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Newcomer's Guide Part 4 - Combat, Lycanthrophy, Vampirism, Builds

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Welcome to Newcomer's Guide part 4!

In this guide I'm going in detail about combat, lycanthrophy, vampirism and builds.

As you have seen during leveling, combat is a blend of action and traditional mmo combat, so I'm not going to list the basics here. Instead I'm going to explain weaving and animation cancelling, both of which are needed "skills" in endgame. These aren't really skills in a literal sense, but a result of sloppy game design, which players started using to get an advantage. It has now been focused on by the developers and real part of the game.

  • Using light or heavy attack between skills is called weaving. Weaving is done to sneak in more damage during combat and keep your ultimate point generation up. Ultimate is generated by light and heavy attacks (every time you finish a light or heavy attack, you get a 8-second buff, which generates 3 ultimate per second) so weaving is essential during combat to keep dropping your ultimates. This needs to be learned by every new player if they want to play endgame and pull high dps. Example weaving rotations: light attack - skill - light attack - skill - light attack - skill this is called light weaving. Heavy attack - skill - heavy attack - skill - heavy attack - skill, this is heavy weaving. You can use a blend of this, as your heavy attacks also restore resources so eventually you'll need to use it (heavy attacks on off balance enemies restore more resources!). Weaving takes a bit of practice, but its not hard to get used to.
  • Animation cancelling on the other hand is harder to do than weaving. Animation cancelling is used when an attack or skill  animation its effect and you skip over the end of the animation. This "skill" is hard to do because there are different kinds from bar swap cancelling to heavy attack cancelling. It's even harder to write down and to make sense in the process so I will not go into further explanation here.

Both of these can be learned over time and if you need a visual demonstration of both, anyone knowledgeable in guild and they'll show you how to perform them.

Tab targeting

On some fights you absolutely need to interrupt something or get a killing blow quickly, etc. However the fight has lots of adds or large bosses your target constantly moves behind. Hitting the tab key early in the fight to focus that one target can help there. If your targeting reticle is within the white bounding outline of the Tab-targeted entity, all your attacks will hit that target, otherwise it chooses the nearest hitbox (aka the closest enemy to your crosshairs).

Potions

Right potion usage is another essential part of the game. Potions are valuable additions to your character because they can provide major buffs. You will need to have several stacks of potions on you in endgame because you will need to use them on cooldown to get their continuous effect. For example stamina dds most of the time won't have access to major brutality and major savagery through their skills, for this reason you will need to use potions that provide these buffs. You should use potions right at the start of combat to gain the benefits, there is no worth in waiting for your resources to go down as healers and tanks, because the potion major buffs provide huge bonuses to your performance. Tanks and also healers to some extent, get their buffs through skills, gear and outside sources, so they should use potions when they need their resources restored.

Addons

  • Action Duration Reminder - shows a timer on your skills, makes refreshing dots and buffs easier
  • Combat Metrics - a damage meter addon, with a window that breaks down all damage and buffs so you can see its uptime, crit numbers, number of hits etc. Very good addon to study when you are learning a rotation.
  • Srendarr - this is a buff tracker addon, you can whitelist and blacklist certain effects in its settings, making this addon the most customizable out of all. You'll need to set it up before use to your own liking otherwise it shows all of your buffs/debuffs on the target. Many like it, but I find it suffers from the Windows syndrome - trying to do too much out of the box.
  • Auramastery - A great buff/cast tracker addon, with the premise of showing you nothing until you set it up. I like it - lots of control. Never mind the ui error you get after /am unlock or /am lock. It does not impair the usability of the addon. If you don't get new icons, just reload ui as with most addons.
  • Tank - An addon which shows your taunt duration on the current target in the middle of your targeting reticle. Excellent.Untaunted - If you need to have taunts on several targets on screen at once. See what dey did der' with the name..
  • Champion Point Respec - Allows you to save assigned champion point configuration as templates and effortlessly switch between them. Very handy during raids when you need to switch to offspec or certain dungeon fights.

If you need help with some more daunting addons (hehe), just ask :)

 

Vampirism and Lycanthrophy

These are extra skill lines that you can acquire, and can provide major bonuses if used correctly. To become a vampire or werewolf you need to be either bitten by other players at special spots or fight with special mobs in certain zones. After you get the disease associated with your chosen skill line you'll need to complete a short quest to open the skill line up. The zones where you can be bitten by other players or run into the special mobs are the Rift, Reaper's March and Bangkorai.

Lycanthrophy

The werewolf skill line provides nice passives and high burst potential. Transformation takes up an ultimate slot and it is the highest cost ultimate in the game. It is mostly used in pvp because it makes easier to kill other players when used correctly. In pve it isn't very useful simply because for the passives to make any effect you need to transform and you can use that ultimate slot for a higher damage one.

Pros

  • High burst potential
  • Your resources and hp get restored when you transform
  • Hard to kill
  • Several debuffs

Cons

  • Highest cost ultimate in the game
  • Takes up an ultimate slot to transform
  • The passives don't work outside of werewolf transformation
  • While in werewolf form you take increased poison damage

Mostly not recommended for endgame.

Vampirism

The vampirism skill line has fewer skills than werewolf but it isn't less useful. This skill line provides major bonuses to recovery and defense. As you go more and more time without feeding or use vampirism skills, you progress in vampirism stages from 1 to 4, each stage activates one of the passives and also you take increasing fire damage and a health recovery reduction. Contrary to werewolf there is no vampire transformation and the passives work as long as you are in the stage for it to activate. To lower your vampirism stage you either need to feed on an npc or drink a Bloody Mara. Vampirism is useful in both pve and pvp.

Pros

  • Helps with resource sustain
  • At Stage 3 you gain an increasing damage reduction buff the lower your health
  • Skills help with defense
  • The passives are active all the time, depending on your vampirism stage

Cons

  • The higher your stage the more extra fire damage you take from fire damage source
  • Your health recovery is decreased
  • You need to feed to lower your vampirism stage

Highly recommended for endgame tanks. The extra fire damage can't even be felt 99% of the time, if you stay at Stage 3 (that's where your damage reduction passive activates, but at the same time other passives, when maxed out, make the severity of Vampirism penalties equal Stage 2). If there is a fight with only very heavy hitting fire damage, you might want to down a few Bloody Mara-s before engaging to get to Stage 1, rebuff with proper buff food and return to stage 3 for the next fight by spamming a vampire skill.

Some Magicka DDs might want to roll vampire as well, if they are running a build which has trouble with sustain, but has otherwise high damage potential.

As a vampire you always want to stay at Stage 3 at the most, so that you get the needed bonuses, but only Stage 2 penalties.

 

Builds

Builds are another topic that can take a lot of time to list and explain. ESO provides a lot of flexibility for their builds and encourages experimentation. Metagame changes very often when items and abilities are buffed or nerfed. Alcast and Woeler both make excellent guides. Alcast's guides are more for general usage and kind of starter builds which you can experiment on and make better once you get more into the metagame, while Woeler is one of the best tanks in the world and his builds are straight to the point and when tanking trials, you should run pretty much that to be really efficient.

If you are not sure you can improve on Alcast's suggestions by yourself when starting out, ask one of officers who has researched them, or any other guild member you know to perform well with a similar build! Endgame Vet builds for 720 CP accounts and access to virtually any gear might not play out as well when you are starting out.

When it gets to group optimization, you WILL need to be flexible about your build and have several sets in your inventory so you can swap. I will write an explanation of group optimization in veteran trials later, to make everything clear about this aspect of the game.

This concludes part 4 of the Newcomer's guide series. Stay tuned for more in the future!

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