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

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  Kurush

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/17/04
Posts: 1307

Bob the Cat says,
"Keep your password secret, you filthy communist."

4/26/13 7:28:52 AM#21
Originally posted by Emrendil

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.


Some people like raiding.  The people who are happy with raiding are "casual raiders."  Most of these games have very nicely-designed dungeons with interesting encounters.  If you don't take the results too seriously, and you just play for fun, there's real fun to be had.

Some people who have never done raiding are a little unhappy.  They feel they're locked out of a critical part of the game because they're "too casual," which is usually true.  But they don't think about it too much.

Know who really hates it, though?  The people who hate raiding the most are the hardcore raiders.  That was the one thing which got to me about WoW.  The better you got, the higher up on the totem pole you were, the more agonizing the game was.  Back when I played, I pretty much exclusively did high-end PvP, and my main friend in-game was a high-end progression raider.  Between us, we basically lived at the very highest echelon of play.

I'll spare you the agonies of high-rating arena and tell you about his frustration.  When you're in a high-end progression raiding guild, you have a schedule.  It's very often like this:

You must be available and in-game starting at 6PM every night, including weekends.  You must be willing to stay online as long as it takes to finish a raid, including well past midnight.  Sometimes the raid leader may _choose_ to call it for the night.  Sometimes they won't, and you will simply have to stay online, even if that means you don't sleep.  Yes, that was literally a rule for his guild.

You don't _have_ to, of course.  They don't have a gun to your head.  But if you're not on when they need you, guess what?  They bump you from the raid team.  And it's very possible that, like my friend, you're in the best raid team with the guild's best players, which means you're no longer doing the latest content if you get bumped to a lower-status team with less gear and experience.  So fucking around with their rules can mean you simply lose your shot at doing the content you want.

And when you're actually in a raid, it's often not fun.  Remember, at this level of gameplay, the game is designed to allow _no mistakes_.  One person in the wrong place at the wrong moment, one person doing subpar DPS or HPS, and it's a wipe for 25 people.  For this reason, guilds where the leaders are "soft" often fall apart and don't get far in progression.  If you're in a guild which is actually consistently on the edge of progression, your leaders are _most likely_ emotionally-damaged assholes who go insane very often.  Their psychotic level of devotion to the game keeps players in line, after all.  Wth leaders like these, vent is fun if the raids are going well, but an endless stream of abuse if they're going badly.

It kinda turned into a nightmare honestly.  We had both "arrived."  I was one of the top players in the server, within the top 10 of my class.  He was a healer for the best raiding group of the best raiding guild on the server.  And we mostly just bitched to each other about how terrible the game was for us.  And it really was terrible.  Shit, all of my arena friends hated it, and these were guys for whom 2300+ rating play wasn't a big deal.  These weren't scrubs crying over bad luck or lack of skill.

That's what happens when the main goal of games is to chase after status, whether it's a higher PvP rating or being the top PvE guild.

I eventually quit.  You know, I've played tons of MMO's.  I miss most of them every now and then.  Not that one. :/  I guess the moral is: there's nothing to aspire to in these games.  Casual is honestly the best playstyle.  You get to the top, and the price you pay _will_ make you hate it.

  Ekaros

Novice Member

Joined: 4/25/08
Posts: 365

4/26/13 7:37:56 AM#22
I think I prefer MMOs were cookie cutter builds are hard and the systems are complex so it forces different setups due limitations. Or then maybe AO just ruined me for forever...
Ekaros Xfire Miniprofile
  WW4BW

Novice Member

Joined: 12/03/06
Posts: 492

4/26/13 7:50:15 AM#23

On one hand I think cookie cutter builds are inevitable. At least when the it is easy to get the same gear as everyone else. And when the stats are so transparant. And when classes are so focused on one job.

If we were to take a page out of MOBAs though. (Im thinking LOL specifically since Its the one I play.) Then we would also see builds. But there is actually quite a lot of variation. Since a champion might be jungling in one game and laning in another.

And also there is also a big difference when it comes to who is on your team and who is on the other. And then you have different play styles.. Its quite impressive how much variation you can get in such a comparativly small game. 

LOL certainly has its cookie cutter builds and flavor of the month builds. But they dont work every time. There are usually a seldom used champ that is just perfect for taking a particular build apart and putting it to shame.

  Adamantine

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3394

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

4/26/13 8:20:49 AM#24
Originally posted by Emrendil
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.

Actually you only need ONE game that suits you.

  Adamantine

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3394

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

4/26/13 8:21:48 AM#25
Originally posted by Kurush

Here's the problem with this line of thinking.

Nobody likes "cookie cutter" builds. [...]

Err, what the frak ?

Read the freaking thread, man.

Everybody plays them.

 

P.s.: Okay, not everybody. But plenty of people.

  tazarconan

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/03/07
Posts: 1022

4/26/13 8:52:44 AM#26
The best way to play, is through a system that there is no such thing as best build clear. Every build u make should have strong points and weaknesses.Players should be experimenting with builds to determine what sort of build suits their playstyle better and they should be free to choose so. Jack of all trades,busrt dmg,dps,better survivalability etc etc
  Emrendil

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/06/12
Posts: 200

 
OP  4/26/13 8:58:32 AM#27
Originally posted by tazarconan
The best way to play, is through a system that there is no such thing as best build clear. Every build u make should have strong points and weaknesses.Players should be experimenting with builds to determine what sort of build suits their playstyle better and they should be free to choose so. Jack of all trades,busrt dmg,dps,better survivalability etc etc

Well, a lot of mmos are not like that.

  Kurush

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/17/04
Posts: 1307

Bob the Cat says,
"Keep your password secret, you filthy communist."

4/26/13 9:09:59 AM#28
Originally posted by Adamantine
Originally posted by Kurush

Here's the problem with this line of thinking.

Nobody likes "cookie cutter" builds. [...]

Err, what the frak ?

Read the freaking thread, man.

Everybody plays them.

 

P.s.: Okay, not everybody. But plenty of people.

I guess I should clarify.  Yes, tons of people use "cookie cutter" builds.  In some games, almost every competent player of a given class is running around with a minor variation on the same build.

But I don't think people use them because I like them.  I don't believe players get up in the morning and say, "Woohoo!  Another day when I can be like everybody else!"  They usually pick them because they feel forced to.  This is especially true in Holy Trinity-based games.

That was my point.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5726

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

4/26/13 9:26:33 AM#29
Originally posted by tazarconan
The best way to play, is through a system that there is no such thing as best build clear. Every build u make should have strong points and weaknesses.Players should be experimenting with builds to determine what sort of build suits their playstyle better and they should be free to choose so. Jack of all trades,busrt dmg,dps,better survivalability etc etc

Easier said than done. Usually there will be a best build or atleast a handful of "top tier builds" to do any one thing in the game. And even among those there are builds that do few things well enough.

Nevertheless, "jacks of all trades" are commonly the weakest builds in the game (and for understandable reasons). Players will always find the best builds eventually. The dev can only delay that somewhat. But when those best builds are found, someone somewhere is bound to label them as "cookie cutters".

There is no way to avoid cookie cutter builds. The cookie cutter team-build in League of Legends is:

  • Tanky top
  • AP mid
  • Jungle
  • AD & Support pairing in the bottom lane
Not to mention the champions themselves have cookie cutter builds.
 
If I remember correctly, the standard team composition in Team Fortress 2 was
  • 1 medic (limited to just 1)
  • 1 demoman (limited to just 1, previously 2)
  • 1-2 scouts
  • 1-2 soldiers
If any of the other classes were used, the situation was quite special.
 
Eve Online has many, many cookie cutter ship builds as well as team builds (called doctrines). UO had cookie cutter builds. No matter the advancement system, you cannot avoid them.

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

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5726

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

4/26/13 9:28:23 AM#30
Originally posted by Kurush
Originally posted by Adamantine
Originally posted by Kurush

Here's the problem with this line of thinking.

Nobody likes "cookie cutter" builds. [...]

Err, what the frak ?

Read the freaking thread, man.

Everybody plays them.

 

P.s.: Okay, not everybody. But plenty of people.

I guess I should clarify.  Yes, tons of people use "cookie cutter" builds.  In some games, almost every competent player of a given class is running around with a minor variation on the same build.

But I don't think people use them because I like them.  I don't believe players get up in the morning and say, "Woohoo!  Another day when I can be like everybody else!"  They usually pick them because they feel forced to.  This is especially true in Holy Trinity-based games.

That was my point.

Not necessarily forced. What if it is the best build for the situation? Would you be willing to play with a handicap just to be different?

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

  Torik

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2328

4/26/13 10:05:35 AM#31
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by tazarconan
The best way to play, is through a system that there is no such thing as best build clear. Every build u make should have strong points and weaknesses.Players should be experimenting with builds to determine what sort of build suits their playstyle better and they should be free to choose so. Jack of all trades,busrt dmg,dps,better survivalability etc etc

Easier said than done. Usually there will be a best build or atleast a handful of "top tier builds" to do any one thing in the game. And even among those there are builds that do few things well enough.

Nevertheless, "jacks of all trades" are commonly the weakest builds in the game (and for understandable reasons). Players will always find the best builds eventually. The dev can only delay that somewhat. But when those best builds are found, someone somewhere is bound to label them as "cookie cutters".

There is no way to avoid cookie cutter builds. The cookie cutter team-build in League of Legends is:

  • Tanky top
  • AP mid
  • Jungle
  • AD & Support pairing in the bottom lane
Not to mention the champions themselves have cookie cutter builds.
 
If I remember correctly, the standard team composition in Team Fortress 2 was
  • 1 medic (limited to just 1)
  • 1 demoman (limited to just 1, previously 2)
  • 1-2 scouts
  • 1-2 soldiers
If any of the other classes were used, the situation was quite special.
 
Eve Online has many, many cookie cutter ship builds as well as team builds (called doctrines). UO had cookie cutter builds. No matter the advancement system, you cannot avoid them.

In Magic:The Gathering there are "net-decks".  The top decks from any major constructed tournament are posted online and hundreds of players copy then and play them in local tournaments.   Many 'purists' consider this to be the height of unoriginality but in the end these decks get played because they are proven to be very strong and competive. 

Magic also tends to haver very strong convergence when it comes to deck building.  Whenever the metagame is shaken up because a new set is released, multiple people have similar ideas for new decks.  They might start quite different in composition but as the decks get tested and modified, they start to resemble each other more and more until teh final products are almost the same even though no colaboration takes place.

  Torik

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2328

4/26/13 10:07:08 AM#32
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Kurush

I guess I should clarify.  Yes, tons of people use "cookie cutter" builds.  In some games, almost every competent player of a given class is running around with a minor variation on the same build.

But I don't think people use them because I like them.  I don't believe players get up in the morning and say, "Woohoo!  Another day when I can be like everybody else!"  They usually pick them because they feel forced to.  This is especially true in Holy Trinity-based games.

That was my point.

Not necessarily forced. What if it is the best build for the situation? Would you be willing to play with a handicap just to be different?

They could always just play a "cookie-cutter" build but play it ironically.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20686

4/26/13 10:10:15 AM#33
Originally posted by Quirhid
 

Not necessarily forced. What if it is the best build for the situation? Would you be willing to play with a handicap just to be different?

If you use only one measure, there is always only one optimized builds, unless the devs can balance numbers in a way so that multiple builds achieve the same efficiency is very rare.

However, if you have more than one measure objective, suddenly multiple builds become viable. For example, you can optimize:

single target DPS

AoE DPS

survival

... then you have at least 3 builds optimizing differnet things.

 

  WW4BW

Novice Member

Joined: 12/03/06
Posts: 492

4/26/13 10:12:06 AM#34
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by tazarconan
The best way to play, is through a system that there is no such thing as best build clear. Every build u make should have strong points and weaknesses.Players should be experimenting with builds to determine what sort of build suits their playstyle better and they should be free to choose so. Jack of all trades,busrt dmg,dps,better survivalability etc etc

Easier said than done. Usually there will be a best build or atleast a handful of "top tier builds" to do any one thing in the game. And even among those there are builds that do few things well enough.

Nevertheless, "jacks of all trades" are commonly the weakest builds in the game (and for understandable reasons). Players will always find the best builds eventually. The dev can only delay that somewhat. But when those best builds are found, someone somewhere is bound to label them as "cookie cutters".

There is no way to avoid cookie cutter builds. The cookie cutter team-build in League of Legends is:

  • Tanky top
  • AP mid
  • Jungle
  • AD & Support pairing in the bottom lane
Not to mention the champions themselves have cookie cutter builds.
 
If I remember correctly, the standard team composition in Team Fortress 2 was
  • 1 medic (limited to just 1)
  • 1 demoman (limited to just 1, previously 2)
  • 1-2 scouts
  • 1-2 soldiers
If any of the other classes were used, the situation was quite special.
 
Eve Online has many, many cookie cutter ship builds as well as team builds (called doctrines). UO had cookie cutter builds. No matter the advancement system, you cannot avoid them.

 Quite correct. But in League of Legends there are several setups that can absolutly stomp the cookie cutter teams.

 There are AD mids, Tanky mids, Assassin tops, and dual bruiser bot lane. And Ive sometimes played tripple support, with no jungler, with pretty good success.. It doesnt work that well currently. But there is always something you can do to counter a cookie cutter build. Some of those things are easier to do in blind pick, where you can surprise the enemy team with an odd setup. Others are better for draft pick, where you can bait someone into picking a counter for a top lane who then jungles instead or plays support.

Or when a specific dual lane setup is popular it can be very simple to beat it by not trying to pick the second best, but instead going for something completly different.

  Volkon

Novice Member

Joined: 9/14/10
Posts: 3813

Facts do not require fiction for balance.

4/26/13 10:17:44 AM#35
Originally posted by Emrendil
I was just wondering, do you like "cookie cutter" builds in MMO? Or would you like to see more diversity?

 

Hate them to be honest. Cookie cutter builds are a byproduct of the "hard set role" style of combat (like the trinity) which results in characters building to a spreadsheet and fighting to a rotation. To be it results in horribly boring static combat.

Oderint, dum metuant.

  Deivos

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/14/04
Posts: 1716

Iarð skal rifna, ok upphiminn.

4/26/13 10:20:50 AM#36

I prefer malleability as a base, with 'templates' representing classic class designs for people who want something straightforward.

 

I also value differentiation and variety. The idea of 'optimal' builds I tend to find only exists because games are exceptionally hard to balance so that they cater to a range of playstyles rather than a select few.

 

Asheron's Call actually had what I consider to be a decent solution to part of the 'optimization' problem actually and I would wish to see it as a concept implemented more often.

 

What they did in that game was have the engine tally the total number of ranks players had in particular skills and abilities. Things that were used less often got incremental power boosts so that the 'off' builds became stronger to counterbalance the 'optimal' or flavor of the month builds.

 

This ultimately made it so those rare class builds could actually be quite powerful, and people would more often try different setups to test which combinations they found strong.

 

It didn't entirely solve they matter of picking your own playstyle and being able to just stick with it, but it did mean the game balance was much more dynamic and you didn't have a single build endlessly dominating everyone (excusing the fact that magic was almost everything in the game :p).

 

EDIT: Another aspect to consider is PnP games versus virtual games. As much as we'd like to hoist our progress and the idea that we can chuck a bunch of classes into a game, we still find it difficult to make it so they have a different fundamental manner in which they operate.

What this means is that class variety in games is functionally stunted by the nature of the core game mechanics. A bard in a virtual game might play songs and use buffs and illusion abilities, but they can very seldom use those skills alone to trick and swindle their way through a game like a silver tongued trickster. The option simply isn't there ad they are instead built so those classic abilities are just aspects of combat.

Until we have a stronger basic level of approach to vitrual games, the ability to create and play a range of character types is limited, and very often combat focused.

This isn't about making games simpler, but about understanding the other forms of challenges and approaches possible for a person to take and being able to implement such things. It's a complex and consequently costly undertaking, which prevents us from seeing it in virtual games most all the time, but it's the kind of progress we're gonna need to see the genre evolve towards a more complete and entertaining system.

And it influences very heavily the range of player builds and playstyles that can be available and viable.

As the size of an explosion increases, the number of social situations it is incapable of solving approaches zero. - Vaarsuvius

  WW4BW

Novice Member

Joined: 12/03/06
Posts: 492

4/26/13 10:27:18 AM#37

 I enjoy not playing cookie cutters..

 Ive often tanked with a healer, rogue, or light tank. (or caster pet, though that was pretty cookie cutter at the time)

 Or ive played a healer specced mostly for buffing, because, though it wasnt what was most wanted, it was absolutly epic how fast we could kill stuff when I buffed. It also allowed me to solo much better, than with the standard build.

 But Ive often felt dissappointed too when I found out that my epic leveling/solo build is absolutly garbage at max level. 

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17627

4/26/13 10:30:32 AM#38

If I have control of my character (skill based combat" then "no" I don't care about cookie cutter builds as the success falls on me directly.

If it's a regular ol' tab target affair "as long as I hit better buttons than my opponent" then I would prefer more control over how I create my build.

  free2play

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/13/05
Posts: 1832

4/26/13 10:40:07 AM#39

Cookie cutter builds is the result of a lack of content.

 

Example:

Here are 8 classes and each class can break down in to 4 sub-roles for a total of 32 niche roles. Then there are 4 end game dungeons and 28 of those niche roles are worthless.

In addition, don't tell me I have an option of 4 sub-roles, then bonus all my shit for just one of them. That's kind of self defeating too.

  k11keeper

Elite Member

Joined: 2/15/04
Posts: 1045

"" "" "" ""

4/26/13 1:12:56 PM#40

I think most of you that are so against optimal builds don't understand one thing. When it comes down to do it these are games and there is math behind the system. When said math is figured out people use spreadsheets, parses, and other tools to figure out the most optimal setup possible. Sure you can go ahead and be a unique snowflake all you want and give all kinds of BS reasons for it but I can use hard evidence to prove my build being optimal.

 

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