Top 5 Zones to Explore When Playing or Subbing to ESO/Elder Scrolls Online in 2021
23 February, 2021...
Tamriel in the Elder Scrolls Online is a huge segmented open world with so much to explore that a casual player won't get through most of it any time soon.
If you're intending to get your hands on Elder Scrolls Online at the start of 2021 then there are at least 5 zones that you should play through to thoroughly enjoy the vistas, levelling and questing experience.
Doesn't matter if you're new or old, this guide will likely be for you unless all you do is PVP.
5. Faction Zones
The main quest and faction zones are at the bottom of the list however they're great places for every new and old player to explore.
For the New Player...
If you're a new player then exploring the zone quests, main quest, delves, public dungeons and side quests will net you huge amounts of experience and skill points.
All of these zones are beginner friendly, the bosses and world bosses are much easier than in DLC zones usually and less tricky.
You'll gain achievements, dyes and titles as you progress.
You can also gain style motifs to make you look different or amazing.
Plus some of the best in slot sets can be collected for your Collections > Sets section (hit U, go to Sets in the top right), which can be rebuilt using transmute crystals after you hit max level.
This means that any set gear you collect is useful as long as you either wear it once and/or deconstruct it.
Mother's Sorrow in Deshaan is one of the most used crit boosting sets in magicka builds.
Necropotence in Rivenspire is the most expensive and popular magicka set for pet using classes.
These zones are large yet easy to travel through.
They're chock full of side quests.
You'll never lack for something to do for quite a while until you finish the zone that is.
The Order of Zones
Each faction has like 5 major zones and if you're really hardcore you can follow the specific zone quest line order.
There's also 1 or 2 starter zones however we're skipping those.
This is the zone quest order.
- Malabal Tor
- Reaper's March
This is the zone quest order.
- Alik'r Desert
This is the zone quest order.
- The Rift
For the Returning/Veteran Player
Well you already know about Cadwell's Silver and Gold so is there any more to say?
One of the best parts of the faction zones is that all players have access to them since they're in the base game.
4. Clockwork City
This is in the Clockwork City DLC.
It's definitely one of the more distinguished or unique environments in that it's actually a world within a miniature and to get to it you actually shrink yourself into it.
This gets into Inception level thinking and the fractal nature of reality.
Besides that, it's a great zone just for its daily zone quests and world bosses.
The style motifs in this zone are quite popular.
And during the Tribunal celebration sometime around late February, you even have a chance of acquiring the yellow legendary and expensive recipe Clockwork Citrus Fillet.
Some of the popular sets that I and others enjoy from this zone include the electrical summoning proc set Mad Tinkerer and the shadowy attack crow set Unfathomable Darkness.
The craftable tank set Fortified Brass is my favourite tank set for off-tanks or dps-turned-temporary-tank alt characters.
The zone quest is also short and easy to finish.
The mechanical styles of the place and its creatures make it one of most memorable zones of all time in the game.
Wrothgar from the Orsinium DLC is another great zone with 2 public dungeons, tons of delves and one of the best zone storylines in the game.
The best as of 2021 anyway.
Finishing it also gives you the Orc King Regalia costume and a title I believe.
It's an easy to travel zone just like the faction zones for the most part.
One of the best stamina dps best in slot sets to be found in Wrothgar is Briarheart.
The weapons sell for a lot on guild traders and many a person grinds and does daily quests to acquire this set.
A fairly well known tanking set is Mark of the Pariah, where your armour goes up as your hit points go down.
2. Western Skyrim
From the recent 2020 Greymoor DLC, Western Skyrim's frigid environment, vampire styles and world bosses also make it a memorable place.
When this zone came out, Collections for Sets became possible, one of its biggest historic highlights.
Of course some still say Clockwork's better.
What can't be argued with is that it came with the underground zone of Blackreach which only made the place even bigger.
You can fight Harrowstorms which are Dolmens souped up by a factor of 10 and definitely require a group to defeat.
These have amazing rewards compared to Dolmens in the base game.
There's also a large number of world bosses like Harrowstorm sites both above ground and below in Blackreach.
There are also two fairly popular sets in Western Skyrim.
One of my favourite proc stamina dps sets is Venomous Smite in the Greymoor DLC or Western Skyrim.
An excellent tanking or healing set is Winter's Respite in Western Skyrim.
Grinding the complete sets for your Collection will mean you can rebuild them at any Transmute Station at any time.
The zone is one of the more majestic, bright and beautiful zones in the game as of 2021 anyway.
The city of Alinor is a soaring city that is built vertically, a striking difference to most other zones except Solitude in Western Skyrim possibly.
Instead of Dolmens you have Geysers, which are Dolmens pumped up by like 5 if compared to Western Skyrim and The Reach Harrowstorms.
There are 2 public dungeons, Sunhold and Karnwasten, which are great places to grind gold, xp and the zone gear sets.
Jewelry crafting was also introduced when Summerset came out, which was useful for crafters who wanted complete weapon-jewelry crafted sets (which wasn't possible before - you could only search for overland jewelry).
Sload's Semblance is an Oblivion damage dealing set that can be useful in PVP since oblivion damage bypasses damage shields.
Gryphon's Ferocity is one of the few overland armour sets in game that grant bonus critical damage, allowing you to skip using Barbed Trap or Channeled Acceleration, saving a skill bar slot.
All of the sets from the Cloudrest trial dungeon are very popular.
- Aegis of Galenwe (tanking)
- Arms of Relequen (stamina)
- Siroria's Mantle (magicka)
- Vestment of Olorime (healer)
Also the Cloudrest Welkynar wings style motif is a very popular motif that can only be acquired from the Cloudrest trial dungeon.
This zone is most notable for its dangerous plant life which can attack and surprise players.
Also the argonian NPCs are really fleshed out and seem to come alive in a special way.
The argonian style of the structures and dress make this zone stand out in my memory anyway.
The most notable gear set here is Champions of the Hist, a tanking set which grants Minor Heroism constantly and is great for ultimate based builds or tanks like the stamina necromancer.
If you're looking to hunt dragons like you did in TESV: Skyrim then this and Southern Elsweyr are the place to go when you get the chance.
One of the most useful stealth sets is Vestments of Darloc Brae in Northern Elsweyr.
See The Top 3 Best Stealth Sets in ESO (Elder Scrolls Online) for more details on that.
In addition, Crafty Alfiq set is useful for magicka characters who don't use pets and don't want to use Necropotence.
The upcoming Blackwood zone is going to feature Oblivion portals, a new story and of course Mehrunes Dagon who we met in TESIV: Oblivion.
We don't know all the details yet however it could be a great zone to explore!
So now you've learned about some of the top zones that you should explore and the things you can collect from them.
Whether you're a new player or experience one, if you haven't yet explored these zones now's the time :)
Any other zones you think should be included?
Let me know in the comments below!