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How do you have crafting and drops co-exist?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Not_Sure, Sep 2, 2023.

  1. Not_Sure


    Dec 13, 2011
    Whenever a crafting system is in a game along with loot drops it seems inevitably that one will make the other one pointless.

    So I’m wondering what methods there are to avoid this.

    And at the same time make crafting completely optional, because it’s obviously not going to be for everyone.

    I know this is going to depend a lot on the design you’re going for, so let me say it would be for a loot heavy game like Diablo.

    The current approach I’m thinking is items should have 2 values that determine its bottom line value. Quality and enchantment.

    In addition it would have a type that is will be balanced around stats but otherwise equal. Think Dark Souls. And it would also have modifiers that give it lateral changes such as “heavy”, which would increase strength requirement in exchange for better stats. Finally I’d also include the material, which would also be lateral.

    So a drop might be “Heavy Iron Legendary Battle Axe of Raging Fire”.

    I would roll two 256 values and add them. If it’s above 256 the value would be the sum of the rolls minus 256. If was bellow 256 I’d reverse it to make the value 256 minus the the rolls. So basically it would be half of a bell curve.

    256^4 / 2 is 2,147,483,648.

    So the chances of getting a perfect item is 1:2,147,483,648 with it curving dramatically downward in probability for higher quality items and about half would be the first 10%.

    Sounds about right.

    So how do I make a system that makes crafting fair?

    Should crafting be a gamble, that you can attempt to make a good piece of gear?

    I was thinking of making crafting a grid and have it increase the different boxes based on rows and columns. So if you tear down that Axe for research you are going to improve battle axes a lot. All large weapons in that row. All axes in that column. Iron crafting a little. And an over all master craftsman score that is an average of all the boxes.

    So if you make another battle axe it would add the battle axe, the iron, and the master craftsman levels and that would give you a base value that would adjust the likelihood of making a better weapon.

    Maybe when you make it you can also add a currency that also counts to the level. Or possibly other currencies to determine it’s unique property.

    And the when you make it it’s a dice roll.

    Then repeat the process for enchanting.

    So I guess I’m asking is how do I make this not over power drops, and how do I make drops not over power it, and how do I make it not punishing to ignore?
  2. halley


    Aug 26, 2013
    Thinking out loud.

    Let's say your game has N different stats you want to be able to buff/debuff and M verbs you want to be able to perform/block.

    You can find resources in the world which are connected to 1 stat or 1 verb.

    You can craft things with resources which can enhance the effect, or can combine/stack multiple effects, but still pretty limited by whatever chapter your game progress reaches. For example, in your newbie forest, you have only seen woodland verbs and not demonic verbs. Or in chapter 4 your recipes are limited to ±2 point buffs.

    You can find loot drops which enhance the effect beyond those limits, or can combine/stack more effects than any crafting recipe available by the current chapter. Just about to enter into chapter 7 Demonic Realms, you finally find a loot drop that has some demonic attack ability, but no recipes would show how to make those until the player reaches the Realms. They're like a sneak peek to what's possible in the future of your progression.

    You can also draw a big matrix chart, or enter a spreadsheet with all the combos of effects possible, and reserve the really good combinations for story-based "legendary" loot drops.
  3. Not_Sure


    Dec 13, 2011
    I’m not crazy about limiting crafting materials until you reach checkmarks.

    I’m really looking for a sandbox approach.

    I appreciate the input though.