The Elder Scrolls

How to improve your 4 man dungeon game: role by role guide/misconceptions.

TheElderScrolls10 - How to improve your 4 man dungeon game: role by role guide/misconceptions.

So I'm pretty much firmly in the end game. I've cleared every trial on its hardest difficulty, and have a few "trifecta" clears under my belt (no death, speed run, and hardmode all in one go in a 12 man trial). I also happen to play all 3 roles, though I mainly play DPS these days.

Well, lately I've been doing more PUGs through the dungeon finder than runs with friends, and it's given me a lot of perspective on the community outside of the end-game bubble. I've learned a few basic things from doing this.

1) A very large number of people playing this game really don't understand some of the most basic things due to ZOS not really teaching them properly via in-game tutorials (or lack thereof).

2) Almost everytime I ask vaguely/non-targetedly in chat if anyone would care for advice on their role, at least one person says yes and is blown away by some pretty basic things they didn't know.

3) The "toxic" players in 4 mans are usually pretty fucking bad at this game and are taking out their frustrations on others, and not realizing they're most/all of the problem (and often players who are at a level below these guys mistake them for "end game" when in reality, they firmly are not.)

So, I thought I might put out a quick guide with some easy things to do to improve your role, whatever it might be, and understand some basic misconceptions you might not even realize you had!

I'll start with DPS since they often seem the most lost in PUGs.


Ok, yes, your MAIN role is to do damage. Pretty self explanitory. But here's a few things that a lot of DPS are getting wrong:

1) It is not the healers job to keep you alive. It is your job to keep yourself alive. It is the healers job to buff you, debuff the enemies, and provide supplementary healing that helps keep you alive in combination with your self heals, use of the right mouse button to block, and not standing in the no-no circles on the ground for prolonged periods of time.

2) Go to settings —> gameplay —> custom colors —> enemy colors and change that shit to hot pink. Then right below it, take the "brightness" setting and crank that badboy all the way up. Congratulations! you can now see negative ground effects very easily, and stop standing in them because those are the afore mentioned no-no circles!

3) …and this one will be tricky to master coupled with 2), but you gotta try. You should NOT be spread out all over or running around like a maniac in most fights. Healing in this game falls largely into two categories. The first is ground AOE healing. If the healer cannot get all 3 players in their ground AOEs, you're gonna have a bad time. If you move out of the ground AOEs, you're gonna have a bad time. The second type of healing is frontal directional. If you are standing outside of the healers line of sight, you're gonna have a bad time.

So, if you stand still and together, you get both ground AOES AND also frontal healing! If you are standing off in neverland and the other dps is standing in a different time zone, usually only the tank is getting the healing/buffs and you're going to do less damage AND die.

Also, your healer is hopefully wearing olorimes and trying to aim that shit at you. If you aren't standing near your buddy, the healer needs to pick one or the other to get the olo. With that said, if you see the golden olo circle on the ground and you're not in it, RUN OVER TO IT! IT IS A FREAKING HUGE DPS BUFF!

4) If you're on PC, download the addon "codes combat alerts." Install it. You're welcome.

5) If you're on PC, download the addon "Combat metrics" and install it. Your goal is to be doing about 40-45% of the group damage in 4 mans, and about 12% of the group damage in 12 man content. Your single target should probably be at least 20k dps to be doing vet dungeons, and your aoe dps will vary wildly based on the fight.

6) Damage in this game is done with a "rotation," and there's a global cooldown on abilities of 1 second. The ultimate goal is to weave 1 light attack in-between every ability. However, more is not always better! Honestly, going slower and getting 1 light attack between every ability, and having both abilities and light attacks successfully firing will be WAY more dps than spamming buttons. In fact, on most mag dps, simply hitting ele wall, necrotic orbs, and then spamming force pulse until you need to reapply those 2 dots will be enough of a dps rotation to get you through most vet 4 mans until you can get a better rotation going.

7) The best monster set for mag dps is Iceheart until you get pretty good. Yes, Zaan is good ST on some fights. Yes, Grothdar is probably the best all-around monster set this patch, and certainly for trash. Domihause is also good. Grundwulf is great if you're having sustain issues. 2 different sets offering crit as their 1 piece bonus is also good. But if you're bad and want to get better, iceheart is your friend. It gives a damage shield AND does aoe dps. It's a no-brainer. I still wear it in raids sometimes if I'm questioning the group I'm with or if I've been drinking and need some training wheels.


Yes, your primary role is to get aggro and take a beating. But there's a lot more to tanking. I often hear new players say they don't want to tank because "tanking is boring." It IS boring… if you're a bad tank. Being good at tanking in this game is probably the hardest thing to master, and finding good tanks is extremely rare. So anyhow, here's some quick advice.

1) Aside from taking damage, your most important role is positioning all the mobs and making the fights go cleaner/faster. There is no AOE taunt in this game, so you need to learn how to run through big packs and then pull them around a corner outside of the enemy LOS. This will allow things to clump up. Also, a good strat is to find natural bottlenecks like a doorway and park yourself just on the other side. If the DPS are running ahead of you, call them out in chat and explain why you need to go first. Although, sometimes they're going ahead because you're standing around doing nothing. Don't do that. Keep shit moving. You control the flow, and most people want that flow to be quick so they can go on with their day.

2) Most "meta" builds (I hate the word meta in this game. There's like, 30 viable builds for each class if not more) seem to want to put the tank in alkosh. That's all well and good when you get better (so long as you're getting synergies from the healer/dps, otherwise its worthless) but honestly, when you're new, going selfish is better. Keep yourself alive and learn to group mobs first. Once you're good at that, start wearing gear that buffs the rest of the group at your own personal risk, because you're good now and they need help.


3) If you're on PC, download an addon called untaunted. Install it. You're welcome.

4) Put at least something on your bar that does dps. Really, other than taunt, a morph of pierce, and a rooting/snaring ability of some kind, most every ability for tanks is a flex spot, and in 4 mans, you're gonna wanna do some dps with most groups. Unless you happen to have 2 top tier dps players (at which point you want to buff/boost them as much as possible), you're gonna wanna contribute some dps to the group. Nothing is worse than queueing as tank, and getting 2 dps that put out a combined 10k damage.

5) Every tank should have warhorn as one of their ultimates, and be using it during boss fights or very hard add pulls. If you need to run a selfish ult when you're learning, that's fine. But once you have even moderate skill, warhorn is possibly your most important contribution to the group outside of stacking the mobs and taking the big hits.

6) Have a self heal. A tank should be able to survive any content without a healer, while doing some damage, and also taking lots of damage. It's a much more involved role than tanking in other MMOs.

7) In 12 man content, you can over taunt mobs and they become "over taunted" and stop responding to taunt, so the two tanks need to coordinate and the untaunted addon helps with this. In 4 man content, you need to focus on the hardest hitting mobs and use roots/aoes/LOS pulling to take care of the rest so you don't bleed yourself of resources. I edited this because I was actually mistaken about part of it and /u/maelious shared this video on taunting to clarify my mistake.


Contrary to the title (and ZOS's best efforts to pretend otherwise), your primary role is not healing. Your primary role is buffing/debuffing, and your secondary role is healing.

1) Pretty much the only two healing abilities you need are illustrious healing and combat prayer for most content. Put your aoe heal down where the dps should be standing, and then spam them with combat prayer. This ability not only heals everyone in front of you, but also boosts the dps AND it makes all 4 group members a bit tankier. It's a real winner!

2) Healing orbs from the undaunted line are a must and should be thrown out every few seconds. Its extra healing AND lets people with sets requiring synergy procs activate them AND it restores resources AND it looks cool when they're floating around.

3) As soon as you can get yourself into a normal cloudrest trial to get olorimes, do it. It's going to be the best all-rounder set for healers until you get into some very advanced content. Honestly as soon as you're cp160 this should be a priority. Before you're cp160 it won't matter as much because you really shouldn't be doing vet content before then and normal content is very doable in other sets. Going back to olorimes, ideally you want 3 pieces of it on either body or jewelry or both, and then an olo lightning staff on your back bar (but not front bar). Why do you only want it on one bar? Because you want to be able to control where you put it down. Don't let it proc on your front bar on accident, have a ground AOE ability on back bar that has a target and then aim that shit on the DPS (which is yet another reason the dps should not be standing apart).

3b) Your front bar should usually be the masters resto staff from vDSA. If you can't complete vet DSA yet, the asylum staff from nAS+0 is a good substitute. If you can't complete nAS+0 yet, you're not advanced enough to be doing vet 4 man dungeons anyhow. Next patch the masters staff will drop from normal version of DSA though, so don't fret if you can't do vet. Soon you won't need to!

4) Your front bar should be a resto staff, but your back bar should be a lightning staff. Why? Because two of your most important non-healing abilities are lightning wall, and elemental drain. Ele drain gives magicka steal to mobs, not only making your sustain better, but also the mag dps and tank sustain better. Lightning wall sets enemies off balance, and its good to have the healer use it since mag dps will be using flame staffs, and stam dps won't be using staffs at all.

5) While you are learning, your most important monster set is bogdan from Elden Hollow 2. Its like having a second healer in the group, especially if the DPS aren't standing miles apart which I've already scolded them for for above.

Once you are more comfortable or when you have a better group though, the best monster set for all-purpose healing is Symphony of Blades from Depths of Malatar. It gives great resource restore to the tanks and dps. There's also about 10 other monster sets/gear sets healers in endgame rotate through, but if you have olorimes and either bogdan or symphony on, you're already doing most of your job gear wise. Personally I wear olo/hollowfang/symphony in most pug dungeons because that gives good sustain to the tanks, myself, and mag dps, and the stam dps should be fine with orbs. If I happen to have 2 stam dps, I might throw them a bone and wear olo/hircines/symphony, but that's a bit more advanced so don't worry about that. If you can't complete moongrave fane yet, replace hollowfang with worm cult. The olo/hollow/symphony build frees up a lot of my bar spots to do more buffs, more debuffs, and throw on some dps abilities since my gear is doing a lot of the work for me.

6) At least one of your ultimate spots should be warhorn. This is the most important support skill for tanks/healers to be using. Each boss fight should have both the healer and tank using warhorn (not at the same time!!!) staggered out to boost dps. There's pretty much never a reasons for a tank or a healer to take warhorn off their ult slot. As for your second ult, you have two options; reviving barrier, or a dps ult. Personally, I run pugs with warhorn and destro ult. I do the destro ult if the group dps is so bad that warhorn won't boost dps more than my own destro ult will. If the group dps is ok, I run warhorn and reviving barrier. Warhorn is the primary ult used most fights, and barrier is for those "oh shit" moments when someone does something stupid and is about to throw a run. Not only is it a massive damage shield for everyone in range, but it also does massive healing. It's almost like having cheat codes!

Well, there you have it. I'm sure most people won't be reading through a lot of that, but I hope at least one person does and learns at least one thing. It'd be worth it for me if that's the case. It's always nice having newer/weaker players learn and get better. Hope at least something here was helpful to someone!


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