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Collect the set or use the pieces?

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What do people think this idea, in the game their are several sets of unique items, such as the zodiac stones. Now each stone has its own ability that can be used only once and then the stone shatters, however if you collect all 12 they can allow you access to an even greater prize. So basically each part of a set can be used or the entire set can be collected and used for something else. It will be clear to players when they have found a collectable item although it will not be immeditly clear as to its purpose or to what set it belongs to. Anyone see anything wrong with this? ----------------------------------------------------- "Fate and Destiny only give you the opportunity the rest you have to do on your own." Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

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Sounds like it could be fun. It actually reminds me a bit of Wishbringer, one of those old Infocom text adventures.

You were given this stone called Wishbringer and when you possessed specific items, you could wish for certain things. They were mostly one-shot deals and they were usually very helpful for some situations in the game (though I don''t think they were completely necessary) but could be used at any time. I don''t think there was any specific advantage to having all of the items though... so there really isn''t that much correlation... so... I''m not sure why it reminded me of it...

Anyway, the idea could be cool but a fun twist would be to have certain items belong to more than one set. So say a special umbrella (still thinking Wishbringer) was an ingredient for a rain spell, an ingredient for a levitation spell and could also be used for a pole vault to get over an electric fence (I realize that''s silly, but bear with me). Do any of these once and the umbrella is destroyed. All three uses could come in handy in a game but none would be completely necessary to complete the game. That would mean the player has to make the choice about how to use the umbrella. Some players might not like that depending on the style of the game (if RPG-ish, I know there are people out there who get annoyed by not being able to get absolutely EVERYTHING in a single playthrough) but I still think it would be cool.

-Auron

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i have mixed feelings on this one...

if the player collected all 12 and then the big prize wasn''t truly great, they would feel ripped off. this could also happen if they used an item before they found out they could save it for the set.

one the other hand, it could lead to interesting gameplay decisions, which are a good thing.

i like Auron''s idea about having items fit in more than one set. that way, you can use a few of them but still have access to at least one of the big prizes.

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quote:
Original post by krez
i have mixed feelings on this one...



Same here.

quote:

if the player collected all 12 and then the big prize wasn''t truly great, they would feel ripped off. this could also happen if they used an item before they found out they could save it for the set.



Also, it feeds into the problem of players hoarding a resource because they don''t know if they''ll need it later, or making the game very difficult for themselves because they don''t know how to weigh the prize versus their current situation.

quote:
i like Auron''s idea about having items fit in more than one set. that way, you can use a few of them but still have access to at least one of the big prizes.


I second this, and would vote for giving hints to players as to what the great prize is at the end.



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

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I like the idea but you really have to make it hard to choose between waiting and using a part of the whole set.

I had an idea like yours for items in an rpg, 10 rings, when you got´em all, you could create 1 more powerful ring, the ´master´ ring, and the others vanished. Now all the 10 rings did around 25 of damage and if you combined it with other things(like if a monster has fire weakness using the fire ring makes 50 damage) the ring would be better. However the master ring usually inflicted 50 damage, and has a really good ability to be combined with situations(not only weakness related) and being more manipulable than the others. However all the rings are supposed to be pretty hard to find, so unless you tried to look for them, you would be lucky if you found one.

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Personally, if I pick up some great object in an RPG and theres only one of it, I tend to never use it until its absolutely needed, or I least the last time the item''s usage is meaningful. I''m more likely to spend an object if I get more than just one.

As for collecting a set, but getting screwed if you miss one or use one, thats easy, I''ll just never use them. Why even make up some usage for the item? I''ll never see it''s animation.

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There seem to be mixed response to this idea. I hadn''t thought of making pieces part of multiple sets, and I''m not sure how it could work. I''m a little surpised at the idea to be honest, I would think people would be turned off by having a single piece part of multiple sets. Since it means that if you use it you loose the ability to complete both sets and also it means that you can''t complete both sets in the same game.



quote:

... vote for giving hints to players as to what the great prize is at the end.



That can be uncovered through researching the item, although it may not tell you excatly what the completing the sets does it will defently hint at the possibilites.


quote:

As for collecting a set, but getting screwed if you miss one or use one, thats easy, I''ll just never use them. Why even make up some usage for the item? I''ll never see it''s animation.



That is in entirely your choice. If you want to jelously guard each piece of treasure you find and never risk using them you can. Then again you may decided to use the the pieces rather then collect the entire set its entirly up to you.

That brings up one last question, that is of set interconnectivity, would you be even further turned off it you need to complete one set to gain access to the a piece of another?


-----------------------------------------------------
"Fate and Destiny only give you the opportunity the rest you have to do on your own."
Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

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I am reminded of Diablo, except that the set items were not one-shots. But then there''s the gems : You can insert them immediately into socketed items for a moderate bonus, or you can wait, combine three gems using the Horadric Cube, and insert your new, higher-level gem for a better bonus. Or wait and level up through all five gem levels, by which time you have such good magic items that no socketed item can compete. So your design would have to be better than that.

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Yes, that would be a problem. You''d have to leverage power levels on things so that it would actually be worth collecting everything in a set. If, by normal game circumstances, collecting a whole set gets you a weapon/spell/whatever that is only slightly more powerful than what the player should have available by the time it''s possible to collect everything, then it only might be worth it to some players. On the other hand, if you make it two or more times as powerful as what''s otherwise available at the time of completing the set, it''d be very worth it to horde them all; but then you''d also have to factor in some small disadvantage to the completed items'' effect so that it wouldn''t be overpowering to the game as a whole.

It''s always a tough balance when designing these types of things. Don''t get it quite right and you''ve probably created a severely lopsided game situation.

-Auron

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quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
There seem to be mixed response to this idea. I hadn''t thought of making pieces part of multiple sets, and I''m not sure how it could work. I''m a little surpised at the idea to be honest, I would think people would be turned off by having a single piece part of multiple sets. Since it means that if you use it you loose the ability to complete both sets and also it means that you can''t complete both sets in the same game.



Personally, I really like the idea that you can''t complete both sets. Isn''t that one of the more interesting types of choices to make? Choices that can have a real impact on what''ll happen later, but none of the options being the obvious choice? That is, assuming it''s not like getting the ultimate weapon after defeating the ultimate enemy, and assuming both options are equally attractive. It''s why I still like Fallout I&II, you can''t do everything. And this seems a "relatively simple" way to add an interesting choice to the game. Of course, you may turn off "gotta catch ''em all" types since there is no one "perfect play".

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The set items arn''t really comparable to other items, since the set items are relics and relics are the only "real" items in the game the rest of the items are what I call "virtual" items they are created and the items stats depend on the type of item, the materials that went into its consturuction, the quality of those materials, and the quality of the manufacturing.

The set items themselves all have very useful properties and that makes them extremely tempting to use, two examples are the pilgram statue, which is carved from a metorite, that material is stronger and lighter then any normal metal and can be used to make some powerful equipment. An other example is the lazurus stone which can restore its bearer to full health at the moment of their death, it is also the only way to restore a dead character to life.

While completing a set for example the pilgram set, consisting of a book, a bell and the pilgram statue. Open the secert entrance to the hidden valley, an other wise inaccesable area, which contains among other things a martial arts school that can teach you a martial arts style that is one of the four most powerful in the game.



-----------------------------------------------------
"Fate and Destiny only give you the opportunity the rest you have to do on your own."
Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

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Definitely give hints towards the prize. There's nothing worse then going through the trouble to collect a bunch of stuff to find the prize is useless.

I'm going to use The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time as an example here. Not saying that this is a bad game: actually it's quite the opposite. This is one of the best games ever made. But, the side quest of collecting the gold skultulla pieces was dissapointing. there are so many to collect, and the prize is simply all the ruppees you can carry. By the time you actually get all the gold skultullas, you would have finished (or be ready to finish) the game, and ruppees are absolutely useless to you at that point.

What I'm trying to say here is that, the prize you offer for a "collect the items" quest may seem good when designing the game, but I definitely vote for dropping hints about what the prize is, because you don't want to let the player down with a prize they feel is inedquate for the work done to get it.

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I think it would be neat if you can use the items in a specific scenario, and not using them is a sacrifice.

For instance, to go back to the Zodiac Stones example, you could have a critical plot point where one of the main characters dies, and you can either use the stone to resurrect them or bury them and keep the stone. If you keep the stone, you have a chance at the set, but you basically bought that chance at the expense of your friend's life. At the end of the game, depending on how many and which stones you conserved, you'd be able to do awesome things. If you have all twelve, maybe your hero experiences an apotheosis, and becomes immortal or something. If you've got six, then maybe you're able to reseal the evil overlord in the dimension of doom. If you used them all, then you have all the advantages that those uses offered, and so you have a larger party, better gear, and are able to destroy the boss once and for all.

Let's see, twelve stones, possibility of keeping between zero and twelve of them, some kind of factorial or something is called for to determine the number of scenarios, but I bet it's in the thousands. This could correlate to endings, easter eggs, or other secrets, and could wildly vary the play experience from game to game. I'm in favor.

It's mostly a writing problem, because all the pitfalls for inadequate rewards that have been observed apply. If you do it carefully and well, I think you'll be okay. Don't worry about not letting players do everything the first time through. Those guys use strategy guides anyway, so they know what all the rewards are. Make the game for straight players, and you'll be okay.

P.S. - Whoa, weird login error. I'm Iron Chef Carnage, and I approve this message.

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I like the idea of having things work as a set, but I'm not real fond of using things as a one-shot deal.

If an item is unique and is destroyed after one use I'd be tempted to stash it away and never use it until I figured out exactly what it did and then I'd probably opt for the biggest effect.

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This reminds me a lot of Diablo 2, where you had items sets. The way it worked was if you happend to get all the items in a certain set (like an axe and certain armour) it would all kinda lock together and give you an extra bonus. It was a great gimmick, one that had me romping through deserts for weeks trying to find a stupid fucking sword that I dont think even existed.

The only person I ever met that actually got an entire set summed it up with 'Wait? This is it? THIS IS IT?!?! WTF!!!?? By the time I found the damn set I already went up enough levels to make it obsolete!!!'.

So yeh, the concept works well and is addictive, but as mentioned if you draw it out to long the player is going to snap when all that happens is the words 'WOW! You found all the blocks! Yay for you...yay' flash up on the screen.

....mmmm....maybe that sword was in that area behind that archway...*sneaks off to track down Diablo2*

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As posted above, I think possibilites between "all" and "none" would definitely help, i.e. a partial stone combination would still offer some benefit. It would be incredibly frustrating to a player (or to me, anyway) to have used a stone early in the game, and then end up collecting all the rest, to absolutely no benefit whatsoever.

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