Choose My Adventure: The Undaunted skill line chase introduces frustration in The Elder Scrolls Online


“Get the Undaunted skill line.”
“Unlock Undaunted.”
“You should be getting the Undaunted skills.”
“Make sure you’ve got Undaunted unlocked!”

This has been the prevailing wisdom hoisted at me during my time in The Elder Scrolls Online, and admittedly it’s something I really should have gone after much, much sooner than I did – pardon me for not realizing there was a starter city quest for the thing. But as important as this whole line appears to be, all it’s done so far has add some intense aggravation to my play experience, thanks primarily to the fact that nobody wants to deal with questing anymore.

Or perhaps they never did to begin with. It’s literally impossible for me to say as I got dragged by a leader through multiple dungeons with no progress to show for it all.

The problems began shortly after I got the skill line and completed the initial quest, then hopped back into the dungeon queue thinking that simply getting a clear was enough. That mistake is on me: I have to make sure I pick up a dungeon quest and complete it in order to progress with the guild skill line.

I sort of presumed, then, that additional runs would be no big deal since I’ve had hyper-fast dashes through instances where someone just blitzed past the questgiver dialogue and I was able to share the quest with the simple press of the “F” key. But apparently that was the exceptional behavior that proved the overall rule of dungeon running law because I haven’t been able to get a dungeon quest completed since.

It wasn’t for lack of trying on my end, I will point out. During one run of a dungeon I was desperately trying to get an NPC to give me a quest, but it refused to do so for some reason, and then another time my party was running pell-mell through the instance to the point that I was going to be completely left behind and ignored if I didn’t keep pace.

Which is something that happened before then, as the header image to this article shows.

I entered a dungeon that was all-new to me, which made me think I was going to be able to get a quest done. However, one of the other party members had a CP level that was four freaking digits, and I barely had any time to get through the NPC’s dialogue because I was being left in the dust. I don’t know that there’s any level or stats normalization in these instances — I’m willing to bet there isn’t — but even if there was, there ain’t no way in hell someone with a CP number in the literal thousands is going to be balanced with a newbie.

Seriously, this player and this team were two boss fights ahead of me after I completed the quest step that forced me to stay put and listen to this commander prattle on. Then at one point I was overwhelmed by a simple group of mobs and died because everyone had barnstormed past, leaving me to lay there dead until the final boss was defeated.

I don’t think I’ve ever been made to feel so useless and shoved aside in my entire MMORPG playing life. And I’ve been doing this for years.

That whole encounter has since colored my expectations of hitting the queue, making me prioritize speed and the desperate desire to keep with my teammates over trying to get this stupid freaking skill line filled up to the point I want to. What was otherwise a chaotic if enjoyable experience has now become a source of stress as I attempt to both complete this objective of mine and try to learn how to tank. Even if being a tank in these groups matters at all.

Actually, I’m starting to believe that it doesn’t. That tanks aren’t necessary. That I should just go into DPS mode despite queuing as a tank because the damage output, the matchmaking, the level disparities are all proving to be fruitless. I’ve been so laser focused on filling up this stupid bloody skill line that I never got to do anything that I enjoy as run after run, queue after queue, I was made to feel pitiful and things never got done.

I’ve felt so discarded that I even left the guild I joined. No big deal there, though; I was a drop in the giant bucket anyway, they were doing things that are still out of my reach as a lower-level player, and nobody gave a flying crap when I bailed. It was definitely a personal issue more than any indication of the guild doing anything wrong.

Now I’m not going to suggest that I need to be the center of the universe or that I deserve headpats for entering the dungeon finder as a tank. I’m not asking for endless rewards for doing this. Hell, I’m not even really demanding that people chat (which is good because almost nobody does). But honestly, at level 30, with a skill line that I apparently require to be taken even slightly seriously as a tank, what does it matter anymore? Why should I care if nobody else does?

You know what, that leads into this week’s poll rather nicely. I’m beginning to suspect that my useless, undergeared, under-leveled nooblet should ignore the queue, the Undaunted, the everything until I’m at least max level or whatever else I’m required to get to play with others on semi-equal terms. Or maybe I’m just coming from a place of intense, white-hot frustration (clearly). So while I cool off, I’ll ask the polls for advice.

Should I bother queuing or just run stories and level up?

  • Quest. Step away from trying to run dungeons for a long while. (78%, 198 Votes)
  • Queue. Try again and don't get frustrated. (22%, 57 Votes)

Total Voters: 255

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Polling will close at the typical 1:00 p.m. EDT time this Friday, May 24th. Until then, I think it’s time that I put this one on the shelf for a bit. Or maybe I just do what I was originally told and head to Southern Elsweyr. If I’m going to be wholesale isolated by the wider playerbase, then I might as well help them out and focus on questing by myself. Or I’ll just focus on building up my cute little mud house. That’s probably a good idea too.

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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