Elder Scrolls Online: The Warden rides again

Out of all of the ways to be drawn back into an MMO, I wouldn’t have expected a trivia contest to do it.

So here’s the weird story. Every night I sit down and cycle through several MMOs to grab daily rewards for if and when I might come back to the game. When I did so in Elder Scrolls Online, I noticed that my guild (which is, of course, squid-themed) was four questions into a trivia contest. Well, I couldn’t let that go by, so I sat there and dominated the rest of the game (I may not be smart, but your boy can do trivia like no one else). We were laughing and chatting, and since I was sticking around, I also started questing.

Well, that led to actual play engagement — which led to actually wanting to play. Nightly. Regularly. So there you go — daily rewards don’t get me to play, but a silly guild trivia contest? That’s the ticket.

Anyway, it’s actually been really great to slide back into ESO. With the new(ish) zone guide feature, I’m able to see how many quests that are left in any given region, so I’ve been puttering around Northern Elsweyr working on finding the few that I overlooked and chomping through them.

I have to say that I’ve really come to appreciate ESO’s storytelling on many levels. Not only are these usually self-contained tales (rather than enormous, sprawling ones), but the voice acting, the scripting, the variety, and the resolutions offer me a lot more than I usually see in MMOs. And I actually *care* about the stories, which makes a difference. FFXIV might have great storytelling, but when you don’t really care about the world or the tale being told, then it doesn’t matter how well it’s packaged.

So really, the only obstacle to full enjoyment and engagement in ESO is and continues to be combat. I can keep wishing in vain for things like auto-attacks and more visceral blows, but there are things I can control. One thing was turning on damage numbers, which were off for some reason. I like seeing that feedback, especially for AOE attacks. Another thing is that I’m trying to build my Warden to being a 100% spellcaster, rather than a spellcaster/melee hybrid. I don’t like smacking things around in this game, but I am finding enjoyment in just throwing down AOE fields and DOTs. So I’m going to stick to that.

I think it’s a really good time to be getting back into this game, what with Greymoor coming out today. Even though I have just tons and tons of other zones and content to do, I pre-ordered the expansion because I knew it would kill me not to be adventuring there with everyone else in the summer. I’ve also done the prologue quests, which at least start to get the player in the mindset of heading to Skyrim to fight vampires.

I also can’t wait to try out the new Antiquities system. That seems like a really great way to repurpose zones and add non-combat activities into the game, and I’m down with that. I should also work more on my house, since I haven’t done much with that since I initially set it up.

Anyway, great to be back in Elder Scrolls Online, particularly this month!

One thought on “Elder Scrolls Online: The Warden rides again

  1. Sylow May 27, 2020 / 10:01 am

    What you say about your Warden on working mostly with spells is true for any class when you set it up for magicka: you can deliver your damage from behind and, for most content, can rely mostly on your abilities, with just using a heavy attack here and there to recharge your magicka. If you are set up for stamina and use a bow then this playstyle indeed is best done on the Warden. It has a very nice ranged spamable ability.

    Sure, weaving(*) light attacks in between your abilities gives you more of a punch. But up to now i found no open world content, where the additional damage of weaving was required. Some world bosses (designed to be taken down by a group) might require you to be quick on your toes and bring some healing, but i wouldn’t be aware of one which would be a pure damage race.

    So for any content short of veteran dungeons and trials, a setup relying on mostly abilites and using a heavy attack here and there for resource management

    *:To explain: weaving is permanently using the games animation canceling. All abilities in ESO have a casting animation and an after-cast animation. The cast animation runs to the moment the damage is delivered, then the after-cast is played. If you only queue spells, the next spell will start when the after-cast part is finished. The same is true for attacks, the first part of swinging your sword at an enemy is required to deliver damage. Once that has played through, the after-attack animation of recovering your weapon and returning it into default position plays.

    All of the given animations can be canceled by dodging or by blocking. That’s a necessity in the games system, if animations could not be canceled, a longer attack animation of a powerful spell might as well be a death sentence. If you interrupt the cast animation of the attack animation, you don’t deal damage, of course. The intereting part is that attacks can cancel the after-cast animations and abilities can cancel the after-attack animation. So if you cast an ability, then while it is being performed, click an attack ONCE (so you don’t force an override of the cast), the your attack starts the moment your ability delivered it’s damage. Then while your attack is performing, you already press the button for the next ability. So when your attack is over, instead of returning your weapon to default position, your next ability start right away.

    Done properly this can increase your damage output a lot. But really, it only matters when you play as damage dealer and go for veteran content, so i guess it’s nothing you should worry about.
    (In my guild i usually heal and sometimes tank. I rarely deal damage. Which is good, as i am actually not that good in animation canceling, either. So instead of having to practice merely mechanical aspects of gameplay, i rather focus on the tactical aspect of fights. )

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