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The Importance of Items: A Reasonable Dialogue

 

The importance of items has been a part of the fantasy world for as long as there has been fantasy.  What would the King Arthur story be without "Excalibur" or the Hobbit/LOTR without "The Ring", Frodo's Mithril Vest, or Aragorn's sword "Anduril, Flame of the West".  Gear has always had it's place in fantasy.

Gear also has it's place in more modern times as well...we all know what a certain "weapon" did for WWII.

In today's MMORPG's gear is simply a form of advancement for your character.  Whether you gain a level, or get new boots, it's simply a way to raise your stats to make your character more powerful.  But it also says something about you as a player and your experience in the game.

In WoW, for example, once you reach max level, gear is the last form of advancement and also a clue to others what content you have done.

Here is a fact we cannot avoid: By design, you simply cannot do some content without gear that is appropriate for the dungeon you are doing.  Of course, at the end of an expansion, you could get away with doing ICC in white gear since most of your raid will be fully geared.  Although, it's most likely you will not be picked unless they are friends who choose to 'carry you'.

The reason that gear has become a debate is because it has lead to a sad form of elitism. The 'nitpicky-ness' that has formed in the genre has created a backlash against the importance of gear.  There is a logic to this however, which I will try to explain my views on:

To set the record straight, I'd like to clarify what gear says and doesn't say about a player:

What your gear says about you:

1. Gear shows that  you have the needed stats to pull your weight in a dungeon/raid.  This is by design.  There is a progression in most endgame for MMORPG's where the introductory level gear is not sufficient to do the harder content.  They want you to go in order (i.e. in WoW hit 80, heroics, then raids). It doesn't always work this way, but this is the design. This design, according to the developers, is carried out in Cataclysm as well.

2. Gear shows that you've completed certain content which show you are experienced in your class. "But wait, I had good enough gear for that dungeon and they still didn't pick me because I didn't have a 9000+ gearscore!" That's because the people running that dungeon have no idea if you can play or not and would rather not waste time learning if you are good or if you are a noob that wipes raids.  They want to ensure that your gear is so good that it can possibly make up for your possible lack of skills.  I'm not defending this mindset, but it's what happens.

What your gear does not say about you:

1. Gear does not show your intelligence or lack thereof. ...at least not at first! If you are a dps class and you have healing gear on, you need some lessons.  Don't be offended if you suddenly discover that you are incorrectly geared...just work on fixing it.  We all need to learn sometime. Lack of gear doesn't mean you aren't a smart person or that you aren't capable of learning.  Good players will direct newer players to the resources that will help them get what they need.  But still, as a raid leader, if you keep showing up week after week with the same issue...there's a problem.  Everyone else cared enough to get the right stats...you need to also.

2. Gear does not show your skill at playing your class. I'll never forget zoning into Halls of Reflection to see the tank in all greens.  We all laughed...and expected to die.  We didn't die, in fact the run went very smoothly thanks to our incredible healer (the tank was taking huge spikes of damage).  The tank said "see, I told you we could do it...who needs gear?"  We partially agreed with him.  He was a skilled tank and played very well.  But, had we not had the strong healer it most likely would have been a different story.  Ok...yes  YOU know you are a good player, the problem is that other people don't.  Your gear does not show how good you are at playing your class, but sadly most folks just aren't willing to take your word for it.

 

In conclusion, I'm not defending the elitism that has risen among gamers, but I'm simply explaining it.  I work 50+ hours a week and have 3 kids at home.  I've never had a problem preparing my character for endgame content...perhaps not as fast as others but I still get there.  I study my class and make sure I'm prepared (as anyone would do for war).  When I screw up, I take criticism well.  Because gear has become such an issue, some people are hyper-sensitive and overreact at the first sign of "you need xxx gear".  Gear has always been a part of the fantasy/modern world...and always will be.


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Comments

  • arcanistarcanist Member Posts: 163

    I agree gear should be important. What I dont agree with is such a bad implementation. Gear shouldnt have a lkarge range in ability. For example a sword that does fifty damage and oine that does five hundred is bad. Also a weapon should have several variations. For example, speed [hits per seconds], weight [stamina use], damage, etc. That way you could build your charactewr in a way that you want.

  • AmarantharAmaranthar Member RarePosts: 3,514

    Originally posted by arcanist

    I agree gear should be important. What I dont agree with is such a bad implementation. Gear shouldnt have a lkarge range in ability. For example a sword that does fifty damage and oine that does five hundred is bad. Also a weapon should have several variations. For example, speed [hits per seconds], weight [stamina use], damage, etc. That way you could build your charactewr in a way that you want.

     

    I agree. To me, having these large spreads of capability totally ruins any advanced social structures. Players have to be divided up according to their capabilities, and the world has to be zoned off for it. It also kills a wider Trades market, zoning that too off into ranges of capabilities. I don't care for this "zoning".

    Once upon a time....

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,772

    Originally posted by arcanist

    I agree gear should be important. What I dont agree with is such a bad implementation. Gear shouldnt have a lkarge range in ability. For example a sword that does fifty damage and oine that does five hundred is bad. Also a weapon should have several variations. For example, speed [hits per seconds], weight [stamina use], damage, etc. That way you could build your charactewr in a way that you want.

     

     

    Well, several variations (or attributes) wont help. Look at WOW, it has fast weapons, slow weapons, hard hitting weapons, weapons that procs.

    However, people run all the combination thru RAWR and there is always an optimal solution.

    Note that people are NOT interested in customization as much as being HIGHER in dps numbers. Many will play the optimal gear + optimal spec if they knwo what that is.

  • TalinguardTalinguard Member UncommonPosts: 676

    The goal of any MMORPG, after "having fun" has to be "accomplishment".  Striving to equip your character is as old as pen-and-paper RPG's.

    Having said that, the OP touches on a few things that I'll expand on.  Gear is purchased, not with money, but with time, which as the OP hints to, isn't always equitable.  The root of the problem is that money's value come not from it's intrinsic properties or the intrinsic properties of what it's based on but only on time spent by the payer who earns it.  In other words money is not, nor is it founded upon anything of "real" value within the game.

    Until money has a direct connection to the gear that it buys, elitism will always be a problem, because player skill will make up such a small portion of what it takes to be good in the genre.

    Presentation for new MMORPG economics concept http://www.slideshare.net/talin/mmo-economics-concept-v-10

  • DrachasorDrachasor Member Posts: 2,678

    You (the OP) claim gear shows you are experienced, then immediately counter that gear doesn't show that you know what you are doing at all.

    As for gear giving you necessary stats, that's only, as you say, because of the game design.  One could easily design a game where gear wasn't needed for that.

    While gear has always been an element of fantasy, we are talking about a handful of items at most per person.  King Arthur had TWO main items of note.  Excalibur and its scabbard.  Thor had his belt, glvoes, and Mjolnir (I feel like I forgot something).  Bilbo had Sting and the Ring.  Quantity at one time isn't the only difference of course.  These people got their items and stuck with them rather than holding them for a month and then getting rid of them, one item only slighter better than the next as you might replace a common pair of boots.  Further, the items of classic heroes was unique and had something akin to a personality to it.  It wasn't something easily replaceable.

    You can't say this is like gaming either.  D&D traditionally only had a few items of note per character and they weren't frequently replaced.  Even 3rd Edition, which had the most of this sort of behavior, didn't have frequent magical item replacement though many felt it went a bit too far with how it handled items.  Other games are similar.  It's a curious thing that CRPGs have become so item-focused, since certainly MMOs aren't entirely unique in this regard (even if they take it to a worse level).  However, if there's anything traditional RPGS (not CRPGs) and non-RPG video games show, it is that you don't have to have a constant replacement of equipment to be fun.

    Overall I think the item treadmill in many MMOs has happened as a way to keep people playing since gameplay has been pretty stagnant for the last many years.  It is one of the deficiencies in game design...a poor carrot to try to keep people playing.  One of the many poor features of MMOs that people forgive because of their desire for the social aspects the game provides.

    I think the OP's post demonstrated just how unnecessary the current gear situation really is.

  • lerazaleraza Member Posts: 8

    Agreed.

    This is probably one of the saddest thing about the current situation. In spite of the importance of gear there is no real attachment to it .

    Excalibur is THE sword of Arthur not merely the most leet sword he could find at a given point in his career. By the same token at no point does Frodo find The One Ring of the Whale and therefore ditch his One Ring that he got in a quest in his starting Zone

    These 2 items are way way more then mere tools,  they are integral components of the characters persona (And of course in the case of the One Ring the main quest and indeed the villain as it were).

    It is true that the massive item centric mentality did not originate in the sources that the mmos evolved from. Granted one saw some fairly horrific monty haul groups back in the day but in most campaigns a handfull of notable magic items over the duration of it was the norm .

    ps. Frodo did have an armor whos name escapes me. Thor also apparently had a flying Goat Cart so thats 4 .. but then again he is a god :)

  • Cephus404Cephus404 Member CommonPosts: 3,675

    Originally posted by Talinguard

    The goal of any MMORPG, after "having fun" has to be "accomplishment".  Striving to equip your character is as old as pen-and-paper RPG's.

    I don't know, I think there's a difference between equipping your character to make them stronger and more capable and equipping your character so you can show off to other people.  The first certainly has a long and distinguished history, the second is terribly shallow.  Me, I don't care how my character looks, I care how they operate, what they can do, what new equipment allows me to perform and take on.  I couldn't care less how ugly it is.  Looks don't affect performance.

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
    Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
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  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,772

    Originally posted by Cephus404

    Originally posted by Talinguard

    The goal of any MMORPG, after "having fun" has to be "accomplishment".  Striving to equip your character is as old as pen-and-paper RPG's.

    I don't know, I think there's a difference between equipping your character to make them stronger and more capable and equipping your character so you can show off to other people.  The first certainly has a long and distinguished history, the second is terribly shallow.  Me, I don't care how my character looks, I care how they operate, what they can do, what new equipment allows me to perform and take on.  I couldn't care less how ugly it is.  Looks don't affect performance.

     

    Shallow, or not, that is human nature. If you think MMO players don't like to show off, you don't know what humans are like.

    Plus, MMOs are entertainment. What is wrong with being a little shallow when we play games. It is not like it matters a great deal.

  • CastillleCastillle Member UncommonPosts: 2,679

    We need to bring back item decay from SWG :P

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  • Moaky07Moaky07 Member Posts: 2,096

    Nice post OP.

     

    I started EQ in feb of 01. It was my first MMO. It has shaped my ideas of loot in MMOs I would have to admit.  If you wanted the good gear, then you had to go do the content.

     

    Back then you could play the market, and end up with the money to buy your wanted item. If you were savvy enough I should say. That wasnt the case for most. Instead they went out, with friends, and got the item they wanted to drop.

     

    Then you started seeing more of the bind on pick up or equip items....which is how loot should be IMO.

    To me you should be able to get good gear thru adventuring....both solo/grp/quest and raiding. It shows you have completed content, and is the reward for your effort.

     

    I am firmly against Uncle Owen systems for loot. It totally defeats the system of PVE in my eyes. If crafting is to return high valued products, then I would wish for them to be for self use.

    Loot shouldnt be a reason to put others down. By the same token, it should be a badge to show you are out adventuring, and thus have upgrades.

     

    Asking Devs to make AAA sandbox titles is like trying to get fine dining on a McDonalds dollar menu budget.

  • Cephus404Cephus404 Member CommonPosts: 3,675

    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Originally posted by Cephus404


    Originally posted by Talinguard

    The goal of any MMORPG, after "having fun" has to be "accomplishment".  Striving to equip your character is as old as pen-and-paper RPG's.

    I don't know, I think there's a difference between equipping your character to make them stronger and more capable and equipping your character so you can show off to other people.  The first certainly has a long and distinguished history, the second is terribly shallow.  Me, I don't care how my character looks, I care how they operate, what they can do, what new equipment allows me to perform and take on.  I couldn't care less how ugly it is.  Looks don't affect performance.

     

    Shallow, or not, that is human nature. If you think MMO players don't like to show off, you don't know what humans are like.

    Plus, MMOs are entertainment. What is wrong with being a little shallow when we play games. It is not like it matters a great deal.

    Human nature or no, it's still shallow.  I always find it funny that developers cater to the shallowness of the players and then the players sit around and bitch about it.  What's the majority of stuff in most online stores?  Vanity items!  But lots of people whine about the existence of online stores in games, but they're still the ones shelling out money to buy something that has little or no impact on actual game play.

    Lots of people create their own problems.

    Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
    Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
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  • QazzQazz Member Posts: 577

    Originally posted by Drachasor

    You (the OP) claim gear shows you are experienced, then immediately counter that gear doesn't show that you know what you are doing at all.

    ...

    I think the OP's post demonstrated just how unnecessary the current gear situation really is.

    Actually what I intended to show was that while a player's gear doesn't show IQ or ability to play, it does show what content you've completed on that character.  If I don't know you and am deciding whether or not to invite you, I might choose to use your gear as a deciding factor, since I can't always take your word for it, "Oh yeah, I'm a great paladin" ... ok, but you could be lying.  That's why gear is often used as a judge of experience.  Again, I'm not defending this mindset, just recognizing that this happens.

     

    Edited for clarity.

  • radiosradios Member Posts: 10

    Gear should enhance gameplay, not dictate gameplay.

  • DrachasorDrachasor Member Posts: 2,678

    Originally posted by Qazz

    Originally posted by Drachasor

    You (the OP) claim gear shows you are experienced, then immediately counter that gear doesn't show that you know what you are doing at all.

    ...

    I think the OP's post demonstrated just how unnecessary the current gear situation really is.

    Actually what I intended to show was that while a player's gear doesn't show IQ or ability to play, it does show what content you've completed on that character.  If I don't know you and am deciding whether or not to invite you, I might choose to use your gear as a deciding factor, since I can't always take your word for it, "Oh yeah, I'm a great paladin" ... ok, but you could be lying.  That's why gear is often used as a judge of experience.  Again, I'm not defending this mindset, just recognizing that this happens.

     

    Edited for clarity.

    Which is actually an argument against the current gear situation, since gear doesn't actually reflect ability.  People using it like it does leads to bad decision-making both in letting people in and keeping people out.

  • t0nydt0nyd Member UncommonPosts: 504

    Originally posted by radios

    Gear should enhance gameplay, not dictate gameplay.

     This guy knows what he is talking about.

     Gear in games such as WoW exist for 2 reasons.

     

    1. Gear exists as a means of consumption.

          In the United States, everything is driven by consumption. People want and want and want. So obviously Blizzard uses this mentality as a means of giving people an unattainable goal. You will never get the best gear so you will never stop playing.

     

    2. Gear exists as a means of control.

         The worst thing that can happen to a company like Blizzard is that the player have any sort of control. Blizzard gives you talent choices as a means of placating those of us who want choices but these talents only develop your character in ways that Blizzard can control. There is a reason that 90% of your health eventually comes from gear and that you have no actually choice when it comes to determining your base or future statistics. Player's are smart and they will find ways to manipulate the system so through gear blizzard exerts its control.

     

         Gear should exist to enhance gameplay and nothing more. If there was no Thor, there would be no mjolnir. If there wasnt an Arthur there would be no excalibur. The clothes do not make the man, the man makes the clothes.

  • HluillHluill Member UncommonPosts: 146

    Some interesting points, but a couple of statements got my attention.

    The importance of items has been a part of the fantasy world for as long as there has been fantasy.  What would the King Arthur story be without "Excalibur" or the Hobbit/LOTR without "The Ring", Frodo's Mithril Vest, or Aragorn's sword "Anduril, Flame of the West".  Gear has always had it's place in fantasy.

    Neither Frodo, Arthur or Aragorn outleveled their items.

    Gear also has it's place in more modern times as well...we all know what a certain "weapon" did for WWII.

    there were only two of those weapons and they were both deployed.  their effectiveness is still under contention.

     I study my class and make sure I'm prepared (as anyone would do for war). 

    Funny, all the wars in which I have taken part, or read about, I had little or no choice over what gear I got to equip.  In some cases I would've preferred to take my own stuff.  My carbine had a better barrel and was MUCH better maintained than the M4 I was issued.  Much of the time the issued gear is crap.   

    And then I have to ask: what makes one piece of gear better than another?  My buddy loves his 9mm XDM.  Me, I am happy with a 1911, though my best shooting ever was with a 226.

    How does a piece of gear make me stronger or quicker or smarter or more powerful?  My best kit is still heavy.  My favorite quote is a buddy saying: "Yep, got a hundred pounds of light-weight, high-tech gear on."  Feathers or rocks, a hundred pounds is a hundred pounds.

    So, I'd like to see MMOs explore why Excalibur or Sting or Andruil is better than that hunk of sharpened iron the orc uses.  Would Aragorn be gimped if he had to use a scimitar instead?  If so, I am glad MMOs don't reflect the real world.  Here we use what we got, adapt and overcome and all that.


    TSW, LotRO, EQ2, SWTOR, GW2, V:SoH, Neverwinter, ArchAge, EQ, UO, DAoC, WAR, DDO, AoC, MO, BDO, SotA, B&S, ESO, 

  • QazzQazz Member Posts: 577

    Originally posted by Drachasor

    Originally posted by Qazz


    Originally posted by Drachasor

    You (the OP) claim gear shows you are experienced, then immediately counter that gear doesn't show that you know what you are doing at all.

    ...

    I think the OP's post demonstrated just how unnecessary the current gear situation really is.

    Actually what I intended to show was that while a player's gear doesn't show IQ or ability to play, it does show what content you've completed on that character.  If I don't know you and am deciding whether or not to invite you, I might choose to use your gear as a deciding factor, since I can't always take your word for it, "Oh yeah, I'm a great paladin" ... ok, but you could be lying.  That's why gear is often used as a judge of experience.  Again, I'm not defending this mindset, just recognizing that this happens.

     

    Edited for clarity.

    Which is actually an argument against the current gear situation, since gear doesn't actually reflect ability.  People using it like it does leads to bad decision-making both in letting people in and keeping people out.

    But gear does reflect experience with certain content, this cannot be refuted.  If a raid leader doesn't know you, they have to use the evidence at-hand to determine whether or not you're a good choice and one of those evidences is gear.

  • arcanistarcanist Member Posts: 163

    It took me two seconds to come up with a solution to that problem. If you have to know how good someone is a player history sheet would work. Dungeons done. How fast. etc.

  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504

    Originally posted by t0nyd

    Originally posted by radios

    Gear should enhance gameplay, not dictate gameplay.

     This guy knows what he is talking about.

     Gear in games such as WoW exist for 2 reasons.

     

    1. Gear exists as a means of consumption.

          In the United States, everything is driven by consumption. People want and want and want. So obviously Blizzard uses this mentality as a means of giving people an unattainable goal. You will never get the best gear so you will never stop playing.

     

    2. Gear exists as a means of control.

         The worst thing that can happen to a company like Blizzard is that the player have any sort of control. Blizzard gives you talent choices as a means of placating those of us who want choices but these talents only develop your character in ways that Blizzard can control. There is a reason that 90% of your health eventually comes from gear and that you have no actually choice when it comes to determining your base or future statistics. Player's are smart and they will find ways to manipulate the system so through gear blizzard exerts its control.

     

         Gear should exist to enhance gameplay and nothing more. If there was no Thor, there would be no mjolnir. If there wasnt an Arthur there would be no excalibur. The clothes do not make the man, the man makes the clothes.

    You have a severely whacked view of things.

    RPGs are about character development.  What's the easiest way of putting the power in player's hands to customize their character as they desire?  Gear.   Gear provides stats and visuals, and players are free to mix/match as they see fit.

    Your "control" bit is kinda whacked.   Games are control.  There are always constraints.  We call them Game Rules.  Without rules, there's no game.

    This appeals to you.  Because if it didn't, you wouldn't be here in a game forum.  You'd be in a rock climbing forum (or any of a hundred other non-game activities.)  Games are fun specifically because of their rules.

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • DrachasorDrachasor Member Posts: 2,678

    Originally posted by Qazz

    Originally posted by Drachasor


    Originally posted by Qazz


    Originally posted by Drachasor

    You (the OP) claim gear shows you are experienced, then immediately counter that gear doesn't show that you know what you are doing at all.

    ...

    I think the OP's post demonstrated just how unnecessary the current gear situation really is.

    Actually what I intended to show was that while a player's gear doesn't show IQ or ability to play, it does show what content you've completed on that character.  If I don't know you and am deciding whether or not to invite you, I might choose to use your gear as a deciding factor, since I can't always take your word for it, "Oh yeah, I'm a great paladin" ... ok, but you could be lying.  That's why gear is often used as a judge of experience.  Again, I'm not defending this mindset, just recognizing that this happens.

     

    Edited for clarity.

    Which is actually an argument against the current gear situation, since gear doesn't actually reflect ability.  People using it like it does leads to bad decision-making both in letting people in and keeping people out.

    But gear does reflect experience with certain content, this cannot be refuted.  If a raid leader doesn't know you, they have to use the evidence at-hand to determine whether or not you're a good choice and one of those evidences is gear.

    Bad arguments are bad.  You said yourself gear is a bad argument.  Why are you so in favor of it?

  • IlliusIllius Member UncommonPosts: 4,142

    Originally posted by Qazz

    But gear does reflect experience with certain content, this cannot be refuted.  If a raid leader doesn't know you, they have to use the evidence at-hand to determine whether or not you're a good choice and one of those evidences is gear.

    One of the reasons I miss the old days when people knew who you were and what you could do.  Days when if you were an idiot, or an ass you would be shunned and deservently so and since getting to that point was hard and took a while you couldn't just reroll another toon and be back at the same spot within a week

    No required quests! And if I decide I want to be an assassin-cartographer-dancer-pastry chef who lives only to stalk and kill interior decorators, then that's who I want to be, even if it takes me four years to max all the skills and everyone else thinks I'm freaking nuts. -Madimorga-

  • Ralphie2449Ralphie2449 Member UncommonPosts: 406

    Gear in a pvp game is bad /end

    it rewards time played and not skill and many people in wow just play for that, its funny keep playing forever since you know blizzard is gonna release another top gear set in 1 month. Thats one of the main reasons wow is stupid and sucks, because a bad geared player cant win vs a top geared 1 year old baby- its just rediculous, how much gear changes things

    But since its an mmorpg, people need to have character development to make them keep playing it and paying. Other ways for character development can be found but of course wont probably be as profitable as gear

     

    I prefer to have see gear that is focusing only on the cosmetic and maybe minus and plus stats(-40% armor +35%attack) to change a little to player style and maybe add some more real choices

  • tharkthark Member UncommonPosts: 1,188

    Originally posted by Qazz

    Originally posted by Drachasor

    You (the OP) claim gear shows you are experienced, then immediately counter that gear doesn't show that you know what you are doing at all.

    ...

    I think the OP's post demonstrated just how unnecessary the current gear situation really is.

    Actually what I intended to show was that while a player's gear doesn't show IQ or ability to play, it does show what content you've completed on that character.  If I don't know you and am deciding whether or not to invite you, I might choose to use your gear as a deciding factor, since I can't always take your word for it, "Oh yeah, I'm a great paladin" ... ok, but you could be lying.  That's why gear is often used as a judge of experience.  Again, I'm not defending this mindset, just recognizing that this happens.

     

    Edited for clarity.

     If you take away the ability to check out other characthers like in WoW you also take away this mindset.

     

    Gear is a plague in that sence, if a player is poor or good should be experienced via gameplay not some stupid function that lets other players play  judge jury and executineer.

     

     

  • VirusDancerVirusDancer Member UncommonPosts: 3,649

    Originally posted by Qazz

     

    The importance of items has been a part of the fantasy world for as long as there has been fantasy.  What would the King Arthur story be without "Excalibur" or the Hobbit/LOTR without "The Ring", Frodo's Mithril Vest, or Aragorn's sword "Anduril, Flame of the West".  Gear has always had it's place in fantasy.

    It is difficult to read beyond this point.  While I am sure there is a lot of good information and thought provoking discussion to be had from the rest of the post; this starting paragraph points out how ridiculous gear has become in games.

    Gear has had it's place and nobody is really arguing gear in the examples you provide there.  Imagine though what those stories would be if:

    King Arthur gets Excalibur in the first chapter.  He gets Excalibur 2 in the second chapter.  Excalibur 3 in the third chapter.  Etc, etc, etc.

    "The Ring" is not quote unquote a piece of gear.  It is a focal point.  However, you do have the gear the characters start with and...finish with.  They do not constantly upgrade their gear.

    That is the difference.  You see gear in PnP RPGs that is more in line with how it is in the fantasy world.

    It is only with MMORPG themeparks where there is no real character development offered where you see the blatant gear progression.

    The funny part is that it goes beyond even the farce of gear progression.

    Imagine those same stories...if you could head to the local equivalent of a Wal-Mart and pick up an Excalibur?  Imagine if all those items that have helped the character (the character still came first) - those unique items, were carried around by every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the story?

    With the repeatable content that most games offer, you will have people in the same raid all literally wearing their "Mithril Shirts" and wielding their "Excaliburs"...

    Gear definitely has a place in fantasy and science fiction.  There is no doubt about that.  Yet that place is in helping a character - not to replace the character... and definitely not to be as common as a cup of coffee at morning business meeting.


    I miss the MMORPG genre. Will a developer ever make one again?

    Explorer: 87%, Killer: 67%, Achiever: 27%, Socializer: 20%

  • VirusDancerVirusDancer Member UncommonPosts: 3,649

    As far as gear showing experience or accomplishment... that would be fine if it were completely impossible for somebody to be carried in an encounter.  If it is possible for 9 capped geared players to carry a 10th, then it loses meaning.  24/25, 39/40, 69/70... etc.

    Having a particular piece of gear from something just means you were there.

    Design content that is an actual challenge - something dynamic that scales with the players - then it might take on more meaning.  Until then, the argument simply does not hold.

    There are very few items that have the meaning you would attribute to them.  They exist at the very end of any of the so-called endgames...and not having them could not be used to exclude players from attempting to get them - since nobody would have them until they do.

    I miss the MMORPG genre. Will a developer ever make one again?

    Explorer: 87%, Killer: 67%, Achiever: 27%, Socializer: 20%

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