The Daily Grind: When was the last time you played an MMO ‘wrong’?

Over the weekend, MMO blogger and Massively OP frequenter Wolfyseyes posted what I thought was a fantastic piece on playing MMOs “wrong.” Eschewing other people’s generic advice and cookie cutter builds, he found, was the best decision he could have made in the service of actually liking his game of choice.

“I elected to just play Guild Wars 2 ‘wrong,'” he wrote. “And it’s brought me more enjoyment than any of the previous attempts I’ve made.”

And before you freak out, by “wrong” he doesn’t mean “incompetently like a drunk hippo in tap shoes,” just skipping min-maxing in a game where it’s truly not necessary for the majority of the content, building out his character in a way that’s actually fun for him and still results in winning for him and his team. Sandbox fans and altoholics in particular are probably nodding along in understanding already.

When was the last time you played an MMO “wrong”? Did it generate joy for you in an MMO?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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107 Comments on "The Daily Grind: When was the last time you played an MMO ‘wrong’?"

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Rolan Storm

I did and it did. SWTOR and SWL have few reprecussions for not following min/max policy in PvE solo now. It is wicked fun.

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Malcolm Swoboda

All the time.

Reader
Alex Malone

I played WAR wrong.

It was advertised as a healthy mix of PvE and PvP. As I enjoy both and love the lore, I did both whilst leveling up. Big mistake. Spending any time away from PvP was just gimping yourself. Your lower PvP rank meant worse gear and that whole game was built around massive gear gaps. It meant you either had to farm PvE to get gear equivalent to decent PvP gear, or deal with being gimped for a few months.

I opted for the PvE grind with my guild, hoping it would be relatively quick. Nope. No sort of token system in place, so just random loot drops. Many times we’d clear an instance but nobody would get any loot as everything that dropped would be for different classes.

So, eventually I ditched the PvE completely and only did PvP. After a few months of grinding I had mostly caught up on the gear gap and was having fun again, just wish I’d stuck with PvP only from the start and made my life easier.

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George

WAR, I miss you so much…

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Zen Dadaist

If you’re having fun and are able to complete the content you’re aiming at without being an absolute detriment to your team or carried, then you’re not doing it Wrong. You just might not be doing it Meta.

I play lots of stuff non-meta and I don’t consider it to be playing wrong. I’d have to deliberatly gimp a character like remove all it’s actions/abilities or cheat/exploit for that to happen.

(NB: I consider sploiting and cheating to be Doing It Wrong far more than any sub-optimal build.)

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Arsin Halfmoon

Everyone prep your rotten tomatoes.

I prefer to keep up with and play in the flavor of the month/meta. That goes for farming, PVP, progression, and just plain exploration.

I’ll admit, in my younger years, I was super vocal of the people who take builds from gw1’s build wiki and stuff. I’d get annoyed at flavor of the month builds. I was suuuuper pissed and HATED ursanway in GW1, but that was because it was more for a thematic reason. But today I prefer to stick to the meta builds.

Why? Because I want to win, I want to be efficient, and I want to get better at my game. The meta is there to provide a baseline and a level of predictability. Considering your average player these days, they’ll be doing things with a pug. There’s so much randomness when it comes to a pug, but when there’s a baseline kit to work with, at least there’s a predictable piece in the puzzle.

They’ll also allow you to explore and learn about the deeper, underlying mechanics of the game, not just content. Sometimes these builds exploit systems in the game that’ll give you an edge. (Like how pointing the camera to the floor will actually make it easier for thieves to stack an extra stealth stack on them in GW2). But playing in the meta will help you understand how each piece works and how to exploit to get the most of it. I’m 100% sure nobody’s going to complain when my Fresh Air Tempest blurts out an essential heal at Fractal 99 or if my DD meets the DPS check. Yes, there are bad players who play the meta, but I’d take them over another player with an unpredictable build because I can at least know what to expect from them. Which brings me to my next point.

Those builds people make for their characters are fine and all, but here’s the thing. Chances are, if a person’s build is not compatible with the current builds people are running, the chances for success decreases in a pug situation, and from my experience, the people who tend to go against the grain only look at the context of their character, and not the whole group situation. And as a result, they won’t be able to explore the more challenging content, meaning they won’t learn more interesting nuances of their class and get better at the game. And they wont build the knowledge to make them even better buildcrafters.

Of course, if you go into a non-meta build with a group that all have the same mindset, that’s a completely different story. But that’s the big difference, those people that actually want to break the mold do so as a team (gasp). And chances are that those types of players are far more experienced than your typical “I’m going to make a build because I need to be different”

If it’s any consolation, the only wrong way to play an MMO is with a chair without lumbar support. It’s bad for your posture.

Reader
Carebear

Rotten tomatoes are for people that disrespect the opinion of others, not for those that just have different opinion than the majority and present it without insulting the others!

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Ian Wells

If that is what we are calling the wrong way, I have never played one right. Part of what I really disliked about FF XIV every time I have played it is that m character isn’t MY character. It is just another character grinding through the same ranks for the same skills as everyone else.

What I absolutely love about Tree of Savior, and why I repeatedly go back to it for weeks or months at a time a 2-3 times a year is because there is such a fantastic amount of variety for viable-if-situational-and/or-not-ideal builds. Want a classic “death knight” build? Go Str/spr cleric with levels in bokor and paladin. Want to be a ninja? You get 2 flavors to choose from: Swordsman w/ shinobi or archer w/ scout (toss some wagushi and sapper in or more fun).

Basically, if I can’t play my character the way I want to and at least be able to hold my own weight, then the game is done for me. If I happen to do a little less DPS or need to toss out a pot occasionally for tanking, I can live with that. If I am decimated by normal party content, am entirely outclassed by a very specific build in every situation, or simply don’t even have the option to play my way, then I just don’t see the point in playing.

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Arsin Halfmoon

Yeah, at that point, thats were personal skill comes in. Trading off a particular skill, but making it up with how well you know your build is fair.

I love tanking in ffxiv, there are times where Shield Oath needs to be on, but if the other players are on point, and i can pop a cooldown instead, I’d just do it that way cuz at that point, its instinct.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Tithegha

Last night when i hit Act 3 in Path of Exile and realized that the freeform passive skills were a trap. My Summoner/Lightning witch just wouldn’t work much longer as neither side was hitting as hard as it needed to. There’s something to be said for linear skill trees now and then.

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Ian Wells

Psst… try applying summons to totems and focus on using your damage spells. Also, be sure you have a good set up of linked skills on your gear. At you level (anything below the highest difficulty level really), links are the most important thing to pay attention to on all gear outside of the odd unique weapon.

I ran an Necro/Ice witch as my first character and reached the same conclusion you did until I started playing around with totems and took the time to learn how to use my currencies (orbs, ect.) effectively for crafting gear the way I wanted it for my skill set up.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
mistressbrazen

Whenever I play a new game, I try to play it without researching the game beforehand. I just want to feel it out and see whether it is fun. I normally run the game anywhere from 3 -9 months without a guild. If I am having fun and still progressing no problem. If progression is stilted but I still like the game then I will either research or try a guild, maybe both.
I had a rifle skill in TSW and everyone would ask why I used it instead of another one that was more powerful. My reply: I didn’t like the animation on the more powerful one so I stuck with what I had. I play the way I like to play. On the other end, if I am going to run end game content, I will switch up from the “just for me” build to something that will work for the group. Dungeon running, particularly at nightmare level, is time consuming. I will respect everyone’s time and try to do my DPS bit efficiently. When I don’t want to do that, I don’t play end game content.

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Kickstarter Donor
Tandor

There’s never anything “wrong” in playing a game your way, rather than someone else’s way. It’s how I’ve played every MMO and other computer game since I bought my first computer 34 years ago!

Reader
jaif13

Speaking from a GW2, WvW-perspective: playing a build that matches your style instead of a cookie-cutter is probably the best min-maxing you can do. Trying to play someone else’s build can make you less efficient.

I’m not knocking cookie-cutter builds (let’s not go overboard), but it’s important in competition to have a build that flows for you.

-Jeff

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Sally Bowls

Daily. (I would point out that conformity IRL is not one of my strengths either.)

I would draw a hard line as to whether it involves solo or group play. My BM Hunter or minion Necro non-optimally solo-ing through the open world is fine. But what if you are so compliant that you allowed yourself to be brainwashed into “MMOs are for grouping?” :-) Then what is your wrong behaviour telling the others? Carry me? You should play right so I can play fun/wrong? My fun is more important than your time?

Me, in a state of undress, singing Warren Zeon songs loudly and badly is perfectly fine alone at home. Morally questionable to do it in a crowded theater.

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Bryan Correll

Playing the ‘right’ way is for the unimaginative.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
mysecretid

The fleet (guild) I belong to in Star Trek Online runs into this “right versus wrong” issue with new players constantly.

People join the fleet and start asking “what’s the current best gear I should get for my starship?”, and “what’s the current best gear I should get for my away teams?”.

Sometimes, fleet members like myself reply with “Whatever you think is cool that keeps you alive, here are some possibilities” and the person in question sort of pauses, like they think we’re messing with them, but we’re not

Truth is, STO has a ton of gear options, and adds more all the time, but there is no clear “uber build” to follow that isn’t merely an accident of mathematics; an accident which rarely lasts for very long.

We had one longtime fleetie who was determined to have THE “uber build” starship — he followed the gearhead fansites, and the theorycrafting discussions on the web; he did all the game-stats math —

— he got his uber-starship, and then he quit a few months later.

Before he left, we had a discussion while playing where he lamented that all the new content was “too easy” and indeed, he was defeating “boss” starships very quickly.

I replied to him, “Well, you know, the developers aren’t designing the content for your difficulty level (and he was also playing on the game’s highest difficulty setting), they design for the majority of players”. He was gone soon after.

Another guy did the same thing, quit, but came back and started fresh, saying “No more min-maxing. This time, I’m playing to have fun”. He’s still playing STO to this day.

If “the wrong way” is valuing having fun over “uber builds” and min-maxing, I play all my games “the wrong way”, and I heartily recommend it. :-D

Cheers,

Reader
Castagere Shaikura

The funny part is getting into a PVE Que with these guys and they get mad your not one shooting everything like them.

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Jon Sleeper

I don’t much care about builds. I like all the neat powers that come with the set bonuses. If that means I have a phaser/polaron/disruptor/tetryon mix, then so be it.

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Nathan Aldana

I mean. I love figuring out a build that makes me feel uber, but I also love the challenge of a new alt. people who focus on being gods to the exclusion of all else kinda weird me out.

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Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

To your average min maxer, twink centric life begins at end game player.. every waking moment of my MMO existence is probably wrong to them as don’t play or adhere to ANY of it.

I do what I want, when I want, in the order I want, playing what I want, worrying more about how its aesthetic looks than its DPS.. I don’t care for pvp, or raiding, I could care less about endgame, I have more alts than most by a factor of 10 and you know what.. I love every damn second of it ;)

So if thats wrong, I embrace it and love it.

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thirtymil

I have a Redguard Dragonknight in ESO who eschews all that weird magic & class skill stuff and picks all her skill options from the two-handed tree. Pretty sure that qualifies at ‘L2P noob’, but it is glorious fun knowing that whatever button I press, someone gets smacked with a big sword.

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Castagere Shaikura

We should meet up. I have a Redguard magic Templar.

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thirtymil

It’s a match made in elitist jerk hell :)

what-4
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what-4

No matter how I do something, its the right way.

Reader

All of them. If I can’t play it without min-maxing, then it’s a bad game. NO GAME should be designed around min/maxing. Period. If it is, I head for the door (and a refund, if necessary).

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Schmidt.Capela

NO GAME should be designed around min/maxing. Period.

Not quite. Min-maxing is a perfectly valid way to play, and making games for that niche is just fine.

Devs should be aware that it’s a niche, though, which means they won’t get from it the same kind of revenue they get from mainstream games. Also, they should somehow make it clear in their advertisement the kind player they are making the game for.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Daily. In WoW you suppose to level you character to max, get into raids and collect epics. I didnt play WoW like that for years. Ive been playing my 29 level twinks and doing only lowlevel BGs. There were epic tryhard premades on Nostalrius. And we have somewhat active bracket on Elysium now.

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Max Sand

Been playing WoW wrong for years. I pick specs i find fun. Yeah I am aware this other spec is 2% more effective and these talents are 4% better but this is hoe i play. And since I dont do high end raiding or pvp, why do you even care random stranger in a pub? You think me having a slightly more optimized build will end this dungeon 30 seconds faster? Well, sucks to be you.

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Kickstarter Donor
mysecretid

This. So many high-end builds seem to deliver nothing more than victory 30 seconds faster per battle than if the uber build was not in place.

Um. When did our MMORPG suddenly become an Olympic track-and-field event? :-)

If someone cares so much about “efficiency of play” and “time invested versus rewards”, they’d probably find competitive e-sports games more to their liking. MMORPG games are, very generally-speaking, for the “tell me a good story where I also get to be awesome” crowd.

Cheers,

Reader
Robert Mann

Yesterday. And the day before that. Etc.

That… doesn’t mean I take the really wonky specs that don’t really work for it into group content.

I’m constantly doing my own evaluations of what I like best, what works and what doesn’t, and sometimes that means I even end up agreeing that using a certain skill or twenty (sometimes entire specs or even classes) is bad. Which, honestly, should be on the developers to fix asap. There should be some use, even if it is adding a secondary effect. For example, maybe that low damage spell now causes the rest of the party to auto-crit their next attack. Suddenly, useful. In fact, with a low cooldown overpowered. But that’s just a quick example idea, without any tuning work done.

At the same time I also tend to run those wonky specs that work in group content.

I take pleasure in watching people’s reactions to a spec or build they derided not only work well, but often outperform the standard of the day. Obviously theorycrafting has a point, but at the same time it fails to account for other variables… and nothing is as satisfying as saving a wipe or soloing a raid boss from 5% in a spec and watching people react with their minds blown. *I’ve done both on characters who were not healing or tanking based.* Too often people are too quick to judge, and those mental walls are something I will actively work to demolish.

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Carebear

I usually don’t bother with endgame group content, but the few times I do I try to play the “right” way… the thing is that when you become part of a team, you need to respect the other members… they don’t play the “right” way so you can play the “wrong” way.

The other option is to create your own team and invite players with the same mindset, who play the “wrong” way just for the fun. But most people try to find a “good” group and then they complain for elitism.

Do not confuse me for the hardcore or elitist player, I am the most average Joe in your MMO, but this is my opinion. I do play the wrong way most of the times because most of the times I play solo :P

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Bob Bobson

There are nearly no MMOs left that you actually CAN play wrong. In WoW every “build” if you want to call it like that is viable as is every class. You can’t even choose the wrong items since higher level is better and easily visible.

Even in LotRo you walk through the content like a hot knife through butter with every build.

The only game I can think of where you can do anything wrong is FFXV or the highest endgame elite content of other MMOs but then really only in the last 5% of Raidcontent.

I loved my own builds in classic WoW and I loved to fail as 5 minute buff Paladin or my total incompetence in Starwars Galaxies… Nowadady games take you by the hand… always.

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Nathan Aldana

well, if you ask the elitists of a community, you’re always playing an MMO wrong unless you enjoy all the same builds and content they do.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Kayweg

I played all of them “wrong”, if min/maxing is considered playing them “right”.
But then again, i don’t do that whole end-game thing, raiding, etc, so i can keep playing them “wrong” without it catching up to me.
Doesn’t mean i’m not involved and careful about my build, far from it, but my build isn’t a means to an end for post level cap content.
In all the MMORPGs or ARPGs i played, i’ve never used a pre-defined optimal build somebody had posted somewhere.
It would suck the fun right out of it. Figuring that out and experimenting IS the game for me.

Reader
Utakata

In games…

I always try to do things solo when I expected to group.

Crafting, what’s crafting? o.O

I try to avoid PvP where possible, unless I know what I am doing.

As long as the gear makes me look fabulous as well as making me hit hard.

Damage meters? I am just here for the Transmog. /shrug

Socializing is for Guild Chat.

…yep, I am doing it all wrong. <3

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Dreema

Back in the days when WoW had proper talent trees, I used to ignore all the advice about cuttier cooker builds and how you couldn’t play X class without the correct build and just played however I wanted. And you know what? I managed just fine. While there were know it alls on the official forums saying how such and such a class was so broke it was literally unplayable and how you couldn’t play with a build that didn’t have points in this skill or that skill, I was doing just that, and probably having a lot more fun than the know it alls.

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Crowe

Yeah, I was just thinking of vanilla WoW and the old talent trees. I loved how I could make interesting hybrid options and still manage to fill a group or raid niche. The game just hasn’t been as good since they nerfed those trees to hell.

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Carebear

Vanilla wow was never about min-maxing.. it was about patience, consistence and being good person.

The best class/build was the one that would come with you all the way from ironforge to scarlet monastery by foot because you didnt had the southshore fp and complete the dungeon with you…

It was the last time when your social skills worth more than your gaming skills..

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

My process for playing MMOs “wrong” usually goes like this:
1) Before playing an MMO, I invest heavily in learning the meta.
2) Once in game, I play the meta until I realize that this is crushing my soul and is the opposite of what I find fun.
3) I take about 20% of the advice from meta and then do what I want with the rest.
4) THEN I have fun.
5) Die too often in a raid/PvP, decide that I don’t know what I’m doing.
6) Return to Step 1.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
mysecretid

That’s how I determine whether I should look at my “build” as well — if I’m dying too often when I didn’t plan on it, then I take a look at how my character is put together. Otherwise, I jut play on, chasing the fun.

Cheers,

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Theodrax

I play most games for fun. If the build I stumble into happens to be right, then YAY. Good for me. If it happens to be wrong, but I’m having fun then Yay, good for me. If it’s one of the rare games that punishes you for not having a good build then booooo, time to go. That’s actually why I left the original Secret World many years ago. I just sort of played and rapidly got to content I just couldn’t pass. I tried making stuff that looked fun, but the pain of combat just got to be to much. I’m enjoying SWL a lot m ore because I can make it work in my own bumbling incompetent way

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yoh_sl

Yeah, when I tried to play GW2 ‘with’ people.
Turns out, not something you could do to any degree of depth. (at least when I played)
And no, there was no joy to be found.

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Arktouros

I play games in whatever way I think is going to be fun. Usually being strong is fun and strong tends to end up being the meta.

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Castagere Shaikura

I always play how i want to. In ESO i play a Redguard Templar that’s magic based not stamina. I can’t count how many groups i’ve been kicked from because of this. This is why i don’t do group content in mmo’s anymore. And i solo just fine and i’ve soled many public dungeons too. I can’t stand players that think they know everything and trash talk players for not doing what they say. If i can’t play a game i spent my money on the way i want than forget that game.

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Robert Mann

If I was still playing ESO I’d offer to run group content with you. I was a consistent mold-breaker, in both dungeons and raids, in game. Had people kick me from groups, saying that I couldn’t possibly fill my role on characters. Would just shrug, and then go get a group that probably cleared faster as the others rejected people.

It’s amazing how stupidly obsessed people become with builds, sorry you were suffering there!

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thirtymil

I am lucky enough to have a couple of friends who are mold-breakers who I play ESO with. Our tank admitted after a few runs he hadn’t bothered to slot a taunt skill because hey, why bother, we were doing just fine. Our healer plays a night blade which I believe is still shunned.

It’ll come as no surprise to either of you that we three-man dungeons perfectly well – and not just ESO either, the same approach worked just as well in SWTOR. The meta is far, far overrated compared to learning how to play well in a group (and no, that doesn’t mean blaming it all on the player/character you don’t understand).

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Robert Mann

Yep, there’s a ton of elitism for no reason in ESO. I played the wrong class for role, with the wrong skills… and cleared all content at the time without issue.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
mysecretid

I once joined a pick-up group in Star Wars The Old Republic who were standing around at the mission entrace,trying to “get a healer” to no avail.

Finally, I spoke up and said, “Look at us — we’ve all got good characters, if we play smart, and watch each other’s backs, we don’t need a healer”.

So, we went in, kept an eye on one another, used teamwork — and we were utterly victorious. :-)

One player kept saying, “I can’t believe we won without a healer!” I said, “Teamwork beats the “trinity” most of the time”. Hopefully, he or she went on to have a more enjoyable game after that. :-)

Cheers,

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Carebear

I always play a Breton cause is my best race by far… even in stamina builds…

Mr. E.™
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Mr. E.™

Honestly? I don’t think I’ve ever played an MMORPG “right”. I’ve prioritized fun over competition and was never really interested in being competitive. I’ve never regretted it. Even in the few games where I’ve done end-game content, I found it easy to catch on and eliminate any bad habits that kept me from contributing.

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Bhagpuss Bhagpuss

All the time. Always have. Only way to play, really.

Five years ago, when GW2 launched, for weeks and weeks map chat was full of people asking for advice on what to do and how to play. I and many others tried to explain there’s no “right” way to play GW2 and that everyone should just do what they feel like doing but that was advice few wanted to hear. Replies along the lines of “Do map completion in your starting zone and your Personal Story until you hit Level 15 then go to the next Map” were greeted with thanks while suggestions that “it’s up to you – just wander around and see what happens” were, at best, ignored.

I started off almost 18 years ago playing EverQuest as if it was designed to be soloed – and by a Cleric at that – and never looked back. The game is there for you to play; you aren’t there to be played by the game. Do whatever you want. If you don’t enjoy it, stop doing it and do something else. If you don’t enjoy any of it, play another MMO. If you don’t enjoy any MMOs any more, take a break or find another hobby. So far, doing what I want not what I’m supposedly meant to be doing has kept the hobby as fresh for me coming up on two decades in as it was when i discovered it.

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Nathan Aldana

and now if you headed back to GW2 you;d find multiple people willing to tell you that if you dont build full zerker and enjoy raiding, you arent giving the right parts of the game a chance

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Schmidt.Capela

Part of the reason I left GW2 as soon as I learned about raiding being added. The kind of attitude raiding breeds goes counter to myself having fun in the game.

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Nathan Aldana

I mean. theres always been that undercurrent.

Swear to god, there are /still/ people angry about Ellen Kiel winning the Lion’s Arch vote because they wanted the Fractal that woulda came with Evon Gnashblade and cannot fathom that some people simply didnt give two shits about fractals.

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Schmidt.Capela

Offering that up to a vote was, IMHO, a big blunder. No matter which option won you would have unhappy players.

It’s akin to why announcing new features before you are absolutely certain they are going to be implemented is a bad idea. People latch onto that and will complain a storm if something they see as having been promised isn’t delivered. I mean, to this day people still complain about WoW’s promised dance studio, which was scrapped some 4 expansions ago.

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Nathan Aldana

Agreed, it was also a bad idea because literally, the vote was ” lady with some existing story presence and some features that appeal to casual players for the temporary bonuses if she wins, versus “guy who’s temp and long term bonuses appeal entriely to hardcores and whose entire story presence is he stands in lions arch by black lion trading”

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A Dad Supreme

Most of the time, almost anyone can play an MMO “wrong” with no consequences. This usually happens during the leveling up period from 1- Whatever.

During this time, 99% of MMOs give players content that is easily finished by one player in whatever configuration they want and two players will overwhelm it making it trivial. Some people will die more often than others due to inefficient builds, but generally there is no penalty and players can progress for the month or two it takes to max the character.

The problem with the “play how you want style” is that for those wanting to go on to the higher or “end game” content (which seem to be the majority of players), the bad habits they’ve formed by playing how they want, casual, slow and “wrong” followed them to raiding and other top-tier content where the better weapons, mounts, pets, clothes, crafting and housing items are usually hidden by developers.

These players then join or attempt to join teams where someone tells them “Sorry Charlie” and they get upset because hey!… “I’ve already beaten the game from 1-Now and it was easy, so why can’t I keep playing this tank as a DPS?” Then come the cries of elitism because they are kicked from groups because while they can help kill or heal something, they can’t heal or kill it fast enough due to a “fun build” and the group suffers or you have to get “carried”.

Playing your way if fine for leveling and PvP, but if you plan to complete content that ends up being what many aspire to finish for other rewards, you’ll probably have to now re-learn your build and play it the “right” way.

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Robert Mann

There’s very few people who cry because they are in some tank as dps build. There’s a lot more who look at the ‘you have to have this, that, and nothing else’ and dislike it. Especially since other things DO work. That’s where most of us cry elitism.

For your example, that’s something that obviously just won’t work, which is completely different. If the person is completely stuck on the idea, then they will likely have more limited content. I just highly doubt that is anywhere near the majority of people complaining about elitism. It’s like saying that people in America love to shoot each other, because a few nutcases do…

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A Dad Supreme

I just highly doubt that is anywhere near the majority of people complaining about elitism. “
======
I didn’t mean to say ALL of the people or MOST of the people crying elitism are playing the game “wrong”.

What I mean to say is that at endgame and higher tier content, there is a “correct” way to play every MMO and if you aren’t doing it that way or fitting a proper role, you can’t cry when you’re kicked out of teams.

If you have leveled up a support-type class and like the skills and have been dpsing as you soloed, that’s fine. But when you get to endgame, you cannot expect to continue to be playing as a DPS if you class is consistently under every other DPS. There are hybrid healer classes that people play as “DPS” and when told to heal, they catch attitudes because they don’t want to play that way, same with some warrior-type classes that are tanks but people don’t want to be a tank so they don’t use a shield and use a 2hander for more DPS.

The Guild Wars 2 example doesn’t work because there really isn’t any raiding per se and for a long time, no “healer” and such so there wasn’t a “wrong” way to play that particular MMO but you can’t do that with most of them.

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Robert Mann

True, just noting that there’s a bunch of us who do perform just fine in builds that aren’t the cookie cutter elitist builds… who get the same responses. If you are working with actual numbers and performance, and with what a group needs, that’s different from elitism.

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Paragon Lost

I always approach my characters in any mmorpg that I play with the intent of having fun. Fun for me of course does always include being able to survive in the game environment. I’ll change up depending on the situation but really it’s all about having fun and I tend to be competent in any situation. (shrugs)

I recall about near ten years ago a particular instant in WoW, where a guy looked up my build and started giving me crap in a pug battleground. I said look, I understand your points and agree with them. If I was playing arenas I’d have a spec/build like what you’re talking about.

I said, here’s the thing, you come from a pve server, and I come from a pvp server where I’m out in the wilds solo often and I like to survive. I like to deny the attempted ganker the success of ganking me. So this build is just that, it’s harder to take down and gives me the tools to counter and get away.

My favorite thing is to prevent a ganker from taking me down and then proceed to taunt and cause him grief during the next hour. I tend to be successful at that so thanks for playing and btw do you notice that since we’re a pug, healing is in short supply, note that I’ve not died once and actually have more kills than you, taken more bases etc. So your point again was….

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Keir

Yep, this is how I play WoW at the moment. I’m on a vanilla server and I play a balance druid. It’s the weakest class in the game, not viable at all in any raids or PvP for that matter. For levelling it’s terrible, I often get killed in a one on one fight with a mob the same level as me. It runs out of mana in about 3 seconds flat. But I don’t care, as I love the lore and the roleplaying surrounding druids.

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Space Captain Zor

This is exactly what I’ve been doing for Legion, mostly since I was still on a PVP server at the start of it. I spent most of my time doing anything and everything but being in the Broken Isles after hitting 110 on any toon.

Achievements, fishing (so much fishing), old dungeons for transmog farming, pet battles, leveling up alts. ANYTHING to keep me away from the grindhouse that wPVP became.

What’s fascinating is how vastly unpopulated the rest of the game world is on a PVP server. I could go days without seeing another player in Pandaria or Draenor. But as soon as I transfered a couple characters over to a PVE realm it was like Pandaria or Draenor were still the current expansions–TONS of players in all the old content doing all the non raiding, non progression activities the game has to offer.

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Paragon Lost

Didn’t used to be that way, in regards to world pvp and who you might run across in the world. Blizzard borked world pvp years ago and it’s only gotten worse as time went on so many just avoid it at all costs. Don’t blame em honestly.

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Space Captain Zor

Oh I know, I was on that PVP server for more than 10 years. Now I get to pay them for character transfers to fix the problem they made. So far I’ve been able to do this with WoW Tokens at least–took advantage on a services sale earlier this summer.

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Paragon Lost

Yep, wife and I just this last spring moved all of our characters from a pvp server to a pve server. Not a fun cost to fork out, annoying really since many mmos do offer cheaper if not free server moves. :/

Edit: And I’d been on that pvp server since it opened at the start of BC. :/ Moved there because I’d started on a pve server during the tail end of Vanilla. Really bummed but the community or sense of community died a long time ago.

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Schmidt.Capela

There is another issue; many players on PvP servers aren’t really PvP players, they are there for other reasons. Not knowing better when making a character, following friends, going for a specific guild, there are many reasons why someone that isn’t into PvP might end in a PvP server.

Those players, then, will typically do their best to avoid PvP, and will often not transfer out of the PvP server due to the cost. This dilutes the pool of players available for PvP, and might even push it bellow the critical mass needed for world PvP to happen.

I myself played like that for a good while; I can’t stand WoW’s world PvP, never wanted to take part in it, but I had a few good friends that flat out refused to ever create a character on a PvE server, so I followed them. I even got into a 200-players-strong guild of non-PvP players that called home the the PvP realm I was in.

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Armsbend

I’ve already started mapping out my max Star Citizen Poop Build. Optimum toilet proximity with the inevitable $1000 USD Poop Efficency Parachute Pants (with added Diaper Support) they will be selling.

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Space Captain Zor

Does ARK also get shit on for having a poop mechanic? ;)

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Robert Mann

It sure did, and there were even jokes about brown nosing with the poop suicide.

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Melissa McDonald

The community in The Secret World let me know in no uncertain terms I’d built my character “wrong”. JOATs weren’t welcome in dungeon runs. Part of the beginning of the end of playing that game for me.

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mysecretid

Sounds like you hit a bad crowd, and I’m sorry that happened to you. I never had any static about my builds in TSW, but then, I rarely ran the “dungeons”, so maybe that’s why?

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Paragon Lost

One of the things from the very start that I’d noted in TSW was that there was always a strong undercurrent of elitist, exclusionary jerks. My wife, son and I would talk about it off and on as we played over the years. :/

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starbuck1771

it’s not exclusive to TSW.it happens in every mmo. I tend to ignore those people. Play the game the way you want and customize your character the way that makes sense to you. Otherwise whats the point of customization? If they don’t like it tell them to go to Helheim.

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Armsbend

You picked up the wrong crew. It is a shame – TSW was full of people who couldn’t have cared less about min-maxing who were tons of fun.

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mistressbrazen

Agreed. Not all teams cared about that. And often great PUGS could be formed through Noobmares or Sanctuary. There were elite speed dungeon runners and it’s true that they didn’t want people w/o the min/max builds. But those groups were few out of all the ones in TSW. What used to annoy me was that someone would fall in with one of these groups and then paint all TSW dungeon runners the same, when nothing could have been further from the truth.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

conan the prestidigitarian.jpg
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thirtymil

“Conan! What is best in life?”
“To wear the hat you want. See your sparkly wand before you. And to hear de lamentations of the min-maxers.”

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mysecretid

You are the ever-lovin’ king, Schlag! Thank you for this! Ahahahaha :-D

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Robert Mann

Oh no you didn’t!…

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Utakata

Now I am tempted to play Conan Exiles so I can roll a magical girl. <3

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Armsbend

es beuno

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Dušan Frolkovič

The only time i play a cookie cutter build is when i arrive at it independently.
I only need to be viable, the min-maxing i leave to people that enjoy that part.

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Xannziee

Do I ever play it right? 😂😀😅 great topic 👍

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Loopy

“wrong” is a bit of a loaded term. I could be playing the game wrong by hugging mobs instead of killing them. Or i could be playing the game wrong by not caring about progression or mix-maxing my DPS rotation.

I’m more in the latter camp – if maximizing my DPS means having to learn a super complex skill rotation that makes me feel more like a hamster on a wheel than a hero, then i will simply accept my faulty numbers and continue having fun. I also choose to forego an (insignificant) armour or weapon upgrade if it doesn’t fit my class’ “fantasy”, or at least my idea of its fantasy.

On the flip side, i’ve also played BDO wrong the first 3 attempts, which made me hate it. I treated it like any other MMO which it simply isn’t. This time it’s a lot different, and i’ve chosen to embrace what it offers as opposed to fight it.

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7BitBrian

Always. I’ve played non meta builds in GW2 since day 1. I’ve had an engineer since launch who doesn’t use kits. That’s just not an engineer to me and not fun. I find something I like and enjoy playing and make it work, I dont try to fit the meta. In WoW I’ve played a Beast Mastery Hunter since forever. I dont think they’ve ever been top of anything in PvE or meta, but I played them because I enjoyed them.

I’ve also never been into reading up on dungeon and raid strategies before going into them. I’d much prefer to learn it while doing it. This does make it so I’m never at the razors edge of content, but I still make it work. I dont play meta, never have, never will. I play what I find to be fun.

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Schmidt.Capela

I don’t care for how the devs intend the game to be played, and I care even less for how the community thinks the game is meant to be played; the two lines I usually don’t cross are harassing other players(even if harassing is expected of players like in open PvP games) and doing less than my best at group content, but apart from that I do whatever catches my fancy, which more often than not isn’t what the devs or community expected of players.

As for cookie cutter specs: it really depends on the availability of respecs. If respecs are free and always available I will build my own custom spec with little to no regard for what the community thinks works best, but if respeccing is annoying or if it’s limited in any way I will just use a cookie cutter spec and pretend the game doesn’t even allow me to customize the spec.

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Modrain

I don’t really care about playing right or wrong, these are labels some love to put on others, but they have no impact on my enjoyment of a game. I play what is right for myself, which is keeping both state of the art min-maxed characters to be as competitive as possible and what would qualify as experimental builds and/or characters as I enjoy theorycrafting and build creation.

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Daniel Miller

I did in ffxi. Scholar was always seen as a healer. Furthermore unless you were a blue mage it was incomprehensible for anyone to let a mage melee. So I started solo skill chaining on scholar way back in the day. Such a backlash i got that even sch threads to this day on ffxi mocked me.

Yet time and time again I would solo skill chain a monster and it be dead vs having to heal a whole party. Other times, I would banishga aoe zerg hordes of monsters down. Years later I am the one remembered as it has come to pass with new gear and more solo play vs party play.

Then there was blue mage. most blues CDC spam, yet i would use two 4x swords and blood tank almost anything. Sure it fed a mob tp, but they could never one shot me as every ws wuld full cure me.

I miss the days of complex jobs.

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Minimalistway

Does this count: i stopped reading strategy guides for dungeons and raids, or class guides for best performance, i just join raids and dungeons and figure it out there, doing mistakes is the best way to learn.

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starbuck1771

Why would you read those in the first place? Those are written by players and some have inaccurate information. On top of that they don’t have upgraded information for any changes after they are published.

Minimalistway
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Minimalistway

Some of them, and i mean in-game guides too.

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BalsBigBrother

I always play for fun rather than stats and it is one of the reasons I enjoy Path of Exile so much because it offers me so many options to play “wrong” (as defined in the article).

I have used skills and builds that most folks would laugh at in terms of efficiency or min/max stats but they have always been ones that I had a ton of fun playing with just to see what I can do with them.

I have played PoE on and off since beta and have yet to actually beat the end game boss (shaper on maps.) While I could easily follow a build guide designed with that task in mind I wouldn’t find that fun. The way I play I always have something to strive for and aim at while always having fun in the game playing “wrong.” :-)

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starbuck1771

Wrong is a myth. I play the game my way and F anyone who doesn’t like it. After all it is my character/account and I will play it as I see fit. In other words I don’t care about other’s opinions of my playstyle only my own as long as I am enjoying myself.

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