Friday, March 5, 2010

Old Mechanic is Old!

I play a lot of games and notice different mechanics within each. Basically they all have similar mechanics that vary. Some games offer less penalties while others still penalize characters for making poor choices as newbies.  Hey, we've all been a newbie at some point. Every time we try a new game we are newbies all over again- Just with a little more experience under our belts each time. So what are some of the harsher (old) mechanics that wouldn't be missed if they were removed from games? Or perhaps toned down?

Respec Penalty
This is probably one of the most complained about mechanics in games today. As a new player we often make poor choices with specs, not knowing the game well enough to make the correct choices. Unless you read up beforehand- not everyone likes to do so- you are bound to make a mistake here and there. Ever put a point in the wrong thing by accident?! I have.. *click*.. OMG did I just do that?

WoW has made the respec easier on people with dual specs but there is still a gold fee, which for new players can be annoying. It is no longer the monstrosity it once was cost wise. I remember spending several thousand gold a week on respecs between raiding, PvP and everything in between. Other games do not offer the choice to respec, but you can get more and more points to make up for the bad choices (Everquest). Others simply do not have a respec option. Which is ludicrous if you ask me! Since being back in Guild Wars I cherish the respec in any city, at no cost, option. It is a dream for someone who likes to play around with builds.

What is the point in having a fee? Or simply, no way to fix the mistake you made? Old Mechanic is Old! It's unneeded and a waste in games today where people like to play differently. Having options makes more people available for different roles such as healing and tanking, opens up a wider range of play and all around makes grouping easier on people.

Death Penalty
If you played Everquest back in the day you will remember the harsh death penalty mechanic that people feared. Loss of xp and the run back to the corpse if a resurrection was not available. Now, it is much easier, while you stil lose xp you have a much easier time to get it back with the guild lobby, corpse summoner and mercs. Some games have durability on armor others have simply a debuff.

The harsher penalties make a time sink within the game, an annoyance and burn people out. While it is good to have a reason to be cautions as nobody wants to die to begin with, do we really need to pay for our mistakes so greatly? Leaning a new raid encounter in WoW can be costly and require farming to help with funding the repairs.

While I am not a fan of people rushing in without caution in groups, it is going to happen and I dislike having to be the one to pay for those mistakes. It's been said, if there is a greater penalty people take more precaution. That isn't always true, you're going to have one bad apple in the bunch here and there.

Run Forest Run... I mean Travel.
Taking ten minutes to get from point A to point B on a flight path is really a waste of time. I don't want to say I like everything simple, I just think some of these get really ridiculous. I wait in traffic on a daily basis in Houston, I don't want to wait on my flight path too!

Boats- Get those out of here! Remember waiting on the boat in (EQ) Oasis to Timorous Deep to Over There? I wasted plenty of time waiting on boats, I did not enjoy any of it. Especially when I fell off said boat and had to swim back and then wait all over again. Once the boat in Menethil Harbor pushed me off the dock (Pre-BC) and I missed it. Any wonder why I do not like boats?

I think implementations such as portals and NPCs that port are a great thing. The save a considerable amount of time for players. Remember it's a game- Right?! I still enjoy games where a mount is a big help in travel. I just don't like waiting ten minutes on auto pilot or a boat to get where I need to.

Salve to the Grind!
This one is touchy. It's hard to establish what is good, as far as leveling paces go. I am not talking about grinding on mobs, I mean the level grind. Quests, no quests- It's all still a grind to the top. When I mention Everquest to people the reaction I generally get is-'Eww I don't like a grind!' A grind is a grind. You may be a lackey running errands for the towns people or you may be grinding mobs in an xp camp, it's all the same- A grind. These days what I find ironic is, WoW is more of a grind than Everquest. While Everquest was once the worst grind of all, it is much easier than ever to catch up.

Not everyone likes leveling alts. I tend to feel I'm a lab rat going through the motions for the cheese, after my second character in a game with a long grind. Now don't get me wrong I do like the trip to the top! I just don't like when it starts to feel like I am working a job just to get the character to the top to join in the fun, instead of playing a game.

When the game begins at the top people tend to get exhausted with the climb. The latest trend is developers updating lower levels to fly by at a faster rate in older content. So, they do notice it is a hindrance in older games especially. Still think the grind is good? How many games have you tried but the population was so dead low end, boring and lonely- You just quit?

I think these are some of the things that hold games back and make for quick burn out in MMO games today. I'm not saying hand us easy mode, simply rethink the things that hold people back.



  1. I remember the days before the Griffon towers, having to trek across TS...up-hill both ways, in the snow!
    Same for Nek Forrest too...if I see another owlbear it will be too soon!

  2. Haha- You're a trip!

    Yes I have had my fill of Owl Bears too.

  3. I remember that robot!
    You had one! lol
    (you did lol)

  4. Yep, Alfie. But mine was blue >.<




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