Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

Screw Badges

Keen is extremely happy about the way that Star Wars: The Old Republic will get rid of “loot frustration” through their loot container system (working title). Those will essentially be a combination of Diablo III’s individual loot (everyone gets their own container) with World of Warcraft’s badge system. Sometimes you get an item from the container, when you don’t you get badges (excuse me, commendations) that can be exchange for those same items.

Well screw that. All items that bosses can drop will also be available in stores for badges? This is the epitome of boring loot. Do you know how people say that if you never take any risks you never get the chance of good things happening to you? This is exactly that. In order for loot to be exciting in any way, there needs to be a chance for disappointment. I somewhat get the idea in WoW that you get badges so that you don’t completely raid for no gain at all when your loot doesn’t drop (though I don’t actually approve of that either) but this is ridiculous.

We can see a similar system going on in skirmishes in Lord of the Rings online. Completing skirmishes rewards you with skirmish marks which can be exchanged for gear and skirmish-related skills. You get the odd rare drop of other badges that can be combined with skirmish marks for better loot or exchanged for additional marks.  Once a day you get to do each skirmish for bonus marks. Then you can take your bazillion marks to traders, neatly sorted by item type they sell. Do you see where I’m going with this? What we have here is nothing but a boring grind for marks which can then be traded for equally boring gear. Never will you see the excitement of getting that rare drop again, ever.

But, you say, the endless grind of the same bosses over and over again until your specific piece of loot drops is so frustrating. I feel you. I did so many runs through Scholomance for my priest tier 0 headpiece that I had tier 2 by the time it finally dropped. The solution isn’t to remove random drops though, but to make them more random instead. I would never have had to grind Scholomance over and over again if there hadn’t been the expectation of finding that helmet there in the first place.

Eh, I don’t want to go deeply into itemization again. This simply sucks, rant over.

  • I’d like to see a weighted random system. The general idea is this: over one kill you have a 10% chance of the drop you want and over 10 kills you have a 65% to see it drop, so make that the new chance to see it drop. In other words, your drop chance goes up with the number of non-loot kills. It is never 100% and would take a very long time to get close, but it at least means that you’re rarely going to have the one piece that never ever drops and then someone ninjas it when it does, such as the warlock dungeon chest from UBRS, which is clearly just a general example and not a specific long-standing grudge I’ve been carrying for five years.

  • A bag for each person, with either loot or badges?

    I think people are going to just end up burning out of instances really quickly. It sounds completely trivial to collect a full set of gear from an instance, so what would be the point to keep running them? They are going to run into some serious problems keeping content interesting when the loot runs out.