If you know anything about me, you know that I don't hesitate to give out build advice. In fact, all of my guides encourage readers to send me builds they would like some help optimizing. Lately though, since I started posting some of my own builds, I've been getting a few more flat out build requests. I'm not saying that I will not make a build to order, but it is starting to bug me, and I'd like to take a moment to explain why.
Let's say you send me a build that you want reviewed. Generally, I can look at it and tell what kind of budget you plan and what things are important to you. I'll see a few places that could get a bit better, make those changes and send it right back. If the build doesn't have a clear focus, I simply suggest that you determine what your focus really is and try again with that in mind from the start. Either way, I can clearly see that you've put some effort and thought into the character, and I am more than happy to match that effort if it helps you enjoy the character that much more. All said and done, it does not take a lot of effort on my end, but you get a lot of benefit. Everybody's happy.
When I sit down and make a build from scratch, it's a completely different process. I think about the inherent wants of the archetype as well as the synergies of the powerset combination. I determine goals for the build, whether to cover for weaknesses in the sets or to ignore them and maximize performance for a specific set of conditions. I consider what pool and epic powers will bring the most benefit in pursuit of those goals. I analyze survivability, attack chains, and endurance sustainability, both for single target and area chains. I maximize the build's performance across all levels of play. This process takes a great deal of time. When it's for my own build, I don't mind spending that much time because I am going to reap the rewards for the high performance build I end up with. I'm not against doing all that work for someone else, but the bottom line is that I'm not going to do it for free. The good news is I only expect to be paid with in game currency.
Really what I'm trying to do here is encourage people to come up with their own builds. I'll continue to offer optimization advice for any build people send my way, free of charge. But if you'd rather generate a few million influence than to do some math on a build, by all means, send the cash my way and I'll give you build worthy of its own videos. Get in touch and we'll work something out.