When a Build Choice is Not Really a Choice [#ESO]

One of the blogs I follow is For The Record (FTR), which is run by a gamer named SilentStalker (SS) who covers World of Tanks (WoT) news.

SS recently posted his take on Elder Scrolls Online (ESO). There were a few things that he wrote that stood out to me.

EDIT (2014/05/13): for full disclosure, I haven’t played ESO yet. What I find fascinating and confusing is that in the comments and tweets about this article, some players agree with SS, others claim he’s wrong.

Multiclasses (“Hybrids”) Aren’t Viable

Per SS:

First, multiclasses don’t work. If you want to be a two-handed-sword-wielding holy knight in plate armor who also heals, you will suck at both roles.

It sounds like you have to specialize heavily.

The word “hybrid” carries a negative connotation for some MMORPG players, but I believe hybrids should be viable for some contexts, e.g. solo or small group PVE and PVP. Hybrids add depth to the variety of builds available to the players of a class and flavor to a game. Obviously for hardcore PVE raiding, specialization tends to be the way to go.

SS said holy knights who heal are not viable, and that’s a shame as I’ve played some incredibly fun holy knight builds in other games, e.g.:

  1. Prot Pally in WoW PVP: Back at the start of WoW Cataclysm, the vast majority of the Paladin community claimed that Prot (Protection) PVP was dead. My projection on the mechanics was that Prot would still be viable, if not as strong as it was in WotLK. My Prot PVP spec was 75% DPS (with some solid burst) and 50% Healing relative to specialist classes. It was neither a pure DPS nor a pure healer, but it could heal meaningfully when needed to bridge my team mates to the next incoming heal and other emergency cooldowns. I played with other relatively inexperienced (but skilled) partners and we got to 2k in the 2v2 and 3v3 brackets playing hybrids
  2. M*A*S*H Cleric in RIFT PVP: this was a steady DPS build (no meaningful burst whatsoever) that was tanky, output solid sustained AOE healing, had good mobility, and possessed some CC. What was funny about the M*A*S*H build was that the Cleric community was convinced that melee healing wasn’t viable, but I found they hadn’t explored the mechanics enough :)

If SS is right, there is no opportunity to come up with non-specialized builds. Which brings us to the next point…

Melee Mages and Berserker Warriors Aren’t Viable Either

Per SS:

Oh, almost forgot. You have to pick also “reasonable” configurations. For example, warrior in clothes (light armor, leathers are medium armor) and a 2 hander won’t work. Light armor as a whole adds bonuses to magic regeneration, more mana etc., so you can theoretically have a plate armor mage, but he will run out of mana very, very fast.

I recall hearing last year that plate mages would be viable. However if the armor types have built-in biases for specific classes or builds, what the developer is effectively delivering is a choice that is not really a choice. You can choose to gimp yourself, or you can choose a build that synergizes with the gear options.

There are many ways that a game can balance plate armor for mages, e.g. off the top of my head:

  • Plate armor limits the range of magic abilities
  • Plate armor limits the usage of magic movement abilities, such as blink
  • Etc

Same goes for a warrior wearing in light armor, e.g. a Braavosi swordmaster from Game of Thrones. The warrior could sacrifice damage mitigation / avoidance, but gain faster attacks and gap-closing abilities. Water Dance FTW.

I have not played ESO, and based on your collective feedback to me I do not intend to. So maybe SS got the points above wrong – but if he was right, yikes.

My hope for future games, e.g. Camelot Unchained (CU), is that the developers get it right. I think choice of armor for each class would allow for much more diversity and customization by the player – the tradeoffs just need to be thought through. Some upcoming titles, such as ArcheAge, do support such choice:

With the mixing and matching of classes, you can also mix and match equipment. There’s nothing stopping a mage from wearing plate armor, or a warrior tank from wearing cloth! There are different stats for cloth, leather, and plate armor – and each armor type has different set bonuses – so pick the armor that best suits your play style.

Posted in Camelot Unchained, Elder Scrolls Online, Game Design, PVE, PVP, RIFT, Sage / Sorcerer, World of Warcraft
34 comments on “When a Build Choice is Not Really a Choice [#ESO]
  1. nykzolot says:

    While being somewhat correct from the pure min/maxer standpoint, SS is not entirely right when it comes to actual gameplay in ESO.

    In PvP hybrids are very much viable due to the fact that they can actually be both resilient enough and efficient in terms of dps/cc. On the other hand, there is no dueling, so it is hard to compare hybrids to pure specs due to lack of testing ground other than RvR.

    In questing you can usually go even with not efficient combo of class/armor/skill allocation etc. although there are moments when you can actually die during questing if your build is truly bad.

    In dungeons it is actually quite nice to be a hybrid. Aggro management in ESO is somewhat different from many other holy trinity games: you can’t realistically control all the mob pack as a tank, some mobs will rush to your party members no matter what. As a result, it is quite beneficial if you can sustain yourself under mobs pressure and even kill them on your own.

    Also it is worth mentioning that armor is not exclusive, you can wear different pieces from different types. i.e. heavy, light, medium at the same type. Thus you can benefit from specific buffs, based on the armor type you wearing. So you can actually be a plate mage, maybe with 1 or 2 pieces of light armor (actually you can go even without them, it is just another approach to your abilities as well, with prevalence of light/heavy attacks from your weapon of choice).

    TL;DR: So while there are no debuffs for using abilities with “wrong” types of armor, there are buffs instead for having ability/armor combo with good synergy. Hybrids are still viable, esp. in dungeons.

    • dbarnard188 says:

      your last sentence says what character building in this game is all about-understanding the synergies and how to build from them to perform in a certain role, or even multiple roles due to their being enough skill points in the game to do so.

  2. SpirriX says:

    I bought the physical collectors edition, and I regret that now. I love the whole TES universe, and how deep the story is and all that. Bethesta had some great TES games, but the MMO seems half-assed. It’s an OK TES game, and not a very good MMO. Cancelled my sub, but will likely resub later, just for a bit of story time. It’s a chill grind, but I have no exciting moments to share with you, after a month. It’s like playing WoW at the very end of an expansion, just waiting for the next.

    I played a healer/tank hybrid (templar). It worked OK in a dungeon, paired with my healer/DPS hybrid mate. While leveling, at least early on, these setups works pretty nice together, but it saddens me that there are not really flexible options for tanking. You HAVE to use heavy armour, and sword & board. Which makes sense I suppose, but a DK in WoW has a 2H weapon, and druids/monks have leather armour… The only variety in ESO is some of the class spells, which makes you not very flexible within the role of tanking. Ended up re-rolling a dragon knight, for full as much mitigation as possible, instead of just healing the spikes.

    I have compiled a list of about 30 bullet points as to what bothers me with this game. Some of the items I would consider bugs, but c’mon… Major issues, like the guild bank, should be resolved shortly after release! And no XP for gathering/crafting? I assumed to have freedom to do what I wanted, which is crafting, but without ANY gain in XP it just slows me down. For a new MMO, it seems to be more than five years old. Some day soon, I might post the list somewhere. For now, it’s just a google doc :)

    • nykzolot says:

      Truth to be told, you can tank quite easily as a sorcerer in light armor (you can just conjure armor and be ok). Also medium armor/dual wield can be a good avoidance tank. ESO reddit has some stories about being viable while being not DK tank:)

  3. Sujitsu says:

    The question of whether Hybrids are viable in the game is measured thusly: Does two hybrid (lets say dps/ healer) players measure up to two pure class players. If they don’t its pointless. I don’t care about questing or soloing or anything like that. If it isn’t viable in hardcore Min/Max settings than its a waste of time. There are many reasons hybrids would be lovely in hardcore settings, but its very rare to find a game that does it right. I do have to say that the single player elderscrolls games do hybridization quite nicely. its a shame ESO wasn’t more like its older siblings.

    I really wanted ESO to be good, I wanted to play a two-handed cloth wearer being unhindered by my armor (or lack there of) and swing a smaller sword quickly and more gracefully than someone wielding a claymore. A bit on the side of this topic, but I was really dissapointed to see that none of the classes were magicless. My hopes of replicating my Skyrim character was shattered very quickly. And I’ve heard the argument that you can play the game without using the magic buttons. If you are that person, just stop being stupid. No one in their right mind would purposely gimp themselves in a raid environment for aesthetic reasons. Well there might be someone out there that will, but I assure you they won’t be raiding with me.

    Lastly I didn’t see it mentioned that you could upgrade your skills which was also an illusion for anyone who min/maxes like they should. the vast majority of the upgrades that I encountered were absolute no brainers. And this really drove the point home to me that this game’s “customization” was an illusion and a lie.

    • dbarnard188 says:

      the “classes” themselves are just a starting point. it’s perfectly viable to have a Sorcerer or Nightblade “tank” in “hardcore content”. If the average player can clear the content with any of these classes performing a particular group role, then how is not “viable”. I would say from a traditional mmo mindset (which you seem to be locked into) that it would the clearest and easiest path to stick with the idea that DKs are tanks, NBs are mdps or rdps “rogues”, templars are healers and Sorcs are caster rdps. but that is a very constrained mindset and factually in error.

      While it’s doable to play a build that forgoes the use of “magicka” skills, you are correct to assert that it would be kind of foolish to ignore 1/3rd of the game’s resource pools. still, I think you’re looking at this game the wrong way. you say you want to play a “magicless” character, but what does that mean exactly? What is your specific gripe? is it that you have a problem with how the resource pools work mechanically or is it aesthetics, because you can certainly build a non-gimped, non-caster type of character that just happens to use both stamina and magicka resource pools. in the end, what does it matter that you use a resource pool that has “magic” as a root word in it, as long as you don’t appear to be a “mage”.

      to your last point, there are certainly some “must have” passive and active skill choices one must take in order to fulfill their role/roles well. but how is that different from any other mmo? as far as the morphs, all it takes is some tweaking to make the less useful/appealing choices more so. you have to give a new mmo time to identify its weaknesses and make modifications. this isn’t a single player rpg and it would be unfair to judge games from two different schools on the same curve, even though i would argue they’ve done a horrible job of making it play that way for most of the pve content in the game (but that’s for another thread and another time).

  4. Nepumuk says:

    I just started veteran rank 1 as Templar and respecced to full health attributes and light armor. That makes magicka soft capped with food and enchants. I could just turn this around going full magicka attributes with plate armor and HP food and enchants instead.

    “xyz does not work” is bit thin. How did he get there?

    • “xyz does not work” is bit thin. How did he get there?

      So I’m hearing different things.

      Some folks seem to think SS was wrong, and that armor isn’t biased towards particular specs or classes.

      Some folks agree with SS, e.g. Dom Fahey (@Pyrofoxable), a Producer for GAMEBREAKER:

      • dbarnard188 says:

        no disrespect to Dom, but i would say he has a very rudimentary or limited grasp on the game mechanics. armor isn’t biased towards any particular class. it is simply one of the mechanics to factor into a character build synergy. when designing any particular build, you have to find all of the synergies between: 1) class actives and passives, 2) weapons, 3) armor, 4) guild and world actives/passives, 5) pvp actives/passives, 6) racial passives.

        in your example of a “Braavosi Water Dancer” concept build, you’re already making a choice of melee weapon (most likely swords), which you can go either dual-wield, s&b, or 2h (each has it’s strengths and weaknesses) per weapon set. i said earlier there is no “class” bias, but there is “bias” (if you want to use that term) when you factor in weapon type, class choice, race choice and armor choice. from a mdps point of view, it would be smart to choose medium armor for its bonuses to crit chance, attack speed, bonuses to sneaking/sprinting and cost reduction to dodging, as well as stamina management. you also have to understand that despite an ability costing magicka to use, if it simulates a melee attack it uses weapon crit and not spell crit. so having a good understanding of the game’s overall mechanics is important to building a character.

      • Dom’s analysis isn’t wrong though.

      • jesincrowe says:

        I would say that it ACTUALLY is VERY wrong… As dbarnard 188 said, “he has a very rudimentary or limited grasp on the game mechanics”… You can morph things around heavily based on passives/hybridization of armor types, class abilities, etc…

      • improvedai says:

        Each Armor type has an Active ability that provides something close to what Pyrofoxable mentions. You don’t need to wear the specific armor type to use the base ability but the benefits definitely increase based on how many of that armor type you are wearing.

        For example, The Medium armor trait line which is most synonymous with a “dexterous warrior/rogue” type has an evasion skill that can increase the dodge change or snare removal based on how many pieces of Medium armor equipped. Seems fitting to me.

        The sterotype in Elder Scrolls that needs to be overcome is that which class you pick had a pre-determined style. I.E “Night Blade” is a rogue in leather armor with daggers. They actually make amazing “blackguard” Heavy Armor Tanks / pvp characters. Nightblades also make for great “warlocks” or healers too.

        Sorcerers can tank in light armor, heavy armor, or medium armor. They can use the heavy armor active ability or a few of their class abilities to hold up on armor and spell resistance.I can use Jewelry for block cost reduction and not use a shield if I want.There is a Magicka Taunt ability that every class has access to as well.

        Picking Class and Race are the two locked in features to your build, but how you utilize those passives/active skills and pair then with weapon, armor, guild, pvp, world, skill is entirely up to you.

      • JesinCrowe says:

        I would have to say that from what I have seen, almost any build (with enough skyshard work and crafting/knowledge of crafts/hybridization of armor (I run a 5-2 heavy light or 4-3 H/L) can be viable… The game further has so many ways to make your choices in character building MATTER so that your character just FEELS like how you want it to be…

        There are over 304 possible skill points available out there. The RvR is the best that I have seen in a game since DAoC. The gameplay, while taxing to me in beta where I had not figured out how to change things around to my typical setup, is intuitive and fun now that I have it set to my normal gameplay.

        I have seen a METRIC TON of players complaining about builds not working, but I have yet to find something that I could not do as long as I was willing to put in the time and skyshard work to be able to pull it off via passives. Granted, I have not hit end game but have played most facets of the game including “bolstered” RvR.

        My main is a paladin type with enough dmg to be able to solo things relatively easily and enough healing to be able to main heal dungeons with ease. I have enchanted my gear (and weapon procs) to boost my mana heavily. I think one of the main issues that people may have had with the character setup is that they failed to understand how different abilities worked: class abilities being basically magicka-based with weapons being stamina. That said, theorycrafting has been a strong suit of mine through the years. If a player does not plan things out and work towards it via skyshards/armor chants/etc, they will be disappointed. For the player that spends time with their eso character builder and REALLY breaks things down, they will love it. I HONESTLY think you would love this game, Taugrim. Your builds/skills back in Rift earned my respect. Just don’t be a dirty elf!!! Ebonheart Pact FTW!

  5. improvedai says:

    I have a two-handed weapon sorcerer who has tanked high level dungeons in medium armor. Our group has a bow wielding Dragonknight CC, Sorcerer Staff Healer and Nightblade (vampire/mage’s guild) DPS.

    Some comments about ESO in regard to this article –

    Anyone who uses class abilities (Magicka) is a “mage” then

    Anyone who uses martial weapon abilities (Stamina) is a “warrior” then

    All armor types can be enchanted for any stat (Health, Magicka, Stamina)

    You can mix/match armor types for different passive bonuses based on how many of each type you wear

    Any class can heal with a resto staff (in-combat weapon swap available)

    Any class can tank with a sword/shield (in-combat weapon swap available)

    There are several open skill tress for utility, damage, heals, pvp, etc.. that everyone has access to as well

    You have enough skill points to fit several different “roles” into your build.

    • All armor types can be enchanted for any stat (Health, Magicka, Stamina)

      You can control the stats / bonuses / passives for any armor piece of any armor type?

      If that’s the case, either I’m misinterpreting SS, or his takes are incorrect.

      • dbarnard188 says:

        yes you can control, via crafting, the: enchantment, set bonus (if any), and trait on weapons, armor and jewelry.

      • dbarnard188 says:

        i should’ve said “jewelry to a lesser extent” because there is currently no way to craft jewelry in the game.

      • dbarnard188 says:

        sry, need to add that you cannot control the passives of an armor skill line. the above comments were for gear only. sry for any confusion i might’ve contributed.

      • improvedai says:

        I can enchant a full set of light armor for Max Stamina and craft that set to increase that stat further (infused). It will directly factor into the damage i can deal with martial weapons.

        The Light armor passive abilities only deal with Magicka regen, spell crit etc… though, yes it is true.

        Medium armor passives are designed for martial weapon dps builds..

        Armor skills lines do not give bonuses directly to the primary stat, but rather secondary stats like regen, crit, block, etc… and they all scale with how may pieces you wear with a specific 5 piece bonus passive as well. Soft Caps or “Overcharging” on stats ensures you can’t become unbalanced (promoting hybrids thinking).

        The thing is when making a martial weapon dps character, it would be silly to ignore ALL of your class abilities (magicka based) and the fact that you have a base magicka resource pool that would go wasted.

        A lot of builds will wear 5 Medium Armor / 2 Light Armor to get benefit from both passive armor skills lines that apply to DPS. Some PvP / Tanking builds might splash in some Heavy for defenses.

        A practical examaple – A Nightblade player who wants to be most like a “Shadowy Assassin” although using dual-wielded daggers as their weapon might wear full light armor to get benefits for their stealth skills in the Nightblade class skill lines. he might also enchant that gear for health to survive in PvP, because one of the Nightblade Class abilities “Leeching Stirkes” provides great resource sustain already if he chooses to slot it. He can then choose to put some attribute points into stamina to compensate around soft caps.

        There are further customizations with Jewelery,, Set Bonuses, Mundus Stones (paired with the Divines crafting trait), that begin to showcase a much deeper character design.

  6. Viliphied says:

    I have no hope for Camelot Unchained unless things have changed significantly from the announcement. Even though DAoC was my first (and by far my favorite to date) MMO, game design has advanced significantly in the last 12 years, and it sounds like they want to just toss it all out the window for the nostalgia (and “hardcore” /wanking motion) factor. Some aspects of DAoC (leveling, unmarked quests, no meaningful in game maps) were a slog when I was 17 and had 40 hours a week I could spend gaming, and are absolutely not worth it at 28 when I don’t.

  7. TriumphSP says:

    None of this explains why they had to go and nerf the Hellcat!

    • why they had to go and nerf the Hellcat!

      You mean aside from the fact that the Hellcat was one of the best tanks at-tier of any tank in the game?

      Killer vision
      Superb gun depression
      Excellent mobility
      Excellent camo
      Excellent penetration
      Fast aiming time
      Has turret

      The Hellcat needed to be nerfed, badly.

      The ridiculous WT E-100 line also needs a huge nerf, but in the meanwhile I’m glad some of the really OP tanks are getting balanced.

      If/when the KV-1S is split and balanced, the only grossly OP tanks left will be the T57 and the tier 9-10 Soviet mediums.

      • TriumphSP says:

        In a slightly more serious tone, my argument to your post is the “Jackson”. The Jackson is a mirror copy of the Hellcat in 9/10 of all characteristics. It was the twin sister in real life and in the game. The difference is the Hellcat is faster but the Jackson has more armor.

        To bring things full circle with this Thread, armor vs speed is the “compelling trade-off” that doesn’t really exist. It’s not compelling because the extra armor on a jackson is only thick enough to stop shells from Tier IV guns. However against same tier or higher tier tanks the Jackson becomes nothing more than a less mobile Hellcat. Against the stronger opponents you will face in WOT, choosing the mobile hellcat over the jackson is a no brainer.

        In recent patches the popularity of the Hellcat soared, but not because of any buffs to the vehicle. The first reason was the nerf to the 105mm on the most popular tier 5 tank the M4 sherman. The natural enemy of the Hellcat is HE. About the same time they nerfed artillery, WG also nerfed the single greatest source of HE in battles, the 105mm used by the PzIV and M4 sherman. So of course nerfing the accuracy of the 105mm DERP provided a strong buff to the hellcat that thrives at putting distance between it’s enemy and itself and sniping.
        – This was also a huge nerf to the Jackson, as it’s strongest selling point was taking far less damage from HE than its twin.

        The second reason was nerfing the VK3601H (Tiger Cub). Sporting good mobility, armor, and having excellent long range sniping capability, the VK3601H was the chief rival to the Hellcat among experience players. Then it became just another Heavy, losing it’s mobility, and having it’s gun continually nerfed. Now it is a decent tier VI heavy tank that is in direct competition with the Three Kings of the Soviet branch. The KV-1S the T-150 and the KV-2 all of which are heavily favored for their OP guns. The major weakness of the Three Kings is their vision, especially against well camouflaged TDs. Making them the dominate reason to play the hellcat.

        This brings me to why the Hellcat should not be nerfed. Because Tank Destroyers in general are losing their passive bonus to camoflage while firing. It is a pretty strong nerf to all TDs, and the major reason the Hellcat is dangerous in experienced hands. With that issue being addressed, I don’t see any reason to further nerf the hellcat.

        *Well that was a good exercise in constructive argumentation*

  8. theunwarshed says:

    I would say some of what he says is true, for instance, there are definitely “must haves” both in passive choices and active skills for doing things like pve group content and pvp, however, that still leaves a lot of flexibility in rounding out your particular build with what is currently in the game (i’m told we can expect more skills and/or skill morphs to existing skills in the future).

    Where he completely misses the mark is in the assertion that there can’t be melee mages and the like. for an example of a very viable melee mage check out Atropos from Entropy Rising/Tamriel Foundry’s “reaver build” sorcerer. I, myself, main a Dragonknight with a 5 heavy/2 light armor, S&B and wither destro or healing Staff weapon loadout. While I definitely consider myself a “tank” (my role in the group of friends i play with), i can bring respectable dps and the best cc in the game.

    Having said that, i think there are clear paths to min/max’ing (as in any mmo) for anyone willing to do some testing/research. personally, i think it’s more of a mix of what works for your play style combined with some very clear “must haves”.

    Having played both GW2 and ESO into the “elder game”, it is my opinion that the latter has done a better job of providing the “bring the player, not the class” claim/experience to the game. I can’t think of any other theme park mmo that has done a better job of it.

  9. dbarnard188 says:

    Ed, the bottom line is that ESO’s character building system is very deep when compared to other games of its ilk. there are lots of balls in the air, so to speak when it comes to designing a character concept with synergy. if you sorta liked GW2’s attempt, i have a feeling that you’ll find this version a better attempt, while not perfect.

    • if you sorta liked GW2′s attempt, i have a feeling that you’ll find this version a better attempt, while not perfect.

      Fair enough, and I appreciate your answering my earlier posts.


  10. adventmtg says:

    There really isn’t a whole lot here that’s accurate. Hybrids are very viable, and in some cases preferable. This is least true when it comes to armor passives, as armor passives are fairly specialized, but is there anything wrong with that? No one complains that a restoration staff isn’t good at dealing damage, or that the two-handed sword tree doesn’t have any healing abilities. A restoration staff not being good at dealing damage isn’t bad design – it’s designed to heal and that’s what it does. Likewise, light armor isn’t supposed to grant physical damage resistance on par with heavy armor – is this bad design?

    This post has been shared to me from two seperate sources today, both of whom are very anti-ESO, one of whom hasn’t even touched the game. This blog post is being touted as evidence that ESO is a bad game when, simply put, this post doesn’t have many legitimate points about the game itself.

    Is ESO perfect? Of course not. But I’d encourage people to withhold complete judgement until a few content patches cang et out there (as ongoing content is the lifeblood of any MMO. Just look at Marvel Heroes, which looks completely different less than one year after it launched) It’s hurtful to the gaming community to root for a game to fail, but that seems to be what a lot of ESO’s detractors are doing.

    • Hybrids are very viable, and in some cases preferable

      Glad to hear it.

      Likewise, light armor isn’t supposed to grant physical damage resistance on par with heavy armor – is this bad design?

      You are conflating mitigation of armor types with the other stats associated with them.

      Yes, of course heavier armor should provide more physical damage resistance. No, it shouldn’t have other stats tied to it, unless the player can configure those stats, a la GW2.

      This blog post is being touted as evidence that ESO is a bad game when, simply put, this post doesn’t have many legitimate points about the game itself.

      I was clear in my article that I had not played the game, and that I was commenting on another player’s opinions of the game.

      If SS’s takes were inaccurate, I’m glad to hear clarification.

      It’s hurtful to the gaming community to root for a game to fail

      ….and that’s not the point of this blog, or anything that I write.


      • adventmtg says:

        I’m no fanboi, I’m glad to talk about where ESO has gone wrong. This isn’t just one of those areas. The games skill choices are, in my mind, one of the better aspects of the game, however, and a whole blog post dedicated to talking about how ESO punishes hybrid classes is just adding to the anti-ESO hype, regardless of its intent.

      • I’m no fanboi, I’m glad to talk about where ESO has gone wrong

        My bad, I didn’t contextualize the link.

        I was talking about myself, not you. I’m not one of those people who goes around needlessly bashing games, especially because I have a favorite one that I advocate to the exclusion of all others.

        I really appreciate your post, it was objective and well-written.

        whole blog post dedicated to talking about how ESO punishes hybrid classes is just adding to the anti-ESO hype, regardless of its intent

        When you don’t play a game, you rely on the opinions of other people you respect. SS writes a great blog, and his take on ESO seemed informed.

      • dbarnard188 says:

        i think the problem with his post is that he made a generalized opinion based on the obvious paths to character building without bothering to find the creative or less obvious paths. it’s all about hitting the soft cap target numbers (for all current content in the game), and perhaps beyond (for the upcoming “hardcore content”), and there’s multiple ways to get there.

  11. Toufs187 says:

    You are being asked to login because stephantomas91@gmail.com is used by an account you are not logged into now.

    By logging in you’ll post the following comment to When a Build Choice is Not Really a Choice (#ESO):
    I can understand that if you like TESO you don’t want to hear a bad word about it, but what SS said is up to 90% true!

    So let’s look at Armor-passives for light-armor (cloth) for example:

    [Passive] Evocation – Reduces the Magicka cost of spells per piece for light armor equipped.
    [Passive] Recovery – Increases Magicka regeneration per piece of light armor equipped.
    [Passive] Spell Warding – Increases spell resistance per piece of light armor equipped.
    [Passive] Concentration – Your spells ignore some enemy spell resistance per piece of light armor.
    [Passive] Prodigy – While wearing 5 or more pieces of light armor you gain increased critical damage.

    In comparison to medium-armor:

    [Passive] Improved Sneak – Decreases the area within which you can be detected and decreases the time to become fully hidden per piece of medium armor equipped.
    [Passive] Windwalker – Increases Stamina regeneration per piece of medium armor equipped.
    [Passive] Athletics – Increases sprint speed and reduces the cost of dodging per piece of medium armor equipped.
    [Passive] Dexterity – Increases critical strike chance per piece of medium armor equipped.
    [Passive] Agility – When wearing 5 or more pieces of medium armor you have increased attack speed with weapon attacks.

    So – ofc you CAN run PvE or PvP content as a “medium-armor-staff-using-sorcerer” and (since PvE dungeons are pretty easy) you will maybe succeed BUT (and that’s what SS said (and so did Taugrim) – YOU BASICALLY GIMP YOURSELF (a lot)!!

    (It’s the same with Races (an “altmer” (High-Elf kinda thing) has a +10% max mana and +9% in combat mana-regeneration PASSIVE – again – you don’t need it to be successfull as a caster – but if you know you want to be AS GOOD AS A HEALER AS POSSIBLE – that’s the race for you to pick!)

    TL:DR – YES, if you want to min/max you have (99.9%) no choice

    (got 1 VR10 Sorc and a VR2 Templar – so I cleared all content)

    just my 2 cents on this – still a fun game if you play with freinds :)


    • So let’s look at Armor-passives for light-armor (cloth) for example:

      In comparison to medium-armor:

      TL:DR – YES, if you want to min/max you have (99.9%) no choice

      (got 1 VR10 Sorc and a VR2 Templar – so I cleared all content)

      Thanks for posting those.

      I’m not sure why people are arguing that the armor doesn’t have built-in passives toward particular builds / styles of play. Those bonuses sure look like it.

      • Attic says:

        To be fair, Skyrim’s armor perks are similarly slanted. Though admittedly not as drastically.

        I’m not even playing TESO anymore because a) the VR10 grind is terrible and b) Heroes of the Storm is just more enticing atm, but this whole thing seems kinda unfair to me.

        I had no issues concepting out my character and his finalized PvP build and feeling as though I had meaningful choices at every step of the way. I picked my class. Defined a rough idea of the playstyle I was going for, then picked the weapons, abilities, enchants, and armors that best accomplished my goal. It just so happens that I settled on

        When it came to armor class in particular I got to choose if I though more stamina, more magicka, or more armor was more useful to me. I decided that I would focus on stamina because I wanted to use loads of weapon abilities, sprint, block, and dodge. The game didn’t force me into that.

        I can’t really say I got that sort of freedom in games like, WAR, SWTOR, WoW, or even GW2.

        Now, if I’d had my heart utterly set on playing a certain playstyle AND wearing a certain set of armor AND using a certain weapon and it turned out that none of them really meshed well with each other, then I’d have been screwed.

        But asking for all those disparate pieces to nicely slot together, while maintaining a high level of min-maxing potential to boot, seems, to me, to be asking too much.

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