Role-playing games, massive multiplayer role-playing games, dungeon crawling games, and first person role-playing games have one thing in common, and that is loot systems. A loot system is how the players are rewarded for defeating enemies and exploring the game. Every game has a different system, some work, some don’t. In a multiplayer game with loot, distribution is what sets apart games with good loot systems, and those with bad ones. When everyone has a chance to get good loot, then people will keep coming back. When one or two players are able to horde all the loot, then other players will not return.
Every game for the most part has a loot system. Items that are picked up during the game are considered loot; how these items are distributed during multiplayer play, is what determines if the system works. Even though the determination of a loot system is done through multiplayer, single player games have loot systems too. A single player loot system is based on the frequency at which good items drop. Fallout 3, Skyrim, Diablo, and World of Warcraft (WoW), are among the most well known games that have loot systems. While Skyrim and Fallout 3 are single player games, Diablo, and WoW can be played with multiplayer. These games are only a sample of the games that have loot systems.
The term ‘good’ is a relative term when it comes to a loot system. It should instead be called fair or even. Games go about trying to make things even, in different ways. For example, WoW has a fair system that is based on chance. If a player needs an item that drops, they “roll” to see who gets the item. The player with the highest “roll” gets the item. Diablo 3, on the other hand, gives everyone different items, and then the players can share the loot so that everyone is able to progress quickly. The new game Borderlands 2 gives everyone access to the same items, and thus all items could in theory, be picked up by one person. The first two games have a fairer system than Borderlands 2.
While the system for Borderlands 2 is not the best, the way to get around having an unfair system like that is to play with friends. As we all know, there are people on the Internet who are not nice, and will try and take all the loot for themselves. With friends, it’s easier to communicate, as well as holding your friends accountable for the loot. With these two simple things, the loot will be distributed fairly among the party.
For a loot system to work, the system has to be fair. Every person has to have a fair shot at getting the loot that drops during the game. With a game like Borderlands 2, the way to get around the loot system is to play with people you can trust, this way if you aren’t the fastest person in the world, you know they will get you some of the loot that they picked up. This happens to be the rule even with games with a fair loot system. If you want to get the best loot for your character, play with your friends.