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The Elder Scrolls Online Beginners' Guide

The Ebonheart Pact 

Talk about an unlikely alliance… After playing Skyrim and seeing how bigoted the Nords could be, who would have imagined seeing Nords, Dunmer and Argonians of all people working together. The Pact is actually a rather confusing mix of racial abilities: The Nords are top-tier warriors sure but Dunmer are melee warriors with a lot of magic to them and the Argonians are rather powerful magic users although they specialize in healing instead of offense. It’s a strange mix of skills but it leaves this as the most flexible organization in Tamriel.

Argonian

Not a whole lot is known about the enigmatic Argonians beyond their intelligence and their resistance to poison and diseases. Hailing from the lands of Black Marsh , these clever lizard-folk have a history of using guerilla tactics to fend off invaders. In ESO the emphasis on their stealth and lock-picking has been removed which leaves behind their knack for Restoration spell casting.

Racial Abilities 

Restoration Expertise – Increases experience gained with the Restoration Skill by 15%
This is the Argonian’s bread and butter. The effectiveness of their healing and protection abilities will leap quickly, making for a nice backup in case of emergencies.

Amphibious – Increases swimming speed. Increase the effectiveness of potions. Unlocked at Rank 5
The potion effectiveness increase is really the only reason to take this skill. The swimming speed bonus never increases and it honestly doesn’t get a whole lot of use anyways. Even still this skill provides a rather nice bonus for healing or magicka regeneration.

Argonian Resistance – Increases maximum health. Increases poison and disease resistance. Unlocked at Rank 10
Whereas the stamina buff wasn’t really all that impressive on the Bosmer, this ability is much more effective since it boosts your health. The increase isn’t all that big but it can help and the poison resistance is always nice.

Quick to Mend – Increases healing received by 2%. Unlocked at Rank 25
This ability would be a whole lot more impressive if it was either given earlier, didn’t require skill points or it worked on your allies. But as it is the skill is just not that impressive since by the time you reach rank 25 you’ll have plenty of other abilities that will do the job for you. Frankly the skill just isn’t versatile enough to be worth your points.

Dunmer / Dark Elves

A fan-favourite race, the Dunmer of Morrowind are some of the most versatile peoples in Tamriel. These ancestor worshipping people have talent for stealth, magicka and melee combat that allows them to take enemies by surprise. This translates into a strange mix of racial abilities that make them suitable for almost any character class although they do have something of a mage leaning to them.

Racial Abilities 

Ambidexterity – Increases the experience gained while Dual Wielding by 15%
You’re going to find that since you’re using two weapons and then getting skills for said weapons that this ability is going to go through the roof.

Dynamic – Increases maximum magicka and stamina. Unlocked at Rank 5
The skill of choice for any class, magicka will let you use your abilities more often while stamina will keep you attacking. It’s more suited for a hybrid role, such as a spell caster who hides behind a shield, but honestly every class can make use of it.

Resist Flame – Increase fire resistance. Increases maximum magicka. Unlocked at Rank 10
Another great ability that keeps the Dunmer in the fight longer, Resist Flame is a must have. The passive fire resistance is great for PvE and PvP as it will reduce the effectiveness of any Dragon Knights using Ardent Flame and many enemies use fire attacks as well. Saying nothing of how helpful it is against Sorcerers. The magicka bonus is just icing on the cake.

Flame Talent – Increases spell power with fire effects. Unlocked at Rank 25
As a skill that synchronizes well with both the Dragon Knight class and a Sorcerer, you’ll definitely want this skill if you’re using fire at all. It seems to work with the damage from Destruction staves as well so there’s plenty of use to be gotten from this.

NOTE: In testing it seems to not have an effect on every one of the Ardent Flame skills like it seemingly should. Whether this is an error in our tests, a glitch or simply due to an unknown mechanic in how the skills themselves work is currently unknown. The term “Spell power” is currently not very well defined leaving what qualifies for said bonus a bit up in the air.

Nord

Ah, the powerhouses of Tamriel. These hardy warriors live in the frigid realm that is Skyrim, birthplace to what would later become the Cyrodiil Empire. Known to love their drink and be fiercely independent these men and women are some of the most effective warriors in all the land. They favour two-handed weapons and using said weapons on their enemies’ faces.

Racial Abilities 

Two-Handed Weapon Expertise – Increases experienced gained with Two-Handed weapons by 15%
The Nord preference for huge weapons shines through. Obviously this is where the greatest raw damage comes from so an increase in levelling this ability will serve you well. The skills you can unlock by levelling it are incredibly useful in bashing your foes down so stick with it.

Robust – Increases health regeneration while in combat. Unlocked at Rank 5
As always, any ability that increases your health is great and an ability that increases health regeneration is even better. Since it increases appreciably every level (5% to be exact) maxing this skill out as soon as possible is a must for any front-line fighter whether you’re acting as the party tank or not.

Resist Frost – Increases cold resistance. Increases maximum health. Unlocked at Rank 10
The cold resistance part of this ability is something of a wash since there aren’t all that many enemies who use it outside of Skyrim itself. The health increases is also small enough that it’s honestly suggested you simply give this skill a pass and focus on increasing robust.

Rugged – Increases armour. Unlocked at Rank 25
Yeah, not impressed. Unless you aren’t planning on wearing medium or heavy armour (why not?!) then your natural armour rating is irrelevant. If you’re going to play a Nightblade or Sorcerer than perhaps this skill has a purpose but otherwise simply give it a pass.

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