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WiP: ESO Theorycrafting - Skills and Mundus Stones

  • Member
    February 7

    So far we've taken a little look at a few of the Buffs in the toolkit of a Warden damage-dealer, had a brief glance at Item Sets, and introduced Traits into the mix. In this article, we're going to move away from Animal Companions into the Warden's Green Balance skill line and get acquainted with the Major Savagery Buff we glanced at in our last article.

    We'll continue using ESO Skillbook, ESO Sets, and UESP.

    By entering the command !skill green lotus into the Dwemer Automaton bot, the following data is returned:

    We see we get a few things by activating this skill:

    Healing - for 20 seconds all light attacks restore 1320 health to you or an ally, while heavy attacks restore 3960 health to you or an ally.

    Major Savagery - Increase your Weapon Critical rating by 2191 (10%) for 20 seconds.

    This skill comes from the Green Balance skill line, as such slotting it won't give us the benefit of the Animal Companions passive skill Advanced Species so already we need to weigh up the pros and cons of losing a 2% damage increase against gaining a source of healing and Major Savagery:

    Green Lotus also introduces us to Weapon Critical. Our Weapon Critical rating appears on our character screen as a percentage figure which represents the chance of scoring a Critical Strike with a stamina ability. Major Savagery will increase that number by 10%. When a Critical Strike occurs, the damage of that attack will increase by an extra 50%. Our Weapon Critical rating is the chance of that extra damage applying.

    In PVE content, getting our Weapon Critical rating close to 50% will mean close to half of all the attacks we do will be critical strikes, and so can really help our DPS. However, in PVP content we'll most likely be up against players wearing gear with the Impenetrable trait so as to help mitigate incoming player damage.

    I absolutely adore Green Lotus. It's probably my favourite skill in the entire game. It has a beautiful animation and is a very symbiotic skill that will help the survivability of the caster by healing them with each light or heavy attack, or it will help the caster's friend or ally - all the while increasing the chance of landing critical strikes. Using this skill when playing with others is delightful, and in terms of character building, I love how it complements my favourite Item Set, Briarheart:

    Typing the command !set briarheart into the Dwemer Automaton bot returns the following info:

    If character building is all about using skills and wearing items that best represent our vision of a character, Briarheart suits my Nord Ranger perfectly. In my mind, a ranger is to nature what a paladin is to religion, so I do my best to wear sets and use skills that best reflect this.

    Briarheart gives us:

    (2 items) Adds 833 Weapon Critical
    (3 items) Adds 1096 Maximum Stamina
    (4 items) Adds 833 Weapon Critical
    (5 items) When you deal Critical Damage, you have a 10% chance to increase your Weapon Damage by 449 for 10 seconds. While this effect is active your Critical Strikes heal you for 700 Health. This effect can occur once every 15 seconds.

    This set is giving us two sources of Weapon Critical, increasing our Max Stamina, and giving us a 10% chance of proccing the five-piece bonus whenever we land a Critical Strike. When using this set and casting Green Lotus, Major Savagery will increase our chances proccing this bonus. Green Lotus becomes a truly symbiotic skill when paired with Briarheart, especially when playing with friends. 

    All that said, for me it's a situational skill. I like to slot it on my back bar when in Battlegrounds or playing group content in which a healer is present so that I can focus more on damage while still adding a bit of team support. When I'm soloing content, I prefer a solid burst heal like Vigor.

     

    Mundus Stones

    So far we have looked at a few Buffs, glanced at Item Sets and the Traits we can apply to them, and talked about Weapon Critical and Critical Strikes. It's now time to look at Mundus Stones. The table below is from UESP's Mundus Stone page:

    The table shows us in which zone we can find each of the thirteen Mundus Stones and their effects. Mundus Stones are situational and can be changed depending upon the content we want to do. My Nord Ranger currently uses The Shadow because she has quite a high Weapon Critical rating so I like to get more damage from those Critical Strikes. However, I might discover that improving my Critical Rating would actually give me more overall damage by increasing the number of Critical Strikes I land rather than increasing the damage of each one. In that case, I'd switch to The Thief stone to further amp up my Weapon Critical Rating.

    However, if I'm finding that my Nord Ranger is having a bit of trouble with sustain and runs out of Stamina too quickly,  I might experiment with The Serpent Stone. If I take her into Battlegrounds or PVP content, survivability might become more important. In which case I might choose The Steed for its boost to Movement Speed and Health Recovery. If I'm doing solo content such as the Maelstrom Arena, I might want to use the Lover Stone to increase my Physical Penetration. Whatever content we like to do, we can use Mundus Stones to further enhance the character and playstyle we enjoy most.

    Furthermore, we can enhance the effects of our chosen Mundus Stone by wearing the Divines Trait. Often we will see damage-dealing builds recommending we use Divines on all seven of our Armour pieces. Each Epic (purple) piece of Divinely Traited armour will increase the effect of our Mundus Stone by 6.5%. So if we used The Warrior because we wanted that 238 point boost to our Weapon Damage, equipping Divine-Traited armour will further increase our Weapon Damage.

    In summary, skills, buffs, and item sets can complement each other in subtle ways. By understanding what we're wearing and what buffs the skills in our toolkit give us, we can tailor our character in very specific ways. By using Green Lotus and wearing Briarheart, a character's Weapon Critical rating can be greatly enhanced thanks to the Item Set bonuses and the Major Savagery buff. We can further enhance the interplay of these things by using an appropriate Mundus Stone such as The Thief, and we can further enhance our chosen stone by using the Divines Trait on our Item Sets. ESO has lots of moving parts, but by looking at each one individually we can best see how they can be used to complement each other and build the perfect character for the aspects of the game we enjoy the most.

     

  • Member
    February 8

    Post updated. This is a slightly different tone in that it carries more bias. I kind of wanted to showcase a bit of character building elements and how a skill and a set can complement each other:

    ...

    I absolutely adore Green Lotus. It's probably my favourite skill in the entire game. It has a beautiful animation and is a very symbiotic skill that will help the survivability of the caster by healing them with each light or heavy attack, or it will help the caster's friend or ally - all the while helping increase the chance of landing critical strikes. Using this skill when playing with others is delightful, and in terms of character building, I love how it complements my favourite Item Set, Briarheart:

    Typing the command !set briarheart into the Dwemer Automaton bot returns the following info:

    If character building is all about using skills and wearing items that best represent our vision of a character, Briarheart suits my Nord Ranger perfectly. In my mind, a ranger is to nature what a paladin is to religion, so I do my best to wear sets and use skills that best reflect this.

    Briarheart gives us:

    (2 items) Adds 833 Weapon Critical
    (3 items) Adds 1096 Maximum Stamina
    (4 items) Adds 833 Weapon Critical
    (5 items) When you deal Critical Damage, you have a 10% chance to increase your Weapon Damage by 449 for 10 seconds. While this effect is active your Critical Strikes heal you for 700 Health. This effect can occur once every 15 seconds.

    This set is giving us two sources of Weapon Critical, increasing our Max Stamina, and giving us a 10% chance of proccing the five-piece bonus whenever we land a Critical Strike. When using this set and casting Green Lotus, Major Savagery will increase our chances proccing this bonus. Green Lotus becomes a truly symbiotic skill when paired with Briarheart, especially when playing with friends.

  • Member
    February 11

    Image resolution increased and post updated with Mundus Stones:

    ...

     

    Mundus Stones

    So far we have looked at a few Buffs, glanced at Item Sets and the Traits we can apply to them, and talked about Weapon Critical and Critical Strikes. It's now time to look at Mundus Stones. The table below is from UESP's Mundus Stone Page:

    The table shows us in which zone we can find each of the thirteen Mundus Stones and their effects. Mundus Stones are situational and can be changed depending upon the content we want to do. My Nord Ranger currently uses The Shadow because she has quite a high Weapon Critical rating so I like to get more damage from those Critical Strikes. However, I might discover that improving my Critical Rating would actually give me more overall damage by increasing the number of Critical Strikes I land rather than increasing the damage of each one. In that case, I'd switch to The Thief stone to further amp up my Weapon Critical Rating.

    However, if I'm finding that my Nord Ranger is having a bit of trouble with sustain and runs out of Stamina too quickly,  I might experiment with The Serpent Stone. If I take her into Battlegrounds or PVP content, survivability might become more important. In which case I might choose The Steed for its boost to Movement Speed and Health Recovery. If I'm doing solo content such as the Maelstrom Arena, I might want to use the Lover Stone to increase my Physical Penetration. Whatever content we like to do, we can use Mundus Stones to further enhance the character and playstyle we enjoy most.

    Furthermore, we can enhance the effects of our chosen Mundus Stone by wearing the Divines Trait. Often we will see damage-dealing builds recommending we use Divines on all seven of our Armour pieces. Each Epic (purple) piece of Divinely Traited armour will increase the effect of our Mundus Stone by 6.5%. So if we used The Warrior because we wanted that 238 point boost to our Weapon Damage, equipping Divine-Traited armour will further increase our Weapon Damage.

    In summary, skills, buffs, and item sets can complement each other in subtle ways. By understanding what we're wearing and what buffs the skills in our toolkit give us, we can tailor our character in very specific ways. By using Green Lotus and wearing Briarheart, a character's Weapon Critical rating can be greatly enhanced thanks to the Item Set bonuses and the Major Savagery buff. We can further enhance the interplay of these things by using an appropriate Mundus Stone such as The Thief, and we can further enhance our chosen stone by using the Divines Trait on our Item Sets. ESO has lots of moving parts, but by looking at each one individually we can best see how they can be used to complement each other and build the perfect character for the aspects of the game we enjoy the most.

  • February 13

    So, suppose this is one of the first times I'm going to maybe raise an interesting discussion :P What are your thoughts on the relatively minor effects of the Mundus Stones, or I suppose not having any way to have something that can effect your character on the level of Skyrim's Standing Stones or even better the Birthsigns of Morrowind/Oblivion which could be really interesting (The Lord's fire resistance drop for example) and change your character dramatically. 

    I understand it from a MMO/PvP perspective, but on the other hand it feels like a) They have no real effect on builds or playstyle and b) Just really don't help make unique builds. Yeah, just wonder if it might be interesting to see Zennimax try out something there, make it more interesting. 

  • Member
    February 13

    Dragonborn2121 said:

    So, suppose this is one of the first times I'm going to maybe raise an interesting discussion :P What are your thoughts on the relatively minor effects of the Mundus Stones, or I suppose not having any way to have something that can effect your character on the level of Skyrim's Standing Stones or even better the Birthsigns of Morrowind/Oblivion which could be really interesting (The Lord's fire resistance drop for example) and change your character dramatically. 

    I understand it from a MMO/PvP perspective, but on the other hand it feels like a) They have no real effect on builds or playstyle and b) Just really don't help make unique builds. Yeah, just wonder if it might be interesting to see Zennimax try out something there, make it more interesting. 

    That is an interesting (and good) question. I think the main problem as to why Mundus Stones appear underwhelming is that the numbers and mathematics can be so obscure, requiring a bit of a learning curve before we can make sense of what we're seeing. A percentage increase we can understand, but a numerical value is harder. Let's take The Steed, my go-to PVP stone, as an example. I can understand a 10% boost to my movement speed, but what is 238 health recovery?

    Compounding that obstacle is that they are used far more subtly than in previous titles. I think that last point is because in a game like Skyrim there are fewer ways to create a playstyle and unique build. Like, we don't have Item Sets in Skyrim, nor do we have Traits. IN ESO, Traits and Sets pull a huge amount of weight in terms of character building. Our Mundus Stone is then used to either amplify our areas of strength or make up for areas of weakness. In that respect, Mundus Stones are the reverse of how they are used in Skyrim - they don't define us as much as other things do. Or, to be more accurate, they define us holistically as part of a greater whole.

    I think that could be why they are spread out across zones and not as readily available for a new character or player. It's like, once a player has settled into the game and is wearing a matching item set or two, explored a couple of zones while questing etc, then they can start changing their Mundus Stone and feeling the difference in how their character plays.

    So if we return to The Steed. It's located in the very last zone of my character's chosen Alliance. To unlock it organically, I need to play through lots and lots of content before I set eyes on it. Whereas the Mundus Stones available to me right off the bat are ones that either increase my resistance to help me stay alive, or increase my penetration to help me deal damage. As a new player, those things are pretty much my priorities. I'll grab The Lady, and later naturally grab The Lover, then decide if the trade-off between defence and offence was worth it.

    By the time I get to The Steed, I've settled into my character and playstyle. I'm proud of the complete set of Beekeeper's I've picked up in Greenshade... I'm like, "Wait, hang on... If I use The Steed, doesn't that compliment all that gear I'm wearing? I don't understand what 238 health recovery is, but when I use the Steed and wear Beekeeper's, my combined health recovery from those is 896. Wow! I regen like a frickin' troll!"

    The set is doing far more for me than my Mundus Stone is, but my Mundus Stone is complementing everything else. Now maybe I think, "how can I best use that 10% boost to movement speed so as to make a really fast character who regenerates like a mountain troll?" So I look at item Sets like Gryphon's Ferocity to pick up while adventuring in Summerset. With those two sets on me and using The Steed, I've just made a unique character who is fast, hits hard, and is very hard to bring down.