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Magical gear: one of a kind or plug and play?


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Would you prefer powerful magical arms and armour to be items like most of those to be had in the BG and Icewind Dale games? Mostly unique items with preset powers?

Or would it be better to use a system that accomodates the use of something like runes or gems to customize and perhaps respec magical items to your liking? Or a blend of both concepts? BG2´s Flail of Ages could be customized after a fashion.

 

Both types of gear could/should be craftable, but a crafted item would probably lack those nice and detailed item descriptiopns of the older games.

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Either way I really hope it's not a "enchantment lottery" where you get 2 or 3 wildly different enchantments on one item, it makes it near impossible to pick between two items. Enchanting itmes yourself could be a good way to strategise depending on frequency of pre-enchanted equipment. Say for instance you've been tasked with clearing out a tomb of some kind of restless undead, and you know (or were hinted) that undead are weak to fire/holy enchantments. A player can then choose between spending some gold on enchanting fire equipment or saving the gold but with only the equipment they have on them. If a player plans on buying a lot of stuff, it could make a bartering/appraisal proficient character more appealing, and who ever has put points into barter skills before?

 

Although the same effect could be gotten from having a decent amount of enchanted goods be avaiable from shops, but I'm not sure what Obsidian wants shops to be like.

Edited by Mr Moonlight
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As much as I like randomized loot attributes (Diablo/Borderlands) I don't think it would fit well into this type of game.

I'd prefer hand crafted unique magic weapons/items over randomly generated boosts.

Socketable items, I'm gonna lean towards no as well, just doesn't feel like a good fit for what I hope this game will be.

 

I love socketable gear and randomized loot, but it has it's place.

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Yes, the unique magic items with a custom lore in the IE games added a lot of color to the experience.

 

However, I would really like it if the items varied a little bit with each playthrough. Not enough to be completely random, but enough to change the replay gaming experience. (I.e. sufficiently to make writing walkthrough guides more difficult.)

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

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Yes, the unique magic items with a custom lore in the IE games added a lot of color to the experience.

 

However, I would really like it if the items varied a little bit with each playthrough. Not enough to be completely random, but enough to change the replay gaming experience. (I.e. sufficiently to make writing walkthrough guides more difficult.)

 

Perhaps have a long-dead adventurer in a dungeon have a different weapon of X level each new game, but have the artifact of the ancient wizard be the same based on the legends of that wizard. Some good loot being assigned different places in each game but the key epic equipment with greater history and significance be in the right spots each time. Though that's the most common loot system... I'm fairly certain Obsidian will have more hand-placed loot than random loot.

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Would you prefer powerful magical arms and armour to be items like most of those to be had in the BG and Icewind Dale games? Mostly unique items with preset powers?

Or would it be better to use a system that accomodates the use of something like runes or gems to customize and perhaps respec magical items to your liking? Or a blend of both concepts? BG2´s Flail of Ages could be customized after a fashion.

 

Yes. Since we earned a crafting system, I would like both. However, I have some expectations for how I would prefer it to work:

 

1. "Random" items should have FEW bonuses (one or at most two) that may potentially be INCREDIBLY big. However, if you use them, you've got a severe slot problem where you can't get a LOT of useful bonuses on the same character. It also helps if certain bonuses can ONLY be found on certain slots on the random gear, so if you want, say, an item that grants fortification against critical hits, that item's gonna be a belt, so you better have the belt slot free. Oh, you have a really cool belt you'd rather wear? YOU EATIN THE CRITS THEN, BEYOTCH. SUCK IT.

2. Premium loot items (named items you just find with unique bonuses) should have a stack of thematically related pre-set bonuses that are all good, but not the best possible available through "random" gear. They should and can have bonuses in slots where random gear can't.

3. Artifact-level items (named items that are quite difficult to get, and require some combination of scavenger hunt, ultra-crafting investment, buttering up certain NPC's, completing complex quest chains a certain way, etc.) should have several thematically-related pre-set bonuses that are potentially the best possible available. They shouldn't have slot restrictions, and they should have some customization depending on how complex it is to acquire.

4. Craftable items should be fully customizable, but have strict limitations based off the crafting system. You should be able to make some really good stuff, but it should require some serious investment of either finding specific materials/recipes, leveling up the crafting skills, using up special mats that exist in strictly limited quantity. The very best craftable stuff should be about premium-level in usefulness, BUT there should be some synergy between artifacts and the crafting skill (perhaps people with mega crafting can, say upgrade the base damage on artifacts or something) so you don't just quit crafting once you start acquiring artifacts.

 

Anyhow, that's my take on how to manage this sort of system. Above all I think there should ALWAYS be tradeoffs, so no matter what level you are you're still sitting there going, is this random item better, or this artifact better? Or should I just craft something to get the 2 specific bonuses I want? This also helps keep the loot system in flux, so when you find something that (yay!) has those 2 bonuses you really want, even though power-wise it's more of a sidegrade than a true upgrade, or helps you consolidate slots so you don't have to switch gear to fight fire monsters, whatever, it's still a cool find. This helps reduce power creep where every new item has to be a "better" item otherwise it's just vendor trash.

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Grand Rhetorist of the Obsidian Order

If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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The original IE games weren't very randomized in terms of loot: Bosses yielded unique weapons, lieutenants something like a short sword +2. After two or more play-throughs you were pretty sure what enemy would drop which loot, that took some excitement out of it. I'd like to have some randomization on common magics (more than + on damage or hit modifier) but also have notorious epic and legendary items at definite places. The NWN series did better with it's variety of attributes and modularly designed items, so I'd say Obsidian already knows how to do it right.

nec temere, nec timide

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Would you prefer powerful magical arms and armour to be items like most of those to be had in the BG and Icewind Dale games? Mostly unique items with preset powers?

Or would it be better to use a system that accomodates the use of something like runes or gems to customize and perhaps respec magical items to your liking? Or a blend of both concepts? BG2´s Flail of Ages could be customized after a fashion.

 

Both types of gear could/should be craftable, but a crafted item would probably lack those nice and detailed item descriptiopns of the older games.

Personally prefer a mix of the two. That way you get the historical awesome artifacts that were used by king so and so or general this and that in the past, while also having the allowance to craft equal or better weapons that you get to pretend becomes one of the above after the end of the game. See: NWN2.

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The developers have already confirmed very little randomization is planned. Thank god for that.

 

http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/61523-ask-anything-on-reddit-10am-pdt-1pm-et-today/page__st__60?do=findComment&comment=1241729

 

JESawyer: We will rely more on placed loot than randomized loot. The IWD games had a huge amount of unique items and most of those were hand-placed (e.g. Pale Justice). I like writing the unique histories of those items, anyway. :)

There might be a tiny amount of randomization, but that will likely happen at that the individual gear level. E.g. 5 bandits are placed on a map. When the map loads, each will randomly be given a pair of shortswords, a longsword and shield, or a bigass mace.

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DEFINITELY one of a kind stuff. But I would like to add that I preferred the way Baldur's Gate did it to the way Icewind Dale did. In Icewind Dale, if I remember correctly, you would have a bunch of static, one of a kind items that all had a chance to drop from a particular chest or location. This was a little aggravating for me because I would just look up the loot tables and save and reload until I got what I needed the most (unless I'm thinking of something else, its been a while).

 

I liked it in Baldur's Gate better, where every item had a specific place it could be found without any randomization.

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DEFINITELY one of a kind stuff. But I would like to add that I preferred the way Baldur's Gate did it to the way Icewind Dale did. In Icewind Dale, if I remember correctly, you would have a bunch of static, one of a kind items that all had a chance to drop from a particular chest or location. This was a little aggravating for me because I would just look up the loot tables and save and reload until I got what I needed the most (unless I'm thinking of something else, its been a while).

 

I liked it in Baldur's Gate better, where every item had a specific place it could be found without any randomization.

It would be preferable if they pre-loaded a random seed key with each game startup so that you get consistent results with each load but different results with each full playthrough. That would add significantly to the replay value.

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

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It would be preferable if they pre-loaded a random seed key with each game startup so that you get consistent results with each load but different results with each full playthrough. That would add significantly to the replay value.

 

I agree that would be a great idea!!! XCOM EU does this with dice rolls per mission and I would think would be pretty easy to implement... but then again I'm not a dev lol

Edited by ValarMorghulis

"You must gather your party before venturing forth."

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@PsychoBlonde: I like the way you think!

 

Personally, I would love more or less hand placed items of power(with lore and art) best, but crafting was promised as a stretch goal and in all fairness most IE games where rather weak on crafting.

I am on the fence about randomly dropped power gear, even if the percentage to get it would be low. I know it is a AD&D staple, but if the stuff is OP (for your level), the Dungeon Master could do something about that. This would be impossible for a crpg.

 

My beef with crafting is that

a) I love to futz around the workbench

b) but if it is done in a Bethesda-like way, it is so easy to break the game for me.

But that is probably more a resutt of the skill levelling system of games like Skyrim, which does not apply to P:E (or does it?)

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