Hello, I am writing this for players who have avoided or who just haven't gotten around to visiting Cyrodiil. While not everyone will want to make the Alliance War a regular part of their ESO experience, it is worth at least trying as a part of your purchase cost and subscription fee. If you are shy about "competing" directly against other players, new to MMORPGs, or otherwise hesitant to head into Cyrodiil, read on to get a better idea of what to expect and how to navigate your way after you arrive.
I've included quite a bit so skip to whatever seems interesting or useful. If you are well versed in the Alliance War campaigns, please add whatever you think is important or any corrections to errors I have made.
Welcome to lovely Cyrodiil, enjoy (and try to survive) your stay.You can access Cyrodiil after reaching level 10.
Just press "L" to access the Alliance War menu. Select the Campaign tab in the menu to choose which version of the Alliance War you want to visit. Don't worry about making a mistake, you change your home campaign later. You are also allowed to choose a guest campaign. You can see how busy a campaign is with the population meter for each alliance.If you are concerned about not being competitive if you aren't at veteran rank, consider that ZOS is adding added non-vet campaigns as well as vet-only campaigns. Mixed campaigns, which are currently the standard, will still be available.
Also, the game will be transitioning transitioned
to a Championship point system which will help players of different levels be more competitive and is adding non-Champion campaigns
And even if you go with the system as it is at the moment, I've had both
my active characters in Cyrodiil when they were still under level 20. No, as a level 30 you aren't going to be a match for a VR5 in a one-on-one fight (unless you have awesome gear, the best build, the element of surprise from stealth, an inexperienced opponent in crappy gear, and the personal favor of everyone of The Eight), but there is more to the Alliance War than that. (With Champion points and changes to how stats for lower level characters are scaled for battle leveling in Cyrodiil the level 30 can do better in that fight now.)
Healers are always in demand. People who know how to run siege are appreciated. And yes, some groups do recruit non-vets, although there is a strong bias for veteran rank characters who can last longer in battle and deal out more damage.
No matter your level or class or preferred role, you will be more or less useful in different situations, so find those types of combat (keep siege, keep defense, small-group strike force) that you enjoy and that play to your strengths. Lower level players can still follow large groups (i.e. "zergs") without being officially "grouped", gaining some measure of protection while you earn alliance points and insights into how AvA (Alliance versus Alliance) works in ESO.Do the tutorial.
It's fairly quick, it gives you a bit of practice, and you earn a skill point
.Participating in Alliance War activities earns you Alliance Points.
You also get regular experience points for your adventures in Cyrodiil, but alliance points (AP) are something else. By agreeing to even go to Cyrodiil, you can complete the Tutotial and earn the Alliance Rank of Volunteer. The more AP you earn, the higher the rank you can unlock. Each rank has a grade one and a grade two.
How do you earn AP? Killing enemy players, helping with the defense or capture of keeps, keep resources, and outposts, completing quests given at your alliance's main gate, etc. The official quests include capturing/recovering elder scrolls (given by the Grand Warlord leading your alliance in Cyrodiil) as well as scouting resources, capturing resources, capturing keeps, and killing enemy players.
Those latter four five
types of quests each have their own board at your alliance's main gate where they can be accepted and turned in. Plus, you skill get credit for killing enemy players and capturing keeps/resources even if it isn't an official quest, you just get more if you also have a completed quest to claim. For killing enemy players, there are currently five quests per day you can do: kill enemy players (any class), kill enemy dragonknights, kill enemy templars, kill enemy sorcerers, kill enemy nightblades, and kill enemy players (any class).
To get credit for the alliance war quests from quest boards, you must be present when the keep or resource is captured or help to kill the enemy player. Scouting is a solo quest. To get credit for capturing/reclaiming an elder scroll, you just need to have the quest for the right scroll. You don't have to be present at the capture or the securing of the scroll.
There are many chances to earn AP, so if you keep at it, you will go from Volunteer to Recruit to Tyro to Legionary to Veteran to Corporal, on and on, up to lofty titles such as General, Warlord, and beyond. Each new rank
and each new grade within a rank (i.e. going from Volunteer Grade 2 to Recruit Grade1 as well as Recruit Grade 1 to Recruit Grade 2) unlocks a skill point!
You can also spend Alliance Points to change your home campaign and to buy Alliance War equipment.Buying and using Alliance War items.
Alliance War items can be purchased from siege merchants at either of your alliance gates. They are also found inside every keep and not far from the flag of each resource of a keep (lumber mill, farm, mine). They can sell you many things, such as Keep Wall Masonry Keep Repair Kits, Keep Door Woodwork Repair Kits, Siege Weapons (various catapults, trebuchets, and ballistas), Siege Repair Kits, and Forward Camps. Some items can only be purchased for alliance points, some for either gold or alliance points, and some for only gold (like empty soul gems).If you want to use Flaming Oil, Siege Weapons, or Repair Kits, you must open your inventory, press Q to highlight items that can be placed in your quickslots, and move them into quickslot spaces
next to your provisions and potions.You can visit an alliance gate to see a Mercenary Merchant to purchase and deploy NPCs to help defend keeps and keep resources. (Removed from game.)There are also regular merchants at your alliance gates, and one of the gates will also have crafting stations and a bank.Wayshrines versus Transitus Shrines
When you arrive in Cyrodiil, you will start in one of the two gates for your alliance. Should you want to leave Cyrodiil
, you will need to use a wayshrine, just like you would to transport yourself from place to place in any other part of the game. There is one wayshrine at each alliance gate. It will be near the transitus shrine for the gate. There are no other wayshrines in Cyrodiil.
Transitus shines at alliance gates are marked on the local map with a large shield. Transitus shrines are also found inside each keep, but you only have access to keeps your alliance currently controls. Outposts have transitus shrines, but they are broken (in a role-play way, not in a game bug way) -- you can quick travel into an outpost but not out of one.
Alliance gates are represented on the zone map by shields on the edges of the map (Northern and Southern Morrowind Gates, Eastern and Western Elsweyr Gates, Northern and Southern High Rock Gates). Keeps are represented on the map by a symbol that looks like a rook (tower) in chess and are found all over, whereas outposts are smaller and sit between the keeps that ring the imperial capital city in the map.
In order to use the transitus network the transitus lines must be unbroken (these lines show up on the zone map) between your starting point and destination. If an outpost or keep between your starting point and your destination is knocked out, the link is broken. Keeps and outposts can be knocked out by being captured by another alliance. Keeps can also be knocked out if all three of its resources are captured or if its outer wall has taken damage. A keep under attack from siege will light up with yellow flame on the zone map. Isolated keeps are easy targets for enemy forces.Get a horse.
It isn't required, but you will only be able to go so far via the transitus network depending on how much of the map your alliance controls at a given time. (Other mounts like Guar and Senche are now available but the advice is still sound, get one and get it's speed up as quick as you can.)Everyone dies. Usually a lot. (It's Different in Cyrodiil.)
Don't worry if you die from fighting enemy players. There is a learning curve and being killed a lot is part of that. Also, being killed gives you the opportunity to earn the Revenge achievements But it is helpful to know that you can die in two ways and this affects how your character respawns
There is PvE in Cyrodiil, with mobs that are not affiliated with any alliance. If you are killed by those, it's just like anywhere else. You respawn at the nearest wayshrine (i.e. back at the one of the two alliance gates). That's one quick way to get to a wayshrine if you want to leave Cyrodiil. Plus you take the normal equipment damage penalty. You have the option to resurrect yourself if you have a filled soul gem of the appropriate level.
If you die from damage from player character or from a mob associated with the Alliance War (they will be near keeps, keep resources, outposts, and the areas around alliance gates) you will have to resurrect at a Forward Camp, the transitus shrine of a keep controlled by your alliance (remember, outpost transitus shrines are broken and that also means to respawning there), or a transitus shrine at an alliance gate. Only another player from your alliance can resurrect you with a soul gem of the appropriate level, you cannot self-resurrect.
This is why dropping forward camps near major battles is so important.Sieging Advice and Bloody Hot Spots
If you are hitting a gate at a keep, that is, a big wooden structure you could drive a truck through, hit it directly with your siege. Rams work well, and regular ballistae/stone trebuchets are also very effective. If you are hitting a wall with a regular-szied door in it, don't hit the door, hit a spot on the wall near the door. Siege that use stone work very well for walls, but firepot trebuchets and iceball trebuchets, and catapults of any type are not recommended.
Also, as a new player, it helps to know where regular action is found whether you wish to seek it out or avoid it. Two examples include the space between Chalman Keep and Bleakers Outpost, especially the Chalman Milegate, as well as the space between Castle Alessia and Sejanus Outpost, especially Alessia Bridge. These are examples of choke points, and when the population is high on a campaign, they are nearly always the site of large battles or of small "gank squads" who are stealthed and waiting to pick off unwary travelers.
(Oh, and just to throw this in somewhere, don't run toward a small group of stealthed allies if you are alone and being chased by an army of enemy players.)Alliance Competition
Individual players can earn alliance points, but each alliance also earns points by controlling keeps, keep resources, and outposts, holding/capturing elder scrolls. The current status of who is "winning" the war is found under the Overview tab of the Alliance War screen (press "L").
Controlling elder scrolls also gives bonuses to the players of a faction. To capture an enemy scroll held near an alliance gate, it must be taken from it's temple, which requires opening the nearby temple gate. Both the temple and its gate can be seen on the zone map. Opening a gate requires that an enemy faction capture the keep guarding it.
Players who want to be emperor must have the most individual alliance points for their own alliance (the leader board used to be under the Alliance War screen but is currently under the Achievements screen) and that alliance must control all six keeps ringing the imperial capital in the center of the map.For the completionists
Even if you aren't interested in the many Alliance War achievements, you can find 45 skyshards in Cyrodiil, and if you want to get the Tamriel Expert Adventurer achievement, in addition to earning Hero of Pact, and of the Covenant, and of the Dominion, you also need to earn Cyrodiil Champion. For that you will need to complete the Bruma Adventurer, Cheydinhal Adventurer, Chorrol Adventurer, Cropsford Adventurer, and Vlastarus Adventurer achievements. These are the five cities of Cyrodiil that are part of the Alliance War Zone (places like Bravil are excluded).
The Adventurer achievements for the cities of Cyrodiil are fairly straight forward, with some quests in the city, some in the nearby countryside, and one dungeon delve per each of the five locales. The danger posed by players from enemy alliances can be minimized by going to a low population server at odd hours (and if possible by grouping as well).
The same risk reduction strategies work for collecting skyshards as well; however, six of the skyshards are behind scroll temple gates, which means that except for the two for your own alliance, the rest can only be accessed when the relevant keeps are captured and the scroll temple gates are opened to all. To get those skyshards your best bet is to go with a large group assaulting a particular temple and grab the skyshard while you are there.
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Edited more for game changes