As I was driving home yesterday, I started thinking about what creates that "drive" that keeps me wanting to log into a game. There's a lot of factors but I think one of the most important ones has to do with the zones I'm playing in.
Maybe I'm finicky but I've come to realize that I have a definite preference for what I do and do not like to play through and for how long. I don't like it when zones last too long. If I'm there for more than 3 levels, it's time for a change. This is especially true if the zone is dark and dank. I'm one of those people where the lack of sunlight in the winter bugs me, so maybe I'm disposed to be in and out of these zones. Still, the longer I'm forced to play a zone that's 100% gloomy, the better chance there is I'm going to start feeling strained to log in and, if a change doesn't happen soon, I'll probably stop all together.
Am I the only one who feels this way?
If you look back over the various screenshots I've posted in the last couple of weeks, you'll notice they all have something in common. No, not just that sexy, sexy, Syeric. Rather, that most of those pictures are blue, grey, and purple. I'll be honest, it's started to bug me a little bit. So, on that drive I mentioned before, I also got the urge to spend some time in LotRO (where the greens are browner but the sun always shines... mostly... some of the time).
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate themed zones as much as the next guy. Duskwood was one of my favorites in WoW. It's really all about balance. Players shouldn't be made to spend too long in any one place and they should always have options. When either one of those is out of whack, it's a problem and limitation of the game.
If I had to imagine my perfect zone, it would be out in the open, with grasslands and forest. The zone would start off out in the sunshine but give way to darkness and gloom the further you went into it, building tension. Mobs would start off normal but become progressively more twisted as you approached the apex of the zone, probably ending in a castle of dungeon.
How about you, what would your ideal zone be like; am I alone how sunlight in games affects me or is there something to it?
Thoughts for a Saturday morning...