Elder Scrolls Online Dungeons Detailed, Player Roles and Enemies

As a part of Zenimax and Bethesda’s “Creating ESO” series, the studio has released a brand new trailer showing off the “Kwama” enemy. The team has also gone into the nitty gritty of dungeon crawling in their latest blog post, describing how you will work with others to take on these challenging areas in The Elder Scrolls Online.

“Dungeons are organized,” reads the latest update. “You’ll need three other party members to stand a chance, and the four of you will have a version of the dungeon (and its bosses and loot) all to yourselves.”

As in most MMO’s each player will fulfill a role. Most commonly, a player will either focus on damaging enemies, healing teammates, or absorbing damage from enemies. Here are a few tips and tricks for each role, laid out by the ESO dev team:

DPS (Damage Per Second):

  • Monsters will attack you. Don’t panic, and don’t expect your tank to handle every enemy alone. You have a great toolbox to mitigate damage—you can interrupt, block, and dodge while dealing damage.
  • Focusing on one enemy at a time is helpful. Coordinate with your group and try to damage the same enemy, then move on to another. The longer the fight goes on, the more danger your party is in of running out of magicka and stamina.
  • Area of Effect (AoE) abilities are effective, but can be very dangerous. When you damage multiple enemies at once, you risk getting their attention and straining your healer. Be cautious when employing AoE attacks.
  • Be careful with your attacks! Avoid attacking monsters in the back lines of a pack (more details in the next section). Even getting too close to them can cause them to engage in the fight and threaten to overwhelm your party.


  • Make sure your party has at least one player that can heal the group. The more players that bring healing abilities, the less need there is for a dedicated healer. Coordinate with your group—you might even find that, with the right abilities, each player can manage his or her own health.
  • Magicka potions can be a great boon, but make sure you choose when to use them carefully. Potions cannot be used in quick succession.
  • The tank won’t be the only party member taking damage. This is intended, and you will need to watch the other party members carefully.
  • You’ll take damage, too! Remember that you can interrupt, block, and dodge. Crowd control abilities that stun, slow, or otherwise incapacitate enemies can be extremely useful for healers, and so can damaging abilities.


  • You won’t need to get every enemy’s attention. Every player can take a few hits from standard attacks, and they have lots of ways to take care of themselves. Many healing abilities affect an area, so your healer (if you only have one) should be able to take care of several party members.
  • In a fight with a large group of enemies, a tank’s ability to control the fight is critical. Stun the healers, interrupt the spellcasters—you’re the best party member for the job, because your stuns and interrupts will tend to get those enemies to attack you back.
  • You do need to stay engaged with tougher monsters, like bosses. They hit much harder, and your damage mitigation and extra health will keep you alive where other characters might die.

Of course, with ESO’s flexible role system and the ability to equip any item, players will be able to adapt accordingly to tough situations.

The team also outlined some of the enemy behavior that you can expect while exploring these dungeons and mentioned that they want combat in ESO to be less focused on the user interface and more focused on actual, on screen combat, much like the traditional Elder Scrolls games.

  • Enemies in any room in a dungeon are all aware of each other. When one is attacked, the others are alerted and prepare to fight back. We call this “pack mentality.”
  • By default, a pack of monsters spreads out, and each enemy chooses a target. Player actions can change their targets to some extent. For example, taunt abilities force an enemy to attack you for a fixed duration. Attacking an enemy that hasn’t been attacked recently can also cause its focus to switch to you.
  • Pack monsters don’t all attack at once. Some immediately join the fight, but others prepare in the back lines before moving in. If you get too close to backline enemies, or if you attack them, they’ll join the battle.
  • In general, enemies target the closest player that is attacking them. If they aren’t being attacked, different enemy types choose targets differently. For example, a ranged enemy is more likely to target a ranged player than a melee enemy is.

Speaking of enemies, check out the latest trailer for the “Kwama.”

[youtube id=”P1Ek4eYaXHo” width=”618″ height=”378″]

You can pick up the Elder Scrolls Online for either the PC, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4 in Spring 2014. Don’t forget to sign up for the beta right now.

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