IMPORTANT: THIS GUIDE IS NOW OBSOLETE, AS WE'RE UPDATING THE GAME TO HAVE A DIFFERENT SYSTEM AND ARE NO LONGER TAKING SUBMISSIONS.
As the process of item submission can be rather confusing to new players and occasionally veterans, I have taken the liberty of writing up a guide to provide a window into the inner machinations of the project's item standards. It attempts to answer any and all questions that may arise during the process of submission.
- 1 The Suggestion Form
- 2 Advanced Item Submission Form
- 3 Moderation and the Submissions Page
- 4 The Finer Details
The Suggestion Form
Phase one of the item submission process is filling out the submission form. In order to maximize your effectiveness, here is a set of guidelines for each field in the submission form.
Submission to edit (if any):
You won't need to worry about this field until later and if you're submitting a new item you should leave it as it is by default: "None, this is a new submission."
Later, if you want to revise an item you've previously submitted that hasn't been processed yet, you can scroll down this field and select the item submission you wish to edit. When you do this leave all fields you don't want to change completely blank, you're rewriting them and not adding to them.
Note that you will no longer have to re-enter the recipe even if you want to keep it the same, as the bug that deletes it has been resolved. If you do not wish to change an item's recipe, leave the "Operation to use" field at "Select one / No change".
Suggested Item Code
This is where the code that corresponds to the items used to make the item. For all intents and purposes, ignoring this field will not hurt anything and if you fill out the following two feilds fully the code will be supplied automatically. If the item does not have a recipe (i.e. it's a base item or meant to be looted from dungeons), you can use this field to submit a vanity code, a code that is meant to look like another word or reference the item. However, please refrain from submitting vanity codes for items that have a recipes, as the actual code for the item will be different.
First/Second item used to make this item (code or name):
These two boxes are where you provide the "component" items that will be used to create submited item, one component item in each box. Together with the next feild define the new item's code. You may enter the components' names or codes, but they MUST be exact or your hard work will be lost.
If either of the items are still submissions yet to be added to the game (even if they're already greenlit) check the box directly below these feilds.
Operation to use:
If the item has a recipe and is not intended as a base item or dungeon loot, select || or &&. You can read about the different in this Alchemy Guide. There will be some pairs of component items that can only be combined with one of the two possible operations, in which case a moderator will suggest using the opposite operation or changed one of the component items.
It is advised that you go the the in-game >INVENTORY/ALCHEMY page and try combining both component items using both operations and previewing the resulting codes to make sure the result item you're submitting doesn't already exist under either operation, and that you're using an operation which doesn't result in a code that already has an item. There have been occasions where someone submits an item without trying the codes first and are turned down because a very similar submission already exists with the same recipe. Don't do this to yourself, always try the recipe first! :L
An example of a recipe in its correct format:
First item used to make this item (code or name): Claw Hammer Second item used to make this item (code or name): Green Slime Ghost Pogo Operation to use: &&
New Item's Name
Fairly self-explanatory, the item name can be anything as long as it suits the item in some way. It can be descriptive or vague; silly or serious; and there is no limit to how long it can be.
New Item's Description
This field is the description that is shown for the item in the inventory/holopad. A good description describes the item's physical appearance and capabilities with a bit of optional (but recommended) humor thrown in. Descriptions do not have to be spot-on from the get-go, as some of the dev team are quite talented when it comes to writing descriptions, but the original description usually isn't changed unless it's too vague or dull.
Comments on the new item
This is where other details about the item such as its abstratus, command bonuses, and grist types go. Basically, anything that doesn't fit in any other field. None of it is mandatory, but the more details you provide about the item, the better its chance of getting greenlit in a speedy manner. Grist types are especially useful information for the devs, as they can be tricky to decide upon at times, especially if you have a better image of the item than anyone else does.
Suggested power level
Power level is usually one of the biggest concerns when it comes to item creation, as the final power should be appropriate for the components. A good rule of thumb for power level is to take the power of both items, add them together, and multiply that sum by 1.5. For example, the Claw Hammer has a power of 2, and the Sledgehammer a power of 10. (2+10)x1.5=18, which is rather ideal for that combination in particular.
Variance is encouraged, however. The power level can be higher or lower than the "ideal" power as described above, depending on how well the two components mix. Say you've created a squirtgun that fires vinegar, not too much stronger than the squirtgun that fires water. We'll give it a power of 5. Combine that with some baking soda (effective power 1-2), and you've got a weapon that could far exceed the "ideal" power of around 10, perhaps reaching as high as 20 or 30. There are many more ways to create a winning combination, but I'll let you figure them out yourself ;L.
You may also be wondering what to do if one of the components doesn't technically have a power level. You can calculate an item's "effective" power level based on its grist cost. Add up all of the grists that the item costs, multiply that by 8, and take the square root of the result. This is the reverse of the standard grist balance formula which will be covered later on in this guide. Treat the power level of that item as if it is the number you just calculated and you should be able to figure a good power for your new item!
Advanced Item Submission Form
The new Advanced Item Submission Form allows you to directly input several parameters to better organize the details of your submission, which greatly helps out the devs as it automatically fills out just about the entire item editor and allows a greenlit item to be added to the game with just a few clicks! If you can handle filling out all the extra boxes, it is the preferred submission form. Here's some tips for making sure the process is as seamless and smooth as a hot knife through butter:
The first thing you'll notice is a set of four new checkboxes near the top of the form. These should be mostly self-explanatory, but they mark the item as being a consumable, base item, loot only, and reference item in that order. The base item and loot only options from the Recipe drop-down menu have been moved so that you may include a recipe alongside these checkboxes if you so desire.
Also fairly straightforward, you may specify any exact command bonuses in these eight boxes. No plus sign (+) is necessary for positive bonuses, but a minus sign is necessary for negative ones. If a bonus is not applicable, you may either put a 0 or leave the box blank.
This is the abstratus as it would appear on the inventory/portfolio page. Separate abstrati with a comma and a space. Wearable designations, as well as the special abstrati "computer" and "flying" must be listed after all weapon kinds. If an item is not a weapon, the abstratus field must begin with "notaweapon".
This is a drop-down menu containing all possible item sizes, followed by the amount of space they take up in storage. "average" is the default size. Anything this size or smaller is considered one-handed. "large" indicates that the item is two-handed (or if a headgear, that it takes up the facegear slot as well). Items that are "huge" or higher cannot be equipped at all.
There's one box for every grist in the game. Input a number for each grist that you want the item to require; this amount is not an exact cost, but rather the percentage or "weight" of that particular grist relative to the total cost of the item. For example, putting a 75 in Uranium and a 25 in Chalk will make the item cost 75% Uranium and 25% Chalk. You can achieve the same effect by putting a 3 in Uranium and a 1 in Chalk, or 9000 Uranium and 3000 Chalk, etc.
You may fill out these boxes as if you were setting the exact costs, but keep in mind that they will be auto-balanced to fit the appropriate cost for the item's power level and item type. If you're not sure which grists should weigh more than others, just put a 1 in the box for each grist you want.
Moderation and the Submissions Page
When the suggestion form is filled out and submitted, it will be given a unique ID and added to the list of pending submissions, where it will eventually be looked at by a member of the item mod squad. It's out of your hands until then.
From there, an item can be taken in four different directions, each one characterized by a different "flag" color.
Ready to add to the game (greenlight)
If your item has all of the details that it needs and there are no outstanding issues or uncertainties, the mod will greenlight it right away. When an item is greenlit, the next step is for a member of the dev team to put the finishing touches on the item, such as coming up with the exact grist cost, and add it to the game. When a greenlit item disappears, it's a good sign that it's either being worked on or is already in the game!
If you want to know for sure, keep an eye on the Item/Art Updates under the About menu. Item addlogs are posted there almost daily.
Clarification is requested (yellow)
A yellow flag means that a moderator has looked over your item and decided that something is missing. When this flag appears, it is accompanied by an explanation of what is needed. You (or someone who isn't the submitter but wants to share their opinion) will have to read the comment and revise the item as requested before it can be added.
When you respond to a yellow-flagged submission, be sure to check the checkbox marked "unset yellow flag"! This removes the yellow flag so that moderators can tell that the item is ready to be looked at again. Without checking that flag, the submission will probably be ignored until it hits the 7-day inactivity mark.
Marked for deletion (red)
An item marked with the red flag is ready to be deleted altogether. There are a few reasons why this might happen:
- The item was submitted multiple times due to either human or computer error; all but one copy will be deleted
- The item already exists. Either something extremely similar to the submission is already in the game, or the recipe is taken already. In those cases, the mods may ask for clarification instead to either make the item more unique or change the recipe, but this is still a valid reason for deletion, so be careful.
- The item is of a type that we currently have no plans to include. Examples are jujus (there can be only one of each, period), sentient beings, or items that are unique to one session (such as Rose's MEOW journals or the Black Queen's Ring).
- The item hasn't been responded to in over 7 days and is considered inactive. More on inactive submissions below.
The gray flag is a rare case, and is only employed when an item depends on input from the dev team or a source external to the item in question. A suspended submission will remain indefinitely until the issue is resolved. It will never be deleted for inactivity or any other reason.
Reasons for submission are varied, but examples include:
- One (or both) of the components is poorly balanced and needs to be reworked
- A proposed effect is not possible with the current system, but there are plans to include it later
- The recipe was changed and a new submission is required for one of the components
Recently, submissions have also been suspended if the item backlog is massive and the submission falls into one of the following categories:
- The submission came from the Randomizer
- The submission is a reference to fictional media outside of MSPA
- The submission is bladekind (seriously we have like 400 of these things already)
These items will be unsuspended and moderated as normal once the backlog of more original items is reduced to a more manageable size. If you want to submit an item that would be suspended in this way, and there are currently hundreds of unprocessed items in the backlog, we politely ask that you refrain from doing so.
As the backlog shrinks, submissions will be unsuspended in the order presented above.
A submission is considered "inactive" if it is yellow-flagged and the submitter hasn't responded in 7 days or more. When inactive, the fate of the submission is entirely up to the dev team, and is first come first serve. If there are any missing details, the dev has the option to fill in the blanks themselves and greenlight, or mark the item for deletion.
Keep in mind that a submission that has not been moderated in 7 days will not be considered inactive, as said inactivity is entirely our fault. Ideally, this should never happen, but in the event that the number of submissions inflates and/or too many mods become unable to keep up with new submissions, it is possible that a submission will fall into this area.
It is useful to remember that ANY comment on a submission, insightful or otherwise, will reset the "last updated" timer. Since unmarked submissions are typically looked at in ascending order based on that timer, commenting on a submission in an attempt to get a dev's attention will only push it to the back of the list. If you suspect that an item is being unfairly ignored, it is better to message a dev directly.
The Finer Details
This section contains information that may be beneficial to keep in mind, but is not necessary to submit a satisfactory item. This info may assist in avoiding some common issues, however.
Grist Costs and Balance
The only important part of a submission's grist cost, at least until it becomes an official item, is the types of grist used. As long as the submitter provides a suitable variety of grist types, the exact costs can be easily determined by the devs during the processing phase.
However, if you want to know how to balance an item's cost, the formula is actually quite simple: (x^2)/8. First, square the power level (adding the highest of the combat bonuses), then divide the result by 8. The total amount of grist one needs to spend on the item should be around that number.
Although this formula is used as a fairly reliable baseline, especially for mid-endgame weapons, it is treated very loosely at times. The costs for weapons around the 80-1000 power mark tend to be rather cheap according to the formula, and so it is often best to increase the cost based on the enemies that are available with similar power. For example, basilisks (base 150 power) drop around 2000 of its own tier of grist on average. A weapon with 150 power according to our formula would cost around 2812 grist, only 1-2 basilisks' worth. There are two possible solutions: either use a grist that can only be obtained from ogres at this point (tier 4 or above), or raise the cost quite a bit. 10000 or more grist is not uncommon for a weapon of that power, requiring at least 5 basilisks on average.
Regardless of power, an item may include multiple grist costs near that value for the purposes of "padding". For example, a power 100 weapon might cost 1250 or so of a tier 3-5 grist, since tier 3 ogres have a base power of 99, but the item may also include a tier 1 or 2 grist of a similar cost. This grist is much easier to obtain, but gives the item a more appropriate cost as it would require more encounters to fulfill.
Build grist is ridiculously easy to obtain and is usually not included in the total cost.
Bonuses to individual commands (aggrieve, aggress, etc) can help to make an item more unique while increasing its effective power level. The power of a weapon is treated as if its highest combat bonus is added to it, so an item with 100 power and +12 to Assault would have 112 power for the purposes of alchemy.
Command bonuses are always optional, but can help to give the item an edge in the direction that it was intended to be used. Active bonuses for more offensive gear, and passive bonuses for more defensive gear. They can also add a bit of flavor to the item. Here's the way I define all of these bonuses:
- Aggrieve: used for "annoying" attacks, or attacks that aren't entirely physical or damaging but can still impede an enemy.
- Aggress: used for "angry" attacks. I'm not 100% sure about this one, but I'd guess it can go to attacks that have a lot of emotion behind them but aren't all that well thought out.
- Assail: used for "rapid" attacks, or attacks that can be executed quickly and in great number.
- Assault: used for all-out attacks. Anything that does a lot of reckless damage with no regard to defense.
- Abuse: the one passive command that increases attack instead of defense. I like to think of it as a focus on counter-attacks.
- Accuse: used for gear that is good for parrying or deflecting attacks in such a way that offensive power is not compromised.
- Abjure: used for dodging or otherwise avoiding attacks altogether. This decreases your focus on offense a bit, but not in a crippling way.
- Abstain: used for outright blocking attacks. Naturally, this greatly diminishes offensive power, but your defense will be as good as possible.
A weapon's kind is usually defined by its components; a riflekind item will be created from at least one other riflekind item, and so on. A weapon can have more than one abstratus, and there is no definite limit on how many a single weapon can have. Most of the time, a submission's final abstratus should share at least one abstratus with at least one component. Only rarely will an item gain an abstratus "from nowhere". Wearable categories (headgear, facegear, bodygear, and accessory) also fall under kind abstratus and can be applied to weapons as well. There are three "special" abstrati that are independent of weapon or wearable definitions:
- notaweapon, applied to literally everything that isn't a weapon and is the sole "abstratus" of miscellaneous items
- computer, which indicates that the item grants access to messages, resource wiring, and house-building when in the inventory
- flying, which allows access to all gates in the session that are part of your chain
New kind abstrati can be added to the game as easily as any weapon that uses it, so if you wish to introduce a new kind to the game, all you have to do is submit a base item that has it.
Special Item Effects
Alongside the ability to give consumables hardcoded effects (allowing them to do just about anything you can imagine), weapons and some misc. items can have other effects applied to them to increase (or decrease!) their usefulness. Here is a List of item effects, we'll try to keep it up-to-date with all possible effects that can be added to an item!