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What MMOs have the best build variety compared to PoE & Diablo 3?

nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

What drives combat fun (for me at least) is different build & combat styles in a game. Diablo 3 is great on that. For example, for the wiz, aside from the two most popular builds (CM & hybrid archon), there are perm-archon, meteor (quite popular), disintegration, healing blade/blizz-melee build, the old blizz-hydra kiting build, and so on (so i have already counted 7, without counting variations, and some of the less viable ones like arcane orb). And that is just ONE class.

I also know that PoE has many skills, and the system allows for many builds. I am not an expert in that game (yet) so i cannot name all the builds.

So the quesiton is what MMOs have the best skill/build system design to faciliate this kind of combat style diversity? I know about the old WOW system .. which is pretty inflexible. You essentially have 3 spec & 3 play-style per class. I suppose the total 3x10 is still pretty high but I have to level up all 10 to get the variety and cannot experiement and try many different build for one class. Is the new skill system better.

What modern MMOs have good variety of builds?

 

 

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Comments

  • TheUnscathedTheUnscathed Lawrenceville, GAPosts: 22Member

    While there are a few cookie cutter pvp builds, Champions Online, with Sub, has a ton of different builds you can go for. I tend to make characters and builds based on themes - Ghost Fire Swordsman (Ghost Knight) Magical Archer (Darrow) Cosmic Might and Power (Mobius- Think Silver Surfer) the possiblities are endless especially when you can color your powers to your own discretion.

     

    Hope that helps.

  • PurutzilPurutzil East Stroudsburg, PAPosts: 2,925Member Uncommon

    Um... what? lol Sorry I know I'm in some ways derailing the conversation but... how is Path of Exile and Diablo 3 together on a title about Build variety? Path of Exile of course, but Diablo 3 has such little variety. Its a big reason why Diablo 3 became so lack luster for the Dungeon crawler community. Diablo 3 is NOT a good game to list when talking about build variety. Mindless fun? Sure, but theres extremely little as far as build variety in that game.

     

    Anyways... on topic... Rift has a really good class system for some variety, though SL unfortunately felt as if it diminished it a bit, still a lot more then most other games out there for sure.

  • AIMonsterAIMonster Apopka, FLPosts: 2,059Member

    Guild Wars 2 has some nice build variety, despite locking some variety in choices by the weapons you choose to bring.

    For example with a Ranger I could build (though not all are as viable as others):

    • Pure Support/Healer with Spirit Pets
    • Pure Tank using Greatsword + Sword/Dagger and signets.  Also highly mobile.
    • Tank/DPS melee hybrid using Greatsword + Other Weapons and signets / QZ.  Also highly mobile.
    • Ranged DPS focus
    • Trap + immobilize focus / combo field support
    • Pet focused using pet abilities and signets
    • Ranged/Melee hybrid with decent AoE damage using traps + longbow
    • Uncatchable scout - GS + Sword/Warhorn with Lightning Reflexes

    EDIT:  Wildstar looks like it might have even greater build variety here.

    image

    Raptr link because it's the cool new trend:
    image

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Purutzil

    Um... what? lol Sorry I know I'm in some ways derailing the conversation but... how is Path of Exile and Diablo 3 together on a title about Build variety? Path of Exile of course, but Diablo 3 has such little variety. Its a big reason why Diablo 3 became so lack luster for the Dungeon crawler community. Diablo 3 is NOT a good game to list when talking about build variety. Mindless fun? Sure, but theres extremely little as far as build variety in that game.

    I just listed 7 wizard builds, with vastly different play-style. If you are not familiar with those builds, i can link you to youtube videos. And that is just 7 i can remember off the top of my head. There are more.

    Now tell me ... in what other games that have so many builds for just one class. Now you may not LIKE the game, or even those builds, but you can't deny they exists. You can easily find youtube videos, or forum discussions.

    And i have personally tried quite a few of those builds. If that is not variety, there is no variety in games. Don't tell me a build that depends on a laser beam is the same as a build that call meteors from sky (which requires a delay timing before it hits).

     

     

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Magnum2103

    Guild Wars 2 has some nice build variety, despite locking some variety in choices by the weapons you choose to bring.

    For example with a Ranger I could build (though not all are as viable as others):

    • Pure Support/Healer with Spirit Pets
    • Pure Tank using Greatsword + Sword/Dagger and signets.  Also highly mobile.
    • Tank/DPS melee hybrid using Greatsword + Other Weapons and signets / QZ.  Also highly mobile.
    • Ranged DPS focus
    • Trap + immobilize focus / combo field support
    • Pet focused using pet abilities and signets
    • Ranged/Melee hybrid with decent AoE damage using traps + longbow
    • Uncatchable scout - GS + Sword/Warhorn with Lightning Reflexes

    EDIT:  Wildstar looks like it might have even greater build variety here.

    This, actually sounds pretty good and interesting. Do you know about mage/wiz type builds? Too bad it is B2P .. and it still has no free trial, right?

     

  • RedcorRedcor Austin, TXPosts: 426Member
    GW2 has nice build variety, best ive seen. Looks like there are a ton of options in Path of Exile but havent had time to check it out yet.

    Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can
    be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
    -Robert E. Howard

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Redcor
    GW2 has nice build variety, best ive seen. Looks like there are a ton of options in Path of Exile but havent had time to check it out yet.

    I already know about PoE and i am playing the game. I am still low level so i have not had the chance to fully explore build variety yet.

    There seems to be quite a few "votes" for GW2. Looks like that is the game i need to check out.

     

  • Lord.BachusLord.Bachus Den HelderPosts: 9,065Member Uncommon
    Seems like NEverwinter tries the same route as diablo 3, but lets just wayt how that works out in the end, it isnt released yet.

    Best MMO experiences : EQ(PvE), DAoC(PvP), WoW(total package) LOTRO (worldfeel) GW2 (Artstyle and animations and worlddesign) SWTOR (Story immersion) TSW (story) ESO (character advancement)

  • galphargalphar Independence, KYPosts: 65Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Magnum2103

    Guild Wars 2 has some nice build variety, despite locking some variety in choices by the weapons you choose to bring.

    For example with a Ranger I could build (though not all are as viable as others):

    • Pure Support/Healer with Spirit Pets
    • Pure Tank using Greatsword + Sword/Dagger and signets.  Also highly mobile.
    • Tank/DPS melee hybrid using Greatsword + Other Weapons and signets / QZ.  Also highly mobile.
    • Ranged DPS focus
    • Trap + immobilize focus / combo field support
    • Pet focused using pet abilities and signets
    • Ranged/Melee hybrid with decent AoE damage using traps + longbow
    • Uncatchable scout - GS + Sword/Warhorn with Lightning Reflexes

    EDIT:  Wildstar looks like it might have even greater build variety here.

    This, actually sounds pretty good and interesting. Do you know about mage/wiz type builds? Too bad it is B2P .. and it still has no free trial, right?

     

    Elememtalsit has quite a few builds also, you can switch between 4 elements on the fly each having a different use. Water is Healing, Earth is tankish, Fire is DPS, and Air is control.  And Anet is having a Free Trial Weekend this weekend starting tomorrow. I think there'sa thread for it here somewhere to get a key

     

    Edit: Looks like MORPG.com gave away all of their keys already. You can go here to find out other sites that have/had keys to give away. 

    image

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Lord.Bachus
    Seems like NEverwinter tries the same route as diablo 3, but lets just wayt how that works out in the end, it isnt released yet.

    Same route in terms of instance dungeoning? Or same route for skill/build set up? Isn't NWN D&D? How can that be like D3? It allows for infinite respec at any time?

    I suppose you can call the set of spells to use a "build" for wiz and sorceror.

  • DrolkinDrolkin Palio, NBPosts: 242Member
    TSW, Ultima Online
  • VannorVannor YorkshirePosts: 2,970Member Uncommon

    Rift...

    I don't see any competition against Rift's soul system. There are other recent games with lots of build variety but only because they limit the amount of skills you can choose to use and/or the differences are extremely passive (like GW2's talent system).

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Drolkin
    TSW, Ultima Online

    "What modern MMOs have good variety of builds?"

    I don't play games released in the 1990s and definitely not one that i have tried and found to be no fun.

    TSW i should check out. Is it F2P yet?

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Vannor

    Rift...

    I don't see any competition against Rift's soul system. There are other recent games with lots of build variety but only because they limit the amount of skills you can choose to use and/or the differences are extremely passive (like GW2's talent system).

    Limit is good. Limit force choices, and choices leads to variety.

    If everyone can have all skills ..all to the max .. there is no variety. You get everything.

  • VannorVannor YorkshirePosts: 2,970Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Vannor

    Rift...

    I don't see any competition against Rift's soul system. There are other recent games with lots of build variety but only because they limit the amount of skills you can choose to use and/or the differences are extremely passive (like GW2's talent system).

    Limit is good. Limit force choices, and choices leads to variety.

    If everyone can have all skills ..all to the max .. there is no variety. You get everything.

    Well, yeh, even Rift's system has limits. What I mean though is that the only reason there is a lot of variety is because the limits are harder enforced... yet, Rift has much more freedom and still offers more build options than the more limited ones.

  • OrtwigOrtwig Cambridge, MAPosts: 1,159Member Uncommon

    I'll throw TSW's (b2p) build variety into the ring; over 772 million possible builds (though much fewer that are truly viable) and the ability for one character to equip any weapon, any ability and play any role.  Check out the below sites:

    http://karl3d.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/tsw-builds-final/

    http://yokaiblog.wikidot.com/guides:build-mechanics

  • PurutzilPurutzil East Stroudsburg, PAPosts: 2,925Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Purutzil

    Um... what? lol Sorry I know I'm in some ways derailing the conversation but... how is Path of Exile and Diablo 3 together on a title about Build variety? Path of Exile of course, but Diablo 3 has such little variety. Its a big reason why Diablo 3 became so lack luster for the Dungeon crawler community. Diablo 3 is NOT a good game to list when talking about build variety. Mindless fun? Sure, but theres extremely little as far as build variety in that game.

    I just listed 7 wizard builds, with vastly different play-style. If you are not familiar with those builds, i can link you to youtube videos. And that is just 7 i can remember off the top of my head. There are more.

    Now tell me ... in what other games that have so many builds for just one class. Now you may not LIKE the game, or even those builds, but you can't deny they exists. You can easily find youtube videos, or forum discussions.

    And i have personally tried quite a few of those builds. If that is not variety, there is no variety in games. Don't tell me a build that depends on a laser beam is the same as a build that call meteors from sky (which requires a delay timing before it hits). 

    And I can make over 200 builds for a character in Rift, it doesn't mean all those builds are viable or even drastically different from one another. Its just silly to call it a 'build' when its something that can instantaniously be done and changes very little. Honestly you say 'vastly different' play styles but they aren't very different at all. I'll make a safe bet i can name 2 abilities on the bar, 3 if your playing HC with the 4th ability being between two likely 'armor' types you will be using as a wizard.  

    It just bothers me since you compare D3 and lets face it, PoE VASTLY outnumbers Diablo 3 in possible build combinations and possibilities. It allows for that. Vastly different? EH... depends, but honestly thats the same with D3, though its far more strict. Don't get me wrong they are making more stuff 'viable' in D3, but its stil a "why use this when I can just instantly swap this to be more efficient' which to me tarnishes the concept of a build. I actually PLAY d3 sometimes, I do enjoy it as a mindless little dungeon crawler from time to time as its very well polished but its NOT something that has very many 'builds' sorry to say.

    But yeah, anyways if you want build variety Rift is a good example of a game with it, though honestly a lot of MMos tend to allow this to some extent, many which can possibly live up to D3 standerds though obviously PoE build style can be a bit more difficult to pull off in a traditional MMO thats attempting a good balance.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Purutzil
     

    And I can make over 200 builds for a character in Rift, it doesn't mean all those builds are viable or even drastically different from one another. Its just silly to call it a 'build' when its something that can instantaniously be done and changes very little. Honestly you say 'vastly different' play styles but they aren't very different at all. I'll make a safe bet i can name 2 abilities on the bar, 3 if your playing HC with the 4th ability being between two likely 'armor' types you will be using as a wizard.  

    All the build i listed are, of course viable. If you just want to list combinations, there are millions of combinations. ANd have you ACTUALLY tried the play styles? Just some examples:

    - CM wiz ... stunlock CC everything with stationary energy twister.

    - healer blades ... melee and keep yourself alive with blade attacks

    - archon a) perma ... beam but run fast to find mobs to kill

                    b) hybrid .. don't need to run fast, but need to refresh when beam is out.

    - meteor .. have to time when to hit.

    Just those are very different tactics .. some you need to run around, some not. And have different gear requirement. And we haven't even look at gimmick ones like Sleet storm (and if you don't think is viable, look on youtube).

     

    It just bothers me since you compare D3 and lets face it, PoE VASTLY outnumbers Diablo 3 in possible build combinations and possibilities. It allows for that. Vastly different? EH... depends, but honestly thats the same with D3, though its far more strict. Don't get me wrong they are making more stuff 'viable' in D3, but its stil a "why use this when I can just instantly swap this to be more efficient' which to me tarnishes the concept of a build. I actually PLAY d3 sometimes, I do enjoy it as a mindless little dungeon crawler from time to time as its very well polished but its NOT something that has very many 'builds' sorry to say.

    Like you say possiblilities != viable builds. The number of combiantion in PoE is due to the graph ... and are there that many viable ones? If i want to maximize DPS, is there only 1 solution?

    Let me put it this way .. there are quite a few viable builds for D3. Surely there is a most effieicent one (actually 2 .. people don't agree) but many are close enough and vary depends on if you want quick XP run, or quick mob run, or elite runs. I have tried many and keep on playing many BECUASE they are all viable.

    And what is many? i am sure there are at least 7 (not counting variations that i use) in Wiz. How many truely viable ones  for PoE for a single character? Now i don't deny it may be more ... but 7+ with variations is many to me.

    But yeah, anyways if you want build variety Rift is a good example of a game with it, though honestly a lot of MMos tend to allow this to some extent, many which can possibly live up to D3 standerds though obviously PoE build style can be a bit more difficult to pull off in a traditional MMO thats attempting a good balance.

    Don't get me wrong. I am NOT dissing PoE. However, i think the actual passive graph is not that great for diversity because it si just numbers and you can optimize. THe ONLY place i think PoE is great .. is the potential combo of skill gems. And i think the number there (i did look at a list) does NOT vastly outnumber D3.

    Let me put it this way ... a CM wiz in D3 is really different from a Archon wiz .. because you are stronger to certain mobs, you do different thing in fighting .. and so on.

    But numbers in passive bonus don't help with that kind of diversity. A 50% more effective CM wiz is not very different than a 75% effecive CM wiz.

     

     

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Ortwig

    I'll throw TSW's (b2p) build variety into the ring; over 772 million possible builds (though much fewer that are truly viable) and the ability for one character to equip any weapon, any ability and play any role.  Check out the below sites:

    http://karl3d.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/tsw-builds-final/

    http://yokaiblog.wikidot.com/guides:build-mechanics

    The number of possible builds don't interest me. Viable ones do.

    Back in old WOW .. there are theoretically many combinations for each class.  But effectively 3 viable builds.

    In D3 .. the combinations are also in the millions, but just for wiz, i can count 7-10 viable builds, even not considering variations (for example, if i just play archon, i will put on different armor depending on my purpose and what i fight .. speed farming run is different from boss/elite runs).

    So how many viable ones .. or at lesat those people talk about and put it in a list .. in TSW?

  • JasonJJasonJ New Port Richey, FLPosts: 395Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    This, actually sounds pretty good and interesting. Do you know about mage/wiz type builds? Too bad it is B2P .. and it still has no free trial, right?

    There was a weekend trial this past weekend.

    As for mage/wizard type builds...the Bunker Elementalist is the single hardest build to play effectively in any single MMORPG ever made...and I have been playing them since Meridian 59 back in 1996. To be able to switch out between 4 different skill sets to keep up buffs, heals, DoTs, CCs and DeBuffs is insanely fast paced and hard to do but the longer you can do it, the more frustraited the enemy can become :) (speaking of WvW of course).

    A bunker can be DPS, Healer, tank and CCer all in the same build.

  • tazarconantazarconan athensPosts: 1,013Member

    The only  (medieval theme) mmorpg i can think off that offers real variety in builds compared to poe up to a point ,is Rift where u have talent trees (not small like wow), but each of these trees are class trees so u can have up to 3 class combo talents to pick.

    The point ofc isnt to praise poe or other games that do it that way ,but to hope that future mmos to come will leave as much freedom to players to experiment create unique builds that work and let players play their toon the way they fell like and not guide it.

  • aesperusaesperus Hamshire, NVPosts: 5,128Member Uncommon

    If you want build variety, in no particular order, I'd say the following MMOs:

    Guild Wars 2

    The Secret World

    Eve (sci-fi MMO, may not be your cup of tea)

    Champions Online

    D C Universe

    Planetside 2 (FPS, not fantasy, build variety similar to that of BF3)

    I realize that some of those are fairly different genres of MMO, but I included them anyway because they do offer a lot of customization.

  • MetanolMetanol TamperePosts: 247Member Uncommon

    If we go by the sheer number of choises, then TSW certainly has the most. Then I would argue against TSW's gameplay however, and even consider Rift better in every way, even with less customization there.

     

    Now, some people would say that GW2 has "great" customization character build wise, but I found it way too restricted and limited, unlike Guild Wars 1, which was just amazing. But it wouldnt've worked in PvP in this "massive" scale, so, the whole game was dumbed down.

    Come to think of it, Guild Wars 1 had some brilliant and unique multiclassing mechanics. You picked your "main" class and then your second class later. Your main class determined your armor proficiency and your unique attribute (warriors had strenght, rangers had expertise while mesmers got fast casting and elementalists energy storage), which really opened up some unique builds. Fast-casting mesmer/eles (instant meteor shower) or ranger/necromancers with touch spells were all nice to play! Not to mention real minion masters, not this GW2 stuff where minions feel more like utility on the side.

     

     

    But! If I were free to name the best character customization from an MMO (gameplay wise), I would certainly stick to DDO. Why? Because it's D&D 3.5e. Well, close to that anyway. That means you can multiclass three classes (out of 13) and there's real variation to what classes can do. Sorcerers are rarely the same, unless built for similar nuking. Bards can be completely different from one another and same goes for pretty much every class, except barbarians. Greatsword wielding bards or archery focused rogues, it's all fair game.

    You have strict restrictions (barbarians and bards cannot multiclass with paladins or monks due to alignment restrictions), but you still have more than enough freedom in the rules. Rogue/Wizards, Paladin/Fighters or Barbarian/Bards are none unheard of. Now, min-maxers might whine if you do something unique, but that's why DDO is a game to be played with a tight-knight party of friends. Or even just two to three friends, filling rest of the party with hirelings.

     

    I'm not going to even comment on EVE, since I sadly do not have real experience with that. And if we're talking about RPGs, then Planetside has no place in this discussion either. Now, Global Agenda is on the very edge.. but I'd give that game some credit too.

    We?re all dead, just say it.

  • OrtwigOrtwig Cambridge, MAPosts: 1,159Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Ortwig

    I'll throw TSW's (b2p) build variety into the ring; over 772 million possible builds (though much fewer that are truly viable) and the ability for one character to equip any weapon, any ability and play any role.  Check out the below sites:

    http://karl3d.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/tsw-builds-final/

    http://yokaiblog.wikidot.com/guides:build-mechanics

    The number of possible builds don't interest me. Viable ones do.

    Back in old WOW .. there are theoretically many combinations for each class.  But effectively 3 viable builds.

    In D3 .. the combinations are also in the millions, but just for wiz, i can count 7-10 viable builds, even not considering variations (for example, if i just play archon, i will put on different armor depending on my purpose and what i fight .. speed farming run is different from boss/elite runs).

    So how many viable ones .. or at lesat those people talk about and put it in a list .. in TSW?

    Here's the math:

     

    With 2 weapons, and 3 general segments, there are 13 potential Elite Active abilities. There is also a pool of 57 normal active abilities from which you can build your deck. Assuming that you want to use 1 Elite ability if it is available, that leaves 6 active abilities to be selected from the pool of 57. The math works out as follows:

    1 Elite Active out of a pool of 13 = 13 combinations

    6 normal actives out of a pool of 56 = 36,288,252 combinations

    13 x  36,288,252 =  471,747,276 combinations for each weapon pair

    Since there are 36 ways that you can select 2 weapons out of a pool of 9 options…

    36 weapon pairs x  471,747,276 active combinations per pair =  16,982,901,936 possible ways to select your 7 active abilities at the end game.

     

    Passives are a bit easier since they aren’t dependent on weapon selections. There are a total of 27 Elite Passive abilities and a pool of 225 normal passive abilities to select from when creating your build.

    1 Elite Passive out of a pool of 27 = 27 combinations

    6 normal passives out of a pool of 225 = 168,488,720,400 combinations

    27 x 168,488,720,400 =  4,549,195,450,800 possible ways to select your 7 passive abilities

     

    So with 16,982,901,936 different ways to select Active abilities and 4,549,195,450,800 ways to select passive abilities, you end up with …

    16,982,901,936 x 4,549,195,450,800 = 77,258,540,228,633,700,000,000 potential builds

    If, once again, we use 1 millionth of 1 percent as our viability estimator, we still end up with 772,585,402 potential ways to build your character.

     

    People are still finding builds in the game, so there's still discovery going on.  That said, people have created some cookie cutter starter decks (outside of the 45 that come with the game):

    http://wordpress.tswguides.com/tsw-build-page/

    http://yokaiblog.wikidot.com/yokaibuilds

    Lots more decks appearing every day on the forums:

    http://forums.secretworld.com/forumdisplay.php?f=12

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member

    To make a comparison, let me do the math for Diablo 3.

    I just open up my wiz. There is a total of acitive 25 abilities (i just counted), with 5 runes in each one (not counting empty rune, since there is no reason to use it).

    There are 6 slots.

    So the number of combination is 25!/19!/6! = 177100.

    Now each of these 177100 combo, can have 5 variations in each of the slot, so now the number of possibilites

    = 177100 x 5^6 = 2767187500

    Now we have NOT count the combo of the passives yet. There are 15 passive, and you can choose 3.

    So the number of possibilites goes up to 2767187500*(15! / 12!/3!) = 1.25907e+12

    If we use 1 millionth of 1 percent as our viability estimator, we get 12591 viable builds. I highly doubt there are that many viable builds for the wizard class. My guess is that even if my knowledge is incompete, there probably aren't more than a hundred viable build, even if you count variations (like using a different passive but still mainly doing archon).

    I think this one millionth of 1% that you use is WAY off.

     

     

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