World of Warcraft may not have invented what's become the standard colors for item quality, but it's surely cemented the hierarchy in gamers' minds. Last week, Raph Koster suggested that these tiers of items are part of the "yuck" that leads to the loss of immersion across the games industry.
I think he's right. I miss the days of Ultima Online (which not coincidentally was Koster's baby), when players geared up with basic platemail of invulnerability, chainmail of fortification, and katanas of vanquishing. Halfway through UO's lifespan, that system was gutted in favor of a Diablo-esque item that turned wearables into a numbers game. The charm of my deadly poisoned kryss made by a Grandmaster Blacksmith was gone, replaced by a few dozen stats to juggle.
Do you agree with Koster? Are color-coded item tiers a design shortcut that contributes to the loss of immersion in MMOs and other games? What game has your favorite item-quality system?
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!