TREASURE DECK TIERS
One for before the mini boss and another for after. We used the number 20 as a general guide for separating the deck. If more than 1 required attribute was greater than 20 we put it into the second deck (post mini boss). If any of the attributes were greater than 30 it went into the second deck. We then setup the remaining treasure cards as normal adding the regular treasure cards for each class. After defeating the mini boss we added the mini boss treasure cards plus the elite class treasure cards and 5 of the elite normal treasure cards and shuffled them all up. This gave both decks a good hefty amount to choose from.
We changed the market system so that you automatically get 3 cards from the treasure deck. You cannot spend souls to get more cards. After making purchases or not making any only 1 card can be saved to be bought at a later time. Also only a total of 3 cards can ever be in the saved pile. This helps add a great tactical decision. You might get 3 great cards, but can only afford to equip 1 of them and now you have the hard choice of which of the 2 remaining cards do you save.
We felt a small change was needed as we are already going through the treasure deck much faster. We said you get 2 cards from the treasure deck. You get 2 cards but you cannot upgrade any attributes to equip these cards and once again only 1 of these cards may be saved for a future buy.
We find these rules to work so much better, but we would love to hear your thoughts.
I like that folks are coming up with interesting treasure variants, but I really like the treasure rules as written. Yes you may get random drops that you cannot use until after some leveling, but it gives you something to work towards. Also the equipment that becomes available during any given playthrough will force you to rethink your approach and maybe spec to a different build than you might've initially planned rather than burn through souls looking for the piece you want. To me this also adds variability to the game, which contributes to making each playthrough unique.
I also feel that this is in the spirit of the DS video games because you can wander into any area and take on any mob you want, which may drop a piece of gear that you are a ways off from being able to use. When you find that special piece of gear it can sometimes make you diverge from how you were initially approaching the game and level up stats you might not have previously. This is part of the joy of discovery and the game's flexibility, which is somewhat hard to capture in a Tabletop implementation, but I feel they've made a noble effort to provide a treasure system as close as possible without adding too much complexity.
I will probably give your treasure rules a try and see if I can use them to ease new players into the game, but once they have some experience I'll likely rip the band aid off and let them experience the game as intended. I also really like Craig's idea of having the class gear purchasable. In the DS games much of the base gear, base and transposed, is available via NPC vendors so that is definitely in the spirit of the DS universe.
One of the great things about this game is it really is a sandbox of sorts that easily allows this sort of adaptability to tailor the game for the many different play styles out there. In the end, people putting time into tailoring the game to further their own enjoyment and then sharing what they've come up with will only help both the game and the community grow. I look forward to seeing more variants, official and non-official.
I like that folks are coming up with interesting treasure variants, but I really like the treasure rules as written.
I totally agree - the random loot actually helps generate interesting stories like "The time our Knight became the spellcaster". I think the various treasure shop rules are trying to solve the right problem (the early game is too grindy unless you have good RNG) in the wrong way (giving you access to most of the deck every game). Instead, fix the problem directly by making the early game easier with rules like increased rewards, random loot drops, starting souls, etc.
Limiting the party's inventory creates fun early game decisions like "Are we really going to equip this later?" but it could really cripple your party when fighting O&S, who assume you have a stack of magic defense gear at the bonfire you can swap into.
A couple of friends of mine also suggested that tiering the treasure would help with some of the difficulty of obtaining useful gear, particularly at the beginning of the game. At the time, I was feeling too lazy to look into attempting to tier the gear because there was a lot of it. However, a bit later, I started thinking about how I would go about defining the tiers.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I have only recently devised these house-rules for treasures; so they are, as yet, untested.
I started by looking at the tier 1, 2, and 3 stats of the heroes and building a spreadsheet with the highest value for each stat at each tier, with the campaign tier 4 stats all at 40. Then I took the average of these highest stats in each tier to determine thresholds for each tier, where the threshold is the highest stat requirement allowed on the treasure item for it to be in that tier. The result was the following:
1. Tier 1 loot: highest stat requirement 21.
2. Tier 2 loot: highest stat requirement 30.
3. Tier 3 loot: highest stat requirement 39.
4. Tier 4 loot: highest stat requirement 40 (typically legendary and transpose gear).
But, then there were several problems I ran into as a result of breaking the loot into these tiers. First, there was the issue of balancing loot acquisitions. With the tiers, it was now too easy to jump straight to the most powerful loot and easy-mode the game; there needed to be some limits so players had to put in some effort for the loot. Also, the titanite shards and the embers, having all stat requirements of 0, become piled into the single tier 1; they needed to be spread more. Then there is the problem of properly using the tiers to reward players for the various difficulty levels. Further, tier 4 only exists as a ghost tier in the campaign rules, but it doesn't exist in the normal gameplay. To solve these issues, I came up with the following additional rules:
1. Chests drop loot of the same tier as the encounter in which the chest appears (i.e. a level 1 encounter chest drops tier 1 gear, level 2 drops tier 2 gear, and level 3 drops tier 3 gear). This is to make gear drops more fitting to the encounter, rather than a completely random draw which can often turn out frustrating for being too high or disappointing for being too low.
2. Loot can be purchased from each tier at the cost of 1 soul per tier level per draw. So, buying tier 1 gear costs 1 soul per draw, tier 2 costs 2 souls per draw, and tier 3 cost 3 souls per draw. With the loot being separated into explicit tiers rather than a single random pile, it is much easier for players to target the exact power-level they want at each stage of progression in the game. This carries the danger that the game can become too easy too early. So, it is necessary to slow the loot acquisition to prevent players from just piling on tons of high-level loot and cake-walking through the rest of the game.
3. For defeating an encounter, players receive 2 souls per hero + 1 soul per level of the encounter. So, with 4 heroes, defeating a level 1 encounter grants 9 souls, level 2 grants 10 souls, and level 3 grants 11 souls. With rule 2, loot has been made more expensive than the base game; so, this ensures that the players can purchase at least one item of an appropriate tier after defeating an encounter.
4. Tier 1 loot can be purchased at the beginning of the game.
5. Tier 2 loot can be purchased after the party successfully defeats at least one level 2 encounter.
6. Tier 3 loot can be purchased after the party successfully defeats at least one level 3 encounter. Rules 4, 5, and 6 have the same rationale as rule 2. Additionally, it gates the loot appropriately with the level of accomplishment of the players; that is, players have to work to acquire the higher loot rather than getting it early in a random draw and just sitting on it until they've leveled enough to put it on. Essentially, you don't get the gear until it is time that you should be using such gear.
7. Tier 3 and tier 4 loot are combined into a single legendary tier 3 loot deck, as this is where most of the legendary and transposed gear will be. There is no tier 4 encounter (unless you count the final main boss, but then the game is over by that point), so there is no proper way to include tier 4 loot consistently by the rules above. However, this just ensures that tier 3, which shouldn't be acquirable until near end-game anyway, is definitely the most powerful gear in the game.
8. Shuffle 2 titanite shards and 2 embers into each of the tier 1 and tier 2 decks. Both the titanite shards and the embers have 0 for all their stat requirements. By the above rules, this would make them tier 1 loot, but then, they would be all piled into the tier 1 loot deck, when they really need to be more spread. This rule alleviates that problem. There isn't much need to put these into the tier 3 deck.
There are two issues that I could see with tiering the loot in this fashion. The first is that there is a possibility that the grind may have been increased, particularly because of the increased costs for drawing loot by rule 2. The second is that the campaign becomes messed up because players will likely be fairly powerful, with at least tier 2 gear, by the end of the first campaign mini-boss.
ADDENDUM: The tier 3 treasure deck generally shouldn't come into play until after players have at least beaten the mini-boss. This would be the point at which the legendary and transpose gear, which, together, make up the bulk of the tier 3 deck, come into play. Further, there actually are a few legendary and transpose gear items that are tier 2 by the rules above. These items would be shuffled into the tier 2 deck, as appropriate, and not placed into the tier 3 deck just because they are legendary or transpose.
UPDATE: some anomalies show up with the above tier rules. So, I've had to make some modifications to improve it. I will make a separate post under the variants forums that explains the modified tiered loot system I devised.
- Last edited Sat May 20, 2017 6:12 pm (Total Number of Edits: 4)
- Posted Thu May 18, 2017 7:16 am