You are a cat with magic powers, stranded on a cursed island. Spiteful dogs are lurking in every corner and a fateful evil is about to emerge from the darkness. ZpellCatz is a magical Action RPG set in a colorful fantasy world.

Post feature RSS ZpellCatz' Itemization

Hey there, fellow catz! Today I want to talk about the itemization in our upcoming game ZpellCatz. Items are a very important aspect of Action RPGs. When designing an item system, how can you respect your game design pillars and make it as nice as possible for your players? Read on!

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Hey there, fellow catz! Today I want to talk about the itemization in our upcoming game ZpellCatz.

Every Action RPG player knows that items are a very important aspect of the genre and I'm pretty sure that they have a clear idea of what to expect from items in an APRG. What does that mean from a game developer point of view? Well, in order to not disappoint your (future) players, you have to follow the usual itemization concepts for the most part with only a small margin for creativity and improvements. So the goal is to use this small margin to make the gameplay as nice as possible.

treasure chest

One of the game design pillars of ZpellCatz is "Randomization vs. Reliability". This, of course, includes items as well. So lets dive into a never ending wall of text about items.
:-)

Item Qualities

We have normal, special, rare and epic items in ZpellCatz. At the start of your cat hero's journey you'll find lots of normal and special items. Endgame drops have more and more rare and epic items.

Normal Items

leather vest, normal

Normal (white) items have fix stats only. Fix stats are 2-3 base stats that define an item type. So, for example, a "Cotton Robe" always has defense + intelligence on it, whereas a "Leather Vest" always comes with defense + fire resistance. Regarding our "Randomization vs. Reliability" pillar, fix stats grant reliability and since the stat amount is rolled, we also have some randomization.

Special Items

cotton robe, special

oak staff, special

Special (blue) items have fix stats + some bonus stats. Every item class (body armor, boots, gloves, etc) has its own pool for bonus stats. Attributes (intelligence, mind, vitality) show up in every pool, but all other stats only show up in some item classes' pools. Gloves can be found with increased storm damage and faster cast, for example. These stats can't roll for boots. But if you're looking for increased nature damage or faster move, boots are your friends.

Remember the "Randomization vs. Reliability" pillar? Randomization clearly wins this round. But since special items also have the fix stats of their item type, there is at least some base reliability. Also, the amount of different stats per pool isn't too big. So you see similar combinations from time to time -> reliable.

Rare Items

gloves, rare

boots, rare

Rare (yellow) items are basically special items with a different color and more bonus stats...
:-D
The main difference is that rare items sometimes pick bonus stats from a pool with more powerful stats. And, of course, they drop less often compared to special items.

Epic Items

gloves, epic

boots, epic

Epic (orange) items have fix stats from their item type as well as fix epic stats. Every epic item type always drops with the same stat bonuses, but the values are rolled. The amount and value of epic stats are all over the place (and hopefully balanced). You'll see epic items with very few high value stats on them as well as some with more and lower value stats.

Item Slots

Every cat hero is able to equip 8 items at a time. The item slots are:

  • Weapon: Staves can be equipped here. They usually provide offensive stats.
  • Offhand: You can equip a book (offensive) or a shield (defensive) in your offhand item slot.
  • Body: Equip a body armor here. Defensive stats most of the time.
  • Head: Helm and hats can be equipped here. Balanced stats.
  • Hands: You can equip gloves in this slot. Balanced stats.
  • Feet: Equip boots here. Movement speed + balanced stats.
  • 2x Jewelry: You have two slots to equip necklaces (offensive) or rings (defensive).

item slots


Rings and necklaces are unusual item classes. First of all, you have 2 slots to equip those. So you can choose to equip 2 rings, 2 necklaces or one of each. Next, their "fix stats" (white) aren't fix but rolled from bonus stats instead. And lastly, there are no epic quality rings and necklaces. So all in all, they break nearly every rule of ZpellCatz' itemization. And the question is: Why?

The answer is "endgame". Crawling dungeon after dungeon, you will find more and more epic items. That's great. At some point you will be fully equipped with epic items, which is great, too. But regarding the "Randomization vs. Reliability" pillar, a cat with only epic items equipped, is a clear win for reliability. Epic items have fix stats only. So in order to counter this, 2 of your 8 equipped items are super random. It's nearly impossible to find "perfect" rings and necklaces but you will find more than enough "good" ones that match your build.

ring with dark resistance

ring with evasion

There are a lot more things about the items in ZpellCatz that I'd like to talk about, but this entry is getting quite long already. So, expect to read more info about how to find, craft and enhance items in a future post.

What do you think about the itemization? What would you do differently? Lets hear your thoughts in comments section below or by joining the ZpellCatz chat in our discord: Discord.gg

Note: All info here is in development content and subject to change.

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