People are always asking for this. I don’t understand why… I thought experimenting and figuring stuff out is the most fun part of the game. And you cannot, at all, fuck up your character beyond repair. It’s not possible.
(People will argue that choosing the wrong race and/or class for your desired playstyle is fucking up your build beyond repair. I completely disagree. Now, if you want to be the very best (like no one ever was), you’ve got to go look up some end game build guides to see what the FOTM class and race is for any particular playstyle, and to see what playstyles actually work for which classes and races (hint: orc DK isn’t going to be the very best at anything, sorry). But if you just want to play the game, and and you want to be a good character but doing what you like is more important – you can do all content in the game (except vet trials) with an Orc DK healer. It’s up to you, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).
Oh, and if you’re looking at this build you probably already chose the race and class you’re going to level next.
In case you haven’t, and that paragraph about how class and race does matter for vet trials and so on scares you, here’s a quick overview on how to choose.
Here’s what a leveling build looks like.
- End goal for this guy is tank. However, I’m having fun with the magicka playstyle, hence the staves. And I get to actually use flame lash and so on when I am magicka style.
- At end game I’ll put all points into stamina because that makes tanking easiest. That means my off spec (dps spec for soloing and so on) will have to be a stamina spec. To that end I’ve got DW and 2H abilities on my bars – I need to keep these leveled even though I’m using staves right now. I can’t use these abilities, but they continue to earn exp (although a smaller amount) towards those skill lines.
- My goal is to keep all of my class and weapon skill lines at equal or higher level to my character level. So far, so good.
- The gear is all dropped gear. I’ve tried to put on stuff that has magicka bonuses – the wyrd tree gives magicka regen, whereas the bloodthorn is giving spell power. I also try to keep at least one piece of each armor type so that they all level up. The exact number of pieces of each armor does not matter because I don’t have the armor passives specced anyways. My armor skill isn’t high enough level for it to matter!
- You’ll notice I have a resto staff skill on my destro bar. This is because I kill things with the destro staff bar more often, and I want to keep resto leveled. Only your active bar gets exp! Like with the DW stuff, I can’t actually use this ability.
- This gear is 100% drops. I have a lot more skill points for my level than most people, as well. This lets me spread my points out between so many different skills – you might struggle a bit more.
- Why do I have so many more skill points? I’ve been leveling this guy by collecting skyshards. So I’m not doing quests. I’m only killing things that are between me and my next skyshard (although I’m killing all of the ones… no running past mobs!). This means I’m leveling pretty slowly but I have a lot of skill points to play with.
- Just for kicks I haven’t spent any cp. Except I really wanted that 50% faster harvesting speed node, so I spent 75 points in magicka regen just to get that.
- Food is crusty bread. You can find this basically everywhere – any NPC camp full of bandits, necromancers, etc. etc. will have some sitting on the table.
If you know or can pay a crafter, here’s what you could be wearing.
This is a lot better for a lot of reasons:
- Training – 8 training pieces times 8% more exp each = 64% faster leveling.
- It’s all coordinated sets, making my max stats a looot higher.
- It’s all blue quality with blue quality enchants, making my max stats a loooot higher.
- Ideally I’d run sharpened weapons rather than training – 12% more damage is worth more to me than 8% more exp – but this is what I’ve got.
- I’m currently eating some magicka/magicka regen food. I chose this because it’s cheap to make and scales to all levels. Health/mag food would be better but there is no health/mag food that scales to all levels. There is Witchmother’s Potent Brew, which is health/mag/magicka regen and scales to all levels, but that is worth around 120 gold apiece… a stack would be 12k and while it would last me past level 50 that just seems like a bit much.
This gear cost about 3000 gold worth of mats to craft and I’ve valued the ability to craft it at around 2000 gold.
Ideally you’d get a set like this once every 10-15 levels. It should cost about the same at every level; making it purple or in a cooler style (this style was originally crafted for my argonian, who used it til level 50, and it does look a bit odd on my poor imperial) will cost a lot more.
This isn’t a build Thallassa!
It’s a guide. And it’s generalizable to any class and build.
Here’s how you level:
- You pick a playstyle.
- You pick gear and weapons that match that playstyle.
- You put abilities on your bar to level all of the skill lines you could ever possibly need for that playstyle (all three class skills, and any relevant weapon skills).
- You go play. Minmaxing and shit really just doesn’t matter.
- If you want to do dungeons and so on, you should proooobably take the skills you can’t use (those DW skills) and replace them with something useful – another damaging ability or a group buff. Other than that, there’s really not much you can do to optimize your build at low level. Your gear is what you’ve got, and there’s no point in grinding for gear that will be obsolete in a few more hours of play. You don’t have the skills to make the optimal rotation. You’re still low level, and what you’re going to do will reflect that. It shouldn’t prevent you from doing any dungeons anyways.
How do I level?
Do whatever you like. It all earns exp.
Here’s the list of things that you can do to earn exp from most to least.
- Skyreach runs. Skyreach is a group instance in craglorn (that means it’s available to everyone, regardless of game upgrade status). It’s full of skellies. You can pull massive groups of these skellies at once. If you kill them before they kill you, it’s a lot of exp. You will not be able to do this with a leveling build. But, you can pay or sweettalk a high level character into running you through if you’re desperate to get to max level for some reason.
- Dolmens – There are three dolmens in a zone. You can do them in a perfect rotation so that there is no downtime and minimal travel time. Alikr desert is the best for this. This is pretty good exp and there are always groups running that you can join, making it basically impossibly simple and boring.
- Public dungeons – you can go to public dungeons like Razak’s Wheel, Old Orsinium, and so on, and pull massive groups of mobs and kill them very quickly with little downtime. While it’s not as good as skyreach, it’s easier to solo.
- Questing – Questing is pretty good exp, and you get skill points and gear and achievements to boot.
- Running around collecting skyshards – you end up killing a lot of mobs doing this, but it’s still slow.
- PvP – this is really slow. Don’t pvp if your goal is to get exp.