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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Item Decay is the bullet that must be bitten.

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143 posts found
  adam_nox

Elite Member

Joined: 7/31/06
Posts: 2087

 
OP  2/10/13 12:26:38 PM#1

Do you want crafting to play an important role in an mmo?

Do you want to be able to give items to your friends?

Do you want your mmo to have a functioning economy?

 

If you answered yes to all three (or maybe just 2), then there is only one solution.  Item Decay.  Now just hold that rage inside for a moment.   I know the thought of losing your epic purples from use might seem distasteful at first, but please consider a couple things.

 

1.  In most modern mmo's crafting has lost most it's significance.  Blizzard has in two different games introduced special items that you can craft, but if you don't care about them, then there's no point to crafting except something to do.

 

2.  Similarly, we now have the concept of soulbinding, where we cannot freely trade or gift items around.  Even if in practice it doesn't infuriate you, how do we tolerate something that makes so little sense?  Oh yeah...

 

3.  Economic inflation.  As more and more gear floods the economy, currencies crumble and gear acquisition and ownership become pointless. 

 

Unfortunately, the bandaid of soulbinding hasn't fixed the issue, while it creates it's own problems.  Now let me sell you on Item Decay.  First off, in at least WoW, you don't keep the same gear because blizzard releases new expansions that raise the cap and introduce new epic tiers, thus creating a gear treadmill that can lead only to OVER 9000 syndome.  You become more powerful, enemies match you, doesn't it all get a little old?

 

Secondly, do you really want to wear the same gear month after month, year after year?  With Item Decay, acquiring backup weapons and gear becomes interesting and necessary, and your game experience becomes more varied as you switch things up.

 

This can also alleviate a little bit of gear stingyness on the part of devs who want people to keep playing, and are afraid once they have the gear from a dungeon that it will no longer appeal to them. 

 

For crafting, some kind of reverse engineering process can help crafters put together weapons and armor that mimics the power of that found in dungeons, and better yet, custom made with the stats and effects the player wants.  A penalty to this might be a faster decay rate.

 

You could also modify soulbinding to attunement, where once a weapon has been used (or picked up in some cases) for the first time, it's attuned to that owner, and suffers half the normal decay rate (which would be somewhat fast).  So tossing used items at friends won't be quite as good as finding it themselves.

 

If you don't want to forget about that time you had that great weapon with super rare stats, when it's become unusable, it could go up in some sort of trophy room.

  Rydeson

Elite Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3468

2/10/13 12:33:45 PM#2
Any game that refused to remove items from the game will always have a broken economy..   It isn't rocket science..  Nothing should last forever, even Excalibur... lol
  SpectralHunter

Novice Member

Joined: 7/14/05
Posts: 386

2/10/13 12:41:14 PM#3
Originally posted by Rydeson
Any game that refused to remove items from the game will always have a broken economy..   It isn't rocket science..  Nothing should last forever, even Excalibur... lol

It's not just items. Unlimited currency breaks economies too. 

 

  tixylix

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/02/11
Posts: 1136

2/10/13 1:03:24 PM#4

The game just has to make item loss fun, like Dayz it brings the excitement knowing when you die you lose everything if you don't loot your corpse in time, though the person who killed you probably already has. EverQuest gave a similar experience back in the day and it's what makes these games because it gets your heart pumping. EVE Online does the same thing and has proven to be popular, EverQuest was massively popular and Dayz has had over 1.6 million players.

The problem isn't with the system of losing items, it's easing players into it and how you shouldn't try to ease them in. EVE Online is a prime example of this, it tries to ease players into the harsh game world and as a result people generally stick to safe space and are too scared to go anywhere else. If the game just started with unsafe space everywhere, then people would overcome the fear straight away. Dayz again, it doesn#t ease you in, drops you in it and it makes it all the more fun. If the world was safe but certain areas, I bet many players would never dare go into them areas.

To some people PVP will never be fun, that is fine but that doesn't mean the game should be any easier. I remember in EQ2 having to group all the way through that game in beta and at launch and it was so hard and amazingly fun. Now it's all dumbed down into some solo game and it's boring as a result, there is no tension, just too easy and you're handed everything on a plate.

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

2/10/13 1:21:05 PM#5

Not everyone feels fighting entropy is fun.

Not everyone finds a realistic economy fun.  If they did, they'd be playing ebay instead an MMO.

----

But in response to specific issues:

1. I'm not convinced that crafting was ever quite as significant as people remember it.   There's a certain "I found found fun once and I'm having trouble finding it again" aura to the comments people make.

2. Soulbinding is there to prevent merchants from being overpowered.  In the absense of such a feature, markets are too efficient and end up dominating the game, rendering actual loot unrewarding..

3. Even Eve, which has the harshest item deacy of all, still has a problem with inflation of the number of high-end ships.  People learn to manage their risks to preserve the illusion of ever-increasing wealth and power.

  Dauzqul

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1302

2/10/13 1:37:08 PM#6

There is a big problem with item loot.

When it comes to raiding, instead of huge monsters dropping epic swords and shields, they should drop crafting schematics and skills / abilities.

  Dauzqul

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1302

2/10/13 1:39:33 PM#7
Originally posted by maplestone

Not everyone feels fighting entropy is fun.

Not everyone finds a realistic economy fun.  If they did, they'd be playing ebay instead an MMO.

It's one of the MAJOR reasons why players are finding more tumbleweeds instead of other players in games like SWTOR, AoC, WAR, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc.

These are MMOs. MASSIVE MULTIPLAYER. This recent trend of Single-Player games with optional co'op will always render the same result: exodus.

  zymurgeist

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/24/04
Posts: 5208

2/10/13 1:47:28 PM#8
The lack of item decay is a hallmark of item centered games. We don't all need shiney things to distract us. It's not necessary for your character to be as helpless as a newborn babe without top tier gear in every fricken game. Games need to do things to differentiate themselves from the pack.

"Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  AutemOx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

2/10/13 1:47:52 PM#9
I agree with op. I miss swg when crafting was useful and necessary and participating in the community and getting to know your fellow players was beneficial to finding the best player shops to buy your stuff at.

Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  nariusseldon

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20226

2/10/13 1:53:59 PM#10
Originally posted by adam_nox

Do you want crafting to play an important role in an mmo?

Don't really care.

Do you want to be able to give items to your friends?

I can already do that.

Do you want your mmo to have a functioning economy?

Define "functioning". I don't see anything wrong MMO economy today.

 

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

2/10/13 1:54:05 PM#11
Originally posted by Sijjistoryus

These are MMOs. MASSIVE MULTIPLAYER. This recent trend of Single-Player games with optional co'op will always render the same result: exodus.

Um ... you do realize you are talking to a solo player, right?

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5669

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

2/10/13 2:02:07 PM#12
Originally posted by adam_nox

Do you want crafting to play an important role in an mmo? -Not really.

Do you want to be able to give items to your friends? -Already do.

Do you want your mmo to have a functioning economy? -Item decay is hardly a prequisite for this.

 

If you answered yes to all three (or maybe just 2), then there is only one solution.  Item Decay.  Now just hold that rage inside for a moment.   I know the thought of losing your epic purples from use might seem distasteful at first, but please consider a couple things.

 

1.  In most modern mmo's crafting has lost most it's significance.  Blizzard has in two different games introduced special items that you can craft, but if you don't care about them, then there's no point to crafting except something to do.

Can't say I'm sorry its gone. Crafting has always been tedious and boring.

 

2.  Similarly, we now have the concept of soulbinding, where we cannot freely trade or gift items around.  Even if in practice it doesn't infuriate you, how do we tolerate something that makes so little sense?  Oh yeah...

It's a game; it doesn't have to make sense. Does aggro make sense? Does respawning make sense?

 

3.  Economic inflation.  As more and more gear floods the economy, currencies crumble and gear acquisition and ownership become pointless. 

Can't say I'm sorry for this either, unless it creates haves and have-nots. I don't hoard stuff. I just play a fun game till its no longer fun. Then I move on to the next one.

 

Unfortunately, the bandaid of soulbinding hasn't fixed the issue, while it creates it's own problems.  Now let me sell you on Item Decay.  First off, in at least WoW, you don't keep the same gear because blizzard releases new expansions that raise the cap and introduce new epic tiers, thus creating a gear treadmill that can lead only to OVER 9000 syndome.  You become more powerful, enemies match you, doesn't it all get a little old?

 

Secondly, do you really want to wear the same gear month after month, year after year?  With Item Decay, acquiring backup weapons and gear becomes interesting and necessary, and your game experience becomes more varied as you switch things up.

Acquiring backup weapons and gear has never been interesting. On the contrary, it is tedious. That is why people don't like it. Furthermore, people are afraid to wield their shiny weapons, so they end up gathering dust in a safe somewhere.

 

This can also alleviate a little bit of gear stingyness on the part of devs who want people to keep playing, and are afraid once they have the gear from a dungeon that it will no longer appeal to them. 

 

For crafting, some kind of reverse engineering process can help crafters put together weapons and armor that mimics the power of that found in dungeons, and better yet, custom made with the stats and effects the player wants.  A penalty to this might be a faster decay rate.

I can make custom armor right now. What are the benefits from this added inconvenience of item decay?

 

You could also modify soulbinding to attunement, where once a weapon has been used (or picked up in some cases) for the first time, it's attuned to that owner, and suffers half the normal decay rate (which would be somewhat fast).  So tossing used items at friends won't be quite as good as finding it themselves.

 

If you don't want to forget about that time you had that great weapon with super rare stats, when it's become unusable, it could go up in some sort of trophy room.

Don't care about trophies. I'd much rather use that weapon.

Have you thought this through?

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5669

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

2/10/13 2:05:36 PM#13
Originally posted by Sijjistoryus
 

It's one of the MAJOR reasons why players are finding more tumbleweeds instead of other players in games like SWTOR, AoC, WAR, [...]

Do your homework and reform that statement.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

2/10/13 2:07:56 PM#14

The economy is near dead last on my priority fixit list.

But yeah, crafting does finish even lower.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Rayshe

Novice Member

Joined: 11/30/11
Posts: 1295

2/10/13 2:11:58 PM#15

It depends on what kind of game you want. If your a casual who game hopes every 2-3 months then Degridation is something that doesnt matter and in fact would be annoying to you.

 

If you want a game that holds staying power that you can play over afew years, then yes i believe its best to have Item Decay and Degridation.  Because when you play the same game over afew years you will hit the point where you are waiting for new content this will give you something to do. Specially if there is a limit on how meny times you can repair. It will also allow you to have a reason to make more than one of the same weapon so that on the AH people will need to keep buying.

 

This also depends on the game itself. For example in TSW that shit wouldnt fly. in order to get 10.4 gear you either need to exploit the game and get it in like a week (Some cabals do this annoyingly) while others like mine play the game properly and only get 10  of the currency per run. 10 runs in a day = 100 Currency, its takes about 190 to fully make a item and 200 for weapons. so  190 X 7 + 400 = 1710.  Then factor in only full runs pay out that much, Frequency of being able to do the run and that in the beginning you can only have a hope in hell at doing 3 of the runs with the last one usually failing.

 

If these items were to Decay past the point of use, people would quit TSW.

Because i can.
I'm Hopeful For Every Game, Until the Fan Boys Attack My Games. Then the Knives Come Out.
Logic every gamers worst enemy.

  Dauzqul

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1302

2/10/13 2:12:15 PM#16
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Sijjistoryus
 

It's one of the MAJOR reasons why players are finding more tumbleweeds instead of other players in games like SWTOR, AoC, WAR, [...]

Do your homework and reform that statement.

?

What kind of comment is that?

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

2/10/13 2:17:07 PM#17
Originally posted by Rayshe

If these items were to Decay past the point of use, people would quit TSW.

Now now, that actually may not be entirely true.

Items weren't permanent, in general, up into the mid-90s. One that wasn't subject to some sort of wear and tear were really unusual.

Players could (presumably) get used to life without trophies again.

But god I do NOT want to be there to hear the QQQQQQQQQQQQQQ.

It's like proposing a lootless system--we know it can (did, in fact) work. But dayum, you talk about a bitchfest.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Ghavrigg

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/10/12
Posts: 730

2/10/13 2:23:25 PM#18

To be honest, aside from possibly weapon/armorsmithing, Blizzard has done a really good job of making crafting feel important in WoW, without resorting to item decay, and the economy, at least on the server I was playing on, didn't seem so bad.

They made it so you get extra quests available for dailies so you can progress your reputations with certain factions quicker, crafts like enchanting, alchemy, cooking, etc., will have you making stuff that gives a distinct advantage and is extremely helpful to people you'd like to help out. Then of course, they add some fun things in there just for something to do.

I don't think it's item decay so much as developers need to get more creative with crafting. Personally, I think gear should be found, but other forms of crafting should exist to enhance your character in other ways.

Anyway, I'm not against item decay, but I can't say it's a favorable approach. It feels more... lazy than anything.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13664

2/10/13 2:45:55 PM#19

A Tale in the Desert doesn't have very much item decay, but crafting there is undeniably very, very important to the game.  If you took crafting out of ATITD, there wouldn't be all that much left to the game.

  Yalexy

Novice Member

Joined: 12/17/10
Posts: 1039

2/10/13 4:07:45 PM#20

This is exactly the reason, why I've never played any of those themeparks with shiny epics for longer then some 6 month, i.e. until I got my characters fully equipped eith the best gear.

EvE Online otoh I've played for 7 years on/off, as you allways needed to replace your equipment that was destroyed or lost.

Hopefully ArcheAge and/or REPOP will get it right and be my next long lasting MMORPG.

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