I read an interesting thread on WHA today where a player is actually requesting a debuff be applied to their character. The player in question is referencing the White Lion career. His premise is that, for these players, the lion is your friend. He’s your companion and that when he dies, you should feel sorrow for him. Sorrow, in his eyes, should be a debuff that decreases your stats significantly.

A lot of people disagree with his idea. Since the lion will comprise a large portion of the career’s DPS, simply having it die is penalty enough. I don’t think that’s what the poster was trying to get at though. I think his original premise is based upon realism in WAR. If your friend dies, you’re going to be sad, right?

Realism definitely has a place in most MMOs. It adds to the immersion we all seek from this type of game. Sooner than apply a debuff to a player that’s already at a significant disadvantage when their pet dies, a simple icon or perhaps a temporary title could be allowed to the player.

Immersion shouldn’t come at the cost of playability but making the game more “real” is a good thing. On RP servers, applying aesthetic consequences to certain events could definitely give roleplayers some extra tools in for their RP belts. These types of things wouldn’t affect gameplay at all but they would give WAR a little extra flavor.

Another poster in the thread commented that they wouldn’t be sad if their lion died, they would be furious. So, imagine being given an option to choose your response. Something happens in game, like your lion dying, and you get a Tome option to be “the Sorrowful” or “the Furious” until you call your lion back again. It could be tracked and really allow you to flesh out your character. The Tome already allows us to do this to an extent with all of our achievements and titling options. What I imagine though, is a more wide-spanning system. One where you can run into a beast in the wild and you’re either “the Fearful” or “the Courageous” and how you proceed affects your tome entry. In essence, it would be a way to document the emotions of your character to build them into more than just a set of pixels. Combined with the Tome system as it is now, it could really add a lot.

I don’t really expect to see this kind of thing in the game anytime soon, but it certainly would be neat. It would be a system where your actions affect your character, breathing more life into him than we’ve seen in MMOs before. RP servers would definitely benefit from it more than others but I think that almost all players could have fun with it. After all, the concept of your actions affecting the outcome of your character’s story has been prevalent in other genres for years. Our characters become our virtual selves. I would really enjoy being able to impact the character I’m destined to spend many hours with.