Letters From Tamriel

An epistolary gaming blog

Archive for the tag “combat metrix”

DPS Character Build Workshop

@Zells - sepia stone - smallLet’s talk about improving character builds – DPS specifically, though some of the info will help with other roles.

Full disclosure up front: I do not have the bestest end-game character in Tamriel.  I am not a data-miner, and I can’t do advanced math.

But I am an academic, and I have done hella research.  There are a few basic misconceptions I made at first that I see other people making, and since I began improving my character I have made consistent jumps upwards in my DPS.  This post won’t help you get from 35K DPS to 45K, but if you’re starting out with build improvement and are confused by all the conflicting information, this will help.

One note before we start: this material is for group dungeon builds and end-game play.  If what you want to do is solo/PvE content, you can make it through that part of the game making your decisions for role-play or personal preference reasons – go ahead and do your quests with your mage in plate mail if you want, it’ll work.

But if you go into a group, you must effectively serve a particular role in that group.

Roles are like pants – you don’t want to wear pants when you’re home alone?  No problem.  But if you walk into a community space, people are going to expect you to know how pants work, and be wearing them.  If the requirements of the role conflict with how you want to play the character, then build another character, or get used to swapping out your gear/active abilities.  I am the Queen of Because: Role-Play Reasons, but “I don’ wanna play the character that way” doesn’t cut it if it means you’re wasting other people’s time by getting a party wiped over and over because you can’t fulfill the role you queued in for.

We dive in after the cut. Read more…


DPS Build Tweaking

@Zells - sepia stone - smallFor the last few months I’ve been working on getting my dps game up to the next level.  Or, to be honest, any level at all.  I originally made all my skill choices for RP reasons – Zellfire has been a fire mage for twenty years; she’s part fire atronach, she uses fire.  I was a little disappointed that the mage skill lines include a shock-based line (Storm Calling) but no fire-based skills.

In the solo games, the choice of element was purely aesthetic, but what I’ve found in ESO is that Zellfire just isn’t effective using only fire-based Inferno Staff skills – the Storm Calling line has serious advantages, and not using it really hamstrung me in terms of end-game performance.  The first time I tested my dps numbers against a training dummy, I was under 6K.  Which did get me through solo/PvE content, but in end-game… sucks.  I couldn’t pull my weight in group-play, and that was not acceptable.

It took me quite a while to fix the build, because in addition to farming gear, I also had to put Storm Calling on my bar and raise it first – when I started this merry up-my-game adventure, my Storm Calling skill was 3, even though ‘Fire was at the CP cap.  I had literally never used it and couldn’t even buy most of the spells.  I had to raise the skill line, level the spells themselves, learn how to use them, respec her skill points, her CP, and completely change her gear…

Finally got the build to a point where I felt like I might be approaching “competent”.  So I installed the combat metrix add-on and went out to farm dolmens and see where my numbers were.  Most of my dolmen-boss fights ended up in the 17-28K range, which actually is mostly-sort-of-competent, go me.

But also – this happened, and I’m still giggling about it:

DPS 60K 2

60K DPS!  This is what statisticians call an “outlier”.

Screenshot or it didn’t happen, right?  Totally a freak moment, but for a little over a second there, I was a serious badass. 🙂

In real terms, I’m still not quite where I could be / want to be, but after studying the numbers, I’m pretty sure I know what needs to be adjusted.  I need to farm Burning SpellWeave gear (because I’m not letting go of fire damage without a fight, dammit), so I’ve spent some time this week watching YouTube vids of City of Ash runs.  There were several “solo run” vids, and those players were running various kinds of combat-stats add-ons, so I could see their numbers.  Their dps was better than mine, but not by a huge margin.  I decided to try it myself and see how it went.
First solo
This is ‘Fire, standing over the body of the final boss in City of Ash.  I totally did it, my first solo run through a group dungeon.  I burned through about 20 soul gems on the Warden mini-boss, but Razor Master Erthas went down the first attempt.  Don’t know if you can see the HP, but I was down to 5.6% when he fell.  I was also on fire and was so excited I didn’t realize it.  All the mobs were down, so it didn’t really matter, but by the time I figured out I was still taking damage and jumped into the water, I was at .2%.

I can still say I cleared the end boss without dying, though. 🙂

I need a full set of BSW gear.  I need practice in the dungeons with groups so I know where to stand and when to run and where to run and which enemy to attack and how to better coordinate with the tanks and healers.  But I’m getting there.

Before I wrap this up, I have to say: I ❤ my Grothdarr set.  The first time it proc’d and the lava pool erupted around ‘Fire’s feet, I was so happy and caught up in how cool it was I quit paying attention to the fight and got ‘Fire killed.  Poor Zellfire, she tries so hard, but her player has the attention span of a squir – oh, look, something shiny!


Happy Friday, everyone, and happy hunting!

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