By default, every single sports game aspiring to be realistic and featuring a large number of playable teams/athletes will suffer from this, since it reflects Real Life. Unless the player has an attachment to a team of lesser-than-God tier, or is Cherry Tapping, or the selection is made at random, inevitably only a select number of elites you can count on one hand will be played most of the times. For example, NBA 2K14 players usually played as the San Antonio Spurs or Miami Heat, the previous year's NBA Finals participants.
If you ever plan to play with a semi-decent player in Mario Strikers Charged, expect to see A LOT of Waluigi/Daisy/Boos action. Amazingly enough it's not for their actual skills (all of them have the worst shooting power, Waluigi and Daisy can barely pass at all and Boos can't defend), but rather for their innate ability to break the game, either because of their powers (Daisy, for instance, has a special item that allows her to knock the ball out of the opponent's goalie to score an easy goal) or thanks to a very floaty "lob" system that lets them perform a variety of glitchy shots.
Which only carried over Ryu and Ken from the previous games. 75% of all Street Fighter III players used Ken (Shinryuken super), 20% used Ryu, and 5% used someone else. It got a little better in Second Impact and Third Strike once players realized the new characters had a lot of potential.
Even so, high-level Tournament Play almost always consists of the top-tier fighters (Chun-Li, Ken, and Yun) with the occasional Akuma in the mix. There's a reason 3rd Strike has its own nickname (Chun Fighter III: Ken Strike - Yun for the Future).
Found a tally of character usage of over 4,000 matches, which you can see here. Ryu and Ken make up over 1,000 of them. Apparently, the stranglehold of these two is weakening...
Apparently this effect can even be preemptive: a good number of Super Street Fighter IV players said that, if the Arcade Edition of the game were released on consoles, Evil Ryu and Oni Akuma would be heavily overused in online battles, and thus argued against a console release for the sake of keeping the online playable. Oddly enough, when the Arcade Edition did come to consoles, this didn't happen - if anything, the online community actually diversified.
Although recent discussion suggests that with Yun being top tier AND a braindead mixup character to boot (easy way to get in, divekick, instant reversal AND command throw? Why yes please.), SSFIV AE tournament preparation will either be about training your Yun, or figuring out how your character can deal with Yun. There even exists a Photoshopped picture of the roster poking fun at this, similar to the page image above. All of the character icons, barring Yang and Fei Long (who share top-tier status with Yun), have been replaced with Yun's.
SSFIV 3D Edition on the 3DS introduces a control mode in which you can set special moves, Ultras, and Supers to single buttons. You can also make it so unless you're pushing a button or being thrown, you autoblock. This does wonders for charge characters, who no longer have to contend with pesky charge times before they can do any of their moves. Needless to say, unless you do a particular search for players who DON'T use this control method, at least half your fights in SSF4 3D online are going to be against Guiles doing walk-forward Sonic Booms and Flash Kicks. The other 49 percent are going to be against Ryu.
For some reason, the computer in Soulcalibur III doesn't seem to be able to block a retreating vertical from an Iron Sword Create-A-Soul character. It's too easy to just use that one class and attack throughout the game. This then bites you in the rear when human opponents easily dodge and clobber you while you're using what's a fairly slow and very telegraphed attack.
Even more ridiculous is that the computers are completely unable to block the double swing a+b attack (also of the iron sword custom character). The first swing they block just fine. The second, not so much.
If you think the Iron Sword has ridiculous anti-AI potential, try the Katana discipline. Forward B+K will baffle them 90% of the time, and it sets them up for your mid-air attack throw perfectly (just avoid the katana that gives you added knockback, as it throws off the timing). As long as they don't get a cheap shot on you, you are guaranteed to win against all but the most extreme AI
Players who have played the game since Soul Edge / Soul Blade will often pick Seung Mina, Voldo, Siegfried or Mitsurugi when they play one of the new ones. In the first game, a lot of people played as Li Long, and whilst some like using his replacement Maxi, a lot of players preferred Li Long due to his better defense
In the Soulcalibur IV, a lot of people use either Maxi, Kilik or Cervantes.
Many custom characters are based on Nightmare, Kilik and Siegfried's styles. Kilik's style being the most common.
Playing online, nearly every one of the high ranked players plays as Sophitia. She looks like a pushover... but frequently annihilates you before you have the chance to get a move in.
This becomes so commonplace, a "counter-intuitive" strategy is forming: pick someone else. Even if you're absolutely horrible with them, there's at least a 1-in-3 chance that the person you're fighting is ONLY used to "top-tier" characters and suddenly gets waylaid by Astaroth.
As of Soul Calibur V, a very large chunk of the online population uses Natsu.
From 3 onwards, Eddy/Christie has been this trope due to their easy combos,Skill Gate status aside. Earlier in the series it was usually Jack or Kazuya and in recent years it has increasingly been Mokujin due to the fact people want to show they can beat you with any character. Most people plying Tekken 3 for the first time either went for Jin (he's on the box) or Yoshimitsu (he has a sword).
The Eddy/Christie thing was mostly applicable at Tekken 3's release, but they do have their flaws. Eddy telegraphs his attacks, follows the same pattern for 80% of his moveset and has some massively glaring weaknesses in his combos that are sometimes overlooked if you aren't careful.
In terms of modes, Time Attack has been around since Tekken 2 but hardly anyone uses it.
Survival and Team modes are also much under used, but not to the extent of Time Attack.
Tekken 4 is the epitome of this trope in this series. Jin Kazama is in a league of his own in this game, and half of the cast are nothing but shells of their former selves. The only consistent counter to Jin is Steve Fox, who is an entirely separate can of worms that spans the subsequent games up until his nerf in Tag 2.
Tekken 5 fanatics would prove mathematically that playing with anyone but Nina, Steve, or Bryan Fury was a waste of time.
Tekken 6, despite an objectively more balanced game, is an even worse offender, with the competitive metagame consisting of Bobs, Lars', Steves and Laws. Evo2k11 T6 Grand Finals, Bob vs. Bob. Can anyone spell B-O-R-I-N-G?
Play Tekken Tag Tournament 2 online and expect to see these teams show up a lot: Jun/Asuka, King/Armor King, Marshall Law/Forest Law, Jack-6/Prototype Jack and any combination of the Mishimas, Capoeira users, Devil Jin, Lars and Paul.
Dr Bosconovitch ever since players learnt that the slide across the floor on his ass move could take out most players of average skill who couldn't work out how to counter it.
Guilty Gear gives us Sol Badguy and Chipp Zanuff. Sol is meant to get in the opponent's face and beat them to death, while being mostly ineffective at long ranges. Chipp Zanuff is a Fragile Speedster who in the hands of a skilled player will be nigh untouchable. The relative ease of playing these two characters means that most of the roster is ignored in multiplayer.
Xrd players in Japan seem to favor Faust and Ramlethal Valentine (who both have gigantic weapons and whose primary battle strategy is "fill the screen with crap,") while no one plays as Bedman, a highly technical character whose moves seem to require a lot of thought in placement.
Every team will include Cable and take advantage of his BFG.
Him, Magneto, Storm, and Sentinel are so overpowered they've earned the Fan Nickname of 'Four Gods'. Other commonly used characters include Psylocke, Strider Hiryu, Doctor Doom, Cyclops, Iron Man, Tron or Captain Commando. (This game has a lot of characters.) Apart from the button-mashing du jour Cable, heavy-hitters like Doom like Magneto require great skill and handling to reap their rewards; This lends them a sort of exclusivity.
Every team has Dante, Deadpool, and/or Wolverine in it. EVERY. Freaking. Team. Dante and Deadpool are particularly used by new players because they share similar mechanics, as is X-23 due to button bashing as she's so quick. Wolverine is more likely to be used by more advanced players who can pull out ridiculous combos with him.
You can also expect the ridiculously powerful Akuma, or the ridiculously fast and strong Wesker to frequent a large number of teams as well.
There're quite a few Phoenixes in high level play.
As well as a decent amount of Zero and Sentinel players. However, the number of Sentinel players did drop when a patch nerfed his health (formerly the highest in the game at 1.3 million; for reference, most of the other characters rank in somewhere between 1 mil and 850K) down to 910K.
They nicknamed the game "Sentinel vs. Sentinel 3, Fate of Two Sentinels." and made this◊
The BlazBlue series has Ragna and Jin, the two main rival characters. They aren't particularly overpowered — in Calamity Trigger, Nu-13 is far superior to both of them, and in Continuum Shift, Litchi and Bang were in no way hard to find online.
In terms of mechanics, expect to see just about every Ragna and Noel use the Stylish (combos are performed automatically) style. You'll be seeing a lot of the same combo from the both of them.
Street Fighter X Tekken is not safe from this. Play online, and enjoy fighting some of these six characters again and again: Ryu, Ken, Kazuya, Jin, Rolento, Raven.
After the 2013 patch, Hwoarang became incredibly overused.
UFC Undisputed 3 purports to have over 40 different fighters, good luck trying to find a match which is not against the top 4: Jose Aldo, Georges St. Pierre, Jon 'Bones' Jones or Cain Velasquez.
The community analyses the hell out of every character, game mode, stage and glitch, developing the fabled "tier lists" for each game to show which character is considered the "best". Thus with each new tier list, expect at least 50% of your opponents to play one of the top 3 in the tier list (Meta Knight in Brawl, anyone)?
Melee's top eight characters on the current tier list are of special note. You will almost never see anyone make a notable tournament placing without using one of these. This is where the "20XX"note a hypothetical year in which everyone mains Fox and can play him perfectly joke comes from; in years past, many professional Smashers tried to defy the norm by maining mid- or low-tier characters (and even managed to place surprisingly high) and became known for representing the underdog characters, but the majority of them have since switched to Fox or another top-tier character to maximize their efficiency.
Stock seems to be the go-to game mode. No one even considers Coin Mode, everybody assumes you accidentally forgot to change the default with Time Mode and in Brawl Bonus Mode was simply removed from the game.
Players also tend to have a fear of items (lampooned when the official site sneaked in the message that "Real men use items!"), leading to the Memetic Mutation "NO ITEMS! FOX ONLY!FINAL DESTINATION!" If you're lucky, you'll have a friend who occasionally likes to mix things up (99 stock super sudden death with high items). Mostly it's complacency in the above pattern, rarely it's someone who refuses to not play by personal rules.
Final Destination is particularly problematic because, in the opinions of many tourney-goers, it's actually not the most balanced stage - it favors projectile-users and fast characters a lot, due to its lack of platforms and enormous width. To no one's surprise, fast projectile users like Fox and Falco tend to dominate the Melee and Project M tier lists, and make a strong showing even in Brawl (jury's still out on 3DS/Wii U). Battlefield, which is about two-thirds as wide and features three evenly-spaced platforms, gets far fewer complaints. Final Destination is a "counterpick" for these purposes; there is no dispute that it's legal, but other stages are preferred.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS saw fit to include an online multiplayer mode where there are no items and Final Destination is the only stage available. However, in order to force some variety onto the competitive scene, almost every stage gets their own Final Destination mode. However this comes at a cost that nearly reaches game breaking territory and that is...
Little Mac. He is the most played character in online play, due to his immense ground play and fast speed (at the cost of having poor aerial play which means almost nothing on Final Destination). In other words, he is practically built to exploit Final Destination's above-mentioned flaws. Some people even ended up quitting For Glory mode because of him alone. It almost feels that his mere presence would cause people to request for FD to get banned. The large number of players using Mac actually resulted in him having the worst win/loss ratio in online play, due to players' perceptions that his overpowered advantages make him easy to win with but most lacking the skill to deal with his weaknesses. People coming up with more ways to counter him thanks to all the experience probably contributed too.
This has fast become the case with Kratos not long after its release. Partially due to his immense popularity and heavily to do with his versatility, AP-Gain and general ease-of-use, it's not uncommon online to see at least several of them in a standard free-for-all match. It hasn't taken long for him to be labeled a Tier-Induced Scrappy by a large part of the community, with many calling for several nerfs to him.
On the other hand, it hasn't taken long for some of the more advanced players to figure out his weaknesses. Within those circles where Kratos is less of an issue you're more likely to hear loud complaints in the direction of Raiden or Sly Cooper.
Injustice: Gods Among Us might as well be called "Injustice: Bat-Family Characters Among Us". Everyone uses either Batman or Nightwing. As of this writing, the most overused character online is Deathstroke, since it's pretty easy to run away and spam people with his guns.
Nearly everyone using the Bronco .44, the Reinbeck, and the Mac-11 since all 3 weapons are very powerful and cover both short and long distances. If a player has the Wolf Pack DLC, then expect to see a lot of appearances from the AK and the GL40.
The sequel tried to avert the trope by limiting people to only use 2 guns instead of 3 and encourages the use of weapon mods so players can always have something to switch with instead of sticking to one gun and never using anything else.
Backfired with the Random Drop system via cards. Players may or may not earn weapon mods at the end of a heist and they quickly drifted towards playing quick heists like Jewelry Store and Four Stores so they can farm for weapon mods quickly and mod the hell out of their guns. All of the farming happened during the beta to boot.
Heists with large payout during the beta were also farmed, like Watchdogs and Rats, since players could easily earn half a million dollars on the highest difficulty and never be short of money to buy items and skills.
Rats also became the go to heist for Level Grinding since it gives the same amount of experience points whether you cook the meth and grab money off the bus or decide to skip everything.
Despite being a rather well-balanced game overall, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 players will tend to pick very similar loadouts within each kit, comprised of the weapons considered to be OP:
It has 3 major configurations like this: "24/7 Atacama only" for tank lovers, "24/7 Arica Conquest" as it's the closest thing to 24/7 Karkand BC2 has and "24/7 Rush Isla only". Which is weird since Isla on rush is one of the worst maps in the game because 90% of the attacking team will be snipers.
Atacama has mostly been replaced by "24/7 1000 Ticket Heavy Metal". There's also quite a bit of 24/7 Harvest Day.
Assault players often use the 40mm Grenade attachment exclusively, often with explosives-buffing specializations. Known as 'noob-tubing' due to the perceived lack of skill required by short-range may-as-well-be-Hit Scanone-hit kills with splash damage. Oh, and they also supply their own ammo.
The AN-94 is very popular, due to the fact that it does the highest damage out of all the assault rifles and fires an accurate 2-shot burst. Made even deadlier when paired with the 4x scope and magnum ammo.
Engineers use the Carl Gustav rocket launcher like a deadlier 40mm grenade.
With SMGs, the PP2000 since it has hardly any recoil, or the SCAR-L carbine. Both with Magnum ammo of course, like everyone else in the entire world.
Medics use the M60 machine gun with magnum ammo specialization. With the latest patch, medics are beginning to explore other options—although the M60 is still extremely common.
Everyone uses the M1911 handgun, or, post-patches, the REX revolver and tracer dart gun.
Pump action shotguns equipped with slug rounds are perfectly stats-matched (damage-wise) with bolt-action sniper rifles. By which we mean a one-hit kill to anyone at less than 20 metres.
Recon doesn't seem to have any clearly best weapon, but the sniper fans tend to gravitate towards the GOL rifle.
Bad Company 2's developers have been (attempting) to adjust the balance of the game's weapons. As of this writing's patches: the M60 and M1911 are no longer kings, the AN-94 rifle is up while the M16 rifle is down, the Hot Carl is still popular, and—of all things—the tracer dart gun is apparently too powerful. Like any other attempt to mess with complacent gamers, these balancing attempts result in a degree of fan backlash.
Pretty much just take your class's weapon with the highest damage rating and add a sight and Magnum ammo to it to make it do even more damage and be more accurate.
This game can be a rather blatant example of people running around with the same loadout despite how the game demands a more reasonable mix, mentioned near the top of the page. If a squad (or squads) on your team is filled with one class, it will likely be filled with Recon. That rarely ends well, especially if your team on the offensive in Rush.
Most of the multiplayer community for BioShock 2 use a combination of Electro Bolt and the Elephant Gun in order to pull off easy one-hit-kill headshots on stunned players.
The Elphant gun has been replaced now pretty much everyone at level 50 uses the Crossbow and Electro Bolt with a perk that boosts head shot damage, if you play the multiplayer expect to be stunned then quickly headshoted many times.
While the backup weapons and plasmids vary a lot of players use a Grenade launcher for secondary weapon and Gyser Trap for secondary plasmid.
For weapons, the Shock Rifle and Sniper Rifle tend to be used more often because of their capabilities. Fortunately though, most weapons do see some use since each is meant for a particular situation, and Siege finally gives players a good reason to use the otherwise-pathetic Bio Rifle (can splash-damage buildings and basecores from a distance, unlike the Minigun which is only effective at close-range).
Rockets, since you can launch them up to six at a time (reduced to 3 in later games) and they can home in on their targets.
Most weapon mod full conversions like Arkon tend to fall into this trap. Heck, in Arkon specifically, the recharging thermal blasters you start with are obscene. Only the long recharge time keeps them from being out all the time. Similarly, the sniper version, which replaces the lightning gun...insane instant damage as long as the reticle is on the opposing player/vehicle. Makes mincemeat of flying vehicles and anything that's not a tank. Now imagine how this plays out in normal vehicle-less deathmatch.
Until you start sniping smokers and hunters waiting on buildings in the face. And trying to jump on you. And boomers trying to fall on you. Then they complain about how much it sucks to get killed before they can get anywhere near you. However, with the relase of The Sacrifice DLC, the Hunting Rifle in the first game now matches the accuracy of the same gun in the sequel. Time will tell if people will use this gun more often in VS. Similarly in the sequel, the most used weapons are either Auto Shotguns or AK-47s with a laser slight (if one can find a laser sight), simply because of how powerful they are.
People would also pick one particular spot to hold out during finales because the common infected would trickle in through just one or two spots, making them easy to pick off. The sequel changes it where you either have to be on the move or how the infected can come in from many more places to discourage camping. The new special infected were also made to address the issues of camping.
In one Scavenge map, there is an exploit where you can throw a pipe bomb just so and it will blow several gas tanks closer to you. This map shows up in random matches a lot. And since Scavenge is just the Dead Center finale turned into a game mode, the Dead Center map is very familiar to everyone from the get-go, and is also picked often.
Valve acknowledged how players would always pick one gun and stick with it thanks to tons of ammo piles in the maps, so they changed it in the sequel where the ammo piles were much less and the only way to keep firing was to pick up a new gun entirely. It partly worked, partly just caused a lot more use of pistols (especially if the player has a good gun with a laser sight).
Despite how difficult it is when zombies and specials swarm you much faster than in a regular game, has this in the form of finding the most optimal corner or similar spot to camp in, spread all the gas cans and explosive cans to keep the infected at bay, and only moving to get health packs and/or ammo or if a Tank shows up. Despite patching to nerf the exploits, players will still find a spot where zombies suddenly can't reach you or stop trying to find you because you're considered off the map.
The mutation Survival VS also gives a wake up call to people who still try to camp in one spot. Unlike the infected AI, who are not that complex or advanced, the infected players can see where you will hide and where you toss explosive cans out and will try to get around the plan, forcing players to actually move around to stay alive.
And for playing VS mode itself, there's the rushing tactic, where all survivor players blaze through the level, only stopping if there's supplies in the path or if they can revive a fallen player. This makes it difficult for the zombie players to keep up since they first have to find a place to spawn where they cannot be seen, and the move in for the attack while the survivors keep running ahead. Most players rush since hordes generally spawn behind the player and rarely in the front and there is a limit to how many zombies the game can have in the field. The ports of the Left 4 Dead maps have been adding rushing events, which magnifies this tactic.
Left 4 Dead 2 has several game modes to choose from (Campaign, VS, Realism VS, Scavenge, and Mutation). Despite the several modes to choose from, people generally stick with either Campaign or VS modes, making it very difficult to find and form games in the other modes. Originally, Realism VS was a Mutation mode but had gotten enough popularity to warrant it as permament game mode. After it was added, player activity for that mode declined in favor of Campaign or VS.
Once Valve made all mutations playable from the get go, the TAAANK!!! mutation gets the most attention just because it's VS mode where all the infected players are Tanks. Alternatively, Versus Survival (which is self-explanatory) and Gib Fest (which gives the players infinite-ammoM60's), both of which had the highest number of encore appearances when the mutations were weekly.
When it comes to modding the game, most modders dedicate their time to making different skins for Zoey more than they do for other survivors, due to the trope Most Gamers Are Male. There's also at least a dozen mods that replaces Rochelle with Zoey.
Left 4 Dead 2 introduced Realism mode (campaign with tweaked settings for a better challenge) and Scavenge mode (a different flavor of VS mode), but most people ignore them in favor of campaign and VS. Realism VS mode was one of the first mutations introduced in The Passing DLC and was made a permanent game mode due to popular demand, but now no one ever plays it, going back to normal VS and campaign.
Same for the campaigns, in both the first and second game. While the Coop-Players play pretty much anything, trying to find anything else than No Mercy, Blood Harvest or The Sacrifice in Left 4 Dead is not that easy. In the sequel, Dead Center is added to the mix and at least the other originally released campaigns are played more commonly, but still not as bad.
When Left 4 Dead got released, you even got kicked out of the game for not picking the Auto-Shotgun in Versus. That has thankfully changed since and the other weapons are also more commonly taken now. In the sequel, it was similar with secondaries - you were called a Noob for using dual pistols.
And on the off chance you do find a Scavenge game, 90% of the time it will be the No Mercy Rooftop.
The players get very tetchy when you try to use something other than an SMG or sniper. Rocket, rifle grenade, or portable turret? Overpowered. Shotgun or machinegun? Causes lag.
People didn't like the original shotgun because they became frustrated by less experienced players besting them, due to its short range stopping power. So the hardcore mod was introduced specifically to up the power of the SMG to ridiculous levels and drop the power of the shotgun, such that you were forced to jam it right in someone's face to ever hope to kill them.
It eventually buckled to the competitive audience and added server options to disable absolutely every random factor in the game, including ones that are factored in to balancing weapons against their alternatives. Most servers with a large enough community will have these turned on.
The originally-informal, now-official Highlander game mode averts this a bit, because as we all know, There Can Only Be One of each class on every team, where players have to split their duties accordingly and work together efficiently. You know — be a team, like the game's title suggests. It was originally an out-of-game ruleset, but Valve eventually made it an official game mode in a patch.
Eventually, when the game went free-to-play, the log-in interface was changed to feature a "Find Me a Game" option in addition to the traditional server list. Since the system was impartial to map, many veteran players joked the mechanic was installed to put new players on solid footing with experienced ones because "New or old, no one plays Turbine".
You could easily be forgiven for thinking that there are only two King of the Hill Maps: Nucleus and Harvest. Lakeside and Sawmill will occasionally see some play, but Badlands, Viaduct, and Kong King are almost never played on. Likewise with 2Fort and Dustbowl. Certain players will complain that 2fort is only populated by Noobs, while they themselves can only be found on Dustbowl. Worse yet are the servers that only play one part of Dustbowl.
The community tends to only accept one good loadout for each class and that's it, regardless of how well anyone has gotten any of the other items to perform. For instance, if you don't use the Degreaser and Axtinguisher to puff and sting everyone, then you don't know how to play Pyro. That's right, the Pyrois never supposed to geta kill with fire ever. CGS can be weird sometimes.
Now applies to Mann vs Machine, apparently, there is only one proper class set up for each map, and if you try to use anything else, you will be met with anger. This commentary discusses the topic.
This is what "w+m1"note The keys for "move forward" and "attack" is all about in reference to Pyros, the theory is that inexperienced players would settle for having the flame thrower on at all times as the only tactic in game.
Some people also tend to settle up for one class and play it all the time, no matter the team setup and how much that class is needed now. This sometimes leads to frustrating situations where a quarter or more of your team are Snipers, making it weaker overall in a close-quarters fight as there are more people supporting the frontline and less actually fighting the incoming enemies. This also tends to happen to really good Demomen, as they mastered the art of using the Stickybomb Launcher in close-quarters fights and can win a one-on-one duel with pretty much anyone. Since they are so powerful and mincemeat everyone, they just never want to play any other class.
A problem with new players (especially during the early days of Free to Play) is that they tend to default to the Sniper or Spy during a game. Why? Because the former is more similar to traditional FPS gameplay (scoped rifle and a fully automatic weapon that requires no windup) while the latter effectively let you waltz into the enemy base without much fear. Unfortunately both classes are designed as support classes, which most of the time won't actually be on the front lines completing the objective.
There's the no-Force, saber-only game setting. There's ranged weapons and Force powers in the game? Apparently not, judging by the multiplayer community.note Jump, and more rarely Speed, are occasionally allowed to make navigating a bit easier, but even then they'll be limited to the lowest level to prevent them from being useful in a fight.
As for actual in-game combat, in Jedi Outcast everyone just does the Strong style jumping slash, an attack which is Awesome but Impractical at best due to heavy, unblockable damage, but also being so slow that it's useless except as an ambush tactic - most one-on-one duels in that game consist entirely of both players alternatively using or dodging that one attack until one of them either gets the timing right to hit the other before they can roll out of the way or gets it so wrong that they jump into the other guy's attack. Jedi Academy has slightly more variety - everyone still spams just one attack, but for players using double-bladed or dual sabers it's either the rolling stab or their mouse1+mouse2 combo depending on their preference.
Expect 90% of the servers you see in the browser to be Mos Eisley, Hero Assault, the only non custom map where you can play as a Jedi/Sith all the time. And in there, expect it to be a Clusterfuck of Count Dookus and Emperors for the Force Choke + Force Lightning tactic, or the Force Choke + Stab Tactic. If playing as a Sith, Expect a lot of Force Pull + Lightsaber from the enemy team.
Good luck finding a Skilled player that isn't using either the Rocket Launcher or Sniper, for the reasons of High Damage and you don't have to lead your target respectively.
Battlefield 3 also has some extremely common loadouts, which can be split from before the March 2012 patch and after it:
Assault: Pre-patch assault players used the F2000, AEK-971, or the FAMAS due to their high rates of fire. Post-patch the FAMAS's handling and ammo capacity changes nerfed it into oblivion and the F2000 is useless beyond 20 meters. The M16A3 with Heavy Barrel now reigns supreme.
Engineers gravitate to the A-91 or the M4A1, again, due to the high rate of fire, while some go for the SCAR-H + ACOG + Heavy Barrel for long range damage. Post-patch, players that prefer a good medium-range weapon with minimal recoil will likely use the SG553 with the AKS-74U being configurable as a very good short-ranged hip fire weapon.
The Support class, with its variety of well-balanced guns but no superior weapon, inverts the trope. The class only contains Scrappy Weapons that aren't used like the QBB, MG36 and Type 88, which heavily suck compared to the rest.
Damn near every Recon use the M98B since it's the most powerful sniper rifle in the game, though after Back to Karkand the L96 is seeing some action since it shoots like a laser and it doesn't require as much grinding to unlock as the M98B.
Pre-patch the only semi-auto sniper rifle of any use was the M39 EMR: Very accurate, quick to fire and could be used in medium range as a 'designated marksman' style of play. Post-patch, the SKS has been buffed to the stars to the point it can compete with assault rifles.
Gun attachments: Pre-patch nearly everyone used the Foregrip/Suppressor combination to significantly reduce recoil to the point hardly anyone used bipods or heavy barrels. Post-patch, the Heavy Barrel is the new hotness for its very large spread reduction while aiming down sights with only a minimal vertical recoil increase. Foregrip and suppressor usage depends on the situation rather than being no-brainer attachments and they generally only get used for very close quarter combat.
Gun sights are a matter of preference but out of the various versions, the main ones used are the Kobra, US Red Dot Sight, ACOG 4x, US Holographic, and the 8x or 12x for sniper rifles.
Post-patch pistol changes mean the best players will use one of three sidearms: The G18 Suppressed fully-automatic pistol with a high rate of fire that is equivalent to the MP7 at very close range and is used for players who want a true 'backup' weapon, the 93R burst fire pistol which received a major buff in the patch for those who feel they need a more controllable gun than the G18, and finally the .44 Magnum which is a two shot kill due to a buff giving it a 1.25 damage multiplier to the chest, used by players who are extremely accurate and will pick and choose either their primary weapon or the Magnum based on the situation.
MP7 with Laser + Extended Mags is the hip fire weapon. Its hip fire is often more accurate than many guns when aimed down sight and it is quicker to get bullets on target because of its hip fire. Its only drawback is that the extended mags mean you only have less than a handful of reloads, so playing a support kit or having the Ammo perk is mandatory.
The USAS-12 with Frag rounds. It's basically a handheld IFV cannon. It's super accurate, has no "bullet" drop, kills in 2-3 direct hits, creates splash damage if it misses, and (since the USAS-12 is an automatic shotgun) is extremely spammable. Anyone using it will be met with much gnashing of teeth, and it's so bad that it was severely nerfed. This video is a good demonstration.
Camouflage-wise, Spec Ops Black as it hides your heat signature from infra-red optics. It's also useful for hiding in buildings since the interior is usually dark.
Counter-Strike and its players are inextricably associated with the AWP sniper rifle and the deagle handgun.
Counter-Strike has a total of 24 guns that can be chosen from (6 pistols, 2 shotguns, 5 SMGs, 6 assault rifles, 4 sniper rifles, and 1 light machine gun) but basically all are inferior to the 3 mainly used guns: The AWP sniper rifle (1 hit kills), or the M4A1 and AK-47 assault rifles, as these latter two are the most powerful and accurate by far of all the guns. Anyone using any of the other weapons, except possibly the pump shotgun, usually results in "noob".
There's bound to be at least one 24/7 one-map-only server for every map in the game, but Killhouse, Broadcast, and Crash are the most popular. Weapon variety, on the other hand, is pretty much exclusively either the final-unlocked weapons of a class (Desert Eagle, P90, etc.) or the bolt-action snipers.
Specifically, players who use sniper rifles prefer the M40A3. Attaching an ACOG scope to it raises its base power slightly; combine with the Stopping Power perk and the usual increased damage with a body- or head-shot, and you've basically got a shorter-ranged version of Counter-Strike's AWP: One-Hit Kill on anyone, even if they have the Juggernaut perk that normally cancels out Stopping Power. Any other weapon variety depends on the user's playstyle - if they like to rush and get in close, they're using the P90 for its fast fire rate and high capacity; if they prefer blowing people up with the grenade launcher, they attach it to the AK-47 for its versatility; and people who are using aimbots are drawn to the machine guns' 100-round belts, usually sticking with the RPD because it's the first one unlocked and has the least recoil among them.
Call of Duty: World at War has two cooperative modes: co-op campaign, or Nazi Zombies. Absolutely nobody plays the former - even if a lobby is hosted in co-op campaign, it will inevitably switch to Nazi Zombies before the game starts. Later CoD games by Treyarch dropped the co-op campaign to focus on Zombies mode because of this.
Call of Duty: Black Ops has Nuketown and Array, to the point that there's an actual game mode based around playing solely on the former.
Modern Warfare 2 in spades.
The only two guns used online are the UMP and the ACR, both because they shoot straighter than an arrow and make better snipers than the sniper rifles, with the UMP also dealing damage comparable to or better than any of the assault rifles (the ACR is on the weaker end of the scale). As for Perks, expect to see the tele-knifing Commando on almost every class, often combined with Marathon and Lightweight for faster, infinite sprinting to boot.
Now the goto setup is the "God Kit": an underbarrel grenade launcher for an assault rifle, which is so predictably accurate that the fan nickname of "Noobtube" is more recognizable to the fanbase than "grenade launcher", Claymores for a cheap lazy kill, One Man Army so the Noobtube keeps firing and you can double up claymores to guarantee a kill regardless of player health or protection, and Danger Close, just to double the radius of the insta-gib explosives being spammed all over the map. This isn't even the worst part as this kit is intended to get lots of kills so the player can spam Apache helicopters or AC-130 gunships, which get even more kills... The game is nearly unplayable if you don't have this gear equipped, or some kind of pathetic game breaking hack simply due to the large number of players using it.
Modern Warfare 3:
A ton of people (especially those who are new or have recently prestiged) use the G36C with M320 and Red Dot Sight, since it's a late-unlocked weapon available from the beginning through a default class. Barring that, the PP90M1 and the Type 95 are the most popular primary weapons, with dual FMG's as everybody's secondary, since despite multiple attempts at nerfing them all three still kill people in half a second. As for maps, ones that pit Delta Force vs. Spetsnaz, Dome in particular, are the most popular.
Infected mode does a lot like Left 4 Dead - since the only win conditions for the survivors are to, well, survive until time runs out, survivors will often pick one specific hard-to-reach area to hold out from and stay there until the infected manage to swarm it and kill everyone. The downside is that most survivor-preferred areas are very cramped - one good Semtex or Bouncing Betty from the initial infected could potentially kill half the team, and later infected that manage to get in can easily stab multiple people in a row before anybody really notices. Once the mode became official, though, some of this went away - unofficial servers running the mode had everyone get to glitchy areas that were really hard for infected to get at, but when playing the mode through IWNET, attempting to go to such areas as a survivor has you drop dead and switch sides without warning.
Maps from the Quake series are remade in almost any other FPS, the most notorious example is Q2DM1: The Edge.
In the Quake II mod Weapons Factory, Marines were the most common character class due to being heavily armed, and equally suited for defense and offense. Clan matches sometimes included one side fielding all Marines. As the various classes were nerfed and upgraded, other classes became more popular, but Marines remained the most popular choice.
In Quakeworld duels, you would be hard-pressed to see anything less than the grenade launcher used as anything other than a last resort. Even the grenade launcher has a niche role (to flush people out or lock them in) - for 90% of the game, you will have the rocket launcher in one hand and lightning gun in the other. Possibly with a set of aliases to facilitate switching to the LG in a pinch, and switch back just as quickly.
Halo has several instances of this for various reasons.
The PC port of Halo: Combat Evolved features 24/7 max vehicle (but no Banshees) 16 player CTF matches on Blood Gulch and nearly nothing else. This may be due to the fact that Blood Gulch is the only map available in the demo. You will never see anything resembling an organized 4v4 game.
In general Combat Evolved multiplayer revolved around the original M 6 D Pistol which was able to kill players in three headshots. It tended to be the go-to weapon unless you were able to find a specialized weapon like the Shotgun, Sniper Rifle or Rocket Launcher, though the Assault Rifle and Plasma Rifle are able to counter it in close enough quarters.
Halo 2 multiplayer had less of this arguably because players were unable to pick the specific gametype they were able to play in matchmaking, as there were no public server browsers and the inability to veto for a new choice in map or gametype.
Halo 3 multiplayer generally skewed to Battle Rifle starts due to its use as a utility weapon, though it was still possible to get a game of Assault Rifle starts. Bungie compromised by starting players with Battle Rifle primaries and Assault Rifle secondaries in most gametypes.
Halo: Reach, oddly enough, revolved around the Infection gametype. Players would break the map within a week of their premier and force the Infected players, equipped with only swords, to jump up to them or sprint over to them while raining bullets upon them. Players would play just for the opportunity to farm easy kills as a human against zombies.
Halo 4's multiplayer originally revolved around the DMR, as the Battle Rifle had been nerfed to have an identical kill time but lacked the range that the DMR boasted. The Battle Rifle was later buffed to its former glory, moving the meta game toward it in all but the biggest maps.
Big Team Battle/Big Team Infinity Slayer is typically the most populated playlist due to the confused nature of the rest of the game, which can't determine if it's Battlefield 3 or Call of Duty.
In general Halo players only play Team Slayer and other variations. Bungie's internal studies showed that if any sort of objective based game were introduced in to a playlist that the population would drop by 20% immediately and continue to bleed until it was emptied. If the average player didn't get to play exactly the gametype they wanted to twice in a row they would leave that playlist, never to return. Because of this Bungie and 343 have concentrated on Slayer gametypes as opposed to Objective ones, much to the chagrin of some.
Blacklight Retribution: Pure HeloDeck TDM servers are amongst the most popular servers, but most 'Pure' servers randomly shuffle the map or gamemode to keep things from getting too complacent. There are also official 'Pure' servers for other popular or new maps and modes. Netwar can only be played on Offshore, and Siege can only be played on Nuken, which makes for artificial complacency since they can only appear in Pure Netwar/Siege or Pure Random servers. There's a pretty decent spread though so not everyone is doing the same thing.
Multiplayer-only game Shattered Horizon originally enforced this by including only one weapon to focus the game more around player skill. Shortly after release a patch increased it to five due to complaints.
In competitive play, the super shotgun will be the weapon in your hands 70% of the time. 10% will be with the pistol as you respawn, and the other 20% will be equally split between the plasma rifle and BFG9000 - both highly-regarded weapons in a deathmatch, and hotly contested.
Specifically while ZDaemon was still popular, it had MAP01 and MAP07 (both the classic and DWANGO5 versionsnote counts double for the fact that there were sixteen other DWANGO map packs that the playerbase was steadfastly ignoring after its namesake hosting service died) on the vast majority of 24/7 servers, with very little deviation from this rule. Nowadays, you see mods like All Out War 2, WhoDunIt, Mega Man 8 Bit Deathmatch, and other mods dominating the Zandronum server listings.
Prior to a patch that reduced the effectiveness of doing so, most online matches would include at least one player using The Bee shield and a multi-pellet weapon like the Conference Call shotgun. The reason for this being that amplify shields, of which The Bee is, add damage to your first shot if your shield is full at the cost of some of the shield energy. The Bee's amplify effect cost 0 shield energy, resulting in an extra 40-52k damage on every projectile you fire, which was added to each pellet or projectile. Did we mention The Bee would recharge in the blink of an eye? Sure, it has a quarter the capacity of most other shields it's own level, but who needs shields when you turn everything into a fine pink mist in a single shot?
Post-patch, The Bee is still a very common thing to see. It doesn't add quite as much damage, and the amplify damage is split among all pellets fired so that it only adds a total of 40k or so damage per squeeze. It's also been given a longer recharge delay than most any other shield in the game. Multiplying your burst-fire assault rifle's damage by 6 is still pretty attractive though.
The patch only split the amp damage evenly between shotgun pellets. Other weapons like SMGs which fire multiple projectiles still get the full amp boost to each projectile. Most people pair the Bee with the Sand Hawk now.
When people discovered "health gating" (a mechanic that prevents you from being killed in one hit as long as you are above 50% health), Moxxi weapons (which heal you for a percentage of the damage you deal) became very popular. If you don't have a Rubi with slag element on all of your characters (and one with a bayonet if you're playing as Zer0), you simply don't know how to play the game correctly.
A lot of people use a Double Penetrating Unkempt Harold. It's very strong even if your character doesn't get any boosts to explosive or pistol damage.
Salvador is generally considered a Game Breaker when specced for pistols and Dual Wielding a slag-element Rubi and a Double Penetrating Unkempt Harold.
The Two Fer Maggie was very popular before people discovered the Harold. It helped that it was very easy to farm, dropping from a boss that was guaranteed to spawn every time you loaded up the game, while the Harold dropped from an enemy that had a rare chance of spawning when you loaded up the game. When Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage came out and players could just buy Harolds from vending machines, that was pretty much the end of Maggie use.
Like all games where you get to choose which stats you gain as you level up, there is only one generally agreed-upon "correct" build for each class, and if you don't play with that build, you're a skill-less noob.
Ace Of Spades always had at least three servers hosting the "Pinpoint" map 24/7, but the player-base rebelled against this trope and the map's fans would often be flamed mercilessly on the forums. Played straight with the rifle, however, which for a long time was ridiculously overpowered despite many attempts at rebalancing it.
PlanetSide 1 featured customizable loadouts, allowing players to carry pretty much anything as long they had enough slots for the gun and its ammo. In practice, everyone carried the exact same loadout - a heavy assault gun (minigun, shotgun, or a energy cannon depending on the player's empire), a rocket launcher, medapp, BANK armor-repair tool, and maybe a couple grenades or a REK hacking tool. The only common deviation was for very specialized roles - snipers would carry two sniper rifles to swap between shots and Engineers would carry no weapons so that they could carry a "glue gun" repair tool and as much ammo as possible to repair their vehicle.
In the video game adaptation of Quantum of Solace, expect to see the Hutchinson A4 A LOT in Multiplayer.
Starsiege is all about this trope these days, stubborn little game that it is for still being around. There are about half a dozen "standard" vehicle configurations that have been in use for about the last ten years and deviations are pretty uncommon. What's popular is popular for good reason, but some otherwise very skilled players have been known to ragequit when the status quo is challenged enough to render their favorite ride ineffective. These setups and the tactics they are built for have simply been standard issue for so long that many of those who still play haven't bothered to keep up the skills to deal with anything outside the norm.
The MechWarrior series has always had two staples in its energy weaponry: medium lasers, which are the most efficient energy weapon and either the primary loadout for medium mechs or backups sprinkled wherever there's space/tonnage left for heavies, and PPCs, the heavy-hitters that you can only fire every now and then, but when you do your enemy hurts. If you have an energy-based Mech that doesn't have either, you're doing it wrong.
There's also the most coveted weapons in the game, Wing Zero's twin buster rifle and the Destiny Gundam's "Arondight" beam sword, which are the strongest gun and sword in the game respectively. The 00-Raiser's GN sword III is also highly valued, but primarily because earning it unlocks the Raiser Sword EX Action, which is the strongest melee-type EX-Act in the game. Once players unlock it, they tend to swap over to a stronger melee weapon; expect to see a LOT of Arondights paired up with the Raiser Sword.
Despite the huge number of options in the character creator that most players take advantage of, you will still see some players who have dozens of characters with each different superpowers but who all look identical and have the same name with a number after it.
...read some, these people are considered either concept players or just really, really weird.
Some days it seems like every other Scrapper (melee-centric class) one sees has claws and regeneration - half of those are named some variation of 'Wolverine' or 'Logan'. I wonder why...
A Fire/Kinetics Controller is the go-to character for all manner of farming and power-leveling as well as general gameplay, combining awesome damage potential with crowd-control ability. Rare is the player without one of these in the roster. Toning down (i.e. nerfing) either Fire or Kinetics will unfairly punish those who use one powerset without the other, so it continues to reign supreme after years. Villain-side it's a little less cut and dried, but Super Strength/Willpower Brutes come the closest.
This tends to happen with the harder Task Forces and Trials in City of Heroes. The community will tend to settle on a strategy which can work for most random groups and repeatedly follow it even if it's not the best option.
While battlegrounds provide more variety than usual, there is only one tactic used for each. Even if it sucks. Case in point: Warsong Gulch. Both sides run to the opposing flag (usually completely ignoring each other), take it, run back and either clash in the middle (often with both flags getting returned) or both flags end up in the opposing fortress, heavily defended for most of the battle. There is a good reason a 25 minute time limit was added to this battleground.
Alterac Valley suffers from a similar case, turning into a rush to kill the opposing general as soon as possible. The fact that this got much harder in a recent patch didn't deter players from this procedure much.
This also happened in "Vanilla" World of Warcraft wherein most classes had one, maybe two talent trees if they were lucky. That's because the other one or two was completely broken. This was most prevalent in druids, who didn't really have Balance and Feral considered viable until Burning Crusade and Wrath. It didn't help that they and warriors were the most gear-dependent classes in the game and the gear was mostly made for healing or tanking if they were warriors. As a result, feral and balance druids were scoffed at by guilds because there was no gear and they were needed to heal since a good 70% of people are DPS-classes anyways. This has thankfully gotten much better after Burning Crusade where specs were made more viable and gear made available for PvP classes, also to stop the issue of how DPS classes got their PvP Gear. (By running Blackwing Lair.) Not to mention, other trees were made more feasible too, so even if you played a pure DPS class like Mage, Hunter, or Rogue, you had more than one option. (Most mages in "Vanilla" were Frost because everything was immune to fire.) While there are a few that are still Overshadowed by Awesome, it's nice to have a wider variety of classes available to fit certain roles. Plus, as an MMORPG, sometimes a build that was Overshadowed by Awesome became the awesome itself.
For that matter, all healing classesnote Priests, Paladins, Shamans in "vanilla" were railroaded into that role for PvE content, as every item in their higher Sets were developed for those roles. One of the few instances where this trope was blatantly enforced by the developer.
This was also the reason why talent trees were revamped to a more streamlined form in Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria: For all the complexity offered, there really were only a few builds for each class that were acceptable. Even the new system suffers from this a little bit (Pretty much every monk but the healers have the talent that grant extra chi), but in the end, there are at least some choices that are up to personal preference, and a few that may have a different version for a different speciaization Same goes for Glyphs, with some universal picks being moved to core mechanics for the class to allow for more flexibility.
Likewise, this happens whenever an expansion pack is released: ignore all of the plot, then go on the boards and complain that there's no content. Or deliberately underplay your usefulness so your class gets a buff in the next patch.
Diablo 2's multiplayer was pretty much this: Log onto multiplayer. Pay people in-game loot to run you through the game, sitting by and absorbing all the experience so you can level up as fast as possible. You look up a stat sheet on the internet and follow it to the tee, with no room for deviation (unless you want to be laughed at by all the Munchkins, unless you're doing something like a "Crazy run") Then when you hit level 80, you run the final act again and again, get nothing but junk 98% of the time in hopes of finding that "perfect loot", until a player bribes you with something that isn't junk and you run them through the game.
Warhammer Online has very vocal complaints about "bomb squads" - namely parties that guard and buff up a single (long range) DPS character who then solely runs through enemies spamming a short range area of effect ability that happened to have no cooldown or cast time. After 16 months of complaints about the inability to defend against it, suggestions to change the mechanics of the ability or noting that players were using a long range character to do more damage than a dedicated melée character, the game developers actually played some games and immediately issued a notification that they would nerf the mechanic in the upcoming patch. Although the mechanic has changed slightly, it is still feasible (and hated) and rumours persist of entire guilds who only accept one of the few classes who make this technique possible to avoid using any other tactics.
This trope goes skipping hand-in-hand with elitism. Don't have the skillsets or professions to match the popular cookie-cutter team builds everyone else is running? You do, but want to play your own way? Good luck finding a pick-up team for FoW, UW, Slavers, or DoA. Your Lightbringer and Sunspear titles aren't maxed out? Forget DoA altogether unless you run your own guild. Lacking levels in other alliance titles will also get you viewed as a liability, depending on the attached skills, the mission, and the group build in question.
One of the lodged complaints about the HA PvP bracket was the demand that players have a certain rank of the associated PvP title. The only way to get the rank was to play HA, but no group would accept you without the rank. There's a reason that format eventually collapsed on itself.
Even outside of those, players have gradually migrated to a handful of tried and tested builds, as opposed to diversifying. Many people only ever use one or two skill bars. Nowhere is this more prevalent than the surge in Ritualist players who only have the skills to play the SoS build, and literally nothing else.
Historically, there were even worse examples which the developers eventually nerfed into non-existence. Perhaps the most infamous was the Ursanway, where six players would use the exact same skillset with two healers keeping them alive.
Guild Wars 2 has this, especially in dungeons and fractals, combined with a healthy dollop of elitisim. There's a set of builds generally considered to be the "right" thing to do, and anything else is sneered at. One whole profession - the Ranger - is scorned as being a mostly-useless Master of None, and a lot of dungeon strategy has been boiled down to "get four Warriors and a Mesmer, stack (that is, put all five characters in exactly the same spot), then use Time Warp and Frenzy while spamming melee attacks that don't cause you to move". More than slightly subverted, however, because outside of some highly elitist guilds and the speedrun community, this is really not even enforced informally, and lots of other strategies, even really unconventional ones, work just fine. Which was ANet's big idea in the first place. For more specific examples:
Glass Cannon Warrior builds - the idea is to use all your trait points and all your gear slots toward increasing damage to the exclusion of all else. This means using Berserker's or Assassin's weapons and armor and ruby jewelry or the ascended equivalent, and relying on dodging to stay alive. Trouble is, though this build does insane amounts of damage, there is absolutely no room for mistakes, even with the Warrior's high HP. Among all but the very most elite, "Brass Cannon" builds that add Knight's or Celestial gear and maybe a few points in the Defense line to greatly boost survivability with only a small decrease in damage output are more popular and far more effective. (This is, of course, because the dead do no damage!)
The Underground Facility fractal - a popular strategy against one miniboss was to run to a set of pipes and stack there while whacking the boss and ignoring the mooks. Trouble is, you need a lot of DPS to do this well, or a really on-the-ball Guardian or Elementalist, and it's just about the only strategy anybody knows. It's usually a lot easier - although slower - to drag the boss around the room, dodging his attacks and AoE-bombing the mooks. In the most recent patch, ANet took out the pipes, so the complacent strategy is going to have to change.
Dungeon Fighter Online's PvP has this. most matches will be on the Tavern stage, Elimination mode, no Mages or Gunners (Especially Summoners or Mechs, respectively) allowed. If you try to switch the mode or stage to anything else, or try to use a Mage or Gunner, 99% of the time somebody's going to complain that it's "unfair".
Players can be expected to have some or all of the following items if they have the money for them; Vog Cub, Divine Avenger, Gran Faust, Polaris/Biohazard, Grey Owlite Shield, and whatever krogmo trinkets boost your prefered weapon types.
Skolver Sets and Chaos Sets are encountered often in PvP matches, with former defending against most popular immobilizing status and latter being blatant Glass Cannon setup. It spawned a moniker "Skolver/Chaos Clones".
Divine Armor Set is a big offender, due to being a very good counter to perils of both Firestorm Citadel and one of the Danger Missions, Ghost in the Machine. Both are considered to be farming grounds.
Not to mention the insane overuse of the Wolver armour set. This is because out of all weapon types swords deal the most raw damage numbers and as a result are the most popular choice. Guns deal pathetic damage per hit. However, swordies have to dodge or block enemy attacks once in a while while gunslingers can just keep pumping lead into the enemy, resulting in higher average damage over time in some cases. Bombs are good for support or inflicting Standard Status Effects... a playstyle unlikely to be a Complacent Gaming Syndrome in Spiral Knights.
Two months after it rotated out, the Avatar of Boris Challenge Path is still the most-played path by far. The sad part is that many players took one look at the Bugbear Invasion path that replaced it and decided on the spot to ignore it in favor of constantly doing Boris runs. Chat and the forums were filled with comments along the lines of, "If this doesn't hook me immediately, I'm dropping this run and going back to Boris".
A lesser example: most players refuse to choose Moon Signs other than the three that allow access to Degrassi Knoll (with two exceptions: one trip to the Gnomad Camp to get Torso Awaregness, and Bad Moon runs).
Like many MMOs, RuneScape is a game with a multitude of high-level armor and weapons, allowing for a near-endless degree of customization. You wouldn't think this is true if you logged into a members' server. Most-melee based characters (the most common type) will be wearing a Helm of Nietiznot, a Fighter Torso, Dragon Platelegs (or Rune if they're going cheaper), an Obsidian Cape, a Rune or Dragon Defender, and a Dragon Scimitar (occasionally a Whip instead). This is mainly because this set is relatively cheap and has a high Strength bonus (which a lot of players prioritize), making it effective for PvP and PvE since dying won't risk much. Expect to be questioned or even ridiculed if your armor setup deviates too far from this.
Likewise, on Free-to-Play servers, expect to see most mid-to-high leveled players wearing full Rune armor or a trimmed variant, as there's little reason to wear anything else if you're a melee character.
Scimitars in general are the preferred weapon in PvE situations due to their fast speed and damage output. Again, expect to be ridiculed for choosing a slower weapon such as a Battleaxe or Two-handed sword (even though these are generally viable due to being more accurate than Scimitars and far more viable in PvP due to almost everyone wearing platebodies, which are weak to crush damage).
Want to stand a chance in any high-risk PvP situation on a members' server? Better hope you have some of the best ranged armor, because all you're ever going to see is Ancient Magic users spamming ice spells. These spells not only do absurdly high damage, but can freeze the target for several seconds, and the caster can just use the spell again to "reset" the timer. The only drawback to this spell is the cost of casting it, but unless you're in safe PvP, whatever drops you get from your poor victim will pay for those Runes 5 times over. The only real counter for them is to get armor with a ton of Magic resistance and stack it with prayers, and even then, you'd better hope they don't hit you at least once, but at least you can sort of fight back with a ranged weapon or spell of your own. Saradomin help you if you try to use any form of melee in members PvP.
Final Fantasy XI: For a significantly long time, Ninja as a sub job. Thanks to its Dual Wield trait, most classes whose primary melee weapon is one-handed, and have no need for shields (I.E. the dagger focused Thief class) use it to strike multiple times which is considered a very massive boon to gain TP used for Weapon Skills. Then it was discovered that the Ninjitsu spell Utsusemi was very useful for avoiding most attacks altogether, thanks to it creating shadow images which take hits for you and that with its higher tier upgrades, means one can keep it up almost constantly. At first this led to the creation of the Ninja tank. A Ninja that subbed Warrior had good enmity gaining abilities, and eventually its Double Attack Trait after reaching Ninja 50, giving it a chance to strike up to 4 times for each auto attack, rapidly gaining TP for their Weapon skills making them nigh-invincible tanks with very good DPS skills. In turn, end game parties also began demanding players sub Ninja solely for Utsusemi, even if it would severely nerf the max capabilities of a job because it relied heavily on using a Two-handed weapon, and thus, couldn't Dual Wield effectively (Such as Samurai and Dragoon), simply to make Healers' lives easier.
Players starting doing this to combat the Nintendo Hard nature of the game, and as such Square-Enix started designing encounters under the assumption that players were using Ninja as a subjob. They also massively boosted the power of two-handed weapons to compensate for how much better two one-handed weapons were.
The infamous "A2B" build, which utilizes two or more copies of the Bridge Officer skill "Emergency Power to Battery", boosting Attack Power, Engine Power and Shield Power to insane levels, allowing a player to constantly attack at full power, especially with attacks such as "Fire at Will".
Using Scimitar-class Dreadnoughts while playing as the Romulans. Because of its strange build, it's easy to set things up so that the machine can steamroll through everything. It's gotten to the point where it's become something of a Base Breaker.
In terms of Ship builds them selves, for Level 50 and beyond Escorts, the most popular build and strategy is to stick as many Dual Heavy Cannons in the front, (possibly with one slot left open for a Torpedo Launcher), and preferably as many 360 Degree firing arc weapons in the back as possible, primarily turrets, or a few crafting specific and Reputation weapons, then trying to ensure your Weapon power levels stay as high as possible. Granted, it's extremely effective, as combining it with Bridge Officer abilities like Rapid Fire III means you can easily pump out 7000+ Damage volleys rather quickly.
Likewise, on a similar note, Damage builds. It's generally much more effective to focus on one damage type (such as Plasma, or Antiproton) then you have weapons with different damage types. This is because Tactical consoles provided greater damage boosts for specific energy types, over the ones which just provide a bonus to all damage of the same weapon type.
On the flip side, you will rarely have anyone suggest to you a ship weaponry build that recommends Tetryon energy damage. Tetryon weapons have a chance to inflict bonus damage to shields. There's a variety called "Piercing" that can also punch through sields and directly damage the hull of the targeted ship). Sounds good right? Now compare that to the following other energy weapon types for ships: Phasernote Chance for 5 Second Subsystem disable, which means either the enemy ship can't Shoot, reduced shield recharge/defense, become "dead in the water" with no speed, or can't turn and make effective use of Deflector Dish based powers, or exotic damage abilities, Disruptornote Chance for -10% Damage Resistance Debuff, Plasmanote Deals Damage Over Time directly to the ship's hull, regardless of shields., Polaronnote chance to inflict a flat -25 power to all sub systems: Weapons, Shields, Engines, and Auxillery, so basically a Phaser effect with reduced effectiveness, but hits all of the systems at once, or Antiprotonsnote 20% Critical hit Severity. Considering that a properly set up ship, or team working together can chew through shields easily, Tetryon is Overshadowed by Awesome.
During version 1.0, the game had players who picked the Warrior class over Paladin because the Warrior could not only tank as good as a Paladin, but a Warrior's damage output was so high that Warriors could clear crowds of monsters with very little effort. This resulted in players who took on the Paladin job being ignored for party requests. Bards also had the ability to use skills from the Conjurer class so that they could double as a DPS and healer, making actual healers almost obsolete. Patch 2.0 and beyond made the classes more or less even with each other.
Nearly every healer will have the Swiftcast spell (gained from leveling Thamaturge to 26), an ability that lets the user cast their next spell with zero charge time. Swiftcast for a healer is mainly used in conjunction with Raise/Resurrect since casting the spells normally takes about 7 seconds.
When it comes to types of classes players use, the majority stick with DPS since it's generally easier to master and has less micromanaging when compared to the more difficult to use tank and healer classes. Because nearly every other player has DPS as their main class, the wait times for the duty finder if one is a DPS can be up to 30 minutes or even longer since there's less players performing as a tank or healer.
Additionally, within the DPS role itself for 2.0, you're more likely to see Bards and Black Mages than the others. The melee jobs require the player to not only keep shifting with the movements of an enemy, but also they have to shift to the target's flanks and rear to trigger their weaponskill combos (approx. every 20 seconds for Dragoons, and 10 seconds for Monk). Summoner require managing a pet, and upkeeping upwards of 5 Debuffs (Bio I & II, Miasma I & II, and Shadow Flare) plus several other long duration cool down abilities. Bards on the other hand, have no combo positioning to worry about, and just simply keep firing with nearly zero down time beyond needing to let their stamina recover (which it can easily by cross-classing the Lancer class' Invigorate, and by using it's own Army's Paeon), and a well geared Blackmage can pump out 600 to 1000+ Burst damage every few seconds, by simply casting Thunder III, Fire I, and Blizzard III, with occasional free casts thanks to their passive traits of Fire III and more Thunder III (which applies the full sum of the Damage over time effect of a normal Thunder III cast, AND applies the Damage over time Debuff). Or using Flare when they're about to run out of MP while on Astral Fire stance.
Speed running dungeons is a highly popular tactic; the tank pulls several clusters of enemies in a row while the DPS players spam their AOE abilities to whittle down the clusterfuck all at once. Most groups who use this tactic are either aiming to earn their tomestones (currency to obtain stronger gear) quickly or running the same dungeons over and over again for their Zodiac quests so that they don't have to suffer going slow while dealing with the Random Drop needed for their quest.
It has this in scores. However, the game is updated and tweaked so often its players are likely to have to change their preferences or find another game if they are displeased with changes as the developers do not hold back on the matter. While the specific strategies and characters change, common patterns that stick include players refusing to consider ever playing certain roles (jungling and support roles most commonly), certain characters (the "champions") getting jumps in popularity for a specific strategy with them being discovered, a currently dominant team-strategy that many players will use as a baseline with which to choose their champions... and just FlameWars when anything or anyone gets Nerfed or buffed, which is all the time.
Not only are the champions and lanes well-defined by the metagame, but so are builds. If you're playing a champion with both AD and AP ratios, only one of them will be 'right' and you'll catch flak for building the other way, even if it's perfectly acceptable mechanically. Additionally, there's a 'best' order and 'best' items for certain classes to build (especially AD Cs and AP mages) and people will often be flamed if they deviate from these paths.
It should be noted that player opinion changes constantly as the metagame does; champions that are considered worthless for playing solo top today might be the new best thing tomorrow.
The start of season 4 is proving to be one of the most stagnant periods, particularly in high level professional play- top lane is almost exclusively dominated by manaless tanky bruisers with high base damage (specifically Dr Mundo, Shyvana and Renekton) and bottom lane basically contains only 3 played AD carries (Jinx, Lucian and Caitlyn) and 3 supports (Thresh, Annie and Leona). Mid and jungle are more varied, but still heavily dominated by Gragas, Ziggs, Elise and Vi and the only reason Kassadin isn't picked in every game is because he's banned in every game (that's almost Not Hyperbole- he's banned in over 90% of LCS matches on both sides of the Pacific and when not banned he IS picked).
Similar factors apply to Dota 2 as in League: the game is tweaked in a major way at least two times in a year, and player opinions change alongside the metagame. However, it should be noted that Dota 2 is much more loose (at least in the professional scene) with what's considered acceptable lanes. A particularly noteworthy example of this derivation is Faceless Void: before patch 6.80 he was built exclusively as a safe-lane carry that took a long time to start mattering in a match, but buffs to him in 6.80 and 6.81 made him viable in the offlane as a teamfight initiator / controller. Pros began to pick Void most often in the controller role so they didn't have to wait for the hero to come online (and in some cases they chose to go for some late-game insurance if Void's needed to carry still). Although Void saw a subsequent rise in usage amongst casuals, the old carry Void remains as the most common way to build him in pubs.
Also, it's worth noting that Dota 2 tries to combat this with many different game modes, where the only difference is the method used to select your hero. If you get tired of seeing Pudge every game then it's as easy as removing All Pick from your matchmaking settings.
Subverted in Copy Kitty. The more you use the same weapon combination, the weaker it gets until you find a new one.
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing gave us characters on bikes, who can boost in addition to drifting by popping wheelies on any course, which makes them a nightmare for racers in cars. The worst of all of these characters is Shadow, who has lightning-fast aerial tricks, so that a player can easily get a max-level boost from an otherwise low jump, on top of being able to boost on the ground virtually at will. Fans were calling for Shadow to be nerfed very quickly, and even now, he's still a Tier-Induced Scrappy. The other characters on bikes, like Ryo Hazuki and Alex Kidd, aren't too far behind him.
Everybody and their brother used the Honda Integra Type R (DC2) and selected Irohazaka for every single multiplayer match, mostly because the DC2 was a Game Breaker that wouldn't slow down nearly as much as other cars from hitting walls and guardrails, and Irohazaka was a zig-zagging series of hairpins, which gave a huge advantage to the DC2.
When Version 3 came out, that changed thanks to the Home Course Advantage: if you drove a car on its in-game home course (e.g. driving the AE85 Levin on Myogi, the AE86 Trueno on Akina, or the MR2 on Irohazaka), your car would be slightly faster and quicker to recover than cars that weren't from that course. Of course, a skilled opponent could overcome this, but . . .
Expect to see a lot of Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions, especially the eighth and ninth iteration. Mazda RX-8 is also quite common.
As for as music choices go, if it's a particularly crowded day, expect to hear the Climax Boss and Final Boss themes ("Feel the Moment", "Phantom of Blue", and "Blue Blazes", just to name a few examples) played over and over.
As of WMMT 4, expect to hear "Fallen Angel" a lot.
Certain players will only play as Funky Kong + Flame Runner or Daisy + Mach Bike because they are the two best combinations statistically. Pretty much everyone else plays as their Miis.
Another popular strategy was to play as Toadette in the Magikruiser to get the highest possible off-road stat, and then play only on GBA Shy Guy Beach, where you could just drive through the water with minimal loss in speed and hug the edge of the map while everyone else was forced to stick to the actual track.
Mario Kart DS also had a case where snakers would use nothing but the Dry Bomber since its mini turbos lasted the longest out of all karts and it made snaking easier.
When looking up time trial records for Mario Kart 7, expect to see nearly everyone using Metal Mario for the high bonus in top speed (even though Bowser gives the same bonuses). When it comes to what parts everyone uses, expect to see a lot of people using the B Dasher with the Gold Tires or other similar parts that give a lot of speed.
Mario Kart 7 has nearly everyone using the B Dasher because of its extremely high top speed and how cool it looks, along with the Mushroom Wheels since it gives a good boost in speed and handling.
Mario Kart 8 has people using either Morton, Bowser, Wario, or a heavyweight Mii for Time Trials because said characters have the best top speed.
Forza Motorsport 3 had every player converting their cars into all-wheel-drive due to the massive performance index drop it caused, allowing players to put in even more upgrades on their grippy AWD car. Online way was utterly dominated by the Audi S4 and AWD Dodge Vipers. Forza 4 reverses this and makes rear wheel drive dominate, leading to players converting all their cars (when possible) to rear-wheel-drive; The rear-wheel-drive converted 1997 Honda Civic dominates C-class, with the Honda NSX dominating B through A class.
The Supreme Commander equivalent is "Seton's Clutch" for 4v4 games and "Fields of Isis" for 2v2 games. Despite a large number of 3v3 maps to choose from, 3v3 games are always on Seton's Clutch again with 2 of the player positions left empty. A large proportion of the player base also insists on playing "20min no rush" (which is built into the game) and with nukes and heavy artillery disabled.
In the old days, when playing Age of Empires online, any game that didn't start off in "Post-Iron Age" (highest level of technology, every inch of the map known to every player, etc.) was doomed to languish in solitude until the game leader caved — god help you if you liked building a civilization.
Almost all 3v3 games were played on Tour of Egypt.
Red Alert 3 players tend to pick a side (Allies, Soviets, or Japanese) and completely forget about the other two. Even worse, players will then develop a strategy that works well for them and stick to it (Allie air-power, Soviet armor, Japanese mobility) and fail to remember their other possible strategies (Allies stealth/sabotage, Soviet glass cannon/zerg rush, Japanese heavy bombardment [should be noted that their Wave Force Artillery and Shogun Battleship are two of the best because they don't yell "I'm over here" like the Athena Cannon and Aircraft Carrier or give the enemy a chance to run like the V4 rocket-launcher and Dreadnaught.])
For that matter, the older Tiberian Sun: Custom-made maps with large walls and completely flat ground, teams build bases behind the wall. No air or underground units until you pass the "gate" (the entrance in the large wall). Et cetera.
The vast majority of casual StarCraft games are played on "Fastest Possible" or "BGH-style" maps with lots and lots of money. Additionally, all players are now expected to choose a race - no random! Of course even the "serious" gamers fall into the rut: over the years the "most popular map" has changed: Lost Temple -> user-created Lost Temple editions -> Gaia/Azelea -> Python -> Destination. The one currently gaining popularity (possibly because it's the most balanced map made in years for almost all levels of play) is called Fighting Spirit. (Incidentally, translating the Korean name better would have called it "elan", which is way cooler.)
The most blatant is any 1v1 game between two Terran players. Expect only Marines, Siege tanks, Vikings and Medievacs. That is unless one of them knows how to use IEchoic's 2Fac2Port build which is specifically tailored to take the standard TvT build by the balls and make it that player's bitch. Protoss vs Terran has similar issues, as the Protoss player will always go Robotics Facility for Colossi and lots of Stalkers to deal with Terran bio-balls comprised of Marines and Marauders with escorting Vikings to counter the Colossi and allow the Marines to wipe out the Immortals. Zerg vs Zerg matches are usually decided by who can get a fast spawning pool and still maintain enough of an economy to outproduce the other in terms of zerglings. Innovative players have created builds that have broken the monotony of these scenarios but trying to use them outside of a tournament or higher league play will result in being harassed for cheating, or even being formally reported to Blizzard simply because most middle-to-bottom tier players, once happy with a build for any kind of match up, will tell you that not even God himself can play the game any other way.
The major issue with the second game is the presence of far more 'hard' counters (units and tactics which can decisively shut down certain aspects of play unless massively outnumbered or behind on upgrades) than in the original game allowing the outcomes of matches to be set in stone rather early unless both sides scout well. This results in a more methodical and technical Metagame with a heavy emphasis on timing and memorization.
Don't play Audition Online unless you know how to do 3-6key chance and enjoy high BPM songs. Basically the usually symptoms of Rhythm games you should be familiar with. It is basically useless to find players who are willing to do a no-chance game. Since chance adds a point multiplier, expect to lose A LOT.
DJMAX Technika 2's Crew Race mode. In Crew Race, you create a course consisting of 3 songs, each with your best score on it, and people who challenge your course must complete it and optionally beat your combined scores for the 3 songs. As soon as it was fully implemented, it became every noob's worst nightmare come true: The majority of courses so far have high-end difficulty songs like Fermion (Hard), D2 (Hard), and Son of Sun (Maximum).
If you just like to play the Guitar Hero or Rock Band games for fun, stay the hell away from the public Xbox Live matchups. 50% of the time you'll be forced into playing the hardest song on that particular disc, and if so help you god you pick any other song when it's your turn to choose, prepare to hear a lot of groans and insults from the other players. Ditto if everyone else has a particular DLC song (usually balls-hard as well) and you don't. And ditto if you play on anything but Expert, and ditto if you play Expert but suck at it, and so on. For Rock Band, expect every session to include Coheed & Cambria's "Welcome Home".
jubeat saucer attempts to curb this with the "song swap" system, in which every month, a selection of songs are removed and some other songs, old and new, are put in. So if you're one of those players who only plays, for example, "only my railgun" or "Sandstorm", and those songs are due for removal, it's time to start playing other songs.
Most games in the Tales Series give you more team members than can fit in an active party, and while the games tend to be fairly balanced on the whole, there are definitely a few characters who end up sitting on the back bench in a lot of playthroughs.
Because Pascal's fighting style is unorthodox and Malik can't heal, the standard Tales of Graces party across the board is Sophie, Hubert, Asbel and Cheria.
In the Lineage to the Future campaign, Hubert or Asbel are often kicked for Richard.
Tales of Symphonia tends to showcase a bit more variety (having nine playable characters will do that to a game), but taking Raine or Lloyd out of the party almost amounts to a Self-Imposed Challenge.
While Tales of Xillia 2 tends to restrict the party in gameplay missions, when the choice is available most favour a party of Ludger (who's always mandatory), Elize, Gaius and Milla. It's a good balance of the main character, a Combat Medic, a Magic Knight, and having the previous game's Final Boss on your team, which is way too cool to resist. It also helps that Gaius deals an insane amount of damage, too.
In Tales of Destiny 2, there's less characters than in the previous Tales games, but as soon as Harold is available the party usually ends up consisting of Kyle, Reala, Harold, and either Loni for his secondary healing abilities or Judas because he's a cool Glass Cannon (and one of the series' Ensemble Darkhorses). Though a liked character, Nanaly is almost never used, simply because her damage output is kind of low and she specializes in fire magic whereas the other two wizards have four elements to pick from.
In Tales of Innocence, most players pretty much never remove Ange from the party, this carries over to R.
While you will occasionally see a few people without them (due to the cameo feature in the DS version), Hisui pretty much was always in the party in Tales of Hearts. In R, he is still kept in the party by most players, except pretty much every video you will see features the player as Chalcedony instead of Shing.
Of course, Shin Megami Tensei games tend to be crazy hard to begin with, and the bonus bosses are even worse. Beating them with anything but the preferred method can result in an effective Self-Imposed Challenge.
Few are the players who tackle the Bonus Boss of Persona 4, or most of the endgame for that matter, without the combo of Yoshitsune + Power Charge + Hassou Tobi. The only variation comes in how many buffs you use beforehand.
Looking at most of the videos on YouTube for Persona 4, you might be surprised to find that Kanji and Naoto are in fact playable characters since pretty much every video features a party of the player character (who is locked), accompanied by Yosuke, Yukiko, and Chie. Occasionally, one of them may be substituted for Teddie, but otherwise, it's pretty much those four.
The party in Pesona 3 is quite diverse, but a lot of people pretty much never let Akihiko, Aigis, or Mitsuru out of the party once they join.
In Lost Odyssey, you will be hard pressed to find someone without all four immortals in their main party, since they can learn any and all abilities in the game (in fact they have to if you want their specific achievements). So you have two physical attackers who both have every physical attack in the game and two magic users who both have every spell in the game. This may be necessary for most people, since it is hard to play a game when you can't see through all your tears.
The Paper Mario games let you level up in either heart points (health), flower points (mana/magic), or badge points (equipped skills and bonuses), but nearly everyone prefers to beef up their BP over the rest. To clarify, there is an NPC who can raise one of your three stats but will lower another stat in exchange. Some people chose to lower Mario's HP down to 5 and the game considers Mario to be in the Danger status since he is at 5 HP. Several badges powers up Mario's attack and defense when he is in such a state or if he is in the Peril status, where his HP is at 1. Since badges stack, it's possible to have a crippled Mario be a walking powerhouse where he can do over 10 to 20 damage per hit (most enemies have HP below 10 and only a few near the game's end will go above it and bosses will always have over 10 HP) and take very little due to the said badges. This is known as the Danger Mario strategy. This is only made worse by the existence of badges that increase your HP or FP by the amount you'd get from a level up, which cost the exact amount of BP you'd get from a level up.
There's also several partners each game with various useful abilities and attacks. However, it's likely you'll only even have out each game's Goomba partner the vast majority of the time due to each having multihit attacks that work on most enemies and both having the tattle ability, which provides useful, interesting, and sometimes funny information about every enemy, NPC, and area in the games. It's because of this that you'll likely only use the other partners when a particular enemy or obstacle specifically requires them.
You can teach any character any spell. So even though you have 14 different characters, each with differing stat growths and unique special abilities, you'll almost always see people who assume that the only real way to play the game is to teach everyone Ultima and win the game with nothing but that.
Master Scroll / Offering plus Genji Gloves. The first lets a character attack four times with his weapon, the second lets them wield two weapons. Adding it to Setzer's Loaded Dice (which ignore enemy defense and deal damage in the thousands) it kills any enemy barring some bosses in one hit.
Compared to Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy II had greater issue: You could easily grind a specific weapon (or barehanded) before the first boss! Due to how easy it was to increase skills, you could pretty much have characters strong enough to one-shoot early bosses with their bare hands.
This shows up in Final Fantasy XII. Because it's so damn easy to teach every character every spell and skill in the game thanks to the License Grid, many players have a party with identical skill-sets and equipment.
Final Fantasy XIII had the Bonus Boss Vercingetorix vulnerable to poison. Due to his sky high stats, the target time for him was 20min for an endgame party. Cue everyone facing him with Vanille/Fang/Snow, poisoning him and spamming Mediguard until it needs repoisoning or it dies.
In Vagrant Story, it is vital to have more than one weapon type. (For example: an edged smallsword with Light affinity against Evil enemies, a blunt two-handed mace with three gem slots against Beasts, a piercing crossbow to get down the Goddamn Bats...) It's entirely left up to the player which ones to use, but you'll be spending at least a third of the game honing your weapons. You're also pretty much forced to use status effects and buff spells. In short, Vagrant Story does everything it can to prevent this trope.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 suffers from this with regards to the monster allies. For Commandos, most people pick up a Dragoon in Augusta Tower 200AF, then swap over to Tonberry, Chichu, or Twilight Odin once Noel and Serah start surpassing the Dragoon. According to Word of God, the most commonly used monster ally is the Boring but Practical medic Flanitor.
In the games lots of people keep their starter throughout the game, even though there is the option to not use it. This because many of the starters have a solid movepool and set of stats. The idea is to assemble a strong team and most players have no reason to ditch what is probably their strongest to begin with.
The competitive tiers, as well. As of X and Y, the Standard or "OU" (OverUsed) tier has just around 50 Pokémon in it, out of a total of 718. And up to the top 5 Pokémon in a tier are on more than 20% of teams, which means you'll be seeing the same Pokémon a lot. Pokemon is probably the only game on this page that regularly has tournaments only for mid-tier or low-tier Pokemon. Generally, underused (one step below OU) also has the same few Pokemon being used over and over, though.
Most Pokémon players stick exclusively to single battling, or 1vs1. This is not because of any sense of superiority, but that the thought about other battling types never occurs. They need to be reminded of double battling (2vs2) to even recall its existence. Even with triple battling (3vs3) and rotation battling (3vs3, but with only 1 attacker or target at a time) showing up. This is most definitely due to single battling being the only mode until Pokemon Ruby And Sapphire, when double battling showed up and was treated as a Scrappy Mechanic. In addition, every main series Pokémon game deals in single battling almost all the time, so it's natural for people to think about that mode and no others. The focus on single battling is so strong that despite official tournaments all being in double battles, the aforementioned competitive players are unique among video games in that most do not attend them as they are outside of their comfort zones. Smogon only recently started delving into doubles, long after it had become the official format. Japan is the exception to Complacent Gaming, whose players welcome all battling modes and are equally proficient in them.
The move Surf is so powerful and consistent across the series, that many players with a water type will use it constantly. The one exception was in the Pokémon Black and White metagame, where the more powerful Hydro Pump and the burn-inducing Scald were preferred because of the wide availability of rain, a weather that consistently boosts Water-type attacks.
The move Stealth Rock was considered required on every serious competitive team in Generations 4 and 5. Stealth Rock is an entry hazard that deals damage based on type-effectiveness upon the opponent switching in. Rock-weak Pokémon take more damage, making them far more difficult to use — indeed, Pokémon such as Charizardnote whose HP gets cut in half when Stealth Rock is on the field became Tier Induced Scrappies because of this move alone. What made this move so omnipresent is that it takes only one turn to set up (unlike Spikes and Toxic Spikes, which stack), ensures KO's that would otherwise be risky, and the only move that removed entry hazards (Rapid Spin, an otherwise weak attack) could be blocked simply by having a Ghost-type on a team. It's telling that even in Generation 6, where the move Defog was buffed into an unblockable Rapid Spinnote on both sides of the field, making it a double-edged sword of sorts, Stealth Rock remains popular for its ease of set-up while Spikes and Toxic Spikes are beginning to fall by the wayside.
Going through Super-Secret Bases in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire for experience grinding? Expect to see (Mega) Latias/Latios and shiny (Mega) Metagross a lot. There's nothing wrong with that- they're both powerful Pokémon that are easily obtainable- but it gets rather tiring to see them constantly. Expect to see plenty of Sceptile, Swampert (Blaziken is far less common, oddly), and the main legendaries as well.
Many builds for Fallout: New Vegas are basically copies of builds that worked in Fallout 3. This fits the trope because changes to NV actually neutralized several basic aspects behind making an effective build in FO3.
Many people drop Charisma to 1 because in FO3 it was useless. In FNV, it adds a massive boost to combat effectiveness of followers, which makes it the most important stat to increasing the sheer quantity of damage you can do (assuming you have at least one follower).
In FO3 you could max out every skill with mediocre Intelligence because of the sheer quantity of skill books. Even with max Intelligence, this is not possible in FNV, at least without enough of the DLC to raise the level cap high enough.
Agility is still a highly prized stat, despite the fact VATS went from being invincibility mode that you could almost permanently be in with the right perks to slightly less powerful than real time playing.
Perception is now regarded as the most useless stat, and many people will drop it to 1 unless they want Better Criticals, in which case they leave it at 5 and get the implant. Charisma is still generally regarded as useless because most people use Boone, even though Boone cannot be used for a very large chunk of the game because he attacks one faction on sight and is outright banned from being used in numerous areas, and many quests are easier with or require you use a different companion.
Those who do use Boone also tend to partner him up with ED-E - who, incidentally, may also be the reason people regard Perception as useless, since he's the first companion made available to the player and his Enhanced Sensors companion perk gives you the benefit of a full 10 Perception either way.
Melee and Unarmed are now very overpowered, so don't be surprised if practically everyone you talk to about the game is running around with Oh Baby! or a Ballistic Fist and complaining about how they can 2-shot Lanius. They're quite well balanced for the higher difficulties, though - they're cheap, easy and reliable, but you're never going to be a badder mofo in close combat than an alpha deathclaw, much less Lanius or the Legendary Deathclaw.
Kingdom HeartsRe: Chain of Memories gave access early on to the sleight "Sonic Blade." With enough Hi-Potions (and insane levels of AP), players could set themselves up to be near-invincible. 90% of all bosses could be beaten within 5 minutes just by spamming the △ button, and making sure to use a Hi-Potion once you ran out. It was a bit of a Game Breaker. Sure, it was rather dull to watch, but it got things done quickly and effectively. Why try out other methods when you could kill everything in a matter of seconds?
Pick any game based on the Dungeons and Dragons. At some point, the developer had to make compromises to make the game playable and often adds extra features to make the game more unique. Most builds are going to be based off what is effective in the pen and paper game and most unique features are going to be ignored.
The first Disgaea game, due to the theory behind it being thoroughly mapped by the nerdy playerbase. Any player who is grinding to take on the Bonus Boss knows that there is one true strategy: make a Divine Majin and Level Grind the "Beauty of Evil" stage for literally hours on end, simply because there is no quicker way to gain levels.
In Super Mario RPG, most people end up choosing Mario (who can't be dropped), Peach (who can heal everyone), and either Geno or Bowser. Either way, Mallow gets left out and rarely used.
It's fairly easy to surround your entrance with a ridiculous number of traps and reduce invading enemies to Ludicrous Gibs before they ever get near the front doors, and it's rare to find a player who'll start a fortress anywhere that doesn't have magma. On the other hand, these are just basic tactics, and beyond that, it's expected that any player will try random things that mightwill get their fortress killed For Science!!
Indeed, players who aren't doing something that could get their entire fortress killed are considered to be doing it wrong. Exceptions may be made for sufficiently epic 'Megaprojects', however even most of these have a good chance of killing everyone if they go bad. For example, if you want the eyes of your colossus to be magma behind obsidian, then you're going to have to pump magma up some dozens of stories in order to get it there.
In SimCity 4 Deluxe, expect most cities to be crammed packed full of skyscrapers due to only Dense zone use, as well as to never see one railroad or elevated rail system as opposed to avenues, roads, subway and bus stations. That is of course, if somebody's trying to rebuild a real-world city. Oh yeah, almost nobody plays the game without a Game Mod.
In SimCity 2013, expect to find most online public games to be set in the region of Titan Gorge.
Oddly enough, the language barrier is not a major issue for Americans (and others that don't know Japanese) playing the Galaxy Angel games. This is because the first option in a given dialogue almost always raises at least one of the girl's affection level, which makes them better in combat. The only times you don't choose option 1 is when you know ahead of time it will actually decrease the affection level of the girl you're after. Some of the levels, on the other hand, can be headache-inducing, moreso if you've been mean to the girls (which makes them worse in combat).
Ace Combat has this problem with its PVP online play.
Ace Combat Infinity, with its differing damage types, instead sees most of the focus on attackers and high-tier multiroles, due to the fact that most maps have far more ground targets than air ones. In particular, after the Su-47 and F-15 S/MTD were added, people realized how ridiculously overpowered the Unguided Bomb and Long-Range Air-to-Ground Missile could get and everyone started flying them. Fighters are now limited to the F-22 and T-50 (the highest-tier of them available, which can still do respectable damage to weaker ground targets) outside of air-to-air-focused special missions.
In Game Dev Tycoon, some players have already developed strategies that will ensure quick success and migration to the second building as early as the 2nd year. Most of them involve gaming the system by constantly restarting the game until a set of at four topics that are excellent for the PC and G64 is obtained (usually containing Fantasy+Space or Fantasy+Medieval) as to reduce unnecessary research, then researching for game engine at earliest possible convenience, the first two parts of the game engine, and building the first custom engine, then using it to build a good game. Done right, said game will have at least one perfect 10 score and you'll be prompted to move to a new building within minutes.
In FreeSpace 2, Vasudan fighters armed with the Mekhu HL-7 and Rockeye missiles are the most popular loadouts by far in multiplayer. The multiplayer version of the Mekhu HL-7 has excellent DPS and phenomenal energy efficiency, making it the best weapon in multiplayer, and the Rockeye doesn't set off enemies' lock indicators, making it the only missile with half a chance of hitting an experienced player. In the single player game, the Mekhu HL-7 is So Okay, It's Average and the Rockeye is a poor weapon that is outclassed early in the game by the Interceptor and later the Trebuchet (both of which are useless in multiplayer).
The first Resident Evil game gave you a choice of Jill who could pick locks and carry 8 items, or Chris who could carry 6 items and had to carry tons of small keys. Even though it's well-worth playing as Chris since the story and gameplay are very much different, most people only play as him as a Self-Imposed Challenge.
Jill also has access to the Grenade Launcher, which is a great weapon to use against boss monsters. Chris gets the Flamethrower, which has limited range, weak power, and can't be taken outside of the underground area due to certain doors need it to be unlocked. While Chris has more health than Jill, Jill has better items and inventory space.
This carried over into the sequel, where most players are much more comfortable with Claire, even though Leon has weapons that are much more powerful than what Claire finds, and her obligatory lockpick only gets two uses in the entire game.
There's K-Styling, essentially a glitch exploit that involves using swords and jumping around the maps at obscene speeds. Players attempting to legitimately use guns are sometimes chastised as "sprayers" and kicked from games.
It's even worse when you know the basic mechanics behind the ranged weapons as the assault rifle (the weapon most used by "sprayers") is the most accurate weapon in the game and is one of two weapons (the other being the semi-auto pistols) that can hit from a very long range. Anyone who is good at the game BECAUSE they reject k-Style and focus on the shooting part of the game are usually accused of being a cheater because they take advantage of the fact that they don't have to be up close to score a kill, nor do they have to use 4-12 key combos to attack.
It has the shotgun type of weapons. Everyone uses these along with a sword and do fancy-schmancy things like "K-Styling" (short for Korean style). Because of a bug the shotguns will actually pump a new bullet into the chamber while they are actually not in your hands (they are not automatic), which is the reason everyone carries TWO shotguns for the sake of switching between the two to rapid-fire. Everyone using any other weapon (except the ones where you have to actually aim, which is impossible in this game since there is absolutely no lag compensation, all bullets will hit when THEIR PC receives the packets, not earlier) is regarded as a noob, sprayer, etc. People are very elitist about this, and you always have to bow before someone before fighting them (feigning stuff like "honorable battles").
You can select Assault mode (normally only used for space battles) on the Mos Eisley map, which allows you to play as any of the game's hero characters. Expect to only see Aayla Secura for the Heroes' side and Darth Maul on the Villains' side, who are two of the only hero characters who use two lightsabers. And don't even dream about seeing a hero character who doesn't use a lightsaber.
It gets worse: it's nearly impossible to find a server above 25% its maximum player count that isn't running on this map and game mode. The Xbox version of the game doesn't help, considering its Downloadable Content almost solely consisted of adding the mode to even more maps.
Did you know that it has a Capture the Flag mode? Probably not, because it almost never appears on most servers and the few ones that feature it usually have a rule of "no CTF", meaning that players don't capture flags and just kill each other the whole match until the time limit runs out or the server admin feels like changing the map. They do this because CTF has two advantages: no total kill limit and you cannot capture command posts (which are used as spawn points, and are not very fun to have captured by the other team.) Some other servers don't use CTF but instead have a "no CP" (CP = command posts) rule for the normal game mode.
In the first game, most players would tend to use the shotgun exclusively. When it was nerfed for the second game, a lot of these people got mad and refused to play the game, saying it sucked and took less skill than its predecessor just because they didn't know how to use any other weapon. Hell, in the first game, the shotgun had a chance to instantly kill within a certain close range, which led some battles between shotgunners just ending with the other one being luckier with their shot.
The Gnasher Shotgun's fanbase is so complacent the weapon's overuse and usually mutual dueling in the first game is regularly looked upon by them fondly with the use of nearly every other weapon in the entire series by the series' players considered a mark of No True Scotsman.
The whole multiplayer game is basically unplayable for newcomers thanks to this. If you learn to use any weapon other than the shotgun and start playing online, you have a problem. Most servers are strict about this: if you get a kill with the Lancer, they'll loudly consider kicking you. If you use the chainsaw bayonet, they kick you immediately (lightened on some servers - chainsawing "only" results in a sniper-headshot from an ally). Lancer is bad, but the semi-automatic pistol is apparently completely fine. Sometimes even active reloading will result in a kick with the reason "active is for suckers". If you have 10 servers, generally seven of them will support only shotgun, two will be sniper vs. sniper only, and only the last one will allow you Lancer.
Gears Of War 2 later replaced the shotgun only complacency with another one that's even worse: attachable grenades and one-hit kill weapons. Many matches ended with people getting blown up way more often than gunned down, which got really annoying in some maps that had a never-ending supply of explosive weapons. Mortar, Boomshot, Torque Bow, Hammer Of Dawn, two spawn points for Frag Grenades, etc. Hell, one map had ALL of them, and those matches were ultimately determined by who grabbed Boomshot first. At one point, even the original Gears of War looked better balanced with the sequel's overpowered guns.
Thankfully, both of these issues are averted in Gears Of War 3. All of the weapons are well balanced enough to make using one of them exclusively a bad idea, which encourages variety. The Sawed-Off Shotgun is as powerful as the first game's shotgun, but has enough restrictions (i.e., one shot clip, long reload, only works in very close range) to prevent abuse. Special explosive weapons are spawned fewer times, the attachable grenades come with a slight delay to avoid cheap kills, and the additional Team Deathmatch mode (with its lives based respawn) doesn't make these deaths as aggravating like it would in Warzone or Execution. Epic really went out of their way to prevent this trope from happening again, and it shows.
Of course, that still doesn't mean they actually prevented it. Many people still use the Gnasher exclusively. Those who don't use both the Gnasher and Retro Lancer. Epic has gone on record saying that they realize the Gnasher is still overpowered, and they want to nerf it, but the backlash they would receive for doing so would be enormous, so they're not touching it with a ten-foot pole.
In multiplayer, pretty much every Gold difficulty match is Geth/Firebase White. For a well-coordinated team, White is easy to bunker down in and resist assault. Geth are often seen as the easiest enemy to fight, lacking any form of instakill attacks (not even grenades) and only having one 'tank' enemy, the Geth Prime, which is usually easier to deal with than the Cerberus combination of Nemeses, Atlases, and Phantoms. Reapers are barely chosen, mostly because of the Banshees.
Although with the map changes to White after the Rebellion DLC, Geth/White has been mostly abandoned as a farming strategy.
The game takes several steps to avert this. For one fighting in an unknown location or against an unknown enemy nets you more XP. For another each region of space has a score that goes down over time, to get the score back up (and thus get a better ending in single player) you have to do well maps belonging to that region: playing Firebase White for the hundredth time might secure Earth but what about the Terminus Systems (you still get a slight increase to the overall score, but it takes a long time)? Third, as you level up all the characters in that class level with you, so you can take a Weak, but Skilled Engineer and think, "Would I have been better giving it multiple Overloads than a flamethrower?" And lastly, the game has Artificial Brilliance that learns the more you play, a bunkered Adept spamming Shockwave will be rushed, enemies will pick up on how to deal with a Vanguard's Biotic Charge and so on. Changing to a soldier and spamming Concussive Shot will throw it off its game.
Bioware is actually pretty active to prevent this trope, patching the game on a weekly basis to nerf the overpowered weapons and buff underpowered ones, promoting variety. Of course the nerfing of fan favorite guns is often a cause for obligatory flame wars in the Bioware forums.
There are also events every two or so weeks that sometimes encourage playing in a specific style to achieve a global goal. For example, one such event involved killing a certain number of Banshees. And if the players fail to achieve a goal, Bioware might even impose a penalty for the next event (case in point: when the Banshee event failed, the next event featured additional Banshee spawns, even when playing against other factions).
In-universe example with geth sniper Legion, whose N7: Code Of Honor: Medal Of Duty record lists 200,000 kills with a sniper rifle...and three with a shotgun.
The Plasma Cutter is the first weapon you receive in both games, and it's all you'll ever need. There's even the "One Gun" achievement for playing through the whole first game using only it (you can still buy, equip, and upgrade other guns, just not fire them).
Other weapons are still useful, and some more so than the Plasma Cutter in certain situations. However, the Plasma Cutter really is a perfectly fine weapon throughout most of the game, and using only one gun allows you to focus your upgrades into that one gun, as well as your health and stasis unit. Even without the achievement, it's a pretty legitimate strategy to just focus on using the Plasma Cutter, and maybe carry a Force Gun to knock away groups of enemies that get too close.
Also all ammo drops from fallen enemies are for guns you are carrying. If you carry four guns, the ammo will be for one of the 4 guns, and you will eventually run out of ammo for your preferred guns. If you only carry your preferred guns, 100% of the ammo will be for those. If you stick with just the Plasma Cutter, you will get so much Plasma Cutter ammo, you can sell it off for a profit.
It was mentioned that some of the changes made in Dead Space 3 (weapon crafting, the changes to the upgrade mechanics, Universal Ammunition) were in order to break up this pattern. However, as it is a starting weapon, still reliable, and something of the iconic weapon of the series, most players still carry the Cutter with them.
Red Faction Guerrilla has this to some extent. Quite a few games are exclusively enforcer (a slightly nerfed assault rifle with homing bullets or rocket-whoring contests (making certain maps with unequal power-weapon distribution hideously broken), often revolving on how many people on your team have jetpacks, heal packs or firepower packs. However, it averts this trope more often than not by only giving players a choice of two maps at a time and providing lots of clever counters to everything.
Splinter Cell Conviction has a big case of this. There are over 20 weapons in the game, but only one pistol that can be upgraded to mark four targets (the Five-seveN) and only one rifle that can be upgraded with both a silencer and a scope (the MP5-SD3). There's no reason to use anything else once you've unlocked these two weapons.
Kid Icarus: Uprising is much better than most of these examples, but you'll run into a disconcertingly LARGE number of online players using staves (read: snipers) with high end Ranged-Stars and energy charge. In fact, the most common strategies even outside that seem to be devoted to One Hit Kills, which makes sense in Free-For-All, but not as much in the team based Light Versus Dark mode where the abundancy of such strategies makes every team a Glass Cannon, since One Hit Kill weapons have very high values, which makes the Team Life Bar deplete faster, which necessitates Stone Wall and Gradual Grinder strategies to balance the teams out.
Warframe suffers from this hard in the endgame, with there being only a handful of weapons that are considered acceptable and about half the roster of characters never seeing play.
The randomised Tech Tree was implemented for the purpose of preventing this. You may have a winning design and loadout in mind, but if the Random Number God doesn't like you, you'll just have to throw your best-laid plans out and work with what's available.
There is a tiny chance of you getting a "missing" technology from a wreck of an enemy ship, provided you are the winner and you have scavenger ships in your fleet. Even then, you have to run a special project to even determine what you'll get from the wreckage.
The series has people that will focus on items and job classes that give a big boost in speed because higher speed usually means your turn comes up sooner than the enemy's.
The attacks of monks scale quadratically with a single stat, quickly overshadowing all other melee attackers by stacking that one stat, so there's little point in using fighters that aren't dual-striking monks. As far as mage skills go, the Calculators' command lets them situationally hit almost or literally everyone on the map with any spell, so you can just instakill the entire enemy team without caring for your own characters' safety.
Multiplayer games tend to ignore all other modes of winning other than conquering everyone else because the others take too long and aren't as exciting. Expect people to be picky about who gets the combat-buffed leaders.
All the other winning conditions require techs near the end of the tech tree, except for Utopia, which requires a lot of social policies that you are unlikely to acquire anytime sooner.
Super Robot Wars: There's a reason the series has its own Game Breaker page. Since the units that are overpowered tend to be a huge chunk of the playable cast, tier lists are determined simply by what units can finish the map the fastest.
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness has the Majin class, wich outranks everyone at everything, coupled with the Yoshitsuna sword that has the highest stats among all weapons and for some odd reason, the normal attack works like a gun (4 range).
Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories has the Magic Knight class, wich was the worst class of the previous game. In that game, magic is better to absolutely all other types of attacks, the Magic Knight has the highest INT rate in the game and her evility increases the elemental damage of her spells.
From Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice onward, players usually ditch the creatable classes for the numerous unique characters (gained from the main game, bonus stages, or DLC) for their superior stats, abilities, and skills. This is especially noticeable with Disgaea 4's Netherbattle Tournament, a mode that allowed players to upload their characters for other players to use, where Tyrant Valvatorez made up the majority of the list.
In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the best second-tier perk for Snipers is Squad Sightnote which allows the sniper to shoot at any enemy the squad can see, as long as there's an unrestricted line-of-sight between the sniper and the enemy. The other skill, Snap Shotnote Take a shot after moving, normally not allowed, but take a -20% aim penalty, is comparatively worthless. In Enemy Within, though, Squad Sight was nerfed and Snap Shot buffednote Squad Sight now has a penalty, and the Snap Shot penalty is only 10%, making both of them much more comparable and situationally more useful. However, most players of the original game still choose Squad Sight religiously.
In the games, the player can complete a regular race in three methods: take down all pedestrians, cross all checkpoints in order for some laps, or waste all opponents. Very rarely will players want to race or kill pedestrians, as fun as it is. This is also true regardless of the current vehicle's weak strength.
Killing all pedestrians is pretty much purely for Self-Imposed Challenge value, and almost completely impossible without both the Pedestrians Shown On Map powerup and Stella Stunna's Electric Blue car (with built in permanent unlimited electro bastard ray). That said, it's also the most rewarding way to win in terms of mission completion credits.
It is game where you can literally do anything you want in the world and build anything you want. However, most players, when they start to build a home, they tend to make a basic square house with one or two floors since it's simple and suits the basic needs such as having a place to sleep, store items, smelt stuff, and craft new items. Other players will make more elaborate homes with more complex mechanisms, such as using pistons to make hidden doors or using certain blocks and items to make a makeshift chair, though these methods are more for show than for practicality. And others will just hollow out the hill closest to spawn and put in a door.
Many multiplayer servers offer different types of play, but the majority of the servers are usually either clan wars, survival with griefing allowed, or servers in creative mode where players build large structures or pixel art.
The Mindcrack Server guys demonstrate this Trope very clearly with their Ultimate Hardcore PVP series. In the beginning, the competitors ALWAYS went looking for a full set of Iron Armour and a bow and arrows before going hunting for prey; if they could find any diamonds it was a great bonus but too rare to be counted upon. As the series evolved and became more refined, certain (ever more convoluted) tactics became a necessity; for example, prior to Ethos Lab 's pioneering of getting one during a Free-For-All match, an Enchanting Table was an expensive and tricky luxury even in the team games. Nowadays, it's virtually mandatory if you want to make it to the top 5, let alone win the series. In the same vein, virtually no one risks 'hunting' for other Players in the first 3 or 4 episodes despite the advantage of surprise, and going to the Nether is usually seen as far, far too risky despite the rewards it offers.
Similarly, the Player with the biggest pack of friendly Wolves (and isn't accidentally killed by them first) usually wins; players have been known to spend whole episodes and wasting numerous hearts worth of health trying to harvest enough bones to recruit them, sometimes when they'd be better off conserving their limited resources and investing the energy into more practical advantages.
As in Minecraft, you can let your imagination run wild and build all manner of wonderful things, like imposing castles and sprawling villages, and equip them with a wide variety of furnishings and decorations with elaborate mechanisms hidden within. Also as in Minecraft, most players will promptly discard their imaginations upon starting a new world and build plain wooden box houses with the bare minimum amount of plain wooden furniture, with all rooms identical and arranged in an obvious grid pattern, and one room crammed tightly with crafting stations and chests.
And despite being the main draw of the game, and what almost everything is balanced around, the combat still suffers from this. Players will reliably base their arsenal around the Life Drain introduced in 1.2, either as melee with Vampire Knives or magic with Spectre Armor. Other equipment is largely ignored except for situational use, and ranged and summon builds are all but non-present (and when they do show up, expect the Vampire Knives to be sitting on the hotbar anyway).
Scribblenauts and its sequels. The whole premise of the game is a seemingly endless scope of things you can do and make and set up in the game, but this unfortunately makes Complacent Gaming Syndrome nigh inevitable.
If a level involves some type of platforming, usually "WINGS" or "JETPACK" will be the first thing the player makes. Even if a player comes up with a unique mode of transportation, they'll often resort to using it over and over throughout the entire game, rather than coming up with new things for every stage.
Even though many different strange mythological creatures are in the game such as the Shoggoth or even Cthulu himself, most players will probably just make regular animals when in need of something, or to just straight up put in the word "MONSTER".
Synonyms also make this trope very easy to fall into. Perhaps you already used the word "GUN" and the game tells you to use something else. Why come up with something new and strange and interesting when you can type in the word "PISTOL" and save yourself the trouble?
One of the biggest problems is that sometimes the most outlandish and interesting things you can make are just outclassed by simpler solutions. Constructing a gigantic winged flaming bazooka may be awesome, but it usually won't get the job done any more than a simple "GUN". This is especially true in Challenge Levels, where the need to conserve your adjectives for possible use later is apparent.
Flash game Happy Wheels has many available characters, from a fat woman in a shopping cart to a crazy old guy in a rocket wheelchair to Santa Claus. If you browse the level creator, though, a large number of them have any character other than the Segway man or the dad on the bike turned off.