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TRIVIAL PURSUIT [Author: Snowspinner]

Absor’s big argument here seems to be, to use his own words

The Trivial Loot Code is indeed a restriction based on the level of the character. But it isn’t a punishment, as if gaining levels was a bad thing. It is simply a way of keeping content available to those characters of the level that the content was designed for. It’s really no different than the fact that low level characters are restricted from accessing high level content, or that enchanters are restricted from accessing certain quests designed for paladins, or that worshippers of a certain deity are restricted from using items designed for worshippers of another deity.

This is all well and good, except for the fact that it’s not what the TLC does. Let’s say they introduce two really cool breastplates into the game. One of them is the result of a warrior quest. The other is the result of a mid-level paladin quest. Are these equally unfair to high level paladins? Ummm… no. Because eventually, the mid-level paladin will become a high level paladin, identical in every way to the other high level paladins, except for the fact that he was given additional opportunities for items that the high level paladins never had and never will have.

Absor’s argument that this is no different from mandating that the level 30 character go on a quest and gain a lot of levels to get into Veeshan’s Peak is, quite frankly, ludicrous. Why? Because the opportunity for advancement to the higher level content exists for the low or mid-level character. It does not exist for the high level character. If I have a level 55 paladin, he cannot get to do any of the low-level Luclin quests unless he dances around Neriak in his birthday suit.

Another example. Have you ever talked to a paladin who has been stuck at a level for the past three months because he hasn’t managed to get the Nagafen and Vox kills that he needs to? It fucking sucks. Is it necessary? Arguably, to make Nagafen and Vox loot accessable to a larger number of people. But it really, really blows hard for paladins. And, were it something other than the two of the most special mobs in the game, it would be unforgivable. Except with the Trivial Loot Code, that’s what’s being done across the board.

The point here is that gaining levels is supposed to be a desirable thing to do. Does this mean that each dungeon should be cooler than the next? Yes. Does it mean that higher level characters should get more opportunities to do things than low level characters? Yes. Low level characters should still get enough to make it interesting, but the game should in fact reward you in some way for putting in the time to make it to the high level encounters. This is not rocket surgery.

The Trivial Loot Code turns this idea on its ear. It says, fundamentally, that “because you have leveled, you do not deserve to be able to do this.” That’s a major change from “Because you have not leveled, you do not deserve to do this.” And it’s a major change from the idea of a game that leveling has any purpose in.

Before I turn over the soapbox, though, let me just highlight one more of Absor’s points.

It’s not that we are unaware of the desires of the players. We are very aware of those desires. But there are a lot of players, with characters of all levels. And all of those players need to be taken into account as much as possible.

I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. The game does need to be designed for all players. That’s why you have a poll feature that you can use to find out the desires of all players when they log into their accounts. And I have to say, I haven’t noticed any polls asking if we want the Trivial Loot Code shoved down our throats. So maybe it’s a little too soon to say that this is obviously what the player base wants?