In Dragon Oath, there are a wide variety of pets that can be captured, tamed, and summoned to help in battle. There are different pets available as you reach certain levels, so a lot of gamers look forward to hitting those levels so they can get a new and more powerful pet.
Not me. I have the same parrot that I've had since I was Level 5. Her name is Ruby, and she is a pretty bird. I am fond of her despite her modest statistics and limited skills, because she is my pet and I love her. When she reaches breeding age I will find her a mate, and someday I will have her son at my side. I think I am going to name him Chico.
Players whose goal is to have the most powerful character in the game are baffled. Why don't I upgrade to a crocodile to maximize my potential damage in battle? For that matter, why don't I spend more time leveling up? I spend so much time talking to people, telling stories, and generally hanging out that my character is only at level 34. I don't get my special Mount until level 40, so at the moment, when I'm running an event I first have to walk to it.
This approach makes perfect sense if you're one of those gamers whose primary focus is roleplaying. Defining their character as a person is more important to them than anything else. Therefore, because Lucy (not my real name) is a Minstrel entertainer, she must have a fun pet, pretty clothes, and lots of good stories. I fight with a fan because it's what she would love to carry - never mind if I find a longsword with amazing stats.
There's room for both in the gaming world. You just need a careful balance between fighting events (special bosses, kill quota quests, etc.) and more community oriented events (like festivals.) In fact, the Power Gamers and the roleplayers exist in a symbiotic relationship. When I get to level 50 and can learn to sew, I'm going to be very interested in making outfits - how Lucy dresses is very important to me - and will end up buying a lot of raw materials from the players that love to hunt.
Whatever the goals of the players and their purpose in playing, game developers need to address them. There are very different ideas out there about what constitutes paradise, and if your idea of a great game is limited to only one such aspect, you're missing out on pleasing a lot of your players. Yes, you should give players the option to travel around with a pretty bird... but you should also offer them a badass crocodile.
- Lucy Song,