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Do you like "cookie cutter" builds in MMO?

24

Comments

  • EmrendilEmrendil TirionPosts: 199Member
    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.

  • KurushKurush Irvine, CAPosts: 1,303Member
    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.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    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

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    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

  • TorikTorik London, ONPosts: 2,343Member Uncommon
    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.

  • TorikTorik London, ONPosts: 2,343Member Uncommon
    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.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    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.

     

  • WW4BWWW4BW KoldingPosts: 493Member
    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.

  • VolkonVolkon Sterling, VAPosts: 3,788Member
    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.
    image

  • DeivosDeivos Mountain View, CAPosts: 1,813Member Uncommon

    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.

    "The knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency whatever to make men good reasoners."
    - Thomas B. Macaulay

  • WW4BWWW4BW KoldingPosts: 493Member

     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. 

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,462Member Uncommon

    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.

  • free2playfree2play Toronto, ONPosts: 1,869Member Uncommon

    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.

  • k11keeperk11keeper Kalama, WAPosts: 1,056Member Uncommon

    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.

     

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,411Member Uncommon
    No. I do not.
  • eye_meye_m Notta Chance, ABPosts: 3,133Member Uncommon
    Looking up builds is for a system like GW, I have never found the need in any other game.

    All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

    I get banned in the forums for games I love, so lets see if I do better in the forums for games I hate.

    I enjoy the serenity of not caring what your opinion is.

  • DeivosDeivos Mountain View, CAPosts: 1,813Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by k11keeper

    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.

     

    And I can refer to my post where the game's math ultimately negates that fact.

     

    Just because most games are poorly designed doesn't mean they have to be done that way.

    "The knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency whatever to make men good reasoners."
    - Thomas B. Macaulay

  • asmkm22asmkm22 Anchorage, AKPosts: 1,788Member

    You're never going to avoid "cookie-cutter" builds, especially in today's market with the internet being so pervasive.  If you give people options, someone is going to figure out the "best" option and others will copy it.  The best thing a developer can do is make sure that all options are at least somewhat comparable.  Something like, nothing more than a 10% difference in perfomance.

    I'm more concerned with how dumbed-down game classes are becomming, so the whole concept of "cookie-cutter" builds is getting a bit outdated anyway.

    You make me like charity

  • k11keeperk11keeper Kalama, WAPosts: 1,056Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Deivos
    Originally posted by k11keeper
     

    And I can refer to my post where the game's math ultimately negates that fact.

     Just because most games are poorly designed doesn't mean they have to be done that way.

    But they are made that way and when people figure out the system there is optimal or not optimal. You're opposing my side of the argument by starting an entirely different argument of whether games should be designed that way or not. I agree they shouldn't be designed that way but currently they are. So currently I prefer playing optimal builds, until a game where that isn't the case is fun to me and I play it I will always play the most optimal way.

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAPosts: 4,481Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kurush

    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).

     I am going to say no.  You see it as the real problem, I say this is just another complaint against type.   You like X but not Y there for Y is bad design.  It's not your choice of X but the choice of Y.  The devs must be lazy.

    Just to say something else:  I don't believe you can create a system with a large variety of functionally and powerful skills while ensuring balance at each point of choice of skills/abilities and attributes.  Until someone can show us the details of a system he has designed with math based proof that there is balanced at each choice, it is all moot.

    I  would also add that having a variety of choices is a good thing even when poorly optimal builds are made.

    Just because you like a playstyle doesn't make it the correct style of everyone. 

  • VolkonVolkon Sterling, VAPosts: 3,788Member
    Originally posted by k11keeper

    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.

     

     

    Only in games where you have set, defined roles to follow. Yes, I had my MM hunter in WoW optimized via spreadsheet and all that, then all I did in a raid was press the right keys in the right order and watch Recount. Yay. Huzzah. (OK, it seemed fun at the time.)  I prefer fighting (and builds) that are actually responsive to dynamically changing combat situations around me as opposed to scripted, optimized archaic defined-role based systems these days.

    Oderint, dum metuant.
    image

  • TorikTorik London, ONPosts: 2,343Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Volkon
      I prefer fighting (and builds) that are actually responsive to dynamically changing combat situations around me as opposed to scripted, optimized archaic defined-role based systems these days.

    So you prefer cookie cutter builds that are optimized for dynamically changing combat?

  • monstermmomonstermmo Glendale, CAPosts: 1,062Member

    Cookie cutter builds ruin the whole point of having multiple talent tree's.

     

    Jeremiah 8:21 I weep for the hurt of my people; I stand amazed, silent, dumb with grief.
    Join me on Raptr Steam Facebook Twitter Gameverse

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    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.

    You're thinking too small. The objective is to win an encounter (be that PvP or PvE), to make most money or XP in an hour, traverse as fast as possible etc. It doesn't matter exactly how you achieve that. Only if its the best or among the best ways to do it. For example, the most efficient PvP build may not use AOE at all.

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

  • VolkonVolkon Sterling, VAPosts: 3,788Member
    Originally posted by Torik
    Originally posted by Volkon
      I prefer fighting (and builds) that are actually responsive to dynamically changing combat situations around me as opposed to scripted, optimized archaic defined-role based systems these days.

    So you prefer cookie cutter builds that are optimized for dynamically changing combat?

     

    OK, that was cute. You got a giggle out of me.

    Oderint, dum metuant.
    image

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