ESO by the Numbers II – Alliance Breakdowns

We pit the alliances against each other in this installment of By The Numbers

We pit the alliances against each other in this installment of BTN

Welcome, friends, to part three of the article series breaking down the results of the community survey that we conducted last month.  In this edition, I’ve analyzed the key questions from the survey in a fashion that puts each faction side-by-side so you can see direct comparisons between each alliance for each question asked. 

Once again, I feel that it is important to note that that the survey had 1,298 responses, and each faction had a large chunk of these responses, providing a great sample size to be analyzed. Aldmeri Dominion had 344 respondents, Daggerfall Covenant featured 377, and the Ebonheart Pact lead the way with 414 responses.

Question 2 – How old are you?

Aldmeri Dominion Daggerfall Covenant Ebonheart Pact
Age Responses Percentage Responses Percentage Responses Percentage
<18 85 25% 56 15% 76 18%
19-24 130 38% 142 38% 151 36%
25-29 54 16% 83 22% 88 21%
30-34 27 8% 49 13% 41 10%
35-39 21 6% 24 6% 25 6%
40-44 10 3% 15 4% 19 5%
45-49 5 1% 1 0% 5 1%
50+ 12 3% 7 2% 9 2%

Curiously enough, the Aldmeri Dominion has the unique distinction of having both the most total respondents who are 18 and under, and who are 50 and older.  All three factions have the majority of their players coming in between the ages of 19 to 24, with 25 to 29 also seeing strong representation (especially in Daggerfall and Ebonheart).  I personally believe some of these numbers are skewed due to the survey being so early, and being predominantly held on fansites and Reddit, which tend to skew towards lower age-groups, so I would expect to see the age brackets from 30-34 (my own) and higher to start seeing more representation once the game launches.

Question 3 – What is your gender?

Aldmeri Dominion Daggerfall Covenant Ebonheart Pact
Gender Responses Percentage Responses Percentage Responses Percentage
Male 309 90% 352 93% 390 94%
Female 35 10% 25 7% 24 6%

The Aldmeri Dominion seems to be the favored destination for female respondents, though all three factions seem to be nothing but one giant sausage fest right now.  I am rather surprised that there aren’t more female responses, because TES as a series does seem to have a rather substantial number of female gamers in its fanbase.  This could be yet another case of the current community skewing heavily in one direction and then as things near launch seeing a rather substantial shift back in the other direction.

Question 5 – Which class are you most likely to choose for your main character?

Aldmeri Dominion Daggerfall Covenant Ebonheart Pact
Class Responses Percentage Responses Percentage Responses Percentage
Dragonknight 44 13% 87 23% 112 27%
Nightblade 107 31% 75 20% 110 27%
Sorcerer 85 25% 83 22% 72 17%
Templar 72 21% 94 25% 73 18%
Undecided 36 10% 38 10% 47 11%

The first thing we can take away from the table above is that the Dragonknight doesn’t appear to be very popular among AD players.  I’m curious as to why that is, maybe people see it as ‘too tanky’ and the AD races as not being ‘tanky enough’ (which are preposterous notions given that this game is clearly designed to allow people to pick and choose their style of play no matter their race/class combination)?  Follow up this lack of Dragonknights with an overwhelming number of Nightblades in the faction and one wants to assume that many of these Nightblades plan on being a Khajiit or a Bosmer.  The other two classes do seem to be relatively balanced though.

Moving into the Daggerfall Covenant, we see that the DC has managed to achieve a rather impressive balance among all four classes, with the Templar taking the top spot and Nightblade coming in last place.  A rather intriguing dichotomy between the DC numbers and AD numbers, which leaves us with the Ebonheart Pact.  The EP has this unique thing going on where the Dragonknight and Nightblade are virtually tied along with the Sorcerer and Templar.  There is this odd and wonderful ‘balance’ where the difference between the first and second choice are two responses, and the difference between the third and fourth choice is a single response.

Question 6 – What is your preferred role?

Aldmeri Dominion Daggerfall Covenant Ebonheart Pact
Role Responses Percentage Responses Percentage Responses Percentage
Tank 51 15% 99 26% 91 22%
Healer 48 14% 44 12% 43 10%
DPS 174 51% 157 42% 216 52%
Control/Support 71 21% 77 20% 64 15%

I’m not sure who could have guessed that DPS would be the leading choice in all three factions, or even that healing would be so universally low in all three factions (although the AD can proclaim victory in having the highest number of healers).  The real shock with these numbers come in how popular the Control/Support role seems to be among the three factions, and just how unpopular tanking seems to be in the Aldmeri Dominion.

Question 7 – Which weapon type are you most interested in using?

Aldmeri Dominion Daggerfall Covenant Ebonheart Pact
Weapon Responses Percentage Responses Percentage Responses Percentage
Bows 91 26% 43 11% 72 17%
Destruction Staff 65 19% 50 13% 42 10%
Dual-Wielding 71 21% 76 20% 103 25%
Restoration Staff 31 9% 27 7% 22 5%
One-hand & Shield 49 14% 111 29% 91 22%
Two-Handed 37 11% 70 19% 84 20%
Knights of the Nine Concept

Good guy Daggerfall, protects the innocent

Is anyone surprised that the faction with Bosmer also see such a large number of players wanting to use Bows?  The AD also enjoys being first among the three factions in terms of players who want to use a Destruction Staff or a Restoration Staff (I hear Altmer have a reputation in TES games for being good with magicka, after all).  The Ebonheart Pact seems to be embracing a reputation of ME NORD, ME SMASH by having all of the physical weapons be far more popular than the more magical weapons.

As for the Daggerfall Covenant?  The fact that nearly a third of all respondents want to utilize a One-hand & Shield makes me wonder if a number of people want to recreate a Breton knight (High Rock does have quite a number of knightly orders).

Question 8 – Which weapon type are you least interested in using?

Aldmeri Dominion Daggerfall Covenant Ebonheart Pact
Weapon Responses Percentage Responses Percentage Responses Percentage
Bows 31 9% 61 16% 49 12%
Destruction Staff 49 14% 70 19% 70 17%
Dual-Wielding 42 12% 49 13% 39 9%
Restoration Staff 66 19% 85 23% 125 30%
One-hand & Shield 59 17% 38 10% 46 11%
Two-Handed 97 28% 74 20% 85 21%

Given the numbers on the previous table, this table doesn’t really have anything that stands out too much, though it is curious to see that the AD seems to be radically opposed to using Two-Handed weapons while the Ebonheart Pact feels the same way about the Restoration Staff.  Apart from these two really glaring numbers, most of the numbers do seem to be rather balanced with a few other categories that are of some interest (bows being so low for AD, Two-Handed also not being all that popular with DC and EP just being two examples).

Question 9 – What armor type are you most likely to use?

Aldmeri Dominion Daggerfall Covenant Ebonheart Pact
Armor Type Responses Percentage Responses Percentage Responses Percentage
Heavy 38 11% 90 24% 101 24%
Heavy/Medium 24 7% 42 11% 58 14%
Heavy/Light 28 8% 30 8% 25 6%
Medium 66 19% 49 13% 56 14%
Medium/Heavy 19 6% 29 8% 29 7%
Medium/Light 45 13% 36 10% 63 15%
Light 59 17% 44 12% 31 7%
Light/Heavy 16 5% 16 4% 15 4%
Light/Medium 31 9% 26 7% 25 6%
Undecided 18 5% 15 4% 11 3%

Given the results of the class/role questions, I guess that seeing Heavy Armor be so popular amongst the Daggerfall Covenant and Ebonheart Pact when compared to the Aldmeri Dominion is no big shock.  Frankly, the overall breakdowns don’t surprise me much at all.  With so many Nightblades, seeing such numbers leaning towards Medium Armor and the various stealth benefits it provides seems somewhat logical.  Something that does stand out to me is how the numbers of people wearing Heavy Armor seem to double the numbers of people who plan on playing as tanks in the DC and EP.  Medium Armor appears to enjoy relatively equal popularity among all three factions, while the respondents who align with the AD and DC find Light Armor to be more in-line with their style of gaming than EP players.

Question 10 – Which elements of ESO gameplay are you interested in?

Aldmeri Dominion Daggerfall Covenant Ebonheart Pact
Element Responses Percentage Responses Percentage Responses Percentage
Solo PvE 268 78% 285 76% 307 74%
Small Group PvE 297 86% 299 79% 334 81%
Large Group PvE 204 59% 219 58% 234 57%
Solo PvP 161 47% 166 44% 178 43%
Small Group PvP 240 70% 255 68% 259 63%
Large Group PvP 213 62% 252 67% 253 61%
Crafting 241 70% 235 62% 277 67%
Exploration 306 89% 298 79% 342 83%
Role-Playing 178 52% 153 41% 184 44%
Achievements 146 42% 135 36% 163 39%
Aldmeri Dominion,  for people who like to... do stuff.

Aldmeri Dominion, for people who like to… do stuff.

When it comes to both the various PvE and PvP activities go, all three factions are quite balanced, though the AD does seem to have an advantage in Small Group PvE and Small Group PvP.    Actually, when you go up and down the table one thing stands out rather clearly:  The Aldmeri Dominion leads in every category save one, Large Group PvP.  Crafters and Explorers seem to be more attracted to the AD (Explorers in a rather large way), as do those who love to role-play and who enjoy a more completionist style of play.   I suppose this is just one more thing reinforcing how happy I am that I plan to join the Aldmeri Dominion.

Question 11 – Are you a member of a guild?

Aldmeri Dominion Daggerfall Covenant Ebonheart Pact
Guild Status Responses Percentage Responses Percentage Responses Percentage
Yes 138 40% 138 37% 180 43%
No 206 60% 239 63% 234 57%

All three factions have a majority of respondents currently without a guild (cue incoming Guild Recruitment rush in 3… 2… 1…), which should not come as a surprise to anyone really.  It is still months away from the launch of ESO, and people want to know more about the game.  I expect a majority of the community to remain without a guild until launch and people start to play the game and see what sort of play style may be more for them (and to see which guilds actually make it to the launch of the game).

Question 13 – Which platform will you be playing ESO on?

Aldmeri Dominion Daggerfall Covenant Ebonheart Pact
Platform Responses Percentage Responses Percentage Responses Percentage
PC 290 84% 315 84% 348 84%
Mac 16 5% 15 4% 7 2%
PS4 21 6% 28 7% 30 7%
Xbox One 17 5% 19 5% 29 7%

Unsurprisingly, the PC is the platform of choice for most respondents.  The announcement regarding console versions may have broadened the overall ESO community, but I’m not sure how that has translated to seeing more people participating on sites such as Tamriel Foundry.  It should be noted that based on the current data, it would indicate that console players are following their PC counterparts in choosing the Ebonheart Pact as their faction of choice.

I hope these side-by-side comparisons of the three factions has been interesting, but I still have one more article in this little series cooking up for the somewhat near future.  In this fourth (and final) article, I plan on looking at different data-points and presenting them to the Tamriel Foundry community in the hope that many of you will find it as interesting as I do.  As something of a sneak-peek, I will state here that two pools of data that you may find interesting are “what is the most favored and least favored weapon of each role” and “what is the most favored and least favored weapon of each class”.  Stay tuned!

179 responses to “ESO by the Numbers II – Alliance Breakdowns”

  1. Profile Photo


    Total Posts: 2948

    Ebonheart Templar

    Tamriel Foundry Community

    Looks like as an EP healer, I’m going to be in demand a lot. I should make plans to profit from that.

    Relax, I’m only being serious.

  2. Profile Photo


    Total Posts: 510

    Argonian Nightblade

    The Outriders

    When I read “NORD, ME SMASH” I burst out laughing. In class. During a test. That I should’ve been taking.

    I hate you but love you @Nybling

    Good article.

  3. Profile Photo


    Total Posts: 1262

    Altmer Sorcerer

    I’m still kind of surprised that TH and SnB are unpopular with Aldmeri Dominion.  Maybe players who use the “untraditional” weapons will be somewhat in demand?  Since we can over time learn all weapon lines I will be sure to master Bow, TH, SnB and DW.

    Death is a guarantee;  Life is not.

  4. Profile Photo


    Total Posts: 71

    @Rial , yea same

  5. Member Avatar
    Temijin DeathStalker


    Total Posts: 141

    Altmer Sorcerer

    As a AD Templar, I plan to play multiple roles…tank, healer, DPS.  The role I focus on initially will be the role my guild needs.  Given the tendencies of AD, most likely tank. The beauty of ESO and the Templar  is I can change the role as the needs of the guild change. With 50, 50+, and 50++ there is plenty of opportunity to evolve my character.



  6. Profile Photo


    Total Posts: 622

    Nord Dragonknight

    Blood Of The North

    IceFireWarden said on November 6, 2013 :

    When I read “NORD, ME SMASH” I burst out laughing. In class. During a test. That I should’ve been taking.

    I hate you but love you @Nybling

    Good article.

    Lol, very nicely done.

  7. Profile Photo


    Total Posts: 268

    Nord Dragonknight

    The Black Fist

    Yay, more numbers!! Why the hate on two handed I wonder..

  8. Member Avatar


    Total Posts: 31

    Bosmer Sorcerer

    Yeah, I am surprised with the two handed hate..I myself plan on using two handed, to try something different than what I usually do :)

    Anyways, this was very interesting information to read, thanks for posting ^_^

  9. Member Avatar


    Total Posts: 79

    Numbers really shocked me tbh

  10. Profile Photo


    Total Posts: 24

    Nord Templar

    As I Nord, I proudly embrace ME NORD, ME SMASH mentalities. I will personally be on the front line whenever and wherever someone needs a skull cracked!

     But the will of a templar is stronger!

  11. Profile Photo


    Total Posts: 282

    Breton Nightblade

    Knights of the Alessian Order

    I like it, smallest number of underage players, no bitchin around

    Unfortunately not much female gamers so far, but just as @Nybling, I also hope they will finally come out.

    Daggerfell seems rather balanced in classes, good and furthermore only 1 out of 5 wants to be nightblade, which means more fun for me.

    Dominion looks like lacking tough guys to tank, but they seems to put numbers in damage, it worries me as we seem to be low on healers, not so bad as ebonhart but still.

    Nice to see so many DC to use shield, it may be our edge on battlefield with redguard one armed skill or orc rage and bretons bretoning. Especially if you remember about small numbers of healers.

    One more interesting fact was weapon use, this compared with armor chart shows that
    AD – wants to deal damage but has no tanks
    DC – uses balanced armors and shields
    EP – damage and armor but also lacks healers

    About groups i’m quite happy, first of all i’m going to be explorer who will join small groups for quests so it will mean i should not have a problem to find companions if they will be needed,

    Second of all crafting seems to be least important so bigger profit for me.





  12. Profile Photo


    Total Posts: 169

    Breton Templar

    The thing I like most about these surveys is not what people are using, but how people willingly accept their roles in each Alliance, rather than doing anything they want. 2/3 of the Aldmeri are known as stealthy races, so people gravitate towards that. Same with Nords as warriors, etc. ZOS has given us the freedom to play any class we want with any character we want, but we still fit ourselves into the roles. This isn’t a bad thing, it just shows the power the Elder Scrolls series has. Even if some aren’t into Role-playing, they likely are by fitting themselves into the typical layouts. That’s not to say there isn’t any oddities, I’ve seen a few orc sorcerers around the forums! Very interesting to look at

  13. Profile Photo


    Total Posts: 35

    Nord Nightblade

    Blood Of The North

    throw me on some med armor and a bow and im good + arrows.






    ”let the eye see not what the hand does” – Shakespeare                                                _GAMERs_UNITED



  14. Profile Photo
    Master of Fate


    Total Posts: 1249

    Dunmer Sorcerer

    Iron Fist Trade Complex

    The thing is, certain races will encourage certain weapons. Like in EP, Argonians get increased exp for restoration staff skills. Or a Dunmer’s fire bonus might spawn destruction staffs.


  15. Profile Photo


    Total Posts: 527

    Bosmer Templar

    Interesting as always. @Nybling do you plan to break things down by race so we can see how many Ebonheart dragonknights are nords and how many Aldmeri Dominion bow wielders are bosmer etc.?

  16. Member Avatar


    Total Posts: 15


    Micanis said on November 6, 2013 :

    Interesting as always. @Nybling do you plan to break things down by race so we can see how many Ebonheart dragonknights are nords and how many Aldmeri Dominion bow wielders are bosmer etc.?

    I concur. Class-by-race was a very interesting breakdown to examine last time, and I too would be interested to see how that stands at the moment. Hoping that will be one of the data-points investigated in Part 4.

    Thanks for another interesting read, @Nybling!

  17. Profile Photo


    Total Posts: 51

    Nord Dragonknight

    Discover Eventide

    Nord Dragonknight all the way!!!!

  18. Member Avatar


    Total Posts: 1

    Bosmer Nightblade

    so.. i’ve chosen to be playing AD as a bosmer nightblade, how much of a qliche am i…

  19. Profile Photo


    Total Posts: 1788

    Altmer Templar

    Entropy Rising

    I knew it, you guys kept telling me that all the kids would be on EP and look! LOOK AT IT! All the kids and old people are with AD!!


    What have I gotten myself into…

  20. Profile Photo


    Total Posts: 1813

    Altmer Sorcerer

    AD has the most women. We win automatically.

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