MidBoss inventory screenshot

By popular demand, here’s a post with some insight and details into MidBoss’ item system. I hope you’ll enjoy this sneak preview of the new item system.

Today I put the finishing touches on the item system, mobs now drop loot, which comes in various categories. This also means that the long awaited beta is just around the corner, if you want to stay updated on that the best way to do so is to follow me on Twitter @enichan.

Item Categories

First off, loot will come in one of various categories. The ones that are implemented are:

  • Potions
  • Weapons
  • Armor
  • Shields
  • Boots
  • Accessories

More are planned, like food items which are basically going to be like tiny potions and scrolls which give you a single use of an ability. So let’s look at the ones that are currently at the game one by one.


There are currently 16 potions in the game, two sets of 8. One set is beneficial and restores health, mana, stamina, and gives you short buffs to stats like critical, speed, stealth, etc. The others are detrimental versions of the same, and yes, downing a damage potion can kill you.

Now I know what you’re thinking, it’s either “that’s so oldschool, I love it!” or “welp I’m out”. If you’re the latter, stay with me! I know not everyone digs oldschool hard roguelikes, so while potions won’t label what they do until you’ve tried one of a certain color, randomizing the potion colors for every new game will be optional. I also intend to cover potion colors in the colorblind modes, so that those suffering from colorblindness won’t be at a disadvantage.


Weapons come in 7 flavors, one and two-handed swords (+min/+max physical damage), one and two-handed axes (+max physical damage), daggers (+min physical damage), wands and staves (+min/+max magical damage). Swords and axes can be wielded only in the main hand, while daggers and wands can be wielded in either hand. Staves are two-handed weapons, and all two-handed weapons gain double the benefit from any bonus applied to them.

Armor, Boots, Shields & Accessories

I kind of lump these together because they’re very similar except for small details. Shields are always worn in the off-hand, and will replace any weapon you have there. They don’t get a damage rating. Accessories have two slots available, not one. Armor and boots each have their own slot.

Item Generation

Equipment items are generated randomly. Their strength varies depending on the rarity of the item and the hazard rating (sort of a level/threat indicator) of the mob who drops them. The higher the rarity, the more and better bonuses an item has, the higher the hazard the better all bonuses become.


Items come in 5 rarities, color coded as follows from most common to least common (again with colorblind mode support):

  • Common (no special color, white text in game)
  • Uncommon
  • Rare
  • Epic
  • Legendary

An as of yet unimplemented rarity is green for unique items. Items are colored by rarity, too (not the text, the actual items) so they’re easier to spot. Common and uncommon items are grey, whereas rare items have desaturated colors, epic items have vivid colors, and legendary items have (almost) fully saturated colors, and the primary color pulsates to make it easy to spot them. Accessories are always uncommon or higher, common accessories do not exist.


When a piece of equipment is generated, it gets a number of different bonuses. Right now these are bonuses to attributes, either core attributes like strength or focus, meta attributes like cruelty or violence, or independent attributes like damage, critical or stealth, or in the case of some legendary items access to an ability while the item is equipped. All of these bonuses are separated into groups depending on how common they are for that item. For example, toughness is a common bonus for armor, an uncommon bonus for physical damage weapons, and a rare bonus for magical damage weapons.

For every category of rarity, starting with the rarity of the item in question and going down, one bonus from the bonuses in that group is picked. So a legendary item would get one legendary bonus, one epic bonus, one rare bonus, one uncommon bonus, and one common bonus. Weapons are special in that the common bonus is always a damage bonus.

So far almost all of the bonuses in MidBoss given by abilities have been percentage based bonuses. This is because abilities should not become less useful with time as you level up. Items on the other hand are designed to only give flat bonuses, unless they give you an ability. This means that you will be wanting to swap out your old gear for new, better stuff all the time. Items are also far more random, and that will hopefully alleviate some of the difficulty of the game if you get some good rolls on the old loot table.

One thing that people found irritating sometimes in the alpha build of MidBoss was their low minimum melee damage at the start of the game. Weapons are designed to mitigate this, particularly daggers. Because daggers are an either-hand weapon you can equip two to greatly boost your minimum damage if you neglected your Cruelty stat, or you can equip it as an off-hand weapon with a one-handed sword or axe. Of course, if you do that you miss the extra magical damage of a wand or the extra toughness a shield gives you. Hopefully these kinds of trade-offs will make for a more varied, interesting experience.

What’s Next?

There’s still some odds and ends to work out. As you can see in the screenshot at the top of this post, right now ALL the things are swords (besides potions anyway) because I haven’t created art for any other item categories. I also want to add scrolls and food, as mentioned earlier, and crates and barrels for smashing, and chests for looting. Right now all loot is dropped when a mob dies.

There’s also some ability changes that will be going into beta as a result of the item system. The Equip [Category] abilities will finally function, although I’ll probably change them to give a boost to equipped items. I’m also thinking of adding a Dual Wield ability which would let you equip main-hand items like swords and axes to either hand, and of course a Potion Toss ability for tossing harmful potions at enemies.

Either way, with the item system mostly finished, the beta isn’t far away now. So keep your eyes on Twitter and you’ll be the first to know when it drops!