MCs OP from the start are boring

NobleTalon

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Imagine the AAA+ RPG game you've been looking forward to for a long time has finally been released after years of development. You spend an hour downloading it with stars in your eyes, already anticipating this game you've waited for so long. You grab a beer, get some snacks and the moment the game starts... your character is already fully maxed out.

That's the same feeling I have when I enjoy reading the first chapters of a novel but the MC suddenly gets overpowered for no apparent or logical reason.

I'm not saying it's bad for the MC to have some powerful abilities or skills, but it's just boring as f when he got them from the start with no effort. Mainstream JP isekais are masters in this, sending depressive salary men or retarded high schoolers into another world and yet they somehow end up lv999 or they get op sht from a bitch who call herself a goddess. This generic recipe ruins the plot imo.

I might not be a big fan of Chinese cultivation novels, but at least their protagonists still have a learning process and they often go from weak to strong even if they have some kind of special powers like a grandpa stuck inside a ring or the soul of the Heavenly Demon Of My Ass. Same for Korean returner/ranker type of novels.

I know I'm just venting, but I find the slow-progress type of stories much more interesting tbh. No matter the genre, be it a fantasy, sci-fi, or realistic novel. In my own novel, I definitely crippled my MC during his first fight and I killed the entire human race + most of the few survivors in the first narrative arc. I know I'm not a good example to follow as I basically set up the difficulty at Hell-mode from the start lmao ; but at least it gave my MC a goal to reach, and a reason to move forward.

To take the previous comparison, it's kinda the same reasoning as why you would want to slowly improve your character through a rewarding process in a game (for an RPG it would be quests, drops, exp, etc.), instead of already starting with a maxed-out character that can os all the mobs with no effort.
 

LilRora

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Well said, wise one.

Stories generally have limited amount of time to explain things before they become too dragged out and boring, and slow progress of the mc allows the author to easily put the character development together with detailed worldbuilding and intricate plot.

Mc OP from the start tends to become boring quickly because there is very little keeping reader's attention, and stories with quick character growth very often progress too fast to develop proper plot.

One thing I'm not taking though is Chinese cultivation novels with mc actually learning. There are some stories like that, but way too many focus not on learning, but gaining strength via herbs, cultivation, or other things, without any learning process. Even better if they mention that the mc gained insight into something, but don't even try to explain what it means and how it happened.

There are some stories with that problem from other genres, but it's mostly not so glaring.
 

NobleTalon

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One thing I'm not taking though is Chinese cultivation novels with mc actually learning. There are some stories like that, but way too many focus not on learning, but gaining strength via herbs, cultivation, or other things, without any learning process. Even better if they mention that the mc gained insight into something, but don't even try to explain what it means and how it happened.

True. But at least, there is a kind of progression, and some of the authors do try to explain the MC's enlightenment.

It sure is unnecessary sometimes, like explaining how the universe works just because the MC learned how to use a sword, but it's still better than nothing.

As for the herbs, pills, etc. I also agree with you, but even if they are easy storyline shortcuts, they are still a form of progression. What's important is not the medicines themselves but the efforts needed for the MC to get his hands on them.
 

Kumiho

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I think overpowered mc's can work it's just being very mishandled.
For example Avatar, Aang is a naturally op character, he's a prodigy and is the avatar, but what Aang has over every other op mc is that we see him struggle. Avatar has an overarching goal of defeating Ozai and while Aang can probably defeat any nobody in a bending battle, Ozai isn't no nobody, he's the fire lord, one of the strongest and most op beings in the series.
Aang struggles to master all 4 bending styles, he struggles under the pressure of defeating Ozai, he struggles with the fact that he is the avatar, this is why it's so captivating to see him.

Ok now, someone can make an argument that Aang is not necessarily op.

Well then let's look at another example, Ippo from Hajime no Ippo.
Ippo is strong, endurant and fast. At his first sparring match he was able to make a pro level boxer prodigy struggle, he defeated Volg, a literal boxer prodigy who was so strong that he forced boxers to retire, and was one to one in arm wrestling with Takamura, a middleweight boxing champion, Ippo is featherweight, a man who punched a bear into submission has 0 losses.
Yes Ippo did work for his strenght, but we don't see that at the beginning, but overtime, we see the pressure weigh on him, we see him struggle and train to master his craft. Ippo is op, but he's not perfect, he is susceptible to losing.

Basically for the op mc trope to work, there needs to be something to put stress or pressure on them. Make the mc be able to beat everything except someone or something.
 

maum.2412

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I agree Mainstream JP isekais are bad... very very bad.

BUT, nowday reader forget that Overlord, The Regressed Demon Lord is Kind, and Battle Through the Heavens... are literally reincarnation
 
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Imagine the AAA+ RPG game you've been looking forward to for a long time has finally been released after years of development. You spend an hour downloading it with stars in your eyes, already anticipating this game you've waited for so long. You grab a beer, get some snacks and the moment the game starts... your character is already fully maxed out.

That's the same feeling I have when I enjoy reading the first chapters of a novel but the MC suddenly gets overpowered for no apparent or logical reason.

I'm not saying it's bad for the MC to have some powerful abilities or skills, but it's just boring as f when he got them from the start with no effort. Mainstream JP isekais are masters in this, sending depressive salary men or retarded high schoolers into another world and yet they somehow end up lv999 or they get op sht from a bitch who call herself a goddess. This generic recipe ruins the plot imo.

I might not be a big fan of Chinese cultivation novels, but at least their protagonists still have a learning process and they often go from weak to strong even if they have some kind of special powers like a grandpa stuck inside a ring or the soul of the Heavenly Demon Of My Ass. Same for Korean returner/ranker type of novels.

I know I'm just venting, but I find the slow-progress type of stories much more interesting tbh. No matter the genre, be it a fantasy, sci-fi, or realistic novel. In my own novel, I definitely crippled my MC during his first fight and I killed the entire human race + most of the few survivors in the first narrative arc. I know I'm not a good example to follow as I basically set up the difficulty at Hell-mode from the start lmao ; but at least it gave my MC a goal to reach, and a reason to move forward.

To take the previous comparison, it's kinda the same reasoning as why you would want to slowly improve your character through a rewarding process in a game (for an RPG it would be quests, drops, exp, etc.), instead of already starting with a maxed-out character that can os all the mobs with no effort.
The problem with Overpowered MC was his/her personality and the character around him, not the OP part(most of the time).

Some of the MC aren't proactive enough(which sometimes cause by the OP trait they had.), they lack goals and motivation(even their belief most of the time.), the author always failed to established empathy between the reader and the Protagonist.

The characters always ok with what the MC did(further made it less for conflict to occurred.), I always wished that one of the harem member leave because of the action that the MC did so that he would have a Character Arc. When one of the character disagreed(mostly male), he wouldn't care what they think and made the character the antagonist, and one he called friend always agreed with him for some reason. I want to see the MC mend his friendship or something when they disagreed. (Most CN and JP novel have a problem with this one.)

The lack of conflicts also cause it to be boring, they always wrote with no stakes or too much of it(cause by OP-ness).

P.S. Having too much stake made reader harder too comprehend(like the universe would be destroy or something like that), compare to having just enough stake(like someone he cares (the sibling/friend/lover) would die.) Too much stakes more frequently occurred in CN and KR novel compare to Japanese one(they always have low stakes or none.)
 
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NotaNuffian

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It is not just OP from the start that is an issue, it is when the MC becomes unrelatable to the readers.

MC becoming OP in the middle of the story and the author is too mentally challenged to keep the tension in balance can also result it a shitshow. Oftentimes I dropped works because the authors just sauced their MCs too hard and they become too imba and lose all forms of challenge, this is when the author may commit two retarded things. One, continue with the imba train and turn the work into a wish fulfilling wankfest, if there is any serious tone initially, it's fucked. Two, making MC a retarded joke by turning him into "too strong for the weak, too weak for the strong" and the whole OP thing is moot, you can't be OP when somehow, a bunch of old fogeys popping out of their caves are cleaning the floor with your face, body and pride.
 

Masako

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Imagine the AAA+ RPG game you've been looking forward to for a long time has finally been released after years of development. You spend an hour downloading it with stars in your eyes, already anticipating this game you've waited for so long. You grab a beer, get some snacks and the moment the game starts... your character is already fully maxed out.

That's the same feeling I have when I enjoy reading the first chapters of a novel but the MC suddenly gets overpowered for no apparent or logical reason.

I'm not saying it's bad for the MC to have some powerful abilities or skills, but it's just boring as f when he got them from the start with no effort. Mainstream JP isekais are masters in this, sending depressive salary men or retarded high schoolers into another world and yet they somehow end up lv999 or they get op sht from a bitch who call herself a goddess. This generic recipe ruins the plot imo.

I might not be a big fan of Chinese cultivation novels, but at least their protagonists still have a learning process and they often go from weak to strong even if they have some kind of special powers like a grandpa stuck inside a ring or the soul of the Heavenly Demon Of My Ass. Same for Korean returner/ranker type of novels.

I know I'm just venting, but I find the slow-progress type of stories much more interesting tbh. No matter the genre, be it a fantasy, sci-fi, or realistic novel. In my own novel, I definitely crippled my MC during his first fight and I killed the entire human race + most of the few survivors in the first narrative arc. I know I'm not a good example to follow as I basically set up the difficulty at Hell-mode from the start lmao ; but at least it gave my MC a goal to reach, and a reason to move forward.

To take the previous comparison, it's kinda the same reasoning as why you would want to slowly improve your character through a rewarding process in a game (for an RPG it would be quests, drops, exp, etc.), instead of already starting with a maxed-out character that can os all the mobs with no effort.
I agree in most of your points but not all of them are boring. It just depends on the author. Take 'One punch man' for example. Saitama is already OP yet the story is still interesting. Though I get what you say about Overpowered MCs being boring since I read so many novels to mangas to animes have MCs aren't really that smart or just plain stupid. There are still exceptions to this cliche.
 

NobleTalon

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I agree in most of your points but not all of them are boring. It just depends on the author. Take 'One punch man' for example. Saitama is already OP yet the story is still interesting. Though I get what you say about Overpowered MCs being boring since I read so many novels to mangas to animes have MCs aren't really that smart or just plain stupid. There are still exceptions to this cliche.

One Punch Man is definitely an exception lmao

It's such a well-done comedy and parody of the shounen genre that Saitama one-shotting everyone is the main reason why this manga works so well.

I didn't mention it, but I obviously do not count parody in my reasoning. From the moment it's a fully assumed comedy, I do not mind whether the MC is op or not, as long as he makes me laugh.
 
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One Punch Man is definitely an exception lmao

It's such a well-done comedy and parody of the shounen genre that Saitama one-shotting everyone is the main reason why this manga works so well.

I didn't mention it, but I obviously do not count parody in my reasoning. From the moment it's a fully assumed comedy, I do not mind whether the MC is op or not, as long as he makes me laugh.
If this story was all about saitama one-shotting them, the comedy would have live short. Like I said, Its the character, King being misunderstood, Genos and Bang(and a lot of them) being a well-written characters, even the villain.
 

NobleTalon

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Like I said, Its the character, King being misunderstood, Genos and Bang(and a lot of them) being a well-written characters, even the villain.
This is just the icing on the cake. If Saitama hasn't been designed so well the manga wouldn't have been so popular, no matter how good are the secondary characters.

Just look at the anime, the second season didn't have as much success as the first one mainly because it went away from Saitama and focused more on other characters. It was still good tho, but the change could be felt and the first season is much better than the second one IMO. (The animation was also better, but this has to do with the studios)
 

Cipiteca396

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Imagine the AAA+ RPG game you've been looking forward to for a long time has finally been released after years of development. You spend an hour downloading it with stars in your eyes, already anticipating this game you've waited for so long. You grab a beer, get some snacks and the moment the game starts... your character is already fully maxed out.
Imagine that after years of disinterest in the AAA+ FPS game genre, you finally find one you're slightly interested in. Your friends are already playing, waiting for you to join up with their party. You finally get into the game, and split off from your party early. You manage to catch another player off-guard! You sneak up behind and melee to trigger an assassination. Only... you get a notification: You are too low level to injure this enemy.

Perhaps you should have bought the battlepass, like your friend suggested?

Honestly, I can't stand RPGs most of the time. Forcing you to level up to get ranks is dumb, you should just be able to do everything from the start like in literally any other game. The ONLY appeal is in the idea of wish fulfillment, that you can get stronger just by working hard or repeating the motions.

An OP protagonist can be a problem in LitRPG, but not just because it's an OP protagonist. It's because an author failed to write a compelling story, and just threw in a gimmick or level boost to try and salvage the situation.
Bad stories are boring, not OP Protagonists.
 
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This is just the icing on the cake. If Saitama hasn't been designed so well the manga wouldn't have been so popular, no matter how good are the secondary characters.

Just look at the anime, the second season didn't have as much success as the first one mainly because it went away from Saitama and focused more on other characters. It was still good tho, but the change could be felt and the first season is much better than the second one IMO. (The animation was also better, but this has to do with the studios)
Its not the icing on the cake, if the characters didn't exist, the show would have lack most of the interesting part, same goes the other way around. I would describe it more like the character is the sugar and salt and Saitama is the flour and egg. Miss any of this the show would have fall apart.
 
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Generik0

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This is just the icing on the cake. If Saitama hasn't been designed so well the manga wouldn't have been so popular, no matter how good are the secondary characters.

Just look at the anime, the second season didn't have as much success as the first one mainly because it went away from Saitama and focused more on other characters. It was still good tho, but the change could be felt and the first season is much better than the second one IMO. (The animation was also better, but this has to do with the studios)
OPM season 2 flopped because of rushed production coupled with tight deadlines placed by the production committee not wanting OPM's popularity to wane.

The story Season 1 onwards has reduced Saitama's screen time but despite that, It still has a shitton of engagement.
 

NobleTalon

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Imagine that after years of disinterest in the AAA+ FPS game genre, you finally find one you're slightly interested in. Your friends are already playing, waiting for you to join up with their party. You finally get into the game, and split off from your party early. You manage to catch another player off-guard! You sneak up behind and melee to trigger an assassination. Only... you get a notification: You are too low level to injure this enemy.
Bruh, I don't know any fps where this scenario is possible. At least not against another (human) player.

The whole point of a shooter game is to be based on skill first and foremost. If you really does no damage then it's either because you're doing pve content (so your target isn't a player) and/or the game has rpg mechanics.

The first fps with RPG mechanics that comes to my mind is Destiny 2, but even then as long as you got the right weapons with ok rolls (here's the rpg mechanic) you can stomp pvp if you're good enough. You can play on a new acc without paying a cent, get purple weapons easily obtainable in just a few hours of pve and farm pvp to get to 2500mmr.

It's the most 'pve-dependant' fps I know, and even then it all depends on your skill and knowledge of the game.
 

Cipiteca396

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The whole point of a shooter game is to be based on skill first and foremost. If you really does no damage then it's either because you're doing pve content (so you're target isn't a player) and/or the game has rpg mechanics.
That's my point. How did you buy an RPG where you would be max level at the start without knowing it? The only answer is that you bought a game from a genre you didn't expect it to be.

Your 'RPG' is just a beat 'em up or a metroidvania. The fault either lies with you for not paying attention, or with the makers mis-marketing their product.

Frankly the example that comes to mind for me is the Egypt Assassin's Creed. The previous games are stealth games, with the option to oneshot enemies if you're competent... But then they turned it into an RPG and made it so you literally can't oneshot enemies... So what's the point of the game at that point?
 

NobleTalon

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That's my point. How did you buy an RPG where you would be max level at the start without knowing it? The only answer is that you bought a game from a genre you didn't expect it to be.

Your 'RPG' is just a beat 'em up or a metroidvania. The fault either lies with you for not paying attention, or with the makers mis-marketing their product.

You probably missed the "Imagine...", but in case you didn't understand this was just a comparison I made between an rpg game long awaited in which your starting character is already maxed out, and a novel where the MC would be overpowered for no reason from the beginning of the story.

And once again, I do not count parody and burlesque comedy genres as their role differs from a story that wants to be taken seriously.

That's why I do not understand your example of an fps in which you can't kill another player. As I explained above, unless you are doing pve content with a level too low or the game has complex rpg mechanics still activated in PVP (extremely rare for an fps if not impossible), your comparison makes no point. Even more when it's applied to a novel.
 

AliceShiki

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Reporting threads made on the wrong subforums is also boring~
 
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