We’ve all been there before. Traipsing through a sprawling dungeon that faintly smells of armit, for hours on end, felling foul critters, concocting strange herbal remedies out of bizarre fungal growths, and using every trick in the book to evade your slovenly orc foe. Then you spy a treasure chest lurking in the corner, winking in the torchlight.
Creeping over, you whip out your handy lockpicking kit and carefully ease the tumblers, before a gentle click lets you know it’s time to open sesame. You open the chest, check what’s inside, laugh at the totally badass looking axe with a measly 14 damage, before jogging on. What looks like an awesome weapon is instantly relegated to vendor fodder, and you haven’t even tried it out for size.
RPGs have made a big deal about damage per second (DPS). No matter which one you play, advancement generally revolves around levelling up and finding additional items that can help your stats creep up. You never use a weapon in Diablo 3 because it looks cool, it's got 18 blades, or it verbally abuses your foe with each strike. You take a glance at its stats, note the red arrows and leave it where it is. In all likelihood you probably never even register what it looked like let alone what it was called.
Any game that keeps this information hidden from you is immediately more entertaining. Picking up a weapon becomes a major event, and you have to judge for yourself the amount of damage it’s dealing to your enemies.
So what do you say, does DPS, stats, and all that guff remove the mystery of a game? Or do you just love number crunching and watching those stats roll up?