4. Dropping a spellgem destroys it, but you can give it to another player if you wish.I suggested drop=destroy because I was also suggesting no-cost crafting; just allowing dropping for now would be preferable since there's no way to "give item to another player" without dropping right now. If your concern is to avoid people dropping stuff on the ground to function as an "infinite inventory" then allowing trading will still give infinite-inventory another way: log on with a bank character, give it to them, log them back out. A bit more of a hassle (particularly with the license key restriction) but still possible. Or they could just hang onto a really really really large pile of raw gems and rare commodities (obtained from lower-level regions) and craft whatever whenever they need it.
If people are creating blank accounts to game the system, that would be extremely difficult to do unless they use a keygen or buy two copies of the game. I'm not terribly worried about either of those cases to the point of designing the game around that form of exploit.
Regarding being able to give directly to another player, that was something that was brought up in the other thread and that I was thinking would work like had been noted there. Essentially, drag an item onto another character and get a confirm prompt about giving it to them. Drag anywhere else and get a confirm prompt about the thing being destroyed.
Though I guess as a first-pass way of doing this, we could just leave it working as it currently does with drops, and see how exploit-y it seems. It might not actually be an issue in practice.
6. Your usable items inventory would be capped to four or five rows instead of the current larger number, so that you can't just carry the world around in your pocket.I don't know that this will actually help fun value any, but that's difficult for me to predict.
We've had a number of requests for a smaller inventory to make the decisions more meaningful, and I think that fits perfectly with the ideas that were being posited here in general. But either way, certainly that number isn't nailed down or completely core to the idea.
7. A certain "core set" of spells would always be available to you on all continents, all the time. Think of this as being kind of like the scout/fighter/bomber/cruiser in space docks in AI War. If you don't have at least the core triangle available for all counters, you're pretty hosed in AI War. Similarly, here, if you don't have at least the basic ranged spells in all elements, plus probably some form of shorter-range spell of each element, there could be times when you're completely ineffective.
Depending on what the basic dps spells were for each color this could be problematic: if those 6 basic damage spells can get you through any fight if you play with the right region-level-differential then you never need to try to unlock other spells (or craft those, after the very first continent). More generally: if the utility of "triangle" (in the AIW sense) spells is too high and the player does not get significantly additional utility from unlocking additional spells (in AIW a bonus type is a straight-up bonus because you can use them _and_ the triangle ships at the same time; in AVWW it seems inevitable that shared cooldowns and whatnot will cause a _very_ different situation) then the motive to unlock bonus spells is largely not there.
That said, that all depends on what the "triangle" types are. If they're all in the realm of fire-touch and miasma-whip then there's a pretty good reason to unlock new ones. Anyone who can take-down a near-level overlord with fire-touch deserves respect.
I'm thinking most of the spells we have now -- not all, but most -- fall under this sort of category. Fireball, fire touch, ice cross, all that good stuff. All that stuff has a pretty similar dps, just different usage characteristics. When you get into things like meteor shower and rockslide and such, those get into very different dps realms. Even death touch or similar. My plan has always been for there to be a growth curve of general enemy/boss toughness, abilities, and health, as well as a growth curve of player abilities, quite aside from the tiering system or the civ level stuff. Just not much has been done with that yet because the framework for some of those things frankly wasn't in place.
2. There could still be situations in MP where all your allies have moved to a new continent, and you can't really go there and be effective because all of your spells would be disabled there. That would only happen if you were relying SOLELY on power spells that aren't in the basic ranged/melee set, though, so it would always be a good idea to keep at least a few of those basics on your roster since they would work on all continents.
This is one reason I was in favor of no-cost crafting: new MP player can just jump in, pick whatever from the available set, and go. Of course, the problems involved in keeping the crafting costs may be less bothersome than simply removing the sole current use of raw gems and rare commodities
Well, there's either a progression to the game or there isn't. If someone leaves from a game for a week and expects to be exactly the same as the people who played feverishly all week, despite them having new equipment and him not having new equipment, I think we have a problem.
The civ level and so on are global, and if we wanted to have some sort of global "crafting points" that could be collected and which all players would be able to pull from regardless of whether they were active at the time or not, that would also serve as a similar "everyone together" sort of mechanic. But right now inventory is separate, and if I've been adding to my inventory for a week while you have not, I'd darn well better have a better inventory than you or else this really is just a very small and un-fun treadmill.
The idea of free crafting really just takes all purposes of the crafting out. With a big inventory that's a hugely bad thing, I think. One alternative would be to have no inventory at all, just one ability bar of 10 abilities and that's it, and then free crafting. So really crafting in that situation is "choosing your loadout." The non-combat-ability-related stuff like suits, potions, ride the lightning, and such could be in a different inventory. But things like wood platforms would still take up a slot on your ability bar, and I think in a lot of respects that would be a much more limited game.
I'm all for:
1. Heavy opportunity costs when players choose their loadouts, and making it easy for players to change their loadouts between missions but not during.
2. Having "we all win together" type rewards that players can make use of whether they missed a week or did not.
3. Things that reduce the treadmill-type stuff and let players focus on missions (core and side) instead.
4. Even things that simplified the crafting system so that it was just a simpler cost structure would be fine with me.
Regarding #4, for one example, if we just had enemies drop gems of the six colors at random, and each spell cost X numbers of the various gem colors, we could instead order the crafting screen by type of spell within each element, as opposed to having to navigate by crafting material. And any player that picked up a gem could make it so that all players got a copy of that gem, so that each player has their own "cash" but all players gain the same amount of cash as they go, regardless of what else happens. That would be a win for usability particularly when there are 100+ spells to try to remember where they are, and it would be MP-friendly.
I'm not even sure how I feel about making the unlocks per-continent the more I think about it. It does add some interesting side-quest twists, but it seems like if I had some awesome spell in my inventory and it was disabled due to my being in a new place that would feel really frustrating -- particularly if I was facing some enemy that I could easily beat if I just had this spell that's in my inventory
enabled. That's a negative scenario that AI War doesn't have, because it's standard for unlocks for a strategy game to be mutually exclusive, and you're planning in advance. And 90% or more of your firepower is unlockable at your own discretion rather than what you get from the ARSes. So the more I think about that part, the less that analogy holds up.
I still like this general line of thinking better than a degradation model on spellgems, because the degradation feels more punitive, but I still like the degradation-per-spellgem model a lot better than the current degradation-by-tier model. I'm not really sure that any of these is quite the perfect model yet, though, honestly. There's a lot of great aspects in all of them, but there's just something I can't put my finger on that doesn't feel really right about any of them (including the current model actually in the game).