This is a very basic guide, what to think about before you start playing and while you playing the game. Guess many of these things can be found in the ESO wiki, but might as well write it here too. Maybe I forgot something, please tell if I did. (:
While creating a character you will have to choose a birthday, it might be wise to pick a suitable one for your class. As you later on level up in game, Nascent skills will appear among your skills (in total you will get four Nascent skills). Which one you get depends on your birthday. Here you can find which skills your birthday will give you: http://eso-wiki.perfectworld.com/index.php/Nascent_Skills
So how do I know whats good for my character? Which birthday should I aim for?
Right, let me start with explaining the diffrent classes, affinity and attributes.
In game there are five diffrent affinitys; Ferus, Flora, Aquan, Pyros and Terra.
(Looking at ESO Wikipedia page I noticed some old names still there. All the affinitys used to have another name, Oora = Ferus, Widu = Flora, Unda = Aquan, Pyra = Pyros, Erda = Terra. Just in case you find some old guide on the Wiki)
Ferus - Reduces enemy Flora damage and Flora curses.
Flora - Reduces enemy Terra damage and Terra curses.
Aquan -Reduces enemy Pyros damage and Pyros curses.
Pyros - Reduces enemy Ferus damage and Ferus curses.
Terra - Reduces enemy Aquan damage and Aquan curses.
Recommended is to focus your affinity points on max two affinitys.
ESO also have attributes, Attack, Defense, Health and Power.
Attack - 1 point increase Stregnth and Intellect by 3.
Defense - 1 point increase Defense and Resistance by 3 and Resilience by 0.2.
Health - 1 point will increase max by 20HP
Power - 1 point will increase chance of a Critcal Attack by 0.1% and Critcal Damage by 1%
Recommended is to focus on max two attributes. Most of the players go with Defense and Power. A few with Defense and Attack.
Mainly using Terra affinity skills, second affinity is all up to you. Close combat class and also tank.
Mainly using Aquan and Flora skills. Ranged class, good with pets and a pretty allround class.
Mainly using Pyros and Aquan skills. Using ranged skills, good class for damage.
Mainly using Aquan skills, second affinity is all up to you. Ranged attacks and healer. Can revive people.
Mainly using Ferus skills, second affinity is all up to you. Close combat, using poision skills and can go invisible.
Mainly using Flora skills, second affinity is all up to you. Healer and close combat. Can revive people, but longer cooldown compared to Mystic.
Mainly using pyros skills, second affinity all up to you. Close combat, only class that uses strength (instead for Intellect) and rage (instead for mana).
Mainly Pyros and Flora skills, gets high intellect and ranged attacks.
This is mainly up to level 75, because then you will do Advanced class quest. It will give your character new skills based on which advanced class you choose (each class have their own two advanced classes to choose between). As example Conjurer can choose between Pyromancer and Tempest. Pyromancer uses pyros skills and more focused on high damage. Tempest uses Aquan skills and more focused on stuns. But I won't go any deeper about that here.
... so what about the birthday and Nascent skills?
Now when you know a bit more about the classes it's easier to pick a birthday fit for your class. As example if you're going Mystic, finding a birthday containing the Ocean Size skill might be good (Increases Aquan skill damage by 1%. Passive Skill).
I have already made my character and don't want to start over, what should I do?
You can buy items from the Cash shop to reset your birthday (Ginseng Fruit). Could also find item to reset affinity and attributes (Wheel of Fortune). In fact doing quests will even give you one free Wheel of Fortune.
Geez... is all this really important?
Well it's up to you, I mean you can survive without having a good birthday. Me and many others made the misstake to only pick a random birthday, and first at higher level getting enough gold to buy a Ginseng Fruit. About the affinity and attributes, I think getting those right are more important. But same there, it's not like you're 100% doomed if those are messed up.
Alright, speaking of Cash shop. Do I have to spend real money on this game?
Nope! In game there is something called Pokari Broker (The West Market), there you or other players can buy or sell E-Bucks.
1) Click on Etherbuck Trade
2) Click on Deposit. You can either deposit in game gold or E-Bucks.
3) Click on Price, this will be how much each you want to buy/sell E-bucks for.
4) Enter at Buy/Sell how many E-bucks you want to Buy/Sell and then click on confirm.
To the left in the Etherbuck Trading window you will see if anyone else buying/selling, and how much they're willing to pay/sell.
To be honest, I apologize if I'm wrong, but from what FP players said it's very rare if someone sells ebucks there. On AR you can however still (as long you have gold) buy ebucks in the Pokari Broker.
So which server should I play on?
You can choose between two servers, Ancestral Ruins (west coast) and Fort Phoenix (east coast). The difference between them are the time. Events and stuff on FP happens three hours before AR.
As example the event called Astral Overlord (allows you to imbue your gear from +5 to +6), it starts 7PM server time. If you live in western Europe and play on FP, that would be midnight time. If you on the other hand would play on AR, that would be 3AM.
(More information: http://eso-wiki.perfectworld.com/index.php/Times_Zones_-_European
You can not move your character or items from one server to another, you can however make a character on both servers using the same account.
As it looks today AR have more players between those two servers, but I'm sure you'll find helpfull people on both of them!
So what can I expect out of this game?
Now I can only speak for AR, since thats where I play. If you start playing solo you might feel lonely, since this game doesn't have a huge population anymore. Even in the main town you won't see many players, unless you're in Trading Realm. But this is not all because it's a low populated game, many higher levels spend lot of their time away from Pokari to level up.
You could ask to join any alliance (even though it's pretty much only two alliances on AR with a decent amount of players).
PvP wise there are still some 100-115 PvP, but mostly above 115. Every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday something called Territory War occurs in realm 8. A banner spawns in Gaap Land, Gallio Kingdom and Ziminan Dommain, while the area around it becomes a PvP zone. In this PvP zone you can't get infamy from killing others and won't drop items either (unless you're already red named).
Otherwise there is normally something called safe-zone and well, non-safe-zone (doesn't really have a name). But towns and some areas are safe-zone, in them you can't kill anyone, not even people with infamy. If you have System turned on (can choose this at System Settings) it will show when you enter and leave a Safe-zone.
Wait. Red name? Infamy?
First of all you need to be level 45 to be able to kill (or get killed) another player. However in a PvP zone when it's Territory War, even level 1 players can get killed. If you don't want to get killed there is safe realms (PVE realms), when you pick realm it will either show PVE or PVP behind it. Beginner Area is safe, but Trading Realm however is a PVP realm.
Killing another player will give you infamy and red name, higher levels will get higher infamy if they kill a much lower level player. One infamy last one hour. You will drop any random unbound item if you get killed by another player or guard, while you have infamy. If you have a Scapemonkey in bag you won't drop anything (they also save you from losing EXP, spirit and valor if a monster kills you). There is also something called Revival scroll and Lazarus scroll. They will also save you from losing EXP, but you will still drop items if you have infamy.
As white named...
... you get orange name by attacking another player with white name.
... if you attack someone with orange name, your name will also turn orange.
... killing orange named player won't give you infamy.
... you get red name by killing someone with white name.
... you can still drop items if someone kills you, but the chance is really low.
As orange named...
... if you stop attacking your name will go back to white after a few seconds.
... can drop items but still a low chance.
As red named...
... guards in every town will attack you.
... you will drop random unbound item.
... killing orange name players will give you infamy.
... people can attack you without getting orange name or infamy if they succeed killing you.
... you won't get more infamy from killing another player with infamy.
... you will lose mana more easily and move slower if you have lot of infamy.
You can change PvP settings in the top left corner, next to your avatar. I suggest you never unmark Alliance and Clan members, unless you're totally evil and want to kill your friends.
If you don't want to risk getting infamy keeping White-name players marked is an good idea. Keep in mind even if you mark all the options, other players will still be able to hit you but you can't fight back. However in a PvP zone you can still hit opponents, even with White-name players and Red/Orange-name Players marked. Your Alliance and Clan members are still safe though as long you not unmarked those.
If you get killed by another player, his or her name will show up on your enemy list (press F and choose Enemy). The list will show if you enemy is offline or which realm he/she is in. Unless you save them to your enemy list, their name will disapear from it after a week.
How about dungeons?
Sadly there are not many new players around these days, so don't count on it until higher level. I mean you could always try to solo, kill some monsters in there and so. But killing bosses will be very hard without help. Some quests requires a item dropped from a certain boss to complete. Having a higher level player in party won't give you any drops, but might help if the quest is only to kill something (not always though, sometimes it doesn't count if a higher level kills it for you)
So are these dungeon quests important?
No, you can do fine without finishing them.
So how do I level up in this game?
Mainly with quests, most of the time kill a certain amount of monsters. At higher level you get something called Daily quests. In Pokari you will be able to do quests which you can do once a day (and gives lot of EXP). You could also as we players call it, "poss" to level up, which means using Possessor (a thing that automatically will attack monsters, pick up stuff, use mana and health potion when needed). In game you will be able to find 7 day, 3 day and 6 hours possessor. Some quests will give you 7 and 3 day poss as reward, but later on it will be easier to get both 3 day and 6h poss which drop in dungeons.
Pets!? What about pets!?
You can both summon and fuse with your pet(s). Most of the pets have something called Fusion Element, it can look something like Aquan affinity +3, Health Regen +10%, Accuracy +8. If you Fuse with a pet like that, your character will get those stats too. You could at same time be both Fused with a pet and have one summoned fighting for you.
I've seen some lower level players asking when they should meld their pet and focus on that. I usually tell them wait until level 100. Melding pets will cost spirits, better to spend spirits on skills and I don't really think you need a maxed pet before 100.
*Moved to Knowledge Base sub-forum ~ ladycrane*