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Consumables as ability modifiers rather than one-off effect items

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It would be nice, in general, for potions and consumeable items to be designed with creativity in mind. The way I'm envisioning the OP's idea - every spell in the game has modular properties (but this takes a lot to program well). Potions/consumeables could radically alter these modular properties, for instance, making a fireball spell shoot 3 fireballs instead of one, or a circle AOE becoming a "cone" AOE in exchange for added damage. Neat as a system like that would be, it would be pretty intensive to pull off, from a programming and art stand point, you'd need to account for any possibility of combination and debug it.

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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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in bg my problem with potions was that the tank was also the high non friendly fire dps, so if he was tanking and needed to swig potions to survive, the loss of damage output tended to drop, which meant the fight ended up standing still until i ran out of potions, which led to the same result if i hadn't used potions.  i didn't use potions on easier enemies because i knew that i didn't need them, and i could just rest afterwards.  so i for my first couple of playthroughs i hoarded potions but after those i would treat them as vendor trash so i could get slightly better equipment, which meant that tactics let me beat those tough encounters that would have drained my potions.  had the high non FF dps been someone other than the tank then things would have been different, or if there was some potions of spell shaping.

 

invisibility wasn't super great, as they had dialog triggers for tough enemies to prevent sneaking up on him and opening with a backstab, and other fights didn't need your rogue exposed once he performed the backstab, the ai rogue's had an infinite amount of invis potions and so became a threat with their backstab.

 

in other words potions can become more useful based on how other mechanics work, you still end up with the whole overpowered vs. mundane issue though, so i am not sure if they would have toned down to a level that would have considered them to be vendor trash or not.

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I apologise for not reading most of the responses in this thread. I'll give my thoughts - hopefully they have not been said before me.

 

In response to the OP:

 

In a lot of games you find a potion similar to this potion I've just invented:

 

Potion of the Berserker. For 20 seconds, your player deals 10% more damage with 2H weapons.

 

Now that's just completely useless to me. A lot of things can happen in a fight, and 20 seconds of 10% more damage is pretty much irrelevant. You can pop the potion, and find that you've just missed twice with your sword.  There goes 5 seconds. Oops, I need to retreat a bit. There goes another 7 seconds. For the remaining 8 seconds, I might manage to deal an extra 20 damage to an enemy. BIG WHOOP. I'd rather sell that for 50gp, or just dump it and carry something more useful. That doesn't even take into account spell casting potentially taking up even more of the 20 seconds.

 

Even potions such as Potions of Invisibility are largely useless. A player that would want/require invisibility already has a stronger type of invisibility in the form of a spell. A player that doesn't have the spell for invisibility in most situations doesn't need invisibility - they have other methods that they rely upon for the 90% of the time they don't have potions.

 

Instead, I propose that this type of potion is ditched completely. Instead, I believe a potion should be much rarer... and much more useful.

 

Elixir of Intelligence. Once consumed, grants a permanent +1 to Intelligence.

Potion of Swordsmanship. Once consumed, grants a permanent +1 to Sword Skill.

 

These are the types of potions that I propose. Significantly, but not extremely, rare and very expensive if purchased. An Elixir of Strength... Now THAT is a useful potion. It grants a permanent attribute or skill increase.

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I've used potions consistently in many of the games that I've played. And at higher levels they become a requirement for winning. For example, sword coast stratagems taught me how to use potions effectively. I don't think the old way was bad.


My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Instead, I propose that this type of potion is ditched completely. Instead, I believe a potion should be much rarer... and much more useful.

 

Elixir of Intelligence. Once consumed, grants a permanent +1 to Intelligence.

Potion of Swordsmanship. Once consumed, grants a permanent +1 to Sword Skill.

 

These are the types of potions that I propose. Significantly, but not extremely, rare and very expensive if purchased. An Elixir of Strength... Now THAT is a useful potion. It grants a permanent attribute or skill increase.

I just want to add that, if you wanted to have some potions be a bit less rare and more situationally useful, you could, at the very least, convert the time-based duration to a charge-based duration. "Your next 5 attacks will gain an additional +2 Strength bonus." Depending on the effect, it might even only count when you hit. However, maybe you could only have a single potion effect in effect at any given time (unlike some typical implementations with their "Stoneskin, Bull's Strength, AND invisibility at the same time!" stuff). So, you then have to choose between useful effects, rather than simply being limited purely by their rarity/availability.

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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've used potions consistently in many of the games that I've played. And at higher levels they become a requirement for winning. For example, sword coast stratagems taught me how to use potions effectively. I don't think the old way was bad.

well given that you also get to customize your character, that means that character customization becomes much more restrictive.  gaining one chance at backstab could easily be made up with better skill/feat choices, even more so if you grind slightly and use that extra ability for an extra level or during the fight.  the inverse also becomes true, by specializing you are deciding to give up something else, which if a potion every now and again can partially or completely compensate for that trade off (say for noncom situations, like picking locks that are worth it via meta knowledge) diminishes that choice as a choice.  so you still end up with OP vs. mundane, you've only upped the difficulty so that you need to be OP, and thus that same level of restriction has been applied to everything else as well.

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I've used potions consistently in many of the games that I've played. And at higher levels they become a requirement for winning. For example, sword coast stratagems taught me how to use potions effectively. I don't think the old way was bad.

 

well given that you also get to customize your character, that means that character customization becomes much more restrictive. gaining one chance at backstab could easily be made up with better skill/feat choices, even more so if you grind slightly and use that extra ability for an extra level or during the fight. the inverse also becomes true, by specializing you are deciding to give up something else, which if a potion every now and again can partially or completely compensate for that trade off (say for noncom situations, like picking locks that are worth it via meta knowledge) diminishes that choice as a choice. so you still end up with OP vs. mundane, you've only upped the difficulty so that you need to be OP, and thus that same level of restriction has been applied to everything else as well.
Huh? What are u talking about? This has nothing to do with being OP. I've played the same class with the same skill set on two different difficulties and it made a difference to think about the strategy of when to use potions. Pretty soon you're going to say that spells shouldn't be as versatile because they make your character OP... Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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I've used potions consistently in many of the games that I've played. And at higher levels they become a requirement for winning. For example, sword coast stratagems taught me how to use potions effectively. I don't think the old way was bad.

well given that you also get to customize your character, that means that character customization becomes much more restrictive. gaining one chance at backstab could easily be made up with better skill/feat choices, even more so if you grind slightly and use that extra ability for an extra level or during the fight. the inverse also becomes true, by specializing you are deciding to give up something else, which if a potion every now and again can partially or completely compensate for that trade off (say for noncom situations, like picking locks that are worth it via meta knowledge) diminishes that choice as a choice. so you still end up with OP vs. mundane, you've only upped the difficulty so that you need to be OP, and thus that same level of restriction has been applied to everything else as well.
Huh? What are u talking about? This has nothing to do with being OP. I've played the same class with the same skill set on two different difficulties and it made a difference to think about the strategy of when to use potions. Pretty soon you're going to say that spells shouldn't be as versatile because they make your character OP...

 

well i was talking about the need to make certain choices, instead of being free to choose which ever choice you want.  so when you upped the difficulty did you have to use the potions, or could you sell them and buy a better sword or armour, resulting in equal difficulty throughout the game?  if by using the sword or armour does it make grinding to a new level in order to make the harder battles easier more or less viable?  are the harder battles still viable with the sword or armour instead of potions?

 

in other words since potions boost performance for a short duration and sword or armour boost it permanently, they can't have the same level level of effect.  therefore potions become needed to beat tougher enemies, unless you can grind up enough levels prior with the permanent bonuses of the equipment.  this also means that during character creation combat ability can't be sacrificed for non combat ability unless you can grind up enough levels to compensate early on.

 

now assuming you can grind levels to compensate, and the potions have a flat bonus (8HP healed, armour set to 00, etc.) they will become less valuable at higher levels, making grinding superior power wise until you reach the cutoff, at which point points spent during leveling as well as during character creation on combat ability become more important (think diablo 1 wizard syndrome).

 

as for magic, there isn't a limited amount of castings in a game, and thus doesn't fall into this precise issue (though there is still the more there is the more mundane it is).

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