Friday, 1 July 2011

A little aside on crafting

I'm incredibly excited about being able to implement magic, I have great plans, which include an overhaul of Monster AI to make them quite smart (where the situation calls for it), but for now, I've got an idea for a crafting system that I can include without making too much sacrifices in terms of gameplay and playability. Its something akin to what I talked about earlier, but much simpler.

Effectively, at special forges scattered about the dungeon, one should be able to disenchant non-Artefact items into their constituent parts. So given an item like this:
A Bronze Great Sword [+4, +4] of Goblin Slaying

it increases your damage against goblins (+5)
it increases your chance to hit (+4)
it increases the damage you deal (+4)
...this item could be "disenchanted" into three residual elements. Using special anvils, also scattered about the dungeon, one could reassemble various residual elements of your choice into new item, given the investment of a plain non-magical "base" item, and...something else.

The something else is the tricky bit. This should be a non-trivial process in terms of consequences for the character, even though the interface for doing so may be simply nothing more than dropping all the items concerned onto the anvil and pressing 'A' to activate it.

The obvious penalty is something like losing a point of CON, or some HP or something every time a magical item is created. Along with the risk that the process won't work. But I don't want the cost to be too prohibitive. After all, what I'm suggested is a mechanism that is effectively a means of getting round (to a degree) resist-farming.

Anyone got any thoughts on what the trade-off should be? Or the consequences for failure at this process?


Michał Bieliński said...

Failure should not mean that something else (constitution or maximum hit points) is lost. This would turn crafting into too much a gamble. Instead one of ingredients should get wasted. So if your increase damage (+5) breaks you can either try again with spare (+5) or (+4). This also means additional components are not junk because assembly attempts may fail.

If your dream item has been forged successfully I would take away one maximum hit point (subject to balancing) per ingredient used. This way you may decide to discard that +1% poison resistance component since it is not worth including in a great recipe. Added benefit is you will not see items with all possible properties just because player could mix them.

Dave said...

Ah, I like that idea. cheers Michal!

Nolithius said...

Why punish users beyond failure, other than by material loss?

Moreover, why punish users on success?

The elegant solution works best here. Take Torchlight, for example, which has a 10% chance an item will be disenchanted; it's no matter that you've dropped 50,000 gold on it. This is the single most annoying feature in the game, and the single most modded out feature.

If the player has the gold, materials, and skills for item creation the player has made the necessary preparations, and should be rewarded for it.


Ebyan "Nolithius" Alvarez-Buylla

Pikalek said...

Also consider the dilemma of inventory space. The player already has to decide whether or not to sacrifice inventory slots for materials. Later on this decision will be compounded when deciding whether or not to break a compact item (Bronze Great Sword) into its residual elements (+5 this, +4 that) thereby taking even more inventory space.

Still, I can see wanting to discourage abuse. Some alternative deterrents:
) go the DnD route & charge XP based on the residuals
2) require a min character level for using the crafted item's powers

Dave said...

I think I'll possibly just assume, for now, automatic success in the crafting process. Although perhaps said-items are not quite as powerful as their "natural" equivalents?