So first off, I’d like to list my credentials, if you will. I’m Peggy Moe. Former Emperor, ex member of several major PvP guilds, and now guildmaster of my own PvP focused guild. I am by no means the best in Cyrodiil, but being a PvP’er since the launch on PC, I have a clue as to what is going on.
So I copied my account from PC to Xbox One just to see what the differences would be. Of course, being a PvP’er, I went straight to Cyrodiil. My oh my, it’s absolute chaos in there. Of course I had my fun killing waves and waves of new players as a v14 character, but that can only be fun for so long.
Playing on console will be different than it is for PC users. On PC, it’s easy to communicate as a faction because we have a zone chat in the lower left hand corner of our screen where we can make callouts, spot zergs, and give orders to everyone. On console, you just have to scream in proximity chat and hope that a decent amount of people heard you, and didn’t find you incredibly obnoxious. So I’m going to list just a few things I picked up on while playing console PvP earlier today that I think will help the learning process speed up some.
At every gate, keep, outpost, and resource there are Quartermasters that sell several different types of offensive and defensive siege. I recommend always having at least a few stone ballistas or trebuchets on hand. Nothing is worse than having 40 players run up to an enemy keep and only having a couple of players siege offensively. There is a siege limit of 20, so that should be the number to go for when playing offensively. Stone siege does max damage against walls and doors. Also, if the outer wall you are aiming for has a postern house, hit the walls around it. The postern house takes damage, but the wall will remain standing. If you knock the wall down before the postern house, they will both fall. On inner keep walls (inner postern walls) hit the walls themselves. The doors do not take damage.
Fun Fact: Front door sieges that require a ram are really only good for “ninja” flagging a keep, or trying to make a quick take to attract attention or cut travel between certain enemy keeps. If enough enemy players are aware you’re there, they can wipe you pretty easily using oil or just basic ranged skills. Of course, as time goes on, many players will prefer doing a quick front door siege even expecting to have resistance, but just know that it’s risky especially for low level players.
If your keep is under attack, a bad idea is to run around the keep looking for the siege group. Run along the walls, and inform your group however you can of an approximate number of attackers and an estimate of the amount of damage the wall has taken. On PC, there are addons that show numbers and percentages even on keep walls, but on console, there aren’t. A keep flags once any wall has been brought down to 50%, so as time goes on, I guess players will learn to determine where the 50% threshold is without the help of addons. Anyways, if a keep wall has taken significant damage but hasn’t flagged yet, do not jump out of the keep. As soon as it flags, you will be unable to use that keep as a spawn point if you die and be forced to run back. Instead, set up some defensive siege. There are several different types of defensive siege. First there are fire ballistas/trebuchets. They cause an explosive amount of damage upon impact within the AoE and then have a hard hitting DoT that can kill anyone if not mitigated or cleansed. Having someone on a Meatbag catapult is also good especially while others are using fire siege, because meatbags do damage and apply a healing debuff to any enemy within the AoE, if not cleansed. There are other siege equipment, like scattershot and oilpot catapults, but the only other one really worth mentioning are flaming oil pots themselves. If you’ve been pushed back to an inner keep and the enemy has knocked several walls down, oil can very well be the difference between sovangarde and an enormous defensive tick. Getting multiple players to line keep walls along the stairs of an inner keep and timing when to pour them can wipe an unprepared zerg easily. There are plenty of situations other than defending a keep where oil and siege are beneficial, even in a resource tower! Keep in mind that oils only work if they are elevated and placed on an edge. You can’t place an oil on the ground and dump it….. anymore 🙁
Obviously it will be more difficult to find out where the action is and where you are needed in a game that has no zone chat. But I did notice the group finder feature seems to be pretty well done on console, even down to how big or small you want your group to be. I had my own group with some guildies so I never tested the feature to see if it worked or not, but my guess is this will be the only way to be picked up if you aren’t already established in a large guild or in a party with friends. Communicating and playing tactically is the best way to win any conflict in Cyrodiil. Of course, a player who can survive on his own without the help of a large group is awesome, but he can’t assault a heavily defended keep on his own and expect to take it. I do not approve of zerging, but I do acknowledge that a large group of players is necessary to get things taken care of in AvAvA style PvP. Working together as a group, staying close to your leader, and listening to his orders are the best way to take objectives and earn AP. There is also a place for smaller “gank” groups. There will be players who are recording gank footage solo and benefiting nothing to their faction in hopes to grow their boring youtube channel, but ganking in between a friendly keep and an enemy keep that is being sieged can really help out the larger group that is actually sieging that keep. Also smaller groups can cut transitus by capturing all 3 resources surrounding an enemy keep. These are only a few examples of what groups can accomplish in Cyrodiil.
I’ve actually made a post on reddit about this before. I don’t think it will be as big of an issue as it seems to be on PC because once again, there is no zone chat, but it can easily still present itself. Being a dick does not encourage people. Especially upon launch, people are going to be very confused about what the frick is going on. I’ve already witnessed my fair share of potato-ing in Cyrodiil today, but hey, ignorance is bliss… For now. Obviously people are going to make mistakes and PvP will become frustrating. But one of the main reasons factions lose Campaigns is because of dwelling in the past and not focusing on what they can do to make a comeback. Zone chat on PC can become toxic sometimes, and result in players and even whole groups rage-logging and costing the faction vital keeps or objectives. So if you’re going to take the chance of advertising your group in the group finder, or just plain proximity chat, understand you’re taking the chance of someone completely new to the game joining your group and just looking to have fun. Work with them if they slip up instead of degrading them or singling them out. That kind of attitude makes you seem like a turd and possibly makes the victim question whether he even likes the game. Of course, if the idiot joined your group just to troll and sabotage, yeah, let them know they are not welcome, and kick them.
So before I start this one, I’d like to point out this is more of an opinion than a fact. But if you read through it, you will understand it makes sense, and really the only people who disagree with me are most likely not thinking straight. Here is the scenario: There is a group of about 10 people assaulting the last keep for your factions emperorship, and they are outnumbered. You are leading a group of 15 and realize that your scroll is available for recapture. You can either help take the remaining keep for Emperorship, or go after your scroll. Some people would take the attack of the last Imperial keep as an opportunity to take the scroll, but I think that’s the wrong choice. Emperorship allows your faction’s top player to practically double their stats, give them tremendous buffs, and also add a hefty amount of HP to every player in the whole faction. In my opinion, easily wiping the resistance in that last keep with your large group, THEN going after the scroll with the whole faction being buffed, is the better option. This, once again is completely my opinion, and there are definitely some situations where this obviously wouldn’t work out. My point is certain decisions can be really important in PvP. A lot of the time they may end up working out even if you made a completely idiotic choice, but sometimes cost you big time. If you had gone for the scroll first, there is a chance that the group assaulting the Imperial keep wipes, and the enemy quickly kills you with the scroll and starts pushing you back into your territory even further.
Fun Fact #2: Quartermasters also sell Repair Kits. I noticed while repairing a wall, I had multiple low level players standing around me almost looking puzzled about the sorcery that I wielded that increased the HP of the keep walls. Repair kits do exactly what they sound like. There are wall repair kits, and door repair kits. Whether you repelled an enemy attack or are just cleaning up after a capture, ALWAYS repair! Equip them like you would a potion in your quickslot menu, walk up to a broken wall and fix it! FYI you can’t repair an enemy keep…
Anyways, this is my very unofficial guide to maybe understanding PvP in ESO. I just noticed that the players in Cyrodiil currently seem to have no clue what is happening. So I thought my puny brain could provide a little bit of guidance. Hope you learned something! And sorry for the novel.
EDIT: Forgot to mention this! One of the biggest questions new players spam in zone chat is“HOW DO I LEAVE CYRODIIL?! Do not fret. You are not stuck there forever. Any of your faction’s owned keeps have transitus shrines inside of them. Use them to get back to one of the two main gates your faction owns and there is a wayshrine at either one you must use to get back to the PvE zones. If you are in a flagged keep, unfortunately you must ride to a keep that has transitus to either one of the gates, or die and choose to spawn there. Also, outposts do not have transitus, so you must do the same. Ride to an eligible keep, or die..