I recently started and almost completed a new game. I couldn't help but notice that my weapon setups never varied from game to game. Being, admittedly, a powergamer I've no interest in subpar equipment. It's no wonder then that the Flail of Ages, Celestial Fury and Crom Faeyr always find their way into my quick-weapon slots and that I choose the corresponding proficiencies at the expense of other less useful ones.
Well, what if all weapons were made equally useful and enjoyable?
So, I tried Weimer's Item Upgrade mod for more options but although I like its concept I was not entirely satisfied with the way it was handled. Here are a few reasons why:
- New items are made by combining several thus destroying more than one. This is actually bearable since one can't use all available items at the same time (unless one painfully switches everything via inventory). Also, most of the upgrades just unite each item bonuses into one. Still, I'd rather take a different route.
- Recipes are too constraining. I don't think the ingredient gathering part is actually enjoyable. Plus, the various requirements are quite confusing and one needs to inspect the readme list more than once.
- Upgrades lack a progressive aspect and in my opinion, general harmony. I like most of them because they are unique, but I feel that while they're sometimes just right (like the Improved Robe of the Archmagi), some other times they're way better than the best (like the Fulcrum Club).
So I began thinking about different upgrades. Upgrades that would make less powerful weapons more useful
In all honesty, I don't like nerfing. I'd rather give better but optional tools to players. Which is why I'm not interested in downgrading the best equipment but rather in upgrading everything else.
Will balance be preserved? Well, it depends on how balanced one thinks the existing best options are. Since I'm not really aiming at revising but rather at adding new content, one can chooses whatever suits one's playstyle best.
I know of the other major item mods, especially of Item Revisions which does what it promises excellently. Again, my focus is not revision, though it could be argued that a revision is upgrade or vice-versa. Another difference is I don't feel as compelled by D&D canon or if so, only by AD&D2 (I use this database
which, sadly, is in French only).
That said, there's inspiration to take from Item Revisions. It has great modding examples.
Amongst items, weapons are of primary importance which is why I'll start working on them.
Now, I will share my ideas with you. I shall not do much more than brainstorming in the near future. Item modding on itself isn't difficult, thanks to the amazing tools we have. It's really how you mod that's the tricky part. So, any suggestions are welcome!
I find it really surprising that no mod uses these more extensively.
So, what is this alll about? States define... states of creatures (see there
). For example the STATE_POISONED which indicates that a creature is... poisoned!
Now, there's this nice effect
named Cast Spell on Condition (number 232). This effect allows us to pick a condition among many and notably the Target State.
If we apply this to weapons, it means we can check the state of the ennemy we hit and cast a spell (which is basically a collection of effects) if it matches with our condition. So, for example I could create a Dagger that inflict diseases and/or ability score penalties on poisoned targets.
The only limitation is the number of states which is as well as their type, fixed. We can add custom states but those require more complicated solutions.
By using states we can add a lot of strategical options and create weapon synergies. So, it would definitely be one of the key concepts behind this mod!
Universal recipe, choice and progress
I think it best to have a simple, straightforward recipe. To upgrade a weapon, one would just need a scroll of enchantment and maybe some gold. Then depending on the current level of enchantment of the weapon, more or less scrolls would be required. A fixed number of scrolls would be randomely spread throughout the game.
I'm also thinking about the possibility of destroying magical items to retrieve enchantment components (~scrolls). Scrolls requirements and output would be as follows:
- Enchantment : weapon enchantment + 1
- Disenchantment : weapon enchantment - 1 (SoA); weapon enchantment - 2 (ToB)
With maximum enchantment:
- 4 (SoA)
- 5 (ToB)
I'm not yet planning on working on enhancements for items that can already be upgraded or crafted with ingredients. But I'd like to in the future.
With this system, players would have to choose what to enhance first, decide whether they want more weapons with lower enchantments or less but more powerful weapons. I'm not sure yet about how many weapons should be fully upgradable by the end of the game. I'm thinking somewhere along two weapons per character with random scrolls.
At one point I thought it could be interesting to separate pure enchantment (+hit/dmg) from effects. It would be a little complicated to build since all potential enchancements must exist in game thus increasing the number of file to create (see the various versions of the Flail of Ages).
Effects rather than Abilities
Abilities are a bit like spells. The problem with those is that you need to cast them and that you can only do this once per round. I find there are already enough Special Abilities (Innates) and spells to play with, especially when you start getting High Level Abilities. Not only that, I'm a lazy player so I like on-hit effects better than abilities.
They're also more useful when playing with creatures that have more Hit Points as in the Legacy of Bhaal difficulty.
[Two-handed weapons to one-handed ones]
I put this and the following idea into brackets to indicate they would be interesting but are not a priority.
This one I think would be quite appealing to players.
Basically, you would be able to turn two-handed swords into swords, halberds into axes, spears into daggers, staffs into bludgeoning weapons.
This process would involve, I think, some enchantment cost. Maybe randomized.
[True crafting (player-made weapons)]
I also thought about designing sets of enhancements, generic effects that you could mix and match to enhance any normal weapon.
The problem again is that every possible combination must be created as a resource.
Obviously, these possibilities grow exponentially with each effect added to the pool. WeiDU
could help us though, with its useful CREATE action.
Next, I'll start going into details with enhancements suggestions.