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Is bad itemization here to stay for future games? #652390
09/04/19 12:15 PM
09/04/19 12:15 PM
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Tuco Offline OP
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As the title suggests, I'm starting to wonder if terrible itemization is going to become a staple of every Larian release even in the future years, with little or no hope to ever see it addressed properly.

It's baffling that it only got worse at each game and, for all the amazing work they have made in other areas, the developers apparently still refuse to even recognize their core system as deeply flawed.

The daunting randomness of stats in a game with a finite number of encounters and how it made basically impossible to reliably plan for long term builds, the mind-numbing amount of busywork required to constantly keep your party up-to-date with the insane curve of the scaling... and quite frankly the clownish look, all contributed to diminish the enjoyment you are supposed to get from the progression in these sort of RPGs (Baldur's Gate 2 comes to mind).

Finding a powerful item you will stick with for a while (or for the entire end game) is supposed to be a thrill,but in D:OS 1 and 2 it was a triviality, as at any given moment you knew it was some randomly generated vendor trash that you would ABSOLUTELY need to replace in a couple levels at max.

In a title that was so close to be one of my all times favorites, this single aspect was so bad it almost single-handedly ruined my enjoyment of the game several hours in.

Re: Is bad itemization here to stay for future games? [Re: Tuco] #652560
10/05/19 06:10 AM
10/05/19 06:10 AM
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DM PSX Offline
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I just finished DOS 1 (loved it), and I agree.

I really hate the modern paradigm of being a dungeon janitor who sifts through thousands of pointless drop items with barely distinguishable properties, before carting them all back to town and flooding the merchant's inventory with them. Like I'm a metal scrapper on garbage day. Am I supposed to be saving the world, or am on cleaning detail to pick up all this junk in the dungeons so the dungeon realtor can sell it to the next group of monsters?

Then I have to hold alt, carefully moving the mouse over the 45 items the boss just dropped all over the floor, and carefully click to identify them all. Then I have to pick them up to compare them. Apparently the boss was also a metal scrapper from the dungeon janitor guild. Does he have bottles too? I hear you get a nickle back for each one.

Then I get back to town and I have to spend like 30 minutes trying to figure out what to sell and what I might need, and compare all the items against 4 people. Then compare to all the nearby shops. Then I have to maintain a relationship with the vendor, promise to date his daughter, teach his son how to stand up to bullies, etc...

Just give me some gold instead of 45 random junk drops, and let me move on with my life. I'm just going to town to convert it into gold anyways. Spare me the middle man and minutes of my life I'm never getting back.

And yeah, the stats on the random items are usually pointless, and a waste of time. I was getting SEEMINGLY worse stats on my drops at end game then I was at levels 5-6. I was actually swapped out some end game gear for level 5 gear to fight the void dragon because the bonuses were so much better.

IMO, it would be much better if the vendors all had specialties for the items they make, and they simply scaled them up over time. Then you would have a reason to visit the different vendors. Instead they all just regurgitate random drops. This isn't a loot action rpg where you play through over and over again looking to get marginal increased stats on disposable items.

Re: Is bad itemization here to stay for future games? [Re: Tuco] #653299
23/06/19 11:22 PM
23/06/19 11:22 PM
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Hoarmurath Offline
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I hate this too! Especially the "mouse over specific item very specifically" system. Funnily enough, even BG1 did this better, and that was before Beamdog added Quick Loot as a system.

Re: Is bad itemization here to stay for future games? [Re: Tuco] #653318
25/06/19 08:48 AM
25/06/19 08:48 AM
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The randomly generated loot is also one of my least favourite aspects of the games, especially so in D:OS2 where you eventually have to replace equipment every time you level up to avoid falling too far behind. That being said that's just as much the level scaling's fault as it is the loot system's. I think DM PSX' post summarises how I personally feel about the endless waves of weapons and crafting materials that you need to sift through, so I'll leave it at that.

I remember a couple of years ago (I think it was before D:OS2's release but I'm not sure) I read the randomly generated loot is one of Swen Vincke's personal design philosophies because it means you won't necessarily find the same loot on subsequent playthroughs or something along the lines of that. I don't remember if it was a forum post or an excerpt from an interview, but I've been desperately trying to find it to no avail. If it's one of his personal preferences I'd imagine the system is here to say since he, as far as I am aware, ultimately is the highest authority in Larian's hierarchy.

Re: Is bad itemization here to stay for future games? [Re: Tuco] #654828
19/08/19 09:55 PM
19/08/19 09:55 PM
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Ahharu Offline
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I hate randomization, is really bad in this game. I could handle it on my first playthrough but not on others, not even with mods.

Re: Is bad itemization here to stay for future games? [Re: Tuco] #654863
22/08/19 10:13 AM
22/08/19 10:13 AM
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Posts: 438
right behind you
Madscientist Offline

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right behind you
I also hate the random stuff.
My theory was, that Divine Divinity was based on Diablo (combat and item wise) and they just kept the system.
Do you have a source where Swen said he likes randomness?

Regarding items, I think BG1 was the best game.
Finding your first weapon+1 felt more importent then any item in a Larian game.
A weapon+2 with additional elemental damage was a rare artifact and you started feeling like becomming a god.

In DOS2, even if you find an epic item with exactly the stats you need, you just say:
"Ok, its not bad. At least for the next hour or so, probably even less."

Yes, your idea is great.
The next divinity game will be:
DIVINITY: THE DUNGEON JANITOR GUILD GAME
You are the boss of the guild and you job is to maximize profit by sending random chars to random dungeons in order to find random items.


groovy Prof. Dr. Dr. Mad S. Tist groovy

World leading expert of artificial stupidity.
Because there are too many people who work on artificial intelligence already :hihi:
Re: Is bad itemization here to stay for future games? [Re: Ahharu] #655112
30/08/19 01:43 PM
30/08/19 01:43 PM
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Tuco Offline OP
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Tuco  Offline OP
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Replies have been a little too spread over time to call this a proper discussion, but at very least I'm glad we all seem to agree on how terrible the system is.

Originally Posted by Ahharu
I hate randomization, is really bad in this game. I could handle it on my first playthrough but not on others, not even with mods.


This is an interesting point, because randomized loot is often used with the claim that "it will make subsequent playthrougs more diverse and interesting" but that never seems to happen for me.

In fact it's the other way around.
In a game like BG2 every time I replayed it was more or less "Ok, I know what the really cool end game items are, let's design a party that can take the best advantage of them" and every single time I ENJOYED IT A LOT.
In a game like DOS 1 and 2 you find yourself thinking "What's even the point of planning? I'll have to wait and see what sort of random shit I get and hope I won't get screwed by the RNG" and that for me kills a lot of the enjoyment.

Re: Is bad itemization here to stay for future games? [Re: Tuco] #655253
06/09/19 01:29 AM
06/09/19 01:29 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
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Qiox Offline
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Qiox  Offline
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Originally Posted by Tuco
As the title suggests, I'm starting to wonder if terrible itemization is going to become a staple of every Larian release even in the future years, with little or no hope to ever see it addressed properly.

It's baffling that it only got worse at each game and, for all the amazing work they have made in other areas, the developers apparently still refuse to even recognize their core system as deeply flawed.

The daunting randomness of stats in a game with a finite number of encounters and how it made basically impossible to reliably plan for long term builds, the mind-numbing amount of busywork required to constantly keep your party up-to-date with the insane curve of the scaling... and quite frankly the clownish look, all contributed to diminish the enjoyment you are supposed to get from the progression in these sort of RPGs (Baldur's Gate 2 comes to mind).

Finding a powerful item you will stick with for a while (or for the entire end game) is supposed to be a thrill,but in D:OS 1 and 2 it was a triviality, as at any given moment you knew it was some randomly generated vendor trash that you would ABSOLUTELY need to replace in a couple levels at max.

In a title that was so close to be one of my all times favorites, this single aspect was so bad it almost single-handedly ruined my enjoyment of the game several hours in.



What you describe is the exact opposite of what I want from them. Using the same piece of gear for a long period of time is the worst case scenario for any rpg because it means the loot that drops has become meaningless. It is a perfect recipe for boredom.

I want to replace my gear every 1 or 2 levels. I want to remain interested in looking at the stats of every item that drops because I expect frequent upgrades. That keeps the game interesting.

And BG2 is a perfect example of how bad fixed loot can be.

Last edited by Qiox; 06/09/19 01:30 AM.
Re: Is bad itemization here to stay for future games? [Re: Qiox] #655268
06/09/19 10:22 AM
06/09/19 10:22 AM
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Tuco Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Qiox

What you describe is the exact opposite of what I want from them. Using the same piece of gear for a long period of time is the worst case scenario for any rpg because it means the loot that drops has become meaningless. It is a perfect recipe for boredom.

Aside for the fact that "the SAME PIECE OF GEAR" is a straight-up strawman, as no one was advocating for it, I couldn't disagree more if I tried.
I'd challenge anyone who played both Baldur's Gate II and Divinity OS 2 to claim that:
- the former lacks enough variety to make multiple playthroughs interesting when it comes to itemization.
- the latter has a better, more interesting or more diversified itemization.

Because I have no idea of how getting 25 versions of the same sword with a couple of random stats rolled over each (and that need to be trashed and replaced every few minutes) is in any way better than getting, say, just TEN unique and memorable swords that differentiate significantly from each other for their properties and are a ALL actually viable options.

Quote
I want to replace my gear every 1 or 2 levels. I want to remain interested in looking at the stats of every item that drops because I expect frequent upgrades. That keeps the game interesting.

And I really, really, actively dislike it.
Especially in a game where you manage a full party rather than a single character and were levels are counted in values going up to 20+, the idea of switching items (that barely differentiate themselves aside for slightly bumping numbers) every few minutes sounds (and IS) a complete annoyance.
What's worse, it actively contributes to the painfully busy inventory management these games have often being (rightfully) criticized for. Even from hardcore RPG fans.

Even from an immersion standpoint level-gated and level-scaled generic loot is a very poor mechanic.
"Here's your reward for solving this long quest chain and finding this ancient treasure: a legendary sword! Oh, by the way it's vendor trash. You already looted something better randomly few steps down the line with Lucky Find".

Last edited by Tuco; 06/09/19 10:28 AM.
Re: Is bad itemization here to stay for future games? [Re: Tuco] #655279
06/09/19 02:30 PM
06/09/19 02:30 PM
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Stabbey Offline
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I am of a couple minds on the subject, which is why I haven't replied before now, so it's a mistake to assume that silence means complete agreement.

A game which the same stuff and only the same stuff available on each playthrough would be too repetitive. The game does indeed need some randomness in what things you can find. But does that mean that DOS 2's system of frequent turnover is ideal? It doesn't feel ideal. I think the actual issue is getting confused.

There are two factors at play. The first is the game has a finite number of encounters (and containers) available per level which allow drops. The second is the high rate of growth in enemy HP and armor per level requiring you to turn equipment over every 1-2 levels for weapons and every 1-4 levels for armor.

I think the real issue with DOS 2's itemization is not that you need to replace items often, it's that the WAY you replace items is repetitive, time-consuming, and tedious: You are not likely to have all your gear needs for 2-4 characters with 10-11 slots each met just with what you can find from enemy drops or in containers. The rest you need to buy in stores. So you need to visit most of the available merchants, compare what they offer to your current characters loadouts, then go to the next merchant and repeat until determining what to buy.

One of the ideas behind random loot is to make it more exciting because you are hoping that the next "wow this is a cool item" item could appear at any time. Having to stop adventuring to make the rounds of the merchants blunts the wow factor. The same anticipation that the next cool item could be there at any time means you usually don't want to impulsively buy the first thing that catches your eye. So you need to keep track or remember what items looked good in what stores, then after your rounds, you buy everything which was the best improvement.

(I'm sure Qiox will try and say something along the lines of "you don't need to do that EVERY time you level up, you can keep low level gear for ages", but Qiox doesn't see game difficulty in the same way we mere non-omnipotent mortals do.)

Re: Is bad itemization here to stay for future games? [Re: Tuco] #655287
06/09/19 10:32 PM
06/09/19 10:32 PM
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I'm always looking for better gear--have you guys played Grim Dawn? Talk about daunting item selection...;) I spend a lot of time in GD just looking at and comparing what I find. However, in D: OS 2, I find that once you hit a certain level for a particular item type--"crossbow", for instance--the need or desire to pick up a more powerful crossbow is always there--but it becomes far less demanding than in the early game. The upper level stuff is just that good. It seems to me that the higher level my items, the simpler the decisions made to keep, discard, or sell become. At this point, character development plus "powerful enough" items become much more important.

If you played this game repeatedly, why would you want to know what's in the chest or crate at a given location? And, if you played, say, a year apart, would you even remember where the stuff was in your previous playthrough? I sense frustration in this thread, but I'm not entirely sure what's it's about....;)

I think that BG3 will be a massive departure for Larian from D: OS 1/2--let's all pray they'll finally be able to do a day-night cycle they can live with!


I'm never wrong about anything, and so if you see an error in any of my posts you will know immediately that I did not write it...;)
Re: Is bad itemization here to stay for future games? [Re: Tuco] #655288
06/09/19 10:54 PM
06/09/19 10:54 PM
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Qiox Offline
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Originally Posted by Tuco
Originally Posted by Qiox

What you describe is the exact opposite of what I want from them. Using the same piece of gear for a long period of time is the worst case scenario for any rpg because it means the loot that drops has become meaningless. It is a perfect recipe for boredom.

Aside for the fact that "the SAME PIECE OF GEAR" is a straight-up strawman, as no one was advocating for it, I couldn't disagree more if I tried..


It is exactly what the person I quoted said they want:

Quote
Finding a powerful item you will stick with for a while (or for the entire end game) is supposed to be a thrill,


And I still disagree with that comment. I don't want to ever feel like I am satisfied with any of my gear. I always want to feel a need to upgrade, and the sooner the better. It gives the game one aspect of the ARPG loot hunt feel and that's a good thing to anyone who is a fan of the genre.

Pretending that it is by default a flawed mechanic denies the truth of the enjoyment of primary aspect of a rather large genre of RPG. And DOS1 and DOS2 are far from the first to make that choice.

And the fixed loot of Baldur's Gate 2 is the worst thing about the game. Thankfully there's enough good about the game that it is still a very good game. But knowing exactly what are the best in slot items for each slot on each character, and exactly where you will find them means that 99.9999999999% of the loot in that game is 100% vendor trash that does not need to be looked at.

I have to wonder if the people who like that style of play are the same types who use console commands in RPGs to spawn uber loot in the first minute of the game.

Re: Is bad itemization here to stay for future games? [Re: Tuco] #655290
07/09/19 12:12 AM
07/09/19 12:12 AM
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Tuco Offline OP
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Yeah, let's just "agree to disagree", which is a polite way to say you're my loot nemesis, because anything you look forward to (having to swap every single piece of equip as frequently as possible and being constantly showered by cloned items that keep you busy inside the inventory window) I absolutely despise.

I also like when items are distinctive and feel like meaningful rewards, rather than when you keep getting basically the same generic stuff with a couple of (recurring) random values rolled on top.

Last edited by Tuco; 07/09/19 12:18 AM.

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