Up to this point, we have been very focused on implementing new features and adding in as much new content as possible – quantity over quality. A few weeks ago we started taking a harder look at our existing content and systems. It was then that we made the decision to switch our focus on polishing existing content rather than adding new content.
During one of our design discussions, we began to explore the idea of scrapping the linear equipment progression (iron sword -> copper sword -> silver sword, etc.) in favor of a more original equipment upgrade system. After a few more discussions we had refined the system design and come up with new equipment that is multitudes better than we had before.
The best way to explain is by example. Our swords start with the Wood Club and then progress to a Bronze Cleaver and then a Broadsword. This keeps things simple at the start but once you have the broadsword things start to get interesting.
The next best sword is obtained by upgrading the Broadsword by using it in a recipe to craft a Broadsword+. Going from there, the Broadsword+ can be upgraded to one of four different swords: Rapier, Greatsword, Sylic Blade and Artisan Broadsword. Each of these has a different focuses.
- Rapier provides attack speed bonus
- Greatsword provides knockback
- Sylic Blade does magical damage
- Artisan Broadsword focuses on raw damage
Each of these will upgrade to the corresponding “+” version and then can be upgraded to the next tier which have their own unique focuses. For example the Greatsword+ can be upgraded to either the Zweihander which can stun an enemy or the Executioner which does more damage the lower HP the enemy has.
Attributes carryover when upgrading equipment which makes your choices have a meaningful longterm impact. Such as a Broadsword you found with high Magic Attack bonus could make a good Sylic Blade. We have even talked about allowing the player to choose to reset their weapon to a Broadsword but choose to keep some of the attributes making it possible to create truly unique pieces of equipment – like a very fast Rapier type weapon with knockback.
Of course, swords are not the only thing that can be upgraded. In addition we currently have bows, helms, chests, and legs armor with upgrade tiers. We will likely add a few more weapon types with upgrade tiers as well. There are other items the player can obtain that do not have upgrade tiers or have smaller upgrade tiers. Gloves will grant bonuses for doing things such as gaining bonus TP (Talent Points). Boots provide movement type bonuses such as movement speed or jump height.
This is not everything that we have planned for equipment though. We have two other systems for making your equipment even stronger that we plan to implement once we get our first boss in. I know I’m really looking forward to seeing the final equipment – I hope you are too!