As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and so it’s been with the past six months between me and Elder Scrolls Online. Sometimes you take a break from an MMO not because you hate it, but because you like it enough to give space to rejuvenate that interest. So I’m back and chronically behind the times — as usual. But I’m also having a terrific time getting reacquainted with my character and this world again!
For me, the real attraction of ESO is completing a zone — “mapping it out,” if you will. It’s to jump into a region and not leave until I’ve done every main and side quest, every skyshard, every delve, every public dungeon, and every point of interest. The zone guide is, of course, extremely helpful in keeping me on track to do all of this.
Building up champion points
Now that the champion point system’s been vastly expanded, players at level 50 can accrue those incremental improvements for a long, long time to come. While I’m not that enthralled with the CP system, it’s certainly nice to have a purpose for experience (and I’m not complaining that my character get get a smidge more powerful through it).
As a long time MMO veteran, I’ve burned out on dailies way before now. Pretty much the only time I’ll do them is for a limited stretch to earn a specific reward. That said, ESO does have specific sets of dailies — such as in Summerset, Wrothgar, Vvardenfel, and elsewhere (Elsweyr?) — that pay out in nice reward chests and extra gold. Here’s a good video to guide you through the ones you might want to be doing.
Advancing Your Guild Rank
No, I’m not talking about the player guilds, but rather the world-spanning in-game guilds that offer their own experience track and skill lines. There’s usually a daily quest or two that you can do for the Mage, Fighters, and Undaunted guilds, for example, and plenty of other ways to advance your standing with each of them.
Dig Up Antiquities
I still think that the Antiquity system is one of the best features that this MMO’s added in the last half-decade. It’s relaxing — and rewarding! — to go on zone-wide treasure hunts and attain more skills to use in the system’s minigames.
Train Up Your Mount
While it doesn’t take much time at all, you shouldn’t be overlooking the fact that you can upgrade your mount’s stats by one per day, every day. I always make a point to visit the stable master first thing to invest into an additional point of stamina, speed, or baggage space. Who doesn’t want more inventory slots?
For some, “endgame” only means “to get better and better gear,” and I get that. For those people, ESO has a variety of paths, mostly starting with dungeons and ramping up to veteran dungeons, trials (raids), and arenas. There are also daily quests called “pledges” to complete a trio of dungeons for keys to special loot chests.
Live as a Werewolf or Vampire
Like the other Elder Scrolls titles, this MMO allows you to be infected by a vampire or lycanthrope during your adventures. This gives you the option to become a monster with a special skill line. It’s certainly worth trying at least once, as it changes one’s playstyle and even interactions with NPCs.
Engage in crafting, housing, and economy
Elder Scrolls Online has quite the thriving housing scene, with some players purchasing multiple lots and reveling in the fun of decorating them all. Housing, the economy, and crafting all intersect in many ways, as the best way to afford homes is to have a huge pile of funds. Crafters can also complete daily writs fairly easy for some nice profit.
Party at a Festival
You know it’s time to shake up the routine when the game brings one of its many annual festivals back around. These are good opportunities to stock up on helpful consumables and rare items that can’t be gained anywhere else.
Tales of Tribute
The year-old card system Tales of Tribute isn’t exactly setting the online world on fire, but I’m sure it appeals to some people who like to hunker down for a game or two with the various denizens of the world. And seeing as how there are exclusive rewards tied to this, there’s a motivation past the fun of playing for its own sake.
Collect All Four Companions
If you haven’t already (and you have the Blackwood and High Isle chapters), you’ll want to set aside an hour or two to grab all four of the companions for your character. Not only do each of these offer a customizable combat assistant (who can heal, tank, and DPS depending on how you spec them), but they offer a lot of quotes and observations during your adventures.
Win at Fashion Wars
Of course, some people will tell you that the ONLY endgame activity in ESO is to win at fashion wars. With a pretty robust cosmetic wardrobe, dyes, tattoos, effects, and collectable outfits, there are a lot of options to make your character stand out from the drab pack with stylish supremacy.
Finish All the Prologue Quests
Whether or not you buy DLC and chapters, Elder Scrolls Online likes to give everyone these chunky prologue quests leading up to those storylines. Each takes about 30-45 minutes to do and usually pays off in a memento or other nice collectable. My quest log fills up with them over time, so every once in a while I like to knock them all out.
Finish All Them ‘Cheves!
A good way to buck the routine is to tackle one or more of this game’s rather extensive list of achievements. Most of this is done for its own sake (and bragging rights), although there are dyes and titles associated with them.
Be an Endeavor Pursuer
This game has a separate reward system that’s tied to weekly and daily challenges called “endeavors.” You can see your current task list in the group and activity finder. By completing these, you can build up a store of seals that can be spent on items that are normally found in Crown Crates.
Sully Yourself with Thieving
Bored of doing nothing but standard questing and fighting? Walk a different path by becoming a thief. There’s an excellent DLC that’s nothing but sneaking and pickpocketing and stealing, but in truth, the entire game world is the thief’s playground. It’s a pretty fun skill line to level up!
Climb the PvP Hill
Finally, ESO does have a PvP scene that primarily rages across the realm of Cyrodiil. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but then again, the most bloodthirsty among us drink harder stuff than that. So if you find NPC mobs too easy, why not test your mettle against a player with at least half a brain?