Main Jackofall Stats Discussion

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03:50:37 PM Aug 13th 2015
Shouldn't non-video game examples go to jack of all trades
01:19:32 PM Mar 31st 2015
We could use some more examples for shoot 'em up and I'm sure there are examples missing in RPG (Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Zero comes to mind due to humans being the middle point, having access to all classes but lacking the auto healing and magic power (PP?) recovery)
11:13:10 PM Aug 29th 2011
This needs to be called "The Mario" again.
06:10:45 PM Sep 9th 2011
I disagree. While I am a great fan of Mario, this new title is just as clever and interesting. It also does a better job at capturing the essence of the trope than the old name.
01:19:49 AM Sep 10th 2011
I would have to agree with Twenty Dragon; trope names are meant to be universal and intuitive, not simply based upon an iconic character. Besides, "the Mario" is still one of the alternate names.
11:00:07 AM Oct 4th 2011
edited by DelShiftB
"The Mario", as described, doesn't imply a character that's more powerful then the rest of the team, such as when you look at games like Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. It also doesn't imply a non-average character, like Mario in Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, where he has better range but worse control (Yoshi would fit this better). If a character subverts his own trope like that, then it's not a good trope name.

If you want it renamed to something else, why not call it "The Human"? Games like D&D and others based off of it generally referred to the average character as human, giving them no special bonuses or penalties beyond being average.
07:59:03 PM Oct 7th 2011
We already have a trope for humans being the Jack of all stats. It's called Humans Are Average.
11:38:38 PM Oct 15th 2011
Jack of All Stats doesn't roll off the tongue very well. It's so bad. Who even suggested it?

The Mario was a good name. Mario is well known, and in many games he IS the most balanced, average character. Luigi is taller and jumps higher, as well as getting to throw lightning balls and use the negative zone, the Princess can float, Bowser's the powerhouse of the series. What does Mario have? He gets to be the main character, which means his stats are normally absolutely average and his ability is purely reliant on the story. In Paper Mario, all of his abilities come from items he finds, characters he befriends, or badges he equips - he truly is The Mario.
07:34:30 AM Nov 1st 2011
Not to mention that if one doesn't understand the way the trope is being used here on TV Tropes, they can read the page. We constantly give up some of our best trope names under the theory that "some people may not have heard of this character!" when what we should be doing is encouraging people to learn about them. It's obvious what kind of character we're talking about in the first paragraph, so why does the name matter so much? Everyone knows what we mean when they finish reading the page.

Even if we don't go back to The Mario, this trope name is absolutely no better. "Jack of all Stats" has just as much potential to be confusing to anyone who doesn't know, for example, the phrase "Jack of all Trades." How many people can you name who use "Jack" as anything but a proper name and a part you use to change a car tire? Just taking the character name out of the trope does not necessarily create a less confusing or more indicative name.
02:51:55 AM Nov 2nd 2011
Jack, Joe, whatever you want to call it. It's meant to evoke a sense of an average person. The name matters because it is supposed to indicate the essence of the trope. What is Mario most well known for? I'd say being a good jumper(his original was Jumpman after all). Generally, you want a trope to feel applicable to all kinds of works. It would feel odd calling Sonic a "mario". Plus it's somewhat contradictory; if people don't know the trope, they can look it up yet changing the name would make it worse?
11:39:34 AM Nov 2nd 2011
edited by Trismegustis
Not worse, just not better. What I'm driving at is that the new name is more generic, but doesn't really do anything to make it clearer. If there was a name that was clear, intuitive, and catchy, I'd be all for a rename, but I oppose renaming this page when, really, the Mario fit about as well.

And yeah, Jack or Joe or Jim or Bill or Whoever all elicit the sense of an average person. To a native English speaker. Because it's derived from a term used in 1592 to insult Shakespeare, Johannes Factotum. But that's highly idiomatic. I'm not saying a trope name should only be changed if there's a perfect, widely-comprehended better name for it, I'm just sayin' that this change doesn't really seem to meet our standards.
12:27:39 PM Nov 2nd 2011
It's a snoclone from Jack-of-All-Trades, people. More fitting when you consider that, since the existing phrase has the existing connotation of "Master of None," which is exactly what this trope is about: A character whose skills let him do everything passably, but not exceptionally.
11:26:59 PM Nov 2nd 2011
That's funny, I thought we didn't like snowclones anymore.
01:52:49 PM Nov 3rd 2011
If it fits, it fits.
08:50:22 PM Jan 8th 2012
So this finally got renamed? Finally! I've been away for awhile, and I guess it was just a matter of time.
08:31:41 PM Aug 4th 2011
Took this out of the main page because of Repair, Don't Respond; if it's a debatable example, we can discuss it here:

  • Eberron - The Artificer class. They have a specialty (enchanting magic items), but this specialty along with a relatively decent BAB and HP progression let's them fill pretty much whatever role in the party they want to. The class can be a Game Breaker, due to the fact that they can quickly and cheaply create magic items that provide any magical effect.
    • The Artificer is most certainly NOT a Mario. Between the fact that spellcasting allows levels of action not shared by any other class type (including, but not limited to: creating your own demiplane, stopping time, and dropping a glacier on your opponent), that the Artificer is considered two caster levels higher for the purpose of what magic items he can create (a permanent advantage as opposed to the majority of caster level-raising methods that exhaust themselves before a magic item can be completed, and thus cannot be used for that purpose), the ability to create items without spending much in terms of actual time to do so (just drop a crafting homunculus in a Portable Hole and go to town) and having access to every spell list (plus the ability to take 10 in Use Magical Device tests) the artificer is very well and truly amid one of the five Game Breakers of the game - right up there with the Wizard, the Cleric, the Druid and the Psion. He can even craft magic items without expending real XP (which means he keeps up in levels just as well as a character that isn't creating any items) and fire away spells from wands/staves for free with the right combination of feats, spells and infusions.
07:06:21 PM Feb 17th 2011
edited by Camacan
This is part of the problematic general comments in the example sections. I found that the gist of it was covered in the main section — obscured a bit by the distracting stuff relating to the trope namer rather than the trope. It looked redundant when I tried to add a line or a line like it to the main text.

  • The protagonist of many, many RPGs is The Mario, at least stat-wise, and sometimes ability-wise as well.
06:57:22 PM Feb 17th 2011
This bit of fan-speak seems to refer to Game Breaker characters rather than a Jack Of All Stats.

  • A Gish or CoD-zilla (arcane or divine spellcasters optimised for melee combat), on the other hand, can hold their own in close combat without sacrificing much in the way of offensive spellcasting.

06:56:31 PM Feb 17th 2011
As written, this does not seem like a strong example if the diplomacy special skill is as powerful as it is currently made out to be.

  • The Master of Orion Sci-Fi empire-building game series has a plethora of aliens with varying strengths and drawbacks. Psilons are brilliant scientists, Bulrathi are hardy ground troops, Klackons are hive-minded insectoids, and Humans? Well, Humans are average at everything except diplomacy. Oh, and we're the only race that embraced democracy for some reason.
    • Not entirely true in MoO1, at least. They are very good diplomacy, to the point where they became a huge problem on higher difficulty levels by allying the rest of the galaxy against you, but they also had the second-best research bonuses in the game after the Psilons. All There in the Manual.
06:53:58 PM Feb 17th 2011
This doesn't seem like a strong example by definition and design. The classes in TF 2 are deliberately specialized. The mechanics of each class vary so much that it would be hard to say what a Jack Of All Stats class would be if there was one.

  • In Team Fortress 2, most characters are part of a Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors system. The exceptions are The Medic, who usually relies on his patient for protection, and the Soldier, who simply isn't included in either of the counter cycles. He's got more health than the Pyro, but less than the Heavy. He's faster than the Heavy, but slower than the Pyro. He's got a missile like the Sentry Turret, and can aim it, but it's not quite as powerful. He's also got a shotgun for backup, like half of the other classes. He can Rocket Jump like the Demoman, and do it faster, but not to quite the same level of precision. He makes a great Medic-buddy, second only to the Heavy. In short, he's good at a lot of things, but he doesn't specialize.
    • The Soldier's rocket jump is more precise than the Demoman, mainly because the Demoman is blasted through the air at speeds too high to aim his landing, whereas the Soldier's flight is slower and easier to handle.
    • The Soldier's speed is what keeps him from being the Mario, though, seeing as he's the second slowest class in the game and by no means anywhere near "average". Valve has taken great lengths precisely to ENSURE that no class is a Mario, averting this trope.
      • Right now The Pyro is probably closest in terms of flexibility, thanks to the damage buff on the flare gun and the flamethrower being turned into a Swiss Army Weapon. The downside is that the weapons are a lot harder to master than the equivalent weapons for the other classes, meaning that many players still rely on the flamethrower far more than they should.

06:49:11 PM Feb 17th 2011
This does not appear to be a strong example. If the characters have such potent specialities that they can be the exact opposite when played with skill they are probably not The Mario.

  • Street Fighter - Ryu and Ken are all-rounders — but this status is iconic but ironic. Both characters have been the exact opposite of The Mario in many (most?) of their appearances when used by skilled hands.
    • Especially funny since Ken has been top tier in at least 2 games.
    • Mario himself, of course, is one in the Super Smash Bros.. series, among others.
      • Although in Brawl, he received some nerfs and is now the Master of None. He isn't much stronger than the likes of Meta Knight or Sonic, he isn't much faster than Snake or Ike, and his only spammable move is rather ineffective. The only area where he is a decent fighter is his midair game.
      • It has been said that in Brawl, Marth is the new Mario.

10:35:42 PM Jun 12th 2010
I think we need to rename this article. While I love the Mario series of games, and I know he is always quite balanced, it's jarring comparing it to Mighty Glacier and Fragile Speedster. Why not go with the alternate title of "Jack of All Stats" or something a little more succinct, like "Average Jack?" Something that is a little more definite, and a little less character Specific.
10:14:07 PM Dec 19th 2010
Seconding "Jack of All Stats." I thought that would be a good name even before I read the discussion.
07:19:46 PM Dec 28th 2010
Definite rename. This says it's a bad title. I'll launch the rename thread if nobody else does in a few days.
06:06:52 AM Feb 9th 2011
I definitely agree as well. As iconic as Mario is, being balanced isn't his only aspect, nor is he the most well-known for it. A lot of main protagonists are like that.
01:25:31 PM Apr 17th 2011
That's what I was thinking as well. If the page on renaming itself lists this as an example of a bad name and is able to explain why, instead of allowing it to be a current bad example, it should be renamed.
06:44:00 PM Jun 4th 2011
Most recent rename attempt (February/April 2011) can be found here. Trope had 599 wicks and 2105 inbound links at the time. Wick checks revealed that usage was overwhelmingly correct. Conclusion was not to rename.

The thread before that one (September 2010) can be found here. At the time, the trope had 452 wicks and 1036 inbounds. Wicks were overwhelmingly correct. Conclusion was not to rename.

As of this post (4 June 2011), the trope has 685 wicks and 2265 inbounds.
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