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View Full Version : Suggestions to make random loot no longer suck.



sirgog
11-16-2008, 07:10 AM
There's a big thread at the moment about how much random loot sucks at current endgame, and how basically everything save about 1% of items is pretty much useless. (The thread's called "A Frightening Problem that is Growing" or something like that).


My philosophy on random vs. named loot is that it should be a little like Diablo 2 was when first launched (pre-expansion) - (most) named loot is really really good, but not quite as good as the best possible random loot, so most people started out with random loot, then improved to named loot after a while (in D2 this was the Unique Items), then eventually they aspired to, and may have found or traded for, better items still in random loot.


Here's a few constructive suggestions to put a little bit more excitement into opening a chest again. These would involve a level of power creep in random loot, which IMO is needed as most endgame characters really only use a couple of items from random chest loot - stat damage weapons, Potency sticks and a couple +6 stat items - with nearly every item slot and weapon used being Shroud items, raid loot or the odd named item.




1) Increase the probability of special materials (Mithril, Alchemical Silver, Adamantine, Byshek, etc) on higher level drops. Surely someone with the resources to enchant a +5 holy greataxe of evil outsider bane would have the resources to make it out of alchemical silver. By endgame, IMO, 30% of items should have a special material - it seems like about 3-4% actually do. In pen and paper, there's the distinction between a minor magic item (unlikely to be a special material), medium ones (some chance) and major magic items (pretty likely to be a special material) - we could do with something similar. Instead of a (guessing) 0.001% chance of getting a Holy Silver Dorf Axe of Greater Evil Outsider Bane in a chest, we might now have a 0.02% chance of getting something better than Mineral 2 for devil beating, for instance.


2) Add some more really high level modifiers (like Archmagi, Resistance +5 or Bracers of Armor +8) which are currently only available as RR items. Due to the power creep already in-game, some of these will need to be sourced from the Epic Level Handbook. This won't unbalance things further, as Shroud items are more powerful than most of the more mundane Epic Level Handbook stuff anyway, and Rings of Wizardry 5 are one of many Epic Level Handbook items we already have in-game that cause no problems. A couple of ideas:

Gloves of Epic Dexterity (+7) - Minimum level 17 (15 if RR, as ML is over cap, cannot drop without RR at the moment).

Cloak of Superior Fire Resistance - resist 40 fire (again, ML 15 if RR, 17 and currently unavailable if not RR). Do not take the Epic Level Handbook's rings of elemental immunity, however - these would severely unbalance DDO.

Amulet of Natural Armor - +1 (ML 5); +2 (ML 9); +3 (ML 13); +4 (ML 15 RR, 17 & currently unavailable if not RR, surprised this pen and paper staple isn't on the loot tables yet, +5 to come after a cap increase). This would probably end up like Archmagi - a powerful mod few would ever find a slot for, due to the ease of replacing it with something else (in the case of Archmagi, raid loot with Wizardry 6 or better and other benefits; for these amulets, Barkskin potions or a Ranger)

Items of +17 Skill - all skills for which these items already exist (plus UMD if you want to ruin the game :D )

+40% Striders


3) Retire some relatively unpopular modifiers that are very similar to other modifiers. I'm thinking of Seeker +4 and +8, Sneak Attack +2 and +4, Tendon Slice 4% and 8%, Weighted 2% and 4%, Vertigo +4 and +8 and so on - people that don't like these modifiers (i.e. most people) won't see them diluting loot as often - people that appreciate and/or have fun with these mods will still have three versions of each of them (e.g. Seeker +2, +6 and +10) to play around with.


4) Choose some prefixes and suffixes of very low minimum level that are not at all desired at high level (e.g. +1 Str, +3 Heal). Make these unable to appear on items with minimum level over 10. This will remove a few of the frustrating junk items from the loot tables, without removing all of them (you'll still get, for instance, +4 Wisdom rings of Protection from Sonic 3/day)


5) Add some new clickies of spells that are not currently available as clickies on random loot. Choose very, very carefully which ones to add to general loot (e.g. Chain Lightning and Mass Cure Moderate Wounds would be pretty safe; Cloudkill would be a huge mistake).


6) Add some high-level Sunblade-style (pre-Mod 8) items - named items with lower-than-usual drop rates that can drop in any random chest of high enough level. These would be like (version 1.0) Diablo 2's 'unique' items - powerful but still mostly weaker than the best possible rare and crafted (and in DDO raid) items.

Some possible examples:
Scintillating Necklace
ML 15 (drops in level 18 and higher chests, exact same drop rate as the Sunblade)
Amulet
Radiance Guard
- this is an item that's a lot weaker than a Shroud-crafted +45HP Radiance 2 cleansed amulet, but it's still something you'll be excited to pull and may well use for a long time at endgame on a wide variety of classes - until you eventually get something else that's better.

Belt of Physical Prowess
ML 15 (again, Sunblade-style drop rate in level 18 and higher chests)
Belt
+4 enhancement bonus to each of Str, Dex and Con
- again, nice item, but to most it will be quite a bit worse than a Titan belt, for instance - but still something you'll be very happy to pull.

Radiant Sun
ML 16 (again, very low chance of pulling in level 19+ chests)
Greatsword
Alchemical Silver
+6 enhancement bonus
Holy
Radiance 2 (i.e. the on-crit proc of a Shroud-crafted Radiance weapon)
- another item you'll be happy to pull, and might use for a while, but isn't 'perfect', and players will eventually replace it.




IMO these changes won't increase endgame player power level much, but will make opening chests exciting again, particularly on endgame quests run on elite. Even though most of the loot will still be chaff (and most of it needs to be for game balance), we'll be back to a Mod 4 style situation where genuinely good loot will have a low but noticeable chance of dropping in random chests, and after an evening's play, even casual players of capped toons will on average either pull one exciting item from a random chest, or see someone else in their group pull one - making them more likely to come back for more. Plus, stronger players will have some real incentives to run quests on hard or elite again, which is more exciting and seems less of a grind than running (say) Shroud normal yet again.

vainangel
11-16-2008, 07:21 AM
Would it not be easy to just ask for loot that was closer to the level of the environment and/or quest? I am just silly tired of poppin a chest and getting a handful of substandard lvl4 loot while I am playing my lvl 7-12 character.

I like some of the items you have there.

Borror0
11-16-2008, 07:27 AM
Very nice suggestions. I disagree with fetching items from the epic levels, but beside that very nice suggestions.

You have a gift for making up named items. Your suggestions just feel right every time I read them. Radiant Sun might be a bit too much, but nothing scary-broken.

sirgog
11-16-2008, 07:27 AM
Would it not be easy to just ask for loot that was closer to the level of the environment and/or quest? I am just silly tired of poppin a chest and getting a handful of substandard lvl4 loot while I am playing my lvl 7-12 character.

I like some of the items you have there.

I find, when you open a chest in a level X quest, you usually get the following:

About a 25% chance of getting an item of min level X-3 or X-4 (the highest that's allowed to drop under the game's random loot mechanics in most quests)

About a 50% chance of getting something 2 levels lower than that (X-5 to X-6)

About a 25% chance of getting something lower still.


IMO that's fine, as minimum level isn't the level at which you are intended to obtain loot - you are generally meant to obtain it when a couple of levels over the ML, and the ML is just a balancing factor to put limits on twinking. You can, of course, do quests well above your level to get items with ML close to your character level more frequently - I find running level 13 quests on a level 9 toon quite good for doing this, especially as almost all of the level 13 quests are exceptionally easy for their level. You'll get about 25% ML9-10 loot, 50% ML 7-8 and 25% ML 6 or lower.

Griphon
11-16-2008, 07:30 AM
/signed

Get rid of some of these crazy insane loot items that just do not make sense on higher level gear... The only purpose they serve is to make things into Vendor Fodder.

sirgog
11-16-2008, 07:36 AM
Very nice suggestions. I disagree with fetching items from the epic levels, but beside that very nice suggestions.

You have a gift for making up named items. They just feel right each time I read your suggestions. Radiant Sun might be a bit too much, but nothing scary-broken.

Radiant Sun was designed to be something better than a good but not uber piece of current random loot (e.g. a +5 holy silver greatsword) while weaker than pretty much anything Shroudcrafted. Just like the Mace of Smiting is a pretty good weapon against constructs (for lowbies), but is outclassed by a +1 adamantine of greater construct bane weapon. It's good, but you can get better.

As for the epic level handbook, plenty of stuff in there is mundane by DDO standards - you've just got to be careful not to add silly-broken stuff, like Dread weapons (which are basically Epic Banes), or Holy Power (which is like a double-strength Holy Burst with a negative level proc every hit and more than one neg level on crits). Things like +7 stat items, or +6 enhancement bonus weapons, or Wizardry 6 (one epic item we already have) are all pretty safe items as they only add a small power boost over what we already have, unlike some ELH items like Fire Immunity rings, which are a huge power jump from the closest equivalent ingame items.

Borror0
11-16-2008, 07:39 AM
As for the epic level handbook, plenty of stuff in there is mundane by DDO standards - you've just got to be careful not to add silly-broken stuff.
Oh, I recognize this is probably inevitable. Doesn't mean I like it. ;)

Dracolich
11-17-2008, 09:45 AM
In my opinion you already have broken gear that is already overpowered in the form of shroud gear.

I do like your idea of making chests drop random loot that is better then average though. I meen DDO is already deep into the Monty Haul so a little more wont hurt us.

I still cant figure out who programed their item generator. You got Edged weapons with ooze bane on them or ghost touch items of gnoll bane. You would think some all powerfull wizard would be a little smarter then that. Of course maybe those wizards were using the new crafting system and that is how we end up with all this random stuff.

marcosoneghett
11-17-2008, 10:01 AM
This is a great thread and i'd really like to see a better random loot generator system.

That said, and not taking into account the coding part i'd say get more spell effects on the random loot and also make an table to the level of these effects:

- Level 1-3 Gear (weapons/items) = Clickie level 1
- Level 4-6 Gear (weapons/items) = Clickie level 3
- Level 6-9 Gear (weapons/items) = Clickie level 6
- Level 10-12 Gear (weapons/items) = Clickie level 9
- Level 13-16 Gear (weapons/items) = Clickie level 12