My quest in ESO began as an adventure to game with my partner again. She already played ESO and already at level cap so I had to catch up to play content with her. I had researched classes ahead of time and decided on a warden so I could be healy boyfriendo suportimus maximus. My laptop is a potato and I really just wanted to get into the game so I rush through character creation, making my character a male high elf with blurry features.
The introduction content to ESO felt just like most other MMOs I've played: Quick and simple, taking about an hour to wade through. After what would easily be my longest evening playing ESO (maybe 5 hours strait) I logged off at lvl 8. The next day I logged in to spent most of the time doing some random adventuring with the remainder of my time being a seasonal event quest with my partner, and getting a house.
At the end of my second day I noticed quest XP tapering off, and in my third and fourth days I could really feel it. I was starting to level really slowly and this was frustrating. I didn't want to quest for a lot of different reasons: I wanted to enjoy the lore and not rush for XP, and it was slow to work through a quest chain to only have the last one yield experience. Quests quickly became not worth it.
By level 20 I'm looking for something new to do for experience but I didn't know what to do. I usually quest around with my partner but she was playing something else this evening. Since she's not a dungeon or PVP person and I am, I decided to que up for a random and see how it went. I had built my character as a healer, and was about to heal my first dungeon.
I had quite the time in the dungeons! In my first one I gained 2 levels in 20 to 30 minutes, and simultaniously discovered there's a daily reward for the first random dungeon you do a day, so there's extra XP to be had for letting the game randomly choose your dungeon & party. I enjoyed the dungeoning experience and did a few more that night, gaining a nice handful of levels and some new useful gear. I also started to put together my first item set. After some quick googling I realized there was a ton of sets to be had in the game, and it is not as hard in ESO to put together a full set while leveling.
The next day that I played, I did my daily dungeon first, and then decided to que up and give the battlegrounds a shot. While I waited in que I added a few DPS spells to my bar. Wowee was trying the battlegrunds worth it! I got a level and a half worth of XP, and qued up for another. When my team came in second, and then third the match after that I was able to deduce that it paid good XP no matter what, but second and first place teams get the most XP, with first getting the most overall. I quickly realized that streaks of first place wins were my fastest way to level, realizing I was gaining 2-3 levels an hour. Winning battlegrounds also acrues the currency of Alliance Points, which can be spent on gear that is scaled to your level, no matter what level you are. Taking first place in the battlegrounds yields 12k points, the price of a weapon from the vendor. This was a terrificly small sum as I was making 50k+ AP a day, so I would often replace my weapon first thing every day. In all my time gaming, having a purple weapon while leveling has always been a huge helper so it was awesome to be able to spend pretty much the entire time leveling, and hit chamption, with purple weapons that are maxed for me.
I repeated this mix of casually running dungeons and battlegrounds pretty much every day until level cap. I played almost every day, taking a day off here and there, and most of the time I played for around 2 hours. I did check and log my time with the /played command, but early on I made the mistake of staying logged in while AFK several times. All in all I think I spent 30 to 35 hours leveling to hit 50/champion, and when I realized I hit 50 in 15 days I decided to document the experience.
Here's some notes and tips and a faster leveling experience.
- At lvl 10, battlegrounds and dungeons become available. Successfully complete one a day for a hefty chunk of bonus XP.
- Dungeons drop sets, great for gear. After doing the daily random you can just select which dungeon you want to que for so you can farm your set gear & bonuses.
- Taking first place in a battlegrounds yields 12k alliance points. Second place yeilds 6k. Last place yields nothing.
- Alliance points can be spent on primary weapons, and potions give mana/health as well as also giving 20s buffs, as well also selling foodbuffs that last an hour or two.