The Elder Scrolls

ESO: a game where you can’t help but make friends [a dungeon finder story]

TheElderScrolls14 - ESO: a game where you can’t help but make friends [a dungeon finder story]

Life has been hectic. I hadn’t played ESO in 4 months due to dealing with an ongoing family medical crisis and finally I found the time and energy to hop back on. I wanted to see the revised champion point system and wanted to have a little distraction from life’s troubles. Like I always do, I queued up on my Breton templar as a healer and instantly was placed into Banished Cells 2.

We started to melt through the dungeon – we were clearing through it faster than I expected, and the entire time I was just thinking about remembering the controls and getting rid of the rust that had built up after being away from the game so long. It was my first dungeon in 4 months and on occasion I’d take a look at the damage meters (since we were entirely on the offense) and think “maybe I’ve still got it,” while awkwardly hitting the wrong button sometimes and forgetting how to animation cancel as easily as I had last year.

When we came up to the last boss, I was ready to fight… and then my phone rang. It was from my mom’s rehab center: “your mom can’t keep any food down, and we need to figure out some alternatives before she suffers malnutrition” said the nurse. I tucked the phone against my shoulder and started talking, clicking buttons, but my entire world was focused on that call.

After we figured out what to do to help my mom, I looked at the screen, at the empty boss room. I realized I didn’t remember the fight, or even seeing the fight. I had been running my character around clicking buttons, but I didn’t have the presence of mind to tell the group I needed to afk. My entire focus was on that call.


I looked up at the damage meter: 5% of the group’s damage, 7.5% of the group’s healing as the healer. I was mortified. I had been a raid leader in vanilla WoW and I knew that sort of behavior was not tolerated especially in PUGs. So I checked the chat logs: a few “ggs” and “thanks for the group”s. It didn’t seem to have bothered anyone enough to roast me, at least, so I felt some relief.

The fight had lasted 38.4 seconds according to the damage meter. The group was capable – they didn’t need me, after all, which was a good thing. But then I noticed something else: there was someone still in the party. “Over here,” she typed, as she led me backward through the dungeon to find the chests and heavy sacks the group had passed. When I looked down at my phone again, I saw that the call had lasted 14 minutes, well beyond the 38 second boss fight. She had seen me WASD-ing around while I was on the phone and she had waited 14 minutes to show me, a random player who hadn’t said much the entire time, where to get the last loot in the dungeon after she had already shown the other two party members.

Even though I already had a high opinion of the ESO community, I had never seen anything like that in my 20 years of playing MMOs. I thanked her for being so generous and apologized for being so distracted, which is something I would have never done in my younger years but has become increasingly common the older I get. We chatted about family life, how we both had been raiders in the early parts of WoW, how much we enjoy ESO, and how we’re looking forward to the companion system this year. We’ve since run more dungeons and hope to run many more.

Anyways, I just wanted to share a vignette from my time playing this game. I hope you all have had positive experiences, too!

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