The rising power curve in any video game, be it ARPGS, strategy titles and so on is an important part of offering progression to the player and part of raising the power curve involves the use of pure upgrades to make the player feel powerful.
However continuing to balance your game with bigger and more powerful items can lead to balancing issues or the player feeling weak instead. This is where the concept of sidegrades come in and how they can provide more depth compared to a rising power curve.
These last few weeks seemed to have been a really great time for expansions, between Diablo 3′s Reaper of Souls, Don’t Starve’s Reign of Giants and the FTL Advanced Edition. Each game shows a different aspect of what it means to make an expansion for your game, which the term expansion has changed quite a bit from the old days as DLC has picked up the slack.
Building off of my conversation with Jon Shafer last week, I want to go back to the topic regarding trying to put a value to game design. As not only is this a major issue among both indie and major developers, but it has certainly changed the way that I and just about anyone who buys video games think.
If you’ve read or listened to any critical examination of ARPG design, you should have heard the term “loot table” thrown around. A loot table both determines the probability and attributes of an item and is an important concept both for regular ARPG game design and understanding how game mechanics and systems work.