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Just now, allanp said:

Also good points. I guess my patients runs out before a year :laugh:

I didn't want to name names, there are surely some fantastic MOCcers out there, but still I've never wanted to own those MOCs as much as I wanted to own the Arocs. Someone made a huge fire truck on 8 8110 wheels, but comparing MOCs like that is a little unfair when that would have cost more than the millenium falcon if it was an official set. Think back to 2015 and to the MOCs around at that time that you would favour over the Arocs. Now if TLG were to release those MOCs as official sets, how much would they cost? Maybe there's some MOcs I don't know about (well, definitely in fact), but I can't think of a MOC around in 2015 that TLG could have released at a similar price point that would compete with the Arocs. Of course that's just my purely subjective opinion.

No in fact I think you summarized this whole thread the best.  In fact, I am tempted to change the whole debated topic.  Here is why:

The whole conversation started because I said "MOCs will always be better."  Now, while I stand by that, I admit that "better" is too loaded a concept, and too lacking in precision than no real good discussion can come of it.  Too subjective. 

If I were to redo this topic, it would go something like this:

Okay, lets take out any comparison of an end result of a build.  Official set or MOC by an AFOL.  End product is irrelevant. Lets not focus on that any more.  

The original comment I made was just one in context of the overall point I was making.  And that point is that you cannot compare the two b/c their beginning goals are so vastly different.  I stated you cannot compare the end result because the goals from the beginning are so vastly different.  Perhaps that is where we can achieve some common ground.  I think all good discussion comes from at least finding a mutual point you can agree on.  And the difficulties you pointed out in trying to compare MOCs with official sets is that starting point.  At least for me.  

2 minutes ago, Anio said:

The thing I think I understand from your messages is that you value the quality of a model only in absolute terms.

I consider the model as a whole thing. Final result is only one of the many factors to be considered. As much as part count, ref count, building experience, strongness, weight, efficiency of part used, cleverness in the design, how the model catches the spirit of the real vehicle, playability, maneuverability, and probably many others. Not only the final abilities of the model. Honnestly, I don't think it is very interesting to design or reproduce a MOC where the main goal is just to have "good capabilities".

Not sure my wording will be relevant.

But let's imagine a 2,100 part MOC with climbing abilities that could be rated at 85 (imaginary unit). With several motors for driving, and a powerful motor for steering, blablabla.

And a 1,200 part MOC where climbing abilities would be only 60.

=> I would totally go for the 1,200 part model as it would consider it as a much smarter build.

In this regard, I tend to agree with allanp : 42099 will very likely be better than every MOC crawler.

Just like 9398 was at the time.

Which, if you ask me, was totally hilarious : with one single model made out of 1,225 elements only, TLG totally crushed the work of AFOLs who were working on their TT's for years (there was a lot of hype in TT at the time). lol.gif
 

That was totally fascinating.

In line with my last comment with @allanp perhaps this is where we can achieve some common ground.  Not that I agree with your statement, but I do agree, as I did from the beginning, there is too much ambiguity in what we mean by the "best."  You offer some good points and interpretation of what "best" might be here.  But this will differ from person to person and not really what I want to focus on. 

Perhaps, as I said in my last statement, we should focus less on the end result for comparison (because it is too subjective) and more on I think that comparing MOCs and original sets in the first place lacks utility because their initial starting points (goals) are so different. 

I wonder if we can at least agree on that. 

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Anio said:

*snip*

In this regard, I tend to agree with allanp : 42099 will very likely be better than every MOC crawler.

Which, if you ask me, was totally hilarious : with one single model made out of 1,225 elements only, TLG totally crushed the work of AFOLs who were working on their TT's for years (there was a lot of hype in TT at the time). lol.gif

There's a 500 piece crawler MOC that outperforms 42099 in most of your "parameters". 

And I'm not sure how 9398 really crushed anyone's work on TTs??

 

When I originally said best it meant actual abilities ... because people use different techniques and have their own building styles, but abilities/performance of a model are a clear factor. If you build a crawler and call it a crawler it has to be able to CRAWL over obstacles. Wasn't technic about functional vehicles? 

Of course MOCers don't have constraints, but let's comply with the names given to any model, be it from TLC or a freelancer

Edited by syclone

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27 minutes ago, nerdsforprez said:

 I wonder if we can at least agree on that. 

We can agree on that.
 

I generally think that the way TLG approaches a subject (no matter what it is : a crane, a fire truck, a crawler) is often more interesting as it takes more paramaters into account than MOCs.

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2 hours ago, Jim said:

While you might be right. The current discussion is about the quality of MOCs vs Official sets.

It was a bit long-winded, you're right! what i was trying to saying is that a moc thats personal to you is better than official sets, even though it may be less 'perfect' the experience of creating trumps the beatifically crafted official (and someone elses moc is probably trumped by both)... Built not Bought.

So MOC wins in my eyes

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It's too generalizing to say that MOCers don't have constrains. I, for one, had so much that it actually reduced the overall quality of my MOCs. Many of these constrains were similar to TLG's. Playability, usage current parts, building experience, sturdiness, child-durable, whatever (also my models have tons of compromises because of those).

But I have to agree that looking at some of the most famous MOCs is real life (also build one of them) and I was quite disappointed with the quality. Weak connections, deformation of parts, easy to break off-almost impossible to put back again solutions, need of tweaking etc. Not that some of the official sets' quality isn't disappointing.

Also looking at MOC instructions: almost all of them didn't really care about building experience. There are even models that are simply build front to back. I understand that it's extremely hard to make instructions alone as I did some.

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Biggest problem i have with mocs is using illegal building techniques and bending of parts. 
TLG's sets always are built in a way that the parts don't get stressed over time. Like a front axle that's too thin to support the weight of the moc and starting to bend and possibly breaking parts very soon. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Jim said:

While @nerdsforprez has a point, I tend to lean towards Anio in this matter. MOCs seem to be way more awesome when you look at them. But when it comes to building experience and techniques, I think most officials sets are better than MOCs. Sometimes simplicity beats complexity.

Based on what? Do you actually build MOCs? Going by what is frontpaged on this site I believe you have a sense for what is awesome, but I don't believe you have thorough knowledge of, or interest in, out of the box building experiences or building techniques shared by MOCers on this forum.

I fully agree with @nerdsforprez's line of arguing in this subject.

Edited by Didumos69

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Yup, there is a need for a MOC reviewer channel. The one that I know of (Osuharding) hasn't been updated since three years (just after he said he'd review my simple supercar. I am quite unlucky in being promoted)

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41 minutes ago, Lipko said:

Yup, there is a need for a MOC reviewer channel.

I am not sure there is need for that.

a) People review MOC more as a "one shot". A guy likes a MOC, he reproduces it, and does a video presentation he posts on Youtube. Just if you consider the cost (a MOC is about 3 times the cost of an equivalent set, sometimes more with rare parts, not to mention all the time you need to gather all parts), there are very very few people who build loads of other people's MOC.

c) With few exceptions, MOCs generally do less views than official products. Indeed, people are more likely to take informations in something they might get/purchase, than something they will always only see on the internet.

b) Do you really think someone will reproduce a $$$ MOC and then dare saying "Hi guys, I have to tell you, what XXX did on that project is really a poor build. Look at the way he achieved the steering mechanism ! Haha ! And the wheel arches. Hell, what was he thinking ?" (I wouldn't :D ). If he does, this youtuber would be smashed by the community in less than a day. People are way more likely to nitpick on official models than they are to critisize AFOL's MOCs. And I think that this very topic made my point. =)

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, Anio said:

I am not sure there is need for that.

a) People review MOC more as a "one shot". A guy likes a MOC, he reproduces it, and does a video presentation he posts on Youtube. Just if you consider the cost (a MOC is about 3 times the cost of an equivalent set, sometimes more with rare parts, not to mention all the time you need to gather all parts), there are very very few people who build loads of other people's MOC.

c) With few exceptions, MOCs generally do less views than official products. Indeed, people are more likely to take informations in something they might get/purchase, than something they will always only see on the internet.

b) Do you really think someone will reproduce a $$$ MOC and then dare saying "Hi guys, I have to tell you, what XXX did on that project is really a poor build. Look at the way he achieved the steering mechanism ! Haha ! And the wheel arches. Hell, what was he thinking ?" If he does, this youtuber would be smashed by the community in less than a day. People are way more likely to nitpick on official models than they are to critisize AFOL's MOCs. And I think that this very topic made my point. =)

If a MOC reviewer would emerge on this forum, someone who would be for MOCs what @Jim is for sets, there would be room for critisizm too. Such a reviewer would be able to relate to other MOCs and share info on building style (say something on illegal constructions if applicable), techniques and experience (say something about nearly impossible building steps if applicable) from a knowledgeable point of view and this info could be very useful for people looking for a MOC to build. I know from the MOCs I shared on rebrickable, there is quite a large group of AFOLs who like to build MOCs with the parts they own, or at most few parts to buy. In fact that is the whole essence of rebrickable.

Edited by Didumos69

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Posted (edited)

Wow, there are some interesting opinion here, and also a lot of generalization.

I agree with @nerdsforprez, it is just not applicable to compare official sets and MOCs as they are different world. I could name a bunch of MOCers, who set same or comparible constrains as TLG does - and when they succeed, it is the win for the individual*. Still, it is not a race and not even market competition, so there is no winner (see better) between MOCer and TLG.

*actually applies  for every MOC which is finished, and satisfies the builder. :wink:

TLG uses selected and trained professional teams, driven by common rule system and common targets, advertised by huge marketing machine. They are necessarily more successful. MOCers are just a lot (much more than TLG's team, but working as stand alone developers each) random people in various age, level of talent, budget, time, target to apply on a build, etc. Again, no sense to compare.

As I see: there are successfull official sets and MOCs, just like there are bad or less successful official sets and MOCs. The cardinality depends heavily on above mentioned, result is that there are much more "not-so-good" MOCs rolled out, but still: so what? For the certain MOCer was fun to build and happiness to share. I can be happy for their happiness, despite in case some questionable solutions. I couldn't say the same for TLG products. Lastly: no sense to compare, as I have different expectations, given the root inspiration of building.

Edited by agrof
words

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Anio said:

 

I generally think that the way TLG approaches a subject (no matter what it is : a crane, a fire truck, a crawler) is often more interesting as it takes more paramaters into account than MOCs.

That is an interesting way to look at what constitutes quality of outcome.  Very analytic, almost academic.  I hadn't thought of it that way.  Though I don't think many others see quality of outcome the same, it is an interesting idea.  It also highlights our common ground.  TLG does have different goals from the beginning compared to MOCers, and more constraints.  "parameters" is just another way of saying constraints. The parameters of needing to work within the demands of a world wide market.   It proves what I have been saying all along.

 

4 hours ago, Lipko said:

It's too generalizing to say that MOCers don't have constrains. I, for one, had so much that it actually reduced the overall quality of my MOCs. Many of these constrains were similar to TLG's. Playability, usage current parts, building experience, sturdiness, child-durable, whatever (also my models have tons of compromises because of those).

But I have to agree that looking at some of the most famous MOCs is real life (also build one of them) and I was quite disappointed with the quality. Weak connections, deformation of parts, easy to break off-almost impossible to put back again solutions, need of tweaking etc. Not that some of the official sets' quality isn't disappointing.

Also looking at MOC instructions: almost all of them didn't really care about building experience. There are even models that are simply build front to back. I understand that it's extremely hard to make instructions alone as I did some.

Yes.  You are correct.  MOCers can have constraints, but certainly not the constraints of having to work within a world-wide market.  So vastly different I am not sure of the productivity of continuing this point. 

Also, the constraints you speak of are self-imposed, not imposed because the goals of the build to begin with are different.  This is a big difference. Again, to clarify the argument, I am saying model outcome quality between TLG and MOCers can't be the same b/c the beginning goals are different so vastly different.  Sounds like folks can agree on this.  This isn't rocket-science and shouldn't be inflammatory.  If MOCers are imposing constraints on their build much like that of TLG (playability, etc.) then they are beginning with goals and a target audience much like TLG - and the argument loses bite.  Not because it falls apart - but because it is proven valid. If beginning goals are aligned, then quality of outcome will be aligned as well.  I don't think most MOCers try to think like TLG when building, I don't think most self-impose limits, certainly not the limits to the extent of TLG b/c they are not trying to sell their MOC to millions of people.  At least not the tangible product.  Perhaps the idea, but  but not the tangible MOC. Therefore my comments on the difference between quality of outcome. 

 

3 hours ago, Lipko said:

Yup, there is a need for a MOC reviewer channel. The one that I know of (Osuharding) hasn't been updated since three years (just after he said he'd review my simple supercar. I am quite unlucky in being promoted)

This is a good comment one that I will get to below.  BLUF though (bottom line up front) is I don't think we do need a reviewer.  The court of public opinion says quite a bit (see below). 

 

**break**

 

All good comments, but honestly, I probably will step back a little from the debate.  Few reasons:

 

1 - I agree that focusing on the quality of outcome of a MOC versus an official Lego set is a bit too tangled.  Too much room for debate loopholes which I am afraid folks may be taking advantage of.  Definition of quality of outcome is too subjective and would need clarification if that argument were to go anywhere. 

2 - The argument can be stripped to its main point, which is NOT about quality of outcome.  Main point is the lack of utility of comparing the two because the beginning goals are vastly different.  By way of this, of course the quality of outcome is going to be different.  The latter is heavily linked to the former, but it is not the former nor the main central point.  I think that folks can agree with the main point, which by way of deduction will lead us to this conclusion:

If beginning goals are different, then the quality of outcome will be different as well.

I think this may be productive and agreed upon.  The argument falls apart if the "difference" here is defined as "better than" for reasons I have already explained.

3 - Lastly - and I truly don't mean to be inflammatory here, but I just have to say it.  I just have to.  I can't help but feel those arguing for equality in quality of outcome, or even the superiority of TLG sets over MOCs is a tad bit disingenuous.  Admittedly, as already explained, there are loopholes in the whole "better than" argument because of the subjectivity of what "better than" means and I am afraid folks might be taking advantage of this.   Why do I feel this way?  Well, even considering @Anio's remark below, which I do think has quite a bit of validity to it

2 hours ago, Anio said:

People are way more likely to nitpick on official models than they are to critisize AFOL's MOCs. 

Consider this.  Virtually every official set is ripped apart in some way, shape or form by the community.  Even beloved sets like AROCs.  Crane too small, too weak, wheel arches too high, etc. etc. Even when the overall voice is positive about the set there are always some complaints.  Many complaints.    But since my comments all the sudden they are not only on par with our most esteemed builders, they are better than them?  All the sudden they are modular, pristine in their building techniques, uses of angles, great functionality, part usage, etc.  Com'on. You go back through official set postings and these are all the things that folks complain about - not laud.  :laugh:  I mean, and I get that 42043 and 42 are probably more sets to measure against but they are what come to recent memory, -  neither of these sets had much modularity, and BOTH were heavily criticized to inflating part counts, BOTH were criticized for poor building experience, etc.   

Yet when MOCs are posted, and granted not ANY MOC but those from some of out most esteemed builders, there can be threads several pages long with virtually no complaints.  I won't name any builders, but I have gone back through some builders posting and in just an hour or so and found at least three MOCers with submissions with dozens upon dozens of comments, across multiple submitted MOCs with virtually no complaints.  Perhaps this is due to @Anio's comment above - and I think this is part of it yes.  But perhaps it is because the starting goals between TLG and MOCers are not comparable, and therefore neither are the outcomes.  I believe it is the latter.  

I think there are many that still want to defend against this - probably because they think I am stating something inflammatory.  Again folks, there really is no need to take this stance.  I do not think what I am saying is inflammatory at all (btw, it might be helpful to keep in mind that the original person to whom my first comments were directed has publicly came out and said he agrees with me).  As I have said all along, I don't think it is even very logical thinking to want them to be comparable.  I don't want TLG to produce builds for reasons MOCers do.  I don't even want them to produce an outcome similar in quality as the most esteemed builders because it would detract them from their main goals  - to exist in the business world.  I want them to produce LEGO.  Thats it.  It gives us the hobby we have today.  I want them to do it the best they can given the constraints of the business world, but I want them to keep those constraints. It allows them to produce billions upon billions of their product which is good for all of us.  Individual MOCers may have some constraints, but certainly not the constraints embedded in TLG's goal and mission to operate in the worldwide market. 

Edited by nerdsforprez

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11 hours ago, Anio said:

I am not sure there is need for that.

a) People review MOC more as a "one shot". A guy likes a MOC, he reproduces it, and does a video presentation he posts on Youtube. Just if you consider the cost (a MOC is about 3 times the cost of an equivalent set, sometimes more with rare parts, not to mention all the time you need to gather all parts), there are very very few people who build loads of other people's MOC.

c) With few exceptions, MOCs generally do less views than official products. Indeed, people are more likely to take informations in something they might get/purchase, than something they will always only see on the internet.

b) Do you really think someone will reproduce a $$$ MOC and then dare saying "Hi guys, I have to tell you, what XXX did on that project is really a poor build. Look at the way he achieved the steering mechanism ! Haha ! And the wheel arches. Hell, what was he thinking ?" (I wouldn't :D ). If he does, this youtuber would be smashed by the community in less than a day. People are way more likely to nitpick on official models than they are to critisize AFOL's MOCs. And I think that this very topic made my point. =)

Valid points! I have been thinking about doing MOC reviews, but I am not sure if this will work.

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I tend to agree with nerdzforprez.

LEGO as a company design a set for profit rather than pure design so there are always constraints when it comes time to design and then manufacture and sell a particular set.

Take for example the venerable 8043. Awesome set, however not quite fine tuned as far as Jurgen's Ultimate 8043 variant and his other excavators.

Primary constraint for LEGO in the above example would simply be due to cost due to the added PF elements.

But does a more expensive MOC with possibly more features/functions as compared to a cheaper OEM set make for a better option? - Many times cheap and simple is good too...:wink:

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