There’s been some great replies to my last post, and I want to thank you for the ideas. I’m still sifting through them and figuring out what I can realistically make work, but I particularly liked these tidbits:
- The “rune” metaphor to explain item decay: it’s a lot more elegant than “sharpening swords” and it allows for infinite diversity of power-ups. Because sharpening a sword just makes it sharp. But a rune is maaagggicccc so it could do anything at all.
- The idea that items can be “melted down” somehow to provide temporary power-ups for other items. More directly, raw items may even be prerequisites for creating certain runes.
- The need to use different weapons for different problems (already a part of the combat design)
- Legendary items that are permanent and require no repair/allow no runes to be installed/etc. They’re very powerful but very specialized — so for instance you might find the epic sword of frog-man stabbing which is the best frog-man stabber that could ever be… it doesn’t ever need repairing. But it’s also not ver good against anything but frog-men.
And several others. I think a lot of people described what I already had pictured in my head, which means I didn’t explain what was in my head very well!
This all brings us around to the elephant in the room, though: given such finite resources, can I make this system as exciting as it should be? If I can’t do it really well, it should probably not be done: a half-assed item-decay system is far worse than no item-decay system at all. This is one of those mechanics where you need to “go big or go home.” Which I’ll talk about in another post shortly…