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Dragonborn's Guide to Workshop Commenting

  • March 2, 2016

    Hi there everyone, I've been keeping track of some comments lately, and I decided to put forward a bit of a guide on how I comment on Workshop Builds (Or all Builds that need improvement) it isn't by any standards a definite process that you need to follow, I just thought that it'd be nice to share some thoughts on it .

    1: Start off with an Introduction

    Not a personal one, but a quick description of what the build is lacking in most. Not only does this set the tone for the rest of the comment, but can be used as a really quick hint for the author to scroll down and check out what they generally need to work on. Usually this is something expansive that you go into further detail about below, like Formatting, Amount of Information and individual sections. 

    2: Address the smaller issues

    Working out the smallest issue is the easiest way to organise a comment. Get the quicker content out of the way first, so that people can find it easier, and work it out even faster. Generally this will be things like picture size, perk spreads and grammar issues. 

    3: Address the Larger Issues

    I'd hope that this is obvious, but after working on the smaller issues it's time to cover the largest issues the build has. This enables you to go into more detail without needing to compress the smaller aspects in the massive comment (well larger one). 

    4: End with a compliment, or reassurance

    Generally I think we can tend to be a bit harsh with comments. But that's good, what you really need to do is then follow it up by offering to help further (and actually follow through with it) but more importantly offer words of encouragement. This can pretty much be the difference between a builder quitting and continuing on with the improvements


    This is by far the most important step. Don't think just because you've left a single comment that you shouldn't/can't respond further. More comments can only help a new builder out, so when they update it, come back and leave advice on any updates they make. The Workshop thrives on constant communication between members, and it can mean the difference between a good build and a great build. I add on to that, by recommending that you comment, even if I or someone else has commented on it, more advice is always better for a build. 

    An addition would be offering to discuss it privately with the member as well. A quick private message over a day can be much more helpful for some newer members who might be a little shy, or really just prefer it. 

    6: Make it Clear that there are other options

    I feel that many of us have the problem of offering a lot of advice based on personal preference. When commenting, make sure that you mention that there are other options, that your suggestions isn't the only one. If we all do that, it means we can give more options but not overwhelm new builders with a flurry of differing opinions. 

    7: Don't use logic like "Well he commented already so I won't"

    We all have different experiences and styles when it comes to building, but nobodies is more or less valid than anyone else's. We can all explain things differently, maybe so-and-so has more experience than you, but that might give them set things that they don't consider changing. Your opinion is always important, no matter who you are, so always give it, even if someone else has.

    I've seen too often two scenarios that mean people haven't comment. The first is the one mentioned in the subtitle, that someone else has already left a massive comment, so there's nothing else to go over. The second, is that you don't have as much experience as someone else so they know better. As I said above, your opinion is always important, even if someone else has left a comment, leave yours, not only does it show the builder your interested, but it can give them differing opinions, or re-affirm already given  ones. 


    I hope some of this helps people who are coming into comment on builds. I've seen an absolutely massive increase in comments later, both from the readers and the authors and it's been excellent. I'd like this to continue for as long as possible because there is no negative to providing too much information. 

    If you have any personal additions to make, leave the comment below. 

  • Member
    March 2, 2016

    Regarding #5 (return later), it could also help to extend an offer for more private conversation in the form of messages or a Skype discussion to give a more personal response. Naturally, not everyone's going to have time for 50 Skype calls, but a few message chains here and there shouldn't be a massive problem.

  • March 2, 2016

    Excellent point, generally I prefer the public discussion (Helps out other builders at the same time) but I definitely get that some people might prefer to message or Skype. 

  • March 3, 2016
    Helpful, admittedly I don't do half these things. Cheers Dragonborn.
  • June 7, 2016

    I added a 7th little tip to this, about leaving detailed comments even if somebody else already has. 

    In other news, I was thinking of running a quick little workshop in the Workshop about commenting, leaving advice and generally helping others out (I like to think I was good at that). If you'd like to participate, first I'll need a deposit of $20 AUS  let me know so I can kind of plan it better. I think it's something that is always helpful, no matter what group and something that I can always see needing a bit of work here and there.

  • Member
    June 7, 2016
    I think I cant participate but here is your money.
  • June 7, 2016

    That's only like...wait let me think, around $14 AUD, which will have to do 

    That's fine, it'd probably be a more one on one thing that I run over the course of the rest of the next couple months. I'd rather wait and see if I get some more response here but if not I'll be posting it in the forums when I finish up a few other things I'm doing at the moment. 

  • Member
    June 7, 2016
    I do honestly not know what exactly 'we' should do. :D
  • Member
    November 1, 2016

    Wait, why isn't this sticky?

  • November 1, 2016

    Ah...probably missed it going through.