World of Warcraft Preview

GameAxis has put together a preview of World of Warcraft, based upon a recent visit to the Blizzard offices in California. An excerpt to follow:

Although the quest structure of World of Warcraft may be quite traditional in the genre, the MMOGs method for divvying up loot is anything but. One of the problems that have plagued the genre from the beginning is player dynamic when it comes to dividing up quest treasure. In many games it is quite possible for one player to simply click on the treasure first and have their pick of the spoils no matter what happened during the battle whilst in others the player who lands the final blow is the one who has their pick of the spoils. It’s quite obvious to any gamer that this isn’t what you would call a fair system. Blizzard is doing their part to address this imbalance and foster more trust in casual questing parties by having four modes of loot. The first mode of loot is quest specific when a player completes certain quests they can travel back to report the quest completed and can choose prizes randomly chosen from a pool. The rest of the loot system revolves around three settings developed for varying levels of group familiarity. For the more casual of groups who have simply formed to complete a quest or two, (Round Robin) divvies up the loot by giving the players the ability to pick one item before the next player has their chance until all the items are depleted. More trusting and familiar teams can choose the (Free for All) mode that will allow them to choose items at their whim. The final mode, (Master Looter) is meant specifically for special groups and clans. One player takes the role of the master looter, getting every piece of loot and then being responsible for divvying it up between the other players.

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