ESO PvP – Initial Impressions and Experiences

As an avid Star Wars The Old Republic PvPer, I’ve been curious to see how PvP works in Elder Scrolls Online. But at the same time a little nervous about diving straight into it without first knowing more about the game. But at the behest of a Guildy, I finally took the plunge and tried out PvP in ESO. And boy, I was not disappointed!

Large scale Open World PvP engagements with additional weaponry and tools (siege weapons) usable by the players and buildings (keeps/walls) you can damage with said weaponry is exactly the type of PvP I have always desperately wanted to see in SWTOR. Unfortunately, as anyone who has played Open World PvP in both SWTOR and ESO would no doubt know, there is no way in hell that SWTOR’s game engine could ever possibly even come close to being able to handle a system like this.

Cyrodil Map – The Pact holding the 6 Keeps around Imperial City (the Island) needed to get Emperor.

The Basics

For those not familiar with PvP in ESO, let me try and break down the basics from my own experience. Basically, there are a bunch of Keeps scattered across the entire map with each faction having its own home Keeps. In the Game Mode, ’30 Day Non-Champ’ (meaning no Champion Points/Abilities are counted) the Faction with the most points wins after each 30 day period. There are few ways to get points which also serve as your basic goals:

  • Keep your faction’s home Keeps.
  • Get Emperor for your faction by claiming all 6 of the Imperial City Keeps.
  • Steal Elder Scrolls from the other factions.

Your faction’s main goal will depend on the scenario playing out. You also get a variety of tools such as siege weapons and repair kits you can buy with Alliance Points that you earn by completing objectives and/or dailies/bounties. To take a Keep you break through the defences using Siege Weapons and manpower then once you break through you flag the Keep and kill all remaining enemy players to claim the Keep. To defend a Keep you use Siege Weapons and manpower. There’s obviously a lot more intricacies and strategies which I’m still learning myself but this is just to give you an idea of the basics of PvP in ESO.

Healing Crash Course

Since my Templar DPS build that I’ve been using is more a melee build (and not that ideal under most circumstances), I decided that PvP would be a good place for me to crash course learn how to heal in ESO. (I originally planned to learn healing Dolmen farming in Auridon but oh well). It’s certainly different to healing in SWTOR and even WildStar. There is no click on raid frames style healing in ESO. For the most part, heals are more telegraph/directional or go to random people. But there are a few different AOE and ‘placeable’ heals too. I’m slowly getting the hang of it.

My Experience and Thoughts

It’s been over a week now since I first entered Cyrodil and what I can say for sure is that I really do enjoy the game mode. I’m slowly learning and seeing good tactics and learning what’s important and what isn’t depending on what scenario is playing out. The Ebonheart Pact faction seems to do decently well and is also the most populated faction for PvP from what I can tell. I’ve experienced more victories than losses as a result and have even experienced having an Emperor twice now.

I haven’t even really looked into gear and skill builds etc. for PvP yet. Just had a quick glance at Deltia’s Gaming Templar PvP Healing Guide to give myself a rough idea fo what I should be aiming for. But at this stage, I’m just content with gradually learning things for myself and dying a lot when I do try to DPS. When I have DPSed, I have found that I do very little damage (or it feels like it anyway) while others are able to do quite a lot of damage to me (it’s quite common for me to get practically 2 shot by 1 person). I guess it probably a combination of gear, a proper skill set up and experience. I certainly prefer to just heal with a big group for now rather than going out on my own.

As I am still new to PvP in ESO I am no yet comfortable commenting on gear and skill discrepancies. At the very least Champion Point skills don’t count (in the mode I do) which is a plus. All I will say is that 1 on 1 there is no way in hell I can possibly compete. But with a group healing, I feel I can do a much better job. So needless to say I certainly won’t be going off solo ganking anytime soon. I’ll continue to do my best to stick with large groups whenever possible.

Epic Moments

My short time PvPing ESO has given me two of the most epic moments I have ever experienced PvPing in any game ever. Firstly, this past Saturday (29th April) both the other factions ganged up on us with a devasting vengeance and took Emperor away from us and all of our Keeps and resources to the point where we only had the Morrowind Gates remaining. The Covenant took one of our scrolls (I was among the few that tried and failed to get it back) but we managed to save our other scroll from their blue clutches. Then the whole Pact (~100-150 players) united as one massive force drove the Covenant away from the other Scroll we saved and stormed the nearest Keep that they’d taken from us. It was one of the most glorious moments I have ever experienced! It was like that scene in Return of the King where the Riders of Rohan come down and storm through the Orcs attacking Minas Tirith (except we weren’t on horses we just stormed on foot).

The second epic moment I experienced was yesterday (1st May) where we had taken a Covenant Keep and the Covenant came with a massive force to take it back. They broke through the outer wall but we managed to hold them at the Inner Keep despite them breaking the door down twice (at one point when enough time had passed we were able to repair the doors a little bit). At some point during the battle, someone in the Pact went and repaired the outer walls trapping the Covenant in the Keep grounds preventing Covenant reinforcements from getting back in. It was an incredible moment and quite a genius strategy. It’s very rare from what I’ve seen to save a keep once the enemy takes down the Inner Keep door unless a large group of reinforcements arrives, So it was pretty amazing that a small group of us (~15-20) players held that Keep.


Have you PvPed in ESO? Wha did you think? Did you find it enjoyable?