Lore vs Game: Drop Rate Conundrum

If you have been playing WoW for at least a few hours, chances are you have been annoyed by the drop rates already. Every time they are discussed somebody comes to the conclusion that having a drop rate below 100%, in many cases, makes no sense.

To a certain extent that makes sense. Ever tried roleplaying an adventurer, helping the folk of Southshore with their murloc problem, only to start encountering headless murlocs? Yeah, that is not a pretty sight. From a gameplay standpoint you kill a murloc, cut off his head and bring it back to the good townsfolk as a proof of a good deed done. What is here to roleplay, right?

Well, when looking from the lore perspective, you aren’t just plowing through the murloc ranks with ease. If killing murlocs was as easy as hit-hit-dead-drink-kill next, then why don’t the town folk do it themselves? Because in the game world killing murlocs is actually a big deal. They aren’t just silly mobs, waiting around to give you XP. You are locked in lethal combat with any single one of them. Things like level or Health Points are there only for the G part in RPG.

This is how, in my mind, a combat situation against a pesky fish man goes:
The mindless beast slashes at you with a sword, that most likely once belonged to an overconfident traveller, you are forced to take a step back, the murloc lunges forward for an attack, you dodge his weapon and slam him in the head with your shield, cracking his skull. Now that mightn’t have been the smartest move, considering you are to bring back their heads as proof, but you were in a heated battle for your own life. You had to choose between finishing the beast off now or risk getting gutted. Sure, murloc’s head is now but a mangled mess of bone and skin but at least you get to carry on uninjured.

Image courtesy of Dan Scott, http://www.DanScottArt.com

This “I was in a heated battle with a deranged beast” concept is applicable to many, many different quests. Diseased wolf didn’t drop a pelt for you to bring back to Eagan? A frantically cast fireball got out of hand and charred the lupine body to mere ashes. Sent to collect bat wings but mobs suddenly seem to not have any on them? Your sword slashed the beast in half, ripping its wings into unusable shreds.

The reasons why a certain mob didn’t drop a certain body part aren’t really that hard to come by. All it takes is a bit immersion and the assumption that the mobs you are encountering within the game world are worthy opponents.

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~ by Shale on July 17, 2010.

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