Oh hi everyone, it’s just another random person posting their personal take on the game even though we all know these posts are meaningless exercises in self-aggrandizement. But enough about my personality disorders, let’s start by talking about one of the most frustrating mobs new players encounter, possibly turning them off to the game, and how the designers addressed it in a popular way. That’s right, I’m talking about oozes.
There has been many a tale told in taverns about new adventurers coming to Stormreach to cleanse the sewers of kobolds. To their horror, their family heirloom +1 rusty longsword inexplicably broke often when fighting oozes. Along came a grizzled veteran who remarks, “do you have a muckbane? No, well maybe you should go run Durk’s got a secret until you can loot one. It’ll help you fight them oozes without breaking your weapons.”
In this example, we have an easy to acquire piece of gear specifically designed and named to fight a certain mob. It wasn’t spectacular, but filled a need of new players, it was named making it feel special, it motivated them to play a certain quest a few times for a sense of accomplishment, but not rare enough to make them want to kill themselves. If even that was too much effort, they could get a handout from a vet encouraging a sense of community or just buy it off the auction house.
Now compare that to ghosts, which apparently have long been haunting new players and making them decide to leave this game. Now you might say, hey, why don’t we take the muckbane solution and apply it to ghosts. Perhaps in Miarra’s Sleepless Night we make the optional Canton fight drop a weapon called Ghostbane. It’s a themed and roughly level appropriate quest for the need, its F2P and easily farmable. Ah heck, who am I kidding, let’s just make ghostbane drop in every single chest in the game, every single time. That’ll fix the problem.
Now I’m no game designing genius, but one of these solutions seems to have been favored by players, and one of them, let’s just say there are just a few threads about it. Its the subtle and not so subtle shifts in game design philosophy like this that have worried players for a while now about the direction of the game.