So, recently I had a conversation with my muse, and a post on BGDF, that have really changed the way I think about the character class system and abilities. I think that most of the basic mechanisms can stay the same, but I have a few major changes to the class and ability system, and in a way a major change to the point of the spirit world:
1) Class systems- So, I’ve always been a little bit of the libertarian equivalent of a game designer, in that I want players to be able to do whatever the heck they want (and just hope that the game is set up in a way that promotes interesting play). So, for example, I wasn’t a big fan of games in the Warhammer series that required that one have X basic units, or no more than 50% of their points in tanks. So, in this game, I originally designed 13 Spirit World classes, and 13 Real World classes, and said that anyone could link to anyone else. I’m starting to see now that this was not a very good idea. Essentially, the problem with energy abilities in the last game came from the fact that one could make an archer link to anything else. So, between this, suggestions of my muse to make things simpler, and the fact that the classes were really haphazardly put together anyways, I decided to super-simplify things. In version 4.0, there will only be 5 classes per world, and each class can only link to 2 others. So, now if you are a Scholar in the real world (the magic/summoning class), you have to link to either a Seer (the magic/archery class) or the Trickster (the magic/crazy abilities class).
2) Abilities- So, not only were the classes originally designed in a really haphazard way, but so were the abilities. As a result, not a whole lot of them had any link between the world. My plan is to change that. Now, at least half of the abilities should do something in both worlds (or at least have the potential to). Some will be like Regenerate, which gives a benefit in both worlds automatically. Some will be like Summon abilities, where a character can give the benefit to the other by meditating. Some will be like Move Earth, where the player can spend energy points to use in the other world. Some will be like Soulblade, where a character must damage their doppleganger to use it. And finally, some will continue to be the same crazy split attacks (like Ice Knife or Deep Wound, which attack both a character and their doppleganger).
I think I might make the abilities slightly directional, with a tendency to help the real world more than the spirit world.
3) Energy Points- Someone on BGDF had a really interesting idea about the characters needing to be bound together to use abilities. Here is my thought: I will eliminate Luck Points (which can be used to reroll stats), and subsume them into Energy Points. I will also allow characters to use Energy Points to heal themselves, or reduce their residual magic (thus being able to cast more spells). Also, there will be a large number of abilities that require Energy Points to use.
However, I will also make it that having at least one Energy Point is required for a lot of abilities to function. Essentially, if your last Energy Point is lost, the link between your character is lost. This makes for a lot of interesting situations. First, now you can be stuck in the situation of, “Boy, I’d really like to reroll my damage, but if I do, my Aura of Wind will cease to function.” Second, now a character can do damage either by actually lowering an enemy’s hit points, or she can do damage by reducing an enemy’s Energy Points (thus cutting her off from her doppleganger). Finally, now there is a really strong reason to want to capture energy towers: a) to use your crazy abilities, and b) as insurance, in case your opponent hits you with a spell that takes your Energy points away.
4) Purpose of the Spirit Realm- Between 2 and 3, I’m thinking that the aim of the spirit world will be less a vital battle on its own, as much as something where you win it to help you win the real world. Thus, everything in the spirit world will somehow translate into being more of a badass in the real world.
What do you think? I’m really excited about this, and think I’ve finally figured out the problem of the worlds not linking enough.
“The opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity.” – Robert Anthony