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Bluddy 01-12-2015 01:08 PM

Some of my thoughts
I'd like to give some more of my suggestions for the design of the game. It's been a long time since I've thought about this stuff, so I had to refresh my memory.

- Try to keep numbers low, mostly be using additive skills rather than multiplicative skills. These games are long, and having multipliers that keep going up mean that you're quickly going to have runaway damage/attack/etc numbers. Much better to keep skill giving you +x or -y bonuses/penalties, since these can be kept in check in the long term. A few choice skills can then give you small percentage bonuses for more interesting strategy.

- It's better not to have too many kinds of items. It seems initially that there should be a breast item, and a 2 shoulder items, and a head item, and necklace etc etc. The problem is, eventually the player will get a whole bunch of Legendary items (this is what they're seeking after all), and this will cause huge inflation of stats as well as homogenization of characters. When you have 9 items, all of which carry many stats, your character doesn't have much of a 'style' or 'direction'. It's hard to remember which stat came from what, and therefore what direction your character needs to improve in. Better to have fewer item types (e.g. necklaces are enough -- no need for 2 earrings), and more interesting items. Then your choices determine what kind of specialized stats you have.

- One thing I did in my mod which I really liked is that resistances nullify each other. In the mod, I made cold resistance nullify heat resistance, and poison nullify magic. The idea being that you can't just boost all you resistances -- you have to choose your focus.

- As I mentioned in the other thread, I think that a magic system that is entirely skill based should be abandoned. I'd much rather see weapons that have magic properties. These would be randomized, though in general, strong weapons would have weak magic, while staves and other weak weapons would have strong magic. These would generally reinforce the stereotype of the magician using a staff, though a fighting magician is obviously still possible. Magic skills would then function similarly to non-magic skills - using weapon (magic) damage.

Bluddy 01-13-2015 03:01 PM

Some more thoughts:

- Rather than having fixed levels for monsters as you did in previous games, have the game randomly choose 4-5 races per level + a few random stragglers from other races. A huge strength of your games is the different races and how they relate to each other (including fighting amongst themselves). Why bother limiting the potential of your games by generating these levels statically? It's much more interesting to see random combinations of enemies. For higher difficulty levels, you don't need to apply huge multipliers to monsters: just increase the likelihood of the more difficult monsters spawning.

- This applies to bosses as well. Don't bother with the monotonous work of building up bosses and assigning them powers. I suggest you randomly generate bosses and their powers. Boss generation could be done with a universal seed to players get to encounter the same bosses in their games. For even cooler effect, save bosses that the player fought early on in their career, and bring them back later with an extra power or 2.

- Better to have rare/legendary items with a few strong stats than a whole bunch of stats, as that gives them more personality and prevents characters that are too well rounded (and therefore boring).

- Skill points quickly became inflated in the previous games. There's no need for skill point awards to go up -- eventually the player gets 30 points or more and doesn't know what to do with them. 4 constant points per level is all the player needs. Also, the costs of skills don't need to go up very fast. A smaller number of points is easier to keep track of and plan for, as well as to balance.

- Given that this is a zombie game, some zombie items would be cool, like a zombie skull that bites enemies, or a zombie arm as a sword.

- It would be great if monster relations were more dynamic. I know that starting out, monsters have the same relations to each other. But what if you saved their relationship? A few stray arrows by one monster hitting a different race monster could cause a war, and with a few random modifications, those monster races could be in war in that part of the player's career. Later on, they could sign a peace treaty (possibly as part of a quest) and the result will be remembered long-term.

Shadow 01-16-2015 06:17 PM

Interesting thoughts as usual Bluddy.

While I am thinking about implementing some of these, I've already made bosses have random names and enhancements.

Tuidjy 01-20-2015 02:54 AM

I am not sure that all bosses should be random. It is nice to have some infamous foes.

I bet everyone who has played Drox at high levels or hardcore knows who Tigress and Aurora are. They are neither fully random nor completely predefined, either, which adds to the thrill. They are always fast and good at overcoming defense, and at the same time, they may have extra traits that could disrupt your usual strategy for dealing with them.

Shadow 01-20-2015 12:43 PM

I do like the shared experience aspect of the old way, so it is possible that some static uniques get added back in.

The new way allows more variety, cooler naming (Trident the Warrior), a more consistent amount of enhancements, and a promotion path for unique monsters.

Bluddy 01-21-2015 05:37 PM


Originally Posted by Shadow (Post 77104)
I do like the shared experience aspect of the old way, so it is possible that some static uniques get added back in.

The new way allows more variety, cooler naming (Trident the Warrior), a more consistent amount of enhancements, and a promotion path for unique monsters.

What you can do is populate bosses when the game starts up, using a unique seed (most random number libraries let you save and load the random number generator). These would be the bosses that stay static between all players. Then, when you need to generate bosses, you can 'flip a coin' and either take from this boss array or generate a new random boss.

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