Actually, that post title might not be strictly accurate. Another Steamvaults run this weekend, final boss dropped: Beast Lord Shoulders. Again. Goes without saying there was no hunter in the group. Total number of blue drops now gained from instances since Hellfire Ramparts: zero. Obviously karmic vengeance from ending up with the Shadowrend Longblade, Garrote-String Necklace *and* Bracers of Finesse from the Ramparts. Course they’re now all long-replaced. Oh well. If WoW is a virtual operant conditioning chamber like EverQuest before it, how long do you keep pressing the lever when it doesn’t give a food pellet?
(Should I somehow get on a successful Black Morass run where Latro’s Shifting Sword drops *and I win it*, expect the next post to be “Random Loot, and why it’s the greatest reward system ever.”)
Anyway, I played a fair bit of STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl, and was most impressed by its loot system, which doesn’t consist of playing the same level over and over and over and over and over again until some bloke drops the Brilliant Assault Rifle Of Brilliantness. Sorry! Sorry. Last loot whine, promise. It’s not a bad game; reminds me of a post-apocalyptic Operation Flashpoint with some RPG elements (an inventory, NPCs with dialogue driving the story and providing “side quests”). In that, it’s also somewhat reminiscent of Deus Ex, but it doesn’t quite scale the same heights; then again, not much does. Still, it serves its prime purpose of being an assault rifle-blazing alternative to WoW.
Zoso, I’d be interested in hearing more about Stalker. I’ve read many good things about it, but I was never into first-person-shooters, and don’t know how hard it would be for a FPS n00b to play.
On Stalker not having the same problem with loot than WoW has, well, as far as I know Stalker only has one character class, the stalker, so all loot that drops is stalker loot. You can’t have a hunter item dropping with no hunter in the group, because there is no group, you’re alone. And you can use all the loot that drops.
I’m not sure I’d recommend it to an FPS newcomer; it pitches you fairly quickly into action without much of a tutorial, and between wandering bandits, irradiated mutant animals, and weird gravitational anomalies there’s a lot of ways to die pretty quickly in the zone. It also suffers from the common FPS flaw of starting hard (here’s a pistol and three bullets to defeat a pack of slavering dogs), then actually getting somewhat easier once you loot a decent weapon and enough ammunition.
Spot on with the loot system, though, it’s great! I dunno, you might get into STALKER, but there’s probably better FPSs to start with… maybe Call of Duty if you fancy World War II, or Half-Life 2. If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s getting on for seven years old, I wouldn’t hesitate to point you to Deus Ex which was absolutely fantastic, but I don’t know how well it would hold up these days…