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WiP: ESO Theorycrafting - Debuff Skill and Enchanting

  • Member
    February 11

    Hopefully, we're a bit more familiar with how Buffs, Item Sets, Traits and Mundus Stones work together in character building and theorycrafting to make the character we envision. In this article, we'll be going back to the Warden's Animal Companions skill line and examining another ubiquitous skill, Subterranean Assault, and introduce Enchanting to this series.

    We'll continue to use ESO Skillbook, ESO Sets and UESP.

    A powerful skill in a Stamina Warden's toolkit, Subterranean Assault is a delayed burst damage skill in that it only activates 3 seconds after casting it.

    Breaking it down, we can see what this skill does:

    Delayed Burst Poison Damage - 1272 Poison Damage after 3 seconds.

    Debuff - Enemies damaged are afflicted with Major Fracture which reduces their Physical Resistance by 5280 for 6 seconds.

    Not only is that initial delayed burst damage pretty decent, using this skill is going to weaken the Physical Resistance of any enemies caught in the burst for 6 seconds thanks to the Major Fracture debuff.

    Major Fracture is a great debuff because it lowers a target's Physical Resistance - basically their armour rating - by 5280 and thus making those enemies take more damage for six seconds. Another way of bypassing an enemy's Physical Resistance is by increasing our Physical Penetration, which we could achieve by using The Lover Mundus Stone.

    In essence, decreasing a target's Physical Resistance is the same as if we increased our Physical Penetration.

    Because the duration is six seconds, this skill shouldn't be spammed. Ideally, we want to activate this skill and let three seconds pass before activating it again and do our best to make sure enemies have this debuff applied to them 100% of the time. This is to ensure that all physical attacks do more damage to anything affected by Major Fracture.

    Another reason we want to wait for the entire duration to pass is that Sub Assault does Poison Damage which carries with it the chance of applying the Poisoned status effect. According to UESP's Page on Status Effects, when we apply the Poisoned status effect on an enemy, they take poison damage over time based on our Max Stamina and Weapon Damage. The Poisoned effect lasts 6 seconds and ticks every 2 seconds.

    Finally, because Subterranean Assault is an Animal Companions skill, having it slotted on our bar increases our Weapon Damage by 2% thanks to our passive Advanced Species skill. With Sub Assault, Bull Netch, and Bird of Prey on our bar, we're getting a nice 6% boost to our Weapon Damage - that's not including the buffs from Minor Berserk and Major Brutality those other skills give us. And we still have two skills and an Ultimate left to slot on our bar!

    Enchanting

    Enchanting in ESO is an entire crafting profession like Woodworking is. As such, in this guide we only really want to focus on how the skill works with Traits and how we can use it in character building to make the character we want rather than a complete and in-depth overview of the skill. Enchanting is a great way of realising a particular character theme, just like in a traditional TES game. UESP's Page on Glyphs shows us what enchantments can be applied:

     

    Unlike a traditional TES game, weapon enchantments do not apply 100% of the time. Instead, each attack has a chance to proc the enchantment, after which the enchantment is on cooldown and can't be procced again for a certain amount of time. Quite often, damage-dealing builds will recommend we use the Infused Trait on at least one of our weapons and our jewellery pieces. The Infused Trait increases the power and reduces the cooldown of our weapon enchantment as shown on the table below:

     

    Enchantments we can apply to our jewellery pieces differ slightly to those we can apply to our weapons:

    Our Warden damage-dealer might be interested in enchanting jewellery with a Glyph of Increase Physical Harm and Trait those pieces with Infused in order to increase our Weapon Damage.

    Lastly, armour glyphs:

    As we can see, the enchantments we can apply to our gear depend upon the character we want to play, our role, and our chosen playstyle. It could be we really enjoy the Warden's Winter's Embrace skill line and want our Warden to focus on frost magic, in which case we can further pursue that theme in terms of enchanting. A final note on enchanting is that, unlike a traditional TES game in which having more than one or two crafting skills is frowned upon, it is recommended that a player maximise all their crafting skills.

    In summary, skills can also have debuffs we can apply to our enemies which can further increase the damage we and our friends do against a target. There is often more than one way of inflicting a debuff, and there are different ways we can maximise our potential against a debuffed enemy. In this article, we have seen how increasing our Physical Penetration and applying debuffs like Major Fracture can help our damage output. We have also glanced at how enchantments add further options in character building and allow us to explore themes based upon our desired playstyle and character while showcasing how the Infused Trait can further increase the power and reduce the cooldown of our enchantments.

     

  • Member
    February 12

    Post updated with a section on enchanting.

    ...

    Enchanting

    Enchanting in ESO is an entire crafting profession like Woodworking is. As such, in this guide we only really want to focus on how the skill works with Traits and how we can use it in character building to make the character we want rather than a complete and in-depth overview of the skill. Enchanting is a great way of realising a particular character theme, just like in a traditional TES game.

     

    Unlike a traditional TES game, weapon enchantments do not apply 100% of the time. Instead, each attack has a chance to proc the enchantment, after which the enchantment is on cooldown and can't be procced again for a certain amount of time. Quite often, damage-dealing builds will recommend we use the Infused Trait on at least one of our weapons and our jewellery pieces. The Infused Trait increases the power and reduces the cooldown of our weapon enchantment as shown on the table below:

     

    Enchantments we can apply to our jewellery pieces differ slightly to those we can apply to our weapons:

    Our Warden damage-dealer might be interested in enchanting jewellery with a Glyph of Increase Physical Harm and Trait those pieces with Infused in order to increase our Weapon Damage.

    Lastly, armour glyphs:

    As we can see, the enchantments we can apply to our gear depend upon the character we want to play, our role, and our chosen playstyle. It could be we really enjoy the Warden's Winter's Embrace skill line and want our Warden to focus on frost magic, in which case we can further pursue that theme in terms of enchanting. A final note on enchanting is that, unlike a traditional TES game in which having more than one or two crafting skills is frowned upon, it is recommended that a player maximise all their crafting skills.

    In summary, skills can also have debuffs we can apply to our enemies which can further increase the damage we and our friends do against a target. There is often more than one way of inflicting a debuff, and there are different ways we can maximise our potential against a debuffed enemy. In this article, we have seen how increasing our Physical Penetration and applying debuffs like Major Fracture can help our damage output. We have also glanced at how enchantments add further options in character building and allow us to explore themes based upon our desired playstyle and character while showcasing how the Infused Trait can further increase the power and reduce the cooldown of our enchantments.

  • February 12

    Oooh, ooh, I have a question, pick me :P

    So, the Scorch line of skills is one that's always frustrated me a little because I find it incredibly hard to aim, the combination of it being delayed and the fact that it doesn't auto-target (like the Cliff Racer for an easy comparison) has always just made it a skill that's a little too annoying for me to use. I suppose I'd ask if you have any recommendations on improving accuracy with the skill or if there are any solid alternatives. Yeah, just thought I'd ask because I'm intrigued. 

    I'm also just genuinelly interested if there are any enchantments you think are a bit useless in general. Like, the Glyph of Crushing seems a little strange on the surface because armour reduction doesn't seem to be a big thing so I'm intrigued. Other then that I feel pretty good because I've usually dabbled in Enchanting so I don't really have any major questions :P Really cool stuff still because I enjoy reading the logic behind each pick and all that. 

  • Member
    February 13

    Scorch is tricky, no doubt there. The number of times I have used the ability then have had to dodge roll before it activates and causing them to burst harmlessly in a different direction is unreal xD So I totally get it. However, if I fully buff my character, Sub Assault has a tooltip damage of 15104. 15k is a lot of burst damage to lose if I take the skill off my bar.

    However, what I (and our Warden from this guide) lack is an execute skill on the front dual-wield bar. I'd probably slot Whirling Blades:

    Skill description
    Launch yourself into a lethal spin, dealing 705 Physical Damage to nearby enemies. Deals up to 100% more damage to enemies with less than 50% Health.
    New effect
    Ability deals more damage the less Health enemies have.

    On my fully-buffed ranger, that skill has a tooltip damage of 7691 which will increase drastically when the enemy drops below 50% health. My biggest problem with this skill is that by the time my enemy is at 50% health, my stamina is so low I can't use the ability. Since Dragonhold, I really suffer with sustain. I'd need to add a bit more stamina recovery to fully enjoy this skill, but it's probably Plan A if I remove Sub Assault. Worth noting I would lose 2% overall damage by removing an Animal Companions skill.

    Plan B would be to remove Growing Swarm from my back par and slot it instead on my front:

    Skill description
    Unleash a swarm of fetcherflies to relentlessly attack an enemy, dealing 1404 Physical Damage over 10 seconds. The fetcherflies rip through the original enemy's flesh, afflicting them with Minor Vulnerability for the duration, increasing their damage taken by 8%. Enemies near the carrier take 155 Physical Damage every 2 seconds for the duration.
    New effect
    Converts into a Stamina ability that deals bleed damage. Deals additional damage to nearby enemies of the affected target.

    On my bow bar, Swarm has a tooltip damage of 1408 over ten seconds. That number will go up a bit if I slot on my front bar, give me back that 2% damage, and give me a really nice debuff of Minor Vulnerability that Increases damage taken by 8%. The bleed damage will gel nicely with our other sources of bleed, too. I'd then be able to slot something else on my bow bar depending on what I feel is missing.

    As for enchants, anything increasing our character's magicka or spell damage will be pretty useless for us, as will anything to do with bashing xD I can't remember last time I bashed except maybe for the occasional interrupt. Our best options are enchants to help us deal damage, so weapon damage, disease, poison etc for our weapons.

    Crushing is interesting. In PVE it's normally the Tank and maybe Healer rocking some Crushing enchants. There's this whole thing about optimised trial groups making sure they hit (but don't go over) the penetration cap of 18.2k. We don't have to worry about that cap as solo players, though, so we can't over-penetrate. Still, I think going after weapon damage is more important for us than increasing our penetration. We do want physical penetration, don't get me wrong, just not from enchantments.

    That said, in PVP I use Crushing on my Templar's two-handed maul. That character uses the Spriggan's Thorn's item set for his weapons and jewellery:

    (2 items) Adds 1096 Maximum Stamina
    (3 items) Adds 1096 Maximum Stamina
    (4 items) Adds 129 Weapon Damage
    (5 items) Adds 3450 Physical Penetration

    Spriggan's is a solid damage-dealing set, and Crushing pairs well with that 5th piece bonus to help each of our hits bypass a chunk of our enemy's resistance.