The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best consumable items?

Back at launch, I had a lot of affection for playing a Warrior with Alchemy in World of Warcraft. Sure, I missed out on some cool weaponry along the way, but it was worth it just to have access to some nifty healing tricks at a time when that was hard to come by. It also made me appreciate consumables quite a bit as something to actively use, not something to squirrel away endlessly until a hypothetical rainy day showed up to really require every healing potion I’d ever found.

Of course, this was in stark contrast to my first MMO, Final Fantasy XI, where healing items like potions were rare and expensive, but food was almost mandatory for every single activity. It was also in contrast to City of Heroes, where consumables were dropped for everyone and in constant demand. And the original Guild Wars barely even had consumables as I thought of them.

Lots of games do different things with consumable items, and I fondly remember Star Wars: The Old Republic’s always-usable stims in its launch version. But today, we want to see the best of the best. Which MMO do you think has (or had) the best consumable items? While you’re on the topic, what sort of features do you see as important for consumables?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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18 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Which MMO has the best consumable items?"

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Zen Dadaist

Meh. Either they’re utterly mandatory e.g. things that boost your damage for raids, or they’re boring heal pots and the like which I never remember to use until it’s probably too late.

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Schmidt.Capela

None?

I’m not keen on consumables, for two main reasons.

The first one is the way consumables change the games they appear on.

There are two main ways for devs to handle consumables: as required items, or as optional items.

If the consumables are required items, then players need to grind in order to amass them, and grind even more to replenish them after a failed attempt; adding extra grind to a game isn’t something I’m fond of.

If the consumables aren’t required items, then the devs must make sure that players can beat the content without using any consumable, which means the content becomes easier than intended when the players do have access to consumables.

The second one is that I don’t like managing consumables; if I can get through a piece of content without spending a consumable, I will. I’m the kind of person that finishes single player video game RPGs without using a single recovery item, or that finishes a first person shooter using melee attacks almost exclusively so I can save my ammunition.

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Carebear

I start playing at vanilla wow and all mmos afterwards. So from that list of mmos, i can say for sure that vanilla wow had the best… you could drink as many elixirs as you want and they did made huge difference… plus oils, stones and food buffs of course.

You could literaly double your stats you gained from gear and even more than that if still on leveling gear.

Second to vanilla was Aion! But as i said, i have not played mmos prior to vanilla wow so…

Celestia
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Celestia

City Of Heroes with that fantastic Inspiration system. Groundbreaking and unparalleled.

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Bryan Correll

Where is the header image? I DEMAND A HEADER IMAGE!

Also, CoH had the best consumables because they were meant to be used instead of held on to for when you “really” needed them.

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Bryan Correll

I see my demand has been met. Which makes me think I should have had more demands.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

MORE HOT POCKETS.png
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starbuck1771

SWG, LOTRO, SWTOR, & WOW

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Robert Mann

Consumables are… frequently nothing more than a pocket bit of healing that is mostly useless unless you accidentally aggrro (I HATE that this tries to change the proper spelling to an improper one btw, can ya fix that?) too much stuff, or are completely focused on min/max portions of the game (buff flasks, for example.) There are some games with cool cosmetic ones (GW2/RIFT for example) that can transform or alter your appearance in cool ways or have other effects.

I’m a fan of the Life is Feudal system, though. Not only are consumables UNABLE to directly heal your most important bit of health (they just don’t exist there) while still having uses… the best ones have side effects. As in they get you drunk. Which also limits how many you can chug in a given time, and can impair your other activities. Er…

Maybe I’m just really not a fan of ‘I can live all day if I have potions’ that too many games have turned into.

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Veldan

I feel like there’s an unadressed ambiguity here. Consumables can refer to something being consumed by a person (or character), or to an item that is destroyed after use. In MMOs it commonly refers to the latter, which means that an infinite use potion is not a consumable. Guild Wars’s many party and fun items are consumables, meaning it probably has more consumables than most games.

https://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Consumable

pepperzine
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pepperzine

Swg, those consumables were so important (like brandy) that they were near necessities.

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Tanek

I like the way consumables are handled in Path of Exile.

Aside from the flasks for health and mana, there are ones for increased movement speed, evasion, resistances, etc. Each flask can have additional properties/effects that have the potential to change gameplay and each refills as you defeat enemies, adding a slightly more interesting method of resource management.

If you consider the currency items to be consumables as well, that opens up even more interesting mechanics, as most of them can be used to enhance or alter the properties of armor, weapons, and other equipment.

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BalsBigBrother

Heh I am slapping my forehead so hard right now because you are so right with regards to the consumable aspect of the crafting items (“currency.”) I just never thought of them as consumables until you pointed it out but they totally are, more so for me as a solo self found player who has to craft and use them that way to progress.

Exxar
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Exxar

Except there’s actually nothing interesting about currency in PoE, because it all comes down to the trading economy which is the lord and master of everything in that game.

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BalsBigBrother

Nope trading isn’t lord and master for everyone it depends on how you play or approach the game. I actually use the “currency” in solo self found to craft and the further up the levels I move the more critical the crafting becomes for my progress.

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BalsBigBrother

In mmos I tend to forget all about consumables until I need the inventory or vault space they occupy then I use them or simply dump them on an npc if that is an option. So I can’t really answer what is the best consumable part of the question.

In most mmos consumable are simply not relevant anymore so for the features part I would suggest making them relevant or even just slightly useful would be a good start I guess.

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rafterman

I’m not a fan of consumables to be honest. In fact I think most MMOs have way too many useless items in general.

deekay_plus
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deekay_plus

what comes to mind is swtor’s infinite use pots at launch. tho regular pots were prohibitively expensive when considering the means to gather mats for them vs drop rates of the relevant material from nodes despite the lofy advertising of the companion gathering system (which invariably returned few if any actually desirable mats for any associated profession).

which not long after launch pots of all kinds were soundly nerfed into uselessness with rediculous cool downs. rendering all that effort and stock instantly worthless. one of the reasons i chose to unsub that month.

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