So here is some rambling thoughts from me…Paul
Urban dictionary has defined a Loot Whore as “A player in an MMO game or any game for that matter, that consistently wants any and every item that has even the most minuscule value to him or her.”
This problem far reaches past the realm of MMO’s, RPGs and games of the like. It is a problem at LARPs as well. My experience at live action role play was very small up until last year. People from games would all have the same nagging concerns about the distribution of loot and rare items, I figured it was an anomaly and could be remedied by some hard work by players who were looking to build a solid “in-game” economy. But, as I migrated from game to game over the past year I noticed these concerns had some weight to them. The problem being that most of the games wealth and items belong to a small group of usually higher level and seasoned veterans. A lot of them probably don’t realize when they find a harvestable component and stash it away in their character bag or bank vault that they are essentially hoarding. I have even seen plot items being hoarded by players your a year and maybe more in hopes that one day it will be useful. Like the proverbial dragon sleeping in his pile of gold. The Loot Whore and Loot Hoarder are essentially hamstringing a lot of in game growth (and they don’t even know it).
Rawr…Give me your rare items.
Lets start by talking item hoarding and economy. On-going story arcs in games that continue to evolve a story of years and years should have a decent economy. As a friend of mine recently said to me it will never work when 90% of the games wealth is in the hands of a small group of people. Most of these people have a foot in the main story line of the game. They get so engrossed in the game that they forget others are also trying to play their story as well.
Scenario – A rogue loots a priests weapon, That rogue hides the weapon and tries to decide what they can do with it. Perhaps that rogue has a priest who is also one of the veterans who hoard items, problem solved right? No, because that weapon stays in the same cycle of being passed around the small group of well-to-do players. OK.. Let’s try another way, no priest friends, but I know some priests that want it, let me charge an astronomical amount. Though I don’t need the money. Oh wait you don’t have the astronomical amount. Fine let me just go stick this in my bank vault and let it rot. That does not help the game. Game marshals and writers put these items out in order to get them used, to strengthen the entire player base.
Maybe I am just talking out of my ass here, maybe I don’t know anything about LARP and the politics that go on in a game. Maybe playing the simple business man , or the kind hearted bar tender has been a waste of my time completely, but I will say that at most games I have played when the big boss goes down the same people are there to scoop up the scraps.
In conclusion to all LARPers. The answer is simple. Remember you are playing a game, and so are others. I am not saying pass up the chance to get some loot, but keep in the back of your mind that the people around you are not supporting characters in YOUR LARP. They are characters in an experience you are sharing, lets all have fun.
What do you think? Feel free to share and comment below.