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What Order Should I Do ESO's Story Arcs? - A Guide

  • max_only
    max_only
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    I still haven’t finished the base game lol
    #FiteForYourRite Bosmer = Stealth
    #OppositeResourceSiphoningAttacks
    || CP 1000+ || PC/NA || GUILDS: LWH; IA; CH
    ""All gods' creatures (you lot) are equal when covered in A1 sauce"" -- Old Bosmeri Wisdom
  • AegonVIGreat
    AegonVIGreat
    Soul Shriven
    Thank you for updating this amazing Informative Post.
  • Elari
    Elari
    Hello, everybody,

    I have a question:

    According to the first post Elsweyr plays AFTER the basic game.

    What about the performance of Razum-Dar in Elsweyr, who gets a message from Queen Ayrenn and that he should come immediately? Isn't that a reference to his mission in Khenartis Rast?
  • VaranisArano
    VaranisArano
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    Elari wrote: »
    Hello, everybody,

    I have a question:

    According to the first post Elsweyr plays AFTER the basic game.

    What about the performance of Razum-Dar in Elsweyr, who gets a message from Queen Ayrenn and that he should come immediately? Isn't that a reference to his mission in Khenartis Rast?

    So this gets confusing. It depends on whether you are going by your character's internal chronology of quests (what ESO currently does by checking dialogue flags) or going according to the original chronology (what my post does).

    Your character's POV: Post One Tamriel, ZOS adjusts a number of dialogue options depending on which content you do first.

    So if you play Elsweyr first, your chronology will have Khenarthi's Roost or Summerset (it could be either, in all likelihood) happening after. The dialogue probably refers to one or the other, since both start off with Razum-dar, or potentially a future quest in Dragonhold.



    Original Chronology: From the internal chronology of the game, Elsweyr first, then Main Quest does not make sense due to the character of Abnur Tharn. Dragonhold has a similar problem with the reappearance of Sai Sahan. In order for those characters' presence to make sense, you have to complete a portion of the base game Main Quest.

    Once you start the Main Quest, an AD character will be dumped in Khenarthi's Roost, so for an AD character, that zone definitely happens before Elsweyr, chronologically. (For non-AD, there's much more flexibility, but originally you would reach Khenarthi's Roost after the Main Quest finished as part of Cadwell's Silver or Gold.)

    Later in the Main Quest, during "Castle of the Worm" you will
    rescue Abnur Tharn from the Worm Cult where he's been held sort of under house arrest
    Before that point, Abnur Tharn is not available for questing in Elsweyr or the Elsweyr prologue because he's otherwise occupied. (Which is to say he's obviously available in game because ESO doesnt instance him like that, but from a narrative perspective, he's stuck until you do "Castle".)

    So if you want to play with a chronology that makes sense for any alliance character, the Main Quest must be completed up to "Castle of the Worm" before doing the Elsweyr Prologue or Elsweyr quests involving Abnur Tharn. (For Sai Sahan)
    you need to complete "Halls of Torment" to free him from a more torturous imprisonment

    Assuming you are AD, following the original chronology and completing the Main Quest in the zones as done in the original chronology (every 5 levels starting in Auridon), you will have already completed Khenarthi's Roost prior to meeting the Prophet in the Harborage and well before doing Castle of the Worm.

    Now, if you aren't AD, or you aren't sticking to the original chronology, or you choose to rush the Main Quest first, you might do Elsweyr, Khenarthi's Roost, Summerset, and the rest of the Main Quest in whatever order you like. That's okay. ZOS does a pretty good job with dialogue flags, but you'll have to gloss over some inconsistencies when doing the older content later, particularly doing the Main Quest at a later date.

    As stated, this post focused on the chronological order of the quests. While you can do Elsweyr, the Elsweyr Prologue, and Dragonhold in the middle of the Main Quest chronologically, and it definitely works to do Elsweyr and the others after the Main Quest, the one thing that doesn't work well chronologically is doing quests with Abnur or Sai before you've done their part of the Main Quest. So Elsweyr first is the least chronological option of the bunch. Naturally, that's what ZOS chose to go with for new players. Gotta love it.

    I hope that all was clearer than mud. Elsweyr is hands down the most chronologically complicated of the Chapters, and the addition of Wrathstone (which includes the DC zone of the Alikr Desert if you want Thrayya's history beforehand) makes it worse.

    When it comes to Razum-dar's dialogue, I don't see that it changes depending on what content you've done. So my guess is its referring to Dragonhold or other future content. However, for a character about to head off to Summerset or AD zones, it works quite well for those too!
  • Wattstrom
    Wattstrom
    Soul Shriven
    Just started playing the past week or so and finished Elsweyr on a Necro. Decided I wanted to go back to the beginning and do it chronologically with a Templar. Stumbled upon this and just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work!
  • vern1701
    vern1701
    Soul Shriven
    So I grab the Hooded Figure's quest to start the main quest after finishing the tutorial quests in Star Haven (Elsweyr)? I started last Friday.
  • VaranisArano
    VaranisArano
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    vern1701 wrote: »
    So I grab the Hooded Figure's quest to start the main quest after finishing the tutorial quests in Star Haven (Elsweyr)? I started last Friday.

    Correct. Starting the Hooded Future's quest will begin the Main Quest, and once you finish the Coldharbor section, will also place you in the starter islands for your Alliance, so you can start that questline as well if you wish it.
  • Ashnarug
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    but to be able to meet the Hooded Figure you need to be in your faction starter city (Vulkhel Guard, Daggerfall or Davon's Watch) so use the Star Haven wayshrine to get there
    Edited by Ashnarug on November 13, 2019 3:18PM
    Started really fresh on October 11, 2019
    following playstyle of "What Order Should I Do ESO's Story Arcs? - A Guide"
    returned to starter city right after tutorial "Bright Moons, Warm Sands"
    RETIRED - Alvaan Banam of House Indoril - Male Dunmer - Stamina Dragonknight - Ebonheart Pact - NA/PC
    RETIRED - Kisnajii-do - Male Khajiit - Stamina Nightblade - Aldmeri Dominion - NA/PC
    RETIRED - Laggat Ghasar - Female Orc - Stamina Warden - Daggerfall Covenant - NA/PC
    Frideke Rockbreaker - Female Nord - Warden - Ebonheart Pact - NA/PC
    Klastinus Grecal - Male Imperial Rogue - Dragon Knight - Daggerfall Covenant - NA/PC (hybrid)
    Lielin Lumberstone - Female Bosmer - Stamina Nightblade - Aldmeri Dominion - NA/PC
  • ZOS_Nith
    ZOS_Nith
    admin
    This is a wonderfully thought out guide. Thank you for taking the time to assemble and share this with us! :)
    Staff Post
  • GT_Schorsch
    GT_Schorsch
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    What about the Scalebreaker dungeons? Is it required to play them in order to understand the Dragonhold story or is it more like background information similar as Wrathstone?

    Thanks for answering.
  • VaranisArano
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    What about the Scalebreaker dungeons? Is it required to play them in order to understand the Dragonhold story or is it more like background information similar as Wrathstone?

    Thanks for answering.

    Scalebreaker dungeons are not necessary for Dragonhold and not even really background info to the story like Wrathstone. They are more like side-stories that happen once the dragons reappear, like "Hey, dragons are back, and here's two things that happened because of that."

    That being said, Lair of Maarselok is a sequel of sorts to the base game dungeon Selene's Web, featuring two characters from that dungeon.

    Hope that helps!
  • GT_Schorsch
    GT_Schorsch
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    Hope that helps!

    Yes, thank you very much!
  • keto3000
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    ZOS_Nith wrote: »
    This is a wonderfully thought out guide. Thank you for taking the time to assemble and share this with us! :)

    It would be great to see ZOS feature the OP's formal version of this guide in Community Forum. I have used it and referred it to so many new players that start in the new dlc zones and are very confused in zone chat.

    I really feel that this guide has increased new player retention for those players that have read it!
    “The point of power is always in the present moment.”

    ― Louise L. Hay
  • architekt
    architekt
    Soul Shriven
    keto3000 wrote: »
    ZOS_Nith wrote: »
    This is a wonderfully thought out guide. Thank you for taking the time to assemble and share this with us! :)

    It would be great to see ZOS feature the OP's formal version of this guide in Community Forum. I have used it and referred it to so many new players that start in the new dlc zones and are very confused in zone chat.

    I really feel that this guide has increased new player retention for those players that have read it!

    I agree. I first played the game in 2015 and stopped very shortly thereafter. I came back end of November 2019 and have been playing every day since, doing all the story progression stuff. It's made my enjoyment of the game an order of magnitude higher. It presents an interesting, coherent plot line that's actually well developed. I normally can't get into any MMO story line, but this guide made sense of the huge world of Elder Scrolls and let me enjoy leveling, something I also normally abhor in an MMO. It presents a coherent explanation of why things are the way they are, and not just a mindless progression of quests involving "oh we hate such and such faction" without any other reason. You actually get to understand the lore in a way that's engaging and not overbearing. This should be stickied.
  • AcadianPaladin
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    Not sure when it happened but I notice this thread is pinned/stickied at the top of the forum now. Good call. :)
    PC NA (PvE)
  • King4MyQueen
    King4MyQueen
    Soul Shriven
    Thanks a lot for this wonderful guide! I am that kind of guy who wants to deep dive into the story and follow it properly, and this guide helps a lot. Btw, being husband and father of a little one, my time is limited and I need to use my evening hour in the best way possible.

    My latest story achievement were AD Quests + Main Quest ( Planemeld) + Imperial City + Orsinium + Thieves Guild + Dark Brotherhood. Doing Orsinium I totally had the feeling I was missing something, and with this guide, I found out why ( I had to do other alliances stories before diving into Orsinium).

    Now I wanted to start Morrowind, but I don't want to do the same error I did with Orsinium again.

    Can we affirm that to fully enjoy Morrowind, having done the Ebonhearth Pact questline is a necessary prerequisite?

    Thanks!

    @VaranisArano
    Edited by King4MyQueen on January 27, 2020 11:26AM
  • NightsQueen
    NightsQueen
    Soul Shriven
    Would it be possible to update this guide with all recent content and possibly upcoming Skyrim expansion? I'm assuming they're all in order.
  • Ashnarug
    Ashnarug
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    you mean like this:


    6. Experience in whatever order you want:
    Thieve's Guild
    Dark Brotherhood
    Imperial City
    Murkmire
    Craglorn
    Bloodroot Forge
    Falkreath Hold
    as well as (but after "The Tharn Speaks")
    Frostvault - Iceflow Rift (Wrathstone DLC)
    Depths of Malatar (Wrathstone DLC)


    7. Save Orsinium
    Icereach

    8. Begin the Daedric Wars plotline with Morrowind -> Clockwork City-> Summerset.

    9. Begin the Season of the Dragon storyline with Elsweyr -> Scalebreaker -> Dragonhold (once "Valley of the Blades" completed)

    10. Begin the Dark Heart of Skyrim storyline with Harrowstorm -> Greymoor -> . ->
    Started really fresh on October 11, 2019
    following playstyle of "What Order Should I Do ESO's Story Arcs? - A Guide"
    returned to starter city right after tutorial "Bright Moons, Warm Sands"
    RETIRED - Alvaan Banam of House Indoril - Male Dunmer - Stamina Dragonknight - Ebonheart Pact - NA/PC
    RETIRED - Kisnajii-do - Male Khajiit - Stamina Nightblade - Aldmeri Dominion - NA/PC
    RETIRED - Laggat Ghasar - Female Orc - Stamina Warden - Daggerfall Covenant - NA/PC
    Frideke Rockbreaker - Female Nord - Warden - Ebonheart Pact - NA/PC
    Klastinus Grecal - Male Imperial Rogue - Dragon Knight - Daggerfall Covenant - NA/PC (hybrid)
    Lielin Lumberstone - Female Bosmer - Stamina Nightblade - Aldmeri Dominion - NA/PC
  • VaranisArano
    VaranisArano
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    Would it be possible to update this guide with all recent content and possibly upcoming Skyrim expansion? I'm assuming they're all in order.

    I typically update the whole post for the new Chapter, because the new tutorial changes how new players are introduced to ESO.

    The Season of the Dragon content is:
    Wrathstone Dungeons
    Elsweyr Prologue
    Elsweyr Chapter
    Dragonhold Prologue
    Dragonhold DLC

    The Scalebreaker Dungeons can happen any time after the Elsweyr Prologue (which releases the dragons. Lair of Maarselok is a direct sequel to the Selene's Web dungeon.
  • Geekgirl
    Geekgirl
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    @VaranisArano awesome guide, my friend.

    Just popping back, and rolled up a new character. This was exactly what I needed to sort through all of the new content and get my adventurous little lady through things in order.

    Really appreciate your hard work. Hope to run into you IC sometime!
    PC/NA - Perpetually casual. Furniture and fish collector. Lover of exploration and opener of urns.
    Eve Morrison - Templar DPS - Co-op w/hubby/achievements/crafting
    Jill Naylen - MagDK DPS - Delves/Dungeons/Dolmans - Oh my!
    Katherine Stone - Warden with no clue - Literally have no idea what to do with her.
    Siluna Southpaw - StamDK DPS slippery-fingered type - RP/Solo/Storyline
    Dances-with-Dragonflies - MagSorc DPS seer of places and doer of things - Solo/Achievements
  • max_only
    max_only
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    Hey! I did this a bit out of order and forgot the prologue quests for each chapter. Turns out if you finish and THEN do the prologue quests the dialogue shows that you’ve already been to CWC, Vvardenfell, Arteaum, etc.
    They did a good job with that.
    Edited by max_only on February 2, 2020 3:16AM
    #FiteForYourRite Bosmer = Stealth
    #OppositeResourceSiphoningAttacks
    || CP 1000+ || PC/NA || GUILDS: LWH; IA; CH
    ""All gods' creatures (you lot) are equal when covered in A1 sauce"" -- Old Bosmeri Wisdom
  • gdawg311b14_ESO
    I have a quick question here. I've been running through the game following this wonderful guide. I'm very early in the storyline. (about halfway through MQ and about halfway through my alliance). With the Murkmire celebration now here I want to participate. I can obviously see where it appears on the timeline. But will doing it now ruin anything as far as continuity goes? Is it apart of any of the other story arcs to a degree that it will mess things up? Thanks!
  • Ilsabet
    Ilsabet
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    I have a quick question here. I've been running through the game following this wonderful guide. I'm very early in the storyline. (about halfway through MQ and about halfway through my alliance). With the Murkmire celebration now here I want to participate. I can obviously see where it appears on the timeline. But will doing it now ruin anything as far as continuity goes? Is it apart of any of the other story arcs to a degree that it will mess things up? Thanks!

    Murkmire has a standalone story and there isn't really anything that connects to other zones. The only things I can think of at all are some side characters you might have previously met elsewhere or dialogue that pops up if you're a member of a certain shadowy organization.
    Ilsabet Menard - DC Breton Nightblade archer
    Linnea Heavy-Pockets - EP Nord Templar brawler
    Lollygags-Where-She-Likes - EP Argonian Templar healer
    Gurtha gra-Margaz - DC Orc Sorcerer stormflailer
    My characters and their overly elaborate backstories
    Ilsabet's Headcanon
    PC NA
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