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Out of Class Items As A Gateway to Mayhem


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#1 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1825

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:19 PM

Wondering what you guys think about the idea of allowing players to equip procedurally generated gear in an RPG that have "soft" rather than hard level requirements, with the catch being that if you are below the level requirement unpredictable and potentially calamitous things may happen. For example, lets say a strange alien gun that's listed as requiring level 10, but the game rules allow you to use it at up to 50% of the level-- level 5 in this case-- with some kind of warning (maybe the item shows up as red in your equipment slot). So you could use it at the risk of whatever negative side effects it may have, such as misfire, status effects or whatever, maybe with the chance dependent on how far away you are from the level requirement.

 

Reason for this? To enhance the setting and add intriguing twists on what is typically a boring progression path with procedural games, namely in that things are generated in a sort of goldilocks "just right" pattern that offers no surprises. Gear levels I think are mandatory to help encourage leveling, but the idea of finding the equivalent of "the Ring of Power" even at level 1 and still being able to use it, albeit with potentially disastrous consequences I think fleshes out the idea that the world is filled with old and potentially powerful / ominous things.

 

 

Thoughts?

 


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#2 overactor   Members   -  Reputation: 198

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:33 PM

It sounds like a very compelling idea, but I'm not sure why you would put an actual cap on it at all.

Might as well let a level 1 player use a level 20 item.

Or maybe the effect you're going for is the technology being so incredibly advanced that you simply can't fathom how it works?

 

Maybe it would be interesting that you would need to have someone explain to you how to use certain types of items, or at least see someone using it.

 

 

 

I must say, this thread along with your previous one has gotten me quite curious about your game, how is development going, if at all?


Edited by overactor, 07 May 2013 - 05:35 PM.

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#3 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 21195

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:20 PM

Definitely sounds interesting, if you can come up with reasonable reasons for misbehavior.

 

Also, I agree that you shouldn't have any caps on it at all. Instead, have your "ideal minimum level" (level 10, for instance), and from levels 0-10, scale the likehood something bad would happen, and the degree of badness it is, to gradually reach 0 at level 10 (Or maybe leave in a tiny chance, 0.001%, just for extra unpredictabillity).

 

Possible misbehaviors for the example of a alien gun:

  • Overheating: sustains small amount of damage to the gun and induces a large cooldown - overheat too frequently, and the gun is permanently damaged. (Level scale: How likely it is to overheat, and how much damage the gun itself sustains)
  • Poor accuracy (level scale: the degree of accuracy (until you reach the gun's normal accuracy), and the amount of kickback)
  • Misfires: The gun spontaneously shoots out sideways, potentially hitting teammates, and ricochets like crazy. (Level scale: the chance of misfiring, and the amount of energy/bullets put into the misfire)
  • Backfires: The bullet/energy-blast explodes in the chamber, and the gun user (the player) sustains damage. (Level scale: the amount of damage the user suffers, the amount of damage the gun itself suffers, and the likelihood of backfiring occurring).
  • Jam-ups: The gun jams up, and the player has to hit it a few times before it unjams. (Level scale: the likelihood of occurring, and the length of time before it becomes unjammed)
  • Energy/Ammo/Battery usage: If the gun is energy-based (as opposed to projectile-based), the battery drain per each shot fired can be higher if you are below the recommended. Even if you are above the recommended, it can still decrease (but at a less noticeable curve).

 

Combine with guns normally having wear-and-tear (Farcry 2 did that), and additional levels above the minimum suggested level allows you to (invisibly/not-actually-shown-or-consciously-done) take better care of the gun so it doesn't wear out quite so fast.

 

Plus, if at lower levels your knowledge of the universe is less, from actually not discovering information about different technologies from different civilizations, you won't know anything about the equipment (no stats visible), you might not even be able to reload the thing (not knowing where to put in bullets, not having bullets, and not knowing how to recharge the battery), so lack of knowledge also hinders the effectiveness of the weapon, in addition to the lack of skill.


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#4 lithos   Members   -  Reputation: 413

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 08:55 PM

The same thing happened to Frodo...  Got a level 500 ring at level 1, got an interesting story from it.



#5 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1825

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:01 AM

Or maybe the effect you're going for is the technology being so incredibly advanced that you simply can't fathom how it works?
 
Maybe it would be interesting that you would need to have someone explain to you how to use certain types of items, or at least see someone using it.

 

Yes I'm aiming for the incredibly advanced tech you find in ruins sort of idea, trying to give the feeling that stuff has been kicking around the cosmos of thousands or even billions of years. Having someone who has more lore knowledge than you would be interesting. The level system for items right now is extremely generic, but maybe it would help to break it into categories / technologies? Right now, the skill system that determines what you can   use is generic as well but maybe as SotL suggests after your post it could be a matter of having shown to you the hidden status effects.
 
 
 

I must say, this thread along with your previous one has gotten me quite curious about your game, how is development going, if at all?

 

Thanks for asking-- just foundations so far, menus, endless space to fly through, rudimentary solar systems. Getting 2D planets working again is next, then city generation and building interiors, which I never got to with the old project.


--------------------Just waiting for the mothership...

#6 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1825

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:11 AM

Possible misbehaviors for the example of a alien gun:
...

 

Thanks, really great ideas! I'd thought you should have a minimum requirement to use items, but I think I'll make that relate to your idea of whether you can see ANY stats. Haha, just thinking it would be funny to come across something in the game that just says, "some sort of ancient alien device. You have no idea what it does." Or maybe flavor text that acts as a warning, like "it appears to be some sort of strange device. The floor around it is littered with the mummified bodies of dozens of alien species."

 

Another idea would be to come up with a way to make the range of effects more exotic the greater the level of item. So maybe a low tech gun  really only misfires, but a really high tech weapon misfire could, say, teleport you or cause walls around you to collapse.

 

 

Plus, if at lower levels your knowledge of the universe is less, from actually not discovering information about different technologies from different civilizations, you won't know anything about the equipment (no stats visible), you might not even be able to reload the thing (not knowing where to put in bullets, not having bullets, and not knowing how to recharge the battery), so lack of knowledge also hinders the effectiveness of the weapon, in addition to the lack of skill.

 

That's a good idea, tying basic functionality to knowledge-- sort of like whether you know how to take the safety off.


--------------------Just waiting for the mothership...

#7 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1825

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 11:12 AM

The same thing happened to Frodo...  Got a level 500 ring at level 1, got an interesting story from it.

 

Haha yes, exactly.


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