about items!

Games with combat, inventory, crafting and more beside a story and dating/life sim gameplay
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jack1974
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about items!

Post by jack1974 »

In PS1, every item was manually defined and was unique. There was few choice, but each item was carefully crafted and tested.
In Loren, there were over 300 weapons (and counting the armor and jewelry, over 500), manually created too, but in some cases I felt it was done more to provide the player something to loot and resell, I mean not every item was important. There were several powerful items and some less. It also took a huge amount of time to create the items DB.

I'm currently thinking if to create a small script to "auto-generate" items for SOTW (which could also be reused for other games).
In practice, if you played Diablo or Torchlight, you know that they generate the items randomly or pseudo-randomly, and also name them accordingly.
For example in the script you can have a "add +2 frost damage" and then this would grant the attribute "frozen, of frost, freezing, of ice" etc.
So the script would pick a base item, like a spear, then add an effect (or more) picking randomly from the list, then generate the item: "Spear Of Frost", "Freezing Spear", and so on.
I was thinking to have this + manual created items, so I wouldn't need to go nuts and manually edit 150 items because the program would generate them for me (and they would be different every time). There would be a bit more testing needed to make sure the items created aren't too powerful or buggy, but apart that should be fine.

Was wondering what you prefer in a RPG: random+manual created items, lots of items like in Loren, fewer items but all with an use like PS1 ?
DunKalar
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Re: about items!

Post by DunKalar »

This is always difficult. Yo have to include a loot to mak sure that the items are balanced in strength. Otherwhise you will just re-design Diablo I-III where people are animated to grind the hell out of the game to get the best equipment possible.
I know I will get a shit storm for this, but the Diablo-Series was no RPG but just a Grinding machine and veeeery boring;-).

Maybe you can use the system from D&D 3.5/4.X where every weapon of your level get X bonus points. Then every feature of the weapon will consume bonus points. E.g. +2 damage is equal to Ice damage or 1 point of armor reduction. So you can make sure that the only difference is the combination of feaures. Otherwhise the hunt for loot will beginn ;-)

The other question you have to think of is the break even point for grinding and crafting. How long is grinding superior and when does crafting pay off? You have to consider where you get your crafting materials from - e.g. vendors only, or WOW-style decrafting of loot (which would increase the grinding again).

The X Point Bonus system might let you include an auto-equip option since you can use the item's total bonus points as a guideline to sort them regarding power.
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jack1974
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Re: about items!

Post by jack1974 »

DunKalar wrote: Maybe you can use the system from D&D 3.5/4.X where every weapon of your level get X bonus points. Then every feature of the weapon will consume bonus points. E.g. +2 damage is equal to Ice damage or 1 point of armor reduction. So you can make sure that the only difference is the combination of feaures. Otherwhise the hunt for loot will beginn ;-)
Yes I was thinking something along those lines, even if done differently: assign a "value" to each item, and generate it based on the value. So I could have:
999 items of 10 value
99 items of 100 value
9 items of 1000 value
this way there would still be some powerful items but very rare (as it was in Loren, but there everything was hand-crafted). In summary the proportions would stay the same, what would change is that every time the loot is different.
Another solution would be to have a few powerful items unique, and then all the other random, which probably is better, because if everything was random, people couldn't even exchange the strategies "I won battle X equipping Master Frost Bow" "oh but I didn't have it" :lol:
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Lonestar51
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Re: about items!

Post by Lonestar51 »

Random loot would be more fun, IMHO. Of course with some limitations.
DunKalar wrote:I know I will get a shit storm for this, but the Diablo-Series was no RPG but just a Grinding machine and veeeery boring;-).
I did not play diablo, but torchlight was fun for maybe 10 levels, and then no longer anymore. For the reason that you had to grind for good gear and especially for the thingies you used to make the armor/weapons better. Also because "dying" was just a minor inconvinience, not something to be feared.
jack1974 wrote:999 items of 10 value
99 items of 100 value
9 items of 1000 value
This might be a good starting point. However, I do not agree with the following:
jack1974 wrote:Another solution would be to have a few powerful items unique, and then all the other random, which probably is better, because if everything was random, people couldn't even exchange the strategies "I won battle X equipping Master Frost Bow" "oh but I didn't have it" :lol:
Which is just what might make the game fun. Do I get a good bow, or do I get a good sword? And how will I kill the last boss if my favored weapon does not appear?

So what I would suggest is something along the lines of:
10 "super" loot items, out of a pool of say 25 (whatever you feel comfortable you can balance in a adequate time)
100 random second tier loot items
1000 random low level loot items

Of course among the second tier loot some will be a bit better than others; and all of them will be weaker than the "best" loot. And it should be (barely) possible to win the game on hard level with second tier weapons. (On nightmare of course not, there you should auto-fail the final boss regardless of the loot :twisted: :mrgreen: )
DunKalar
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Re: about items!

Post by DunKalar »

@ Jack

Then I'd recommend the Loren 1 approach:

Every NPC gets his own special item (e.g. Karen's spear), maybe a second unique item depending on the choices you did. And everything else is randomly generated but with a powerlevel depending on the current progress of the game.

I can understand your concers for the exchangability of strategies. But these should focus on the style of combat and damage-combo you used instead of the equipment. I agree with Lonestar that otherwhise the game will depend on your party having the dominant unique item XY at a certain point to pass the point. Unique items always have the problem that they do not level up but always have to be stornger or have some special trick compared to "random" items, to be mentinable.

Maybe you can include choosable questlines.
Example: You can choose weather to defend the Amazon stronghold by defending the walls and holding your ground or by making a break out and strom the front. If you stay, Karen will grant you a unique item from the amazon's treasury but if you storm out and slay the enemie's general (who otherwhise flees and disappears because he fears Jul's wrath) you get his mighty item XY. So you can have a little diversity in your "unique" items.
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jack1974
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Re: about items!

Post by jack1974 »

Yes I like both suggestions - have some unique items, and different rewards for specific quests, but also random stuff that can be very powerful as well (of course in limited amount).
I agree that random/pseudo random item makes the game more fun, even if as side-effect will be harder to balance in particular at high levels, since even if I assign a "power value" to each item bonus, will be impossible to balance it for every item. But with enough random items I think maybe it will balance itself. Is something that can be discovered only during testing, impossible to predict on "paper" :)
DunKalar
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Re: about items!

Post by DunKalar »

Loren should get a unique chain mail bikini xD
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Pace675
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Re: about items!

Post by Pace675 »

DunKalar wrote:Loren should get a unique chain mail bikini xD
Definitely this, less it covers more protection it offers!
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Solvus
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Re: about items!

Post by Solvus »

Pace675 wrote:
DunKalar wrote:Loren should get a unique chain mail bikini xD
Definitely this, less it covers more protection it offers!
If guys wanna demand such things, then I want hot guys that could wear speedos quite sexy :lol:
Seloun
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Re: about items!

Post by Seloun »

Personally I'd rather have a smaller list of manually generated items (or perhaps manually chosen items) or some combination of manually generated unique items with random gear for lower powered items. I liked the PS 1 model the better than the Loren model, where a lot of the items felt pretty similar without much to choose between them.

I'd be happier with fewer but more interesting items. I don't think it really adds that much to gameplay to look for small numeric upgrades over lots of characters (especially when you have tons and tons of characters, most of which you use only a handful of times throughout the game). The numeric upgrades on the items are really just another form of character progression (which is already well-covered by levelling); having them represent alternate progression or alternate choice would be better. This would also make the fewer items still interesting if the items remain relevant throughout the game instead of being constantly replaced.

For example, swords might not in general get 'better' in the sense they provide more attack, but there might be an early sword which provides a damage bonus %, a later sword which converts some attack power percent into defense, and a sword from a sidequest which provides a lifetap effect to your attacks, All of those effects are potentially useful throughout the game without one being always superior (you see this sort of choice at a weaker level with the various resistance trinkets, though the effects are pretty generic), so a smaller pool of items can feel like a deep gameplay mechanic.
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