Arcen Games

General Category => A Valley Without Wind 1 & 2 => Topic started by: x4000 on December 06, 2011, 04:19:15 PM

Title: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: x4000 on December 06, 2011, 04:19:15 PM
The discussion in this thread (http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php?topic=9556) sparked some thoughts for Keith and I on how to tie some of those concepts into a lot of things that we've been planning.  The core tier-less model here is Keith's (with a few changes from me), but then there's a number of other exploration/crafting changes that I'd been planning for weeks and weeks.  I thought I'd write it all up as one cohesive design and see what people think about it.

TIER-LESS SPELLGEMS CHANGES FROM CURRENT SYSTEM
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1. Rare commodities, raw gems, and so forth would not be able to be found out in the wild as they currently are.  However, the non-rare commodities (wood, quartz, etc) probably still would be findable in their current fashion, but we'd have to find something else to do with those resources.  Potentially something to do with some of the missions.

2. A core set of spells (maybe 70% of the current spells in the game) would always be available.  These would never cost any resources to craft, you'd just click them in the crafting interface and there they'd be in your inventory.  Working just like now, except minus the actual materials cost of crafting.  Thematically, the NPCs are giving you the materials I expect.

3. The rest of the spells in the game, including all the more powerful and interesting spells to come, would start out being locked by default on each continent.  A few of them at random would be unlocked from the start on each continent, going along with all those core spells that are always-available.

4. To unlock a spell on a continent, you'll have to spend the resources to do so.  This would work just like crafting does now, except you'd only have to do it once per continent.

5. Raw gems and rare commodities would only be something you could find, and in much smaller quantities, as the result of side missions.  So in other words, this becomes another vector for decisions about the self (or group of players, as the case may be) versus the broader civilization as a whole.

6. Crafting materials are stored globally in the settlement/continent and can't be carried to other continents.  All players have access to spend the crafting materials on the continent if they wish to do so.

7. When you switch continents, any spellgem in your inventory that's not "unlocked" on the new continent is disabled (still there, just not usable until it is unlocked on the new continent).

8. All spellgems act as if the "current" tier does now, and tiers would no longer exist.  There would be no degradation or other penalties.

Benefits:

1. This sidesteps all the cyclical-linear-grinding-whatever necessary to "keep up."

2. It never sticks players with crappy (by tier, anyway) spells in either SP or MP.

3. It encourage (even forces for brief bits of time) variety and using some spells you don't have a lot of experience with as you move around continents.  Sort of like the way that variety between campaigns in AI War happens, except a lot less harshly defined.

4. It allows interesting opportunity costs when picking missions ("do I go for the one that gives me the resources to craft meteor shower, or do I save that npc, or do I take out the overlord's orbital magma cannon?").

5. This will still work just fine with level-gating of spells.

6. It makes continents feel really different, at least when you first get to them.  It's sort of that "new game plus" feel that we're going for with them.

7. There is still an infinite "progression" in that you can't just get one set of gems and progress infinitely, but the "line" you cross that requires "rebuilding" is more obvious and more intuitive, and less punishing because whatever spells you _can_ use on the next continent will be full strength.  And you're still having a huge set of options, it's just not all the really exciting stuff that would let you take on the next overlord.


Negatives:

1. Having an awesome spell in your inventory that is disabled because you moved to a new continent is moderately lame.  If I'm fighting some big boss that I'm wishing I had that spell for, that's a frustrating thing.  However, having a large pool of "core" spells that I can craft at all times, and having a couple of freebie awesome spells that I might not have had on the prior continent, should help to mitigate this at all.  And let's face it, no tier-less model is going to have no negatives, because we're inherently talking about weakening the player character so that they can start again to some extent on a new continent.


Thoughts?
Title: Re: Design Notes: Tier-less Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 06, 2011, 04:33:59 PM
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.


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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.


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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.

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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 :)

Title: Re: Design Notes: Tier-less Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: tigersfan on December 06, 2011, 04:41:03 PM
It seems to me that with this plan, there would come a point where you wouldn't have to get any new gems ever, as after a few continents, I have pretty much all the spells.

I think I know some of your reasons for not wanting the spell gems to stop working, but what about combining a couple ideas from that thread? Here's how I see it:

1.) Spellgems degrade over time. Basic spells would degrade it very little, while more powerful spells take more out of it. Sort of like how tools in Minecraft work. I can take out rock almost all day with my pickaxe, but if I start mining diamonds or obsidian, the thing dies fast.

2.) BUT, when a spellgem reaches a certain point of degradation, it will keep working, but there is a chance that when you go to cast a spell, it will fizzle out and not cast the spell that time.

This allows you to still get a replacement spellgem if you've completely killed what you've got, but, it also doesn't randomly lock out spells, which can be really annoying if a player can't use a favored spell.
Title: Re: Design Notes: Tier-less Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 06, 2011, 04:43:26 PM
Here's another approach to the actual crafting, sort of between the OP and no-cost:
1) The "triangle" spells are no-cost.
2) The "bonus" spells, once unlocked, need to be crafted for-cost _once_ on that continent, and then can be crafted no-cost for the rest of that continent.  The rarity of and difficulty involved in obtaining gems and commodities could be proportionately (read: massively) increased.

Of course, eventually you'll have enough continents that you could unlock the spell on a new continent and already have the gem on hand from a previous continent, or at least be able to go back there and craft it for free.  The bonus ones could just be destroyed or left-behind when you transition continents but that doesn't sound pleasing (putting in mildly) if you ever wanted to come back, even if they would be free to re-craft (that would take much of the actual pain out, but not the interface pain of reconfiguring).  And I don't think I want to get into per-continent configurations ;)

Anyway, so maybe that wouldn't work, but it seemed close enough to an improvement that I figured I'd post it :)
Title: Re: Design Notes: Tier-less Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: x4000 on December 06, 2011, 05:02:58 PM
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.

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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.

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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.

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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).
Title: Re: Design Notes: Tier-less Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: x4000 on December 06, 2011, 05:08:55 PM
It seems to me that with this plan, there would come a point where you wouldn't have to get any new gems ever, as after a few continents, I have pretty much all the spells.

Well, that was the nature of some of my changes to Keith's original notes.  When you drop a spellgem it's gone forever.  And you inventory is too small to hold all spellgems.  And some spellgems don't work on some continents.  Ergo you wind up having to drop them, and then later you need them again and so you have to go through the hassle of crafting them again.  It would work such that you don't reach a point like you describe above, but in other ways... bleh.

I think I know some of your reasons for not wanting the spell gems to stop working, but what about combining a couple ideas from that thread? Here's how I see it:

1.) Spellgems degrade over time. Basic spells would degrade it very little, while more powerful spells take more out of it. Sort of like how tools in Minecraft work. I can take out rock almost all day with my pickaxe, but if I start mining diamonds or obsidian, the thing dies fast.

2.) BUT, when a spellgem reaches a certain point of degradation, it will keep working, but there is a chance that when you go to cast a spell, it will fizzle out and not cast the spell that time.

This allows you to still get a replacement spellgem if you've completely killed what you've got, but, it also doesn't randomly lock out spells, which can be really annoying if a player can't use a favored spell.

Right, I think I also suggested that sort of model at one point in that thread in terms of your #2 there. ;)  But yeah, I'd been thinking that there's essentially no reason to have basic spellgems die very fast, since replacing them is incredibly un-fun as an activity.

Here's another approach to the actual crafting, sort of between the OP and no-cost:
1) The "triangle" spells are no-cost.
2) The "bonus" spells, once unlocked, need to be crafted for-cost _once_ on that continent, and then can be crafted no-cost for the rest of that continent.  The rarity of and difficulty involved in obtaining gems and commodities could be proportionately (read: massively) increased.

Of course, eventually you'll have enough continents that you could unlock the spell on a new continent and already have the gem on hand from a previous continent, or at least be able to go back there and craft it for free.  The bonus ones could just be destroyed or left-behind when you transition continents but that doesn't sound pleasing (putting in mildly) if you ever wanted to come back, even if they would be free to re-craft (that would take much of the actual pain out, but not the interface pain of reconfiguring).  And I don't think I want to get into per-continent configurations ;)

Anyway, so maybe that wouldn't work, but it seemed close enough to an improvement that I figured I'd post it :)

Yeah... I think that still has the same main issues as the core design, except that it reduces annoyance on the one continent and adds an exploit when you have many continents.  Anyway, I think this thread (or the degradation thread) could still spawn a solution I'd want to implement, but I'm not quite feeling it yet, the more I think about it.
Title: Re: Design Notes: Tier-less Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 06, 2011, 05:29:44 PM
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.
Fair enough, just pointing it out.

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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.
I don't know how challenging the game is going to wind up being, but my suspicion is that the "triangle" is that expansive then there's not a sufficient advantage in having unlocks at all and we should switch back to the other thread :)


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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. ;)
Two points:

1) With crests and spellshaping that wouldn't be the case.

2) Even without those, and if someone jumping into the game is as powerful as everyone else, _why_ is that a problem?  This isn't WoW with a "semi-competitive progression" thing.  It's not even WoW-like.  This is a co-op game, and the main point is to "win together".  Being "behind the curve" only increases the time before a new player can actually join the "main gang" doing whatever they're doing.  That said, having both the "everyone has the same basic utilities available" of spellgems and "people who have been actively adventuring have extra customization and power from crests/spellshaping" is preferable.


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The idea of free crafting really just takes all purposes of the crafting out.
Sure, I understand that, it's basically a casualty of a design change if we do what I was saying.  And I'm happy to find a way of mixing it back in to what I was talking about, or whatever, but the tiered system just really didn't seem to be cutting it fun-wise and being able to throw in some really hefty opportunity cost choices being made in the "fun core" of the game (missions and picking them) seems really attractive.


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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.
Personally I'd be in favor of something like that, with some small reservations about it cutting down on actual variety of spell usage (but that's going to happen anyway past a certain number of spells: just like in Total Annihilation: what percent of the 100s, iirc, of different unit types did the average player even know much about, let alone use?).  I'd be particularly in favor of something like that in the context of eRe4s3r's "infographic" suggestion here: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,9502.msg88155.html#msg88155 .  Basically you'd be "gearing" your character and some of those slots would be for the spells you could have available at a given time.  You probably aren't fond of the idea so I haven't pushed the various systems like that that have occurred to me, but they seem like potentially a major fun increase.

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But things like wood platforms would still take up a slot on your ability bar
There are some ways we could work around that.  Damage-spell-slots and logistics-slots or whatever.  Or you always have a platform slot, it can even be a different key, whatever.  Not saying those are good solutions, just that there almost certainly are good solutions to side-issues like that.

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and I think in a lot of respects that would be a much more limited game.
From the perspective of what's actually available in hand at any given moment, sure, that's objectively true.  Though as you said, a more limited inventory is appealing to some people (of course, it's very much not appealing to others).

But from another perspective: if there are 60 spells in the game (I think you're aiming significantly higher than that), how many are you going to use at a given time?  How many are you going to keep in your "mental hand" (i.e. hand of cards) of things you might go-to?  That's the Total-Annihilation problem I mentioned earlier, and is the problem you ran into in AIW's alpha: with all those bonus types available all the time, most human players either tune some/most of it out or do some other less-than-desirable (from a game-design perspective) things.

So, there's comparing what a potential "can carry limited number of spellgems" system would allow compared to what a player could _theoretically_ do with what we have now or what we'll have at 1.0 if it has the current system, and then there's comparing it to what our players would actually want/need/think to do.


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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.
But right now it just fades away after 10-20 levels.  It doesn't change to some other possibility that might be interesting, it just degrades.  And I think any form of degradation would have a similar (though quite possibly less-bad than our current model) effect.

With infinite progression, the game has to make you leave that particular spell and/or spellgem behind _at some point_, right?  Why not on the continent boundary?  And particularly when that can then be an opportunity for you to become familiar with some other spells you haven't used in a while, or have never used at all.


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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.
Right, but these wouldn't be quite like the ARSes: you would know which spell a mission would unlock ahead of time, and you would see the other missions you could choose and make a decision.  We could even extend the field of choice so that a mission lets you pick between 2+ spells to unlock at the end, though I don't know if that would be a good thing.


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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 certainly agree.

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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).
Also very much agreed :)
Title: Re: Design Notes: Tier-less Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: FallingStar on December 06, 2011, 05:50:01 PM
Does sound interesting, again moving a bit away from the RPG mechanics, but that's fine. 
I like the general benefits of the proposed system, and it certainly would make additional continents feel more exciting in a "new game" sort of way. 

I'd think there would need to be some sort of "raw gem sink"/ upkeep/ something that removed my old raw gems when I go to a new continent.  Otherwise by my third continent I'd likely have a ton of gems to craft anything I wanted, and the gating of the spells would be by mission/continent unlocks, not by gems or other mats.  In turn, that would make me feel like I didn't need to craft at all, its just another busywork interface, and then I'd prefer to just find the find the fully finished spellgems on any given continent.  I do like crafting though, so I'd prefer a sink.

It might work to have the spells more tied to the settlements on a continent rather than the continent itself.  Have that additional tie to the strategic game, and could suggest a building or the like as an upkeep mechanism for a given spell unlock.  It would also create some additional reason to rescue settlements that were in danger of being destroyed.  Likewise, it might provide some ability to retain a spell you really loved form an old continent either via trade systems, or moving the settlement (as per the folder growth/world size trimming thread discussions), but limiting it so that you don't have everything unlocked after X continents, or have the ability to hang onto one spell forever.

Another sidenote,  I might want to "try before I buy" the spell unlock if I'm having to choose a mission based on unlocks and the mission is going to take hour(s) potentially to beat.  Long term not an issue (if you've played 100's of hours you've seen it all), but for casual players, there's nothing worse than unlocking a shiny, then discover you hate the playstyle.  Especially if the tactic you envision can't be done because of the spell mechanic.  That encourages save scum. 

Anyways, throwing it out there, as I read with interest the internal conversation on the system that is passing by faster than I can type out my thoughts.  :P
Title: Re: Design Notes: Tier-less Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 06, 2011, 06:25:11 PM
Another couple ideas came to mind:

1) While I'm shamelessly plundering AIW mechanics, instead of having missions unlock specific spells they could give X "knowledge" that you can then spend to unlock spells on that continent.  That would still let people play with their "favorite set" which is probably fine.  If we wanted to encourage more variety in choices we could have the knowledge costs vary from continent to continent so you could always have meteor shower or whatever if you were willing to sink in a lot of points if the randomization rolled against you, or you could get the hint and try something else.  And if we wanted we could still have some missions give a specific spell that's higher than the average point reward or whatever.

Or:

2) To make the desion-larceny less bald-faced:
- Instead of granting specific spells, or points, the missions could grant a single gem or spell-crafting commodity, and they would be the only way of getting those gems/commodities.
- Once the spell is crafted on that continent it is both unlocked and craftable-at-no-cost on that specific continent (thus bringing in spellgems from another continent provides no advantage or disadvantage, they don't work until it's crafted locally)
- Crafting ingredients would need to be stored "per continent" rather than per player; so probably in the settlement stockpile.
- So you'd still be using the crafting system, and you'd still be gathering and spending those resources, and you'd still have a pretty wide area of choice in how you used your ingredients.
Title: Re: Design Notes: Tier-less Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Dizzard on December 06, 2011, 06:44:57 PM
2) Even without those, and if someone jumping into the game is as powerful as everyone else, _why_ is that a problem?  This isn't WoW with a "semi-competitive progression" thing.  It's not even WoW-like.  This is a co-op game, and the main point is to "win together".  Being "behind the curve" only increases the time before a new player can actually join the "main gang" doing whatever they're doing.  That said, having both the "everyone has the same basic utilities available" of spellgems and "people who have been actively adventuring have extra customization and power from crests/spellshaping" is preferable.

This is something I'm noticing about AVWW. It is really suited to a multiplayer co-op style with a group of people working together. It's not about who has the best stuff, it's about exploring together, helping each other and furthering our civilization. We're like the task force of the empire.

I'm actually starting to wonder if I'll even be able to enjoy single player as much when multiplayer has been improved. Working together in multiplayer just feels so rewarding. (even in it's current state)  There's so many possibilities like making it so players can own (govern) continents. (so it would be like having your own mini country inside the server) or even owning (being mayor of) settlements or forts.

That said I do still enjoy having more creative control in single player. (Naming settlements, npcs that sort of thing)

Co-op could be one of AVWW's defining features.
Title: Re: Design Notes: Tier-less Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: zebramatt on December 06, 2011, 06:55:32 PM
I've been thinking it might be good to pool everyone's stuff for a while now.

Obviously that would need to be tempered with some way of encouraging players to pursue distinct 'classes' - else everyone could just be everything; or the same thing - but that's pretty much the case now anyway.

I say when you find rare commodities, you find a random amount between 1 and x, where x is the number of players, increasing with region difficulty relative to civ level, etc. Same with gems and common resources.

Then add any necessary restrictions at the point of crafting or equipping or something. So everyone always has a chance, as long as the people in the game haven't eaten everything themselves, but have to make limited and interesting choices from what's available. (No idea how to implement the last part - sounds like a lot of the stuff coming up is heading that way anyway. One thing which did occur to me was it might be beneficial to restrict based on some kind of weighting logic - this fire spell will cost you 65% of your remaining capacity to wield fire magic; this entropy spell will cost 30% of your remaining entropy and reduce your light magic capacity by 50%. But that all sounds very messy!)

Title: Re: Design Notes: Tier-less Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: x4000 on December 06, 2011, 07:24:42 PM
Still mulling, in the main.

Made this other thread to connect our existing two: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,9563.0.html

zebramatt, I thought about a capacity system, too, where you have a certain amount of each color of magic that you can allocate to various purposes, etc.  But then you get into players never using some spells because some spells never get used since some other pair of spells is always more powerful.  Which can then be combated in other ways, but still -- it's part of why I never did global ship caps in AI War.  In most strategy games there are some units that are just not something to ever use.  But in AI War, there's always some use for them, however minor, assuming you have the resources to create them (which tends to happen).

Dizzard, that's really interesting on multiplayer, and it sounds really great. :)  Hopefully solo play also picks up to where you find it really engaging also, but with AI War I know I get at least twice as much enjoyment out of co-op with it.  I imagine the case will be the same here for me, also.

FallingStar, I think you have a really good point with the whole "try before you buy" thing.  That was a major blocker in AI War before players would unlock... anything.  So they would just keep playing with stuff they had unlocked before, even if there was something better that they'd never tried.  The only solution we found to that was giving them the first tier for free, so that they could try that out, and then later the decision was "what do I want more of?"  Which is a lot easier to answer than "which of these things that I've never tried before sounds the best?"

To that end, I'm really not loving the idea of player-directed unlock limitations that have a high ongoing opportunity cost.  Having an interesting limited loadout for a specific mission sounds great -- choosing the best weapons for the job makes a lot of sense -- but I don't want to be stuck with some bad decision for another 20-40 hours if that's how long continents are generally taking to clear.  Similarly, I wouldn't want to have 60% of the game roped off until I hit that second continent.  Long-term play and variety is really important, but right now we need more density of interesting decisions for that first continent's span of stuff, not less.

Keith, you have a lot of very interesting points as usual, and I agree with quite a great many of them, but in the interest of time I won't enumerate which ones; I imagine from the above my current stance is fairly obvious on most of the specific suggestions.  Oddly, despite my initial feelings against "free" crafting, I'm wondering if there shouldn't be some super-easy way of crafting stuff that then lets you customize per expedition.  Low overall opportunity cost, easy to retool if you make a mistake, but lots of interesting decisions for each specific time you go out.  I'll make a new thread for considering things along those lines.
Title: Re: Design Notes: Tier-less Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Bluddy on December 06, 2011, 07:30:50 PM
I'm going to try for another idea. I can understand the discomfort with the degradation + aging idea, though I do believe it's currently the best model.

How about this: the magic principle that guides power in the game is that for each continent, the more you have of a certain spell, the less powerful that spell becomes. I don't know where I've encountered this system before -- maybe in some book. Anyway, common spells are well known by everybody, and as a result they're pretty weak. Rare spells are 'discovered' by the glyphbearer, and the more rare they are, the more powerful they are.

The thing is, each spell is slowly being copied by other NPCs in the game, so it gets weaker and weaker. And a lot of that weakness comes from you using it -- the more NPCs hear about the effectiveness of a certain spell, the more likely they are to copy it. Leave a spell alone for a while, and it'll get more powerful. The best thing you can do for a weakened spell is to destroy it and move to another spell. That weakened spell will slowly be forgotten and will grow more powerful on that continent. Craft it again when it's more powerful and you have a strong spell again.

Each continent will have different usage statistics, so different spells will be more powerful. The cool thing is, the power of spells is dynamic and is based on their rarity. So the more common a spell is, the less powerful it is -- by definition. On some continents, a normally weak spell can be really really powerful. Some monsters may use some spells, and that could affect the rarity of the spells too.

With MP, this can present a situation where each player wants to use different spells to maximize their effectiveness. Players juggle spells around and constantly look for replacements. With SP, you're looking at a constantly changing, dynamic ecosystem of spells. You constantly have to worry about NPCs on this continent copying your best spells. You want to cast your best spells jealously. Additionally, you're always on the hunt for new spells. And you never ever want to hoard spells! Hoarding spells does the exact opposite of what it's supposed to do.

If it wasn't obvious already, this system also takes care of having too many spells to (normally) care about. You cycle through spells and each spell is potentially precious for a certain period of time.

On the backend, what would be necessary is a dynamic simulation of spell usage and a way to present current spell power (and maybe even a graph over mission time) to the player in some way.

I also think this idea works best when people have limited inventory. You essentially choose to destroy spells in this model, and unlike the continental model where you drop a spell and it's gone just because you ran out of space, here you're destroying a spell for the betterment of that spell.

EDIT: I think it would be pretty cool and frustrating in a good way to enter a settlement and see NPCs practicing your favorite spells. It would be a good illustration of the principle.
Title: Re: Design Notes: Tier-less Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: wyvern83 on December 06, 2011, 07:33:29 PM
It might work to have the spells more tied to the settlements on a continent rather than the continent itself.  Have that additional tie to the strategic game, and could suggest a building or the like as an upkeep mechanism for a given spell unlock.  It would also create some additional reason to rescue settlements that were in danger of being destroyed. 

- Once the spell is crafted on that continent it is both unlocked and craftable-at-no-cost on that specific continent (thus bringing in spellgems from another continent provides no advantage or disadvantage, they don't work until it's crafted locally)
- Crafting ingredients would need to be stored "per continent" rather than per player; so probably in the settlement stockpile.

I've been thinking in this direction for a few days now and coming up with a thematic justification for having spells attached to the continent/settlement is pretty easy and, in a way, is already in the game.

Spell gems are small fragments of the Ilari Stones themselves if I remember AVWW lore correctly, wouldn't the Ilari then also be the source of the mana the spell gems use?

If they were the source of continent local mana, the ratio between the different Ilari/gem veins would result in different mana/spell availability. And because the Ilari/gem veins are bound to one continent, their influence is only over that continent.

Result: Each Continent has a different set of spells that work as the mana aura of each continent is different.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: x4000 on December 06, 2011, 08:18:59 PM
Part of the problem with making it so that not all spells are available at any given time is that it kind of enforces that they all be a bit generic.  As a simple example, think of the elemental immunities.  If some lieutenant or overlord was only really susceptible to one kind of magic, and the only available uber-spell in that element was either a) not available, or b) currently really weakened for some reason, and not able to be strengthened in any short-term period of time, then you wind up with a situation where that boss might actually be permanently unbeatable.  Or at best really, really, extremely annoying to beat.

To combat that, either bosses would have to not be immune to that many elements, or there would have to be really substantial sources of non-elemental damage (a good idea anyway, but beside the point as this is but one example), or something else.  That's just elemental damage, which is a pretty simple example.  But depending on the attack patterns of a given boss, you might really want to use a spell of some certain sort, but be forbidden from it for some arbitrary reason that is going to be nothing but frustrating.

The whole degradation idea on spellgems has its annoyances, but it's a fairly minor annoyance since you are always capable of just building another one of whatever it was that you just lost (or whatever it was that just got quite ineffective, anyway).  But with this whole per-continent-spells idea, you wind up with large swathes of the game being literally ripped away from the player for 20-40 hour stretches, which is the sort of thing that is going to lead to some ragequits, I can already tell.  If I used to use the perfect spell, but now the game randomly won't let me use that spell and I can't pass a mission any other way... well, I'm not the ragequit sort, but plenty of folks are.  I don't think it would go over well.

Anyway, I just postulated a third alternative to either of these two models, but out of these two models I'm now leaning definitely back into the camp of the degradation, as it's a minor annoyance rather than something that will come across as a major limitation in various circumstances to many players.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: wyvern83 on December 06, 2011, 09:16:29 PM
Part of the problem with making it so that not all spells are available at any given time is that it kind of enforces that they all be a bit generic.  As a simple example, think of the elemental immunities.  If some lieutenant or overlord was only really susceptible to one kind of magic, and the only available uber-spell in that element was either a) not available, or b) currently really weakened for some reason, and not able to be strengthened in any short-term period of time, then you wind up with a situation where that boss might actually be permanently unbeatable.  Or at best really, really, extremely annoying to beat.

True. I had had that concern when I first started reading about this idea but I didn't write it down at the time so I forgot it. I've also been reading your other posts since I posted, so no disagreements here. Conceptually it was interesting but in practice it wouldn't have worked well for that reason alone.

In addition it may have exacerbated the problem that, as I understand it, continents are unlocked/discovered in sequence so if randomization threw you to the wolves you'd be out of luck with no place or choice but to go through it.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 06, 2011, 09:30:44 PM
But with this whole per-continent-spells idea, you wind up with large swathes of the game being literally ripped away from the player for 20-40 hour stretches
Unless the missions simply give you the resources with which to unlock the spells and you don't have any permanently/completely blocked to you.  These kinds of problems have solutions.  Anyway, will read your post on the 3rd general option when I get a chance :)
Title: Re: Design Notes: Tier-less Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 06, 2011, 10:34:44 PM
Spell gems are small fragments of the Ilari Stones themselves if I remember AVWW lore correctly, wouldn't the Ilari then also be the source of the mana the spell gems use?
Just for the curious: no, they're not part of the Ilari stones themselves.  But yes, the Ilari (specifically the guardians, the ones whose stones you find in settlements or wind shelters) are the source of the power, which isn't really mana (which typically means more of a ubiquitous non-personal source) but you players kept calling it that so I guess we had to call it that :)
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Gallant Dragon on December 06, 2011, 10:38:27 PM
Part of the problem with making it so that not all spells are available at any given time is that it kind of enforces that they all be a bit generic.  As a simple example, think of the elemental immunities.  If some lieutenant or overlord was only really susceptible to one kind of magic, and the only available uber-spell in that element was either a) not available, or b) currently really weakened for some reason, and not able to be strengthened in any short-term period of time, then you wind up with a situation where that boss might actually be permanently unbeatable.  Or at best really, really, extremely annoying to beat.

This ^^^
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 06, 2011, 10:40:54 PM
Part of the problem with making it so that not all spells are available at any given time is that it kind of enforces that they all be a bit generic.  As a simple example, think of the elemental immunities.  If some lieutenant or overlord was only really susceptible to one kind of magic, and the only available uber-spell in that element was either a) not available, or b) currently really weakened for some reason, and not able to be strengthened in any short-term period of time, then you wind up with a situation where that boss might actually be permanently unbeatable.  Or at best really, really, extremely annoying to beat.

This ^^^
Right, that is a serious weakness in the original idea, but if as mentioned above it were changed to instead give you the (limited) resources with which you could pick which spells to unlock you wouldn't ever have to be in a situation where you simply could not get the spell you needed.  Or do you think it will still be a problem then?
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Gallant Dragon on December 06, 2011, 11:34:23 PM
But isn't the point of randomized resistances the fact that you _cannot_ know ahead of time and plan for a boss being resistant to your spells?
Plus, what if the boss's attack patterns make it extremely difficult to fight with your current spell types?
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Hearteater on December 06, 2011, 11:50:21 PM
Just to comment before I head to bed, I think my main problem with this is I really want to be able to make my character unique, and forcing me to use a small set of spells is like making me be a different character.  Part of the problem is elemental immunities actually.  If I want to be a lightning and fire master, I can't.  I'm going to meet stuff, a decent amount, that I just can't reasonably affect.  This forces everyone to be a generalist.  As nice as immunities are for making bosses interesting, I think they kill too much individuality in characters.  I think this is really stretching outside the topic of this thread so I'll just mention that it would be nice if as a master of fire, I could at least deal some reasonable damage to even bosses that are immunity to the fire attacks of my less fire-focused glyphbearer brothers.  Maybe let me get 30 or 40% resistance reduction (not -30%, but resistance*0.7, so75% resistance becomes 52.5% and 25% becomes 17.5%).
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: FallingStar on December 07, 2011, 03:42:09 AM
A couple thoughts I had that might remove a few roadblocks, adding the "gems as money" concept of system three, and reintroducing spell scrolls.

Basically you could use a few raw gems to make scrolls, which would work in every way like the full spellgem - except its used up in casting, and scrolls get none of the spellshaping/crests system.  Flipside,the player can use a lot of raw gems to make a spellgem.  The spellgem choice (per the OP) would be locked/ limited per continent.  But the scrolls would be unlocked, and always available (at least the lower level ones, not super spells).

Primarily it would help with any otherwise "unbeatable" monsters, since you could always build a special limited stack of scrolls for that encounter.  It would also have that "try before you buy" mechanic, since you could craft a few scrolls of a spell to test if you liked how the spell mechanic worked before committing to a mission for the full unlock.  And you wouldn't have a huge % of the game locked off for 20-40 hours . .those spells just couldn't be your bread and butter tools.

Also on any sort of gems as money concept, it falls well into the current exploring system.  Few gems in lower than civ level chunks (those ones being mined out by your civ on their own?) , but more gems in higher level chunks.  Sidenote, but worth mentioning.

Anyways, the tide might have moved on past this system in general, but I think a few tweaks like this might overcome the major pitfalls. 
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Martyn van Buren on December 07, 2011, 04:48:17 AM
That's a good suggestion about spell scrolls --- I'd be a lot happier with long-term limited choices if I could try out spells first, and also if I could occasionally pull out a locked spell for a really specific use.  Of course, it would give the hoarders something to go after, but I'm beginning to wonder if we're a little too concerned about them --- we don't want the game to make it seem like you need an hour of grinding items to take on a mission, but if a few players really love hoarding some minor item, I say let 'em hoard.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: zebramatt on December 07, 2011, 06:12:32 AM
Maybe let me get 30 or 40% resistance reduction (not -30%, but resistance*0.7, so75% resistance becomes 52.5% and 25% becomes 17.5%).

I agree with this, I think.

Although, conversely, I'm also put in mind of Skyward Sword where you first get a wooden shield to fight normal type monsters; then you start to fight fire-monsters, to which the wooden shield is vulnerable; but thankfully then you can buy a metal shield, which is generally better anyway; but then you start to fight electric-monsters, to which the metal shield is vulnerable; so you switch back to your wooden one; etc. etc. And at any point you can upgrade either shield using a number of rare materials you find by killing certain things, stealing stuff, knocking wasps' nests from trees, hidden about the place, and in chests - although these upgrades are completely optional. Later you get another shield you can buy which is resistant to both fire and electricity, scares undead enemies and repairs itself but is generally much weaker. And actually, you can do pretty well without any shield at all, if you want to save your Rupees for other things.

Where am I going with all that? Well, I guess I still agree with Hear-teater insofar as it should always be possible to take on any badguy with any loadout, but it should also be relatively easy to give yourself a temporary boon in one area if you know you're coming up against certain types of enemy a lot.* Or to sod the whole thing and simply get through on sheer grit (but not grind) - playing Zelda without a shield requires more skill and different tactics but it's not any grindier.


*I think part of what might hurt that is any sort of random application of elemental buffs. They should be by area type or by dungeon type, or something. (Maybe elemental resistances could be assigned randomly at the point a Tower is generated, for example, and displayed above the door or something - then everything inside could have degrees of those same resistances.)
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: x4000 on December 07, 2011, 09:09:55 AM
Regarding elemental resistances, which is really sort of a side topic, probably something we need to do there is make it so that it's by-mission and you can pick your missions partly based on that.

---

A few more comments I'll just put here from an email thread

Chris: Yeah... the whole premise of stuff being by-continent and sometimes-limited is something I think that needs to not happen, though, the more I think about it.

Keith: You mean how it could lock you out of a huge part of the total list of spells?  Did you see the variant where the missions would become the source of crafting ingredients (in small quantities) but that you only need to craft a specific spell once per continent and then anybody can use it on that continent?

Chris: Yeah, that just adds complexity and the need to save-scum.  Players want to try a spell before they buy it, if it's something that is going to be a massive outlay in expense (which your system would require it to be).  So you wind up with two major problems now, rather than one: 1) players can't decide on what to unlock because they don't know exactly what they need and they only even know what they previously unlocked even does; and 2) anything that delays huge amounts of content from the game for 20-40 hours is a Really Bad Thing at this stage.  Right now we need to have players making interesting choices and customizing, it's not yet remotely into the AI War territory of needing the bonus ship types (and even that is only a limitation for about 9-13 hours in most cases, AND it only affects maybe 30% of the total kinds of ships in the game thanks to all the turrets, defensive units, starships, etc, etc, etc).

Keith: Or is there another objection?  The more I think about the per-continent player-unlock stuff the more I think it's a good idea, so I'm probably not going to give up on it until someone shows me a problem with it that I can't solve ;)

Chris: If each continent is meant to be "playing the entire game" or close, we need to have a whole game's worth of content there.  And then when the content on the next continent is randomized, you run into compounding problems with repeats, etc.  Not to mention that there is just no way to do without huge swathes of the spells in the game.  It's kind of like in AI War: you couldn't randomly take away engineers, or turrets, or tractors, or starships, and have it still be the same game.  Players need that huge wide base of stuff, and then there's the bonus ship types that they can gain access to which add a twist onto their usual strategies.  And the games there are much shorter on average than a continent in AVWW, and are something that can easily be restarted if they don't like how it's going.  With a continent in AVWW, unless you want to restart with a new world (yuck!), you're stuck with it until you beat it, so having huge amounts of limitations on a per-continent basis is a real ragequit-inducer.

---

Moreover, I really do feel like Hearteater is right that it reduces the ability for players to specialize, which was always a big goal of mine with the spells.  That's part of why some form of limitations by-spell-class on what you can carry (as in suggestion #3) is attractive to me, because that allows you to specialize even more.

To be clear, I really like the idea of making the continents unique, but I think that should be unique in terms of the challenges that they pose and the things that the player has to deal with.  And then let the player themselves choose how to meet that challenge.  This thread smacks of making the players meet the same challenges in different ways for somewhat arbitrary reasons.  It's not how I originally viewed it, but I think that's ultimately the downstream effect it will have.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 07, 2011, 09:51:27 AM
But isn't the point of randomized resistances the fact that you _cannot_ know ahead of time and plan for a boss being resistant to your spells?
Right, so you will need enough distinct spells to cover the different situations.  As Chris noted in the OP a certain basic set of spells would always be available, including at least 1 damage spell per color, so you'd never be completely unable to damage a boss.  Some bosses would be harder than others based on your choices, but I see that as a good thing as long as it isn't too brutal.

Quote
Plus, what if the boss's attack patterns make it extremely difficult to fight with your current spell types?
I don't have a concrete situation in mind, but accepting the premise for the sake of argument: go back and either spend some of your saved crafting resources to unlock a spell that will do the job, or if you're out of those pick missions with listed rewards that include the materials you need.  But I don't think you would frequently find yourself fighting a boss that you simply couldn't beat due to your spell selection, or if that was happening frequently it's probably a problem significantly deeper than any of the "tier replacement" ideas could fix.


Just to comment before I head to bed, I think my main problem with this is I really want to be able to make my character unique, and forcing me to use a small set of spells is like making me be a different character.
It wouldn't be a small set, it would start smallish and grow as you progressed through the continent.  Presumably it'd be fairly broad by the time you got to the overlord, or just very specialized towards getting the really powerful ones you want.

Also, is this an objection to the OP or to the variant I'm going for the last several posts? With:

1) Missions reward crafting materials (you know which and how much before you pick a mission).
2) Nothing else gives crafting materials.
3) Crafting materials are stored in the settlement/continent and can't be carried to other continents.
4) Once you craft a spell that spell is "enabled" on that continent and is free to craft on that continent if you need more copies.

There wouldn't be any spells you couldn't get, you would just need to choose which ones you wanted.  And there wouldn't necessarily always be a mission that rewards the material you want, but the more core ones (the 6 raw gem types particularly) would presumably not take more than a mission cycle or two for one to turn up that does.  If you want to be a lightning and fire master, go after the missions that reward those gems and relevant rare materials.

Quote
Part of the problem is elemental immunities actually.  If I want to be a lightning and fire master, I can't.
I agree that resistances can mess with that, though I think that's going to be the case regardless of which "tier replacement" we pick.

Just thinking off-the-top-of-my-head my suggestion for resistances would be:
1) For a normal boss:
-- Can only have 1 element 99% resistant against, 1 element 50% resistant against, and 1 element 33% resistant against.
2) For a lieutenant:
-- Can only have 2 elements 99% resistant against, 1 element 50% resistant against, and 1 element 33% resistant against.
3) For an overlord:
-- Can only have 3 elements 99% resistant against, 1 element 50% resistant against, and 1 element 33% resistant against.

And in fact there's probably already something like that in there.  Basically normal bosses would never "shut you down" unless you literally only have one viable dps color.  If you have only one viable dps color you are doing it wrong.  Lieutenants and especially overlords could be major pains in the rear-end but I think that's kind of their calling in life.  Having to retreat from a lieutenant or overlord fight isn't that bad of a thing.

Anyway, I think that specialization is allowed, possibly even encouraged by what I'm proposing, so I think that answers this particular concern.  If I've missed your point please let me know :)


Anyways, the tide might have moved on past this system in general, but I think a few tweaks like this might overcome the major pitfalls.
I'm not willing to let the tide move on yet ;)  Not saying that this is the best solution, but it's the best one I'm aware of for the time being.  Most of the objections I'm seeing now seem to be in response to the OP idea, rather than what I've been contending for more recently.  If someone has objections to that I'm happy to see if they're right and/or how it can be solved.  If I can't solve it, then the tide is welcome to proceed.  Otherwise I'm probably going to keep bothering people about it ;)

I think part of what might hurt that is any sort of random application of elemental buffs. They should be by area type or by dungeon type, or something. (Maybe elemental resistances could be assigned randomly at the point a Tower is generated, for example, and displayed above the door or something - then everything inside could have degrees of those same resistances.)
If it's not already somewhat predictable then yes, it should be.  I dunno about the overlord posting "this is the element I'm weak against!" next to the lair front door, but if it's the dude in the volcano then maybe that should inform resistances.

And another one came in while I wrote:

Chris: Yeah, that just adds complexity and the need to save-scum.  Players want to try a spell before they buy it
Ok, that could be done by having a "try" button on the crafting screen that gives you a "trial" spellgem that only works in a settlement (with no enemies present, if there are still attacks on settlements).  It's a bit more work but really not much, and I think any system's going to need it if there's a cost to getting/switching-to a spellgem.

Quote
1) players can't decide on what to unlock because they don't know exactly what they need and they only even know what they previously unlocked even does
There's a number of approaches they could use:

a) Just spend the crafting materials as they get them, on the stuff they want, and if they run into something where they need a different tool they can do missions to get those materials.  And how commonly will they absolutely need a specific spell?  If one particular spell is just that essential they should start with it, or if they need 1 of a particular set they should start with 1.

Quote
2) anything that delays huge amounts of content from the game for 20-40 hours is a Really Bad Thing at this stage.
Any of the spells would be available to craft, they just couldn't have all of them at the same time.  Or if they really want all of them they can keep doing missions to get the materials for it. 

Quote
Right now we need to have players making interesting choices and customizing
That's exactly my point :)

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it's not yet remotely into the AI War territory of needing the bonus ship types (and even that is only a limitation for about 9-13 hours in most cases, AND it only affects maybe 30% of the total kinds of ships in the game thanks to all the turrets, defensive units, starships, etc, etc, etc)
Right, which is why I moved from an ARS-type model to a sort of hybrid between knowledge and crafting: most of those turrets, support units, and starships are not available right at the start (above mkI, anyhow, which could correspond to our "basic set" that you always start with) and you have to spend a finite resource to get them and/or specialize in them.  That's a good thing.  Not without issues (try-before-you-buy, etc), but a good thing.


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If each continent is meant to be "playing the entire game" or close, we need to have a whole game's worth of content there.
And will this not have that?  It's all there, you just need to prioritize.  In AIW you don't generally unlock everything (if that's even possible, I forget) in a single game but you get a fairly wide selection unless you're playing really low planet-count (corresponding, perhaps, to an AVWW player that does only the core missions and only gets the crafting material rewards from those).  A continent corresponding roughly to a galaxy seems ok, though I do agree that 20 hours is perhaps too long for a single "galaxy" in the analogy, but I think that's a wider issue than this.


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And then when the content on the next continent is randomized, you run into compounding problems with repeats, etc.
Repeats within the set of stuff chosen for that continent, or continent n+1 picking some of the same randoms as continent n?  Both could be solved by relatively simple logic.  But more fundamentally: what's getting randomly chosen again?  Just the initial set of what's unlocked when you first enter the continent, all the other choices after that are player-directed and only bounded by the materials they've managed to gather (which should be pretty broad except for maybe really rare materials).

If the randomization were really a problem it could be entirely removed from that initial set of unlocks per continent: here's the basic set and go.  Or maybe just have one fairly beefy spell thrown in on top as a homewarming gift.


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Not to mention that there is just no way to do without huge swathes of the spells in the game.  It's kind of like in AI War: you couldn't randomly take away engineers, or turrets, or tractors, or starships, and have it still be the same game.
Right, I'm not suggesting that.


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Moreover, I really do feel like Hearteater is right that it reduces the ability for players to specialize
I believe I already answered that concern in responding to him, let me know if I missed something.

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That's part of why some form of limitations by-spell-class on what you can carry (as in suggestion #3) is attractive to me, because that allows you to specialize even more.
I like the limitation-by-spell-class too, and specializing in certain classes, but I think that could be added to this too if we really wanted to add a new system like that and had time.

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This thread smacks of making the players meet the same challenges in different ways for somewhat arbitrary reasons.
If the continents themselves and missions themselves present the same challenges, yes, perhaps.  What I'm going for here would do is give them a different set of raw materials from which to make the tools to meet those challenges, and let their choices determine which particular bits of raw materials they wind up getting and thus perhaps tip the balance of those decisions (of which missions to pick).


Anyhow, lots of stuff going on, did I miss any objections?
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: x4000 on December 07, 2011, 09:57:07 AM
Okay, those are interesting thoughts -- I can actually see how this might work quite well with the variants you're proposing.  With that in mind I'm also going to rewrite the original topic in this thread (along with the one in #3), so that both reflect the most recent thinking and ideas.  For archival purposes here is the original copy of the topic:

1. Instead of finding gem dust in buildings, you'll find raw gems on occasion.  So it's not like the gems are super rare or you always have to go underground to get them (this is something I plan to do either way, in any model we use).

2. Rare commodity towers won't be the only way that you can get rare commodities.  Most underground cavern systems will have a single dungeon node that is a "rare commodity cavern."  This would be a giant boss room with three minibosses in it at once, and thus quite a challenge to complete.  The reward for beating all three of those minibosses would be whatever rare commodity was contained in there.  You'd be able to see the rare commodity type on the dungeon map in advance of actually taking on the bosses, and you'd be able to somewhat predict rare commodity locations by region type.  This again is something I've been planning regardless of what model we go with, so that you can always get more rare commodities if you're willing to face the trio of minibosses.

3. Certain epicly large buildings, like the military complex in the thawing ice age, or the pyramids in the desert, would also have one of these rare commodity giant boss rooms where you fight three bosses at once.

3. Raw gems and rare commodities simply wouldn't be capturable at all if they were in regions below about 10 levels from the civ level.  Rare commodity towers might be the exception to that, or actually rare commodity towers might just go away in general on the world map to clean up the world map so that rare commodities aren't competing with the missions for player attention.  In which case they might become a lot more common in various surface regions, but with the rare commodity in question being visible on the dungeon map.

TIER-LESS SPELLGEMS CHANGES FROM CURRENT SYSTEM
-------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Each continent has a semi-randomly picked smallish selection of spells "unlocked."  You can't see or craft anything that isn't unlocked on that continent, but otherwise crafting works as it does now.

2.  One of the "bonuses" that completing a mission can grant is "unlocking" a new spell for that continent.

3. When you switch continents, any spellgem in your inventory that's not "unlocked" on the new continent is disabled (still there, just not usable).

4. Dropping a spellgem destroys it, but you can give it to another player if you wish.

5. All spellgems act as if the "current" tier does now, and tiers would no longer exist.  There would be no degradation or other penalties.

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.

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. 

So that's at least 12 spells that would always be available, and actually it's probably more because certain things like emit light and other enchants are too central to have dropping off the radar.  Those are more like the various kinds of turrets and support units and economic units in AI War, to continue the analogy between that game and this one.

Benefits:

1. This sidesteps all the cyclical-linear-grinding-whatever necessary to "keep up."

2. It never sticks players with crappy (by tier, anyway) spells in either SP or MP.

3. It encourage (even forces) variety and using some spells you don't have a lot of experience with as you move around continents.  Sort of like the way that variety between campaigns in AI War happens.

4. It allows interesting opportunity costs when picking missions ("do I go for the one that gives me meteor shower, or do I save that npc, or do I take out the overlord's orbital magma cannon?").

5. There's less for new players to learn right from the get-go on a per-continent basis, but at the same time we don't wind up having to level-gate most spells.

6. It makes continents feel really different.

7. There is still an infinite "progression" in that you can't just get one set of gems and progress infinitely, but the "line" you cross that requires "rebuilding" is more obvious and more intuitive, and less punishing because whatever spells you _can_ use on the next continent will be full strength.  And you're actively choosing what to discard because it's (for the time being at least) not going to be of any use to you anymore.


Negatives:

1. You do still have to get raw gems and rare commodities and such to craft, and so throwing something away that you then have to craft later is going to be mildly annoying.  But that's true in the current model, and the timing and everything is a lot less punishing with the proposed model.

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.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: x4000 on December 07, 2011, 10:22:14 AM
Okay, I've completely rewritten the OP: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,9561.msg88299.html#msg88299

If it's not noted in the OP, then it's not currently being considered a difference between the proposed model #2 and the current system in the game.  So in other words, all that stuff about changing how things work when dropped, and making the inventory smaller, are no longer part of it.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 07, 2011, 10:28:44 AM
Okay, I've completely rewritten the OP: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,9561.msg88299.html#msg88299
Great, looks like we're understanding it the same way now :)
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: tigersfan on December 07, 2011, 10:29:56 AM
Okay, I've completely rewritten the OP: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,9561.msg88299.html#msg88299

If it's not noted in the OP, then it's not currently being considered a difference between the proposed model #2 and the current system in the game.  So in other words, all that stuff about changing how things work when dropped, and making the inventory smaller, are no longer part of it.

So, to be clear after the re-write, all spells would be available eventually on all continents, correct? So, if my favorite spell is locked during on a new continent, I can still get it. I may have to put some work in w/ quests and what not, but, I can focus my efforts towards getting that spell on every continent.

If my assumption is correct, then I'm all for this plan.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 07, 2011, 10:32:38 AM

So, to be clear after the re-write, all spells would be available eventually on all continents, correct? So, if my favorite spell is locked during on a new continent, I can still get it. I may have to put some work in w/ quests and what not, but, I can focus my efforts towards getting that spell on every continent.

If my assumption is correct, then I'm all for this plan.
That's correct.  It was actually correct with the original #2 OP proposal except that then you were unlocking specific spells instead of getting the materials.  The difference is that with this one you have more control (but not unlimited flexibility at all times) over what exactly you do unlock.  And it's much cleaner than my original idea in a lot of ways (not ditching crafting is kind of nice, you know?)
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: x4000 on December 07, 2011, 10:33:12 AM
So, to be clear after the re-write, all spells would be available eventually on all continents, correct? So, if my favorite spell is locked during on a new continent, I can still get it. I may have to put some work in w/ quests and what not, but, I can focus my efforts towards getting that spell on every continent.

If my assumption is correct, then I'm all for this plan.

Yep, exactly.  You "go back to a default set plus a little extra" with each new continent you visit, but eventually everything is unlocked on that continent and you move on to the next, etc.

I think this is our model, too.  And I actually have a really simple plan for how to redo the entire crafting interface in just a couple of hours to fit this better, too.  I'll be adapting over the reference info screens to do that, and making some expansions to them that I'd already wanted to make anyhow,
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: zebramatt on December 07, 2011, 10:48:19 AM
Question: In this model, what are the restrictions on your loadout? Are there any? My reading is that it'll work just like now: i.e. you can take that 70%-of-current set of spells everywhere with you in your personal inventory. Is that right?
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Hearteater on December 07, 2011, 11:01:20 AM
I think I'm overall not in favor of this largely because of the negative listed in the OP.  If I move to another continent, I might have tools I've earned taken away.  Why are they taken away?  Just because.  It would be like going into a new zone in WoW and having your Hunter's Bow taken away.  But the Warrior gets to keep his sword.  Why?  Why not.

I understand the desire to create a system whereby a player improves his character that doesn't feel grindy, but I don't feel this system does that.  Look at it like this:  In the current system your gems become worse slowly as the Civ level goes up.  But in this suggestion your gems can become instantly worthless when your Civ level goes up.  It kind of is like the current situation, but instead of gradual it is sudden, and instead of all gems, it is 30% of gems.  That and you now can't just go pick up the gems you need, you have to find a mission that offers a reward of the gems you need to unlock.

So it kind of is what we have now, but 70% less annoying.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 07, 2011, 11:15:41 AM
So it kind of is what we have now, but 70% less annoying.
Which is quite possibly the best we can do while still having any form of obsolescence.  Removing that entirely is tempting, but then we're into a bunch of other problems that prompted us to do tiers in the first place.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Bluddy on December 07, 2011, 11:23:21 AM
I like this system a lot.

I think it's really good that players are forced to lose spells. Player attachment to their favorite spells is not a good thing in an infinite game. Sometimes the loss of something important to you is a good experience -- it forces the player to rethink their strategy. Games do this all the time by presenting you with new challenges -- your old strategy doesn't work and you have to let it go. Or think about how FPS games so often use the cliched 'lose all your weapons' trick to get you to re-experience that feeling of building up your weaponry -- and that's in a non-infinite game!

Perhaps as an addition to this, you could have some really rare bonuses that attach to your character that allow you to take a spell to one new continent.

The one thing I'm unsure about is why keep the old spells in your inventory at all if they're disabled. Why not just erase them? The oceans could neutralize spells or something.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Gallant Dragon on December 07, 2011, 11:31:21 AM
what do people think of this:
http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,9556.msg88386.html#msg88386
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Hearteater on December 07, 2011, 11:38:18 AM
So it kind of is what we have now, but 70% less annoying.
Which is quite possibly the best we can do while still having any form of obsolescence.  Removing that entirely is tempting, but then we're into a bunch of other problems that prompted us to do tiers in the first place.
I'm inclined to think something better than 70% less annoying can be reached while still maintaining obsolescence, but I also think without play-testing the system a lot of the little details aren't going to come out.  With so many changes coming, like health and mana, I feel that it is really hard to evaluate the full impact of another massive change on top of those.  For example, how good or bad point #5 feels (gems only found in side missions) will depend a lot on other new systems we haven't experienced yet.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: keith.lamothe on December 07, 2011, 11:42:08 AM
I'm inclined to think something better than 70% less annoying can be reached while still maintaining obsolescence, but I also think without play-testing the system a lot of the little details aren't going to come out.  With so many changes coming, like health and mana, I feel that it is really hard to evaluate the full impact of another massive change on top of those.  For example, how good or bad point #5 feels (gems only found in side missions) will depend a lot on other new systems we haven't experienced yet.
Yea, Chris and I are in the process of planning the next week or so so we can get through a lot of the stuff we've been brainstorming/redesigning so that you guys can have a playable situation again from which you can give more feedback.  For instance, on how to do better than 70% less annoying :)
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: zebramatt on December 07, 2011, 11:42:55 AM
I think it's important at this point to highlight the fact that the 70% refers to "70% of what we have in the game right now" as opposed to "70% of the eventual launch content". Given that there are a relatively small number of spells in the game presently (10/20% of intended?) that 70% will eventually be 10-15% of all spells.

Assuming I'm reading that correctly!
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Bluddy on December 07, 2011, 11:44:00 AM
BTW you could combine the continent system with the permadeath system.

A character brought in from a previous continent would already know the spells that aren't present on this continent. But once this character dies, other characters on this continent only know what's known on this continent + what's been researched (via missions).

Then you just have to make sure death rates aren't low enough that players could cover several continents with one character. Maybe you could check for this scenario and have the player character attacked by some really bad wind demons who'd cause him/her to lose some of his/her knowledge every 3 continents or so.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: zebramatt on December 07, 2011, 11:46:39 AM
BTW you could combine the continent system with the permadeath system.

A character brought in from a previous continent would already know the spells that aren't present on this continent. But once this character dies, other characters on this continent only know what's known on this continent + what's been researched (via missions).

Then you just have to make sure death rates aren't low enough that players could cover several continents with one character. Maybe you could check for this scenario and have the player character attacked by some really bad wind demons who'd cause him/her to lose some of his/her knowledge every 3 continents or so.

That does encourage save scumming, however.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Hearteater on December 07, 2011, 11:47:52 AM
Just wanted to mention to you guys at Arcen, you are doing an amazing job.  So please don't take any of my brainstorming at all negatively.  I have a ton of respect for your games, how you handle customer feedback, and how incredibly you use that feedback to make your games exceptional.  Keep up the good work.  And don't forget to sleep a little, and maybe at least wave at the family on occasion.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Bluddy on December 07, 2011, 12:29:42 PM
BTW you could combine the continent system with the permadeath system.

A character brought in from a previous continent would already know the spells that aren't present on this continent. But once this character dies, other characters on this continent only know what's known on this continent + what's been researched (via missions).

Then you just have to make sure death rates aren't low enough that players could cover several continents with one character. Maybe you could check for this scenario and have the player character attacked by some really bad wind demons who'd cause him/her to lose some of his/her knowledge every 3 continents or so.

That does encourage save scumming, however.

It does, but so do character bonuses and yet they're a really cool element that will hopefully be implemented. Anything that gives characters any advantage encourages save scumming.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Bluddy on December 07, 2011, 12:31:03 PM
BTW why are rare commodities not found in the wild at all in this model? They could be there but they'd be very rare. I don't see that as a necessary contradiction with the concept of missions giving you resources.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: tigersfan on December 07, 2011, 12:45:31 PM
BTW you could combine the continent system with the permadeath system.

A character brought in from a previous continent would already know the spells that aren't present on this continent. But once this character dies, other characters on this continent only know what's known on this continent + what's been researched (via missions).

Then you just have to make sure death rates aren't low enough that players could cover several continents with one character. Maybe you could check for this scenario and have the player character attacked by some really bad wind demons who'd cause him/her to lose some of his/her knowledge every 3 continents or so.

That does encourage save scumming, however.

It does, but so do character bonuses and yet they're a really cool element that will hopefully be implemented. Anything that gives characters any advantage encourages save scumming.

The bonuses that are planned (that I'm aware of, things have been changing fast around here) are the personas we keep talking about, and for the most part, those don't really encourage save scumming. Sure, maybe someone might end up doing that, but, it's not really necessary.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Penumbra on December 07, 2011, 01:26:01 PM
I really like the idea of getting a “reset” at each continent. This makes the player arc more of a sin curve, which is great for an infinite game. I also think I would be more comfortable with the system of reset over things just breaking like in the degradation system. When things break I feel it was my fault and I shouldn’t have let it happen.

Also, making it more like the AI War concept of base plus bonus is awesome, but I would like to add one thing that I hope hasn’t already been suggested. A lot of brainstorming has gone on here, and I’ve probably missed half of it.

Players like “becoming more powerful” and nothing like bigger numbers gives you that feeling. Doing 9999 damage in Final Fantasy is awesome. There used to be damage scaling before with the infinite tier system, but it became untenable for a whole host of different mathematical reasons of scaling and effects over the long term: early levels being too strong, late levels being too weak, exponential number grown etc.

Now with the change to continents, the number scaling could be brought back on a per continent basis. If you have seen a game called “30 Second Hero” on the Sony PSP, it had a very interesting play mechanic. Each level was a different JRPG “game” that started with the player at level 1, but able to carry over equipment from level to level. You started out dealing little damage and had to level up over the course of 30 seconds until you were doing massive damage to monsters with more life. Then, it all restarted the next level.

In AVWW there could still be tiers for spell gems, but it would be a straight upgrade to existing spell gems through the new crafting system.  A fireball gem would start at tier 1, and be upgraded to 3 or so, giving the nice Fire, Fira, Firaga type effect. The tier of the gem would be based on the continent, not the gem itself, so on any previous continent the gem would still work at whatever highest tier was unlocked.

This all depends on the chosen difficulty curve across a whole continent. You don’t want it to be flat; this would help with giving more life to monsters in later regions and provide extra methods for gating. If each tier was double or triple, it would show a huge increase in numbers and provide a method of “leveling up” and feeling more powerful. 

The more I think about it you could probably even just upgrade all the spell gems at once for the same gating type mechanic. It doesn’t feel as special on the per-spell increase but gives the tier to all the players at once. That way if you are at tier 3 on a continent, players just joining in would have that benefit too without being left behind.
I like the mechanics in the health redesign a lot too, so what is considered to be “100%” could change based on tier as well. 

As for the gating I mentioned, this would give the player the ability to level up over monsters appearing early on a continent and need to gain power to progress through harder content. To me, being barred by a locked door is not as fun as being barred by challenge. I can do nothing with a locked door but find the key whereas challenge can be overcome. If there were, say, 10 tiers with a 50% increase between them, a group of players may be able to fight in harder regions through team work or great skill. It might even allow the skipping of tiers and players being able to progress at a rate of their own choosing.

Locked doors are great, but I think both together works  better.
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: Martyn van Buren on December 07, 2011, 10:02:48 PM
By the way, do we know what's going to happen to caves in this new model?  Are they going to be orphaned for a while except as mission locations?
Title: Re: Tier Replacement #2: Infinite Progression With Per-Continent Randomization
Post by: x4000 on December 08, 2011, 09:24:47 AM
By the way, do we know what's going to happen to caves in this new model?  Are they going to be orphaned for a while except as mission locations?

For the most part there won't be deep caves except as part of missions, for a little while.  I'd like the caves to feel more rare and special anyhow, and they can always be expanded out into the random-exploration parts again more later, too.