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Crafted Loot and Dropped Loot Co-Existing

Finding a place for crafted gear in a mmorpg where loot can drop from monsters has always been a really rough spot in mmo design. Over on the Pantheon Crafters community they asked a question about whether or not they can co-exist without one eclipsing the other. Let’s check it out.

For this week’s Crafter’s Roundtable, we want to hear from everyone about how you think loot and crafted items can coexist in the game and both be viable without one eclipsing the other. Let us know what you think works to achieve a good balance, and what doesn’t, and why!

I’ve always preferred a system where players taking on the role of full-time crafters create the gear for the adventurers. The most successful design I’ve seen on this is where the adventurers bring back specific items to augment and enhance what the crafters make.

Since we’re talking about the two systems co-existing without one eclipsing the other, obviously both must come together make the best items. Perhaps a crafter can make an item and an adventurer can find an item, but when the two combine together they make something better. This relied on both sides. Still not a perfect scenario.

My favorite is expendable loot. Nothing that drops or is made should last forever. Master crafters could prolong the life of an item, but ultimately that item will break. I also like the idea of augmenting gear with either dropped augments or crafted augments, but those augments would cause the item to degrade even faster. I think I like this system so much because it affords players multiple opportunities and avenues for finding, improving, and retaining gear.

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MMORPG Group Etiquette

Playing WoW a lot lately has given me significant exposure to a range of player behaviors. From lazy to go-getter, epeen to carefree, jerk to kind soul. They’re all present and obvious to me in WoW.

This question bounced around social media, and I needed more room to respond. So here goes.

MMORPG Etiquette – What are some of your make or break etiquette rules for grouping up in a social game – Bonus – What are some etiquette rules you feel OK breaking within a group or social situation in an MMORPG?

I want to focus my response on a rather narrow scope. I think general good behavior is generally a given. Assuming people generally behave in the same way they would in a professional environment, let’s move on to social norms and other etiquette.

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Let’s Catch Up!

I took a little hiatus from responsibilities for the past few days to catch up on some work and other RL things. I’m back in action now, so let’s catch up on a few things!

What is Keen Playing?

I’m playing WoW, obviously. There’s a lot to say here, but I’ll try and condense it down into the highlights.

My Paladin is iLevel 340 something. I had horrible luck on the first world bosses and received no loot. My luck has also been pretty darn bad in Mythic+’s, and I’ve only found a few upgrades. I’m also carrying around a few lower iLevel pieces of gear (like 325) because I haven’t found a better item. Realistically, though, I’m plenty geared for what I want to do right now.

Raiding is going pretty well. Our casual guild fielded quite a few on the first night we raided, and had a little bit of an attendance issue the second night because of multiple RL injuries and issues that came up — I think Football didn’t help either. I got 2 drops so far, and I really like the boss fights. The setting isn’t my thing, but the mechanics are fun.

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First BFA Raid, Warfront, and Mythic+ Experiences

Yesterday was a really big day for those of us playing World of Warcraft. Battle for Azeroth’s first raid, Mythic+ season, and Warfront all began on the same day. Talk about overload! I feel like they should have staggered these a little more over the weekend. Having a really hectic work week didn’t make for an easy transition for me. I felt rushed to get ready for the raid and to see the content no day 1. Despite being manic, I was able to have a lot of fun.

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Unlocked Dark Iron Dwarves

I thought it would take me forever, but I just put my head down, my nose to the grindstone, and played like I said I would. I did the quests I wanted, skipped the ones I didn’t, and now I have the Dark Iron Dwarves unlocked!

Along with the allied race I’m also given faster mount speed in BFA zones. It’s slight, but every bit helps without flying. With Pathfinder Part 1 done, I’m even more anxious to fly.

Now I’m stuck deciding if I’m going to level my Dark Iron Dwarf Warrior from 20-120, or if I’m going to boost. If I boost, I don’t get the heritage armor. Does that matter enough to me? Does the Heritage Armor look cool enough that I would transmog BFA gear to look like it? Obviously it’s cool enough looking that I’m conflicted… but cool enough to spend 50+ hours? I’m trying to think logically about it. I won’t have fun leveling from 20-110 at all. If I think about 50 hours and what I value my time at, I can tell you the boost is entirely economical.

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Disney Villainous Board Game

We picked up a really fun board game called Disney Villainous after seeing a few sources we trust commenting about it being fun. 

In Disney Villainous you play as iconic villains from the Disney universe (Captain Hook, Ursula, Queen of Hearts, Maleficent, Prince John, and Jafar ) each trying to accomplish their unique villainous objective.

Captain Hook has to defeat Peter Pan at the Jolly Roger, Maleficent has to curse her entire realm, etc. These objectives line up nicely with what we know about their personalities and stories from the animated films.

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Island Expeditions are a Snore

Couple of weeks into BFA, I’m a bit disappointed by the Island Expeditions. Closer to the expansions launch I wrote a post about how I felt they were a little too like PvP. I think that’s still true for me, but since they nerfed the enemy NPCs I haven’t really been too bothered by them. My real issue with them is that they’re… just really not well designed.

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MMORPGs and Choosing Servers

The concept of choosing a server has really evolved over the years. Way back when MMORPGs first became a thing -- that is to say, people starting playing role-playing games in a large multiplayer setting (before they were called "MMORPGs") -- we didn't have multiple servers. There was one server because there wasn't enough people to justify more.

Then the genre grew and we had games come with with *gasp* 5-10 servers. After the population explosion of WoW, servers became almost ridiculous. There became so many servers it became literally hard to count them all.

Population explosion and opening so many servers has its obvious drawbacks. When populations dip, as they inevitably do, you have some servers become ghost towns and others become overpopulated. You also have a fractured community, and you may have friends on a different server. There are fixes, many of which games like WoW have done. There are alternatives, many of which other games have done.

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