Expendable Minions, and other musingsOctober 3, 2009 at 11:50 am | Posted in LotRO | Leave a comment
Tags: companions, customisation, LotRO, minions, mirkwood, pets, Siege of Mirkwood, skirmish system, skirmishes, soldiers
Having read the official releases about Siege of Mirkwood, I’ve been thinking about this new Skirmish system, and how it might work. Yes, sometimes I get bored. And then I start to ponder the unponderable, with no real information to back it up. Random speculation and suchlike. This is one of those times.
I like the idea of having an Expendable Minion whom I can mould to my satisfaction, but don’t need to worry about controlling in the heat of the action. If I want to be smug and have something else do all the work, I’ll get Herewerd out of his box and be all Loremaster-y.
Making up the numbers is good, but I think the customisation is a work of genius. I love my expendable minions. Because I can sacrifice them to achieve my aims. I don’t *care* about them, though. I almost, almost cared about my World of Warcraft Hunter pet, but mainly because I had to be all special snowflakey and get a Ghost Sabre. Cue an hour of stupid statue-fiddling amongst various angry naga because I didn’t want wait until I was at a decent survivable level.
And this was when Warcraft Hunter Pets had the loyalty mechanic, so you *had* to be nice to them. Well, nice-ish. I’d feed it after having it brutally slaughtered to save my repair bills.
But if I get to customise my new Expendable Minion, yet not control him, then maybe he stands a chance. Because he would be less of a Minion, he might end up being less Expendable. I might even care about the little chap.
Replayability=good. We spend so much time repeating ourselves, in online gaming. Daily quests. Repeatable reputation quests. Levelling alts. Running raids and instances for rare-drop phat-lewtz.
And the result? Burnout. Not fun.
If the skirmish system is kept deliberately simple; “Defend the Prancing Pony”, then you can safely allow random elements to creep in. Change the type/make-up of the attacking mobs. Change where and when they attack from. Change the duration of the fight. Some will be easy, some will be difficult. Random chance can be a harsh mistress. But it will make them less of a formula-following trez-gathering exercise, and more of a fun, fast and frantic experience.
I want that. It makes a skirmish more replayable. More of a challenge. And less likely to become just another repeatable bore.
I think it’s the skirmish system, more than anything else, that excites me about Siege of Mirkwood. I have a few alts languishing in the doldrums, as I’ve no interest in running through the same content again and again. However, the opportunity to get on, blast through a few skirmishes, and move on, seems like a great way to level at leisure, without feeling like I’m grinding my way through levels.