Here you can discuss anything and everything pertaining to ESO in general.
Greetings, vestige - every week I plan to post something that offers some guidance and tips on how to get into this MASSIVE game and make the most of it. There are SO MANY different systems, different ways to play (and even more on the way with the recently announced Greymoor chapter in Skyrim!) - it can be kind of overwhelming. But if you jump in, learn the basics, and stick to some daily activities, after awhile it will all be second nature and you will be a grizzled vet before you know it.
So how to get from zero to hero? Someone else has been tackling this for YEARS - Sunshine Daydream! This kindhearted guild has written extremely comprehensive guides on all aspects of the game, from starting your character and building it, to learning the ins and outs of crafting, fishing, stealing and assassination; all the skills and all the quests; even a great guide to many of the best addons you can download to enhance your experience. I encourage everyone to bookmark that site as a useful reference. My posts, quite often, will simply reference sections of SD's massive guide, while offering a few tips and perspectives of my own. REMEMBER: ALL MY RECOMMENDATIONS ARE BASED ON PLAYING THE GAME LIKE AN MMO, NOT A SINGLE-PLAYER RPG. If you are playing an MMO, you are playing to compete against players, and to team up with and be useful to other players. So do all the things.
Crafting is, in my opinion, an essential component of the game. It allows you to be independent and gear any character up for most content in the game (crafted gear is rarely the best in slot option but it is always sufficient to be successful in most things). It allows you, if you work the system diligently, to make HEAPS of money, and build up your stockpile of raw materials over time (which are also worth HEAPS of money). Finally, I think it helps new players learn the way that the game's gear systems, potions and food all work together, giving you a good foundation for building your characters.
So....read this: Crafting Guide, Sunshine Daydream.
I'm sorry. I know. It's a lot. But each of those links is fairly compact, I promise! And it is really an invaluable resource to learn all at once how to do this stuff.
Some specific thoughts from me are below. THESE THOUGHTS OF MINE DO NOT REPLACE THE MORE COMPREHENSIVE "HOW-TO" GUIDE ON THE SUNSHINE DAYDREAM WEBSITE. But if you follow my pieces of advice below you won't be sorry! (Note that I am not covering the crafting of furnishing items here; that is really a separate thing and not something you need to worry about as a new player.)
1) I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU JUST GET STARTED LEVELING A DESIGNATED CRAFTER.
You are going to have several characters and all of them will legitimately need output from all 7 crafting skills. Start working with the idea that one of your characters will be your crafter. Get him/her enough skill points (about 150 or so) to max out all of the passive skills for all crafting lines; these will let you make anything, get the best results from refining raw materials and deconstructing gear; EASILY find harvesting nodes in the wild; efficiently upgrade your gear; and even hire hirelings that deliver you free stuff every day (frequently quite valuable!). Start them doing trait research on the four traited crafting arts (jewelry, blacksmithing, clothing. woodworking) immediately, so you can gradually complete that very long road. I PROMISE YOU WILL CURSE ME NOW AND THANK ME LATER.
1a) START YOUR RESEARCH NOW!
Key addons: CraftStore
Crafting research takes a long time. Every type of item has nine different traits you can research; each trait offers a different bonus. Most importantly, you can only craft the best gear sets when you have completed most or all of your crafting research, so if you plan to be a crafter, you have to do this research.
There are about 40-50 different types of weapons, armor and jewelry to research, and you can only have three research "projects" going at a time in each skill. If you are diligent and start new research as soon as you finish the last ones, the process takes about 6-9 months. Research the 8th and 9th trait for an item takes about 25-30 days! So start now. You can use the "CraftStore" addon to aid in this process; it shows you a grid of what you've researched and what is still needed so you can be organized, and it alerts you (regardless of what character you are playing) when a research project is complete. (CraftStore also gives you a VASTLY improved interface for provisioning, furnishing and alchemy crafting).
YOU CAN DO CRAFTING RESEARCH STARTING AT MINUTE ONE IN THE GAME. You don't need to wait and level the skill, just start researching immediately. Keep an eye on the traits of items you pick up, and if one of them has a trait you need to research, save it. If you do NOT need an item for research.....
2) DON'T SELL YOUR GEAR, DECONSTRUCT IT.
As you level, you will grow out of the trash gear you pick up as you quest. As you quest, you will pick up a lot of trash gear. A LOT. Very quickly you will experience what we all experience, inventory overload, this game drops green gear on you constantly. It can be tempting to just vendor it all, BUT DON'T. Deconstruct it at crafting tables. For one thing, that will produce a growing inventory of refined materials that you can use for crafting later. More important, deconstruction is BY FAR the most effective way to level your crafting skills; for whatever reason, destroying things gives you like 50-100x the crafting experience (called "inspiration points") that making things does. What a world we live in today.
IF YOU ARE ADVENTURING AND CONSTANTLY GETTING STUCK WITH FILLED INVENTORY: 1) you can buy the summonable banker and merchant in the cash shop; if you become serious about the game you're eventually going to cave and buy these guys. There is also an alfiq cat banker and merchant, they are cute if you like cats. 2) If you don't want to buy things in cash shop, you can use the mail system to create phantom inventory for you and a friend; simply find a "mail-bounce buddy" you trust. In the game you can mail six items at a time to another player; if you put "rts" or "return pls" in the subject line, they can just click "return" and you'll receive the email back with your gear attached. You can leave it in your inbox for a month, I think, so you can theoretically store hundreds of items in your inbox that way.
3) CRITICAL SKILLS TO MAX EVEN IF YOU REFUSE TO CRAFT: ALCHEMY AND PROVISIONING.
Key addons: Potion Maker
You almost NEED to max out provisioning and alchemy on every character. Alchemy has a passive skill Medicinal Use--the three levels make potions last 30% longer. Maxing this skill lets you use potions on cooldown; their secondary effects (primarily H/M/S recovery) will last until you can take another potion. Similarly, the provisioning skills Gourmand and Connoisseur add 20 minutes to the duration of your food or drink effects. Food and drink buffs are massive in this game, they provide about 10-15% of your statistical strength. They can also be expensive for the best ones, so having them last longer is important!
THE BEST WAY TO LEVEL THESE SKILLS is to spam-craft food/drink or potions, and ALWAYS make sure it's at the highest level possible. The more advanced the recipe, the more it levels your skill line.
For alchemy, you simply want to watch for skill break points, and when you are able to unlock the next-highest tier of potion or poison crafting, immediately put a skill point in it and start crafting the more advanced recipe. The addon "Potion Maker," BTW, is an essential tool for alchemy.
For provisioning; before you start, just go to some guild stores, and buy green provisioning recipes (doesn't matter which ones, just don't spend more than like 500 gold for them) at the following 4 levels: 15-19, 25-29; 35-39; 45-49. Use the level 15-19 recipe until you are at provisioning 20 and then put a point in "Recipe Improvement." Use the 25-29 recipe until you hit Provisioning 30; rinse and repeat. If you have a stockpile of cooking ingredients and alchemy mats, both of these skills can be leveled in a matter of minutes.
4) DO CRAFTING WRITS. DO CRAFTING WRITS. DO CRAFTING WRITS.
Key Addons: Dolgubon's Lazy Writ Crafter, WritWorthy
When you start leveling these skills, you have the option of getting "certified" by three NPCs: Millineth (making gear), Danel Telleno (cooking, potions, enchanting), and Felarian (for jewelry crafting). Millineth and Danel Telleno are found in your starting city (Vulkhel Guard for AD, Daggerfall for DC, etc.); Felarian is only found in Alinor on Summerset (jewelry crafting is only available if you own the Summerset chapter). Once you've done this, you can grab daily crafting writ assignments from message boards in every major city in the game.
Doing these writs is an incredible way to make money and gather resources. I do writs on six characters every day; each takes about 3 minutes; the process all-in nets me about 500,000-600,000 gold every week, minimum, sometimes a lot more with some lucky drops.
1) Completing them--at ANY level, you can be a junior level 5 crafter--offers robust rewards, and the chance to get purple and even gold upgrade materials. Valuable.
2) Completing them gives you the chance to get a "survey report", which gives you a location where a ton of raw materials can be gathered. (The reports are basically drawings of the location that are nearly impossible to decipher, so just download the Harvest Map addon and it will put an X on the map for you.) VALUABLE.
3) Completing them gives you a chance at getting a "Master Writ", which you can complete to get massive XP rewards, plus "vouchers" that let you buy furnishings and other rare items (that you can either use or sell for big bucks). AGAIN, VALUABLE. (You won't be able to complete a lot of master writs until you are legitimately a master crafter--all skills maxed, research completed, lots of style motifs found--but you can sell those. You can complete the master enchanting, alchemy and provisioning writs once you've maxed those skill lines, so keep those and use them.)
There are a few addons--Dolgubon's Lazy Writ Crafter and Writworthy specifically--that automate the entire writ process; with these addons you can just walk up to the quest board, crafting tables and turn in points and the game just does the deeds for you.
5) JOIN A BIG TRADING OR CRAFTING GUILD WITH A DECKED-OUT GUILD HOUSE.
Most major guilds in the game now have a guild house that include ALL the crafted set tables in the game (you can buy "attunable stations" for a house, and imprint those stations so they will make one of the gear sets), as well as alchemy, enchanting, provisioning stations, all mundus stones, target dummies for practicing your DPS...so join a guild. Join several guilds, they're fun. As you start crafting gear and doing master writs more regularly, believe me you will be happier just going to a crafting HQ, rather than schlepping all over the map to the crafted set stations found in the wild.
I will leave it at that for now. Crafting is HUGELY important, and also it is a huge system, so don't be shy about posting questions. I'll do my best to answer them.