This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page . (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
In video games, a loot system is a method of distributing in-game items amongst a group of players.
In pencil and paper games and computer and video games, an item is an object within the game world that can be collected by a player or, occasionally, a non-player character. These items are sometimes called pick-ups.
A player of a game is a participant therein. The term 'player' is used with this same meaning both in game theory and in ordinary recreational games.
Loot Systems exist solely because of the game mechanics of popular massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). One of the primary objectives in this genre of game is to improve one's character, the representation of the player in the virtual world. The common ways to do this involve obtaining experience or by upgrading the items the character uses. In the most popular MMORPGs, such as EverQuest or World of Warcraft, much of a player's improvement must come from looted items because the amount of experience a player can obtain has a hard limit.
A player character is a fictional character in a role-playing game or video game whose actions are directly controlled by a player of the game rather than the rules of the game. The characters that are not controlled by a player are called non-player characters (NPCs). The actions of non-player characters are typically handled by the game itself in video games, or according to rules followed by a gamemaster refereeing tabletop role-playing games. The player character functions as a fictional, alternate body for the player controlling the character.
An experience point is a unit of measurement used in tabletop role-playing games (RPGs) and role-playing video games to quantify a player character's progression through the game. Experience points are generally awarded for the completion of missions, overcoming obstacles and opponents, and for successful role-playing.
EverQuest is a 3D fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) originally developed by Verant Interactive and 989 Studios for Windows PCs. It was released by Sony Online Entertainment in March 1999 in North America, and by Ubisoft in Europe in April 2000. A dedicated version for macOS was released in June 2003, which operated for ten years before being shut down in November 2013. In June 2000, Verant Interactive was absorbed into Sony Online Entertainment, who took over full development and publishing duties of the title. Later, in February 2015, SOE's parent corporation, Sony Computer Entertainment, sold the studio to investment company Inception Acquisitions and was rebranded as Daybreak Game Company, who develops and publishes EverQuest to this day.
Herein lies the dilemma: One mechanism by which loot is obtained is the completion of content built by the game developer. This often occurs by defeating a difficult non-player entity, or "mob". However, since MMORPGs are meant to reward players who work together, several players often desire a particular piece of loot that has been rewarded (or "dropped"). A loot system attempts to provide a fair and equitable method for players to decide who gets what.
There are obviously multiple ways in which this decision can be made. Systems range from a reflex based, first come first served method to an almost dictatorship-like system where the appointed leader of the group awards the loot to players he or she feels deserve it. However, most players enjoy a system that gives equal chance to all who were involved and removes any real or perceived favoritism from the decision.
The most simple loot system is one of anarchy. The players who have the fastest reflexes to perform the action necessary to receive the loot do so. This has several obvious downfalls which tends to aggravate players:
In online gaming, lag is a noticeable delay between the action of players and the reaction of the server supporting the game.
The overwhelmingly most used loot system class is one where the decision on which player receives which items is completely based on a public random number generator. This type of system completely removes all human input from the decision, and gives an obvious statistically equal chance to those players involved. Using random number generators for the basis of a loot system is so common that many games have coded the system directly into the game experience to expedite the process. Due to the similarity between using a random number generator and rolling a die (or set of dice) the process is referred to as "rolling" and the act of "rolling for loot" is the process by which players are assigned a number by the random number generator which determines if they will obtain the desired items.
A very simple random system which just assigns the loot to a random player in the group regardless of any other factors. This variant is a common method for distributing loot that has only monetary value ("trash loot") and is often coded into the game. It is not usually used for items which players might equip, due to game mechanics.
The vast majority of MMORPG games have some sort of class system, where each player can choose a class which allows them certain skills, as well as placing certain restrictions on which items the player can use. Players of a certain class also prefer items which have attributes which improve statistics which give benefit to the primary skills of their class. Thus, each player often does not desire the same item, as a group of players generally has several of these classes in its makeup. However, many items also have some value in the in-game currency, so there is often some interest in the item from all players involved. The "Need Before Greed" system allows players who will make the most use of the items have priority over those who only desire the item for its monetary value, such that only the subset of players who will benefit the most are allowed to "roll" for the item. If no players desire the item, then a pure random system is used to determine who obtains the item for its monetary value. This system can be very straightforward and simple, especially in smaller groups of players where perhaps only two or three players desire the same item. However, this system also has some perceived downfalls which tend to aggravate players:
In role-playing games (RPG), a character class is a job or profession commonly used to differentiate the abilities of different game characters. A character class aggregates several abilities and aptitudes, and may also detail aspects of background and social standing, or impose behavior restrictions. Classes may be considered to represent archetypes, or specific careers. RPG systems that employ character classes often subdivide them into levels of accomplishment, to be attained by players during the course of the game. It is common for a character to remain in the same class for its lifetime; although some games allow characters to change class, or attain multiple classes. Some systems eschew the use of classes and levels entirely; others hybridise them with skill-based systems or emulate them with character templates.
These perceived downfalls often cause various extra restrictions to be placed on the system such as:
Point based loot systems have arisen for a number of reasons. The first is that players feel that their previous attempts and completion of the content that contains the loot they desire should somehow determine their priority over other players, which is obviously impossible in a random system due to memorylessness. Players also often feel that items should go to the player that has a high amount of desire for it, something impossible to quantify in a random based loot system. Lastly, a common game mechanic is to place the most highly desired items in content that requires very large amounts of both time and personnel to master and complete, meaning that players are even more aggravated by the downfalls of a random based system as described earlier.
In probability and statistics, memorylessness is a property of certain probability distributions. It usually refers to the cases when the distribution of a "waiting time" until a certain event, does not depend on how much time has elapsed already. Only two kinds of distributions are memoryless: exponential distributions of non-negative real numbers and the geometric distributions of non-negative integers.
Since statistically, over time, all players will move towards receiving the items they want, point based systems do not determine anything but the order in which the players get the items.
Common problems with point based system problems include:
Obviously to be able to spend points, there must exist a method of earning them. There are two main methods of obtaining points in a point based loot system, time based and content completion based. These two systems are often modified in a variety of ways, usually to reward (or demerit) players for certain behaviors or to provide incentives them to participate in certain content. Regardless of the method, the players are rewarded for participation in the content so that players who participate most frequently obtain a larger ratio of the loot obtained, or perhaps more correctly, a larger ratio of the total "desirability pool" of the content.
Often there are milestones in the content players participate in. The system rewards point rewards for certain milestones, regardless of the amount of time required to reach them.
Points of Consideration
In this method, points are simply awarded for the amount of time the player chooses to participate in the content.
Points of Consideration
The largest differential between the various point based loot systems is the method by which points are converted into items, or priority to receive items. These systems can be described as three subsets, fixed cost, auction bid, and constrained bid.
A fixed cost system (or "purchase system") is one where each item that has a statistical chance to drop in the content the players are currently participating in has been assigned a point value. These values can be derived in a number of ways, from gauging desire for the item compared to its probability of dropping (simple supply and demand) to a method based on the attributes of the item. In this way items are purchased with some created currency that players can earn. Since each item no longer has zero cost to each player, players now must consider the opportunity cost of the item, as it will impact their ability to obtain other items.
Points of Consideration
In an auction bid system players can bid any amount of their current points on an item. The bids can be made public or done in secret, depending on the variant of the system. Much like a fixed-cost system each item now has a non-zero cost to the player, but now the cost of each item is purely dependent on the market forces created by the player pool which desires the item, rather than an artificial system which can be open to discussion.
Points of Consideration
In a constrained bid system players are forced to bid a certain fraction of their current points. Thus this system is inherently different from a fixed-cost or auction bid system in that points don't determine purchasing power as much as they do a player's ability to exercise priority over another player. Points only serve to quantify how many places "in line" a player loses for receiving an item or gains for participating in content. Points of Consideration
An alternative to a points based loot system is an in-game currency based loot system. Participants pay for items with virtual currency instead of with an arbitrary set of points. The currency paid may then be split among those members in attendance. This includes the buyer if he/she helped. Like a points system, those that attend a higher percentage of events will have earned more currency and, therefore, have more to spend in the open market system or at future group events on loot. Currency based systems offer maximum freedom for individual players over the course of their current game.
As loot is accumulated, players may bid in-game currency on loot, with the loot going to the highest bidder. Some groups may accept a mixture of sellable loot and currency as a bid. Some argue that bids this way can be forced up artificially by false bidders. In practice this tends to not be the case, as those that wish to push up the bid realize they have a chance of actually winning an item they do not desire, thus losing an inflated amount of money through no one's fault but their own.
Points of Consideration
There are many loot systems in current use, this list is not comprehensive.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(June 2017)
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are a combination of role-playing video games and massively multiplayer online games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual world.
Within most systems and at most levels in the game of Go, a handicap is given to offset the strength difference between players of different ranks.
A virtual economy is an emergent economy existing in a virtual world, usually exchanging virtual goods in the context of an Internet game. People enter these virtual economies for recreation and entertainment rather than necessity, which means that virtual economies lack the aspects of a real economy that are not considered to be "fun". However, some people do interact with virtual economies for "real" economic benefit.
Twinking is a type of behavior in role-playing video games which involves deceiving other players about one's playing abilities or achievements in the game. A player who engages in such behavior is known as a twink. The precise definition of twinking varies depending on the variety of role-playing game:
AdventureQuest is an online flash-based single-player role-playing video game started in 2002 and currently developed by Artix Entertainment. As of March 5, 2019, aq.battleon.com, the game's hosting website, and www.battleon.com, the game's homepage, have an Alexa rating of 54,521.
In video gaming, grinding is performing repetitive tasks for gameplay advantage. Many video games use different tactics to implement, or reduce the amount of grinding in play. The general use of grinding is for "experience points", or to improve a character's level. However, the behavior is sometimes referred to as pushing the bar, farming or catassing.
In computing, procedural generation is a method of creating data algorithmically as opposed to manually. In computer graphics, it is also called random generation and is commonly used to create textures and 3D models. In video games, it is used to automatically create large amounts of content in a game. Advantages of procedural generation include smaller file sizes, larger amounts of content, and randomness for less predictable gameplay.
Mudflation, from MUD and inflation, is an economic issue that exists in massively multiplayer online games. Mudflation occurs when future additions to a game causes previously acquired resources to decline in value. This can take many forms and have many causes, including new items introduced by an expansion pack, fundamental imbalances in the in-game economy, or even spread of information that allows a previously rare resource to be acquired more easily.
Gold sink is an economic process by which a video game's ingame currency ('gold'), or any item that can be valued against it, is removed. This process is comparable to financial repression in real economies. Most commonly the genres are role-playing game or massively multiplayer online game. The term is comparable to timesink, but usually used in reference to game design and balance, commonly to reduce inflation when commodities and wealth are continually fed to players through sources such as quests, looting monsters, or minigames.
Character creation is the process of defining a game character or other character. Typically, a character's individual strengths and weaknesses are represented by a set of statistics. Games with a largely fictional setting may include traits such as race and class. Games with a more contemporary or narrower setting may limit customization to physical and personality traits.
A statistic in role-playing games is a piece of data that represents a particular aspect of a fictional character. That piece of data is usually a (unitless) integer or, in some cases, a set of dice.
Monato Esprit is a 3D, fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The game is currently in the open beta stage of development and is tentatively scheduled for release in July, 2009. Monato Esprit will be free to download and will use the e-currency "MetaTIX" as its billing system.
Dragon kill points or DKP are a semi-formal score-keeping system used by guilds in massively multiplayer online games. Players in these games are faced with large scale challenges, or raids, which may only be surmounted through the concerted effort of dozens of players at a time. While many players may be involved in defeating a boss, the boss will reward the group with only a small number of items desired by the players. Faced with this scarcity, some system of fairly distributing the items must be established. Used originally in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game EverQuest, dragon kill points are points that are awarded to players for defeating bosses and redeemed for items that those bosses would 'drop'. At the time most of the bosses faced by the players were dragons, hence the name.
Flyff is a fantasy MMORPG by Korean development company Gala Lab.
Unlockable content refers to content that is available in video games but not accessible unless something is performed by the player to get access to it. Different genres of games have different styles and options of unlockable content that is standard among their games. The unlockable content varies, and can be as little as a single weapon or enhancement, to more than doubling the playable characters available to the player.
This is a glossary of video game terms which lists the general terms as commonly used in Wikipedia articles related to video games and its industry.
Orcs Must Die! Unchained is the third installment in the Orcs Must Die! franchise from Robot Entertainment, available for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4. Unchained was initially released as a beta version in 2014, and in its release form on April 18, 2017 for the Windows platform, while the PlayStation 4 version was released on July 18, 2017.
Video game monetization is the process that video game publishers use to generate revenue from a video game product. The methods of monetization may vary between games, especially when they come from different genres or platforms, but they all serve the same purpose to return money to the game developers, copyright owners, and other stakeholders. As the monetization methods continue to diversify, they also affect the game design in a way that sometimes leads to criticism.
A compulsion loop is a habitual, designed chain of activities that will be repeated to gain a neurochemical reward such as the release of dopamine. Compulsion loops are deliberately used in video game design as an extrinsic motivation for players, but may also result from other activities that unintentionally create such loops.
In video games, a loot box is a consumable virtual item which can be redeemed to receive a randomized selection of further virtual items, ranging from simple customization options for a player's avatar or character, to game-changing equipment such as weapons and armor. A loot box is typically a form of monetization, with players either buying the boxes directly or receiving the boxes during play and later buying "keys" with which to redeem them. These systems may also be known as gacha and integrated into gacha games.