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In general, yes.
I find overemphasis on customisation to be a curse rather than a blessing. Much like customising the look of the toon (I never played dolly).
I would rather 'face off' against an opponent who has no benefit over me other than their own wit and intellect. Then if I beat them I know I have truely beaten them using my own wit and intellect.
Originally posted by Adamantine Thats a result of poor balancing. In a well made game, every choice a player gets actually matters. Thats why I hate skillbased systems and love classbased ones: classbased systems are much easier to rebalance, and classbased systems are much easier to make in a way that different classes are actually playing substantly differently. Skillbased games sometimes introduce the fun of "offering X possible builds", but in reality no they dont. Thats why you often have LESS actual choices with skillbased, than with classbased. About your obligatory Trinity-bashing: meh. I dont get this newest fashion that GW2 introduced. Nobody complained about the Trinity before, the majority of complaints about Trinity arent about Trinity but about poorly designed combat, and GW2 itself actually proved that having the Trinity would have been a good idea. Unsurprising for me, apparently surprising for others. So yeah, you wanna bash the Trinity, you'll get nothing but yawning from me. Just say "Player specialization" instead of Trinity and you might end up realizing what this is about. No player specialization, this means uniformity and lack of choices. THATS what you are demanding. Well congrats, many games are getting better at that.
Player specialization is not a conjoined nore an opposing factor to 'cookie-cutter builds'.
In the case of referencing the holy trinity, it's more to do with how absolute the concept defines a character, pairing down the options and variance achievable to a minimum.
You make thew claim that skill based games give you less choices than class based ones, but I'd like to posit a fact.
They're rather frequently based on the same basic mechanics. What you are referring to at best is the flavor with which a character gets wrapped up in. It's more transparent of a fact in skill based games because there's less packaging hiding the mechanics of a character's abilities.
Class based games get away with the illusion of variety by packaging finite sets. They aren't giving you more, the are giving you a rebranded box of the same thing.
What matters is what you passed commentary on briefly in the case of your argument. The back end content that governs the systems.
On that end your argument was a loop as you are touting the trinity to support easier balance of abilities, but then extending it at the end to include any form of player personalization.
The problem is balance. It's not a matter of class or non-clacc based systems. It's whether or not a game contains strong bias for or against player options, pushing players to take certain common builds, thus becoming 'cookie-cutter'.
Ironically enough, choice is the thing being argued for, not sterilization/homogenization. And choice doesn't have to be the enemy.
We treat the ability to choose as a problem because we have a roundabout concept of implementation. MAking game content into neat little packages and then trying to rebuild them every time we want to add more variety is a lot of work, but it's only so because of the poor setup and implementation that's common.
If we took a step back and remember that all these things operate off the same fundamental mechanics, we can realize that we can break most the game down into components that can be easily assembled by the game itself, instead of making packages that we have to tear apart and build anew every time we wanna tweak something.
This is something that's not a nightmare to balance either. You now have universal components that you can adjust for global changes to components that could be considered over or underwhelming. If a certain ability combo is too strong or weak you can create a modifier to anything using them in a combo, that way specific abilities as well as general changes can both take place.
Instead of rooting through individual abilities time and again and having to fabricate entirely new sets of data for the exact same functions every time you make a new poer for players to use or attempt to rebalance, you have better control over the entirety of the games abilities all at once.
This means players have the freedom of choice, and the developer has the freedom of balance.
Except we don't make things that way, because most people aren't taught that way. And most people aren't creative, they only rationalize and justify the familiar.
"The knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency whatever to make men good reasoners." - Thomas B. Macaulay
"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. Boorstin
Variety is good. I want to think about what I'm doing with my character, even when I'm not actively playing. I'd say cookie cutter builds are good for new players, but then I remember when I was a new player... and I did alright. Don't insult the intelligence of new players; engage them with a deep and customizable system organized in a slick and intuitive interface. Now you've earned a customer for life.
Originally posted by Emrendil So for non "cookie cutter" builds, whick mmos would you guys recommend? If there are any at all?
Take wiz as an example. There are TWO very popular build (CM & archon) but there are multiple variations within each. For example, you can play perma-archon or hybrid-archon.
And then there are a lot of less popular and gimmick build like disintegration, sleet storm, and even arcane torrent.
In fact, some of the older kiting build is still viable, even not the most efficient.
You can spend months (which i did), playing with optimizing builds & gear (many builds are gear dependent, most good players will have at least a set for CM and a set for archon), which i did.
I also run variation of the build for different situations.