Choose My Adventure: Elsweyr questing and dragon slaying further solidify my Elder Scrolls Online love


I appreciate that this series of Choose My Adventure columns has started to read an awful lot like I’m being paid off by The Elder Scrolls Online, but I assure you that’s not the case; I’m genuinely just having this much fun with this MMORPG right now. I’m not really sure why, but the luster hasn’t worn off, and my journey into tanking has only made things better.

A lot of that journey has taken me in the direction of Northern Elsweyr, as suggested by both the polls and some fine reader comments, where Khajiit like my character roam, dragons soar, and opportunities to hone my tanking edge abound both in the zone map and in the dungeon queue.

Yes, as I suggested at the end of last week’s column, I kept on hopping into the dungeon finder in order to further refine some of my tanking chops, and overall I continue to find myself very pleased with how things are running so far. It would be really nice if I had some skills that allowed me to herd and keep threat for large mob packs, but so far I’m starting to really lean into how the standard dungeon crawls work and how tanking operates wholesale. I was even allowed to charge first into the fray with one PUG, which was nice. It made me feel like a proper tank.

But those are just the regular dungeons. It was suggested in the comments from last week that if I really wanted to raise my tanking game, I had to tank a dragon in Elsweyr. And once I had the first opportunity to do so, I immediately took it.

This first-ever dragon fight in ESO was actually much more daunting than I expected. I do recall how Skyrim made dragons something of an actual threat, but I wasn’t sure how much of that would translate to the MMORPG version of this encounter. As it turns out, it definitely felt ramped up, almost to raid boss levels of experience that I’ve had in other MMORPGs. I also died a whole bunch of times in my first fight.

Despite the repeated (and probably avoidable) faceplanting, I felt like I was beginning to learn even more about being an effective ESO tank. Much of this seemed to be confirmed thanks to the help of a UI mod that I installed which helped me to better track how much threat I was generating. Also this thing’s big head facing me seemed to also be a pretty good indicator that I had its attention. Talk about an easy-to-read telegraph.

Incidentally, some of these screenshots are going to perhaps have a bunch of different UI elements as I refined the mods I was guided to and found out the combination that worked best for me. I ultimately went for the less cluttered approach; a lot of ESO’s brilliance is the simplicity and general lack of UI elements slathered all over the screen. Still, having better health bar indicators and the aforementioned threat tracker have made my life in-game much better. Shout-outs to those who shared their suggestions, by the way. I’m certainly open to more.

Overall I’m glad that I took the advice to tank dragons. I since been instilled with so much confidence that I’ve slain another two dragons, learning and tanking them that bit more effectively each time. Or at least I think so; nobody was really saying all that much but I also didn’t really hear too many complaints, and with each fight I was dying less and less. And I feel like I can only improve from here.

As for the land of Elsweyr itself, I’ve been enjoying the stories I’ve experienced to this point, both in terms of the zone’s primary campaign and the few side quests that I’ve taken up. It was pretty cool to hear Alfred Molina and John Cleese chat at my Cat Tank, and I’ve done thnigs like take on poachers and explored spooky ruins. As before, nothing really too remarkable in the grander RPG narrative scheme, but entertaining and engaging in their own silly fun ways regardless.

I even started to try to dip into other activities outside of the prime directive given to me by the polls. I’ve started looking at in-game houses (and may have even settled on one), I’ve looked through the list of zones that are available to me to plot my next course, I’ve dipped my toe into a little bit of the Endless Archive, and I’ve even joined up with a guild. I’m basically starting to set roots here. I’m building the foundation to that second home. I’m also staring at my bank account for the moment I get to subscribe to this game because I feel that strongly about how much I’m into this whole game.

About the only thing I haven’t done is any of the crafting. Not just because I’m weirdly a bit apprehensive about the whole system, but also because I’ve been far more distracted by… well, literally everything else that ESO has been handing out. But I promise I will get to the crafting process soon. As a matter of fact, that’s going to be this week’s first poll!

What should be Doomtank the Catto's first profession?

  • Alchemy. Make the drinks and the poisons. (27%, 30 Votes)
  • Provisioning. Cook the in-game food. (28%, 32 Votes)
  • Enchanting. Glyph it up. (8%, 9 Votes)
  • Blacksmithing. Hammer out some fresh gear, maybe. (37%, 42 Votes)

Total Voters: 113

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This week’s second poll is about secondary attractions. I’m still going to zero in on Elsweyr’s stories, dragon hunting, and the aforementioned crafting (no, seriously, I promise I’ll do it), but I also am looking to break up little bits of those activities with some of the other stuff that I can peer in on from time to time. Thus, question number two:

What side activity should I do more of?

  • The Endless Archive. See how high you can climb. (44%, 48 Votes)
  • Dungeon queues. Become a better team player. (56%, 60 Votes)

Total Voters: 108

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Polls will close as usual at 1:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 10th. Until then, I’m going to head back into Elsweyr to keep on running through these stories and taking down these big angry lizards. I’m effectively going to let ESO keep on living in my head rent free. Hell, I’ll even buy it furniture to make it more comfortable. Or buy my cat more furniture to make her feel more comfortable, as the case may be.

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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