The Elder Scrolls Online – Introduction to Solo and Group Play

Now that the Summerset expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online is released, the developers are eager to get people to try out this new chapter of The Elder Scrolls saga, which may be a bit tricky since a lot of The Elder Scrolls fans are used to expansive single-player experiences. And so, in order to combat certain misconceptions about the nature of their massively multiplayer game, they’ve put together this article that goes over the basics of TESO’s solo and group play. Check it out:

Are you a longtime fan of the Elder Scrolls series who’s been hesitant to jump into The Elder Scrolls Online due to its multiplayer nature? Or maybe you’re a longtime MMORPG fan who’s hesitant to make the leap to Tamriel due to the series’ focus on expansive single-player storytelling?

Either way, good news! The Elder Scrolls Online is perfect for both solo play and group adventuring. And there’s no better opportunity to find that out for yourself than in the newest Chapter, Summerset.

It’s Not Dangerous to Go Alone

The first thing a solo player needs to know about The Elder Scrolls Online is that it’s loaded with quests. Seriously, so many quests. And these are not the kind of fetch-quests or collect-a-thons you might expect from massively multiplayer role-playing games; these are the kind of interesting, complex, provocative – and fully voiced – quests you’d expect from an Elder Scrolls game. There’s an overarching Main Quest that sends you all over Tamriel. There’s a lengthy primary quest just for Summerset (and in fact for each of the game’s Chapters). There are Guild Quests that allow you to advance in factions like the Fighters Guild or the Mages Guild, unlocking new abilities along the way. And in between, there are more side quests than you can shake an Inferno Staff at, ranging from the political to the comical to the heart-wrenching.

And even if you’re not out questing, there’s plenty for a lone player to do. Consider the crafting system, which lets you make weapons, armor, clothing, potions, food, beverages, furniture – and now, with the arrival of Summerset, even jewelry. You could also save up to buy a house in-game, furnish it with your own creations, and even buy yourself your very own crafting stations to create all of the above. In fact, in addition to the Golden Gryphon Garret room, with Summerset you can acquire the brand-new and delightfully picturesque Alinor Crest Townhome and a selection of intricate High Elf-themed furnishings to fill it with!

Or you could just go out exploring; there’s plenty to do and see (and fight) in the wide, wide world of Tamriel. Now, here you may be thinking, “Don’t online RPGs pretty much require a group to go out and fight nasty beasties?” Nope! The Elder Scrolls Online offers plenty of accommodations for the solo player thanks to its robust and varied class system. Each of the five classes (Dragonknight, Nightblade, Sorcerer, Templar, and Warden) offers different builds that can help a single player thrive in the wilderness; a mix of offensive, protective and restorative skills can be found with any class. If you own the Morrowind Chapter, the Warden is a great option for newer players, since it allows you to summon a fearsome war bear to fight by your side and has a Skill Line tailored to each unique role. If you don’t own Morrowind, you’ll be able to get the Warden class individually from the in-game Crown Store when Summerset launches.

A Little Help from Your Friends

Of course, there are plenty of elements in the game for a group to enjoy as well. Public Dungeons, for example, tend to feature hordes of enemies and challenging bosses, which strongly encourage joining up with at least one fellow traveler. Group Bosses are similar, but are more focused on defeating a single, massively powerful enemy, and Dark Anchors (found in Tamriel) and Abyssal Geysers (located in Summerset only) are challenging wave-based group events. Group Dungeons, meanwhile, are designed specifically for four-player teams, while Trials are tuned for huge, 12-player challenges. Summerset’s Trial is particularly memorable, featuring a city-spanning fight against gryphon-riding knights, set atop the highest peak on the island.

Fortunately, even a solo player can participate in these easily, thanks to the game’s robust social features. In addition to text and voice chat (the latter on consoles), you’ve got loads of options for interacting with other players, from private chat to trading to grouping up. You can even engage in no-harm-no-foul dueling! But when it comes to finding a group for a dungeon dive, one need look no further than the Activity Finder. This allows you to queue up for either a specific dungeon – which become available as your character gains levels – or roll the dice on a random dungeon. You simply pick your preferred role (Damage-dealer, Healer or Tank) and join the queue.

And speaking of Activity Finder, you can also use this tool to find teammates for the game’s two main player-versus-player modes. The Alliance War is a vast, ongoing battle between the three Alliances, across the central province of Cyrodiil. And Battlegrounds features more compact gameplay experiences like Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. You can jump into either of these on your own, but they’re so much more fun with a group.

And once you’ve found a group you enjoy playing with, you can make it official thanks to the full-featured Guild system. You can either join an existing guild (head on over to the forums and scroll down to Guild Recruitment for loads of options) or create your own. Should you choose to do the latter, you’ll have a fantastic amount of control; you don’t just name your guild and invite players, you can actually design custom ranks with different permissions – and custom logos – and eventually design your own heraldry. Your guild gets a shared bank and can hire a Guild Trader to sell your goods and wares to all of Tamriel.

The thing is, there’s no wrong way to play The Elder Scrolls Online. From solo adventurer to high-rolling guildmaster, from casual dueling to massive battles, you have the freedom to play your way, all the way. However you choose to adventure, you’ll never run out of things to do.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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