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Old November 28 2012, 03:15 PM   #31
Robert Maxwell
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Re: Do you feel bad when you steal their things?

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Robert Maxwell wrote: View Post
Although the Diablo series didn't invent this, I would say it perfected that particular paradigm, and a lot of Western RPGs (perhaps even most) have mimicked its equipment model to some degree. Kill creatures, get loot, kill creatures, get loot, get a rare drop, equip it, kill more powerful creatures, get loot, etc. etc. It can be a lot of fun if done well, perhaps due to its highly Skinnerian design, but it is a bit too prevalent for my tastes.

Games where you loot houses instead of monsters are basically doing the same thing but with a slightly different mechanism. Instead of killing creatures to get loot, you raid people's houses, forcing you to go from town to town in search of better gear laying around people's homes, or at least junk that's of no use but that you can sell for cash (and use to buy better gear.)
That sort of loot mechanic makes sense in the Diablo games because it's a dungeon-crawler, most of your weapons and items are going to have to come from looting. And in a game like Skyrim where you're pretty much able to do what you want, it makes sense to have the option to rob houses and stuff like that. But in Mass Effect, where I'm playing as a military officer/special agent on a vital mission to save galactic civilisation, why am I reduced to looting weapons and armour from bandits operating out of a prefab on a deserted world? It just doesn't make sense for that story.

ME2 and ME3 reduced the reliance on looting items and forced you to pay for weapon upgrades, but as Evil Twin pointed out, you're still forced to loot credits during missions to afford most of the stuff. The fact that Commander Shepard steals millions of credits from safes and it doesn't have any impact on the game's morality system is weird. Now I'm finding the same problem with KOTOR. Bastila will moan at me about the lure of the dark side if I'm rude to someone during a conversation, but if I steal 200 credits from someone's footlocker she doesn't say a thing.
One game series I played where looting your enemies made perfect sense was MechCommander. I would actually go out of my way to annihilate all the enemies I could so that I could salvage their 'mechs. But you also got paid for each mission, so you'd use those mission funds to pay for salvaging the 'mechs (presumably it's costly to repair a beat-up 'mech, but much cheaper than buying a new one.) It was a good system and didn't require any suspension of disbelief.
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