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Reader Comments (22)

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 8:08AM (Unverified) said

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IMO, i'd rather have 1 toon that i can do anything with a la Wurm Online, Darkfall, and FFXIV. however the only one out of those three examples I actually spent a decent amount of time with was XIV, and with no friends to play with as they are either all World of War-crackheads. or not MMO gamers.

But i have played and enjoyed games with 1 toon - 1 job. always hate having to re-roll, i really hate it when the leveling treadmill is always the same.

just wish games like dofus and it's "brother" wakfu had more of a sandbox approach to their classes. thought interesting classes none the less.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 8:24AM Grinstone said

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I prefer to have characters with roles, mainly because I like to have some idea of what I'm playing. If my character can do everything then, even if there is a lot of variety, to me it'll soon feel like I've already done it all. The differences between doing it with fire vs ice vs yoghurt are no longer compelling.

Admittedly my only experience with the jack-of-all-trades approach has been Champions Online. At the time I played CO it wasn't so much a case of "I can do this" as "I had to do this", because the power sets were so small you had to branch out into at least two (or more likely three or four) power sets.

To summarize, I'm certain having a game in which your character can do most things can be very interesting, but I expect it'd be an order of magnitude more difficult to make the variety interesting enough for people to make more than one or two characters.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 8:25AM (Unverified) said

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It largely depends on my mood. I jump to and fro with characters to experience different playstyles. If I had a character I could draw abilities from all the different skill pools, I'd imagine it wouldn't change much. I'd still create characters with specific roles in mind, and then if I get bored, I could always make a jack of all trades build.

Honestly I haven't played an MMO where skills are flexible and the choices you make with them define your character's abilities, not an option at character creation. It's one reason why I keep watch on FFXIV, I'm curious about that type of system.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 8:31AM eLdritchZ said

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I like specialized characters.... even in sandboxes like Wurm I prefer to pick something specific and roll with that...

and tbh I hate it when characters in theme park MMOs can do everything... WoWs Warlock, Hunter and Deathknight would be an example of this... pet, DPS, CC, Dot, this, that... just way too much stuff

I like the DAoC school of characters...

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 8:36AM SiML said

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As much as I adored CoH and my 6 years with it, there was always the odd power from other sets that I wish I could of taken, and even when respeccing you are still tied to your original choice of powerset (although you can respec your epic-set).
I've gotta hand it to Champions-Online in that respect, as a freeform (subscribed) toon you can truely mix 'n' match to the Nth degree and get your concept EXACTLY how you want it.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 8:36AM (Unverified) said

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One of the big draws of FFXI and FFXIV was the option to have one character who could do anything. It made me grow more attached to that character, instead of having an army of alts that I really could throw away. Even now that I'm not really playing XI that much, I miss the adventures my character had throughout the game, even though I played close to five different jobs on him.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 9:08AM fallwind said

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./me is waiting for TSW.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 9:12AM PrimeSynergy said

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I like being able to do a little bit of everything enough to always be useful even if I'm not the best at it.

i.e. a captain in LotRO

Not the beat healer, dps, or tank, but can fulfill any role relatively well enough to get through whatever you're trying to get through.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 9:24AM Heraclea said

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The problem with highly specialized characters is that their presence usually means you will be facing content that requires specialization.

Now, you say characters in City of Heroes are fairly narrowly specialized. In one sense that's true, but the content redeemed it. Most of the team content in the game can be done quite adequately by a team of eight random characters. Eight blasters (or eight tankers or eight defenders) could get the job done. It allowed a variety of approaches to the material.

What I don't like is gated content that requires very particular builds for maximized efficiency, and that puts non-min/maxed characters at a disadvantage. These games generate a culture of conformity. Moreover, in such games you will always be running into encounters where your own character has little to contribute.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 9:51AM Ardra Diva said

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I guess this seems like a silly question to me in a way. Of course I prize versatility, that's why I played the Druid in EQ...

When it came to LOTRO i am finding the Rune keeper is pretty versatile, you can nuke and heal, etc. But it takes the Hunter class to have lots of teleports like the Druid had.

Come to think of it, nothing has beaten the original EQ Druid ever since... except maybe the original SWG "learn whatever skills you want" system (which was awesome).

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 10:03AM AceSteveC said

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City of Heroes let's you make a more flexible character by choosing wisely from the Epic power sets, available from level 41, for instance brutes can get debuffs or ranged holds. Also the Incarnate powers available at 50 are varied and can serve the same purpose. However even before that point there are more flexible character types, for instance an Ice Blast/Radiation Emission corrupter can be ranged damage dealer or debuffer, corrupter primary roles, but it can also be controller or tank-mage depending on the nature of the rest of the team and/or the opposition. An Electrical Blast/Energy Manipulation blaster can be a controller that's still dealing huge amounts of damage.

Rift highlights one of the issues with flexibility. If you have flexibility you need less characters and in Rift you only need one Mage, one Cleric, one Warrior and one Rogue because each can have multiple builds that take only seconds to switch between. A friend of mine has 3 Rift characters at 50 and the 4th at 47. When that one reaches 50 he won't need to ever level a character again and the game only started this year. How are they going to keep his attention then? Also he probably leveled up using mainly 1 build on each character, so he's missed the leveling experience with all the other builds.

I like a reasonable amount of flexibility and I get more than enough in City of Heroes. One of the best fights I experienced was playing a peacebringer that was healer and backup tank while having started the mission as blaster.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 11:48AM Caerus said

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@AceSteveC

I was just about to come in here and mention Rift for those very same reasons, but a more positive slant. I like having /some/ specialization, but having to level 8 characters (e.g. WoW) to experience each role is excessive. I really enjoy the limited versatility in Rift - I feel like I can do many things with each character but I'm definitely not the jack-of-all-trades. Compare that to something like FFXI, which I think would overwhelm me with options for each character. To me, leveling isn't everything - it's just a way to learn your character - and I don't see myself losing interest in the game just because I have each calling at 50. Lack of content after that, maybe, but not just because I have maxed level toons.
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Posted: Aug 17th 2011 6:34PM Majicebe said

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@AceSteveC There is a ridiculous amount of dungeoning, pvp, raiding, rifting, etc. at 50. I've been 50 for weeks on my only character and I've barely scratched the surface.

Compared to leveling 10 different characters in WoW, the flexibility is a welcome change.
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Posted: Aug 18th 2011 6:33AM AceSteveC said

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@Majicebe

Fair enough, but where's the motivation to do it with a build that's not really suited to it? Without the flexibility you don't turn up to each challenge, whether it is high level or not, with the cookie cutter min-maxed best tool for the job. You turn up with what you've got and have to face the challenge of doing it with a character that might not really be suited to it, so you get varying experiences from the same content.

More flexibility => less characters => less leveling and do all players really want to spend so little time (proportionally) progressing their characters. Back in the day it took a very long time to get your character to the top level and this was both a blessing and a curse, a blessing because there was always a new power/skill to learn on the horizon and a large sense of accomplishment when you got it, and also a curse if you couldn't play with your friends until you maxed out. That curse has been largely handled by some games, like City of Heroes, that provide a side-kicking system, but the blessing has also been largely eliminated. It's about the time-reward relationship. It's usually the case that max level content does not provide a significant power/skill payout, unlike early to mid level content, so you're reduced from a reward point of view (after you've done it once) to "I climbed it because it's there".
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Posted: Aug 16th 2011 10:18AM Ogged said

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"How versatile do you like your characters?"

Depends on the game, the classes and the speed of the gameplay.

In AO my favorite char was an adventurer. Who could tank, dps, heal and buff. The proverbial jack of all trades. Many options, quite a few buttons to press but not too complex to play (once you were buffed, that was painful at times).

My captain in LOTRO on the other hand ... can tank, dps, heal and buff too. Somehow, he feels much more complex to play than my adventurer. Which might have something to do with the 50 "quick"bar slots I have filled. But still, with the slower speed of LOTRO, it's all decent.

These days, however, I play CoH more than anything else. And in that game, I don't like any char that requires more than WASD, my mouse and keys 1 through 0.
Which is, at this time, my claws/elec brute. Log in, toggle up and I'm able to go stabbity-stab on whatever crosses my path. With a very limited number of keys I really need.
I recently tried to play a controller, a dominator and a mastermind but found them "too complex" aka "too many buttons to press at the right time" for my taste.
I think this has something to do with the flashy visuals of the game, so in that game I prefer specialists.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 10:38AM DevilSei said

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I like to be somewhat specialized. My big thing is, and pretty much always will be, is doling out the pain. Tanking is secondary for me. But I never heal... never on my main at least. I don't heal well, my brain wants me to run in and smack things, not sit back and stare at bars!

So... as long as my character can at least do damage and take a bit of pain I'm happy with them.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 10:48AM DarkWalker said

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I prefer when I can fulfill any role with a single character. Failing that, I prefer to still have multiple roles I can fulfill with each of my characters.

I can't bring myself to play "pure" characters beyond the first few levels, and my end game characters are always the ones that can fulfill more roles.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 1:12PM pixledriven said

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I have to throw my vote under "both".

I enjoy playing hybrids a lot. The guy who's basically a walking bag of tricks wearing a utility belt and wielding a Swiss-army knife really appeals to me.

On the flip side I like having specialized characters too. You know, those guys who do 1 or 2 of the things that Mr Jack-of-all-Trades can do, but way better.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 1:36PM donweel said

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I like being the swiss army knife. That is why I usually play a bard type of character. I had a lot of fun with the DDO bard, and I enjoyed the Rift Bard during beta and early play.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 1:39PM Space Cobra said

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Extremely versatile. You know, "Heroic at everything". I don't like being in one role, especially if I really need a group and can't ever solo.

Just make me McGuyver.

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