Poll: Quantity of Armor Slots

How many armor slots do you prefer to have?

  • 1 slot (represents the character's entire armor set)

  • 2 slots (usually body + head, but doesn't have to be)

  • 3 slots (e.g. head + torso + legs)

  • 4 slots (e.g. head + body + hands + feet)

  • 5 slots (e.g. head + torso + hands + legs + feet)

  • 6+ slots (go nuts w/ customization)


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Frostorm

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I wanted to get some opinions on how many available armor slots the player character should have. In addition, what led you to the design choice you made regarding the number of armor slots?

Bonus question: How many "accessory" slots do you offer? (if any)
Bonus question 2: Do you like having a shoulder slot?
 

RedFawkes

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What matters is not the amount of equipment slots the player has, but how much each slot affects gameplay. You can have only a few equipment slots for something like rings and make each of them have some serious impact on your stats, giving pros and cons to their usage. Or have +10 different slots that slightly alter stats and whatnot.
Having a high variety of equipment slots could be good for loot-based games or something like that.
It's also nice to have the opportunity to visually customize many details of your character. Visually. That means a visual equipment system to allow player expression in this sense - and that's a lot of work.

In the end what matters most is what you're disposed to do with your equipment system and game balancing. There's also a matter of personal preference. I for one prefer a tighter amount of customization that highly affects gameplay - such as the trinkets from Darkest Dungeon.

You can also have some sort of midterm, such as in Chrono Trigger, where three of the slots are for regular equipment and one is for the more impactful accessories.

tldr: Just balance your equipment system around your gameplay mechanics.
 

Finnuval

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It Highly depends on the type of game and if each slot offers something more then Just bother +1 in Def or something. It needs also a sense of purpose or itll drown the player xD

Accessoires : 2,3 or 4 depending on how many armor slotd cover what can potentially be accessoires.

Yes, usually I do like having a shoulder/pauldron slot
 

Guardinthena

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I currently have my fantasy game set up with four slots for armor (Head, torso, feet and arms). I designed it this way because I grew up playing 90s pc games like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and Dark Sun, and the more recent Pillars of Eternity. So I have nostalgic value in that. In addition, I have a slot for cloaks, belt and two accessories so the player can equip two rings. Again, this is designed off the games I listed above but it also ties in with tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons. With so many slots I opted out of the leggings because I was pushing so many already. And shoulder slots? No, I don't like them and don't bother with it. To me their part of the armor/torso. Really when you start breaking the slots down further and further I feel it enters mmorpg territory, where they require you to grind to gain all the parts to complete the armor, vs a single player game that simplifies everything so you don't have to be so grindy.
 

Pearsona

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Two slots. Unless you're going for a monster-hunter style game where getting + crafting armor is a huge part of the gameplay (which, going by the scaled monster post, might be the case?) it becomes a little tedious to manage armor.

Personally, I like having one slot for body armor, and then another slot for an accessory of some kind. Accessories are definitely underrated parts of equipment in game design, as that's essentially a free slot for fun gimmicky effects.
 

Frostorm

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Yea I like using the accessory slot for bonuses that aren't raw stats. They can include interesting passives or proc effects.

While my game does feature crafting and some materials gathering (both from monsters and the environment, like mining) it isn't as heavily emphasized as the Monster Hunter games. My game actually heavily emphasizes the weapon instead of armor, which crafting also helps with. The armor side of things is more like an extension of the weapon system in my game. I am currently using 4 main slots (head, body, hands, & feet) and 2 accessory slots, but subject to change, hence this thread.

I do want to avoid the MMO feel though, as @Guardinthena mentioned. So there's definitely a fine line that must be tread carefully.
 

Wavelength

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I'm usually a fan of 1 weapon slot, 1 armor slot (therefore I voted "1"), and 1 accessory slot. Keeps the three equipment slots' functions very distinct and very clear, and allows you to make each slot game-changing enough (if you want to) that the player can make big, interesting decisions without having to spend copious amounts of time on the menu.
 

Milennin

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Depends a lot on the type of game, but for standard RPG's, I think going with 1 or 2 armour pieces is fine. More than that feels unnecessary, unless you do more with equipment than just granting a stat boost.
 

Frostorm

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I'm usually a fan of 1 weapon slot, 1 armor slot (therefore I voted "1"), and 1 accessory slot. Keeps the three equipment slots' functions very distinct and very clear, and allows you to make each slot game-changing enough (if you want to) that the player can make big, interesting decisions without having to spend copious amounts of time on the menu.
I'd like to find more games that feature this setup. I wouldn't do this for my game in particular, but that doesn't mean it's a bad design. In fact, the simplicity/distinctiveness of each slot is actually quite appealing. It would be a nice change for once vs the ~15 armor slots in WoW lol.
 

Guardinthena

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I should probably mention that the armor/torso slot in my game would (or is brainstormed to be) basically the whole armor set up while the hands and feet, per the games I mentioned, are for items that grant bonus such as Boots of Speed for an additional attack, or gauntlets of protection for mages who can't use armor but grant a small DEF bonus. So, in a sense, their basically additonal accessory slots themselves. I view the actual accessory slots for smaller items like rings, pins, glasses, runestones or other fun or odd and end enchanted item.
 

Pearsona

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Maybe do body, helmet, weapon, and accessory? You should definitely give armor secondary effects, though! For example, a Manticore Pelt Helmet gives defense and poison resistance, while the Red Dragon Cuirass gives fire resistance. Then, when you're about to go fight the Poison Fire Turtle of Doom and Whatever, you can make a unique armor set to counter its attacks!
 

HumanNinjaToo

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I went with one. I prefer 1 weapon, 1 armor, and 1 accessory for most games, especially single player.

The only time I've ever really enjoyed having a lot of armor slots is in an MMORPG because of reasons...:kaoswt:

I usually find having a bunch of armor slots just adds to the slog of micro managing your party, which I don't like.
 

Redeye

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I usually go for 1-1-1 as well, because more than 1 Armor slot feels like clutter. 1 Weapon slot already fits the role of the Equipment type that alters attack stats, 1 Armor slot alters defensive stats (I don't really see much of a point in adding a Helmet or Boots slot, tbh), and 1 Accessory slot provides a special effect. Although, you can also maybe have more than 1 Accessory slot if you have a LOT of different accessories that do different things (That obviously don't have any clashing effects). You can also have 1 Shield / Offhand / Dual Wield slot depending on the type of game you're going for. Although, if you're really going for a Shield / Offhand slot, you should make sure to make that slot at least slightly mechanically different from your Weapon and Armor slots.

A bit off topic, but other equipment slot ideas I've had in the past are a Parameter Core slot that alters the growth of your parameters on level-up (So equipping a Strength Trinket will cause you to gain bonus ATK the next time you level up). The other is a "Soul" slot that teaches you new abilities while a Monster Soul is equipped.

The ideal equipment system for me is one that moves away from basic stat gains and instead opts to turn their equipment into a horizontal progression system. Each weapon or piece of gear has their own passive effect or ability that they grant you, making every piece of equipment in the game useful until the very end. Weapons give you a special attack, change the effects of your basic attack, or grant some kind of offensive passive, Shields / Subweapons give you another passive, Armors give you some sort of defensive passive effect, and Accessories give you a wide array of utility effects.
 

Frostorm

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I use 4 armor slots mostly because it allows the player to mix and match gear of differing stats/effects. There are 4 types of armor in my game, the classics: Cloth, Leather, Mail, & Plate. Each type grants certain effects across the board, not counting the stats of each individual piece of armor in question. For example, Cloth reduces both TP Charge Rate & Mana Cost Rate by 25%, whereas Leather increases those 2 rates by 25%. Plate grants more raw stats and protection than any of the other 3 types, but at the cost of -1 TP per turn (or -2 TP for body slot). This reflects the burden of wearing Plate armor and how its weight exhausts the wearer. With these in mind, a player can mix and match pieces to suit their needs/playstyle. Basically, I'm striving for customization.

On a side note, there are 2 weapon slots as well to allow for dual-wielding or the use of shields, tomes, and orbs (off-hand "weapons").
The other is a "Soul" slot that teaches you new abilities while a Monster Soul is equipped.
I have a similar mechanic, called Spirit Cores. However, they are attached to the weapon instead and cannot be removed once bound into the weapon. Spirit Cores grants the weapon a Weapon Unleash and also allows the weapon to grow with the wielder (it confers sentience to the weapon). Weapon and wielder bond is a prominent aspect of my game (think Zanpakutos from Bleach). I've been on the fence on whether to call it "Spirit Core" or "Soul Core" though...

For those who favor 1 slot, how do you appeal to players that like to hybridize?

Edit: I also wanted to mention I use 2 accessory slots as well.
 
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RachelTheSeeker

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I picked "two", for head and torso. I usually avoid shields in general, and sometimes skip headgear. I also like unique item slots that give a character some flavor (Raziya having a "Hips" slot for sashes, because hers don't lie; Dana having a "Scarf" slot because she likes bandannas on her neck, etc). Lastly, I prefer two slots for accessories.
 

Willibab

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I use many, each character use 2+ weapons that they can switch between in battle, offhand slot for shields etc... 4 equipment slots (head,torso,hands and feet) because im using set bonuses and want to be able to mix bonuses. 1 accessory for various gameplay altering effects and lastly artifact, unsure about this but thinking its gonna be part of storylines and not only battle gameplay altering but able to alter the stories themselves. Like if equipped you're able to get a different path in the story which leads you further (maybe a good ending instead of a bad or that you can keep it for the next playthrough which opens up possibilities).
 

Cythera

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Depends on the game and the mechanics; if you're making a more linear game with simpler mechanics where armour adds only defensive stats, I'd say go with one armour slot, then a bonus accessory-style slot for extra effects like Poison Resist or whatnot. If you're making a game with a focus on customizing characters, go with more equip slots for more options.
In my personal opinion, your number of equip slots should never exceed the height of your menu page. I shouldn't have to scroll through my gear to get to the next empty slot haha. Obviously, if you're making a game with smaller-than-normal resolution or a mobile game, this doesn't apply as much.
I run 4 armour slots - head, body, hand, feet - and two 'accessory' slots - Relics and accessories, with the former being mostly for plot until end-game. I put a pretty high emphasis on customizing characters, hence the higher number of equip slots. Also, I have armour sets - equip 2 or 3 pieces from the same set for a bonus effect.
And no, I'm not a fan of having shoulder equip slots. It feels unnecessary. Where do you draw the line on that, you know? Should socks become an equip slot if shoulders are? What about sleeve cuffs, belts, ties, shawls?
Ultimately, pick your equip slot numbers based on game mechanics, how much customizing you want players to be able to do, and how much balancing work you can choke down :kaoeh:
 

Wavelength

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I'd like to find more games that feature this setup [of 1 weapon, 1 armor, 1 accessory]. I wouldn't do this for my game in particular, but that doesn't mean it's a bad design. In fact, the simplicity/distinctiveness of each slot is actually quite appealing. It would be a nice change for once vs the ~15 armor slots in WoW lol.
You know, I feel like I've seen this setup a lot before, but now I've been thinking about all different games I've played for the last half hour, and the only two examples I could come up with are Chantelise and Accel World vs. Sword Art Online.

I'm using this same approach in a game that I'm developing now. One weapon slot (generally for offensive capabilities), one armor slot (generally for defensive capabilities), and one accessory slot (generally for unique special effects) per character.

I really like the simplicity and clear choices that come with it, and it allows me to design in some big effects without having the equipment completely eclipse the characters' natural talents.

For those who favor 1 slot, how do you appeal to players that like to hybridize?
The player can split the difference between, for example, a more attack-oriented weapon and a more defense-oriented armor. Or if they want both stats on the same piece of equipment, I create some equips that offer two good stats instead of one great one (for example one armor might provide +20 DEF and -3 AGI; another might provide +2 DEF and +15 AGI, and a "hybrid"-like option might provide +10 DEF and +8 AGI).
For unique special effects, I don't offer half-measures or "hybrids"; I make the player choose one or the other to equip. I think that makes for fun, sometimes tough decisions, and also allows the player to try out playing two (or more) completely different styles, instead of trying to mash them all up into a "blander" at once.

And no, I'm not a fan of having shoulder equip slots. It feels unnecessary. Where do you draw the line on that, you know? Should socks become an equip slot if shoulders are? What about sleeve cuffs, belts, ties, shawls?
Inb4 Your Favorite Mobile Infinite Grinder decides to add sleeve cuffs as an armor type to get you to grind (or pay) even more!!

(Don't forget you can disenchant 3000 regular sleeve cuffs to craft one SR sleeve cuff! Which means you'll need 6000 sleeve cuffs to cover both arms!)
 

Cythera

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(Don't forget you can disenchant 3000 regular sleeve cuffs to craft one SR sleeve cuff! Which means you'll need 6000 sleeve cuffs to cover both arms!)
... :|
Why do you hurt me like this, Wavelength?
 

Frostorm

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In my personal opinion, your number of equip slots should never exceed the height of your menu page. I shouldn't have to scroll through my gear to get to the next empty slot haha.
I totally agree! At 960x540 resolution, 2 weapon slots + 4 armor slots + 2 accessories fit perfectly!
Screenshot.png
 

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