The Adventures of San-daro: Chapter 3

  • If you’ve been following along with this guide we’ve covered character creation – including race and class choice – and the very beginnings of getting to grips with the basics of the game once you step out into Tamriel.


    Our titular character, San-daro has survived the shock of being captured and enslaved on Firemoth, escaped to Seyda Neen, and fled back to Elsweyr. She is now Level 4, with skill points invested in the three class skill lines in the Nightblade class and another point into the first skill in the Dual Wield skill, which will be the main weapon choice.


    Now the character really gets started!


    As San-daro sets her paws onto the warm sands of Elsweyr, and alights the boat from Vvardenfell to Khenarthi’s Roost, it is time to start properly roleplaying and enjoying the game.


    Ah, this must be home, this one sees many Khajiit on these warm sands


    1. Explore, explore, explore…


    I can’t say this enough. Elder Scrolls Online rewards exploration. Everywhere you go in Tamriel you can find quests to pick up, people to talk to, chests to unlock, loot to grab, skyshards to absorb and dungeons to delve.


    The landscape is gorgeous and vast. Take time to explore and see what you can find! There’s absolutely no rush (almost none of the content is time-limited)


    My experience in ESO is that you can very easily get sucked into bashing through quests quickly and with very little thought. I found my experience in the game became vastly more enjoyable when I resisted that urge and played at a much more measured pace. Does it matter if I only complete one quest during a play session? Not at all!


    So – at the risk of repeating myself - TAKE YOUR TIME!

    San-daro thinks High Elf arrogance is threat to Dominion


    2. Those black arrows


    There are more than 1500 quests in ESO. Yes, really! So you might as well get started picking up those quests. You can have up to 25 quests in your journal at any one time, so there’s no reason not to chat to everyone who has a black arrow above their head.


    Again, there is NO rush. Take your time and enjoy the quests. If you get side-tracked on the way, it doesn’t matter. If you see ESO as simply going from quest to quest, ticking quests off your journal as you go, then you’re missing much of what the game has to offer. This isn’t a grind-fest, and it isn’t a race to get to ‘end game content’.


    The quality of quests in the game is remarkably and consistently high, in my opinion. Whilst there are some generic ‘fetch’ type quests, most are more involved.


    And quite a few are actually quest chains – what appears to be, at first glance, a simple job to complete, actually turns out to be something much more involved and complex.

    Apparently this is 'Maormer'. Sheggo arrogant fool, yes?


    3. Talk is cheap.. well, free actually!


    Not every NPC has something to say to you, but (at a wild guess) somewhere between 60-70% of them do have dialogue. Some will just an off-hand comment, others are very ready to engage in-depth conversations. Some will help with the lore, others will point you in the right direction - and a few are downright rude to you.


    The temptation is to bang through the dialogue by quickly reading the text and then clicking on the option. It helps with immersion if you don’t do that! Let the conversations unfold naturally and choose the responses according to the character you are developing.


    There are a few conversations where you see options in red. These are ‘either-or’ choices which materially affect how a quest plays out. Choose carefully - there’s no going back once you have chosen.


    You’ll also see conversations where you have the option to ‘intimidate’ or ‘persuade’. These relate to perks that you can get from the Fighters Guild and Mages Guild, respectively. It will be a while before you get chance to join and progress in the Guilds, but it is something to bear in mind. Even if you don’t plan on going deep into the Guild questlines (they are both really interesting, actually!) it’s worth spending a single point in each Guild line, just to have the option to persuade people to do what you want, or force them to do so.


    In the case of San-daro, I see her as silver-tongued Khajiit smooth-talker, so I’m going to be looking to join the Mages Guild (in the Aldmeri Dominion that will need to be wait until I get to Vukhel Guard) and pick up the Persuasion perk as soon as possible.


    Wait there my friend. This one will soon many trinkets to trade with you


    4. If it’s not nailed down…


    Like all Elder Scrolls games, ESO contains a voluminous amount of items, clutter and junk that can be picked up, interacted with, consumed or sold. Every time you see a barrel, coffer, wardrobe, cupboard, desk it is worth checking if there’s something in there.


    A surprising amount of stuff in ESO is freely available – just help yourself! But some is ‘owned’, and you’ll incur the wrath of the law if you help yourself and are spotted doing so. Of course, a sneaky Khajiit like San-daro makes sure not to help herself whilst anyone is looking. After all, it is the Baandari code to liberate anything left unguarded…


    Explore outside towns and cities and you’ll find plenty of locked chests to loot. Once you get the hang of Lockpicking it’s easy enough to pick even harder-level locks. And lockpicks are plentiful. Get to the coast and there is the highest concentration of chests – many can be found washed up on beaches, in isolated covers, abandoned on boats or sitting on debris from the many shipwrecks around the shorelines in Tamriel. Loot them all – you’ll be surprised at how much decent gear can be found. And what you don’t want can be readily sold to merchants in town.


    Ziss! If San-daro had known the anwer he would not have asked in the first place, no?


    5. People, people everywhere…


    Without a doubt, the biggest difference between Skyrim and ESO is the unavoidable reality that ESO is an MMO. It puts many people off from even trying ESO, which is a great shame! I’ll be honest, when ESO first came out, it put me off from playing – I just couldn’t get used to people jumping around all over the place, ‘farming’ items right in front of me, and generally acting like ass clowns.


    Over time, things have settled down somewhat. The ‘phasing’ has been massively improved – the other players don’t interfere with your ability to interact with NPCs and the game world now. And the world is less over-populated than it once was. I play on the PS4 Euro Server and I find that it’s only the major cities that have a lot of people hanging out.


    Getting used to ‘playing solo’ in a multi-player world takes a bit of practice - but it can be done! I find that I can ‘zone out’ from the other players to a large degree by focusing on my character and the game world. I’ve come to actually enjoy seeing lots of people in the cities, it gives a nice contrast to the sparsely populated ‘cities’ in Skyrim.


    When it comes to quests and ‘delves’ (single player dungeons), I find that it can sometimes come in handy to have a bit of help with a particularly tough boss. You don’t need to be in a Guild, or even ‘group’ officially, to be ‘informally group’ with another player to tackle that tough boss in dungeon. Just remember bow or salute your ‘partner’ via the emote system afterwards!


    There’s no way around it. You’re going to see other players in ESO. If you really, really can’t stay immersed when there are other players around, then I’d have to say that the game probably isn’t for you. What I’m saying is that, with a bit of persistence and practice, I think it is possible to play ESO whilst not getting ‘un-immersed’ (is that a word?)

    This one thinks we might become...well... perhaps even 'friends'


    6. OK then... Eagles Strand


    So taking all of this into account, what does that mean for San-daro in the very first settlement in the Aldmeri Dominion? This was my ‘agenda’ for the first steps into Elsweyr


    • Straight off the boat speak to everyone hanging around on the beach, fully exhausting all of their dialogue.  Loot nearby barrels and chest for provisioning ingredients.


    • Walk up the path Eagles Strand and talk to everyone on the way to the village


    • Spot the black arrow and approach Razum-dar. Talk with him and let him guide you to the two people that he will introduce you to. This adds the first two quests to your journal.


    • Once you’ve finished with Raz, and he sends you off on your tasks, explore Eagles Strand, talking to the people there. You’ll find out much about what has been happening locally – about the hurricane, the shipwrecks, the incursion of the Maormer, the strange and sudden undead troubles nearby and even a bit of Khajiit lore.


    • Enter every building that can be entered. Make sure to explore the tower with the rainstorm experiment, there’s a Skyshard right at the very top!


    • Start exploring a little more widely. There is a Wayshrine just to the north which can be ‘unlocked’ by approaching. Next to the Wayshrine is a Temple which can be explored, and another Skyshard tucked away behind it. If you picked up the Skyshard in Seyda Neen (you did pick it up, didn’t you?) then you’ll now have three and gain a skill point – which you can spend to add another ability to your ability bar.


    • Take time to explore the coast. The hurricane has dashed much of the Dominion fleet onto the rocks along the coast, leaving many shipwrecks – and many of them have chests to unlock and loot. I found at least half a dozen just on that stretch between Eagles Strand and Shattered Shoals. Loot them. Keep the best gear and sell the rest to the Khajiit merchant in Eagles Strand.


    • When you have explored everything, talked to everyone, grabbed the Skyshards and done everything that you can do in Eagles Strand, then – and only then – move to the next stage, which will either be to head to Shattered Shoals or the Temple of the Mourning Springs.


    It’s your choice!





1 Comment   |   Paws and 2 others like this.
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  October 22, 2017
    Take your time. Good advice, and that is the real trick, I think. We see all the players running around and I think it effects how we perceive the game should be played, but when we just slow down and enjoy the quests, we get to see some really deep and o...  more