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[Concept]Item Tiers and Durability


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Item Tiers

Items in Jedi Knight Galaxies will have a tier level associated with it.  Tiers represent an items rarity and value, most items typically have at least three different tiered versions that exist, though some exceptions will exist.  Having multiple tiers helps represent how an item or equipment might be improved or customized over a base version.  Some items are valuable or rare enough that they do not have lower tier versions, while the reverse may also be true that some items do not have higher tier versions available.  While higher tier equipment will always offer an advantage, it is not such that lower quality equipment is completely and utterly outmatched by high quality equipment.  JKG will remain a primarily player skill based game - good equipment cannot make up for a lack of skill using that equipment. The tiers are as listed below:

 

  • Tier I - Common The most common types of items are of the common variety.  These items are typically available from shopkeepers, vendors, drops, mines etc. They are typically not very powerful, often used as materials or ingredients, and usually do not have a high value.  Most NPCs have common tier equipment.  These types of items typically have a low durability value and are prone to often needing repairs (items that are not repaired and reach 0 durability will eventually break and become worthless except as scrap components).  Typically have a durability value of 10-30.  Common items might include things such as frag grenades, ores, plasteel components, the trandoshan pistol, a leather jacket, etc. 

 

  • Tier II - Refined The 2nd most common item type, as the name implies is typically a more refined and processed version of common tier items.  While typically not too much more powerful than common items, they are much sparser.  Occasionally they may be sold in stores by some vendors, but most refined items will originate from rare drops or player crafting.  Typically have a durability value of 30-50. Refined items include things such as stormtrooper armor, the e-11 blaster, class e thermal detonators, refined durasteel ore, burst mode jetpacks etc.

 

  • Tier III - Elite Rare and powerful, elite items are the most powerful weapons that can be granted from a drop - NPC vendors do not sell these items unless they originate from another player.  Only experienced and skilled player crafters are capable of creating elite items.  It is rumored that some difficult quests undertaken may reward elite tier items for successfully accomplishing the required task at hand by grateful NPCs.  Typically have a durability value of 40-70.  Elite items would include such examples like class a thermal detonators, the BlasTech AA-49 Fleet Protector shield, saber crystals, improved e-11 variants, Z-6 jetpacks, Holocrons, etc.

 

  • Tier IV - Superior The rarest and most powerful item type, this type can only be produced by the most experienced player crafters and are often made out of elite components and other rare expensive materials.  These items can only be created by high level crafters who've dedicated much of their game play experience to their craft, bought from other players, or stolen from other players during PVP.  Superior items do not spawn from the game in anyway and can only originate from player crafters.  Player crafters who create superior items or equipment may optionally sign their work, advertising their accomplished craft to all who examine their work.  Typically have a durability value of 50-99. Examples would include customized crafted versions of the e-11, lightsabers, Jedi Master robes, modified BlasTech Fleet Protector shields, custom Mandalore armor, etc.

 

The actual statistical differences between low tier equipment and high tier equipment is not always immediately obvious and sometimes only varies as far as the two items rarity, rather than having an actual statistical difference.  For example, some colors of clothing piece may simply be more rare and hard to find, while having the same bonuses to stats regardless of color.  As a rule of thumb, the difference between the lowest tier and the highest tier for the same item should probably not provide a statistical advantage of more than 50%.  For example: the DL-18 Pistol has a common variant that costs 390 credits, does 21 damage, and has a firing delay of 475ms.  The superior version of the DL-18 has a value of 1900 credits, does 32 damage, and has a firing delay of 375ms.  Eventually JKG will also implement an item durability mechanic.  Generally, higher tier equipment will have a higher durability and is less likely to be damaged or break in battle than lower tier equipment.  Higher tier equipment also tends to look a little cooler.  One way we might simplify visually how one tells the difference between different tiers of equipment is by applying special shaders or colors to the base items.  eg: the Superior DL-18 Pistol might have a slight blue-violet glow aura around the weapon.  This will make it easier to produce higher tier items without requiring entirely new models and textures.  While the color scheme isn't set in stone, we might use the following: Grey -> Green -> Blue -> Violet -> Yellow color scheme for indicating increasing value/rarity.  While treasure classes will still remain the way of how items and wealth is actually distributed systematically, tier information makes it easy for a player to guess at an item's worth and can also change during the items lifetime as it is improved through crafting or falls into disrepair from durability abuse.  It represents an item quality or usefulness, more than explicit item rarity.

 

 

Legendary Equipment

There is a special fifth tier category, known as legendary.  This particular item type has several special properties that makes it different from the regular tiers.  Legendary items are unique and designed to be fought over and passed from one killer to the next as blood inheritance, similar to how the Death Stick in the Harry Potter series works.  Legendary items might be introduced into the game during special Developer run one-time events and the winner(s) of those events may occasionally be rewarded a Legendary item as a reward (thus introducing a new Legendary item into the cycle) or as a reward for completing hidden achievements that no one else has before accomplished in game. Legendary items are typically Star Wars lore items specific to famous individuals, examples might include things like Casus Fett's armor, General Kit Fisto's lightsaber, Tarfful's Crossbow, Revan's Boots, etc. Legendary items have the following properties:

  • Infinite durability and cannot be destroyed/deleted (they may however be dropped to the ground for someone else to be picked up).
  • One-of-a-kind and only one instance of the item exists at a time on ALL planets (servers).
  • The item cannot be stored in warhouses/player storage/banks or other types of containers.
  • If you are killed and you have the item equipped or in your inventory it has a 100% drop rate.
  • They cannot be crafted and originate only from special events in game.
  • They cannot be sold to NPC vendors (the vendors consider it too expensive to buy from you), but may be traded to other players.
  • If a player owns a Legendary item and does not log in to their account for more than two weeks, the item will be removed from their inventory/equipment and recycled back into the galaxy.  Typically, if the item originated from a one time event the item will simply be assigned as the next drop from a powerful npc when it is killed in the event that the item's origin event cannot be repeated.  Otherwise it will be recycled into the quest it was originally part of and the next player to successfully complete that quest will be rewarded the legendary item as a reward.
  • The game does not clean up Legendary items from off of the ground (normal drops will eventually be removed after a long enough time if they are not claimed), so they will remain wherever they are dropped.
  • If no one picks the item up after 2 weeks, it will be cycled back into its quest or as a drop (because it was most likely dropped in an unreachable location).
  • They have stats that are at least on par with superior equipment, though frequently slightly stronger than even superior.
 

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More on the crafting concepts briefly implied in this write-up will be expounded upon at a later dater.

DarthStiv, Smoo, Droidy365 and 1 other like this
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Item Durability

 

In phase 3 and beyond, items will come with a durability status as indicated above.  Durability calculations will be fairly simple, to explain I will be using Standard Stormtrooper Torso Armor as an example. This item has a durability stat of 50 and when first created or purchased will start out with 50/50 durability.  It is a refined item and so it has a higher durability score than most common items (which usually vary from 10-30 durability).  When an items durability reaches 0, it will be destroyed.  The game will warn you when you have equipped items with less than 25% of its max durability.  When an item hits 0 durability there is a 25% chance that the item will be destroyed entirely, the remaining times it will be transformed into a random ingredient/component scrap item.  In this example Stormtrooper Armor is made from plastoid and has a 75% chance of turning into plastoid scrap material.  This material component could then be used by a crafter in turn to create new Stormtrooper Armor or even something else.  In the event that the item is already a material/scrap/ingredient type it will simply just be destroyed.

 

An items durability can typically decrease in one of four ways:

  • Damage: Whenever an item is equipped and your character takes damage to that location.  In this example, getting shot in the chest, while the Stormtrooper Torso Armor is equipped, causes the item to have a chance of taking durability damage.  Common items have a 50% chance of decreasing the durability, refined items have a 40% chance of decreasing, elite items have a 30% chance of decreasing, and superior items have a 20% chance of decreasing (legendary items do not have a durability stat to decrease).  Typically this means it takes a superior item 4x as many shots to take durability damage than a common item would.  Generally only one point of durability is lost this way, however some elements in JKG may have special abilities or circumstances that cause additional durability damage.  For example, acid lizards on Tatooine are more prone to damage equipment when one takes damage from them, than most other creatures.  Note: many shields take durability damage whenever the shield is overloaded.
  • Crafting Risk: As part of the crafting process, items are often used as components or ingredients to create a new better item.  This is not always successful, in the event that the crafting process fails, ingredients/components will take durability damage and possibly be destroyed if it lowers their durability.  Crafting generally does more than one point of durability damage this way and it is usually a good idea to use components/ingredients with high durability to decrease the risk that they will not be destroyed in the crafting process.
  • Use: Some items decrease their durability whenever they are used.  Many weapons such as blasters, vibroblades, etc have this side effect.  The risk of an items durability being decreased from use is typically much less than from taking damage.  Common weapons typically have a 5% chance of decreasing durability when fired, refined have a 4% chance, elite have a 3% chance, and superior have a 2% chance.
  • Decay: All items (except legendary tier) are subject to the laws of entropy and as a result will eventually break down without repair.  All equipped items will take one point of durability damage per hour of play that the owning player is online (note: this rate is highly likely to be adjusted on a real time basis to balance the current state of the economy).  Items that are placed in a warehouse/storage/bank or inventory etc will probably not take decay damage (though this might be changed eventually).  Due to this mechanic, durability will not be a simple integer so that decay can damage durability in amounts less than 1, however the score displayed to the player will be an integer.  This mechanic is probably my least favorite one, but I feel like it will be necessary in order to help regulate the economy (see below).

Durability exists for primarily two reasons.  The first is that it helps provide a mechanic for entropy in the game reflecting the nature that everything breaks down eventually, this is vastly needed component as it helps counteract new items that are introduced into the economy through mechanics such as crafting, item drops, mining, quest rewards, new players etc.  Closed economic systems that do not have consumers (only producers) will result in endless inflation.  The second reason is related to the first, and is simply that it exists as a credit sink to require something for players to spend credits/time on in order to maintain their equipment and items.  This also means that crafters and other players who spend time producing new items or acquiring components/ingredients are absolutely vital to players who wish to continue using their equipment and crafters will continually be relevant.  Many shopkeepers and vendors can repair (restore an item's lost durability score) for lower tier items, for a fee.  However, only skilled player crafters are able to repair higher tier items and often need to consume additional components/materials to do so, most players will probably also be likely to charge a fee for repairs.  A trade mechanic allowing crafters and clients to exchange services and items with each other will be provided to help provide a trusted mechanism so players don't have to worry about being scammed out of items they want repaired.  The balance of durability vs repairs should be such that it isn't annoying where every hour of play you're having to have something repaired, but where it is still a necessary expenditure every once in a while to continue using the item.  Repairs for higher quality items will cost more in terms of resources and credits than lower tier items.

 

As a side note, I would like to eventually also code some statistical tracking functions in the game so that the devs can keep a a close eye on the economy and adjust decay rates and other resource sinks in real time as needed and flag problematic items that effect the economy too much, too quickly.  This way they can be reevaluated before they cause too much damage.  While Phase 3 servers will have persistent data, it will primarily be used as a beta testing rate for balance and economic flow and probably frequently reset before Phase IV is ready so the economy will probably be much more volatile during phase 3 until we can get things adjusted correctly.

 

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Edited by Darth Futuza
Added Concept Art
DarthStiv and Smoo like this
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