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Loot - Ideas on making this game stand out


#1

Loot is, and always will be, part of the central theme of ARPG’s.
Kill creatures, get phat lewts. Its what we are all searching for when we play.
Id LOVE to see this game take the ARPG scene by storm, and it has all the potential to do so.

I truly believe that adding a unique, fun, rewarding, interesting and balanced loot system will blow this game into the history books as one of the best.

We are right now, drowning in thousands of useless to semi useless loot items and, in my opinion, this actually detracts from the ability to play the game. It means players have to either manually scan through items (which no-one does) or you have to implement a whole other game feature (loot filters) just to be able to cut through the crap.
Alot of players are also hoarders, and leaving items on the ground that ‘could’ be sold (even for minuscule amounts) can sometimes be irritating if the only reason you’re not picking it up is because you inventory is full after killing 3 creatures.

So - I have a few key things i think would make the loot system incredibly fun.

  • Reduced loot amounts. Id personally have people come away from a normal level having MAYBE filled their inventory once or twice with gear if they picked up everything. Clearly towards endgame this would ramp up slightly. This makes finding loot feel rewarding and valuable. Makes rares ACTUALLY rare. Maybe you only see one every other map!

  • On-The_Fly breakdown. Rather than having to haul loot all the way back to town once your inventory is full, give players the ability to break things down to useful components inside their inventory. Perhaps even an “auto breakdown X quality of item” so you just need to pick up those pesky greens and they get turned into components automagically.
    This gives value to every item. Maybe picking up one more white item will give a player the chance to craft something they really want! (this is kinda like a way better rune of shattering)

  • Crafting as a skill. Crafting is something that really gives a sense of ownership to items. It shouldnt replace killing things as a source of items, but as a way to support your build, and your characters growth as well as letting you define each and every character. It should itself be something fun, engaging and enjoyable. Indepth, but easy and rewarding.

SO!

I thought of, what i think, is a pretty neat way to incorporate the amazing ideas you already have with loot into something really awesome.

New crafting points/tree (made graphically and functionally unique so as to not saturate players in skills trees). The crafting tree is the way players advance naturally through their crafting journey. It should be something that allows players to specalize towards certain goals. For example, it might let players specalize in crafting unique shards that are stronger than regular crafted shards (see below), or have unique effects not found in dropped shards.
Or it might let players create items with better base stats or maybe it unlocks crafting certain set items.

(I threw together a completely unbalanced, very basic idea of what the tree could look like. It would be cool to have three branches instead of two, but hey.

https://app.mindmup.com/map/_free/2019/01/e693e150113911e9b1fc2f8d2743f571)

Leveling crafting would be done VERY slowly (or with a big exp required to level curve), so that filling out the crafting tree would take you WELL into endgame, but you fill out at least one useful part of the tree as you level. Maybe one character would be more into crafting poison based shards, while another focuses on getting more re-enforcement shards to make better base items.

Gaining exp would be through breaking down items (very small amounts), which means exploring and killing slowly levels your crafting as you pick up and break down items.
You’d gain big chunks when you craft items or shards.

Finally, crafting levels could affect how your break down items (see below), giving you a chance to get more or rarer crafting components from breaking items down (if you put points into that area)

Have items that you pick up break down into;

  1. Whites - Re-enforcement scraps. These would stack up to 20, which then fuse to form a simple re-enforcement patch. This patch can be applied to weapons or armor to increase its defense or damage by a set small amount. Each item can have a set number of patches applied based on the players Crafting ability.

  2. Everything else (with an affix of any kind gets broken down into shard dust (of say 3-4 varying rarities). This shard dust can then be used to craft your own weak shards based again on crafting ability. As you advance through the crafting tree perhaps you could unlock lighting affixes, or poison affixes, damage or resistance affixes so that your characters crafting becomes unique to that character to help him advance.
    This isnt ment to replace finding epic shards, but is easier for players to use than runes of shattering. This means players could pick up a new cool white item and (which a bunch of dust) craft it into a green-blue level item that is specifically tailored for their build (albiet with weak affixes until they get to end game).

Runes and glyphs could be incorporated into the system (rune of shattering would be an automatic skill), but things that improve other runes or glyphs would be a part of the tree.


Trading! or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bazaar!
#2

Thank you for the kind words and the in-depth feedback!

We do have a loot filter in development which is worked on in between other tasks. The intention behind it is to allow people to choose which affixes they are interested in, and which they aren’t. This should allow a single filter to display both an item which may be useful as-is, and an item you may be interested in using a Rune of Shattering on.

I do understand your feedback regarding the desire to loot all the things, though I’d ask if you think loot would be as exciting if almost every item which dropped was very good. I’d argue that for some items to be seen as good, others must be seen as bad - they are two sides of the same coin. That’s not to say that itemization - and particularly any numbers involved - is perfect currently, but I’m not sure how fundamental any changes we make here will be.

While I agree that we need to make improvements in the game’s ability to communicate how good an item is, I think it may make sense to implement the loot filter first and then analyze the situation from there. As shattering items requires investment in the form of Runes of Shattering, we’re unlikely to offer the option for this process to be automated - this runs the risk of players unintentionally running lower on these than they realize. Due to the deterministic nature of our crafting system, Runes of Shattering are intentionally leveraged as a limiting factor. We want loot, crafting, and trading to all have a meaningful place in the finished game.

I’m not sure I agree that this would give value to every item, however. There comes a time when you have so many of a specific Affix Shard that you become indifferent to obtaining more of them. I’m also reminded of Chris Wilson from Grinding Gear Games commenting on his team’s reluctance to significantly expand the size of the player inventory or to implement auto-pick up. His reasoning was that real items require a certain amount of work, and that items in a digital game need some inconvenience to be valued similarly. If you don’t have to make a conscious decision to pick up an item - or even to notice that it has dropped - the number of them in your inventory (and eventually your stash) can start to feel arbitrary and this leads to you feeling disconnected from your loot. I fear that auto-shatter may contribute to this.

Crafting as a form of skill or profession is something we’ve seen suggested a few times, so I’ve added this as a topic to be discussed at our next meeting. With regard to unique shards in particular, I’d say that one of our concerns with crafting as currently implemented is that it tends to be too good compared to loot. As unique shards may exacerbate this, how would you seek to balance them? Tying certain set items into such a feature could be fun, so I’ll make sure this is raised while we discuss the broader suggestion. Thanks for the idea!

Unfortunately your link doesn’t appear to work. I’ve tried it in both Firefox v64 and Vivaldi v2.2.1388.37. Reading the URL, ‘new’ does look problematic. Could you double-check the link?

I’ll raise reinforcement scraps & shard dust with the team. Removing Runes of Shattering as a limiting factor on crafting definitely runs the risk of making it overpowered. How would you seek to prevent that? Crafting does require limitations - particularly if deterministic.

Thanks again for the feedback! There’s definitely a lot here for the team to discuss.


#3

Thank you for your feedback!! Its truly humbling and exciting to know you took the time to read what i said, and that you also took it seriously.
I appreciate that you guys have a tough job of filtering all the feedback you get, especially when relative newbiews like myself come in all gung-ho with ideas that are (as mine probably is) a bit left field.
I updated the mindmap. Sorry, forgot to save it.

I agree that for some loot to be good, others must be bad. thats part and parcel of loot. some of it has to be stuff you dont want.
But my suggestion wasnt to make all loot good. I’d even say that other than the quantity of loot dropping now (rares really arent rare at all!) the actual affixes and everything is spot on!
My suggestion is to simply reduce loot bloat, and to balance the reduction in amount of loot with a crafting system that allows for organic and simple gear improvement.
Clearly with reduced loot amount, having some way for people to find both the item they want and the affixes they want (or are at least happy enough with), without handing it to them on a silver plater is important.

Thus, by making all loot useful (even if its stats or type arent good) by allowing all gear to be broken down and then piecemeal used to add to (or create new) gear, no items that drop are “trash”. They are resource.
A player would have a good chance of finding the right kind of white item that he or she wants, and a low chance of it dropping naturally with a bunch of nice affixes (e.g. as a blue). But after picking up (for example) 10 random greens that would otherwise be left on the ground and breaking them down, he or she can upgrade that white into a decent green with at least one affix that he or she wants.

My suggestion would have runes of shattering be a skill that can be used within the inventory as opposed to a consumable item.
Thats a very good point you raise about not having to make a conscious decision to pick up items. perhaps auto shattering wouldnt work.
I also feel the other side of the coin to this is that by requiring a loot filter and having oodles of loot, that also removes conscious decisions in regard to loot. I hardly even notice loot dropping in PoE because 90% of it is hidden by my loot filter and most of the rest is junk that wasnt filtered.

I think coming up with new ideas and loot systems rather than using loot filters and oceans of trash will benefit you and your game in the long run.

Regarding balancing unique crafted shards, I think it would simply have to be a type of shard that cannot be obtained by drops (e.g. has affixes or ranges not found by drops). For example +5% maximum life and mana.
I guess it could be a bit niche (e.g. only used in some builds), and ability to trade it might make it worthless to take something like that once the market is saturated.
Or perhaps it could be ‘soulbound’ and be able to be applied to types of armor/weapons it normally cant be applied to (or it could be a passive that allows you to apply any type of shards to weapons for example)

Lastly, instead of having runes of shattering as the limiting factor on crafting, the reduced item drop rate (particularly rarer types which would drop better dust) would be the limiting factor in crafting.
This essentially shifts the worth away from yet another item(runes of shattering) and distributes it into every single item that drops. This means you DO notice when any blue/green/white items drop, because it suddenly means you’re 1/20 or whatever closer to being able to craft a shard you can use on your items. Even white items suddenly become interesting drops because they either can go towards a slight improvement in your existing armor or as a base to put shards into.


#4

I personally like the idea of extending the crafting system to include it as some of skill for our account/character. I see it as a blend of what OP suggested and what we’re currently seeing as master crafting in POE (Betrayal). But I think POE’s current master crafting is leaning a little towards being too overpowered - and I think if LE were to incorporate such an extended crafting system well, it ought to be designed and developed as a key feature in a future expansion.

IMO, for release, LE should just focus on having a solid function core for crafting and explore more elaborate crafting systems for future expansion :slight_smile:


#5

In regards to shattering on the go, I agree that it shouldnt be an done anywhere. Like Sarno said, it just makes things feel arbitrary and you dont really feel like your loot matters because dont have to pick and choose what loot you pick up with no downside to it.

I think Torchlight had an interesting way of balancing a system like this (since we are on the subject). You could give items to your pet who would go to town and sell them for you. Your pet would be gone for a few minutes, no longer helping you fight until it got back. It crated a balance in this type of system. It also put a cooldown on selling items on the fly and you had to make a choice to have your pet stay and fight with you or send him off to sell items.

I also like the idea of expanding the crafting system but that seems like it would be good in the first updates of the game once it comes out. After EHG sees how things go after release we can see a bunch of awesome stuff coming to the game. Who knows, maybe there will be a master crafting ability that, after many hours of work an thousands of items crafted, allows you to shatter items for a short period of time on a long cooldown that can be used anywhere without consuming a rune of shattering.


#6

Tweeted a link to the thread in the hope it generates some additional responses. :slight_smile:


#7

Thanks for your thoughts!

I do understand what you mean when you say it becomes arbitrary if you just pick up everything. Nothing is special if you’re just picking everything up (much like what @Sarno was saying).

The counter argument though (at least in my mind lol) is that the current system makes most of what drops arbitrary. It reduces finding what you want to wear (or are at least happy to wear for the meantime) to RNG. Sure there is a good feeling when you find that bit of loot with the exact right mods, but players only incentive to keep playing is to hope against hope that something perfect will drop, and endgame is just waiting for the perfect diceroll.

Dont get me wrong, i put hours and hours into PoE to get all sorts of good mods. But no-one that i know of plays PoE because of its loot system. I’d even wager most people play despite it.

So surely if every loot has at least SOME small worth, its not arbitrary? Even if its just to add a small armor bonus to existing gear, or to help build up your stockpile of resources to craft a shard you actually want.

Perhaps there is some middle ground?

I do think reducing loot bloat, having breakdown components (a la WoW enchanting), and using those to help modify your items would be more rewarding than just RNG.

What if crafted shards (via my original idea) could only go up to say T3 TOPS. To get T5, players have to get drops (which would only drop from boss mobs for example.)
Additionally, what if items with 1-3 mods already (when they drop) have a significantly higher fracture chance?

The progression would look something like this.

  1. Finding gear with 1-2 mods that you want as you’re leveling
  2. Crafting the occasional item to supplement gear you havnt found from drops via broken down trash
  3. Slowly level crafting and build up your crafting resource stockpile as you level.
  4. a) Find (or make) white base items that you want (to have a low fracture chance when putting 4 mods on) to make yourself a full T3 mod item.
    OR
    b) use stabilizers and risk turning a 1-3 mod item into the right kind of 4 mod item (up to T5 on drop mods and T3 on added mods)
  5. Farm to get a perfect drop all T5 mod (and roll)

A mix of RNG and player control.

Also allows people to say “Oh im up to T3”, “oh nice! I just got a real good T5 with 3 mods, gunna try and add T3 crit to it!” “Oh man, good luck!”
Fun!


#8

While I’m pretty enthusiastic about the entire idea in general, there’s one specific part I want to highlight that should be absolutely core: On-the-fly breakdown is critical, especially with filtering and a way to decide how to break items. This was always one of the strongest features of both Torchlight and Marvel Heroes, between pet-selling in Torchlight and the Loot Vacuum of MH. It guarantees that even if gear drops which no sane person will ever want to pick up, you still get automatic value out of it in the form of crafting mats that everybody cares about.


#9

I just want to address the suggestion re boss drop being better than open world drop (eg in this case, T3 cap for regular drops and T5 for boss drops).

I think there is a need to inject some rng such that the best things can still drop for new players or those not engaging in top tier content. I think it is important to balance such that wealth in the game is not one where strictly only the rich get richer.

For example, in POE, it is true that those who play more and better; and who have a better sense of what is valuable in the meta will always be wealthier than average. But it’s also possible for a new player to get mirror, or a chase uniq in lower tier content.


#10

I think you’re right about new players and those not doing top tier content still having a chance at really good items, but id disagree they need access to the ‘best’ items.

You may be able to get mirrors and exalt at any level, but you cant get 6L rares with perfect rolls from the beach.
You might be able to get some uniques from anywhere, but others are area locked or only drop from Shaper.

Its important to have difficult, end game fights that drop stuff that cant be got anywhere else. Otherwise people wont bother to even do the boss fights, they’ll just farm Act 1.

I think you bring up an important point, in ensuring non-top tier players still have access to valuable items.
That does come in the form of uniques, and items with 4 awesome mods dropped by chance (even if its not T5 :stuck_out_tongue: )


#11

Absolutely. I think we are aligned. I don’t think I have given serious thought whether the principle I had discussed should specifically apply to shards or not. All I am saying for now is that non-top tier players should have access to highly valuable items. But I agree they do not necessarily should have access to all types of valuable items.


#12

I agree with a lot of the ideas and thought brought in about looting and want to add a little to making items and drops more worth it.
Stuff i agree with (and my thoughts about it):

  • Reduce loot amounts: make rare items actually rare.
    (Make them more rare and give rare items some affixes only they can have instead of how high they can go. Examples of rare modifiers “X% chance to cast skill Y when you strike a enemy”, " +X Life based on character Lvl", “Ignore X% defence when attacking”, “convert X% Fire damage into Void”, etc. )
  • Crafting as a skill: give the players the possibility to specialize in some aspects of crafting.
    (Make it so that each character has a crafting skill that should really take some time to build up, making smurfs for crafting a heck lot of work, but also so that players who only have one real main characters and don’t play too much get some progress in it and can use it during their playthrough.
    Allow limited trading of “Signed” items. Signed items are player made and are signed by the player who crafted them and can no longer be changed (Get famous as a crafter or collect all the items made by a Dev))
  • Loot filters: highlight or hide specific items.
    (Make them simple like “Hide white items” but customizable via some simple coding that requires some knowledge and work.)
  • More use for “whites”: Make it attractive to collect Base items.
    (Why do people collect white items? To use them as a base for something.
    Currently you can only use them for crafting and that makes them a bit useless, cause you can also just use a blue item that already has the stats you want.
    They can be made a better crafting base i.e. have less chance to fracture since they only hold the magic you imbue them with. They should be bound to character/account if you craft them but they can be “signed” as mentioned earlier.)
  • Boss specific drops: Make bosses drops unique items you want to have.
    (Bosses should have some unique drops only they have making them a good farming target. One thing already mentioned are unique shards, as I mentioned earlier there could be more effects so why not unique effects i.E. “5% chance to cast Lagons Shell when struck”, “+5 Life per Level of devotion to Eterra”, “Ignore all defence of Void Creatures”, “Convert 100% Fire damage into Void Damage”, etc.
    Those shards should of course be as powerful as they are rare to find.
    Some boss specific legendaries that may have some of these unique effects or maybe even a whole Set that lets you get a taste of some (limited) godly powers.)

I like where its going so far and also that we get some great feedback from the dev, thanks to @Sarno.
Keep up the good Work to all Devs and especially the community here!


#13

1000000% agree!!

Love the idea of rare modifiers only on rare items! Could make getting a natural rare REALLY exciting or even build defining! Even if it was as simple as only having ‘+1-3 attribute’ affixes found on natural rares, but i like the idea of finding an amazing rare with some cool affix that i build around!


#14
  • Boss specific drops : Make bosses drops unique items you want to have.
    (Bosses should have some unique drops only they have making them a good farming target. One thing already mentioned are unique shards, as I mentioned earlier there could be more effects so why not unique effects i.E. “5% chance to cast Lagons Shell when struck”, “+5 Life per Level of devotion to Eterra”, “Ignore all defence of Void Creatures”, “Convert 100% Fire damage into Void Damage”, etc.
    Those shards should of course be as powerful as they are rare to find.
    Some boss specific legendaries that may have some of these unique effects or maybe even a whole Set that lets you get a taste of some (limited) godly powers.)

I should add if this were to be implemented unique shards under ordinary circumstances should have a higher chance to break an item. And further crafting on an item affected by a unique shard should also have significantly increased odds of breaking. This will make unique shards the ultimate gamble item. This would also give reason to make unique items shard-able, too. However, they should have low odds of producing a unique shard, but at least make a generic shard for mods that are similar to the items affixes of the item if the unique shard result fails to be an outcome.

Another note. I am not found of the set idea, as it is almost the antithesis of crafting items. However, this idea could be paired in an interesting way if there were also “set-shards” that could be used on base items, which could influence the item to become part of the original set (through imitation) and grant set-bonuses. This could be done by replacing an item slot of the set with the crafted item, and acquire that replaced items bonus properties. Or, it could amplify the original set if you are wearing the full set already and the set-imbued craft is in an unused gear slot. Ultimately, with enough set-shards you could create your own base items that would give the complete set bonus of the original set items, but you would be receiving this set-bonus from purely crafted items, this could maybe require another gamble where linking the crafted set items increases the possibility the whole crafted set breaks when trying to imitate the original set.

Hopefully my last additional thought that I edited into this post made sense. Let me know if I should clarify.


#15

There are some shards coming that work like sets so you can in a way build your own sets. Most of the sets that we have planned are to be very small when compared to D3 sets. 4 items in a single set will be big and 6 will be unheard of. Quite frequently, the sets will be 2-3 items and sometimes multiple items in a set will occupy the same slot so you can’t get the full set even if you wanted to. (This is a bit of a weird one and won’t be used too often but I think it can be cool)

As the base items that you use for crafting will be very important. Each area will have specific types of base items that can drop. You probably won’t be finding polished heavy plate armors in the ancient era (they didn’t have the technology for it).

Every enemy will have a loot table that dictates which items it can drop. Certain items will be restricted to certain bosses. For example, maybe there is an amulet that is a piece of the omen of silence, only the omen of silence could drop it. (I just made that example up so don’t look for the amulet, it doesn’t exist)

We have talked about unique shards, it’s not a plan right now. There are some cool interactions with uniques planned for the crafting system.


#16

So.
Much.
Froth!


#17

Sooo true. Thankfully this isn’t PoE, so it doesn’t have to suck.