Skyrim Character Building » Discussions

Builders Discuss Topic 11: Ranks

Tags: #Builders Discuss 
  • August 2, 2017


    Hello everyone and welcome to Builders Discuss, back by unpopular demand after a long hiatus. And it’s back with a real doozy of a dilemma which you may have guessed at already.

    You see I’ve been thinking recently about the ranking system we have here in Skyrim Character Building. I’ll be honest with you guys I don’t like it, never have, there is an intrinsic unfairness to it that has always bothered me.   Don’t get me wrong there are clear and positive benefits to it as well; it’s just that likes are a poor way to judge the quality of a build. But this isn’t about me and my opinion. You see this topic came up recently among the Elder Council (like two months ago but I’m a slow sload) and you can thank Dragonborn 1921 for dropping some wisdom on me and saying to just throw it to the community and let them weigh in.  So here's the question...

    What to do (if anything) about Skyrim Character Building Ranks?

    Let me know what you think about the ranking system, do you like it? Hate it? Think it’s outdated and needs a change? Think it’s perfect just the way it is? I have a few thoughts on this but I want this to be community driven.

    In the end this will probably culminate into a poll that will decide what we do but for now…


    Vote in the Poll!


    -Vargr White-Tree


  • August 2, 2017

    There we go, I've done it. I've now manipulated one of my last three groups, all I need to do is get into ESO, RP and TSC and I've managed to infiltrate and control them all behind the scenes [Insert Evil Laugh Here] :P

    I love discussing ranks, probably because I've been here for long enough to remember what it was like when you could still reliably get builds with 50 likes within a couple of weeks. Honestly, I love the ranking system, and would love to be able to see it come back. Honestly as much as I can pretend that I don't mind getting 10 likes on a build, there is just something thrilling about working towards each new rank, trying to produce a piece of work that managed to get that much higher up. For me, that goal is something that did mean something, having a Legendary Build back then, or a Hall of Fame build (or being able to claim that you beat other people's builds into that Hall of Fame) was amazing, hell Mythic and Exemplar to me were just goals that when I did start cracking, felt amazing. It does add a goal to the process of creating a builds, especially for more competitive people but also gives new members an incentive to post more content, to enhance and generally improve the content they do post. That is something that...while not missing lately, isn't something you see in quite as many people.

    Manik was an older member who I think best personifies this drive to create better content. He started off I believe barely getting out of the Bloodworks, or being stuck there and then managed to constantly push himself to getting better and better builds, constantly seeking advice on old builds while making new builds that used that advice, until he managed...I believe Legendary. I think he was pretty much the last new person to get a Legendary build, if not the last person in general to get one. I was the same as Manik, way back when I started, I didn't quite get Legendary but I figured with multiple Hall of Fame builds, Event-Legendary builds was good enough. 

    That drive is something that is a bit rarer these days. It's not entirely gone, and there are still plenty of people who want to improve their builds but I just don't see the same drive as there used to be because, well there's no reason. At the moment, we improve for ourselves really. Each of my builds does fancier things with the presentation, or new things because I want to, not because I want to reach the next goal. 

    Oh boy this is getting long... So, even though I really do feel like a Ranking System is something we should implement, I don't believe the old one works at all. It's rather obvious to anyone that looks that likes aren't a focus anymore for people. Maybe that's partially because we dont have an updated Ranking System, maybe it's because people just don't want to, but regardless. Nowadays getting to 100 likes is an impossibility, it just won't happen without a significant number of alternate/fake accounts being involved. Or possibly Ponty coming back and posting a build that outstrips all his old ones, but eh. So I do believe that we should create a new Ranking System, one that's more plausible then what we have now.


    My suggestion would be 


    10 likes - Bloodworks (or maybe a new name...something that doesn't sound so ominious and threatening?)

    15 likes - Regonized (or a new name)

    25 likes - Exemplar (or a new name)

    40 likes - Mythic 

    50 likes - Legendary


    The possible difference I'd make there would be shrinking the system down to 4 ranks and just making it 10, 20, 30, 45 but I feel like 50 likes is possible, but it's still difficult. Not everyone is going to be getting there and it'll show a lot of dedication to get there. 10 is a goal that would require a bit of care but is nowhere close to impossible to reach.

    Then...well it'd be rather tedious but perhaps giving out badges to everyone that had a Mythic or Legendary build before the move? Nah that might be a bit extreme, maybe just the HoF builds can get badges to signify the past (kind of like how a lot of MMO's will give you achievements for finishing old DLC, Destiny does that a lot.) and creating a set of tags for the old builds that works with their old ratings, and shows them off seperately. 

    Something like...Prolific Mythic and Prolific Legendary, dunno just throwing around random words. But something to give the people who managed a special place that shows off what they've done.

    Anyway, I'll probably jump in with other suggestions. Maybe names for the ranks, the complete and utter eradication of the Death Matches but a suggestion for the implementation of something that has the secondary use of them (which was to showcase builds...we just need to remove the... destroy and murder part in my books). That sort of thing. Sorry for the long ass post Vargr but you know me, when it comes to controversial and possibly radical changes to the CB Group then I'm your man if you want lots of things written down :D

  • Member
    August 2, 2017

    I like to think that I've progressed as a builder since joining the Vault.  Maybe I haven't.  I will say that I think I've put some very creative builds and aggressive builds out there that got good reviews...from the people that took the time to do so.  But rarely do they ever cross the 10 like mark to escape Bloodworks as any interest quickly fizzles.  I've noted several times (when asked) that a lot may have to do with comments on builds.  You can have one person that posts a build and quickly gets dozens of comments that result in pushing that build back up on the front page to keep it alive and viable for others to see days later; whereas my builds, even when they get likes, rarely garner any comments and are gone from the frontpage forever and never to be seen again (unless Phil unearths them months as he has will several). 

    Certainly not to make this about me, but that's the only direction I can speak from is what I've seen in the responses to the builds I've put up.  I think alot has to do with community perspective on the builder themselves and not the actual build.  And in my opinion it's been like that for a long time, going back to the old site.

  • Member
    August 2, 2017
    I aggree with DB, the current system does not really work all that well atm. Introducing a new ranking system is most likely the way to go (imo) , but I'd strongly suggest Not to use any of the old rank names.
    A 50 likes build is not Legendary and it will not be until it reaches 100 likes.

    But do we really still need 'ranks' today? Wouldn't it make more sense to name those stages after the state at which you currently are in building? Like "Beginner" or maybe later on "Outstanding"(-Builder) etc.
    You probably remember at least one of the discussions about how the reputation of long-term builders has a big effect on the like counters of their builds. This could possibly work well with a ranking system that shows how you improve your content over the time and how much you do to improve.
    In short: it's fine that Builders that are known to always put x amount of work into their builds, will receive that x amount of likes for it, placing them at smth like "Outstanding" or "Known" or whatever, before other likes.
  • Member
    August 2, 2017
    I'm probably going to be the bad guy again for this but hear me out first.
    Maybe builds and Skyrim in general just need/s more than they (can) offer atm. In the old days, finding a new exploit or way to play the game had been enough to raise in the ranks. Then it was presentation and story telling that got you the likes, I believe, which was last year and the one before, and now it should be mods right? But it isn't.
    Tbh, mods completely destroyed this game, for me at least. Sure it's all great and fun to play the game exactly how you want it, but every time you customize it a bit more, you also leave the game, we all loved to play, a bit more behind. More so, you're also abbandoning all the stories that dont necessarily include your angular cheese wheel or whatever.
    Skyrim certainly had it's issues and there were mods on pc for a long time but until a few months, maybe a year or two ago, we in fact all played and talked about builds that used vanilla mechanics.
    Yes, there are a lot of newer builds that work perfectly with vanilla Skyrim but they can not offer what it takes to attract and keep people interested (nor can modded ones). I believe this is because the base game is empty now, or rather was already 1 year ago. Ofc, every build is different but 'different' is not even remotely enough anymore.
    As I see it, builds today fail to inspire people and that's why there are fewer discussions in the comments sections, with even fewer people actually participating. While we're at active members on this site, I dont really believe that every now and then 10 real people sign up at once and dont do nothing ever.

    How would I safe Skyrim Character Building and all the other content related to it (even if you probably dont want to believe that it's a sinking ship)? I can only come up with using the base game and alter it a lot with some strong mods like Ordinator (for which there are actually already tips and tricks thanks to Deebs), Quest mods etc and make that the new base to build on, if such thing can really be achieved. Think of it like the TES 5 1/2 -ish you always wanted.
    Know that TES 6 is far off in the distance. You, WE have to do something about the road between us and what some here are still waiting for. Tbh, we should have done something last time this got brought up. TES Character Building is what this site was built on and TES is still what it is about. Fallout is not going to safe anything ever, but it's slowing the fading process down.

    My advice is to create that new Skyrim. Sit down and get creative before the ppl that built this have moved away all together. Heck, there might even be the possibility to create completely new stories and such with this as the basis, think about it.
    Either this or consider changing the topic of this site, which is most likely not an option.

    This is probably going to be ignored but if it's not, I want to appologise in advance for the trouble I could cause (again) with it. Last time you didnt want to listen, this time you might. There wont be a next time.

    Know that this is about this site and the community, I'm not the prophet that has come to cause trouble or confuse newer people.
    It's about home.
  • Member
    August 2, 2017

    I understand people who are either new or have not been here long may look at the "ranks" or "likes" as something that matter but they do not. They are simply a way to categorize the builds that are well done from the ones that are not. A more lucrative approach would be to have a more in depth feature or focus/spotlight on hard work. The links on the front page are a start, but I usually just skip those. Have each day of the week focus on one group and single out one piece of work instead. This means actual site updates on a more frequent rate with a larger amount of detail right there on the front page for all to see.

    I have posted 34 (give or a take a deletion here or there) builds, 22 of which made the arbitrary "Legendary" label and the rest just below with high minimum. At first I admit likes were cool, but sharing one's work and discussing it is more important. Having someone say "I just played your build and asking questions" means a lot more than a rank or like button.

    What is needed is a completely new system and when I criticize something I usually try to come up with a solution but I am drawing a blank at the moment. There are a literal fuck ton of builds that just sit without views, including mine, so we are saturated with work that has either grown stale or forgotten. If we keep a very frequent rotation of well made builds or maybe builds that need work (which the host(s) should take care of) then the visitors of this site (not just the members) see variety, dedication to site activity by who runs it, and gives everyone else to see stuff they wouldn't see because they are pages of links upon pages of links buried in a group.

  • August 2, 2017
    Fairly new TV dweller here(joined mid 2016). Ok I'm just going to come out and say it: I believe the rank system to be absolute garbage. The problem is that people rarely take the time to like something. In fact they may not even take the time to look at a new build. In response to what Relycs said, I don't think mods are the problem. In fact mods are the only thing that has kept skyrim alive for this long, perhaps not in this community but for most people I would say that's the case. So in terms of revitalizing the Builds section of the Tamriel Vault builders have to start using mods. The vanilla perk system has been used to death and probably every single combination has been done. People need to start using the perk overhauls and incorporating them into their builds. I for one, though I have never submitted a build, am working on one based on Ordinator. I can tell you from a long experience with this mod that there are so many things you can do with it and so many different combinations of perks to create new and exciting builds. At the moment I'd say there's probably only a few builds that use perk overhauls like Ordinator. We need to change that. As for the rank system, it just doesn't reward well done builds. This goes deeper than the apparent flaws in it. I think the problem is that people just aren't excited anymore about new builds, hence my suggestion that modded builds become the new standard. How to fix it right now? The only thing I can think of, seeing that we can't trust the general public to do it, is to get the most reputable Character Builders and let them decided which ones are quality and which ones need to improve. Ultimately the solution lies in building up more excitement. It's not going to be easy or straightforward. But that's the only way I can see a path forward to fixing the ranks system and the Tamriel Vault in general.
  • August 3, 2017

    I don't know how to comment on the whole modded vs Vanilla issue. From what I've been able to see, there are plenty of modded builds (people could be tagging them more often, but ah anyway) but there seems to be a split between newer and older builders. Almost all older builders who are still around use mods to some extent, while new builders (who at this point I assume are new to the game completely) tend to focus on Vanilla builds because...well for them it could be completely new to them. The idea of modded builds isn't something that is being un-touched by builders, but it is something that doesn't really reward people anymore than normal builds. It isn't like anyone is flocking to check out a build that is focused more on mods, so I just can't agree with the argument that the issue lies there. If people were that interested then wouldn't we have seen those builds getting dozens of comments, wouldn't they be something that is really focused on by people showing up? no idea what to say there to be honest. I mean, people don't really care about spotlights or features for the CB Group. It's something that I hate but there have been multiple attempts to start something and they just haven't been succesful for at least the last two years. At best content would get an extra like or two but comments were incredibly rare and every attempted version of it was soething that was just overlooked. Sadly, SE is a little flawed with it's 'feature' systems in my eyes. The sticky system is alright enough but it doesn't really stack up to Ning's feature system and when you add in the inability to play around with the group's in a more meaningful way (things like featuring builds on a group's main page at any time, or posting links there rather than as random discussions) it does make it difficult to feature content other than the main page (which is something that only Admins can manage). It's not impossible, but I don't currently see a way that it can be done that wouldn't be buried as much as you say other content is. 

    Other then that, I really can't comment on anything you've mentioned about the front page... I just don't really connect with it because for me browsing through everything posted recently isn't an issue on a daily basis, which is far from what our normal viewers/members can do. So I'll just stay out of that.


    Honestly, I'm not going to fight someone about the whole ranking system. I personally like it, but my stance on the whole thing is closer to the fact that I don't really see a good alternative. If someone suggested something that was better in my opinion, that'd be fine by me but I haven't seen it. The like system, despite the potential flaws in the system, or the issues that people have with it there were a few things it did that are hard to replace.

    First, it was something that was there to essentially categorize builds into quality levels. 

    Second, it was a system that gave people clearly defined goals, and partially inspired people to create better content (something which is easier with something clear like likes as opposed to comments). I prefer getting 10 comments when compared to 10 likes, but the latter is a clear sign of accomplishment where the former is a way for me to talk to people.

    Third, it was a moderately fair system. Sure it was slightly more biased towards older builders but, well that's part of the system as well really, but basically most other systems that have been brought up can either be manipulated, or have the potential to seem like they can be manipulated. 

    Four, liking content bumps content. Might be a minor thing, but I like something, it shows up on the front page and lets other people know it exists. Most other status symbols don't have the sheer potential for bumpability that the like system does because it either floods a build with comments, or doesn't show up on the front page.

    You essentially have to do all these things to equal the Rank/Liking system in my eyes. Which is bloody hard to do in a manner that doesn't fly over most people's heads and that is just as easy to grip for everyone. The like system makes logical sense, it's how most places tend to do it (with different names naturally) and it's just easy to do. Those are huge benefits to most system's in my opinion. 

  • Member
    August 3, 2017

    The rank system worked - exceptionally, I think - in the past. As of now I do think it's completely broken due to lower traffic numbers and the fact that Skyrim is, let's face it - this game is six years old. One issue, I think, is that ranks are accorded a pretty significant place in the Skyrim CB group out of the fact that they've been there for forever. However many of us, at this point, basically consider ranks to be pointless. Not to mention the difference between a build in 2012 and a build in 2016... 2012 builds, not to disparage them or their builders, are held to different (and dare I say lower) standards. That's not necessarily bad - 2012 Skyrim was a time of innovation. 2015-2016 Skyrim builds focus somewhat more on presentation, perhaps. The question we're now being forced to ask is, what do we ask of a Skyrim build in 2017?

    I'm not going to pretend I know everything about fixing it either. But right now it sounds like "let's all mod our games and focus exclusively/significantly on Ordinator" has some support and while I have nothing against mods and modded builds in general, I definitely would caution against exclusively going modded. Doing so is going to alienate players who favour playing on the vanilla Skyrim perk system, for example, or who use a different perk overhaul (I think Requiem is one, and there's a Magic-only perk overhaul called Paths of Sorcery); not to mention that I don't think all of these are accessible to console players.

    I would suggest that greater overhaul-mod build support is an excellent first step, and that is what I think we're at least starting to do so far (DB's Ordinator tips and tricks, and at this point I think there are more newly posted modded builds than non-overhauled ones. I'm probably one of very few players focusing on non-modded builds, and summer is sort of a dead time for me and Skyrim). A possible further option would be to add the #Ordinator tag, which I think has been suggested already. #Requiem may be applicable as well.

    An exkurs: as of right now I believe that overhauls such as Ordinator and Requiem are somewhat less documented than one would expect, and tricks in them, too, aren't that well known. I'm not sure how relevant this is or could be, but I think it's worth keeping in mind.

    The second step, I would argue, is to reduce the prominence of ranking on the front page of the CB group. I'm not saying ranking is bad. It really isn't. But I think it has definitely lost a lot of its relevance compared to back in 2012 and 2013.

    As for overhauling the ranking system, I have nothing for now. A possible first step, or possibly a stop-gap measure, is to reduce the like counter requirement. DB has made a pretty good argument for this, I think.

  • Member
    August 3, 2017


    It's not often I comment here if hardly ever as I only have one build...

    What we don't want to do is introduce/change a system just to have to reorganise it down the road. Are we looking at a short term fix for the build ranking or a long term? IF it is indeed a long term then we need to think where TES 6 will rest here. Now I know TES 6 will not be out this year or even maybe the next but it will be coming out. 

    The last thing we want to do in any group is have to think about restructuring when the game is anounced. That's when we want to build the hype, have the crowd howling out in anticipation. 

    The fact is that no-one outside the development team know of the launch. Whatever we do, I feel it should wherever possible, flow smoothly from Skyrim and where we are now to TES 6 and beyond. 

    If there is something broken then we need to fix it but when we do, we need to keep out eyes on the future, not the past.

    Sotek Loyal Hound of Hircine