Gaming Massively

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

farming and rep

Female Gamer has written a post title Farming is Boring, which addresses the rep system WoW and apparently LotRO have decided to use, whereby you earn reputation with a community for each of their enemies you kill, and since you need a lot of reputation to get their super-duper-awesome thing, you end up killing a bajillion of their enemies in a pointless rep grind.

What makes more sense? Well, think about it - do it like your favourite book or movie. You live among them, get to know them, do a big quest for them. Since in the game world 'living among them' and 'getting to know them' is synonymous with doing quests, then the most sense is to have quests, little and big, that relate to the tribe or town in question. Simple stuff - 'can you find my sheep' or 'Timmy fell down a well' or whatever. And frankly, some of the stuff should be irredeemable. Kill the chieftan, forget ever getting their help (except through some crazy 'I rescued your new chief's son from some absurdly powerful enemies' type quest - and even then there should be factions in the town who will never trust you).

Either way, in addition to being boring, earning reputation exclusively through killing is a bit morally dubious, isn't it?

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Blogger Andrew said...

The problem with this, is that each of those quests in question can take a lot of time to develop. Plus you also have the issue of "does the community trust you enough to let you do this quest issue." Now, admittedly, they're already tracking individual communities rep status, so it should be easy to throw in simple non-active unless rep=X level, but you still have scripts to write, or event triggers to activate the quest. This is challenging in a non-MMO game, having written a few such back in college when I thought I wanted to work in the video game industry. I can't even imagine trying to set this up in an MMO. After all, only one person can rescue the sheep (at a time, or until reset), whereas many people can farm the local imp population.

Don't get me wrong, I completely agree with you in terms of "this would work better this way", but I think it is the technical and logistic limitations that keep such from happening.

But then again, I don't have much (read any) experience playing MMOs, so what the heck do I know.

October 15, 2007 1:24 PM  

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