So the game has a "problem" with the RNG on monster and chest drops. Some people have never seen an Exotic drop, and some Ascended and all Legendary items require a series of materials that take ages to drop (like Charged Lodestones). Fortunately, we don't have farming problems (As in farming a fixed reward, because we don't have many fixed rewards, and those we have (dungeon tokens, common crafting materials, etc) don't require a lot of repeating, and come with extra bonuses).
In the other hand, we have a pretty successful system: dungeon tokens. You know how many you get in each run, you can get extra from RNG, and your first run gives more than the next ones, encouraging playing different routes instead of repeating the easier ones.
A token system wouldn't work for monster and chest drops, but that progression system, tuned a bit, could be fine. I have a system of my own, which I call "reward tables".
So, for example. I want to farm Charged Lodestones. Right now, I may get none, or get a few. I don't have a real goal, no tangible progression, because of the RNG.
Now, let's give these reward tables a look. How do they work? Each reward table has a limited number of rows. These rows have numbers between 1 and 100. Each time you kill a monster, you get a random row from the reward table. That row will be then disabled, and you won't be able to get it again.
Those values add up, and when you reach 100, you get a drop. After you spend all rows, you get a new table with worse points, or you get 100% RNG. The tables reset after a fixed time
What's the point of this? Check this simple reward table example (points x rows):
* 80 x 2
* 40 x 4
* 20 x 6
* 10 x 12
The total points of this reward table are 560, meaning after 18-24 kills you are guaranteed 5 drops. After you spend the table you get a 100% RNG system, or worse reward tables, that like dungeons, encourage you to visit other zones for other rewards instead of keeping farming the same spot for the same reward.
Of course, the example above would be far too generous for rare materials, but you can extrapolate the concept easily to make it more difficult, like giving a lodestone after 20-50 kills. Too many kills? Yes, but you know you'll eventually get it, and it's not like there will be many spots, you'll need to get other materials and exchange them, farm the RNG after the daily or just be patience and do it daily for many days.
And even better, by placing these reward tables on enemy groups by zones, you can make people travel around the world. And after they spend all their tables on an item, they are encouraged on going after other items, so not only they will stop farming the same spot over and over again, they will stop farming the same items again and again, too. People don't run Ascalonian Catacombs more than 3 times a day, when they can go run Citadel of Flame instead.
This reward tables system can be improved and made more complicated, too, adding "extra row for getting higher quality material" or "extra row for getting extra materials in a single drop".
In the end, it's all about guaranteeing a reward after a number of tries, and then stop guaranteeing anything to incentive the player to travel elsewhere, fixing the RNG problem and the frustration of the lack of progress together with the empty zones problem, because ultimately they're tied to each other.
If I ever get to develop some RPG game, count on this system being the core mechanic for loot. Waiting for your opinions .
PS: Thread at the official forum: https://forum-en.gui...-zones-problems
Fixing the RNG problem, together with the empty zones problemrng empty zones farming grinding lodestone token loot exotic ascended legendary
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