Author Topic: Tier Replacement #1: Degradation On A Per-Spellgem Basis  (Read 11976 times)

Offline x4000

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Re: Possible idea for gems
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2011, 12:12:13 PM »
That's all true.   So... in light of those comments, what do others think?
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Offline zebramatt

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Re: Possible idea for gems
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2011, 12:14:31 PM »
1. Being able to give a spellgem to a friend in multiplayer, which is all kinds of useful (and which has the same exploits possible as just dropping it on the ground).  I'm not sure how to get around this, but maybe it's not actually a problem.

2. Being able to clear out stuff from your inventory that you no longer want, since there are more spells and items than inventory space.  But for this one, we could simply do something like having the item disintegrate when you drop it, and have the game warn you that's about to happen.
I don't think #1 is a problem really.  If I want to gear up a new friend, I can always provide the materials to make spell gems.  As a plus he learns the crafting system too.

I think #2 fits with a lot of other games.  Also, locking spell gems to a player is actually a small form of character customization.

In fact, if you're talking about having the game warn you that dropping an item will destroy it, you could also have a system where you can gift any spellgem once (by dropping it onto their character sprite perhaps) but then warn them that it would become permanently attached to its new owner.

Offline x4000

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Re: Possible idea for gems
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2011, 12:25:36 PM »
That's a really good point!  They could gift it directly back if need be, but that would still avoid any of the real exploits because between the two of you you couldn't carry an overall extra of a given spellgem.
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Offline Bluddy

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Re: Possible idea for gems
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2011, 01:09:42 PM »
I assume you're talking about visually we don't need tiers?  Behind the scenes we'd still need to keep track of this in some fashion... or keep track of their amount of degradation, anyhow.  Still being able to craft with them makes sense if you're getting a result that is then pre-degraded by a certain amount.

Yes I mean only visually you wouldn't need tiers, which would simplify keeping track of the numbers. From the player's perspective, he'd have degraded spell gems of various degrees, inferior spell gems (created from aged base gems) and aged base gems of various degrees.

One thing to be careful with is that if you allow crafting with aged gems, the result should be qualitatively weaker and preferably do less damage. Otherwise, let's say crafting with an old gem creates a spell gem that's just half degraded. I could hoard a huge amount of old gems and keep crafting with them. True, the life of my spells will be halved, but since I have such a huge stash it doesn't matter. Therefore the actual resulting spells need to be weaker or damaged. To simplify you could just prohibit using base gems that are more than X old.

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Having random misfires and fizzles strikes me as something that would only be frustrating to players -- I expect to get the result I want when I use something.  I'd guess that maybe when something is "sort of" degraded it should fizzle on every third shot, and when it's "heavily degraded" it fizzles on every other shot, or something along those lines.  That way it's a predictable sort of fizzling that you can work around if you're inclined to do so, but there's a heavy incentive for getting something that isn't so cruddy.

I think this will only be acceptable to players if the spell gem is really in its last, dying stages. For the majority of its life (which could be around 5-10 levels or more's worth of fighting) the gem should behave normally even as it degrades. Anything less will give strong incentive to constantly hunt for new gems. Sputtering should probably even be avoided altogether.

However, if a player chooses to craft using old gems (assuming it's permitted) then I think all bets are off. As I said, you can't just make the spell-gem half degraded -- that can be abused. You have to damage that spell in a serious way, and one way could be to make it fizzle semi-randomly. That's a choice the player made knowing what could happen. In later versions, you could have some really weird entropy-type enemies that can ONLY be damaged by inferior (misfiring) spell gems (items affected by entropy).
 
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Similarly, having spells just completely break and disappear seems undesirable to me, since then you could get into situations where you have no spells and no way to get more!  Heh.

Good point. I guess spells should either become very weak when they're dead, or should consume a massive amount of mana.

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It is true that spellgems don't really need to be droppable in the main.  The two reasons arguing for it are:

1. Being able to give a spellgem to a friend in multiplayer, which is all kinds of useful (and which has the same exploits possible as just dropping it on the ground).  I'm not sure how to get around this, but maybe it's not actually a problem.

2. Being able to clear out stuff from your inventory that you no longer want, since there are more spells and items than inventory space.  But for this one, we could simply do something like having the item disintegrate when you drop it, and have the game warn you that's about to happen.

I would add to this the ability to have limited inventory. Right now that's not in the design, but I personally think it could contribute a lot to the planning and choice-making involved. If you don't allow dropping spells into some sort of stash, that rules out the option of having limited inventory if you want it later on. This is more of a design consideration than a real game situation -- the game will either have limited inventory or it won't. I'm just pointing out the design conflict there, and that by deciding one thing you're really deciding the other as well.

Offline x4000

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Re: Possible idea for gems
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2011, 04:20:18 PM »
Curious what you think about this, which is a bit of a different (though similar) solution to the same problem: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,9561.0.html
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Offline x4000

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Re: Possible idea for gems
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2011, 07:08:56 PM »
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: Tier Replacement #1: Degradation On A Per-Spellgem Basis
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2011, 11:14:05 AM »
I'm going to post the inverse of this idea here, since I don't really like either of the other two suggestions.  I do still think this is probably my preferred solution, but I decided to look at it from the other direction.

Degradation is so negative it can't help but annoy some people.  But what about the opposite?  Let's call it Attunement:

As you use a spell gem, it gains Attunement, starting at  0% and slowly growing until it reaches 100%.  Once it reaches 100%, you can still use it, but if you are in a settlement you can merge the spell gem with your character.  This destroys the gem (so you'll have to replace it if you still want to be able to cast that spell) but it gives your character upgrade points to spend on improvements.  Fire spells give Fire Upgrade points that you can use to purchase upgrades from the Fire Upgrades List.  Same idea for other elements, and there may be a general list (Arcane Upgrade List?) that any flavor of upgrade points can be spent on.

Each time you consume an Attuned spell gem, the cost of all upgrade options for character increases by some percentage (say 50%).  Each time you move to a new continent the cost of all upgrade options decreases by some larger amount, probably undoing around three attuned spell gems' worth of cost increases.  This discourages farming attunement within a single continent, spreading out character upgrades over content progression.

Offline Bluddy

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Re: Tier Replacement #1: Degradation On A Per-Spellgem Basis
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2011, 11:32:57 AM »
I'm going to post the inverse of this idea here, since I don't really like either of the other two suggestions.  I do still think this is probably my preferred solution, but I decided to look at it from the other direction.

Degradation is so negative it can't help but annoy some people.  But what about the opposite?  Let's call it Attunement:

As you use a spell gem, it gains Attunement, starting at  0% and slowly growing until it reaches 100%.  Once it reaches 100%, you can still use it, but if you are in a settlement you can merge the spell gem with your character.  This destroys the gem (so you'll have to replace it if you still want to be able to cast that spell) but it gives your character upgrade points to spend on improvements.  Fire spells give Fire Upgrade points that you can use to purchase upgrades from the Fire Upgrades List.  Same idea for other elements, and there may be a general list (Arcane Upgrade List?) that any flavor of upgrade points can be spent on.

Each time you consume an Attuned spell gem, the cost of all upgrade options for character increases by some percentage (say 50%).  Each time you move to a new continent the cost of all upgrade options decreases by some larger amount, probably undoing around three attuned spell gems' worth of cost increases.  This discourages farming attunement within a single continent, spreading out character upgrades over content progression.

Nice idea, but it's too easy to game this system because there too few negative consequences. First, it encourages you to use the same spells all the time ie. the incentive is working backwards. Then, I can choose a couple of spells I want to use forever, and farm some other spells. I can even fire those other spells randomly, getting them up to 100% so I can cash them in.

Offline Bluddy

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Re: Tier Replacement #1: Degradation On A Per-Spellgem Basis
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2011, 11:37:43 AM »
Here's an idea along the lines of Hearteater: the more/more often you use spells, the more powerful they become, but the more negative consequences they have on the world. Different spells have different consequences, but they could destroy tiles, make more monsters spawn, hurt NPCs etc. So there's a constant balance of wanting to keep the spell vs. destroying the world. At some point the only thing you can do is move the spirit that powers the spell to another vessel (another spell gem). This way the spell isn't getting worse -- it's actually getting better, but there are serious consequences to sticking with one spell long term and not replacing its shell (spellgem).

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Tier Replacement #1: Degradation On A Per-Spellgem Basis
« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2011, 11:43:19 AM »
The Attunement process wouldn't have to be tied to use, it was just the natural inverse of degradation.  There might be Attunement Towers on each continent that let you increase one spell gem's attunement by 10%.  Or maybe only boss kills grants attunement.  In fact, maybe all spells on your bar get attunement when the boss dies.

Honestly there are quite a few issues with the system.  But I thought I'd throw it out there in case something sparks a useful thought in someone else.

 

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