I've been thinking about an rpg upgrade system that has you upgrade the weapon 10 or so levels. Each weapon would have their unique individual traits, but the max stats are the same (for example 100 atk). In a way I wanted to encourage people to want to find different weapons, and find their preferred ability/attribute etc, instead of just going for the strongest attack. I was wondering what the pros and cons of this idea are.
Different weapons, same end
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Posted 09 September 2013 - 08:10 PM
One key question I would ask to this is: What motivates people to change weapons? Consider it a given that you have a starting weapon, what will make the player want to stop using it? If all weapons can grow to the same potential, why stray from the weapon you had since the beginning?
Many games that provide a varying degree of weapons do so to give you an idea of strength; the more you adventure, the stronger your weapons and armor, and the greater foes you can defeat. If all weapons are the same, then why go for any other?
Think of it in terms of Pokemon, as strange as it may sound. Most players always keep their starter Pokemon, and in many cases, it's either the same level or higher than all the other Pokemon in your party. Most people avoid going out of their way to get rid of their starter, because in many cases, it's just a hassle to train another Pokemon.
If you can provide incentives to pick different weapons (ie: the new one levels up faster than your current one), then it could be a very rewarding system, especially if you have any plans of PvP (which you probably don't, but it's a thought). As long as you provide a vast array of abilities/playstyles, it could allow players to have a choice - and players like choice. On the topic of choice, I offer food for thought: Perhaps allow for weapons with both passive or active abilities. One may improve stealth and agility, while another allows you to freeze an opponent solid.
Alternatively, if you choose not to go down that path, you can also opt for a perk system each level, not unsimilar to Borderlands. Each level earns you a new bonus, so in the endgame, you have a very distinctive playstyle regardless.
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Posted 09 September 2013 - 08:59 PM
It would be a bit disappointing to get your one new weapon after 10 levels, only to discover you liked the previous one better.
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Posted 09 September 2013 - 09:17 PM
At face value, I would think not making any one weapon inherently better than any other is going to have some fairly significant drawbacks for an RPG, perhaps most importantly that it would reduce the player’s desire to explore and find better loot. Also, if a weapon is leveled up through using it specifically, rather than inheriting the player’s level, then that’s just going to incentivize sticking with your starting weapon forever rather than leveling up new weapons. (You don’t want to switch from a level 10 weapon to a level 1 weapon, and have to level it all the way up just to find out if you like using it. To alleviate this problem, maybe new weapons could be automatically leveled up to the player’s current best weapon, or perhaps there could be some kind of feat points that would allow the player to “learn” new weapons quickly.)
For that kind of system, I think the key is to make certain weapons useful in specific situations so the player will want to amass a wide variety of tools and choose the one best suited for each fight. The important thing is what kind of special attributes you're planning on assigning to different weapons, and whether those can convince the player that collecting and upgrading different weapons is worth the trouble. You might just assign bonus damage for certain weapons against certain enemies (e.g. if this is a medieval game, then maces might do bonus damage vs armored enemies.) However, if you still want to keep damage constant in all situations, you could still give weapons some ability that is inherently more useful against some enemies; weapons with longer range would likely be useful for shooting from a safe spot, weapons with a higher attack speed or area of effect damage would be useful against large groups, or perhaps there’s a weapon that temporarily stuns or knocks back single enemies, which could be useful against tough bosses. There could even be some attributes that aren’t directly related to combat; maybe a glowing weapon lets you see in the dark so you can explore caves and so on.
Ultimately, I think there is a certain appeal in RPG games to finding or saving up for rare and powerful weapons, but I do like the idea of side-grades and having multiple options rather than linear upgrades. Entirely linear gear progression systems are frankly very boring, so I for one welcome games where the player has a real choice in gear selection.
Indie RTS I'm making: http://www.indiedb.com/games/empyrean-frontier
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Posted 10 September 2013 - 05:36 AM
Hi, the Attack level might be the same, but each kind of weapon should have difference in effect, so that it becomes interesting to fiddle with equipment. Otherwise, just equip the first weapon available, level up to the max and that's all.
e.g. : swords can pierce weak points of armors but require more dexterity, battle axes are heavy and strains the characters but have a bonus damage, and so on...
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Posted 10 September 2013 - 03:59 PM
I would make it so that weapons have their downsides and upsides. This will make the gameplay more balanced and not so restrictive on the player. For example, you could have a very strong weapon that swings slower while having a weaker weapon that swings faster. Then you can add upgrades/perks for each level up that increases the damage, speed, etc. of a weapon. This would make it so that a small dagger could be as dangerous as a battleaxe if you train enough with it.
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Posted 10 September 2013 - 05:17 PM
The point of weapons scaling differently is to effect the way they are played. A large sword would expect to swing slow, but give hard hits. Smaller sword would be quicker, but give out less damage per hit. Daggers and other knife like weapons would have insanely high speed, insanely low damage, and be intended for moving towards an enemies weak spot. There could also be other weapons that are inbetweens such as the katana being between a large sword and a short sword.
At the end, all weapons are just as effective as the other even though they have different stats and scale completely differently. You'd need a different playstyle for each weapon and a different strategy which adds replayability to the game if you want to try out new weapons after you figure one type out.
You'd effectively be robbing the player of their time if they spent it figuring out different playstyles, just to learn it all merges into one thing at the end.