Player vs. Everything: Exploits are fun

Cameron Sorden writes:

''Pretty much everyone knows that "exploit" is a dirty word. An exploit in an MMOG is anything that lets you work outside of the established rules of the game to do something that you couldn't normally do, usually in a way that lets you bypass or defeat content more easily than you're supposed to be able to. Finding a way to jump the fence before Arathi Basin actually starts is an exploit. Purposely glitching trash mobs into walls so that you can walk past them to a raid boss is an exploit. Killing a monster from a position where they're totally unable to hurt you is an exploit. In PvP gameplay, exploits are the kiss of death -- they break the game and make things totally unfun, because one player is cheating at the game.

But is that necessarily the case for PvE gameplay? I'm not so sure. The commonest way to avoid players using exploits to kill monsters is that when a monster decides that a player is jerking it around too much (and is able to damage it without being hurt themselves), the monster just starts evading and goes back to its starting point. It's the virtual NPC equivalent of saying, "Fine, you don't want to play fair? I'm going home." But that mechanic misses an important consideration -- it's kind of fun to find and use ways to exploit mobs.''

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