Choose My Adventure: Testing addons in The Elder Scrolls Online

Gratuitous cleavage shot
My adventure in The Elder Scrolls Online continues this week with my Nightblade Fa'saad making his way through Stonefalls for the Ebonheart Pact. As the format of Choose My Adventure has changed slightly, the polls from the first two articles mold my journey through the rest of the month. At the end of it all, I'll give my summary impressions and tips I learned along the way.

This week it's all about addons as I tried out a dozen or so to report back on my favorites. Addons can aid your gameplay in so many different ways, from stat counters to UI mods to quality of (virtual) life improvements, but they're not for everyone. I'm not usually an addon fan because I think they verge on cheating in a way, so I've approached these addons from the perspective of a skeptic. Did they really help my game? Will I continue to use them?

First off, I'd like to talk a bit about my progression. The game was down several times during my regular play time, so I didn't get to do as much as I'd have liked, but I did find out what the holy grail at level 10 was. It's that really amazing storyline interlude that happens when you ding 10, right? Wait, no, it's the availability of PvP! Hmmm, I'm not sure exactly, but I do plan to venture into PvP at some point next week.

Elder Scrolls Online
One thing I've learned is to stop trying to do everything at once with crafting, gathering, weapon skills, etc. This is something I always learn (the hard way) at this point in every MMO but forget because I want to do all the things. I've decided to focus on Medium Armor for the bonuses and dual wielding for my weapon. I also decided to expand a bit out from Siphoning to throw in that one Shadow skill (Dark Cloak) and grab both Killer's Blade and Teleport Strike from the Assassination line. Don't worry; I'm still focusing on Siphoning with Swallow Soul and Prolonged Suffering, and my Ultimate Ability is currently Soul Shred.

My inventory is thanking me for giving up on trying to collect as much as possible as I'm focusing entirely on Clothing. I've gained some points in other crafting lines due to deconstructing, but I'm not doing much else with them.

The Elder Scrolls Online
I definitely find myself exploring and smelling the roses more than in most other MMOs. I think this game was designed for that, especially considering the vast lore. But you are rewarded for stepping off the beaten path and checking out what's behind that big rock over there. If you find yourself lacking quests while following the regular storyline, head out to the corners of your map. You'll have more than you need.

The lack of an auction house has been a hot topic from the beginning, but it doesn't bother me too much -- except for the spam. It actually reminds me a lot of the original Guild Wars. There are pros and cons to doing things this way, but the biggest plus is the fact that it's bringing people together for more personal interaction. Sure, it's not quick or efficient, but it's more immersive.

Addons

As promised, I tried out a few addons to see what best suited my playstyle. I skipped all of the ones that put markers on maps because they either work or not, so there isn't much else to say about those. I mean, I love HarvestMap and SkyShards for what they do, but there's not much discussion there. This list isn't necessarily a top list in any order, but it's more of a report on a few of my favorites that I now use regularly.

Tactical Combat
Foundry Tactical Combat

This one is a necessity because it adds so much to the game that should've been there in the first place. You get more feedback on the damage you're doing and what type of damage you're doing as well as buff and debuff info. Sure, some might argue that it clutters up the screen with too much info, but what's shown (and where it's shown) is all customizable.

insJunkyard
ins:Junkyard

Mark your unwanted items as junk and they're automatically sold the next time you talk to the merchant. How easy is that? There are other similar addons that do the same thing, but this one is my favorite so far. There's even info in your chat window that tells you when something is put into your junk bag, and it's all customizable.

MyXPview
MyXpview

I admit, I'm a bit of a stats freak, and this addon is a dream come true. Based on the original Xpview, MyXpview is a bit more refined with some slight ease-of-use tweaks. It will detail how long you've been in game for the current session, how much XP you've gained, your current XP gain rate per hour, approximate number of mobs left to kill, and time left at the current rate until you reach your next level. How cool is that?

Bank Stuffer
Bank Stuffer

Oh Bank Stuffer, where were you in my first three weeks with this game? Bank Stuffer will take the stackable items from your inventory and put them in your bank automatically when you talk to the banker. It will work only with items already in your bank, but it certainly makes life a lot easier and more organized. It especially helps when you can't seem to stop opening crates and barrels and bags for the Provisioning goodies that add up and fill your bags completely, even though you're not actually a Provisioner. OK, so I still do that.

Overall, I enjoy these addons but found so many that really weren't for me. If you're skeptical about add-ons, I invite you to head over to ESOUI and flip through the categories to see what might be best for you. Not all addons are quality, so make sure to heed the community's advice and check out the most popular ones with ratings.

For next week, I'm going to dip my paws into PvP and give my final impressions of the game as I've been playing it. It will be my last week for this current CMA, but I plan to return in a few months to have you choose even more adventures for ole Fa'saad.

If you have any suggestions for other addons or just want to give me some PvP tips, make sure to include them in the comments below. I already have the next CMA game picked out and can't wait to reveal that as well. Until next week!

Shawn Schuster is now permanently at the helm of Massively's Choose My Adventure with you as the co-captain. It's going to be a rough ride, so put on your seat belt! Join him every Wednesday for a reader-guided deep-dive into a new MMO every month. Farcical puns about cars and farming sold separately.
This article was originally published on Massively.