If you grew up on themeparks like World of Warcraft
, the very idea of item decay is probably foreign to you. Just go to the vendor and click the repair button and everything's just as it was the day you looted it, right? Well, no. In older games and especially in sandboxes, you'd need a player to repair your gear, and sometimes not even that would help. Sometimes the gear was irreparable, meaning that once it ran out of juice, it was gone forever.
Decaying items are really not all that different from items with charges that deplete (consider Guild Wars 2's
crafting tools), but modern gamers freak out at the idea that they might lose their gear to wear, and I don't blame them since many themeparks turn gear acquisition into a huge grind. But even sandboxes like Ultima Online
have hedged their original item decay systems, allowing players to repair many artifacts indefinitely.
It might take a fundamental change in game design, but what do you think -- should MMOs bring back item decay?
Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!