Friday, February 20, 2009

From Hong on

"However, my impression is that old-skool gamers tend to see combat as something you engage in only in extremis, because it's dangerous -- someone could get killed waving those sharp sticks around, you know...(There's also an unstated assumption here, that M-Us should eventually have more raw power than fighters -- but again, raw power isn't so important in the old-skool way of things, because if you're doing it right then you can win without ever needing all that power.)

Contrast this to modern-day gaming, where you tend to get more focus on individual encounters as rewarding in their own right. Along with this, you get another unstated assumption that the default way of overcoming a challenge is to blast through it. This is a significant paradigm shift, from a dungeon being a series of obstacles that you avoid or surmount, to being a series of encounters that you defeat through force of arms -- IOW, violence has gone from being peripheral to the dungeoneering experience, to being central to it. Now things like encounter pacing and class balance become more important considerations, and people start taking seriously questions like "are we done for today"."

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