Jump to content
anubite

Potions Suck and Here's Why

Recommended Posts

Potions can be broken into a number of categories.

Heals

Buffs Debuffs

Poisons

Weapons (bombs traps grenades smoke screens)

Creative use of potions so they are more tactical in use?

A potion that marks the spot you drink it, and another that teleports you back? Invisibility potions. Potions that can make you forget. (thrown as weapon can reset an encounter if npc's fail a will save, since they forgot you were fighting them, or convince someone to drink it. drinking it yourself allows you to reset some level up?) potions that let you see through obstacles (great for checking out traps, or the next room) A potion that allows you to see hidden messages in certain books or your surroundings (maybe a lot of work to fill the game with uses for that one) or see cloaked characters (imagine that there's a questline from people that you just happened to see because you were using this potion in a city. would be a cool hidden thing you could come across) I suppose quite a few of these have to do with getting you information you wouldn't otherwise have, so sort of scrying.

A potion which allows you to pass through some solid object (also difficult to implement without breaking the game, or making it extremely situational) Etherealness is used in DnD, and only specific weapons can then hurt you, so I suppose it would be useful in combat as well.

just spitballing some ideas here.

  • Like 1

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Making potions plentiful would be fine actually, provided the ptions never provide direct healing benefits. Potions that increase chance to block/evade are more tactical than life restoration potions, because you need to use them proactively to increase your life.


I made a 2 hour rant video about dragon age 2. It's not the greatest... but if you want to watch it, here ya go:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only game I've played that made me feel like potions are critical is actually RuneScape :getlost:, and that's just in the PvP and high-level item grinding. I agree that the potions system in the TES series are useless - they make the game too easy, and they are rarely needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pots often replicate the effects of spells. As has been said elsewhere; sometimes you don't have access to the spells but need the effect.

 

So I'd keep potions in. Making them genie-esque (i.e. soul-driven) is a good idea. From what I've read, there will be limited health-giving from means other than rest so I would expect this has already been factored-in and potions will not exist in abundance, although I'd like them to be craftable/creatable - say x a day at the stronghold using rare enough ingredients.


"People dislike the popular because it's crap"

 

"HTH. Because it means I can talk down to you some more."

 

"I can do you a quote a day, but you'll have to pay. Preferably with suicide."

 

"You want original? Why? It's not as though that's ever touched your life before."

 

"A woman scorned is a fun thing. Let's boogie."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't like potions that let you kill everything cheaply by just throwing money at the enemy. They should be rare-ish but there definately should be potions, so you can actually have a chance vs bosses or bosses have to have really low hp. I at least like the idea of preparing for a dungeon by buying a few potions and antidotes and stuffies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally hope that there are no health restore points at all. Zero.

 

 

There should be anti-venom potion which can help you to recover if you are poisoned. Which is something that exists in real life.

 

There should also be an anti-disease potion that helps you recover if you get some disease. Which is something that sort of exists in real life as well.

 

There should also be drugs and stimulants, which are also something that exists in real life, but always come with a trade-off.

 

 

Then, there just needs to be rest and food.

 

It might be interesting if different qualities of food had different impacts upon your character. If all you can afford is gruel, and that is all you eat, then you aren't going to be very healthy and aren't going to recover very quickly, but if you can afford a better quality ration, then you'll have more energy, recover faster, and be generally more resistant to disease.

Edited by metacontent

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would prefer if there were no magic potions in the game.

I'd just want them to be rare as hen's teeth; and prized when aquired ~and saved for last resort.

 

I did like the toxin mechanic for potions in the original Witcher.

Well dang, if we keep following suggestions like this, the game might as well just be a medieval Europe sim. My impression was that most people signed up to get a game experience like the IE series. Neither magic nor potions were that rare in the IE games; just expensive, as should be. The economics can take care of the scarcity.


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would prefer if there were no magic potions in the game.

I'd just want them to be rare as hen's teeth; and prized when aquired ~and saved for last resort.

 

I did like the toxin mechanic for potions in the original Witcher.

Well dang, if we keep following suggestions like this, the game might as well just be a medieval Europe sim. My impression was that most people signed up to get a game experience like the IE series. Neither magic nor potions were that rare in the IE games; just expensive, as should be. The economics can take care of the scarcity.

 

We signed up knowing full well we wouldn't get an IE clone. Because they're opting not to even use the IE engine - when they easily could.

 

So it goes without saying, why not change something? BG2 was not perfect and potions was just one aspect that could have used some tweaking.

  • Like 1

I made a 2 hour rant video about dragon age 2. It's not the greatest... but if you want to watch it, here ya go:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm fine with simple Infinity Engine style potions - lots of variety, not too common occurrence, no alchemy.

 

Everything will be better than Skyrim and DA:O potion spamfest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Because they're opting not to even use the IE engine - when they easily could.

Not using an 12 year old engine, not suited for windows 7 by default, for lower resolutions and many other quirks... and that's a bad thing? Really?

 

Sure I love Deus Ex, but I wouldn't suggest using Unreal 1.5 to make it this day. And not just because modern UE's look prettier either. I am sure many of the The Nameless Mod modders can tell you what awesome functions of modern engines are missing, making it a lot harder to work with... same here.


^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

TSLRCM Official Forum || TSLRCM Moddb || My other KOTOR2 mods || TSLRCM (English version) on Steam || [M4-78EP on Steam

Formerly known as BattleWookiee/BattleCookiee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the D&D games potions and wands tend to have similar abilities to arcane and divine spells and in many cases are used as a means to counteract the limited number of spells per rest mechanism (see BG). As PE doesn't have such a limitation in large part they simply aren't needed in that role. The only justification for having them would be to provide unique and distinct capabilities. These abilities should not be spammable, both in terms of the mechanic and what they actually are needed to do. This could justify taking points in potion crafting for character or class creation compared to alternatives in order to get greater combat and non combat tactical options (both on your party and everyone else). If this is done potions should be available but not common but also not rare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could "Alchemy" as a craft be its own type of "Grimoire"... in sense? E.g., an "Ability" book with powers that you use on a fly instead of hoarding 100 potions in your inventory you make potions "on the fly". There is not Alchemist class though... a type of Rogue? Monk? Wizard?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Potions in Skyrim suck due to power creep. By level 20, it takes 10 of those minor healing potions to refill you from critical health, and the lower level poisons just aren't useful enough to even make a dent in higher level enemies to be viable. I only found them useful in the 2E games because level scaling was alot more subtle. Potions of heroism were game changers at the lower levels, but still helped at max.

 

To make potions less of a waste, I'd like the following tier calculation:

 

{Base stat % + number based on tier of the potion}

 

On healing potions for example, the + small number will make minor healing potions fully viable to lower levels, but the 30-50% base health increase will still keep them marginally useful at higher levels to top a character off during a lull in the fighting even if the base number of healing is too low to bother with.

 

Also, power progression will need to be kept in check, preferebly at 2E levels. This godawful fixation on 60 levels and massive stat number growth popularized by JRPGs and MMOs has to go.

 

O_o That's why you get more powerful potions. What a strange criticism.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I've always had issues with consumable items in RPGs, and always end up compulsively hoarding them for 'when I'll need them,' which more often than not turns out to be never. In that regard, while I'd like to see something new and exciting done with holdout consumables if the players don't want that then hey, I'll just pawn my consumables in Project Eternity like I do in Planescape: Torment. 600 copper is big money for something I'm never gonna' use.

 

I think much of the issue with modern consumable design comes down to a bloating of variety. Skyrim's a strong example of this--near hundreds of different highly-specialized effects for a variety of situations, most of them only providing a brief boost to your abilities for lots of time spent fishing through your inventory for that one-in-forty potion that you need unless you're one of the players that are explicitly trying to crack the system, in which case potions become hilariously broken as in any Elder Scrolls game. But otherwise their variety makes them highly cumbersome for very little payoff.

New Vegas, however, had a lot of consumables that were boiled down to food, drink and chems. Since there were only about ten or so unique chems and they all had distinct names, appearances and mechanical functions, it was easy to find what you needed in your inventory quickly. This didn't solve the problem of the massive hoarded list of items necessarily, but it at least succeeded in keeping that list from interrupting gameplay quite as much. If consumables are to stay in their traditional format, I would prefer a compact list of specialized items that are readily available around the game world and barely--if ever--scale up in power in the form of new and improved versions.

 

As far as alternative consumable systems go, however, I'd like to bring up Super Dungeon Explore: A goofy tabletop wargame framed as a hack & slash RPG dungeon crawl. The game works largely like a pen & paper RPG except the DM and players are actively competing against each other under specific conditions. One thing I found really interesting about the game was that players could gain Potion and Heart tokens as they hit monsters depending on how the dice rolled, the Hearts would replenish their health and the Potions would essentially give them consumables to activate. What was interesting was each different type of hero had a specific special effect for when they used the potion. This potion could be used at any time and if I remember correctly, on any character. The paladin, for instance, had a straight healing potion. The rogue, meanwhile, had a potion that allowed heroes to teleport. The dwarven tank could spend a potion to take an attack for an ally.

A system like this where consumables are a unified resource that different characters can apply in different ways seems interesting to me, and I'd love to at least see a prototype of it if the resources exist to make it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I'd bring up several potion system, from various games, that I like that - I think - make potions a bit more interesting:

 

DS1:

 

Drinking a potion doesn't empty the bottle, you only drink a certain amount and one potion bottle can have multiple uses, you can even drain additional potions into your partially full potion bottle, and carry around less potion bottles as a result. You could also get potion bottles of increased size (within reason), which meant, again, less need for tons of potion bottles clogging up your inventory.

 

Various Games:

 

Potion sickness. While potions can have beneficial results in most games, some of them take into account that: "too much of a good thing" mentality and, as a result, note that drinking to many of a particular potion, or drinking a mix of different potions, could have bad results. Potion sickness in some games lowers your stats, some of them prevent you from drinking further potions, while others allow you to keep drinking potions for less result and stacking statistical penalties. Still further games brought in more than such things and over drinking potions could cause a DoT effect to slowly wittle away your health while making potions no longer effect you (but they could stack further penalties).

 

Hunter the Demon's Forge:

 

Personally I didn't like this game much, but it did bring something to the table. The Potion Belt. You could only carry so many potions, and you carried them on your belt. A limited number of potions in total, and their rarity in the game made things a bit more interesting . . . but let's face it nothing was going to save that game. Still, a limited belt or bar of inventory slots that acted as the only way you could access potions in combat was, of course, a decent idea.

 

Gothic II:

 

In contrast Gothic II, if you went into your inventory . . . the game didn't pause, and your attempt to drink your potions stuck in your inventory would likely just get you killed. The game even required the character go into a 'drinking the potion' animation which, if interrupted, would cause the character to fail to drink the potion. Hence in combat drinking of potions was . . . not impossible, but highly impractical by design. I felt this was a good thing, as potions became things you used before combat or after. Before combat you might plan for a damage type you might experience. After combat you'd heal your wounds and treat poisons.

 

-

 

A good developer might combine aspects of Hunter's potion belt with Gothic II's mentality, and keep in that 'drinking animation' aspect that, if interrupted, fails the potion drinking. So, you'd have quick access to two or three select potions on your belt, but, you'd still have to take the time to drink them. You could easily just waste a potion.

 

-

 

While different games handle potions in different ways, I think most problems with potions aren't an issue with potions themselves, but rather with their implementation. None of the things I mentioned encompass all the possibilities, and, of course, they had their own hiccups, but I prefer such things. I especially prefer them to the idea of a 'potion cooldown' which, in my mind, makes less sense than a potion sickness mechanic of some sort. Even a mechanic that notes combining certain positive potions (drinking a bunch at once) together could have negative results. Sure that anti disease and anti cold potion might be great on their own, but drink them together and you go blind.

 

I think potions, if handled well, are a perfectly fine thing to bring into a game.

Edited by Umberlin
  • Like 2

"Step away! She has brought truth and you condemn it? The arrogance!

You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make all non-restoration potions "big gains with short durations" - potions that gaurantee critical hits, make you immune to cold damage, make you attack 200% faster, etc. - huge increases and powers - but they last only a very short time (less than 5 seconds). They are uncommon, expensive, have long cooldowns, and/or be risky to utliize. Players should feel like they are using potions as a conscious strategy and not a button you just click when you're doing bad.

 

I don't really like having cooldowns on potions, but it is one common solution. A better one might be, to have a "potion tolerance" system like the witcher, where you can only drink a certain number of potions in a day, or you will critically poison and kill yourself.

 

Another system is present in Path of Exile, where potions are not transient items, but permanent equip-ables - magical flasks that refill when you defeat enemies. Potions get stats on them and are balanced around the number of drinks you can procure from them per number of kills made in combat.

 

But please do not use the "traditional" potion systems we're familiar with. This is something we can improve upon, but most game designers neglect to.

 

I like what you're suggesting, but I don't think potions are the best way to accomplish this. I mean, they're in a fragile flask, you have to actually drink them... not very practical for such short-term buffs. A rune system could accomplish this a lot better: they are on your person (hanging from your belt, for example), can be easily activated by touching them and saying a command word, and permanent but requiring constant refilling, which makes balancing them a lot easier. Also, you'll have to figure out their command word in order to use them, so looted ones are either completely useless (and thus, can be freely given to enemies without worrying about the player having too many of them) or a great money/skill sink (you have to invest into spells which can divine what said command word may be).

 

Also, you can have a separate potion system resembling to Witcher: you chug 'em down before the encounter, and last until it ends, but don't give very substantial bonuses.


"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Umberlin: Great ideas, great post! I like all 4 of them.

 

So... just breaking it down/combining:

1. Potions that have several uses (You drink 1/3rd of a potion instead of drinking all of it at once)

2. Too much of the "good thing" will give you "bad things" (drinking 3/3 of a potion in one fight could give you penalties? Or perhaps 1 potion and 1/3 of another one... combinations sicknesses? Drinking the Potion of Vigor restores stamina but if I drink the Potion of Strength right after I'll get cramps?)

3. Limited Ability to Carry Potions (which in my opinion is great... potions are way too abundant in these games)

4. Interrupted "Drinking Potion" animation, like "Spell Failure" it would be like "Potion Failure". Could a Berserker get real mad if his booze is destroyed? (A Berserker should totally have alcohol as a means to be stronger in battle)

 

EDIT: For number 3 a "spellbook" for Alchemists could serve this function somewhat, you'd get 100 potions but you'd have to make them, then use them. Kind of like in the way you Cast Spells but you "Crast" Potions (Craft/Cast wordplay, "Caft" works too).

Edited by Osvir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't mind potions really, in the infinity engine I never really used them regularly apart from health/antidote potions, and to be honest I think that more of a problem is having them underpowered to the point of irrelevancy (which is what I read as the OP "under 5 second" proposal, there is very limited use for something which lasts 5 seconds). If it's really an issue, I'd say firstly perhaps the average duration should be about the length of one standard encounter.

 

Secondly, if you really wanted to stop "potion chugging", perhaps some sort of toxicity mechanic, where if you drink lots of potions too quickly it causes negative status effects. If different potions had different toxicity scores, you can drink any combination of potions you like, but if you went greater than a certain level defined by your constitution, you get status effects such as lowered attributes, sleep, paralysis, slowed etc or if you go too far, even death.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EDIT: For number 3 a "spellbook" for Alchemists could serve this function somewhat, you'd get 100 potions but you'd have to make them, then use them. Kind of like in the way you Cast Spells but you "Crast" Potions (Craft/Cast wordplay, "Caft" works too).

 

Potion Belt, be it, essentially, an alchemist's spell book or whatever you want to call it is fine, I think the core 'limited number of slots' thing is the important thing to get through there. What it's called is less important. In the end, like you said, you'd still have make (or buy or find) the potions at your disposal to even put them on the belt, and you wouldn't be carrying all 100 you could make/buy/find (whatever) on your belt. Just a very limited number of them, combine that with ideas like, as you put it, potion failure (or potion drinking animation interruption for the way too long version) and it starts to shine brighter.

 

In the end limiters like 'limited number on you', 'potion sicknesses from drinking too much of one potion, or combining certain potions', 'the ability for an enemy to interrupt drinking a potion' and all that . . . are important, in my mind, for the same reason that other mechanics have limiters (be they magic/melee/ranged or otherwise).

 

To make the potion belt more interesting . . . I suppose the thing to do would be to have different kinds of potions. Say offensive potions, defensive potions and support potions, Let's say you have . . . four slots on your belt. Do you dedicate all four slots on your belt to offensive 'exploding' potions? Or do you put a healing potion in one of those slots? Perhaps a potion that cures poison or that covers your skin in stone temporarily. Choices that make you think, and sacrificing certain potions because you can't have them all on the belt up front. Even of those on the belt, you still need take care - potion sickness, and interruption while attempting to drink a potion. So that even outside of the belt itself, in combat, you need to think tactically, and thus aren't just chugging a potion in the middle of battle constantly.

 

Any element that adds more tactical thought to combat, in my mind, is a good way to go for any mechanic, be it potions or otherwise. I'm not a fan of axing something just because other people have done them badly or in flawed ways before. That's the Bioware ME2 mindset I disliked, "Our ME1 inventory was terrible, in ME2 we could fix it, and make it right . . . but nah, that'd take thought and effort, let's just axe it." That sort of thinking is definitely what I don't want to see.

  • Like 2

"Step away! She has brought truth and you condemn it? The arrogance!

You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Potion Belt is awesome Umberlin, and I'd prefer to go with that, just wanted to add the "Alchemist Recipe List" (The Tome of Empty Vial) onto your idea/thoughts because it seemed to fit with it. I think your post has the most interesting-effective approach, thanks for sharing :)

Edited by Osvir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To make the potion belt more interesting . . . I suppose the thing to do would be to have different kinds of potions. Say offensive potions, defensive potions and support potions, Let's say you have . . . four slots on your belt. Do you dedicate all four slots on your belt to offensive 'exploding' potions?

 

.....

 

Any element that adds more tactical thought to combat, in my mind, is a good way to go for any mechanic, be it potions or otherwise.

 

I disagree completely with the whole mindset.

Arbitrary rules and limitations are something I just hate in rpg systems "I'm a master swordsman, but don't know at all how to fight with a katana. Oh gee, seems I'm not even able to hold it in my hands"

 

Death to arbitrary rules no matter how badly that breaks up the balance and tactics, there will be new balance and tactics in the end.

 

I'm all for utility belt quick-slot potions actually, but I'd like to carry an extra gallon jug of cureall in the backpack to refill the tiny vials later.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To make the potion belt more interesting . . . I suppose the thing to do would be to have different kinds of potions. Say offensive potions, defensive potions and support potions, Let's say you have . . . four slots on your belt. Do you dedicate all four slots on your belt to offensive 'exploding' potions?

 

.....

 

Any element that adds more tactical thought to combat, in my mind, is a good way to go for any mechanic, be it potions or otherwise.

 

I disagree completely with the whole mindset.

Arbitrary rules and limitations are something I just hate in rpg systems "I'm a master swordsman, but don't know at all how to fight with a katana. Oh gee, seems I'm not even able to hold it in my hands"

 

Death to arbitrary rules no matter how badly that breaks up the balance and tactics, there will be new balance and tactics in the end.

 

I'm all for utility belt quick-slot potions actually, but I'd like to carry an extra gallon jug of cureall in the backpack to refill the tiny vials later.

 

Bare with me - combining the Jug into the idea as well. The Alchemist Notes is merely a list of ingredients that you can craft, the Jug is the tool, the Potion Belt would be the Alchemists "Magic" tab, specifically. The quickslot belt being something else where other characters can hold potions, but for the Alchemist he could have all potions and chemistry effects/abilities in one tab, the "Grimoire" that you "cast" with. Eh eh eh? :brows: no? Okay :) I like you anyways.

 

My mindset is that Crafting could be Class Specific (maybe even built into a sub-class/development/advancement). This isn't Skyrim where you have one character that can do everything, and with 6 party members I'd play the game with characters doing different things because it seems most logical and most reasonable, instead of having one character that does all crafting, so it crafting as a mechanic can be tactical in itself. Some classes could be better with some different stuff, so if I don't take the Wizard into my party my Alchemy isn't going as be as good as if I had. Maybe even have to sacrifice some Proficient Crafting Class because I'd rather have a Wizard than a Monk as an example.

 

Example:

- Wizard: Alchemy Focus

- Rogue: Alchemy and Herbalism Average

- Monk: Herbalism Focus

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We certainly need new approach about potions, they should be really rare and have interesting side effects ... May be something like The Withcer potion system ;)


Never say no to Panda!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...