With the inevitable release and all the bad press regarding ESO’s starting experience, I decided to grab a few screenshots of the first few zones for every faction to give you a visual sample of how these locations look. First impressions are very important, and many players agree that simply starting in a different zone can really make an impact on your first few hours of the game.
With such emphasis on the starting experience, it’s time we take a visual look into the zones and areas of each faction. You’ll find dozens of screenshots below, hopefully making your starting experiences more enjoyable.
All players first start in a tutorial area Coldharbour, an Oblivion plane of Molag’Bal. Without going into lore or spoiling things for you, let’s just say you’ll be out of this area in far less than an hour, while experienced players can blast through it in 15 minutes. After Coldharbour you’ll be moving on to a starting area depending on your faction choice.
- Daggerfall Covenant: Stros M’kai, Betnikh, Glenumbra
- Aldmeri Dominion: Khenarthi’s Roost, Auridon
- Ebonheart Pact: Bleakrock Isle, Bal Foyen, Stonefalls
Daggerfall Covenant players start on a pirate island Stros M’Kai.
After your heist in Stros M’Kai is done, you’ll move on to Betnikh:
And lastly, after Betnikh your next destination will be Glenumbra:
Aldmeri Dominion players begin their adventure on Khenarthi’s Roost:
When you’ve had your fill of tropical islands you’ll move on to Auridon:
Ebonheart Pact characters crash land on snow-covered Bleakrock Isle:
After a couple of hours on Bleakrock you’ll move on to greener pastures of Bal’Foyen:
And lastly Stonefalls will keep Pact players busy for awhile:
The first zones are typically for players level 2-5 and you’ll complete them in just a couple of hours. After completing all the quests in all of these zones you should be level 14-15. If not then head into the wild and find whatever quests you skipped: in TESO you don’t want to be overly under-leveled.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, starting zones can have a large impact on your first impressions of the game so if faction choice is not important to you, simply pick the one with the most appealing zones for you. On my first playthrough of Bleakrock Isle I absolutely hated it since I’ve had my fill of Draugr and barrows from Skyrim: if nostalgic you might have the exact opposite experience. This article also doesn’t mention any background stories in quests, but overall I found the story of Khenarthi’s Roost very underwhelming compared to Stros M’Kai and even Bleakrock Isle.
As part of ESO’s endgame content you will go through more difficult versions of other faction’s zones so either way you will get to see all of them. For first time players I’d recommend choosing the faction and starting area you’re most comfortable in, but nevertheless I hope these few screenshots have helped you visually determine where you belong!
You’re welcome to contact me if you want some of your own screenshots included in the galleries! And if you have your own thoughts about each of these zones be sure to let everyone know in the comments below. Which zone is your favorite?
I classed as a Breton, but I started in Ebonheart/Davon’s Watch zone. Any ideas as to why? I am not complaining. DW is a great place with a good grouping of vendors and stations. But don’t know why I started there.
Your ESO sight is THEE best I’ve seen, and I have seen a lot…
Many questions… So many questions…
If you preordered the game or later purchased the Imperial edition, you can play any race in any alliance.
Just before the game was released, all characters start in the first major city and skip starter islands completely. You can talk to an NPC in Davon’s Watch to take a boat back to Bleakrock Isle and Bal Foyen. I recommend doing it as you get 3 skyshards in each area, so you’ll have some extra skill points to play around with. Additionally, you’ll get to about level 5-6 which will make early questing in Stonefalls much easier.