Monday, December 29, 2014

Wishlist for Lords of Xulima 2, Part 2

After a look at the food mechanic and the non-combat skills in the first part, we will now dive deep into the available equipment in Lords of Xulima. Adventuring and finding fabled and powerful artifacts to gear up your party is an pivotal part of character progression as it is to be expected from an oldschool RPG.

Treasure chest in Lords of Xulima
Finding a huge treasure chest in a deadly dungeon is one of the most exciting things in an adventurer´s life.

3. Getting loot

A short overview: Gaulen and each of his companion have the same equipment slots and can wear a helmet, gloves, a weapon and a few more things. Equipment comes in about 30 different qualities (item levels), ranging from weak materials like copper to more robust stuff like iron or steel. In general, better quality equals a more powerful item. On top of that, every piece of equipment can bear one enchantment that grants additional benefits. These enchantments can be even more important than the base stats of the equipment. This is especially true for rings, amulets and cloaks.

Want to read more about equipment? This update on about tactical combat and weapon properties comes directly from the developers.
Inventory screen from Lords of Xulima
A typical inventory screen. The equipped items are found on the left, the inventory on the right.
The main source for new equipment in LoX is your friendly merchant. Here you have a much better chance to find enchanted equipment than in treasure chests. And if you don´t like what you see you can try again a few days later when the merchant restocks. While there is nothing wrong with this system and browsing the shop´s inventory to find powerful stuff can be a very rewarding feeling, players wondered why the loot from treasure chests felt so lackluster in comparison. Imagine slaying a powerful boss monster after a long and exhausting battle and only finding a pair of non-magic satin shoes in its treasure chest. 
Maybe due to the random nature of the loot distribution and the limited number of items found in chests, the odds to find something useful were too small? Maybe a hybrid system with random loot from merchants and hand-placed loot in chests would lead to a more satisfying experience in a potential sequel. 

I also noticed that the loot from chests has relatively high item quality levels but lacks proper enchantments. Adding an intriguing way to let the player enchant these items would also add a lot of excitement to the loot hunt.

4. Enchantments

Topaz King´s necklace from Lords of Xulima
A topaz necklace with the "king´s" enchantment, one of the best things you can get.
Another problem with the loot system is the limited choice of enchantments as they mostly boost some statistics like strength or maximum life points. Creative enchantments like a chance to unleash a spell by swinging your blade, you won´t find things like that. There is very little variety and the chances are high that you will never see anything terribly different after your first visit to the merchant. A few ideas for new and more exciting enchantments in Lords of Xulima 2 are found below

Note: X represents a number that is left to be determined during fine-tuning of the enchantments. It would also depend on item quality level so the enchantment stays relevant for an extended period of game time.

Skill related
  • of "insert any skill"-mastery: Increases the said skill by X skill levels
  • of "insert any active skill": item can be used to cast the mentioned skill, limited charges
  • of the Fire Apprentice: increases all fire damage by X (a fixed number instead of % will buff the weaker spells more than the big hitters)
  • of Combat: Increases damage of physical strike skills by X% (this could help buff the soldier)

  • of Blood Thirst: heals X health after dealing a critical strike
  • of the Energy Burst: a small chance on every attack to halve the time until the character will move again
  • of Volatile Sparks: a small chance on every attack to additonally cast a Sparks spell
  • of Violent Temper: grants a song of rage effect when the character is hit by a direct attack

  • of Quenching: heals 1 flame per round (also versions for bleeding/poison possible, no version for wounds because they don´t heal after battle and such an enchantment would promote prolonging combat to heal all wounds)
  • of the Thick Skin: reduces every direct damage received by X
  • of the Emergency Plan: reduces all received damage by X% when health is below 40%
PP recovery
  • of the Victory Rush: heals X PP after landing a killing blow
  • of the Victorious: heals X PP after winning a fight
  • of the Lamprey: a percentage of damage dealt is converted into PP recovery (similar to the HP leech enchantment)
  • of Resourcefulness: reduces PP costs of spells by X

  • of the Helping Hand: the "help an ally" command also grants the target a level X  divine armor buff
  • of Motivation: the "help an ally" command also grants the target a level X song of courage buff
  • of the Phoenix: Once per battle, prevents death of a character and instead heals to 50% health (setting to 1 HP won´t do it because the victim will just die from the next dot tick or something)
  • of the Nimble Fingers: increases the effect of healing items by X% during combat
  • of the Library: increases the effect of scrolls by X% during combat
  • of Greed: increases Gold after combat by X%

Level-scaling enchantments:
  • of the Tested Companion: increases armor by X per level of the character who wears this item
  • of the Seasoned Veteran: increases health/PP by X per level of the character who wears this item

 Crazy stuff (change some rules and leave room for a few creative hybrid builds)
  • of the Iron Will: gains 25% of the character´s strength as additional max. PP
  • of Iron Fingers: a bonus to strength by 20% of the character´s agility
  • of the Twisted: converts X max. PP to X max. health

Browse the complete wishlist for Lords of Xulima 2

Part 1: The food system and non-combat skills
Part 2: Getting loot, item enchantments
Part 3: Side-quests
Part 4: Hits, misses and critical fails
Part 5: This one is found in the subscriber-only area. Subscribe to the blog
Part 6: Gaulen the Explorer, the main character
Part 7: Difficulty settings  
Part 8: Game balance
Part 9: Wishes from a veteran Might and Magic player


  1. good read

    just one question regardless enchantments..
    these seems OP, how you will make the enemies harder? just higher hp/mp?

    or do you have some suggestions for new enemy mechanics ;)?


    1. Hi Dominik,

      as these suggestions are intended for a possible sequel, the enemies would be balanced around the increased power level of the player party.
      However, these enchantments are not aimed at being plain better than what is already available. The intention is to give the player more options and more tempting choices. So he can mix and match for his personal preferred playstyle.

      Giving the enemy higher hp/mp would work, but I prefer to give them some clever tricks that the player has to overcome by good strategy. I will cover that in a later part.

      Until then I wish you a happy new year.