Understanding Balance and Criticism. [Mini-Guide]
Hello! I am going to briefly talk about balance and how to take/give criticism.
If you see anybody who's bad at giving/taking criticism or balancing an item, please send them this way!
Look at the item you are making right now, you likely have a sprite going for it and you've probably even found a cool shot animation on piffels that you think is really cool. Well unfortunately, now you have to make the stats good and balanced. You may think at first that all you need to do is balance out the damage and everything will be fine, but no! There are so many items in Nilly's Realm right now that almost all 'shot pattern' modifiers are just plain out stupid and useless if they haven't been used already. A solid example of a weapon that tried to rely on a shot pattern for its uniqueness is the Hellforge Gladius.
People commonly said "Nilly's Realm doesn't need vanity items or pure upgrades!" and then we get amazing items such as:
Q: What do all of these items have in common?
A: They suck ass or are completely uncreative and they shouldn't be in the game in their current state!
Correct! These items are hot garbage! Why are they hot garbage? Because Nilly's Realm went through a phase were people tried to shove in sprites (that don't even look good) in high quanities in what we call 'sets'. There are multiple sets in the game that are just plain out bad. What we got in the end was unbalanced items that were total garbage. However, that does not stop these from being fun items. That dank red bow, fire staff, and Gladius are really fun to play around with, but are pretty much vanity, causing them to, in the end, be general trash. UH Poison is actually just fucking retarded as it's a pure upgrade (Nice going there, idiot who made that idea), and the apple ring is actually just on here for meme purposes.
What ultimately went wrong? They didn't go through the important stage of getting criticism. They were just added into the game cuz' why not, and this is what we have left as a product.
If I want to get ANY point across in this, its to NOT make a set! As stated in many other posts, you're balancing for 4 items hoping they work in conjunction with eachother. If you're making something a set just because you made one decent item, then stop right there and reconsider what you're doing.
Make sure to compare your item(s) to existing ones in Nilly's Realm.
Make sure to also compare them to items in prod! (Excluding new oens that are not in NR. we need dem. ;c)
Make sure it doesn't over-run the niche another item is supposed to fill (Looking at you, Log.)
MAKE SURE YOU USE A FORMAT LAYOUT.
Look at Marty's guide for making item sprites. His guide, along with additional criticism (albeit at times is not exactly the most constructive guy ever.) of one of my sprites, helped me be a better spriter and item creator. (Shameless advertising)
There isn't much to reskins other than that they are very easy to fuck up. There is one classic example of a dumbass reskin which, I guess you could say isn't one due to the added stats but I disagree, the Staff of Noble Magic. It is a reskin of a T11 staff with some added stats. That is fucking stupid beyond hell. If you're going to make it a reskin, don't put it in a white bag if it isn't a white bag item. That just pisses people off. Also, KEEP RESKINS JUST RESKINS. If you change a item in any way then its barely a reskin anymore and just gets looked at as a shitty item. For a good example on what a reskin is, look at the Unholy Tome (although it's kinda ugly.)
Try to avoid this at all costs. I don't like to admit it (yes I do) but there are direct upgrades to your gear right now if you don't have these items. The Unholy Spell and the UH Poison are two of these direct upgrade items. Do NOT make items better than other existing items in Nilly's Realm, not only is it stupid but it's dumb. case closed.
Keeping your item unique is important. If you don't have a unique item then there is 0 point to add your item in the game. Instead of just slightly altering the stats of a scepter, lets say it spawned a stationary turret that shot out weak lighting arcs to the closest enemy, and have the turret vanish in a few seconds. That'd be badass! Sure it'd be kinda hard to code, but nobody wants to look at a bland idea. YOU'RE IDEA WILL NOT BE ADDED IF IT IS GENERIC AND BLAND.
Taking Constructive Criticism
This is important. When listening to criticism, actually listen. Criticism is what improves your items. That being said, I'll do a full 180 and say don't just change your item to the first thing somebody says. That person may be an idiot not knowing how your item works. for some people It's kinda confusing trying to understand this, but you're usually able to tell by the persons post if they're being helpful or not. If you choose to be a complete idiot, do not search for examples of somebody elses sprites and use them as ground to stand on in an argument. You're just being an asshole and escalating shit further. To keep it simple, if you see criticism seemingly just being deconstructive, take it with what it is: a grain of salt.
Also don't be a unique snowflake. If three people think your item is bad, don't go delete your account or shut down the topic.
Giving Constructive Criticism
Don't be a jerk is another name for this segment.
I don't have to name the famous people who are just general unconstructive assholes in this community who's more interested in making fun of your item rather than improving it. If you make a joke about their item, that's fine and is just the forums natural dose of comedy, but don't go out of your way to be extremely deconstructive about it. We all know who they are because most of us knows their names, just try not to be these people. It's really hard to try to improve your item when somebody keeps laughing at your work and calling it shit.
Here you can see somebody failing horribly to provide and take only constructive criticism, derailing a topic into a cancerous mudslinging contest.
This is a prime example why you should give and take constructive criticism.
To give constructive criticism, all you have to do is identify the problem and how to fix it, simple as that.
Sprite criticism is a little different than normal item criticism because it is completely subjective to the person seeing your item. Take criticism such as 'try shading it more/less' and 'try to use more or less colors', but generally do not care about anybody who says that 'It sucks' or 'It's ugly'. If they don't provide why they think it is ugly, then their insults have ZERO background to them and hold nothing to back them up. A way you can turn deconstructive criticism like this constructive is asking them why do they think it is bad. There they might provide constructive criticism then.
If you see an item you REALLY like and wish it was in the game, give it an upvote. Sure upvotes might not mean a lot in the whole scheme of things, but it really does feel good to get them on a item you've worked on a lot. Seriously, people like upvotes. If you still want to show your love for an item, you can always say in the comments why you like it. Who knows, they might give you an upvote back.
And that pretty much ends this quick guide of balance and criticism. Hope you guys enjoyed.
Also don't forget to eat your vegetals.
I tend to give either good or bad criticism depending on my mood.
And you know that very well @Pringle .v.
i thought the uh spell was
It's too good. Barely any time went into balancing it so now it just exists as an over-powered mess, which in my opinion means it shouldn't be in the game in its current state.
@Pringle How is the uh spell an upgrade?
@Halloweenie Uhhh hello? Ancient Pierce Spell?
@Pringle How is the uh spell an upgrade of the Ancient Pierce Spell?
Deals more damage and heals you by alot of health, and having bigger shots for wider hit area all at the small cost of 20 more MP?
Overall, a better piercing spell.
Green's ST spell.
Black's UH spell.
ST spell is only used in shatters or in fights with end game bosses.
It's only better in fights with high def enemies, you don't use it in realm.
UH spell isn't better than ST spell, those are 2 different things.
It's a great upgrade if ST spell is ONLY used for high def enemies and UH spell isn't better in that way.
I believe the life-stealing abilities of the UH spell make it outclass the normal spells, also did you take into account the damage from the life-steal part of it?
@Halloweenie the uh spell basically makes a wizard a necro on sterroids
@Jack-the-Ripper I think that you think that when I say piercing, I'm comparing the ST spell, but I am not.
In no way would I consider it an upgrade to the piercing ST spell.
I'm comparing it to the tablet.
When I said piercing, I meant enemy piercing.
@Pringle Oh, okay.. Halloweenie meant ST spell, so you know.
@Jack-the-Ripper No problem, I see where you were coming from. I didn't realize Hallo was being slow.