Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Circumventing Item Binding

World of Warcraft introduced the concept of item binding to MMORPGs, where more powerful items are 'bound' to their owner when picked up or equipped, which has the effect of making them completely non-tradable; this is presumably to keep the holy sinks in the game, preventing people from reselling them after usage, or farming them for other people.

There is another way to keep people from getting cheap and easy twinks, without enforcing large sinks, and with the added bonus of preserving realism: you make clothing and armor items be fit for their owner. This only makes sense: a full plate armor has to be custom-made for the owner. Trying to wear an armor that isn't custom-made for you is like trying to run with shoes not your size; sure, it might work, and if you're lucky, you might even be able to get back home to decide you never want to do it again, but chances are you'll want to put that armor on your mule or in your bag of holding until you get to a competent blacksmith who can resize it for you. Forget about doing cartwheels in an armor belonging to someone else, you'll be lucky if you don't break a bone in the way.

In a MMORPG, though, you don't want to force players to go visit a blacksmith, get measures taken, and then wait a week or two for the armor to be resized. The process should be streamlined via the skill auctioning system, to find a blacksmith, tailor, or maybe a bone crafter, allowing for best efficiency for the new armor owner.

So this way, you can have a small fee for transferring items to a new owner, and even a small fee for acquiring someone else's armor, allowing the diminishing of other sinks; unfortunately, this mostly only works for armors. Weapons aren't typically custom-made (Though it could be possible), so weapons are just as easy to transfer to new owners, though it's a good thing you don't need a dozen different weapons. Bind on Pickup, anyone?

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