What's the difference between being helpful and being an elitist?
I had an opportunity today to witness someone asking for help with a build. First life drow cleric, lvl 7. Picked a couple feats that didn't really help the class, and was looking for some advice on what they could have possibly taken instead. It started out fairly cordial, but ended up that the person was told their build basically sucked because they didn't put more into CON than they did, when it would have penalized their build to do so.
I don't have a problem with constructive criticism. But as someone who has taken a first life drow cleric (with the same stats the player had given, tweaked with tomes and gear) to epic before TRing, and did fine in EN/EH content (just me, my sorc bro, and 2 hirelings), I know that with a couple feat tweaks, the player could have done just fine in any heroic adventure. And seeing people tear apart someone's entire build because it didn't fit their own style of play isn't constructive. Nobody had asked if the player had access to 32pt builds. Their stats as a drow were decent, but without 32 points, the alternate races mentioned would have had a hard time matching it. The ONLY upside would have been a couple more points in CON (so trade out turning or spellpoints for 20 more HP).
Telling the player why Constitution is important to all builds is great, because surviving is something everyone wants to do. But telling them that if they don't have x points in it then their build is trash, is not. It seems to me that people have gotten into min/maxing and cookie-cutter builds a bit too much and it shows in how they treat people who try things a little differently. And to me, at least, that's not helpful at all.