[Design] Equipment Customization

GeirGeir Posts: 48
edited July 2013 in Design
I've received a mod request that I'm struggling with implementing, so I'm going to log the goals and potential methods of implementation here. Feel free to comment.
Goals:
1. Customizable Equipment, including type, model, abilities, stats, and name.
2. System of customization for stats should be as deterministic as possible, but not easily determined by a user.
3. Customization should use consumable items and gems as the resource.
4. Mod should be built entirely from existing items and item abilities.

Current Possible Implementation - Socket-based customization:
-Utilize existing socket system to work around the problems in using the enchanting system for this process.
-Make it possible (but not easy) to get large numbers of sockets on an item.
-Add a medium sized set of recipes that let players craft gems in a more specific, but still obfuscated fashion.

While this doesn't have the elegance of directly modifying the stats of a weapon, it still feels more like crafting than the previous implementation. The combiner allows for a still small, but more acceptable amount of logical inputs, which might sufficiently obfuscate the underlying processes from the player. Currently looking into additional equipment properties that might enhance this system, or lead to future developments to render this one obsolete.

Comments

  • GeirGeir Posts: 48
    edited June 2013
    1. Customization:
    Type and model customizations are easily opened up via recipes. Completion has some problems.
    Issues:
    -Name customization might seems like it would require generation of a new item at run-time. Look into displaying name from a dynamic stat field. This might violate goal 4
    -Ideally ltems would be generated "clean" but many models are only available with pre-genned enchants. Creating new items using these models would violate goal 4. Potentially use the "disenchant" behavior to clean them.
  • GeirGeir Posts: 48
    2. System:
    in order to make a system that allows for customization of the weapons, players at minimum need to be able to add and remove categories of effects from their weapons and armor. In order to do this without modifying item data directly, this would have to be done through the recipe and/or enchanting processes. Ideally, this process would be a function of the equipment's stats and another modifying item used in the process. This would allow for some interesting limitations in stat growth(i.e. add elemental interactions on stats, consume stats to add special effects, etc), and obfuscate the process, while still allowing the player systematic control over their character's look and abilities. There are significant obstacles to this.

    Issues:
    1.The recipe process is read from data and has no memory to keep track of the item's state. This limits complexity, and forces reliance on the gold-dependant enchanters, violating goal 3.
    2.There are two disenchanting processes. One of them is partially indiscriminate, wiping all enchanter-applied effects. The other is completely indiscriminate wiping ALL effects from the item. The inability to use logic in this process also limits complexity.
    3.The enchanting and disenchanting behaviors seem to be hard-coded, with no methods built into Guts to modify them.

    Solutions:
    1. Workaround: creating special enchanters and enchanter spawning scrolls that can be crafted at a combiner, then used to summon an enchanter that will do 1 enchantment for free, then either despawn the enchanter or charge a stupid amount for the second. (Enchanters may not have the logic to do this. I don't believe you can force a menu closed after an enchantment has been applied, and I believe the only logic available for enchantment pricing is the number of enchantments on the item, not the number of times an enchanter has been used).
    2. This may actually be useful. The second type of enchanting causes an odd accumulation anomaly on physical damage. If the mechanism behind this is understood, perhaps it can be used to accumulate other damage types. Not ideal but certainly interesting.
  • GeirGeir Posts: 48
    3. Consumable items and gems as resource
    This goal is primarily a restriction on implementation to add interest to certain items. Currently many fish and gems are just fodder for merchants and combiners to effectively reroll them into something else at random. By making them a part of a system which has specific uses for different categories of items, they are given more of an identity, so hopefully you can turn that venom ember into a permanent point of poison damage on your favorite sword instead of just throwing in the combiner for who-knows-what or selling it at a vendor for more gold.
  • GeirGeir Posts: 48
    edited June 2013
    4. Use existing items and item abilities
    This restriction is to ensure maximum compatibility and removability. This way if someone doesn't like the mod, they can still keep the items they've made, or trade them to other people that don't have the mod. Its also a sanity preservation goal. Its a simple process to create a new item, and with enough grinding, one could grind out a series of recipes that simulated the system provided by these design specifications. The hours spent doing this could be better spent elsewhere however.

    The largest limitation here is what seems to be an inability to modify the inputs and internal logic of the enchanting and disenchanting processes. If anyone knows a way to modify these, PLEASE let me know.

    I'm sidelining this goal. Existing items will be key to the function of this system, but I've found some interesting effect options that can expand the depth of the customization system.
  • GeirGeir Posts: 48
    Old Potential Methods:
    Draft I - Crafted-Enchanters:
    -Allow player to craft specific vanilla-purple items using consumable items for vanillas, and a lower-rarity+consumables for higher rarity.
    -Add Enchanters with very narrow enchant lists to the game.
    -Summon these enchanters by crafting scrolls using gems and consumables.
    -Enchanters will add one enchantment to an item before despawning.

    This customization is more deterministic than current methods, and allows for hiding some fun enchantments in the consumable/gem combine space, but is at best predictable and at worst a series of stray notes without any real depth. Item power is still bound by the base item, limiting real customization. It lacks the feel of actually crafting your gear.
  • GeirGeir Posts: 48
    I completed a first version of the equipment customization mod.

    Common Elemental gems were given interactions with each other that allow for upgrading by using consumables. This works well because potions don't have minimum level requirements and can be obtained with some effort at any point in the game. Specks were made craftable using resistance potions of a specific element, and a rejuvination potion of any level. This is fine because rejuvination potions can only be obtained through secret rooms.

    Rare elemental gems can't currently be crafted through this system, but existing recipes have always made it reliable to get them. Crafting specks makes it slightly easier still. Rare elements combined with specific common elements can be crafted into conusmable "unstable" versions. These have minor temporary buffs/debuffs to various stats. Their real use is their high item-level, which can be used in crafting to boost an upgrade. Their second use is in crafting the unique gems associated with each rare element. These gems are the ones mentioned above. Blood is crafted into organs which grow slowly in power when not socketed, Iron into contraptions which have powerful stats and penalties on them which can be reversed or enhanced, and Void into Crystals, which penalize all stats by a flat amount, but give a percentage boost to one.

    Currently released in Steam Workshop under the title "Alchemy: Expanded Gemcraft". Experiment and see what you can find, as exploration of the system is an intended part of the mod.
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