Choose My Adventure: Further bear adventures in The Elder Scrolls Online

    
17

First things first: I got my bear. This, as many players will attest, is the most important part of being a Warden. I had my doubts about this class choice on my return to The Elder Scrolls Online, as most pet classes I’ve played in other MMOs have featured pet AI that was sub-par at best. Mercifully, though, Pudge the Bear is a smart boy… or is at least smart enough to not interfere.

As voted on by you, the Choose My Adventure reading public, I also joined up with the Psijic Order and respeced over to the Beast Caller skill line. In doing both, I found things a tiny bit underwhelming at the start, but eventually I found reasons to stay engaged with these two choices.

First order of business, since I was already in Artaeum: join up with the Psijic Order and see what its initial quest line involved. The Order’s opening quest sounded simple enough on paper, as it tasked me with running around the isle of Summerset to seal up breaches in time. But first, I had to find a magical relic to help me locate these temporal fissures known as the Augur of the Obscure.

Intrigued by the Doctor Strange-esque item, I set out to retrieve this Augur. Turns out this wasn’t just some bauble or trinket that gave your character a new animation when pressing F to interact with something; it was apparently a sentient object, which had planned its own escape from where it was being stored only to be captured again.

It also was extremely amusing in its interactions. It would have been so easy for the Augur to have a holier-than-thou attitude, but instead it sounded amused at the simplicity of the human mind, like a parent watching a toddler as it begins to grasp its world.

The endearment of the Augur’s personality was a good counterpoint to the underwhelming routine of the actual sealing of temporal fissures themselves. Basically, I just darted around on horseback to interact with a shiny thing. I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but I was hoping for a little bit more spice in the proceedings. Still, I had the Augur’s amusing anecdotes about the locations I was exploring to keep me engaged.

The biggest takeaway from the whole experience, though, was the simple joy of exploring Summerset. Doing so, naturally, led me to a couple of wonderful side quests to complete. It also led me to some pretty stunning sights, as is par for the course out here in The Elder Scrolls Online.

Ultimately, though, the first Psijic Order quest gave me an item I wasn’t particularly interested in and a skill line that seems to lend itself more to healers than it does DPS. The following quest in the Psijic line looks to be more of the same, only in three different zones than one, so I’ll probably shelve that for now.

With all of that said, I did have more than a few moments to dip my toes in the Beast Caller skill line pool as I did these quests. At first, I was pretty underwhelmed, with most of the abilities appearing to just be more of the same as my prior skill line choice only with a Destruction staff instead of a bow. Over the course of play, though, things began to unfold into more interesting abilities and I found a rotation that gave me a small sense of the impact I was looking for.

Most of my attacks usually focus around an alpha of stamping the base of my staff on the ground to burn an area, unleashing a bunch of bugs to hurt foes in front of me, and summoning a Cliff Racer down on my first target. After that, it’s click-click-click the left mouse button until things go flop. Eventually, I added the frosty armor ability and traded out the self-heal for a PBAoE of ice spikes, which all combined into turning me into a bit of a DoT hurt machine with slightly more survivability.

There are a few concerns I have with regards to the Beast Caller line I’m following, however. For one, it definitely doesn’t seem to do well in protracted fights, as my Magicka drain begins to show. Additionally, I’m forced to drink a health potion during these long battles, which always feels like an admittance of failure to my silly brain than a regular tactic for some reason. These problems were their most prevalent during a certain boss fight in the primary quest line I’m following, which saw me fall over dead several times.

Even so, this particular selection of buttons to push has slowly grown on me. It feels like a late-blooming kind of class choice that might have some more impressive abilities further down the line; I’ve already morphed my Wall of Hurty staff skill to cover a larger area, so that’s already switching things up. I’m also slowly beginning to work out how to maneuver and play this build effectively, as well as work out the best methods for surviving long battles in ESO in general.

Basically what I’m saying is, thanks for the suggestion!

To that point, it’s time for some more suggestions. As I mentioned previously, I have some funny money to burn — a little over 2,100 Crown Store points, to be precise — and being a compulsive shopper, I tend to dislike having excess income burning a hole in my pocket. So I turn to you readers for ideas on what to do with them.

What should I buy from the Crown Store?

  • A new outfit. Dress up your big fella. Treat yourself. (31%, 40 Votes)
  • A new mount. That Dwarven War Horse is so gauche. (19%, 24 Votes)
  • A house. It'll probably be a bit small, but you'll also have a house. (50%, 63 Votes)

Total Voters: 127

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Next up: I once more crave more contact with other players of the game. I’ve written about the joys of the drop-in/drop-out gameplay loop of ESO, but I’ve also recently opened up the Dungeon Finder tool. While I’m not the PvP’ing type, I’m also not entirely against flailing (and failing) in the general direction of whatever the Battlegrounds queue has in store for me. So, where should I find that human touch?

How should I play with others in ESO?

  • Dungeon Finder. Enter the queue and see what the bigger dungeons offer. (46%, 62 Votes)
  • Battlegrounds. Bad at PvP? Suck it up, buttercup. (11%, 15 Votes)
  • Delve diving. Wander the map, enter random Delves, and help folk out. (43%, 57 Votes)

Total Voters: 134

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Polls will close once again at 1:00 p.m. EST this coming Friday, February 15th. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m desperate to stop writing about ESO and get back in to playing it. Boy, this game has gotten under my skin in the best possible way.

Welcome to Choose My Adventure, the column in which you join Chris each week as he journeys through mystical lands on fantastic adventures – and you get to decide his fate. Which is good because he can often be a pretty indecisive person unless he’s ordering a burger.
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TheDonDude

Delv diving in order to meet new people??? C’mon, dungeons are the way to go!

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Ironwu

I find Group Delves much more conducive to friendly group play than PUG Dungeons.

If in an adventure guild? Then sure, dungeons are great fun.

But not Dungeon Finder PUGs, yuck.

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Chris Walker

Great write up. It’s always fun to see the Warden (my favorite class) through the eyes of a someone starting out with it.

As much as I love BGs, based on what I read here, I wouldn’t suggest it for you quite yet. Unfortunately, in this stage of your development, you’d probably get stomped, which wouldn’t be much fun for you. I’d recommend dungeons to get used to grouping in a more forgiving environment, learning better rotations for DPS *and* sustain, and acquiring better gear that’s focused on magicka.

When you say “Beast Caller”, I assume you’re referring to the Animal Companions skills. It’s a great line, especially when you invest in passives to increase your damage and healing (you heal every time an animal dies, which includes whenever a cliff racer hits!). Also, don’t forget to keep up your Betty pet, which will help with your magicka sustain.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the Psijic skill line for DPS and utility. :)

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Ironwu

Staff?!? Man, the weapons you should be using for DPS are Dual Wield Daggers and Bow. Stamina build.

Protracted fights should not be happening at all. The only type of fight that should take even as much as 10 seconds would be a 250k boss in one of the group delves.

Should never even approach running out of Mag or Sta during these fights.

Spec for Weapon Crit, 20k Health, 30k Stamina (with tri-food). Or, once you get the feel, Health/Sta dual food.

Just my experience playing the Warden.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Is that the Spin2Win Steel Tornado build cause I hate that build in pvp.

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Ironwu

I only PvE, so don’t know much about the PvP side of it all.

But yes, Steel Tornado is on my bar. I use it on fights with 3+ mobs. Mostly in Group Delves. Combined with my buffs, Endless Hail, and Steel Tornado, packs of 8+ mobs seldom last more than 5 seconds.

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TheDonDude

I’m sure this advice is absolutely spot on, but it also explains exactly why I roll my eyes whenever anyone says that ESO’s char build system lets you make anything.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

You CAN make anything but it will likely suq. Some builds are clearly more ‘balanced’ than others.

I.E. My straight nightblade bow user was a pain in the ass to solo.

What their sexuality has to do with leveling I don’t know , maybe I’ll make them bi next time.

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TheDonDude

In my mind, “but it will likely suck” prevents making “you can build anything” something to brag about.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Agreed.

Happily though, most of the content a casual player will get into can be handled by pretty much anything a player can put together.

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Karma_Mule

That’s been my experience: single player story/casual content like faction/zone quest lines, guild activities, delves and the like are forgiving of all but the silliest builds. (And I get quite silly in mine) You may not be efficient, but you’ll get through it ok.

The one simple rule I follow that almost always prevents me from dying during storyline/single-player boss fights: have a healing ability in your “off attribute”, e.g. if I’m mostly doing damage w/magicka, have a stamina-fueled heal, or vice versa.

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Ironwu

It does let you build anything. But what you build may not be suitable for the task you are trying to do.

For instance, if you take a Breton Templar, Resto/Resto staff, with all healing skills on both bars? You should not expect to go out and have massive DPS and quick kills.

One has to look at the task that is being targeted, then build your character, armor, weapons, and champion points to do that task. You also have to very much match your resource usage (Mag or Sta) to your skills, armor, weapons, champion points. It all needs to work together.

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TheDonDude

In my experience, the vast majority of potential builds in ESO are not suitable for any given task.

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elenie

The build that was voted top last week, and that Chris switched to, was Magicka Warden – therefore staff. He was Stamwarden before and I voted to keep it that way since his build would have also unlocked bear. But the majority disagreed.

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Ironwu

Yes, the Magicka build is ok, but it is so similar to the Sorcerer build of the same type. And the Sorcerer build is much more powerful.

In order to really make this build work, it is pretty much required to complete the Psijic quest line to close the Time Breaches, a long and arduous procedure. It really needs Elemental Weapon to work. :/

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Bear Mount > All

Get a mount.

Also, unless you plan on buying riding lessons from store, you should be hitting the riding trainer since yesterday.

And mounts actually change appearance as your riding skills go up.

hurbster
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hurbster

The bear mount makes me feela bit queasy due to the animation. Get a senche.