Potions and hoarding
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chaos wrote:
Here's a simple question with extensive and maybe useful implications: why is it that, most often, a character can be knocked ten meters into a wall by a giant warhammer, and all the glass potion bottles in his backpack remain intact?


Primarily, I imagine, because it would detract from the gameplay if your equipment could be too easily destroyed. Of course, sometimes potions are destroyed in combat, but it tends to be a rare occurrence.

However I always envisioned potion bottles being reinforced, either magically (strengthened glass) or non-magically (eg metal bands around the glass). These potions are designed to be carried into dangerous situations, after all. It would only take one enterprising alchemist to start selling toughened containers, and his competitors would have to do the same or risk going out of business.

Also note my emphasis of your quoted text. A war hammer is a type of hammer specifically designed to be used in combat - a regular hammer wouldn't be suitable. Well, think of potions as "war bottles" ;)
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chaos



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
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Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:
Also note my emphasis of your quoted text. A war hammer is a type of hammer specifically designed to be used in combat - a regular hammer wouldn't be suitable. Well, think of potions as "war bottles" Wink

Fair enough. My first contrary thought when writing the post was that if I were going into a fight with potions on me, I'd carry them in steel flasks.

On the gripping hand, though, there's no reason that has to be possible; if it's desirable that potions be fragile, so that carrying lots of them into combat is counterproductive because it risks losing them all to a bad hit, then it can be the case that they're stored in glass bottles because any other material destroys their potency.

Or if it's more that massive inventories of potions are the issue, then make potions large -- let's say their active ingredients are lethal in concentration, and have to be taken with a lot of water to achieve beneficial effects. (Remember the potions in Gauntlet, which if to scale would be BIG ol' jugs o' magic? Like that.)

(I'm sorta big on structuring thaumaturgical law to produce game design effects as emergent properties.)
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Alister



Joined: 13 May 2005
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Location: Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chaos wrote:
Here's a simple question with extensive and maybe useful implications: why is it that, most often, a character can be knocked ten meters into a wall by a giant warhammer, and all the glass potion bottles in his backpack remain intact?


I used to play a (PK) mud that more or less did this; weapons with the 'cold' flag would shatter potions in your opponents' inventory when they hit. Of course, all weapons had the 'cold' flag so it was something that always happened. Each potion had a 30% chance of shattering when hit with a cold weapon.

People didn't end up carrying fewer potions, they ended up carrying more potions Smile there are surely ways to make this idea work (probably dependent on how important potions are, how expensive they are, and how frequently they break) -- I just thought it was an amusing, counter-intuitive situation.
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chaos



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
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Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alister wrote:
People didn't end up carrying fewer potions, they ended up carrying more potions Smile

Sure, because that's what you've incented with that design. You've added a mild attrition factor to potions; the way I'd anticipate people would cope with that is by carrying more of them. There's no visible downside to carrying more, and doing so helps ensure you'll have more when you need them.

What I was thinking is more along the lines of getting caught in an explosion, for example, tending to destroy all of your potions. In that situation, there's no upside to carrying more -- you're just as potionless if you had 1 or if you had 100 -- and assuming potions represent some resource investment, the more you carry, the more you stand to lose.
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Alister



Joined: 13 May 2005
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Location: Alberta, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chaos wrote:
What I was thinking is more along the lines of getting caught in an explosion, for example, tending to destroy all of your potions. In that situation, there's no upside to carrying more -- you're just as potionless if you had 1 or if you had 100


Yeah, I agree, and this is the point I wanted to make. It depends on how you implement it, not just that you have "breaking potions". If the break chance is 100%, and situations where they might break are frequent, and potions actually have some sort of real cost, it works. Missing any of those three things, though, and you can get the opposite behavior, or no behavioral change at all (and instead just annoyed players).
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Mabus



Joined: 17 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting thread. Glad I registered here.

I could see giving potions a lifespan, and having them become useless after X time. Why hoard if they only last a day? This could require setting the date/time and checking it upon usage, and possibly changing an examine/lore command to indicate how much time was left before the potion degraded.

Alternately, having some "max consumption" value added to the character could also make carrying more then is needed worth less as well. If you can only drink/quaff so many potions over a period of time (You are full. You cannot drink anymore.) then carting around more then you can consume would be pointless. Some player-characters could even have a higher max (through training, race, or other character differences) allowing them to be able to use more then others.
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mabus wrote:
I could see giving potions a lifespan, and having them become useless after X time. Why hoard if they only last a day?

That would require players to specifically buy (or even craft) potions before they went out hunting mobs - and that really doesn't fit with the casual style of gameplay I'm trying to promote. I think my players simply wouldn't bother with potions if I did that (unless the benefits were particularly worthwhile, in which case they'd complain about having to jump through extra hoops in order to compete).

Mabus wrote:
Alternately, having some "max consumption" value added to the character could also make carrying more then is needed worth less as well. If you can only drink/quaff so many potions over a period of time (You are full. You cannot drink anymore.) then carting around more then you can consume would be pointless.

The dosage system would achieve the same result, but there's still the problem of variety - even if you could only drink 5 potions/doses per hour, you still may not know which potions you're going to need to drink, so you'd end up with players carrying 5 healing potions, 5 mana potions, 5 strength potions, 5 antivenom potions, etc.
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Mabus



Joined: 17 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just throwing out suggestions.

If I remember, you game is not a role-play game, but instead a PvP game. In a case such as that you could hard limit the amount of potions able to be carried in inventory.

>get potion
You get a potion.
>get potion
You cannot get a potion, as you are already carrying X potions.

(X = number you set as max_potions_carried)

But that presents issues with looting kills that may have potions as treasure.

In the end you may need to use a system of combined methods to achieve all your goals.

I will be implementing the "max consumption" option, thanks to this thread. My current game is very role-play oriented and we already have an eat/drink system coded, so modifying to account for a maximum will be easy.

Thank you for sparking a change! Now back into code-land for me.
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Ashon



Joined: 11 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:21 am    Post subject: Re: Potions and hoarding Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:

However I can still see players carrying lots of spares in their inventory, to replace their empties after each fight - such is the nature of consumable magic items. But I'd really rather avoid that if possible, as I don't like the imagery (or the need) to fill your inventory with extra potions.

I've considered changing potions to non-consumable items (you take a sip each time, but they never really empty) but that doesn't quite feel right - plus I rather like the idea (from an in-game economy perspective) of consumable magic items.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?


What kind of developers would we be if we didn't have thoughts or comments on everything? Geez KaVir.

Let me through out my idea. Potions are created by magic and at some point they modify the power level of the god's soul. So what if you created magical aura inventories? Healing Aura Inventory, Spell Point Healing Aura Inventory, Combat Prowess Aura Inventory. Your God can only carry so much magical power in their certain Aura Inventories before it starts to affect their core attributes? And of course as you power up you can invrease you Aura Inventory, or you can get shielded holding bags. I think this adds a little more interesting book keeping and stat tracking for players that are interested in it. Especially if you had a global magical aura inventory pool if you carry more healing magic you slowly lose the ability to carry the other types of magic.

I like the idea and I might see if I can write it into my game.

-Ashon
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