Each Friday here at ExploringESO will be devoted to answering your questions. From how to create a new character to how to use a lock pick to break into a chest to how to use an add-on, ask away. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find someone who does.
Some of the questions lined up for future posts:
How do I use a treasure map?
So how do I use a lock pick?
What is a waypoint, why do I need one, and how do I use it?
How do I find the beginner island from Davon’s Watch?
How do I find other beginner’s islands?
What is the best way to get started in ESO?
How do I make money in ESO?
How do I buy a horse?
What other questions would you like to see answered? Leave me a note in the comments and ask away.
I often write these posts to answer questions I wonder about while I’m playing the Elder Scrolls Online. Other times, I write them in response to issues I notice others running into and it’s often easier to write out and share a blog post than it is to try to explain the same answer several times to different people. And of course, I’ll also write posts in response to questions I’m asked.
This post is a combination of the first two situations. I had wondered about some of the chat codesand I’ve shared a few times how to do things like group chat (in ESO there are guilds, which can be composed of an infinitely large number of people, and there are groups, which can only have up to four people at a time). Both guilds and groups have different chat codes so you can chat with exactly who you want to.
So how do I use chat?
To start with, simply type / in the game.
That will bring up the chat box.
In the box, you can use a number of chat codes to identify who you want to chat with.
/say – The default chat
/yell – Shouts (the default color for yell is red)
/tell (player name) – Sends a whisper to anyone online
/group – Sends a message to everyone in your group (max is 3 other people)
/zone – Sends a message across the zone you are playing in. Very few Psijic beta testers use this except to reply to someone’s question.
/enzone, /frzone, /dezone – sends a message to the specific language zone
/emote – Allows you to preform an action.
/guild1 or /g1, /guild2 or /g2, etc. – Guild chat. Since you can belong to up to 5 guilds, each # allows you to speak to that guild. See settings (below) for how to find which guild is which number.
There are also a few chat codes that can help with other things in the game.
/bug – Let’s you send a bug report
/feedback – Send feedback on something that could be changed in the game.
/fps – Lets you check the frame rate of the game.
/reloadui – Reloads the UI
/help – Opens the help info box in the game.
/invite – Allows you to invite another player to your group.
/jumptofriend – A magic code if you have multiple characters and like playing with friends. Allows you to jump to the nearest wayshrine or graveyard near where your friend is play, even if you’re playing a different instance of the game (this means that the people you see playing the game around you aren’t the only people playing that same part of the game at the same time, but it is broken into sections so the game doesn’t appear to be overcrowded).
/jumptogroupmember – does the same thing, but allows you to jump to someone you’ve added as a group member.
/jumptoguildmember – Same as above except with a guild member.
/jumptoleader – allows you to jump to the wayshrine or graveyard closest to the group leader (the person who created the group).
/logout – Logs you out of the current server.
/stuck – Probably my least favorite, although it does come in handy if you discover a bug like falling through the stairs and having them close up around you. Unfortunately, it kills your character in order to unstick them.
First, hit the Esc key in the game. This brings up a sidebar of options.
Under Settings, click on Social. This will bring up the Social options screen.
There are several options here that can help make your game chat fit your needs. I’ll warn you though that setting the transparency also makes the chat box stay on the screen, so choose whichever one is less annoying for you.
Scrolling down through the social settings will show you which guild is set to which number. Then you can chat with that guild by typing /g1, 2, etc.
By the way, guilds and friends are set to your account, while groups are set to your characters. That means that you can easily reconnect with friends and chat with your guild mates, but if you want to keep up with the members of a group when you’re all on other characters (or toons or alts – you’ll probably hear various names for the characters you play), you’ll need to add them as friends or create a guild with them.
/emote or /e or /me (activity) – allows your character to do the chosen activity.
Creating yet another new character today, this time it is a Khajiit Sorceress that is starting out in Devon’s Watch, which means that Bleakrock Isle will be the beginner island.
Although there is no requirement to go play the beginner islands, I recommend starting there, especially if you choose the Ebonheart Pact or the Daggerfall Covenant as your starting Alliance. I did play for a while after joining the Aldmeri Dominion and was able to explore the island and advance fairly easily without starting off at the beginner island, but I was also playing as a Dragonknight, which to me is the easiest of the four skillsets to play if you’re planning to play much solo and plan to explore instead of following the quests in any kind of order.
From what I’ve seen so far, most, if not all, of the body markings are the same between males and females. On the Argonians and Khajiits, I would expect that to be the case even more than the humanoid characters.
As always, there are 23 positions on the slider, not counting the 0 position, which as far as I’ve seen is always free from markings.
Yesterday I created another new character (an Imperial), chose a new alliance to join (Ebonheart), a new class (a thief), and started exploring a new beginner island, which reminded me of when I first started beta testing Elder Scrolls Online.
When ESO first released the Mac version of the game, I could finally sign on. I knew that the PC testers had been playing for a good while already, so I posted a question on the forums asking for the other testers best tips for getting started in the game. Tabbycat gave me some great advice –
I have found the comments about enjoying one starting zone more than the others to be absolutely true.
When you create your character, you have the option of choosing which of the 10 races you want to play, and then (a fairly recent change), which alliance you would like to play.
When I first started playing, your alliance determined what race you could be, and vice versa. Except for the Imperials, who could play any alliance, for the others, your race was limited to the three races directly underneath the alliance on the picture above.
I am grateful for the change, since that gives you more freedom to create exactly the character you want to play.
Edit: This choice is only if you preorder the game. Buying it on April 4 or after will limit you to being able to choose one of the three races pictured directly under the alliance you want to play. The Imperial choice, which can play any of the three alliances, only comes from ordering an Imperial edition of the game.
Perhaps more than any previous Elder Scrolls game, the choice of race is going to influence your game play. This game doesn’t have the ability to create your own class, something I loved in the one-person games, so if you are wanting a non-traditional character, take advantage of the combined skills from creating a non-standard combination of race and class (for example, since my favorite character combines traits from the thief and Sorcerer, I can create a Khajiit Sorcerer to have the natural agility and stealth along with the spell-crafting ability of a sorcerer).
I’ll cover this more in-depth in later posts.
Some of the boss encounters are really difficult.
I learned this on my first boss encounter.
The first boss I had to fight was supposed to be a level 4. My character, a sorceress, was level 6, then 7, and finally 8. At level 8 I finally beat him, but only after spending pretty near 48 hours and running through the same dungeon umpteen million times. It wasn’t until I took some extra advice, went back to the village, and learned to make my own armor and weapons that I finally managed to win that battle.
Join a guild
When I first started playing, finished up the starter island (there are 3 in the game, the alliance that you choose will determine which one you get to play), and finally made it to Tamriel, I was excited when I came across the Mage’s Guild.
Although I knew that we could only join 5 guilds, I still rushed in, chatted with the NPC and joined up. Then, I ran over to the bank and clicked on the guild account, hoping to finally be able to check out a guild bank.
ESO counts the number, not the weight, of the groups of items you are carrying and only gives you a limited amount of carrying space. Banks give more space, and items stored in the bank can be shared among all of your characters. And then there are guilds, which also have bank space where you can deposit your items and anyone else in the guild can withdraw and use the items. If you have something that others might want and you don’t mind losing, then add it to the guild bank. Just remember that it may or may not be there when you come back later.
I laughed at myself when I realized that both the limitations on how many guilds you can join and the guild banks are only for player-created guilds, not in-game guilds like the Mages and Fighters.
Joining a player guild is a great way to get to know other players, get game advice (someone in your guild may have already been playing for a year or more and have done the same adventure that you are currently stuck so many times that they’ve lost count), and even find people to group up with.
The crafting professions are very useful
I love crafting. It’s one of my favorite things in TES. I’m not sure I’ve ever played a character that didn’t max out the alchemy skill.
ESO offers even more options. I can make my own weapons, armor, cook my own food, and of course, make my own potions. Crafting in this game is pretty amazing andif it’s something that you enjoy, you can spend a while figuring out the intricacies of it, but you can enjoy the game a lot without spending a single skill point on crafting if you’re not really interested in it.
Do not play this game as if you are expecting the next TES game or the next MMO.
This was, quite possibly, the single best piece of advice I received when I first started playing ESO. It’s the reason I asked Tabbycat if I could use their comments for my post.
This game isn’t Morrowind. It’s not Oblivion. It’s not even Skyrim. At the same time, it isn’t any other MMO I’ve played either. Some parts play like you’ve dreamed an Elder Scrolls MMO would play. Grouping up and going through a cave with 4 friends is awesome. I love how they made it so everyone gets treasure when your group kills creatures, so there’s no worrying about divvying up what you get. At the same time, there is a main storyline, and you can play through the entire thing by yourself without having to team up with anyone if you don’t want to. I love that, since I often enjoy playing solo.
Even better, even if you do group up, you don’t have to do the same battle, stay in the same place, or anything. Each person can be off doing something completely different, but it’s easy to stay in contact through group chat (/group) and there is a group icon in the direction bar to show you where the other members are if you want to join them later.
Today while I was exploring the world of the Elder Scrolls Online, I came across a quest that involved senche-tigers. I immediately fell in love with them. How fun would it be to explore the world with one of these at your side?
Of course, the problem would be keeping it supplied with moon-sugar, according to this senche-tiger guide.
Still, I think a tiger would make a very fun pet, especially if it could help in your battles. 🙂
This is the set of maps that can be pulled up by using the Map function. None of the treasure maps (a bonus for purchasing the Imperial set) are included. Most of these maps show no markings, the one or two that do are early level quests (I took the shots with a level 5 character). As always, click on the picture to enlarge it.
So far, the characters I’ve shown you were humanoid females. I usually do play a female ingame, I tend to forget if I try to play a male, and then my chats get rather confusing. I’ve tried it before, it’s not very pretty. 🙂
But, to be honest, I’ve really been going with whichever gender the game brings up when I click on “Create.” Today, the game gave me a male Breton, which I named Carl. And Carl is going to show us the parts of the Character Creation screens.
On the right side of the page are the character creation options.
I have already set Carl’s race (he’s a Breton) and class (he’s a Templar in every picture but the next one, apparently I had changed him to a Dragonknight for that photo).
If you look to the right in the picture, the options across the top are Race, Class, Body, and Head. Race and class will be the focus of another post, today we’ll focus on the body and head tabs.
The first choice you have is to choose body type. Do you want your character to be large, thin, or muscular – or some combination of the three?
You should be familiar with the next section if you’ve read either of my previous posts. This is where you choose your skin coloring and where the Body Marking slider is located.
Next is determining how your upper body will look. By the way, I just double-checked, and the options are the same for either male or female characters.
And then there’s a similar selection set for lower body options.
I have played a few games that gave more options to how your character looked, but only Second Life was online, and it’s not really a game. Overall, I’m very impressed with the character creation options and how the different races are still distinguishable from each other, even with the multiple options.
Okay, now it’s time to go from the Body tab to the Face one. Clicking on this zooms in to your character, giving you a close up of what his/her face looks like.
The next selection option is one I have fun with, when I’m creating my characters.
I recommend starting at one corner and then jumping to each of the other two corners, watching the changes in your character’s face. Then find a spot that gives you the look you want, whether it’s a baby-faced Nightblade or a battle-hardened sorcerer.
You have a choice of 8 different voices. Considering that most of the times you hear yourself you’ll either be shouting in battle or grunting as you make a jump, having 8 different options is really not bad. You really won’t be listening to yourself all that often, at least in my experience.
Hair is another option where each position on the slider is a different choice. I plan to do a whole series on the different hairstyles for each character.
Features has 2 sliders that are set up similar to the Hair and Body Marking sliders. Each position on the Adornment and Head Marking sliders gives you a different look. I will be covering these in future posts.
Age gives you the option to go from a new recruit to a battle-hardened veteran, whatever your choice is.
The next sections will let you adjust the look of your character however you want. There are limits to the range of the sliders, you can’t turn a Breton into an Argonian, for example, but you could create an elf-mix by sliding the Ear Tip Flare slider all the way to the right.
I’ll show each section, and point out the ones that will be covered in later blog posts.
These are all self-explanatory, giving a good range of choices but nothing really surprising.
Each slider is really measured in small bites instead of steps, so you’re not going to be able to move the eyes to the side of the head or make anime-style big eyes, but still, if you’re really into how your character looks, you can have fun with it.
We will cover the Eyebrow slider in another post, since once again, each position of the slider is a different style. Eyebrow Skew was a surprisingly fun slider, with the ability to add a little human-ness to your character (one thing I learned when creating characters for Second Life was not to always make both sides equal, it makes the character feel fake because we, as humans, are all asymmetrical. And although it’s not always noticeable when we view others, the lack of any asymmetry feels fake when we look at a character.
Nose shape will give you far more playing room than any other facial adjustment we’ve seen so far. The rest is pretty basic, from what I’ve seen.
No hidden designs here, but I am happy with the fact that my character can walk around with more of a smile if I want her to. Slide Mouth Curve to the right to give the smile if you want one.
The last section before your character is ready to play. With the Breton, at least, you can turn your character into a pseudo-half elf by adjusting the Ear Tip Flare.
Well, that’s all the basics of the Character Creation screens. Hope you’ve enjoyed it. 🙂
When I started taking pictures during character creation, I suspected that most choices would be the same across the races, with the obvious exceptions of the two non-humanoid races. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was a nice mix of both the items that I’d want to carry over regardless of race, and a few new items, as well as a different color for some of the markings.
Most of the scars look exactly the same and appear at the same number on the slider. Because of that, on a couple, I chose to take the picture from a different viewpoint so that if you compare the body markings across the races, you’ll have a better idea of what the character looks like from all points of view.
This follows the same format as Creating a High Elf Female – each photo is one slider position to the right. There are 23 photos, so 12, 13, and 14 should be the markings you’d see if you clicked in the middle of the slider.
I am loving the opportunity to be part of the ESO Beta. It’s fun exploring the game, and even creating new characters. The openness of the character creation was one of my favorite parts of the Elder Scrolls (TES) games, and I’m glad to see that for the most part, that has carried over to creating a character for ESO (Elder Scrolls Online).
When you start a new character, you’ll discover that several of the character attributes are on a slider. Each time I start a new character, I go through each item on each slider to choose what I want. So in an effort to save your time, as well as mine in the future, here is a photo of each effect on the Body Markings slider. Some effects are on front and backand some are full body. I tried to show the main markings for each one, although it’s always worth taking a look to see, there might be an extra scar on the leg or more markings on the back that can’t be shown in one picture.
Each photo will be with the Body Marking Slider moving one to the right. The first position, which I managed to delete the image of, is plain with no markings.