Attacks against equipment in RPG combat?

Attacks against equipment in RPG combat?

Postby Vandar » 18 Feb 2015, 14:42

In some roguelikes, enemy attacks can damage equipment. Acid corrodes metal item, fire burns wooden or paper items, electricity can damage metal, cold damages water (potions) in containers etc.

Do you think this is a good game mechanic, or do you consdier it an annoyance?

I'm asking, because I feel uncertain which way to go in my own toy RPG project.
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Re: Attacks against equipment in RPG combat?

Postby Julius » 18 Feb 2015, 16:23

I usually consider it a more annoying than useful feature, and having to go to the point where it can even completely destroy a well loved item will probably make people rage quit your game.

If you still think it is something usefull, I would rather call it a negative enchantment that can be removed with a scroll, or have it as some sort of negative temporary effect.
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Re: Attacks against equipment in RPG combat?

Postby NaN » 18 Feb 2015, 17:37

It can work if done right imho.

As already commented, if you want to put emphasis on equipment, having special or unique items, the player should be able to repair them.

The alternative is to make sure the player finds enough equipment to replace the broken ones. This means those items will be considered more as consumables, will get less attention by the player.
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Re: Attacks against equipment in RPG combat?

Postby eugeneloza » 18 Feb 2015, 19:09

I also bear in my head the idea of completely wearing out of equipment. It has something to it, but surely, there must be a way to completely restore the equipment (read your post at opengameart) or 100% replace broken one.
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Re: Attacks against equipment in RPG combat?

Postby Vandar » 18 Feb 2015, 22:27

I'm really torn on this question. Usually I don't like the feature in games, because I hate it to lose something "hard earned". Arcanum was a game where each repair reduced the item health permanently, unless it was done by a master of repair. So self-repaired items slowly degraded, but many items could be repaired quite often till they finally were beyond repair. I like this idea of many but finite repairs.

If attacks against items are an unliked feature, I wonder a bit why so many roguelikes have it, but roguelikes are usually meant to be cruel on the player, so I guess it just fits the genre. But those games also have items which are immune to such effects e.g. higher level spellbooks don't burn in fire, powerful potions are frost-proof, powerful weapons/armor are corrosion-safe. But in this case it just means to acquire the good items, and thus disabling this game mechanic - which is a sign how annyoing it is in first place. On the other hand I seem to remember that some of such attacks never could be avoided, e.g. some monsters could drain charges from wands and such, even if that was a very good wand.

I really can't make up my mind :? Maybe I'll wait with answering this till later in development.
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Re: Attacks against equipment in RPG combat?

Postby eugeneloza » 18 Feb 2015, 22:41

Vandar {l Wrote}:Maybe I'll wait with answering this till later in development.

Very good idea 'cause the time will often show better.
E.g. I was thinking of introducing 'reaction shot' in Project Helena until I understood with time that there is just no need to, it'll spoil the idea :)
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Re: Attacks against equipment in RPG combat?

Postby Roots » 19 Feb 2015, 02:53

Julius {l Wrote}:I usually consider it a more annoying than useful feature


I concur. When it comes to considering features in a game, I ask myself one question that I feel too many people neglect to ask themselves. "Will this feature make my game more enjoyable to play?". If your answer is anything but a yes, either make changes or drop it altogether. Of course it's not always easy to answer this question, and in that case the best way to figure out is to implement it and see how if it works well or not.
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Re: Attacks against equipment in RPG combat?

Postby Vandar » 19 Feb 2015, 14:41

"more enjoyable" is a difficult point, because different people will answer it differently. Some will say a feture like attacks against equipment adds challenge, requires planning on side of the player, and generally adds one more layer of things to consider to the game. These people also tend to say that modern games "have been dumbed down", and such.

The others will say the "dumbed down" is key to mass success, since the frustration level (what the former call "challenge") should be low, and the player must be fed with successes in a constant flow, to keep them motivated.

Some people enjoy to be punished by games, and want the challenge, others just want to be enterained and pass some time.

So there isn't one answer in case of this feature, it depends on which group of players one asks. -> And this means I should make up my mind about the target audience, if I want to address some hardcore dungeon crawlers who like ot beat "unbeatable" games, or the ones who want to go for some dungeon exploring and expect easy entertainment and the feeling of being successful at the game.
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Re: Attacks against equipment in RPG combat?

Postby eugeneloza » 19 Feb 2015, 14:57

>> make up my mind about the target audience
Definitely that would answer many questions.

But I might add that 'CONVENIENT' and 'EASINESS' doesn't necessary mean 'SIMPLE'. I love the moto 'easy to learn hard to master'. I.e. the game mechanics should be as 'deep' as possible, but the process should not be boring/difficult.
I.e.:
BAD: Items break randomly, and one has to travel 20 minutes of game time to the smithy to repair one.
GOOD: The player is alerted in advance, that the item is in the bad state and should be repaired/recharged or replaced. It just takes one click (or even automatically), but requires availability of raw materials. Which had to be purchaced in advance, of which the player has been noted in the shop. And in the tavern the character has been told (in a riddle way) that acid frogs destroy armor, so pack up with iron well. The player may decide to fix a 75% armor to have the best protetction level available or wait until it's 12% not to spoil expensive raw materials. The player may also pre-select strategy - berserk attak (would quickly wear out weapon +200%, but deals a powerful blow +50%), careful attack (preserve the weapon -50%, but less efficient -50%) and balanced. Hammer is good against rock golems, but gets badly damaged against enemy parry. And sword will soon wear out if hitting a rock, but is perfect for fencing and cutting flesh. And 'all this power' is in just two/three clicks if the UI ergonomics is good.
This way the player might need to balance his behaviour: if he has fallen to nowhere... and no way to get to the shop to buy raw materials. Save equipment. Just two steps away from the town and hell bunnies attack? Why not berserk them down in a few blows not caring about weapon/armor consistency... There's a dragon in the cave! No time to save the money, must be prepared at max. Those slimes corrode the armor but deal petty damage, why should the player waste his precious platemail if he can simply eliminate 'em all in a cheap leather tunic.
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Re: Attacks against equipment in RPG combat?

Postby Vandar » 19 Feb 2015, 15:29

At the moment I have designed the item database with a field for "material", so I can add material based effects if I want to. In general I tend to address the casual gamers, so most likely I'll not include this feature, or reserve it to some special cases.
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Re: Attacks against equipment in RPG combat?

Postby Evropi » 20 Feb 2015, 15:53

I don't like this mechanic much either. I also don't like items disintegrating (this is horrible and does away with so much strategy, especially when you have limited inventory space) though I can accept them breaking over time. But not randomly in one go.

Also, an item's power should not be based on its repair status.
I feel Assassin's Creed II (and its sequel, Brotherhood) do this best (though the combat is hilariously easy so it doesn't matter anyway). If you get hit a lot, your armour will eventually break -- but it depends on how much and how easily you get hit, not just time. After that, you have to get to a smithy to get it fixed, for a reasonable fee. This is important, because the fee should be a penalty, but it should not feel like it does away your progress or require you to grind some money back.

A more significant penalty is the fact you have to travel to the smith to fix your armour. There are so many diversions in AC2 that you're bound to end up in a mission without your armour fixed, which will likely make it quite a bit harder. This is the right way to penalise the player; penalise their carelessness, not their progress in the game. Much of this depends ,of course, on having a fixed timescale over which to play the game. So it will not work for a roguelike, but in my opinion, the fact they're almost impossible to finish without ridiculous luck and ludicrous amounts of repetitive gameplay (just changing up the map and items is not enough, sorry) is a heavy design flaw of roguelikes.
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Re: Attacks against equipment in RPG combat?

Postby Peter » 21 Feb 2015, 11:07

I think damage to the equipment is fine as long as it's not irreversible. I don't like losing equipment unless it's my choice.
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Re: Attacks against equipment in RPG combat?

Postby Jastiv » 01 Feb 2019, 00:25

We have this feature in Wograld vs puddings. Yeah, it would suck vs hard to replace or rare items, but vs generic armor its like so what. I suppose some crafting could balance it out or a way to repair good items.
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