Jump to content
Double Fine Action Forums
Sign in to follow this  
mrstimpson38

Relics: Massive Enough?

Recommended Posts

I was watching one of the latest team streams and I was thinking about how differently the relics have been portrayed between some of the first conversations and the latest team streams. I understand the idea and mechanics will change over time, so take this with a grain of salt.

When the relics were first mentioned they felt like they were going to be things of legend. Ice handed down through generations. Longclaw given, left, then given again. Even historical pieces of armor that shield the realms of men. I know I sound a bit geeky, but idgaf tbh, that's what I got from the talks I had heard up until recently.

Now, while I like their purpose (more so the idea) of upgrading skills (materia), I'm left with a very hollow feeling. The once great relics of old reduced to nothing more than something you stockpile to upgrade skills. I can understand from a mechanics vantage, but from a lore/epic vantage it doesn't seem Massive enough.

I know there's probably nothing to worry about and that development is still overshadowed by design at this point (wild guess), but I can't help but voice my concerns.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I didn't really get the relic idea, to be honest. The way I understand it, any hero that has enough XP to be acclaimed will form a relic that is interchangeable with any other relic (within the bloodline, since relics can only be equipped within bloodlines). Is that true? Or are the relics only generic with respect to the skill tree benefits? If the relics don't carry any other traits aside from the ability to fit into generic slots, then I agree that the system does seem underwhelming. I don't hate it, but as I said, I don't think I really get it.

I had grown attached to the idea of having the "personality traits" of previous generations show up again later through their relic benefits, and I'd be a little disappointed if we get none of that. Even mechanically, this seems like it would push the game more towards number crunching (how much XP do I have and how many relics do I need in my bloodline) instead of discrete choices about the type of advantage to gain (e.g. boosting offensive skills versus defensive ones -- to take an extremely basic example). Given the team's previous comments on discretizing choice and eliminating things like time units for the sake of reducing busywork, I'm surprised that the relic system has gone in this direction.

I'm also not sure how this "within a bloodline" restriction is going to work. Are heroes restricted to only using relics from one side (maternal/paternal) of the family? Presumably yes, or there'd be a strong incentive to make everyone related to everyone else (which as we discussed in the incest thread, looks like something that could easily happen). Then again, I think that children really should be able to use relics from both their parents, so relics could naturally change bloodlines through marriages. I'd really like to see some concept "art" of family trees at some point because it would be really useful/neat to have an exploration of how the bloodlines would interact over the whole course of the game.

Anyway, that was a bit off topic. Basically, I agree that having relics as generic resources doesn't seem very compelling and although I trust that it'll end up awesome somehow, I'd like to know what the team's thinking here.

EDIT: Switched "movement points" to "time units".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An item of power created by a hero's action wouldn't be a relic -atleast not at the time of its' creation, but I find the idea greatly appealing. It'd create an emergent narrative and mythic lore-building through game mechanics as the deeds of heroes imprinted themselves on the objects they used, raising them to legendary status.

The explanation of bloodlines has been muddled by attempts at denigrating man's role. In a feudal european society only a man's name matter's, his wife takes it. In most of human history anywhere that's been the way of it. To have some weird co-ternal name inheritance makes bloodlines split two different ways and leads into contradictions: what happens when a marriage occurs? Do both parents keep their original name? Does each kid have two last names like a Spaniard?

It's needlessly convoluted and problematic for the sake of marxism.

http://www.stampede-entertainment.com/monstermakers/a-bug-6-l.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The explanation of bloodlines has been muddled by attempts at denigrating man's role. In a feudal european society only a man's name matter's, his wife takes it. In most of human history anywhere that's been the way of it. To have some weird co-ternal name inheritance makes bloodlines split two different ways and leads into contradictions: what happens when a marriage occurs? Do both parents keep their original name? Does each kid have two last names like a Spaniard?

It’s needlessly convoluted and problematic for the sake of marxism.

The system that the team have described keeps the surname of one of the two parents. It's no more complicated to have the surname pass on from the mother than it is to pass on from the father. Spaniards and Marxists are irrelevant to this discussion, as is feudal European society.

My point is that regardless of who passes on the bloodline name, you'd expect children to be able to use the relics of both of their dead parents. There are lots of different ways in which this can be handled. For instance, the spouse that marries into a bloodline could become a relic in that bloodline; this would eliminate the possibility of a hero having a second marriage into a different bloodline, but that's not a huge loss. More to the point, bloodlines could never truly merge since the ancestral heritage of the secondary hero would be unavailable to children. That might make Bridle happy and it is a nicely simple system, but there's really not much strategic point to handling bloodlines if one bloodline always crushes the other in a union. Still, I'm not arguing that that system shouldn't be used, just that it's something that's worth thinking about and discussing (and by discussing I mean "actually discussing" and not "dismissing comments as Marxist without having a clue what Marxism is or what game mechanics we're talking about").

Getting back to mrstimpson38's original comment, this discussion was about the generic nature of relics. If relics really are generic, then the only thing that matters strategically is how many of them you have in a particular bloodline. That being the case, strategic marriages would be entirely about accumulating relics and if relics can't ever pass between bloodlines, even through marriage, then the only strategic choice you'd get to make is which bloodline children should follow (forcing heredity to come from the father would eliminate even that choice).

Having written all that, I think it does make sense mechanically to have the secondary parent effectively give up their bloodline when they enter a marriage as long as they could bring a few relics from their former bloodline into the new bloodline. This would prevent wholesale blending of bloodlines (and the associated loss of identity for individual bloodlines) while at the same time allowing for some level of strategic relic exchange between bloodlines. Again, I think this would make a lot more sense if relics were more than just a currency for skill upgrades, because then it would matter which relics were selected for dowry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

His Majesty thinks that relics usable by only certain bloodlines is a great idea: It adds a bit of flavor and allows Double Fine to increase the power of relics, making them more Epic. In addition, His Majesty suggests that these relics become stronger as they are used by a new generation.

One interesting side effect would be that people would be forced to develop

Let's say the heroic sacrifice of Martin Schmuck created the Breastplate of Warding +3, which would increase the defense of whomever wore it by 3. However, it could only be used by the Schmuck bloodline. Then, the king would be encouraged to breed the Schmuck bloodline as a melee warrior class.

This is all fine and good, but three generations later Janna Schmuck is born, a prodigious sorceress with the ability to bend the elements to her will. Unfortunately, the Breasts-plate is useless on her, and this leaves her without a relic. The king orders the kingdom Smiths to forge a Staff of the Winds for her to use, and gives the breastplate to some other poor Schmuck.

Here we see that the bloodline relic mechanic has added depth to the game by giving the player some kind of direction in which to build the bloodline. The mechanic is relatively easy to understand and use, but difficult to master. Each new generation can benefit from a relic, but not all of them will. This encourages the player to mess around with the system a bit to find a build that suits him/her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must say I had exactly the same reaction when I saw the teamstream. I had the feeling that the relics were going to play a very important role in the game. From the previous design chats I thought relics would actually be equippable objects (the epic concept of a relic, like an ancient sword or a magic staff) and not some old bone from grandpa Olaf Richter that you're supposed to wear embedded in a necklace or something (the religious concept of a relic). Actually it sounds like now it wouldn't even be that way, because a necklace would be an equippable object, while these relics would only be the drawing of Olaf's old bone functioning as a generic "gem" that you embed on a skill socket (and you would have to imagine that your hero wears it as a necklace or has it in his pocket or whatever) and that somehow affects the damage you do when you perform a whirlwind attack... the fun allegedly being in whether the "gem" in question looks like grandpa Olaf's metatarsus or aunt Ursula's appendix. I personally don't see it.

What we had read and heard so far made it look like you would run your research, come up with neat weapons and other objects to equip your heros with and then send them to battle. Then, after many battles and missions where grandpa Olaf has beaten up a ton of demons wearing his crappy iron helmet, suddenly after his death this helmet is now "Olaf's Helmet" or "Richter Helmet", with some boosted stats that make it appealing for the coming generations even if you have already researched the new super-cool but generic silver helmets. Actually, these relics could continue to improve with the coming generations, so that they remain appealing to the player, adding flavour to your equipment and giving you a reason to take special care of how you equip your heroes, in order to make the best of those relics, have them improve over the years and identify your bloodline with them. That way, during a normal playthrough you would see many cool objects be created and used over the whole playthrough, so you'll grow fond of them as much as you've grown fond of your heroes. It sounded great for me, it's something you don't usually see and I thought it was going to be one of Massive Chalice's trademarks.

Instead, you have this socket system that turns those awesome, meaningful relics into a "resource" that, as mrstimpson38 has pointed out, you would simply stockpile and assign to skills, completely forgetting about them inmediately after they're assigned. Let's be honest, who would care whether you're embedding Olaf's metatarsus or Ursula's appendix, you're just assigning points to boost skills in a completely generic way. You would end up farming them (finding out how a relic is produced and artificially playing to reach that end, so that you have more "points" to boost your skills). I think this is a boring way of iterating the design of the relics/skills mechanic. It sacrifices a really cool idea, the birth of an epic relic, with just the aim of giving choices to the player when shaping a hero's skill tree... well, use something else. If you want relics to affect how a hero chooses his skills of how powerful they are, just design them in a way where a feature they provide when equipped is boosting a particular skill. So grandpa Olaf received a lot of fire damage along his life (or died of a fire-based attack) and killed a lot of demons using his Blood Frenzy skill, well at his death the new "Olaf's Helmet" grants its future wearer a 10% fire resistance and boosts the Blood Frenzy skill in a 20% (be it how long it lasts, how much damage it makes... I don't know how that skill is exactly meant to work). So now you'd have a new reason for future heroes to learn the Blood Frenzy skill and choose it instead of the Shove skill (its alternative) which could even make the Blood Frenzy skill turn into a kind of signature move of the Richter bloodline in the mind of the player. I don't know, just an idea, but my point is: you shouldn't waste the relics idea that way, it makes them feel like a generic, completely forgettable, resource.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I'd like to say in defense of the socket system, is that I do like the idea of a relic being useful to any hero in the bloodline, and stackable with any other relic in the bloodline. I don't think it would add much if you could get situations where you have two helmet relics and you could only equip one of the two. That sort of inventory management seems out of place (you can never have too many epic relics), so I like the "generic" aspect as far as how the relics are equipped.

What I'm not sold on is on having the effects of all the relics being generic. I like that there's some generic effect (the skill upgrading), which guarantees that all relics are worth something, but I'd like to see some individual traits on relics that keep them unique. I think it makes sense to have the relics confer a stat boost that is a function of the dying hero's final stats in addition to the socket system. Then there's still a reason for heroes to keep fighting after they're acclaimed, there's more to relic management than accounting, relics reflect the individual heroes that formed them, and the broad benefits of the socket system still apply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone interested in the topic of relics should read Brad's response in this thread:

http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/10085/

I would just say I agree that DF is going down the wrong path with this relic slot system. I was very much invested in the idea of relics as armor and weapons and wearable, upgradable heirlooms. As I said in the other thread, if you can't have a hero wield the sword of his forefathers the way Aragorn wielded Narsil, then MC is missing a huge part of what makes having generations of heroes cool. I would urge them to rethink this relic system, or at least add on a supplementary weapon/armor relic system in addition to the relics as pips system before development gets too far down the line. I hope it is not too late to rethink this idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I'm not sold on is on having the effects of all the relics being generic. I like that there's some generic effect (the skill upgrading), which guarantees that all relics are worth something, but I'd like to see some individual traits on relics that keep them unique. I think it makes sense to have the relics confer a stat boost that is a function of the dying hero's final stats in addition to the socket system. Then there's still a reason for heroes to keep fighting after they're acclaimed, there's more to relic management than accounting, relics reflect the individual heroes that formed them, and the broad benefits of the socket system still apply.

I like the combo of generic and specific relic enhancements if we end up with a socketing type system.

I would just say I agree that DF is going down the wrong path with this relic slot system. I was very much invested in the idea of relics as armor and weapons and wearable, upgradable heirlooms. As I said in the other thread, if you can't have a hero wield the sword of his forefathers the way Aragorn wielded Narsil, then MC is missing a huge part of what makes having generations of heroes cool. I would urge them to rethink this relic system, or at least add on a supplementary weapon/armor relic system in addition to the relics as pips system before development gets too far down the line. I hope it is not too late to rethink this idea.

I think wrong is probably too strong of a word, since I don't think we are all clear how everything is going to shape up and how either system, sockets or passable swords/etc, would really function in any practical sense of a game mechanic.

I know when I first thought about relics, I really hoped John and Brad and Team would move away strictly from armor, weapons, shields, etc, as the _only_ types of relics, since that feels old pretty fast and I feel like it leaves general uniqueness out the door. So I was excited about the idea of relics outside of those "categories." I do think, however, a nice mix of the two would be a real sweet system. They mentioned once the idea of 'Super' relics. Perhaps for each generation, if a hero is especially badass, they could develop a Super Relic, that is more akin to your idea of passable swords/etc. Since it isn't an entire relic system devoted to passables like that, maybe that sort of idea fits within the budget, and still can give a nice mix of items and lore.

Smiles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you've been following my posts at all (hey, Unreasonable Optimism phase, right?) it's no secret that I've been less than a cheerleader for Relics since the start. I'm largely on board with the issues that Brad has cited for them already, and I have a handful of other bones to pick with the original pitch as well. But I'm still sympathetic to angle of wanting some Excaliburs and Helms of Invisibility and whatnot, and I do think that the system from Team Stream 4 gets a little bit too sterile with its implementation.

To Bogart a previous idea, what if we integrate both the skill-pip elements and actual-item elements into the Houses rather than individual characters? Here's a basic outline:

Whenever a character gains experience, his House gains an equal amount of experience. Similar to characters, Houses can gain levels - albeit with dramatically different experience requirements. Whenever a House levels up, it enables each of its members one more Skill Pip. Thus leveling up House Muir allows Brad, Chad, and Tad Muir an additional pip each rather than having them bicker for a single one. As an added bonus, we can award a House experience whenever they birth or raise a child so that we aren't excluding parents from this part of the game.

At certain breakpoints - House Level 5, House Level 10, House Level 15, whatever - the House gains a Relic in the form of an item which can only be equipped by a member of the House. These items have slightly better stats than a normal version, upgrade as a normal item would when you complete research, and also carry a random special ability. Each house will, when sufficiently leveled, supply a Relic corresponding to each of a character's item slots. Thus when House Muir reaches level 5, we gain the Muir Bow, which packs more punch than a normal bow and has the Blood Seeker ability, granting bonus accuracy against targets below half health. For extra simplicity, you could just draw this special ability directly from the Traits pool, as long as the Trait is generally a positive. I wouldn't rule out Relic-specific active skills, but that's extra effort that I'm not about to suggest right out the gate.

This seems to me like a pretty reasonable compromise. We'd get incremental skill upgrades to help give a consistent sense of improvement, and we get some of the Legacy Item feel without drowning us in an ocean of magical capes, boots, belts, hats, and gloves. If your entire squad gets wiped out during a mission, you've still got a base of Skill Pips and Relics to hand off to the newbies so that they aren't starting at square one. And by the end of the game, a mature house will have leveled up enough to send forth a champion wearing a full set of Muir gear, which to me hits the right notes of legacy and finality without introducing a tremendous amount of inventory micromanagement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me this boils down to the basic question "How much of an emotional connection did you feel to the gems in Diablo 3". What's that you say? None? You say that these gems were purely mechanical gameplay constructions that added a nebulous percentile bonus to some wand or other that played out behind the scenes in some very abstract mathematical game-designey way but not in any visceral, emotive way? Hmmm.

I'd be surprised if anyone felt *anything* much about the socketable gems in Diablo one way or the other. Therein lies the problem with the current relic system as proposed. Your grandpa is your grandpa -- not 12.4 percent to skill X.

It's not so much the mechanics of it precisely, it's the perception of Relics role in Massive Chalice. The bill of goods that we were sold and that we paid for assumed that a serious attempt would be made to make Grandpa feel meaningful on the field. Socketable fingerbones that add percentile bonuses in an abstract way do not accomplish this. It goes back to the basic appeal elements of what the audience expects when they hear that Ancestors will play a big damn deal.

When you heard the kickstarter pitch, is this what you thought? No? Yes, it's an emotional and/or intangible thing, but emotional resonance is totally make or break for whether this game "feels" right, and ultimately word of mouth, etc. Again, your grandpa is not some abstract generic modifier -- I think this is what is prompting this dissonance amongst the fans here. Helm, skill or sword, it has to *feel* like Grandpa. Fail this basic test and it's a fail for the elevator pitch of relics as written, mechanical success or no.

MC promised to deliver an emotional, or at least some kind of "I'm invested in this" sense via the relic system. Ancestors watching over their children from beyond the grave and all that. Sorry guys, I just can't venerate some ankle or bit of a skull in the same way. Not in the sense that it was described in Teamstream 4.

I'm not ANTI-relic being tied to skills by any means, I think it's a great idea in many ways. If Grandpa was really really into Stoneskin, then Grandpa's soul passing down into something that makes Stoneskin awesome is certainly the way to go -- but again, it has to be tied to the ancestral character or it's just not doing the job. I get that the team wants relics to be universally or mostly-universally relevant, even across class divides and sofoth. I'm personally less concerned with this kinda thing and have no problem with the idea of grandpa's helm sitting on the shelf for a while if there isn't a fighter capable of equipping it.

It comes down to this: If grandpa was a fighter, than his relic should be fighter based, or at least strength and toughness based. If grandpa used swords, or fire magic, or stealth, then the relic *however it is implemented* needs to carry and remind the player of the essence of grandpa. You water this down, distill it into vague bonuses you might have something that is mechanically sufficient, but it loses the soul of what was proposed in the kickstarter. Letter of the law, spirit of the law.

I'm super open to any adaptations or upgrades to the socketing system, and as I said have no problem with relics amping skills or being attached to skills as their primary vehicle. Sure. But preserve Grandpa -- the ESSENCE of grandpa, even if it's not maybe 'universally equippable' -- or else you're just straight-up doing it wrong and/or not delivering on the emotional angle of the initial promise.

I think this thread is ample evidence that the bill of goods as proposed in the last stream needs some tweaking before it matches up to the vision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to echo the sentiment of BluesForBuddha.

Although the biggest pull for me to back Massive Chalice was to play a strategy game that likened itself to games such as Final Fantasy Tactics (my favourite tactical strategy game), I was deeply intrigued by the ancestor concept not on a percentile boost type system but emotional connection.

When I saw the image of a hero running into battle with his ancestors floating behind him, I imagined that the hero's sword was embodied with those ancestors which increased not only the power of the sword, but the resolve of the hero. It was something tangible that the hero could focus on to encourage or renew their spirit.

Relics to me seem like something that needs to be "tangible" whether it's a sword, helmet, or hairpin it is something that the hero should have with them. Something that they could potentially lose as well. Imagine a demon stealing the relic of a hero and either destroying it or keeping it till the demon is destroyed.

This mechanic could even work to your advantage because you could allow a relic to be stolen so that it is "contaminated" by demons and then use that relic in research.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By way of splitting the difference, I could see myself being OK with a solution something along these lines:

"Grandma" Jane was a mage and was part of Generation 1 (created at game start), so even though she (hopefully) lived a long and full life she probably only leveled up enough to acquire skills from tiers 1-3 over her career. She only unlocked skill tier 3 when she was in her fifties, meaning that over her total lifespan her "skill usage" broke down like this:

Tier 1: Used 200 times total, favorite being Magic Missile (used 150 times or 75%)

Tier 2: Used 100 times owing to later acquisition in life. Favorite spell: Poison arrow, used 60 times (60%)

Tier 3: Used 20 times near the end of her life, favorite: Protection - 10 times (50%)

So "Grandma Jane's Memento" is a relic of [whatever type] heavily weighted towards tier 1 skills with Grandma's "Favorite" skill of Magic Missile given a special place of honor (since that trait pretty much defined Grandma on the battlefield)

Let's say Grandson Joey "equips" the Memento of Grandma Jane. What I would expect is that while equipped, Grandma's spirit watches over Joey boosting his Tier skills with a strong weighting towards tier 1, medium bonus to tier 2 and a little boost to tier 3 (since Grandma didn't really play that game) roughly in the same percentage as how grandma lived.

If Joey is a Mage, and following in Grandma's footsteps there is a specific boost to Magic Missile conveyed through Grandma's Menento, since she was all about that particular spell. If Joey is a Mage-Rogue, he can still benefit from the Magic Missile boost if he has the skill -- if he is a pure rogue than maybe not. Perhaps he instead recieves some kind of lesser bump to his level 1 tier but not as much as if he'd followed in Grandma's footsteps. Pass Grandma's memento around the crew to whoever is using magic missile. Her legacy lives on as the bad ass magic missile mamma jamma and her name is synonymous with both the relic and the spell. This is how Bigby got his name associated with the Crushing Hand, after all.

Bonus: When you cast Magic Missile (Grandma's favorite spell) while equipping the relic you see a brief ghostly flicker of Grandma standing behind you and she whispers something encouraging or vengeful into the player's ear. "Remember me, and fight well"

As the game goes on, other spells and abilities would gradually unlock across the board, meaning that it is unlikely that an ancestor will focus on Magic Missile as strongly as Grandma did, with all those juicy new powers unlocking. This organically leads to a diversity of relic focuses just through skills opening up naturally over time and players prioritizing this year's tech over last year's.

Now, let's say a generation or two down the line you have Grandpa Hector, who was known as a polymath fighter who used a wide variety of abilities. Maybe there isn't any one skill about him that stands out usage-wise, but for whatever reason he sure killed a lot of those big bruiser demons. Or forgetfulness demons. Some kind of specific enemy that Hector was known to kill a lot of. His memento still conveys the sort of "this is how he lived" bonus when equipped, but instead of boosting a specific skill like Magic Missile, it boosts your ability to kill that one specific class or family of demon.

You could examine a unit at any time to see what their defining schtick is. "Kills mages a lot" "Loves using Time Fist" "Gets badly hurt but still survives battles" etc.

Memories of [Ancestor] Relates to how they lived. Combine that with some special Ancestor effects that materialize when the descendent performs that specific schtick as their forebears also did? I'm happy.

"But what if a person equips like 3 seperate relics that all boost the same skill specifically to game the system?" Well? What nothing. It's probably what the ancestors would have wanted. I can imagine a ghostly chorus of old farts all clapping in unison when great-great-granddaughter lets fly with Magic Missile +5. They're implicitly remembering and paying homage all four generations of Magic Missile users who came before her and contributed to that skill now being the reigning terror on the battlefield. "Oh, look at Jimmy, Magic Missile is still as good 200 years down the line as it was in my day". What better legacy could you ask for?

Oh, and yes 100% to everybody who says that demons should be able to steal and ultimately corrupt relics if they're not rescued. Once you got Memories of Grandma up to +5 you should cry bitter tears and lose blood to get it back if something happens to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally caught up with Teamstream #4! Great stuff!

However I would like to add my voice to the list of those feeling a bit uneasy about the relic system as shown. For most of the reasons that have already been voiced (a bummer to lose those historic weapons/armor, not quite feeling the presence of that ancestor with a generic "gem etc.). But allow me to add another angle about why it doesn't quite work for me.

I kind of like the idea of the quirky christian relics, but the generic slot system is what really doesn't work for me. This is because it just feels to game mechanic-y (I'm just going to invent that word right now), and I can't quite figure out how it would work within the world of the game. So I take my grandfather's big toe, stick it in my pocket, and...what....think really hard about cleaving guys and then suddenly I can swing my sword a little bit harder, but only when I'm doing my cleave attack? And then next time I'll think really hard about time fisting? The way it was presented it just seemed like one of those gaming devices that pull me out of the world and reminds me that I'm playing a game. It just become number management.

Perhaps the team already has some mythology in their heads that will make it charming and work (we are talking about Double Fine after all), but I thought I'd raise my concern nonetheless.

What about a similar slot system, but instead of slotting a physical relic object into a nebulous "skills" tree the slot the relics onto your weapons and armor. Much like the essence idea someone else mentioned. This would sort of have the same effect as having those legendary swords and helms, but still use the current relic idea. And it makes a bit more sense in-world. I fasten grandma's bone to the hilt of my sword and her spirit would race through the item, charging it with more killing power!

Just my thoughts. Loved Teamstream 5 as well! Can't wait to see how these demons turn out!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about a similar slot system, but instead of slotting a physical relic object into a nebulous "skills" tree the slot the relics onto your weapons and armor. Much like the essence idea someone else mentioned. This would sort of have the same effect as having those legendary swords and helms, but still use the current relic idea. And it makes a bit more sense in-world. I fasten grandma's bone to the hilt of my sword and her spirit would race through the item, charging it with more killing power!

I could dig something like this. I still like playing around with the idea of a small number of 'passable' relics like some of the posters want in this topic, to make a bridge between a pure pip system and a pure non-pip system.

But in the end, I'll probably enjoy the game regardless!

Smiles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Everyone interested in the topic of relics should read Brad's response in this thread:

http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/10085/

I would just say I agree that DF is going down the wrong path with this relic slot system. I was very much invested in the idea of relics as armor and weapons and wearable, upgradable heirlooms. As I said in the other thread, if you can't have a hero wield the sword of his forefathers the way Aragorn wielded Narsil, then MC is missing a huge part of what makes having generations of heroes cool. I would urge them to rethink this relic system, or at least add on a supplementary weapon/armor relic system in addition to the relics as pips system before development gets too far down the line. I hope it is not too late to rethink this idea.

Though I prefer weaponry over pips, even more would I like to have both. Having ancestors charge abilities in the case of casters simply has more impact - so biases may vary on what class preference one has.

There's also a balance to strike between conceptual coolness, and sense of reward a system grants.

Changing stats are usually quite boring. changing the functionality of abilities, however, are often a lot more interesting, and has more impact. changing the number of targets cleave can hit from two to three changes how you handle encounters. dealing 5% more damage, doesn't change anything untill you've stacked it 5 more times.

This is especially the case in tactical RPG's; in a normal action RPG, 5% more damage might mean killing a target 5% faster. In a TRPG, however, it can either do absolutely nothing to diminish the time to take down a foe, or it might as much as halve the time required (going from 9 damage to 10, when the enemy has 10 health). The value of a turn in a TRPG is worth way more than a second in an action RPG.

Usually, though, there's no way of knowing whether the 5% will be ridiculously effective, or have no impact until you're in a fight.

Having abilities be affected by equipment instead of relics, though, means that there is a practical class limitation to the gear.

My point is:

Though, yes, their chosen path is conceptually less cool, it is theoretically more rewarding and has less bloat and irritations than if ability changing traits were stuck to weapons instead.

Still: Since one does not exclude the other, I want both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there is any question as to whether or not upgrading skills in a meaningful way (new/upgraded functionality) is pretty freaking cool. It's an awesome idea they came up with that I stand behind 100%.

With that said, it doesn't feel like a good fit to couple it with the relic system. But if it has to be this way, why not an heirloom system to replace the original relic system. It doesn't have to be grand. Maybe something simple like giving weapons/armor an xp/level system. It could even be internalized instead of out in the open. Once the specific piece has gained enough xp (through use) to reach a certain level (much like heros) they achieve the heirloom status (like gaining the exalted status for heros). Heirlooms gain the ability to be named by the player and gain some kind of bonus over time, with constant use. The bonuses could be alterations to skills (much like the current idea for relics, in addition to that system), an increase to the weapons stats, or other properties such as damage types.

I think that there's something to be said about an heirloom system. So what do you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could nae the explanation for how relics provide buffs to a bloodline without conferring a particular item be they're genetic traits unique to a house?

So some genetic traits, instead of just being added by random in a pool, would be a tier more potent in effect and each house would have one of these. Given the relic can only be wielded by one man at a time, it could be it requires some of the Immortal Ruler's infusion-magic to activate it, so each family has a different relic-trait entrusted to them by the Immortal Ruler and they can only confer it to a single member at a time. This designated Relic-bearer could be the "mantle-bearer" or "heir apparent".

To make these relics more visually interesting, they could be represented in game by unique item icons. So House Masterchief's unique relic appears as a unique shining yellow Spear model which can't be equipped like the combat spear model. It doesn't require as much from the animation budget as an item used in combat (perhaps it rotates) and it doesn't limit the utility of equipping it to one hero or another based on their item proficiencies and available items. All the aesthetic benefit of a concrete symbol, none of the mechanical hassle.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ca/Sus_scrofa_1_-_Otter,_Owl,_and_Wildlife_Park.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am definitely in favor of any system that allows individual items to become imbued with the power and essence of Heroes to create unique items of rare power.

That could mean that socketing Relics onto an item imbues it with that ancestor's spirit. That is cool, not exactly what I pictured when I backed the game, but cool all the same. Maybe the imbuing is stronger if it was their old gear, which can reinforce the idea of the trusty House weapon or armor being used by successive generations. Continuing down this route, stacking Relics onto an item could make it exponentially more powerful. As a tradeoff, maybe those Relics can not be reassigned until the item is destroyed.

Or Relics are a different system, and weapons/armor/accessories that have seen a lot of combat could become something else: Treasures, Artifacts, Heirlooms, etc. Whether each item can level up to acheive glorified status, or they simply have to perform/survive a certain number or attacks...I don't know which is the best way to determine that an item has become hallowed. I think it is an essential element, but I agree that it shouldn't be too frequent. If Super Awesome Axes were created by the dozen, they inherently become less cool due to the ease of acquiring them. The Starks had thousands of years ruling from Winterfell, but not every Stark was buried with their personal Valyrian Steel sword. They had one, Ice, which was passed from father to son.

Maybe these items need to be Quest items or something that a Bloodline is researching individually, but I think that strays from what everyone on this thread seems to be asking for.

I know I was really looking forward to seeing the House weapon broken by some boss Demon, going on a Quest for some item or resource or to rescue a legendary smith so that I can reforge the weapon and use it to finally slay said Demon, looking him in the eye as I twist the blade one more time...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know I was really looking forward to seeing the House weapon broken by some boss Demon, going on a Quest for some item or resource or to rescue a legendary smith so that I can reforge the weapon and use it to finally slay said Demon, looking him in the eye as I twist the blade one more time...

I think we were all hoping for that one. One thing that we haven't seen yet (but hopefully will soon) is a description of how the item and equipment system will work in the game, at which point I guess we'll know more. I'm curious as to whether they're going with the more FF Tactics angle of gear upping your base stats or the more XCOM angle of gear being something that throws a valiance or twist on your normal abilities. (Think of how armor works in XCOM vs FFT). How many slots, what ranges of weapons, armor etc. That kinda thing.

Hopefully when these questions are clearer we'll be able to see how practical the "forging the sword that was broken and using it as a tool of vengeance" mini-arc might be. I am really pulling for something like this to be included as part of the final experience. A man can dream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I'm very curious about that too. Having a means of increasing the power of the first tier of weapons is very crucial for the Bloodlines' legacies. Especially if research allows you to unlock more powerful tiers of weapons.

In fact if the later tiers are exclusively based around Demon Tech then you are inherently forced to use the corrupting items. The only other route would be to upgrade the original, "pure", weapons to keep up in the arms race, whether through a leveling system or sockets for Relics or even Quests.

Either way they go, I hope that the Teamstream covers this as part of its introduction to the Classes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching the stream atm, and I'll expand on this after the stream is done, but I just wanted to say...

YOU GUYS ARE FUCKING AWESOME!

Ok, I needed to get that off my chest. Thank you so much for considering re-looking at the relic system.

I'll comment more after the stream!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope they decide to capitalize on it. even though it's a cool concept - it should be emphasized so it doesn't fall flat. make a moment out of it, or just simply make the interface and sound design around the moment more juicy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I hope they decide to capitalize on it. even though it's a cool concept - it should be emphasized so it doesn't fall flat. make a moment out of it, or just simply make the interface and sound design around the moment more juicy.

Totally - we want the relic moments to be epic "feel goods" as Brad would say! That's part of the reason we want to lean in on Relic weapons and remove them from research.

Relic moments that we should juice up:

- Relic creation - oh no, a guy died, but LOOK, he left a relic! WOO!

- Relic leveling (This could happen on the battlefield) - this relic is even more powerful!

- Relic inheritance - alright, which of you scrubs is going to wield Uther Deathbringer? Are you hero enough?

- Crit strikes / special attacks - I will caber you with the full might of my ancestors!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the new relic system. The idea of all weapons gaining experience sounds oddly familiar :D

I love the idea of binding a relic to a baby, the last scion of their bloodline, without whom the relic would have disappeared. Awesome stuff!

I would caution that you don't want to create perverse incentives. If my heroes don't die in battle because I play well, and instead get retired and die of old age, I shouldn't be punished by getting lesser relics, or none at all! If I play perfectly, I should be rewarded, not punished! I understand the theme is that these relics get powered up by death, but shouldn't the sword of a retired, undefeated hero be more powerful than that of someone who died in their first mission?

I think the focus on tactical play means the ceiling for play is not losing a unit, ever (especially in any non-ironman mode where people can and will save-scum) so the relic system has to be designed to at least work, and ideally give bonuses, for perfect play i.e. no in-combat hero deaths all game, from the first to the last mission. This is sort of strange, as it makes us idealize the straw death over the noble death in battle; but I think it's hard to incentivize the noble death in battle without also incentivizing weird perverse play, like people sacrificing heroes intentionally just to farm relics. The relic spawning on death should be more of a consolation prize than a goal in itself. So if I'm playing well I shouldn't be less powerful than if I had played sloppily and lost heroes, and therefore gained relics earlier in the game. And if I lose a hero it should be "damnit!! well at least I got a relic," not "sweet my hero died, phat lewtz bro!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really like the new relic system. The idea of all weapons gaining experience sounds oddly familiar :D

I love the idea of binding a relic to a baby, the last scion of their bloodline, without whom the relic would have disappeared. Awesome stuff!

I would caution that you don't want to create perverse incentives. If my heroes don't die in battle because I play well, and instead get retired and die of old age, I shouldn't be punished by getting lesser relics, or none at all! If I play perfectly, I should be rewarded, not punished! I understand the theme is that these relics get powered up by death, but shouldn't the sword of a retired, undefeated hero be more powerful than that of someone who died in their first mission?

I think the focus on tactical play means the ceiling for play is not losing a unit, ever (especially in any non-ironman mode where people can and will save-scum) so the relic system has to be designed to at least work, and ideally give bonuses, for perfect play i.e. no in-combat hero deaths all game, from the first to the last mission. This is sort of strange, as it makes us idealize the straw death over the noble death in battle; but I think it's hard to incentivize the noble death in battle without also incentivizing weird perverse play, like people sacrificing heroes intentionally just to farm relics. The relic spawning on death should be more of a consolation prize than a goal in itself. So if I'm playing well I shouldn't be less powerful than if I had played sloppily and lost heroes, and therefore gained relics earlier in the game. And if I lose a hero it should be "damnit!! well at least I got a relic," not "sweet my hero died, phat lewtz bro!"

Agreed on all fronts - we don't want to incentivize killing off your heroes over rewarding play. A lot of this will come out of how the system and weapons are balanced. I think it'll take a near-lifetime of battles for a hero to create a relic in the first place, so the difference between dying in battle and retiring to live out old age shouldn't be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I very much like the new system also keeping it simple but rewarding. I read an article a while ago about how xcom struggled with a similar system. At the start xcom was going to have weapons level up not the soldiers. The biggest problem that they found was it made people care about the soldiers less and to them that did not feel right. I think the toughest challenge that massive chalice faces with this system is trying to make it so you can't just have this unlimited supply of soldiers from the same house. I think you always would need to be worrying about making sure you have a person to pass down the sword to. If it is too easy to keep a family alive soldiers will become expendable and maybe you even want to kill off a soldier so you new young soldier will have it (THAT IS WRONG). So there are a few solutions to this problem the easiest I could think of would be to have a tracker where the longer the hero has a weapon the RATE of Weapon XP gained will increase.

Example If you give a new born child a sword they will be in their first battle around 20ish that is already 20 years old that this child has used the weapon for training and the rate the weapon gains xp will be faster. While if you give some great warrior who is 30 year a weapon the rate he gains xp with the sword will be much slower and will only be at the rate of the 20 y/o when he is 50.

What this does it lets you have those funny personal story line of "This newborn child is trusted with the most powerful sword in the kingdom" While having a reason to give that newborn child the sword. Just a thought.

ALSO!!

I Love the idea of having weapons be more powerful to the demons that is killed often with it. Like D&D Bane weapons.

I like the idea of having this weapon that starts out as just a "sword". Then it might get a relic name "excalibur" then the name only gets longer from there with improvements to the point where you have an almost comically long name for a weapon. "THE GREAT WHIRLING EXCALIBUR OF RUSTY PONCHO DEMON BANE" I don't know any demon names but you get the point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...