Elder Scrolls Online‘s first adventure zone
Craglorn comes tomorrow, and with it a host of changes, additions, features and new content for players to explore. Since Craglorn will be the first time players can experience delves, trials, and other interesting content I thought it might be useful to post a brief overview of what’s new. This guide will cover only the basics and won’t include any particular strategies or tactics to help your groups clear the content, but if there’s any interest I’ll be sure to wrote guides on that as well so be sure to let me know.
What is Craglorn?
Craglorn is ESO’s first adventure zone, located between Bangkorai and Cyrodiil. Adventure zone(s) are designed as group content, so you will need to bring 3 of your friends with you for most of the content in Craglorn. To enter the zone simply pick up a quest in Mournhold, Wayrest, or Elden Root towns. Some of the content in Craglorn (Trials) are also designed for raids of 12 players, and this is the most challenging content as of yet for players to explore and conquer.
Below we’ll take a look at few main aspects of the game and how this adventure zone changes them. If you’re looking for a full list of changes in patch 1.1.2, read the full patch notes.
Most of the 1-50 and Veteran 1-10 content is easily soloable, but as mentioned Craglorn is different. Zenimax designed it with 4 players in mind, so you will need a full group if you want to have a smooth experience. You will almost always want to bring a dedicated healer and if possible a tank to make sure you can clear the content at respectable speed. While some encounters are very much possible to complete with less than 4 players and various party roles, repair costs, soul gems and potions aren’t overly easy to come by, and wipes are never fun.
Be sure to bring a group of experienced Veterans. You can enter Craglorn as soon as you hit Veteran Rank 1 however it’s aimed at players with VR10, therefore don’t expect to easily clear it if your group is slacking in levels and equipment. Most quests are out in the open where multiple groups can participate and even help one another, however a lot of quests are still in private instances only accessible to your party members. Craglorn also adds daily quests, something which was previously only available in Cyrodiil (PvP zone).
Craglorn raises the level cap from Veteran Rank 10 to 12, and nearly everything you do in this area awards your group with decent experience. Though not necessarily required, if you are V10 you can still get experience from completing map objectives and quests outside of Craglorn, so if you have incomplete zones you might want to go back to them first. Despite being able to enter Crag once you’re Veteran 1 it’s highly recommended you don’t attempt it before V8: you will have a hard time finding a group who wants to “carry” you, and you will have a much harder time completing objectives with sub-par equipment.
That being said, most players will enter Craglorn at Veteran level 10, possibly with decent item sets completed from group dungeons which will certainly make it much easier. You will be farming Craglorn for quite awhile until a new Adventure Zone is added, so you will eventually reach V12 even if you don’t move away from this new zone. If you’re not VR10 yet, be sure to take a look at Killerguides leveling guide for ESO, it will help you gain experience much faster with tips and tricks from experienced players.
Craglorn doesn’t bring too much to the table in terms of crafting and professions. Though some new item sets have been added in Craglorn patch (1.1.2), crafting still uses the same materials as VR8+ zones do: Nightwood for Woodworking, Void Bloom for Clothing and Voidsteel for Blacksmithing. The good news though is that you won’t have to spend any extra skill points to be able to craft more powerful items.
There is one new world crafting station located in Craglorn, Lanista’s Waystation. If you have 8 traits researched you will be able to craft the Arena set there.
Points of Interest
In previous zones, you often encountered Dark Anchors: special places on the map from which Daedra spawned. Craglorn doesn’t have any Anchors, instead they are replaced by Burial Sites and Magical Anomalies, which are also a great source of experience.
Burial Sites are events where your group is required to defend an NPC from an onslaught of monsters. Needless to say, if the NPC dies during the process your quest will fail. Burial Sites are mostly found in the western part of the zone and you will encounter them very early in your adventures.
Burial Sites can be quite challenging for groups where players aren’t VR10 with decent equipment. You need to quickly kill the monsters which spawn to make sure they can’t kill the NPC you need to protect. There’s a total of 5 waves of monsters: the first and third are a bunch of regular mobs you can often mow down with AoE, but the second and fourth wave spawns two Gargoyles which goes straight for the NPC — unless you kill them quickly you will fail the event. It’s basically a DPS race, so be sure to save your Ultimates and potion cooldowns for when it happens. Fifth and final wave spawns a boss with AoE spells which often hit the squishy NPC, once again a DPS race so make sure your party is prepared.
Craglorn has a total of 5 Magical Anomalies, and they are all located in the eastern part of the zone (see map above, marked in red). Once you enter the Anomaly you will interact with a Focus Crystal, which will spawn multiple groups of monsters you need to defeat. Once you dispose of the monsters, an Air Atronach boss will appear, and if you manage to defeat him your group will be rewarded with a treasure chest. Anomalies are fairly short encounters but they will still require a coordinated and geared group to complete without needlessly dying.
ESO’s version of raids are Trials, difficult 12-player encounters with limited resurrects/respawns. Once you enter a Trial your entire group can resurrect a total of 36 times, meaning you need to be extra careful not to die or you might not even be able to complete the encounter. You can restart a Trial at any time, but make sure you pay attention to tactics and do your best to complete it regardless — your groups will be thankful.
Craglorn brings us two different Trials: Aetherian Archive and He Ra Citadel. Trials also have “Leaderboards”, additionally rewarding players who complete it in record time. Dying not only expends a resurrect “slot”, but also slows down your group. Unless you’re in a serious PvE guild aiming to top the leaderboards don’t worry too much about being quick, but take the time and learn the encounters properly.
Craglorn really expands the current Elder Scrolls Online endgame, and this much-anticipated patch finally adds more challenging and substantial endgame content for players with empty quest logs. The addition of Burial Sites, Magical Anomalies, mini-dungeons (delves) with 12 new Skyshards and most importantly Trials, ESO definitely will retain many players who are already tired of the same old. Since content like this is supposed to be added consistently on a 6-week schedule, I hope this is only a taste of what’s to come.