Here you can discuss anything and everything pertaining to ESO in general. 


Today I want to talk a bit about getting ready for vet dungeons. (The title of this post may have tipped you off.) A post about “doing vet content” could cover hundreds of pages, but today I just want to cover a few things—not so much how to play, but how to prepare and most importantly how to interact with other players when you’re new.



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There’s three things to think about before walking into a vet dungeon—your stats, your player skill and your knowledge of the dungeon. Keep in mind that there’s no reason you can’t just queue up for a vet dungeon and give it a shot, but in many cases you will find it frustrating—and you will certainly frustrate the other 3 people!—if you are woefully unprepared.

Stats: Before you start trying to do these dungeons, you should have a sense of your sustained DPS, your sustained healing, your sustained ability to taunt and position bosses and adds. Your stats are only a part of this equation—two players with the same build can perform VERY differently!—but they are an important part. I’ll just offer a few guidelines here, others have already done the hard work of setting up character builds that are accessible to newer players. PLEASE, IF YOU ARE REALLY NEW AND CLUELESS ABOUT WHAT TO DO, JUST GO TO ALCASTHQ.COM AND LOOK UP HIS BEGINNER BUILDS, OR THE BEGINNER VERSIONS OF HIS TRIAL BUILDS. THEY ARE EASY TO MAKE AND THEY ALL WORK. There are other content creators like Xynode Gaming, Dottz Gaming and others that provide beginner builds for many classes; be smart and use builds that are verified to work!

Note that the stats below are guidelines; you could be wearing paper and if you have three friends who are all-pro PVErs, they can drag you through any dungeon. But why make them do that? It's not hard to get set up with a reasonable build.

DPS: You should aim at doing about 15-20k DPS for a sustained period of time on a target dummy. That’s really low for veteran content but it’s enough for easier dungeons like Fungal Grotto I, Elden Hollow I and so forth. The stats to get this level of DPS are not hard to achieve—you should aim for unbuffed spell damage around 2k or weapon damage of 2700-2800; regen for your primary stat at 1000 or so; primary stat should be around 35000 if magicka, over 30000 if stam. Health is really important when you are new at content—you’ll see pro players running content at 15k health or less, don’t do that. Try to have at least 18-19k.

Healer: Ideally, your healer build for vet content will do some healing and some DPS. For a lot of dungeons a healer simply isn’t necessary, kind of sad but true. Your raw output is less important than your sustain, so for a rookie healer really focus on magicka regen in the 1800-2000 range.

Tank: Your resistances unbuffed should be in the low 20k range, when you buff up in the high 20k range. CAPPED RESISTANCE IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT STAT FOR TANKING MOST CONTENT. Blocking offers a HUGE mitigation in this game, and the most important thing is to be able to block, cast your abilities, and not run out of magic or stamina. Know your tanking build, know how to recover resources while you’re tanking and blocking. Block cost reduction enchants are usually important to have, as well as some sturdy-traited gear. For resources, if you have about 35k health and somewhere near 18-20k stam you are in the right ballpark, exact resources depend on whether you are a “mag” tank or a “stam” tank (usually tanks these days use a mix of resources).

Player Skill: I guess I could just say “practice,” and be done with this section! You gotta practice anything to get good at it. So do that.

This is especially true for a DPS role, where learning your rotation, measuring your results, figuring out what you did wrong and fixing it, measuring again—that’s the only way to know if you’re actually improving. Most guild houses have a target dummy or multiple dummies; avail yourself of this and start practicing. Helpful addons (essential?) include Combat Metrics, which will show you a detailed readout after any fight of your results, which abilities did what damage, your uptime percentage on various buffs and so forth; Light Attack Helper—this is a tracker of how many light attacks you do per second (the closer to 1.0, the better—light attacks are generally the #1 source of damage in a good rotation); Global Cooldown Tracker—basically a metronome; and, some sort of buff/DoT/ability tracker like S’rendarr that shows you when your various duration-based abilities are going to run out. Action Duration Reminder is another good one that puts the timers right on top of your ability bar. Practice with these as a DPS, get some basic advice from an experienced friend, and you really should be able to get to 15-20K DPS without too much practice. (LEARN HOW TO WEAVE LIGHT ATTACKS. IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT IS, GOOGLE "ESO WEAVING LIGHT ATTACKS," READ AND WATCH WHAT YOU FIND, AND THEN LEARN HOW TO DO IT.)

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For healing and tanking, there is no way to practice on a target dummy. Just practice good technique in normal dungeons, get advice from grizzled players, watch videos, read up on the Internet. Practice, practice. Healing is largely a matter of keeping HoTs on the ground and on players, and saving pricy burst heals for when the tank or DPS flub something or there’s a dungeon mechanic that requires a heal check. Tanking is about resource management—pulling and taunting adds, keeping up block, running buffs for the group, and all while ensuring you don’t go dry. There are GREAT guides for tanks on the web, on in particular there is a beginner guide and an advanced technique guide, highly recommend checking those out.

Knowledge of the Dungeon: This is probably the most important thing and so few players ever bother to do it. Just go online before doing content, and read about the content and watch videos about the content. Google is amazing. Reading is fundamental. Knowledge is power.

If you Google “Elden Hollow I Guide,” you will find written guides and videos and walkthroughs for Elden Hollow I. You will see mechanics to watch out for with the trash pulls, and you will see the mechanics for all of the boss fights. You will see where and when the boss puts out damage; you will see the red on the ground and learn where to stand and not to stand. Just having a moderate amount of knowledge about what to expect will make a BIG difference.

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This is a shorter section but no less important. Your impact on the group’s performance and enjoyment, and their impact on yours, is what MMOs are all about. A vet dungeon can be a miserable event that makes you question the purpose of humanity, or a heavenly experience that makes you realize our purpose is the friends we make along the way. Or it can just be a Tuesday afternoon. There are two things you can do to influence this: control how you behave, and control the kinds of people with whom you group.

Things you should do and not do: When you join a vet dungeon group, if you’ve queued in and it’s a bunch of strangers, the first thing everyone does for 10 seconds is look at everyone’s champion point levels and stats, and immediately start judging everyone subconsciously. Don’t feel bad, it’s natural. Everyone is thinking “Shit I hope these people know what they’re doing.” As a newbie, the best thing you can do for everyone and yourself is just immediately say “Hey guys, newish player and this is my first time in here.” This will ease your anxiety. If the group is nice (and experienced) it can go into tutorial mode and help you, that sometimes happens. If the group is not nice, you may see people just immediately leave, or the group might be real dicks and vote to kick you. THAT ALSO SOMETIMES HAPPENS. Don’t let it get you down, the people you meet in life are a random dice roll. In my experience, this game has some trolly dicks but most people are pretty cool. So it’s better than real life in other words.

As you go through the dungeon, ask a balanced amount of questions. Ideally you can just ask “OK what are the key things for this boss fight” for each boss fight, and people in group will tell you. You’re the newbie, it’s your responsibility to manage your newbness. If you are upfront and show you are trying to learn, people will appreciate it and you will (sometimes) be surprised at the miracles of kindness that occur. But again, sometimes people will be shitheads. You probably saw a shithead at Dunkin Donuts this morning, and you didn’t quit life, so don’t quit trying vet dungeons because you saw a shithead in one of them!

THINGS TO NOT DO: Bitch people out for doing something wrong, queue for a dungeon as a tank to get in faster, when you a sorc with level 20 armor at 13k health, run ahead of the tank and pull the mobs because you have ADHD, ignore people if they say hello or try to communicate, vote to group-kick a newbie player once you learn the ropes and you are the grizzled veteran. Basically, DON’T BE A DICK. You may remember this being a key recommendation in my PVP guide. It applies in PVE as well. A pretty good rule to follow in life.

Things you can do to control who you group with: JOIN GUILDS. MAKE FRIENDS. REPEAT. MMOs are all about goals and progression and getting to different stages, right? Have one of your goals be “Queue by myself for as few vet dungeons as possible.” There are LOTS of guilds that are friendly to newer players, and over your early months in the game, you can graduate or shift from one guild to another as your skill develops and you meet new people and figure out what communities feel the best to you. Get in voice chat with your guild mates. When you find a good tank, add that guy/gal/nonbinary pal to your friends list as fast as you can! This is a longwinded way of saying that dungeons are always fun, but they are a lot more fun with buddies, especially buddies that know what they’re doing. And if it isn’t obvious, they are a lot easier when four people are in voice comms together and talking to each other (“Strangler spawned in the east,” “I need a heal,” “Dude, WTF is up with that outfit”).

That’s all for this week. TL;DR: Git gud, make friends and don't stand in red. 

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  • I've been able to sustain 15 -20k dps on avg (20+ easily when I nail the rotation and light attacks) Gonna have to spend many many days practicing my light attack timing and rotation on a dummy. 

    My light attack discipline is barely cutting it above 0.5 and I stall on unleashing Relentless Focus all the time

    • Just to make sure I'm being helpful - when I say sustain I mean sustain at 20Kish for a full 6 million target dummy test.

      Eventually you want to get up to about 40k on the dummy, then you are in very good shape for vet trials (and doing better than me!)--when you start shooting for those higher levels you want to use "parse food" (ghastly eye bowl for magic, lava foot for stam), which gives max resources and recovery but no health bonus (hence why it is really only for target dummies).

      • Oh yeah I get that you mean the full 6mil health and that’s what I’m using as my benchmark.

        Right now I’m just learning how to weave light attacks into my rotation and repeating said rotation enough to the point I don’t even have to think about it.

        No worries about making this an obsession though. The dummy practice is what I do on occasion now. My main focus is still enjoying the game as you suggested. 

        • Cool - you will hear a lot of people talk about "humping the dummy," some saying it is essential and others saying it is stupid. To me the answer is you need to do both--practicing your rotation is important, and playing in real situations is important. It all helps. Like you might get your rotation "on lock" on the target dummy but then find that in a stress situation everything goes to hell (it does for everyone).

          The light attack practice is great. Sometimes it is helpful to just practice light attack weaving with one skill, over and over, for a minute or so, just to train your fingers in that heartbeat, 1-2, 1-2, timing.


  • lol I can’t measure my DPS but I doubt it’s abywherenear 15 to 20k a second. 

    • Even if you can't use addons (like if you are on console), the target dummies in the game now put a simple DPS result in your chat window when they get to zero (or you stop fighting for a few seconds). So everyone can test DPS!



        Ooh those are what those are for?

        Edit - Oof 8.5 k dps at 459 cp. 

        • Practice makes perfect - I believe in you :)

        • The website mentioned in this post,, has a boatload of great guidance on improving as a damage dealer, from builds to hand-eye technique and everything in between. I also encourage EVERYONE to learn how to tank, which is all live practice and experience and learning how to position all the mobs in a fight.  It's super fun, everyone ALWAYS needs a tank, and it helps you learn the mechanics of all the dungeons much better. No need to hit the target dummy while learning to tank.

          I go out of my way to repeat this, no one should feel like this game is only for folks who can excel at the hard content. This post and others like it are just for folks who want to push forward on that aspect of the game. You can quest, trade, socialize, roleplay, do normal dungeons and trials, participate in the events, zerg surf in PVP..there is TONS of stuff to do and if you're at 459 CP you've probably been having fun in ESO for awhile! 

          (This comment is a general one for other readers, I'm not lecturing you lol)

        • Take a look at multiple guides. As Avi said, half the battle is learning to weave light attacks into your skill spannning and finding a rotation you’re comfortable with. 

          The one I’m using now feels kind of wonky to me with how many Damage over Time effects I have to manage so I’m looking around for something smoother but as effective. 

          Even a sustained 10k damage per second ends up being a cool million damage in under a minute. Elite players might scoff at that but it’s more than enough for most of the game’s content. 

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