The Elder Scrolls Online: Beginner's Guide to DPS

Updated on May 13, 2017

DPS Like a Pro, Even When You're Not

With the upcoming release of The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind, I'm sure Zenimax Online Studios can expect an influx of new and returning players. Before we dive in, I'd like to point out that some of the best players, the ones who dance at the top of the leaderboards week-after-week, they didn't become the best players overnight! In fact, it took a lot of time, dedication, and practice. If you're like me, with a history of being incredibly bad at video games, I can assure you that your experience with TESO will be different once you finish reading this article.

Getting Down To The Basics

As a damage-dealer with the intention to do the absolute most damage possible, you will want to first begin by choosing if you'd like to utilize magic or stamina. Does a caster sound appealing? Pick up a destruction staff! Maybe you're after a rouge-like character, with a bow and a pair of daggers?

Keep in mind that when you're taking up the role of damage-dealer, it would be ideal to put all of your attribute points into the respective resource you have picked - this being Magicka or Stamina. Why do we do this? Because all of your skills will scale off of your max resources! For example, if the ability you're using costs Magicka, the more Magicka you have, the harder that ability will hit. So, ideally, as a caster, playing as a Magicka Sorcerer, you would choose to put every single one of your attribute points into Magicka in order to maximize the power of your damage abilities. Same can be said for Stamina-based builds. The more Stamina you have, the harder your Bow abilities (and all melee weapons) will hit.

High Critical Damage Or Raw Power? You Choose.

When looking at your character stats, you will want to focus on max resources (Magicka or Stamina), Weapon or Spell critical (critical chance), Weapon or Spell damage, and last but not least, Magicka or Stamina regeneration. Like I mentioned previously, the values showcased upon your ability's tooltip (the numbers that are shown when hovering over an ability) is scaled off of your max resource. Additionally, the same can be said for your weapon and spell damage. The higher both of these values are, the stronger your damage abilities will be. Coupled with weapon or spell critical, which increases the chance of a critical hit, you will give any enemy you come across in Tamriel a run for their money. Magicka and Stamina regeneration determines how quickly you run out of resources, and how quickly those resources regenerate during combat. Consider cost-reduction as well, which can be obtained with glyphs and special armor sets - this will allow you to better manage your resources in longer fights.

Any veteran player will tell you, "You can't DPS when you're dead or when you're out of resources."

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Endless Armor, Endless Builds, Endless Possibilities

The armor or "gear" possibilities are literally endless. ZoS has released an enormous amount of zone-specific drop sets, as well as numerous craftable sets all over Tamriel. As stated above, max resources, critical damage, and weapon/spell damage are what you want to aim for. Law of Julianos for Magicka users and Hunding's Rage for stamina users are both great base sets to start with. They're both craftable and not difficult to get your hands on. Don't be afraid to ask your guildmates or friends to help you out if you're unable to craft it yet. Feel free to test different sets and get creative while mixing and matching different armor. In short, find what is most optimal for you.

Don't Be Afraid To Do Your Own Thing!

I can't stress this enough - experiment on your own. In fact, many of the choices you make will depend greatly on how you choose to enjoy the game, and that will change as you play and get familiar with the game! For example, many organized groups will provide their allies certain buffs that increase their critical damage. With this in mind, you may want to adjust your own play style to best fit those you're grouped with. Will you be spending most of your time as a lone-wolf traveler - roaming around and doing quests as they come? Maybe you're excited by large scale PVP sieges? Are you strictly Undaunted - is your core purpose defeating the most difficult dungeon bosses?

This guide is definitely aimed at those who are looking for a pretty straight-forward guide to fulfilling the role of DPS. I'm here to help you understand the very core basics of how the game works but is up to you to decide how you want to apply this information to your adventures in Tamriel. Happy adventuring!

© 2017 Jocelyn Figueroa


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