Stats Are Realistic!

A post from Larisa got me thinking. The important parts:

By Klepsacovic:
WoW gets a bit boring when we stop caring about loot.
 By Perdissa:
Over the past month or so, I got 3 of the items I most desired on my main, including Deathbringer's Will, and 2 other 10HM items I had lusted over ever since ICC started up half a year back.

I was elated for a while, to be sure. But actually getting the loot now makes me feel a little empty. Clearly, gear isn't the barrier holding back progression, or what passes for progression in these twilight days. In fact, we have cleared what we had set out to clear in ICC, and gear isn't the barrier holding us back from what we can't clear.

Remember when 'character' wasn't synonymous with 'place to hang your gear?' I think the last game I played like that was pokemon for Nintendo's portable systems.

A similar series of games I've played didn't depend entirely on gear, either. Sure, one whip might have been better than another, but most of the upgrades were marginal at best. Plus, there was a much larger emphasis on boss-like scripts. If an enemy was standing on a ledge that you needed to climb onto, you couldn't jump up and brute force him. The way to deal with that enemy would be to convince him to jump off the ledge in pursuit of you, at which point you would climb up to take his place.

On bosses, you had options. You could do it the hard-hitting, simple, and dangerous way by jumping into the line of fire and letting loose your holy cross of boomeranging, or the slow, tedious, but safer method of remaining crouched and out of way while slowly pinging away with your whip. Or, if you farmed up a lot of potions, who cares? Just stand in one place and whack it til it dies. It's matter of playstyle, and not gear.

WoW is not as gear-dependent as most people think, either. By adjusting your strategy, even some of the latest bosses can be downed in creative ways. So, Klepsacovic, I have a solution: join Undergeared. Then you'll have something to be interested in that isn't gear.

So what is gear, and why do we care about it? Well, I'm convinced that it's a psychological trick to get us to play more, but by simply comparing characters to real-life people we can see that we actually need gear.

In real life, we do not have fancy spaulders with saronite spikes on them. Nor do we have giant swords that look like tuning forks. Instead, we have personalities. It's Perdissa that made me realize that connection: When she said, "gear isn't the barrier holding us back from what we can't clear" I instantly asked, "then what is the barrier holding us back?" What prevents me from becoming an accountant? An actor? An airline pilot?

Some people, both in game and out, have nimble fingers. Writers, programmers, thieves, surgeons. Others can follow maps, instructions, and layouts. Plumbers, soldiers, electricians. Others make those maps. Stategists, architects, developers. Some people... are good at playing other people. Politicians, nobles, succubi. Altruism is also a trait. Priests, Paladins, Nuns, Doctors. And a strong arm? Barbarians, bricklayers, sportsmen.

The list of real-life attributes goes on and on, and throughout each person's real life, they pick up, to varying degrees, each of these attributes. There are many professions in the real world, and each requires a certain distribution of skill over all possible attributes. If you're a rocket scientist, you probably need a lot of problem solving and logic skills. Rocket scientists who have, say, a lot of muscle and little brain... will not go very far.

The same is true for WoW; a rogue needs a lot of agility. A rogue who has a lot of, say, intellect, might be smart, but would not be good at what she's trying to do. I hope she has enough intellect to realize this and re-roll mage.

So yes, there can be strong scientists and smart rogues. I certainly wouldn't scoff at a +15 agility, +5 intellect bracer if I were only wearing a +12 agility one. That would be like a scientist who pumps iron in his spare time.

The stat system in RPGs makes a lot more sense to me now that I've broken it down. Thank you, Perdissa.

The only thing in this regard left to conquer is, "why are stats associated with gear, instead of your character?" The only answer I can come up with 'psychological trick.'

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