Alt-oholics Anonymous: FixedBasilisk's Guide to Leveling Your Alternative Characters
So, you’ve explored Tamriel: murdered Molag Bal; delved into dungeons; tripped up in trials; punished people in pvp and butchered those battlegrounds. You’ve arrived! Now you are happy to call Tamriel home and are ready and raring to set up your alt army. In this article we offer a few tips and tricks to make the most of the time you spend getting your new characters to that all important level 50.
Fast Track to 50
If money is no object and you are happy to spend crowns to buy your skill lines along with the skill points needed for your new build, the fastest way (on PC, not console unfortunately) is through Master Alchemy Writs. You will need the Writ Worthy addon to help out. There are plenty of resources out there if this is the right way for you so we’ll leave it there.
‘Bruh, I’ve got no money!’
We’ll admit, the above leaves a lot to be desired for most people. So, from level 3 to 50, here are a few key things to build a fully rounded character. Bear in mind, there are as many ways to level an alt as there are players, so pick and choose those that interest you:
Starting Out (Passives, Skill Lines & Crafting)
We’re going to skip any DLC tutorial and jump straight to our faction starter city. Here, we’ll pick up the main quest from the Hooded Figure and head to the Mages, Fighter and Undaunted areas to start those skill lines running, giving us a head start while we are on our travels. While here, we can pick up our crafting certification from Millenith and Danel Telano for some extra gold each day.
Be aware that Jewelry crafting is tied to the Summerset DLC so we’ll need to head over to Alinor after level 6 and speak to Felarian in order to access those dailies.
Crafting dailies are very much a personal choice but what we will need to do is craft three of each armor weights - heavy, medium and light - so we can equip them and open those skill lines. Similarly, we can craft our weapons of choice at level 1 and kill a couple of critters to open our end game skill lines.
Doing the crafting requests from certification will give us enough materials to do this, otherwise just take some time to wander outside our starter city walls and we’ll find enough materials to get us on our way.
To make the most of our experience gains, we’ll have enough skill points here to add one of each class skill to our main bar. As we get our next skill points, we’ll fill out the last two of our bar spaces with a skill from both our front and back bar weapon (or two skills from whichever skill we want to level first). Just remember, we don’t have to have the weapon active to level the skill line - open both skill lines and add the first skill to the front bar and that weapon will passively level with everything we do.
As a quick heads up to anyone who prefers to level overland, picking up the Persuasive Will and Intimidating Presence passives from the Mages Guild & Fighters Guild skill lines respectively early on will save a lot of running around in overland quests. Awesome, now we’ve done all the work, let’s fight!
Level 3-10 (Skill Points & Rewards)
Here we’ll be grabbing skill points and leveling our solitary bar. Main story, zone quests and public dungeon group events will all give skill points. Alternatively, running a few dolmens will help out with leveling the fighters guild, albeit at the expense of skill points.
Early class skills will level quickly so use those points to morph or open preferred skills as they are available. As battle levelling boosts base stats and we have access to a tri-stat Crown Fortifying Meal through the leveling rewards, we don’t need to worry about equipping gear - the level 1 crafted pieces are fine.
We’ve found it beneficial to get as many skill points as possible at this point. A focused run through Public Dungeons for the group events and Skyshards (with a friend who has wayshrines open for quick travel) can net us 20+ skill points in 1.5 hours or so. Spend any downtime getting skill points through either the main (harborage) quests or whichever zone story quests take your fancy.
Level 10-15 (Gear, Food, Dungeons & Cyrodiil)
Now, let’s get some gear. Law of Julianos is great for magicka DPS and healers, Hundings Rage for stamina DPS and Torug’s Pact is an easily crafted utility set for tanks. If these sets or whatever would change, go with the next best things.
Again, battle leveling is our friend so dropped gear and Champion Points will help us out if we can’t craft or buy gear. Training trait, however, really helps us out with extra experience for the many mobs we’re about to kill.
We’ll also craft/buy some utility food that will level with us - Witchmother’s Potent Brew for mag, Dubious Camoran Throne for stam and Crown Meals or Spring-Loaded Infusion for tanks will scale to our level so we don’t have to worry about level specific foods. We’re nearly ready to rock.
A quick port into Cyrodiil to either go through the training scenarios or skip to turn it in will be enough to open up Vigor, a great stam heal for all classes. A little more time spent here can be useful to unlock Rapid Manoeuvers (to zip through overland quests), more skill points and useful skills such as Warhorn etc.
Daily random dungeons and battlegrounds will be our start point in our newly equipped gear. There are over 40 skill points on offer in 4-man dungeons alone, as well as skill points for every PvP level we can get through battlegrounds.
Dungeons unlock as we level, so there is a good chance we can get every skill point on offer for our level. Ideally, we’ll bring a taunt if we want to queue as a tank for faster access - remember that newer players may need support if we queue as tank and can’t keep the bosses under control!
Again, any downtime can be spent seeking out those juicy skill points overland.
Level 15-45 (Weapon Swapping, More Grinding)
We’ve unlocked weapon swapping, yay! Now we can level more skills. Again,we’ll put one skill from each skill line on our back bar (remembering to keep any skill from the main hand weapon skill line there if we are leveling two weapon types - that passive leveling is really useful) so that our experience gain will be consistent.
As a rule of thumb, we’ll put our main damage skills on our front bar to level while we kill and our secondary skills on the back bar that we will switch to when we turn in quests or kill the final dungeon boss in a dungeon we’ve already completed.
Remember to swap skills out as new ones unlock!!!
Which skills we unlock and when is another very personal choice but we’ve found it better to level multiple skills to their morph level as this gives us greater flexibility later on, rather than spending gold on a respec because we picked the wrong one in a moment of madness.
We’ve found that we spent a lot of time in this period switching the skills around as every character is different. We do try to keep our end goal as our focus, bearing in mind which skills and passives are most important to our end game goals rather than short term goals like more DPS etc.
Here we can choose to focus on PvE or PvP to fully flesh out our skill points (those passives are too nice to wait for!). This is another very personal choice but we tend to get the 4-man normal dungeons out of the way, helping to level our Undaunted skill line along the way.
If we can, we’ll set up our own group and blast through them as they become available, or queue for a random and ask if the group wants to run another. The skill points stack up, as does the XP. For PvP, we’ll try and find a like minded guild, craft some gear to solo in under 50 campaign or run the gauntlet of LFG.
But I Can’t Find a Group!
There will inevitably be times that group play isn’t available or achievable in our gaming schedule. Here we have the choice of gathering skill points (main/zone quests) or grinding XP.
Grinding yields the best rewards in a group of two players with xp scrolls/potions and even a ring of mara (Crown Store) to boost the group experience. So where do we get that XP? A good route through Spellscar in Craglorn is currently the best XP on offer but can be crowded, which is where many will recommend Skyreach Catacombs (also Craglorn).
There are many alternatives in Public Dungeons (Forgotten Wastes, which can also be crowded), Dolmens (Alik’r is well known), overland zones (Zombies in The Black Forge or Sentinel Beach) etc. but there are plenty of options.
To get the most from grinding we just need to find somewhere with a lot of enemies that spawn, or repopulate, quickly. Whichever option we choose, we’ll try and pick up lorebooks to point our mages guild skill line in the right direction and kill some undead, werewolves and daerda to level fighters guild.
For most of us, grinding isn’t fun so we always try and find a goal to go with it. Do we have the plethora of non combat pets, costumes and emotes from the DLC Public Dungeons? Shall we race through the delves for skyshards? Do we need to add to our Precursor army (who doesn’t?) or loot some urns for valuable furnishing mats in the latest zone? Shall we hunt down leads for antiquities or just flex our RP muscles with some calculated carnage?
The possibilities are endless and we find we have much more fun grinding with a companion with a shared goal.
Level 45-Champion Points (The End?)
The end is in sight! That CP 160 armor is sitting in our inventory and we can’t wait to put it on. We need a lot more xp per level but we’ve opened up pledges and dlc dungeons on normal so we can get the last of our dungeon skill points as well as picking up keys on the way.
We’ll head to the main city (Elden Root, Wayrest or Mournhold), pick up a free key from the pledge givers and sign our ESO-loving souls away as a member of the Undaunted.
Feelsgoodman. We still need a little bit of xp grinding (that one Precursor part we missed, maybe?) to unlock later skills and other lines to complete, but we’re there. CP160 gear equipped and enough skill points to make the most of our shiny new alt. Let’s get the next one ready then…
Wait, You Forgot About Psijic Order?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit nicely into the scope of a fast leveling guide. Our best advice is jump to Shimmerene, complete the first quest line, head to Artaeum for the Psijic quest, go back to Summerset, get the auger from the delve… yeah, there are other guides for that.
Our honest advice would be that if you need Psijic skills, you probably need Mages Guild so maximize your travel time by combining the two! Having a friend to help port you to wayshrines that are closer to the Time Rifts required for grinding Psijic Order helps a ton.
Hopefully this alt-leveling guide will be of good help to you! Thanks for reading!