The Elder Scrolls Online

Ask Us Anything: Gathering and Exploration


Last week, we released a new video that gave you a first look at some of the gathering, exploration, and crafting systems in The Elder Scrolls Online. In the latest Ask Us Anything, we tackle some of your questions about these systems. Read on to learn more about skyshards, fishing, lockpicking and a whole lot more.

Do you have a question you’d like us to answer in a future Ask Us Anything? We’re always on the lookout for great ones to include in this bi-weekly feature. Send your questions to us at community@elderscrollsonline.com or post them on the ESO Reddit, and we’ll consider them for an upcoming Ask Us Anything. Enjoy this week’s selections, and don’t forget to check back with us in two weeks for the next installment!


In the new video, you mentioned that different baits will let you catch different fishes. Can you elaborate? – By Tom Jennings

There’s a strategy to fishing in The Elder Scrolls Online. In simple terms, different types of bait attract different types of fish. If you can figure out what type of bait the fish like in a fishing hole you’ve found, you improve your chances of landing the big one!


Which crafting professions will be in ESO and what do they allow me to create? – By Jara Schlemm

In The Elder Scrolls Online, you can choose from five crafting professions which allow you to make a variety of useful items, enhancements, and equipment. Each of the crafting professions are reminiscent of ones you’ve seen in previous Elder Scrolls games. They are:

  • Weaponsmith – Weapons of all types
  • Armorsmith – Armors of all types
  • Enchantments – Staffs, Jewelry and Glyphs (enchantments)
  • Alchemist – Potions
  • Provisioner – Food and Drink


Could you shed some light on the crafting and collecting systems for ESO? Will you need to go to a trainer to pick up new schematics/crafting plans? – By Conrad Furey

Much like in previous Elder Scrolls games, there are no recipes or schematics you must collect or learn from trainers in ESO; there are multiple ways to create every craftable item in the game.  Discovering the optimal mix of ingredients and additives to make that perfect item is all part of the challenge of being a crafter.


Are you going to stay with the old system of making your own gear or only allow one crafting skill so everyone becomes an expert in 1 or 2 fields eg. tailor/sword smith/weapon smith/alchemist/rune crafting ect. – By Marc Neveling

You can master up to two crafting fields. Our intention is for the specialists to trade with one another (I make you a sword, and you make me a breastplate).  That makes for a healthy economy, and gives every crafter the opportunity to find their specialized niche within the market.


I crafted a lot in previous Elder Scrolls games and have acquired a good knowledge of plants and their effects. Will I be able to build on this knowledge in ESO? Will I find familiar plants and items, like the Nirnroot, and will they have similar effects? – By Mara Lomber

Yes, many of the plants and crafting ingredients that you’ll be able to find in The Elder Scrolls Online will be very familiar if you’ve played other Elder Scrolls games. Nirnroot, Mountain Flowers, and Vampire Dust are just a few of the familiar items you’ll find, and we aim to give them similar alchemic properties as the ones they have in previous Elder Scrolls games. However, ESO’s crafting system is expansive by nature and has required us to make a few changes. There won’t be a perfect one-to-one match with item properties between past games and The Elder Scrolls Online, but discovering what something does 1,000 years before the return of the Dragon King is half the fun of crafting.  


If I find books in ESO, can I keep them and read them anytime I like? – By Jane Gilles

We have approximately 300 collectable books that you can discover in The Elder Scrolls Online. Once you find these collectable books, you can read them anytime you like. In addition, we have over 700 secondary tomes that you can find by investigating notes, journals and bookshelves throughout the world. And the best part? None of them take up your valuable inventory slots.


Can anyone collect a skyshard, get powers from a Mundus Stone or even gather a resource in the wilderness? Or do they get depleted and have to recharge after use? – By Bernd Hagen

Mundus Stones are available to every player. Anyone may interact with a Mundus Stone at any time, but you can only have one Mundus effect active at a time. When you interact with a new Mundus Stone, any previous Mundus effects are automatically removed.

Unlike Mundus Stones, each Skyshard may be consumed a single time for each player, but they do not despawn for other players when you do this. Collecting three Skyshards grants you a new skill point, which you can spend on new abilities in any skill path (class, weapon, armor, etc.).

Resources such as ore and plants will repopulate over time, but they are not guaranteed to re-appear in the exact same location where they were before.


How difficult will skyshards and chest be to find? Do I have to climb every hill or fight dangerous guardians to get there? – By Brandon Stull

Some will be easier than others, but in order to discover all of them, you’ll have to keep your eyes and ears open. Some are guarded, some are simply tucked away, and some are out in the open. Those who are willing to explore will be rewarded for their efforts!


To open a chest will I need lockpicks and do they still break (a lot)? How can I become better in lockpicking? – By James Lannger

Some chests do not require lockpicks, but most will; the difficultly of the locks will vary, depending on the quality of the lock itself. Lockpicks have a small chance to break each time you fail to put a pin in place, and this chance increases when you attempt to pick higher quality locks. Your lockpicking will automatically improve as you level, gradually making chests that were once very difficult to open a much easier prospect. Though your lockpicking skill will increase as you level, the chests you encounter in higher level areas will also be more difficult.


Discuss this on the official ESO Facebook page.