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vVv Doomhammer

Gamer 101: The Concept of Theory Crafting

10 posts in this topic

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The Concept of Theory Crafting

By Sean vVv Blazek Emes, edited by Jerry "vVv LordJerith" Prochazka

With the launch of Rift: Planes of Telara only a few months away, many members and visitors to vVv Gaming's website have spent an exorbitant amount of time theory crafting on topics such as classes, skills, group makeup, and much more. To players new to the MMO genre, these discussions are often very in-depth and can sometimes even be confusing. So, let's discuss what Theory Crafting is and good practice when doing it yourself!

Read more after the jump!

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"Let's get to work!"

Theory Crafting is the concept of creating ideas, formulas, strategies, or character builds before physically testing the idea in-game. Theory Crafting is used by gamers in many different genres to create ideas about how certain things work, usually when not enough information is known; or what would be best in a given situation, to maximize your characters in-game effectiveness. The true purpose is to create a better understanding of the game and its mechanics, as well as create a plan on how you want to develop your character, and explore ideas on how to best specialize to perform certain roles in game. That's Theory Crafting in a nutshell, but understanding when certain skills or strategies work and when those same skills are a poor choice takes quite some time learning about the how the game works and watching a theory be put into practice. For now, let's stick with the MMO genre and discuss good practice in building a character.

The best starting point is figuring out what kind of character you wish to play. To make things simple, you can start with the primary three class types: Tank, Healer, and DPS (Damage per Second). A Tank is one who can easily absorb large amounts of damage and does so to prevent the rest of his group from dying. In game, he manages the monsters aggravation (called agro) and makes sure they attack him. The Healer recovers health that has been lost to make sure the party stays alive, and a DPS deals out the damage. As an example of how to theory craft, we will choose a DPS class, as it tends to have the most options. Now, we must decide how we deal our damage, and there are quite a few ways to do so: With magic from afar, with arrows and pets, using weapons up close and personal, or stealthy in short bursts. Each of these groups will have many more subgroups, thus it is important to start general and work your way into specifics, as well as examine carefully what each class can do.

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Imagecrafting... sometimes theory's aren't enough

When you decide on a class that seems to suit you, it is time to start working out how you would build your character. For many MMO games, character builders are created by fans to ease the process of creating your ideal character, and it is highly suggested you do so! It is difficult starting any new MMO, but when you don't even know how your character will end up will cause many misplaced skills and overall frustration!

Theory Crafting is also used to build a strategy, and is vital to PvP. For instance, lets say you are a melee DPS class in your group; You have a ranged stun and a melee slow ability at your disposal to keep your opponent in combat range. If you didn't have a strategy on when to use your abilities you may decide to open up with your stun to close the distance and then keep trying to slow your enemy. If your team has their own forms of disabling, they too will be using them right away, resulting in a waste of skills. On the other hand, if you decided to let the mage use his stun first in every fight, you can save your own for when your enemy attempts to run away.

While these are fairly basic ideas on theory crafting, I hope it gives everyone an idea on how to do so and why it is so important! If you are looking for more help on Theory Crafting, feel free to visit vVv Gaming and ask for some help. There are many people that would be willing to help you out regardless of the game you play!

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Good read,i guess i was using theory crafting when i first started seeing world of warcraft

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Theory-crafting is literally in every competitive game, so if even if you aren't interested in, say, Rift, this probably still applies to whatever game you play.

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Great article but I would have liked to see more talk about Theory crafting in non MMO titles

Agreed. Theory-crafting is a lot larger, it's not limited to just MMOs.

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Maybe you should do a blog on this?

Yeah I could do a follow-up, seeing as I'm pretty open to do anything today.

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Agreed. Theory-crafting is a lot larger, it's not limited to just MMOs.

very true, its just that Rift is right around the corner thus articles are leaning towards MMOs for right now. I could have possibly written a 20 page essay on theory crafting covering many titles and that still wouldnt be enough T_T so i decided to stick with what is current and give a brief overview on the concept.

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