Another good rant/editorial over on Gamasutra:: Soapbox: World of Warcraft Teaches the Wrong Things.
I’m not buying into the Warcraft is our children’s teacher bit, and an evil one at that, but his “group vs solo” and “rewards tied to time invested” discussions are pretty damn spot-on as far as I’m concerned. BTW, he’s not talking about winky dink level 30s having to group, he’s talking about the big boys. If you want the best stuff (and of course you do), you must play in 40-man raid zones.
I love when developer types talk about burying the best rewards in raid zones as if this is the natural order of things. WTF, when I go to lunch, I don’t take 39 of my coworkers with me thinking we’ll get a better lunch that way. Raid zones require huge manpower only because it’s always been that way and it’s EASIER and probably CHEAPER to build.
This discussion reminds me of a conversation we often have in games: remember the noob levels? You run around by yourself killing ten rats and every once in a while one of the rats drops a weapon that’s better than what you have and you go woohoo? For about 10 or 20 or 30 levels, depending on the game, you’ll get better stuff that you can actually use off the mobs and it’s woohoo each time. Sometimes you’ll get better stuff that a friend or a passing noob can use and you give it to them because you haven’t a care in the world and it’s cool that someone else can use.
Why does that time always have to end?
There’s probably a Robert Frost poem in there somewhere, but I’ll spare you.