In The Elder Scrolls Online, Veteran Levels, commonly called Veteran Ranks or "VR," were the levels reached after reaching level 50. The system was not meant to be in place permanently and was gradually replaced, first by the Champion System, then Veteran Levels were permanently removed in the Dark Brotherhood update on May 31st, 2016.
A Veteran was someone who had reached Level 50 and continued advancing their character. The Veteran Level cap was 16 and was the highest achievable level in the game. The level cap was originally Veteran Rank 10, but with Update 1 it increased to 12, and with Update 4, to Veteran Rank 14.
As the player progressed through Veteran Levels, they were able to equip and craft better, more powerful gear which gave them many advantages in activities such as PvP and Trials. They were also able to earn Champion Points to further advance their characters.
It first took exactly 1,000,000 experience points to earn a Veteran Rank, but this was reduced to 850,000 in phase 3 of the Champion System. It was the same amount to earn a level throughout Veteran Levels 1–16.
When a player reached the Veteran Levels, many more new options and content opened up for them, including:
- Veteran Dungeons, designated dungeons brought from lower-level zones which have a new storyline, a new area and a harder difficulty optimized for Veteran players.
- Veteran Pledges, special Undaunted that send you and your party into a Veteran Dungeon with a set of specific objectives. completing these pledges gives you a reward, which increases in quality and rarity depending on whether you have fulfilled the special objectives or not.
- Champion Points, a horizontal progression system that grants you another way to advance your character. Champion Points are account-wide and can be spent on any character regardless of level, but only Veteran characters are able to earn Champion Points.
- Adventure Zones, large zones for grouped players that exclusively contains group-optimized content, and are generally tailored for higher-veteran-level players though any Veteran Level player can enter. They contain many delves, public dungeons, world bosses, group activities and group quests tailored to groups of four. With the One Tamriel update the adventure zone model was discontinued. The only adventure zone released was Craglorn, though more were planned, such as Murkmire. However, that region was redesigned as a standard zone for the The Elder Scrolls Online: Murkmire DLC.
- Veteran Zones, zones from another faction where the player is able to complete more quests, experience new storylines, obtain achievements, discover new locations and even more. Basically, Veteran Zones are normal zones with Veteran Level difficulty. For example, to a Daggerfall Covenant character, Glenumbra is a very low-level zone. To an Ebonheart Pact Veteran player, Glenumbra is a Veteran Rank 1 zone. As such, both versions have the same content which means that one character is able to complete all of the game's faction-specific content. Veteran Zones are not needed to level up and can actually be skipped entirely and still reach Veteran Rank 12 using other methods but they are recommended for their efficiency and the possibility of gaining new things like Skyshards, Lorebooks and Achievements.
- Trials, which are only for players Veteran Rank 10–16. Trials are optimized for groups of 12 players. Trials are essentially very large, difficult dungeons with a few twists. Trials include:
- A limited number of 72 resurrections, which equates to 6 resurrections per player. When all 72 resurrections are used up, the Trial fails, resets and the group is required to do the Trial all over again.
- A timer to show how long the Trial has been in progress (Which stops when the final boss is defeated). Completing the Trial in as little time as possible will put groups higher on the Trial leaderboards, which in turn gives rewards such as loot and gold.
- Extremely tough monsters and bosses which require tactics to defeat. Many experienced groups have required a lot of attempts to defeat a certain boss or monster pack.
- Achievements, which are tied to armor dyes.
- Special cosmetic armor sets, which are received at Veteran Ranks 2, 6 and 10 which includes the Golden Saint Armor, Dark Seducer Armor and Mannimarco's Robes respectively.
- Access to many new crafting options, new crafting materials and powerful weapons and armor sets.
The Veteran System was not going to be in place forever. A replacement called the Champion System was rolled out in 4 phases, the first of which was implemented in Update 2. This is the order at which the phases were deployed with their estimated updates.
- Phase 1, deployed in Update 2: Reduce the difficulty of Veteran content so it is more consistent with the items you earn.
- Phase 2, deployed in Update 5: Convert Veteran Points into Experience Points and reduce the overall amount needed to obtain a Veteran Rank. You will now earn an attribute point and a skill point for every Veteran Rank you obtain, and the overall Veteran content experience is much more like the 1–50 leveling experience.
- Phase 3, deployed in Update 6: Add a new alternate advancement system that uses Champion Points. You are able to spend these Champion Points on passive buffs such as increasing critical strike, increasing armor etc. And there will be a special menu from where you can choose 9 constellations to level up. Each constellation focuses on improving one or two specific aspects of gameplay. All 9 can be leveled up but it will take a VERY long time to max them out. In fact, the system adds over 3 real-world years' worth of character advancement. Champion Points are tied to XP and each 400,000 XP is 1 Champion Point. Players' main attributes (Health, Magicka, Stamina) were also increased by almost tenfold to add granularity to the system.
- Phase 4, deployed in the Dark Brotherhood update: Removed Veteran Ranks entirely, and reduced the level cap to 50. Max-level equipment will now come in "Seasons" and players can buy equipment from older seasons.