The Elder Scrolls

Question About Class Abilities and Build Type

TheElderScrolls2 - Question About Class Abilities and Build Type

Greetings ESO Community,

New player here trying to read up on and learn about the game before getting too far into it. Specifically I've been reading a lot about classes and builds and trying to understand the casual game play theories and the meta theories. After reviewing a lot of build websites (Alcasthq, Woeller, Dottzgaming, Deltia etc), I've come to some what of a crossroads or conclusion , where I'm hoping some more experienced players can shed some light and fill in the dots. A lot of text below, so I appreciate anyone willing to read and give a thoughtful response.

Let me outline my thinking:

  • Seems like every class has the ability to DPS Melee, DPS Caster, Heal, or Tank. Very cool from a flexible perspective and also frustratingly confusing at the same time when trying to pick what class to play since there is both uniqueness and non-uniqueness at the same time.
  • Seems like the optimized or meta builds specialize in one Attribute only: Stamina, Magicka, or Health. This impacts their damage/resources for the Skill lines they use and subsequently determines their role as DPS, Tank, or Support.
  • Magicka based builds appear to open greater utility or variety if you will, for having the full range of your class Skill lines (spells, abilities, whatever you want to call them). It seems that the vast majority of Class Skills cost Magicka at the start unless morphed (there are a few exceptions of course).
  • In contrast, there are only a few abilities per class that do morph into Stamina cost-based abilities. I didn't count precisely but my review suggests that in total there may be 4 to 5 stamina morph abilities maximum for some classes (and others much less) and one ability line on each class generally contains 2 to 3 of these morphs (Example: one line contains two morphs, another line contains one, and the third contains one as well).
  • Weapon-based Skills, are all Stamina-cost based, except Staffs which cost Magicka.


Based on the four thoughts above, I guess the crossroads that I've come to and what I"m wondering in terms of build is the following:

  1. Do Stamina-based builds focus more on using Weapon Skills versus Class Skills given the primary stat focus difference? Do they primarily do damage through Weapon Skills and few Class Skills that are Stamina-morphed? Do they use Class Skills that cost Magicka to enhance their melee capability?
  2. Is the reverse true for Magicka-based builds? Do Magicka-builds focus on using Class Skills more so than Weapon Skills? (Although, perhaps the solution to #1 and #2 is that very clearly Staffs are a Magicka based weapon, hence Magicka based builds use these instead).
  3. With #1 and #2 in mind, I guess what I don't understand is how often are you using or relying on Skills from the non specialized Attribute line? If you are a Stamina-build how often are you using Magicka cost-based abilities? Vice Versa?
  4. Why only the one Attribute-dump instead of balancing across two or balancing across all 3? Is this simply to maximize DPS for the abilities you primarily use? Are you gimping yourself in anyway by focusing on one Attribute? Would you be gimping yourself if you DID balance across two or all three (I suspect the answer here is yes)?
  5. In a single Attribute-based build, do your item bonuses, food bonuses, etc etc make up for what you lack in the other two Attributes? Or is there a generally acceptable value or level for these other Attributes that everyone runs, thus making the point moot? Example: No one puts into Health attribute so everyone has roughly the same end-game.
  6. Are Hybrid builds even possible? For example, a Melee DPS-Healer, or Ranged-Tank. Or are these out of the question and the game basically forces you into a Melee, Ranged, Support, or Tank role?

Thanks to all who take the time to read and answer questions!

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