Should We Abolish Loot?

No, really. Purple pixels. Boss drops. Should we dump ’em?

Sounds crazy? Well, it’s actually The Grumpy Elf doing (one of) the things he does best – making Swiftian Modest Proposals about MMORPGs that are actually far less obvious than they appear.

You see, Grumpy’s been considering the cause of strife in game communities – the topic of the week – and he’s identified one common factor in nearly every shouting match. Yes, that’s right – he’s arguing, in a 10-point plan, that gear is the reason MMO communities – specifically WoW – tear themselves apart

“2) People ripping on people for wearing PvE gear in PvP.

We have all been there. You’re in a battlegound and someone start yelling at the noob in all PvE gear because he sucks and is getting killed in three seconds. Words get exchanged, things get heated, and someone could even find themselves banned if someone reported any of that crap.

It causes animosity within the community.

3) People ripping on people for putting out low numbers.

The huge stat inflation on gear has skewed every ones perceptions. They see their raid hunter doing 40K on ultraxion and go into looking for raid and blast another hunter for only doing 30K. I’ve seen it. As a hunter I know what hunters can do and I saw one getting ripped for doing 30K. I looked at his gear, he was doing exceptional. I would say near perfect for the gear he had. But like I said, the gear skews perceptions. He was a baddie for doing only 30K and I was a baddie for pointing out that 30K for his gear was great because I was playing a shaman and know nothing about hunters, he should have been doing at least 45K in their opinion.

It causes animosity within the community.

4) People ripping on people rolling on off spec.

In random dungeons or raids we have all seen this haven’t we? There are no main spec > off spec rules in those outside of the few buffers the game throws in that do not really work all that well anyway. So people can roll on anything they want for any reason but that does not stop people from flying off the handle because of it.

It causes animosity within the community.”

Guild Wars 2 is already addressing this issue to some extent, of course, with the promise of an endgame that isn’t focused around grinding for gear at all. But I’m still intrigued by Grumpy’s thesis – and his proposed solution, making all raid gear trivially easily available. There’s a lot of truth to the “gear is the root of all evils” argument – you just need to have lived through the Gearscore era to realise its malign power.

Could it work? Could WoW wean itself off the loot treadmill? Is it time for a loot intervention?

What do you think?