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Leveling up weapons or upgrading them, which do you prefer?



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Which do you prefer?


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Soldier

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Hello,

In the years since KH 1 was first released, we've definitely seen interesting ways to alter the various weapon strengths, to varying success. The original had you receive keychains that are reminiscent of places and characters you would meet on your journey, while the sequel gave them abilities that more or less established some as better than others. Re:coded was the first to really break the mold and allow every keyblade to be viable late game (to mixed success). With each upgrade, you gain access to more abilities in your clock gauge, allowing you to gradually get stronger before the finishing move. KH 3 takes things in a different direction, allowing you to upgrade keyblades that you get (even the Kingdom Key) with materials that can be farmed in the lanes between and on your adventure, granting stat boosts and abilities). With this in mind, the future of the series is leaning more towards the chance that this will be a constant kept throughout the games going forward in one way or another. But the question is, what do you prefer?

Me personally, I'd prefer the Re:coded method of increasing strength based on foes slain. Even though Re:coded was another KH 1 rehash (and a very poor attempt at that, seriously, no Neverland?) the idea behind the overclock system is admittedly pretty interesting. Even the naming conventions of the various upgrades are surprisingly inventive (various periodic table metal names for metal chocobo, earth wind and sky for oblivion, etc.) and incentivize you to keep using the keyblade to it's maximum level. Arguably it does incentivize you to farm in areas repeatedly to upgrade them, and each keyblade could be easily leveled to max as soon as you recieve it, but it's the thought that counts.
 

okhi12

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I prefer Re:Coded system to enhance keyblades, which is derived from the system that was previously used in BBS for Finish Commands. However like you said the overclock system made it more interesting, allowing keyblades to have different abilities for different clock levels. It added a strategical component to the battle system which was specially useful to complete the challenges in system sector areas.

Keyblade upgrading in KH3 was not innovative at all, it was a simple extension of moogle synthesis. It's logical because it implies reforging the keyblades to make them stronger, but it only enhanced the stats and gave each keyblade a second ability, most of them pretty irrelevant.

I think it would have been more interesting if each keyblade at base level only had a single transformation and shotlock, and a second transformation was unlocked halfway through the upgrading process and the second shotlock at max level. That would encourage upgrading them and make the upgrading system worth the effort it takes.

Another thing they should have done is making those upgrades apparent just like in Union X, slightly changing the appearance of the keyblade to make it look more powerful. It makes no sense than a fully upgraded Starlight in KH3 still looks like its base form in UX. I undertand that would mean many 3D models for each keyblade, but they could have made 3 or 4 levels for each keyblade requiring more materials instead of 10 levels, or only make the visual changes apparent halfway through the upgrading and at max. level, paired with unlocking a second transformation and shotlock as I mentioned before.
 

Soldier

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I prefer Re:Coded system to enhance keyblades, which is derived from the system that was previously used in BBS for Finish Commands. However like you said the overclock system made it more interesting, allowing keyblades to have different abilities for different clock levels. It added a strategical component to the battle system which was specially useful to complete the challenges in system sector areas.

Keyblade upgrading in KH3 was not innovative at all, it was a simple extension of moogle synthesis. It's logical because it implies reforging the keyblades to make them stronger, but it only enhanced the stats and gave each keyblade a second ability, most of them pretty irrelevant.

I think it would have been more interesting if each keyblade at base level only had a single transformation and shotlock, and a second transformation was unlocked halfway through the upgrading process and the second shotlock at max level. That would encourage upgrading them and make the upgrading system worth the effort it takes.

Another thing they should have done is making those upgrades apparent just like in Union X, slightly changing the appearance of the keyblade to make it look more powerful. It makes no sense than a fully upgraded Starlight in KH3 still looks like its base form in UX. I undertand that would mean many 3D models for each keyblade, but they could have made 3 or 4 levels for each keyblade requiring more materials instead of 10 levels, or only make the visual changes apparent halfway through the upgrading and at max. level, paired with unlocking a second transformation and shotlock as I mentioned before.
Agreed, but for the third point you made regarding a different transformation, I'd like to see it take a growth approach. The best way I can explain it is using Persona's ultimate form system, where an initial persona undergoes a transformation upon the person's heart growing in strength, gaining an immunity to their type and shedding a weakness. Perhaps a specific keyblade transformation is very good at crowd control but is terrible against one on one fights. Another upgrade might make it more well rounded with a few more extra flourishes to dish out more damage.

Or, just shift the forms around a bit, instead of having a guardian form on like, 3 keyblades and have the rest be attack and magic.
 

Ven_Roxas

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I didn’t really get through recoded (got too frustrated with the gameplay in Olympus and just stopped playing), but after recently replaying Days (which gets waaaaaay too much hate), I think the panel system was a great way to customize how the keyblade gets powered up. You could increase the magic, strength, critical hit ratio (iirc), and add abilities. It was a great, customizable upgrade system.
 

Max

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Wow, I forgot these were things in either of these games. I don't think I have a preference, they didn't leave an impression on me haha.

I mainly just remember getting different keychains/keyblades seen in most games. I don't mind weapon upgrade systems in some games, and I actually think it can be fun and rewarding. But on the other hand, it can feel too grindy in other cases. Killing X amount of enemies to level up can feel tedious if it doesn't just work out naturally, and gaining materials when it involves a bad RNG system can be frustrating as well. There definitely has to be a balance.
 

Soldier

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Wow, I forgot these were things in either of these games. I don't think I have a preference, they didn't leave an impression on me haha.

I mainly just remember getting different keychains/keyblades seen in most games. I don't mind weapon upgrade systems in some games, and I actually think it can be fun and rewarding. But on the other hand, it can feel too grindy in other cases. Killing X amount of enemies to level up can feel tedious if it doesn't just work out naturally, and gaining materials when it involves a bad RNG system can be frustrating as well. There definitely has to be a balance.
Well put Max, perhaps there would be an easier way to deal with it, such as having specific enemies to fight throughout the game (such as a certain boss) that once defeated, instantly upgrades the keyblade in hand. Though to find such an enemy, you'd have to seek out a specific synthesis item to draw it out of hiding.
 

Max

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Well put Max, perhaps there would be an easier way to deal with it, such as having specific enemies to fight throughout the game (such as a certain boss) that once defeated, instantly upgrades the keyblade in hand. Though to find such an enemy, you'd have to seek out a specific synthesis item to draw it out of hiding.
Oh this sounds like a good idea, like maybe weapon upgrades require accomplishing certain feats or challenges, and depending on the weapon/level you're trying to achieve, the harder the challenge. Defeating a specific wave of enemies to achieve a level 2 vs. defeating essentially an optional boss for level 10 would be cool. They could even explain it as if you need a certain item to upgrade your weapon, and said item is just earned as a kind of trophy for defeating that optional boss and boom, you can go get your weapon upgrade as your reward.

There are numerous different ways this could be implemented, but I definitely think an idea along the lines of luring out enemies/hunting down big game heartless to upgrade your weapons would be awesome. Not necessarily having to defeat one 10 times to upgrade the weapon, you just show your skill in beating it and boom, you get your reward and a new challenge for the next upgrade.
 

Soldier

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Oh this sounds like a good idea, like maybe weapon upgrades require accomplishing certain feats or challenges, and depending on the weapon/level you're trying to achieve, the harder the challenge. Defeating a specific wave of enemies to achieve a level 2 vs. defeating essentially an optional boss for level 10 would be cool. They could even explain it as if you need a certain item to upgrade your weapon, and said item is just earned as a kind of trophy for defeating that optional boss and boom, you can go get your weapon upgrade as your reward.

There are numerous different ways this could be implemented, but I definitely think an idea along the lines of luring out enemies/hunting down big game heartless to upgrade your weapons would be awesome. Not necessarily having to defeat one 10 times to upgrade the weapon, you just show your skill in beating it and boom, you get your reward and a new challenge for the next upgrade.
Exactly, and why not take it a step further with making the heartless a challenge for that specific weapon (I.E, a short keyblade used against a heartless that deals long range damage, as opposed to one that requires close quarters combat). It would promote alternative playstyles and provide the "growth" needed in a RPG.
 
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