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Sneak Peek: Loonyland: Titan Tunnels04:55 PM -- Thu April 19, 2007

This is obviously not an in-game shot. But it's what I worked on all day yesterday! This is the definition file for the magical properties that items can have. So let's talk items.

I'm completely redoing how items work in this game. First of all, I also finally decided I needed to know exactly what the items were yesterday, so I worked it out. Here's the complete list of different equipment types. Note that each type has a unique way it can be upgraded. So have a look-see:

Axe - Provides Damage and Speed. Upgrade by applying Sharpening Stones you find. Each one applied has a chance of raising your Attack Boost by 1% (more on Boosts another time, but as you can guess, Attack Boost is a percentage increase to damage). The more Sharpening Stones that have been used on an Axe, the less likely they are to work. Eventually you reach a point where it just doesn't upgrade anymore. You decide whether it's worth it to keep trying more stones on the same Axe in the very slim hopes of an upgrade, or if you should save them for another Axe in the future.

Parka - Provides Armor and Stamina. You can find Patches with different bonuses. They mostly boost Armor, Stamina, Life, and Resistance. Stitch any one you like into a Parka. Stitching in a new one destroys the old.

Amulet - Provides Magic and Spell Power. There are springs underground sometimes. Bump into one and you can dip your Amulet into it. It gives the Amulet a random power (things like +5% Nature Magic damage, etc). So any time you find a spring, you can gamble that it will give you something better than what the last one did. New dippings replace the old. The deeper you go in the dungeon, the more powerful the dippings tend to be, but it's still totally random which type you get.

Glasses - Provides Searching and Magic. Searching is the odds of finding hidden stuff around you as you wander. Makes sense for glasses! You upgrade these the same way you used to - sticking in lens pairs.

Belt - Provides Resistance and Life. The higher your Resistance, the less time you are poisoned, stunned, or frozen for (but the deeper you go in the dungeon, the more your Resistance is decreased, so if you don't raise it, you're going to suffer longer!). You upgrade Belts by Bucklecrafting! What is that? You do it with the Junksmith menu. There are two buttons now. You put your selected junk in, and you either push the Junksmith button or the Bucklecraft button, to make random equipment or a random buckle. The buckles pick a random magical power to add to your belt (random, but always the same - 3 Gears will always provide the same power, but I can't tell you what that power is until I try it!). That makes buckles a very nice thing to have.

Boots - Provides Mobility and Stamina. Note that Life, Magic, and Stamina now all have 2 items that boost them, so you can get higher than you could. Mobility on Boots is going to replace the Mobility talent. Get better boots to move faster. Boots have an odd upgrade scheme. You find Left Soles and Right Soles. You can't put a Left Sole into your Boots until you have put in a Right Sole. That's because Right Soles are not good, they're bad! So it's an interesting combination. You get to decide what penalty you suffer in exchange for which bonus you get. So if you are a warrior, you might take -10% Magic in exchange for +10% Damage. Deeper in the dungeon, you find less harsh penalties and better bonuses.

That Left/Right Sole thing is my little protest. Everybody knows sinister means left, and everybody always puts good on the right side. I'm putting it on the left. I'm left handed! And dang if this new wireless mouse I just got isn't right-handed, and really awkward to use! In the picture they showed a neutral mouse.

So anyway, the chart in the picture is the spreadsheet of magical powers items can have. Notice the big string of poison ones. Say you find a magical axe on the 9th floor of the dungeon. Notice the MINLEV and MAXLEV columns? 9 is within the valid range for both Icky and Diseased. So you might get either a Diseased Axe or an Icky Axe. The difference is in the EFFVAL column - Icky poisons for 1 second, Diseased poisons for 4. The money column indicates how much money they add to the value of the item. The last column contains which items the magic can be found on - only axes can be Icky. A "PF" in this column indicates that the magic is a prefix. Other magics, like Sickness and Sneaking, are suffixes. That means you can get an Icky Axe Of Sickness (since it can have both a prefix and a suffix). A "RARE" in the FLAGS column means a Rare power. It of course only occurs rarely, and it also can only be found on Rare Items. See below. There are three "Of Defense" powers (the same 3 powers exist for every skill in the game, which took a long time to type in!). One is a regular +1 to the skill (for Defense, it can be on Parka, Boots, or Belt). That can be found at any level. Then there's a rare, valuable, and only found very deep power of +2 to the skill. Lastly, there's the also rare power that can be found anywhere, which is a +1 to the skill, but it can be on any item type. So you'll never get a +1 to Defense on Glasses, except on a rare pair of Glasses.

Here are the different tiers of item quality:

Normal - An item with no magical power.

Magic - An item with either a prefix or suffix, but not both.

Enchanted - An item with both a prefix and suffix. More rare than Magic items, of course.

Rare - An item with a special name, randomly generated. It has 3 prefixes or suffixes, but luckily since it has a random name, it doesn't have to find a way to fit those prefixes and suffixes into its name. Rare items can have stats up to 15 instead of 10, but each plus beyond 10 is exponentially less likely. A 15/15 would be a miracle to find. You can't upgrade these items with the upgrades mentioned above. They are what they are.

Artifact - A handmade item with a special name and up to 4 specifically chosen powers, including powers that other items simply can't have. It may also have stats of any value I feel like giving them. You of course can't upgrade these!

So with the benefits of magic items in 6 slots instead of 3, and the new Boosts to be discussed later, you're going to be a lot more powerful in this game than in Loonyland 2. As a result, I'm going to have to beef up the enemies! The tricky part comes in with the various things you summon and Clockbots. Those things will need to be upgraded so they can survive and be useful, but they could end up overpowered in the early game as a result. Balance is hard!

Last thing: notice how it's in a nice spreadsheet? These files will be accessible to the end user. Mod away! It's specifically set up (like LL2CE, as you'll see when that is eventually available) so that you can copy the files and make a mod of your own. Then when you start a game, you choose which mod (or Original) to play. You'll be able to make your own powers and artifacts. I'm trying to figure what else can be modded and how, but most things would just take too much work to set up to be moddable. Monsters are one idea, but probably the hardest one of all. On the plus side, changing them to a moddable format would actually make their code simpler and less likely to have hidden bugs. On the minus side, they would be less unique and different from each other in behavior, and it would be weeks and weeks of work to get them working again.
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