Boy was I wrong about Elder Scrolls Online PvP. If you’ve been following me on Tales of Tamriel podcast or my Timeout from Tamriel series on YouTube, PvP was not my thing. After spending over 40 hours this week on my Dragonknight, I’ve come out a changed man. Here’s my latest blog and thoughts on Cyrodiil and Forward Camps.
“Back in my day, PvP was X.” Yep that was me. Coming from over 15 years of MMO PvP, I thought I knew exactly what PvP is and or should be. I’ve played Ultima Online and Warhammer so open world wasn’t new to me nor was ganking. My most recent hardcore PvP experience was with Star Wars The Old Republic. There, similar to many other MMOs, you queued up and got into the fighting right away and could play all night in Arena style (4 v 4) or objective based (8 v 8). So coming into ESO, I wanted quick easy action and initially didn’t find it in Cyrodiil.
Originally, when Forward Camps existed, it seemed fun and easy to jump into combat die and go back to the zerg. That was my near sighted perspective. In reality what this did was give a major advantage to the larger faction (mine Aldmeri Dominion). You could just endless throw bodies at the opposition regarding of skill, coordination or objective. For the casual PvPer, that was on the powerful faction, this was amazing. I could rambo into a group of 30 people maybe kill three respawn right into the action without a care in the world. But that wouldn’t last forever.
ESO suddenly pulled the plug on Forward Camps because they were getting abused. I found myself being Sniped over and over and immediately abandon this type of game play without adapting (my number one mistake). I could no longer Yolo into a mindless zerg and expect to live. I didn’t want to take the time and effort to adapt, so like human natural I said “this sucks.” Whoops.
Attitude is Everything
Fast forward to the news about update 1.6 and the first implementation of the Champion System. ESO Live mentioned four new abilities from the AvA skill line exclusively obtained by PvP in Cyrodiil. Now I had cleared almost every piece of PvE content so it was time to jump back into Cyrodiil. However, this time I had no alternative, I had to PvP. My attitude changed to “well let’s just have fun and get AP.” What a difference that made.
Now when I went in, I knew a few of things 1) I can’t be a solo yolo moron and expect to kill everything 2) I’m going to have to evolve and be a better player 3) I’m going to need a team or be near one. I had been getting a lot of feedback on YouTube that I didn’t understand PvP fully and I took it to heart. After about four hours of getting wreck, I was starting to get it. I do what I normally do when struggling, ask for help. Big thanks to WaylanderOz, Asweetroll, and LazyLewis. These folks really helped me with grouping, builds, and strategies to not be a nub cake (still a noob but not a total nub cake).
Layers and Depth
Now I was equipped with the right build, the gear, and attitude, it was time to wreck face. I could not peel myself away from the keyboard for a week. It was mesmerizing fun like I use to feel. There’s so much complexity, depth and layers to Cyrodiil it’s mind blowing. You can fight with the zerg, mindless rolling from keep to keep. You can do small group tactics like I did with Erlexx four v four. You can even duel to test out your builds with other friendly players (not win trading). But the best part was tagging along with Nocturnal Guild.
I was able to witness a small organize group have a major impact on the overall campaign. They wanted me to get the scroll for a video and was I thrilled. They did a 20/20 siege taking down both walls simultaneously while Daggerfall was busy. We got in and held our position for a good while before blue showed up and wiped us. No we were not successful, but we pulled the entire blue army away to defend their scrolls. WE mattered on that night. Deltia, my Dragonknight mattered. That’s PvP at it’s finest, giving each person the opportunity to be something special.
The moral of the story is, I was too quick to judge PvP. Big thanks to Michael Burke for giving honest and good feedback on YouTube. Without his comment, I would have gone on hating Cyrodiil without really knowing it. What’s next? Emperor run? No, I have much more learning to do but it’s been a fun ride and I’m back in the PvP Saddle.