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It’s The Loot, Stupid!

March 11, 2010

There is much discussion going on about where the best rewards in TOR should come from. The opponents in this eternal struggle have been at the throats of one another for as long as I can remember. These three factions that can rarely agree on anything let alone loot distribution are the PVP’ers, PVE’ers, and crafters. The PVE’ers  believe the best items in the game should come from conquering the most challenging content the developers can come up with. They feel that the massive time and coordination it takes to progress through the top levels of content deserve the most elite items in the game. The crafters who had their days of glory back during Galaxies would like to see a return to relevance. They’ve been neglected by the major MMO’s for the past few years with the exclusion of EVE. Finally, what loot conversation would be complete without the PVP’ers? These guys have been making you scream at your monitor for years while they camped you time and again because you decided to farm at the wrong time. Constantly finding new strategies to defeat and or humiliate a non-scripted opponent(YOU). All these groups have valid claim to the best items in the game, and I would like to see a system where the paths are symbiotic instead of separate.

My favorite loot system in any of the MMO’s I’ve played was Earth and Beyond‘s. Items would drop from very powerful PVE mobs and these items could then be given to a crafter to break down in order to learn how to create the item. Why would you give a super powerful item away to be destroyed you might ask. The reason was because that crafter could then reproduce that item at a much higher quality level. Stats for items such as beam weapons would have lower cooldowns, cost less energy to activate, and even do more dps. Crafters and PVE’ers worked together in order to create these super items. They had to because there was a chance that the item would simply be eaten by the terminal when it was taken apart during the mapping process. Few things are as soul-crushingly awful as watching the super rare item your guild just spent two hours trying to farm vanish into thin air. Crafters were also an important asset to your guild because they were normally the first contact new recruits had with your guild as they were typically in the market channel trying to sell their wares. This system worked out very well because PVP was a non-factor in E&B. The only PVP in the game was some useless powerball-esque waste of time which nobody really touched.

In a game where all three options exist they’ve got to come up with a much better way to distribute loot evenly across the board without making the game so terribly easy that it turns into Diablo with a subscription. A system that could take loot from PVP or PVE(raid/group/solo) and combine it with crafter upgrades patterns which would drop from PVP or PVE to create the best items in the game. Something similar to Spymaster’s idea from the Old Republic forums would be a seemingly simple solution to this pressing issue. It could also pacify the many solo progression enthusiasts that have been begging for an equal chance at competitive gear without having to raid or spend the vast majority of their time in PVP. If they can achieve a progression system that would foster better relations between the different types of players within the community it’d be a much bigger contribution to the genre than any story they can create. This could be Bioware’s most important and unique aspect. I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favorite movies, “A little revolution now and then is a healthy thing… Don’t you think?”

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