The Arena: Battle Guide


INDEX
Joining the Ranks
General Tips
Pit Dog Battle #1 (1st Match)
Pit Dog Battle #2 (2nd Match)
Pit Dog Battle #3 (3rd Match)
Brawler Battle #1 (4th Match)
Brawler Battle #2 (5th Match)
Brawler Battle #3 (6th Match)
Bloodletter Battle #1 (7th Match)
Bloodletter Battle #2 (8th Match)
Bloodletter Battle #3 (9th Match)
Myrmidon Battle #1 (10th Match)
Myrmidon Battle #2 (11th Match)
Myrmidon Battle #3 (12th Match)
Warrior Battle #1 (13th Match)
Warrior Battle #2 (14th Match)
Warrior Battle #3 (15th Match)
Gladiator Battle #1 (16th Match)
Gladiator Battle #2 (17th Match)
Gladiator Battle #3 (18th Match)
Hero Battle #1 (19th Match)
Hero Battle #2 (20th Match)
Hero Battle #3 (21st Match)
Grand Champion Match
Afterword





The clang of weapons and the roar of the crowd echoes through the streets of the Imperial City. The bloodsport of the Arena is a guilty pleasure for Cyrodiil's inhabitants, one that is not often talked about openly. Colorful posters mark the time and date of each match, describe the combatants in fierce terms, and most importantly, list the current odds. In Oblivion you have the opportunity to bet on the outcome of Arena matches and watch as they play out, ending in the death of one gladiator and the victory of another.

Or, you can be one of those gladiators. Preferably the one that lives.

To sign up as a fighter speak to the Arena's gatekeeper, Hundolin (he's also the man who will accept your bets). He'll point you down into the Bloodworks -- reachable via the door on the left -- to speak with Owyn. Descend into the Bloodworks, where the air is undoubtedly filled with the stench of blood and sweat from victors and losers past. Owyn is the redguard in the second room on the left. He's seen a hundred green hopefuls sign up to fight only to be chewed up and spat back out by the Arena, so you can forgive him for being jaded. He'll assign you the rank of "Pit Dog" and ask you if you're the Light or Heavy Raiment type. Both are identically enchanted (Personality +2, Athletics +5) and will provide protection based on your armor skill. The Heavy Raiment weighs 27 pounds more than the Light. The choice shouldn't be too difficult: go with whatever you have the highest skill in.

The raiment is full body armour, and you're restricted from combining it with any boots, cuirass, greaves, gauntlets or bracers. You can use whatever weapons, shield, helmet, rings and necklaces/amulets that you like. You're also free to take your inventory into battles and put its contents to good use: potions, scrolls, spells and soul-gems all have their place in the Arena.

The Raiment your wear is what entitles you to be in the Arena, a uniform of sorts: if you take if off once you'll be disqualified and the battle will end. If you do it again you'll be barred from future matches. So how about you just don't take it off, alright? One last note on your battle-gear: notice that your raiment is blue? That's because you're now a member of the Blue Team, Pit Dog, though in the eyes of its other members, you're going to have to earn your place.



Once you're suited up in your Blue-team raiment, armed and equipped, talk to Owyn at any time between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. to start a battle. You exit the Bloodworks and into the Arena via the Red-Room: a blood-smeared tunnel which winds its way into the Blue Team holding area.

There are several general tips to help you win each battle:

1. Ideally, postpone your entry into the Arena until you hit later levels (10 and above). Enemies are leveled but their equipment is not, meaning a character who has not progressed beyond steel weapons could end up fighting a character wielding an enchanted glass warhammer. At later levels, you are almost certain to have your own powerful enchanted weapons and other items which meet or exceed those of your enemies. At lower levels, you often have to contend with your opponents having both a level advantage and better equipment than you. If you feel like competing earlier you can still win, but matches will be harder.

2. Come to every battle prepared. You should run through a mental checklist before you accept each new battle from Owyn: are my weapons charged and in good condition? Are my other items charged and in good condition? Do I have enough healing/restore mana potions? Am I wearing my best equipment and using my best weapons?

3. Utilize the environment. The Arena floor is oval-shaped, divided by an inner oval-shaped arrangement of pillars. The worst thing you can do is stay still if you run into trouble. When your health runs low start running around the Arena, sticking close to the pillars which should hinder the path-finding AI of your opponents. Use the time you have before they close (and they will, as all your opponents are exceedingly fast) to heal and restore your mana. If you are facing archers or spell-casters it might be possible to herd them into the open holding area corridors, where ranged attacks will be hampered. Make sure you have the ability to quickly finish off your enemy, or you might find you've carried yourself into a death-trap.

4. Feel the need for speed. All of your opponents have an outrageously high Speed ability score. To give yourself an edge either fortify your own Speed or slow your opponents down. This is not necessary, but will make your encounters easier.

5. Play dirty. When the battle begins, the gates will lower, leaving you and your opponent adjacent to each other and on opposite sides of the Arena. All of your opponents will quickly run to close with you, meaning that if you stay put you can take the opportunity to fire off one or two easy shots with arrows or ranged spells to soften up your target before the real combat begins.

The Battles

Pit Dog Battle #1 (1st Match)
A Bosmer warrioress, 1 level above your own.
Equipment: longsword, light shield and helmet.
Tactics: block or dodge her attacks, then strike out as she recoils.
Reward: speak to Owyn to discover the life of a Pit Dog is worth just 50 gold.

Pit Dog Battle #2 (2nd Match)
An Imperial fighter, 1 level above your own.
Equipment: heavy shield and helm.
Tactics: Out-distance your opponent and pelt him with arrows or ranged spells, then close to melee when he catches up with you.
Reward: 50 gold.

Pit Dog Battle #3 (3rd Match)
An Argonian archer, 1 level above your own.
Equipment: low-quality bow.
Tactics: Archers are always handicapped when confronted by a melee opponent. Close as quickly as possible and stay close. Ranged attacks against archers are always a tit-for-tat affair, unless fighting against far inferior opponents (which you are not).
Reward: 100 gold and a new, slightly more respectable rank: Brawler.

Brawler Battle #1 (4th Match)
Axe-wielding Nord, 2 levels above your own.
Equipment: axe and heavy raiment.
Tactics: Block/evade and strike out as your opponent recoils. Retreat and heal as necessary.
Reward: 100 gold.

Brawler Battle #2 (5th Match)
One of the more memorable battles, you face two Wood-Elf sisters simultaneously, an archer and a melee fighter.
Equipment: bow and claymore, respectively.
Tactics: focus on eliminating the archer first, and keep on the run - Claymore users are handicapped in running battles due to their standing power-attacks. The archer carries a chameleon potion which will render her invisible - a powerful tool for any archer. Take cover behind a pillar while the potion wears off. Once the archer is dealt with focus your attention on your remaining opponent. Dodge the heavy bows of the claymore and attack as she draws back for another swing.
Reward: 100 gold.



Brawler Battle #3 (6th Match)
Axe-wielding Khajiit.
Tactics: Block/evade and strike out as your opponent recoils. Retreat and heal as necessary.
Reward: 150 gold and promotion to Bloodletter.

Bloodletter Battle #1 (7th Match)
Redguard fighting with either a mace or a sword.
Tactics: Block/evade and strike out as your opponent recoils. Retreat and heal as necessary.
Reward: 150 gold.



Bloodletter Battle #2 (8th Match)
Breton warrioress.
Equipment: shortsword, heavy raiment and Endurance and Speed boosting potions.
Tactics: Out-distance your opponent and pelt her with arrows or ranged spells, then close to melee when she catches up with you.
Reward: 150 gold.

Bloodletter Battle #3 (9th Match)
Dark-elf who fights alternately with a bow and a sword.
Tactics: Retreat, forcing him to draw his bow, then engage in melee before he switches to his sword. Repeat as necessary.
Reward: 200 gold and promotion to Myrmidon.



Myrmidon Battle #1 (10th Match)
Bosmer with an enchanted dagger.
Equipment: Shimmerstrike carries a Frost Damage enchantment.
Tactics: Out-distance your opponent and pelt him with arrows or ranged spells, then close to melee when he catches up with you.
Reward: 200 gold.

Myrmidon Battle #2 (11th Match)
High-elf fighter.
Equipment: longsword and light raiment.
Tactics: Block/evade and strike out as your opponent recoils. Retreat and heal as necessary.

Myrmidon Battle #3 (12th Match)
Orc axe-fighter.
Equipment: Silver battle-axe and heavy raiment.
Tactics: Evade blows and strike out as your opponent recoils. Only block when it is not possible to evade, as a significant amount of damage will leak through. Retreat and heal as necessary.
Reward: 250 gold and promotion to Warrior.



Warrior Battle #1 (13th Match)
Nord swordsman, 3 levels above you.
Equipment: longsword.
Tactics: Out-distance your opponent and pelt her with arrows or ranged spells, then close to melee when she catches up with you. Evade blows and strike out as your opponent recoils. Only block when it is not possible to evade, as a significant amount of damage will leak through. Retreat and heal as necessary.
Reward: 250 gold.

Warrior Battle #2 (14th Match)
Wizard woman.
Equipment: longsword and spells.
Tactics: Close immediately and fight the rest of the battle at close-range. Her sword skills are far less impressive than her ability with spells.
Reward: 250 gold.

Warrior Battle #3 (15th Match)
Orcish warrioress.
Equipment: Warhammer 'the size of a child'. May be glass.
Tactics: Evade blows and strike out as your opponent recoils. Only block when it is not possible to evade, as a significant amount of damage will leak through. The hammer is slow but devastating, so make sure you don't get hit more than once. Take advantage of the long wind-up to land some blows. Retreat and heal as necessary.
Reward: 300 gold and a promotion to Gladiator.



Gladiator Battle #1 (16th Match)
An outrage, says Owyn. Three Argonian prisoners who must kill you to secure their freedom.
Equipment: crude swords/unarmed.
Tactics: Run around the Arena to try and seperate one from the group, then target him or her. Avoid being surrounded, as you can be knocked down and beat-up on by three opponents at once. Retreat and heal as necessary.
Reward: 300 gold.



Gladiator Battle #2 (17th Match)
Khajiit warrior.
Equipment: several healing potions.
Tactics: Out-distance your opponent and pelt him with arrows or ranged spells, then close to melee when he catches up with you.
Reward: 300 gold.

Gladiator Battle #3 (18th Match)
Breton swordsman.
Equipment: longsword.
Tactics: Out-distance your opponent and pelt him with arrows or ranged spells, then close to melee when he catches up with you.
Reward: 350 gold and promotion to Hero.

Hero Battle #1 (19th Match)
Former member of the Blades, several levels above your own.
Equipment: Akiviri longsword and Blades shield.
Tactics: Out-distance your opponent and pelt him with arrows or ranged spells, then close to melee when he catches up with you. Evade blows and strike out as your opponent recoils. Only block when it is not possible to evade, as a significant amount of damage will leak through. Retreat and heal as necessary.
Reward: 350 gold.



Hero Battle #2 (20th Match)
Magic user, 5 levels above your own.
Equipment: Grey Aegis shield, which will resist most magic attacks.
Tactics: Close as soon as possible. Attack furiously while your opponent is choosing to fight with his weapon and try your best to avoid his powerful magick attacks. Heal after each successful fire damage attack and stay as close as possible to encourage him to use his sword -- the far weaker of his weapons.
Reward: 350 gold.

Hero Battle #3 (21st Match)
Yellow Team Champion, seven levels above you, and a pair of allies: a magic user two levels above your level and an archer equal to your level. On your team is the Wild Boar from the Bloodworks: Pork Chop.
Equipment: the archer wields a high-quality bow and arrow, the spell-caster utilizes an array of powerful destruction and restoration spells.
Tactics: Evade the champion and target the archer first, and then the spell-caster. Neither can stand up very successfully in melee and you'll have a much easier time fighting the champ with them out of the way. When facing the Champion, out-distance your opponent and pelt her with arrows or ranged spells, then close to melee when she catches up with you. Evade blows and strike out as your opponent recoils. Only block when it is not possible to evade, as a significant amount of damage will leak through. Retreat and heal as necessary.
Reward: 500 gold and promotion to Blue Team Champion.

Grand Champion Match
As the Blue Team's Champion you are now able to challenge the king (or should I say, Prince) of the Arena: Agronak gro-Malog, the Arena Grand-Champion known to Cyrodiil's people as 'The Gray Prince'. Owyn refers you to the battle matron for this one, Ysabel Andronicus. You'll learn that Agronak's Heavy Raiment is enchanted (with fortify health, fatigue and personality effects), and that he fights with a longsword and shield -- and he fights well. If you choose to fight him by conventional means, he'll be your toughest opponent yet. Luckily, you can use any equipment you like, and can finally replace your raiment with something better. Make sure you put your new freedom to good effect, as your opponents equipment is powerful.

If you choose to fight him in an equal battle you'll find the usual tactics still apply. Soften him up with ranged attacks, then evade his blows and attack as he recoils. Retreat and heal when needed. You might find, however, that he's simply better than you. He will always be several levels above yours, but finding some powerful equipment can compensate for this gap.

If you find yourself continually being beaten then there is a way to weaken your opponent. It involves some work: more specifically, the completion of the quest "The Origin of the Gray Prince". Talk to Agronak about the "Gray Prince" to receive the quest. You'll be sent to find proof that gro-Malog is indeed a bearer of noble blood but instead discover that he is half-vampire. If you're the Blue Team Champion when you bring him the news he'll beg you to challenge him immediately, so ashamed of his heritage that he now carries a death-wish. You will be able to finish him off in the Arena with ease, though undoubtedly leave the bloodied-sands with less of a sense of accomplishment than had you defeated the Grand Champion on merit alone. Still, a win is a win!



Once you're ready to fight the Grand Champion speak to Ysabel again and select your nick-name. Once up in the holding area, you'll see Agronak charge you... then stop short, and plea for you to end his life. One strike will be enough to kill him. Unlike most battles you are free to loot his corpse. You can give the Battle Matron his armor for a 1,000 reward and your own suit of enchanted Light or Heavy Raiment, bearing the same bonuses as Agronak's.

You are now Arena Grand Champion -- a house-hold name throughout Cyrodiil.

Afterword
As Grand Champion you can continue to display your skills in weekly battles against monsters which can be initiated at any time. You will be presented with three options with increasing levels of reward as you up the difficulty.

From levels 1 - 5:
Easy - a Boar, Medium - a Boar and a Wolf, Hard - two Wolves and a Goblin Skirmisher.

From levels 6 - 8:
Easy - a Goblin Berserker, Medium - two Trolls, Hard - two Goblin Berserkers and a Troll.

From levels 9 - 11:
Easy - one Mountain Lion, Medium: two Mountain Lions, Hard: two Mountain Lions and a Spriggan.

From levels 12 - 14:
Easy - a Bear, Medium: two Minotaurs, Hard: a Bear and two Minotaurs.

From levels 15 - 17:
Easy - an Ogre, Medium - two Ogres, Hard - two Ogres and a Land Dreugh.

From levels 18+:
Easy: one Minotaur Lord, Medium - two Minotaur Lords, Hard - three Minotaur Lords.

In addition to these Beast-Battles you'll also receive your own Adoring Fan. He can be commanded to follow you, stay in one place or leave. If he dies he'll be respawned outside the Arena. Like most obsessed fans, he's of little use for anything but a laugh.

Congratulations on your achievement and prestigious rank. Just try not to think too much about all the people that had to die for you to get there...
 
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