The game that continues to surprise and please me

As I said, I am really going to try and continue to write more frequently. I also said I was going to write about my console gaming, but with the announcement today of World of Warcraft now including in-game pets for purchase, I wanted to just write down my thoughts on the subject.  I read the announcement on Kotaku today, and was, to be honest a little shaken.  Not shaken by their decision to include these items in a game store, they have had a form of in-game items up until this point, with being able to switch races being one of the newest services offered for a fee, but by how it made me feel about the items.  I was shaken because when it was the ability to change your appearance or move your character to another shard it did not bother me. I hardly gave it a second thought actually.  The pets crossed some line I didn’t even realize I had.  Upon reflection of this, I realized that for me, the acquisition of in-game items, even if they are just pets and not the uber-sword of uberness, is what drives character progression.  That is what has been a defining characteristic of Blizzard games for me since Diablo.  Now we have items that, even though they are strictly cosmetic like changing the hair style or race of your character, you can obtain for a small price and that bugs me.  Why?  Other games that have marketed themselves as “micro-transaction” games do not bother me, but perhaps that is the crux of the situation.  There is an understanding from the beginning of what to expect.  In a way this leads back to my preference for EQ and EQ2 because the accomplishment of a trial makes the reward at the end even more worthwhile.  Who cares, it is only 2 in-game pets and it in no way breaks the game.  There are still numerous quests out there that I have yet to experience or accomplish to claim my reward.  Heck I have yet to even reach max level on one character of mine in WoW, and this is why I was shaken.  Like many others that I have read and heard about on various podcasts who cry out that any developer who after being “non-transaction” for any length of time are selling out or breaking the game, I experienced the same knee-jerk reaction. I have asked before for a game that would allow for truly unique items, truly one of a kind items, so perhaps this is intertwined with that.  Who cares if someone has the uber-sword of uberness, why do all the characters have to be all the same?  To sell something in-game is simply giving into the mentality of “he has one so I should have one too!”

So I have been playing more Fallout 3 on PS3 and absolutely loving it.  I was at a bit of a standstill on the game due to hitting max level and never completing the main storyline.  I simply leveled up off of all the side quests that existed in the world.  Upon getting my PS3 back online I downloaded Broken Steel allowing me to raise my character 10 more levels.  In some ways I feel this broke the game slightly, because I am now concentrating on the main storyline and feel very overpowered.  I will have definitely have to download the additional DLC for the game.

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~ by krymoor on November 5, 2009.

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