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While I was on my way home today I thought up my perfect game.
It's basically an MMO.
Lets start with wow, or lotro, or aoc. It's that type of game. However, there are some big differences.
First of all, there is no classes. Everyone can learn everything.
Second of all, it's REALLY smart to specialize.
First I will explain some of the basics. This will somehow be based on WoW, since that is the game I've played most.
Keep in mind that this is not fully developed, and only the mage part feels somehow complete.
But wait, you say, mage? Didn't you say there were no classes? Well, that is.. there is no class when making a character, and you yourself chose how to develop it. But let me continue my explanation.
Each character will have 5 base stats. Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Stamina and Agility. On each levelup, a player get x points to put as he choose in those. A character will also have 5 spell school stats. Fire, Water, Earth, Wind and Spirit. Those will be increased by books.
And here things start to get different. Each book is a logic game (think Gridlock or any other simple flash puzzle game). Each page, a new level on that puzzle. Each page completed gives some points in the book's school. For example the first books require no level, no previous spell points, and give maybe 1-2 per page. After a while you find books that require level X, spell school skill of X, and give maybe 50 or 100 per page (and have harder puzzles). Low books will stop giving points after a while (so a lvl 1 can't puzzle his way to 5000 of each skill with enough time).
Spells are learned via scrolls. A scroll can only be read once (very rare spells), be read X times, or unlimited times (common spells).
Spells have requirements that varies from the effect produced, and gives damage as a % of spell school(s) used. Lets give a few examples.
Burn - Gives melee fire damage. Require 10 fire skill. Damage is 30% of fire skill.
Firebolt - Ranged fire damage. Require 25 fire skill and 10 wind skill. Damage is 30% of fire skill and 10% of wind skill.
Casting of a spell is also different. You draw forms on the screen with your mouse, and the accuracy and size will influence the spell's effect.
Each school will have a set of basic forms for each level (getting more complicated per level), that will be either used directly or chained to get the final form. For example, the firebolt spell might require a lvl 2 fire form and a lvl 1 wind form. The form of each school will have similar forms, so a person doing a lot of fire spells will have easier learning and doing the forms for a new fire spell.
Now that the magic system have been explained, I'll go on to the figher system.
This is far from as complete as the last one, I'm afraid, and I only have a vague picture of it, with several conflicting ideas. There is, however, one thing I'm sure of. The combat will be button mash based, similar to Street Fighter 2, Tekken, Mortal Kombat and similar.
Special abilities (similar to spells for a mage) will be done by combo's, just like the classic fight games. I am not sure how this will be, but I have several ideas. One is several bars, for example defense, fast hit, slow hit, that will increase while fighting. Something similar to wow's weapon/defense skill maybe. Another idea is to make it a bit similar to mage system, only with action type minigames.
Combos could be things like throw, stun, knockback, double hit, aoe hit, mass damage +++. How a fighter will learn those I'm also not sure of. Maybe via npc trainer, or discovery, with possibility to train other chars?
Levelling. I'm not sure how to do this. At one end you have xp and endless grind. At the other end you have skill based levelling.. And by skill based, well, the first idea that comes to mind is to defeat a certain opponent. Maybe every 10th level is skill based, the rest is grind? Again, not sure here.
I also have a fancy idea : the only way to level is to defeat an opponent, and any mob fighting is just getting gear / training to defeat that one challenge.
On to gear. Gear will mostly have +% bonuses. For example +1% to Fire skill on a hat, or +2% to Strength or melee skill on a glove. A dagger can give damage based on strength, agility, and (if implented) dagger skill, similar to magic spells.
All characters can use all the stuff, but stats will try to make warriors go arond in armor, and wizards go around in robes
Gear will also require level / stats. For example a huge 2hander should require some decent strength. Same with plate gear.
Each char is unique
By saying that each is unique, I don't mean that all chars look different, but that all created characters PLAY differently. Let me explain.
Upon character generation, a random number is created and assigned. That number (being unique to that character) affects, well, as much as possible.
Let us start with the spells, since this is the most clear in my head, and most easily designed. You remember that spells had a number of basic forms, that could be combined to make the final spell right? There is a reason for that. Lets say you start a char, Numbskull. He learns Burn, which has lvl 1 fire form #2, 73 degrees rotation. You then start a new char, Dimwit, and he learns Burn, which then have lvl 1 fire form #5, 17 degrees rotation.
You see? The new character not only have new stats, but all spells will have different casting movement. On a fighter the combo's will be different. Preferrably, the logic games will be slightly different, too (But that might be really hard to program fairly). So if you start a new character, prepare to be a newbie again, relearning the basics. This also means that you can't just plop down on your friend's char and rely on your muscle memory from your own char. This will also hopefully remove the market for guides on how to solve book x that players can follow.
Libraris are the primary sources for books and scrolls. You have two types of library. The public library, and guild libraries.
The public library will lend away their books for a certain fee, and will have many of the scrolls with the basic spells. Players can donate books and scrolls to the library if they will, and they will then be avaliable for renting.
Guild libraries are the pride of the big mage guilds. Where the guild members work to populate it, and the guild members can borrow books/scrolls for free.
For an aspiring mage, the best path to greatness is to get a foot within one of the great mage guilds, and the great libraries they possess.
Inscriptions. This is an idea I have, where mages can bind a spell into some kind of crystal shard. Binding will take reagents, it will increase the minimum skill and level required by a certain percent, it will take time to make, and the effect will be equal to 10% of creator's skill, plus 50% of user's skill. Level to use the inscription is the same as the spell's minimum level. The result is an item that when used, unleashes the spell under the factors described earlier. It can be used by anyone, even those who don't have the skill required to cast the original spell. This should by no means be easy / cheap to make.
PvP. I'm not sure here, but one thing I am sure of is this : no factions, like wow have. If pvp is on, you can attack anyone. Also, information on a character is minimal. It does NOT show level. Also, I want that high level gear can look plain, and low level gear can look fancy. It should be up to the player how he looks. It also makes pvp'ing having an element of risk, since you can't know how strong the opponent is beforehand.
Mental energy / rage. I have some basic ideas here, basically rage works as in wow (the more you do and receive damage, the more it goes up), and mental energy is a mashup of energy and mana (again from wow). Brutal combo's use mainly rage, spells use mainly mental energy, and finesse combos use a combination.
As I said, this thing came together on my way home from work, but many of the pieces have been floating around in my head. It's far from complete, but should be enough to build something around. I have not analyzed stuff, so it
I would greatly love to see this kind of game, and I hereby allow anyone to use these ideas. Only thing I ask for, if a game is created built on these ideas, please give me a free account
Things that have popped into my head since the original writing (a bit chaotic writing here):
Stealth part of the game.. if it exist.. might want to be played similar to thief (note: i have only played thief for about 10 minutes, and don't recall much from it).
Casting ranged or shooting bows should zoom to a first person like view. Maybe something similar to AoC.