Sunshine Daydream Guild

Guide to Researching Item Traits


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To research (learn) a trait for a particular item you must possess (and sacrifice) that same kind of item with said trait upon it. Take the item to an appropriate crafting table and select the "Research" tab. Select the kind of item, then the trait you wish to study. Confirm your choice and the trait will soon be unlocked for your character to craft with.

Remember: traits can only be added to armor or weapons at the time of creation and require that you have previously researched the chosen trait on that same item type.

This guide to traits covers:



Research is a Long-term Process

Researching traits is a very long process. Times to complete research increase dramatically as you progress, so start as early as possible! The following table summarizes research times per item type without any time reductions:

Current Trait Research Cumulative Research Time
1st 6 hours 6 hours
2nd 12 hours 18 hours
3rd 24 hours 42 hours (~2 days)
4th 48 hours (2 days) 90 hours (~4 days)
5th 96 hours (4 days) 186 hours (~8 days)
6th 192 hours (8 days) 378 hours (~16 days)
7th 384 hours (16 days) 762 hours (~32 days)
8th 768 hours (32 days) 1530 hours (~64 days)
9th 1536 hours (64 days) 3066 hours (~128 days)

The length of time to complete research can be reduced slightly (10%) by subscribing to ESO+ and significantly decreased (25% reduction during the first 8 traits and more than cuts time in half for the 9th trait) with the proper skills.

Skills that decrease research time are Lapidary for Jewelers research, Metallurgy for Blacksmithing research, Stitching for Clothing research, and Carpentry for Woodworking research. Without these skills each item would require approximately 128 days to fully research all traits; these skills reduce the time to fully research all traits on an item to approximately 78 days (71 days if combined with ESO+). Other than research for Jewelers (Laipidary) these skills also allow researching up to 3 traits (on different pieces) at the same time; without these skills you can research only one item's trait for each craft at a time.

Morrowind introduced Research Scrolls from the Crown Store or the Master Writ Vendor, Rolis Hlaalu. These scrolls reduce the research timer on all traits in a particular craft which are currently being researched by one day (20-hour cooldown on ones purchased with master writs). The scrolls available for writ vouchers might be worth it towards the end of your research journey if they remain priced at 3 vouchers, but to pay 400 crowns to save only one day in one discipline out of a process that takes a year or more doesn't seem worth it to this author.




Which Traits to Research First?

When doing your blacksmith research you will face a conflict between researching weapons or armor. If you wear heavy armor then I'd suggest learning one favored trait for your preferred weapon type followed by focusing on armor traits before researching your weapon further (learning other weapons last). If you wear light or medium armor, research your favored weapon type fully before researching other weapons, saving heavy armor for last.

One trick to greatly reduce the time before being able to make the best set pieces is to study light armor and heavy armor on one character while initially studying medium armor and metal weapons on another. Eventually (once all traits are learned) you should consolidate these traits by having your alt make study items for your main crafter. Why bother to consolidate after learning all the traits split over two characters? Because most motifs are tedious to find or expensive to purchase and you'll only want to acquire one copy of each chapter. This is also why you should plan to do blacksmithing, clothing, and woodworking with the same crafter.

1 Powered is a trait designed exclusively for healers. Always research this trait early on Restoraion Staves and if your playstyle includes dedicated healers then research this sooner on other weapons.

Training is exceptionally popular for good reason among characters still working their way to top level gear (CP 150-160). Speeding up this process or the training of skills you later choose to add is a helpful thing!

For those in PvP, Impenetrable dominates the recommendations for useful armor traits; without critical resistance you'll die quickly in PvP. Apparently PvE enemies don't seem to generate critical strikes, so this trait is not popular in PvE.

In PvE use, Divines is incredibly valuable once you have your best Mundus Stone effect(s) or wear the Twice-Born set which allows two Mundus Stone effects. Some folks do opt to mix this with Infused or Reinforced on large armor pieces (shield, head, chest, legs) to boost a stat's maximum resource pool or give a small bump to survivability.

Morrowind's launch brought newfound popularity to the Sturdy trait for Tanking. That update's resource recovery changes and changes to blocking timing/cost made this trait a desirable one for many Tank builds.

While Nirnhoned was once a popular choice for armor traits it was nerfed so heavily with Dark Brotherhood that it became only worthwhile to research in unlocking 9-trait set crafting to make the Twice Born Star set. As a small profit can be found by farming nirncrux and selling research items, I suggest learning Nirnhoned before Well-fitted (with very limited situational usefulness) or Invigorating (formerly Prosperous) (which simply will not provide a large enough boost to outperform other options). Although the Horns of the Reach introduces Resource Recovery with Invigorating, adding 11 Recovery from a gold-quality CP 160 armor piece is woefully inadequate compared to Divines paired with an appropriate Mundus Stone selection.

As for weapon traits, the most popular seems destined to remain Sharpened, even after the nerf unleashed with the Horns of the Reach update where it's benefit was cut in half. Asayre's evaluation (recalculated/updated with Horns of the Reach arrival on PTS) shows not only is it still viable but may still be BiS, just not by the wide margin it had been. A Nirnhoned weapon may be used in the main hand of some dual-wielding builds, so research it at a suitable time if that is your playstyle -- also note that Alcast is suggesting a nirnhoned weapon may be appropriate for a magicka build. However, realize that generally another weapon may offer the same degree of utility and is far cheaper to learn/craft.

Precise had looked quite promising, but at the last moment (when the HotR went live) they chose not to buff precise, so it will not generally be a strong trait compared to others. For characters who are focused on damage-dealing Infused will round out the top traits.

While Training is more effective (percentage increase) on armor than weapons; it is still a nice boost on weapons as well and often considered indispensable for characters while leveling through the first 49 levels.

The effects of Defending being cut essentially in half may make it near worthless although Tanks may still be drawn to it. Similarly, for a dedicated Healer Powered would be a worthy trait to prioritize despite being of no use to most builds except on a Restoration Staff.

Disabling status effects were shortened with HotR while Damage over Time through status effects (other than Poisoned) damage more slowly. Hence, Charged has been weakened overall. Continue to leave Decisive until dead last.

Armor Trait Weapon Trait
1st Training Sharpened
2nd Impenetrable Nirnhoned
3rd Divines Infused
4th Infused Training
5th Sturdy Defending
6th Reinforced Precise
7th Nirnhoned Powered1
8th Well-fitted Charged
9th Invigorating Decisive



Details on Armor Traits

Trait Name


Trait Gem
Description of the Effect Standard Fine Superior Epic Legendary
Sturdy

Quartz
reduces the cost of blocking 2.0% 2.5% 3.0% 3.5% 4.0%
Impenetrable

Diamond
reduces item's durability damage 50%
-and- increases critical resistance
(amount depends on the difference between character level & gear level)
6-
225
15-
234
24-
243
33-
249
42-
258
Reinforced 1,2

Sardonyx
increases item's armor value 12.0% 13.0% 14.0% 15.0% 16.0%
Well-fitted

Almandine
reduces the cost of sprinting -and-
reduces the cost of roll-dodging
1.0% 2.0% 3.0% 4.0% 5.0%
Training

Emerald
increases experience gained from kills 7.0% 8.0% 9.0% 10.0% 11.0%
Infused 3

Bloodstone
increases item's enchantment effect 8.0% 11.0% 14.0% 17.0% 20.0%
Invigorating

Garnet
Health Recovery, Magicka Recovery and Stamina Recovery increase by 3 5 7 9 11
(continued on next page)
1 Shields grant the most armor rating of any piece, slightly more even than the chest piece -- so if you're going to use Reinforced to increase armor rating, this is where you want to use it! This is followed closely by legs, headgear, shoulders, and boots which each provide about 87% the armor value of the chest piece. Definitely not worth using Reinforced on waist or gloves,; the armor boost of gloves is 50% of what's given by the chest piece and belts receive a meager 37% of the chest's armor value.

Keep this in mind also if choosing which pieces to craft/wear as heavy, medium, or light! Making belts and gloves be the lighter weight pieces will minimize armor loss.

2 "It looks like the crossover point for Reinforced vs Nirnhoned is 1880 Armor, so Medium chest, and all Heavy except hands and waist are best as Reinforced, anything lighter is best as Nirn." (Alanar in PTS discussion)

3 If you wish to use the Infused trait, remember that only the head, chest, and legs receive full enchantment values; shields actually get a boost to enchantment value even beyond the chest armor.

4 Rarely found alongside raw materials harvested within Craglorn.
Trait Name


Trait Gem
Description of the Effect Standard Fine Superior Epic Legendary
Divines

Sapphire
increases Mundus Stone effects 3.5% 4.5% 5.5% 6.5% 7.5%
Nirnhoned 2

Fortified Nirncrux 4
increases physical resistance
-and- increases spell resistance
(amount depends on the difference between character level & gear level)
7-
262
17-
273
28-
283
38-
290
49-
301



Traits on Necklaces & Rings

Trait Name


Trait Gem
Description of the Effect Standard Fine Superior Epic Legendary
Arcane

Cobalt
increases Maximum Magicka by 760 790 820 840 870
Healthy

Antimony
increases Maximum Health by 836 869 902 924 957
Robust

Zinc
increases Maximum Stamina by 760 790 820 840 870
Triune1

Dawn-Prism2
increases Maximum Magicka & Maximum Stamina by

and increases Maximum Health by
380

418
395

434
410

451
420

462
435

478
Infused3

Aurbic Amber3
increases jewelry Enchantment's effectiveness by 24% 33% 42% 51% 60%
Protective4

Titanium5
Spell Resistance & Physical Resistance are increased by 1624 1684 1744 1784 1844
Swift6

Gilding Wax6
increases (non-mounted) Movement Speed by 6% 7% 8% 9% 10%
Harmony7

Dibellium8
increases Damage, Healing, Resource Restore, and the Damage Shield from Synergies you activate by 15% 20% 25% 30% 35%
Bloodthirsty9

Slaughterstone9
increases Damage against enemies who are under 25% Health by 6% 7% 8% 9% 10%

1 To research the Triune trait, obtain jewelry from another player or from Gladiator's Rucksacks obtained by completing Conquest Board Daily Quests in Cyrodiil.

2 Dawn-Prism is purchased from War Researchers in Cyrodiil for 100,000 AP each.

3 To research the Infused trait, obtain jewelry from another player or from Psijic Portals after joining the Psijic Order. The trait material is also dropped by these same Psijic Portals.

4 To research the Protective trait, obtain jewelry from another player or by completing Summerset's main storyline (ring) and the Psijic Order storyline (necklace).

5 Titanium is most often found in Summerset's seams, but may also be found alongside jewelry materials from any seam in all of Tamriel.

6 To research the Swift trait, obtain jewelry from another player or out of the rewards for Daily Jewelry Crafting Writs. Gilding Wax is purchased from Rolis Hlaalu, Mastercraft Mediator, for 20 vouchers each.

7 To research the Harmony trait, obtain jewelry from another player or rarely these may be found in the Undaunted Reward chests.

8 Dibellium is found in reward mails from Daily Dungeon LFG system.

9 To research the Bloodthirsty trait, obtain jewelry from another player or rarely from the weekly reward boxes after completing Trials. If the reward box does not contain a jewelry item it will hold Slaughterstone.




Details on Weapon Traits

Several weapon traits (all except Charges & Training) were "rebalanced" with Horns of the Reach in August, 2017.

Trait Name


Trait Gem
Description of the Effect Standard

One-Handed
Two-Handed
Fine

One-Handed
Two-Handed
Superior

One-Handed
Two-Handed
Epic

One-Handed
Two-Handed
Legendary

One-Handed
Two-Handed
Powered

Chysolite
increases healing done 2.5%
5.0%
3.0%
6.0%
3.5%
7.0%
4.0%
8.0%
4.5%
9.0%
Charged

Amethyst
increases chance to apply status effects 70%
140%
80%
160%
90%
180%
100%
200%
110%
220%
Precise 1

Ruby
boosts weapon & spell critical values 1.5%
3.0%
2.0%
4.0%
2.5%
5.0%
3.0%
6.0%
3.5%
7.0%
Infused

Jade
enchantment's cooldown reduced by 50%
-and- enchantment's effects increase
10%
10%
15%
15%
20%
20%
25%
25%
30%
30%
Defending

Turquoise
increases physical & spell resistance
(amount depends on the difference between character level & gear level)
32-1200
64-2400
80-1248
160-2496
128-1296
256-2592
176-1328
352-2656
224-1376
448-2752
Training

Carnelian
increase experience gained from kills 2.5%
5.0%
3.0%
6.0%
3.5%
7.0%
4.0%
8.0%
4.5%
9.0%
(continued on next page)
1 "For a DPS the Precise Trait is 3-4 times as effective as Decisive: 3.5% DPS increase against 1%." (hrothbern in forums)

2 Asayre's evaluation (recalculated/updated with Horns of the Reach arrival on PTS) shows not only is it still viable but may still be BiS, just not by the wide margin it had been.

3 "Sharpened is best trait for maximum DPS against opponents with more than 12k resistance. So everyone except trash mobs and glass cannon gankers, I believe." (The_Outsider in the forums) NOTE: This evaluation was pre-nerf and should no longer be considered valid after the Horns of the Reach update due to a significant reduction to the effectiveness of the Sharpened trait.

4 "the dual-wield off-hand slot is the absolute worst place to put a nirnhoned item because it suffers an 80% potency loss. In contrast, traits that affect overall character-wide stats (e.g., Sharpened or Precise) are agnostic to what slot they're in" (code65536 in the forums)

5 Rarely found alongside raw materials when they are harvested within Craglorn.

6 Nirnhoned no longer boosts character sheet values, but instead only boosts the traited weapon's damage. (Overall damage increase appears to be around 3.2% 3.5%) (Asayre in the forums)
Trait Name


Trait Gem
Description of the Effect Standard

One-Handed
Two-Handed
Fine

One-Handed
Two-Handed
Superior

One-Handed
Two-Handed
Epic

One-Handed
Two-Handed
Legendary

One-Handed
Two-Handed
Sharpened 2

Fire Opal
increase armor & spell penetration3
(amount depends on the difference between character level & gear level)
32-1200
64-2400
80-1248
160-2496
128-1296
256-2592
176-1328
352-2656
224-1376
448-2752
Decisive 1

Citrine
chance to gain 1 additional Ultimate
anytime that Ultimate is gained
12%
24%
14%
28%
16%
32%
18%
36%
20%
40%
Nirnhoned 4

Potent Nirncrux 5
increases weapon damage 6 11%
11%
12%
12%
13%
13%
14%
14%
15%
15%



Research for the Special Craftable Sets

These bonus sets require that you have completed research on several traits for each item you wish to create as part of the set. These sets are why crafters research traits beyond those that are typically desired. Since crafted goods bind-on-equip another player could craft for you (offer to tip well for their time investment) if you've not yet completed sufficient research.

Many players wear 5 pieces of one set and several pieces of another to fill out their armor and weapon slots. Much more detail about these sets can be found at Sunshine Daydream's Guide to Craftable Armor Sets.




This article on traits is applicable to several types of crafters in ESO, such as:



Want to check out another topic? Click here for more of
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