Grognardia has a post up about generating ability scores in D&D and it's various offspring. It's pretty much about the virtues of the 3d6 in order method, although a roll 18d6 and assign as you want is also mentioned and is interesting (tho I suspect Dump Stat would be in full effect)
My issue is that the method is fine in OD&D and Swords & Wizardry (the current clone) as your abilities don't have much of an effect on gameplay. The largest stat bonus is +1 and the largest stat penalty is -1. It just doesn't have a significant influence on gameplay.
Once stat bonuses and penalties start hitting the +/- 3 or 4 range, as they do with the other D&d variations, they start having a huge impact on play. Who really wants to play the someone that is less then average in a game that is supposed to be fun? Some might like the challenge, but if the player isn't going to have fun because his character is crippled from level 1, why is he going to keep coming back to reach level 2.
I'm not advocating the Unearthed Arcana method of stat rolling, but there is nothing wrong with a best 3 out of 4d6 method (or even 3 out of 5d6 depending on the type of campaign the players and the DM want) in my opinion.
As for point buy, I've always had an aversion to it, but I do see how it can keep a player from rolling something that is totally borked.
Isn't the whole point of our hobby to have fun? Maybe not for some of the old timers (that there is a joke, son) but that's the reason I like to play. It's simply fun. I don't want a character that is the best, but I certainly don't want to play one that is so crippled that it just isn't much fun. Besides, if he was really that much of a loser, who would pick him for an adventuring party anyway?
It is called "Fantasy" Roleplaying for a reason ;)
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