Video game RPGs are in the strange place right now. These days every game with leveling mechanic calls itself RPG. We play those games traveling through awesome worlds maxing out our stats and grinding XP on every opportunity. Over the years though it became more mundane than enchanting.
I look with nostalgia at my pen and paper RPGs memories. Back then gaining XP was only part of the fun, becoming our characters was the rest of it. Sometimes role playing stood in a way of solving the quest at hand, but we connected with our characters and they felt more alive that way. Video games are different. We cannot expect players to avoid fighting giant spiders just because their character has arachnophobia. That way they will lose precious loot and XP. They know the game will penalize them for that by becoming more difficult. If we want players to actually role-play there needs to be a special mechanics that will encourage them to do so.
In Soulblight this mechanics is called Taint System. How exactly does it work? We’ll describe it in our next article :)