The Daily Grind: Which MMORPG has the most complex character development?

Over the weekend, I was reading a makeup subreddit (don’t judge me – I swear there is a gaming point to this) and the lads and ladies were discussing what they would do if they had to start over with $200 and an empty makeup bag. As I’m flipping through the suggestions for how to maximize your budget with palettes and multi-use products, what floated up unbidden in my mind was that it looked exactly like the way City of Heroes players used to give build advice. Oh sure, every game with talents or whatnot has this, but City of Heroes was extremely complicated at its most extreme end and there was an absolutely epic program called MIDS to help you plan your character down to the tiniest mathematical equation. Put simply, whether you wanted to just have a vague clue which level to take which skill or you wanted to mix-max your every IO set, you needed MIDS, and so people would go on the forums and get into long discussions/arguments about those builds.

Path of Exile has always seemed to me another extreme example of detailed, maybe too-detailed-for-most-people, character development. I wish we had more games like this!

Which MMORPG has the most complex character development? And, as a bonus question, which MMORPG has the niftiest character development tool?

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!
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

47 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Which MMORPG has the most complex character development?"

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Bruno Brito

Non-complex, limited choices: WoW, EQ2, DCUO, Wildstar, GW2 post talent revamp. SWL.

Versatile choices, but non-complex: Pre-talent revamp GW2, post-MoP WoW. AoC, LoTRO.

Meaningful, complex, deep choices: Anarchy Online, TSW, SWG, CoH, Champions ( game falls short on other core systems tho ), PoE

Probably forgot other games.

butterpanda888
Reader
butterpanda888

I love games with complex character development/progression.

dixa
Reader
dixa

Why would you include a CoH screenshot? did you do this on purpose, to make me cry again?

Reader
Bryan Correll

Well….technically it’s not a CoH screenshot. Just a screenshot of a utility program that most CoH players used. /comfort

styopa
Reader
styopa

EQ2 now. Not deliberately, but now there are what, about 6 different talent point scales?

Reader
Bruno Brito

Which could benefit a lot from a shaving/pruning.

Monsoon
Reader
Monsoon

Along with the CoH game client, I can’t bring myself to remove Mids’ from my desktop shortcuts, let alone actually uninstall it.

Reader
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Loyal Patron
Stormwaltz

I’ve said before that trying to figure out The Secret World’s character building was like running face-first into a brick wall. When I played, it was so poorly tutorialized they never even mentioned that talismans = armor. Though there were starter build templates to follow, they didn’t give me a clear idea of how to synergize or specialize the umpteen skills I got, nor any idea of how to proceed once I was encountering content those templates were too weak to defeat.

But on further consideration, after a few years away from LotRO, I’m finding character creation pretty overwhelming. The basic stats, okay. Traits in Class, Race, and Virtue categories, right. Do a deed to unlock a trait, got it. Pick DPS/Tank/Support trait line, sure. Do these three deeds to unlock trait point, I should start writing this down…

Level up and equip your character. Choose your traits in one specialization line. Now choose your traits in a second spec line. Now the last line.

Remember the difference between mitigations (7 types), resistance, defenses (2), critical defenses (3), and avoidances (2).

Complete your class deeds by collecting book pages and toenails from all over creation.

Level up your legendary items. Customize the legacies for your play style. Get titles for them. Imbue them. Apply a crystal to get another legacy slot.

Level up your war steed. Choose your traits in one specialization line. Now choose your traits in a second spec line. Now the last line.

Now level up your war steed’s legendary items.

It comes at you a a gradual pace, but the sheer amount of moving parts in the endgame is overwhelming. I’ve been getting reward items from festival quests that I have no idea what they do, or when I’ll be able to use them! :)

butterpanda888
Reader
butterpanda888

You made me wanna reinstall LotRO.

Reader
Matt Redding

All I can say is that what I see of your build looks very good and I would love to team with you on my Gravity/Rad controller. ^_^

Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Schlag Sweetleaf

.

city of heroes complex.jpg
camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

“I feel so detached, so separated from everyone.”

The humongous man on the couch sniffed nervously and adjusted his cape causing it to slide off his knee.

“I mean, I’m supposed to be the hero. I don”t need saving! That woman in the bus hanging over a chasm caused by a Devouring Earth rampage. SHE needs saving! That busload of nuns being held hostage by the Lost. They need saving. NOT me!

Not…me. I just…I don’t know. I feel…

Alone ya know? I just want people to see me.

See me for who I really am.”

Dr. Stenhamn tapped his pen once on his notepad, “Perhaps you could try…taking off your helmet?”

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Alex Willis

EVE. Ever had the feeling that your MMO character’s life was better-planned than your own? Yeah. That was EVE for me. That guy was a TITAN of industry. (I am a mere gnome of industry.) He had EMPLOYEES, who were REAL PEOPLE. The whole marketing slogan “EVE is REAL”? Yeah. It’s not from nothing.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
Archebius

I’d say EVE. It might not be the most outright complex, but it takes a good amount of planning and patience to develop your character up, and offers a good balance between flexibility and specialization.