Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Builders Discuss Topic 4: Gameplay

Tags: #Builders Discuss 
  • December 29, 2016

    Excuse me miss, but what do you plan on doing with that ax?

    Hello everyone and welcome back to builders discuss, for a list of past discussions click the tag, or check out the Archive, otherwise stick around and share your thoughts with the community.  Today I wanted to ask you guys about GAMEPLAY and specifically the Gameplay/Combat sections of your builds.  How do you go about writing/integrating this section into your build?  This is obviously a very important part of any build, hence it being one of only two requirements for a Character Build on this site.  However, it is also the number one warning I need to give out to new builders and if I’m honest it’s a section I often gloss over, and many others seem to tack on because it’s required. 

    So…share with us your thoughts; how important is this section in your opinion, and how do you go about incorporating it into your Character Builds?


  • Member
    December 29, 2016

    I'm not sure, honestly, how important it is to me because I honestly like a build to be flexible and able to adapt to several styles.  When you point out certain perks and gear, the gameplay and style of play is sort of pre-determined without writing it down and mandating someone else play it exactly that same way.  Still, it is the last section I complete in a build if only because it's usually the final segment to come completely together when you are testing out a build.  I've got to ensure the gear I want to use is right, and works with the way I've got the build set up.  Then and only then can I cobble together a plan of action for a Gameplay section.

  • Member
    December 29, 2016
    So I haven't actually completed a build yet, but as far as playing other builds that's the most important to me. It doesn't have to be anything different or unique necessarily, as RP and equipment choices can be enough to make a build feel unique, but it has to work. If the look or story is cool, but I keep dying, I'm not going to finish the build (I know it's not my fault if I die, I'm fucking awesome at this game). The gameplay is the cake, everything else is the icing
  • December 29, 2016

    I'm curious about this. What's the right split between character and gameplay? I had both empty characters who just hit things in a specific way or just story characters that died in every corner.

  • Member
    December 29, 2016

    I love the Gameplay and Combat sections. While stats, gear, and perk selections are the skeleton upon which a build is created (there can be no build without them), the Gameplay, Combat, and (for me at least) Roleplay sections are what really flesh a build out, bring it to life, and separate it from other builds.

    I love reading about how builders tackle a particular build, how they approach varying combat situations, and all the little things they do to immerse themselves in their game. Heck, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that I've learned almost as many tips, tricks, glitches, and exploits from reading builds as I have from the Tips and Tricks forum (and that's saying quite a lot ;D).

    As for writing Gameplay/Combat sections: I really enjoy that aspect as well. I look at it as a chance to share my approach for a build and what worked well for me rather than as the definitive way to play it. I always try my best to put out a this-is-what-I-did-but-feel-free-to-do-what-works-for-you vibe. Combat sections, in particular, are some of my favorite to write up. It seems like combat for every build I play (whether mine or someone else's) is always a little bit different than previous builds I've played. That makes it exciting for me, and I like sharing what I'm excited about. Plus, combat (again, for me) is the exciting part of playing the game.

    Ironically, I'm trying to get a build out before the end of the year, and I'm struggling with my Gameplay and Combat sections (the words just haven't been properly reflecting the feel of my playthrough... I'll eventually get it correctly written down though) xD

  • December 30, 2016

    Combat and is a funny thing for me. I understand that, yes, there is often an "endgame" goal to builds, but I often feel that I need to play as the "build" from the getgo. MKy Exterminator whipped out a mace and a shield and started whacking away at Helgen with the crap iron stuff and he gathered all the ingredients he could find and tasted them. So he tasted and whacked his way through Helgen. Sometimes, I read in Gameplay sections... "Well, play this build for about 20 levels as a sneak archer and once you get THIS skill, then play in this, often completely different, way." I understand why that is done, but it doesn't make sense to me, especially if the build touts itself as an ultimate build in a completely different skill set, unless you set it up very well as to why you are doing that. Why not play as the build from level 1 and just then upgrade his/her gears and weapons as you get more powerful? 

    That doesn't mean I don't have "endgame" goals, I do, but I love just playing as the person from the beginning. Sure, you are perhaps not as powerful in the beginning because the skills need to develop, but there are ways to roleplay lack of skills very nicely in the early levels. But that's roleplay and another topic. 

    For me, I approach writing Gameplay and combat as a how would my build take on this enemy or that using his/her skillset and I enjoy writing these sections for my builds because they involve categories and I love categories. I also love teaching and people get to see first hand how I tackled some sometimes very quirky skillsets or limitations. What do you mean, you are not regenerating magicka, Lis! How do you fight... Well, read on my friends. For mages do this, for dragons, run away, that sort of thing.  I do like builds that have several options, and mine tend to, within the logic of their skill set and roleplay, but this actually can be very nicely incorporated into gameplay, I mean roleplay. Oh, wait, shoot, for me, they really do go hand in hand. 

    My combat will always be simple. I cannot coordinate buttons well, but if I know of something that a more experienced button masher or keyboard fancy pants clicker can do that I can't because I suck, I'll add it to the build. Like for example, block with two-handed weapons. My Henantier build features this and I perked it, but I cannot block well with a two-handed weapon to save me., though I swears I do try. I understand the value, however, for the build and it's there, so a better player can do it. 

    Oh, very funny thing that I do. Sometimes, I like to make my combat immersive. Like, for example, why would one charge to a dragon with a battle axe? It is glorious, but not so great to do in the early levels, so I like to treat combat and gameplay like problem-solving almost. 

  • Member
    December 30, 2016

    Ryokoichi said:

    I'm curious about this. What's the right split between character and gameplay? I had both empty characters who just hit things in a specific way or just story characters that died in every corner.

    I always make the lore or backstory justify the gameplay.

  • December 30, 2016

    Your Exorcist build is a fine example for that.

    I'm still getting hang of the character building and I am amazed by Special Skills people create. I think it falls in Gameplay section due its nature. At some point, the skills start to seem same things with one part different from each other but still I liked every build that has Special Skills and little pictures for them. 

  • Member
    January 2, 2017

    The more I look over builds, the ones which stick out in my mind are those whose gameplay style mirrors the roleplay and concept of a build.

    My favorite Lycanthrope build is the Shaper, because it combines the intellect of a mage with the primal, animalistic aggression of a werewolf in often highly interesting ways. Even if it didn't, though, a werewolf mage just sounds awesome. 

    My favorite warrior/crafter build is always going to be the Knights in Iron, because it takes crafting to such a magnificent extreme that your most powerful techniques come from your items rather than your perks. Who couldn't be at least a little intrigued?

    My personal favorite pure mage is probably Henson's Cabalist (if I remember the name correctly), a mage laser-focused on utilizing runes in conjunction with conjured minions who are completely immune to the element of the runes being used, making for a unique and fantastically interesting way to play the game from beginning to end. Its aesthetic and fun factor are hard to match, regardless of how other builds may be more powerful.

    That'y my answer, anyway. Others are certainly capable of feeling differently, and their opinions are as valid as mine are.


  • January 3, 2017

    This is one of those things that I tend to struggle with when writing my builds. As such it’s often simply added on at or near the end fulfilling the site requirement. Don’t get me wrong I totally believe that this section is necessary, simply because not everyone is as familiar as I am with the game mechanics and how the game plays. And I think that’s the problem for me, this game is old by industry standards and most of the people who are still interested in Character Builds are probably on their hundredth play-thru of the game and know just as much, if not more, than I do. I feel like this section often times is just a little patronizing and most people can figure out how a build plays just by reading the equipment section, or glancing at the perk spread. However, there are still new/casual players who don’t have the same level of experience that I have so this section is entirely necessary.

    I think as far as integration of the gameplay goes there are some who weave it throughout their build instead of dedicating a section to it. I really like this method especially if it’s done right as it feels organic and natural. This is not something that I have been particularly good at myself, though I have tried to varying degrees. Often I write up the build and then I check to see if there is enough information to play the character based on what I’ve written. If I feel it’s all there somewhere then I will go ahead and post the build. However, if I feel that there are some aspects that need more clarification, then I will add a “Combat/Playstyle/Gameplay” section to illuminate those specific areas.

    When I’m reading a build I will often skip this section, for the above reasons, and it’s rare when someone posts a build that leaves me unsure of how to play it, even if they failed to include a Gameplay Section.

    So with all that said I want to clarify what I think is a good Gameplay section. Invariably this means a “how to” guide on not dying in Skyrim, also known as combat. This section, or sections, or series of explanations peppered throughout the build, should cover how your character handles the various combat situations and enemies that they are going to face. Fundamentally there are three enemy types in Skyrim (melee, range, dragon) among these three there are sub-types but every enemy falls into these three categories. Once these bases are covered other more specific tactics should be laid out, i.e. how to handle crowds, or specific strategies on how to handle a more specific enemy type (like undead or automatons). For example, there should be a “how-to fight melee opponents” and a “how-to fight range opponents” sections, the second one might be further broken down into archers and mages. Finally every build needs a guide on how to fight dragons, they are an utterly unique enemy type, and a challenge that just about every character will have to overcome.