I am asked very often by players how to make a build, or even what I would make for how they want to play outright. While I'm usually perfectly happy to help with direct answers and a little explanation, I wanted to throw up a quick guide for everyone, particularly considering there will be an enormous number of new people coming into the game with the 1.6 patch and the subscription no longer being required starting in mid-March.
With Elder Scrolls Online's build system being so much more open than most other MMORPG titles allow for, it can be very easy for inexperienced players (or people who usually try to use a cookie-cutter type build) to hamstring themselves. This extends to their supporting gear choices, as well. Here are some essential concepts to keep in mind
- You'll want enough defense to live through most reasonable situations , but not be overdoing it.
- You'll want enough offense to kill things in most reasonable situations, but not be overdoing it.
- It's a fine balance, as having too much of either of these will result in a weaker build
- If you have too much defense, you won't kill things fast enough and just end up taking more damage than you would have when balanced better. You may also not do enough damage to take down enemies in many situations due to their own defenses.
- If you have too much offense, you need to kill things before they can kill you. Going too heavily into offense runs into the issue of you often dying too quickly, before you can really make use of your high damage output.
- Utility and healing are important, as well as how self-buffs interact with your gear and skills in various fighting situations. (For example, maybe it's fun to have an extra attack, but you may be better off with even a situational buff that makes your other attacks hit like a truck when you really need them to (low-health enemy boosts to finish them off, or after stunning them, etc., or a way to catch yourself from dying if you take too much damage suddenly such as an instant heal so you can keep fighting).
- Overdoing the utility and healing of course will cause the same issues as having too little of another aspect since you will be making sacrifices to gain it. Utility/healing, defense, and offense have a relationship almost like a triangle. Tug too much at offense, and you lower your utility/healing and your defense. Tug too much at your defense, and you lower your healing/utility and offense. Tug too much at utility/healing, and you lower your offense and defense. For example you may boost your utility/healing to a high amount, but if you lose too much defense and could have mitigated a lot of the incoming damage anyway, you would oftentimes benefit from sacrificing some raw healing power to basically make it more effective by adding some defensive mitigation. (Less healing needed and the health you restore lasts better because of the higher defense in that scenario).
- When planning a build, you should identify the key abilities/skills you feel are absolutely vital to it, and build around those. If you discover you don't actually need one that you thought would be essential, you can beef up another aspect of your build by dropping it out.
- Imagine the what-ifs you'll face when using this build to fight! Think through "How would I..." for a few basic questions before thinking your build is going to be viable. "How would I live if I were stunned and took heavy damage before getting free?", "How would I use this build to fight a ranged enemy?", "How would I use this build against an enemy melee (or tank, even)?", etc. Another key one of course is "How would I use this build in a longer battle?" (i.e. is it going to starve on resources and fall over? will it typically never get to that point because it takes down the enemy or dies itself before then? etc.). This is often referred to as sustainability.
- Ensure the gear available can support the build properly. Don't over-hybridize, but make sure if you are adding in something that isn't the main thrust of the build to its skills/etc., that the gear you can get will even exist to make it work with the rest your setup, without lowering the rest to where it doesn't work out!
This is by no means intended to be a comprehensive and all-encompassing encyclopedia of ideas for making your builds, but hopefully if you're someone who hasn't played an MMORPG as much, or you're finding it tough to find a build that works for you, some of these points will help you
-First-Wave Closed Beta Tester of the Psijic Order, aka the 0.016 percent. =P
Exploits suck. Don't blame just the game, blame the players abusing them!-Playing since July 2013, back when we had a killspam channel in Cyrodiil and the lands of Tamriel were roamed by dinosaurs.-Order of Mundus, Nightfighters, LoM, and Mostly Harmless founding member, "DPS: We Deliver."
________________-In-game mains abound with "Nerf" in their name. As I am asked occasionally, I do not play on anything but the PC NA Megaserver at this time.