Item drops

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Item drops

Postby Agrajag » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:25 am

So far, as far as I know, the only thing set in stone about how the drop tables work is that each player will have their own drops (meaning we technically have a setting in the party configuration that could be repurposed, but that's neither here nor there), and that synthing is very much not going to work how it did in PSU (although the specifics are still under discussion). Looking back on the online PS games, we have a few precedents in terms of what monsters can drop what:

PSO-style:
*Enemies each have one unique fixed drop (generally a rare item on most difficulties, but often just Trimates on normal).
*Common weapons/armor/units are handled on an area-by-area basis.
*Bosses drop items directly (boss boxes exist, but drop common items from the next area).
*A few exchange missions, and one that allowed you to use Photon Drops to increase the percents on your weapons.
*Certain items available from challenge mode (generally not the strongest weapons, but able to be customized) or minigames (generally gimmick weapons).
--Note: Because of how progression was handled, despite being "area" drops, most functioned closer to being "level"-based drops. High-level techniques and

Pros:
*Allows more variety in the drop pools (so monsters can drop something you can use now, but also things that you won't be able to use until later).
*One drop per boss meant that the focus for most drops tended to be on fighting monsters rather than clearing areas (which would reduce PSU's major hotspot issues).

Cons:
*SECTION IDS. I refrained from mentioning them, but... yeah. Never ever ever coming back.
*If we don't manage to use the supplemental/third update items, there's likely to be a lot of overlap. Armor/units can make up for a lot of it (and are downright trivial to add), but 122 or so enemies (excluding Pahra, invincible versions of Ethan/Liina/Nav/SEED-Venas, and the extra Gol Dolva) * 2 or 3 difficulties will waaaay overrun the number of S-rank and kubara weapons.
*No level-independent drops. If a Booma wants to drop "Booma's Right Arm", it will never ever drop any other rare (actually looked this one up, that's its only drop on all three difficulties on all section IDs).

PSU-style (hoo boy):
*One unique drop per monster per drop tier (every 10 levels until 100, then 100-124, 125-149, 150-174, 175-189, 190-199, 200), as well as 0-3 special drops (independent of level) and various area drops. Note that while special drops may include weapons/armor/units (such as Varista from Go Booma and Puyoment Aura from Jaggo Sonichi), area drops are generally just materials and kubara -c weapons (with the exception of the PSO areas, which drop high-level exchange items and a few unique weapons).
*Absurd numbers of exchange missions (particularly after free course was added). To get Vish Las Gavrecon from Flagship Development (Yohmei), you need a Makarukaheshi, which is obtained from Special Exchange 3 and requires Megispheres (which either drop premade or are available from Dark Crystal Seeker) and Evil Curst... which is in Special Exchange 3rd and requires Magical Wand (seasonal drop!).
*Boss boxes, which drop various items on a mission-by-mission basis (rather than by area, monster, or boss).
*Heavy focus on synthing. This has dropped recently, but large parts of the drop table are still "[b(oard)] Worthless Item" or premade versions of old weapons with inevitably crappy percents.
*Certain items available in exchange for points acquired in various ways (running GAMs, kills in events, etc).

Pros:
*The item list was designed around this drop system. 3 manufacturers, 3 planets (each having roughly the same set of monsters, just differently skinned), kubara replicas for area drops, etc, so it slightly obscures the lack of actual S-rank items.
*Reasonably flexible.

Cons:
*Synthing, yeah. That part would need work (which is naturally going to upset the balance in terms of special drops, especially).
*Monster special drops that include weapons tend to be horribly out of place. The same Booma that at level 1 dropped a weapon you wouldn't be able to use until you hit your advanced type will, at level 200, still drop a weapon that you haven't had a reason to use since level 15.
*Exchange missions are poorly handled in PSU. A given mission can have at most (not sure of the exact limit) 128 or 256 item listings. Each item you receive or trade in counts against this limit; as a result, even things like the non-event version of the absolute zero exchange mission use almost 40+. Each Special Exchange mission besides the fourth has almost 128!

PSP1/2/i:
Mewn can give better details, heavily abbreviated...
Similar to PSU, but:
*Special drops have level tiers (2/infinity only?).
*Monster unique drops occasionally depend on area.
*Monster unique drops depend on class.

Can't really do a detailed analysis given I never played, but this could, best case, make it so that you're pretty much guaranteed to get items that will be useful for you personally (rather than having to trade).

PSO2:
This is very poorly understood at the moment, but from what it appears:
*Normal drops are set by your class, not by monster (although higher level monsters will drop higher level items).
*Rare drops are totally random?
*Certain boxes scattered throughout missions have set weapon/item types (with chance of rares), which ignore your class.
*Few exchange items exist (Photon Drop/Sphere/Crystal, some odd biomats), although no exchange missions existed yet.


I'm sure other games have other systems that can be borrowed. Personally, I prefer something approximating the PSO approach, assuming we get the stuff from supplemental/third update. Otherwise... don't know.

Also: challenge mode. As in, real challenge mode, not shitty "take all your gear and PAs with you for worthless rewards" GAMs. Needs to happen.


So yeah! Discuss.

EDIT: PSU synthesis strikes again! Fixed formatting, added PSO2.
EDIT again: fixed some issues in the PSO2 section.
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Re: Item drops

Postby Chikinface » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:49 pm

There's nothing wrong with having exchange items, but Sega at the moment has far too many of them (not even talking about the multi-layered ones). Things like having creature weapons be exchange items I think works out just fine, seeing as you wouldn't really expect to be able to just rip an arm off a grass assassin and have it last for very long before going smelly.

To iterate from another suggestion from a way back; Rarity should not equal rank. Rank should determine what tier group the weapon should fit in, rarity should only concern itself with how rare the weapon actually is (although Im sure the trend would still be Srank being rarer overall than Arank.. and a 15* C rank while possible would probably be reserved for gimmick weapons).

Edit: Moved last paragraph to a new thread.
Last edited by Chikinface on Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Item drops

Postby Mewn » Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:42 pm

For now I'll just give PSZ and PSP1/2/infinity drop details, I'll write a comprehensive review of all drop systems later.

PSZ
* No synthesis, all items drop made except for a few enemy parts.
* Enemies have multiple (up to about 6, but not necessarily that high) non-armour drops per difficulty, as well as a range of armour drops (example: 4-6* frames or 1-2* armors) also per difficulty. No special drops. Area drops consisted of weapons, some of which were the best in the game.
* Enemies do not directly drop items, instead a treasure box will appear when all enemies in a room have been defeated. Breaking this open will spawn all the enemy drops.
* Boxes found scattered around the level can drop a wide range of weapons, armours and units dependent on area and difficulty.
* Bosses have multiple unique drops (appearing as a treasure box after they are defeated). Based on difficulty.
* Areas with no boss have clear boxes that have their own drop tables. Based on difficulty.
* No section ID or class-based drops.
* Each player gets their own instanced drops that other players cannot see or interact with.
* Vending machine for password items, mostly collaboration and gimmick items.
* One exchange counter that allowed players to trade Photon Drops for various items.

Pros:
- No synthesis
- Decent balance between enemy, box and boss/clear drops
- Each player gets their own drops, promoting party play
- Exchange counter is simple and not bloated with mats
- No section ID

Cons:
- Enemies not dropping items leads to an explosion of item drops for each player which can be annoying
- Enemies not dropping items makes it difficult to get exact enemy drops, as a process of elimination is necessary to determine which enemies dropped which items
- Some of the best weapons are Eternal Tower area drops, Eternal Tower being an endurance based tower climb with 100 floors. On a handheld.
- Dropcharts are somewhat bloated

PSP1
* No synthesis, all items drop made with random %s for melee weapons and armours.
* One drop per monster per drop tier (1-19, 20-39, 40-59, 60-79, 80+), as well as 0-3 special drops (independent of level) and various area drops.
* Special drops are mostly enemy part weapons such as Vahra Claw and Laser Pannon.
* Area drops include Kubara copies and Crea weapons.
* Enemy level drops are dependent on the type of the party leader, as are clear/boss box drops.
* If a rare item is found, all party members will receive their own copy.
* A somewhat equal emphasis on clear box drops and enemy drops, although clear/boss box drops tended to be somewhat better. However 12* manufacturer weapons were only available as title rewards.
* One exchange mission which relied on Photon Drops/Spheres/Crystals as exchange materials. It was updated over time. Only available on the Japanese version as the English release had no DLC.
* Download missions tended to reward weapons unavailable anywhere else, often through somewhat obtuse methods that required some sort of guide. Many of these were either added as normal drops or were unavailable in the English release.

Pros:
- No synthesis, so drop charts are much simpler leaving out all the material drops
- A balance between hunting enemy drops and clear box drops
- Class based drops allow for drop charts to be tailored to individual classes
- No synthesis
- Exchange mission wasn't a tangled web of 5 billion exchange mats
- Loot drama lessened by each party member receiving a copy of the rare item found.
- No synthesis

Cons:
- Due to PSP1's low level cap (100), the drop tiers were heavily compressed and end at level 80
- Many high-end weapons available only through download missions or title rewards, and striking weapons often came with no attribute or a fixed one, making many of them gimmicky (if they weren't already).
- Multiple copies of rare drops would probably break a game with a trading system (which PSP1 didn't have)

PSP2/Infinity regular missions
* No synthesis, all weapons and armours drop with a random %. Infinity added a Weapon Fusion system to increase the %s of weapons.
* Enemies had a somewhat confusing level drop system comprising (in Infinity) 15 drops per class across the level tiers. The game checks these drops first based on level tier. A level tier can have multiple enemy drops although mostly this is level tier + previous level tier. The tiers are as follows:
-- 1-9: Drop 1
-- 10-29: Drop 2, Drop 1
-- 30-49: Drop 3, Drop 2
-- 50-74: Drop 4, Drop 3
-- 75-99: Drop 5, Drop 4
-- 100-124: Drop 7, Drop 6 (Drop 6 is very similar to the 75-99 Drop 5 tier, but has some differences possibly to avoid certain items becoming too common a drop)
-- 125-149: Drop 8, Drop 7
-- 150-174: Drop 9, Drop 8
-- 175-199: Drop 10, Drop 9 (in vanilla PSP2, this tier is 175-200)
-- 200-224: Drop 13, Drop 12, Drop 11 (Drop 13 is often a lower-level rare, even an A-rank rare, possibly so enemies always have a 'common drop' as to make 225-249 a better tier than 200-224)
-- 225-249: Drop 15, Drop 14, Drop 13
* These drops are based on the party leader's type.
* Enemies also have special drops, unlike PSU these are in level tiers (1-99, 100-200 in PSP2 and 1-99, 100-199, 200-250 in Infinity). These are not affected by type, are checked by the game after checking level drops, and are not affected by any rare drop boosts. 1-99 special drops, if an enemy has them, are often relatively poor or gimmick weapons. 100+ special drops usually include at least one standard manufacturer drop and may include unique weapons. Rare enemies may have Photon Drops or units as a special drop.
* Area drops consist of PA discs and trade materials such as Spellstones. The game checks these after special drops. Also not affected by rare drop boosts.
* Missions tended to have one container that would drop a standard manufacturer weapon or line shield based on mission rank and party leader's type. These never went above 10*.
* Clear boxes for missions without a boss had drops based on the mission rank/enemy level. Standard manufacturer weapon and line shield drops never went above 10*, but units and unique weapon drops could go higher. Clear boxes were mostly based on the party leader's type, although units and unique weapon drops were generally universal.
* Clear boxes for missions with a boss had drops based on the boss and the boss level. The boss tiers were 1-24, 25-49, 50-74, 75-99, 100-124, 125-149, 150-174, 175-199, 200-224, 225-250. PSP2 had a 175-200 tier instead of 175-199. Unique boss weapons, armours and units, and photon arts were not type-based. Standard weapon drops were based on the party leader's type.
* Each player gets their own instanced drops that other players cannot see or interact with.
* Visiphone option for password items, mostly collaboration and gimmick items.
* A variety of exchange missions using various items, some available in the base games, others as DLC. DLC trade missions were mostly tied to events but not always. Not as complex as PSU but far more complex than PSP1 or PSZ. Offertory Box was more like a lottery than an exchange mission.
* Several weapons only available through events, challenge mode DLC missions etc. - most of these were added as drops in the English release of PSP2 as that had no DLC.
* Extend Codes and Infinity Extend Codes allowed for low-rank weapons to be upgraded and made competitive.

Pros:
- No synthesis
- Balance between enemy and boss box drops. Clear boxes for missions without a boss suffer slightly in comparison.
- Class based drops allow for drop charts to be tailored to individual classes
- Exchange missions, though more complex than PSP1, never approach PSU levels of ridiculousness
- Each player gets their own drops, promoting party play
- Multiple drops per level tier allow for 'consolation prize' drops?
- Extend code system allows for upgrading of weaker weapons
- Special drop tiers somewhat avoid the issue of super-crap weapons dropping at enemy level 200.

Cons:
- By far the most complex drop system seen in any PS game, and inherently confusing to someone who hasn't read up on it.
- Dropcharts are extremely bloated and could really be cut down.

PSP2 Infinity - Infinity Missions
Seperate section because Infinity Missions have a largely different drop system.

* No synthesis, all weapons and armours drop with a random %. There's a Weapon Fusion system to increase the %s of weapons.
* Enemies had an even more confusing drop system based on, again, 15 drops across various level tiers. These are as follows:
-- 1-49: Drop 5, Drop 2, Drop 1
-- 50-99: Drop 5, Drop 4, Drop 3
-- 100-149: Drop 10, Drop 7, Drop 6
-- 150-199: Drop 10, Drop 9, Drop 8
-- 200-224: Drop 15, Drop 12, Drop 11
-- 225-250: Drop 15, Drop 14, Drop 13
* Drops 5, 10 and 15 were 'group drops' - drops shared across a particular group of enemies based roughly on enemy type (Parum native, machine, seedform etc.) and size, with some exceptions. The other drops were based on the individual enemy. For whatever reason, drops 11 and 12 seem to be very poor compared to even drops 9 and 8.
* These drops are not based on the party leader's type, instead they are based on the area the infinity mission takes place in.
* Enemies can also have special drops. These are not based on area and, unlike non-Infinity Missions, do not have level tiers. Special drops can include powerful S-rank weapons available at enemy level 1.
* Area drops are similar to regular missions, but infinity mission areas have different PA disc and Spellstone drops compared to their regular counterparts.
* Boss box drops and level tiers work the same as regular missions, including for those bosses that do not appear or have drops outside of IM missions (e.g. Seed-Helga, Kasch Tribesman, Vivienne). Infinity Missions always have a boss.
* Each player gets their own instanced drops that other players cannot see or interact with.

Pros:
- No synthesis
- The idea of drops shared across a group of enemies is interesting
- Balance between enemy and boss drops, although outside of the 'group drops' enemy drops can often be poor
- Area-based drops instead of type-based drops provides a possible interesting means of drop differentiation if areas are made readily available
- Each player gets their own drops, promoting party play

Cons:
- Possibly even more convoluted than the regular drop system
- While PSU had crappy special drops at high levels, infinity missions often allow for pretty good drops at the lowest levels, which breaks the gear progression curve somewhat
- Group drops were probably designed with the random enemy concept of infinity missions in mind, rather than the fixed spawn variations of PSU missions
- Large drop tiers leave room for extremely poor or extremely good drops at odd levels (poor drop at level 99, great drop at 100 for example)

Wow that was longer than I expected. Oh well, enjoy.
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Re: Item drops

Postby essen » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:35 pm

My opinions so far:

* All missions should have clear boxes (no distinction between boss and clear boxes). The rewards in these boxes should be defined per mission. They should not be too many clear boxes, maybe 4 boxes per 10 minutes needed to complete the run.
* Normal boxes should only drop dumb items like trimates and scapes.
* Enemy drops should include enemy-specific tiered drops, special drops and area drops.
* Tiers should be discussed. I'm not really for type-based drops though.
* All enemies should have at least one special drop that drops at any level. That drop is enemy-related. For example Booma can drop Booma Claw.
* Synthesis should be used for weapon upgrades, for example upgrading a C rank to an S rank.

I probably have more but forgot.
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Re: Item drops

Postby Chikinface » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:32 pm

essen wrote:* Normal boxes should only drop dumb items like trimates and scapes.
.


Actually this is a good idea. I really liked this in PSP2/i. Higher ranks should definitely drop only useful consumables for higher level players (as in NOT MONOMATES OR DIMATES). Mind,I don't think there's really anything wrong in having a remote chance of normal boxes dropping a different class of item of some kind.

But yes, consumables should be like 99.999% of the time from boxes, because players who are struggling with a mission would probably rather break some boxes under the idea that a few trimates are pretty much guarenteed, rather than run back to the city.
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Re: Item drops

Postby essen » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:06 pm

Another thing I forgot: enemy and clear box drops shouldn't be totally luck based. There should be a count of enemies killed and mission X cleared that counts toward the chances of receiving said item.
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Re: Item drops

Postby Mewn » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:19 pm

Ok so my general opinions:

* One drop per enemy per tier, anything more and the dropcharts start to become overly complex and bloated imo.
* Bosses should have specific drops that can drop from any instance of the boss at that level tier, but individual missions can add their own drops (so Plains Overlord De Ragan could drop A, B, C boss drops and X, Y clear drops, while Crimson Beast De Ragan could drop A, B, C boss drops and 1, 2 clear drops).
* Normal boxes should only drop restorative and buff items.
* Drops should be instanced per player if possible, like games post-PSZ.
* Enemy part weapons should drop as biomats which are synthed through easily available boards. In return for this, they should have a slightly higher chance for a good % than drops.
* I like the idea of 190-200 as an 'endgame' tier, however unlike PSU even small enemies should have decent drops.
* Special drops should have level tiers, 1-99, 100-189, 190-200. This lets us avoid Durandal Replicas at level 200, we could upgrade the special drop to a better saber (perhaps like an 10-11* one or something, special drops should never be the best drops an enemy has).
* Drops should be divided as equally as possible between enemies and clear/boss boxes, so hunting enemies is worthwhile, but so is completing missions.

Trade missions and synthesis deserve their own topics for discussion.
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Re: Item drops

Postby Qwerty » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:30 pm

Only change I would make is to put all enemy part weapons in exchange missions. Not only is there precedent, but the NPC already even exists. Heh heh heh...


I'll post more detailed opinions eventually.
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Re: Item drops

Postby Agrajag » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:37 am

essen wrote:Another thing I forgot: enemy and clear box drops shouldn't be totally luck based. There should be a count of enemies killed and mission X cleared that counts toward the chances of receiving said item.

As long as it's just a bonus and not the only condition. Otherwise you get into all sorts of nastiness involving unpopular missions and feedback loops ("rare (x) was just found in mission (y), that means that since nobody runs it, it's in my best interest to also not run it").

Qwerty wrote:Only change I would make is to put all enemy part weapons in exchange missions. Not only is there precedent, but the NPC already even exists. Heh heh heh...

Probably not what you meant, but technically PSU's version of Montague is custom-made for the missions he appears in. His unmodified version ("Hakana Kutanami") shows up in e2ch2 as the rogue whose hideout you accidentally raided (and who, incidentally, is also not named Hakana Kutanami).
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Re: Item drops

Postby essen » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:59 am

Agrajag wrote:
essen wrote:Another thing I forgot: enemy and clear box drops shouldn't be totally luck based. There should be a count of enemies killed and mission X cleared that counts toward the chances of receiving said item.

As long as it's just a bonus and not the only condition. Otherwise you get into all sorts of nastiness involving unpopular missions and feedback loops ("rare (x) was just found in mission (y), that means that since nobody runs it, it's in my best interest to also not run it").

Counts per player. What other people do doesn't matter.
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