I've played a few fantasy games in my day- Baldur's Gate, Persona, Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age: Origins, Final Fantasy, all of that good stuff. I love them, like I love a Phil Kessel wrist shot or a Nnamdi Asomugha... whatever it is he does to trap NFL receivers in a pocket dimension for the duration of a game.
But they're also kind of ridiculous. At times. Which makes sense, because they're like dragon-fighting simulators. Some of them have giant floating balls with eyes attached to various appendages that shoot death lasers at you. The point is, they're fantasy, so by their nature critiquing them for realism is beyond pointless. Still, something's always stuck out to me, and this may just be the single nerdiest thing I've ever written about.
In some games, when you take it too far, elemental resistances and immunities stop making sense. Like, if you stack enough cloaks or necklaces or gloves or whatever of fire resistance, you pass the point where you're immune. Suddenly, walking into a 30 ft sphere of fire makes you feel better.
How does that work? I mean, mechanically, it's probably a simple thing to work out. But how does it actually work. What does it look like, how does it feel to be healed by having giant blocks of ice dropped on your head? In a world where this technology exists, do people with the right trinkets run outside holding up pieces of metal every time it rains, just begging some bolt of lightning to fix their broken arm?
Now normally when I think such things, I do what any normal person would do. Forget about it, and go find someone to cast Fire 3 on my character so that I can keep the MP I'd spend casting Cura. But then I thought, what would it be like from a character's point of view? How would it shape the way they think, the way they act? I'm not sure what the point of all this is, except to say video games can be inspirational. But maybe not always in the way they were intended.
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