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First person CRPG, based on the old classics like Dungeon Master or Eye of the Beholder
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KnockOut
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Post by KnockOut » Sun Jun 03, 2007 3:16 pm

The problem with a skill system is that it encourages bad behavior. It encourages fighters to wear crappy armor so they get hit so that healers can keep casting healing spells to raise their healing skill.

It encourages fighters to weild crappy weapons to raise their weapons skill.

One solution, is to make every fight a challenge. That way if a player tries to use crappy gear to get more skill boostage they die.

Another way would be for easy encounters to get more challenging over time. Let's say a player tries to improve it's skills against a rat. The rat warlord might hear the lengthy battle and charge over there to take advantage of a weakened player.

Another way would not be a time limit but a time penalty. If the user decides to spend time taking advantage of the skill system, the monsters begin to get tougher, the gear gets more expensive, etc.

I think the best way would be to always make sure that the monsters are challenging. I know you said that you wanted to appeal to "casual" style players too.

One way would be instead of a difficulty setting you could have difficulty options. You could have level-scaled monsters clicked on or off. Time penalties clicked on or off. Breakable gear on or off.

Now one thing to remember is risk versus reward. In a lot of games if you do the easy settings you get no risk but all the rewards(you get to experience the entire story and gameplay experience).

Rewards can be online high scores, a special secret ending, etc.

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jack1974
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Post by jack1974 » Sun Jun 03, 2007 4:29 pm

KnockOut wrote: One way would be instead of a difficulty setting you could have difficulty options. You could have level-scaled monsters clicked on or off. Time penalties clicked on or off. Breakable gear on or off.
Wow great...! that's really a good suggestion! Indeed, I'll do exactly as you said. In options you'll have several on/off values like you said, and each one will have a reward.
Example if you put breakable items off - you won't get some very powerful weapons towards the end of the game.
Or if you put level scaled monsters off, you won't be able to reach some part of the game, and so on.

That way casual player can enjoy the easy setting, and maybe later replay the game at hard ones, while expert players can start directly with hard settings 8)

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Post by KnockOut » Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:43 pm

From the latest blog the spell list looks good. Of course, it might be nice to have a different name for each spell based on class. Instead of a druid casting heal he might cast empower with nature.

I'd actually reccomend getting rid of the druid, necromancer, and shaman classes for this version because they seem like specialty classes. It might be better to call them like Green Mage, Black Mage, or Red Mage. Because I have very specific ideas of what a druid, necromancer, and shaman should be. Whereas something generic sounding like Green Mage I'd be willing to accept him doing whatever.

With all this work on spells, what's going to happen to the melee classes? I think of rogue's too as a specialty class that has unique traits, maybe that could be put in next version because I think having a rogue be a fighter who disarms traps would be short changing the nature of the rogue.

Also, I'm really worried about potential abuses of the skill system. Just read the GameFAQ for Elder Scrolls Oblivion where it reccomends doing crazy things like jumping to raise the acrobactics skill.

In the game, people might keep running under traps to get the healers to keep using the healing skill.

How are you going to keep skill system abuses in check?

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jack1974
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Post by jack1974 » Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:01 pm

KnockOut wrote: I'd actually reccomend getting rid of the druid, necromancer, and shaman classes for this version because they seem like specialty classes. It might be better to call them like Green Mage, Black Mage, or Red Mage.
Yes you could be right, but for "marketing" purposes I think is better to keep those names. Sorry but necromancer sounds much better than "Black Mage" :lol:

Instead the skill abuse system is a good question. I don't really know, I can add checks of course. But in my game since is (obviously) smaller than Oblivion, there should be less cases. The one you mention indeed could be possible - this would be balanced from the fact that with traps your equipment gets damaged too, and maybe you would also lose precious time.

I guess in "casual" mode (without breakable gear, time limit, etc) is hard to find any motivation for not doing it... but when I'll program it I'll see, maybe I can add a check "if healer heals injured played by trap for more than 2-3 consecutive times = cheat".

But indeed, rules are easy to evade using human intelligence to cheat... :roll:

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iulius
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Post by iulius » Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:05 pm

I have an idea: just make skill increase for such things like healing work only during combat. So if the healer heals a party member during fight, skill increase x5, if outside 0 or x1 (very smaller) so people wouldn't be motivated.

For other skills like making potions instead is fine - the skill raises indeed by practicing, no? 8)

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Post by KnockOut » Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:33 pm

jack1974 wrote:
KnockOut wrote: I'd actually reccomend getting rid of the druid, necromancer, and shaman classes for this version because they seem like specialty classes. It might be better to call them like Green Mage, Black Mage, or Red Mage.
Yes you could be right, but for "marketing" purposes I think is better to keep those names. Sorry but necromancer sounds much better than "Black Mage" :lol:
Well in marketing purposes it's false advertising. I mean necromancer, shamans, and druids are all worthy of their own expansion pack. I don't want them to be shortchanged. This is a roleplaying game after all. And I want the names to fit their role. I don't want to play a druid that can't control nature or summon animals and that doesn't wear green robes and wields staves of nature.

You could explain it with exposition in the storyline. Maybe there's a story reason why Druids can't control the weather or summon animals and can wield mighty warrior weapons. And then in an expansion pack you can fix it.

You can use adjectives that let people know that this isn't your normal Druid, like Druid of the West, Necromancer from the Abyss.

Let's say you release a psion expansion pack. If you release Druids as they are basically warrior/mage hybrids, then people will go: "There'll be nothing cool in the expansion pack, psions will just be a derivative class."

However if you name the Druids as now as Green Mages and release a psion expansion pack people will say: "Wow, psion sounds like a cool class. In AD&D, the psion always got it's own books! This will be a great expansions!"

So in marketing terms it's better to label the classes as they are.

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jack1974
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Post by jack1974 » Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:17 pm

KnockOut wrote: Well in marketing purposes it's false advertising. I mean necromancer, shamans, and druids are all worthy of their own expansion pack. I don't want them to be shortchanged. This is a roleplaying game after all. And I want the names to fit their role. I don't want to play a druid that can't control nature or summon animals and that doesn't wear green robes and wields staves of nature.
I was referring mostly to spells. There will be class exclusive items. There will be a Death Staff with a nice skull on the top usable only by necromancers, and so on.
But in my small roleplay (small won't mean not fun, just that I don't have a team of 8 artists, 3 programmers, and so on) I don't think have enough "power" to put so much differentiation on the classes, expecially since is going to be mostly an "action" rpg.

I could however save some classes for expansions... but the problems for spells still remains, because spells are based on deities (and I don't want to change this again).

So a psionic class wouldn't be possible, because they should have yet another spell system not based on deities... :roll:

For now I'll make it this way, I know isn't going to be perfect roleplay game, but as I said - I have to take into account my capabilities, expecially after the lesson I've learnt with USM2.

"Better finish a smaller game, than attempt a big one and never finish it" :oops:

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Post by anita » Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:26 pm

I know someone is going to kill me... but as a woman and more "casual" rpg player, I love the semplicity of Magic Stones. In my point of view I think you have already a great collection of class/spells as it seems right now.
Beside, after playing MMORPG like Everquest or DAOC, I don't see the classes so much differentiated even there honestly... unless the difference between a Druid and a Necro, is that the first summons a dire wolf, the second a giant skeleton :lol:

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iulius
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Post by iulius » Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:47 pm

Like KnockOut, I would love to see a proper Necro or Druid - the specific items jack1974 mentioned is already a good start. However I realize also that he has limited means at his disposal, and what anita says is also true - many million budget MMORPG just change the kind of pets they summon and a few spell to make 2 different classes... :twisted:

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Post by KnockOut » Thu Jun 07, 2007 6:41 pm

I think leveling spells is a great idea as long as you do it right. As I think, is the concept of each class getting fewer spells but each spell being levelable. There are only a few spells as you have categorized damage to a single entity, damage over time, damage to groups, haste, bless, shield, slow, curse, heal, summon meat shield, summon creature that does a lot of damage, charm, terror, boost parties mind effect resistance, etc.

I'm a bit perplexed on the use of a summon food spell.

Fewer spells means also means more time on unique items. Shamans are wild mages according to AD&D, their spells can be more powerful or they can fizzle. Their unique items should reflect that. You could have unique items that require two dwarve healers in the party. Six ice elf thieves. Etc.

Levelable spells also leads to a great potential for abuse. Let's assume there are finite monsters. I could save before each encounter and then try to cast firebolt so it does the fewest amount of damage each time and save until I get the minimum damage per battle.

If you make the rate based on the amount taken by firebolt then I'll play the battle until I get the maximum xp on firebolt per cast.

You can have weapons and spells always do the same amount of damage per level but only accuracy is affected by random chance. Of course members of the party who miss would not get their spells to go up as much. But then you'd want to get hit by your opponents so you could cast heal more so your healers gain more heal xp.

I can't think of good ways to prevent abuse other than of course the ways we already mentioned breakable items, time limits. Maybe breakable spells?

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