"Random" Loot based on the Luck stat.

CrocPirate

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I want you guys option on a mechanic I'm working on.

Basically there are locked chests throughout the world and they can only be opened with a lock pick. If you have at least one lock pick the chest will open, then will calculate the average Luck of the entire party, and will you a different item/weapon/armor/amount of gold depending if the party leader has Luck stat higher/equal/ or lower than the party's average Luck.
For example: if the party leader has a higher Luck than the average, the player may 5 Handheld Mirrors (a battle item that cast Reflect on an ally), but if the party leader has a lower Luck stat than the average the player may receive 1 Potion.

It's a cool idea, but I'm worried that the player is just going to open the locked chest with the character with the highest Luck stat.
So, I was thinking that instead getting only getting good/great items with the character with the highest Luck stat, that some locked chests with get you equally valued rewards depending on how you look at it.

Example: You unlocked a chest in an ice dungeon filled with enemies that are weak to Fire damage.
1) If you open the chest with the character with the highest Luck stat, you receive 10000 gold. Nothing to sneeze at. Extremely useful when you head back in town and buy items and equipment, but...
2) If you open the chest with a character that has a Luck stat that's lower than the average, you'll receive 10 Bombs, a battle item that deals Fire damage to all enemies. Useful considering you're in an ice dungeon.
3) Lastly, if you open the chest with a character who's Luck stat is equal to the party Luck average, the player will receive 5 Magic Potion that restores MP. Thus the player could let the magic users cast Fire spells without worrying about running out of MP for a bit.

I was also thinking about making the locked chest character specific. Like you encounter a lock chest in country X. Now imagine that character Y is originally from country X. If character Y opens the chest they will get a weapon/armor that will benefit them regardless of their Luck stat. Other characters can open the chest, but they will never get that specific weapon/armor.

So, do you think this idea is a bit too much? Should I refine the idea a bit or scrap it?
 

Shaz

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I'm worried that the player is just going to open the locked chest with the character with the highest Luck stat
If I knew that's how the game worked, I'd certainly do this, but it'd annoy me to have to swap my leader around constantly (or if I didn't like that character's sprite).

I probably would want to know what to expect if I replayed the game - I wouldn't want gold from a chest on one play, then bombs from the same chest on another play. Doing that also indicates that the chest contents aren't really necessary to complete the game, so they were just "thrown in" without a lot of thought given to what would be needed at this point.

What about using a variable to keep track of the number of side quests completed or number of "random acts of kindness" or something, and use that, instead of any stat? Then it becomes kind of based on karma.
 

CrocPirate

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What about using a variable to keep track of the number of side quests completed or number of "random acts of kindness" or something, and use that, instead of any stat? Then it becomes kind of based on karma.
Interesting... I am planing to add a number of side quest in my game, so your idea might be the best solution.
 

Kes

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In one of my games I did something like that. Depending on how many side quests you did you got various types of rewards e.g. if you had given a sum of money to a woman with 2 children whose husband had just died, you got back twice that amount, so if you gave a little the reward was piffling, but if you had given a lot then the reward was pretty big. In another game if you had done a couple of specific side quests with not much obvious reward at the time, you got a decent MDF boost just before the final boss. I think that works much better than just stat based rewards, because they obviously flow from actions that the player themselves have done.

Also, I simply don't want to spend my time calculating my stats so that I get a decent reward. I personally would not find that engaging.
 

ShadowDragon

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there was a thread of random loot based on the %, which can be usefull too.
random variable 0-10 and each number can give the same or a different loot.

there are many methodes how the chest loot can work, but it should fit
your games as well, and possibility that it can be usefull within a certain area.

like the ice dungeon, it can drop 5 effective items or healing/mana potions
during the ice dungeon.

the mechanic of luck is nice, but explained in a thread of HiddenOne I think,
that used LUK when talking to people, but you can use alot of different methodes.

just plan it carefully, and see what fit best, but chest based on LUK and loot,
not really for me, but LUK to open the locked chest, would be more intresting.

if LUK >= 50 && < 100, you have 10% chance (this is a sample) but you
need to calculate it what is your max LUK hat can be gained.

so 100% is most like the highest number of luk gained.
but you can also make different locked chests, bronze = easy,
gold is very hard, but that depends how you see things from your perspective.
 

kirbwarrior

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I'm generally against purely luck-based things like this, but I feel like having Luck be based around the treasure chest instead of the party might make more sense. Like, party leader must have over 78 luck to get the great treasure, otherwise you get good treasure.

The other thought (to make it more player controlled) is to make it so when you activate the chest, it gives you a list of items to pick from and the higher your luck, the more options you have.
 

Trihan

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I'm generally against purely luck-based things like this, but I feel like having Luck be based around the treasure chest instead of the party might make more sense. Like, party leader must have over 78 luck to get the great treasure, otherwise you get good treasure.

The other thought (to make it more player controlled) is to make it so when you activate the chest, it gives you a list of items to pick from and the higher your luck, the more options you have.
There's a game called Crafting Idle Clicker that does something sort of like this. When you reach a new level, you get a reward; the higher your fame was when you levelled up, the better the chance of a more valuable reward. And at certain fame levels, you can choose to "focus" a particular reward, which gives you a better chance of getting it.
 

kirbwarrior

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And at certain fame levels, you can choose to "focus" a particular reward, which gives you a better chance of getting it.
I was actually thinking something related. What if luck ironically removes luck from the equation? Like, each chest has a required luck to open it and even tells you when you open it what the number is if you don't have it yet. Each one has (say) three choices, but if you don't have enough luck, the game chooses one randomly to give you.

it'd annoy me to have to swap my leader around constantly
This a lot. If the chest instead asks who opens it, that would just help QoL a lot.
 

Tai_MT

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My game has similar mechanics. My loot works similar to your own.

There are 5 possible results for every chest. The best items aren't always necessarily the "highest result". Sometimes, they fall within different numbers rather than "just the highest". What this means is that players who don't invest a ton into the Luck stat might get better loot than those who dump every point into Luck.

However, my players will never know how it works. Likewise, there's a bit of a "random element" to it.

Each chest has a "difficulty" to it. The difficulty rolls a random number on top of whatever the Luck stat of the Thief is and uses that result to give loot.

Easy - Variable rolls 1-10, adds the result to the Luck stat.
Simple - Variable rolls 1-8, adds the result to the Luck stat.
Average - Variable rolls 1-6, adds the result to the Luck stat.
Difficult - Variable rolls 1-4, adds the result to the Luck stat.
Impossible - Variable rolls 0-2, adds the result to the Luck stat.

In theory, this random number exists to keep players from "guessing" the formula used to determine the loot. Two different players on the edge of a threshold would have difficulty pooling their knowledge to figure out why they both got different results. After all, if the threshold is 15, and player A had 13 Luck and rolled a 1, they wouldn't make the Threshold. But, if player B had 6 Luck and rolled a 10, they'd hit the Threshold and go beyond.

In practice, this random number often just pushes players "over the finish line" to the next result if they're close enough.

Likewise, I engage in a ton of obfuscation when it comes to the mechanic in general. The player can never fail to pick the lock on the chest. It will always open provided the Thief is in the party. The only hint the player is given is based upon "chest difficulty". So, a player dealing with an "Easy" Chest would get the dialogue, "Might as well not even put a lock on it!" and then it opens. The same player dealing with an "Impossible" chest would get a message, "I'm not so sure I can pick this one..." and then it opens after a couple rattling noises.

So, the only information a player is likely to ever obtain is that they get an item in the chest, and some dialogue about the chest. They could determine that some chests are harder to open than others, but it's unlikely they'd figure out there are 5 different rewards in each chest, unless they talk to other players who got different rewards.

Ideally, the obfuscation also works with the loot given. The player would always consider the loot given to them to be "pretty great", no matter which reward they rolled. Basically, it's a lot of "one time loot". Direct Upgraded equipment, stat increases, very rare consumables, and things of that nature. I've removed anything "basic" from these chests so players wouldn't feel "cheated". They don't drop money, they don't drop standard consumables, they don't drop things that can be bought in every store.

A player might roll:
0-24
3 Elixirs
25-33
1 Attack Tab (+20 Attack)
34- 47
1 Flame Charm (Accessory. Immunity to Fire and Level 1-4 of Burn)
48-60
1 Blaze Sword (Weapon. 2-H. Fire Element. +20 Attack above anything else available at the moment).
61+
1 Consumable Cuirass (Armor, +10 Defense, but triples effectiveness of all Consumable items).

No matter what the player rolls, it would all be incredibly useful and valuable. Consumables are valuable (especially ones that grant 100% heals) in a game with no way to heal EXCEPT consumables. +20 extra attack that can be dumped onto any character of choice in a game where every extra point into a stat matters is useful. Immunity to 1 element and 4 states in a game where "immunity" is difficult to come by is valuable. A sword that does fire damage AND is stronger than anything your "heavy hitter" character can wield at the time would be a huge boon. A piece of armor that triples the effectiveness of any consumable you use (including consumables that already buff stats by 200% for 3 turns) could be pretty great, even for the terrible defense.

---

I think that ideally, using such a system requires you figure out ways to "trick" the player a little so they don't figure out how it works and how to calculate the "best rewards". Give them some "direct control", but also an element of "randomness". Likewise, you'll probably have to balance all your loot to be "equal" to some degree so that players don't start trying to figure out if there was better loot in the chest. You don't really want players savescumming your chests to see if they can alter the loot given. If you can turn the mechanic into something similar to Chrono Trigger's "sealed chests", where just having the item to open them and getting a reward FEELS like a special reward... players aren't likely to look too deeply into it. But, if they figure out that it's based on a stat of some kind, you are going to have to deal with people datamining your game to figure out the best loot and then ruining their own fun trying to get it.
 

kirbwarrior

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Tai_MT's post made me realize that if we're talking about rogue-likes, I'd go completely the opposite direction and build something like his post. So, I guess it's important to know (at TC); Is this more of a 'traditional' rpg, are you making a rogue-like, something entirely else?
 

TheGentlemanLoser

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If I knew that's how the game worked, I'd certainly do this, but it'd annoy me to have to swap my leader around constantly (or if I didn't like that character's sprite).

I probably would want to know what to expect if I replayed the game - I wouldn't want gold from a chest on one play, then bombs from the same chest on another play. Doing that also indicates that the chest contents aren't really necessary to complete the game, so they were just "thrown in" without a lot of thought given to what would be needed at this point.

I just wanted to chime in to strongly disagree with this. I think that random treasure is a great way to add replay value (I think of it as a tiny drop of roguelite spice w/ my JRPG/CRPG) and also since we are kind of hobbyist devs here to help you hate your own game less when you're testing it for the 8,000,000th time and familarity has brewed up a whole damn horde of contempt.

I love the idea of having a mechanic like passive skills or Luck influence your loot tables and get you better loot (although it only has meaning if the game includes interesting ways to modulate your Luck stat) but I am kind of confused about doing it based on one character's luck relative to the party's luck? like either pick the highest luck character or the party's average luck, keep it simple. I don't at all understand what having it based on the lead character's luck relative to the party's luck is meant to achieve and/or simulate.

What about using a variable to keep track of the number of side quests completed or number of "random acts of kindness" or something, and use that, instead of any stat? Then it becomes kind of based on karma.

This idea, however, is ****ing rad.
 

kirbwarrior

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It's a cool idea, but I'm worried that the player is just going to open the locked chest with the character with the highest Luck stat.
If a stat is something you actually have to invest in and are told to improve (like most games do), then not only does the player want to improve it, but they also want to get the rewards for improving it. If they are told (or worse, not told) to want to open it with not the best luck, then it becomes a stressful game of "how much is too much?"

hate your own game less when you're testing it for the 8,000,000th time and familarity has brewed up a whole damn horde of contempt.
That seems like an unrelated problem. If I don't find my game fun to play hundreds of times, then I look for the cause of the issue.


What about using a variable to keep track of the number of side quests completed or number of "random acts of kindness" or something, and use that, instead of any stat? Then it becomes kind of based on karma.
Depending on how many side quests you did you got various types of rewards
I think that works much better than just stat based rewards, because they obviously flow from actions that the player themselves have done.
Definitely love the idea of rewarding choices to determine things like this. I really like that. I might even make a treasure table inside a common event that all chests call to that gives treasure based on what you've done instead of where the chest is.
 

Wavelength

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When I once told him about a skill idea I once had where the effect was one of two (very different) things based on whether you had more Health Potions or Mana Potions in inventory, my friend @Redeye told me something like "Wave, that's like saying 'It does either this or that, depending on whether you have more Tic-Tacs or Jellybeans in your left pocket'". Thinking through that, it taught me a couple things when designing conditional effects:
  1. Make sure the condition itself is relevant and useful to what will actually happen (a good example is the Condition is having low HP, and the Effect is getting a heal)
  2. Make sure the condition is something that can be "played" or manipulated by the player, but also make sure that it isn't too easy to manipulate
  3. Make sure it's fun and rewarding to manipulate the condition and try to get it to do what you want
I think this advice really strikes true when considering this "Random Loot" mechanic that you're thinking of implementing. Comparing the party leader's Luck stat to the average Luck stat of the party feels very "Tic-Tacs or Jellybeans" to me, as it means building Luck will benefit you for some characters in some situations and will have the exact opposite effect in others. And assuming that the player can simply switch the Party Leader freely, it also means that it's both too easy to manipulate and very un-fun (requiring going to the menu and changing the whole party around as you're about to open a Chest).

You might as well just offer the player the choice between the different Loot options (such as "Choose!: 10,000 Gold, 10 Bombs, or 5 Magic Potions"). And come to think of it, that would be a pretty cool mechanic that would offer both interesting stylistic choices and risk-reward opportunities. It's something I've rarely seen in games, but I think most gamers would like more of. The only drawback is that it might be a little immersion-breaking to have a treasure chest actually grant you one of three things and not the others, but that could easily be corrected by making them "wishing shrines" or "giving trees" or whatever makes sense for your game world instead of treasure chests.

The other way you could go about it is to simply use the Party's average Luck in determining what you gain from a Treasure Chest (I highly recommend letting the player know this somewhere early on in your game). For example, on a Chest where you'd like to award a consumable, roll a number between 1 and 20 (for an early-game chest... or 1 and 100 for a late-game chest) and add in the party's average Luck. If the result is between 1 and 12 (for the early chest), award an HP Potion. If the result is 12-24, award a slightly more useful MP Potion, and if the result is 25 or higher award a rare Elixir that restores both HP and MP. This makes Luck into an important stat to build if you want better consumables (at the cost of higher direct combat efficiency from stats like HP and ATK), and also avoids all of the pitfalls of making the mechanic too opaque or forcing the player to change up their formation every time they run into a treasure chest.
 

kirbwarrior

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You might as well just offer the player the choice between the different Loot options (such as "Choose!: 10,000 Gold, 10 Bombs, or 5 Magic Potions"). And come to think of it, that would be a pretty cool mechanic that would offer both interesting stylistic choices and risk-reward opportunities. It's something I've rarely seen in games, but I think most gamers would like more of.
It just straight up being a choice sounds like a lot of fun.

The only drawback is that it might be a little immersion-breaking to have a treasure chest actually grant you one of three things and not the others, but that could easily be corrected by making them "wishing shrines" or "giving trees" or whatever makes sense for your game world instead of treasure chests.
Having it apply to all chests could work simply enough. As for 'picking' your reward from a chest, it could be a weight thing (picking up the sword, armor, or gold bag opens the trap that drops the other two) or multiple chests connected in some manner that stops you from getting the others (maybe the chests are all open, but taking something closes the other two) or you could even have rivals that open the other two while you're opening the first one. Or it could be a nice mimic who is giving you the choice of one of its treasures (or you could be mean and try to kill it for all three with an absurdly hard fight).

Of course, I do love faerie fountains. I might have to steal this.

This makes Luck into an important stat to build if you want better consumables (at the cost of higher direct combat efficiency from stats like HP and ATK)
If there is still a roll involved then it might not be enough to make luck worth it. However, if the roll is small and the groups big, then luck has a large effect while still having it random; Roll a d12 with 1-12 being HP potion, 13-24 MP Potion, 25+ Elixir (+1 for each multiple of 12), this would set up 0 luck always giving the HP potion with even 1 luck giving a chance for MP and 13 luck guaranteeing it and a crazy 85 giving a handful of elixirs to those who slam everything into Luck. Then you just have chests move around the thresholds to reward certain numbers of luck.
 

CrocPirate

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  1. Make sure the condition itself is relevant and useful to what will actually happen (a good example is the Condition is having low HP, and the Effect is getting a heal)
  2. Make sure the condition is something that can be "played" or manipulated by the player, but also make sure that it isn't too easy to manipulate
  3. Make sure it's fun and rewarding to manipulate the condition and try to get it to do what you want
@Wavelength That's good advice. It gives me a lot to think about.
 

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