Emotional Edition

By David Piner -
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Sup everyone, emotion is critical to game developers because the emotion we feel when we play a game will GREATLY determine how much we're on board for continuing it. Emotion should be at the very forefront of game developer's minds, but it's not. There are so many games that do nothing for a player emotionally. There is no strife, no fear, no anxiety. The only emotion that people get out of a large swath of games, specifically MMOs, is the anxiety that comes with if your loot is going to drop, effectively making them like the lottery. The freaking loot lottery.

I don't want to play the loot lottery. The loot lottery is dumb. Yeah loot is great and all and rarity and prestige are awesome, but I don't want to play a game just to hope to cthulhu that the RNG will favor me ever so graciously. That's dumb, I want to be happy and excited and sad and one of the few MMOs that even considers for half a second to do that is WoW where you'll do some of the most saddest and epicest quest lines ever, where the lore and the engagement can move quickly from farming ten bear asses to where if you even get close to reading the quest text you'll want to start crying from them feels.

I don't know, single player games often have the entire story worked out to send you on this emotional rollercoaster, whereas MMOs have this sort of monotonous sit around and do nothing for hours pressing a few buttons and drooling on yourself. Emotion can come from a lot of activities, but it's important to understand that it has to be more than just loot to make you engaged.

It doesn't have to be story either - the fear of death for instance can make for strong compelling gameplay. In a game like Borderlands or BioShock death is often a pointless mechanic that involved you limping back to a now much easier fight - the only consequence is the loss of some cash. MMOs used to have a death penalty and they used to force that upon players. A lot of writers on the Internet will talk about this but forget the key point these older games had - you had to be in a group in order to survive. So there was this entire thing going on where death was actually really scary because to get to the point you could die required mistakes from the entire team. Of course in the more solo friendly games, adding in a penalty for death (like loss XP) does nothing but make the game impossible.

That's all I kind of want to say. I want to see more umph in games and less hand holding on rails bear ass hunting. If you know what I mean.

In the Bush with Xerin

Today in the bush we're going to discuss the wonderful flavor of Cheetos. What is the best Cheetos to eat with your MMOs? Why the original ones, because you're an annoying weirdo if you sit there and have some great hipster like appreciation for the fine flavor and vintage of various bags of Cheetos. No thanks, I'll take the regular ones.

Now get out of my bush.

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About The Author

David "Xerin" Piner
Get in the bush with Xerin every week for his column, Respawn, as he analyzes the hottest trends, buzz topics, and absurdities in MMO gaming. In addition to his ongoing war against early access titles.

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