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Sovereign Court

Johnny_Devo wrote:
I personally come from a background of playing video games and enjoying getting the most out of my character, so I wanted to ask. What is the issue with min-maxing? If your character doesn't benefit from int, for example, why should it be a problem that my character have 8-10 int?

Some folks view Stats as a definition of your character. The stats determine how quick, strong, smart, wise etc the character is and isnt. The problem that can arise from min-maxing for them is that all characters become hyper specialized individuals. Hyper specialized characters stand out and feel more like a caricature than a character. You have moved the goal of bringing a character to life to bringing an avatar to life which is a completely different feel.

Personally, I just view stats as a characters ability modifiers and not their actual definition. I dont worry if a player has a 7 CHA but says their character is extremely handsome. They can role play that but the mechanics stand so they are not going to get any benefit from it.

Stats being what they are however, have encouraged all kinds of "use x instead of y" design so the problem has become exasperated. Now a character can freely dump and still be highly successful at a myriad of skills and abilities. For some that is a feature, and others a bug.


Krensky wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Albatoonoe wrote:
If stats in point buy started at 7 instead, would you have a problem with low stats? It's kind of a silly argument. What if I want a low wish for my character because it fits, and then I make a high strength, because it fits? Why am I not allowed to do this?
They don't start at 7. The issue is that if someone drops the score that is low into the attribute they dont care about, people complain, but if someone rolls a low score and puts it into the same stat it is supposed to be ok. Because point buy allows you to buy a low roll it someone encourages mix maxing, but rolling really allows for stats to be placed in the same order. I really dont get the logic. I believe some people just dont like point buy for other reasons and use that as an additional excuse. However I think it is fair to ask first before I decide to be sure.
Because there is a difference between choosing to take a really low attribute in a dump stat in order to get a really high one and someone who gets stuck with a low stat and chooses to stick it in the place it will hurt the least.

It still does not stop min-maxing by rolling if the person does the same thing with both methods.

Even if someone takes the base of 10 for point buy and it gets dropped to an 8 due to a racial stat, and someone else rolls the 10 as their lowest score, and the racial stat drops it to an 8 the point buy person will still be called a min-maxer.

Putting that low stat in an area you don't care about is also a choice, just like buying down is also a choice. Now if you just have something like 3 8's you are just out of luck but for the sake of this discussion its better to assume at least decent stats.


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We roll stats for the sheer joy of rolling stats :-)

Liberty's Edge

There is a difference between being forced to use an 8 somewhere and choosing to have an 8 in order to have an 18 somewhere else.


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PT.B=The Devil wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

The only real problem with point buy is that it is infecting game design.

Half the classes in the ACG have abilities that allow them to circumvent ability prereqs based on the premise that the class couldn't access those abilities because of the way the stat generation method limited them.

That combined with the stigma set by those who swear by it, makes me consider it, The Devil.

There was a thread on Facebook about it that got really nasty.

I agree with this. However, 3.5/PF just doesn't work well with random rolling from the get go. I mean sure you can trick motivations and intentions by using some type of failsafe rolling method that provides a standard array anyways, but why go through the extra work for a similar payout? Maybe just maybe P2 will take the path that allows random rolling to work out just fine. I doubt it though because 5E went this route and P2 when it happens is most likely going to be a wild opposite. The snakes are out of the can, so I'm living with point buy the devil I know.

To answer the OP its because people either want the traditional experience or the feel of an organically made character. This trick may just work for some groups, but others will only try and fight it. Ultimately, it's a preference thing and I would be surprised if you get a better answer than that.

What I am asking has nothing do with preference. I am not asking why people prefer rolling. I am asking why people say rolling stops min-maxing while citing the putting of the low stat in the score you dont need as evidence, when you can do the same thing with rolling. Some even say it is min-maxing when the point buy is not being bought down to raise a score somewhere else.

I think I am done now because no logical answer has been provided. It just boils down to "I don't like it so I will use ___ reason to say it is bad".

There is nothing wrong with not liking point buy. I just don't buy the min-max logic, not at least until someone can tell me how rolling stops it anyway, since that claim that rolling does not encourage mix-maxing has been made more than once.

PS: Actually the claim is normally that point buy influences min-maxing and heavily implying(if not directly stating) rolling does not have people putting low stats into the unneeded score.


I think it's more that people believe that choosing a low score from point buy is "intentional" min-maxing, whereas getting unlucky with a low stat and just placing it just dealing with an unlucky roll. After all, you started with a 10 and didn't have to choose to lower it.

Now, I'm not saying this makes sense, it's just the feeling I get from those who argue for your question.


Exactly its a preference for a game so there is no need to justify it. That wont stop folks from trying!


Krensky wrote:
There is a difference between being forced to use an 8 somewhere and choosing to have an 8 in order to have an 18 somewhere else.

This is my view as well. Sometimes you get stuck with a stat you don't want via rolling for the character you have in mind. That can be quite annoying.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
wraithstrike wrote:

Whenever the point-buy or rolling discussions start some says point-buy enables/encourages min-maxing because people put the dump the stat they dont need such as charisma.

However if someone rolls for stats, no matter if they get decent rolls or super rolls, the lowest stat is still going into the less needed stat if that is how the play the game. I really understand that point/argument if neither rolling not point-buy stops that behaviour.

If someone can explain this I am all ears.

I dont really know - all my experience is with essentially the same group of eight or so players. Nonetheless, I wonder if it's a mindset that you get into (or some people get into) based on the rules for stat generation:

If you're told it's a stat-roll game, I wonder if you go into it expecting the odd, 'not-optimal' stat allocation and so are more likely to allocate in an unusual fashion when you have a choice. Very few people are going to build a low-intelligence wizard, but perhaps the mindset will allow them to do something peculiar (like assigning a 15 to their wizard's strength or something).

In contrast, if you're told it's a point-buy game, perhaps you adopt the mindset of 'building' an effective character right from the get-go and that making such an odd stat allocation choice will "feel wrong" even though, as you point out, it's really the same thing.

As I say, I'm just speculating. However, it may be a practical "this is how it tends to work out" thing, rather than a theoretical "this is logically implied difference between the two methods" kind of thing.


bookrat wrote:

I think it's more that people believe that choosing a low score from point buy is "intentional" min-maxing, whereas getting unlucky with a low stat and just placing it just dealing with an unlucky roll. After all, you started with a 10 and didn't have to choose to lower it.

Now, I'm not saying this makes sense, it's just the feeling I get from those who argue for your question.

That is what I am getting too. I guess I will have to agree to disagree with them on this one.

Shadow Lodge

Maybe a little bit of derail....

Whats the difference between Optimizing and Min-Maxing?


Jacob Saltband wrote:

Maybe a little bit of derail....

Whats the difference between Optimizing and Min-Maxing?

As far as I can tell, not much really.

Optimizing means building a character that is Optimal within certain constraints. Sometimes those constraints are simply the RAW of the game, but more frequently they are limited by Practical constraints [hence the term Practical Optimization.] Things like no infinite loops etc.

Min-maxing has two separate meanings. The one I tend to think of most is Minimizing Weaknesses while Maximizing Strengths [a basic aspect of Optimization.]

The other is dumping non-critical items [like a Stat the character doesn't use] to pour those resources into more important aspects of the character. To a certain extent this can be part of optimization, but it can also be taken too far, creating glaring weaknesses that can be exploited by the enemy.


Jacob Saltband wrote:

Maybe a little bit of derail....

Whats the difference between Optimizing and Min-Maxing?

That also depends on who you talk to. Generally speaking people see min-maxing as some extreme form of optimization.

Personally I think everyone optimizes because you don't have to be trying to make the best character to optimize. You just have to make the choices that let him do what you want him to do, even if those are more based on RP than mechanical effectiveness.


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wraithstrike wrote:
bookrat wrote:

I think it's more that people believe that choosing a low score from point buy is "intentional" min-maxing, whereas getting unlucky with a low stat and just placing it just dealing with an unlucky roll. After all, you started with a 10 and didn't have to choose to lower it.

Now, I'm not saying this makes sense, it's just the feeling I get from those who argue for your question.

That is what I am getting too. I guess I will have to agree to disagree with them on this one.

How does it not make sense? Can you truly not see the difference in getting a benefit and not getting a benefit?

Sovereign Court

There is a difference between point buy and rolling. If you roll a low stat, that's chance. If you intentionally make a stat low so that another can go higher, that's min-maxing. I fix that by disallowing stats below 10. Unless for roleplay reasons.


Hama wrote:
There is a difference between point buy and rolling. If you roll a low stat, that's chance. If you intentionally make a stat low so that another can go higher, that's min-maxing. I fix that by disallowing stats below 10. Unless for roleplay reasons.

Once again, if you are minimizing undesirable traits and maximizing desirable traits, then you are min-maxing.

By definition.

Dumping your Cha to 7 from 10 so you can bump you Con to fourteen is min-maxing. Leaving your Cha at 10 so you aren't being a dirty powergamer* despite the Con gained from dumping being more desirable than the Cha lost is not min-maxing.

Sticking your roll of 5 in Cha so you can put your fourteen in Con is min-maxing. Having a Con of 5 because "only dirty powergamers dump Cha" despite the Con gained from putting the high roll in that ability score being more desirable than the Cha lost by using your low roll there is not min-maxing.

The situations are identical. Point buy gives you more opportunities to choose to min-max, but only because you have more choices full stop.

Restricting the minimum stat to ten just means that you minimize Cha to ten so you can have Int at 18 instead of going Cha 14 Int 16. It doesn't change diddly. Not to mention that you screw over MAD classes more unless you up the point buy as well, thus defeating what is usually the primary purpose of disallowing dumping, because unless you are extremely SAD(read: casting focused Wizard, Cleric,Druid,Sorcerer in core) or don't plan to dump anyway (bards *might* dump wis, but can get by with 10+ in everything by buffing) you won't be able to have decent stats in your primary ability while maintaining the necessary secondary stats at an acceptable level.

*This is intentional hyperbole, but the sentiment behind why people dislike dumping is usually a less extreme version of this.


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No, no, no, the definition is quite simple, when I am doing it, it is called "optimization", whereas when you are doing it, it is called Min-Maxing

Just like when I am doing it it is called, Surface Immersion, while when you are doing it it is called meta-gaming.


I'd like a Potato please, I'm afraid I Min'd my Con when I maxed my Dex, and I'm ever so hungry! At least miss Pitts says if I'm good and don't make waves I can be an Unchained Rogue when I grow up


If you allow dump statting after the rolls, then functionally there is no difference between point buy and dice rolling...

If, on the other hand, you don't allow dump statting after the rolls, then the min maxing you do with your rolls can be palpably different than the min maxing you're capable of with point buy...

I'd even go so far as to say that If you were faced with the option of rolling, then after seeing the results of your rolls, either keeping the rolls as they stand or instead choosing point buy, and then by some chance you rolled straight 14s (only achievable with a 30 point buy), I'd gamble that said player would instead prefer to have a 25 point buy more times than not.


John Kretzer wrote:


I play in game where you roll in stat order...so you don't get to decide. That is one way to stop that behavior.

"Well, nobody rolled over 10 in wisdom, so I guess this party doesn't get healing."

I like choosing my character instead of simply playing whatever fits on this random set I got.

Let's take an example:

3d6 ⇒ (4, 3, 1) = 8
3d6 ⇒ (2, 1, 2) = 5
3d6 ⇒ (4, 2, 3) = 9
3d6 ⇒ (6, 2, 6) = 14
3d6 ⇒ (2, 5, 6) = 13
3d6 ⇒ (5, 2, 4) = 11

Let's see, I can pretty much play a Wizard or Witch or Arcanist. I'd better not focus on any targeted spells because hitting even touch AC will be a problem.

But what if I don't feel like playing a spellcaster? Is it worth playing when you don't have much feel for your character? In my case, it isn't.

Sovereign Court

Dumping stats and working with what you get are two completely different things.

Shadow Lodge

Hama wrote:
Dumping stats and working with what you get are two completely different things.

This is very true, but 'dumping stats' and 'working with what you get' are both forms of optimization/min-maxing. At least I think thats what some people are trying to point out.

Liberty's Edge

And cauliflower and kale are the same species of plant, but they're still very different things.

Sovereign Court

Jacob Saltband wrote:
Hama wrote:
Dumping stats and working with what you get are two completely different things.
This is very true, but 'dumping stats' and 'working with what you get' are both forms of optimization/min-maxing. At least I think thats what some people are trying to point out.

Well, sorry but no. If I want to have a strong, tough fighter, I'm, most certainly, not going to put a 7 in Strength. I'll put it in either dexterity (he's a bit slow), Intelligence (he's a bit slow :D), Wisdom (he lacks perception and is a little unsophisticated or charisma (he's a dull brute with a lack of manners). Which I choose does not matter. I have to put that 7 into something.

Grand Lodge

I agree that which you choose is irrelevant, but you choosing one of them over Strength is still min/maxing no matter where that 7 came from.

Sovereign Court

So what? I should deliberately gimp my character to avoid it being min-maxed?


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No, you should accept that "min-maxing" isn't necessarily a bad thing, and just having a low stat doesn't mean someone is trying to game the system.


Hama wrote:
So what? I should deliberately gimp my character to avoid it being min-maxed?

Said everyone in favor or optimization and min maxing ever. Thank you for making the argument for us. :)


Coltron wrote:
Hama wrote:
So what? I should deliberately gimp my character to avoid it being min-maxed?
Said everyone in favor or optimization and min maxing ever. Thank you for making the argument for us. :)

You know, I've heard hat exact argument form people who do the extreme optimization builds. I have literally been asked, "why should I accept a weaker character? Just to make it look like I'm not optimizing?"

Liberty's Edge

Accept that min-maxing can cover a lot of different actions done for lots of different reasons and that a low stat does not necessarily indicate 'power gaming", "min-maxing", or anything else. It also could indicate those things.

Just build the character you want to play and ignore everyone else.

Sovereign Court

Seriously, unless a person goes to the extreme to avoid being branded an optimizer or min-maxer and makes a technically useless character, that's somehow bad? I don't get it.

If I want to play a fighter, of course I'll make his strength or constitution a priority. If I want to play a conniving trickster of course I'll make his intelligence or charisma a priority.

I don't get you...

Grand Lodge

Hama wrote:
So what? I should deliberately gimp my character to avoid it being min-maxed?

Why would you do that?


I'm strongly considering this for my next game:

1) Come up with character idea
2) Come up with character personality and background
3) Come up with character build except for the ability scores (pick your skills, feats, etc, that you think you're character would have)
4) Pick the ability scores that fit this character

Maybe ill try it for a module.


Another interesting thing to consider is if all min maxing is created equal. Take in mind my Battle Chef character:

Battle Chef:

Race: Human
Heart of the Fields(+1/2 level to profession check)

I was going to take half elf but realized that with the Focused Study alternative race trait that they get 3 feats for free rather than one.Plus more skill ranks.
Skill focus 1- Proffession Chef
Skill focus 2- Performance Cooking
Skill focus 3- Craft Alchemy

Traits:
Rough and Ready (+1 to attacks using weapons of your profession)
Mentored (+1 profession of your choice)

Class:

Investigator
With the proper talents, it will give me a d8 to my profession check without expending it. This lets me focus on what I want and still be an adequate skill monkey for the group. Alchemy goes hand and hand with cooking and lets me buff my party members, while studied strike makes it so I can do some damage when needed. I feel this lets me keep my idea solid while not being a drain on the party. I am effectively the rogue of the group just with tons of utility and a passion for good food.

A dip in cleric in order to pick up some useful cantrips(create water and purify food seem really helpful, plus guidance for a bit more cooking cheese.

Catch off Guard: Mandatory first level since I will be using Chef tools as weapons
Inexplicable Luck: cost a feat but can give me a +8 to a single roll.
Prodigy: gives me +2 to my craft alchemy and profession Chef.
Improvised Weapon Mastery: as soon as possible due to the epicness of frying pans.

Weapon:
Frying Pan from what I have read they do 1d6 (taken from http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/mastery/nPCGallery/tavern.html)

Eventually I would try to make it Mithral, and enchant it.

Str-12
Dex-14
Con-12
Int-16 (with human bonus)
Wis-14
Cha-11

This character is min maxed to be the greatest chef to ever live. Is this evil? Is this min maxing filth? Or can you min max if you have a goal in mind....say a really strong fighter 18 with a low charisma 7...or a really smart wizard 18 in, with little baby t rex arms str 7?


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Min-Max - a term used to refer to those with heightened system mastery (read: good at the game) by those who are jealous of their abilities and rather than improving their own means of increasing strengths and shoring up weaknesses would rather use meaningless insults to degrade others for playing the game in a means they personally disagree with. Can be used as a verb, or as an adjective in the way of Min-Maxed.

Example - "Tom purposefully raised his effective attributes without wasting resources on one that is less relevant. He Min-Maxed so well that mine is pitiful by comparison. I wish I didn't waste points on my wisdom as a paladin, because all things considered my +1 will save and perception aren't really helping me as much as another strength would in the long run. Hmm, since studying effective means of character building would take me actual time and effort, I'll just insinuate that making the character in a less effective way is somehow a more 'pure' way of playing, and come up with some more insults like powergamer and munchkin instead."


Seems a pretty spot-on example in my experience.


HyperMissingno wrote:

[dice=Straight down]3d6 - 10

[dice=Straight down]3d6 - 17
[dice=Straight down]3d6 - 13
[dice=Straight down]3d6 - 8
[dice=Straight down]3d6 - 10
[dice=Straight down]3d6 - 6

Edit, Huh, not as bad as I thought as it would be but I still wouldn't want to play this. I'm pretty much confined to archery or finesse fighting.

Why confined?


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captain yesterday wrote:

I get what you're saying, I also dislike silly labels that put others down... however your example is terrible, sorry:-)

Edit: I'm the guy with the Paladin, except I don't put the other guy down when my character get scraped along the floor for 300 feet because I didn't have that extra detect evil and didn't sense the Dragon sneaking up on us :-)

I know it wasn't the best example, but I was looking for something besides the cliche dumped charisma for non social or strength for armorless casters. It seemed a good one, given the whole charisma to saves thing for paladin and all.

The point remains the same.


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Note, sometimes a player will choose traditionally considered suboptimal choices for a character on purpose, whether because like the Captain they have different priorities, or because they just want a smarter fighter for RP and background or whatnot...that is NOT wrong.

Talking down about others who don't do that, however, is. It's just another example of "play your game how I play my game or I'm better than you!"


I just deleted my posts I really shouldn't post right after doing a s%@*load of dishes after being awake since 5 a.m. I'm going to bed now...


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Once upon a time there were three little piggies players and they all set out to build a character

The first player built his character without making any adjustments to his ability scores, because he didn't want to be called a min-maxer

Along came the Big Bad wolf Dungeon Master who said, "little player little player roll the dice and try to defeat the challenge"

And the first little player said, but my character can't roll high enough to succeed? Can we just role play it out instead?

And the Big Bad DM huffed and He puffed and he said, "Oh all right, I let it go this time"

The second little player build his character by improving two ability scores as best he could, but took no score below 10

And the Big Bad DM said, "little player little player roll the dice and try to defeat the challenge"

and the second little player said, I think I can't succeed unless I roll a 19 or 20 and that seems almost impossible, is there any situational modifiers I can apply?

And the Big Bad DM huffed and he puffed and said, "Sure you get a +4 bonus to the roll, this time."

The third little player went to d20psfrd, and used that other website to optimize his character

And the Big Bad DM said, Little player, Little...wait what, you have a +14 to your roll at second level? Um what Challenge Level am I supposed to put you up against? Um, I guess I need to learn how to deal with Min-Maxers like you

and the third little player, sighed, lowered his head, and said, can I roll the dice and see what will happen anyway?

and the Big Bad DM huffed and he puffed and said, "Sure, we're all here to play the game and have a good time and there's room for every body's preferences in my game

and everyone lived happily ever after.


I've never heard the term min-max outside of the internet.


Terquem wrote:
Story of the Three Little Players

If only it were that easy. The vast, VAST majority of the GMs I've played with seem to flip out when a character appears that has an easy time of facing the challenges they create, rather than let the player enjoy it while it lasts.

Shadow Lodge

bookrat wrote:

I'm strongly considering this for my next game:

1) Come up with character idea
2) Come up with character personality and background
3) Come up with character build except for the ability scores (pick your skills, feats, etc, that you think you're character would have)
4) Pick the ability scores that fit this character

Maybe ill try it for a module.

This sounds like it would be a pretty interesting way to create a character. If you actually do this I'd like to hear how things go.


Hama wrote:
I fix that by disallowing stats below 10. Unless for roleplay reasons.

I dump stats for roleplay reasons.


bookrat wrote:

I'm strongly considering this for my next game:

1) Come up with character idea
2) Come up with character personality and background
3) Come up with character build except for the ability scores (pick your skills, feats, etc, that you think you're character would have)
4) Pick the ability scores that fit this character

Maybe ill try it for a module.

I've done that before and enjoyed the outcome.

Sovereign Court

Anarchy_Kanya wrote:
Hama wrote:
I fix that by disallowing stats below 10. Unless for roleplay reasons.
I dump stats for roleplay reasons.

That's a different matter altogether. But, you'd still not get those points to redistribute.


If you set the minimum at 10, 10 is dumping. The behavior remains the same, it just looks prettier to you. It's still tanking as few points as they possibly can into the skill they give zero craps about. If you set the minimum at 12 or 14, it still remains the same - those become the new standard for dumping. They'd still be using minimum points on stuff they care not about, to afford maximum points for that which they do. Still min-maxing.

I'm not saying it is a problem, but if it were a problem, minimum attribute requirements don't solve the problem, they mask the symptom.

Stat arrays, dice rolls, etc, all result in the same. Unless you hand out pregens to choose from, those type of players simply will not waste resources on stuff they deem useless.

...and if you do hand out pregens, mention it in the shun thread so we can all properly react to that with the appropriate social disapproval.

Silver Crusade

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Real people are not built to order. No point buy.

Real people get (the equivalent of) random stats. This doesn't mean that, say, blacksmiths are as likely to be weak as they are to be strong. It means that strong people are more likely to be effective blacksmiths, therefore that profession attracts and retains strong people.

Wizards need to be smart. That profession will attract and retain smart people.

This is modeled well by rolling stats, and even choosing how to assign them. Each blacksmith might put their best roll in Str, and each wizard might put their best roll in Int.

What they cannot do is intentionally lower one stat with the result being that another stat gets higher!

If the blacksmith repeatedly bashes his head against the wall to lower his Int, or is deliberately rude to people and scars his own face, this will not result in him being stronger!

If the wizard deliberately catches a wasting disease to lower his Str, this will not increase his intelligence! Although it might be a result of low wisdom...

But point buy allows you to lower one stat to increase another. Not only is this process a poor model of reality, it results in every wizard having 7 Str and every barbarian having 7 Cha, because any other choice is a deliberate choice to be less good at being a wizard or barbarian.

So point buy results in a population full of 18s and 7s, which does not model any population.

If there was a college for wizards, you would expect all of the students to have a high Int; there may even be an exam to get in. Rolling stats will mean that their Int scores will be 18, 17, 16, 15...whatever the best roll was, but not exactly predictable. The Str scores may be poorer (too much study, not enough exercise), but even a min/maxed set of rolls doesn't predict exactly what that Str score will be. It could be 10, 11, 12...whatever your worst roll was.

So this results in a student body with a realistic variation in ability scores, even if you can predict that Str won't be higher than Int.

Contrast that with the same college in point buy. Every single wizard wannabe can, and should, have 7s in Str and Cha, and 18 Int.

The optimisers in rolled stats still have a realistic population; the optimisers in point buy don't.

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