Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Borderlands vs. Deadlands

I should love the Gunzerker in Borderlands 2. Abilities based around surviving and wielding two large rapid fire guns and laughing maniacally? Yeah, I should be all over that shit.

However, in reality? Nope, I'm all about playing the low-risk percentage game of sniping at a distance and ensuring that there's plenty of room between me and the bad guys. PLENTY of room. In the first Borderlands game my primary weapons were a sniper rifle and a rocket launcher - my special ability? Punch things repeatedly. Just a touch of a intended vs. actual play style mismatch there.

However, sit me at the table and I'm FAR more likely to do something reckless. Why? Because it is fun, because it livens up the story, because there's a motivation other than shoot and loot. There's a purpose to the recklessness.

All gets back to Robin D. Laws' player types - Borderlands 2 brings out my tactical side, "What's the lowest risk method to accomplishing my goals" despite the penalty for failure, death, being so minuscule; whereas gaming at a table, I'll do something foolish for a good story despite the penalty for failure, death and/or loss, being so very final.

In short, death/defeat in Borderlands is boring and annoying so I avoid it. The kind of death and defeat I get in gaming, if meaningful, can be dramatic and engaging so I'm willing to risk it. Just something that came up last night as I started on my third character in Borderlands 2 as none of them have really "gripped" me as fun.

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