level to do all the crafting disciplines as long as you gather all the skyshards.

    Now that I've written you a small book in reponse :) I'm really happy that you are enjoying the game! I hope you continue to have fun in Tamriel.
  • Elsterchen
    Hallo and welcome,

    I like your approach for the game and I hope my answers will help you a little bit.

    - As for progressing through an area: All non-DLC areas used to be gated. Before OneTamriel (= OT = the patch before morrowind) one would start in a main city of the alliance fraction one belonged to and progress through each zone while questing. Changing zones was possible (as long as you stayed in alliance territory), but enemies would not scale to your level, hence, usually get stronger. With OT this changed, all enemies scale to your level and you are free to move at your leisure. The quests and stories, however, never changed. So if you enjoy questing and following storylines I would advise you to play the game zone-by-zone (start in Glenumbra (or if you like to go to the original beginning: Stros M'kai if your char fights for the Covenant, Khenarthi's Roost (AD) or Bleakrock Isle (EP)). While following the questlines you will meet alot of NPCs and the whole story should get more comprehensive. Yet, there will be some quests sending you in the wrong direction - unfortunatelly this is a side effect of OT. We tried to point at this before OT was installed, but zeni never listened. So adding to it I would advise you to stay out of Reapers march (AD), bankorai (DC) and the rift (EP) untill you have finished all other zones of this alliance (evenso you will have quests pointing you to these zones earlier). You can do the main quest/ fighters guild/ mages guild quests as you progress or all at once.

    - Yes you can do group dungeons, as far as i heard the group finder just works occasionally - so it might be broken again atm, and as of latest patch your char (beeing below level 50) will not be allowed to qualify for a random group for specific dungeons. But, 4-man content is considered endcontend and doesn't contribute to the storyline. Adding to it, after grabbing a number of CP you can try and solo these dungeons (- no grouping required) it works. Normal dungeons do sometimes contribute to the storyline ... and clearing them out will help you level the undaunted skill-tree (3rd guild in eso). They are soloable, but not as easy as overland contend. World bosses (skull-icon) are meant to be grinded down in groups ... and since OT soloing (some of) them is very hard. If you like to takkle them, just ask in zone chat for help - a "call for heros" usually works ;).

    - guilds are not mandatory, but I would strongly advice you to join at least one. Maybe you have noticed that some merchants sell only the same stuff (potions, repair kits, soul gems) - all other merchants are guild-merchants, NPCs hired by a guild to sell stuff (anything from fishing materials to golden temper, set gear, crafted gear or jewellery, crafting writs, trophies... well, in short: everything) for their members. So, players are selling the good stuff you will not get anywhere else (just try to get any set-item from a clothier, woodworker or blacksmith) -> You can do that, too. You collect alot of stuff anyways, and selling some of it via an guild trader means more gold in your purse.
    Another reason to join a guild is playing in groups, this doesn't necessisarily mean you do group content ... but eg. exploring cyrodiil for the first time and questing there is much (really alot) more comfortable when in a group. Adding to it, guild members usually answer questions, charge very little (or nothing) for crafting jobs and and and... .

    - cyrodiil is an awesome place, you'll either love it or hate it. If you do not like to learn PVP the hard way i would advise you to join a level 1-49 campaign for your home campaign. As noted before join your guilds day-trips to cyrodiil (guest campaign) to get a little sense of how cyrodiil is "working". Oh yeah, there is one thing that is never changing, no matter your level gear etc, you usually die at some point in cyrodiil. Just live with the fact that PVP means winning and loosing ... and consequently also means dying alot more then in PVE and you will be fine.

    - Crafting is worth even before you have learned all trades. There are daily crafting jobs and doing these will give you experience, some gold (reliable income!), some gear (for trade or deconstruction) and some materials (for crafting). just doing these is worth the time.

    Have fun!
    Edited by Elsterchen on October 27, 2017 3:31AM
  • dpencil1
    Welcome to ESO!

    1. The whole game is scaled to max level, so no zone is a higher level than any other. Some monsters have different skills and strategies, so you may do better against baddies that have attacks that are easier to anticipate, but it's not like those "harder" mobs are a higher level. When I leveled my main, the game was still scaled to different levels per zone. I went from the starter zone of my alliance and picked up the main quest, Mage's and Fighter's guild quests and every side quest along the way, completing each zone fully before moving on to the next. This is how the game was initially built to be played, but you don't have to do it that way. If you did all the side quests first, you'd be revisiting some of the same locations again later while doing the main quest instead of knocking both out at the same time. So, not a big deal either way.

    World bosses are intended to be fought by a group of players. It is possible to defeat most of them solo, but you'd probably want to be max level with good gear and a great understanding of your character's gameplay first (basically being at the point where you are able to beat Veteran Maelstrom Arena). You can ask for help in zone chat. Some zones have sharable quests for defeating world bosses. So people will group up to share and complete those quests together pretty regularly.

    2. Group Dungeons are little self-contained stories, meant to be completed by a group of 4 players (usually 1 tank, 1 healer, and 2 dps). The real benefit of completing them comes at level 45 when you can start doing Undaunted daily pledges. They also award a skill point for completing their story. The group finder tool is your best bet while below max level. Just que for random normal dungeons and go about your business questing until you get formed into a group. Let the other people in the group know this is your first time in that dungeon and that you will be completing the quest. Later at max level, you could ask in zone chat in any of the zones where an alliance capitol city is, as people will often be forming groups for the Undaunted pledges there. This also goes for guilds.

    3. Guilds serve several different functions. A dedicated trading guild is mainly a guild to make money by selling stuff in their guild store. They bid for highly trafficked city vendor spots to maximize visibility, which is expensive, and so these guilds are often aggressive about removing inactive or unprofitable guild members, and may require dues or participation in raffles to help support the guild's ability to bid for their vendor spot each week. A trials guild is focused on end-game group play, completing 12-man trials, which are the hardest content in the game. PvP guilds obviously focus on that. Some guilds are more casual, focusing on being social, grouping up for overland or 4-man dungeons, etc. And some are focused on a particular niche, like a guild for crafters or home furnishes or warewolves/vampires. So you just need to consider if you have an interest in any of that stuff, and if so, seek out guilds that do what you like. Personally, I am in one casual trials guild and 4 trade guilds (cause I sell a lot of junk).

    4. Yes, PvP will likely eat you alive if you allow yourself to be focused by enemy players. This will be true until you are max level and are yourself a good enough player to fight competently against other good players. That said, if you go to Cyrodill and can go where there is big action (i.e. a bunch of players from your faction fighting for some goal), you can tag along and try to do what you can to help. If you stay out of the line of fire, you'll be pretty safe in that situation. Just don't go running off by yourself.

    5. Crafting eats a ton of skill points. Around level 40 or so, you usually have most of the skills and passives you really need, so you can spend points into crafting. But you should never give up a skill point that could be used to make you more effective in combat to increase something in a crafting line. Most leveling can be done just with dropped gear anyway, so it's not urgent to get it done. Research is the most time consuming element, so you can get that knocked out as you go. Maxing out your crafting line will happen naturally over time via deconstructing, and you could also complete crafting writs each day for a big chunck of crafting xp.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.
    Edited by dpencil1 on October 27, 2017 3:33AM
  • beatnok
    Soul Shriven
    ok, i'm back and finally tried a group dungeon. i used the group finder to do fungal grotto, the first dungeon in EP. I'm level 47 or so. got matched with one guy well into his champion rank, another close to my level and someone below level 20. since this is my first dungeon i wanted to do the quest but before i had a chance to do anything everyone was already off. i was sort of expecting the dungeon to become white (indicating a completed area) but it hasn't -

    separately, i've now joined the undaunted. i'm pretty clear on how they work with the keys, 2 levels, 3 random assignments. my question is then what is the difference? if you don't get "completion" with the group finder, and only loot that is dropped, why would anyone use the group finder vs undaunted. also, what if the quests are outside my domain? i'm EP but one of the pledges is for wayrest sewers?

    my main reason for even trying the group finder is i'm approaching level 50 and i want to complete everything, group dungeons included. are they ever "completed" a la cities?

    Maybe i'm over thinking it, or maybe i'm just to used to OG TES, but it seems a lot of content is overlapping, and it's difficult to tease out the exact reasons for things.

    wrothgar?? craglorn?? *shrug*
  • Loc2262
    Group finder and Undaunted pledges are completely separate. The pledges require you to complete (i.e. kill certain bosses, the exact list is in the pledge quest) in a dungeon. Or three, one from each pledge giver.

    When done, you turn in the quest at the pledge giver and receive your key(s) and transmutation geode. The dungeon on the map will not change color, it does that once you complete the quest. Vet HM dungeons give you two keys, everything else gives one key.

    The group finder is used if you're alone, or don't already have 4 players in your group, and want to "fill in the ranks". A side effect, and a reason why also ready-made 4 player groups can enter the dungeon through the finder, is that you get a 25% buff on your spell and weapon damage, as an incentive to use the finder.

    If you have a pre-made group, you don't need to use the finder, you can just travel into the dungeon at a wayshrine or by using "Travel to player" on your group mates.

    Don't worry about the dungeons' locations. Even before One Tamriel, you could (and can) do instanced PVE group content with any other player, regardless of faction. Since One Tamriel even in overland zones the factions don't play a role anymore. They now do so only in Cyrodiil PVP. (For the history fans: Before One Tamriel, you could travel only to zones of your own faction before reaching level 50, and afterwards go to special instanced CP160-scaled versions of the other factions' zones. Since OT, everything, players and mobs, are scaled to CP160 if they're lower.)
    Kind regards,
    PC-EU, 12 chars, 900+CP
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