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Isometric

Member Since 06 Dec 2009
Offline Last Active Jun 04 2013 03:44 PM

#4866702 Item/Equipment/Monster Rarity

Posted by Isometric on 28 September 2011 - 12:31 AM

I believe the bottom line is no matter what approach you take when designing items/abilities/mobs/bosses, anything in your game that would require a certain rarity, they will always be categorized in some way. What really matters is your target audience and what is usable and wanted by them. For example, you do away with colors. Well you are still categorizing them by level or stats. But now that they aren't labeled by color, players have to spend that extra time, I am going to call it researching, the item to find out if it is valuable to them. This might appeal to some more hardcore audiences. However, you could also get rid of stats(minus the level requirements) and just have the item details in the item name and/or description labeled with a color to determine quality. This might appeal to some casual audiences. In my opinion, developers today are blending these two audiences together and this is one example of how they are doing it. They are utilizing multiple forms of categorization that appeal to both audiences.

**Quick note** The scenarios mentioned in the first paragraph relate to JigokuSenshi's comment, "Let's say you kill a monster and it drops 20 items." ***


Now, when I say valuable to them I am speaking beyond whether or not they can physically use the item. Some people play RPGs/MMOs for the economy features alone. This item could be useless to them, but highly wanted by others. Now what determines value? Like any economy, the need or want for an item compared to its availability. Just because an item is legendary or orange does not mean it is in high demand. It only means it is in par with other items in that category, in terms of quality. If need be you would also compare its quality to its level requirement. This sorts out lower-quality items from higher-quality items within the same level range.

So in the end, all a "rarity system" is, is a way to display information to your audience and others working on the project. The approach you take depends on who you are creating this world for.

Examples of Categorization
  • Colors
  • Names
  • Item levels
  • Stats
  • Location found
  • etc.



#4866149 Item/Equipment/Monster Rarity

Posted by Isometric on 26 September 2011 - 11:30 AM

In my opinion, you answered your question in your original post. Most games that I have played, which is a common practice throughout the industry, use colors. Colors are easily identifiable. Call them legendary if you want, but players see a golden item and automatically think higher quality because this has already been established throughout many games. I would suggest keeping this standardized system for two reasons. The first being, players already know it and it wouldn't require them to learn a new system. This allows players to focus their concentration on other parts of the game that you could make more innovative. The second reason is because it is easy to learn. New players that might not have ever played a RPG will find it easy it associate color with quality. This goes back to the philosophy, if it is not broken, don't fix it.

The only way I would personally spend extra time developing a new rarity system is if that was my main goal for the game. If the game I was creating revolved around the experimentation of finding a more usable rarity system. I actually just worked on a design where there were different difficulty traps. I placed each trap into its own color category to show how effective that trap was. It is easy for both the designer and player as well as an effective way to display information to anyone reading your doc or playing your game.


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