Wednesday 11 February 2009

I Am Legend (for this expansion only).

How can an axe provide extra stamina or hitpoints?

How does one craft a sword in such a way that it provides more hitpoints than another sword?

Do you think that’s air you’re breathing?

Eh, what? You do? Well… you’re right of course… uh, well done… I… Look, aren’t you supposed to be all “Woaaaah” and “Ohhhhhh”? You know, then I go all “Ahhhhhhh!” and “Hmmmmm”, perhaps with a bit of beard stroking. And then you get all enlightened and such, and go off and save the world?


Have there been any MMOs where your gear changes very little? You have your sword, say. It does some damage. Your character’s ability to use that sword is what makes you do yet more damage with it. Occasionally (read, uh, occasionally) you’ll find a better weapon; a masterwork sword, tempered and folded more than the norm, would have a keener blade, and this would allow you to do some more damage ‘for free’, more than with a standard sword, without having to improve your character. You would not, under any circumstances, have found a masterwork sword on a boar you killed five minutes ago, only to find a masterwork sword +2 on the slightly bigger boar you just this moment killed. And neither of these weapons would grant you additional hit-points. I’m pretty sure Conan was a tank no matter what weapon he had at hand, and he wore nothing but a loincloth most of the time, so that was either one hell of a loincloth, or his hit-points came from healthy eating and a regular work out regime. Look for Skullsplitting Your Way To A Healthy You on DVD in stores soon.

I’m guessing that perhaps Ultima Online follows along these lines. We’re probably talking skill based MMOs, and clearly that’s nothing new.

I don’t know, it’s just that I look at the Lord of the Rings story and find that I’m wanting something a bit more like that, something a little more legendary. Frodo finds a Barrow-blade on his adventures, which is destroyed in the fight against the Witch-king. Then, upon reaching Rivendell, he receives a nifty upgrade when he is gifted Sting by Bilbo, and he then takes Sting with him on his adventures in Moria. They soon part ways though, because Sting keeps giving away their position to the Orcs by breaking out into renditions of Roxanne and Fields of Gold.

Or is it all about the loot? Would players shy away from a game that focussed more on the character than their equipment? If a legendary weapon really, actually, meant that it was legendary. Something special, rather than just a package of stat. bonuses for your character.

World of Warcraft has legendary items. Take Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker, for example. Players, nay, whole guilds spent an inordinate amount of time and virtual money meeting the requirements for that blade, and it was special then. Now, though, there are green items in Wrath of the Lich King that are superior.

In Lord of the Rings, Sting wasn’t the greatest weapon in Middle Earth, but it was always a weapon of name and worth, to be valued and considered with awe, to be treasured and handed down with reverence from generation to generation.

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