ESO – Lord Warden (Hard Mode) – vICP

Thanks to all who ran vICP last night for the Gold Pledge run:

J4LYFE (Healer) and KujoAlpha1 (DPS) who unfortunately had to leave early.

ODBUnlimited (DPS) who was there from the beginning, MightyHus007 (DPS) and Vaultamour (Healer) who came in to help finish the dungeon off.

This video is from the Tank PoV (jzhnutz). The idea, from the tanking perspective, is to keep the aggro of Lord Warden on the tank at all times – especially in hard mode where there are a lot of other factors that can hurt the other players in the group. With this particular fight, jzhnutz decided to tank mainly from his back bar. The tank is wearing 5 piece Tava’s favor, 5 piece Footman and 2 piece Blood Spawn. The idea behind this build is to gain as much ultimate as possible quickly for two reasons – a) for resource managment and b) for Warhorn. The tank uses a ranged taunt instead of pierce armor because Lord Warden teleports himself frequently. For this fight Aggressive Warhorn is chosen as the ultimate for two reasons – a) high ultimate cost = more resource return and b) for the Major Force passive, granting 30%increase in critical strike damage for allies.

The build itself is based off of Deltias Gaming’s Talon Tank with some slighr modifications.

Veteran City of Ash – ESO

The video starts a little late in our run, but before the Fire Maw. It was our first completion, and thanks to Ref2gu for joining us and helping us out. Very much appreciated!

Tank: jzhnutz
Healer: J4LYFE
DPS: KujoAlpha1
DPS: Ref2gu

We ran into some lag/freezing issues, which slowed us up a bit, and caused a few wipes here and there, but all in all a good run for us.

ESO – Beginner’s Guide to Running Dungeons

Beginner’s Guide to Running Dungeons

Like many MMO’s, the end game of Elder Scrolls Online in PvE centers around dungeons and trials. While all dungeons and trials are different, typically the team format and strategy is similar for all of them – the biggest difference is in trials where you have a team of twelve instead of four, and the mechanics swirl around the size of the team differently.

Group Makeup

The trinity of most traditional MMO’s is tank, healer and DPS (x2) and ESO is no different. Though it is very possible to complete a dungeon without all of these components, this introduction will follow this makeup.

Tank:

A tank’s primary job is to taunt and control enemies.  Outside of boss fights, ensuring all, or as many as possible, of the enemies are in the same location and controlled with some sort of crowd control, will be the tanks primary objective. Within boss fights, taunt and control the boss – and at times pull adds away from the boss. This all depends on the actual mechanics of the fight. Either way, taunt and control are the primary functions of the tank. Secondary, but very much related to the first, is buffing and debuffing. For buffing, the tank should have skills that help with both damage mitigation and dealing. As an example: My tank is a Dragon Knight, my typical rotation is:

Walking up to boss: Igneous shield (armor buff for self and allies), Hardened Armor (armor buff for self), Shuffle (resistance buff for self), Igneous Weapons (weapon and spell damage for self and allies) – At boss: Pierce Armor (taunt and physical and spell resistance debuff on enemy), Heroic Slash (damage debuff on enemy and ultimate buff on self).

From there its rinse and repeat – keeping buffs, debuffs and taunts up as needed – each buff and debuff runs on a timer. I keep in mind not to “over” taunt the enemy, or the enemy will turn to one of my allies instead – the rotation helps with this a lot. While I’m doing this I am mixing in light attacks (for ultimate) and heavy attacks (to get back stamina)

Within this rotation, I am not only raising my own armor, but I am increasing the armor of my allies, as well as their DPS –both by buffing their damage, and by debuffing the enemy.

Keep in mind, not every boss encounter will be the same, in fact, some bosses cannot be taunted at all. However, buffing and debuffing always remains a necessary job for the tank.

Healer:

The healer’s primary job is to heal – both in bursts and over time. On top of this, the healer should also have his own buffs and debuffs to cast to help the fights go faster and easier. A healer should not set itself up just to throw burst heals – such as Breath of Life, but rather he or she should attempt to mitigate the need to ever have to throw burst heals. That does not mean that the healer won’t have to, but the less the healer has to throw out burst heals and use all of their magika, the better.

Before the fight, skills such as Purifying Light and Mutagen are good examples of heals over time. Combat Prayer and Blessings of Life are good examples of burst heals. A healer has to know when to throw down both of these.

For an example: A fight begins, throw down heals over time, buffs and any debuffs you may have – this is class dependent. When a group member falls to around 50%, then throw out a burst heal. Some, if not all, group members may have their own selfheal – in time, if you run with the same group over and over, you will have a pretty good indication of when you need to heal, through burst, certain members of your group. If playing with PUGS or a group you are not that comfortable with, the 50% rule is pretty solid.

A lot of healers are Templars – and as such, they have another great skill called Repentance. Once a group of mobs are dead, a Templar can activate Repentance to gain health and stamina, not just for themselves, but the whole group! As a person who mains a tank, I cannot even begin to describe how important this skill can be.

DPS

What many people would see as the bread and butter of MMO’s, and what everyone seems to play, is the role of damage dealer. Ironically, their rotation is much the same as the tank, with the difference being that their primary skills deal damage. Again, buff, debuff and attack. Simple and straight forward. All classes and weapon roles are different, but certain attributes are true throughout. A DPS must ensure they are properly buffed – either by themselves, or preferably through the tank or healer. This means that the DPS is dependent on others to maximize his or her damage output. The difference between a DPS attacking with and without Igneous Weapons being up, for example, are staggering. A damage dealer can go from dealing 25k+ DPS buffed, to dealing less then 20k DPS unbuffed on a single target. It doesn’t sound like much, but when facing a boss with 1.5 million health, that’s an addition 15 seconds that the boss is up if there is only that on DPS is up – and 15 seconds is a long time in a boss fight.

The key in group play is to know who is throwing what buffs and debuffs, making sure you do not throw any that overlap (freeing up your bar for another damage skill or a selfheal). Once you know, make sure those buffs are up – both offensive and defensive. Hit the boss after the taunt and debuff have been applied and the heals over time have been thrown. This means that above all else, a DPS needs to be both informed and patient. This becomes even more important playing on console where there are no addons telling you what is up and what is not. Next, a DPS needs to be concerned with both direct damage as well as damage over time (DoT). As an example, a bow user can use both Scorched Earth (a 14 sec DoT skill) and Poisoned Injection (a 10 sec DoT), then go back to their primary DPS skill – whatever that may be – i.e. Biting Jabs for a Stamina Templar, Flame Lash for a Magika Dragon Knight, etc. Once the DoTs are almost done, reapply them and go back to regular damage dealing. Complex yes, but necessary as the dungeons get more and more difficult. Meaning, you can get by with not doing this on Banished Cells, but Veteran City of Ash or White Gold Tower, not so much.

Bringing up vWGT, the other two items the DPS needs are a) single target attacks and area of effect (AoE) attacks and b) both ranged and melee attacks. Some bosses you need to be in their face as well as slaughter a ton of adds, others you need to sit back and hit from afar – such as the Engine Guardian or the Ash Titan.

All in all, playing DPS is what everyone seems to want to play, but in the end it can be the most complicated and ruthless of all three role.

 

Preparation

It goes without saying – if you are going to run a group dungeons, have plenty of soul gems, food and potions that you will need. On top of this, the single most important thing to know and do is find out what your group is running – buffs, armor, debuffs, heals, etc. Based on that information, you can set yourself up accordingly. As an example, if you have two Dragonknights, only one of you needs and should be running Igneous Weapons and Igneous Shields. If they are both running it, they should each just run one and swap out the other for another skill. Both of running the same skills and having them up are redundant. Besides skills, armor and weapon sets can also provide group bonuses, only one person needs to run these sets usually, meaning someone can switch out for a different set if they have them to help maximize the group potential.

Group Leadership

Tanks and healers lead the groups – tanks by placing enemies and setting up the battlefield, healers by positioning. Listen to your tanks and healers, especially if they are experienced. Tanks turn bosses away from the groups – so DPS stay on the back side of the boss. Healers tell you if you need to move, or how to move, to ensure they can heal you. That being said if you, as a DPS need the tank to move the boss in a certain way, let them know. You will only succeed by working together.

Conclusion

In the end, we all run dungeons to have fun – so have fun! Be willing to listen to other players if they tell you that you did something wrong – or that something isn’t working. A tank knows if the DPS isn’t up to par, the healer knows if someone is too squishy, and the DPS knows if the tank is not holding aggro or if they are not getting the heals they need. Criticism needs to be constructive, not demeaning. In the end it is just a game. Remember, you can always get better.

If you have any comments, suggestions or anything to add, please let me know in the comments below.

ESO – Banished Cells – Veteran

Last night the veteran pledge was once again Banished Cells. A really easy dungeon to complete and speed through. We ended up running it twice – the first time jzhnutz and KujoAlpha1 were on DPS, J4LYfE was on heals, and we had SergeantPink join us as tank. On our second run through, we had our normal group – jzhnutz as tank, J4LYFE and TeddyT94 as DPS and KujoAlpha1 as healer.


DPS PoV


Tank PoV

Tonight the veteran pledge is City of Ash, and this will be our first attempt with an actual dedicated healer in our group. We had ran before, unsuccessfully – the healer we had needed to leave once we got to the Ash Titan.

Unfortunately TeddyT94 will not be able to run with us tonight, so we will have a guest DPS.

ESO – Darkshade Caverns – Veteran


Tank POV

Tank: jzhnutz
Healer: J4LYFE
DPS: KujoAlpha1
DPS: StarkDamnation2


DPS POV

Healer: KujoAlpha1
DPS: J4LYFE
DPS: jzhnutz
DPS: StarkDamnation2

All but one of us, J4LYFE, have ran this dungeon and pledge before. J4LYFE came in at the end on our very first run a few weeks ago. Not 100% clean, but good enough for two completions and two gold keys.

ESO – Spindleclutch – Veteran Pledge

Tank: jzhnutz
Healer: J4LYFE
DPS: KujoAlpha1
DPS: TeddyT94 starring as MzJulz421

This was our first time running Spindleclutch on veteran as a group. All in all a good run, KujoAlpha1 even got a Blood Spawn helmet to drop!

We also ran the normal pledge for today – Darkshade Caverns

Tomorrow we will not be running the normal Undaunted Pledge. We will be focusing solely on the veteran pledge which is Imperial City Prison. This will be our first attempt as a group, and for most of us, our first attempt period. Normally we begin our dungeon runs between 7:30 and 8pm EST, tomorrow, however, we plan to begin between 6-6:30 EST. Please feel free to watch us live stream the run on our YouTube Channel.

 

ESO – Banished Cells – Veteran

Tank: jzhnutz
Healer: J4LYFE
DPS: KujoAlpha1
DPS: DGSMITH1988

TeddyT94 couldn’t join us for the Undaunted Dailies, but 3/4 of the crew was able to run both the normal pledge at Crypt of Hearts and then have a pretty quick run in Banished Cells on veteran. Thanks to DGSMITH1988 for joining us!

Also, both TeddyT94 and jzhnutz complete Maelstrom Arena on normal mode. You can watch jzhnutz run Maelstrom Arena Here.