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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Do you like "cookie cutter" builds in MMO?

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80 posts found

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/06/12
Posts: 200

OP  4/25/13 5:40:05 PM#1
I was just wondering, do you like "cookie cutter" builds in MMO? Or would you like to see more diversity?

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/09
Posts: 900

4/25/13 5:43:15 PM#2
Depends, when I first start a new MMO I look up builds and see what suits me best. But as I progress I would prefer a unique style that belongs to me, and to me alone. However, when you min and max your stats just so you can get into a raid, that's not always possible or even desirable.

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Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/06/12
Posts: 200

OP  4/25/13 5:49:09 PM#3
I prefer to have my own style, but those "cookie cutter" builds kinda kills that. Like my build is not viable enough.

Novice Member

Joined: 2/15/04
Posts: 1056

"" "" "" ""

4/25/13 6:33:30 PM#4
If by "cookie cutter" you mean optimal then yes I like optimal builds. Though purely anecdotal, my experience is that "unique" builds are usually not optimal or only optimal for very niche reasons and therefore people stray away from them.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 6038

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

4/25/13 7:21:52 PM#5
Originally posted by k11keeper
If by "cookie cutter" you mean optimal then yes I like optimal builds. Though purely anecdotal, my experience is that "unique" builds are usually not optimal or only optimal for very niche reasons and therefore people stray away from them.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 22588

4/25/13 7:58:42 PM#6
No. I prefer games that have multiple combat builds, and variations.

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2628

4/25/13 8:02:13 PM#7

If it is a game where only certain builds are accepted by players in groups, then no.


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Advanced Member

Joined: 1/16/08
Posts: 2603

4/25/13 8:02:34 PM#8
No, I prefer playing how you want to play not what the sheep (min-maxers) and the flavor of the month crowd want you to play. But then again I play fine in any MMO I play in without the FOTM builds.


Elite Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 8559

4/25/13 9:19:44 PM#9

What I like are asymetric, balanced, deep playstyles.  That's what matters.

Asymetry matters because it improves group gameplay, it's my unique identity, and it lets me play around with different toys (skills, abilities, roles.)

Balance matters so that your class decision is a choice about playstyle preference, not about choosing the 1 good playstyle and ignoring the useless ones. I especially didn't like Champions Online at launch, where I discovered a way that their system was completely broken balance-wise and had super shallow combat as a result.

Depth matters because if you have a bunch of balanced asymetric classes but they're all 1-button rotations then the game is going to get old quick.

Beyond those things, the details actually don't matter to me.  If you give me 11 WOW classes with 3 viable builds each and a handful of interesting (but typically irrelevant) flavor choices on top of that, you've still managed to provide me with 33 interesting playstyles.  If you give me 111 LoL champions with cookie cutter talent choices, you've given me tons of interesting playstyles.  If you give me 9 TF2 classes with barely any customization but I can hotswap between them in a match, you've given me enough interesting playstyles (given the dynamic nature of the game.)

There are a ton of ways to distribute those playstyles.  Some involve cookie cutter builds.  Some don't.  But as long as their are plenty of viable playstyles and the gameplay is deep, I'm going to have fun.

"Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
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Novice Member

Joined: 4/24/13
Posts: 11

Love and Pain

4/26/13 1:31:13 AM#10
Everyone wants a unique builds but still you have to consider somethings and depends on your character if it's possible that's fine. ^_^

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/11
Posts: 1252


4/26/13 1:58:08 AM#11

I never look up builds or any sites i want choices and see how it works.

So i always manage to make decent build myself not concerning what others have so no cookie cutter for me.

Fun most importend if some skills not so good but i go for fun, not for optimal perfect build.


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3523

War is not the ultima ratio, but the ultima irratio - Willy Brandt

4/26/13 4:19:14 AM#12

I'm a powergamer, I want to always play the optimal character. I usually just cant stand my character anymore if its not optimal. First I stop playing them, and then I realize this isnt going anywhere, and I delete them.

Same for them being not beautiful enough. Though they dont have to be beautiful as such, I have no problem playing, for example, an ugly orc - but they need to be stylish.

I probably wouldnt care how powerful my character is if the game is really easy. For example, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is very trivial, most of the time. For the final fight however you need a very specific build: Scoundrel (7) / Guardian (13) with the Force Speed, the combat style Dual Weapon, and Power Attack (Flurry is only a little less damage, though), also maximized strength and maxed lightside, and the best equipment in the game. With that build, the final fight is freaking trivial. You just force jump the main villain for insane damage again and again, every time halting the fight because the villain is running for healing. With some other builds that I tried this fight, it can be insanely hard, up to almost unbeatable.



Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/06/12
Posts: 200

OP  4/26/13 4:21:06 AM#13

When I started playing Rift, I had totally my own build, but the dps was quite bad :)

Why they give us so many souls and so many build variations, and only a few are viable.


Elite Member

Joined: 1/04/07
Posts: 2137

4/26/13 4:22:36 AM#14

No, I like games that give me freedom as well as access to all content there is without changing my playstyle to something I don't want.

In short: sandboxes.

"going into arguments with idiots is a lost cause, it requires you to stoop down to their level and you can't win"


Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

4/26/13 4:50:17 AM#15

I feel that you have to talk about gameplay at the same time as builds.  If your gameplay is essentially "maximize your dps", then all diversity offers you is one right choice and a multitude of wrong choices. 

I like games where there is not one right way to play the game, where there are lots of options for designing my character but also lots of choices about what to do with my character, so not only can I develop my character to excel at a random task, I can also choose tasks where a random character will excel.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/06/12
Posts: 200

OP  4/26/13 5:44:50 AM#16
Originally posted by Muke

No, I like games that give me freedom as well as access to all content there is without changing my playstyle to something I don't want.

In short: sandboxes.

Yep, we need more sandbox type of mmorpgs.


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/25/06
Posts: 1614

4/26/13 5:47:41 AM#17
I recently tried dps priests and utility wariors and defensive mages so why not and in some cases it works.

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Advanced Member

Joined: 6/17/04
Posts: 1307

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4/26/13 5:50:22 AM#18

Here's the problem with this line of thinking.

Nobody likes "cookie cutter" builds.  People like to do their own thing.  But there are problems with that in certain games.

Most raid-oriented games have certain staple mechanics which are found at least once or twice in every raid.  Things like enrage timers turn fights into DPS checks.  It no longer becomes "deal damage while surviving."  It becomes "deal damage while surviving, and if you don't deal X damage in 5 minutes, everybody dies."  And these fights are often placed at or near the beginning of a raid.  They act as a "gear check," forcing people to complete the previous tier of raiding (and grind that gear) before moving on to the next.

And that situation creates the real problem.

In that situation, every person must be trying their hardest to deal the maximum DPS, otherwise everybody pays.  Often times, one or two low-performing players turn what should be an easy fight into a slate of repeated wipes.  This is why you can't just build however you like in a serious raiding guild in a game like that.  Why not?  Because you _can_ determine the optimal build and playstyle when you're dealing with something very specific like DPS.  You can crunch the number and figure out that X stat or Y customization option is a better choice for dealing damage over time.  And you are expected to pick that "best choice" if your role is to deal damage.  And if you don't, things like DPS meters reveal you're not carrying your weight.  Of course, healers and tanks are no exception.  Healers just chase after optimal HPS, and tanks are pursuing the highest possible mitigation and TTL.

Of course, this kind of design creates even bigger problems.  When you require extreme performance, sometimes even the best build isn't enough.  Sometimes the very best build for your class deals objectively much less DPS than the very best build for another class.  I've known raiders whose guilds actually asked them to reroll to a "more useful" class.

This kind of design is put into place to force you to grind raid instances over and over before moving onto the next one.  Why?  That keeps you playing, and playing keeps you paying.  Is this a frustrating way to design games, which creates resentment and division among the playerbase?  Yep.  Is stuff like that standard practice for raidgrind games?  Yep.

There is a simple solution to all of this: don't play those games.  Pick something where skill is more important and improvisation is rewarded, like a PvP-oriented game.  Or you can play games like Guild Wars, where the "Holy Triad" isn't present, so you're not forced to chase after "optimal" DPS or HPS or TTL.  People obviously chase after the best builds for them in GW too, but it's not a case of one build being objectively best.  That only really applies in games where builds primarily change how well you perform in a specific, pre-ordained role (like dealing damage in a game where healing and tanking are the responsibility of others).


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/06/12
Posts: 200

OP  4/26/13 6:02:34 AM#19

I think I'm starting to understand more, why some people don't like raiding. Too much worrying abot builds and other stuff. Too much preperation.


This "cookie cutter" thing just started to bother me recently. I'm so sick of searching the web for "good" builds. I just want to create a charater the way I want and play the game.

  User Deleted
4/26/13 6:07:41 AM#20

The character builds don't bug me as much as how they interact with the game. If it all comes down to, "How much damage per second" I do, I don't give a crap about builds.

If a build offers more ways to accomplish tasks (sneak by enemies, bribe/flatter NPCs, or help me explore and discover), than I am interested in the different ways build a character.

Give me a Mage that, besides his command of the elements for damage, also commands magical forces that allows fast travel, like summoned gates.
Give me a Warrior that can intimidate NPCs for whatever reason. Maybe even furthering a quest?
Give me a Priest who can influence NPCs in towns, for better or worse.
Give me a Rogue who may be able to sneak past obstacles (by sticking to shadows) to reach his goals.

Those are "different builds" to me, not the mage who uses fire to damage vs the mage who uses ice to damage. They certainly affect combat differently, but I sure hope there is more to the game than combat.

In most games, builds equate to how you deal damage, and how quickly. Mages use spells for damage. That is different from the ranger who uses bows and possibly pets. A fighter may use a sword and shield, a 2-handed weapon, or duel wield. All of this really boils down to one thing: DPS. I don't want to *know* the mechanics, or numbers of a game. I want to try and keep the "illusion" in place with my ignorance.

I guess since most MMOs are 75-90% combat content, builds make a difference in the games. I just lose interest in games with not many activities, other than combat.

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