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  • #31
    Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

    hypervirtue handled the response in a better way than I would have. So I'm letting it stand at that.

    I've had too many games destruct because of min-maxers. To the point that when someone engages in it: It becomes like rubbing an exposed nerve with me.

    Flat out. Putting up with that kind of behavior is not why I game. It's not fun to deal with.

    I had one player in the last game that destructed. He would take up all the time the GM had to do anything with his min-maxing character generation. Once a character was rejected for being exploitive, he would make a brand new one that was every bit as exploitive in an entirely different way. And it went round and round endlessly.

    The GM ended up with no time to work on story and adventure content for the campaign. And instead, had to put up with that.

    A GM's time is limited.. And to have a player who is actively consuming it all? Well that's not helpful.

    Yes. I have become picky about who I game with. But it's out of self-defense.
    Last edited by Darrin Kelley; 04-06-2017, 03:54 PM.

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    • #32
      Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

      I think part of the problem is that some people don't realize they min-max and they don't realize that other players don't have as much fun when someone does.

      I honestly think many min-max'ers are just making what they think is a sound character.

      Are all of their resistances capped? Dodge, Parry, Fortitude, Will, Toughness? Are they all as high as they can possibly get?
      Can they deal with a character with a very high dodge/parry?
      Can they deal with a character with a very high toughness?
      Are their damages capped with their attacks?
      Can they target every save?
      Do they have a sufficient movement power?
      Can they succeed at their important skills by taking a 10?
      What if a foe is incorporeal?

      They answer yes to all of these. The problem is M&M isn't really designed for you to be able to do all of that. So to do it you have to get creative. This is where crazy levels of alternate powers come in, immunities, things like that. The problem is, people often point to the pre-constructs, and yes, they do it, they are also limited in scope compared to what players usually make. So players do more things than those pre-constructs do. They look at the DCA characters and forget that some of those people have way more points than they should have at that PL. Having a character with a weakness isn't a bad thing, but min-max'ers recoil at it like a vampire who touches sunlight.

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      • #33
        Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

        A character should be defined by its weaknesses. It should have clear cut ones.

        If you have a character that can somehow do it all? That's a character that should be rejected. Because that player is not approaching the activity of gaming in an honest or mature manner.

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        • #34
          Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

          Originally posted by hypervirtue View Post
          I'm not really sure what you are trying to say here to be honest Rush. To be frank, you can be disruptive without meaning to be disruptive.
          Yes, that's true, but in the specific example I gave, the player wasn't attempting to be disruptive, and the character itself was NOT disruptive. To be more clear, the character:
          - Didn't overshadow anyone else
          - Didn't force the GM to take him into special consideration when drafting sessions
          - Wasn't unbeatable
          - Wasn't overpowered
          - Wasn't a jack-of-all-trades capable of handling everything on his own
          - Didn't overburden the team
          - Didn't detract from the fun for other people
          - Never hinted at being a potential problem in any other way

          Yet, because of the character, building it as required to be faithful to the key elements would have required a build that would likely have been called "min-maxy."

          My point is: there was no problem with the character, or the player. And so if one is saying "min-maxing means being abusive," that's fine; we just might disagree on the classification of the build because it was demonstrably not abusive. But if one is saying, "min-maxing means an optimal build," then also stating "it's always a negative" (presumably because such must always be disruptive) is a pretty over-the-top statement.

          Excluding online, I've played with fewer than 20 others locally. After reading through this thread, I find myself very lucky that only one of these players has been... well, he was just a jerk player. But the efficiency of his character builds had little to do with it.


          Min-Maxing isn't breaking the rules, that is actually one of the hallmarks of min-maxing. It works within the rules. What min-maxing is, is when a player plots a character out to be mathematically perfect.

          The definition of Min-Max is:
          "When used in the context of roleplaying games, to min/max refers to the act of designing a character in such a way that one minimizes its weaknesses and maximizes its strengths."

          So, for example...

          Making a PL 10 character who has immunity to will effects, then leaving will at +0 to take a +20 Fortitude Save.

          Making a PL 10 character who has a low accuracy attack (say +5, but +15 to damage), but also has a 10 Rank Perception range attack, just so he/she can hit when their low accuracy becomes a hindrance.

          Making a character who has a dynamic array that slips between Impervious Toughness (just an example, impervious is never a min-max strategy) and Enhanced Dodge/Parry so they can defense/toughness shift on the fly to meet anything an opponent can do. (See also: Having Will/Fortitude dynamic arrays as well.)

          Making a character who has a high toughness, but can turn invisible.

          Any character that can fully mitigate and be able to handle any situation is the literal definition of a Min-Max build.
          That's how I've always taken the term to mean (optimized to the point of being OP.) If I saw a player try to submit a character that had all the above design elements, or some of them by themselves, I'd give them a knowing look, because all the folks I play with would know that that's a hokey design. Then I'd have them change it.

          But at the same time, I'd hope that, ideally, EVERYONE submitted builds that were "optimized", and would even point out (character-appropriate) suggestions toward such for someone who was needlessly inefficient with their build.

          Someone with a Green-Lantern style character with an array containing Blast (high-effect,) Blast (multiattack,) Create, and Move Object has an optimized power. Given the character, and that everything else is balanced, condemning this would seem unreasonable.

          Someone with a Martial Artist character who is normally defense-shifted to +15, but can use chi to alter his defense/toughness ratio to a balanced one, or to a toughness-shifted one, might be min-maxed (as I'd use the term,) but were I to then see that it's a Martial Artist, and that the character lacks Flight, and most other powers one would see in a PL 10 team, I'd be inclined to say he wasn't. He definitely wouldn't be able to "handle any situation." Stating that this is necessarily min-maxed and by extension, unacceptable, also seems unreasonable.

          Someone with a Magician who has a 10-effect Array, along with Continuous Flight, Invisibility, several Immunities, Remote Viewing, and Perception-Range attacks is so blatantly min-maxed that it warrants action. And apparently, half of the RPGing public outside my local circle tries this on a regular basis (which admittedly would be pretty frustrating.)


          The problem is you're using the definition of "sound" poorly here. What is a sound build? A build that has no weaknesses? If that is the case then that is literally the definition of min-max. If your character is fully efficient with no weaknesses what so ever that are actually statistically relevant then that is a min-maxed character. If you can handle every situation without ever really having a problem? That is a min-maxed character. If you have every i dotted, every t crossed, and every single thing set in stone to such a degree that your character is perfect? That is a min-maxed build.
          The game has caps. Generally, players are expected to hit all their caps (with the possible exception of the exotic saves: Will and Fortitude.) Although it sometimes makes sense to be undercapped, this is generally frowned upon. This would be one qualification for a "sound" build--you hit your caps.

          Another would be efficiency--if someone were playing a character who didn't have a ton of dazzling charisma, but was using their Presence 8 to fuel their Intimidate and Deception skills (honed through years of spycraft,) then that's "unsound"... points would be going to waste for literally no good reason at all, not even because it fits the character (which would be a decent reason if it did.) If I saw that, I'd encourage the player to drop Presence to 0 (or what they felt fit the character) and buy up the specific skills for the remainder. And yet, such deliberate optimization seems to often get tossed into the "min-maxing" description.

          By "no weakness," I presume you're referring to "not being vulnerable to anything." That strikes me as a bad way to design a fun character, and I would definitely agree and call such a build a min-maxed build myself. But, again, that being the stated definition doesn't often jive with what others treat as min-maxed.

          Example: a character is built, and the player considers them "sound." It's efficient, fits the character concept perfectly, isn't overpowered, and stays within their niche so as not to step on other players. Then the GM decides, because the mediocre skills are low (deliberately so,) that they "seem min-maxed," so they should put more points into skills to compensate. I've seen this numerous times, and frankly it always strikes me as odd, since the expected response--increasing the skills and effectively squashing a potential weak spot--seems to me to be the literal definition of min-maxing. It's so commonplace though, that I've long suspected what a lot of people are treating as min-maxed is anything that's optimized beyond the bland characters detailed in the Handbook.

          If that's what someone wants to call min-maxed that's fine, but I'd argue that such is in no way bad.

          If we're simply meaning "optimized to the point of being disruptive," then I'd agree that it's an unacceptable thing.
          Last edited by Rush; 04-06-2017, 05:58 PM.
          My builds can be found in the Roll Call forum [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/1719-Rush-s-Characters-(new-Mr-Smooth)?p=68608&viewfull=1#post68608]here[/url]. And, here's the latest version of [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/1719-Rush-s-Characters-(new-Edge)?p=256421&viewfull=1#post256421]The Cast[/url].
          Currently playing in: [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/6868-Xenoforce-Earth-s-Strangest-Heroes-Recruiting-2-more-players][color=#d7af50]Xenoforce: Earth's Strangest Heroes[/color][/url].

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          • #35
            Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

            I'm sorry, but... I disagree.

            Optimized builds, to the point that you're telling players to optimize is a min-maxing mindset.

            If you can't point out at least one mechanical weakness aside from "low skills" which often isn't an actual weakness then that is min-maxing.

            If the game's suggested characters are "not optimized enough" that is a min-maxing warning sign.

            If you expect characters to be optimized that is weird.

            M&M's not designed for optimized play usually. Hitting your defense/toughness cap is fine. Hitting everything? Not having any "non-efficient" spending? That's weird.

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            • #36
              Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

              Originally posted by hypervirtue View Post
              I'm sorry, but... I disagree.

              Optimized builds, to the point that you're telling players to optimize is a min-maxing mindset.
              Hmm. I was pretty sure we didn't actually have different viewpoints here, but perhaps we do.

              With the specific example I gave: Presence 8, on a character *without high natural charisma* but high Intimidation and Deception from his spycraft.

              Is suggesting that the Presence be lowered, and that the skills be bought up directly, what you would call "min-maxing?"

              If so, then would you find the declaration that such a thing is "not acceptable in any context" to be reasonable?

              If you can't point out at least one mechanical weakness aside from "low skills" which often isn't an actual weakness then that is min-maxing.
              Well, note that that was simply one of the most obvious examples. Low skills (including Perception, Stealth, Insight, etc.) without corresponding powers like Invisibility, etc. or combat Advantages to compensate.

              This seemed to fit your description of a non-min-maxed character when I mentioned it. Originally it seemed as if "no weaknesses," to you, meant "not vulnerable to anything." So, if someone IS vulnerable to lots of combat situations... wouldn't that stand to reason that they have weaknesses? To borrow an earlier list of yours, let's say the character:

              - Can't target every save (2 at most, if even that)
              - Has no special compensation for high toughness, or high dodge or parry
              - Hits their caps, except for Fortitude and Will
              - Has no "important skills"
              - Has a movement power
              - Can't hit Incorporeal foes
              - Is balanced or slightly shifted (+2 one way or the other)
              - Has an exotic sense that will likely never come up in play

              To be clear: would THAT necessarily qualify as a min-maxed character to you?

              If the game's suggested characters are "not optimized enough" that is a min-maxing warning sign.
              Well that... kinda suggests that you're not using the term to mean "optimized to a disruptive or OP degree," but rather "optimized beyond the bland Handbook characters." Which is what I was saying was what I suspected is the actual meaning people have of the term.

              The Handbook characters are starting points; I really can't imagine the game designers expected experienced players to only play those characters, as given, unless they were playing a different archetype.

              If you expect characters to be optimized that is weird.

              M&M's not designed for optimized play usually. Hitting your defense/toughness cap is fine. Hitting everything? Not having any "non-efficient" spending? That's weird.
              I would just think that most people, given 150pp to build a character to meet their concept and backstory, and participating in a PL 10 game, wouldn't just deliberately throw points away for no reason, unless perhaps they'd overlooked something (or unless they had to burn them because they didn't need all 150pp. Or unless they were inexperienced in the system.) Again, going back to my example of the unnecessary Presence 8; I'd think most experienced players would notice that just skimming over the character sheet. Does it really seem strange to you for someone to notice that and realize it's a waste (and one not in line with the character, at that?)

              You note that hitting the defense/toughness cap "is fine," but find trying to hit "everything" to be odd. The only other caps are Will, Fortitude and Offense. Are you saying that just intentionally hitting one's offensive cap (or at least having a character/mechanical reason for not doing so) is weird? Or were you referring to being able to handle everything thrown at the character?
              My builds can be found in the Roll Call forum [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/1719-Rush-s-Characters-(new-Mr-Smooth)?p=68608&viewfull=1#post68608]here[/url]. And, here's the latest version of [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/1719-Rush-s-Characters-(new-Edge)?p=256421&viewfull=1#post256421]The Cast[/url].
              Currently playing in: [url=https://roninarmy.com/threads/6868-Xenoforce-Earth-s-Strangest-Heroes-Recruiting-2-more-players][color=#d7af50]Xenoforce: Earth's Strangest Heroes[/color][/url].

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                In 2E, I could see not hitting caps for will, reflex, and fort as they weren't as tied to PL as the toughness and defense. In 3E case, all of the defenses are capped at PL. So hitting caps on toughness and defense, will and fort, attack bonus and damage doesn't seem so bad to me. I've asked people to hit caps in some some cases as going lower would reduce their effectiveness in combat situations.

                As for a character being overly powerful(can hit anything, can swap out immunities, etc), on the surface mechanically I agree it is a bit much. For me at least, this gets into player trust and if they will abuse it. Just because they can do everything doesn't mean they always have to. You see it in comics all the time. Yes, MnM is not a comic, but if the players all have an understanding I don't see anything wrong with it. It is even possible to put the player into a situation where they are less than useful so the others can shine. Take someone playing a hulk like character for example. Hurting him in combat may be nearly impossible. Put him in a city full of people though or have the fight in an orphanage and it becomes a completely a different situation. Hulking out will cause quite a bit of damage whereas the speedster could save everyone. Of course, this goes back to my normal remarks of MnM being part mechanics and part shared story which I have spoken to a bit and is outside the scope of this thread.
                [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/46-mrdents-menagerie-of-characters]My characters past and present[/url]

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                • #38
                  Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                  Originally posted by mrdent12 View Post
                  In 2E, I could see not hitting caps for will, reflex, and fort as they weren't as tied to PL as the toughness and defense. In 3E case, all of the defenses are capped at PL. So hitting caps on toughness and defense, will and fort, attack bonus and damage doesn't seem so bad to me. I've asked people to hit caps in some some cases as going lower would reduce their effectiveness in combat situations.

                  As for a character being overly powerful(can hit anything, can swap out immunities, etc), on the surface mechanically I agree it is a bit much. For me at least, this gets into player trust and if they will abuse it. Just because they can do everything doesn't mean they always have to. You see it in comics all the time. Yes, MnM is not a comic, but if the players all have an understanding I don't see anything wrong with it. It is even possible to put the player into a situation where they are less than useful so the others can shine. Take someone playing a hulk like character for example. Hurting him in combat may be nearly impossible. Put him in a city full of people though or have the fight in an orphanage and it becomes a completely a different situation. Hulking out will cause quite a bit of damage whereas the speedster could save everyone. Of course, this goes back to my normal remarks of MnM being part mechanics and part shared story which I have spoken to a bit and is outside the scope of this thread.
                  "Part shared story" is the key. A lot of people want characters that can take on any threat. But, you're on a team, you don't need to do that.

                  I like characters with quirks and complications; it will make the story interesting.. and thats the ultimate goal.
                  "Oh poop!" (inexact translation) Author Unknown, Pompeii circa 79 A.D.

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                  • #39
                    Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                    Originally posted by savijmuhdrox View Post
                    "Part shared story" is the key. A lot of people want characters that can take on any threat. But, you're on a team, you don't need to do that.
                    There are a fair number of players that--rightly or wrongly--don't expect their fellow players to hold up their end.

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                    • #40
                      Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                      Originally posted by mrdent12 View Post
                      In 2E, I could see not hitting caps for will, reflex, and fort as they weren't as tied to PL as the toughness and defense. In 3E case, all of the defenses are capped at PL. So hitting caps on toughness and defense, will and fort, attack bonus and damage doesn't seem so bad to me. I've asked people to hit caps in some some cases as going lower would reduce their effectiveness in combat situations.

                      As for a character being overly powerful(can hit anything, can swap out immunities, etc), on the surface mechanically I agree it is a bit much. For me at least, this gets into player trust and if they will abuse it. Just because they can do everything doesn't mean they always have to. You see it in comics all the time. Yes, MnM is not a comic, but if the players all have an understanding I don't see anything wrong with it. It is even possible to put the player into a situation where they are less than useful so the others can shine. Take someone playing a hulk like character for example. Hurting him in combat may be nearly impossible. Put him in a city full of people though or have the fight in an orphanage and it becomes a completely a different situation. Hulking out will cause quite a bit of damage whereas the speedster could save everyone. Of course, this goes back to my normal remarks of MnM being part mechanics and part shared story which I have spoken to a bit and is outside the scope of this thread.
                      Thing is, you *can* drop the Hulk, in a matter of seconds, if the Hulk is built right.

                      Why? Because the Hulk is going to have a low Dodge, and low scores in things like Deception and Insight. A smart villain will go after something to target his dodge save to take him out of the fight. Yes, in addition to that the Hulk should have problems in cities (Complication: Accident) but that isn't a character weakness, an actual mechanical flaw, that is complication. The low dodge? That is a mechanical weakness. The low skills that affect combat? That is a mechanical weakness. If the GM often uses things like trick/feint then the Hulk, if he's a min-maxer, will go, "I'm going to buy immunity to interaction skills for 5 pts. Alternatively he might simply raise Insight and/or Deception" If the GM targets the Hulk's low Dodge/Parry then the Hulk might counter that with Ultimate Effort: Dodge Save, or some such. Those are how you tell a min-max character. The things that *should* work on them have a counter built in.

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                      • #41
                        Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                        To be clear, I concede some people are jerks and will have no mechanical weaknesses plus try to hog the spotlight all the time getting angry if anything bad happens to thier character. As noted above, some people just really hate to lose. The dumb Hulk may have been a bad example, but the point I am trying to get across is that even if a PC is mechanicly unstoppable, he/she will always have rp weaknesses assuming they don't rage quit if the gm triggers.something like bombs planted all over the city or the PCs sister is held hostage in some unknown place. The beauty of MnM to me is that it allows for near god like PCs while at the same time making rp weaknesses easy to trigger. I readily concede this is not everyone's type of fun though and certainly don't begrudge anyone who views being mechanicly unbeatable as a nonstarter for a PC.
                        [url=http://roninarmy.com/threads/46-mrdents-menagerie-of-characters]My characters past and present[/url]

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                        • #42
                          Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                          The GM is not supposed to be the prisoner of the players. Being a GM isn't supposed to be a punishment.

                          If you have players min-maxing the system. It diverts vital time and attention away from every other aspect of the game. Everything suffers because of the presence of min-maxers.

                          The GM is not there to get into an arms race with the players.

                          Min-maxers do take over whatever game they are in. And they do nothing but be disruptive.

                          I have taken some personal positions on the whole min-maxing issue.

                          If a player engages in it. They are showing to me that they lack the maturity to participate in group activities. And I will remove them. So that the rest of the group will be able to enjoy the substance of the game that so much effort has been put to create in the first place.

                          I admit, I have gotten tired of RPGs that give too many moving parts that can be exploited by behavior problems. Those problems kill the fun of gaming for me.

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                          • #43
                            Re: I just want to vent for a minute...

                            Originally posted by hypervirtue View Post
                            Finding a good M&M game is hard.

                            I play almost exclusively on Roll20 these days and I'm just ready to throw in the towel. Why is it so... Blasted... Hard?

                            Every time I look nobody does old school game types. It is always Hero High, which was fun, the first 10 times I played a game as an awkward teenage character... I am tired of playing awkward teenagers. I want to play Superman, (referring to the current DC Comics which are AWESOME) not another reboot of Spider-Man. I'm old. I don't get into that mindset so easily anymore. I am not a hep cat. I don't care about the tribulations of youth. You could cut my age in half and I'd barely be a teenager.

                            Then there is the other spectrum. The ultra kill gore-fest. Usually PL 6 and almost always with buckets of blood and grey matter. No... I mean... Those are fun. I have those. That is Rifts or Shadowrun.

                            To find a straight up superheroic PL 10 game? Its like finding the Holy Grail. Heck finding a straight up PL 10 DC Universe game is like finding a magical pink unicorn that poops rainbows.

                            So you finally found your magical pink unicorn and are setting up and you are all excited, you made a character, you wrote a decent backstory, you found/made/or in some cases purchased art. You are all ready to go. You're prepared to kick it into high gear when suddenly...

                            "These are the proper ratios for the absolute most effective attack to effect based on a foolproof mathematical metric. Anything that falls outside of these parameters will be deemed sub-par and will not be tolerated as you are bringing the group down."

                            or

                            Someone says, "I am playing (I am not kidding, this happened) Danny DeVito from Always Sunny in Philadelphia but if all of his crazy stories were absolutely true and I have a combination of powers that is the ultimate power gamer's dream date to the prom. I am playing such a disruptive character that in any normal situation I'd be kicked out because I don't need a team to function. However, I am the GM's real life best friend so I will get away with total and complete murder and be completely shameless about it."

                            When did it get so hard?

                            I know normal games exist. I know they do because I run them. Why are they so hard to find though when I am looking to play for once?

                            Thank you all for listening to me vent... If this venting was annoying... Meh. It helped me blow off steam and it was in the title so... Just gah this is frustrating.

                            At least I feel better now.
                            Amen. Next month I will be turning 40 so I relate that I find it hard playing a teenager these days. I can probably role play a mid 20s hero though. I also like standard superhero games to and sometimes(just sometimes) enjoy other shades of the super spectrum like dark and grim, humor, or buckets of blood as it were. Actually I'm not too big on the humor themes. I try playing serious games and always have to be honest.

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