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WiP: ESO Theorycrafting - Weapon Skill and Bleeds

  • Member
    February 12, 2020

    We've looked at quite a few skills so far, examined a few Buffs affecting our damage-dealing Nord Warden, have a basic understanding of how Mundus Stones, Item Sets, Traits, and Enchanting all work together to create a character. We only have two more skills we can slot on our bar next to Bull Netch, Bird of Prey and Subterranean Assault, so this time around we'll be looking at a Weapon Skill.

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

    The coolest Rangers use dual-wield and bow. Unlike Drizzt, we have a bear instead of a panther. The Rending Slashes morph of Twin Slashes is a good skill to reflect the archetypal ranger aspect of our character. Breaking it down we can see what this skill gives us:

    Instant Physical Damage - 282 Physical Damage with each weapon.

    Bleed Damage Over Time (DoT) - 910 Physical Damage over 10 seconds.

    Snare - Reduce the enemy's Movement Speed by 30% for 4 seconds.

    I like to think what sets rangers apart from other warriors is a degree of precision. When I think of a ranger, I imagine a character who uses agility and precise strikes to bring down a foe, and can switch to a bow and be just as deadly-accurate with one shot. For me, Rending Slashes is the perfect weapon skill to slot due to it's decent first-strike damage followed by the damage over time as though I've just made two strikes to an opponent's arteries.

    When using this skill, because it has a DOT component, we want to let it run its full duration before using it again rather than spamming it.

    The Snare the skill applies is useful in PVP, a bit less so in PVE. Still a dcent debuff to have.

    The bleed damage is something we could really play around with, though, in both PVE and PVP. Firstly by choosing the right weapons as detailed in the Twin Blade and Blunt passive in the Dual-Wield skill line:

    Our Nord Warden will be using a dagger and an axe. The dagger represents a Ranger's finesse and accuracy with its 5% increase to our Weapon Critical rating. The axe represents the raw power of a Nord with its 8% chance to proc a six second bleed. We could use two axes for a 16% chance to apply a bleed, but it's worth noting two bleed effects from the same source don't stack. That means if we use two axes and proc the bleed effect on our first strike, a second proc of Twin Blade and Blunt's 8% chance will simply reset the initial 6 second timer.

    However, mulitple bleed effects from different sources will stack. So if we proc Twin Blade and Blunt's 8% chance with our axe followed by using Rending Slashes, two bleed effects will be on our target.

    Our dagger and high Critical Rating will play nicely with bleeds because bleed effects can Crit - the chance to do a Critical Strike will tick every second for each bleed's duration.

    We could find a third source if we really want to up the ante on bleed effects. Maybe Pillar of Nirn from the Falkreath Hold dungeon?

    (2 items) Adds 1096 Maximum Stamina
    (3 items) Adds 833 Weapon Critical
    (4 items) Adds 129 Weapon Damage
    (5 items) When you deal damage, you have a 10% chance to create a fissure underneath the enemy after 1 second, dealing 2000 Physical Damage to all enemies within 2.5 meters and causing them to bleed for an additional 10000 Physical Damage over 10 seconds. This effect can occur once every 10 seconds.

    How about a fourth source?

    (2 items) Adds 1096 Maximum Stamina
    (3 items) Adds 129 Weapon Damage
    (4 items) Adds 129 Stamina Recovery
    (5 items) Your Light and Heavy Attacks rend flesh, causing your enemy to bleed for 1000 Physical Damage every 1 second for 4 seconds.

    These are advanced sets as Falkreath Hold and Moon Hunter Keep are tough dungeons.

    For now, two sources of bleed damage is sufficient for our Warden. We're a ranger, not a babrarian! Besides, we'll be adding a third source of bleed from our own toolkit as our fifth skill on our Dual-Wield bar, which we'll be looking at next.

    To summarise, when we pick a Weapon Skill to put on our bar, we can choose a skill we feel best reflects our character concept. By giving thought to what skill or skills we pick, we can discover how to use them to the best of our abilities and their maximum potential. In this case, by focusing on the bleed effect we can think about what Item Sets we could wear to further enhance our build and tailor it to create the character we envision. We could easily turn our ranger into a barbarian and have a very different experience just by tweaking a few elements of the build.