On Drops and Loot

BissrokBissrok Posts: 654
edited August 2010 in TL2 General Discussions
I think a lot of us noticed that the loot in the original game was pretty wonky. Identification aside, the stats were all over the place (and seemingly independent of the item's rarity), our backpacks were constantly flooded with equipment, loot covered every inch of floor, items could have over a dozen stats, the randomized stats didn't match up well with the type of equipment, modifications from gems were always needing to be replaced and renewed, the enchanter was very, very broken, weapons/armor from stores was always vastly inferior to the hundreds of items you'd find per floor in the dungeons, the repeating armor sets made it so that the pieces in your set never really had comparable stats, there was a noticeable lack of enchantments that packed any sort of "wow" factor, and seeing items constantly repeat floor after floor with ever increasing stats really took away from any sort of achievement felt from finding them.

A lot of these problems were simply due to the game's infinite, almost entirely randomized nature. There's no consistency to your gear. You can find an identical version of your equipment one floor up with slightly higher stats, and that really throws the whole "neverending treadmill of increasing stats" issue right in your face. And there's no "best" gear. Some don't like that concept, but I like to have that goal. Even if I never intend to get that far in the game, I want to know that, eventually, there's one really great piece of gear that suits my build perfectly. The stats are set in stone, the enchantments are guaranteed to only apply to my class, and it'll be f**king great.

Anther issue, and I think almost everyone agrees on this, is that the enchantments need a much, much lower cap. Not all of us agree on what that should be (personally I'm a fan of 1 for green, 2 for blue, 3 for purple, 4 for orange), but it's nearly impossible to try and compare items when you have 10-15 completely different enchantments of varying strengths -and that doesn't make for good gameplay in a game that's heavily focused on loot.

Lastly (and really the only issue I intended to talk about here), there's just far too much loot. Far too many drops from each mob, and there's way more mobs than in many of the previous ARPGs we've seen before. It almost has to be, though, since the enchantments and stats are randomized and 99% of it isn't suited for your build. But it's gotten so bad that they had to give us pets to keep us from having to return to town every ten minutes. I believe in Diablo I could go whole floors without having to warp back. I actually return to town more in TL to get ID scrolls than I did in Diablo to sell equipment. And when you're flooded with hundreds and hundreds of items with completely random enchantments, you have to stop a minute and compare each and every one. Again, not a good gameplay decision in a game that's heavily focused on loot.
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Comments

  • DushoDusho Posts: 988
    completely agree with everything you said
    lots of friends I know (loot collectors) returned to D2 just because loot felt different, though they were not able to describe why.
  • adoomgodadoomgod Posts: 4,270
    Me too! I love the idea for different enchant caps for different rarity. I can't tell you how many times I've brought a highly enchanted blue down into the dungeons with me to find an item, especially orange ones, with great base stats but break them trying to enchant them up to my blue's level. It is very annoying, frustrating and underwhelming. It got to the point that i stopped trying to enchant anything but oranges/purples because i like knowing that all my gear is epic in rarity. As for the white items that clutter everything up, in diablo 2 there was like 1 or 2 quests, i cant remember, where this lady would enchant an item of yours to a special quality. It was golden, or set, or magical, but yellow. She added very good random enchantments for it's level and the trick was to save her reward up for later when you could bring a lvl 89 white item to her and have her super charge it because her affixes scaled with your level. Unless there is something white items can do that already magical items can't do, they are pointless. Idea: What if there is a new type of item that drops, called catalysts, of different grades and rarity bla bla bla and a new npc called "The source" or something. Just like some divinely mystical being who can bring the true abillities out of catalysts but it only works with blank slates (white items) so that the catalysts energies aren't distorted by already magical items. There should be a set of unique items that have a low chance of working, (catalysts don't give set results only a range of item attributes that can appear with different chances to appear) so that people will be tempted to find a nice base white item to catalyze and create a unique item that other wise couldn't be dropped. That would be awesome.
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  • Dusho wrote:
    returned to D2 just because loot felt different, though they were not able to describe why.

    For me it's how everything feels very samey...unique and sets weren't very distinctive and didn't feel hand crafted (like in D2/TQ). Looks wise they were decent but stats not so much. Also I think the enchantment system is nutty...you either end up blanking out an item, which ****, or having an item with like 15 stats which imo is silly. It also makes comparing items a real pain with that many stats.
  • adoomgodadoomgod Posts: 4,270
    There have been many threads on different sections of this forum addressing item enchanting. We all agree that it is highly flawed and annoying. It either blanks out your loot and **** you off, or overpowers your loot and kills game difficulty.
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  • wolfmanewolfmane Posts: 1,997
    I agree Biss. There's been a few posts about this many moons ago. In fact I want to say there was a response from Runic staff about it but I'd have to go digging for it to make sure. At any rate I think they're aware of the problem and I'm excited to see how they streamline the stat system for TL2.

    Counter-point: The only thing I would have to disagree on is that for some people, they love that much loot dropping. It's like heroin for some. There's that famous tag line about 'loot flowing like wine' that seems to put a gleam in the eye.

    How much loot you drop can both be a boon and a bane depending on item stash UI and the way the in-game economy is setup. For Torchlight, I think it was too much. For Torchlight 2 it begs the question if we're going to have lootris again or not, though that was mitigated with the auto-arrange button. They're already looking at stacking issues and changing inventory over to a bag system. I think the thing I'd like to see most is dedicated slots for potions and other essentials that shouldn't be mixed in with inventory. Keeping this stuff in its own bin keeps it out of the way so that a player doesn't have to focus so much on not selling a stack of potions they wanted to keep while dumping trash items.
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  • BissrokBissrok Posts: 654
    wolfmane wrote:
    I agree Biss. There's been a few posts about this many moons ago. In fact I want to say there was a response from Runic staff about it but I'd have to go digging for it to make sure. At any rate I think they're aware of the problem and I'm excited to see how they streamline the stat system for TL2...

    I'm interested too. Even though I didn't like the last game, I know what they're capable of and I'm hoping to see it again. And I can live with Torchlight being what it is, but one of my biggest concerns was that some of the decisions that I really disliked weren't just a rushed decision, but they actually thought they were good ideas, and that made me concerned for the MMO. But they've certainly heard all our thoughts on the subject by now, so we'll see what they do in the sequel.
  • I went back to D2 for a while after playing Torchlight for a few months, and what drove me back was the loot problem, and lack of endgame content. (Although D2's endgame leaves much to be desired as well, the game is so much longer than TL that it was worth revisiting for a couple of months.) I came back to Torchlight because of the modding. I really feel like this game has tremendous potential and could be one of the great ones with the right tweaks here and there. Hopefully TL2 will take things to the next level. But I digress.

    I think that what Torchlight really needs in the loot department is more personality. Check out this pistol, currently on display in the Vanquisher forum:
    npq2j6.jpg

    Now, setting aside all debate over whether/what hacks or mods were used to make this item, what really kills it (in my mind) is that all of the affixes are generic. Everything on this gun is an affix that you can find on a green or blue weapon... just multiplied several times over.

    Compare this to some of the uniques from D2. Check out the Wolfhowl (unique barbarian helm), for example. There are some problems with it, but those are due entirely to the game mechanics: most skills in D2 are useless without heavily investing in them and their synergies, and a Barbarian can't spend points in the synergies for Druid skills. But this is a helm that is truly unique in that it allows your character to do something that no other item in the game can. It has several affixes, all built around a common theme. That is a great example of what a unique item should do. What is Torchlight's equivalent of that kind of unique? The Sword of Adam. And its unique affixes don't even do anything! Clearly we can do better than this.
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  • DushoDusho Posts: 988
    ... But this is a helm that is truly unique in that it allows your character to do something that no other item in the game can. It has several affixes, all built around a common theme. That is a great example of what a unique item should do. What is Torchlight's equivalent of that kind of unique? The Sword of Adam. And its unique affixes don't even do anything! Clearly we can do better than this.
    Yes! Those are the words I was looking for - unique items with common theme. Totally agree.
    If it's a sword of **** Simon, let it deal crazy bleed damage over time and drop the elemental damages and what ever junk affix can be thrown there.
    If it's Medusa blade, let turn hit enemy into stone for a bit and drop half dozen +damage affixes.
    EDIT: and pleeease.. sort viewed affixes and join same elemental damages into one line (maybe different colors)
  • adoomgodadoomgod Posts: 4,270
    I love you and I agree. All us D2 veterans know that there hasn't quite been a combat experience like it since. The loot was just so friggen epic. I really would want to see this before the MMO. Call it a feeling but i think it would look better in TL2 then the mmo.
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  • Here's another great example: the Fleshripper.

    Now, all of the affixes on this one can be found on other weapons, so it's not as unique as the Wolfhowl, but again, the affixes have a common theme, and mods that aren't available on magic or rare items.


    Also, I liked how in Diablo 2 there were Exceptional and Elite white items that could be used to make runewords -- a good 4os Archon Plate was worth more than most uniques in the game, because it could be used to make some of the best items in the game. So whites don't need to be worthless, they just need to think of more creative ways to use them... and the best ones need to be rare. In Torchlight, the good white items are all over the place once you go deep enough in the dungeon.

    So here's my formula for improving the mix of drops -- actually, it's D2's formula, aka, the formula used by half of the guys that started Runic Games!

    Normal: don't need to drop nearly as often as they do; make a valuable use for the best ones, which should be as rare as a lot of the uniques are.
    Magic: only get a couple of affixes, but some of them can potentially have higher bonuses than what you find on rares and uniques
    Rare: get more affixes than greens, and are usually much better than greens, but the max bonuses aren't quite as high as for greens
    Unique: wildcard affixes not available on other items, built around a common theme, and ideally with some kind of backstory
    Set: individual items follow the rules for rares; set bonuses follow the rules for uniques

    In all cases, I think that items should have a chance at getting negative affixes as well as positive ones, to make things more interesting. Also, read my post here about the sort of identification system I'd like to see, modeled off of the one in Diablo 1 in which you could use items before having them identified, at the risk of unwittingly going to battle using cursed items.

    Notice that I listed Set items after Uniques. I really think that sets should be better than uniques, if you can find all the pieces. They just offer so much more in the personality department that it's a shame when they really don't turn out to be very useful. And actually, I think that taking these extra steps towards improving Sets will make them even better than how they were implemented in D2.
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  • adoomgodadoomgod Posts: 4,270
    That all sounds very good except one thing bothers me, just in my opinion. I don't like the idea of greens better then blues. Not that it can't happen but there should always be a better blue. I also thing that the uniques should be able to mix in normal affixes with themed ones.

    Just another quip, why do high lvl green rings have the same affixes and power of lower level ones? They enchant better which is good but they should start out alot better too. Getting a lvl 36 ring with just some dex ticks me off.
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    I put the "DOOM" in "****."
  • The appeal to me of greens that can be better than blues (in only one area, mind you) is that it's cool to find, say, a sword that just does a ridiculous amount of damage, with no other effects whatsoever. That green sword then becomes a collector's item instead of being just another useless green drop. If none of the greens have a chance at being a great find, then why bother having them in the game?

    As for high level items with low level stats, it just makes the ones with high stats that much rarer, and more valuable. Which would be good for the economy (if we actually had one).

    To get a better idea for what I think magics and rares should be able to do, check out the magic item and rare item show off threads at diablo.incgamers.com.
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  • adoomgodadoomgod Posts: 4,270
    Well i also think better items should be rarer then they are, escalating much more then they do in rarity based on their grade. The purpose of greens will be to replace one of your lower level oranges. Etc etc. Like if you are holding onto an unique belt but a good many levels later you could find a green that just kicks it's ****. Then again i find myself struggling to argue. So i have to admit, greens have always been kind of pointless to me. Perhaps you are right after all.
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  • BissrokBissrok Posts: 654
    edited August 2010
    The problem is that, in TL, you really couldn't use rarity to judge quality at all, since the enchantments were completely random. You might have a blue sword that has +4 to Intelligence/+3 to mana/+1 luck and then an identical green sword that has +10% to damage/+5% to health. You can find whites, green, blues, purples, and oranges all sprinkled throughout the same level, all with vastly different enchantments (that have no real relation to each other), and then you'll head to the next level, where you'll get the same variety, but with stats a point higher or lower. Basically, that s**t was all over the place.

    It's not really like that in other games, though. In a game like Titan Quest, when you find a blue or a purple, even if it's not something you can use the type of enchantments and the quality of the enchantments is almost always enough for you to say "that's something I would use if I could, and maybe I should hold onto it for another build".
  • adoomgodadoomgod Posts: 4,270
    Bissrok speaks wisdom. Blues should simply be better then greens there level, as purples and oranges better then blues. Enchanting also has to be limited in a fashion to support this, or innovated in a way that the effort it takes to bring a blue above an oranges level is about worth the effort in finding an orange you would use normally.
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  • DushoDusho Posts: 988
    ...will use this thread
    I would actually like to know if people used spell scrolls much (apart from identify and heal/heal all)
    for me it kind of felt strange to keep track with latest versions of spells (fireball I, fireball II, etc. ) and boosting also offensive spell mastery, so I haven't used it much in a game
    wouldn't it be better to get rid of spell scrolls (and spell slots) and put all those spells as affixes onto items?
    So unique items would have e.g.
    FlameFang (unique sword)
    80-90 damage
    +50 fire damage
    +20 fire resistance (+2 per character level)
    + Fireball spell with 40-50 fire damage (+3 per character level)

    pets could still use spells from spells on rings.
  • AttackGorillaAttackGorilla Posts: 1,656
    I am just going to step into this rally and say that I don't really see any issue with the current loot system in TL. I like it as is (identification scheme aside). I hate perfectly predefined item sets that match "builds", I think this detracts for the uniqueness of the character you play. I have no problem with Runic incorporating special unique items more inline with what you are all talking about here, but I completely love the full randomization system in TL and hope that it stays and has magic loot comparable to "special builds".
    Sure they could definitely tone done the amount of loot that drops by slightly increasing the magic drop when lowering the overall drop, as the normal items are pretty useless (though it doesn't bother me that they lay on the ground because I let them lay). Though I do not think this will solve the issue you are having; even if they drop 1 uber item in each floor and that is all they drop it still won't be the item you are looking for 90% of the time. I hope you are not looking for easy powerup items to become uber without having to grind.
    I too like the massive amount of mobs. I don't like wandering through nothingness in an ACTION RPG.
  • I am just going to step into this rally and say that I don't really see any issue with the current loot system in TL.
    ...
    I too like the massive amount of mobs. I don't like wandering through nothingness in an ACTION RPG.

    Fair enough on the first point. Everyone can have their own opinions, so there's no sense arguing with you there. And I completely agree with you on the second. Mobs are great fun. If there's anything better than smashing a zombie to pieces, it's smashing a dozen zombies to pieces all at once.

    And while I miss the personality, or the uniqueness of the unique items in Diablo 2, I would have to say that the biggest flaw I see in the current loot system is the huge amounts of spam. I think every category of item that can drop should be able to spawn with attributes that would make it worth picking up. Remember the King's Sword of Haste in Diablo 1? Only two attributes on this magic, non-unique item; yet the combination of those two attributes made it one of the best weapons in the game. For white items to be useful, thought, there needs to be some sort of crafting system, or they at least need to have an advantage over other item types when they are being enchanted. (Say, double the success rate, and spawn more affixes on the first enchant).

    I'm not saying that everything that drops should be good; I'm just saying that if there are different categories of items, each of them should have the potential to be a great find.
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  • cybrimcybrim Posts: 1,107
    This is a very good point indeed, that would probably be one of the biggest things that needed to be changed about TL... thank goodness for modding...
    I am just trying to be fair, if what I say hurts you, you probably need to seriously evaluate what I said, break it down and realize I am not trying to insult you, Just explain things you probably didn't realize.
  • gluemchengluemchen Posts: 1,033
    On drops: Lower the drop rate immensivly to let people rely on the Magic Find gear. Nothing beats Having fun MF Runs :D
    Also not having bonuses on MF gear than your standard equipts makes things much more challenging getting what you really want. And getting even better mf gear with some actual combat advantages, makes you want to get more better lootz :D
  • I want to see far better boss loot in TL2. Always hate to see in any ARPG, when u kill a big boss, and drops like a ton on ****. One of my biggest disappointment was when i've killed **** Andariel in d2, and her dropped NOTHING! or a piece of chipped gem, or 2 isenhart armor, which is ridiculous even from act3 in normal difficulty. If TL2 item generation will remain same as in TL1, then i think a good boss drop must contain a least 4-5 unique items, if u go in D2 way, then 4-5 rare and 1-2 unique. Also make all bosses farmable! i don't want to instal a mod or make new char, just cuz i want to fight a boss like Ordrak again. One of the biggest thing was in D2, when u got a brand new and powerful weapon, and u went down to big D, just to test it.

    Also, i don't want to waste months on getting a good-enough gear for my char, by farming the last boss all the day.
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  • WebbstreWebbstre Posts: 7,231 ✭✭✭
    To me boss drops seem kind of silly. Maybe if there were corpses on a boss floor of fallen adventurers, and after you killed the boss you could loot them, then that would make sense. :P
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  • BissrokBissrok Posts: 654
    Webbstre wrote:
    To me boss drops seem kind of silly. Maybe if there were corpses on a boss floor of fallen adventurers, and after you killed the boss you could loot them, then that would make sense. :P

    That was one of the things I liked about Titan Quest. The enemies only dropped the equipment they were using, and the rest you found in chests. Granted, realism can only go so far in a game like this, but it was a nice touch.
  • WebbstreWebbstre Posts: 7,231 ✭✭✭
    Titan Quest was fun, but yeah that realism can only go so far. I was just thinking that the amount of loot could be easily measured by the number of hero corpses lying around the boss chamber :P
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  • OmnifasOmnifas Posts: 3,442 ✭✭✭
    how does 1 fit into a 16 feet tall giant's helmet?

    Speaking of chests, Im curious how chest loot will work in MP.
  • JerichJerich Posts: 1,665
    I agree with the op and most of the following posts. There should be some interesting effects that specific unique items have that change gameplay. It would be nice if there were items that make you think... wow, I could build a unique character around that item (like dual dream bear sorcs in Diablo II).

    I think the following types of effects are missing from items in Torchlight 1:
    • Global Skill bonuses (example, +2 to all skills)
    • Class Specific class skills bonuses (example, +2 to ember bolt)
    • Skill charges (example, 20 charges of summon golem)
    • Skill procs (10% change of casting lifetap each time you swing your weapon)
    • Off class skills (+1 teleport)
    • Items that give you a completely new skills (Grants the ability to cast will of the ancients on allies)
    • Items that give aura-like abilities (example the meditation runeword in Diablo II)
    • Items that transform a specific ability (i.e. a bow that converts all arrows to fireballs, splash damage; a sword that shoots like the zelda master sword)
    • Items that modify spells (An item that increases the duration of buffs, an item that increases the blast radius of AOE spells or the duration of DOTs)
    • Items that have agendas (bloodthirsty items that turn the player red as they kill fast, increasing damage)


    Anyway, I could go on, but I think those examples are enough to prove the point. Items could be a lot cooler. Throwing a bunch of unrelated stats on an item makes it lame, not cool.
  • KilliousKillious Posts: 1,539
    Totally agree with you here Jerich. /signed on the above post.
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  • DushoDusho Posts: 988
    nice list Jerich, though some are actually present in game (or can be modded in):
    - Class Specific class skills bonuses (example, +2 to ember bolt)
    - Skill procs (10% change of casting lifetap each time you swing your weapon)
    also would like to see effects that scale with your level
    - e.g. + 50 ice damage (+2 per character level)
    this would be nice on uniques - to make them little over edge at larger range of levels (so if you are higher level char and the weapon is lower lvl find, it still will be useful for a bit)
  • ombraombra Posts: 1,008
    I like the idea of having more interesting affixes and suffixes, but i think one thing that D2 made wrong is that there were far too much useless stats. That is one of the reasons of getting very good rare items were extremely rare and unique and set items were for the most part the best items in the game. They have to be really carefull if they implement too many affixes and suffixes.

    I didn't like the items that gave you auras and abilities from other classes. That ruined a lot of the fun of playing together with different classes. D2 Example: Why do i need a paladin if i have concentration and fanatiscm on my amazon? Teleport on paladin for example. For me that was one of the worst decisions ever. The same goes for charges. This way you made all the other characters unnecessary and that was in my opinion really sad.

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  • JerichJerich Posts: 1,665
    Dusho wrote:
    nice list Jerich, though some are actually present in game (or can be modded in):
    - Class Specific class skills bonuses (example, +2 to ember bolt)
    - Skill procs (10% change of casting lifetap each time you swing your weapon)
    also would like to see effects that scale with your level
    - e.g. + 50 ice damage (+2 per character level)
    this would be nice on uniques - to make them little over edge at larger range of levels (so if you are higher level char and the weapon is lower lvl find, it still will be useful for a bit)

    Thanks for clearing that up Dusho. I guess I just never found one (I found +2 to defensive spells items, but never something like +2 to ember bolt). In Diablo II they were skill items for every class and I loved them. I guess I was just unlucky in that I never found an item that procced a spell.

    @ombra As far as diablo II auras, I think the biggest problem with unfairness is that most of the items stole paladin abilities. I think it is okay to grab abilities from other classes (in a lesser form than that class could do) as long as it is equal opportunity. Enigma was a little bit extreme because it was a must have item for summoners and botters, but something like meditation, the gloves that proced lifetap (or the sword which allowed you to turn into a wearbear were fine. I think some items should be a huge step up from the common item as long as they are not too egregious or must haves for every class and build.
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