The Essence and Lujo Grand Item Rebalance Discussion Thread. Bergstrom!

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Essence, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    I think one of the questions we have to stop and ask ourselves before we get too far here: is it important that every 'theme' progress all the way to the endgame?

    If so, should we look to do that by adding new items, or by rebalancing existing items and moving some significantly downward into the dungeon? I'm more leaning toward the latter, though I can certainly see space for a few more low-level items, especially 11-15 star ones, in the core game.

    So, for example, I might rewrite the Hjalmirs to be 2-star, 5-star, and 8-9 star? Increasing stats accordingly, of course. Is that a good way to think about these things?
     
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  2. lujo86

    lujo86 Member

    Well, I started out with the idea of adding nothing if it can be done and using the existing but mechanicaly outlclassed/uninteresting/undefined stuff to support different playstyles.

    And, naturaly, no theme, or nowhere near every theme, needs to be stretched out to lategame, except the problem with the late game seems to be that so many themes end prematurely, and so many particular playstyles are not supported in a meaningful way at all. This leads to the "Tinkering dillema" of needing to rely on odball drops / CoE stuff or having tinkering in the endgame for whatever itemization playstyles one might be using.

    Technicaly, tinkering hogged the late game. If we can determine what can be supported and how, we can simply spread out the existing bronze/nordic/whatever stuff once we determine the proper level ranges up to lvl 10 for a "core DoD" issue, and then see if we can implement a proper progression for lvls 11-15 for the "RoTG edition", except then we could add stuff that would lean on by then better defined and established paths and themes.

    Basicaly, whan should, imo, happen is that tinkering should lose the monopoly on late-game equipment, and alchemy should lose the monopoly on easily hoarded and plentifull crafting components for relevant low level stuff.

    The first can be achieved by rearanging and rebalancing existing items to create paths which, by drop progression and crafting, lend themselves to itemization progressions which aren't forced into clockwork (and thus tinkering or clockwork flavoured buffs-penalties-idiosincracies).

    The second would need creating, with as few additions as possible, a decent low level crafting system for base components of leatherworking and woodworking which can be turned into hefty sticks, leather belts, cuirasses, basic gloves, basic shoes, robes, and all that jazz. All potions require aqua vita, and all booze creates aqua vita. By having cloth and leather have drops as starting points the whole system is screwy, unless everyone always goes plate or guaranteed drops every time. Fixin this would open up space for "flavour" or "mechanical identity" paths to start opening up a tad later than they do now, thus letting us stretch the existing 3-item progressions over the course of 10 levels.

    Maybe I need to be clearer, I have it in my head but it's late over here.
     
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  3. mining

    mining Member

    Perhaps:
    Have several major gear categories; i.e.

    Viking Helmetry - mage/warrior hybrid
    Clockwork Armour - block heavy warrior.
    Aluminium Armour - rogue/warrior hybrid armour

    etc.
    figuring out suitable categories. Then, in playing, you'll always have an armor route to move along, but through careful allocation of bonuses and maluses, you can ensure that no one armor is the best objectively, as it is now.
     
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  4. lujo86

    lujo86 Member

    Essentially this. Map it out first in regards to "what flavor categories are there", "what playstyles are there", "what dungeon level ranges mean what", "what mechanic boosts which playstyles" and then tweak the numbers of bonuses/maluses on stuff so that it's spread out better and is better defined. For example, my viking suggestions don't have to be implemented at all, they are just suggestions for potential late game hjalmrs if we want a non-clockwork dungeon lvl X piece of gear which uses them.

    The other part, the one about adding some stuff, i'm not in love with, but the fact is that some flavour for items which has a clearly defined theme (dogdy, countery stuff, rogue armor with savvy and caddishness) is very well defined in terms of bonuses, but also completely reliant on finding it early and has no real progression come mid/late-game. Since it has no crafteble set pieces and relies on a "gotta catch them all" mentality (it requires you to have real itemization forcus to harness it's benefits), once those early drops stop coming, you can't go back to it unless you saved them, and they just don't compare well to anything (pirate training britches i'm looking at you).

    There are VERY few pants in the game, there are rather few gloves in the game, the boots situation is somewhat better, but the only craftable stuff is either welding steel onto cloth/leather and moving in that direction bonus/minus wise, or sticking with a early/midgame drop. So technicaly, both the best and the most bland armors (and the highest weapon ugrades) are well supported in terms of progression and availability (through crafting support), the "scew the booze/food system" potions as well, while so many stuff seems messed up in every imaginable category. Or so it seems, but we won't know untill we map it out and gather data and insight, I think.

    (And, err, clockwork gear has 3 components, I think, which don't really do anything except get used in clockwork crafting recipies. Iron, the component for both thrown, bolt, rust and steel comes in rather frequent rooms which always drop it, and some of the more obscure ingots don't really do anything meaningfull. I'm not sure putting in 2 more ingot types to allow for non-metal armor support would mess things up too much, but the degree to which those are unsupported compared to the objectively most powerfull stuff is rather odd)
     
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  5. Finnien

    Finnien Member

    Two quick observations based solely on very subjective personal experience:

    First, it feels like Tinkering requires Smithing, but not the other way around. A recent build I had where I tried to just take Tinkering left me very frustrated because I was wearing terrible armor, had endless gems and metal and anything else I could want, but I didn't have 4 blacksmithing skill to make the Fine Steel component ... for the thrashing axe, the clockwork sword, the pants, the breastplate, the belt... literally every item I wanted to make (and there were a bunch) required a fine steel component that needed 4 blacksmithing skill, and you can go pretty darn deep before you get lucky enough to find the right fine steel piece for the armor you're trying to make. It just feels to random and luck-based for a crafting skill that doesn't do anything else, really.

    Second, melee get more benefit from gear late-game than casters do. Throw on two artifact lunar axes from dwarven express post boxes or chests of pure evil, and you're a one man wrecking ball. Grab the equivalent caster staff or orb out of the same boxes, and you see a marginal increase in damage. I imagine this comes from the fact that there are a ton of ways to add damage to melee, but really only one way to add damage to spells, and the deep artifacts seem to come with large bonus damage of a given number without spellpower being eligible for that same bonus (like, an artifact out of a floor 14 chest might contain +15 necro, or +15 fire, or +15 electric damage, but it won't have +15 spellpower). I'd like to see late-game gear make more of a difference to casters than it does. This man be a deeper issue, however, of ranged class balance and spell damage coefficients. It may be that melee are overpowered, or casters just aren't for me.
     
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  6. lujo86

    lujo86 Member

    I've been playing a lot of tinkering archers, and also expirienced this - it's the flipside of all the non CoE endgame gear being stuck in Tinkering which is sort of schyzophrenic in being a traps/bols/grenades/utility tree up to a certain point and the it becomes smithing lvl 5-6-7 for everyone, minus the early components. If you don't have smithing, you have a ton of endgame recipies that don't mean anything to you and/or you cant make the starting components, and if you only take smithing you're stuck with stuff which is basicly a crafting component compared to all the higher tier gear stuck in tinkering.

    And this IS a problem, but how to fix it may be out of our hands. If spells scaled to your elemental melle damages in addition to spellpower, it could be interesting, and it can be partly fixed by easing up on all the universal spellpower restrictions for late game armors (it adds up). Also, CoE only dropping stupidly overpowered weapons as loot is rather silly, I've just killed dreadmor yesterday using a CoE crossbow which dropped one room before I found him that had more righteous damage on itself than all my righteous/aethereal insane thrower focus build mustered throughout all the game -.-
     
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  7. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    IMHO, the answer is No. However, it is important that each theme have some reason to ever take it. Some of them currently are only of use if you're playing NTTG and the RNG has denied you all iron or steel. It happens, and when it does it's nice to have other options for the first few floors, but you very quickly give up on those bronze and aluminum items (probably once you get your third steel ingot).

    I feel that each theme needs an apex item that is hands-down better than anything you can have as starting gear by simply taking some other skill tree instead of crafting. If the best thing I can make from a particular ingot is not better than the breastplate you get from taking Master-At-Arms, then there's really no point in ever exploring that chain of the crafting tree.

    I guess that means each theme needs one item with 4 :armor_asorb: or something else equally good but specialized to a particular build.

    My vote would be to add new high-level items, _not_ monkey with the existing ones. I would make each new item use one of the existing low-grade or mid-tier items as a component, plus one or more ingots of a type that isn't iron or steel. So you take the existing silver viking helm or shield, and add 2 more silver to boost it up. Then maybe another level after that which uses 2 more silver and some specific gem.

    Tweaking the current items would have all sorts of ripple effects. For example, all the various viking helms show up in the dungeon currently. So if you raise their level and stats, you'll be making smithing a little stronger, but at the cost of making non-crafting warriors weaker.

    Plus, it's not like there's currently anything to do with all that extra silver/brass/bronze/aluminum anyway. Even on NTTG, you eventually end up with way more of it than you will ever need. Adding new high-tier items that use the existing early game items as components will make sure the boosts we're giving to smithing happen only in the late-game, which is where smithing is currently weakest.

    Here's a tip you may find helpful: By the late game, you'll have at least 10 more zorkmids than you could ever spend. As the pocket dimension has infinite storage space, there's no point in selling anything unless you've already seen an item in a shop that you really want and is better than anything you could craft. With that philosophy, accidentally selling a critical component is a relatively easy hazard to avoid.

    Anything I even suspect might have a recipe involved goes in a single pile on the floor of the Pock Dim, even if I've never made that recipe, or can't remember the details. When I want to craft, I just step on that pile and autoloot it all up. That plus the crafting filters makes it pretty easy. One pile for all the weapons, one for all the helmets, one for all the ingots, etc. Plus, there's very few items that you need more than one of, so you can make a separate junk pile for things you're sure you already had.

    Encrusting has, admittedly, complicated that. There's plenty of bizarre components used in encrusting, and it's about doubled the number of things most crafters need to hold on to. But since encrusting arrived at the same time as the Pock Dim, overall things are a lot easier on the crafter than they used to be.

    While I agree with most of your general sentiment in that paragraph, I find myself raising an eyebrow at "a crafting skill that doesn't do anything else". Tinkering does have a pretty potent impact on archery or throwing builds.

    Alchemy: Good for the whole game. Great if you're a wizard.
    Smithing: Good for the first half of the game, but only if you're not a spellcaster. It's never really great.
    Tinkering: Great for the whole game if you're an archer. Great in the late game if combined with Smithing. It's either Great or incredibly annoying and useless, there's really nothing in between.
    Wandcrafting: Is this ever good? I can't recall ever being happy with the current version of it.


    Eh. This is true, the best items in the game are melee weapons from chests of evil in the final floors. On the other hand, casters get totally spammable effects. And yes, Ranged Area Effect caster types never get any good equipment tailored to them, that is true.

    However, 1 attack tree, 1 teleport, + 2 mana-producing support trees is a formula for success (provided you survive the first floor). When I'm playing a wizard the only stat that ever matters to me (past the first floor) is mana.

    One segment of the player base thinks the weapon skills are underpowered and wizards are the bomb, and another segment thinks dual-wield melee is the only way to play. Modders spend a lot of time and energy trying to fix that for whichever segment we each individually fall into, which then makes the other side cry "foul". That these two viewpoints exist side by side is probably a good indicator that things are more or less working well. A big part of what makes the game so wonderful is the variety of character builds and play styles.
     
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  8. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Hiopefully, with some of the changes being made to both weapon/shield skills and Dual Wield, the two-weapon group will be just slightly less amazing after the next patch. (Dual Wield = -20 EDR at level 1. Hit hard, but MUCH less often for the first few floors. :) )
     
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  9. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    OK, so, since Lujo started on it, let's talk helmets and their themes:

    "Warrior"
    Viking: Rough Iron Hjalmr, Iron Hjalmr, Runed Iron Hjalmir, Historically Inaccurate Viking Helm

    Generic: Bucket, Crude Iron Helm, Knight's Helmet, Great Helm, Plump Helmet


    "Rogue"
    Leather: Leather Cap, Leather Cap With A Cog On It

    Fedora

    Traffic Cone

    Spectacles


    "Wizard"
    Aluminum Wizarding Hat

    Witch's Hat


    Conclusions: There need to be more craftables for non-Warriors -- like, at least one actual line (3+ items) for each. The Viking and Generic lines give us the opportunity to create two distinct Warrior lines. My inclination is to keep the Generic line for 'straight' warriors, and use the whole 'runed' concept to make the Viking line more for gish-types. The Leather line needs to be extended, and preferably without reference to clockwork/tinkering. And probably since the Aluminum Wizarding Hat is a skill-specific thing, the Witch's Hat needs to be part of a line that includes lower-level and higher-level stuff.

    New Items Called For: 2+ high-end Leather caps. 1 low-end caster's hat, and 1+ higher-end caster's hat. Leather caps should penalize Magic stats slightly, Wizard hats should penalize some Roguey stat slightly.

    Alternately, with the Cybercone giving some extra flavor to the Traffic Cone "line" even though it's not craftable, maybe we should forgo the Witch's Hat and make a line of Cone-based wizard hats? that would give Plastic something useful to do...

    Thoughts?
     
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  10. mining

    mining Member

    Things I think work well:

    Cone hats for wizards.
    'stereotypical knight helm' for warriors
    Viking=melee transitioning into gish as rune appears. Less protective, but less penalties at the start of the tree, receiving small benefits to offense at the end of the tree
    Rogue practically needs a new line of headgear, some kind of headband or something. Leather cap feels like it should become an archery focused gearset, heading towards a mail coif or something, that provides a little bit more protection than just leather.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Components_of_medieval_armour could be helpful.
     
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  11. lujo86

    lujo86 Member

    Good points here imo, and for me illustrate the reasons behind needing to strech themes out by giving theme more focuse identity as well as add higher tier apex items.

    My vote is to do both, on the grounds that smithing is already overloaded at the early levels, but so much of the staf you can craft gets obsoleted by finding anything at all or picking up another level of smithing allready.

    You can't boost smithing while making everything else weaker by giving meaning to stuff that is meaningless to both smiths and non-smiths ATM, because whether youre crafting them or finding them you'll probably never stick a hjalmr on your head ATM, especially since they compete with all the class hats the way bronze competes with the breasplate.

    If we determine what the junk is, such as the hjalmr's, we can change thier flavour (not necessarily power just buff/debuff scheme), change their spawn and crafing levels AND add higher tiers where necessary. I feel this is necessary because of all the armor supporting exactly the same playstyle is competing for the same single item spot, while some playstyles are not being supported at all, es per Essences helm analysis later down.


    On all your arguments for adding higher tier stuff I agree, but they also tie in with my ranting about wood and leather crafting components by making the current system for crafting anything wood or leather compare really badly to a system using ingots or aqua vitae. More about after the next quote.

    I'm the kind of guy who saves up all the booze, rust and powdered aluminum in neat piles just in case I might run into a potion of alchemical inspiration even on non-alch builds. Actually, that's the reason I rarely take alchemy at all these days. So, naturally, I stack just about everything, and since I started experimenting with encrusts I stack everyhting but the stuff with broken prices.

    Just to clarify that I'm not coming from a "hey, this would be cool" perspective, I've been stackign everything that looks like a component, made a separate note file on what is or isn't usefull just so I can sell anything, and am one of the bigger "hoarder" or "inventory tetris guys" around. And being vary of unwanted content cluttering up the item/pool recipie shceme I've never used any of the leatherworking or cothmaking mods.

    But over this time I did notice that you can really get RNG screwed on anything that doesn't use ingots or aqua vitae for base materials. In fact, you cant really make a proper crafting progression that repeatedly relies on equipable item drops, because you are always at "do I use this belt for something that will be usefull now and get screwed later when I need it for something better or do I save it for ages and craft the apex item?". For ingots you don't worry about that stuff because of the vending machine and "ingot rooms" support, so you don't even need perception, for "organic fiber" and wood we can't possibly make a sensible crafting progression because it would rely on drops with no real support.

    This doesn't mean we can't make a good drop progression, and we most likely should. Overall, I think the whole bussiness with the crafting should rally come after we figure out the right drop redistribution for all playstyles, as well as tweak the mechanics and numbers on anything that needs tweaking, and determine wher the holes in the drop progression are.

    Eyebrows have also been raised at the "useless tinkering statement" over here. Have to add to your assesment:

    Alchemy: - healing, mana and replenishment potions factually break the mechanics of the game and are really powerfull in copious ammounts, and since their components are so readilly available, even if alchemy was really useless overall it'd still be stupidly powerfull. Not to mention the easily craftable invisibility potion (technicaly because of it one wizarding skill point or a potion of alchemical inspiration turns anyone into an ├╝ber rogue). Different thread material entirely.
    Tinkering - gives trap affinity, crossbows, bolts and the meaningfull boots/helmet encrusts, and then becomes the factual high-lvl smithing
    Smithing - good early game, gives mana toruses, thrown weapons, a good offensive shield encrust and ability to make silver shields late, and aluminum armor early. Oh, and tin rings for crazy archeology cheezing. Everything else it does is support for other crafting trees, screwed by RNG or competes with each other while being samey by design.
    Wandcrafting - uhhh. Really good for the first few rooms, and I guess a few encrusts are decent, but the resource scheme, the fact that wand's don't stack, and the general lack of ability to craft anything but wands makes it just not work for me. Zodiacal Wands would make it worth it on it's own if they dodn't use diamonds which are so overused compared to other gems it's not even funny.

    All of this is material for another thread, tbh, and we should probably end it here, unless Essence wants to give his info on it, just so noone who's been active feels left out of it.

    If there's need for more, well, Essence's got a major "complain about skills thread" going allready, so if we want to pursu this, we can probably take it there.

    Agree for the most part, except to one thing that would really screw wizards over is using big :savvy: penalties to mess up their spell cost.

    Rest of what I have to say not relevant to this discussion (unless it yields specifics about playstyles), again, if there's will and need for it, we can make a "my dad can beat up your dad" thread about warriors and wizards.

    On the who's the bomb front - warriors can generally not get killed easily, are abusing the soon-to-be -adressed-by-the-devs dual wielding and the crazy CoE drops (which IMO is a byproduct of the star levels and the drop progressions being messed up). So thecnicaly, warriors are abusing out of hand game mechanics, and have a lot of survivability.

    Whoever's having problems with casters as melee, I can't figure out, because all the ranged stuff apart from spells is available to anyone. I've played non-crafty melle types and one of the things I could never figure out really was all the "omg, need a way to deal with spellcasters" considerations I keep hearing all over the place. I've only ever had problems with fish paladins (because :resist_righteous: is one of the few elemetal resist penalties you can get from skills or at all) and guys that reduce my eyesight (cuz I cant see where they are!), most of the time I feel like the game has no relevant ranged opponents at all. That may be just me.

    As for wizards - they can clear stuff faster (much, much faster), but as opposed to warriors, can actually get killed even by ways other than a momentary lapse of sanity.What would they want on their gear actually depends on the difficulty level (because of the potential passive mana regen issues), but once they get rolling, their passive level bonuses eliminate even mana issues for me (again, I never had problems spamming sandstorm on a full glyph build even on going rogue, I don't know what all the fuss is about). Spell cost, and the fact that spell damage can only be increesed by spellpower makes me actually appriciate savvy and spellpower bonuses, while spellpower maluses on everything is a big itemization headache for me.

    Technicaly, it's not that wizards scale badly into the late game, it's that if all armor gives spellpower penalties, and spellpower determines how much damage you do, then if you wear the designated late game stuff you negate your scaling. Warriors don't face this problem, as increesing ther survivabiltiy doesn't cost them anything.
     
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  12. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Long story short: I stuck to non-artifacts. That explains the many missing hats. :)
     
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  13. jareddm

    jareddm Member

    Just popping in with a few suggestions when it comes to rogue items. Perhaps a ninja cowl like the one worn in the invisibility picture, or one of the masks that the three ninjas wore. I'm no modder and certainly no expert on balance, but if they gave boosts to :nimbleness: and :crit: that they might be attractive to rogues?

    You could also have cheaper cloaks than the cloak of sagan with focus more on :sneakiness: (batman references anyone?)

    Perhaps the more stealth related items have the leather cap or cuirass or fine linen shirt as a crafting component, but are made using alchemy/fungi to chemically harden or pigment?
     
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  14. Wootah

    Wootah Member

    I gotta disagree with finnien. I rarely get smithing on anything that isn't warrior.
    But I get tinkering on all sorts of builds. The trap skill alone makes it the one skill that will help you deal with traps all game.

    Being able to make amazing cross bows and bolts fill a huge hole in most builds, and is almost enough to stand on its own in most any build. In my opinion the tinkering crusts are ridiculously good for many builds.
     
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  15. lujo86

    lujo86 Member

    I got confused because with the lack of good mundane drops in the area, some of those those are actually really common late-mid game :)

    About this part I think you're right, but abot the high level tinkering > high level smithing, I agree with him. To me it looks like tinkering goes from what you describe straight into being the actual high lvl-smithing in all but theme.

    Edited in my reply to Bergstrom here

    And dear lord did the swashbucklers mod do so much good stuff for the rogues and pirates :) If just a smidgeon of that could be applied to all of the themes in the core item pool, that would be awesome... The black russian codpiece, should make the core game on its own IMO, and if you guys never go and add the italian boots and the trojan hat for a black vegetable set, it will be a shame :) (Unless you've already done it :D)
     
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  16. Turbo164

    Turbo164 Member

    This seems a little odd, as traditionally you see more sneaky wizards and thieves "that know a lil something about magic" than you do "guy in full plate who also throws fireballs"; and in Dredmor Rogues and Wizards overlap the useful :savvy:.

    Ideally there would be two leather lines, one for pure rogue (leaning Warrior) that could penalize magic (more "thug" line), and one for magical tricksters. Or just have low penalties on the high-end cap, the only "penalty" being that you don't get the +17:armor_asorb: from choosing the warrior helm or 93:sagacity: from the mage helm (you're instead getting the 29:nimbleness:)

    Thuggish Leather caps (wizard penalties, higher :crit::counter:) :
    Leatherhead (old American Football helmet) - "Time for some necessary roughness" [lower leather cap + some bronze and plastic]
    Braxhide Cap - "Considering Brax sells hundreds of these per day, you suspect this might be imitation leather." [lower leather cap + some good Brax-y metals like Gold or Platinum]

    Tricksy Leather caps (more :dodge::savvy:, less :block: ) :
    Dapper Cap - "Being in a dungeon is no excuse for not looking one's best." [lower leather cap + some gems]
    Beguiling Bonnet - "Originally crafted by the sorceress Beatrice, this fascinating hat makes a great distraction." (Princess Beatrice's hat from Princess Kate's wedding[which apparently was charity auctioned later for $100,000+ ! ] ) [lower leather cap + a Potion of Radiance, a Lutefisk, and some Hard Cider. Because that makes sense.]

    Low-end caster:
    Glasses - "They make you look smart! Yes, monsters will still hit you." [crafted from plastic?]

    High-end caster:
    Coif of the Diggle Archmage - "You've never actually seen a diggle wearing this hat... clearly it transcends space and time!" [crafted from: lower caster cap + diggle egg + mana potion + sapphire]

    etc.
     
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  17. lujo86

    lujo86 Member

    For a strictly rogue leather cap, we could possibly go for the "swanky" hat in the style of the dandy boots, which makes you a better swasbuckler but penalizes your :sagacity: (or even better) :savvy:, playing on the good-looking-but-none-too-bright theme.

    For a rougey leather cap the Roobin Hood like deer-stalker (with a feather in it) is also a nice thematic choice), if there is need of one.

    For a low level caster cap either a sawed off traffic cone with a bottle of booze in the middle, or one of those which has two beer cans on the side so you can drink while you use your hands. The beercan one (sanins new pilsner or whathave you) can be a low level :mana_regen:recharge one.

    Now that I think about it, "glasses" theme could be expanded to fill out certain roles based on the "make you look like" theme. They could be the hats which offer no protection whatsoever, but give a significant boost a a relevant stat or ability, say Hipster glassess being an early caster drop which incereeses :magic_power: only because they make you look "sophisticated". Those could be just lensless rims, for joke purposes.
     
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  18. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    I have been absent too long...

    I have two words for this thread: "Set Bonuses"
    (Meaning when you equip a entire set of a particular theme of armor and/or weapons, you get a bonus exclusive to that set. And yes, I am well aware this would likely require a recompile to manage. But think it over.)
     
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  19. lujo86

    lujo86 Member

    Well, they do look cool and impressive. Just picking up a bit of the "if you have X weapon equiped then you get X-Y" simmilar to how weapon skills check for your weapon equip can probably be used to great effect. I really ought to make that comprehensive items list so we can get concrete on the whole thing.

    I'm sort of slacking right now because of RL, figuring I'd see what Essence will do with the skills, get better with modding by completing at least one class mod, and I'm sort of waiting for the patch to see what's new before I dig in.
     
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  20. Set bonuses are boring from a player perspective, because they encourage you to to just stick with predetermined warrior outfit X rather than mix and match and try things out as you need them. Instead of deciding "do I want this helm or this helm" and "do I need these pants or those pants" etc., the player only ends up making a single decision of "which set do I want". Plus they punish bad luck even further than normal, because a player who happens to have missed one item loses both the benefit of the that item vs a piece of less appropriate gear AND the bonus. Fun in a standard RPG, not great for a roguelike environment.

    For similar reasons, I dislike the idea that most gear should fall easily into categories that last throughout the entire dungeon. Instead of having to think about each upgrade and weigh which stats they need, the player makes one choice at the start of the game - I'll wear the generic warrior helms - and then mindlessly swaps in the upgrades as they find them. (Artifacts and kronging etc. help avoid this, but usually only between upgrades.) While it would certainly take much more work to make individual pieces of armour feel unique rather than categories of it, it would also make things more interesting for the player in the long run.