6 October, 2006
This week, let’s think about status. How do you reward people for doing cool things in your game world?
In some games you might see someone in flashy armor. Or, maybe they have glowy bits coming from every orifice and weapon on their body. Or, maybe the have a cape! Woo! These are ways to catch your attention and let you know that person did something cool. Maybe they managed to make enough money. Maybe they did a particularly hard quest. Maybe they got lucky and won a special drop.
So, think about a way to reward the player and allowing him or her to show off their status in the game. Some of my thoughts after the break.
Instead of an idea, let me share a little story.
In EQ2, I finally made enough money to buy a nightmare mount. It is the most expensive mount in the game, and I wanted something flashy to show off my prowess at working the broker. I could have waited a few weeks and gotten the (slightly slower) carpet from a quest, but everyone has a carpet and I wouldn’t stand out. The nightmare shows off the fact that I had a bit of money to burn. (Of course, some people probably think I’m just a twink that got a bunch of plat from a sugar-daddy.) The nightmare also gives some magic resistances that the carpet doesn’t have.
A friend of mine didn’t quite understand my motivation for spending so much money. Well, I think some of it might have been jealousy. ;) When I linked my new acquisition to in guild chat, he chided me for “needing validation.” I explained to him that damn straight I want validation! It shows off my talent. Since I’m in a guild with some fairly serious raiders, showing off my prowess helps demonstrate that I’m not just dead weight, even if I’m still 20 or so levels below max and not quite ready for the raids they go on.
Looking back on it, I found my own behavior interesting. I’m usually not motivated by Achievement, but this is obviously an Achiever’s mindset. I could probably go on for a while talking about motivation here. :) But, I’ll leave the anecdote and turn it over to everyone else.
One thing to consider: is there a way to reward more casual players as well? Most signs of status are intended for the hard-core. Is there a way to give casual players the same recognition? Or, does that go against the basic concept of status items?
So, back to the challenge: what are some good ways to reward players and let them show off a bit of status?