Friday, 10 April 2009

Fluffy Bitz (part 1)

I'm a huge lover of fluff in games (that's the geeky term for background and the things that pad out the game) and WAR has possibly the deepest licence for fluff that any MMO has, you can pickup a Warhammer novel or a rulebook and see lots of great background and items mentioned that the game just doesn't have enough room to fit in. Look at the noteworthy persons alone and there are a huge number of people mentioned with great quotes and... fluff to fill the game in with. There's a rich lore and background but yet still so much of it untapped.

So this is the start of my random thoughts upon the fluffy aspects of the game. GirlIRL did a wonderful article about it already so I don't want to step on her toes in my hobnail boots but it's something I've been thinking about a lot as well recently. It adds to the depth of the game and really, sometimes we just don't want to grind more scenarios, participate in a zerg or hit a buggy instance so lets see what else we can add to the game, which wouldn't take too much effort but would give us something to do.

I picked up an old Orcs & Goblins Warhammer rulebook off ebay for £1 the other week just to have a browse through it. The background section was quite thin I have to admit but what actually interested me was the magic items and the descriptions.

It shames a waste that there are a bunch of items with wonderful descriptions sitting in the rulebooks which the fans of the game could see in the..ermm.. 'flesh'. Now everyone loves shinies.. Don't care what they say but shinies mean progression and it is the most basic and fundamental need for an MMO, for a player to want to keep on playing to improve. Once the character remains static, that's when interest starts to wane. Adding more items to collect (and even better if they are usable) and a sense of achievement once you get your sword or shield that you desire.

So how would I go about adding the old magical items with the descriptions into the game in a way that would let players collect and desire them?

I'd start with adjusting the armoury section of the Tome to include Weapons and Amulets. Now with the amulet sets you complete small quests and can then go and purchase the amulets themselves from the Librarians. Lets keep this concept with the weapons but add in a mix of the other tome bits to fill it in. So lets grab a random weapon to see how we can fit this together.

Since the dawn of last Thursday, Fumpa's club has been the traditional symbol of leadership amongst the Blacknose tribe. Of course, to start with there were a few who didn't see it like that, but they've all since been, er, convinced.

OK, lets ignore the tabletop stats and well, the in game stats, we're wanting to make this fluffy enough to want people to collect it. In the Tome, under the armoury you'll see (well you would do...) the weapon section, under Greenskins there are lots of ??? and not much else. Now you've just been bashing away some rowdy Goblins in Black Crag when one of them drops an item "Fumpa's handle" now the item is bind on pickup and you can right click on it. Upon doing so, it unlocks a tome entry in the Greenskin armoury with the following:

..... ... .... .. .... ......... ...... .... ... ...... .... traditional symbol of leadership amongst the Blacknose tribe. Of course, to start with there were .... ...... ...... ....... ..... ..... ........ .... ....... ..... .........

O ???
O ???
O Fumpa's Handle

Upon finding more of the pieces it will uncover more of the story and once you have all three unlocks you can purchase the item from the librarian in your capital city and to show it off as an Unlock item you can paint it orange as well (because right now with the current itemisation, certain greens can be just as good as Mythic orange). Give the items more than just a proc, make them unique for situations, in our above example the Fumpa is a symbol of leadership, so give it a nice +strength bonus (Orcs only respect strength) but also give it a use affect. With a one hour cooldown, using the item (must be equipped) will grant all party members 100 points of Morale.

Would adding unlockable weapons give you something to do during the downtime when you're not up for the usual day-to-day of WAR? Would it add to the depth and lore of Warhammer to see interesting and unique weapons with a sense of achievement to them?

I'd like them for sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment