Last year, a new Mythic item was added to the Elder Scrolls Online as part of the High Isle chapter. This mythic item would quickly become simultaneously famous and infamous - loved and hated all at the same time by different players.
We are of course talking about the Oakensoul Ring, a ring that was added to ESO by Zenimax in a somewhat overcooked attempt to make less action-intensive playstyles more competitive by giving a selection of buffs to the wearer, at the cost of being unable to switch to a second action bar. This effectively halves the number of skills that the player can equip.
The Oakensoul Ring started out being very strong indeed on the PTS, but it was subsequently nerfed a couple of times when it became clear that it far exceeded its purpose of helping out players with lower action rates, and actually gave rise to very overpowered builds in both PvE and PvP once it fell into the hands of skilled endgame players.
Now that the dust has been settled for a while, its high time to look back at the Oakensoul Ring and see where it fits into the Elder Scrolls Online in 2023 - is the item still any good, and are players still using it?
Are players still using the Oakensoul Ring in ESO?
It would certainly seem so. I quite often see players in various groups of which I am a member, and of course in-game, talking about the Oakensoul Ring and the situations that they like to use it in.
I would say that it's definitely not as widely used as it used to be, and it's no longer equipped in trial groups as an "easy mode" for example. This was certainly the case to some extent when the Oakensoul Ring was first added to ESO - from my own testing I was able to very easily parse in excess of 100K DPS using this mythic item, rotating only three skills on a Sorcerer with two pets zapping away, and there are most definitely considerably more skilled DPS players out there than I.
It really did feel back then that if you wanted to dish out high damage without putting in the effort of managing your buffs and rotation, you could simply equip Oakensoul for a relaxing raid.
This is no longer the case, but since quite a lot of players are still using the item, what makes it appealing in spite of the nerfs that it got?
Is the Oakensoul Ring still a powerful mythic item?
The answer to this question would be "it depends". Is it worth using the Oakensoul Ring in a dungeon, trial or PvP group where you have tanks or healers giving you various buffs? No, probably not.
But is it worth using it when you're playing solo or in an unoptimized beginner group? Probably, yes. Allow me to explain.
The thing with the Oakensoul Ring is that it now gives us a pretty huge amount of minor buffs which do make your character noticeably stronger, both in terms of damage output and survivability. But lets look at a couple of these buffs.
Minor Berserk is one of the more notable ones. In group play, you'll normally pick up this buff from the healer - most PvE healers are (or at least ought to be) running Combat Prayer to buff the team. But when solo, you'd normally need to wear Slimecraw, Kinras's Wrath or slot Camouflaged Hunter to get this buff.
Another one is Minor Courage - this is a buff that gives you some extra weapon and spell damage, but the only class that can give the buff to himself or herself is the Nightblade, with the Power Extraction skill. Werewolves can also get it. Otherwise, you'd need to run an armour set to give yourself the buff. In group play though, this is again covered - Claw of Yolnahkriin and Magma Incarnate are both common tank sets that take care of that.
Notice a theme? The main strength of the Oakensoul Ring is that it gives us passive access to some buffs that we otherwise need to actively obtain for ourselves, either by keeping up certain skill rotations or wearing an armour set that we might otherwise not want to use.
This gives the item a dual appeal nowadays - it is useful both for casual players who just want an easy way to make their character a bit stronger without needing to worry about rotations or uptimes, and it's also a nice item for players with a higher skill level who want to run some challenging solo content, like an arena, with some extra buffs to their damage, healing, sustain and resistances to help them out.
Oakensoul isn't "meta" for anything nowadays, but it does remain an attractive mythic item for some players, fulfilling a niche that's much more in line with what Zenimax originally wanted and expected from the item way back in the High Isle PTS.
If you want to see how ESO players are making use of the Oakensoul Ring right now, feel free to check out some of the one-bar builds made by ESO players.
We hope you enjoyed this article about the Oakensoul Ring in ESO. The Elder Scrolls Online is a massively multiplayer online game, developed by Zenimax Online Studios.