Some of you knew it would come so here we are!
Tell me, who really like the decay concept?
Supposedly in crafting economies it helps players have recurring income. It is also a money sink.
As a former SWG crafter, there are a few things I don't like in decay and I think the hassle is bigger than the benefits.
First of all, with permanent decay comes the issue of keeping your equipment. Players are writing stories with their items.
Then, where is the fun to be obliged to look for the same item again and again?
In a WoW like game play, without permanent decay, it's a bit like paying a tax each time you are hit. Guess the smart ones are playing ranged support classes...
There is the feature to make equipment less efficient with decay. Sounds an interesting concept till you realize you didn't pay for X stat equipment but for X minus decay.
A thing I totally disagree with is doing some random instance and finding yourself with worn out items. It is even worse if you have no way to repair them till you get back to the normal world.
For my part item decay is a poor design system to oblige players to spend their hard earned gold, creds... and eventually buy new stuff.
Now what I would think acceptable is specific decay. Few examples:
For a rifle / laser: you need ammos they deplete = replace them but keep the weapon. What you could also have is in the long term a trigger, muzzle, or lens could slowly decay. As a note the ammos would not add stress to the inventory so let them sit in specific free slots bags.
How about a sword? Well as any knife don't you need to sharpen it after some usage? So how about using some sharpening stones? In the long term there could be possibilities for the core to take damage but without diminishing the effect of the weapon till it finally breaks. Now you would take it back to a blacksmith and have it fixed. The wise would have their weapons inspected, by skilled crafters from time to time, to be sure there aren't any internal damages hidden.
For armors, I'd start saying you have to be really lucky to hit an already damaged spot, unless the armor is torn out. So I'm for sub decay that doesn't remove the efficiency of armors till they reach a certain amount. Then, the player being aware of the progression of the damage knows he needs to have it fixed. If he doesn't each time he's hit there is a chance the hit isn't fully absorbed by his armor. Still his armor is efficient when "not hit" in a weak spot.
What do you think?