WOW LOTRO’s mounted combat

Mists of Pandaria did introduce some concessions, such as open tagging for named enemy quest targets, and Patch 5.2, scheduled for release in the coming weeks, extends the concept to world bosses–provided the boss was tapped by a member of your own faction. But that, according to World of Warcraft Lead Content Designer Ion Hazzikostas, is enough. Hazzikostas doesn’t foresee a future where open tagging extends to every enemy NPC in WoW, partly because he believes it ruins some of the social appeal of playing an MMO.

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“It can be frustrating to compete with fellow players for loot rights.”
“I think all of us who play MMOs realize that it can be frustrating to compete with fellow players for loot rights or tap rights on a mob,” Hazzikostas said, “but at the same time, there are important social interactions that come out of those moments.” Having to compete with a fellow player from the same faction, he says, lends some weight to encounter that they might not otherwise have and occasionally, for better or for worse, leads to player interaction.

It also sometimes leads to abuse of the system. “Part of the concern with open, free-for-all, open-tapping is that a lot of the game becomes more about tapping everything and tagging everything a little bit, especially when other players have already tapped them” he said. “Thirty seconds later, your quest completes because the other people killed them all. That’s not an ideal way to feel like you’re engaging in combat.” Guild Wars 2 requires a considerable degree of participation to get credit, but I’d seen evidence of Hazzikostas’ concerns myself during my recent adventures in Rift’s Storm Legion expansion, where the comparatively lax open tagging rules resulted in fellow players tossing a couple of arrows or spells on the enemies I was fighting for credit.

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