Customizing Characters – Orbs

Today I’m introducing our preliminary design plan for a way to customize characters to your personal preferences: Orbs and Orb slots.

Orbs can be looted (specialty) within the game, or by crafting smaller variations through the equipment screen. The orbs themselves will have any number of damage, ability and special effects available to them (will use the same design/configuration as weapons/spells).

Mechanics

The crafting mechanic at this time is kept very simple as to avoid making crafting becoming a major focus behind the game.

Here is a quick breakdown of the major points within the crafting system:

  • You gain “alchemy” experience by killing monsters in game.
  • Use the experience to construct any number of orbs you wish from the available list.
  • The list of available orbs is limited to your current level +2; however the one’s above your level are only there as “sneak peek” and cannot be constructed until you reach that level (allowing a slight amount of pre-planning).
  • To avoid the “hoard experience until something cool comes up” scenario, we also allow you to dismantle any previously constructed orb and obtain the full experience back from it. This allows you to dismantle any unused orbs and use that experience return to create a newer one.
  • The experience will also “cap” at a later determined amount to reduce the hoarding scenario.

Interface Mock-ups

The Orb Craft/Slot window is opened from the equipment window by clicking on the “Orb” slot in the equipment layout:

Updated_Equipment

This is what he crafting/slotting interface will look like on small devices. Larger devices will follow a similar layout.

Orb Slotting UI

Description of interface:

  • You can drag & drop any orb from the list on the right side onto one of the 6 slots on top. The 6 slots will not all be available at once. Depending on the character themselves, the slot will “open up” at different periods throughout the game (say level 10, 15, 20 etc). Every character will start off with one slot available however.
  • You can also drag the orb from the slot back onto the list to “remove” it from the character and make available to others.
  • The bar on top shows you how much AE (Alchemical Energy) you currently have available to you. This is the only “ingredient” needed for the crafting and will increase as you kill monsters in game or dismantle previously made orbs (more later).
  • The list of orbs shows you the following:
    • The level the orb can be slotted/crafted. Remember, you will be shown two levels ahead of yours to “sneak peek” what is coming up, but will not be able to craft them yet.
    • How much AE (Alchemical Energy) is required in order to craft that particular orb; this is also the same amount you will gain back should you dismantle it (more later).
    • How many of this type of orb you currently have available to slot. This does not include the number you have created before and currently have slotted on other characters.
  • The lower section is the same as you’ve seen in the equipment window. It provides a quick glance at what abilities will be changed and by how much. Scrolling down in this area will also provide you any detailed description of effect etc on the orb.

To create an orb:

Creating an orb is pretty simple. Drag the orb from the list onto the slot beside the button and then click on the button to create one. The AE will then be reduced and the orb count updated in the list. Clicking the button multiple times will create multiple orbs.

To dismantle an orb:

Same steps are creating, but instead you will drag the augment onto the slot beside the dismantle button and click on that instead. If there are multiples of the augment, this will dismantle only one of them. Multiple clicks will be required should you wish to dismantle more than one.

Wrapping up

If you have any questions/comments, please feel free to submit them below or shout out in Twitter and I will try and help out.

Thanks for reading!

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Weekly Wrap-up #29
Options Dialog Mock-ups

Comments

  1. I like the idea of using your crafting xp to “rent” an orb – it will really cut down the administration of your character

    • Yeah, the idea is to allow you to “experiment” with various types of orbs while leveling without having to concern yourself with “wasting” the crafting xp. So if you try something out, and hate it, just dismantle it and try something else. I figured that’d let people have quite a bit of flexibility in what they try out along the way.

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