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#557157 18/10/14 01:53 AM
Joined: Aug 2014
old hand
OP Offline
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Joined: Aug 2014
The loot system in Divinity is pretty good: simple but satisfying and with a pretty good balance of randomness and static loot. But after a first playthrough, I've found it a little too predictable, which makes it less compelling to play the game again. The economy in particular is in shambles compared to the rest of the loot system. It's so easy to make tons of money that there's not much excitement in finding gold or saving up to get a sweet legendary a trader might be selling. So here are my suggestions to fix these issues. So far modders are having trouble modifying treasure tables, but if nothing changes loot in the coming patch, I'll look into trying to implement some of my ideas.

TLDR version: make items have more variation in stats, including spell bonuses and spell modifiers. Make uniques more unique, add more of them, and add them to random loot. Improve quest rewards and make lucky charm have potential to give legendaries. Reduce the value of items like paintings and cups across the board, and reduce the player sell value of all items according to the difficulty setting. Shopkeepers should separate items you've sold to them from items you've never bought.

Loot

Problem: Attributes lack variation. Certain pieces of gear only have a few possible stats and it's easy to find dozens of amulets with +1 willpower, for example. Belts and bracers are the only pieces of loot that can have +lockpicking (I believe), as another example. It's not exciting to identify many things because there's basically no chance they're going to be special.

Solution: More stat variation. There should be a low chance that other items besides belts and bracers have +lockpicking for example. Even if it were 1% chance to roll +1 lockpicking on a helmet, or +1 bartering on a weapon, all these new possibilities would increase loot diversity dramatically. People shouldn't be finding +barter on tons of items, or else ability allocation would be trivialized, but there should be more possibilities to keep things interesting and make every identify exciting.

Also, more +spell items. All I ever found on random loot was 田ast ice shard on rings, and maybe cast fortify or bless on something, but I think that was a unique item. Once again, there shouldn't be tons of +spell items floating around, but it would be cool to find items that allow you to cast spells every once in a while.

What would be completely ideal would be 都pell modifiers. Something like: increases radius of fireball by 2 meters, or the like. Little things that could be useful for specific builds. Not expecting this in the slightest, but it would be interesting to know if it's at least possible.


Problem: Uniques aren't unique. I remember being stoked to find Heartseeker, only to see it had relatively boring stats. It was still a good bow, but did not feel interesting. Also, there just weren't that many unique items in the game. Maybe 20 or so, most of which were not that great. There is especially a lack of unique armor.

Solution: Make uniques worthy of the title by giving them interesting stats, and abilities. Even if Heartseeker had given me +1 marskman or 鄭bility to cast bless (thematically that'd be fairly appropriate, given that hearts are hard to hit), that would be interesting and satisfying. I don't think uniques should necessarily be better than legendaries, but should work well for certain playstyles. I'd like to see at least 15-20 more unique items that could drop randomly (but only once per game per unique) or are found in certain shops or chests.

Example of an interesting unique ring (assuming resists are rebalanced and you can get over 100% resist in something again, but it's much harder to do so):

Ring of the Phoenix: Grants Comeback Kid Talent, Morning Person Talent, +75% fire resist, -30%, resist to everything else, -30% armor. Would possibly be useful for an aggressive spellsword that explodes and casts fireballs all over himself, or useful for certain fights, but for lots of fights or characters it wouldn't be that helpful. Probably not properly balanced, but you get the idea.


Problem: Overall the quest rewards are lame. Many quests don't have rewards at all besides experience. Some quests thematically shouldn't have rewards, but other times I was kind of annoyed, like when I killed Braccus and got a 土ou're awesome from Arhu and the main Legionnaire guy. (At least, I don't think I got a reward, maybe I'm forgetting. Can't have been too stellar if I don't recall.)

Solution: More high quality static and random loot rewards alike proportional to the difficulty of the quest. Even gold rewards would be nice if the economy changes were included below.


(Simple) Problem: Lucky Charm is boring. Only with 4 or 5 points does it give you a chance of giving a magic or rare. You can't get a legendary from lucky charm. Also, it's annoying how it has to be the person who has lucky charm who has to open the item. (Question: I can't remember if lucky charm procs on monster kills: does it influence item drops besides containers at all? If not, I think it should, and it should influence the whole party.)

Solution: There should be a tiny chance (3-5%) for a legendary (or unique) to drop from a level 4 or 5 lucky find proc. Good +magic find kind of things in games have always been addicting, and right now lucky charm is disappointing. Also, with the changes to economy below, lucky charm should be more useful since gold will be harder to get. Fortunately, changing lucky charm is one thing that is actually fairly easy to mod.



Economy

Problem: It is easy to get tons of money without trying very hard at all. I think everyone should agree that getting gold is not an issue except the very beginning, and even then, stealing everything is a breeze. Also, there just isn't all that much good stuff to spend money on. Fortunately, I think some simple number tweaking could actually fix much of the inflation. There are many, many items that are worth nothing to the player but a ton to vendors. Paintings, gold silverware (goldware?), pearls, and other items are worth way too much. Players can also sell the hundreds of pieces of armor and weapons they find for a ton of money. Players should have to make decisions about how to spend their gold.

Solutions: Implement difficulty taxes! The harder the difficulty, the less your stuff should sell for. Easy: current value. Medium: 75% value. Hard: 50% value. Hardcore: 25-30% value (might be too low at that point, but maybe not.) Skillbooks probably should be made a little cheaper to compensate. Also, reduce the discrepancy of value of ingredients and crafted items. People should be able to make a little money by crafting, but not the exorbitant amounts they can now. In turn, vendors should stock more good items: increase the chance they hold rares, legendaries, and uniques. I also think shopkeepers should always have every available spell (appropriate to the trader's level). There is good randomness, and obnoxious randomness, and not being able to purchase the abilities you want is of the latter kind of randomness.


Problem: Shop inventories mix together sold items with new items. You should be able to tell at a glance if a shopkeeper has new items without having to mouse over items to see if it's a new item or one you sold to them.

Solution: Make a buyback tab or otherwise separate items you've sold from the rest of the items in a shop.

Thoughts on my criticisms and solutions? Other recommendations? Ideas for potential unique items or quest rewards? Thanks for reading.

Joined: Jul 2014
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apprentice
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Joined: Jul 2014
Well by about mid game, the cost of items is no longer an issue.

- NPC's restock every few hours of gameplay, and on top of lvl ups.
- Using a barter henchman, you can buy/sell at the same price.
- You can make unlimited money buying up crafting mats, and selling finished goods
- Certain npc's will almost always stock legendaries, giving you a big incentive to resolve their quests in ways they don't die, or to leave their quest unresolved, so you get more sources of legendaries.

I don't know what a good economy would be, but it's quite easy to game the current one. After you get out of Cyseal, money is no longer an issue for anything really.

Joined: Aug 2014
old hand
OP Offline
old hand
Joined: Aug 2014
Wait, NPCs restock over time? I thought it was only on level up. Either way, I don't see that as a problem. More overall choices if you happen to be stuck on a level for a while.

Making "skill mules" is something kind of like savescumming: if people want to do it, okay, but don't complain if that cheesy tactic makes the economy problematic. Larian could fix this somehow, but it could be a limitation on people who actually want to hire different henchman to try different strategies out and stuff. Larian should focus on balancing things that every player does, not things that are basically exploits (you're exploiting a henchman for his barter skills! You should pay him at least!) I'm not sure the exact percentages barter gives, but they're probably too high. In Wasteland 2, a point in Barter gives you a whopping 1% decrease in price costs and increase in player sell values. That's too low for DOS, but I think it shouldn't actually be that much higher than that. Perhaps 3 or 4% a point. That 15-20% shift would be useful, but not absurd like it is now.

I suppose you can make unlimited money with crafting if NPCs really do restock every few hours. I think there's a balance to be had here: crafting should be a possible source of income, but it shouldn't provide ridiculous amounts of wealth. I guess if someone wants to wait around for a restock and craft to make even a meager amount of money several times, they can bore themselves to death with that.

As far as your last point, that would be less of an issue if money was a concern and other traders had more good items in general.


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