The next feature I’ll be working on is Soul Brands!
I’ve written about them briefly here and there, but I’ve rarely gone into any detail before, so allow me to give a brief explanation here.
But first, the usual disclaimer: This all reflects current planning of a feature VERY EARLY in development. Plenty of this could still change, but it can still be regarded as a good first draft of where things are headed.
With that out of the way, here’s what I’m thinking so far:
- Soul Brands function as “equipment” for summoners and demons.
- Characters can have one Brand equipped at a time.
- A summoner’s relic can store a small number of Brands at a time. Credits can be spent to copy a Brand onto a character: this consumes only the credits, not the Brand. Thus, a single Brand can be copied to any number of characters.
- Players will probably find roughly one to two new Brands per dungeon floor on average.
- If you later discard a stored Brand (to make room for a new one), this does not remove that Brand from any character(s) it was copied to.
- Enemy summoners will of course utilize Brands as well. Like a player can, they may have Brands equipped to demons that they no longer have stored in their Relic, reflecting the total selection they have found in their careers.
- Even demons not affiliated with summoners may have Brands. The chance of this increases as you advance up the Tower, eventually becoming almost certain. However, non-affiliated demons on a given floor will only be able to choose from a very limited number of Brands (possibly only a single one.)
- Of course, Relic Wraiths and their demons will also use the Brands they had found before the unfortunate summoner’s first death.
So, what does a Brand do, and how do they work? Brands are made up of up to five components:
- Level: The level of a Brand determines the size of the bonuses, penalties, and requirements it has. Brands you find in the dungeon will usually have a level roughly matching the character levels of the demons found on the floor in question.
- Boon: Boons are the reason you want to equip a Brand in the first place. Boons are bonuses of some kind, the intensity of which is usually based on the level of the Brand.
- Bane: Banes are penalties of some kind… but their presence on a Brand increases the bonuses provided by Boons.
- When: Whens are a short-term condition that must be met for a Brand’s Boons and Banes to be in effect; generally these are conditions that you may or may not meet from turn to turn. For example, “HP <= 50%”, or “Last ability was a movement ability.” Whens also increase the bonuses provided by Boons.
- If: Ifs are a long-term condition that must be met for a Brand’s Boons and Banes to be in effect; generally these are conditions that check things that are hard or impossible to change, restricting who can use the Brand. For example, “Weak To Fire”, “Base Strength > 50″, “Must be Unique”, etc. Ifs also increase the bonuses provided by Boon.
- Every Brand has at least a Level (of course) and one Boon. The other components are optional.
- Brands are procedurally generated using lists of Boons, Banes, Whens, and Ifs.
- I will probably rename Whens and Ifs.
That’s it for now. As I said above, this is pretty early in development, so it may be a bit before the first screenshots or more details are ready. Cheers!
Oooh, equipment! That’s something I wanted to see!
How many brands do you plan on adding at first/total?
They’re generated like magic/rare items in Diablo and Path of Exile, so the question is more ‘how many boons, banes, requirements, and conditions’: Brands that appear in game will be created by procedural combinations of those.
As to that, I’m not entirely sure what the exact number will be yet: it will depend somewhat on how the schedule looks. More is usually nicer, but after a certain point I’ll probably feel I have enough to release a first version and want to do that so folks can play with it.
Randomly generated huh, I am not opposed to that idea but it would be nice to have few handcrafted brands as they’d feel more unique.
The system will support that as well, though I confess I don’t plan on using that capability in the first pass. With how many different builds people can go for, I’d feel obligated to do a fairly large number of them once I did them, and I don’t want to hold up the system’s release for that.