For the Path of Exile Talent Competition I designed 2 new game mechanics that spice up unique items in Path of exile and can be introduced in a new league.
Current state of unique items:
When an unique item drops I’m not as exited as I used to be. Some of the current unique items are interesting and build-enabling, however most of them we just vendor or are not even worth picking up.
With this new mechanic, unique items have a chance to be something else, something useful in a differed way and players will be exited again when one drops.
Game mechanic 1: Unique souls
Unique items have a chance to drop with a soul. If you wear 2 unique items with the same soul you unlock the first power of a soul. If you wear 3 unique items with the same soul you unlock its seconds power, and so on.
Every unique item in game can drop with any soul, but no more then one soul. All the souls are themed with there own unique set of powers and bonuses.
Eventually you have to make difficult choice between a sick rare amulet or a weak unique amulet with a soul which will unlock your third soul power. In my opinion, making though choices is what defines a good Rpg.
Now we need to make those soul sets more interesting.
Game mechanic 2: Time triggers
When completing a soul set, thus unlocking its final power you can trigger a special ability. These special abilities are colored in green, orange or red and can trigger occasionally. What this means is that they can occur randomly while playing. They have a chance to be triggered in a certain time interval. Like a 5% chance to trigger every 2 minutes.
Time trigger effects can be positive (green), neutral (orange) or negative (red); depending on the other stats from the soul bonus stats to compensate.
These effects will be kind of mysterious to the player and their won’t be any additional information about what the trigger effect actually does. The only information that is attached to the item is a name set in a color that tells the player if it’s positive or negative.
In the example below I will give you a few time trigger examples with extra information.
Return of the vaal (Activates an Equipped vaal skill, without consuming any souls)
Justice of maroon (summons an random invasion boss with 100% increased life that fights against players and enemies)
Wrath of darkness (loses 20% HP every second for 10 seconds)
It could be fun to introduce these new game mechanics in a new league and give unique items a 50% chance to drop with a soul. Reducing this chance when implementing it in the core game.
On a side note
These game mechanics can be pretty interesting from a business perspective for GGG. Players now have a pretty good reason to buy more stash space, hoarding all those unique items. 😉