Part the second.
(Part 1)

Colin: “Norman, my dearest of colleagues, why so glum?”

Norman: “Oh, you know, Colin. It’s these ‘player’ specimens that keep running around our game, killing our wildlife repeatedly for no apparent reason, honestly I think they’re a bit mad.”

Colin: “Ah yes, still here after all this time and all of our best efforts aren’t they?”

Norman: “Quite frankly Colin they irritate me.”

Colin “Well they are somewhat annoying, but they do bring in quite a lot of money, and you know that money is the only thing that these Earth creatures will accept in exchange for their delicious shoe polish.”

Norman: “No, no, they quite literally irritate me, they bring out the eczema on my nipples.”

Colin: “That’s… that’s too much information, really. Even from someone like you, who I love like my very own laundry basket.”

Norman: “Sorry Colin, I’m just tired because I haven’t found a way to slow them down at all. They scurry around all over the game like little crabs; little crabs that look like scurrying mice! And I can’t think of any way to slow them down.”

Colin: “Slugs!”

Norman: “Slugs?”

Colin: “And wargs!”

Norman: “Slugs and wargs? I’m not following you.”

Colin: “What I’m saying is ‘slugs’. And ‘wargs’.”

Norman: “Yeeees, and what I’m saying is ‘I don’t follow you’.”

Colin: “Ah, I see, sorry. Well, what if we had some creatures…”

Norman: “Like slugs?”

Colin: “Or wargs. And said creatures cast a debuff on these ‘player’ organisms that slowed down their movement speed.”

Norman: “It’s an interesting idea, Colin, but I think you’ll find that most of our combat involves the ‘player’ entities standing utterly stationary whilst slugging it out toe-to-toe with the mobs, so I’m not sure how that debuff would cause them any grief at all.”

Colin: “Ah, but the mobs will cast it right at the end of the combat.”

Norman: “At the end of the combat?”

Colin: “Yes, you know, the event that is far away from the start of the combat.”

Norman: “Oh! The end of combat!”

Colin: “Indeed.”

Norman: “Well why didn’t you just say so? It’s brilliant, Colin! We could have the slugs cast an AoE slime thing at the end of combat, and that will snare the ‘player’ for absolutely no good reason until they slowly crawl their way out of it. They’ll be utterly baffled as to the point of it! But what about the wargs?”

Colin: “Ah, now they will cause a wound at the end of combat which slows down run speed by a large amount.”

Norman: “Excellent! That’ll slow the ‘player’ varmints’ progress, make them more susceptible to being attacked by other mobs in the area, and is generally pointless beyond being an obvious mechanic to spoil their fun. I like it! I feel that it needs a little something extra though, a little something to really push them over the edge…”

Colin: “It’ll last for two minutes.”

Norman: “Two minutes?! But Colin, my dear congealed kibitzer, that would seem like an eternity to a player trying to make their way anywhere in the game, even if it were just twenty yards further to the next mob!”

Norman and Colin laugh nervously at the silliness of it. Then they stop and look at each other.

Norman: “It wouldn’t work, would it?”

Colin: “It’s genius, Norman, and you know it. Get the programmers on it right away.”

Norman: “I love you, Colin.”

Colin: “I know. Let’s go and get a nice steamy bowl of shoe polish to celebrate.”

I really would love to gain some actual insight and understanding into the design decisions behind some of the debuffs these mobs give to players in Lord of the Rings Online.

Posted by Melmoth at 7:40 am