The Daily Grind: Would you play a PvE game with full item decay?

    
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For obvious example...

One of the most insightful comments I ever saw about Darkfall (yes, Darkfall) was that, realistically, in a game with open PvP and full looting, it was inevitable that you’d lose all of the good gear you had on. That would always be a real risk, and it would always happen sooner or later. The real question was how long it would take you to rebuild to full power after such an event and how tedious it was to do so.

I’m not fond of that style of gameplay as it stands, but I still think about it, because it doesn’t need to be “full loot and free-for-all PvP” for that core principle to stand. A game with nothing but PvE could still have you lose gear as soon as you die, or it could ensure that your gear would eventually break and be unusable forever no matter how much you repair it.

On the one hand, this would kind of damage the very environment of a game like World of Warcraft with its emphasis on perpetual improvement; at the same time, it could also be seen as a way to break away from the game’s ever-upward treadmill, and it would mean that continued gear drops from world quests would still provide meaningful gear even if you have something better right now. So what do you think. Would you be interested in playing a PvE game where your gear decayed to nothing and you had to rebuild? Where you replaced a piece not because you got a stronger one, but simply because it was always time-limited?

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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Karma_Mule
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Karma_Mule

Absolutely. Part of what makes Zelda Breath of the Wild fun for me is how constant weapon and shield decay creates an interesting dynamic. Going into each fight I had to gauge what equipment was most appropriate: use your best stuff too often and it wouldn’t be available when you really needed it.

Unlike traditional systems, it makes gear that is slightly less than your best still VERY useful, because it let you effectively fight powerful enemies while still saving your top gear for only the most urgent situations. That, plus the chance equipment could shatter in the middle of a battle adds a layer of strategy to even relatively mundane encounters that made them more interesting.

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RandomizedKirbyTree47

One game I used to play a lot is Realm of the Mad God, which is a hybrid between an MMORPG and a rogue-like game. One of the key features is that when you die, you die: death means that you start back at level 1 and lose everything that was in your inventory. Even at max level, dying can happen very quickly if you are fighting a hard boss. There is a “safe storage” where you can store a limited number of items that stay after you die (you can purchase more storage slots with real money), but you can’t actually use an item while it is in safe storage. The main reason to use safe storage is if you find a very rare item that can only be used by a specific class, you can store it until the next time you die and make your next character the class you need to use the item (RotMG does not feature a way to change classes except by starting a new character, which you can only do after your old character dies).

The game doesn’t have a lot of grinding–I have gotten to max level in a few hours on a new character. Getting the best items does take longer, although it takes as much skill as time, since you have to take part in fights against the most dangerous event bosses (and if you ever die, you have to start all over) and contribute a sufficient amount to get a rare item drop.

I guess the short answer is: Yes. i would and did play a game in which you can lose any and all of your items, and the game was entirely PvE (there is not PvP in RotMG).

Woetoo
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Woetoo

Would you be interested in playing a PvE game where your gear decayed to nothing […]

Maybe.

It would really depend on how the game dealt with the decay. Or perhaps, more realistically, how the developer/publisher dealt with monetising the process of maintenance/replacement.

I’ve often thought that lateral progression is something PvE games need.
I think you’d also need player ability decay alongside item decay.

The idea one day you’ve got the biggest badass weapons and armour necessary to defeat an old god who’s manifested on your plane of existence and the next day it might as well be worthless greens you can just about defeat a river crocodile with has never sat right with me. But if the next level of progression isn’t upwards, it has to be sidewards. And let’s be honest, if it were easy and something players would embrace… we’d already have it.

I think the decay (or player skill ability decline) would need to be logical. I don’t train/use my sword regularly – I get worse at it’s use. I hit something hard with something soft – it’s damaged. I have something made of metal – I need to perform some sort of regular maintenance to keep it in tip-top form.

It would be so easy for item decay to become a grind (which, let’s be honest, each new tier of gear is anyway). Oh my “great sword of badassery” is 50% damaged, time to go farm another one – isn’t a compelling game play loop.

As long as the core game play is the FUN bit, then I don’t see a problem. Especially if the decay process has obvious real world parallels. If it can be understood and be perfectly logical in the game world.

Give a shepherd boy the most powerful wand in the whole wide world and he’s NOT the greatest champion the world has. Figure out how to game-a-fy that and decay shouldn’t be too difficult to implement on top it it.

k2apa
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k2apa

Similar of this already happen in most F2P games.

In the form of “Cash Shop” where players can purchase certain skin/costume/items.

Most skin/ costumes are time limited, where perm ones are extremely rare in Loot Boxes.

Most F2P games these days add stat/bonuses on their skin/costumes, some even sell time-limited or level-limited equipment (which this is very P2W, however most game community now accept this and doesn’t seem to be arguing against P2W anymore) In fact, look at the most recent EA Star War… people are still buying into the game, being P2W doesn’t stop anyone from continuing buying into it, as such Game Companies will just keep on releasing P2W games as it makes them a lot more profit.

Personally I don’t want this as part of regular gameplay… it sucks a lot.

Only place this should be in is an alternative “hardcore” mode that’s on a separate server from normal game.

Estranged
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Estranged

Sounds interesting in theory, but I just see inventory issues being an issue.

Gotta save everything.

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draugris

It all depends on what it takes to get new gear. In PvP games with full loot, gear is not hard to get, most of the times it is crafted gear so you always have a spare set, in general not so much of a big deal but it can be somewhat annoying.

What i like about item decay is that it can make crafting valuable. In most mmo´s crafting is something, well, valuable to some degree during the level phase and then the best gear comes from raids or other instanced content. My hope is that MMO´s like CU will make crafting great again so crafters are able to produce something that people need and that will not last forever.

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Jeromai _

Can other people, directly or indirectly, cause me to lose items unexpectedly and non- consensually? No. Not playing that game. Not seriously, anyhow, or aiming to progress in any manner beyond a basic newbie tour/vacation just to see the sights. I do not play games to entertain or enable other peoples’ schadenfreude.

If the item loss is decay over time or a “rental” cost, or if the loss is fully my own fault versus insufficient preparation for the PvE environment I chose to wander into, then I might bite, as long as the time/effort cost of preparing for/replacing lost stuff isn’t too onerous or crippling.

Yocraig
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Yocraig

Not interested. Seems to me you’re switching from one treadmill to another one.

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Shannon Giblett

Well it could be a good way to keep in game currency levels down, but it could also be used in the same evil way Entropia Universe uses by charging real money for armour and making in game drops rare.

Xijit
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Xijit

yes

Xijit
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Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

yes

Xijit
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Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

yes

Xijit
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Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

stop telling me I am posting comments to quickly: I know what I am doing!

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Utakata

That would work better if you had socks. o.O

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Cosmic Cleric

‘yes’ a bunch of times

So, if I understand you correctly, you are expressing a positive remark towards, the question at hand, yes?

Xijit
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Xijit

yes, I know that this is a duplicate comment.

Xijit
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Xijit

one “yes” is not enough