City of Heroes
As I play City of Heroes, rolling through the Summer Blockbuster content, I'm reminded that CoH's looting system is really weird. As in, there kind of isn't one. Recipes, enhancement, salvage, and influence just sort of magically appear in their respective trays. There are no sparkly bits to tell you that hey, you should totally come click this monster because its still-warm corpse has shinies for you. You never have to worry that you missed a piece of choice loot back in the last room. And players never, ever fight over loot because at the end of an important mission, everyone gets a drop.

At the same time, CoH is missing some of the thrill that comes when you best the random number generator and finally get your purple shiny sword of doom. The near-intangibility of the game's drops means fewer crushing defeats when that freaking Hunter rolls on your tanking sword, but it also means fewer victory laps. You give up the rush from clicking on a monster just to see what he has; that step is completely stripped out.

What do you think -- is a physical "looting" process critical to MMOs?

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This article was originally published on Massively.