Scoop That Loot: Why Treasure Based RPG’s are so Successful
Not that this is something that started with the looting RPG’s (LRPG’s from here on). The original Dragon Quest involves the player acquiring a legendary sword and armor to have any real chance to beat the game, although it is possible to win without them. Most Final Fantasy games have secret items and summons that are not needed to advance but sure do make things easier. Most role playing games before Blizzard took over the world had one or two elements involved which paved the way for the addictions that ensue on a nightly basis around the globe. Now it seems like any video game sneaks in a looting element because of the success it has shown over the years. Not that it is unusual; copycatting from older media is something that has gone on for quite some time in all the entertainment industries.
- Instead of solely rewarding players by having higher level characters gain better equipment you have the chance of getting some beefy stuff earlier than normal. Having this blatantly luck based allows for casual players not overly interested in playing hours and hours a day to grind for a specific item. They can play once or twice a week and still have a shot at getting whatever item they are looking for. Granted the more the player attempts to gain the item the better chance they will have, which doesn’t hurt the hardcore crowd. It is a great balance.
- Having a rarity scale for each different item class. One of the natural progressions in a LRPG is going from getting decent items to getting rare or ultra rare items. This changes the dynamic for the player preventing the looting from getting stale. Instead of having to check every single item every time to see if it’s better than what the player currently holds, the player can compare rarities without needing to delve deep into the statistical advantages of each item. Not only does this keep things fresh but saves time for a veteran player who knows what (s)he is looking for specifically.
- Unique items bring anyone who likes to have or do everything in a game to their knees in frustration. As an avid completionist (I made it up deal with it) I can say with certainty that playing any game like Diablo is like crack because of the sheer impossibility of ever getting all the unique and set items. The sirens call of trying to get that next piece of the set you are trying to complete or that one unique that will put your character over the top is impossible to ignore.
- Upgrading items with gems or rune or anything that requires permanent use brings even more variation. Instead of having to grind the same dungeon or boss again and again to gain the best item for your character build there are options. This coupled with the vast array of different possibilities of stat upgrades brings even more looting fun to the game. With all of the choices made available it is nearly impossible to find a character with the exact same equipment. Barring any hacking of course.
So the next time you pull an unintentional all-nighter playing your favorite LRPG don’t beat yourself up too much about it. You are only one of millions that are addicted to getting that one last item you need to make your character amazing. Just make sure if you get the armor I was looking for to save it for me! Until next time gamers!