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Equipment vs. Skills

A character should rely on their skills to be their strength, not their equipment. It is time to bring equipment back down to size.

Author: TheTruthTold

Equipment is taking over the character

Posted by TheTruthTold Monday September 8 2008 at 4:56PM
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Everquest, World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings... What do these games and many more have in common? Over zealous equipment. For the last 5 or more years, the equipment has been defining our characters. From a chest piece that doubles the base stats, a sword that increases the attack speed by 40 percent, a pair of boots that makes a person immune to roots, to a cloak that adds large numbers to all of our stats. Where is the line drawn on equipment?

Since the rampant increase of equipment bonuses, boss fights without better gear drops are even skipped, unless forced to fight. Sure, it is fun to go deep into a dungeon or instance, and get my hands on the newest and best loot. However, this should not be a deciding factor on a challenge. Take a moment and picture what your character is using and wearing. Now, imagine all your bonuses reduced to merely 50 percent, half, of what it currently is. Your suddenly feel helpless, weak, and incapable. Just as an example, a cleric in Everquest can more than triple the amount of mana he or she has, just with equipment. In World of Warcraft, you can gain about 4 times or more any stat by focusing on the gear for it. Some games have developed so far that without your equipment, you can barely defeat a mob 30 levels below you. Is this what we have reduced our gaming experience to?

In a perspective, this is turning our gaming experience into a button mashing contest. There is no need to use all our skills, if our gear makes us unhittable, uncatchable, and undefeatable. In return, are we being slighted on the amount of skills that we have, due to our equipment being our safety net. Why give us powerful skills, if we can just add 190 damage with a enchanters buff on our weapon, or something equivalent.

Guild Wars... This is one of the few games still on the market, that has reborn the idea of skills above equipment. Just imagine what a game with the size, graphics, and UI of WoW, but with the skill/equipment concept of Guild Wars, could be like. To rely on our own judgment and timing of skills that is provided to us, rather than the fact that stats are so buffed, I could not possibly fail.

A long time ago, games were more in moderation, and I believe that it was from that moderation that made Ultima Online one of our favorites.

PrinnySquad writes:

Yeah, I dont like item-centric gaming. I can't wait until it falls out of favor.

Mon Sep 08 2008 5:50PM Report
talismen351 writes:

Totally agree with the OP. I find it very hard to get into games because of the equipment being the main drive. Old UO, pre AoS was all about skills. Equipment meant little n the whole point of the game was to actually enjoy the hunt...not to hunt for your next uber weapon.

I wish devs would concentrate more on the game n character development n less on equipment.

Mon Sep 08 2008 6:20PM Report
toddze writes:

well it seems that gear based games keep people playing longer due to haveing goals of getting that rare uber gear. Which equal more money for the company. Lets look at AoC best get came from crafting and gems. there was nothing to do after you got the gear and raided a few bosses once or twice, no insentave to go fight it multple times.

Mon Sep 08 2008 6:35PM Report
Loke666 writes:

The game you are talking about will probably be released this winter: Guildwars 2. And BTW, wow ain't look better than Guildwars already. The second game will be a lot less instanced than the first (They will be using a better version of wows way of loading areas, jeff Strain made it in the first way when he was the main programmer of wow before he started arenanet).

Mon Sep 08 2008 6:56PM Report
pileopoop writes:

The Hardcore players should always be on the top, Casual players should always be on the bottom, if you don't have the time you shouldn't be playing an mmo.

Mon Sep 08 2008 8:06PM Report
Gunsaint writes:

I agree with the OP and thats why i play EVE Online. I can blast said Gear Whore into atoms, then just scoop up his loot for the win! :) now i have said loot. . problem solved.  This solution also works on the part-time gamer as well only easier.

Mon Sep 08 2008 8:20PM Report
Roosevelt writes:

Wow, to the comment "Casual players should always be on the bottom" your name describes everything I am thinking about that statement.

Mon Sep 08 2008 8:33PM Report
Resin213 writes:

 I believe the comment about casual players was an attempt at RP.

He was RPing a pileopoop.

Mon Sep 08 2008 8:58PM Report
boognish75 writes:

thats the fun of getting all the stuff, little bits of gear that will help you survive, OI like this, i like being able to obtain things for my toon that helps pull up its stats, maybe you would enjoy guildwars,

Mon Sep 08 2008 9:16PM Report
boognish75 writes:

oh and all the games you mwentioned, have those items to help you and your group, those said games are not pvp, the items are there for you to obtain in the gamre and enhance yourself, i could see if you were whining about it when its a pvp game, but there not, go play a game where that style fits the playing, pve games are all about tweeking yer char with various things, and certain pve gam,es i like it that way. Why play a pve game with a different style, it just wouldnt fit.

Mon Sep 08 2008 9:20PM Report
kaydinv writes:

When casual players expect the same benefits of hardcore players, it's like a part-time employee expecting the same pay and benefits of a full-time employee. Casuals need to start realizing they are not equal.

Mon Sep 08 2008 11:51PM Report
aranin writes:

darkfall online.

- all items are craftable

- all items can be lost

- items do not hold sway on the character, real skill is involved and creativity in creating the character

+ 500 skills, 500 spells and a no level system.

go check it out.

and download the HD video, DO NOT watch the youtube video's they do not do it the slightest justice.

Tue Sep 09 2008 1:55AM Report
wardog250 writes:

I have had this same discussion various times with many gamers.  It seems to be a simple solution for developers to come up with on size fits all items.  Rather than allowing more freedom for character development.  RPGs, are indeed not for role playing.  lol, they should call them Item Grinding Games.  MMOIGGs

Tue Sep 09 2008 3:22AM Report
Papadam writes:

Check out Chronicles of Spellborn! Gear will only be for looks and no stats, sounds really interesting in this regard

Tue Sep 09 2008 3:57AM Report
Bugrahan writes:

The difference between part/full time workers and casual/hardcore players is that part/full timers do not work the same amount but casual and hardcore players pay the same amount. Just to compensate the huge time spent online, I think only an advantage of 10-15% can be given to hardcore gamers. Afterall its the casual players that sail the boat as they are the ones that earn and pay for their own accounts thus making them continuous clients unlike hardcore gamers which mostly are parent and/or ppl dependent even in paying their subscriptions.


My  2 cents

Tue Sep 09 2008 4:19AM Report
nileq writes:

It is a good thing that Darkfallonline is releasing then.

Tue Sep 09 2008 4:59AM Report
Raston writes:

Yes, far too many games claim to be following the concept of DnD with levels, but they've completely forgotten how rarely you really changed gear in DnD.  The challenge was in the adventure, not the item gathering.

But as said above, the item gathering is a method to keep people playing (doesn't matter if it is raid, group or solo, it is still an item grind), there has to be some 'goal' to the game to keep people interested and unlike a PnP game, it is hard for the GMs to change the story lines on the fly due to the amount of time it takes to build dungeons and such and it is next to impossible for the game to center around the character (like you'd have in a PnP game).

Though I do believe that many of the games have gone way overboard and scaling the gear has caught up with them, when you start with large number and large variances between the tiers, then as you add tiers (such as EQ2), you wind up with a larger gap between the fableds and the treasureds, which tends to trivalize content.

Tue Sep 09 2008 8:20AM Report
Kalafax writes:

Mortal Online, not gear dependent, skill dependent

Tue Sep 09 2008 10:20AM Report
Ataaka writes:

Loot is why we play.

People want loot that will change their circumstance.

We don't want circumstances that take away our ability to loot fairly.


Fri Sep 12 2008 6:31AM Report
Ataaka writes:


Fri Sep 12 2008 6:34AM Report
Ataaka writes:

Very good

Fri Sep 12 2008 6:34AM Report writes:
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