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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Deathfire - Why have bind-on-equip items in a single-player RPG?

Default Deathfire - Why have bind-on-equip items in a single-player RPG?

May 21st, 2013, 00:44
Guido Henkel has a new post on his blog for his unreleased game Deathfire.
“Bind on Equip” has been brought to the table by massively-multiplayer online games in order to prevent players from using and then selling valuable and unique items to other players. It forces the player to consider—if only for a moment—if he’d rather use the item or make money off it.

In retrospect, I find it strange that this feature has never come up in single-player games before, because at its core, the rationale remains the same. Perhaps we have all just been too blindsided to realize its existent potential. After all, they are not uncommon in mythical lore and popular fiction. James Bond has a gun that is attuned to him, and so does Judge Dredd, and even the magic wands in Harry Potter work that way. Excalibur, the mythical sword from the Arthurian saga or Ulysses’ bow are also perfect examples of bound or attuned weapons, so it is only sensible to carry the concept over into games.

When we bind items in Deathfire, it will be mostly for the same purpose. While buying and selling items in the game may not be the driving factor for item binding in our game, other aspects of it are. In Deathfire’s game design I want to use it to force the player to think about certain decisions. In this case, which party member should I give the item to?
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Last edited by Couchpotato; May 21st, 2013 at 02:51.
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May 21st, 2013, 00:45
Sounds more like tedium than anything else.
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May 21st, 2013, 02:39
Yesh. James Bond uses whatever weapon is at hand, even if he has to improvise. Judge Dredd is a member of a legal force and uses the authorized equipment. The others are just examples of outstanding weapons that have no equals. Only the Harry Potter example is remotely comparable, and even he uses other people's wands.

If you want to lock a player to a specific weapon, then have him invest leveling benefits in that item.
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May 21st, 2013, 03:10
No - its a stupid idea that only exists in MMOs for economy/balance issues. It is silly in a single player game. The reason that no one has done it before is that it is obviously stupid.
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May 21st, 2013, 03:19
I've made choices like "which party member do i give this item to?" long before the bind-on-equip thing came on the scene. I don't see the point of such a thing, specially in single player games
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May 21st, 2013, 04:08
The only bound weapons I ever encountered in a single-player game were cursed weapons. And you had to pay or find someone to remove it after mistakenly equipping it.
As for party members, I don't see the point. You give special bows to ranged characters, staffs to mages, and swords/axes to melee fighters. Same with armors and robes.
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May 21st, 2013, 04:33
So we all agree that Guido no longer is in touch with his audience. For some folks their time passes and they just don't realize it. Even harsh reality doesn't wake them up.
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May 21st, 2013, 05:03
If implemented, I predict it would be hacked and patched out within 1 week of release. Probably sooner but it may not be popular enough for your standard hacker to patch it.
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May 21st, 2013, 05:32
James bond has a gun that's "attuned" to him? I guess I don't know what he's talking about here. Also, he really loses me when his appeal to authority is Judge Dread (though if there is a comic book or something other than just the Stallone movie then I guess it's just my ignorance talking on that point).

I'm not against the idea of having one or two extra special bind on equip items in a game, especially if there are leveling properties like rjshae mentions, but I have to agree that to have a lot of items like that makes no sense.

No, I think if single player games want to borrow more from MMORPGs, they should have special NPCs that rush in right when you kill an enemy and take the loot. Or they could kill the enemy for you and take your experience and quest. That would be fun!
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May 21st, 2013, 05:57
Honestly, I'm so used to having to consider this from EQ2 that I don't consider it a big deal. Crappy games are far more irritating to me than silly features.



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May 21st, 2013, 06:50
Wouldn't be a big deal for me, but I don't see the point either.
As Caidh said: The feature doesn't exist in MMOs so that the player has to make a decision. It exists so that the game isn't flooded with items. Once an item is used it is taken out of the market. Bind on Pickup exists for almost the same reason. The is personally gained and they don't want to give players the possibility to completely circumvent parts of the "natural" item spiral by buying stuff from other players, which would also increase Goldseller like activity.
To bring this into a single player game is unnecessary at best. Tedious in worst case. And I wonder why he even presents this topic as feature.
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May 21st, 2013, 09:16
Hmmm, surprised by the negative reaction. If this is something that applies to a handful or two of special items (which given his inspiration by Artus Sword and Ulysses bow would seem to be the case) then I think it's an interesting idea. Assuming that such items grant some special bonuses or have or confer special powers, it basically amounts to a special perk system that however is tied to quests or exploration instead of XP, which is actually nice, especially if such items are also well grounded in the game' s lore.

Alaric: in the last James Bond, he gets a gun that has some kind of biometric sensor, and thus only works if held by him. Doesn't play a big role in the movie though IIRC.
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May 21st, 2013, 09:24
As I told Guido I'd prefer a traditional curse, maybe even one that can't be lifted. That's a much more challenging choice than binding that Greataxe to your fighter.

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May 21st, 2013, 10:48
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
As I told Guido I'd prefer a traditional curse, maybe even one that can't be lifted. That's a much more challenging choice than binding that Greataxe to your fighter.
All these are mechanics that make people revert to saved games and now you have to save before equipping your characters as well. I think games should rather be trying to make it more feasible to play them straight up. There's not much point having mechanics that necessitate tedious management of save games and that allow any challenges in the game to be easily circumvented. I reckon, the fact you can't revert and so have to accept the consequences of your decisions is one of the main advantages that MMOs have over single player games - you always know an MMO is doing something right when people start whingeing about recovering from death penalties.
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May 21st, 2013, 11:19
I like having the choice of getting a really powerful weapon that you can never remove and have the risk that you may find even better weapons later on but won't be able to use if you choose to equip the weapon that can't be removed.
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May 21st, 2013, 11:49
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
I like having the choice of getting a really powerful weapon that you can never remove and have the risk that you may find even better weapons later on but won't be able to use if you choose to equip the weapon that can't be removed.
Are you sure you would really like that? Sounds like one of those things that people imagine are macho to ask for, but would actually be a complete pain in practice and make everyone secretly revert to saved games, whilst pretending not to. It's bad enough living with the consequences of one's actions in real life, without having to do it in a video game.
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May 21st, 2013, 12:22
Weapon restrictions is hardly new - Carsomyr (The Holy Avenger) can only be used by a Paladin. Dak'kon's Zerth Blade can only be used by Dak'kon. And so on.

I don't see any reason to add a "bind on equip" feature beyond such restrictions. The restrictions I mentioned above make sense; simply binding an item to a character because he or she used it does not.
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May 21st, 2013, 12:28
It seems to be a needlessly harsh feature. I do enjoy games that don't allow free respecs - and forces people to make strategic decisions about character builds.

But that ties into the fact that it makes sense that a character can't learn it all - and I find it appropriate that you choose what you want to do, and you focus on that.

I've never liked bound items - and I think it's a cop-out in MMO design.
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May 21st, 2013, 13:05
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I've never liked bound items - and I think it's a cop-out in MMO design.
Without bind on equip in MMOs you'd have to make interesting items very much rarer, to avoid flooding the market and downgrading item tiering. The main difficulty with loot in MMOs is that the Devs need to provide rewards for content completion and BOE helps with that to some extent, by not making those rewards easily available elsewhere.
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May 21st, 2013, 13:11
Originally Posted by Roq View Post
Without bind on equip in MMOs you'd have to make interesting items very much rarer, to avoid flooding the market and downgrading item tiering. The main difficulty with loot in MMOs is that the Devs need to provide rewards for content completion and BOE helps with that to some extent, by not making those rewards easily available elsewhere.
Indeed - and I think magical and powerful items SHOULD be EXTREMELY rare, and they should require a serious effort to acquire.

My personal "dream design" for an MMO would include legendary items that are, indeed, legendary. Every uncommon item would be unique - and there would be no copy of it for thousands of people.

The problem is that "rewards" have become exclusively about item upgrades - and the challenge has become trivial. I would like the best items reserved for the players with the most skill.

But it should be possible to acquire items from other players - either through trade or by outsmarting them, like stealing from them at an opportune moment.

I don't particularly like the established themepark paradigm in most ways - and especially not when it comes to item design.

My idea of a legendary item isn't an item that you can pick up at level 1 and go kill level 50s. It would simply be an exceptional item that might increase your performance ~100% (being the best item of its kind) - but not 100000% which is the norm.

Beyond that, it would have a name related to something that actually happened with the item involved - and it would have some kind of unique power that wouldn't be game-changing, but would set it apart from a powerful crafted item.
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