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Old 09-03-2009, 08:30 AM
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Default dungeon crawl item system

I've been putting a lot of thought into our item system for our upcoming dungeon crawl lately. For most action RPGs, the item system is very important. This is definitely true for the dungeon crawl. Our more casual hack and slash, Kivi's Underworld, has a more streamlined item system, but the dungeon crawl is going to be much more hard core, so we are going to need a cool, full item system.

We are essentially starting with the Depths of Peril item system and building from there. Depths of Peril already has a pretty extensive system with items with many different rarities: normal, common, uncommon, rare, very rare, set, unique, and artifacts. This works pretty well, but I'm adding some things that I think will make it even more interesting: elite items, legendary items, cursed items, ego weapons, set item changes, and procs.

Elite items are technically not new. I'm changing the unique items to elite items. It's really just a name change that fits a bit better. It's always been weird telling people, yes you can find multiple copies of a "unique" item.

Legendary items are a new tier of items above artifacts. Essentially, they are
the most powerful items in the game. The plan is that they will have the attributes that the same named artifact will have, plus one random attribute, adding a huge variety to the top tier of items. However, a legendary item could have something relatively worthless like extra light, be awesome with an extra 100% of damage, or even be cursed.

Ego weapons have some level of intelligence that recognizes enemies and/or friends. If you are fighting a monster the ego weapon considers an enemy, you'll get a large damage bonus (currently +200%). However if you are fighting someone it considers a friend, you'll get a large damage penalty (currently -50%). An ego weapon can have multiple enemy types and/or friend types.

Cursed items are going to make things interesting. No they are NOT like D&D cursed items that bind to you if you equip them. A cursed item has at least one negative attribute, like a strength penalty. I think the cursed items are going to be amusing in many cases and add a lot of variety. Is that cool rare sword with the curse better than your merely common magic sword?

The positive side of cursed items is that they have lower level and attribute requirements to use them. So thanks to the curse, you might be able to use an item that is well above your level. Many times a curse will be bad, but sometimes it will be a blessing in disguise. It also lowers the item price which will be good or bad depending on if you're buying or selling. Some possible pure cursed items: axe of
flabbiness (less vitality), staff of lameness (less spirit), mace of impotence (less strength), long sword of the Idiot (less intelligence), and dagger of clumsiness (less dexterity). Ego weapons with a monster friend type are also cursed items.

Set items are always tricky. If you drop too few then no one can complete any of the sets and the items just end up being poor unique items (now elite items). If you increase the drop rate, you end up with more items from different sets. We've made two changes to help complete sets - set items now have a larger level range when they are allowed to spawn, and when a set item drops there is now a chance another item from the same set will drop. For each successful extra drop, it checks again. So it's actually possible, though not likely, that the entire set will drop at once.

And finally we now have items with skill procs. For those who don't know the lingo, a proc is a spell that has a chance to be cast automatically when something happens. Currently we have -on hit- procs for weapons and -when hit- procs for armor. You can find items like a sword with a 10% chance to cast a level 5 fear each time you hit a monster, or a breastplate with a 5% chance to cast a level 10 ice storm each time you are hit. The other nice thing is that these are random attributes, so they can appear on pretty much any magical item in the game.

I'm sure I'll make more changes before we ship, but this is the state of the current item system (or in a couple cases about to be). As usual feedback is very welcome.
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Old 09-03-2009, 10:35 AM
pnutz pnutz is offline
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Very nice. It's a very complete feature set for an ARPG item system. To be honest, I was hoping for something mind-blowing after reading your quest system post, but then again, ARPG item systems (and the DoP one your are expanding this from) are already pretty well randomized.

The Ego and Cursed weapons have some great possibilities. Could ego weapons be possibly positive/neutral/negative towards the PC as well, depending on race/class? The weapon would form some opinion on you based on your quest performance and choices (not sure if there will be good/evil choices or if you're good all the way). Getting a quest from your item if it likes the way you work would be awesome.

Cursed weapons are good idea, though I hope they go beyond stat reductions. Maybe something like "forces you to keep attacking until the current target is dead", "does massive damage, but slows attack speed on every successive hit (per monster of course)", "5% chance to cause you to use a random skill", "attracts undead", "smells horrible (repulses townspeople)". You could mix these with ego, giving you weapons that refuse to be wielded by someone wearing leather armor, or those that blabber constantly, alerting monsters. A cursed/proc'd item might have a chance to heal or buff the creature you're attacking, or 2% chance to summon some low level beasties.

Another idea that I've always loved: fragmented items. They work like sets, but for a single, powerful item. The superduperflail is split into the staff, the spiked fire skull, the spiked ice skull, and the spiked acid skull. You need to find all of the pieces, bring them back to the blacksmith, pay him a boatload of money, and wait a week of game time to get your legendary weapon. This could take the form of a set of otherwise useless, inventory filling pieces, or perhaps a standard (though named and notable) item that becomes all-powerful when paired with a specific insert or accessory.
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:45 PM
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Delilah Rehm Delilah Rehm is offline
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Ooooo.... Good ideas, Pnutz!

I like the idea of a babbling weapon.

"So I was sneaking up on the group of unique monsters planning to kite one away and kill it, but then my Babbling Blade starting singing! Yes singing! All of the uniques saw me and in three swipes, I was dead."

Or an aggressive, fight-loving, babbling weapon.

"I was minding my own business, skirting monster groups to escort a pathetic npc, when my Roaring Mace gets a whiff of the lurker that popped up in front of me. Roaring Mace screams its bloody head off, and now on my mini-map I see every single $*#&&%$ red dot moving my way. Needless to say, my escortee was toast and I failed the quest."

Or what about a weapon that's scared of certain monster types? What if it makes you run away from them or unequipts or freezes up or... the possibilities seem endless.

There is just so much you can do with weapons that have feelings!
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Old 09-03-2009, 01:46 PM
scragar scragar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delilah Rehm View Post
Or what about a weapon that's scared of certain monster types? What if it makes you run away from them or unequipts or freezes up or... the possibilities seem endless.

There is just so much you can do with weapons that have feelings!
I think the goal was for weapons to be different, weapons would be enchanted for some reason, and these enchantments would offer advantages or disadvantages, so maybe there are weapons designed not to harm humans(or humanoid creatures), or weapons that cannot kill, but are otherwise very effective at disabling an enemy(maybe slows, stops, parazises, inflicts fear, or something similar), maybe the weapon is normally quite useless, but deals so much damage to the undead it's almost instant death, or a weapon that get's more powerful as your health falls, designed for use in emergencies.

Personally I'd love to see weapons that have a real effect on magic, maybe there's a staff that boosts the power of fire magic, or a staff that absorbs all magic, even that cast by the user, and this absorbed magic has some additional effect(maybe boosting your stats for a while, or restoring MP, or turning you invisible, or some other bonus, possibly dependant upon the spell). I think it'd be really cool to watch magic and weapons actually compliment or oppose each other in a game, in most RPGs or similar games you either use a weapon or magic, there is no connection between the two, and personally I feel that that's a shame, if magic is so popular in the world someone would have devised a way to combine weaponry with magic for some reason.
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Old 09-03-2009, 02:00 PM
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Delilah Rehm Delilah Rehm is offline
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Scragar, I'm drooling. Those are some clever ideas!

Ego weapons have huge possibilities. This can be soooo much more extensive than when I first heard of it!
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:15 PM
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Lots of cool ideas so far guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnutz View Post
Very nice. It's a very complete feature set for an ARPG item system. To be honest, I was hoping for something mind-blowing after reading your quest system post, but then again, ARPG item systems (and the DoP one your are expanding this from) are already pretty well randomized.
It's hard to make everything mind-blowing and actually ship games. On some game in the future it would be cool to be able to devote a few months solely on items.

I think after hearing some of these ideas, I'm going to have to add at least a few more ego and cursed things though.
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:48 PM
SharpCarlos SharpCarlos is offline
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Your approach to items sounds great (I am SO looking forward to this game). I'm kind of shocked at how many otherwise-good action-RPG's screw this up. It's a HUGE part of what gets me replaying games like this.

I was a little concerned with your approach to set items, as my first instinct was that having more than one part of the set appear in one drop kind of defeats the purpose. But then I realized that it just adds another thing to the slot-machine mentality of this type of game. I'm imagining the glee I'll feel when it first happens.

pnutz: Those curse suggestions are FANTASTIC. I don't think I've ever seen anything like "forces you to keep attacking until the current target is dead".

Delilah: An item that unequips itself when certain enemies approach? That would be hysterical. I'm imagining it with a little sound effect ("Eep!").

scragar: Really good point on magic users and items. I usually shy away from spell-focused classes in action-RPG's for that very reason. If most of my damage is coming from my meteor spell, it takes the fun out of finding a cool new weapon. But if, for instance I could find a staff that caused fire based spells to do 10% more damage, or use less mana, or have a shorter cooldown, then things get interesting. What if an item had a % chance to reset all my cooldowns, or top off my mana? Things like that.
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharpCarlos View Post
Delilah: An item that unequips itself when certain enemies approach? That would be hysterical. I'm imagining it with a little sound effect ("Eep!").
Ok, I'm going to have to do the "Eep" part at least.
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Old 09-03-2009, 11:52 PM
GeorgiaBoy GeorgiaBoy is offline
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Any plans for runes (crafting) and relics (kind of a super rune a la Titan Quest)?

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Old 09-04-2009, 09:50 AM
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Any plans for runes (crafting) and relics (kind of a super rune a la Titan Quest)?
I keep thinking about doing some kind of crafting system, but it's a pretty big task and keeps getting put off to the next game.
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