Thursday, November 27, 2008

Does WAR calculate contribution?

There is a nasty rumor floating around about Warhammer Online. It is said that the famous Vegas loot system, in which your reward is calculated as sum of your contribution and a random roll, is a scam. The contribution part isn't really measured, but just another random roll, making who gets a reward at the end of a public quest or keep capture completely random and independant of contribution. I can't confirm that, because I'm not playing WAR any more, but even the allegation is already a public relations desaster.

We all know how players react to reward systems that don't measure contribution: They minmax the fun out of it, by just doing the minimum to qualify for a reward, and then go to have a coffee and let the other players do the hard work. The same guys who were afk in the cave of Alterac Valley now afk in keep captures and public quests in WAR.

Mythic will have to take serious action to either rectify the situation, or prove that contribution is actually taken into account in the Vegas loot system. WAR is already shrinking at an uncomfortable pace, and can't afford this kind of story. MMORPG players are to a huge extent driven by incentives and rewards, and flawed incentive systems can be absolutely deadly for a game.

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