Jul 262016
 

Loot
Waaaaaay back when, way back, in an ancient time that was known as “2013”, I wrote a couple of thousand words about itemization titled On Loot. I didn’t call it “itemization”, I just called it “loot”, itemization is a Turbine term that has been thrown about now and then since.

In 2013, itemization was broken. Large parts of the existing loot systems were indistinct, unused, or simply without purpose. Especially random loot which had been modified back and forth until it was an shapeless lump of uselessness that completely removed any of the excitement involved in opening a chest.

We have a lot of different kinds of loot in DDO, but each kind has to serve a purpose. Here is the most salient part of my old post, describing a world where each kind of loot was defined and had boundaries, meaning that each kind was also desirable and exciting within those boundaries:

Within a specific level band, items should differ in attraction:

  • The most attractive item should be the most elusive and unattainable “perfect combination” random loot item
  • Raid loot should always be the next most attractive, nearly as good as that perfect combination item but attainable via raiding (grinding? upgrading?) and not just incredible luck
  • Named Loot should be better than random loot but part of that superiority is because because it can be farmed, has specifically targetable attributes, and allows combination or placement of attributes that is not available any other way
  • Crafted loot should be nearly as attractive as good random loot, but of course can be designed rather than found
  • Finally, normal random loot

 

I think that Turbine World Designer NoWorries is implementing exactly this kind of itemization. Consider this statement made in the latest Cannith Crafting rework thread:

 

It is important to us to have a system where Cannith Crafted, Random, and Named Loot is all usable by players. We do not want a system where Cannith overshadows Random loot making it not a true consideration to be used. By holding onto the Masterful Craftsmanship lucky power ranges on Random Loot, it should help Random Loot continue to have a use.

 

But what about the old flex shards? They let me put any Cannith crafting effect on pretty much any equipment slot:

 

The plan is to not launch with flex shards. We think there is a good balance that can be found between Random, Named, Crafted loot and flex shards will knock some of that out of the way. The Cannith system will be a bit different from before and some of the power and versatility is tough to see without getting your hands on the system.

 

He is right. If you can use Flex shards to put any effect in any slot, you are blurring the boundary between crafted loot and named loot, and thereby lessening both.

In fact, in a later post he goes on to say almost that exact thing:

 

Why not allow Cannith to put effects in any slot? In the new loot system, Named Items main advantages are that they don’t have to follow the slot restriction for effects and get the Quality bonus type for effects. If Cannith also ignores the slot restrictions it takes a way a big aspect of what makes Named Loot special and goes a long way to making Random Loot useless

 

So … crafted loot is not as good as the best possible random loot, but allows you to design the loot as you see fit?

 

Random Loot has a normal range of effect powers that can drop at a given minimum level. Then there is an extra lucky range of slightly more power. This is marked by having Masterful Craftsmanship on the item which indicates at least one of your effects is at the maximum of the normal range or slightly higher.

The plan is to have Cannith Crafting be the top of the normal random loot range.

 

As a final differentiation, there will be an whole list of effects that can be crafted but which do not appear on random loot:

 

  • Metalline
  • Alligned
  • Everbright
  • Blueshine
  • Ghost Touch
  • Invulnerability
  • Vengeful
  • Unbalancing
  • Twilight
  • Lesser Arcane Spell Dexterity
  • Songblade
  • Slowburst/Improved Slowburst
  • Regeneration
  • Persuasion
  • Fearsome
  • Silver Flame/Sacred/Eternal Faith
  • Efficient Metamagic
  • Blindness Immunity
  • True Seeing

 

And another list of effects that appear on random loot but cannot be crafted:

 

  • Vorpal
  • Speed
  • Paralyzing
  • UMD boost
  • Banishing
  • Disruption
  • Smiting
  • Destruction
  • Ghostbane

 

This sounds amazing. This sounds like exactly the way that loot ought to work. I want to be excited about maybe getting lucky and pulling the perfect item from a chest. I want to be able to design an item that is exactly what I need, filling a hole perfectly, even if it is slightly less powerful. Or even an entire load-out of crafted items, trading in the possibility of getting “best in show” items in return for a perfectly interwoven set of exactly what I want.

And soon, I can. It will be on Lamannia within the next couple of weeks, unless I miss my guess.

Soon. And by that I mean actual “soon” rather than Soon™.

Soon.

🙂 😀 🙂

  6 Responses to “NoWorries Explains the Philosophy of Loot”

Comments (6)
  1. This shows some promise. Fingers crossed.

    Still missing a few of the things we can currently craft, but we’ll see how it goes 🙂

  2. I am disappointed that there will be effects that must be crafted and other effects that only appear on random loot. Why? Because it breaks the “story”. Look at it from inside the Eberron world. Some mageright, artificer, or wizard had to make each of those items. Mostly this would be a mageright working for house Cannith. Which means, random loot and cannith crafted items should have the same possible set of effects.

    It doesn’t break the story to have those few extra well made “masterful craftsmanship” items be lootgen only. After all, they were made by a master mageright, not some adventurer who has picked up a bit of crafting ability when not out adventuring.

    I could accept that there might be a few effects that players can’t craft, after all the cannith workstations characters are allowed to use would not be the private workshops of master artificers or well funded factories of house Cannith. They are public shared “maker spaces” within the world of Eberron.

    I don’t have a problem with the uniqueness of named items or raid loot. Those represent the best of the best made items or the crowning achievement of a lifetime spent as a master mageright. Or, in some cases, a simple randomly generated item that due to it’s previous ownership got named and became famous.

  3. From a playing the game point of view, I think it is going to be interesting and fun to play with.

  4. I’ve always been of a mind that crafted gear should outshine random treasure

  5. IM(N-S-H)O, the only thing not really addressed in the “loot” discussions (that I have seen, anyway) is a possible pass on (older) named weapons items (which I’ve mentioned before in the fora [sorry, “forums”] and my own blog [shameless self-plug there]). Named non-weapon items seem to be in a good place on the grand loot scale (so to speak), but named weapons – especially some of the lower level/older named weapons – fall woefully behind the new random loot (and I suspect the soon-to-be newly reincarnated Cannith crafting system, as well). The last time this happened, they added augment slots to many of the named weapons. But that is no longer enough. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to the problem, but as far as I can tell, no one has even acknowledged there is a problem. Which is in-and-of-itself, a problem (kinda).

    But, I am looking forward to the new-and-(hopefully, should be) improved Cannith crafting.
    😉

  6. “If you can use Flex shards to put any effect in any slot, you are blurring the boundary between crafted loot and named loot, and thereby lessening both.”

    This is an often repeated fallacy. Even with flexible shards you could not put every effect in any slot at all. And in the process of the overhaul if Turbine wanted to do so they could easily add in flexible shards which would add flexibility but targeted as they wanted to target.

    But right now the posted restrictions of effects into the three groups when added to the item slot limitation of the new random loot combine to make for a very limited functionality.

What do you think?

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