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Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: LordCrash] #589178
25/09/16 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by LordCrash
I give my vote for a mixed system:

1) General loot is randomized, even powerful items. So there isn't a big change for the current system.

2) But unique items are placed at special locations or are used for quest rewards.

3) There are unique items for every class or at least overall builds (two-handed, one-handed, dagger, shield, bow, crossbow, wands, staff; heavy armor, light armor, mage clothes).
4) Unique items are really powerful (at least one level above randomized loot). Upgraded normal items can get better than standard unique items, but never better than upgraded unique items.

5) Unique items can be improved by crafting with very rare ingredients to become even more powerful items. Sometimes the very same ingredient can only be used to improve one unique weapon or armor. To get these ingredients you have to look out for special locations or even solve quests and riddles in the "correct" way.

6) Unique items always have a special look and history behind them, making them interesting and enhancing the roleplaying.


I'd only add unique crafted items to that list and place normal crafted items in the same vain as normal loot items in terms of max and min power.

Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: aj0413] #589182
25/09/16 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by aj0413
Originally Posted by LordCrash
I give my vote for a mixed system:

1) General loot is randomized, even powerful items. So there isn't a big change for the current system.

2) But unique items are placed at special locations or are used for quest rewards.

3) There are unique items for every class or at least overall builds (two-handed, one-handed, dagger, shield, bow, crossbow, wands, staff; heavy armor, light armor, mage clothes).
4) Unique items are really powerful (at least one level above randomized loot). Upgraded normal items can get better than standard unique items, but never better than upgraded unique items.

5) Unique items can be improved by crafting with very rare ingredients to become even more powerful items. Sometimes the very same ingredient can only be used to improve one unique weapon or armor. To get these ingredients you have to look out for special locations or even solve quests and riddles in the "correct" way.

6) Unique items always have a special look and history behind them, making them interesting and enhancing the roleplaying.


I'd only add unique crafted items to that list and place normal crafted items in the same vain as normal loot items in terms of max and min power.


Sounds good to me, Normal crafted items should be used to make money or fill loot gaps. D:OS did a great job of allowing you to upgrade items you had found with specific gems or items so if that normal loot can be made better with a little elbow grease than we're good.

Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: Surrealialis] #589189
25/09/16 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Surrealialis
Originally Posted by aj0413
Originally Posted by LordCrash
I give my vote for a mixed system:

1) General loot is randomized, even powerful items. So there isn't a big change for the current system.

2) But unique items are placed at special locations or are used for quest rewards.

3) There are unique items for every class or at least overall builds (two-handed, one-handed, dagger, shield, bow, crossbow, wands, staff; heavy armor, light armor, mage clothes).
4) Unique items are really powerful (at least one level above randomized loot). Upgraded normal items can get better than standard unique items, but never better than upgraded unique items.

5) Unique items can be improved by crafting with very rare ingredients to become even more powerful items. Sometimes the very same ingredient can only be used to improve one unique weapon or armor. To get these ingredients you have to look out for special locations or even solve quests and riddles in the "correct" way.

6) Unique items always have a special look and history behind them, making them interesting and enhancing the roleplaying.


I'd only add unique crafted items to that list and place normal crafted items in the same vain as normal loot items in terms of max and min power.


Sounds good to me, Normal crafted items should be used to make money or fill loot gaps. D:OS did a great job of allowing you to upgrade items you had found with specific gems or items so if that normal loot can be made better with a little elbow grease than we're good.


Well, alot of people seemingly had the issue with the fact that 5 crafting/blacksmithing meant that it was exceedingly rare to have random loot meet the same standards of crafted gear. As in, crafting gave a definite expected high value item for your skill level, but random loot generally fell on the median value for their level and thus making them worse.

^ Not that I see anything wrong with that given the RNG involved in relying on loot vs using a leveled skill to get specific gear. Some people seem to think that loot and crafted gear should have no differences or that loot should be better overall....which doesn't make any sense for random stuffs.

If we do go with the proposed mixed system, I hope that in order to upgrade/craft those unique items and otherwise get the best gear possible in game, maxed crafting/blacksmithing is still needed and desirable. If the differences in having it vs not having are negligible or small than what's the point of leveling the skill? We can already steal all the needed money.

Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: aj0413] #589208
25/09/16 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by aj0413
Well, alot of people seemingly had the issue with the fact that 5 crafting/blacksmithing meant that it was exceedingly rare to have random loot meet the same standards of crafted gear. As in, crafting gave a definite expected high value item for your skill level, but random loot generally fell on the median value for their level and thus making them worse.

Yeah, it's a tough spot to balance

- randomized looted items
- crafted items
- unique items

in a way that everybody is happy.

Personally, I'd like a system in which the follwing order more or less applies for items of the same level, in order of item stats and power (with possible blacksmithing and crafting abilities always maxed out):

uniquely upgraded unique items (with a unique ingredient like in BG2)
> upgraded unique items
> upgraded epic/rare randomized items
> unique items
> upgraded crafted items
> epic/rare randomized items
> upgraded normal randomized items
> crafted items
> normal randomized items

(upgraded here means crafting better items by using normal ingredients (like essences in DOS1) to increase an item's stats.)

Last edited by LordCrash; 25/09/16 05:48 PM.

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Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: LordCrash] #589224
25/09/16 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by LordCrash
Originally Posted by aj0413
Well, alot of people seemingly had the issue with the fact that 5 crafting/blacksmithing meant that it was exceedingly rare to have random loot meet the same standards of crafted gear. As in, crafting gave a definite expected high value item for your skill level, but random loot generally fell on the median value for their level and thus making them worse.

Yeah, it's a tough spot to balance

- randomized looted items
- crafted items
- unique items

in a way that everybody is happy.

Personally, I'd like a system in which the follwing order more or less applies for items of the same level, in order of item stats and power (with possible blacksmithing and crafting abilities always maxed out):

uniquely upgraded unique items (with a unique ingredient like in BG2)
> upgraded unique items
> upgraded epic/rare randomized items
> unique items
> upgraded crafted items
> epic/rare randomized items
> upgraded normal randomized items
> crafted items
> normal randomized items

(upgraded here means crafting better items by using normal ingredients (like essences in DOS1) to increase an item's stats.)


Hmmm, this scale looks good, except add uniquely crafted items, upgraded uniquely crafted items, and uniquely upgraded uniquely crafted items.

Where the rare ingredients is used to make an item, upgrade an item, and/or used to both make the item and than upgrade it.....I'd imagine this would then make the final mentioned items the strongest in game as it'd involved maxing the skills, finding all the items, and then waiting till you had everything and spending it all to craft a small number (1-2/3) objects vs using the rare ingredients to upgrade the best found unique items in larger quantity for the party and other such concerns when dealing with a super rare/limited resource of crafting materials or story related crafting materials (ie buffalo sword from D:OS)

....Or I guess unique in this case could refer to both those found and made. Which works :P but uniquely upgraded still needs to be worked in.

All in all, even if say an epic/rare loot is better than a crafted item....I'd say that the fact that you can directly have more control over what you craft is an advantage on it's own so there's some balance. In fact, while say the best crafted item and the best epic loot might have the same damage (as in D:OS) the epic gear would have bonus that require unique ingredients to make or add onto an item (knockdown chance or set burning)...

There's more than just numbers in order to differentiate the various types of items.

- Damage
- Reach
- Elemental Bonuses (added fire damage)
- Inherent Buffs/debuffs (set burning)
- Ability bonuses (added warfare skill points)
- Skills the item can give (vampirism on rings)
- Durability

I think I got them all?

Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: LordCrash] #589252
25/09/16 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by LordCrash
[quote=aj0413]

Personally, I'd like a system in which the follwing order more or less applies for items of the same level, in order of item stats and power (with possible blacksmithing and crafting abilities always maxed out):

uniquely upgraded unique items (with a unique ingredient like in BG2)
> upgraded unique items
> upgraded epic/rare randomized items
> unique items
> upgraded crafted items
> epic/rare randomized items
> upgraded normal randomized items
> crafted items
> normal randomized items

(upgraded here means crafting better items by using normal ingredients (like essences in DOS1) to increase an item's stats.)


This looks perfect! The advantage of crafted normal over epic/rare randomized items comes from specificity not raw numbers. (I want a spear = I make a spear). Where a randomized spear has better base damage (say 100-110 on crafted vs 105-117 randomized) and comes with bonuses the crafted won't. You'd still need to have gotten a level appropriate rare/epic spear drop with bonuses you like for the comparison to hold.

The tweaking is all that is left for Larian to do. smile but to take a shot at it with completely made up values.
For damage: Crafted is a base (100%) - found white items would be 90%. Epic/rare would be 107/105%. Uniques would be 112-115%.
For stats: white = 0. Crafted =1 relevant. Rare is 2 random. Epic is 1 relevant 2 random. Unique is 3, picked.
Stats would be more variable, because 1 relevant might be str on a 1 h sword, you'd still have level appropriate ranges (3-5) and that 1 pt could be split between two lesser stats such as resistances/civil skills or half stats (like 50% of 3-5 str and 50% of 3-5 finesse).
Not that any of that needs to be implemented, it's just fun to theory craft.

Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: Nivv] #589474
26/09/16 02:42 PM
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You should see some changes coming that make the order of loot look very much like your list (which we liked a lot btw - we never wrote it down like that but it's a good way of thinking of it). On another note - we have a few new abilities planned in the crafting department that should make crafting more interesting. Skill crafting obviously is one of them.


Where stands it written that I have to be fair?
Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: Nivv] #589487
26/09/16 03:35 PM
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Sounds great, can't wait for it. smile


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Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: Bhally] #589601
26/09/16 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Bhally
Larian, please make sure that the loot system in the final game will be above all rewarding. I played numerous RPGs in past 20 years and i can say that bad loot system can be extremely frustrating even if the rest of the game is very good.

Originally Posted by Tuco
if you want to complain about the loot in D:OS as far as I'm concerned you are preaching to the choir.
I argued this topic to exhaustion over the previous game and I'd count it a lost battle at this point, but since you started it, I'll jump in.

The first D:OS was hands down my game of the year in 2014, I liked the EE even more... And I still think that itemization was arguably the greatest weakness of the game. Which makes even more jarring to see that very little has improved in the sequel (hell, I'd say things are looking even worse here, but to be fair it is an early alpha).

Originally Posted by Seelenernter
Still no idea why for gods sake they insist on having RNG-made items in their game, when this was already criticised

Pretty much how I feel. The itemization was really the only bad thing in D:OS (and it was very bad), yet here it is again in an almost unchanged form despite all the criticism it got. Even I can still remember how I criticized it on these very forums... Very disappointing to see this in the alpha.

Originally Posted by LordCrash

uniquely upgraded unique items (with a unique ingredient like in BG2)

Never forget. <3

Nice list BTW.

Originally Posted by Lar
You should see some changes coming that make the order of loot look very much like your list

Cool. It will be interesting to see what you come up with.

Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: Nivv] #589642
27/09/16 03:30 AM
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I'm good with a low loot, low quality item availability... as long as that doesn't give an advantage to spell casters.

I haven't made it into the Guard Keep with the paintings yet, but from what I've read, it does sound cheezy to be able to sell those paintings to people who probably don't have much money, and shouldn't care about paintings. Plus you'd think those would be hard to fence.

Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: Nivv] #589656
27/09/16 04:19 AM
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I love scarcity and low quality items. It fits the intro area very well. I wish there were more recipes/books to craft makeshift items early on. However, it would be nice to loot bodies for items worn and carried (armor, pelts, skins, weapons, etc.). If an archer is wearing leather and using a bow then those items should drop. Most drops could be damaged after the fight, worth very little, or scrapped/crafted to something better.

Having crap items makes finding your first decent weapon a real treat. Having few magic weapons makes the ones you get more memorable. Being unpredictable is part of the excitement.

The current loot and economic system isn't perfect, but I'm happy with it.

Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: LordCrash] #589692
27/09/16 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by LordCrash
I give my vote for a mixed system:

1) General loot is randomized, even powerful items. So there isn't a big change for the current system.

2) But unique items are placed at special locations or are used for quest rewards.

3) There are unique items for every class or at least overall builds (two-handed, one-handed, dagger, shield, bow, crossbow, wands, staff; heavy armor, light armor, mage clothes).
4) Unique items are really powerful (at least one level above randomized loot). Upgraded normal items can get better than standard unique items, but never better than upgraded unique items.

5) Unique items can be improved by crafting with very rare ingredients to become even more powerful items. Sometimes the very same ingredient can only be used to improve one unique weapon or armor. To get these ingredients you have to look out for special locations or even solve quests and riddles in the "correct" way.

6) Unique items always have a special look and history behind them, making them interesting and enhancing the roleplaying.

I'd be absolutely fine with most of this.
On a side note I have to point that I would vastly prefer if the scaling in power of the loot could be in general far less pronounced.

For all the shit it constantly gets for being "an obsolete ruleset system" it's almost funny how much D&D/D20 got this better than most of the "more modern" rulesets specifically designed for videogames.

The difference between a +1 item (barely magic) and a +5 (divine artifact) was massive in term of potential (there were creatures vulnerable just to weapons of a certain "rank" and so on) and special abilities made a hell of a difference... and YET the scaling was just marginal in term of ramping up with with numbers. Just a more or less significant bonus to hit chance and damage starting from the same default numbers.
No dull idiocies like a end-game weapon doing TWENTY TIMES the damage of a starting one (or more).

EDIT: for anyone ready to jump in and say: "Well, but that's just a matter of flavor, in some games weapons scale a lot and in other they don't" I'd like to point that the second system tends also to marry A LOT better with non-linear design.

You know, when your players are allegedly allowed to approach content with a certain degree of freedom, it's probably a good idea to have in place a system where items DON'T keep to ramp up almost exponentially.

Last edited by Tuco; 27/09/16 08:42 AM.

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Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: Tuco] #589713
27/09/16 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuco
For all the shit it constantly gets for being "an obsolete ruleset system" it's almost funny how much D&D/D20 got this better than most of the "more modern" rulesets specifically designed for videogames.

So very true.


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Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: Nivv] #589726
27/09/16 12:48 PM
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One thing about upgrading items.
Please do not make the mistake that you need an epic item to upgrade things and to get this item you must have done the only thing the update is good for.
example: There is only one dragon in the game and if you kill him you get an item that allows you to craft equipment that gives large bonusses against dragons.
example from PoE: The adra dragon is the hardest enemy in the game (without expansions). If you kill him, you get the only item that allows you to upgrade an armor to the highest level. But since you have already beaten the hardest enemy in the game (and the dragon is much more powerful than anything else), you do not really need to upgrade your normal armor to epic.

good example:
- several unique items from BG2 (though some of them were very overpowered)
- the way how you upgrade soulbound weapons in PoE (more like a quest than normal crafting)

Last edited by Madscientist; 27/09/16 12:48 PM.

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Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: Madscientist] #589817
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Originally Posted by Madscientist
One thing about upgrading items.
Please do not make the mistake that you need an epic item to upgrade things and to get this item you must have done the only thing the update is good for.
example: There is only one dragon in the game and if you kill him you get an item that allows you to craft equipment that gives large bonusses against dragons.
example from PoE: The adra dragon is the hardest enemy in the game (without expansions). If you kill him, you get the only item that allows you to upgrade an armor to the highest level. But since you have already beaten the hardest enemy in the game (and the dragon is much more powerful than anything else), you do not really need to upgrade your normal armor to epic.

good example:
- several unique items from BG2 (though some of them were very overpowered)
- the way how you upgrade soulbound weapons in PoE (more like a quest than normal crafting)


I doubt we'd have to worry about this since it makes little sense to make the player work towards something only to make the prize generally worthless.

Speaking of strong, unqiue mobs dropping special stuff: it'd be nice to see optional quests/battles that are horribly horribly balanced in the enemies favor splattered through out the world.

IE I want to challenge a level 15 dragon and it's spawn while it's chillin in the forest of Fort Joy as a level 1-3. There's no main story related reason to do it, just a side quest (if that) and the fact that it's optional and I may or may not lose the opportunity to try again later.

It allows optional unique content and challenges to drive up difficulty without having to necessarily balance anything such that players have reason to come back to the game for more. Some players love masochism in there games (cough Dark Souls cough) and this lets you put it there without making a new difficulty and lets you reward players that truly master the system and tactics so they can overcome such challenges.

Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: Lar] #589929
28/09/16 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Lar
You should see some changes coming that make the order of loot look very much like your list (which we liked a lot btw - we never wrote it down like that but it's a good way of thinking of it). On another note - we have a few new abilities planned in the crafting department that should make crafting more interesting. Skill crafting obviously is one of them.


Hi Lar, glad to hear you are willing to iterate on itemization (basically the only system I didn't like in the first game).
To be fair, I DID detect some improvements in the early access, especially in the drop rate, which was really obnoxious in D:OS for my taste. Exactly like Tuco, though, I think that randomized loot doesn't do any good to the game, no matter what improvements you are planning (sorry, I know it sounds a bit drastic, but it's like having the wrong feature for the right game).
I also noticed that you're not addressing another loot-related issue of the first game: the lack of real, impactful differences between weapons/armors of the same category (why picking a mace instead of a sword or an axe, for instance?).

Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that random loot is necessary evil and I'm not talking about a game-breaking issue, but you have this (wonderful) game where everything is carefully designed, thoughtfully handcrafted and hand-placed... And you have the random loot, which simply doesn't fit the context.

I'd REALLY love to hear your thoughts on this matter and on some other points I made on an old topic.
http://larian.com/forums/ubbthreads...mp;Words=Loot&Search=true#Post583290

Last edited by Baudolino05; 28/09/16 11:05 AM.
Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: Baudolino05] #589980
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Originally Posted by Baudolino05
I also noticed that you're not addressing another loot-related issue of the first game: the lack of real, impactful differences between weapons/armors of the same category (why picking a mace instead of a sword or an axe, for instance?).

I like it that way. Picking a specific kind of melee weapon is just a visual choice and that's how I want it. Too often in RPGs I end up with a weapon that has awesome stats but looks kind of bad or unfitting.

And breaking up melee weapons would make melee chars even less balanced compared to mages and rangers.

Quote
Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that random loot is necessary evil and I'm not talking about a game-breaking issue, but you have this (wonderful) game where everything is carefully designed, thoughtfully handcrafted and hand-placed... And you have the random loot, which simply doesn't fit the context.

I respectfully disagree. Imo a mixed system serves the games best, randomized items included. DOS 2 offers multiple character, origin stories, party combinations, quest outcomes. Everything is made to offer multiple playthroughs. That's why randomized items are actually a good choice because 100% manually placed items would be really boring if you play the game for a 2nd or 3rd time. Having randomized items means that you can still be surprised. But I agree that the system shouldn't be 100% randomized. It should offer both the element of surprise and a range of manually placed items for the collectors.


Last edited by LordCrash; 28/09/16 05:24 PM.

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Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: LordCrash] #590018
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Originally Posted by LordCrash
Originally Posted by Baudolino05
I also noticed that you're not addressing another loot-related issue of the first game: the lack of real, impactful differences between weapons/armors of the same category (why picking a mace instead of a sword or an axe, for instance?).

I like it that way. Picking a specific kind of melee weapon is just a visual choice and that's how I want it. Too often in RPGs I end up with a weapon that has awesome stats but looks kind of bad or unfitting.

And breaking up melee weapons would make melee chars even less balanced compared to mages and rangers.

And I definitely don't like this way. If you ask me, merely cosmetic choices are ALWAYS bad. I'd say the same if were talking about spells: Having 2 of them barely distinguishable in the effect but completely different in the aesthetic would be bad design no matter what. Also, your objections are not real objections: If a game has - let's say - really good axes but shitty swords, it's a game with poorly designed equip. Period. Put some thought into the weapon design and everyone will be happy. Also, D:OS skill system perfectly supports a REAL variety of weapon types. You spend points in one-handed, two-handed and ranged weapons, broad categories that encompass different kind of weapons. It only makes sense to have different weapon types with different pros and cons inside each of these categories...

Quote
Quote
Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that random loot is necessary evil and I'm not talking about a game-breaking issue, but you have this (wonderful) game where everything is carefully designed, thoughtfully handcrafted and hand-placed... And you have the random loot, which simply doesn't fit the context.

I respectfully disagree. Imo a mixed system serves the games best, randomized items included. DOS 2 offers multiple character, origin stories, party combinations, quest outcomes. Everything is made to offer multiple playthroughs. That's why randomized items are actually a good choice because 100% manually placed items would be really boring if you play the game for a 2nd or 3rd time. Having randomized items means that you can still be surprised. But I agree that the system shouldn't be 100% randomized. It should offer both the element of surprise and a range of manually placed items for the collectors.

This is the most common objection against the hand placed loot and, frankly, I've always found it extremely week. Maybe in theory it's a strong argument, but in practice it is not. First, because some players like to plan their build accordingly to the loot they know they are going to find (Dark Souls enthusiasts for instance). But even not counting this kind of players, there's no way that a random tab could generate interesting items like the ones you find, for instance, in Baldur's Gate 2. And I don't even like BG2 that much. But it's blatantly self-evident that that game has better itemization that any single player RPG with random (or semi-random) loot out there!!
To me, the only item categories that could benefit for a random loot system are consumables, reagents, gold and gems alike.

Last edited by Baudolino05; 29/09/16 08:20 AM.
Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: Nivv] #590225
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DnD has a random loot system.
It also encourages DM's to hand place loot.

DnD is the greatest example of an RPG that is smashingly successful (even if things like D20's are not the best mechanical decision)

Therefore, I think a mix is better. It's fine that we disagree, I however, am at least trying to offer/push for more hand crafted items and more player control over loot.

If you wanted 'less' random. You could do class specific enemies pull from class specific loot tables.. That would be cool. But yeah, 100% handcrafted is not something I want and not something I want the devs to focus on when they could be, for instance, meddling with my skills/abilities (far more important to me for a good game than loot) and making leveling up and distributing points feel more rewarding (again, far more important for me). I am however, the guy who would choose a vow of poverty in DnD because I found it excellent for RP and fun for my character.

EDIT: Also, Thanks Lar for coming in and giving your two cents and reassurances. Those small posts mean a tonne to us posting on these forums.

Last edited by Surrealialis; 29/09/16 02:35 PM.
Re: Loot continues to be a big issue [Re: Surrealialis] #590403
30/09/16 08:57 AM
30/09/16 08:57 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,181
Tuco Offline
old hand
Tuco  Offline
old hand

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,181
Originally Posted by Surrealialis
DnD has a random loot system.
It also encourages DM's to hand place loot.

That's quite the vague statement. You should be more specific about what D&D game you are exactly talking about.

For the record no one gives a damn if some generic trash item is randomized or not; where itemization matters is when it's time to get some serious reward.

And in all the best D&D-based videogames the loot so far has been hand-placed for a reason.

Quote
Therefore, I think a mix is better.


I don't.
I wouldn't mind a mix where the low tier crap is random and the "goodies" are hand-placed since it would still be a massive improvement over the current system, but then again it's not really a matter of liking it, it's just a more tolerable compromise.

There were plenty of games with a hybrid system that I liked (i.e. Dark Souls) and I STILL think each one of them would be even better if the randomized part was removed entirely from the game.

Quote
If you wanted 'less' random. You could do class specific enemies pull from class specific loot tables.. That would be cool

It's always the same when this topic comes up. People mostly recognizes that the current system works poorly and that randomized loot is rarely good in general, and YET they feel this urge to put in a series of "IFs and BUTs" explaining in what ways randomization "could sort-of-work" under some very complex specific conditions.

A textbook case of "a solution in search of a problem", when all this subset of complex rules and right conditions (that would eventually make the system bearable) could be sidestepped entirely by, you know, NOT HAVING RANDOMIZED LOOT in the first place.

Last edited by Tuco; 30/09/16 09:07 AM.

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