RM Project: Itemization Iteration and Swapping Plugins

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen!

I haven’t made much progress with my RM project since I last discussed it on the blog (here). I can’t start building the maps or the laundry list of items in RPG Maker just yet because there is a lot I have to do before I get to that point. I have made a huge shift in how gear works in my game (again) due to an awesome new plugin released by Yanfly. I’m also still solidifying some key ideas and numbers (lots… and lots of numbers). In today’s post, I’ll discuss the new plugin I’m using and the changes it is bringing to my project.

Logo - RM 2

The plugin I have been excited to play with since it was announced is the Attachable Augments plugin. This plugin allows RM creators to add a feature to their projects that makes equipment customizable. It’s not so dissimilar to the Item Upgrade Slots plugin that was also released by Yanfly. However, the Attachable Augments plugin provides a lot more options, it makes use of mechanics from previously released plugins (such as Auto Passive States), and it’s a lot more flexible. It’s so good that I have completely dropped the Item Upgrade Slots plugin from my project.

Augments v Upgrades: Dawn of Slots

I have worked hard to make the Item Upgrade Slots plugin work within my project, but the feature I created around it never felt compelling. Part of the problem is that all the upgrade slots built into an item are the same. This allows players to stack multiple upgrades of the same type (or stat composition) without any incentive to mix things up. The most meaningful bonuses available through this plugin improve the 8 core parameters. There are no options to adjust Hit Rate, Crit Rate, or the like through this plugin, and it feels incredibly limiting.

Conversely, I have found that the Attachable Augments plugin has a much wider array of options for building a compelling feature. An important aspect of this new plugin is the distinction that can be made between the augment slots on equipment. Each slot can be given a unique type (rune, orb, glyph, etc.) that is defined by the RM creator, and this type can be used to determine the bonuses a character earns when an augment item has been slotted into a weapon or armor. The creator can choose to make these slot types available across all equipment or make them unique to certain equipment types. This creates opportunities for the equipment types to be as similar or as unique as the creator wants them to be.

The facet of the Attachable Augments plugin that I’m most excited about is the freedom to swap slotted augments. It doesn’t matter what item has been placed into a character’s equipment, or when it was done. If a player finds a better augment than what they’re using, they can easily swap out the slotted augment as if they were swapping out a character’s weapon. Additionally, players could potentially swap out full sets of augments to adjust their builds for any situation or encounter. This plugin is designed for easy and flexible character customization, which is something I never got out of the Item Upgrade Slots plugin.

The Item Upgrade Slots plugin suffers from a severe lack of flexibility due to its design. Once an upgrade has been placed into a weapon or armor, the upgrade is permanently attached to that item. If players want to remove upgrades from an equipped item, they would have to use another upgrade item with the ‘Reset Full’ effect built into it. However, this completely destroys all of the upgrades previously placed into the weapon or armor, which doesn’t leave room for mistakes, especially when upgrading an item with a large number of slots. After seeing what the Attachable Augments plugin can do, I couldn’t think of a reason to keep spending anymore time, energy, or thought process on the Item Upgrade Slots plugin.

Cores, Runes, and Sockets, Oh My!

The system I am looking at implementing has gone through a couple variations since I started this post (on Apr 28), but a few things have remained constant. Each piece of equipment will have an assortment of specialized sockets. Each socket type will provide a different set of bonuses to the character using the equipped item. The types and number of sockets found on equipment is based on the level and the quality of the items. The biggest change that has been made is to the build defining sockets, which were listed the Major slot and the two Minor slots.

  • Weapon: The universal socket for weapons. The primary function for weapon cores is to provide percentile bonuses to the core stats like Power, Focus, or MaxHP; and to boost special stats like Armor Penetration or Life Steal.
  • Armor: The universal socket for armor. Provides a similar function to the weapon socket.
  • Rune: A special socket for higher quality equipment. Grants characters access to passive skills that affect the functionality of abilities. The functionality is similar to the passive bonuses found on Legendary gear in Diablo 3.

The power cores, which went into the major and minor slots, provide flat bonuses to core stats like Power, Focus or MaxHP. At the highest level, power cores boost three stats at once. The intention of this design was to allow players to choose the stats that best fit the build they’re using. However, since there was only one item for two socket types, I ran into the same problem I had with the Upgrade Item Slots plugin. There was no incentive for players to not use the same stat composition for every major and minor socket available to them.

Recently, I decided to replace the major and minor slots with a set of color-coordinated sockets. These new power cores still retain the capacity to boost three stats at once, but the color determines which of the three stats receives the greatest benefit. High level equipment will have 3 total colored sockets, but cannot possess more than two sockets of any one color. Additionally, the colored sockets for dropped items will be random, but players can decided on the specific sockets they want to use when crafting. This new setup should create more interesting build choices for players in the long run, even though it will likely require me to create a lot more items.

What plugins are you using for your projects? Have you looked into using the Attachable Augments plugin? What do you think of my proposed system? Join the discussion below.

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Thanks for reading to the end. I hope you’ll be back for the next one.

War Fist out.

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