Ok maybe not feeling 100% good, since my efforts at the Hero’s Journey fitness challenge mostly make me want to curl up on the floor, but I’m sticking with it! Today I want to talk about something near and dear to the hearts of all MMO players: Loot.
The acquisition of more and greater loot has been on my mind a lot recently, since I’ve been dipping my toe into the waters of WildStar raiding as well as gearing up for raiding in Final Fantasy XIV. Gearing up to a raid-ready level in WildStar may have been a slightly unusual process for me since I was 50 for a very long time before I set foot in a raid. This meant I had bits and pieces of gear from questing, reputation vendors, and crafters, as well as a couple week’s worth of rewards from contracts. This got my power level to be “ok” for raiding, but if I had wanted to be optimal I would have had to run dungeons. At the raiding level, the gear is mainly random drops, with a few pieces available through the currency vendors. This system, combined with the attunement process, ensures that folks are spending a lot of time practicing with WildStar’s combat before they get enough gear to move on to the next stage of progression.
In contrast, FFXIV tends to funnel people into raid content fairly quickly once they reach the level cap. The currency you need to turn in for raid-ready gear could be easily farmed in a matter of days. One difference here is that in FFXIV, everything is locked behind the story quests, and the story forces you to experience almost all of the dungeons and “trials” (generally 8-person single-boss encounters). The designers of FFXIV can pretty much assume that if someone has reached level 60 they probably can handle early raid encounters, so they allow people to get to that content quickly. A change in the Heavensward expansion has also replaced loot in the first raid with tokens that can be redeemed for raid-level gear for any class.
Honestly I’m a fan of the token system. There is no feeling crappier than killing a difficult raid boss only to have it drop loot that nobody in your group has a use for. Tokens are less exciting, but mean that someone will be getting something useful almost every time you kill that boss. Still, even when random boss drops can feel frustrating or disappointing, WildStar has one thing that nobody else has. There is nothing I love more than seeing the loot explosion spray in beautiful purple (and sometimes orange) out of a dead boss for everyone to see!