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182 members have voted

  1. 1. What is your opinion on Item Durability in Project Eternity?

    • Item Durability belongs in P:E and I like the mechanics from Update 58
      67
    • Item Durability belongs in P:E but I would like different mechanics (post why)
      30
    • Item Durability does not belong in P:E
      85


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The more features the better, always thought it was rather well handled in Betrayal at Krondor. However I would like to add that maybe there should be certain top tier weapons and armour that do not degrade, or are self repairing. Used as a reward for thorough exploration or valorous deeds.

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Lay it on us with the item degradation, I say. Make boots worn down from travelling and make guns rust when exposed to salty sea air! Your belt loses durability whenever you switch weapons in combat and a broken belt makes switching slower. I'm not even kidding although you wish I were.

A lot of this, though, is dependent on how repairing works. If it's only done at camp areas that might help make it not busy-work like, but rather a strategic choice of what to repair for your next venture.

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I'm intrigued by it. The thought if having to upkeep equipment is something I've always liked in P&P, because it makes you think before charging into a dungeon.

 

Two questions for any wandering devs:

 

1. Will magic items or rare material(like adamantium) items have different durability ratings than standard items?

 

2. Could you implement a sunder mechanic?


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Who would you even have a poll for game features anyway, what is this, design by democracy?

 

The main thing that could ruin the game is listening to backers too much.

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I don't usually like item degradation, so why don't I mind it here?

For a few reasons.

1. it only affects items for which it makes sense

2. Items can be repaired indefinitely.

3. This might actually make it worthwhile and interesting to keep something you've crafted and customised early on, your signature weapon.

4. You will never lose an item.

5. An item will only become less useful if you have neglected it for way too long

6. There are alternatives to crafting for keeping your gear in order, but crafting becomes a skill with merit.

7. There's nothing wrong with gold sinks, let's face it, what's the point of loot if you can only collect it?

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I don't think any of us here expect them to change the mechanics based on a poll. This is just a thread+poll focused on this one point of the update that there appears to be a divide on, rather than doing it in the update thread.

 

They may note or ignore at their leisure. I'm sure they appreciate the feedback even if they disagree with it.

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I guess the Crafting skill becomes a de facto default choice for front liners.

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That way all the cheese-eating surrender munchkins will be happy.

:cat:

 

I'm glad that at least someone is thinking of us!

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I guess the Crafting skill becomes a de facto default choice for front liners.

No, because there isn't percentile damage reduction like in New Vegas or Dark Souls. As long as weapons don't get down to 0% durability, your character isn't penalized. So just repair your stuff in town between quests; you only need one crafter.

 

You could argue that there's a cost associated with not picking up crafting for frontliners, because they take the most abuse and therefore benefit the most from better degradation rates, which is a valid point, but there is also an opportunity cost for not picking up any other skill. I seriously doubt the small amount of cash you save by having to repair your equipment less frequently is enough of a benefit that it will overshadow other skills. That is only an ancillary benefit after all, while skills like stealth, or lockpicking or whatever are actually giving your character a primary advantage. So I would conclude that it is still suboptimal to have multiple crafters in your party.

 

Now that I think about it, I wonder how they'll handle other skills like lockpicking.

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You could argue that there's a cost associated with not picking up crafting for frontliners, because they take the most abuse and therefore benefit the most from better degradation rates, which is a valid point, but there is also an opportunity cost for not picking up any other skill. I seriously doubt the small amount of cash you save by having to repair your equipment less frequently is enough of a benefit that it will overshadow other skills. That is only an ancillary benefit after all, while skills like stealth, or lockpicking or whatever are actually giving your character a primary advantage. So I would conclude that it is still suboptimal to have multiple crafters in your party.

I would counter this by saying; lets assume gear uses a 100% scale. Assuming players stay on the critical path they will encounter mooks that are within +/- 1-2 levels, which means they will land 95% of their attacks. If every attack/defense degrades armor/weapons by 1 point then I feel "repairs" will become quite the frequent and expensive endeavor. Especially as player progress to more expensive gear.


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I don't mind degradation as it seems to be on a leisurely schedule and the effect is relatively mild. I just hope Obsidians artists don't have to paint each of those items twice just to get the worn effect visible. Hopefully this can be done with a texture overlay. Otherwise I would deem it too expensive for so small an effect. I.e.:

 

Degradation brings us:

1) another use for the crafting skills, so that others, i.e. front line fighters, will take it too on a smaller level. Ok.

 

and

2) money sink.

But what I don't get here is the mathematics of it: Practically this is just a percentage shaved off the loot money you collect.

Because the duration of a fight doesn't grow and the profit would generally grow as fast as the worth of your equipment, a typical fight is always costing you a fixed amount of the money you get out of the fight. So the end result is the same as if you just decreased all loot value by that same percentage. It doesn't solve the problem of the stronghold (someone not taking it has still more money than others) and it doesn't solve the problem of side quests generating money (someone who makes more side quests still has more money by the same percentage).

 

The only problem it seems to help with is that if you avoid combat you get less loot, but also you don't degrade your weapons as much. Since you also get quest rewards that don't have this percentual shave-off and practically are more worth to the player, it really closes the gap between "brutes" and "angels".

Edited by jethro

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As described, durability sounds tedius and boring.

 

First there is my psychological response to seeing a durability bar constantly go down. Which is a negative one. I can definately see myself heading back to a forge every time a weapon hits ~75% "just in case". This isn't going to be fun, but that bar going down all the time is going to create concern in my mind.

 

Second, is that mechanic has no reward for the player. Even if you pump crafting as high as you can, you don't gain anything from the durability, you just lose less.

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I'm between #2 and #3. I would accept the durability stat in a single-player game if it's a legitimate resource management tool, tied to death/unconsciousness, perhaps tied to difficulty levels, and not too closely wedded to crafting. Maybe if you choose to fight enemies higher level than you, durability is reduced; if you're crit too often, your durability also takes a hit. Then there's the issue of how repair actually works out in the game, whether it feels like a nonstrategic chore or what.

 

 

Some of my thoughts from the update 58 thread (including this and this), but ultimately, I expect we'll be seeing a mod for this anyway:

 

 

 

 

Here we go

 

It's both for the economy and to make Crafting a skill that has value on more than one party member. Typically, crafting-related skills can/should only be taken on one party member because the rules don't reward taking it on more than one. If you do, those points are essentially wasted. A durability system allows us to use individual Crafting skills to scale individual degradation rates. And yes, repair does become an economy sink because "static" items have a consumable aspect to them. A lot of players have a preference for finding, rather than buying, rare/unique items in the world (e.g. many people responded negatively to unique items in IWD2's stores), which can result in a lot of money accumulation in the late game. The stronghold will be a good money sink, but a lot of people may choose to not do much with the stronghold, so there's no guarantee it will be a sink.

 

 

Two points to that quote:

 

First, why should there be economy sinks in a single-player game? In MMOs, the minority raiders tend to have the most money because because they get access to the best shinies to sell, but while raiding they risk a lot more death and require expensive consumables and some "durability" stat, all of which serve as gold sinks to even out the player economy. The difference is that PE durability is going to favor players who skip as much combat as possible, so that other poster's suggestion that the intent is to balance the economy against combat-players who gain more loot might make sense. But I honestly do not understand why a single-player game must have economy sinks at all; if a player ends up spending the time farming gold and whatever, what exactly does that break?

 

Second, let me clarify what some of the other posters are saying in their discomfort with tying crafting to a durability mechanic: Under no circumstances do players enjoy being manipulated by an arbitrary mechanic in order to achieve normal gameplay.

 

There is no real choice involved in this durability stat as it stands, vendor repair aside, in terms of true resource management, because this doesn't apply to what spells to cast or combat strategy or anything like that besides "do I even want to get into combat in this hallway?" But this is not "encouragement" to try out crafting. I'm sorry, but when it comes to these types of systems, they should stand on their own merits. There are players who enjoy crafting and those who don't. There are those who like playing ranged archer characters and those who don't. There are players who prefer hacking everything to death as they go through an enemy stronghold and those who don't. Typically when we talk about these types of systems for which the definition of "fun" varies from player to player, we need options and thus choices. Unless vendor repair is quite inexpensive and the only inconvenience is finding a vendor NPC out in the wilds, crafting plus durability this way is not a choice.

 

It's a disappointing manipulation.

 


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I tend to not use crafting in most games as it is usually boring and unnecessary.  I never touched it in NWN, NWN2 or even Dragon Age, except for making the occasional poultice.   But that was only in the beginning, when they were rare.  By end game I was swimming in healing potions, and gold was practically disposable.

 

I think the effectiveness of crafting is going to depend, in large part, on how well the economy is balanced.  And this is something most CRPGs get horribly wrong and have for a long time.  We've made tremendous strides in designed combat systems, game mechanics, graphics, sound, etc.  But in most games I'm still trading in spare swords like I was doing 25 years ago in the Bard's Tale. So I hope this crafting mechanic is built with the larger economy in mind.

 

I have no problem with durability, and actually I wish they would make it a little more hardcore than what Mr. Cain described in the update. As a way to keep inflation down it is excellent.  But again, this only makes sense in the context of a functioning economy.

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I, too, am in between option 2 and 3. I would only be for a durability system if it's truly meaningful, or, as Ieo put it, "a legitimate resource management tool". I've never seen durability of items implemented in any game in a way that wasn't annoying. It's only ever functioned as the simplest, most boring, and worst form of "money sink", one that most games are trying to do away with by planning their overall game economy better.

 

There's already crafting in the game, which could potentially be tailored as a money sink for people who rather make their own items from materials bought from a vendor rather than buy them from a vendor right away.

 

How is it even possible to make durability meaningful? If my sword breaks, I either backtrack to an area where I can repair it, or make sure to always carry 2-3 swords so that I can cycle between them until I'm likely to get back to town. If durability only exists as a money sink, it's nothing but an annoying mechanic that players will do everything to try to get around. Crafting, while I don't approve of the currently suggested system, would comparatively be a much more meaningful money sink.

 

By the way, if your single player game requires money sinks to control player economy from spiraling out of control, your game has bigger problems.

Edited by mstark
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Also will one kind of weapons and armor be more prone to wear than some other kind?

 

Say, you have two weapons, a razor sharp scimitar and a solid steel bar.

If you hack metal objects and skeletons with them, will both lose effectiveness at the same rate?

 

Is there a reason to rather use a maul to break down a door than to use a bastard sword?

 

I've gathered one downside to scale armor (compared to mail) was how it'd break down pretty fast when hit

(but would give similar good protection when new and maintained).

Edited by Jarmo

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I don't feel that item durability as described in the update would add anything meaningful to the game. It sounds like they have only put it in to make crafting skill more important, but at the same time they don't want to make it too severe for people who don't take crafting. That's just a design choice that leads nowhere IMO.

 

Either make item durability a real issue so that it really forces you to plan ahead before you go into a dungeon and carry multiple weapons and such, or don't put it in the game at all.

 

As it is it looks just like a number that goes down over time until you click the repair button to get it back up. Exciting.

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As it is it looks just like a number that goes down over time until you click the repair button to get it back up. Exciting.

Don't forget, repairs can only be performed at Forges or Vendors, so you will have lots of exciting travel every 106 weapon swings or hits taken. ;)


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The only way I could see durability work is, if it's elevated from the depths of MMO inspired annoyance into a non-negligible strategic aspect.

For instance: Do I use my ultra expensive, but very fragile gear to defeat this encounter?

That way it's something that would actually bring depth into the system, not just annoyance. Also, such aspects should be kept to the higher difficulty modes.

 

Having item durability just for the sake of making one skill more desirable is a completely wrong approach. It does not promote picking up a skill because one likes it, but because doing so is the lesser of the two evils. Judging by some of Sawyers posts, having a multi-skilled character will already be a rarity.

Edited by Jajo

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As it is it looks just like a number that goes down over time until you click the repair button to get it back up. Exciting.

Don't forget, repairs can only be performed at Forges or Vendors, so you will have lots of exciting travel every 106 weapon swings or hits taken. ;)

 

Either that, or they will just solve it by putting a forge at every level of every dungeon like some other RPGs, which would be just silly.

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I don't feel strongly one way or the other, so I didn't vote for any of the choices. Still I think Tim Cain's proposed idea is fine as is. It seems like a reasonable implimentation of what for me is an unnecessary element in the game.

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As described, durability sounds tedius and boring.

 

First there is my psychological response to seeing a durability bar constantly go down. Which is a negative one. I can definately see myself heading back to a forge every time a weapon hits ~75% "just in case". This isn't going to be fun, but that bar going down all the time is going to create concern in my mind.

 

Second, is that mechanic has no reward for the player. Even if you pump crafting as high as you can, you don't gain anything from the durability, you just lose less.

You should develop a negative psychological response to wasting money on ;)

 

I disagree that there's no reward. As you say, it will create a concern in the back of your mind. Then when you repair your stuff at the forge you relieve that concern. Tension/release is inherently rewarding.

 

I wouldn't mind if they added a temporary buff when your weapons are above 90%. 'Sharpness' bonus, or something. Make sure it doesn't last long enough that people would rely on it, but it would give a nice extra reward for keeping equipment in good shape. Kind of like the 'well rested' buff in the Fallout games.

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Okay, so Arcanum had durability that was pretty much exactly as described in Update #58. And it wasn't tedious and boring at all. (The only thing I didn't like was that the item broke at 100% damage and they took that out for P:E.)

 

Yes, it's something you have to get accustomed to. But there are a couple of things that make a game better without being "fun" themselves. You have a completely different mindset when you know that your equipment is going to get bad once in a while. In most RPGs, my characters had one weapon each. As soon as a weapon was outdated, I sold it.

That wasn't the case in Arcanum. All my characters had backup weapons. Because I didn't want them to take up too much space, they were usually daggers or small swords that I bought from the blacksmith. I also often thought "should I really spend that much money on a fragile enchanted armor, or should I go for the more robust unenchanted one?"

 

That's such a simple thing but I think it added so much. It made me go to blacksmiths and buy weapons on a regular basis. It made my characters carry small backup weapons, like they would in real life. Of course, I would regularly repair my equipment as well. When I started playing Arcanum, I hated the idea of having to do all that. But in the game I actually enjoyed it, because it enhanced my roleplaying experience immensely.

 

Also, by the end of the game, many of my characters actually used weapons (or had weapons in their inventory) that could be bought from blacksmiths right from the start - just your usual Caladon Sword, the usual Steel Axe... because they were robust, did decent damage, and were cheap and available.

 

I'm not saying all of this is desirable. Personally, I enjoyed it even though the system in Arcanum was flawed. But the main point is, it changes your gameplay in more ways than being "tedious and boring", and if done right it can be a very satisfying experience.

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Personally, I am all for the "things wearing down" concept, except I would prefer if all the things did it and the lower the durability, the higher chance of a critical failure (crit. miss for weapons, crit. hit for armor, if there are such things, if not, WHY NOT?)

 

Then again, the whole thing and balancing of it is a potential money sink for Obsidian and I for one would be OK with no durability system at all.

 

But at the end of the day, I trust Obsidian knows what they're doing and they're going to make a great game regardless of what durability system they choose, if any at all.

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The only way I could see durability work is, if it's elevated from the depths of MMO inspired annoyance into a non-negligible strategic aspect.

For instance: Do I use my ultra expensive, but very fragile gear to defeat this encounter?

Sadly this would lead to much armour swapping (it really would need to be a one click solution). And also it would lead to your best armour being often wasted in your inventory because you didn't expect the heavy/end/boss fight just now or forgot to swap. It would be a similar mechanism to buffs, as trivial and boring.

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