Greetings from Planet Potato.
In case you were not aware, our tyranical overlord Coops has decreed that the Summer of XI will have nothing to do with lousy, unpopular or outdated MMOs. For this we thank the Great Potato. The summer playthrough is currently set to be Suikoden 1. For this we thank the Great Potato. This has got me thinking, though. One thing that I always struggle with when creating characters or choosing party members is the age old choice of style versus substance. Do I make my choices based on effectiveness, or personal bias? Do I play the Elf because she looks preeeeeeetty or the Orc because she has the best stats, for example. The relevance to Suikoden, for those who are unaware, is that one of the hallmarks of the series is the 108 Stars of Destiny, coinciding with 108 recruitable characters, most of whom can be in your 6-person party if you choose. This obviously presents the player with a great deal of choice regarding who to use and who to leave warming the bench.
Once upon a time there was a very shallow girl named Ginia. She loved potatoes, puppy dogs, and RPG characters who were attractive and/or interesting people. She hated eating her vegetables, French people, and ugly, boring RPG characters. She would only play as Alliance in WoW, rolled Elves, and always had the cutesy but weak characters in her party. She soon discovered, though, that she was often very weak and ineffective, which made her very sad. Fortunately she has grown up to appreciate some vegetables, continue to hate the French, and accepts a healthy mix of style and substance.
Crazy plot twist alert, the Ginia in the above story is me.
Personally I try to base my decisions upon who/what has the most effective stats and abilities. If there are multiple reasonable choices I will still base my final decision upon who is pretty and shiny, or who I just plain like (shout out to the Snow fans in FFXIII!) but never at the expense of a useful, viable character or party. I may not always choose the “best” character or option but I do try to come close.
How do you folks tend to play? Style over substance, or a happy medium?