To Durability Or Not To Durability

CrowStorm

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Edit: post-testing the upgrade system I outlined above doesn't quite work out math-wise so I just wanted to get inb4 a potential "I looked at your math and it's wrong wrong wrong" with a "yep, my math is wrong".

With the numbers listed above, you rarely get a +7 weapon that is WORSE than what you started out with, but it is too possible to get a +7 Weapon that is not better than what you started with, just different (I wound up with a Rapier +7 that had the same starting AGI bonus but massively improved Strength bonus (ATK) which is all well and good except that the rapier's damage algo cares more about AGI more than Strength.) While keeping half an eye on this thread I also provided for Unique/Relic weapons in my game (weapons that can't be upgraded) and gave the really basic starting weapons 3 instead of 7 "Upgrade Slots".

I've got to tweak the maths (btw, I DO know it's "math" in American English, I just like how the British put an s on the end OKAY?) and consider if I want different kinds of orestone (initially I was triyng trying to . So it's going to be something like that but slanted more towards getting a weapon that is actually better, not just weird.

A cool thing about durability systems (don't worry guys, I've been successfully talked out of it for Malleus lol; I'll see if I can sell Uzuki on weapon durability for DEX...in spite of this thread lol. It's a survival/horror game so it feels more appropriate there) is that with YF's plugin you can create skills that attack the durability of a target's equipment. I don't think it'll do anything as a PC skill against enemies (haven't tested it) but having an enemy attack that way would be a cool change of pace and could make up for a memorably annoying (in a good way) enemy, the equivalent of a rust monster from D&D. I remember in at least one of the Elder Scrolls games you could fudge up enemy weapon condition as one of the Alteration spell effects (I'm pretty sure it was in Morrowind, and maybe Oblivion). Giving or receiving, it was memorable. Also Burden (a spell that just dumped a mess of weight on you: in Morrowind unlike the much more forgiving sequels, you could only move at a crawl if you were overencumbered; that game was great about including loads of ways for magic to mess you up besides just plain old boring damage).

dragon1up if u stick with durability, make sure to include some unbreakable equipment in your game, as well as some that is really powerful but unusually fragile. Dont' use the default durability of 100 or whatever is what I'm saying, that defeats the purpose of having a durability system at all IMO. For your game, for instance, being as I gathered largely planet hopping scifi assassination missions, might have something like a monofilament knife (monomolecular edge, impossibly sharp) that deals high damage and ignores part, most, or all of enemy defense, but only has 30% of the Durability of a normal weapon, or a slug-throwing pistol that doesn't have terribly impressive stats except that it's rugged and reliable and will never break (like the reputation that the AK-47 has IRL).
 

dragon1up

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Edit: post-testing the upgrade system I outlined above doesn't quite work out math-wise so I just wanted to get inb4 a potential "I looked at your math and it's wrong wrong wrong" with a "yep, my math is wrong".

With the numbers listed above, you rarely get a +7 weapon that is WORSE than what you started out with, but it is too possible to get a +7 Weapon that is not better than what you started with, just different (I wound up with a Rapier +7 that had the same starting AGI bonus but massively improved Strength bonus (ATK) which is all well and good except that the rapier's damage algo cares more about AGI more than Strength.) While keeping half an eye on this thread I also provided for Unique/Relic weapons in my game (weapons that can't be upgraded) and gave the really basic starting weapons 3 instead of 7 "Upgrade Slots".

I've got to tweak the maths (btw, I DO know it's "math" in American English, I just like how the British put an s on the end OKAY?) and consider if I want different kinds of orestone (initially I was triyng trying to . So it's going to be something like that but slanted more towards getting a weapon that is actually better, not just weird.

A cool thing about durability systems (don't worry guys, I've been successfully talked out of it for Malleus lol; I'll see if I can sell Uzuki on weapon durability for DEX...in spite of this thread lol. It's a survival/horror game so it feels more appropriate there) is that with YF's plugin you can create skills that attack the durability of a target's equipment. I don't think it'll do anything as a PC skill against enemies (haven't tested it) but having an enemy attack that way would be a cool change of pace and could make up for a memorably annoying (in a good way) enemy, the equivalent of a rust monster from D&D. I remember in at least one of the Elder Scrolls games you could fudge up enemy weapon condition as one of the Alteration spell effects (I'm pretty sure it was in Morrowind, and maybe Oblivion). Giving or receiving, it was memorable. Also Burden (a spell that just dumped a mess of weight on you: in Morrowind unlike the much more forgiving sequels, you could only move at a crawl if you were overencumbered; that game was great about including loads of ways for magic to mess you up besides just plain old boring damage).

dragon1up if u stick with durability, make sure to include some unbreakable equipment in your game, as well as some that is really powerful but unusually fragile. Dont' use the default durability of 100 or whatever is what I'm saying, that defeats the purpose of having a durability system at all IMO. For your game, for instance, being as I gathered largely planet hopping scifi assassination missions, might have something like a monofilament knife (monomolecular edge, impossibly sharp) that deals high damage and ignores part, most, or all of enemy defense, but only has 30% of the Durability of a normal weapon, or a slug-throwing pistol that doesn't have terribly impressive stats except that it's rugged and reliable and will never break (like the reputation that the AK-47 has IRL).
Honestly, that sounds really cool tho in terms of making weapons that completely ignore enemy defenses and yeah there will. Like upon checking the database the default weapons don't have durability on them at all. I.e Sword, Bow, Gun etc.
 

Kes

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On the question of limited inventory.
Personally I am not a fan of it for all the usual reasons e.g. losing an important item/piece of gear which I find because that particular category is full.
However, there is an alternative approach which I used in my last project and am using in my current one - I limit the size of stock a shop can carry of any particular item. Once they've sold out their 18 health potions, or whatever, that's it. No more. After all, why would some tiny shop in some miserable little village have an infinite supply of potions to sell? This encourages exploration by the player because more items can be found. It prevents the usual hoarding of 99 potions and rewards exploration. Two birds with one stone.
 

CraneSoft

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For durability to be relevant, it had to be pretty significant for a good portion of the game - typically survival settings where you are not supposed to be able to repair them whenever you like. In a normal RPG, durability for most offensive weapons are something I consider completely unnecessary - the only thing it really accomplishes is realism which has no place in making them a good mechanic because players will not want to gimp their offensive options before any major fight, especially if they can be potentially break and kill your chances at victory. The exceptions are disposable weapons that are meant to be usable only for a certain amount of times before the inevitable.

Durability for armor on the other hand is more acceptable - you risk taking more damage and dying easier through prolonged battles but you could technically still defeat the enemy at hand like in Souls games where being naked is actually more advantageous in certain situations thanks to the increased mobility.

As for whether you could break and lose the equipment permanently - I'm personally not a fan of that because it just triggers an urge to reset if it does happen, especially on unique equipment where you cannot get copies of. I would prefer them being simply unusable or reduced effectiveness until you fix/repair them.
 

PixeLockeT

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I love the risk of losing weapons/armor if I push them over their limits. It gives me a rush to try and stretch it as far as it can go without breaking it, and a challenge of trying to climb out of a hole if I break something great. However, I think I'd like it if the broken item can be reduced to parts if broken than just disappear (as the games I enjoy with this mechanic tend to do) - that way I can use the scraps to forge an even better piece of equip than what I 86'ed. :kaopride: Sorta of like a......."Aw man.........." then find out it gives me a thing I require in the crafting of *insert big good thing*! and that "Aw man" turns into a "hey now maybe this was for the best!" or something. That emotional roller coaster is delicious.

But in all I think you'll get varied answers. Many people do NOT like the challenge of managing weapon/armor health on top of everything else. So I'd be careful if you're trying to appeal to the average gamer as, in my personal studies, this tends to be a niche kind of interest mechanically.
 

XPKobold

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However durability could work well in a mystery dungeon game. Considering i remember Chocobo Dungeon 2 had the durability mechanic. where you had to break specific equipment especially upgraded ones to get a feather to expand your options.
 

woootbm

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The short answer is "no" to durability. I've never in my life felt engaged or excited by weapon durability, and I've never met someone who felt that either. What I have heard is people COMPLAINING about weapon durability. I used to do customer support for an MMO, and people all but lost their freaking minds screaming about it.

I didn't read through all of the responses (some are just sooo long, sorry) but I don't think anyone has talked about the actual sneaky purpose durability serves. See, no dev thinks durability is interesting, either. The reason it gets put in, though, is to manipulate the gameplay loop of the player. There are two big things that durability achieves subtly:

1. Force the player back to "town". It's basically a way to leash the player and get them to spend some downtime and cool off.
2. Gold sink. It's an easy way to drain the player's income; it's consistent and vital. The perfect thing to create the illusion of currency value.

I haven't seen an RPM game that would benefit from either of these two things. They're more meant for games that can be played infinitely, like Diablo or an MMO. For a game that's <20 hours? It's just miserable filler.
 

Aesica

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Durability
My vote is "not to durability." In all the games I've played, durability has been one of those things I hate. From rare swords with only 40 uses in FInal Fantasy Legend 1/2, to World of Warcraft making me time-out from playing the actual game just to find a vendor that will let me repair my gear, I've never seen durability implemented in a way that's actually fun. Sometimes, I feel like "durability" is just a trope people add to their games because it exists in other games. Hard pass.

In fact, WoW had an artifact weapon system last expansion that most people hated, but I actually liked exclusively for the fact that the artifact weapons had infinite durability. Down with durability!

Upgrades
Now upgrades, on the other hand, can be an interesting mechanic that gives players something to look forward to. As long as the system isn't some horrific, bloated mess that some (mostly Chinese crap) MMOs tend to use, it's generally a pretty fun element. By mess, I mean, "okay you got some gear, great--now upgarde it a dozen times, then reforge it to get the stats you want, then enhance it, then socket some gems in it, then enchant it, then sacrifice it to an elder god, then.... *deletes game*
 

CountofArath

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As long as I get to use my starting weapons as a viable choice end game (rather then a self imposed challenge). It always made me a bit sad to ditch the buster sword.

I've been playing Three Houses lately which has a durability and a limited upgrade system but honestly I've not given much thought to durability as it is easily remedied (at most it feels like a mp bar for an individual battle). Older Fire emblem I remember of being more conscious of not wasting decent weapons on the chaff.
 

JosephSeraph

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Not exactly durability, but I really liked breakable weapons in Valkyrie Profile.

Like for instance, how you can find a very highly powerful Ether Scepter early on, and casting regular magic with it is extremely powerful. You can choose to use purify weird soul with it -- the limit break -- which is even more powerful, but the chance of breaking is pretty large.

You find a few more copies of it throughout the game. It's fun, when the item breaks you KNOW why, yet you're allowed to play with this extra powerful weapon in exchange for the risk of breaking. Swords like the Dragon Slayer are the same.

It creates this dynamic between the reliability of regular weapons and the power of breakables and it's SOOO fun

I also think like durability in the SaGa series is very fitting and good, as most of these games has this "we must prepare for this dungeon" scenario and the weapons being consumable forces the player to plan around that. And once again, there's the play between a powerful 10 durability weapon and a more reliable 50 durability one.
 

Black Pagan

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Durability Concept is simply Punishing the Player for either Hoarding or Playing, No doubt about it. It was probably invented as a "Gold Sink" to make Player lose excess Gold or to prevent Player from finishing the Game too quickly.

There is no reason to punish the Player for hoarding too much Gold or limit the Gameplay progress. Even AAA MMORPGs lost the "Durability" feature and moved ahead with other Features these days. So I consider it a "Tested & Failed" Idea.

The only way I can imagine something resembling this Feature is "Equipment Break", Where Players have the risk of sometimes losing the entire Equipment. This could be applicable in Hardcore games against Bosses. I don't see much use other than this. You really need to think of ways to get Players to play more not get Frustrated and Quit.
 

GumboSoup

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Hmm... depends...

Personally, I like complexity and realism in my games but durabilty is a mechanic which rarely seems to work well outside of survival genre. If you are not going for that level of grit in your low-fantasy game may I suggest a compromise - a limited conditional form of durability where you wouldn't have to constantly repair items but where items could end up "damaged" or even "broken" occasionally. In PnP role-playing games this is quite common - you have a sort of reverse-critical mechanic called "fumble" which fires occasionally during combat and skill use. When that happens your gear might get damaged or broken.
Also, you can introduce monsters that damage your gear, either by hitting or being hit. This would add more depth to choice of weapons - if this dungeon is crawling with rust monsters, you'd better change your plate and swords to leather armor and clubs unless you want to risk all your hard-won gear!

This would add the layer of depth you might be looking for without repairing becoming a chore. Breaking your sword is a big deal, as is losing a piece of armor, if only temporary. By making it a special and rare occurrence you give it impact that it deserves.

As for upgrades - I love those! Again, depends on how low-fantasy you want to go. Perhaps you can "hide" upgrades by masking them as skills in some way. In other words, you become more familiar with a certain particular weapon which gives it a bonus to ATT or something - it is not the weapon that changes but your usage of it - not all longswords are the same and you become attuned to the one you've been using for a long time. I'm not exactly sure you would implement this in RPG Maker and that would obviously mean making weapons particular to characters but it would add to depth of characters and gameplay for sure.
 
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HumanNinjaToo

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I've found durability in games to be mostly completely useless systems. Either the items never break because durability is high and you can repair them from place to place (money sink), or everything breaks so fast it becomes a micromanagement issue that frustrates me to no end.

I'm not saying it can't be done well. It most likely can, I've just never played a game where I thought durability added to my experience.

The one exception is durability in pvp games. I like to break other peoples gear :LZSgrin:
 

Milennin

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I've never played an RPG where I found durability added to the experience in a positive way. In MMORPG's, I can kind of accept the cost to repair items as gold sink since economy is a thing in those games, but for single-player RPGs, I'm not seeing the benefits... It's just annoying and has me checking on my items all the time to see if they'll last long enough for what I want to do next.
 

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