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Thread: Don't force the optimize or fail mentality.

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    Rift Disciple Nimsul's Avatar
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    Default Don't force the optimize or fail mentality.

    This is probably one of my biggest petpeeves in MMOs. Where you must optimize your character into some typecast or fail/be removed from groups, etc.. WoW is notorious for this with their dungeons and endgame where everyone is forced into the same spec because you're only going to get it done with those specs and possibly very few alternatives.

    I don't think Rift will have much problem with this based on their system of encouraging multiclassing but there are other ways to make dungeons and raids hard besides complete, 100% optimization.

    The goblin city showed a good example when it came to actively dodging catapult attacks from high above. In such a circumstance, Whether you're cranking out 1000 dps or 560 DPS, not having situational awareness and decent reflexes ends you.

    In Traditional Action Games with RPG elements such as God of War, Devil May Cry or Darksiders, the paths you choose to go down and abilities you acquire reflect personal playstyle and enjoyment, and in the end you don't care what the "absolute best possible optimization" build is. You play whats fun and the challenge is with you and your skills as a player, not with your playstyle choices.

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    Champion Entropy's Avatar
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    If it comes down to not being picked for a grp/raid whatever, because I am not spec'd a certain way, chances are I didnt want to roll with you with you anyway.

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    Rift Disciple Narshima's Avatar
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    I do think most everyone will require to you spec to at least do your role in the group/raid. Tanks will need to have enough defensive stuff to stay alive, healers will need to have enough of a healing spec to keep the group up. Some set ups will not be a good fit for groups, for example the void knight will be more of the anti mage tank, so if you are in an area that has only melee investing several points in to void knight would make you not as effective as a person who invested them into the traditional meat shield or dps. You are going to see a few build set ups for general roles that most people will use but I don't see people being locked in as tightly as they are in wow. If a group has a super strong healer that only wants to focus on healing then the tank could drop some of their defensive stuff in favor of dps and the converse could be true, if you have a healer who is focused on dps instead of healing the tank could switch up to more defensive stuff giving up dps. I will speculate that the ability to read you situation and adjust your set up according will be what separate the very good players from the average players.

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    Rift Disciple forestwhitakereye's Avatar
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    You won't get an argument from me that situational awareness is the most important thing. Being dead really hurts your DPS.

    I do believe in min/maxing, I don't believe in the cookie cutter. I believe that whatever you're doing, there is an ideal way to spec. It might be to maximize your personal DPS. It might be to spec into a buff that benefits other people in the raid. It might be to spec into a debuff to help your healers keep the tank alive. Whatever it is, there's a right way and everything else is some amount of wrong, either a little or a lot.

    It's just common sense to me, really. There are talents in Rift that could easily cause you to lose 5 or even 10% of your damage by not taking that 5 point investment (Hammer of Virtue in Justicar for instance). Losing 10% of your personal damage might not even matter for soloing, maybe it's just one more attack you have to land. But when 10 or more DPSers lose 10% of their potential damage over the course of a 6 minute boss fight, it means that the boss is going to live for 40 seconds longer. A LOT can go wrong in 40 seconds. If nothing else, you're asking your healers to have the mana to cast an additional 15 to 25 heals.

    For me, in WoW (a year ago when I played), I never turned down anybody for not having a cookie cutter spec, but I was pretty critical of their talent choices. To give an example, no matter what a hunter's build might be, they should always have had exactly 1 out of 2 points in Go For the Throat. 1 point was a huge boost, 2 was some improvement but pretty much wasted as your gear got better. If there's a hunter LFG and you inspect them and they don't have any points there, then you can tell immediately that they haven't researched their class, so I'd pass on them.

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    Rift Disciple Nimsul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by forestwhitakereye View Post
    It's just common sense to me, really. There are talents in Rift that could easily cause you to lose 5 or even 10% of your damage by not taking that 5 point investment (Hammer of Virtue in Justicar for instance). Losing 10% of your personal damage might not even matter for soloing, maybe it's just one more attack you have to land. But when 10 or more DPSers lose 10% of their potential damage over the course of a 6 minute boss fight, it means that the boss is going to live for 40 seconds longer. A LOT can go wrong in 40 seconds. If nothing else, you're asking your healers to have the mana to cast an additional 15 to 25 heals.
    .

    I only have time to respond to a little bit right now at work unfortunately.

    This mentality is only because DPS is the lowest common denominator. Boss die faster = Good.

    But depending on how they set up fights, it may not always be a DPS race. There are several fights that focus on surviving over zerging. I'd like to see a lot more of these where coordination and group teamwork along with individual skill is more important then the numbers you're dealing.

    I feel the mentality when it comes to talents/tactics or in this case the Root system should be about what you gain for taking abilities and not what is required to be taken to make room for end game.

    If you have enough health/armor to tank, why not invest points in something else to add some utility or damage.

    If you're doing enough damage, why not spec a bit into something else.

    In the end, I guess this is really how abilities between classes synergize and work together.

    I don't like how the greatest rank of a particular skill overwrites everything below it. They should have some level of stacking whether its just supplimental or otherwise.

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    Champion of Telara Nightbringer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nimsul View Post
    I only have time to respond to a little bit right now at work unfortunately.

    This mentality is only because DPS is the lowest common denominator. Boss die faster = Good.

    But depending on how they set up fights, it may not always be a DPS race. There are several fights that focus on surviving over zerging. I'd like to see a lot more of these where coordination and group teamwork along with individual skill is more important then the numbers you're dealing.

    I feel the mentality when it comes to talents/tactics or in this case the Root system should be about what you gain for taking abilities and not what is required to be taken to make room for end game.

    If you have enough health/armor to tank, why not invest points in something else to add some utility or damage.

    If you're doing enough damage, why not spec a bit into something else.

    In the end, I guess this is really how abilities between classes synergize and work together.

    I don't like how the greatest rank of a particular skill overwrites everything below it. They should have some level of stacking whether its just supplimental or otherwise.
    I usually enjoyed the balance fights in EQ, the ones where you had 4 - 8 mobs whose hit points had to stay within a few % of each other.

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    Optimisation <> Cookie Cutter.

    If one spec is optimised for standing at the back of a boss mob, and just wailing out the most damage, people might treat that as the "cookie cutter" dps build. I'm sure one will exist and be worshipped.

    Boss mobs should rarely be so simple, throw in an AE that you can't simply stand in and survive, suddenly the best spec won't be so obvious, do you move to a range build or throw enough points into a more sturdy class to survive that aoe, or remain the same spec and accept the loss of dps that avoiding the aoe entails? Suddenly cookie cutter class no longer is likely to be the best class.

    Suppose adds spawn that need to die asap, you'll need a burst dps class to handle those, but do you assign them a healer full time, or do you spec in enough survivability to free up another character for the fight? Again, the cookie cutter class is no longer relevant.

    Would being an odd spec stop me grouping with someone? No, but if their spec was not suited towards a particular fight then I would expect them to have the decency to change it to something more suitable.
    Last edited by Durnkrag; 09-08-2010 at 03:18 AM.

  8. #8
    Rift Disciple forestwhitakereye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nimsul View Post
    I only have time to respond to a little bit right now at work unfortunately.

    This mentality is only because DPS is the lowest common denominator. Boss die faster = Good.
    When you first approach a boss, your raid is going to be undergeared for it. You haven't gotten any loot from it, obviously, but chances are you've only just killed the previous boss for the first or second time as well. It's not about killing the boss faster, it's about killing it AT ALL. You need the highest possible DPS to compensate for your underequipped tank and other players dying due to unfamiliar mechanics.

    But depending on how they set up fights, it may not always be a DPS race. There are several fights that focus on surviving over zerging. I'd like to see a lot more of these where coordination and group teamwork along with individual skill is more important then the numbers you're dealing.
    There are definitely fights that focus on surviving more than zerging, but at some level it does come down to gear, otherwise any raid with half a brain could do the fight and nobody's gear would matter. Even fights that are battles for survival might require DPSing adds down as fast as possible before they wreak havoc on the raid.

    I feel the mentality when it comes to talents/tactics or in this case the Root system should be about what you gain for taking abilities and not what is required to be taken to make room for end game.
    Can you please give an example to illustrate what you're getting at here?

    If you have enough health/armor to tank, why not invest points in something else to add some utility or damage.
    Well, like I said, if you're facing a boss for the first time, then your focus has to be on surviving the encounter. Also, even if you have a boss down, the next boss or the final boss of the dungeon is going to hit harder. Rift might give tanks some flexibility for bringing "early raid" and "late raid" roles where they don't have to go full defensive to the very end, but if you can get past that final boss with only your "early raid" set, it's time to move onto the next dungeon.

    If you're doing enough damage, why not spec a bit into something else.
    There is no such thing as "enough damage." Even if you can blow one boss away, the next is going to have more hps or a shorter enrage timer. Even if Rift breaks the mold of MMOs and there's enough raid damage being thrown around that each DPS will need to be a hybrid healer to keep themselves alive and/or invest in endurance buffs, more damage will still always be better than less. That's why I'm a fan of min/maxing and perfect play. If you're doing 1000 dps and you waste just one second after running out of the fire before starting your DPS again, then that's 1000 damage lost. In WoW, people even figured out that an 8% run speed boot enchantment was in practice the best enchantment for melee over other stat ones, just so they could start DPSing that much faster after moving.

    In the end, I guess this is really how abilities between classes synergize and work together.
    I think there should be a lot more cross class synergy as well. Instead of the cookie cutter, it would encourage raid communication and cooperation, figuring out which talents give the raid the best benefit, not just yourself. Still, that goal is 99% of the time in the pursuit of higher dps, but it's a start.

    I don't like how the greatest rank of a particular skill overwrites everything below it. They should have some level of stacking whether its just supplimental or otherwise.
    Are you talking about abilities or talents? Can you please give an example?

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    Rift Chaser Tengu's Avatar
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    I think this thread is potentially a non-issue. Someone mentioned in another thread awhile back that you will be able to have like multiple iterations or specs for your character that you can switch between. I also heard mention that respecing one of those would be reasonably priced. It sounds like technically you can just have that initial "optimal" spec, plus the spec you've designed for fun, and maybe another type of spec as well. For instance you could have a ranged damage spec, a melee damage spec, and then some sort of mix that you designed because it sounded fun, even if it isn't very effective.

    I guess my point is there isn't really a reason not to have what is considered or proven to be the optimal spec at the time saved. You have plenty of leeway to try other things as well. I think most people wouldn't care too much, as long as you are still doing your job effectively and efficiently. Obviously if the spec you are trying out or playing with is so ineffective that you are causing the group to fail then yeah, you should be kicked out or you should switch to something that actually works. Always having that "optimal" spec to fall back on is probably a good idea though, just in case what you are trying turns out to be pretty terrible.
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    Rift Disciple Butr0sButr0s's Avatar
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    I don't think re-specing will be quite as easy as people seem to believe. My guess is that for most souls there will be armor that has tree requirements. So at end game there will be a armor set that requires +30 points in the warden tree for example. If you wanted to re-spec on the fly and go shaman, unless you also have the +30 point shaman tree armor you're going to be stuck wearing sub par generic gear, and you'll have to un-equip your current set (since you will no longer meet the +30 in warden requirement).

    As to the original topic - I think the impetus will be on the player to join a group that has similar playstyles. I respect guilds that run 'optimal' builds for efficiency, speed and safety. However, I'm more casual and like trying out different combinations of classes so I'll make sure I join an appropriate group of players. Playing lord of the rings online a few weeks ago I ran in instance called The Forges (a pretty vanilla 6 man instance) with 6 lore masters - no dedicated healers, no tanks, and no real DPS class. We completed it without a single death and had a great time in the process.
    Last edited by Butr0sButr0s; 09-08-2010 at 07:47 AM.
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    Rift Chaser Automaticzen's Avatar
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    The problem is what you're describing is a player construct, not a dev one. Players generally want to minimize risk, and maximize reward. At some point, there will be some metric determined to save them time and possible wipes. Be that achievements, gear, or spec.

    As I said in my impressions, the second boss of the first dungeon I did was unbeatable with the specs the tank (me) and the healer was using. I was taking too much damage, and the healer didn't have any direct heals. So there had to be a switch. In live, one of us could switch specs, but what if we didn't have another spec ready? Someone would have to be replaced.

    The goblin city showed a good example when it came to actively dodging catapult attacks from high above. In such a circumstance, Whether you're cranking out 1000 dps or 560 DPS, not having situational awareness and decent reflexes ends you.
    Unfortunately, if the boss has a life bar, optimized DPS will always become sought after in repeated runs. If someone's done a dungeon 4 or 5 times already, they just want it done as soon as possible.

    In Traditional Action Games with RPG elements such as God of War, Devil May Cry or Darksiders, the paths you choose to go down and abilities you acquire reflect personal playstyle and enjoyment, and in the end you don't care what the "absolute best possible optimization" build is. You play whats fun and the challenge is with you and your skills as a player, not with your playstyle choices.
    These are all single player titles.

    What Rift will provide is the ability to have a entire group of generalists, as long as the slack is picked up. Will the group of specialists be better? Probably, but the generalists can survive just fine. In my first dungeon run, a iwas a PVP specced tank, and the rogue was offtanking adds I couldn't grab. Ran fine until that second boss.

    Most MMO forums wars are over the Game vs World divide. Which side are you on?

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    Rift Disciple Kazu's Avatar
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    Man I JUST finished posting a reply where I was saying the exact same thing in another thread OP, I fully agree with you.
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    One build will do the most DPS. Content will be balanced around the highest DOS build not being able to totally dominate the content. Since the content is built to be a challenge for the optimized build, it will logically be even more of a challenge for the non-optimal build.

    If you want to play as a CC artist with buffs then don't complain that you don't have enough DPS to fill a slot as a DPS. If you want to play a tank that can heal and cast DoTs then don't complain when you can't tank the boss at the end of the dungeon. If you wnt to play a healer that melees and uses lifetaps don't complain when you can't group heal during an AE encounter. Simple as that.

    See what I mean?

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    RIFT Fan Site Operator Raive's Avatar
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    Bottomline is you can get through a handfull of content using silly builds but just don't expect to get through the more difficult encounters with just any build as they are going to be built around with a specific threshold in mind.

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    Sadly, due to human nature, there's probably going to be a "you must optimize" point of view among the players. The only way around this is to have varied content so that no one particular build is the best. Mathematically, there will always be an optimal build for a particular situation. So, by having a variety of situations, we can have a variety of optimal builds. If this is the case, non-optimal builds can be "Jack of all Situations, masters of none."

    Personally, I feel that if the boss gets dead, it doesn't matter who did it or how they did it.

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