I play Elder Scrolls Online quite a bit, so earlier this week marked a massive milestone for me. I reached CP810; or Champion Point 810. This is effectively the level cap of the game (as of the time of writing). I’ve spoken to people who’ve been playing for years and have never reached this level; and it’s not like I grinded specifically to get to this level. Nevertheless, here are my thoughts of the game now I’ve done sort of just about everything (with the exception of the absolute hardest content).
My time in Elder Scrolls Online has been filled with lots of ups and the occasional down. Let’s get the bad out of the way, starting with class imbalance. No matter what anyone says to you, there is a clear imbalance, when you are playing a class like a Warden, my go-to character’s class. Being able to throw out animal companions left, right and centre feels great and they respond well with the world, bar for some annoying animations that affect your “rotation”.
Nevertheless, the imbalance isn’t too extreme; a Warden (even a Magicka Warden like mine, which is arguably the lowest DPS class of all), can still pull more than enough damage to be taken into veteral trial content, which I’ll talk more about later. So the imbalance, whilst there, doesn’t prevent a player from doing anything they want; be it tanking, healing, magicka DPS or Stamina DPS.
The Journey To 810
Let’s talk about the good – Getting to CP810 means I had to get my character first to level 50, then up 810 champion points. I’ve got 6 characters at level 50 and the great thing about Champion Points; they apply across all of your characters. In other words, if you make a level 1 character, you can apply any Champion Points you have right away. This makes your level 1 nice and strong, getting them through their earlier levels quickly. This also means that all of your level 50’s can contribute towards getting more champion points.
Getting to 810 has seen me make 2 Magicka Damage Dealers (DDs), 2 Stamina DDs, a Tank and a Healer. I’ve also got two two more characters who are relaxing at the lowest level, waiting to be levelled up. As such, it’s not like I’ve created a character and only grinded at the one character; I’ve made a few, all of which are geared enough for at least a trial level. This is made much easier with account-wide bank systems. You can get gear, place it in the bank and let your alt characters pick them up.
The journey from level 1 to CP810 with all these characters has been done in less than a year, so for an MMO, that’s a fairly nice amount of grinding. Nothing too strenuous and it can be done by questing alone. Extra content can get you there faster, but you don’t need to be maxed out to do the end game content. Indeed, you can go in as low as CP300 arguably, so long as you’re geared well and know your rotation… Now about those…
Gear vs Rotation
I mentioned a “rotation” earlier, this is the most 50/50 side of the MMO for me. On the one hand, the game is very skill based; the better your rotation, the more damage you’ll do. However a lot of people who are good at rotations will say that rotation is where most of the damage is from; which is only partially true. Equipment plays a huge part in this; my Warden has a high Critical Chance, thanks to gear. My Warden also gets two passive effects – One: A flat 5% damage increase and Two: A flat 15% damage increase when I use an ultimate. This is all achievable by way of gear; not rotation.
So gear affects the game rather heavily, which is kind of an issue at the end game. There’s a fantastic character builds guy called Alcast, who works very hard on making sure people know about the best of the best builds for trials. However, most of his gear for most of his classes of a similar type end up the same. They all want the same gear; which is why I’m glad my Warden uses Master Architect, which isn’t used that much these days. With Alcasts build, my damage dropped by about 7k damage.
Jake also us our made our own delicious Sweetrolls for real. They were as good as it looks.
That said, the majority of your damage will come from your rotation; so it’s best to get used to your rotation, even if it’s your own personal one that you made up. Another sticking point regarding rotations are similar skills being used. For the upcoming patch, it appears pretty much all magicka users will be going to the same skill, which didn’t even get looked at previously. This reduces the uniqueness of each character…
… But just because end game players will do this, that doesn’t mean they’re the only things you can do. ESO is great for being both casual and hardcore. You choose the path you want to take – and hey, if you’re an ESO gamer, why don’t you get in touch with me in game (@Timlah)? You can join the GeekOut UK guild, where we have a massive guild house filled with amazingly useful stuff.
My CP journey is over; but the game has just begun.
Man that was cheesy.