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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    In the parlance of D&D it is, as far as I am aware. Never encountered it in that context prior to 2000; I could be wrong though.
    I've heard it used prior to then, albeit not nearly so much. Granted, the roleplaying community was far less cohesive and connected then, so no doubt terminology was less standardized.

    I would assume that everquest and co popularized the term, but they are not responsible for inventing the term or the concept.

    I'd also say that 3.x holds more options for the optimizer than past editions...but optimization existed even then in some forms.
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    I would assume that everquest and co popularized the term, but they are not responsible for inventing the term or the concept.
    I think they popularized not just the term, but the whole concept. Yeah, it was there before them, but it wasn't the goal of the game.

    It was around the same time that EQ and WoW that the goal of D&D seemed to shift from "Fight some monsters, get some treasure, finish your quest" to "Build the best character or else u r a n00b"

    D&D has never been balanced, but no one used to care. If the wizard finished the battle early that meant there was less chance of your fighter dying, so... good all around. You never even heard anyone talk about "balance" back then, now it's all you hear about.

    I blame WoW pvp for that. All of a sudden people are more concerned with whether or not their wizard could beat the party cleric in a fight than the storyline of the campaign.
    Last edited by Moriato; 2009-10-26 at 10:29 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    I'll agree that it's more common, and WoW certainly doesn't help w regards to this attitude. In my experience, advice used to consist more of tips like "play an elf" than complete net-builds. The was true of other games, like MTG. Balance in the early years was sketchy at best, but few people cared about it nearly as much as they do now.

    Guess that's part of being popular.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    WoW wasn't the cause (and definitely not WoW PvP, which was a complete joke in small group fighting until 2006). I saw L20 v L20 hypothetical fights on the Wizards boards long before anyone not in the PC gaming market even knew what the hell a Warcraft was.

    Optimization is an outgrowth of the very nature of D&D from 2nd edition and onwards; options became a bigger and bigger part of the game with every edition, and this was a natural outgrowth of that. 3.x, which is the edition with the most variety of options available to a single person, happened to coincide with the mainstream appearance of the internet - which itself would have had a similar effect.
    Last edited by AstralFire; 2009-10-26 at 10:41 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Quote Originally Posted by Gametime View Post
    That's a mildly insulting way to categorize a wide group of people, in my experience.
    The group he's insulting is really "people he's played with" rather than everyone who uses the terms (that's what the "in my experience" part means).
    Last edited by Jayabalard; 2009-10-26 at 01:02 PM.
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Have to say while I never heard "optimizer" before starting to read forums, okay lurk on this one, nor did me and my old group ever play WoW we did begin to optimize characters. It is a natural outgrowth of having an interest in the rules, and the very fact that I was the one most interested in the rules and character building made me the perennial DM... that and I could plan 2 adventures a week whereas the others could make one every two months. We had a munchkin for a while, who had DM'd for us but as a player tried his hardest to destroy the game while being "CN" and randomly attempting to gain political power to, well all his plans ended with destroying the city or just causing general misery. They went:
    1) use +20~ at Lv 1 diplomacy (without magic items) to take over town.
    2) some stupid stunt that destroys the economy of said town (or causes a mob to burn the building he is in down)
    3) ???
    4) Profit!
    He actually wrecked 3 or 4 campaigns my friends tried to run that way before I DM'd. I double checked his numbers. He had a +8 not a +20~, and I made him role-play diplomacy which he kind of failed at miserably. Also I kept his wizard to his actual spells per day as opposed to at will magic.

    I like optimizers; I can handle a power gamer; and a munchkin just needs to leave (although foiling them can be fun )
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Optimizer: Some one who picks a character concept and then makes the most mechanically viable character that fulfills said concept.

    Powergamer: Someone who chooses a specific power level that they want their character to be and then builds a character that fulfills this criteria. After that is done they come up with the concept and background of the character based on it's mechanics.

    Munchkin: Someone who makes the most powerful character they can get away with, not necessarily with any regard for the actual rules.

    Both optimizers and powergamers are relatively good things and have their uses.

    Munchkins are ***** and should be booted from the group immediately because they will just cause problems.
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Ah, but the wisdom is in determining which are which. I have yet to meet the munchkin who claims to be anything but an optimizer. I have yet to meet the powergamer who claims to be anything but an optimizer (at least, not during the game in question).

    I can intellectually discern the difference, but it seems a very fine line to walk...
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    The important part is not being a munchkin. I've met few optimizers who haven't decided at least once "no, I can't play that concept - there's no way to make it work at the level of power I want to be", and likewise few powergamers who haven't occasionally thought, "well, why don't I play this class instead? It's a little weak, but it's so cool."
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Tippy: It has just dawned on me that I do not know you from Adam, yet I find that (more and more) I like the cut of your jib. Rock on.
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    The Optimizer starts with a character concept (I want to play a fighter who specializes in mounted combat), and tries to make it as statistically strong as he can.
    A Powergamer considers it his goal to make the most powerful character possible. They tend to start with a much more general concept, usually just a class. The difference between a Powergamer and an Optimizer is the amount of effort the Powergamer puts into finding strong combinations. Powergaming is not neccessarily a bad thing, but if the rest of the group isn't putting in as much effort, it can cause a serious power imbalance.
    A Munchkin is a different beast entierly. While the powergamer's goal is to create the strongest character possible, the Munchkin actually wants to break the game.The Powergamer may merely be determined, and usually has no intent to break party balance, but the Munchkin is fully aware of what is going on.
    Think about it this way
    Told to make a Mounted Combat Fighter

    An Optomizer will take Mounted Combat, wield a lance, and pick up Spirited Charge.
    A Powergamer will throw Shock trooper on there as well.
    A Munchkin will show up at the table having found a collection of magic items and feats from obscure splatbooks and Dragon magazine editions to create a guy who deals and average 10000 damage on a charge, can charge 6 times a round.
    A homebrewer shows up with Giga Knight
    Last edited by BRC; 2009-10-26 at 01:09 PM.

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  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Quote Originally Posted by t_catt11 View Post
    Ah, but the wisdom is in determining which are which. I have yet to meet the munchkin who claims to be anything but an optimizer. I have yet to meet the powergamer who claims to be anything but an optimizer (at least, not during the game in question).
    I'm a powergamer and proud of it.

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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyeudo View Post
    I'm a powergamer and proud of it.
    I'd say you're in the minority (on the "and proud of it" part). Most people seem to be afraid of labeling themselves as powergamers.
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Quote Originally Posted by t_catt11 View Post
    Ah, but the wisdom is in determining which are which. I have yet to meet the munchkin who claims to be anything but an optimizer. I have yet to meet the powergamer who claims to be anything but an optimizer (at least, not during the game in question).

    I can intellectually discern the difference, but it seems a very fine line to walk...
    I'm both a powergamer and an optimizer.

    Depending upon the specific game I choose a power level, either one sufficient to ensure that I can save the parties bacon if needed (if you have a bunch of new players, characters with limited roles, etc.) or one that will match the power level of the rest of the party. I then see what concepts I like that can meet that criteria, choose the one I like best, and optimize it.

    If I don't have to worry about the party (know the DM and other players well enough that I don't have to worry about such things as power level) then I am pretty much just an optimizer (I play whatever character concept has caught my fancy at the time and maximize it's mechanical potential). Granted, Cindy and Poke'Balls is a perfectly valid concept
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Clearly, this is because Tippy equals Win.
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    Wow... Tippy, you equal win.
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    Tippy, I knew, in the back of my mind, that you would have the answer. Why? Cause you win. That's why.
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    Alright. I finally surrender. Tippy, you do in fact equal win. You have claimed the position of being my idol.

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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayabalard View Post
    I'd say you're in the minority (on the "and proud of it" part). Most people seem to be afraid of labeling themselves as powergamers.
    Here, perhaps, but GitP has one of the stronger tilts towards casual players and roleplayers (not the same thing!). My short time on Brilliant Gameologists, I heard the term more often - BG itself has plenty of great roleplayers, but the tilt there is definitely stronger towards mechanics.
    Last edited by AstralFire; 2009-10-26 at 01:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post

    An Optomizer will take Mounted Combat, wield a lance, and pick up Spirited Charge.
    A Powergamer will throw Shock trooper on there as well.
    A Munchkin will show up at the table having found a collection of magic items and feats from obscure splatbooks and Dragon magazine editions to create a guy who deals and average 10000 damage on a charge, can charge 6 times a round.
    A homebrewer shows up with Giga Knight
    Your classifications are good, but I think the examples are a bit flawed. For the sort of thing you're describing, it'd be more like:

    Optimizer - wants to make a mounted fighter, so he gets Mounted Combat, a Valorous Lance, Spirited Charge, and Shock Trooper. May dip into obscure splatbooks and Dragon magazines, but will remain focused on mechanical improvements to the concept they started with. Mechanics should support the fluff, with no upper limit on said mechanics.

    Powergamer - wants to do triple-digit plus damage on a charge, so he makes a mounted fighter with a Valorous Lance+Spirited Charge+Shock Trooper. Will definitely hunt out obscure magic items/feats from books and magazine, and then create a backstory intended solely to justify his mechanical build. Fluff should fit the mechanics, with no upper limit on how far said fluff needs to be stretched.

    Munchkin - Wants to win. As Powergamer, but likely to not even bother inventing a backstory. He'll have Obscure Feat G from Magazine Issue #2135 that doubles his damage when charging, but 'forget' the clause that says his damage next turn is reduced to half, or try to convince the DM that Spirited Charge and a Lance should give x4 damage (x2x2), not the x3 that it is supposed to. Both fluff and mechanics become subservient to being Ub3r!!1.
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Glyphstone View Post
    Your classifications are good, but I think the examples are a bit flawed. For the sort of thing you're describing, it'd be more like:

    Optimizer - wants to make a mounted fighter, so he gets Mounted Combat, a Valorous Lance, Spirited Charge, and Shock Trooper. May dip into obscure splatbooks and Dragon magazines, but will remain focused on mechanical improvements to the concept they started with. Mechanics should support the fluff, with no upper limit on said mechanics.

    Powergamer - wants to do triple-digit plus damage on a charge, so he makes a mounted fighter with a Valorous Lance+Spirited Charge+Shock Trooper. Will definitely hunt out obscure magic items/feats from books and magazine, and then create a backstory intended solely to justify his mechanical build. Fluff should fit the mechanics, with no upper limit on how far said fluff needs to be stretched.

    Munchkin - Wants to win. As Powergamer, but likely to not even bother inventing a backstory. He'll have Obscure Feat G from Magazine Issue #2135 that doubles his damage when charging, but 'forget' the clause that says his damage next turn is reduced to half, or try to convince the DM that Spirited Charge and a Lance should give x4 damage (x2x2), not the x3 that it is supposed to. Both fluff and mechanics become subservient to being Ub3r!!1.
    Yeah, those work better. Thanks.

    Homebrewer still shows up with Giga Knight though.

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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    My definitions would be:

    Optimiser: Too vague, no useful definition.

    Powergamer: Wants to be as powerful as possible.

    Munchkin: Wants only to be as powerful as possible.

    'Optimiser' as usually defined is a pretty useless term because it's so wide as to cover just about every gamer in existence. Just about everyone has a 'character concept' and just about everyone makes at least some effort to make their character moderately effective. In practice 'optimiser' is mostly a self-applied label meaning something like "I'm a powergamer, but the good kind".

    'Powergamer' is much more useful, because it describes a very definite class of player; the kind that want to be as powerful as possible and are willing to spend innumerable hours of CharOp research to achieve it. Can be good and can be bad.

    'Munchkin' is a perjorative term that means pretty much the same as 'powergamer', but with a bunch of negative connotations; ie "he's a powergamer, and I don't like him." If you're trying to define it objectively, a munchkin is a powergamer who doesn't care about anything else.

    . . . or if you're really cynical, you could say that 'optimiser', 'powergamer', and 'munchkin' all refer to the exact same thing. 'Optimiser' is positive, 'munchkin' is negative, 'powergamer' is neutral.
    Last edited by Saph; 2009-10-26 at 02:19 PM.

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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    I've heard it used prior to then, albeit not nearly so much. Granted, the roleplaying community was far less cohesive and connected then, so no doubt terminology was less standardized.

    I would assume that everquest and co popularized the term, but they are not responsible for inventing the term or the concept.

    I'd also say that 3.x holds more options for the optimizer than past editions...but optimization existed even then in some forms.
    Sounds like it has only recently (in the last ten years) gained wide currency in the community.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    My definitions would be:

    Optimiser: Too vague, no useful definition.

    Powergamer: Wants to be as powerful as possible.

    Munchkin: Wants only to be as powerful as possible.

    'Optimiser' as usually defined is a pretty useless term because it's so wide as to cover just about every gamer in existence. Just about everyone has a 'character concept' and just about everyone makes at least some effort to make their character moderately effective. In practice 'optimiser' is mostly a self-applied label meaning something like "I'm a powergamer, but the good kind".

    'Powergamer' is much more useful, because it describes a very definite class of player; the kind that want to be as powerful as possible and are willing to spend innumerable hours of CharOp research to achieve it. Can be good and can be bad.

    'Munchkin' is a perjorative term that means pretty much the same as 'powergamer', but with a bunch of negative connotations; ie "he's a powergamer, and I don't like him." If you're trying to define it objectively, a munchkin is a powergamer who doesn't care about anything else.

    . . . or if you're really cynical, you could say that 'optimiser', 'powergamer', and 'munchkin' all refer to the exact same thing. 'Optimiser' is positive, 'munchkin' is negative, 'powergamer' is neutral.
    Agree.
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Quote Originally Posted by Hadrian_Emrys View Post
    Tippy: It has just dawned on me that I do not know you from Adam, yet I find that (more and more) I like the cut of your jib. Rock on.
    Clearly, this is because Tippy equals Win.


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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Granted, Cindy and Poke'Balls is a perfectly valid concept
    Incidentily Tippy my good sir... is there a Cindy sheet knocking around the wibbly wobbly web anywhere that you could link to? I'm curious and I've looked before but it's been discussed here so much I get bogged down in old threads.
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Not any completed ones to the best of my knowledge. Most of my sheets bit the dust when the profiler went down. I have a few what I suppose you could call "Cindy light" sheets online at the moment but thats about it (Cindy light being the same basic idea but just not taken to the extreme or being lower level etc.).

    Oh, and Tyndmyr get's to join my sig now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    Clearly, this is because Tippy equals Win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sunken Valley View Post
    Tippy=Win
    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Wow... Tippy, you equal win.
    Quote Originally Posted by Immabozo View Post
    Tippy, I knew, in the back of my mind, that you would have the answer. Why? Cause you win. That's why.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mithril Leaf View Post
    Alright. I finally surrender. Tippy, you do in fact equal win. You have claimed the position of being my idol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Someone who shall remain anonymous
    This post contains 100% Tippy thought. May contain dangerous amounts of ludicrousness and/or awesomeness.

  23. - Top - End - #83
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    JadedDM's Avatar

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    Washington, USA
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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    I personally had never heard the term 'optimizer' in the context of D&D until after 3E was released. To me, all three terms hold the exact same meaning.
    Last edited by JadedDM; 2009-10-26 at 09:29 PM.
    The problem with the more recent editions of D&D is that at some point the term 'player empowerment' was twisted to mean 'player entitlement.'

  24. - Top - End - #84
    Orc in the Playground
     
    HalflingWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    I am an optimizer most of the time

    I am a powergamer when the other players are also powergamers and its appropriate to the universe.

    I am a munchkin only when goofing off for theoretical purposes. Like, "hey guys look what I made in my spare time isnt that ridiculous!. . . I think that'll be your next BBEG. . . no, I'm kidding. . . sort of. . ."
    RAMS > RAI > RAW

  25. - Top - End - #85
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    the difference is:

    Optimisers and Powergamers can be good in a group while a Munchkin is almost universally a PITA, both for the DM and for the rest of the group.

    both optimisers and powergamers might decide to build characters with an obviously massive flaw in them (the int6/wis6 barbarian for example), while a munchkin would never entertain the idea.

    i'd class myself as a powergamer.
    Last edited by sambo.; 2009-10-26 at 09:44 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #86
    Banned
     
    Chimera

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    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Defining: Optimizer, Powergamer, Munchkin

    Quote Originally Posted by sambo. View Post
    the difference is:

    Optimisers and Powergamers can be good in a group while a Munchkin is almost universally a PITA, both for the DM and for the rest of the group.

    both optimisers and powergamers might decide to build characters with an obviously massive flaw in them (the int6/wis6 barbarian for example), while a munchkin would never entertain the idea.

    i'd class myself as a powergamer.
    Who are you!!!!???? I never thought I'd be annoying enough that someone would want to imitate me!

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