934 The Treasure Goblin Effect

In Diablo, there’s a random chance that the player will encounter a unique enemy called a Treasure Goblin. There are some variations of this enemy, but when any of them is defeated they explode in a beautiful shower of rare loot types.

What’s interesting about this is that loot is a primary mechanic of the game, it is not rare thing in Diablo; breaking any of the thousands of pieces of pottery or boxes in every level can drop loot, and almost any other enemy encountered will drop something when defeated. The quality and quantity of loot that the Treasure Goblin can produce is what’s specific about them.

But what I’m interested in is the “drop everything you’re doing and chase it” feeling that happens each and every time you see one, including abandoning all rational strategies to do so. This feeling is unique in the game, and also fairly unique in any game I’ve ever played.

What I think it comes from is some combination of:

  • the frequency you see them (likely never more than once per hour, maybe less often),
  • the amount of loot they provide,
  • the level of loot that it gives in contrast to the player’s current level,
  • the way the goblin has the potential to escape through a portal if you don’t defeat it quickly enough,
  • and potentially the way they move and how quick and evasive they can be

[ Today I Was Playing: Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition ]

July 23, 2017