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This intends to provide a streamlined mechanic to make magic items useable throughout the game within pre-decided boundaries (also, a money sink).

The short version:
 

Every magic weapon can be attuned to a character's soul (PC's or NPC's) for a fee, which unlocks the ability of the weapon to increase its usefulness over time, only for that specific PC/NPC. Increase of usefulness happens over time from use. Tiered, as to spread the cost and rewards of the attunement over the duration of the game. Costly, to make the item feel more special. Also, very important, increases usability of weaker items more than it does for stronger items.

 

And longer version:

Every magical weapon could be attuned to the soul of one person. A very specific process, it needs to be done by a master. It is costly. Attunement of higher quality items is more difficult and requires more gold.

Attunement does not degrade over time. Further attunements are possible.

How it works (Using DnD-like numbering): A very cool (likely unique, but not necessarily) Cool Sword +1 is attuned to the PC for a  fee. The sword has the same damage as it did before the attunement: let's say 3 to 6. However, over time, with use, the sword's basic damage increases to 3.1 to 6.1 (only when being used by the PC). Then, after more use: 3.2 to 6.2. And so on until it goes through 3.9-6.9 to 4.0-7.0 basic damage. It turns into Cool Sword +1 +1 for the PC through the attunement.

Let's say that the highest enchantment for the game is +6. Each individual weapon can be given specific maximum values for the total achievable attunement.

  • The Cool Sword +1 could get attuned to up to 4.0-7.0, attuned again to max of 5.0-8.0 and so on for four attunements when the total is equal to Cool Sword +5.
  • A NotSoCool Sword +1 might be allowed five attunements to become NotSoCool Sword +6.
  • Another UniqueButQuiteAverage Dagger +4 could be attuned two times to a max of the equivalence of UniqueButQuiteAverage Dagger +5.5.
  • If an items is found as UberCool DreiHander +5, then for a huge pile of gold it could be attuned so that it would take ages to get to +5.1. Maximum from the first attunement could be only +5.2. And another very expensive attunement could be possible for a maximum of +5.3. And no more.

An item's utility could counterweight the maximum allowed attunement.

This could be just one streamlined mechanic to make a unique item continually usable. Forging items like in BG2 could be another present system: anything forge-able cannot be attuned (recipes, this should probably be for the "best" items, done by a master blacksmith). Item upgrades by crafting (recipes, done by PC) is yet another.

Also, the items do not sell for more after attunement - they are only more useful to the person they are attuned to and nobody else. They are exactly the same as in the beginning, with just one more effect "+x basic damage while used by ..."

Also, they could be attuned to a second adventurer, losing their current attunement and starting from beginning with the new person.

What do you think? How does this stack against or alongside the other upgrade systems?

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Nah, everyone loves getting new loot, entire games are based on "get the new loot!"

 

Fable 3 tried something like this, went all out. All your weapons would morph and change appearance based on what you did, giving you new bonuses as you went along. Almost no one liked it. It just put a huge, magnificent crimp on the joy of getting cool new items because they were never as good as your morph sword, and your morph sword wasn't cool because it was still sorta the same thing you'd had the entire game.

Edited by Frenetic Pony
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I'm afraid I'm with Frenetic Pony on this one. The thrill of loot is a huge element of the reward system of cRPGs, and it would be counter-productive to make weaponry an extension of the levelling arm.

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Well there's loot and then there's loot. I don't think having a few, rare, level-able items around is going to hinder the collection of other goodies. In principle then this is a reasonable idea. But there are multiple ways to implement this, and they don't all involve money. For example, unlocking the enhanced capabilities of the item could be implemented through prerequisites, such as special abilities or skill levels. These can be used to balance out the items and make them more favored by particular classes. Other capabilities may require slots for rare gems that only become available at higher levels of wealth.

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Nah, everyone loves getting new loot, entire games are based on "get the new loot!"

 

Fable 3 tried something like this, went all out. All your weapons would morph and change appearance based on what you did, giving you new bonuses as you went along. Almost no one liked it. It just put a huge, magnificent crimp on the joy of getting cool new items because they were never as good as your morph sword, and your morph sword wasn't cool because it was still sorta the same thing you'd had the entire game.

 

Not everyone.

Frrankly I think CRPG's are getting TOO loot-centric as of late and it leads to the entire experience getting watered down.

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Nah, everyone loves getting new loot, entire games are based on "get the new loot!"

 

Fable 3 tried something like this, went all out. All your weapons would morph and change appearance based on what you did, giving you new bonuses as you went along. Almost no one liked it. It just put a huge, magnificent crimp on the joy of getting cool new items because they were never as good as your morph sword, and your morph sword wasn't cool because it was still sorta the same thing you'd had the entire game.

Not everyone.

Frrankly I think CRPG's are getting TOO loot-centric as of late and it leads to the entire experience getting watered down.

Agree with this, the IE games had weapons you kept and used throughout the game, were named and had history and made you want to keep them. Diablo style looting just leads to ever escalating weapons that are generic and are meaningless, playing on the "ooh shiny" player while removing the opportunity for the aforementioned named weapons to become signature weapons. Even DAO did this, having the weapons you pick up later being leveled up and forcing you to ditch the weapons you picked up earlier in order to stay competitive. In a party based game you are always going to have one party member you still need to find the perfect weapon for so Diablo style looting isn't needed.

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There was a superlong discussion over pretty much the same idea a while back. Don't remember what what whoo, so no link.

 

 

I like the basic idea, but wouldn't like the effect it to be so drastic. And no need for magic item soul bonding stuff.

 

More like, after a period of time, you get used to the weapon, get "attuned" bonus of +1 to attack with the specific weapon.

Then after a longer period of time, you get "highly tuned" and also get a +1 to damage with the same weapon.

And that's it.

 

So in BG terms, you could go through the whole game with your first sword.

It wouldn't be as effective as picking a +1 and start getting tuned to it, much less effective than using a +2 weapon, but still doable.

 

And even a minor bonus from weapon familiarity would alleviate the weapon swap syndrome a bit.

So yeah, you had a mace +1 and liked it and used it, then find a warhammer +1 which does... hmmm.. 0,5 points more on average.

And you can just say... well... I'm used to the mace and like it so I think I'll keep on using it.

 

Then later on, when you find something actually better, like a flail +2 with elemental damage, it's obviously swap time.

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Fable 3's system's core idea was the friggin' shyte. Their implementation, though? Meh...

 

It was often "do this really tedious thing that no one in their right mind would even want to do for any reason, like flip a coin 100 times and have it land on heads, or kill 7,000 wolves, and your weapon will gain... the increased ability to influence people whenever using random social interactions because you couldn't choose which ones you wanted to use in that game!"

 

One would think that a good implementation of such a system would react to the majority of whatever the player chose to do, in various different ways for different weapons. Not "Marry 100 people and get +10 fire damage! 8D"

 

That's like... a weapon-morph fetch quest. But, yeah, the idea, itself, was super ultra awesome.

 

And you know how you fix the problem of the rest of the loot always being lamer than your uber morph-weapon? You design the game such that the rest of the loot isn't always lamer than your uber morph-weapon, which you don't make uber. Problem solved. And we didn't even have to arbitrarily remove an entire system mechanic just because there was a problem somewhere with something involving items. 8D!

 

In short, I'm all for some variant of this proposal (in the OP). ESPECIALLY in a game brimming with soul lore.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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And we didn't even have to arbitrarily remove an entire system mechanic just because there was a problem somewhere with something involving items. 8D!

 

Ouch. :)

 

I hope people realize by now (with all the Summon Extremely-Minor Humor spells I cast all willy-nilly) that I mean that type of thing in a joking way, as opposed to an "OOOOH, SUCK IT!" way. :)

 

I mean, the point still stands (morph-weapons being imbalanced does not mean morph-weapons are inherently unbalanceable). But I didn't really mean it in a hostile fashion. 8P. I'm just a sillyfolk.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Another approach would be to integrate the item crafting rules, giving each item a specific set of synergistic enhancements. Any enhancements outside this set would cost double.

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I'd like this, along with familiarity for non magic items....you should find some cool new loot, but it shouldn't just render the old stuff obsolete, that just removes choice.

Keeping what you already had should be a viable option...and it can be a bit jarring when the legendary sword, complete with backstory, that you found at level 2 is just a piece of worthless junk at level 6

 

Also I'm another one who wants to see RPGs move away from being looting and selling simulators...been there, done that, bored of it....

Edited by motorizer
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Having an option other than selling your old loot would be good. Perhaps when you get your stronghold, you can donate your lower level loot to your recruits? This would improve their morale and effectiveness in combat. You might also use the loot to pay off information sources and reward those who help you complete missions, thereby enhancing your standing with factions.

 

I could picture having a dialog window for your stronghold subordinates, with each character row having three slots for loot items (e.g. armor, weapon, and shield) and indicators for morale and effectiveness modifiers. As you add loot to the slots, the indicators change accordingly. The effectiveness of the loot then impacts how well the subordinates fare on their assigned missions.

Edited by rjshae
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  • 2 weeks later...

Nah, everyone loves getting new loot, entire games are based on "get the new loot!"

 

Fable 3 tried something like this, went all out. All your weapons would morph and change appearance based on what you did, giving you new bonuses as you went along. Almost no one liked it. It just put a huge, magnificent crimp on the joy of getting cool new items because they were never as good as your morph sword, and your morph sword wasn't cool because it was still sorta the same thing you'd had the entire game.

 

Not everyone.

Frrankly I think CRPG's are getting TOO loot-centric as of late and it leads to the entire experience getting watered down.

 

 

I agree with this 110%.

 

The more often you get better loot, the more watered-down the experience becomes. Eventually, and I'll dive in and accuse DA:O of this, it gets to the extent that equipment becomes something you sort through rather than discover. The experience can be, and has been, watered down to the extent that it actually becomes a chore rather than a reward. The BG model of 4 magical two-handed swords in the entire game was far better because when you discovered one it was a real reward!

 

But that is not a supporting argument for the OP's suggestion.

 

If you tie weapon upgrades to levelling, you're placing your rewards into the same place. The beauty of the BG model is that while the rewards of levelling are always a visible thing to chase, the reward of that 3rd Greatsword is unexpected. I think it is more, er...rewarding to have multiple paths of reward.

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Not everyone.

Frrankly I think CRPG's are getting TOO loot-centric as of late and it leads to the entire experience getting watered down.

I think it's been a while since I agreed with you. I'm not sure how I feel about this.
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Not everyone.

Frrankly I think CRPG's are getting TOO loot-centric as of late and it leads to the entire experience getting watered down.

I think it's been a while since I agreed with you. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

 

it shows that we're all not diametrically opposed and that each of us contributes.

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.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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it shows that we're all not diametrically opposed and that each of us contributes.

Ahhh crap. I'm pretty sure that's against Internet Regulation 119, Page 17, Paragraph C. The Internet Police are going to throw us into Internet Prison. They'll charge us with Disturbing the Turmoil.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I agree with this 110%.

 

The more often you get better loot, the more watered-down the experience becomes. Eventually, and I'll dive in and accuse DA:O of this, it gets to the extent that equipment becomes something you sort through rather than discover. The experience can be, and has been, watered down to the extent that it actually becomes a chore rather than a reward. The BG model of 4 magical two-handed swords in the entire game was far better because when you discovered one it was a real reward!

 

But that is not a supporting argument for the OP's suggestion.

 

If you tie weapon upgrades to levelling, you're placing your rewards into the same place. The beauty of the BG model is that while the rewards of levelling are always a visible thing to chase, the reward of that 3rd Greatsword is unexpected. I think it is more, er...rewarding to have multiple paths of reward.

 

 

If I had to blame a game, it would be Diablo 2, where tremendous amounts of loot were dropped. It seems everyone picked up on this and copied it, often to the point of absurdity.

 

edit:Though this sort of system may have a place in a hack & slay game. It certainly doesn't belong in a story based rpg.

Edited by forgottenlor
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I didn't mind the BG2 method which basically threw masses of average equipment at you that you had to sort through for the hidden treasures that were unique/rare items. If this process could be streamlined, perhaps some kind of perception skill that makes desirable/key items more obvious among the twenty or more piles of generic items?

Also I hated how item piles could obscure item piles immediately behind them; some kind of merging of nearby piles would be useful.

Alternately a single pile of loot for each combat scenario; representing a tally taken of all items by the party, skipping the individual corpse looting system. It meshes with the 'XP for goals achieved rather than kills' mechanic.  

 

As to the thread topic, a combined attunement/weapon familiarity mechanic would be useful; however I would suggest a variation. Instead of all weapons being capable of attunement, perhaps a small set of uniques could have this advantage, such as a special weapon a companion may begin with. Likewise a small bonus that increases gradually from use of any weapon over a long period of time. The two different methods of improvement interfere somewhat; such that attuned weapons only gain this bonus after a longer period, due to the abnormal connection and powers of the weapon. So short term you won't see any greater benefit beyond the weapon behaving as if you were already familiar with it, unless you are already familiar with your special weapon in which case they combine. It adds a little incentive to using a single weapon, but the bonus is still only so much. It might make a fairly standard early game weapon useful until mid game and a mid-game weapon viable until you start to encounter the highest quality gear and people familiar with its use.

 

Just a few random thoughts on the subject. 

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any weapon I've made myself I'd like to attune.

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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.
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Having "upgrade-able" weapons like the multi-headed flail in BG2 is fine. People backed PE thinking of stuff like that to begin with.

 

But weapons you can upgrade and new weapons you find should compete. Neither should be definitively better than the other.

Edited by anubite
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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:

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Well, an item attunement mechanic makes sense with the theme of souls. You could just limit item attunement to only one item. Or, if that doesn't appeal, item attunement could just be 'different'. It depends how they will itemize the game. But, let's say end-game items provide large attribute bonuses. Attuned items do not give any attribute bonuses, but instead provide effects like bonus damage to to a particular enemy type, or enhance a specific class skill, like a summoner might be able to summon stronger allies. Thus, if you want attribute bonuses, you will use end-game gear, otherwise, you might just attune all of your starting gear. Or maybe, you can find a middleground, using mid-tier items and attuning them.

 

The point of balance is how to make a mechanic like this work as a sense of progression. You should probably require a ritual and ingredients to attune yourself to an item. The ritual requires you be able to visit maybe some area early on in the megadungeon? And the ingridients are scattered in conflict locations. Higher-tier items with strong base stats shouldn't be able to be attuned as strongly, either (high-tier items are more noble and have their own "souls" competing with yours?)

 

I wouldn't mind an item attune mechanic if the devs are willing to sit down and make it work, but this obviously isn't a system that will be easy to just throw in without imbalancing the entire progression of items.

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:

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