Random Number Generators
For a bit now I have been trying to sort out why Destiny as a game is so damned appealing to me, and more so why it isn’t appealing to a lot of the AggroChat folks. While I am still very much enthralled by the game, the rest of the crew seems to be having that same experience with Warframe. While there are absolutely aspects of that game that I enjoy, as a whole I just find the experience less interesting. So while trying to reason out one day what the difference was… other than he design aspect and third person view. Then it finally hit me… that I really find the whole modding system in that game far less interesting than the random item rolls in Destiny. In theory Warframe is predictable and you can build each weapon to function exactly like you want it to, through the application of very specific mods. Once you have those mods and have leveled them you can then apply them to any weapon you can equip, allowing you to have a very predictable experience. The problem is I think it is that predictability that I find boring.
I’ve come to realize that I really do love chasing unicorns. What I mean by that is that for as long as I have played MMOs I have been enthralled by the random number generator aspect of loot. From the early days of Everquest, to Dark Age of Camelot and their completely random drops that came with Shrouded Isles… to even modern World of Warcraft with its chance of dropping Warforged items… I love the possibility of getting something truly amazing to drop for me. I think in many ways this is why I am so susceptible to grinding, because I know every single thing that I kill has an admittedly slim chance of dropping something truly magical like a BOE world epic. So when I play a game like Destiny I love knowing that the weapon I just got to drop for me, is a fairly unique package of stats… with randomized perks. I also love knowing that somewhere out there is a “God Roll” just perfect for my playstyle.
However the thing I appreciate the most is how I honestly enjoy using “imperfect” drops. Because while they may not work exactly the way I want them to work, there is always a way to make them function, and in doing so they give me a window into different play styles. Like I love the Rodeo perk on almost anything, but there are lots of weapons that I use without it and in each of them it has just made that gun feel more unique in the way it handles and the ways I can use it. So I love seeing what some might call a bad roll, and then trying to make it work for me. This keeps the game fresh and keeps me constantly falling in love with new weapons until I find something else that catches my attention. Through the course of playing Destiny I have played with so many different guns, and each of them had their own unique style and feel… and often times I get nostalgic when I dust them off in the bank and take them out to do bounties again. The Zarinaea-D for example I have used so many times, and each time I pick it up I get warm fuzzies over the way it handles and the way the gun sounds and looks.
The problem is I just don’t feel that in Warframe. Weapons have stats and then those stats are augmented by mods… that themselves are always going to be the same as they level up. Tam and I talked about this at length one day, and for him that is the perfect scenario… because it makes him feel like he is never using something inferior. For me however I actually kinda like knowing that there is always a slightly better version out there somewhere. I am admittedly focused on loot when I play any game, and when I reach a point of having the “best in slot” I get bored and the game starts to stagnate for me. I like situations where there are lots of “potentially right” answers to a problem, and that I can choose whichever option feels the best. Right now this is one of the problems I am having with The Division is that while I enjoy the game… the loot feels realy boring, or at least it doesn’t seem to be doing anything interesting to my game play. I’ve not picked up a weapon that completely changed how I approach combat, and that forces me to focus on this aspect or that rather than continuing to do the same thing I always seem to be doing. In the meantime however I will keep chasing those unicorns and looking for that really awesome item to drop just around the corner.