Saturday, April 28, 2007

Thoughts on Lotro Repair Bills

Lotro has high repair bills for amour and weapons damaged in combat. After many complaints turbine have patched the game to reduce repair costs somewhat (not sure if this patch is implemented in Europe yet) but the basic principle of high repair costs still remains. As Throg pointed out in his advice on minimising repair bills many items are cheaper to replace than repair. I am not too bothered. In my experience stuff doesn't degrade all that quickly. Unless you play recklessly and die a lot most stuff lasts just about long enough till you get a replacement. Tobold made the same observation in his blog a while back.

In fact I think this is a really interesting game design decision with intriguing implications for the game economy. Think about it IT IS CHEAPER TO REPLACE THAN REPAIR. This creates a constant demand for new stuff. That will hopefully stimulate a healthy crafting economy. Throg is still levelling up and is naturally replacing his stuff fairly regularly anyway but I wonder how this will pan out at the level cap. Is end game progression going to be based solely on itemisation as in World of Warcraft? If so players will probably struggle to pay high repair bills on the irreplaceable precious items they have accumulated. On the other hand if progression is not so dependent on irreplaceable rare items then perhaps players will be happy to buy their gear from high level crafter's use it till it wears out and then buy replacements. Weapon and armour become consumables and the crafting economy thrives.

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