[DIS] Sliding scale of character flexibility

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On the sliding scale of character flexibility, where best do you think TMW should lie on?

Completely flexible. The player has full control over the characters' development and decisions made when assigning points, equipment etc carry all the weight. Stats do not grow with level, but the number of stat points available and/or the weight of each point is much higher. Allows for any range of characters between 1hp glass cannons and fully rounded 'generic' characters. Steep learning curve.
7
64%
Mostly flexible. Decisions the player make in equipment, stat points etc carry significant weight, but all base stats grow slightly with level. Allow for a lot of min-max character development and flexibility, but not complete control. Somewhat steep learning curve.
2
18%
Somewhat flexible. Stats are mostly increased by base level, decisions made by the player carry some weight as to the direction of the character, but all characters are forced into a relatively rounded character. Fairly easy learning curve, and easy to balance, but with much less diversity.
1
9%
Near-Zero flexibility. Stats are almost completely increased by base level, player based decisions such as equipment and stat points carry a little weight, but characters are near uniform.
1
9%
 
Total votes: 11
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Freeyorp101
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[DIS] Sliding scale of character flexibility

Post by Freeyorp101 » 21 Apr 2010, 02:12

After recent discussion regarding game balance and design, I think we need to get some form of consensus as to what direction we want this aspect of gameplay to take.

On one end there is a steep learning curve, on the other is a complete lack of diversity. What can be justified by tutorials and corrections points? What level of forced generalisations can we accept in the name of simplifying balance?

What is a good compromise between control and ease?

Are there any other options available?


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Bertram
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Re: [DIS] Sliding scale of character flexibility

Post by Bertram » 21 Apr 2010, 08:36

Hi Freeyorp,

Thanks for bringing up discussion upon this.

First of all, between the four proposals, I'm for the 1.5 one ;) which is, if I'm not wrong, not far from what we have now in ManaServ (and in TmwAthena, if I'm correct.)
:arrow: The player fully managed attributes points, but with the given constraints :
1. The higher attribute value cannot be to far from the lower one.
2. The player has got correction points he/she can use to get back attribute points to put them elsewhere on each level.

I'm fine with that system for two reasons:
1. The balance between a controllable curve and freedom is quite good.
2. It's mostly done, if not entirely. ;)

Secondly, I'm not sure if you're speaking about ManaServ or TmwAthena server development. As you're more involved in the latter, lately, I was wondering.
(ManaServ and TmwAthena servers development can be paralleled without having to do the same thing, IMHO.)

Best regards.
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Re: [DIS] Sliding scale of character flexibility

Post by Crush » 21 Apr 2010, 08:43

I believe that players should have a lot of room for customization and experimentation. Giving the player a lot of options and freedom in combining these options in creative ways will keep the game interesting.

But I would also prefer to prevent the player from making errors which can't be corrected. It would be really frustrating for a player when he notices after hundreds of hours that he ruined his character because he clicked the wrong button during the first hour when he was experimenting with the user interface.

I think it would generally be the best philosophy to give players quite few options in the beginning of the game and introduce additional complexity and choices later when the player has obtained the knowledge to make use of them.
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Re: [DIS] Sliding scale of character flexibility

Post by Turmfalke » 21 Apr 2010, 12:35

So on the first levels the stats get automatically distributed to create a solid basement and as the player starts to reach higher levels more and more of the stats points can be placed by the player untill at some point he gains full control over his statspoints.
Maybe something like:
Level
1 - 10 100% automatic
11 - 15 80% automatic
16 - 25 50% automatic
26 - 30 20% automatic
31 - ?? 0% automatic
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Re: [DIS] Sliding scale of character flexibility

Post by Crush » 21 Apr 2010, 15:41

No, Turmfalke, that's not what I would suggest. Simply automatizing things and removing this automation is a bad way to do it. I am also not just thinking about the attribute distribution but about the big picture.

I was rather thinking about adding complexiity to the game step by step.

You start out with just one weapon and one armor.

Then equipment with better attack and defence is introduced. You learn higher numbers = better.

Then you are faced with an enemy type with an elemental weaknesses and a weapon which exploits this weakness although it is weaker than the previous one. You learn attack power is not necessarily everything.

More elemental monsters and types are introduced. You learn about the elemental cycle and how to exploit it.

Enemies with elemental attacks and elemental armors are introduced so you learn the other side of elemental rock paper scissors.

The full complexity of the crafting system kicks in and you can experiment with creating your own elemental equipment which weights pros and cons.

Status effects start to play a role. You get the option to trade damage reduction for effect resistance.

You get the option to create/buy weapons which cause status effects instead of elemental damage and thus you get yet another option to consider.


Somewhere along this line special attacks are introduced.

First just a single one which works very simple.

Then another equally simple one, but now you have to manage two.

Then more complex special attacks which require more strategy to use are added and the choice which specials to use.


The same philosophy should be applied to every aspect of the game in my opinion. Start as simple as possible and gradually introduce more and more complexity.


Attribute distribution is something we have to add from the start, everything else would be artificial. But the correction point system with its cap will take care of allowing to fix newbie mistakes without allowing to change the direction of the character during the lategame.


Really radical character choices, like the mentioned glass cannon character, should only be allowed in the lategame because they are mostly interesting for people very familiar with the meta gameplay. They could be made available through rare equipment or consumables with very radical effects like trading 75% of your hp for 50% more attack.
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Re: [DIS] Sliding scale of character flexibility

Post by John P » 24 Apr 2010, 00:54

Crush proposal + 1
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Re: [DIS] Sliding scale of character flexibility

Post by Rotonen » 24 Apr 2010, 15:27

The CR approach is also about introducing well designed complexity into the game world step by step and having the content support this. Also a fairly excellent point from Crush about endgame gameplay of the current CR at hand. Probably not relevant for a long time to come, but good to keep in mind.

My vote went for the steepest learning curve. Might not be the easiest way for wide adaption, but is a nice venue to dedicated fans.
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Re: [DIS] Sliding scale of character flexibility

Post by MerlinX420 » 10 Oct 2010, 11:57

I would say from the current play-style of the people we have playing the most flex-able would be the only way to go.
One thing that would keep this game interesting is the diversity of roles.
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Re: [DIS] Sliding scale of character flexibility

Post by Rotonen » 10 Oct 2010, 12:12

On the long term, building around forcing people to pick different roles is a good concept. For the limited amount of content planned for CR1, we do not have the resources to take it that far. Functional simple melee combat is what I've specified for CR1. In further Content Releases we can easier expand upon that solid basis if everything went fine.
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