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TheShadowJackal

Souls-Like itemization question

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I'm in the process of designing a Souls-Like game set in a macabre environment, as I design the weapons/armor I'm left with a question. How much is too much? How much is too little? I keep arriving at sets of 5 or 10. 15 weapons/ 10 armor sets for example. If anyone's working on something similar how many did you go with?

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If you reread your question, you'll realize that it doesn't explain enough.

What is this "Souls" game you are imitating? What are you copying, and what do you intend to do differently? What's the role of sets of normally singular items like weapons and armor? Are the "too much" and "too little" you are worried about a concern about excessively good or bad equipment making the character overpowered or frustratingly weak, like in most games with roleplaying elements, or about more unusual aspects like the number of items found in the game, the number of item types, the cardinality of item sets, etc.?

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9 hours ago, TheShadowJackal said:

How much is too much? How much is too little?

Too much is more than can be displayed on one screen (or maybe not). Too little is when you have more ideas for types of that item that would be fun to play with.  What I mean is, when you're designing different types of sword, just design as many as make sense (you don't need multiple types of rusty sword - you don't need multiple types of broken sword - you don't need a 2-HP sword and a 3-HP sword and a 4-HP sword, on up to 99-HP sword in 1-HP increments). If 5 sword types provide 5 interesting gameplay outcomes, then 5 is fine. If all you can think of is 9 armor types, you don't need a 10th.

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I think a good question you have to ask yourself is how many ways do you want your player to play the game, and how much do you want your weapons and armor to vary. The main way souls games differentiate weapons is by moveset, damage stats, and length, a lot of weapons in the Dark Souls series share the same movesets, mixed and matched with other movesets from other weapons. For example, two swords might share the same light attack, but one may have a thrust heavy and one may have a slash heavy. Your options for weapons are limited by the number of distinct movesets you want/are able to include in your game, plus whatever magic you want to include. You know you have too much when you have weapons with the exact same moveset, unless their damage stats or lengths make them really different (and even then I'd avoid it). Of course, looks matter as well.

As for Armor, I agree with Tom that you only need what you can think of, but I'd add that as long as you have the resources to put more armors in the game, and it doesn't get in the way of other stuff, you should do it. Armors, unlike weapons, don't have to be distinct (although being distinct isn't a bad thing), the main purpose of armor in a souls game, aside from... or even more than defense, is looks. Some people want to look like an edgelord, and some just want to look as derpy as possible. The other effect armor has in souls games is that it affects your rolls. If you're going to be using something like light roll, medium roll, fat roll, it's good to have at least a couple of sets of armor that fits into each roll category. It also doesn't hurt to have armor that protects well against a specific thing, like fire, physical, or backstabs.

In general, you should try to have an an armor/weapon to fill 90-100% of the niches created by your unique game mechanics, but no more, and not much less, that'll be your sweet spot. Of course, your imagination and budget are also good limits

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