Power Rating, a recipe for failure,
or: how to annoy players instead of entertaining them
So what's the deal you ask?
We all know that Power Rating [PR] and most people will probably like it, but that is because they have not spend much thought about it,
or they have not tried to get anywhere in this game, or both.
As a side note:
Please refrain from calling me "overly negative" or anything like that for simply calling things what they are.
I'm going to explain everything here in detail, and also hand you some possible solutions.
Again, what's the deal with PR?
What is PR actually? ...well, just think of your usual items in other RPGs or MMORPGs, most of them have something that you will not find in Inquisitor Martyr, that is: Raw Stats! ...something like strength, endurance, intellect and so on, or raw armor for most gear besides weapons.
But there are no such raw stats in this game, and raw "armor" of some sorts is only to be found on the actual main armor piece.
The other thing you can find on items are mods, those are the actually interesting things like: resists, crit, special effects, procs, ...
And those stats do not progress all too steep in this game, which is a good thing!
So, only considering the mods and ignoring the PR of 2 items, one found with say 20 PR is very well not too far away (again, only considering the mods-stats) from an item found with 40 PR, which, again, is a good thing.
Yet, the devs probably felt there should be some replacement for raw stats, as otherwise the "item gathering" part of the game would be not that important, as getting the same item with the same mods at a slightly later part in the game would not be much of an improvement.
But there is a catch!
Yes, you knew I'd say that, and here it is, just follow these steps:
- there are a ton of different possible mods on items
-> getting an items with actually useful mods (not saying most are trash, but simply not useful for most situations) is something that can be rightfully called rare, VERY RARE
-> if you have found an item with useful mods for a certain slot already, finding an item with similar or better mod-stats AND higher PR tends to be even more rare, making you suddenly think that 0.5% drop chance on that one raid boss in that other game was not all that bad
-> players are actually forced to either ignore PR while looking for good mods, thereby indefinitely stalling their progression, or ignoring mods and just going for higher PR, which reduces the whole idea of mods on items to a bad joke
Now, ignoring PR isn't that bad, as your rewards like rank points n stuff from a ...say 300 PR mission with you having 300 PR yourself, is not much different to a 500 PR mission run while having 500 PR yourself.
But eventually, it will still stop you in your progression completely.
Now that brings me to another point: The Inqusitorial Rank [IR]
(= the level of your character)
Now, that one is more devious than first meets the eye! :D
Your IR determines the PR of items dropped, not just the PR of the mission.
What does that mean?! => You need to first reach a higher IR, to be then able (but far from guaranteed) to find higher/better PR items, or craft higher/better PR items, to then be able to progress to higher PR missions (and also progress in the campaign, as the missions PR increases steadily in that campaign).
So the PR is something on top of your level, that restricts your progression, and puts more steps there to actually benefit from a higher level.
To that, you may add that normal missions don't really progress your level, but instead you need to grind missions to gather fate to then be able to run tarot mission to actually increase your level.
...looks like someone overdid the progression treadmill, huh?!
- PR fulfills no purpose in this game, other than being an unnecessary replacement value for raw stats,
- yet it messes up the progression, or discards the use of mods on items, turning an item-gathering game into a very dull level-treadmill without anything else to it
(yes, there are some, more than one, really!)
Discard the Power Rating alltogether, as it serves no purpose anyways besides limiting the players progress, and artificially increasing the required time played while converting potential fun into very solid annoyance.
- Discard Power Rating on items and the character
- Replace Power Rating on missions with a level
- Rework the damage taken/dealt modifiers through Power Rating to be calculated instead from the difference of your level compared to the missions level
=> Very simple, nothing to mess up here.
=> Need some balls to admit a mistake of that size and correct it
=> Will likely upset a lot of players, as humas fear change, and most won't even understand what this is all about
Add crafting options to get items with useful mods at a relevant PR, some solutions could look like that:
- crafting items with 2 or 3 mods, where you can directly chose these mods, at say 90% of the PR you get from normal crafting at your current IR
- upgrading existing items with cash/mats to ...say... 90% of the PR you get from crafting at your current IR
- "merging" items, whereas you can select 2 or 3 items of the same type and chose 1 mod from each to craft a new item with their average PR and the selected mods
This is meant, all in it's own way, to enable the player to get useful mods on relevant PR items, while not giving better items than can be found or random-mod-crafted, so to not diminish the purpose of item gathering and the fun of finding actually "OP" items.
=> Neither too hard to implement
=> Less admitting PR was a bad idea
=> Possible entry point to an actually meaningful crafting system for this game
Add/rework "base stats".
While keeping the PR on items:
- add 1 or 2 fixed stats to items, which could be HP or resists or dmg or anything useful, but should be chosen differently for each item type to give them more diversity and make them more useful for the classes/builds that actually use them.
=> This would have some good and bad effects on build diversity and the ease of getting certain stats
=> Only a mediocre mitigation of the actual problem, but
=> likely easy to implement
=> again, less of admitting that PR was a bad idea than solution 1