There’s a problem with MMOs not valuing adaptability in general – WoW’s raids tend to be designed around characters that are optimised to do one thing well, and the whole ethos of the game and its competitors/imitators has been to push players towards making characters that are one trick ponies that perform that one trick very well. These players feel somewhat cheated if the game then throws them a curveball and that trick that has served them so well up until now doesn’t work. You would need a game where every fight is different right from level 1 to train players into expecting to have to vary their tactics. WoW doesn’t EVER do that – high level dungeons and raids tend to have a gimmick or a dance, but nothing that fundamentally requires players to vary how they play.
This is a good insight. You are trained to play a genre in a specific way. If the vast majority of North American MMO players have been trained to have deeply specialized characters, they will assume that this is just how you play MMOs and wonder what is wrong with you. And you know, I could be in the wrong here, and I certainly would be if I went into a WoW raid and expected each character to be well-rounded; you can get more out of a complementary group of specialized characters than of similar generalists. But this training in how to win at online gaming gets translated into areas where crippling specialization is not as winning a strategy. The most common variations I see are glass cannons and The One True Combo.
Glass cannons are popular because everyone likes more offense. It is what gets you big numbers over your head, kills, the top of the DPS meter, whatever. If you were brought up in WoW, you learned to measure your e-peen by how much damage you could put out, and you learned that a good tank could unfailingly hold aggro. The vast majority of MMO encounters, group or solo, reward DPS characters for building DPS and provide no reward for increasing survivability. Then this guy plays League of Legends and explains that he is the best ADC around as long as you can keep the other team from attacking him for long enough for him to kill them all. Well, yes, everyone is good under those circumstances, but the opposing team has two assassins, and the 3-second single-target taunt has a 12-second cooldown.
“The One True Combo” is the mindset of one trick ponies that really do have a good trick but expect it to work in all situations. “When your only tool is a hammer…” Their MMOs taught them to memorize and practice an optimized ability rotation, and they never learned situational awareness of when it is not optimal. Their MMOs taught them that the raid guide or plug-in would tell them when to change tactics. “If you give a man a fish…” The combination of abilities usually is really good, and it gets lots of kills, but there are times when it is suicide. The same sequence of button presses that dominated last game is failing this game; your teammates must suck, because you are not doing anything different. These are the people who complain that their counter is overpowered. Well, yes, your four-ability combo is awesome as long as no one on the opposing team CCs you, but they have four different stun abilities and two roots.
Somewhere I can hear the wolves laughing about Carebears.