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Item Durability

crafting durability poll

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Poll: Item Durability (182 member(s) have cast votes)

What is your opinion on Item Durability in Project Eternity?

  1. Item Durability belongs in P:E and I like the mechanics from Update 58 (67 votes [36.81%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.81%

  2. Item Durability belongs in P:E but I would like different mechanics (post why) (30 votes [16.48%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.48%

  3. Item Durability does not belong in P:E (85 votes [46.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 46.70%

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#1
Sensuki

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Across the various forums (Here, RPGCodex, SomethingAwful etc) there seems to be a fair divide about the existence of Item Durability in Project Eternity.

Here is a response from J.E. Sawyer to give context.

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The purposes of it as described in this post seem to be: A money sink in case players don't invest in the Stronghold and to prevent non-optimal placement (or waste) of skill points when investing points into Crafting on two or more characters.

Do you think Item Durability has a place in Project Eternity?

If you do not 100% agree with the proposed mechanics, what do you suggest that they change?

#2
Blaine

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If item repair is meant to curb the currency accumulation that will occur for players who don't invest in the stronghold, then where does that leave players who do invest in the stronghold? Item repair will be mandatory, unlike the stronghold. Will stronghold investors be scrounging around anywhere they can for currency, then? 
 
My thoughts from RPG Codex, revised somewhat:
 

In some games, such as survival games (extreme scarcity of resources) and online sandbox games with player-run economies (item decay keeping craftsmen in business), durability makes sense to include and may be a vital part of the experience. It even serves a purpose in mediocre MMOs such as World of Warcraft, since a wide variety of currency sinks are needed.
 
I doubt durability has a place in a game such as Project Eternity. There should be no need for superfluous currency sinks in a single-player game if designed properly, it's not appropriate thematically, and it's probably (but see below) not called for by the game mechanics. This feels tacked-on to the max.
 
That said, if there are spells/abilities/throwable weapons/etc. that can dissolve/melt/shatter gear (rendering it "damaged"), then durability would make sense. Tactical complexity is always welcome.


Edited by Blaine, 03 July 2013 - 01:05 AM.

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#3
centurionofprix

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The inclusion of such mechanics strikes me as a waste of effort on everyone's part.


Edited by centurionofprix, 03 July 2013 - 01:06 AM.

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#4
IndiraLightfoot

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I tried to be open-minded, I thought it over, but my brain had degraded below 25 %. The answer I gleaned from the grey-cell meltdown. It was a resounding "not on my watch".

 

I'd hate for item degradation to become a force-fed money sink.


Edited by IndiraLightfoot, 03 July 2013 - 01:06 AM.


#5
Sacred_Path

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I chose #1 giving the benefit of doubt, i.e. I like durability and think it should go into P:E but the specifics are still vague. Still I don't have strong preferences as to implementing it differently.

in b4 the unavoidable strawman "in all the games I've played this was never fun" (which is a strawman in the case of deep story-driven RPGs)

#6
Hobo Elf

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It's nothing more than a tedious mechanic that only serves to annoy the player. The only time I was fine with item decay was in Baldur's Gate since it made sense from a story POV as well as it served as a tool to magnify the importance and greatness of even the lowliest Long Sword +1, although it wasn't added in as a deliberate money sink since weapons were very cheap to replace anyway. It was mostly just to create a few "oh ****" moments when your warriors weapon broke during a difficult encounter, or an "OH ****" moment when you do find a LS +1. Arkania did it in a similar fashion, if I'm not mistaken.

 

In Baldur's Gate its job was to make the player feel much better about finding a magical weapon, here it just serves to waste your time and money and saves Obsidian the time and trouble of balancing out money rewards.


Edited by Hobo Elf, 03 July 2013 - 01:21 AM.

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#7
Waswat

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I chose #1 giving the benefit of doubt, i.e. I like durability and think it should go into P:E but the specifics are still vague. Still I don't have strong preferences as to implementing it differently.

in b4 the unavoidable strawman "in all the games I've played this was never fun" (which is a strawman in the case of deep story-driven RPGs)

It's not a strawman, it's anecdotal evidence. Wow, I wish people would stop yelling strawman for every _potential_ fallacy. The thing is, we don't have any evidence as of yet that this system will be any different from the others.


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#8
Sacred_Path

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It's not a strawman, it's anecdotal evidence.


It could be anecdotal evidence if you stated what games with these elements you have played, why you didn't like it then and how this relates to the current game. Usually, that doesn't happen.

#9
Waswat

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It's not a strawman, it's anecdotal evidence.


It could be anecdotal evidence if you stated what games with these elements you have played, why you didn't like it then and how this relates to the current game. Usually, that doesn't happen.

 

Those statements have been made (by multiple people) in the main thread. They include world of warcraft and diablo 3 but also games like arcanum. 


Edited by Waswat, 03 July 2013 - 01:26 AM.

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#10
Achillius

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in b4 the unavoidable strawman "in all the games I've played this was never fun" (which is a strawman in the case of deep story-driven RPGs)

That's not what a straw-man is. A straw-man refers to either: (as a logical fallacy) attacking an opponent's position in a way which misrepresents their argument, or attacks another argument altogether. Or (as a logical/rhetorical exercise) the rhetorical practice of building up what is believed to be an incorrect argument in order to attack it and thereby better illustrate one's point.

 

Also, item degradation in RPGs is pointless and irritating in a single player game *unless* it is critically tied into some other system (as Blaine mentioned). Otherwise all it does is break up the flow of the game to little or no purpose. Really hope Obsidian reconsiders including this.  



#11
centurionofprix

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To elaborate on the previous post, I don't think the design problem (?) of money accumulation should be solved by making the player deal with an intrusive and annoying mechanic. The former problem at least doesn't constantly intrude upon gameplay, and never in the active manner of item repair.

 

(I did like the BG1 way of doing it, even if it was too easily solved due to the equipment system by carrying spares, since it was both tied to the story and it didn't present itself as a constant annoyance but rather as an occasional and sometimes terribly significant breakage)


Edited by centurionofprix, 03 July 2013 - 01:38 AM.

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#12
LadyCrimson

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I'm never particularly fond of item durability stuff, but it doesn't sound all that severe in P.E. Likely long durability, not on every item, no bad effects until it's all gone, and items don't actually break and aren't lost if you don't pay close enough attention for a bit. eg, it doesn't seem like you'll have to place constant, ever-vigilant, check after every fight with a kobold attention towards it. Maybe just when one is at a campfire or town for the night.

 

The money issue of repair, if one doesn't feel like going the crafting route ... can't say. Depends on the economy of the game.
 


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#13
Sacred_Path

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Those statements have been made (by multiple people) in the main thread. They include world of warcraft and diablo 3 but also games like arcanum.

Of these I would rule out WoW and D3 as they are different types of games.

Arcanum is one of the very few... no scratch that, the only... deep story-driven RPG with durability mechanics that I've played. I didn't mind it, but it didn't increase my enjoyment of the game either, as there were other things such as harvesting raw minerals and crafting that were far "deeper" than a simple repair mechanism. I guess the same could be true for P:E. Still, I'm fond enough of micromanagement in CRPGs that I would welcome one additional thing to keep track of, as long as it allows for some choices to be made; for example, do I repair the armor on my main tank very often, or at all? Who will develop the crafting skill to what proportions to avoid wear&tear? I think what speaks strongly for at least a neutral appraisal of durability in P:E is that items won't ever break or become entirely unserviceable, just a bit less effective. IMO this should be acceptable even if you're not fond of repairing.

#14
Sensuki

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I can see why the rate of Item Degradation is related to the Crafting skill absolutely. But I don't like it. Personally I do not care for that style of compensation for having characters with a few points in Crafting.

 

I think a better way to do Crafting would be to have the crafting score of other characters in the party assist the crafting score of the person doing the crafting - rather than relating to the rate at which weapons degrade, which I don't think has a home in an IE-style game in the first place, but if it was included, I would rather see it related to weapon proficiency (of which there isn't really any in P:E) because a Ranger who is awesome with a bow would know how to re-string it, and a Fighter who is awesome with a sword would know how to keep it in good condition (whetstone, oil cloth application etc).

 

Let's say your companion Aloth has pretty much max crafting skill points (13) when you pick him up, but your PC also has let's go with 7 points in Crafting. I am not sure of the exact relation of crafting skill points to crafting items but I would say that crafting points open up new recipes as well as act as an access level to being able to craft an item. They may also reduce component consumption ? PC's crafting skill of 7 could augment Aloth's crafting skill in a manner of ways that make it so that they were not a waste.

One example could be that PC's 7 crafting levels give Aloth access to items above his crafting skill level (say +1 for every 3 companion crafting skill points, with a minimum of +1). Or some other relation that I can't think of at the time.

 

That way the same goal is achieved, the player who makes a bad strategical choice when selecting the Crafting skill in a secondary character directly benefits the party.

 

This may not be feasible though as it probably is at odds with the design of the skill system in general, but it's another thought instead of having Item Durability.


Edited by Sensuki, 03 July 2013 - 01:40 AM.


#15
centurionofprix

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Why can't the one dude/dudette with crafting skills take care of the entire group's equipment on a daily basis, rather than everyone needing to look after their own stuff? Shouldn't the degree of wear on weapons be tied to the skill of the wielder rather than their crafting skill, especially if there is someone already in the group who knows crafting? This system makes less sense the more I think of it from the point of view of in-world logic, which isn't even to mention the gameplay annoyance.



#16
motorizer

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I'd like it in, for the moment of panic when your sword breaks, unfortunately it sounds like things won't actually break, just become damaged, so I voted option 2

 

I think the best crafter in the party should fix everything when you rest though, as long as you have the tools, clicking things in an inventory is never the most fun way to do stuff and any repairs like that should only be needed in an emergency.

 

I do wonder about the need for money sinks though, why not just give the player less money in the first place?


Edited by motorizer, 03 July 2013 - 01:57 AM.


#17
Sensuki

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Why can't the one dude/dudette with crafting skills take care of the entire group's equipment on a daily basis, rather than everyone needing to look after their own stuff? Shouldn't the degree of wear on weapons be tied to the skill of the wielder rather than their crafting skill, especially if there is someone already in the group who knows crafting? This system makes less sense the more I think of it from the point of view of in-world logic, which isn't even to mention the gameplay annoyance.

 

The reason is because there are a lot of .. uninformed players who will take crafting in multiple companions because they don't understand or didn't read the mechanics. This is something that really bothers Josh Sawyer as a designer, and the proposed relation of the crafting skill to item degradation rate is one way of making such a choice not a bad one and giving more characters reason to take the skill.

 

Good intention and not a bad way of lessening the impact of suboptimal skill choices, however I think it could be done in a way where Item degradation doesn't have to be a part of the game.

I won't cry if it's kept in, but yeah meh not an overall fan of it.



#18
Sacred_Path

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The reason is because there are a lot of .. uninformed players who will take crafting in multiple companions because they don't understand or didn't read the mechanics. This is something that really bothers Josh Sawyer as a designer, and the proposed relation of the crafting skill to item degradation rate is one way of making such a choice not a bad one and giving more characters reason to take the skill.


Uhm... I think the more obvious, practical reason is that otherwise, every party will have exactly that one skill monkey with a high crafting skill and nothing else. It's basically like saying "select one of your companions at the start who will receive less skill points than everyone else".

#19
Sensuki

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There might be an arbitrary limit to how many points you can apply to a skill per level like certain versions of D&D though.

 

The OP states the main reasons for it's inclusion - money sink and avoid suboptimal skill assignment shortfall.


Edited by Sensuki, 03 July 2013 - 02:13 AM.


#20
FlintlockJazz

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I actually like this implementation. Not normally a fan but this has the right mix of simplicity and low impact to avoid becoming a chore for me. It adds a degree of resource management that dungeon delving should have and considering how people were screaming that vancian magic is the best because it added resource and strategic planning I would have thought they would like this too.
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