Loot

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I found this comment on Diablo-style loot. You know, Blizzard’s secret sauce.

Because it’s more exciting and you always have the feeling that the next item will be better. As opposed to getting a Longsword +3 and knowing that no matter how many enemies you kill, you will never find a better item because that’s the limit of the system.

Also, finding that one perfect (or near perfect) sword or armor feels more fun than finding just another sword you’ve seen 10 times already with exact same stats, name and appearance.

Makes sense, right?

Then I read this reply:

In these type of games, I usually feel the opposite, actually. When I get a decent weapon, I feel that the next 100 or so weapons I will find in the future will be crappy vendor trash. And when I actually find one that is better, it would be only a slight improvement that doesn’t excite me at all. Maybe this is why I don’t get the appeal of these games. I just don’t feel it.

I’ve always felt that more discrete weapons system in normal rpgs make each weapon much more meaningful than the ‘random gear everywhere’ system that loot based games use.

So I was thinking: is that games are like art, making us better.

Or is it that games just exploit our fallacies, the weaknesses.

Feels good man, until you don’t give it too much thought.

Right?

(Maybe these aren’t different players liking different things, but just different levels of player’s awareness? Here’s a little insight that probably everyone else forgot: during the World of Warcraft beta Blizzard changed the armor system. They made the numbers much bigger from a patch to the other, without changing the effectiveness. One dev also explained this in a forum post. I remember this because it always sounded like a sort of “fraud” and I’ve never accepted how that explanation could be acceptable. The logic was that in the old system it happened that players would keep a single piece of equipment for a few levels before finding an actual upgrade. You’d find loot, but it was just about the same of what you had equipped already. But by scaling up the numbers they obtained much more granularity in the system. That means that players would find upgrades, albeit smaller, a lot more frequently. You’d find a belt with 107 armor and replace it with one with 110. But the hidden truth behind this was that while before the loot numbers were set in a way that was pertinent to the formulas, in the new system instead those tiny upgrades literally MADE NO DIFFERENCE. They were lost in the formulas due to how approximations worked. Those upgrades are technically just mislead player perception. Manipulation.

The Blizzard guy who come up with this must have felt like a real trickster.)

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