How reckless are you, when playing MMORPGs?

I was playing LOTRO yesterday, moving deeper into the Lone-lands zone, when I came across not one but two areas chock full of signature (aka elite in other games) monsters.

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Were I playing my warden I’d probably not worry much about fighting such things, I was able to solo a few on my newish Rune-Keeper, but it wasn’t easy and pulling more than one at once wasn’t safe. I may not be that optimised for my level, I’m not wearing full sets of crafted gear, but I have been grinding out deeds and do make use of buff food and scrolls.

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Using tactics such as leashing mobs carefully so a pair is split by one resetting, and being careful of patrols and my surroundings I was able to work my way into the gathering node I was originally aiming for but then I realised I was deep into a full signature area. It would at the least slow down my progress a lot as it takes longer to kill each one and the chance of an over-pull and subsequent character death were much higher.

The things I'll do for an ancient relic

The things I’ll do for an ancient relic

I realised upon reflection that when playing solo I’m pretty cautious as I play. It’s not that the game has a particularly strong death penalty, but I do care about my characters, and I’m not inclined to risk a character death without a very good reason. This isn’t anything new, I always used to sneak around as many mobs as possible on my champion. When grouping up I’m happy enough to pick up the pace – I duo’ed for a bit of the session in a non-elite area and we were able to quickly clear the zone working as a pair and as individuals in equal measure. There is a difference to having company, however, knowing that someone can come to your aid if things start to go wrong.

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How cautious/reckless are you when playing your favourite MMORPGs (does it depend on the game)?

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3 Responses to How reckless are you, when playing MMORPGs?

  1. bhagpuss says:

    Starting in EQ back at the turn of the century, I very learned to be cautious. One mistake could wipe out hours of progress and also leave you in a very difficult situation that might itself take hours to sort out. Some of that caution persists, especially when I play EQ now even though it no longer has such a harsh death penalty, there are no corpse runs and rezzes are easy to come by.

    On the other hand, I’ve now been playing MMOs with virtually no death penalty at all for longer than I played the EQ-type ones and in many situations I am a lot less cautious than I used to be. And yes, it does depend on both the game and the character. My EQ2 Berserker, who has at least three “get out of death” cards – more if I can be bothered to set up first – tends to run into danger and spin. I also spent many years playing necromancers, shadowknights and disciples in various games, all of whom could Feign Death, often with 100% success rate, so that put me into the habit of taking the risks in the secure knowledge i had a reset button to hand. And then there’s GW2, which I’ve been playing for the last four years, where there is literally no death penalty whatsoever and very little reason to care whether you survive a fight or not, especially since you can frequently get full credit for what you were doing when someone else completes it as you lie there dead.

    I can still be cautious when I need to though. Those EQ skills are like having learned to ride a bike. You never forget.

  2. I’m very cautious IRL, so I like to compensate by being a reckless idiot in games. If I see a huge elite wandering the countryside, my reaction is usually, “Challenge accepted.”

    Helps that I’ve spent so long playing WoW, where mobs are weak and death is rarity. It’s taught me to throw caution to the winds more often than not.

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