Over my gaming lifetime I have had many experiences with MMORPGs. Back in the days of UO to giving WoW a shot, I have spent alot of time and money invested in these games. But I got to thinking of recent about how unique your unique hero is in any MMORPG. These games usually advertise that you can create your own guy and use him as you see fit but is that how it really is? With cookie cutter builds in certain games and specific gear set ups in others, the game tends to make you conform to one set build depending on if you want to be competative or not. Ultima Online
to me that seemed to constrict the player to the least. Since the game had no class, players got to build their character how they saw fit. Tank Mage who knew how to be a carpenter or possibly a Fencer in Full plate armor who was an alchemist any player can set up his hero as he or she desired.
This worked though due to the fact that there wasn't a whole lot of players and most of the monsters weren't "epic" enough to deem specific builds and stats. Of course Greater Daemons and Dragons warranted full mages and full warriors and such but most people could get by just playing how they pleased.
, on the otherhand, was a very judging and unforgiving game. You picked a class and pretty much the build was just set for them. The game wasn't too advance where there were set skills and such that needed to be picked (most classes ended up getting all their skills anyways) but gear was a huge factor. Me being a Rogue for example, needed to stack AGI all around. Depending on the gear of course, certain groups wouldn't want you with their raiding party or ridiculed you for being a noob. So you went online and asked around what the best rogue gear was and usually thats what you got. Then eventually you got your "epic" gear and that was that. You were like every other rogue.
City of Heroes
did a better job but not by much. Each power set seemed to have a good amount of skills for the players to choose from and enhancement slots to power their skills accordingly. Of course this provided the character with the unique build he or she was looking for. But then word got out on how the best players played and how they set up their powers. Being the online game I played the most of, I knew that I usually laughed and told people how to play their scrapper and what powers and enhancements worked the best.
And of course when the game was out long enough players had the same build for each class: All said powers in powerset A with said enhancements and same with Power set B. There was some uniqueness you could leave but other than that most players had the same hero builds as others. It just came down to how you managed your hero.
Then there was WoW
. I didn't play a whole lot of it because I burned myself out on MMORPGs but it seems to be nearly the same like EQ. Certain Druids had the same powerbuild as other druids and everyone tried to go for the same gear set up. Alot of people will argue (and I will agree partially) that each class had many druid set ups and so forth but ultimately each one appeared to be set up the same. Example: If you pick Priest A and someone else picks Priest B you both have different heroes. But the other guy who also picked Priest A will most likely end up with the similar build as you.
Don't take the WoW section for verbatim though since I had very little experience with it but for how people talk on forums and bash those for having "noob" builds it doesn't seem I am so far off.
So does anyone feel the same way that when it comes to MMORPGs that their hero might not be as unique as they want or am I alone on this one?