The random store selection

The tale of the siblings Althea and Shea https://www.winterwolves.com/seasonsofthewolf.htm
Post Reply
User avatar
yayswords
Elder Druid
Posts: 1436
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:34 am

The random store selection

Post by yayswords » Wed May 14, 2014 1:22 am

In the spirit of things that are not fun: The random store selection. 100% free of maths.

So my first 0.8.6 nightmare party was struggling like hell. Leaving spawns alive. 4 quests in chapter one instead of the usual 7. Might actually sound like a good balance but that's a different topic. I got stuck on the giant spider with two days left of chapter three. I thought I was totally doomed. A "really good attempt" meant I managed to kill the adds before I died. Then, by coincidence, some nice (I didn't even understand then how nice they were) items were for sale: A HP regen flail and two poison resistance rings. I put those on Vaelis and left him alone in the front row keeping up Avoidance/Defend, and managed to win like that. And then I licked the map clean with the same strategy. And my next two nightmare parties worked like that from square one, and they own, they go 7/8 chapter one.

But I got that equipment by chance. On the next playthrough I found a HP regen weapon relatively easily again, but I also started caring about the SP regen of the healer. Now on this last playthrough I have been spending maybe a total of one and a half hours (!) refreshing shops with the mousewheel. I stopped looking for a HP regen weapon. I had to check all the weapons. I go for jewelry and just check like the first three items because they will have the most stats. A ring that is ahead of several necklaces probably has high stats. Also I'm not happy with just one good item in the selection. If there is one, I check the other pages and see if there is something else of interest. I use like five save slots to keep store inventories in case I decide I want to go back and buy something from there. And I gotta check stores every time I advance half a day. I can't miss those 2-3 days passing so I can random a new selection because I bought everything I wanted from the old one.

My druid has 8 SP regen, ranger has 4 SP and 2 HP, Vaelis has 3 HP and 1 SP. And I still have quite pimped out defense on Vaelis and magic on my druid, plus I am working on building tank gear on the ranger for a future frontline career once I have a larger party. This party is freaking powerful and I haven't done the chapter 3 shopping yet. I am afraid to send you the save. I am afraid you might balance season 2 nightmare around some nutjob willing to spend hours just rerolling the shop inventories to get some really juicy items.

Maybe this is really just my cue to just stop playing. I'm not at all enjoying myself refreshing the store, but the difference can be so big. I don't think I really have suggestions. Maybe some really good items from quests/bosses (without random stats) so those slots will always be covered. Maybe look over the stat randomization formulas. Maybe look over whatever system lets two rings have the exact same stats but not the same cost or level requirement. Hehe, I think most my ideas are too much work if this is only bothering me.

It's nightmare. At least nobody will say it's too easy if they go lengths like this to win :)

Update: I really think some non-random quest rewards and boss drops would go a long, long way here. Items with good to great stats. Then you can also assume players will have a certain degree of power when balancing. Right now that power depends on - of course apart from skill and game knowledge - willingness and luck with playing mousewheel roulette.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

Troyen
Elder Druid
Posts: 955
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 2:23 am

Re: The random store selection

Post by Troyen » Wed May 14, 2014 4:11 am

I like the random store. You may not find the best pieces available, but the stats that are can help shape your strategy. Makes each playthrough slightly different.

One of the older games (PS I think?) had it so even if you reloaded from a save, you would always get the same items.

One thing that might help is if there were slightly more options? That way it's still random, but you have a little bit better chance to get something you want. Quest rewards would also offer some reward variety, but are unlikely to be the primary source of gear upgrades.

User avatar
yayswords
Elder Druid
Posts: 1436
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:34 am

Re: The random store selection

Post by yayswords » Wed May 14, 2014 5:21 am

I like the random store. You may not find the best pieces available, but the stats that are can help shape your strategy. Makes each playthrough slightly different.
What difficulty do you usually play? I don't mean to trash lower difficulties. I certainly think that on easy you should be able to beat the game without caring about your gear, and on normal you should win if you just equip whatever has a green background. But if nightmare is just about your relationship with Lady Luck then it's frustrating.

Right now the primary source of gear upgrades is a casino and the quality you'll be getting out of it depends on how much time you're willing to spend on rolling the slot machines. If the hunters were so grateful I killed the giant spider that they in turn gave my hunter a great bow, that'd be one less slot to worry about. Maybe it's not the theoretically best bow I could get from the casino, but good enough that I don't feel I need to play the mousewheel roulette to not leave my hunter with a rather bad weapon.

If nightmare doesn't require me to go great lengths to optimize my characters, it becomes too easy if I do. And if Jack rebalances the game to challenge me, then everyone has to go through this to beat nightmare. Or just find a better tactic than mine, one that works with worse gear.

And if I am taking this beyond my own play experience, I should think it would be terribly tricky as a developer to balance the difficulty when gear quality can vary so wildly. I would feel much better with the knowledge that if the player completes all quests he will have gear at least this powerful, and if he then torments himself with shop casino he can "only" get 20% better.
One of the older games (PS I think?) had it so even if you reloaded from a save, you would always get the same items.
I would quit the game on the spot if that happened :)
One thing that might help is if there were slightly more options?
Options where? In the shop? It has enough options, they are just far too rarely good. It's like one in twenty rerolls just to see regen jewelry in the forge.
Quest rewards would also offer some reward variety, but are unlikely to be the primary source of gear upgrades.
I've played a lot of RPG's. The good stuff sometimes comes from quests, sometimes from bosses, and sometimes from shops. All in the form of items with static or largely static stats. The random stat items are rare at the endgame. They can have some set attributes and a random factor though.

Here, 90% your gear comes from the shop, and it's all a wild random mess. 90% is probably even an understatement. Yes you can find some upgrades from loot, but they are usually in turn upgraded at the shop later.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

User avatar
jack1974
Pack leader
Posts: 14647
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:43 pm

Re: The random store selection

Post by jack1974 » Wed May 14, 2014 6:06 am

Troyen wrote: One thing that might help is if there were slightly more options? That way it's still random, but you have a little bit better chance to get something you want. Quest rewards would also offer some reward variety, but are unlikely to be the primary source of gear upgrades.
Yes I can increase the number of items, so even if it's randomized should be better.
Of course later in the game there will be fixed item rewards for quests, I didn't think was necessary here.
I could even add those in this first act now, is not a big coding change in this case. Like for each quest instead of just the money there could be some fixed item (or randomized item of Fine quality that should be powerful for this first act).
Any suggestions? :mrgreen:

User avatar
yayswords
Elder Druid
Posts: 1436
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:34 am

Re: The random store selection

Post by yayswords » Wed May 14, 2014 6:17 am

jack1974 wrote:Of course later in the game there will be fixed item rewards for quests, I didn't think was necessary here.
It didn't feel so "of course" :P and it better be very "of course". No way will I endure this for the whole game without losing my mind.

Is it possible to select quest rewards from multiple options? The bow from the spider quest would easily fit the story and it would fill an important slot... if one twin is a hunter. One quest should (optionally) give cloth pants. Druids start with no pants and only one vendor sells them. If you don't play the roulette you might not get any pants before season one is over.

If options aren't possible maybe you could design the rewards to check the twins' classes and give one reward for each.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

User avatar
jack1974
Pack leader
Posts: 14647
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:43 pm

Re: The random store selection

Post by jack1974 » Wed May 14, 2014 6:43 am

No, selecting from multiple options is not implemented, I can check the class or just provide standard items that will work for all classes like rings or piece of armors :)

Troyen
Elder Druid
Posts: 955
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 2:23 am

Re: The random store selection

Post by Troyen » Wed May 14, 2014 6:46 am

yayswords wrote:
I like the random store. You may not find the best pieces available, but the stats that are can help shape your strategy. Makes each playthrough slightly different.
What difficulty do you usually play? I don't mean to trash lower difficulties. I certainly think that on easy you should be able to beat the game without caring about your gear, and on normal you should win if you just equip whatever has a green background. But if nightmare is just about your relationship with Lady Luck then it's frustrating.
I play almost exclusively on nightmare. (Occasionally I drop back to Hard to see what the difference is, since for a few builds, Nightmare felt more like Hard.)

I don't always find all my ideal weapons - I think one game I went the entire time without finding an upgrade for my Ranger, but I usually find enough items to make a significant difference. True there are only a couple options up at a time, but different members of your party prefer stats in different ratios, so there's usually something given that you have so many armor slots and start out with almost nothing.

The only shop I have an issue with is the healer shop. The rings and amulets on sale are almost always junk, at least in this act. There's also often maybe 1-3 staff options for sale, regardless of if they're better than my current one or not, which sucks.

Regen jewelry is rare, but it's a powerful stat, and this is Act 1.
Quest rewards would also offer some reward variety, but are unlikely to be the primary source of gear upgrades.
I've played a lot of RPG's. The good stuff sometimes comes from quests, sometimes from bosses, and sometimes from shops. All in the form of items with static or largely static stats. The random stat items are rare at the endgame. They can have some set attributes and a random factor though.
True, and I wouldn't mind seeing some quest item rewards. Which quests do you think should have them? I'd venture Ratmen and Mormont.

User avatar
jack1974
Pack leader
Posts: 14647
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:43 pm

Re: The random store selection

Post by jack1974 » Wed May 14, 2014 6:54 am

Mormont should drop a random fine Staff every time you beat him though, that should be a good reward already? For Ratmen is a bit difficult to say, since you're NOT required to beat them to solve the quest, so the reward should come only if you win the first battle...

User avatar
yayswords
Elder Druid
Posts: 1436
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:34 am

Re: The random store selection

Post by yayswords » Wed May 14, 2014 7:00 am

Yes, Mormont's staff is great. I've never ever looked for staves because I can trust on good old Mormont to provide me one. Well okay, I started looking after I got interested in increasing my base damage ;)
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

User avatar
Franka
Elder Druid
Posts: 1277
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:07 pm

Re: The random store selection

Post by Franka » Wed May 14, 2014 7:50 am

This honestly sounds like a good time to get rid of regen gear altogether and balance the game around that. It's clearly breaking yayswords' game - whether it's balanced so that you must have it, or balanced so that you stomp the game if you do have it.

...or have regen gear as quest rewards, so you control how many pieces the party gets...

Post Reply