“Weaving Beginner Guide”
Table of Contents
Welcome to the Weaving Beginner Guide for The Elder Scrolls Online. In this guide I will explain what “Weaving” is, how it works and show how much of a difference it makes damage-wise. It is also often referred to as “Animation Canceling” in ESO.
If you have more questions, you can also ask someone in our community partner discord about this Weaving Beginner Guide!
What is Weaving?
Weaving is the term being used by players of The Elder Scrolls Online for cancelling an animation, in order to speed up a rotation. Usually meant to increase DPS (damage per second), it can also be used by tanks or healers, as Light and Heavy Attacks have more functions than just causing damage. Depending on what buffs are currently active on the target, Champion Points, or which passives you have spent points on, Light Attacks help in regaining resources such as Magicka, Stamina or Ultimate power, as well as fully charged Heavy Attacks by themselves regenerate either Magicka or Stamina, whichever is higher.
Additionally, to Light and Heavy Attack weaving, we can also cancel an animation by Barswapping or Roll Dodging, but usually, in PvE, only Barswapping is utilized a lot.
When you open these accordeons you will see each animation for every type of weaving. We will start with the full animation of a Light Attack, so that you have something to compare it to!
Full Light Attack Animation
Light Attack Weaving
As mentioned before, Light Attack weaving refers to the art to cancel the animation of a Light Attack. It has a rather long animation, which looks pleasant to the eye and makes a lot of sense visually, but if we don’t care about that, it is just a hindrance.
Since Light Attacks provide the benefit of causing damage and helping you gain various resources, it is the one that is utilized the most. Its short input time is what makes this preferred over Heavy Attacks or Roll Dodging as these all take more time.
Something that you might have to wrap your mind around, is that we cancel the animation of the Light Attack here, not the skill. To get a better understanding of this and to teach your brain this, try doing a Light Attack and immediately afterwards a skill without waiting for the Light Attack animation to finish.
You might soon notice that it doesn’t always work. This is due to your latency. Your connection to the server takes a while and this determines on how fast you will actually be able to make a Light Attack count.
In order to get a better feeling for this I recommend the Add-on “Light Attack Helper”.
Pretty much every guide advises you to use a Light Attack in-between each skill, so learning how to Light Attack Weave is the most crucial part about mastering any rotation!
Light Attack Weaving Animation
Medium Attack Weaving
Weaving a Medium Attack into your rotation is a very rare, to non-existent method these days. For the sake of completeness, it shall be mentioned here as well.
Medium Attacks are an attack in-between a Light and Heavy Attack. It causes more damage than a Light Attack and takes less than a Heavy Attack, but yields no resource gain, which is why it is rare that it is being used.
Also, out of the three, this is the most difficult one to use as it requires you to know how long a Medium Attack takes, remember this in your still fast paced rotation and know how much the latency will affect you.
Heavy Attack Weaving
Some builds require you to weave in Heavy Attacks between each skill.
This does not mean you have to fully play a Heavy Attack and wait until its animation is finished.
If you take a closer look at the end animation, it will logically finish the movement of your character visually. We don’t need this when we want to weave in a Heavy Attack.
Usually Heavy Attack Weaving is not necessarily meant to increase your DPS, but to utilize both DPS and Resource Management, as Heavy Attacks restore your primary resource.
To successfully Heavy Attack Weave, we utilize something that is called the Skill Queue. For every attack you can queue a skill, meaning that you perform your Heavy Attack and while doing so, you press the button for your next skill that you want to cast. This will cast this skill immediately afterwards.
This way the full animation of the Heavy Attack will be canceled and you can perform your rotation faster.
Heavy Attack Weaving Animation
The following Weaving techniques will show you that we can also cancel the animation of a skill. You still have a 1 second cooldown on each skill, but it will make look the animation much faster.
Barswapping in particular is used most often and preferred to the other methods, as it is both the easiest and most logical tool.
In many rotations we want to swap the bar because we only have five skills per bar plus the ultimate. Which is why it’s important to get used to utilizing both bars early on.
In theory you cast a skill and immediately queue the barswap, which will cancel the animation of the skill used accordingly.
It isn’t the quickest way, though, and doesn’t bring any other benefit than having to barswap anyway because you want to use a skill that is on a different bar.
Barswap Weaving Animation
Cancelling an animation by Roll Dodging is probably one of the least used methods to weave.
Usually done in PvP, this skill offers the ability to avoid specific mechanics, such as receiving damage from a source, being crowd controlled (i.e. stunned), or evade an attack.
With weaving it into your skills, you get the advantage of both the aforementioned benefits, as well as casting a skill yourself as fast as possible.
Unfortunately, it is the most expensive way to weave, as this costs a lot of Stamina. This will only be sustainable for a short while, especially if you are a Magicka based character!
Roll Dodge Weaving Animation
Block Weaving is a rarely used way to cancel an animation. There are only a few skills worth it, such as Caltrops.
It’s also not one that is easy to master, even if Light Attack weaving seems to be hard to start with, too. The way it works is that you perform a Light Attack and cancel this animation with a skill and then immediately afterwards cancel the animation of the skill with a block.
The disadvantage of Block Weaving is that you can’t regenerate Stamina while blocking, which makes it a less ideal way to weave in constantly.
Block Weaving Animation
Why Animation Canceling?
Weaving provides you with a lot of benefits, but mainly the maintaining of resources, aside from putting out more DPS. If the target has the according debuffs such as Elemental Drain, you will regenerate Magicka and each Light, Medium or Heavy Attack also counts towards regenerating Ultimate energy.
Whereas Light Attack and Heavy Attacks are canceled by skills, Skills are cancelled by either Barswapping, Roll Dodging or Block Weaving.
Light Attacks and Heavy Attacks will most likely always be a part of a build, in one way or the other, as well as Barswapping. Light Attacks increase your DPS significantly, as you can see in the screenshots below.
We are comparing a rotation on a Raid target dummy without Light Attack weaving, and with Light Attack weaving. As you can see, it makes a huge difference! Light Attacks also proc your enchantments and various set effects.
Light Attacks can do between 15-25% of your overall damage depending on the setup you are running.
To analyze the 70k vs 107k parse. It might look like a 37k difference, but let me explain how it came to that. Now in the 107k parse we are using Relequen, which is about 10k dps and only activates when you use light attacks. On top of that, if you don’t use light attacks, you do not generate any ultimate, therefore you also loose a lot of dps. On top of that, because you do no light attacks you also reduced the chance to apply Poisons by a lot.
Getting to this level takes a lot of practice and someone that can help you in-game. If you don’t have anyone to help you, you can either inquire on the community partner discord about this or ask the author of this article directly. For more information, just scroll down to the bottom.
If you want to gain various resources and put out additional DPS, you want to Weave, or Animation Cancel.
As a tank or healer the DPS part might not be your biggest incentive to use weaving, but you also want to regenerate Ultimate and resources, which is why Weaving is important for you as well.
The reason why we try to weave skills, or cancel the animation, is because skills themselves have a cooldown.
Light, Medium and Heavy Attacks have a cosmetic animation, meaning that the time spent to watch the animation can better be used by casting an ability.
This way we are not only faster in causing damage to a target, but also faster in tanking or healing. The latter isn’t required oftentimes, but you will find yourself in situations where you want to react quickly with multiple skills, while still having the benefits of Light or Heavy Attacks.
The only exception to cancelling an animation is either by Roll Dodging, or Barswapping. This will cancel the animation of a skill, but not every skill’s animation is worth being cancelled. There are a few exceptions and if you follow a guide, they usually take this into consideration.
Improving on Weaving will mean improving on your gameplay as well!