Immediately upon coming home tonight and turning on a computer, a WoW friend of mine sent me a message on battle.net, asking me if I was forgetting anything today. I panicked, thought it was his birthday, and he asked anything type-y related. This warmed my little cold, black, warlock heart, let me tell ya! I can check the stats at any time, but to have a friend let me know they noticed that I hadn’t posted anything today, really makes me smile that someone is paying that much attention to my little side hobby <3
No, I did not forget anything today, I woke up too late to type words before work, but I had some time (work was slowww) to brainstorm an idea! As we’re drawing closer to the end of Blaugust, I’m kind of running out of ‘good’ ideas. I mean I can talk about whatever and BS my way through a decent sized blog post, but that’s not what either of us want.
I live on a border town. If I wanted to, and had a good enough arm, I could throw a rock across a river and hit Canada. Therefore, there are a lot of Canadians in our city, and a lot of us across the border in that country, living, working, and playing. This got me to thinking, how do video game worlds handle different nations, and the travel between the two?
One of my previous jobs, I worked on the border (not border patrol, a duty free shop), but that gave me a lot of insight as to the security involved between two countries, even those that are getting along fine. I have never had to experience what it’s like living on the border of a hostile country, but I can imagine it’s definitely not easy, nor the most ideal location.
In WoW, there isn’t really knowledge of when you’re in a city or area controlled by the opposite faction, at least not until those red letters pop up on your screen, or angry red guards run at you and start bludgeoning you. There are no set borders, no gates, no customs officers or border guards. You don’t need to hand over any paperwork, pay any fees, get asked any questions. You and all of your heavily armed friends can just come and go as you please, for the most part. Obviously on a PvP server there would be slight opposition from other players, but I’m focusing more on the NPCs, and AI.
In other games, they kind of seem to gloss over the different nations. Like it’s one big conglomerate, there aren’t set rules or guidelines about traveling between the two. I mean if you just completed a quest to kill the king in X country, maybe Y would let you in because they were at war with them and you would be regarded a hero, but Z would arrest you on sight.
An image popped into my brain of a conversation between a border guard and a traveler, if such a thing existed.
“Good day, Warrior! I see that you are heavily armed, and travelling with equally armed companions! Welcome, come on in to our country!”
“You.. don’t want to know who I am, what I want, or who these people are?”
“No, sir! You are free to come and go as you please, here, have some more swords, you can even take this war machine, we aren’t using it right now!”
I know games are supposed to suspend a bit of realism, after all, with them being super realistic, it would bore and annoy players to the point of them not wanting to play the game, possibly. How fun would a car racing game be if you had to drive the speed limit and obey traffic signals and laws?
But wouldn’t it be interesting if something was implemented in some way? Maybe a task you had to complete before entering the other country, maybe you couldn’t take certain weapons in with you, and could pick them up on the way out. A companion (guard) to travel with you, to make sure you were obeying the law and not slaying the royal family. A tax on the goods you had with you, or that you had to sell something to a citizen, or get fined? I think it would be neat to see something like that, sure it would cause groans and whining, but I think it would add in a dose of quasi-realism, especially if you are playing an MMO or even a single-player RPG where you are traveling between several different countries. It would only make sense that certain areas would ban certain things, or would be more lenient than others about things. Maybe one country doesn’t allow ranged weapons, or magic users can’t practice their spells, instead having to rely on their wit or weapons.
Food for thought!