Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Part 2: System

Most mmos focus on 2 aspects of a character: race and class. I see race as primarily window dressing, having racial abilities that vary greatly, although often providing flavor, are inherently disbalancing and I disagree with including them in a game. Class is another thing that I disagree strongly with. I feel that pushing people into pre-defined classes is very limiting, but at the same time makes game balance difficult. "classes" are already just a combination of various skills and talents, why not allow players more freedom to choose the combinations they get?

I've already laid out the player races are based on 4 elements: air, earth, fire and water. Each element has a magical skill line and a non-magical skill line. The race that corresponds to each element receives the skill line within that element for a slight discount. The elements and skills are: Air; Marksmanship & Arcane; Fire: Arms & Summoning; Water: Subtlety & Healing; Earth: Survival & Evocation. There would be certain "generic" skills that everyone had access to: ability to wear certain types of armor, riding, cooking, first aid, etc.

Characters would get a number of points to buy basic abilities in the various skills, but if they wanted to select "template" classes, there would be some of the more classic ones for quicker entry into the game. Starting stats would be determined by which skills the character selected. This would give a much greater depth of possible character types. Want to be a classic warrior? Put all your points into Arms. Ranger? Marksmanship and survival. Granted, humans would make better warriors than dwarves, but not to a disbalancing level.

I think this would give a greater depth of characters, but also allow things to be more balanced. Anyone with a decent level in Arms and with ability to wear plate could tank. Anyone with a decent Healing could heal. Each race has some manner of doing DPS, be it magical or non magical.

It is also a departure from the traditional "this race can be X, Y, and Z class" of previous games.

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