Forums » Elder Scrolls

ESO - Playing an Assassin

    • 284 posts
    September 24, 2017 3:29 PM EDT

    Hello there, one and all! Delta here and I have some questions for you. As you might know, recently I bought Elder Scrolls Online and I'm having a blast with it. I just love it! However, I am quite new to the MMO genre. I played a bit to get my feeling on the controls and the user interface. So, know I started a new playthrough, that of a Breton assassin fighting for the Daggerfall Covenant. What tips can you give me on that playstyle in ESO? Is there a Tamriel Vault guild or group that I can join? And most importantly, how do you earn crowns? Can I get them as ingame reward or do I have to buy them in RL? Also, because Phil made me, I will also be logging down my journey in TSC. My ToC will be posted shortly. Thanks in advance.

    • 1595 posts
    September 24, 2017 5:57 PM EDT
    Way to make me sound like a tyrant :D But good! Also, poor Patriarch and Tenebrous, they'd have loved this posted in their group, I'm sure :p
    Assassins. Hmm. Paul has been putting together a guide to help those new to the game, but generally speaking the Nightblade class is the go-to assassin. As you level up and unlock skills, you can choose between one of two morphs per active skill. Those morphs determine how you can approach the game.
    Crowns are given monthly if you subbed to ESO Plus, but buying them with real money is how to get them otherwise. Normally I wait until there is a sale on before stocking up, and there is a good chance there will be another sale soon as the new Crate season begins soon.
    This post was edited by Paws at September 24, 2017 5:57 PM EDT
    • 284 posts
    September 24, 2017 6:01 PM EDT

    Well, it does seem like it's more fitting to be posted in the ESO group. And that's where I shall post. Sorry Sotek :P

    • 773 posts
    September 25, 2017 4:45 AM EDT

    Hi Delta

    Glad to hear you're enjoying ESO. I've just started my 'ESO for Dummies' gameplay guide and tips, check out the ToC in the ESO group. I'm playing AD, but my character San-daro is a sneaky assassin type, a Nightblade, and most of the tips will be totally transferrable to DC.

    If you get ESO you'll get free crowns every month, and you'll also get all the DLC which gives you the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood DLC, with their content and - perhaps even more crucially - skill lines that you'll want to invest into to enhance your assassin character. As soon as you start the Dark Brotherhood, you'll be handed the Blade of Woe, which is an awesome weapon to use for assassins - another reason to get ESO Plus. Yes, I know it costs real-world money to get ESO Plus, but you really get the benefits (the Crafting Bag is an absolute must if you plan on doing any type of crafting)

    Beyond that, keep and eye on my guide (two more parts this week)and if you have any specific questions then please do ask

    • 284 posts
    September 25, 2017 7:31 AM EDT

    Thanks for the help Paul. I'll get ESO Plus when my next paycheck roles in. I'm also planning on getting ESO: Morrowind key to upgrade my game, those Wardens look awesome. Anyway, I got ESO Gold Edition which gave me the Thieves Guild, Dark Brotherhood, Orsinium and Imperial City.

    • 284 posts
    September 25, 2017 7:34 AM EDT

    Also, I can't seem to spend those crowns, I want to buy a cat but it just sends me to the buy more crowns section. Do I have to be a member?

    • 743 posts
    September 27, 2017 10:49 AM EDT

    First off, are you mainly looking to PvE or PvP? And are you looking to be magicka or stamina based?

    • 284 posts
    September 27, 2017 12:10 PM EDT

    Currently, I'm just trying to experience the whole package. For now, I'm doing a non magic playthrough and later I'll go with a magic character.

    • 743 posts
    September 27, 2017 12:12 PM EDT

    DeltaFox said:

    Currently, I'm just trying to experience the whole package. For now, I'm doing a non magic playthrough and later I'll go with a magic character.

    I would recommend staying PvE for the main portion of leveling. Because you are a Breton, you will be put in a minor disadvantage against other stamblades; due to Bretons being magicka based. You are a nightblade, right?

    This post was edited by Rogue at September 27, 2017 12:12 PM EDT
    • 284 posts
    September 27, 2017 1:16 PM EDT

    Yes. I actually was challenged to a dual already by some guy and managed to beat him. But only because he was playing an unarmed Khajiit and I just spammed arrows at him. We're friends now, though. :P

    • 743 posts
    September 27, 2017 1:49 PM EDT

    DeltaFox said:

    Yes. I actually was challenged to a dual already by some guy and managed to beat him. But only because he was playing an unarmed Khajiit and I just spammed arrows at him. We're friends now, though. :P

    Duels are a great way to practice PvP before actually getting into it. As a stamblade, your absolute go-to skills for a dps PvE will be Steel Tornado and Endless Hail. Both of these offer significant damage at a decent resource cost. Once you hit 160 CP (or if you are already), you'll want to take a look at endgame gear. For a PvE/PvP hybrid, Hunding's Rage is a beast of a set. It's craftable, too, so it's quite accessible.

    Dual Wield is also a skill line you'll probably want to get into. It's the best dps for PvE stamina builds by a considerable margin. Make sure you get all of the passives for your class and weapon skill lines. 

    Here are some additional skills that are excellent for a dps stamblade. I actually run these on my current PvE setup.


    Grim Focus -> Relentless Focus

    Death Stroke -> Incapacitating Strike (good for single target damage; AoE not so much)


    Veiled Strike -> Suprise Attack (Single target)

    Shadow Cloak -> Shadowy Disguise (Only useful for PvP)


    Strife -> Swallow Soul (Awesome healing buff)

    Dual Wield

    Whirlwind -> Steel Tornado

    Blade Cloak -> Deadly Cloak (One of the best defensive/offensive buffs for a stamblade)


    Volley -> Endless Hail

    Poison Arrow -> Poison Injection (Single target)

    Medium Armor


    Fighter's Guild

    Dawknbreaker (Insane AoE damage)

    Let me know if you have any additional questions. 





    This post was edited by Rogue at September 27, 2017 1:51 PM EDT
    • 284 posts
    September 27, 2017 1:58 PM EDT

    Thanks Rogue, I'll definetly incorporate this into my playthrough

    • 743 posts
    September 27, 2017 2:00 PM EDT

    DeltaFox said:

    Thanks Rogue, I'll definetly incorporate this into my playthrough

    No problem; it's good to have a new ESO player! 

    • 29 posts
    May 8, 2018 2:31 PM EDT
    It's always fun sneaking up to an enemy and some other player attacks it instead. Thanks, asshole who has seventeen pets and five summoned scamps.
    • 136 posts
    May 8, 2018 3:11 PM EDT

    Kodaav said: It's always fun sneaking up to an enemy and some other player attacks it instead. Thanks, asshole who has seventeen pets and five summoned scamps.



    • 275 posts
    May 9, 2018 12:42 PM EDT

    I play my main character as an Ebonheart Argonian assassin so I may be able to give some tips.

    1. Be a Nightblade. This is essential as they have the only built-in invisibility spell in the game. It can be replicated through potions, but potions have a cooldown and require a lot of foraging for ingredients.

    2. Get the Dark Brotherhood DLC. Also essential because Dark Brotherhood gives you one of the only things that can 1 shot from stealth: the Blade Of Woe. If they're humanoid and not a boss or undead, you can stab the fuck outta them for the insta kill, just gotta pop on Shadow Cloak and get behind them or sneak up behind them if you're confident in your abilities. They also provide other passives that can help a budding assassin and have daily missions called "Sacraments" where you can hone your skills.

    3. Build a combo. This is the last essential thing that you should do because it allows for quick assassination where the Blade Of Woe cannot. You need a high damage combo from stealth that can kill most grunts and heavily damage most soloable bosses. I play a Stamina assassin so I pop on Shadow Cloak upgraded to give me a crit on the next hit, use my Teleport Strike upgraded to become a stamina ability and give me 20% extra damage for my next attack, and finish my target with Veiled Strike upgraded to a stamina ability that does already high damage since I'm specced to do as much weapon damage as possible and it has a 20% damage bonus on top of that from my Teleport Strike. If there's more enemies nearby or if its a boss I will then go into my normal combat rotation.

    I'll now give some quick tips about can things that are not completely essential but can help in the long run.

    1. Be a Stamina build. Your first thought may be to put most of your points into Magicka so you can keep Shadow Cloak up for a long time, this is a bad idea. Due to how stats work speccing into Magicka will gimp the effectiveness of your weapons, since your resource stats affect your damage stats as well. Increasing Stamina will increase weapon damage, and increasing Magicka will increase magic damage. I recommend putting 10 points into Magicka and the rest into Stamina, it will allow you to keep Shadow Cloak on for as long as you need it. If you find you're too squishy in combat you can put 10 points into health as well and still have enough Stamina to be dangerous.

    2. Wear medium armor. Each armor in this game has certain passives in their skill trees. Heavy armor focuses on increasing your durability, light armor focuses on increasing your magical potential (regen and the like), and medium armor focuses on stamina and related stuff. Medium armor provides passives that decrease the range at which enemies can detect you for each piece worn (stealth detection in this game is focused on proximity and line of sight). In my experience, if you don't have Shadow Cloak active and don't have at least 5 pieces of medium armor worn, your potential victim will detect you as you're about to get into Blade Of Woe range.

    3. Learn your range. As I said, detection in this game is based on how close you are to your victim. Outside of a certain range, you are completely invisible. This range is decreased by Khajiit (or was it Bosmer?) racial passives, medium armor passives, and some armor set bonuses. There's no indicator of this range so you need to feel it out on your own. The faster you memorize how far away you can stay from your target without getting detected, the better. Edit: You also have to learn the directions for detection. I just remembered that detection range changes when you are in front of, to the side of, and behind your target. The front is normal range (starts at 20 meters without passives), to the side is half range (10 meters), and the back is once again halved (5 meters, this is why medium armor is so important).

    4. Become a vampire. No, this is not borne from my love of vampires in general, vampires make awesome assassins due to their passives, specifically their last one: Dark Stalker. When you are rank 4 vampire or higher it eliminates the movement speed penalty while sneaking, meaning when moving in stealth you no longer crouch and instead start going at a run speed as if you were standing (though sprinting will remove you from stealth). Don't worry about weakness to sunlight, the specific breed of vampire you can become in ESO has no weakness to it. All they get is a weakness to fire, less health regen (that's offset by passives), and a pale complexion. I warn you though, the button to activate feeding is the same as the button to activate the Blade Of Woe, but feeding activates at a longer range so if you get closer to your enemy the Blade Of Woe notification will pop up instead. If you don't wish to deal with vampirism, seek out the Night's Silence armor set as it provides the same passive as Dark Stalker without needing to be a vampire.

    I hope this helps you with your shadowy endeavors. Welcome to the Brotherhood.

    This post was edited by Ebonslayer at May 11, 2018 1:45 PM EDT
    • 29 posts
    May 11, 2018 12:55 PM EDT
    @Patriarch I'm exaggerating a bit, but it did happen a couple of times with my Nightblade. I see two or three other players in a group and they all have pets and one guy had a bear.
    • 136 posts
    May 11, 2018 11:19 PM EDT

    @Ebonslayer - excellent post and very accurate.



    A Sorcerer can have a max of two pets out at one time. A Warden can have only one, the Bear ultimate. If three players (all with pets, no less) are jumping your target before you, you might be taking too long. Nightblades have skills to make them fast, precise killers. But, it is an MMO after all. 

    • 29 posts
    May 11, 2018 11:38 PM EDT
    Right. It's the mmo element I'm not really used to. I often help people out, so I can't really complain, but I do dislike the pets and the summons that follow you around everywhere.