Ultima Online, EverQuest, and Asheron's Call, for example, all included a reagent mechanic. For many years, Ultima Online's mages carried sacks of such reagents required and consumed by each spell they hoped to cast. High-end raid-related spells in EQ ate expensive gems, and AC1's reagents had a chance to go up in a puff of smoke each time your cast fizzled.
Themeparks like Guild Wars 2 and World of Warcraft have veered away from this design path. In fact, WoW itself started life requiring reagents for special spells and ammunition for bow- and gun-wielding classes, but Blizzard removed them several years ago in the pursuit of both simplicity and class balance. After all, it wasn't very fair to require only some classes to spend extra gold and take up weight or inventory space on consumables.
Still, such mechanics added a level of immersion as well as annoyance. What do you think -- do class consumables deserve to make a comeback in MMORPGs?
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!