The Elder Scrolls Online Alliances Guide

Much like Skyrim and Oblivion before it, ESO begins with a very detailed character creation process. You won't find yourself tweaking forehead depth and nose bridge sliders with quite the same fetishistic attention to detail, but there's still vast potential for customization that should allow you to create just about any character you can dream up - within the confine's of the game's gender and races systems. 

There are ten races in ESO, split amongst three factions (or Alliances, as the game calls them).

The first faction is the Aldmeri Dominion, the youngest of all the Alliances. The Aldmeri are headstrong, which likely comes with their youth, and brazen in their goal to restore the Imperial City of Elven rule and cast down the villain Molag Bal. The Altmer, a race of dignified High Elves, are the leading race of the Aldmeri Dominion, but they are joined by other non-humans including the lithe Khajit and the diminutive but powerful Wood Elves of the Bosmer. Although the followers of the Aldmeri Dominion are passionate in their desire to overthrow Molag Bal and take back the Imperial City, they are not immune to their own vices of infighting and intrigue. Their youth and inexperience may yet prove to be their undoing.

As a side note, the Aldmeri are the only Alliance without a stock human race, making them extra fun for those of us more into the role-playing side of these games.

The Ebonheart Pact is the next Alliance. This group consists of the Nords, who lead the Pact from their northern perch in Skyrim, and their Dark Elf and Argonian allies. Theirs is an allianced forged of necessity. The three races of the Ebonheart Pact have been forced to cast aside the animosity that has characterized their interactions over the last few Elder Scrolls titles and make peace with long-standing enemies in the face of a new threat - Molag Bal. Bal is the second threat that the Ebonheart Pact has faced together, with the first being the Second Akiviri Invasion. As such, the three races of the Pact are accustomed to fighting alongside one another... even if they don't like it. Inreactions with other races as a member of the Pact are often tense, as a long history of violence exists between the Argonians, Dark Elves, and the Nords, but each faction has enough territory in the massive, barren North, and there is relatively little infighting.

The third and final faction is the Daggerfall Covenant, a long-standing Alliance formed by the charismatic Bretons, the powerful Orcs, and the steadfast Redguard. This is a very power-focused Alliance, as the Orcs and Redguards are two of the most suitable melee classes in the game, and the Bretons use both buffing and elemental magic to provide support. With such a focus on synergy in battle, it's no wonder that the Daggerfall Covenant has managed to thrive since 2E 567. High King Emeric of the Bretons leads this Alliance, with the main goal of restoring the Second Empire to Tamriel and spreading prosperity through the land - something that can't be accomplished with Molag Bal on the loose.

This is but a snippet of our full ESO coverage. For the big picture, see our First 20 Levels of The Elder Scrolls Online preview, and stay tuned for PvP coverage one week from now.

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