The best loot

| Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Recently when I was running LBRS for junkboxes. Less than 1000 to go! I have glyph of lockpick so I can quickly unlock all the boxes. Then I turn off auto-loot and spam click them to check for anything good. I was just trying to get some cheap poisons to kill the last boss.

Sometimes I find a potion or poisons and take out the coin. This time I found a lightsaber. Okay not actually a lightsaber. But the closest thing: Teebu's Blazing Longsword.

Wowhead won't even display anything but zero for two of the three mobs which have dropped it. The other mob, high drop rate, but that's during the AQ gates event which doesn't happen anymore. The other source is Heavy Junkbox, with again, zero: 6 out of 39445. I'm sure there are other sources, but wowhead tends to stop displaying a result if it's too low.

What I'm trying to get at is this is rare. More than rare. People server transfer to sell these things. This is not the sort of thing to expect.

The best drop was the Thunderfury binding off Garr. It was my paladin's first time in MC, doing a funrun with a few guildies. They told me to take it. To even see it is unexpected.

This past week I started running UBRS to see if I could get the sword off the last boss. Last night I started working on trimming off as much time as I could, skipping more mobs, fighting in better places, and really cut down the time per run. I started considering not looting Rend, but I figured, I might as well take the second to click Gyth since there's always the tiny chance of a carapace dropping, and then I can get a useless plate FR chest. What more could a paladin want? It dropped. I looted it, ran along my merry way, ran out, reset, ran again, killed him, and another dropped. That brings the total number I've seen in 5 years to: 3. It's a 4% drop and again, not something to expect. It dropping was a bonus. In contrast, I imagine I'll stop running UBRS once I get the sword

What made these so great? It's not the gold or status of them. It's mental: I didn't expect them or have any sense of entitlement.

That's the killer of fun: running for loot. If it doesn't drop, there's no fun. If it does drop and you don't get it, oh those bullshit rolls fucking bullshit what the fuck don't they fucking know I've been running this for two months straight!? And if you do get it, well why run the instance anymore?

I liked ToC. Then one day I checked wowhead for drops to see what I still wanted. Saw nothing. Stopped queueing.

I ran heroic PoS a few times a week to get some new tanking boots. At first I had fun. Then they didn't drop. And didn't drop. And it stopped being fun. I want my boots! Then I got them. Stopped queueing.

I'm still running LBRS. That's because I still have more boxes to get. But maybe there's still something to learn here: loot doesn't make or break when we don't expect it or feel we deserve it.

I'm not in MC anymore. I started grinding it for my other binding. My. Possessive you say? Oh yes. Yes. And it sucked out a lot of the fun. I kept running it after I got TF. Decided I wanted HoR. Got that. Stopped running.

The most fun loot is that which we don't expect. We aren't disappointed when it doesn't drop. We don't run just to get it.

So what?
If loot didn't motivate us, what would? Challenge? Kill the boss once and you're done. That's even faster than you'd get lucky with loot. Lore? Not enough people care, and stories run out even faster than challenge.

The most fun loot system might be to have it all world drops, with harder mobs having higher chances and higher loot. Never expect anything and it's all fun.

But this would be completely incompatible with a loot-based character development system. If we need loot, we have to be able to get it. Pure random would just be frustrating.

The drama would be terrible. Imagine forming raids to farm the highest raid, getting unwanted drop after unwanted drop until finally, something good drops, and half the raid jumps on it. One person gets it and the rest cannot even think "we'll kill it again next week." It would encourage mass grinding, endlessly, never enough, because maybe it's the next mob, the next mob, the next mob, and you never know which one is the right mob.

It could all be made BoE, so trading could help even out the RNG. There would be no 'bad' drops then, just an inconvenient ones. Except this would be a boon to botters and gold sellers.

Maybe there's nothing to be fixed or gained by changing loot systems.

Is it just our own faults?
The loot isn't the true problem. The true problem is our sense of entitlement. Our sense that we deserve this or that and it is an injustice if we don't get it. No loot system can fix this. Only we can.

4 comments:

Okrane S. said...

Yes. This is about it with scripted encounters.

* do it once to discover it
* potentially do it a couple more times to maybe explore it and improve the execution
* continue doing it IF AND ONLY IF there is an incentive to continue doing it

Be it Super Mario, Dragon Age or the latest wow instance, these do not offer that much re-playability options, hence the carrot-on-a-stick.

PVP however, that's where player created content comes in. People played counterstrike and dota for years now and still dont need some extra incentive to do it. Even though the only thing you're left with after finishing a game is just some extra-knowledge (or extra-skill as some would call it)

The fact that supplemental motivation needs to be added to this kind of scripted games simply shows that in fact they are quite boring to begin with...

Tesh said...

If we're not playing because it's fun, but rather, for the loot, well, then we run facefirst into Chris Hecker's nightmare:

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/27646/GDC_Heckers_Nightmare_Scenario__A_Future_Of_Rewarding_Players_For_Dull_Tasks.php

Klepsacovic said...

@Okrane S.: Perhaps not boring boring, but not sufficiently interesting when done over and over. Imagine a good book. Would you read it every week for a year? I doubt it. Certainly some content is boring, but there just aren't enough 'books'.

@Tesh: My nightmare involves zombies and not actually being a paladin. His frightens me as well.

Anonymous said...

Just saw Teebu's Longsword up on auction house on horde Agamaggan. I wonder if the seller is the writer.

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