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  • Auto-Stats, Gear, and Customization.

    First lets discuss player-made stat choices. When a veteran ARPG player thinks about stat choices they think that it helps increase their customizability. They generally are able to build the stats in a way that the developer may have "over-looked" and create a class that is very specific, like a dagger/shield wielding mage that does melee damage.

    However, most developers should develop the game around the novice player and then add depth to the game that the veteran player can enjoy. Also, custom stats, any variation of them can cause un-foreseen problems with the game's over-all power distribution. How does the developer know that the player has stacked an attribute indiscriminately or has an even # of attributes in every stat?

    That would be hard to figure out and balance without a lot of testing.

    So, custom assigned stats cause the novice player 2 things, it is hard to know what is best for your class, and it can get confusing when you want to wear a specific piece of armor but do not have the stats required to use them.

    Why should a new player be forced to have any specific stat assignment just to equip level 2 gloves? Why should a new player have to go lurking around any web-site to try and look for "builds" that are considered "perfect?" In Diablo 2, if a novice played as a sorceress, they might think to put points into energy, that seems obvious right? However in just about every gaming strategy out there for the sorceress, the novice player has just made the wrong stat point allocation.

    Another problem with self-assigned stats is that they are inherently hard for the game developer to balance. Will the player decide to skip 40% of vitality to place it into mana, or will the player have more strength then dexterity? (just examples). None of this is fun for the player when they can not wear those awesome boots they just found, when they cost 80 strength and only have 20 strength on their character.

    So you ask me why not have a stat re-allocation ability? I give you one clear and concise answer - because it is totally unnecessary. It would be better to create a fun game that allows for maximum customization.

    Auto-Stat Allocation.

    Auto-Stats feel like they are the bane of the veteran ARPG player, but I feel like the veteran player is looking at this in the wrong way in 3 respects.

    First of all, with auto-stat allocation the player has a much higher choice of gear to equip. How? Without forcing players to equip only items that they have the necessary points, it is better design to simply allow the player to equip gear that they have obtained the appropriate level for. Now there's a new paradigm in the game-play mechanics, how do you customize your character? By wearing the gear that have the stats that you want on them.

    Secondly, the novice player is not so easily put off by the idea that they can't wear a piece of level 2 gear because they have not put the right stats in the "right" place. A novice will understand that the gear only requires you to be level 2 and once the player has reached that level they will be allowed to equip the item. This is how a game should be played, it should be fun knowing that you will be able to equip an item at the level it was designed to be equipped.

    Third, for the game developer it is very easy to figure out auto-stats. The developer will know what level a character will be at and the maximum or minimum number of stats the player will absolutely possibly have at each and every level. It is now simply the job of the developer to make interesting modifiers on the gear so that it is not simply a stat crunching game. The developer will know for sure that you will be able to equip a level 85 piece of gear when you are level 85. The point of gear should be that it is fun to experiment with and customize your character with.
    Finally, this frees up some of the balancing time and allows a developer to create other methods of customization that may be more fun or interesting then the former.

    Gear In General.

    I felt it appropriate to discuss 2 more topics here, though I know most will be against my previous suggestion, this suggestion is simple and elegant.

    - Gear does not need to have durability.

    - There does not have to be "ammo" ever again.

    Durability was another way to break action in an Action RPG. Once an item broke you either had to return to town to fix it or replace it with a weaker item. Since games should not be in the business of going against the core mechanic of the game (Action) then durability as a concept should be thrown out the window. The same is true for ammo, why should a player have to break the immersion, and break the Action to return to town while in the middle of a big fight?

    Here's another thought, sometimes games would let you know when an item is close to being broken, you would then return to town before it broke just to repair it. That is an unnecessary game-play mechanic that is not fun, you should want to return to town to do other things like crafting, but not simply to repair your armor or buy more ammo.

    Ammo, has another problem all it's own. You may run out too quickly in an un-ordinarily long winded battle and have to break that Action and immersion by being required to return to town.
    _______
    Legendary Fan & KickStart Supporter

  • #2
    No offense, Scryer, but do you just not like the ARPG genre? You've got the most threads in the ideas forum for "Don't do this thing that's a staple of the genre".

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    • #3
      #1 TQ has semi-auto-stats - when you level your mastery, you receive fixed bonuses. Additional skill points are for customisation. This is a fine mix. In case you will have nerfed your GD toon, please see the GD feature list:
      The ability to spend money to reclaim skill and attribute points alleviates the fear and frustration of having to make early, uninformed decisions that could permanently nerf a character.
      I would fully support your idea, if we had to manage a whole party of characters.

      #2 Durability and ammo are not in TQ ... did someone confirm, that they will be added in GD? I actually suggested:
      Originally posted by eisprinzessin View Post
      Optional - not sure if this is fun: White items are non-magical. They might take damage and wear out (turn grey) eventually. So you need to replace them from time to time. Any enchantment on them should return to your inventory.
      But that was under the premise of the rest of that post.
      Last edited by eisprinzessin; 01-22-2010, 11:31 PM. Reason: clarification

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Iceciro View Post
        No offense, Scryer, but do you just not like the ARPG genre? You've got the most threads in the ideas forum for "Don't do this thing that's a staple of the genre".
        Well, I'm trying to make people think a little bit here, what is a staple of the ARPG genre? Actually if you think about it, the only staple that is true for all of them is that they have Action and RPG elements.

        I'm simply trying to say that there are always better ways to create a game, and that just because other games in this genre have had similarities, the way they got those similarities alone is not why an ARPG is fun or even why any specific game mechanic is necessary in this genre.

        What makes an ARPG game fun is the Action, and the elements of RPG that the player can enjoy, like being in a fantasy or dark fantasy realm. Specific mechanics that have always existed in this genre are only there because Diablo 1 put them there, it does not mean they are the best way to design a game or create one that is fun to play.

        There's has been very little innovation in this genre, but I'm here posting to try and think of innovative ways to play the game that would be fun and not detract from the main focus of an ARPG - the Action first and RPG secondary.

        I understand if not many people know why I'm trying to make these posts so controversial, but I must say that they are only controversial because they are new to the genre and may in fact play very well, we just don't have a way to measure that because these things have not all been done before in this genre. At least not in a way that would make them fun.
        _______
        Legendary Fan & KickStart Supporter

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        • #5
          I don't mind auto-stats, IF it's a choice. If not, then this is an awful idea. I like being able to make my own classes, I play classes no one else will. I make melee fighters that focus on intelligence for maximum elemental damage. If I had an autostat placement based on my TQ masteries, storm and warfare, I'd be stuck with something way less than what I'd want. It doesn't allow you to have more choices, it restricts your choices actually. If you don't realize this already, most players enjoy following builds and stuff to the letter. Without that, it kinda ruins the game. Like others have said, allocating your own stats is part of the customization. It's the staple of the genre, name an ARPG that doesn't have stat allocation, I bet it failed compared to TQ or D2. Space Siege? Failed haaard.

          Seriously though, how can you think this is a good idea? It really restricts and limits your choice in armor. If you remove the stat requirements on the armor, then the game just becomes silly. Then twinking would REALLY get out of hand. And I really don't see how a novice player would get discouraged by finding a piece of armor he can't wear... more like ENCOURAGED to grab a stat to wear that armor.


          Durability, bad. We got that much. I like ammo however, and I think it's a neat aspect although SOMETIMES, rarely though, is it annoying. I've never really played much as an amazon in D2, but the little I did, I didn't find it annoying. I had 2 rows reserved for extra arrows and the equipped ones. So I had thousands of arrows, and really no worry of running out due to the arrow drops.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ASYLUM101 View Post
            Seriously though, how can you think this is a good idea? It really restricts and limits your choice in armor. If you remove the stat requirements on the armor, then the game just becomes silly. Then twinking would REALLY get out of hand.
            First explain to me how this would even make twinking possible? If all gear has a level restriction you can't twink a character that is level 37 with a level 100 item that can't be used until that character is level 100.

            How does it restrict customization? Once a character reaches level 30 the player will have multiple options to customize their character - They could place the gear on their character with the stats they desire, or they could place the modifiers on their character they want to at that level.
            Last edited by Scryer; 01-23-2010, 12:57 AM.
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            Legendary Fan & KickStart Supporter

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            • #7
              1st.all of this is a horrible idea.2nd.bows with unlimited ammo is....ok.... but its better to have ammo 3rd.Gear that breaks is fun....Its better to go to town and repair your armor.4th auto skills? I'm not sure if i read that right i dint really get it but if its auto placing skills to give you what you should get that's also horrible its better to find your builds and test it out with a lot of different characters just testing the builds your self......i find it kinda noobish that you have to go online to find out what builds are good you should just test them your self.5th. all of these ideas are a sign of laziness,not caring on what you do with your character. and that you should not play games if your to lazy to go to town and repair your armor or buy ammo......or even think of what you are gonna do what your skills and attributes

              I am sorry if this is offending in any way to crate or posters of the web i am just saying what I think but some of you may think differently
              sry i like it better when things are not reilistic all the way but slightly
              legendary fan


              it is better to die for the emperor then to live for your self.

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              • #8
                and what asylum said is true. if it had ONLY LVL to use it then what? youd see a wizzerd running around with a warriors hat! stat requirements have to stay.
                legendary fan


                it is better to die for the emperor then to live for your self.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by myrmidon View Post
                  1st.all of this is a horrible idea.2nd.bows with unlimited ammo is....ok.... but its better to have ammo 3rd.Gear that breaks is fun....Its better to go to town and repair your armor.
                  I understand that's your opinion, but knowing that this is an Action RPG, why should the developers create a game that breaks action by requiring the player to go to town to buy ammo or repair armor? It's not about laziness it's about game-play. What's more fun for the player, going to town because they have to or killing hoards of enemies?

                  Those aspects of the game (ammo and durability) are quite counter-intuitive to Action elements of the game.
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                  Legendary Fan & KickStart Supporter

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Scryer View Post
                    First explain to me how this would even make twinking possible? If all gear has a level restriction you can't twink a character that is level 37 with a level 100 item that can't be used until that character is level 100.
                    Twinking is always possible. I have nothing against it, but here with this scheme it's even easier than before. At least with requirements you had to AIM for something. With level requirements being the only one, all it takes is for a character to reach said level, then you can easily twink and give him an item he can wear. It's STILL twinking. Level restriction or not, if that character didn't find the item, he's been twinked.

                    Originally posted by Scryer View Post
                    How does it restrict customization? Once a character reaches level 30 the player will have multiple options to customize their character - They could place the gear on their character with the stats they desire, or they could place the modifiers on their character they want to at that level.
                    Restricting the character because like I said, if you want to shoot for a pure intelligence warrior or archer, you wouldn't be able to. With a restricted skill tree that auto places your stats, you'd be stuck. Like my original example states, if I chose warfare and storm, each level would provide a meager boost to intelligence and energy from storm, and another meager boost in strength and health. Because of that, I couldn't be a very good caster OR warrior, unless I was able to choose my stat points myself.

                    I understand that's your opinion, but knowing that this is an Action RPG, why should the developers create a game that breaks action by requiring the player to go to town to buy ammo or repair armor? It's not about laziness it's about game-play. What's more fun for the player, going to town because they have to or killing hoards of enemies?

                    Those aspects of the game (ammo and durability) are quite counter-intuitive to Action elements of the game.
                    True, but you come to towns so often in these RPGs you'd be stupid not to pick up some ammo or repairs. Or, when you teleport to a town to pick up some potions, why not buy some arrows too? I personally don't really care for this feature, I think having ammo FEELS better. Repairing... meh. It's annoying if you're in a boss fight, but otherwise I never had much trouble with that in D2.
                    Last edited by ASYLUM101; 01-23-2010, 01:13 AM.

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                    • #11
                      It's annoying to have to get more ammo when you're on a boss too.
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                      • #12
                        In dragon Age, there's a special toggle button for auto-stats which some might find useful. I like the idea of having one for GD if that's possible.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by heron View Post
                          In dragon Age, there's a special toggle button for auto-stats which some might find useful. I like the idea of having one for GD if that's possible.
                          Yeah, see, I wouldn't mind if it was toggle-able. I wouldn't use it anyway! But if it was mandatory it would be ultimate suckage for some of us.

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                          • #14
                            Well I can definitely see where Scryer is going with this, and although the specifics of what he is talking about may be disagreeable, he has a good idea of how this game/genre could evolve into something better and fresh.

                            With lots of brainstorming and a little genius, Grim Dawn could become the new beacon of ARPGs. Ammo never was a big deal to me, but repairing always seemed tedious and really pointless.

                            Stat customization should really stay that way, however, I like the idea of finding a new way to customize characters rather than worrying over how every little point is spent. It used to be fun as a kid, but then when I got older and realized that it was essential to follow builds almost to a tee--well, I really despised it. This is a really interesting issue for me... but I've never quite thought of a way around it.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by eisprinzessin View Post
                              #1 TQ has semi-auto-stats - when you level your mastery, you receive fixed bonuses. Additional skill points are for customisation. This is a fine mix. In case you will have nerfed your GD toon, please see the GD feature list.
                              Eisprinzessin pretty much sums up my stance. The masteries provide some base stats important to each class to limit the extent to which notice players can screw themselves. I think this provides an acceptable balance but still allows for customization and still allows people to make mistakes

                              Why would we want to allow people to make mistakes? We actually argued about this a lot when developing TQ. However, my belief is that when players feel like they can't made a bad decision, they also totally loose the satisfaction of feeling like they made a good decision. Part of the addition of these types of games is figuring out how to beat the system or how to do things better than the "other guy". Even for those playing single-player exclusively where there is no real "other guy" players still take a lot of satisfaction in feeling like maybe they figured out a better build than most people. There is also a certain satisfaction to allocating points so that you can finally use this great item you found. When you level up and can use an item it is rewarding but doesn't quite have the same level of satisfaction because you aren't directly making any sort of decision.

                              So, our goal is to try to minimize the degree to which bad decisions can reduce a players ability to make it through the game while still maintaining the perception that it is possible to make decisions that could result in a better or worse character build.

                              And really, most novice players will have no idea that their character isn't built in the most effective way possible. So long as their character is effective enough to plod through normal difficulty, that is pretty much all that matters.

                              In observing casual players playtest TQ I rarely saw stat allocation become a problem. The only time stats really had a major adverse effect was when people severely neglected OA and DA. We've changed the way probability to hit works in GD and that sort of thing shouldn't be as much of an issue. The really crippling decision players made was to hold on to low level unique items far FAR beyond their usefulness because they looked cool. So you'd have a level 40 character still fighting with a level 5 unique sword that dropped 10mins outside the starting town. Why? Well it looked cool and it gave these awesome stats like 5% fire resist and +10% damage. Meanwhile base damage would be 12 while common items available at the store had base damages of 150.

                              I understand the mantra of accessibility. It was all the rage in early 2000 after someone, somewhere finally figured out games were so unnecessarily complicated, unintuitive, and punishing that they turned off a lot of players. However, now you see developers occasionally taking this concept to the opposite extreme. There is a fine line and where that line is depends on the audience you're developing for.

                              In his famous rant about piracy Brad Wardell talked about building not for the total user-base but for the customer-base that would actually pay for your product. The same I think is true of accessibility. I think companies sometimes fool themselves into thinking that if they make the game so accessible that "your grandmother could play it" that millions of grandmothers will actually buy their game. The problem is that if will never cross the mind of most grandmothers or other non / ultra casual gamers to randomly go pick up a dark gritty ARPG. So, accessibility is great but design first for the core audience you know will buy your game and don't go to extremes.

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