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ESO DPS Secrets: Hidden Mechanics & Strategies

When it comes to measuring and comparing DPS in ESO, many players rely on parse dummies to gauge their performance. However, the numbers obtained from parse dummies don't always reflect the damage output you'll achieve in real trials or group settings. In this guide, we'll dive into the reasons behind these disparities and shed light on the various factors that affect your DPS in different scenarios. By understanding the hidden mechanics and strategies employed by top-performing groups, you can optimize your own performance and contribute more effectively.


ESO DPS Secrets: Hidden Mechanics & Strategies


Contextual Nature of PvE DPS

One of the main reasons why your DPS may vary between different scenarios is the contextual nature of PvE DPS. Let's take the example of parsing on a horse dummy versus a real trial. You might achieve 100K DPS on a horse dummy but only 50K DPS in a real trial. Why does this happen?


The answer lies in the buffs and supports you receive in a trial group. When you parse on a 21 million health dummy, you'll notice a significant difference in the buffs you receive. These buffs include major savagery, sorcery, brutality, minor toughness, major courage, increased max stats, increased recovery, minor prophecy, major force, major slayer, minor courage, and more.


Essentially, what the parsing dummy simulates is near mid-max trial groups. In a coordinated group, players run specific gear sets and buffs that significantly boost their damage. These sets and buffs include Powerful Assault, Crimson Oath, Pearl Essence, a sorcerer's trail, Roaring Opportunist, Jorvuld's Guidance, Elemental Catalyst, and more.


The reason why top-tier groups do significantly more damage than pick-up groups (PUGs) is that PUGs often need more coordination and are running these optimized gear sets and buffs. It's important to understand that your individual DPS in content depends on your team and their ability to coordinate and optimize their builds.


Focus on Individual Damage

While parsing on a dummy is a useful tool to assess your personal damage potential, it doesn't necessarily reflect the damage you'll deal in actual content. To determine your effectiveness in dungeons or trials, you need to pay attention to your individual damage percentage within the group.


Using a combat metrics addon, you can see the breakdown of your total damage contribution in a trial. Are you consistently dealing 14-15% of the total damage? Are you a top performer at 20-22%? Or are you lagging behind at 6-8%? Your individual damage percentage is a true measure of your performance in group content.


Optimizing Your Build

Many players will recommend running Relequen for its high damage potential. While Relequen can be effective in certain situations, it's essential to remember that it only applies to a single target. In encounters with multiple enemies or trash pulls, other sets may be more beneficial.


For example, Coral Riptide can increase your weapon and spell damage based on your missing maximum stamina. Additionally, sets like Maelstrom Souls-End can provide a significant critical chance and critical damage boost when you pick up souls left by recently killed enemies.


The key takeaway is that your build and gear choices should be tailored to the specific encounter or content you're facing. Consider the dynamics of the fight, the movement requirements, the need for healing, and the potential for AoE damage. Optimize your build accordingly to maximize your effectiveness in different scenarios.


Team Coordination and Buffs

In a well-coordinated group, each member plays a specific role in boosting the overall DPS. Tanks focus on mitigating damage, applying buffs, and debuffing enemies. Healers prioritize healing and maintaining high buffs for the group. It's important to understand and respect these roles to optimize the group's damage output.


Top-tier groups communicate and coordinate their buffs and debuffs effectively. They time their Warhorn casts, ensure the uptime of crucial buffs like major vulnerability, and exploit synergies to enhance the overall damage of the group. It's this level of coordination that sets them apart and allows them to achieve exceptional DPS numbers.



Maximizing your damage in ESO requires a deep understanding of the contextual nature of PvE DPS. It's important to recognize the impact of buffs, group coordination, and optimized builds on your performance. While parsing on a dummy can provide useful insights, it's your individual damage percentage in group content that truly reflects your effectiveness. Adapt your build to the specific encounters you face and work together with your group to coordinate buffs and debuffs for maximum damage output.

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