I’m going to be a bit lazy in this post and just add screen shots of my Minion addons list (as of 2020/Q1):
Rather than write more about PvP addons, I made a video:
I’m going to be a bit lazy in this post and just add screen shots of my Minion addons list (as of 2020/Q1):
Rather than write more about PvP addons, I made a video:
The math behind ESO has changed many times, and likely will change many more times. You’ll hear theory crafters talking about additive or multiplicative sets, buffs, debuffs, champion points, and skills. Here’s what that means with some math examples:
For the purpose of this example, the attacker is going to hit the defender with a skill. The base damage of the skill is 10,000 damage. If both parties are not using any gear, have no champion points, no buffs, zero armour and zero magic resist, then the defender will take the full 10,000 damage.
Consider the attacker then adds some champion points that adjust their damage output by 25%. That’s great, as their attack will now do (10,000 * 1.25 = 12,500) damage. In that first calculation, it doesn’t matter if we multiply the base damage by 1.25, or if we take 25% of that damage and add it to the total. With only one calculation (there’s NEVER only one calculation) the result is the same. Here are the two possible equations:
Next, consider what happens if the attacker uses a buff that increases their damage output by 25% more. There are a few ways that this can play out depending on if the math is additive or multiplicative:
In this case, there’s only a difference of 625 damage, but consider that there may be 10+ different parts of the equation in normal fighting, and different sets, buffs, debuffs, champion points, and skills may each be treated differently (multiplicative or additive) in the equations. This is rendered even more challenging as the ZOS team may change how a particular item is treated in each patch, so a theory crafter will need to test and keep track of numbers / math for every set, buff, debuff, champion point, etc. every patch!
With ten instances of a 25% increase in damage (remember that this isn’t possible, it’s just being used to demonstrate how the math works):
The difference in this case is enormous!
One more example to put this into perspective is damage mitigation. For this example, we’re going to consider an AoE damage skill hitting someone with the following mitigation. Note that the likelihood of this actually happening is low, but it makes for a good example to understand.
If we add up all that mitigation together: 30+8+5+20+25+10+10+15+25 = 148.
148% mitigation doesn’t make sense, and would reduce any AoE from players down to zero damage.
If all mitigation is multiplicative (it’s not like that, but for this example we’re pretending that it is), it will make more sense. Note that 20% mitigation means I will multiply the damage by 0.80. The calculation for how to turn a percentage into a multiplier is: (damage * (1 – 0.mitigation%))
With all nine sources of mitigation multiplicative, 0.70 * 0.92 * 0.95 * 0.80 * 0.75 * 0.90 * 0.90 * 0.85 * 0.75 = 0.19
In this case, the defender will have 81% mitigation and take 19% damage. From our original example of 10,000 damage (before buffs, CP, and sets that increase damage, the defender would take 1,895 damage. Note again that this is NOT a comprehensive example and does not include armour, magic resist, and other multipliers. It’s just an example to help you understand the math.
Note that per the notes for patch 5.1.5 (August 12, 2019):
In Conclusion: Not everything is multiplicative, so it’s up to you to figure out which sources of damage and mitigation work out best for your build and/or group composition, and ensure that you have (at least) those available if you’re going to min/max.
I’d like to explain more about feeding or AP boosting. The simple explanation of the term(s) is the scenario where you have players from another faction come and allow you to kill them repeatedly to make AP. If they die on a resource and you get the defence tick, you get the same amount of AP for killing them from the tick. If they die on a fully leveled-up keep (as of 2019/Q2), then you get five times the amount of AP you made for killing them from the tick.
Keep in mind that a player’s AP value when killed resets after five minutes, and they’re worth less AP until that five minute mark has been reached. I believe that the increase from being worth zero AP one second at the time of resurrection to being worth full AP after five minutes is linear, though have never tested that. In order to optimize feeding, there will be a five-minute delay in between when the player being fed will make their AP, and this is easily noticed by those who are looking for it.
In order to identify someone who is being fed, the easiest method is to look at the leader board. If their score increases with a very consistent amount of AP every five minutes, then it’s possible that they are being fed. It’s also possible that they are in a big fight that keeps going on (we’ve seen fights last for hours where both factions keep coming back), or they may be using some over-performing skills (I’ll get into that later on). Other possibilities include players duelling, players testing skills, players testing AP returns after a patch, though in most situations it will be someone being fed.
A simple way to identify a potential feeding location is to look for small swords on the map in an area that wouldn’t otherwise make sense. They look like this: and will appear whenever multiple players are killed. If they only appear every five minutes, then the likelihood is high that someone is being fed or boosted.
An example from 2019/05/13 follows:
Here is the starting leader board positions. I was playing my warden [email protected], and the Adrestia guild group wanted to push one of their members One Chaturbate [email protected] up to get emperor. You’ll note that we’re both in the mid/high 900k area.
A few minutes later, One Chaturbate Token (hereinafter referred to as OCT) jumped up by about 75k AP. He then continued to increase by about 75k every five minutes until a few of us went to investigate Blackboot, where we saw small yellow and red swords appear every five minutes.
A direct correlation between 75k ticks at Blackboot and OCT’s increases was identified.
Looking at this leader board screen shot, OCT had 1,662,773 AP.
I took a transit shrine from Roebeck where we had just taken back the farm to Blackboot, and repaired a wall making 86 AP. Seconds later, I got a tick for 38,174 AP. This number is almost exactly half of what OCT’s leader board increases were every five minutes:
You can then see in the next leader board update that OCT increased by exactly that amount (38,174 AP), and I increased by that same amount + 86 AP (which I got for the wall repair).
OCT: 1,700,947 – 1,662,773 = 38,174
Coroin: 1,151,579 – 1,113,319 = 38,174 + 86 = 38,260
From the beginning in the 900k range, about one hour passed where OCT increased by about 75k per five minutes except for the four periods where I stole half his ticks. In those four periods, he increased by the same amount as I did (around 38k excluding the 86 AP wall repairs). In some updates, he didn’t wait the full five minutes and made about 70k, with the largest update being 78k, which was probably a perfect five minute wait between the time that his guildmates resurrected each other and when he killed them again.
It looked like they would continue feeding / boosting AP regardless of my stealing half their ticks, so we went to interrupt them near Blackboot mine where we saw the small swords appear:
By this point, OCT had made about 789k AP in that hour, as can be seen on this leader board screen shot:
OCT: 1,752,460 – 963,457 = 789,003
Coroin: 1,190,081 – 992,928 = 197,153 (of which about 150k was from stealing his ticks).
Once they were located and interrupted, the players feeding scattered and logged back into their AD toons. It’s interesting to note that they claim to have all been playing together fighting “normally” the whole time, yet OCT is the only one who made any AP during the period.
This was the Adrestia group about five minutes after they were interrupted when they went back to their AD characters:
It is important to note that feeding and AP boosting is not against the Terms of Service, the EULA, or the Code of Conduct, but it is seriously frowned upon by the community and many people consider it “cheating”.
Section 9 of the Terms of Service state:
You agree not to use any hardware or software or any other method of support that is not authorized by ZeniMax or that may in any way influence or advantage Your playing abilities, or influence or advantage Your use of the Services.
To our knowledge, this is the only paragraph that can be relevant to these activities, though ZOS’ interpretation of said paragraph is only related to the use of cheating programs and hardware – and not activities taken by players without any of these types of cheating mechanisms.
If you’re considering being fed AP, then keep the following in mind:
I posted the below on 2019/05/14 in Discord explaining my position on this event:
Yesterday someone was caught with their guild feeding them to top the AD Vivec leader boards. I’d like to make my position clear on that, as there have been quite a few arguments on the matter.
My issue with this is case of balance, where everyone has an opportunity with the same potential.
The players / guild who were feeding are good players, and are probably all among the top 5% of PvP players in the game in terms of skill. They have the skills to make top AP. There’s no need for them to play unethically (subjective statement).
Regarding other types of activities that make more AP than is expected with normal fighting (this point was brought up by one of them that other people do or did these in the past so it’s ok for them to feed):
- There is a case of skills over-performing such as undaunted skill line abilities with synergies. If you are a solo player (not in group) and use them around many other players, you can get higher returns on AP while in range of the players who have used your synergies. Many players know about this (including the ones who were feeding), as it was made public months ago and they were directly told in voice comms (Discord) the morning of this event.
If done well, having personally used these skills a lot as a player who is solo most of the time (including that morning), I know that it can result in between 20% and 35% more AP per hour than you would make normally.
If someone wants to slot a skill on their bar, then use that skill on the Alessia bridge (example of where many players congregate), then they’re not doing anything outside of normal fighting activities even if a skill is over-performing. I use these skills regularly, and while you may disagree with using them to make AP, they are skills that anyone can use anywhere at any time.
- In the case of a resource or outpost swapping (which was a thing with broken BB mine a while back, and outposts before ZOS changed the tick requirement to having 5 minutes pass), anyone could participate in taking the resource repeatedly, and everyone had the same potential for AP. Show up and you get AP. Everyone can see it happening and can join in, so there’s nothing unbalanced. There were cases of players leaving an AFK macro at Bleakers (where DC and EP swapped it continuously for days) achieving AR50 Grand Overlord in less than a week.
If you feed, you’re unleveling the playing field and it becomes a question of resources, which we measure in time, money, and people:
- With enough time, you can make more AP than people with less time. As an example, working full time gives me less time to play, so someone who is off school for the summer or unemployed (such as many of the Adrestia guild members) can easily make more AP than me. There’s nothing wrong with this in principle, as better players can make more AP in less time, though there is a balance here – which many of us don’t like, but it is still a balance.
- With enough money, you can pay people to stand and die for you feeding you ticks. What’s to stop a player from bringing in 50 other players to feed ticks? Absolutely nothing. For each player feeding another, the one being fed can make about 140k / hour in an optimal situation.
If feeding were included in acceptable activities, then that player will make 7.5 million AP / hour. Many, many people in ESO have gold measured in hundreds of millions or even billions. If someone offered other players one million gold to stand there for an hour or two and die every 5 minutes, would people do it? I’m sure that they would. There would be no way to beat that person on the leader board (not considering seeing swords on the map and interrupting for the sake of this point).
- With enough friends or guild mates who want to help, a similar scenario to the point above is applicable. In the case of this event, based on the ticks I saw (repaired a wall and got half the tick), there were probably 6 (maybe 7) players feeding. One player gives about 2k AP when killed, and the tick for that player is about 10k (five times at a fully upgraded keep). Ticks of about 75k with a bit less than 12k per player (considering imperfect timing) would require seven players feeding.
None of the above feeding scenarios are against the Terms of Service, EULA, or Code of Conduct. ZOS have made their position clearly known that the players can do what they want, and if they want to role-play killing each other, they are welcome to do so. Many people talk about players policing themselves, though we all know that’s not going to happen. There’s very little that we can do to stop feeding, and I’ve always argued vehemently against feeding because it messes up the balance of the boards.
That’s the summary of my position. If you want to feed, you can go right ahead, but I’m going to clearly state that I believe that it’s a shitty thing to do.
Regarding the allegation that I myself use over performing skills to make more AP, I freely admit that, and some may call me a hypocrite for such. The techniques and methodologies that I use to find those skills and determine their performance for AP percentage returns were also made public as well as the use of synergies, applying debuffs, and spamming skills like Inevitable Detonation when running solo to get very high returns on other players’ efforts killing.
Some people disagree with using them, and they’re entitled to their opinion. Bug reports were made for every skill and set that we believe is over or under performing, and it’s on the ZOS development team to change these things if they want to. If they want to declare something “an exploit” as they did gap closing over non-contiguous ground until they changed their code, they are entitled to do that. If they declare something an exploit, then we will obviously not use it – though we may argue with them. Until and unless they explicitly state that “using the altar skill when you are solo and there are other players around you is an exploit”, I fully intend to keep using altars on the Alessia bridge until they change how that skill works. Incidentally we’ve tested on PTS, and it looks like AP percentage returns are being much better balanced in the Necromancer update (2019/05/20).
In my opinion, and you are welcome to disagree (as I’m sure many of you do), there is a very big difference between:
- Running up to the bridge or a breach and dropping an altar, then spamming trapping webs or inner fire.
- Having your guild mates swap factions and feed you ticks.
In ZOS’ opinion they are both acceptable practice. If you as a player disagree, again, you’re entitled to your opinion. The ToS allow for all of this, and it’s on each player to determine their own code of ethics.
A very simple method for ZOS to address these types of situations would be to eliminate any AP that one player gets from killing another if there have not been any other players who made AP off of the killed player in a subsequent kill/death. If you are against feeding, suggest this or something like this to ZOS. If you have other ideas on how to combat feeding, please feel free to let me know the details, and I’ll add them here and suggest them to ZOS myself.
Incidentally, after a heated debate / argument in the ESO PvP discord the evening of 2019/05/14, the server hosting this web site came under attack around 1:30 am eastern and the ESO PvP Discord disappeared.
|For those interested in web server attack details:|
This is the normal level of traffic from a week prior to the attack:
This was the traffic from the day of the attack:
The web site was down until about 5 pm when I got home from work and could migrate it to an AWS stack with CloudFlare front-end.
No direct accusations are being made with regards to the party or parties responsible, though it was rather coincidental and interesting timing.
I’m sure you’ve all noticed the propensity for larger and larger groups in Cyrodiil, and the unfortunate direct effect of these groups’ size being increased lag, latency, desyncs, and disconnects.
This document is an attempt to pass on all the things I’ve learned through testing various skills and addons in the lag conditions when trying to fight such a group, and a few skills and strategies that could help to coordinate enough damage to get past 30 players spamming healing springs with Earthgore on even more.
Nothing I’m saying here is revolutionary, it’s all information that is out there and existing theory crafters are aware of. My hope is that this will help disorganized groups, smaller groups, and individuals to think about how best to contribute to a “faction” win against an opposing faction stack.
SETTINGS & ADDONS
In order to decrease the likelihood of crashing or desyncing before you even start to fight, there are a few steps that could help. Note the “could”, as there is no cure for server performance issues other than ZOS fixing things on their end (game code and/or server hardware).
Traditionally, large groups (up to 24) would use similar movement, attack, defence, and extrication strategies when fighting other large groups (and randoms / PuGs in the area). Whichever group executed the strategy best would win, and/or whichever group made the first mistake would lose. This does not apply to fighting multiple stacked groups, as no matter how well you do versus the first and second groups of 24, the third or even fourth will come in when you’re low on resources, have no ultimates left, and can’t extricate.
When dealing with multiple stacked groups, the primary strategic considerations are as follows:
There are a lot of strategies that will still work when fighting a faction stack, as long as you consider the points above (among many other things). Some notable ones to include in your and/or your group’s strategies are:
SKILLS IN LAG
Regarding skills, you’ll find that some work better than others in lag, and some AoEs work better against enormous groups than others. I tested almost every skill available on all classes, though will only list the relevant AoE skills here. What I’ve noticed so far:
DEALING WITH A LAGGY GAME
If the game is really lagging so badly that you can’t stay connected, your skills don’t fire, and you’re ready to smash your keyboard into your screen, it’s probably time to take a break. Go make a sandwich and/or a hot chocolate, kiss your significant other, and find something else to do (clothing optional). You’ll be a lot less frustrated, and probably have a lot more fun than staring at a screen and hoping that the next engagement lets you actually fight for more than 20 seconds before you get kicked to login.
You could be the absolute best damage build in existence. You could kill thousands of opponents. Your bombs could generate enough ultimate from Combat Frenzy that you could chain them back to back and keep killing forever. The only problem is, you have a finite amount of health, and you won’t be able to do any of this if you’re dead. Too many bombers and DPS players seem to think that they are the be-all and end-all of PvP. Many don’t realize that they wouldn’t be able to do anything without the healers and support roles that keep them alive, keep them moving, keep them purged, and keep them buffed with a myriad of benefits.
Raid healing may seem simple, and I’ve heard many people say things like “get a set of Seducer and just spam Healing Springs and Efficient Purge”. In reality, raid healing takes more awareness, predictive assessment, better reaction times, exceptional positioning, and a higher degree of coordination than most damage roles. A group leader will call for ultimates or some damage skills, but rarely will a raid leader make healing related calls other than “big heals” or some variant thereof. Raid healers will need to coordinate their gear, their movement, their skills, their timing, their ultimates, and may not be able to take advantage of voice communications to do so (the purview of the group leader making calls).
In this guide / post, my intent is to give an overview of what different gear, skills, and styles should exist for Templar raid healers so that your group can better plan and optimize (min/max) how you’re going to keep your DPS and bombers alive. If you’re a solo player or a small group player, while the information here might be interesting it won’t apply significantly to your play style. Note that while the focus here is on Templars, other classes can be viable raid healers as well. The information presented here is also focused on the premise that the healers in group will be coordinated and will want to min/max as a group rather than as individuals.
Here’s a build video for Q4/2019 if you prefer to watch me go through my preferred raid healer build:
Individual healers playing in a group (as opposed to the aforementioned coordinated healers) will often want to use a higher regen or sustain set rather than one that will complement the group (such as Shroud of the Lich or Alteration Mastery).
As a main 5-set, most Templars will be very happy using Kagrenac’s Hope. This set has been a staple for many years, and gives a bit of everything: health, magicka, magicka regen, spell damage and the always important speed resurrection. Some Templar healers who need more survivability and prefer not to block can use Impregnable (to maintain good impenetrable levels), Heartland (less damage from AoE bombs), or one of Plague Doctor / Green Pact for more health pool (the goal being to run about 30 k health these days). The survivability that these sets give is nice, though healers need to understand that they will be outputting less healing than if they were using sets with maximum magicka or spell damage. It’s up to the individual and group to determine what is most appropriate.
For a second 5-set, there are a few options as listed below. While this is not an exhaustive list of all the good possibilities, and there are a lot of niche builds for small man that are very different, these are the main sets that raid healers should be running:
When you heal a target with a healing over time ability, grant them 1304 Critical Resistance for 20 seconds.
|This is the absolutely critical set that is required for one healer (preferably a Templar). As you can see in my impenetrable calculations sheet, the Transmutation buff mitigates almost 20% of extra critical strike damage. Every healer should have a set, and only one healer needs to run it in any given raid. In order to keep this buff applied to everyone in critical times, a Templar can simply drop a ritual in a location (such as a breach) where everyone is expected to take damage. Dropping ritual continuously (not quite spamming) for the purge synergy while moving in close to the head of the group is also a valid play style to keep this buff active.|
Reduces the cost of Magicka abilities by 4% for up to 12 players (including you).
|The more that players can cast abilities, the more damage and healing that they will do. Cost reduction was removed from the Champion trees a few patches back, and players are feeling the pain of not being able to cast as much anymore. With a lot of builds relying on high resource pools and low regeneration, every little bit of casting efficiency will help..Note that this set will only affect 12 players and you can not control which ones will benefit from it. If you want the buff applied to a full raid of 24 players then two sets will have to be worn in the group.|
Increases your healing received by 12% for up to 12 players (including you)
|The healing received from this set is not a major or minor buff, so can stack with those! 12% may not seem like a lot, but every little bit counts and if you consider how much healing is done over the course of a fight, 12% is quite a lot! While not critical, this is a very important set to have in group.Note that this set will only affect 12 players and you can not determine which ones will benefit from it, so if you want it applied to a full raid of 24 players then two sets will have to be worn in the group. It is also preferable to have a disruptor or support player wear this set, as the healer wearing it (rather than someone else) does not directly contribute to a healer’s performance.|
| This can proc every 6 seconds on one player. It used to be able to proc on everyone that is healed, and was a great set at that time. Based on the current game, I wouldn’t suggest this for a raid healer.
When you heal a friendly target, you have a 10% chance to grant them Major Evasion, for 6 seconds.
|Major evasion allows a player to mitigate AoE damage. It procs on every heal, and has no internal cool down so can theoretically stay up indefinitely. Testing in real combat situations, it tends to be up about 60% of the time. This is an absolutely critical set for groups, and you should have one healer running Gossamer for every 6 players in raid (as it will only apply to 6 players at a time).|
Casting abilities that leave an effect on the ground in combat will create a circle of might for 10 seconds. You and your allies standing in the circle gain Major Courage for 30 seconds, increasing your Weapon Damage and Spell Damage by 258. This effect can occur once every 10 seconds.
|Olorime and Spell Power Cure (see below) provide the same named buff for weapon and spell damage. This is an important buff for your damage, and a nice to have for healers.
|Spell Power Cure:
When you heal a friendly target that is at 100% Health, you have a 50% chance to increase their Weapon and Spell Damage by 258 for 10 seconds.
|Spell Power Cure is a great set, and giving both your healers and DPS more spell and weapon damage is of great benefit to the group. If you’re not certain what the next healer should use as their second set, SPC is definitely a good choice.Note that the SPC buff can only be applied to six players per healer, so one healer running SPC for every 6 players in group (4 healers running SPC for a full raid of 24) would be required for full coverage.|
There are a few other sets that could be of value to a group, though they tend to be more situational and depend on the conditions in which you’re playing:
When an ally activates your synergy, they heal themselves for ~ 19 k Health over 10 seconds and gain Minor Force, increasing their Critical Damage done by 12%.
|This set can be exceptionally good, though it will depend on how many spells the player can cast that have synergies, as well as the lag conditions – which affect whether synergies can even be seen or used.There are some niche compositions and interesting conditions in which this set can be of value.|
|Brands of Imperium:
When you take damage, you have a 10% chance to grant you and your allies within 8 meters a damage shield that absorbs 12 k damage for 6 seconds. This effect can occur once every 15 seconds.
|The value of this set is to help mitigate damage when your group is being bombed. If your group has a turtle capability (eating multiple bombs and live through it), then this set can help in very situational fights.|
The monster 2-set completing the healer’s gear list could be Earthgore, Symphony, Troll King, or others that provide value to the group – rather than damage. Many healers in 5 light armour prefer Blood Spawn for the added defence stats (during proc) and ultimate return to be able to spam more healing ultimates. The healer running Transmutation who will be trying to keep ritual up as much as possible should run Troll King. The others should have a reasonable distribution of other sets.
On the topic of armour, most (if not all) healers (and magicka DPS) should use 5 light armour, one medium, and one heavy. If the sets you’re using support it (Kagrenac’s Hope does as it’s a crafted set), the chest piece should be heavy (as it gives the most armour) and one of the head, pants, boots or shoulders should be medium. Note that the belt gives the least armour so should always be light, and the gloves give second to least armour (so in 5 heavy builds the belt should be light and gloves medium to min/max defensive stats). The value that a group build gets from the light armour passives far outweighs the defensive stats that heavy brings. You may be 1-shot ganked, but remember that your build and group comp is meant to fight other groups, not chase one or two gankers or tower humpers.
If you feel that you need more survivability, then I suggest using a defensive set (see earlier paragraph) as your jewelry/weapons rather than changing to 5 heavy armour. You can enchant and transmute your jewelry and maintain the levels of regen, cost reduction, and spell damage that you need while gaining some survivability and keeping one of the group healing sets discussed earlier.
I’m a firm believer in all pieces having tri-stat enchants. If you’re low on gold, then put tri-stat enchants on your major pieces (head / chest / legs), and the trait that you need most (probably magicka) on your minor pieces. Your goal for resources between gear set bonuses, enchants, and character points should be about 28k health, at least 30k magicka, and 15k stamina. My preference for stamina is to have enough to break free, dodge roll, sprint for 2 seconds (to be back in your position in the group), and be able to break free again just in case. Considering that magicka Templars tend to have low stamina regen, about 15k is the right amount to cover this.
The jewelry enchants that will probably be best for most healers are two magicka regen and one magicka cost reduction, though there are some builds where three magicka regen are best, and others where one magicka regen, one magicka cost reduction, and one spell damage are best. As a healer, you need to know how each of the skills that you use are affected by your spell damage vs maximum magicka (how much more healing or damage they do), and get a feel for how your group requires heals. If you tend to continuously spam spells, cost reduction is advantageous. If you have some delay in between casts and you have more casting down time then regen is likely best. There is no one true way, and each player needs to determine what is most efficient for their role and responsibilities. If you’re the type who doesn’t want to think about it and just wants to run something “good”, then go two regen and one cost reduction.
One of your bars will need to be a resto staff. As to which resto staff you should run, your options are as follows:
There should be at least one healer with the Master’s resto staff as stamina management is always a challenge for many people and multiple healers running it means more stamina if your group is stamina build heavy. With the changes in mid 2019 to Healing Springs not being a spammable heal (a second cast will remove the first cast’s ground effect), the value on that skill is less. The healer with the Master’s resto staff may still be spamming it in some situations to keep up the stamina returns albeit with reduced healing efficiency.
Your other bar will be a sword and shield, two swords, or a destro staff (probably lightning). Here’s the comparison:
|Two Swords||1H & Shield||Destro Staff|
For most situations in groups, a destro staff will be preferable over the other options. If you’re in a situation where you know you’re not going to be as mobile, or you intend to be a tanky healer in non-AoE situations, then 1H & Shield will be more appropriate. The use of the destro staff on your back bar is for elemental blockade when fighting in chokes or on breaches. It will put opponents off balance and add to the damage being done when you don’t have to spam heals or add one more slow so that your DPS can better bomb more targets before they can spread. If you have the free skill slot, this can significantly help your DPS by giving them more casts of damage.
Optimally, healers should be running powered weapons (front and back bar) in most groups. My preference for small or medium groups is for healers to run Nirn on their weapons. Nirn provides spell damage, and the difference in healing output from Nirn to Powered is not enormous with damage spells also benefiting from Nirn. Considering that most Templar healers run at least one of purifying light, vampire’s bane, unstable core, radiant oppression, shards or puncturing sweep – and will often use the same sets when running in smaller groups with more damage on their bars, Nirn should be a good choice for most who don’t have the gold or time to farm for duplicates. I tend to keep one of each in my inventory, so that I can swap to powered for large group, use Nirn for small group, or Sharpened for MurderPlar expeditions.
Rounding out stats on your healer will be your Mundus stone. My preference is The Atronach for magicka recovery (letting me change a ring’s regen enchant which are more easily swapped as needed during a raid). The Ritual for increased healing is likely the most efficient if your build and play style has sufficient magicka management, or if you’re a pure raid healer. Other viable options could be The Mage for maximum magicka, or The Apprentice for increased Spell Damage.
Once you’ve worked out which sets you’re going to use, gotten your equipment, gotten the right traits on everything (Impenetrable on armour with few exceptions and Powered on weapons with few exceptions), you will need to determine which skills to use. Depending on how many healers you have in group, you should be able to determine if you’re going to need to spend most of your time spamming healing, or if you’ll be able to cast many other skills as well. The following table lists some skills and my suggestions on how to run them:
|Radiating Regeneration||This is a staple for all magicka players. DPS builds will often have a resto staff back bar for this. Note that as of Q4/2019 you can have a maximum of 6 targets with this up at a time, so you should be double-casting it every 10 seconds (on cool down) and refreshing it just before you expect the group to take damage.|
|Healing Springs||If you’re using a Master’s resto staff this is required. Otherwise it’s nice for when you have to stack or flip a flag, though a mobile group probably won’t benefit as much.|
|Hasty Prayer||This is a relatively large heal, and can be cast while moving at full speed. One of the staples of all Templar healers, though costs quite a bit.|
|Ritual (Both Morphs)||Extended Ritual removes 5 negative effects and lasts longer. Ritual of Retribution does some damage to opponents (removing stealth from gankers). There are benefits to both, with my personal preference being Extended. This is a staple for applying buffs that proc on healing (such as Transmutation) and giving your allies a method to remove all 20+ debuffs that they have applied to them in big fights.|
|Efficient Purge||The heal from the Cleanse morph is very nice, though with the limited number of targets hit, the added magicka cost becomes challenging to manage. Having one or more players in a significant resource management (cost reduction and regeneration) build spamming purge (4/5 casts) is an enormous benefit to the group. This shouldn’t be a healer, though if there is nobody in a magicka support purge-spamming build, and the magicka DPS aren’t able (or willing to run purge on one of their bars), then it will fall to the healers to cover for this. I used to call this player “The honourable purge-monkey” and at least once per hour everyone in group would thank the purge-monkey for running this rather boring build.|
|Breath of Life||This skill used to be a lot better. It used to heal three targets instead of two. It’s still a good heal, though the magicka cost is rather high and Hasty Prayer will do a lot more for the group most of the time. This is the emergency “need a big heal on one or two players NOW” skill, but should definitely not be how you do most of your healing.|
|Radiant Oppression (Jesus Beam)||If you don’t have this on your bar, you’re missing out on a lot of fun. Remember not to beam players who are at full health!|
|Eclipse||One Templar running this skill to place it on key targets can be of great benefit, though remember that healing should usually be a priority. In a small group this skill can be great when fighting other small groups.|
|Purifying Light||This used to be the absolute best Templar skill, as it would store the damage done by all players. It was changed in the patch of 2019/10/21 such that it only stores your own damage. This is no longer a skill that healers will use very often, though if you do need a skill from the Dawn’s Wrath tree in order to get extra ultimate generation (passive), it’s not a bad choice due to the AoE heal centered on the target (if your group is charging at that target).
I left the text below so that we can remember the good old days of it being amazing:
|Luminous Shards||The amount of damage from this spell is minimal. The synergy however can be amazing for players in your group.|
|Toppling Charge||Gap closers may seem odd on a healer, though consider that Templars healers tend to be slower, not have as many escapes, and can often get separated from group due to their predisposition to stand slightly off in case of a negate. Using a gap closer can help get back into position much more easily. The main alternative to a gap closer is to run Elusive Mist or Race Against Time (current preference as of Q4/2019).|
|Aurora Javelin||This is one of the best knock backs in the game. While it doesn’t do a significant amount of damage, it’s great to get that pesky gap closing NB off of you, stop a rez, or interrupt a stamina ganker’s attempts to kill you in 2.5 seconds of unloading all their damage.|
|Repentance||The extra 10% regen is nice, the healing from dead bodies is very nice, and the stamina return is amazing.|
|Orbs (Undaunted)||The healing every 0.5 seconds is great to apply procs, and multiple players can now use the same synergy off of this skill for resource return. It shares the synergy cool down with Shards, so consider the group composition and what others will be running. This should be a staple skill for healers as of Q4/2019.|
|There are many other skills, and others that can be of benefit to the group. When working on group composition for healers, ensure that you have coverage of as many buffs and benefits as possible.|
The content below is intended for players and groups who have not developed their own (successful) strategies on how to counter these groups. I see random groups and PuGs run into these ball groups and die way too often and can only blame it on their not understanding what’s going on. I hope this helps!
SOLO PLAYERS & SMALL GROUPS:
The most important points to understand are:
Your criteria for success (winning) should not be killing them all, it should be something along the lines of making it so tough and irritating for them to farm pugs (decreasing their AP per hour to less than PvDoor activities) that they have no choice but to go elsewhere (or rage quit). With that in mind, read through the following points and consider best how you can contribute to the fight.
Remember that your goal is not necessarily to kill them, but to make it so challenging for them to achieve their goal of (easy) kills and enough AP (to make it worth the time) that they will go away. Killing them should be seen as an added bonus.
I was recently interviewed by JonnyTheKing for one of his videos on making AP and becoming emperor. This post is being put up in conjunction with the video in order to provide a reference to the information in our discussions. We recorded over an hour, and with the final video being about 20 minutes, there will also probably be some details cut out due to time limitations.
You should have already read the Making AP and Emperor sections, so I’m not going to repeat very much from those. The short, short summary: In order to become Emperor you need to be at the top of the leader board, and have all six of the inner “Emperor Ring” keeps taken by your faction at the same time.
PLANNING AND PREPARATION:
TAKING THE EMPEROR RING:
ONCE YOU HAVE EMPEROR:
WHEN YOUR EMPEROR STATUS IS AT RISK:
ONCE YOU’VE BEEN DETHRONED:
To become Emperor, you have to be top of the leader board (with at least 50k AP on 30-day campaigns and 25k AP on 7-day campaigns), and your faction has to own all 6 of the keeps around the Imperial City (centre of the map). To lose emp, your faction has to have lost control of all 6 of those keeps at the same time. You can lose and retake individual keeps, and you won’t lose emperor until all 6 of the keeps are lost at the same time.
The emperor gets some rather overpowered passives:
|Chaining ultimates is one of the most significant emperor powers. Using sets like Bloodspawn that give 15 ultimate will also be doubled, so Bloodspawn procs will give 30 ultimate to an emperor! The passive that gives ultimate when getting a killing blow on an opponent is also doubled, so if an emperor drops a large damage ultimate then it is very feasible for ultimate chaining (or multiple ults at the same time).|
|Emperors need to siege. While it may awesome that they can do more damage with their larger resource pools and continue to do so with their higher regen, doing double damage on siege (especially with three stone trebs up) can make the difference between getting a wall or door down before too much opposition arrives. After the wall or door is down they can then use their awesome damage powers to kill everything. Note that this passive does not apply to ram damage. A few years ago this passive also applied to damage done by siege to players! Imagine a cold stone treb hitting for over 30k!|
|Emperors should usually be running something that can heal them. Considering their resource pools and regeneration, using Cleanse to remove two negative effects and heal for 18% of max health becomes amazing for an emperor healing them for 27% max health.|
|Doubling resource regeneration will usually mean that an emperor who wants to min/max can take any recovery enchants (on jewlery) or sets (like Seducer) and replace them with others that are directly able to increase their killing power. The more damage an emperor can do, the more ult is made, the more damage can be done, etc.|
|75% more resource pools can make for some incredibly powerful players. Magicka and stamina pools in the area of 70k will make most skills hit like a truck, and health pools in the 40-50k range for DPS builds make emperors a lot harder to kill. I’ve tried a few fun builds in my many times as emperor based on health and health regen, such as a DK spamming igneous shield (which is like a spammable barrier for the group) or a Templar 1-shotting opponents when a Blazing Shield comes down. These types of builds are more entertaining than they are useful – but if you have the chance to be emperor you should get as much enjoyment out of it as you can!|
If you want to become emperor, you have to be at the top of the leader board. To be at the top of the leader board you have to make the most AP. Traditionally, emperor has gone to the player who spends the most time, or farms the best.
If the current emperor drops campaign, there will be no emperor until the opposing factions take all the emperor keeps (effectively dethroning the empty throne).
In the early days of the game, there were some emperor passives that remained after becoming emperor. They were nothing like what emperors get, though 5% ultimate cost reduction and 2% extra resource regeneration did count for a lot at times. This prompted many people to “emp trade” on some campaigns, whereby one faction would crown emperor, then allow another to dethrone and crown their own emperor. The dethroned emperor would then drop campaign allowing the person in second place to be next in line, whereby they would crown that person. Residual emperor buffs were removed from the game in the hopes of eliminating this behaviour.
If you want to support your emperor, lay siege so that he doesn’t have to spend time dropping / picking it up. When the emperor has to get off his siege to kill something, keep firing it for him, and be sure to get off of it as soon as he is back! Shields that are based on maximum health such as bone shield synergies are amazing for emperors. If you’re in a stamina build, running bone shield and spamming retreating to remove snares for the emperor can help a lot towards his survivability as well. If you’re a healer, throw area heals at the emperor, if you’re running purge, spam it to keep disabling effects off of him, and if you have crowd control abilities then use them on the areas or players that the emperor is attacking. You want your emperor to get kills, so that more ultimate is generated, allowing for more kills, and to further the goals of your faction. A good player as emperor can count as five or more other players working together.
The disadvantage of supporting the emperor is that the emperor almost always makes AP at a much higher rate than other players, as he has a lot more killing power. If you want to compete for emperor the next time that your faction crowns, then you might hope that the emperor’s reign lasts as short as possible! Some emperors have been dethroned in as little as 30 minutes when both opposing factions actively push to dethrone (there’s almost no way to fight a faction stack who force flips flags). My longest emperor run was about a week back in mid 2015, though these days emperors tend to only last a few hours due to game and population changes.
Some players run into problems in their pushes for emperor in that they have angered their faction (or an opposing faction). In the “good old days” when there were a lot of guilds playing regularly, and there was 24/7 coverage of the map by at least 2 solid guilds at any given time, some guilds would refuse to push for someone who they did not like. Some would even log onto other faction characters to actively try and prevent someone from achieving emperor and call in their friends from PvE to help when they were having trouble! With the mass exodus of players in early 2016, and most of the larger guilds now unable to run large groups with the power that they used to, most of these challenges have fallen by the wayside and no longer exist.
The biggest challenge a potential emperor will face will be in coordinating their faction to take all of the emperor keeps. Many people don’t care about the map or campaign, many people prefer to run less “zergy” and keep to groups of 6-8 people, many people prioritise AP farming over map control, and many people understand that when one faction has emperor, the other two will focus on dethroning and cooperate (in a limited manner) to double team the faction that has emperor. The “good old days” where people like me could direct multiple guilds and groups to coordinate are long gone. I remember the day we crowned Lolimage for the first time: I was directing six full groups of 24 each one from a different guild. We had over 150 people in TeamSpeak, and we were fighting on two fronts versus faction stacks (100+) of each opposing faction. Those were the days of the #CrownZerg!
Now, people wanting to become Emperor in a populated and active campaign will either have to wait and hope that their faction happens to work together long enough to crown (AD crowned emperor an average of once every two weeks for the past few months), or will have to try and gain the cooperation of the many smaller groups that play in addition to the one or two larger guild groups that run two or sometimes three times per week for a few hours. The challenge with those larger guild groups is that they get together less often, so don’t have the incentive to push for emperor in the few hours of prime time that they play together.
Alternatively they could wait for the middle of the night and bring in a solid group to night-cap, or go to a nearly dead campaign (one without people playing much) and wait for the keeps to flip back and forth. That tends to be looked down on, and someone who does that on purpose will usually not be respected for their skill – though most people don’t really care what others think and only want the Emperor costume and red dye, so it is a viable way to be crowned.
My first time as Emperor was achieved at 4:35am on January 19, 2015 after playing all night with DiE and friends. It was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget. Thanks to Minoa for recording it!
A good distribution of champion points is key to maximising your damage or healing output, and minimising the damage that you take. As champion point min/max details for each build and play style change just about every patch, I’ve removed the old details from this section. If you’d like to discuss the current best practices, Discord is likely the best place to do so as I don’t keep up with (or theory craft) for builds other than the ones I main anymore.
There are a lot of complaints about lag (since the lighting update a few years ago). If you’ve played PvP during prime time, you’re certainly seen your ping spike into the hundreds if not thousands. Ping is a technical term (or tool) to describe an ICMP Echo request and reply. This is a type of packet that is sent over a network (or internet) from a source (in this case your computer) to a destination (in this case the ESO servers) and a measurement of how much time it takes for the response to be received. It is important to note that a ping is not a true measurement of the speed that your communications are processed, it is simply a measurement of the capability of the connection between you and the ESO server based on a lot of factors (most notably network congestion by your internet provider, or the ESO servers’ ability to process your requests in a timely manner).
Some of the causes of lag are known, and quite obvious. The more players who are in a particular area, the more processing the server will have to do, and the slower its relative performance. Here are examples:
Every time that an area of effect (AoE) skill is used, calculations need to be performed and information updated in the game clients (computers) of every player who is within a certain range. The more players from each side, the more calculations need to be performed and the more updates need to be sent. There is a reasonably feasible number of such that can be performed without impacting timing of game play (lag) for the players involved, and this is largely dependent upon the way that both the game client and servers were programmed.
When you see / hear some players complaining about zerging, this is the main reason that they do so. If a guild runs tightly stacked in the same place all casting area of effect spells, then they are directly contributing to the increase in lag. It is debatable if it’s their fault knowing that what they do causes lag, ZOS’ fault for not delivering the large scale battle capabilities that the promised (many years later), or a combination of the two. I believe that the groups who zerg are responsible, and ZOS is accountable. If you know that running in large numbers exacerbates lag, then there’s no excuse to keep doing so unless you don’t care about other players – unless of course it’s a case of “the largest zerg wins the fight” .
There is no “lag switch”, and lag is not something that the developers “turn on” just to upset you. The people who believe that obviously don’t understand how technology works.
The term zerging is used often by a lot of people to mean different things. It would be nice to have a shared definition of the term, so my proposal is: Zerg: A zerg is any set of people who run around in a group, organized or not, who mindlessly spam arbitrary skills. The mindless spamming of area skills, be they healing, damage, or cc are known to cause lag.
The term comes from the game Starcraft where the Zerg race of creatures was known for running giant groups of less-powerful group members and taking down opponents by sheer force of number (and not necessarily by skill or technique). By this definition you could have a small group zerging, or a giant group (such as multiple groups of 24) zerging as long as the opponents of the zerg are lesser in number than the zerg.
That raises the issue of what do you consider a small group of 8 people who have randoms (I use the term randoms instead of PUGs, as by definition PUG is a group) following them around? I have often run groups of 8-10 where less than one minute after starting something, there are over a dozen randoms who show up – or another organized group who show up! It would not be reasonable to require that every time other people show up that the group move away, as they would spend all their time running away from their own faction. Thus, you can be part of a zerg even if you or your group is not voluntarily zerging.
If someone calls you a member of the zerg, this is what they probably mean. As you progress in skill and technique, you’ll find that you probably prefer running in smaller groups where individual skill makes a difference, and will only organise or participate in large organised groups of groups when it’s absolutely required to fight a zerg from an opposing faction. Nobody likes zergs (with some exceptions of people who don’t know that it’s possible to be successful outside of one), though the game in its current state often requires that a very large group be used to fight another very large group.
HOW AP IS GENERATED
Historically, AP has come primarily from killing opponents. Each individual is worth a certain amount of AP. That amount usually ranges from 1,500 to 1,800 though it can vary from almost nothing up to 2250 based on a few factors:
As of the Summerset patch (v4.0.5), defence ticks at keeps and resources work slightly differently. To get on the credit list for a defence tick, you must do one of the following:
Defence ticks have also received a multiplier based on the level of the keep or resource. You can see the keep or resource level by opening the map and clicking on it.
When players (both sides) die in range of a keep, resource, outpost, or behind a scroll gate, the total amount of AP that they gave up with their deaths gets added to “the tick pool”. If a keep/resource/outpost is taken there is an offence tick (O-Tick). If there has been no death within a certain amount of time (one minute) then there is a defence tick (D-Tick). When a tick happens, the total tick pool gets multiplied based on the keep or resource level (if it’s a keep or resource), and is then divided up between all of the players within range (who are members of the alliance that owns the keep/resource/outpost) and who have done something to get on the credit list.
Most ticks range from a few hundred to a few thousand, though prolonged fights can generate ticks in the tens of thousands. The largest tick I’ve ever seen was for 596k during the 2018 Mid Year Mayhem (double AP) event. Prior to that, it was for 118k AP at Bleakers. Long long ago before base AP was doubled and before there were 20% delve buffs or 100% AP buffs, there was a 70k tick called “The Tickening” (which compared to today’s AP returns with delve buff would be the equivalent of 168k). It took place at Sej in late 2014 after a fight that lasted well over 8 hours. Opponents would send people in to die every minute while they regrouped just to ensure that there would be no D-tick.
Capturing a resource nets you 1,500 AP, and capturing a keep is 6,000 AP. If players have been killed during the capture, then that amount is added to the tick as described earlier. Recently, many players have started running in large groups and take resources continuously for AP. Every hour, the players renew their 20% AP buff in a delve, then proceed to take all three resources of a keep, run to the next keep to take all three resources, and continue on. They sometimes stop to kill players if it’s convenient, though the amount of AP is usually better if they just keep going to the next resource. This can net up to 60k AP per hour. While competent groups can easily make more than that, during lower population times some groups just keep taking resources.
SOLO VS GROUP
When you’re solo, if you’re the only person to damage an opponent (and nobody has healed you while you took damage from said opponent), you get all the AP. If you are part of a group, then for every member of the group (even if they didn’t participate in the killing or healing), as long as they are in range, the AP will be split with the members of the group See the AP Calculations sheet (second page) within this spreadsheet for more details. There is a balance to be found for making AP, and I’ve always preferred groups of 6 to 10 – as beyond that the AP is too diluted. Larger groups can be fun, and sometimes when fighting other large groups or faction stacks it is necessary, but if AP is your primary focus you should probably cap your group at 10.
In order to get AP from a kill you (or your group) has to do damage to the person who died. Simply tagging them (such as with caltrops) isn’t usually enough, as the amount of AP you get scales with the percentage of damage that you do to the target. In most engagements, people will be healed while they fight, so a person with 20k health may in fact need 50k damage to be killed (as the person has received 30k healing over the course of the fight). Damage to shields is also included in this, so if you want a significant portion of the AP gains you usually have to do enough damage.
Healing other players used to give a lot of AP, though that has been eliminated. Simply casting heals on people won’t net you any AP, even if those people have taken damage while in combat and they kill a target worth AP. A solo player spamming Rapid Regeneration used to make a lot of AP, though those days are long gone. There are still methods to gain AP from other peoples’ work related to buffs, debuffs, and synergies. Every patch is slightly different, so you should test using each skill available to you and see if that nets you increased AP from opponent deaths.
OTHER SOURCES OF AP
People who take fall damage can be healed for a little bit of AP even while not in combat and that AP is not usually shared with the group. The amount of AP earned is minimal (well under 100 per player healed) and there is a cool down whereby healing that player won’t generate AP for a certain amount of time, so I have not done any testing to confirm numbers.
You can also make AP by turning in quests that are given at your starting gate, though other than the kill enemies quests they tend to be more opportunistic – rather than something you should strive to do. Sometimes you have to make a decision of timing for turning in quests. If you leave a location, then you’re not earning AP at the location while in transit. The quest turn-in can wait until a fight is over and you’re ready to go somewhere else.
Repairing walls and doors also makes you AP, though the amount that you spend on repair kits will be more than what you get by using them. If you intend to make AP by repairing, try to get the delve AP buff and if possible the mending buff as it applies extra “healing” to repairs as well, saving you on the cost of repair kits. The extra AP from repairing a wall while you have a buff is proportional to the extra repair amount that you do.
You can increase your AP gains by 20% for one hour by killing a boss in a delve. Note that it may take a few minutes to get to a delve, clear the trash, and kill the boss – then get back to your group or fight location. You should never leave a good fight or a potential tick to get the buff, as the amount of AP you’ll lose out on may very well be more than 20% of what you’ll make in the next hour. Note that entering a delve removes you from the credit list for a tick! Always save your AP buff renewals for times when your group is on break, or you know there will be a lull in fighting for a few minutes. If you want to save a minute or two – and if you’re hard core AP farming then every minute counts, you can allow the delve NPCs to kill you then respawn at the wayshrine. This is usually a faster way to get out of a delve if you intend to go somewhere that there is easy transit.
Now that you understand how AP works, it is very important to understand that there are very different play styles. Playing for AP farming is very different from playing for map control, winning fights, taking keeps/resources/outposts/villages, or any other play style. When you play for AP, the most important thing is how much AP you will make. If you can make 10k more AP per hour by repeatedly bombing, dying, and running back than you can by waiting and ganking or cycling resources at different keeps (but never dying), then you choose the first method. Every player has to figure this out for themselves – what is the best method for making AP based on their skills, build, and preferred style of play – or what is within their capabilities.
When looking at the map and deciding where you want to make AP, you need to consider where your opponents will be, where will they be coming from (running back after being killed), who else will be there (other factions and your own faction), the likelihood of how long you’ll live, how many kills you’ll get, what percentage of AP you’ll get for those kills if shared with other people, what the terrain will be like, and a lot of other things. It is also very important to consider where you will be able to offence or defence ticks rather than just kills.
When you see popular streamers going for emperor, they usually don’t understand AP farming and just try to play their 1 v X (I call it 1 v Potato as they don’t fight skilled players, they only look for easy kills) style as usual. That style will make good AP most of the time, though a true AP farmer is easily capable of making much more.
HISTORY & FOND MEMORIES
Two of the easiest ways I used to make AP (that tended to drive other people crazy as they couldn’t figure it out) were:
In order to understand a lot of the ways AP works, a person has to spend many hours testing every skill. Over time and different patches, AP gains have changed based on damage, healing, synergies, buff application, debuff removal, and debuff application. The results of the below have changed over time, and I will not share past and current test results – though this has always been a very important series of tests at each major patch that relates to the creation of new strategies on how I’ve made a lot of AP when solo/duo. Here are a few tests that you could perform to see how each skill that you have available impact AP gains. In the past (when I really cared about AP farming) I maintained spreadsheets for each skill in every tree available to any character on which I’ve wanted to make AP:
For each of the above, you should also consider (and test) for the beneficial activities (healing, shielding, synergies, buffing, or removing a debuff from a non-grouped same-faction player), how long after you apply them will the link from you to the other player last. It may be solely for the kill in question, it may be for a period of time (perhaps until they exit combat), or it may be for a particular range (from one end of the bridge to the other).
There are some skills, abilities, synergies, buffs, and debuff removals that can apply to people who are not in your group, and when they are performed, you gain a percentage of the credit for the player on whom you cast, or you may be treated (for the purposes of AP gains) as an equal member of that player’s group (even if that player is part of a full 24 player group). If that latter, then a new series of tests need to be performed per the paragraph above related to how long will the link from you to the other group last. Another very important consideration for situations where multiple conditions apply, and you gain links to multiple groups who both participate in a kill – in that case, it may be possible that you can double-dip in the AP gains and be considered as a full member of multiple groups gaining AP for both netting you more AP than you would normally get for your own contribution. This situation is most likely a bug, and you should report it if you find one that is working.
One last consideration (that I’m sharing) is related to guards. Are there skills or abilities that you can use that affect guards at a keep or a resource? If you use the right ones, and guards do damage to opposing players, might that damage be considered as coming from you for the purposes of AP calculations? Since I’m bringing this up, it’s obvious that this does work. I’ll leave it to you to figure out how to make it work!
TIPS & TRICKS
There are a few relatively simple things that people don’t often realize, so in this section I’m going to list a few of them. None of these are game breaking or particularly amazing, though if you combine them all, think logically (and slightly out of the box), and consider many of the things I’ve written about earlier, then you’ll come up with a lot more that can help you earn more AP.
If anyone would like to discuss AP farming techniques (or anything relevant), I’m happy to do so in Discord.
There two major types of groups, PUGs and guild groups.
PUG stands for Pick Up Group. Sometimes, anyone who is not part of *your* group is called PUGs. It can sometimes be used as a derogatory term by groups who consider themselves elite, though factually, any group that is not pre-organized as part of a guild is a PUG. PUGs are generally open to anyone, though some will require that you join in for voice communications. You never know what you’re going to get with a PUG.
Guild groups can be of any size up to a full 24 person group. These groups are usually restricted to guild members only. Sometimes they will be open to random people in order to find new potential members, though that is the exception and not the rule.
When joining a group you are expected to follow the directions of the leader. If you don’t follow the leader’s directions, you will probably be kicked from the group. You may not like the directions, and you may not believe that the leader’s decisions are the best or most appropriate ones, though you still need to follow them. If you don’t want to follow the leader of the group, then leave the group.
People dropping siege can make or break a fight. Siege needs some space, and has a projectile time (before it hits), so locating your friendly siege well is very important. The person(s) running siege also need to be protected (they can’t just stand out in the open and expect not to be attacked.
WHEN SIEGING TO TAKE KEEPS:
WHEN SIEGING TO DEFEND KEEPS:
WHEN SIEGING AS PART OF A FIGHT AGAINST PLAYERS:
Picking up a scroll and running it can be a lot of fun, though there are a few important considerations you should make before picking it up and while running it:
I’ve been intending to write up a choose your own adventure style decision tree on choosing where to go dependent upon your goals, though haven’t yet put enough time into it.
Where you go will depend on your primary and secondary goals, such as:
Remember that not everyone has the same goals, and this is a video game meant for having fun. While some people want to always play for the campaign, others want to make points, and others are just looking for good fights regardless of what else happens on the map.
Builds (gear and abilities) that you use for a large group should be very different than those you use for a small group or solo ganking. Many people watch streams or videos of some very good (or bad) players and try to emulate them in different play styles and contexts. All this serves to do is waste your time, gold, resources, etc. If you see someone in a very nice solo build, then don’t try it in a group of 20 people. You bring very little value to your group unless you’re an amazing player – and if you’re an amazing player you’re probably not going to flat out copy some build you saw someone using in a stream.
Build and gear min/max details change every time there’s a new patch or someone comes up with a great idea. Pay attention to what new sets come out regularly!
Traits on gear: Unless you are in a niche build or are a ganker, every single piece of armour that you use in PvP should have the Impenetrable trait. The math behind this suggestion can be found here: http://goo.gl/84hnar (also linked from the Defence section). Some sorcerers will prefer Divines if they can maintain their shields (which can not be crit) 100% of the time, though for the most part I still suggest Impenetrable even to them. Shields will go down, and Impenetrable can be the difference between being 1-shot and living long enough to get their shields back up.
Please keep in mind that these are simply standard details related to common builds. Using a good build is just one of many things necessary to succeed.
Do what your leader tells you to do.
Learn to cast / use skills as you move.
Learn when to roll dodge, and practice movement and skills/casting coming out of a dodge.
Learn to recognise the animations of every skill in the game, so you know when you need to move out of something (like a DawnBreaker).
Most importantly, never stop moving. If you stand in one place, you will probably die.
Some of this is the responsibility of the group leader, though every individual needs to be aware of where their opponents are located, where damage is coming from, the existence of red circles on the ground (indicative of AoE or siege), and where to position in order not to get hit.
People dropping siege can make or break a fight. Siege needs some space, and has a projectile time (before it hits), so locating your friendly siege well is very important. The person(s) running siege also need to be protected (they can’t just stand out in the open and expect not to be attacked.
When running siege, you should get on the siege to fire when it’s ready, then immediately get off of it and maintain awareness of your surroundings. If counter siege is aimed at you, get out of the circle it’s going to hit, then go back in and fire your siege.
Line of sight is another important principle. An area of effect projectile spell will not hit you if it can’t see you, though a single target projectile will still hit you if it starts travelling before you move out of sight.
When in and group and in stealth, don’t use any skills! There are some that can be safely used in stealth, though the people who are watching you don’t know that, and can easily give away your stealth position. If there is a group of people in stealth near you, you should stealth as well so as not to reveal them.
If there is a large train of players (grouped up tightly) moving towards you, then roll to the side! If you stay directly in front of them, it doesn’t matter how tanky or survivable you are, you’re not likely to live through it. It is better to use some stamina in a dodge roll then all of your (or your healers’) resources staying alive in the face of high damage.
If someone is moving towards you with a proxy detonation on them, move away until the proxy explodes and then attack. If you can’t move away, blocking the detonation is usually your best option, though be wary of destro staff ultimates that can’t be blocked.
A good leader understands all of these principles (among many other things), can predict what opponents will do, and make the right calls to counter them
A good leader is completely useless unless the people in the group all perform well. If the leader calls for movement, you should move. If you stay where you are, you may get one more kill, but more often than not the leader knows or sees something you do not, or is strategizing for the next movement and if you do not follow commands then the group is less powerful. You may have gotten that one kill, but you’re going to miss out on the next 20 kills because of it, or put others in your group at risk because they have to come resurrect you rather than keep on killing.
Do what your leader tells you or get out of the group.
If every person in a group plays the same class and uses the same skills, your group will fail.
If you have good healers (and players), your group will usually need (total members /4) healers. If that doesn’t sound right, take the total number of people in group (round up to the nearest multiple of 4), then divide that by 4. For a group of 12 people, you would need 3 healers (if they are good and your players play well). If your players are not performing and simply stand in damage, then no amount of healers will help you.
A dedicated person or two on cc (to fear, talons, etc.) is important. One player focusing on heal debuffs (Fasala’s Guile for minor and Corrupting Pollen Warden skill for major) is also very important.
A few people on siege is important too. Cold Fire siege does a reasonable amount of damage to players (even more in non-CP). Stone trebuchets will hit for about 10k damage. That’s almost half of most opponents health (or the full value of most shields). One or two people hitting with stone trebs (or even cold stone trebs) at the start of a fight can make for a very quick win!
A few people running particular skills (such as efficient purge, siege shield, etc) is very important, as are retreating manoeuvres.
A diverse assortment of ultimates and ordering them such that the group leader can call for them is critical.
When forming a group (or adding people to a group), spending a few minutes making sure that the group composition makes sense, key skills are available, and ultimate orders and calls are understood by everyone is critical.
Please read through the Raid Requirements Document for more information on group composition, builds, and details.
There are optimized builds for every set of roles and responsibilities in a group. Some may need more weapon damage, some more spell damage, some larger resource pools, some more resource regeneration, and some more defensive stats. The gear, enchants, and skills that you use / equip / put on your bar are what determine if you have the potential to be great. Good gear does not make a good player, but it does give the player a higher likelihood of success.
Every individual has a role and responsibilities. Some examples are: Stamina DPS, Magicka DPS, Disruptor (disrupts the opponents with cc), Protector (ensures that certain key members of your group don’t get targeted) and Healer. Note that there is no such thing as a tank in PvP, or rather a PvP tank doesn’t serve much purpose other than to be an ultimate generator for opponents.
If you come into PvP thinking you’ll be “the tank”, very few good leaders will want you in their groups. There is a requirement for “tanky” players to assume other roles (such as applying defile or other healing debuffs to opponents), but there is no dedicated Tank role as there is in PvE since you have no control over who your opponents attack. If they think even a little bit about what they’re doing, they will target the high priority players first (such as known group leaders, healers, or high damage doers) – not the person who will last to the end of the fight who doesn’t do anything useful. It can be fun to be “the tank” and last a long time before dying, though you should also consider that you’re not going to make very many points by just standing there holding block.
Be very wary of taking advice from people. People build biases based on what they like to do, not necessarily what is best for them or their group.
Be even more wary of copying the builds you see popular streamers use. Many of them have a very niche play style, and tend to play for their audience rather than to be good at the game. I often call many of these players “1 v Potato” players rather than their self-titled “1 v X’ers”. If you see one person kill five others, then it’s a near certainty that those five others were not very skilled. In most situations, one player vs two other players of the same skill level will result in the one player dying / losing. In some cases the two may be outplayed, or one may make a mistake, though when considering equal skill it’s very unlikely for an outnumbered player to win. This is of course what many of the “1 v X’ers” count on, as it promotes their stream and brings in more fans who will help them make more money. The exception to this is usually an Emperor (the the Emperor section for more info) who, as a good player with an appropriate Emperor build should easily be able to take on five other players if using the right strategy.
There are many buffs that give benefits to your allies, and debuffs that take remove benefits or add hindrances to your opponents. Read all of the passives of all of your skill lines, and ensure that you are keeping your needed buffs up at all times.
A simple example that is not used near enough is Choking Talons. Most DKs use the morph that adds more damage, though the Choking morph reduces opponent damage by 15%. If your group is going to charge into an opposing group of 20+ players, having a tanky DK go in a few seconds early and cast Choking Talons a few times before you hit them can make a huge difference.
The timing on your own buffs is also very important. If you’re using DW (either as stamina or magicka) then the cast of Quick Cloak just before you’re going to get hit by AoE damage will negate an additional 20% of said incoming damage. When I lead groups, I’ll often call for “20 second buffs”, meaning that I’m giving people 3-4 seconds to apply everything that they want before going in. I’ll sometimes call “20 second buffs” as we disengage or if the engagement is delayed by a few seconds to ensure that my team’s buffs are all up for as long as possible without them needing to spend casting time reapplying them.
There are also some sets that provide buffs to your allies such as Spell Power Cure (increase spell damage). Having such a set on a player who can provide the associated buff to as many players in your group as possible can greatly increase the performance of your group.
Crowd control is one of the most critical and under rated mechanisms in the game. There are two types of crowd control, hard and soft. Hard usually causes a loss of control of your character (such as being feared or knocked up/down), while soft usually causes you to be unable to move, but you can still cast spells or use skills (such as being snared by Talons or Bombard).
Lets consider a NB’s fear skill. It hits 3 targets, and puts them out of the fight for between 1 and 2 seconds (one or two casts of skills). One player casting fear doesn’t do any damage or healing, though negates the activities of three opposing players for the same amount of time (or more) it took to cast the fear. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), fear is not a smart targeting system, and may hit someone who is immune from cc (as they’ve just broken out of a cc effect), so continued fears within a large group of opponents will probably only take out two targets after the first few seconds of fighting, though two for one is still very good especially if you’re outnumbered!
Snares are critical to taking out groups that move tightly together. A few people casting snares will cause some opponents to get stuck for a second or two, fall behind the moving group, and lose the protections that being in said group (all balled up) provides them. They’ll be much easier to kill. A strung out group can be focused down one by one, whereas a balled group needs to be AoE’ed.
Having your NBs cast fear regularly, your DKs talons, your archers Bombard (though consider that you can’t snare someone with cc immunity using bombard), your ice staff users slows and the use of ultimates that knock up (Meteor), down (Nova) or snare (ice destro staff ultimate) in the right place can all cause your opponents to get out of position, panic, or use up their critical stamina resources getting out of them. A player with no stamina can’t block or escape, and can be killed much more easily.
Defensive statistics are important, though too many people focus on staying alive and ultimately lose fights as they can’t do enough damage. I personally prefer glass cannon builds (the best defence is a good offence) when running in small groups and more defensive builds when in medium to large groups (as we expect to fight other medium to large groups with a lot of outgoing damage). In a group with good healers and crown control, being able to kill off the high priority targets of your opposing groups will increase the likelihood of winning an engagement.
Offensive tactics first involve knowing how likely you are to win a fight. Some groups are better than others for a variety of reasons (coordination, balance, composition, leadership, experience, min/maxed builds, etc) and knowing that you are outclassed can save a lot of frustration and change the tactics that you’re should use in order to try and win an engagement.
Every player should be min/maxed for their role and responsibilities. For offinsive players that means that they should be able to do the most damage without being 1-shot or dying in in the first few seconds of a fight.
Every major patch the min/max for each class/spec may change, so always pay attention to the theory crafters (if you don’t want to do it yourself). For stamina builds, you will probably stack the most weapon damage and maximum stamina with sufficient crit. For magicka builds, it will be the most spell damage and maximum magicka with sufficient crit. You’ll need a reasonable amount of resource regeneration, and to choose the right skill on your bars. I’m not going to go into each build, though if you are in a good PvP guild I’m sure that there are people who can help you. Some high end guilds even have required builds for certain roles and responsibilities. If you’re new to the game and want a quick recommendation, I’m usually happy to spend a few minutes (as long as I’m not in battle) helping people out – regardless of your faction.