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Repair Mechanics Improvements


Uncle Al
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I'm aware that an overhaul of the repair system probably falls under the heading of 'balancing the game economy' which is something that probably will not, and should not, be addressed until beta.  The current repair system is certainly 'good enough' for alpha.

 

That said, I'm hopeful there is a serious overhaul of the repair system planned for some point in the development roadmap.  The current system means that as soon as you have reliable sources of glue, cloth and iron, repair is a non issue.  The amount of those resources required is pretty trivial, so repair itself is trivial.  Even if the requirements were increased, they're very basic resources, so getting enough of them is unlikely to require impactful gameplay decisions beyond very early game.

 

I think the characteristics of a good repair system are:

  1. The system requires a trade off between reliability (risk) and resources invested.  I.e. keeping your gear 100% repaired all the time is safest, but costs more resources than waiting until things break.  The current system actually does this, because a single repair kit repairs to 100% no matter how degraded the item is.  The current system doesn't do it very well, because repair kits fix everything and are trivially easy to make.
  2. The system encourages a trade off between using lower performance but reliable equipment and very high performance, less reliable equipment.  Currently this doesn't really happen unless you randomly get a piece of gear that rolled high for stats except for durability.  Again, because keeping everything repaired is so easy, it doesn't really matter even then.
  3. Items that require rare resources to craft also require rare resources to maintain.  The current system doesn't do this at all.  Repairs taking rare resources would mean the urgency of needing a particular resource to keep functioning at peak effectiveness stays as a thing beyond early to early-mid game.  Personally I find that situation of 'I could have a vehicle if I could just find a bottle of acid' enjoyable, and it drives gameplay.  Being able to create a similar situation later game (if the tyre on my bike goes, I currently don't have any acid to make a new one) seems like good gameplay.
  4. Some unpredictability in reliability.  Unpredictability should increase for poorly maintained gear.  Currently this doesn't happen at all.  Everything works perfectly until it reaches zero durability. 

 

There are many ways to change the repair system to make those characteristics more prominent.  A few thoughts I've had are:

  1. Number 1 pretty much takes care of itself, if we stick with the current model where repairing to full costs the same resources as repairing a little.  By making the actual resources required to repair more meaningful, the fact that you can choose to repair early or late would become a lot more meaningful.
  2. Number 2 could be addressed by modifying item generation to a sort of 'points buy' system, where high stats potentially lead to lower durability, for equivalent items of the same tier.  I think you'd probably want it set up so that poorly statted items CAN have a much higher durability than ones with excellent stats, but it's not guaranteed.  So if a particular item has a base durability of 300 at quality 3, or whatever, a version of that item with average performance stats would roll durability between 150 and 450.  A version with good stats rolls between 150 and 300 and a version with really bad stats rolls between 150 and 600.  So you can still get items that are just all round crap for their tier, and equally some excellent items with decent durability.  Yes this system does mean that high precision weapons degrade faster, which makes sense, but also tough armour will usually degrade faster too.  That may not be strictly logical but it's good gameplay.  It also adds a lot more value to the armour perks' ability to reduce armour degradation and degradation reducing weapon/tool mods.
  3. Number 3 can be addressed by making repair costs proportional to crafting costs.  Getting the proportion right is very much economy balancing, and will need some trial and error.  Something like 25% of crafting cost feels about right.  There's some additional complexity for items with multiple crafting stages, namely vehicles.  In order to calculate repair requirements the game engine would need to be able to trace the resources that were used to make the components.  So you might need a new headlight to fix your truck, but generally you don't need a new chassis.  For resources which are going to end up with a fractional cost (like engines for vehicles) you could roll against the percentage of resources required.  So if 25% of crafting resources are required for a fix, then 25% of the time a vehicle needs a new engine to be repaired, 75% of the time you can repair it without needing an engine.  I'd actually suggest rolling for each resource individually for all repairs.  So a high tier rifle that took 20 rifle parts to craft would roll the 25% chance (or whatever the right 'repair amount' turns out to be) for each of the 20 rifle parts that are in the original recipe.  It might take anywhere between zero and 20 rifle parts to fix, but the average will be around 5 (if the repair requirement was set at 25%).  That sort of ties in with unpredictability, which I'll talk about next.
  4. Adding in unpredictability is as simple as having a (small) chance for an item to stop working every time it loses durability.  The chance increases the further the item is from full durability.  In order to balance the system using the values we currently have, you actually want items to keep working beyond zero durability, if you're lucky.  The actual calculations for where an item stops working are moderately complex, but the player doesn't have to be aware of that.  They just know that stuff is pretty reliable at high durabilities and likely to break at any time if durability is low.
  5. Combining number 3 and number 4 (rare resources and unpredictability).  If you implement the approach where the resources required for a repair are 'rolled for', not fixed, you could make 'the roll' as soon as the item first loses durability, and display that information to the player.  That would lead to gameplay that 'My truck is at 99% durability and isn't likely to stop working any time soon, but I know the engine and two of the wheels are wearing out, and when it does break, I'm going to require new ones to fix it'.
  6. There probably needs to be a requirement that items that require a workbench to make also require a workbench to repair.  That's an independent design decision, but makes unlucky failures are high durability a lot more impactful.
  7. I recognise how difficult to implement these system change suggestions would be depends a lot on how the crafting system is actually constructed.  If you'd need to explicitly code a recipe for every single possible scenario of required parts then it's not practical to implement.  The solution suggestions are merely quick thoughts I've had, though.  I stand by the four desirable characteristics listed at the start of the post.  Any change to repair that makes those characteristics more prominant seems like a good thing to me.
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Interesting ideas. I would say your suggestion 3 is nice but too complicated for 7D2D (and most other games outside the simulation genre). The game would need to remember and display a variable list of repair items needed for each and every repairable item.

 

Though the devs talked about a vehicle damage system that might actually implement your suggestion halfways in that different damage types would need different items to repair it.

But that's only for vehicles and at the moment it isn't on the published feature list of A20. And I would have expected an "offroad suspension mod" being among the mod list if it were a yet unannounced feature.

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1 hour ago, meganoth said:

Interesting ideas. I would say your suggestion 3 is nice but too complicated for 7D2D (and most other games outside the simulation genre). The game would need to remember and display a variable list of repair items needed for each and every repairable item.

 

Though the devs talked about a vehicle damage system that might actually implement your suggestion halfways in that different damage types would need different items to repair it.

But that's only for vehicles and at the moment it isn't on the published feature list of A20. And I would have expected an "offroad suspension mod" being among the mod list if it were a yet unannounced feature.

only  good idea is to change tires but without random caltrop on roads this idea it quiet pointells so better will be left this as work now. diffrents parts are in dying light the following and it works there because there can be broke but you can buy it if you have a lot of money or craft diffrent tier of parts -better engines etc. so maybe 5 types of parts with 5 tiers can work but it can be annoying

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50 minutes ago, Matt115 said:

only  good idea is to change tires but without random caltrop on roads this idea it quiet pointells so better will be left this as work now. diffrents parts are in dying light the following and it works there because there can be broke but you can buy it if you have a lot of money or craft diffrent tier of parts -better engines etc. so maybe 5 types of parts with 5 tiers can work but it can be annoying

 

IMHO most of the time the information that something is implemented in a different game and works well or not is nearly useless. Because such features are embedded in the specific game world and depend on a lot of other mechanics in a game. What may work wonderfully in one game can be gamebreaking in a different one. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, meganoth said:

 

IMHO most of the time the information that something is implemented in a different game and works well or not is nearly useless. Because such features are embedded in the specific game world and depend on a lot of other mechanics in a game. What may work wonderfully in one game can be gamebreaking in a different one. 

 

 

yeah so in my opinion the best idea is keep venicles minimialist -  fuel , storage maybe more seats and m60 in 4x4 and that all

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On 7/13/2021 at 1:09 PM, meganoth said:

Interesting ideas. I would say your suggestion 3 is nice but too complicated for 7D2D (and most other games outside the simulation genre). The game would need to remember and display a variable list of repair items needed for each and every repairable item.

 

Though the devs talked about a vehicle damage system that might actually implement your suggestion halfways in that different damage types would need different items to repair it.

But that's only for vehicles and at the moment it isn't on the published feature list of A20. And I would have expected an "offroad suspension mod" being among the mod list if it were a yet unannounced feature.

You make a fair point regarding complexity.  My thoughts on how to achieve the goals I stated were very much 'top of my head' stuff.  At the end of the day providing feedback on what might be good goals for a system is probably more useful than the how.  How a system is implemented is very much the preserve of the developers themselves.  At the core, what I really want to see is a repair system that forces me to make difficult, impactful decisions throughout the game.

 

Interesting info on the vehicle damage system.  I hadn't come across anything on that previously.

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