While most MMO games have your class strictly define what roles your character can play, whether that be a Tank, Healer, or DPS (damage per second), Elder Scrolls Online goes a different direction. In Elder Scrolls Online, you have four classes to choose from. The Templar, Dragonknight, Nightblade and Sorcerer are all very much capable of fulfilling the traditional roles in a group, but some classes excel at certain roles more than others. Unless you plan on running end-game content or being super competitive in PvP (and especially for your first character) you don’t need to worry about rolling the perfect race and class combination. Each class has unique skill trees which all have a different function, and also have access to all the different weapon skill trees, which give you even more skills to customize your playstyle. With One Tamriel releasing soon and many new players joining the fold, now is the perfect time for a refresher on how to get your feet wet.
First, we will look at the classes.
The Templar uses the power of the Aedra to smite enemies and assist allies. This class is close to the classic Paladin. The Templar skill lines consist of Aedric Spear, Dawn’s Wrath and Restoring Light. Aedric Spear is focused around damage and survivability. Dawn’s Wrath focuses on Damage over Time and control, while Restoring Light focuses solely on healing yourself and allies. Because of the Restoring Light skill tree, the Templar makes the best healer in the game, especially paired with the Restoration Staff skill tree. Tanking is a little harder as a Templar because of a lack of crowd control and mobility, but it is still very capable of fulfilling the role. As a DPS, a Templar does very well holding its own against other classes.
The Dragonknight has the blood of a dragon, and uses skills that would befit a dragon. Ardent Flame focuses mostly on DPS, Draconic Power adds survivability and Earthen Heart concentrates on damage mitigation and crowd control. Dragonknights make the best tanks in the game, mostly because of the large amounts of crowd control and damage mitigation skills they have access to. As a DPS, Dragonknights are on par with all the other classes, and can be capable healers when using the Restoration Staff skill line and the class’ damage mitigation skills.
The Nightblade is the stealthy assassin type, creeping through the shadows and stabbing from the darkness. They have the Assassination, Shadow and Siphoning skill trees. Assasination deals with debuffs, damage and mobility, Shadow focuses on crowd control and escape mechanisms, and Siphoning steals health, magicka and stamina from enemies and gives it to the Nightblade and their allies. The Nightblade can make for a decent healer, especially with the Siphoning skill tree and the Restoration Staff skill tree, while tanking is a little more difficult than the other classes. The One-handed and Shield skill line is a must have if you want to tank as a Nightblade. A Nightblade is a fearsome DPS character, and is one of the more dreaded opponents in PvP.
The Sorcerer is the spellcaster and summoner class, but is by no means a stereotypical mage that hides behind allies and deals massive damage from a distance. Sorcerers have the Storm Calling, Dark Magic, and Daedric Summoning skill lines. Storm Calling focuses on DPS, Dark Magic on crowd control and area of effect damage, and Daedric Summoning focuses on summoning Daedra to assist you and your allies. Sorcerers can make good healers when paired with the Restoration Staff skill tree. They can also tank, but are among the most difficult to gear up for the role. Sorcerers excel at DPS, and are some of the most deadly opponents around.
Each different weapon type has an associated skill tree, with benefits to suit specific roles. Where class does not define role, weapon skills take over and really make your character shine in your chosen role.
- One-handed and Shield gives you access to the majority of the tanking abilities,
- Restoration Staff focuses on healing skills
- Destruction Staff, Bow, Two-handed and Dual Wield focus primarily on DPS.
These weapon types are also getting an Ultimate ability when One Tamriel is released, just like the other skill trees, which will help each class further fulfill their role in a group. One-handed and Shield will get Shield Wall, which gives a period of near-invulnerability, and Restoration Staff gets Panacea, a massive heal. These skills will help push the boundaries of each role, further enabling each class to take a role in a group and succeed.
In conclusion, each class in Elder Scrolls Online is more than capable of fulfilling the classic group roles of tank, healer and DPS. Certain classes are better in a role than others because of their class-specific skills, but each class can perform as a role, at least until you start on end-game content that demands specific skills and abilities. If you are just starting out, I recommend just picking a class that seems interesting, and playing around with different skill lines until you find what you like. Focus on min-maxing later, after you have experienced the excellent storyline and played through the game enough to get a sense of where you envision yourself at the end.
Find the guide useful? Any other tips for newcomers just setting out? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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