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Do you like "cookie cutter" builds in MMO?

EmrendilEmrendil TirionPosts: 199Member
I was just wondering, do you like "cookie cutter" builds in MMO? Or would you like to see more diversity?


  • ArakaziArakazi OxfordPosts: 911Member Uncommon
    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.
  • EmrendilEmrendil TirionPosts: 199Member
    I prefer to have my own style, but those "cookie cutter" builds kinda kills that. Like my build is not viable enough.
  • k11keeperk11keeper Posts: 1,048Member Uncommon
    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.
  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 6,230Member Uncommon
    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

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 26,696Member Rare
    No. I prefer games that have multiple combat builds, and variations.
  • botrytisbotrytis In Flux, MIPosts: 2,827Member Uncommon

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



    "In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
    by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 forum

  • firefly2003firefly2003 Los Angeles, CAPosts: 2,521Member Uncommon
    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.

  • AxehiltAxehilt Posts: 10,504Member Rare

    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.

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • Riss1234Riss1234 Iowan, IAPosts: 11Member
    Everyone wants a unique builds but still you have to consider somethings and depends on your character if it's possible that's fine. ^_^
  • GroovyFlowerGroovyFlower RdamPosts: 1,245Member

    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.

  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,922Member Uncommon

    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.


  • EmrendilEmrendil TirionPosts: 199Member

    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.

  • MukeMuke Posts: 2,569Member Uncommon

    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"

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member Uncommon

    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.

  • EmrendilEmrendil TirionPosts: 199Member
    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.

  • AkulasAkulas GoldcoastPosts: 1,924Member Uncommon
    I recently tried dps priests and utility wariors and defensive mages so why not and in some cases it works.

    This isn't a signature, you just think it is.

  • KurushKurush Irvine, CAPosts: 1,303Member

    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).

  • EmrendilEmrendil TirionPosts: 199Member

    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.

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member Common

    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.

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.

  • KurushKurush Irvine, CAPosts: 1,303Member
    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.

  • EkarosEkaros TurkuPosts: 367Member Uncommon
    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...
  • WW4BWWW4BW KoldingPosts: 500Member Uncommon

    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.

  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,922Member Uncommon
    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.

  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,922Member Uncommon
    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.

  • tazarconantazarconan athensPosts: 1,013Member
    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
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