Magpie Syndrome/The Upgrade That Isn't
A character (not always the Player Character) discards their decent gear for gear that is supposedly better, even if it isn't.


(permanent link) added: 2011-12-10 23:21:54 sponsor: Maxaxle (last reply: 2011-12-26 06:40:37)

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Do We Have This One?

Bob is walking around in an RPG with an adequate wooden sword when he comes across a shinier tin sword. Although the two weapons are essentially the same, the tin sword is slightly weaker with the benefit of being...shiny. So Bob drops his wooden sword and grabs the tin sword.

This trope is most common in Massively Multiplayer games, where players will often switch equipment because it looks nicer or is a status symbol.

Examples:
  • Rebels in Half-Life 2 will often drop their current weapon when they come across a supposedly better weapon. Oddly enough, however, this Troper has found that dropping enough of the right weapons in the same area near a group of Rebels will cause them to compulsively switch weapons with no clear reason. Imagine that Rebel A has a shotgun, and Rebel B has an AR 2. Rebel A comes across an SMG and drops the shotgun. Rebel B then walks over to the dropped shotgun and takes it, dropping their AR 2. Rebel A will then swap their SMG for the AR 2. Artificial Insanity, perhaps?
  • In the Diablo games, it's often hard for experienced players to weigh the merits of two similar items. Beginners usually have to throw their hands up and use whatever drop is the "rarest" and highest-level, regardless of its actual benefits.

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