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FFXIV char growth mechanicsFollow

#1 Jun 18 2009 at 4:39 PM Rating: Good
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WARNING: this is a really really really long post, talking about game mechanics.

FFXI is my only MMORPG experience (but I've played a lot of RPG's since the first Final Fantasy release on NES. Some of these ideas might already exists in other mmorpgs that I don't know of.

Here's how I see Square-Enix setting up their new characther growth system using weapons and armors, without using the common levels and experience points system.

You start with your race basic stats, and you have no skills. Basic stats could also be adjusted depending on chosen character height (taller = more STR and VIT but less AGI and DEX, the opposite for smaller).

You do not choose a job (since there are no common jobs in this system). You can however create different profiles for the same character. More on that later.

Equipment have "materia" slots. Materia gives common stats boost (+10 defense, +5 ranged accuracy, +2% HP, +3 STR, etc ...). But some of them also gives the possibility to learn "Stats skills", "Action skills" or "Skill mods", mastered by reaching a set amount of Skill points (obtained by killing monsters). Some materias can have special requirements in order to equip them, and some of them can only be equipped on specific types of weapons or armors.

The 3 main types of materias:

- "Action skills" materias gives access to weapon skills, spells or group of spells , special abilities like "Provoke" or "Steal", etc ... You can learn a maximum of 15 "Action skills".

- "Skill mods" materias can modify and enhance these 15 "Action skills" learned, up to 5 times each (that makes 75 action skills/mods). There are some examples further down.

"Stats skills" materias can be divided in 3 categories:
-You can learn 75 basic stats boosts (+HP, +MP, +STR, +DEX, +VIT, +AGI, +MND, +INT, etc ...) with a maximum of 15 boosts per stat.
-You can learn 75 offensive stats boost (+bow skill, +spear skill, +critical hit rate, etc ...) with a maximum of 15 boosts per stat.
-You can learn 75 defensive stats boost (+heavy armor skill, +light armor skill, +elemtental magic resistance, +evasion, etc ...) with a maximum of 15 boosts per stat.

You cannot use the same materia again and again to boost the same stat. Example for DEX boosting materias ."DEX 1" materia gives +2 to DEX stat, and you cannot learn it again with the same char profile. You can learn "DEX 2" materia that gives +3 to DEX stat since it requires you to have learned "DEX 1" skill. And that goes on to "DEX 15". The stronger (higher) the materia, the longer it takes to learn the skill.

If you wear more than one "skill learning" materia, obtained skill points are divided among them. The equipment with the materia equipped must be equipped from the moment the monster is engaged and to be removed/swapped to it's death to get Skill points, or it won't count. This is to prevent gear swapping from high stat boost materia to skill learning materia just for the end of combat.

Example: You're creating a new profile for your character. You want to do some sort of hybrid between Monk and White Mage to mainly play solo and have fun (you can have other profiles to play more common FFXI roles like tanks to mostly play in parties). You can switch between profiles like you can switch jobs in FFXI.

You decide to learn the "Curative magic" skill. This unlocks the spell "Cure". You can then modifiy it (with "Skill mods" materias) the way you wish from many different augments choices, but only up to five times (more curative power, adds a "regen" effect, gives an "area of effect" option, faster casting, faster re-casting delay, "erase" effect, a small "haste" effect, , less/more enmity from mobs, lower interruption rate, etc ...)

You decide to learn the skill "Boost". You can modify it to be effective for your monk / white mage hybrid, adding a small "refresh" effect to it and an additonal magic power boost among your 5 mod options.

You also decide to get the weapon skill "Spirit Blow of the Death Palm" (random name ...) that is a physical skill that does magical damage to a single ennemy. You can modify it to absorb ennemy's mp and lower it's physical damage resistance.

Of course, some skills would have requirements. Like for "Curative magic" skills mods, you could need some +Mind stat skills to be able to learn them. For the "Spirit Blow of the Death Palm" weapon skill, it could require some +hand-to-hand skills.

Also, some skills would have penalties that affect other skills. If you pick "Curative magic", you have a penalty for black offensive magic skills (and the other way around). You would end up having some sort of Red Mage if you picked both (access to many different type of spells, but with lower potency).

There would also be sacrifices and high requirements to have access to the most powerful skills. Having "Curative magic", at least one "Offensive magic", one "Buffing/debuffing magic" and +10 in sword skill could be the requirement to have the possibility of learning "Refresh magic". This is to prevent a player to take all the defensive skills possible and take "Cure" and "Refresh" for the last 2 free spots of action skills (making him an over-powered paladin). That would block some skills combos that could be game-breaking.

Same kind of requirements for weapons, armors and materias. Example: for a Kasier Shield, you would need to have at least +5 in shield skill and +8 in Vitality. Some of the strongest weapons and armors could also have action skills requirements, like a high-end heavy body armor having "Provoke" skill requirement. That would put some kind of filter to people's creativity, a subtle way to make them still consider basic party roles like tanks, healers and such while being creative. To sort out players strengh, they would be given a rank depending on the number of skills learned.

Some of these action skills could unlock more than one "action", like "Time magic" unlocking both Slow and Haste spells, and be a requirement for the high end spell Meteor.


Overall, this system would allow billions of custom character styles, while having the option to go on standard builds.


They should also focus more on mass killing. In FFXI, everything was built around killing single ennemies. There should have weapons that specialize on hitting an area of effect. Example: One-hand sword only attacks one mob at a time, while two-hands swords hits an area. Guns attack one mob, crossbows shoot multiple bolts in an area. And please, Square, bring back whips! That would create very special moments, and could be the single mob version of the flails and allow new fun abilities like "Draw in" that brings the ennemies (and players in PvP) closer to you.

Like in FFXI, people wanting to party would put up their "left for game" flag and choose to show some "specialities" among different options like "Tanking", "Healing", "Support", "Pulling", "Damage dealing", "Raiding", etc ... Party leaders could have a quick look of the players skillset before inviting them. Example, the party leader wants to do monster raids (kill multiple ennemies at once instead of focusing on one at a time), he could search for someone that has Provoke modified to be used within an area of effect.

Monsters would give no experience points, only skill points. Stronger monsters would exponentially give more skill points and better item/gil rewards. However, skill points would not be impacted by how many players there is in the party, it would give the same amount. That would give other options to the traditional 6-man parties.

Another incentive to party: when a monster drops something, everyone that was in the party when the monster was engaged and that was still there when it was killed receives the drop. People claiming a NM and waiting for other people to join the fight so they get the drop would not work. I'd keep the drop rates really low like in FFXI, but rewarding everyone who attended a NM camp would be less frustating and encourage people to help each other kill quests mobs, NMs andf this kind of stuff. Same thing for treasure chests loots.

Also, players crafting skills should have an impact on monster drops. It's logical that someone that has leathercaft skills should have more chance to get a rabbit hide out of a rarab corpse. That would help crafters farm their own material. And that would add another factor to consider when going on NM hunts (you wanna have a highly skilled bonecrafter in your team to fight that big fat unicorn and get a better chance to get that rare horn drop).

SE could also set up private dungeons. Some short ones could only be accessed once per day, while some would be once per week. Some would be soloable. I would also make more random treasure chests spawn in these kind of dungeons, to make them look more like the old Final Fantasies dungeons. In fact, I think that's what people expected of FFXI before it came out, an online version of the usual Final Fantasy gameplay style. They could also re-create storylines of old Final Fantasies using these private dungeons. Example, a FF6 storyline which requires you to go through "Narshe" dungeon, then "Figaro castle", etc ... If someone has only one hour to play, he could enter one of these dungeons and be sure that there's no RMT killing and looting everything.

Monster strengh would be determined by areas and be ranked just like players (so you can guess it's strengh before engaging it). As you increase your stats skills (thus getting access to better weapons and armors) and unlock/modify action skills, you get the ability to defeat stronger monsters and get more skill points.

Powerleveling would be nullified by restricing curing and buffing within a party (or alliance members). Buffing and debuffing done by a party member would be erased if this member quits the party. And there would a a skill point / reward penalty depending on the players rank versus the monster rank. If a party member rank is way too low or way too high versus monster's rank, everyone would get less skills points and rewards. Low rank monsters fleeing from high rank players could also be fun.


Another idea : The Heart system

Players could get "hearts" from other players depending on their combat and social skills.The heart-giving player name would appear, so everyone would not give hearts to anyone. You could also have the possibility to rate down a player (that would remove an existing heart). But it can't go negative. Requirements for giving a heart or or rating down a player would be to be in a party with this player for at least 30 minutes (and a time-frame of 1 hour after party). Hearts would remain for 48 play hours, then disappear. This system would help detecting skilled players. You could also look back at the entire list of people you hearted / unhearted. An easy way to remember the skilled players you partied with, and the players to avoid at all costs. And you could have the option to see a small heart floating next to players names that you hearted when you meet them in town or on the field.


That's how I hope SE works out the new system, while being familiar to the old system. Feel free to comment or flame on, if you took the time to read it.
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#2 Jun 18 2009 at 5:14 PM Rating: Decent
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Interesting idea but how do you obtain materia?
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#3 Jun 18 2009 at 5:42 PM Rating: Good
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NM drops, quests and BCNM-dungeon rewards, treasure chests, some could also be synthed.

Well, they'd need to be rare, like most good weapons, armors, accessories and spells in FFXI.
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#4 Jun 18 2009 at 5:53 PM Rating: Good
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Very long indeed o.o...U really put alot of thought into this its really detailed.
While reading I realized that levels were basically pushed out of the equation in your whole theory...and I loved the idea for some reason...no levels, thats Brilliant. I also think your really hyped up for this game and you might be setting yourself up for some disappointment if you keep thinking about it like this^^
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#5 Jun 18 2009 at 6:34 PM Rating: Good
So basically you're talking a modified FFTA system? I mean that's the closest thing I can think of to what you're suggesting.

I have a few minor problems. The most obvious being is that not all types of classes should have the same number of abilities. For instance, a black mage might have over 20 spells fairly easily. This is just breaking down the major elemental spell divisions. While a warrior really does not need as many active abilities.

You could clear this up by letting players have only certain abilities at a certain time, (like Blue Mage kind of in XI) but that has some minuses also, one of the most obvious is theres much less to make a second character for other than a mule of sorts, since in the end you can just swap in and out your abilities. But I guess theres stat materia and if you used your materia to become more Melee based you would be a crappy healer... but if this is the case that's almost as bad as being locked into a normal job.

Now I do agree with some sort of skill learning system, in reality that's the only way you could really do something without levels. I always invisioned some sort of glorified Talent Tree with like different skills and abilities and you moved through it to unlock more. Or something, never gave it too much thought.

I also think that some abilities should be unlocked different ways. Like Sentinel could be learned by taking a lot of damage. Or something. There might be quests that can unlock certain abilities, further more some quests might require you to have certain abilities (so kind of like class quests, but not since there arnt classes)

Something should also be done about passive abilities (Like Double Attack)

Edited, Jun 18th 2009 10:35pm by CalArvian
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#6 Jun 18 2009 at 6:38 PM Rating: Good
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i myself have stoped guessing at what the growth system will be like. theres like 1000 different ways to do it.

is it gona be ah la FF7, FF9, FFT, FF5/FF3, completely different?

to many questions not enough answers. im sticking to the FF5/FF3 method of aquiring jobs (u aquire specific jobs at specific plot points), and the FFT/FF5/FF3/FF6 method of getting job skills (using AP by killing monsters to master ones skills).

its been done and it works.

nothing wrong with ur method tho, but buying materia rubs me the wrong way.
#7 Jun 18 2009 at 6:47 PM Rating: Decent
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It's a good theory.
Do you work for SE?
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#8 Jun 18 2009 at 7:20 PM Rating: Decent
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it's a fairly sound system, though it would take some intricate safety catches to make sure it wasn't abuse-able. Also, if "materia" is some form of rare drop, there is a bit of a starter problem in obtaining it. You would need to add some form of lower quality materia that is easy to obtain for beginning characters. Having higher difficulty mobs drop more impressive materia would allow for another tier of development (though this could potentially be exploited once the game becomes top heavy)


I really REALLY like the idea of having better drops for items that are used for a particular craft.
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#9 Jun 18 2009 at 7:23 PM Rating: Good
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I kind of like the idea of materia. In FFVII (not like I have to remind anyone, but) you got materia early in the game and it would level with you. So yeah, while at level 4-5, you'd have Cure 1 and Fire 1, by the time you got up there you'd be sitting on Master level cure and fire if you stuck with it. Changing it out would stop it from leveling but you could keep it in your bag.

Oooohhh...... maybe we ARE onto something.
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#10 Jun 18 2009 at 7:43 PM Rating: Decent
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FF7 was still dependent on experience, though it wasn't as important as experience in FFXI.
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#11 Jun 18 2009 at 9:23 PM Rating: Default
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I appreciate your effort into it but here's your problem.

http://www.ffxidats.com/forums.php?m=posts&q=11765

and I quote:

Quote:

One of the things we really liked about ff11 was the job system and how it gave the players lots of different options and they could try a lot of different things and it kept them playing the game for a long time. We hope to expand on that job system and offer even more options, in a different way.


So in what way does this say to anyone, "There will be no jobs or class system"?

Where did everyone get the impression we won't have jobs?


Also anyone who frequents this forum knows that rate-up/rate-down systems are regularly used improperly and abused for petty things. I do not want them in my mmo.

Edited, Jun 19th 2009 1:25am by Louiscool
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#12 Jun 18 2009 at 9:30 PM Rating: Decent
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I always do things wrong when given a chance to make my own chara... it comes out as something that sucks at everything ; ;

But if it's so foolproof that even I can make a decent character then thumbs up!
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#13 Jun 18 2009 at 10:04 PM Rating: Default
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I am going to copy the whole OP to the gear systems thread, and I hope people will read the ideas posted there as well.

Alot of good char growth ideas exist there.

Some of the OP's ideas were already posted in other threads by other posters (including me), but the way they are all incorporated is unique. So I an reposting it in the thread it belongs in.

Edited, Jun 19th 2009 2:13am by Shazaamemt
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#14 Jun 18 2009 at 10:54 PM Rating: Decent
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We all ready know characters will develop through weapons and the last ff game like that was ff9 and also in ff9 was an ability point system so this is the most likely way they will have characters develop. So once you learn an ability you can equipped it using ability points, since there's no levels you probably gain ability points through missions.
Now I like your idea but I had an idea like this as well but not with materia but with accessories so basically the same. You could earn honor points like in other mmo's through various means which can be used to purchase many things such as accessories or in this case materia. They wouldn't give you abilities but rather other effects like +stats, +xp every kill, etc. You could purchase them and level them up using honor points. I don't think you should have your abilities attached to materia but maybe some very powerful abilities like ominislash for example would require that you learn it, equip it, and have a special materia in order to use it.
Anyways great idea and hope to see something similar to it in the game but likely they will go with an ability point system because they've already done it before in the past and have experience with it, plus it's simpler and allows for more customization. Not to mention I had the same idea so I really hope they go this way.
I still like your ideas especially the heart system, being able to see and players skill level would be great, at least for those that are good. More so if would influence people to act right so the next time someone thinks about talking trash there think twice.

Edited, Jun 19th 2009 7:17pm by foxblade
#15 Jun 18 2009 at 10:56 PM Rating: Decent
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ChinookFFXIV wrote:
Powerleveling would be nullified by restricing curing and buffing within a party (or alliance members).


That's the only part I didn't like. It's not so much that I want powerleveling to stay but I'd rather let people powerlevel than not be able to heal someone on the verge of death if I'm walking past them.

The rest was great and some of it absolutely brilliant. I especially liked the heart system as I have been thinking for some time of a way to determine skill and this seems to do it quite well. One comment on it though, if you didn't mean 48 hours in-game time you should as otherwise it would tend to favor people who play quite often.


This post should be sent to SE...I know they probably wouldn't bother reading it but it would be a real shame if they didn't include some of this.
#16 Jun 19 2009 at 12:42 AM Rating: Default
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ChinookFFXIV wrote:

WARNING: this is a really really really long post, talking about game mechanics.

FFXI is my only MMORPG experience (but I've played a lot of RPG's since the first Final Fantasy release on NES. Some of these ideas might already exists in other mmorpgs that I don't know of.

Here's how I see Square-Enix setting up their new characther growth system using weapons and armors, without using the common levels and experience points system.

You start with your race basic stats, and you have no skills. Basic stats could also be adjusted depending on chosen character height (taller = more STR and VIT but less AGI and DEX, the opposite for smaller).

You do not choose a job (since there are no common jobs in this system). You can however create different profiles for the same character. More on that later.

Equipment have "materia" slots. Materia gives common stats boost (+10 defense, +5 ranged accuracy, +2% HP, +3 STR, etc ...). But some of them also gives the possibility to learn "Stats skills", "Action skills" or "Skill mods", mastered by reaching a set amount of Skill points (obtained by killing monsters). Some materias can have special requirements in order to equip them, and some of them can only be equipped on specific types of weapons or armors.

The 3 main types of materias:

- "Action skills" materias gives access to weapon skills, spells or group of spells , special abilities like "Provoke" or "Steal", etc ... You can learn a maximum of 15 "Action skills".

- "Skill mods" materias can modify and enhance these 15 "Action skills" learned, up to 5 times each (that makes 75 action skills/mods). There are some examples further down.

"Stats skills" materias can be divided in 3 categories:
-You can learn 75 basic stats boosts (+HP, +MP, +STR, +DEX, +VIT, +AGI, +MND, +INT, etc ...) with a maximum of 15 boosts per stat.
-You can learn 75 offensive stats boost (+bow skill, +spear skill, +critical hit rate, etc ...) with a maximum of 15 boosts per stat.
-You can learn 75 defensive stats boost (+heavy armor skill, +light armor skill, +elemtental magic resistance, +evasion, etc ...) with a maximum of 15 boosts per stat.

You cannot use the same materia again and again to boost the same stat. Example for DEX boosting materias ."DEX 1" materia gives +2 to DEX stat, and you cannot learn it again with the same char profile. You can learn "DEX 2" materia that gives +3 to DEX stat since it requires you to have learned "DEX 1" skill. And that goes on to "DEX 15". The stronger (higher) the materia, the longer it takes to learn the skill.

If you wear more than one "skill learning" materia, obtained skill points are divided among them. The equipment with the materia equipped must be equipped from the moment the monster is engaged and to be removed/swapped to it's death to get Skill points, or it won't count. This is to prevent gear swapping from high stat boost materia to skill learning materia just for the end of combat.

Example: You're creating a new profile for your character. You want to do some sort of hybrid between Monk and White Mage to mainly play solo and have fun (you can have other profiles to play more common FFXI roles like tanks to mostly play in parties). You can switch between profiles like you can switch jobs in FFXI.

You decide to learn the "Curative magic" skill. This unlocks the spell "Cure". You can then modifiy it (with "Skill mods" materias) the way you wish from many different augments choices, but only up to five times (more curative power, adds a "regen" effect, gives an "area of effect" option, faster casting, faster re-casting delay, "erase" effect, a small "haste" effect, , less/more enmity from mobs, lower interruption rate, etc ...)

You decide to learn the skill "Boost". You can modify it to be effective for your monk / white mage hybrid, adding a small "refresh" effect to it and an additonal magic power boost among your 5 mod options.

You also decide to get the weapon skill "Spirit Blow of the Death Palm" (random name ...) that is a physical skill that does magical damage to a single ennemy. You can modify it to absorb ennemy's mp and lower it's physical damage resistance.

Of course, some skills would have requirements. Like for "Curative magic" skills mods, you could need some +Mind stat skills to be able to learn them. For the "Spirit Blow of the Death Palm" weapon skill, it could require some +hand-to-hand skills.

Also, some skills would have penalties that affect other skills. If you pick "Curative magic", you have a penalty for black offensive magic skills (and the other way around). You would end up having some sort of Red Mage if you picked both (access to many different type of spells, but with lower potency).

There would also be sacrifices and high requirements to have access to the most powerful skills. Having "Curative magic", at least one "Offensive magic", one "Buffing/debuffing magic" and +10 in sword skill could be the requirement to have the possibility of learning "Refresh magic". This is to prevent a player to take all the defensive skills possible and take "Cure" and "Refresh" for the last 2 free spots of action skills (making him an over-powered paladin). That would block some skills combos that could be game-breaking.

Same kind of requirements for weapons, armors and materias. Example: for a Kasier Shield, you would need to have at least +5 in shield skill and +8 in Vitality. Some of the strongest weapons and armors could also have action skills requirements, like a high-end heavy body armor having "Provoke" skill requirement. That would put some kind of filter to people's creativity, a subtle way to make them still consider basic party roles like tanks, healers and such while being creative. To sort out players strengh, they would be given a rank depending on the number of skills learned.

Some of these action skills could unlock more than one "action", like "Time magic" unlocking both Slow and Haste spells, and be a requirement for the high end spell Meteor.


Overall, this system would allow billions of custom character styles, while having the option to go on standard builds.


They should also focus more on mass killing. In FFXI, everything was built around killing single ennemies. There should have weapons that specialize on hitting an area of effect. Example: One-hand sword only attacks one mob at a time, while two-hands swords hits an area. Guns attack one mob, crossbows shoot multiple bolts in an area. And please, Square, bring back whips! That would create very special moments, and could be the single mob version of the flails and allow new fun abilities like "Draw in" that brings the ennemies (and players in PvP) closer to you.

Like in FFXI, people wanting to party would put up their "left for game" flag and choose to show some "specialities" among different options like "Tanking", "Healing", "Support", "Pulling", "Damage dealing", "Raiding", etc ... Party leaders could have a quick look of the players skillset before inviting them. Example, the party leader wants to do monster raids (kill multiple ennemies at once instead of focusing on one at a time), he could search for someone that has Provoke modified to be used within an area of effect.

Monsters would give no experience points, only skill points. Stronger monsters would exponentially give more skill points and better item/gil rewards. However, skill points would not be impacted by how many players there is in the party, it would give the same amount. That would give other options to the traditional 6-man parties.

Another incentive to party: when a monster drops something, everyone that was in the party when the monster was engaged and that was still there when it was killed receives the drop. People claiming a NM and waiting for other people to join the fight so they get the drop would not work. I'd keep the drop rates really low like in FFXI, but rewarding everyone who attended a NM camp would be less frustating and encourage people to help each other kill quests mobs, NMs andf this kind of stuff. Same thing for treasure chests loots.

Also, players crafting skills should have an impact on monster drops. It's logical that someone that has leathercaft skills should have more chance to get a rabbit hide out of a rarab corpse. That would help crafters farm their own material. And that would add another factor to consider when going on NM hunts (you wanna have a highly skilled bonecrafter in your team to fight that big fat unicorn and get a better chance to get that rare horn drop).

SE could also set up private dungeons. Some short ones could only be accessed once per day, while some would be once per week. Some would be soloable. I would also make more random treasure chests spawn in these kind of dungeons, to make them look more like the old Final Fantasies dungeons. In fact, I think that's what people expected of FFXI before it came out, an online version of the usual Final Fantasy gameplay style. They could also re-create storylines of old Final Fantasies using these private dungeons. Example, a FF6 storyline which requires you to go through "Narshe" dungeon, then "Figaro castle", etc ... If someone has only one hour to play, he could enter one of these dungeons and be sure that there's no RMT killing and looting everything.

Monster strengh would be determined by areas and be ranked just like players (so you can guess it's strengh before engaging it). As you increase your stats skills (thus getting access to better weapons and armors) and unlock/modify action skills, you get the ability to defeat stronger monsters and get more skill points.

Powerleveling would be nullified by restricing curing and buffing within a party (or alliance members). Buffing and debuffing done by a party member would be erased if this member quits the party. And there would a a skill point / reward penalty depending on the players rank versus the monster rank. If a party member rank is way too low or way too high versus monster's rank, everyone would get less skills points and rewards. Low rank monsters fleeing from high rank players could also be fun.


Another idea : The Heart system

Players could get "hearts" from other players depending on their combat and social skills.The heart-giving player name would appear, so everyone would not give hearts to anyone. You could also have the possibility to rate down a player (that would remove an existing heart). But it can't go negative. Requirements for giving a heart or or rating down a player would be to be in a party with this player for at least 30 minutes (and a time-frame of 1 hour after party). Hearts would remain for 48 play hours, then disappear. This system would help detecting skilled players. You could also look back at the entire list of people you hearted / unhearted. An easy way to remember the skilled players you partied with, and the players to avoid at all costs. And you could have the option to see a small heart floating next to players names that you hearted when you meet them in town or on the field.


That's how I hope SE works out the new system, while being familiar to the old system. Feel free to comment or flame on, if you took the time to read it.


Well, I do applaud you for making this system but I was thinking about the party incentive is as good as thrown out of the window since you can customize your character to 100% (meaning solo is extremely viable). Also these materias, are they BoP or not? Also you said determining strength by stats? What stat will you refer to since you can uber customize your character. Your system is way too complicated to be of any usefulness in an MMO where you want a clear and easy way to define a character.

Customization at that level is going to be impossible to balance, and defining the exact stage of growth on a character will be really hard. Another important matter is how to obtain the matter, can you do it solo or do you need a group to do it? Can you skip low level matter to go for a higher level matter? What is the death penalty going to be since we don’t have xp anymore?

As someone before me wrote you can’t have equal spell/ability for each "profile" since a mage might have a lot more spells with abilities then say a warrior. And since the game doesn’t really define a mage then it’s not going to work unless there is some kind of label on the profiles that will give me different slot for each job (aka job?). The problem with your system is that it will treat the "job" system as a slot bag with say 100 free slots that you can randomly thrown in abilities and stats and create a character from it. You said you want to lock down certain abilities to coexist with other abilities to prevent overpowering, but doing that with all the abilities for all classes in a game,, good luck with that.

The point here is this, SE wants to make it simpler, not more complicated, and I really find it hard to believe that SE has tosses the idea of class roles completely out of the window, to be replaced by a system where class roles have been as good as rendered from the game and instead of asking you “Do you have a Paladin ?” people need to ask “ Do you have Provoke, heavy armor, shield skill, healing skill, what enmity level you have and ooh wait at what stage are those skills at?” Again as you see without a job label this will never work out.

Another point you wrote about was when LFG. You said “"specialties" among different options like "Tanking", "Healing", "Support", "Pulling", "Damage dealing", "Raiding"”.

This is extremely loose as one would want to know what does your “Tanking” spec mean since remember this is a 100% custom bases game. Are we talking about a Paladin tank? Warrior Tank? Ninja tank? At what level of skills you are at on those various skills? Again “support”? What kind of support are we talking about here? I can go on forever, needless to say this system is way too complicated and extremely time consuming to define what your character is or at what stage of growth your character is at. When I’m looking for someone to invite to my party I can’t be bothered with go into all those details when I can see “Paladin growth level 54” instead. Then I know what that Paladin has in terms of abilities and skill to have reached the growth level of 54.

Edited, Jun 19th 2009 6:01am by Maldavian
#17 Jun 19 2009 at 4:38 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
This is extremely loose as one would want to know what does your “Tanking” spec mean since remember this is a 100% custom bases game. Are we talking about a Paladin tank? Warrior Tank? Ninja tank? At what level of skills you are at on those various skills? Again “support”? What kind of support are we talking about here? I can go on forever, needless to say this system is way too complicated and extremely time consuming to define what your character is or at what stage of growth your character is at. When I’m looking for someone to invite to my party I can’t be bothered with go into all those details when I can see “Paladin growth level 54” instead. Then I know what that Paladin has in terms of abilities and skill to have reached the growth level of 54.


I completely disagree. People take different routes and customize their characters with specific goals in mind. If there's more than one way to make a 'tank' class, who cares? People don't ask me what spec I am as a Death Knight in WoW when they ask me to tank. They say "are you a tank?" and I say yes. They take me and I tank. If I fail, I'm a BAD TANK. If I pass, I'm a GOOD TANK. People don't make sure I have all the right talents. This game will be no different.

People will scope out how others are holding aggro and figure out what they're doing wrong, or they'll switch to a non-tanking role, or they'll get left in the dust. Welcome to the bell curve.
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#18 Jun 19 2009 at 6:03 AM Rating: Default
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It's an interesting system, but it seems like it makes impossible the job-changing aspect that everyone enjoys so much from FFXI. If I've customized my character under your system to be a melee damage delaer, how would I go about changing it to be a healing class? If I did change, could I go back to the melee setup without penalty?
#19 Jun 19 2009 at 6:31 AM Rating: Decent
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Great post OP but I have to address a point:
foxblade wrote:
We all ready know characters will develop through weapons

I'm sorry, who told you that characters will develop through weapons? I know there are a lot of people assuming this and this seems to be a very viable option but please don't state things as being facts. Just because weapons will play an important role in the game DOES NOT mean that they will be utilized in the materia-esque fashion. That aside, The OP's idea is brilliant, especially:

Quote:

Like in FFXI, people wanting to party would put up their "left for game" flag and choose to show some "specialities" among different options like "Tanking", "Healing", "Support", "Pulling", "Damage dealing", "Raiding", etc ... Party leaders could have a quick look of the players skillset before inviting them. Example, the party leader wants to do monster raids (kill multiple ennemies at once instead of focusing on one at a time), he could search for someone that has Provoke modified to be used within an area of effect.


Brilliant idea... Allows for great class customization and will make each and every character unique... Something that I felt is missing from most games... Even FF XI and it's 20 classes fail to help you stand out from the rest of the crowd. This will allow you to play the game specifically how you would want to (i.e. those that are currently asking for a nin that DD to be put in in contrast with those that prefer tanking nins).

Also:
Quote:
Another idea : The Heart system

Players could get "hearts" from other players depending on their combat and social skills.The heart-giving player name would appear, so everyone would not give hearts to anyone. You could also have the possibility to rate down a player (that would remove an existing heart). But it can't go negative. Requirements for giving a heart or or rating down a player would be to be in a party with this player for at least 30 minutes (and a time-frame of 1 hour after party). Hearts would remain for 48 play hours, then disappear. This system would help detecting skilled players. You could also look back at the entire list of people you hearted / unhearted. An easy way to remember the skilled players you partied with, and the players to avoid at all costs. And you could have the option to see a small heart floating next to players names that you hearted when you meet them in town or on the field.


This is an ingenious idea as I always wanted to be able to let others know if someone performed their job exceptionally well. Usually I'd end up having to resort to flattery in the party chat so the other members would be made aware of the exceptional job a player did. THIS would simplify matters and allow for people to be made aware on a much larger level.
However, don't you think people will attempt to abuse the system by partying with their friends for farming and having them provide the heart? Not that it is that big of a deal, but still a safety measure against that would be nice. And, do you think SE would approve of a system like this? I can almost hear the crappy players complaining about how this is unfair.
#20 Jun 19 2009 at 6:39 AM Rating: Good
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I like the idea of being able to record publicly that someone is doing a good job. Maybe just have a 'rate up' feature and no 'rate down'. And you can see WHO is rating this person up, so if it's one person over and over, you know it might be a sham. Or, even better, you can only rate up the same person once a week. Something like that.

If I had to design a system, I'd make it kind of like eBays user system, with 1 major modification. You can rate a person on whatever rating system (# of stars, simply up or down, whatever) and you can add a comment to your rating. Nothing big, 20 character max. Enough to say 'GREAT HEALS!' 'AWESOME TANK ^_^', whatever. Then, once per week (or month or whatever) the rating gets wiped, but the comments dont, and they're dated. Let the user delete the bad ones and keep the good ones, and you can see how often he gets praised versus how long he's been playing.

edit: to clarify, the comments would be available through a 'player history', as well as his/her past ratings. All you'd see at a quick glance upon inspecting the character is his CURRENT rating.

edit - I know the system above definitely has weaknesses/flaws. I'm not a game designer and am just thinking off the cuff here.

Edited, Jun 19th 2009 11:02am by Kharmageddon
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#21 Jun 19 2009 at 6:59 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
I like the idea of being able to record publicly that someone is doing a good job.


This, this sounds awesome. I'd love to be able to leave nice comments for when I actually meet really cool, polite people in-game, and I'd love to be able to check those comments when I'm trying to form a party.

And not only that, it'd be a great system in general for reinforcing good behavior.

Of course, there are problems concerning things... I'm sure people would end up just paying people for good ratings. But if you could make the system work, it'd be a great addition.
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#22 Jun 19 2009 at 7:05 AM Rating: Good
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kharmageddon wrote:
If I had to design a system, I'd make it kind of like eBays user system, with 1 major modification. You can rate a person on whatever rating system (# of stars, simply up or down, whatever) and you can add a comment to your rating. Nothing big, 20 character max. Enough to say 'GREAT HEALS!' 'AWESOME TANK ^_^', whatever. Then, once per week (or month or whatever) the rating gets wiped, but the comments dont, and they're dated. Let the user delete the bad ones and keep the good ones, and you can see how often he gets praised versus how long he's been playing.


Yep. This solves the problem of people abusing the system. I think this would be a better fit over the heart's system... Or a more modified heart's system. And for anyone that actually decides to pay for a rating that will be wiped once a week, well your money, I guess. The limit of only being able to rate once and being able to see who is rating will take care of the majority of the problems that might arise with this system. If only SE would actually take a look at this because the heart's system/Kharmageddon's idea (or a combination of the two) would add so much depth to the game...
#23 Jun 19 2009 at 9:12 PM Rating: Decent
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Well, I'm glad some people liked some of my ideas. Don't worry, I've been writing this long post since FFXIV announcement (June 5th) at work while waiting for loading reports and other stuff).

I could have wrote more and more about this system, but I think it was long enough ... I'll try to clear things on what people commented.

I'm not taking this seriously, this is just for the fun of thinking abut game mechanics and debating creative ideas.

Quote:
I also think your really hyped up for this game and you might be setting yourself up for some disappointment if you keep thinking about it like this^^


Yes, I must admit I'm really hyped up for FFXIV. FFXI gave me some souvenirs that I will always remember (the achievement after beating those damned COP missions when they came out and winning Ifrit server ballista tournament and going cross-servers still mean something to me). IMO, FFXI is a masterpiece because of it's "hate management" system that I've never seen in any other standard RPG game.

I really enjoy thinking of strategies, weighing advantages and downsides, and breakdown everything. My job is marketing analyst, so that's the kind of thing I do all day long ... You also probabaly noticed that my main language is not English, but French (that's why my sentences are reversed and I use strange words).


Quote:
I have a few minor problems. The most obvious being is that not all types of classes should have the same number of abilities. For instance, a black mage might have over 20 spells fairly easily. This is just breaking down the major elemental spell divisions. While a warrior really does not need as many active abilities.


Well, I did say "Action skills", but they can be passive skills too. Like Double Attack, Dual weild, treasure hunter, subtle blow, undead killer, etc ... And I'd like to see more useful weapon skills not relying on TP, to be used in combos. One of the skill could be a simple dashing attack that does a 100% critical hit with a a 3 minutes delay ... I'd also ike to see more abilities like Sneak Attack and Trick Attack, that added a lot of strategy and less automatic combat. And you could pick some unusual skills like "Thunder magic" even if you want to do to do a ninja tank type of char. Because getting "Thunder magic" action skill unlocks Thunder spell, but also unlocks Enthunder that can be modded to have a chance to stun the mob on every hit when you have it activated.

Quote:
I always do things wrong when given a chance to make my own chara... it comes out as something that sucks at everything ; ;

But if it's so foolproof that even I can make a decent character then thumbs up!


Quote:
It's an interesting system, but it seems like it makes impossible the job-changing aspect that everyone enjoys so much from FFXI. If I've customized my character under your system to be a melee damage delaer, how would I go about changing it to be a healing class? If I did change, could I go back to the melee setup without penalty?


Well, that's why you could create different profiles for the same char like you would raise different jobs in FFXI. You create a solo profile where you make a char with decent melee skills and some cure and defense skills. And you can make another one that really focuses on a party role like a tank or healer.

I also wondered if players should have the possibility to unlearn some skills that were noob mistakes to free up slots because the way you want to work out this profile changed. That could be done, but everything realting to this skill you want to erase would disappear. Example: You learned some Staff skills to be able to unlock "Curative Magic". If you erase Staff skill, you will loose Curative Magic and other skill that you might have gotten because you unlocked Curative Magic like "Raise" or "Holy". That way, you can erase your mistakes, but you will put a lot of obtained skill points to garbage. You just might be better creating another profile learning of what you experienced.


Quote:
I also think that some abilities should be unlocked different ways. Like Sentinel could be learned by taking a lot of damage.


That would really really be fun. But I intentionnaly excluded all these types of "leveling" because I fear bots and other third-party softwares would abuse these type of growths.


Quote:
I especially liked the heart system as I have been thinking for some time of a way to determine skill and this seems to do it quite well. One comment on it though, if you didn't mean 48 hours in-game time you should as otherwise it would tend to favor people who play quite often.


Yeah, I meant 48 in-game hours. And to answer other comments, you could not heart the same player gain and again, there would be a time-limit. Like somone said, that could be like Ebay. I would really love to be able to, when I decide to start a party, to be easily able to see who, among the 546 damage dealers looking for party, who I already pointed out as a skilled players someday in my player's life. (there wouldn't be 546 damage dealers lfg with this system tho ... well ...)


Thanks everyone for the constructive comments !
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#24 Jun 20 2009 at 12:17 AM Rating: Default
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ChinookFFXIV wrote:

Yeah, I meant 48 in-game hours. And to answer other comments, you could not heart the same player gain and again, there would be a time-limit. Like somone said, that could be like Ebay. I would really love to be able to, when I decide to start a party, to be easily able to see who, among the 546 damage dealers looking for party, who I already pointed out as a skilled players someday in my player's life. (there wouldn't be 546 damage dealers lfg with this system tho ... well ...)


I’m not sure if this heart system really works well. If you by accident have a bad day and you get rated down then the next day it might prove impossible to get a group because of that. Also it’s so easy to exploit that it is not as useful as one would think. Just bring your linkshell, talk to another linkshell and rate each other to the max every 48 hours. You can easily establish "rating" relation with several other guilds as well, **** you can even buy rating from people if you pay them gil. In the end you might end up with an ebayer that has bought his rating with RMT that have a score of 100/100.

Also this rating system can be used in fights between players that maybe have a dispute or someone simply hates another player. If I hate someone and wants to fuc* him over I go tell my LS consisting of 50 to please rate this person x that I hate into oblivion, even though that player might have not done anything bad. As you see this system is beyond control and will cause massive of grief.

I rather have a "ignore" or "personal bad player" list that I can add people to and when that person is interacting with me I get a small warning from my client telling me that that person is on my "personal bad player". This is a good enough warning for me personally to not get engaged with the said player.




Edited, Jun 20th 2009 4:19am by Maldavian

Edited, Jun 20th 2009 6:56am by Maldavian
#25 Jun 20 2009 at 6:26 AM Rating: Decent
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Well, it sure has flaws.

But since you need to be in a party for at least 30 minutes with a player to heart/unheart him, that you could only heart him once a week or month (or once in a lifetime ?), that you can't go below 0, that your name appears if you want the heart details, I don't think it's that abusable. It justs needs to simple, heart/unheart with a click. Anyway.

The ebay comments thing might really be abusable tho.
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#26 Jun 20 2009 at 7:11 AM Rating: Default
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ChinookFFXIV wrote:
Well, it sure has flaws.

But since you need to be in a party for at least 30 minutes with a player to heart/unheart him, that you could only heart him once a week or month (or once in a lifetime ?), that you can't go below 0, that your name appears if you want the heart details, I don't think it's that abusable. It justs needs to simple, heart/unheart with a click. Anyway.

The ebay comments thing might really be abusable tho.


Usually if it’s a bad player one would assume that you end the party before 30 min, so how do you rate him if he doesn’t stay in the party for that long? Sorry to say this but this system has some major flaws.
#27 Jun 20 2009 at 7:27 AM Rating: Good
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If a rating system, such as the heart system, were implemented it would mostly end up as a form of abuse and not really help anyone. The idea is noble, but the people who will be utilizing it are not.
#28 Jun 20 2009 at 7:29 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Usually if it’s a bad player one would assume that you end the party before 30 min, so how do you rate him if he doesn’t stay in the party for that long? Sorry to say this but this system has some major flaws.


That's not true. I've never seen a whole party disband because of ONE bad player. Usually he just gets carried and made fun of the whole time until someone can find a replacement. It takes 15-20 minutes of solid bad play to even decide that someone's a bad player.
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#29 Jun 20 2009 at 7:55 AM Rating: Default
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Kharmageddon wrote:

That's not true. I've never seen a whole party disband because of ONE bad player. Usually he just gets carried and made fun of the whole time until someone can find a replacement. It takes 15-20 minutes of solid bad play to even decide that someone's a bad player.


Made fun of.... nice to know how you behave in a party, but at least for me I don’t make fun of people if they play bad, cause then you are as bad as the guy that was playing bad, and hopefully he will down rate you as well of making fun of him.
#30 Jun 20 2009 at 9:10 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Made fun of.... nice to know how you behave in a party, but at least for me I don’t make fun of people if they play bad, cause then you are as bad as the guy that was playing bad, and hopefully he will down rate you as well of making fun of him.


I guess me and you just have different play styles and values. I usually play with a tight-knit guild which only takes already proven, good players. So when a couple of us take a pick-up group and the people suck, we make fun of them in ventrilo (I should've clarified that part). We don't make fun of them to their face, but we don't just kick them because they're bad -- until we can replace them. By the time we set up, get to where we want to go, decide they're bad enough and find said replacement, more than a half hour has passed.
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#31 Jun 21 2009 at 9:20 AM Rating: Decent
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Also about the heart system:

There's a similar system in Maple Story but it's basically degraded into selling rate ups, or trading rate ups. It's quickly abused.
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#32 Jun 21 2009 at 9:47 AM Rating: Decent
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This is an intresting read and I'm going to say that what caught my eye the most was your theory on using the materia. There were a couple other threads with solid discussions that spoke about enhancing our character's skill, weaponry or armour through the use of materia. (I gotta go hunt for those threads). The use of a similar licensing board to that used in ffxii was also tossed in around.

Bah, I gotta go search the forums for them. But awesome theory for growth mechanics.
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#33 Jun 21 2009 at 9:51 AM Rating: Decent
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Louiscool wrote:
Also about the heart system:

There's a similar system in Maple Story but it's basically degraded into selling rate ups, or trading rate ups. It's quickly abused.


That can easily be solved by only being able to rate up people you group with. You can even make separate heart system for trading and such...kind of like ebay's system.

Edited, Jun 21st 2009 10:52am by Yogtheterrible
#34 Jun 21 2009 at 3:56 PM Rating: Decent
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Yogtheterrible wrote:
Louiscool wrote:
Also about the heart system:

There's a similar system in Maple Story but it's basically degraded into selling rate ups, or trading rate ups. It's quickly abused.


That can easily be solved by only being able to rate up people you group with. You can even make separate heart system for trading and such...kind of like ebay's system.

Edited, Jun 21st 2009 10:52am by Yogtheterrible


How hard would it be to group for a second and then rate up?

Seriously, there's no way to implement it without opening for abuse.
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#35 Jun 23 2009 at 12:22 PM Rating: Decent
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I also have another question about the heart system: What if you play solo most of the time or even just for the 48 in-game hours that it would take to erase all of your hearts (say, you farm for awhile), and then you try to look for a group? If you have no hearts, who would invite you? Then again, if people understand this and don't invite based on hearts, then it would make the whole system irrelevant in the first place. I think you would be just fine with having a friends list, your own personal hearted list, and a blacklist. I'm afraid this would turn people off of FFXIV as most people would want an enjoyable MMORPG where they can develop their characters and have fun with their friends instead of having to worry about getting hearted and who's more popular than another. I like your other ideas but I hope SquareEnix does not implement this one into their game.
#36 Jun 24 2009 at 5:01 AM Rating: Decent
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The materia system you took the time to plan out smells alot like in function it would end up working somewhat like Diablo/WoW/LoTR/AoC talent systems.

The current job system is probably whats keeping me very much interested in ffxi (with respect to learning and figuring out how jobs work and their combo's and experiencing them as they gain new abilities).

The Job/Subjob/JobChange system is a absolute home run imo

Its the skill up rate/system that ruins most of it for us casuals.

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#37 Jun 24 2009 at 5:06 AM Rating: Decent
I would think that its a bit late to start putting forward ideas for FFXIV game mechanics by now :)
It would be great to see the return of materia though.
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#38 Jun 24 2009 at 5:36 AM Rating: Default
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I don't like the concept of the 'Hearts' system whatsoever. Too many ways that the system can be manipulated by people with dubious intents. People that flat out stink can potentially get high ratings if they belong to a linkshell with many members, while people that are noticeably awesome could be permanently grounded at zero because they are loners that decided to tell a popular, albeit poor player, to get their act together or leave the party.

This 'Hearts' system is very much like the difference between wearing your Varsity Letter versus a scarlet letter. If you want to bolster or ruin someone's reputation it should/must be done on your own volition and not subsidized by the game.
#39 Jun 24 2009 at 9:08 AM Rating: Decent
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Very well thought out...unfortunately in the interview with the producers they said they are going to make it with all different types of players in mind, with more solo oppertunity for those that don't have much time to play. That's a good idea for them. Your system is great, and it would work. Too bad they have all ready decided on keeping/expanding the job system which means levels are still going to apply. Still /clap.
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#40 Jun 24 2009 at 9:52 AM Rating: Decent
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I believe that all weapons will begin w/ one Dmg, etc,, and instead of levelng up, u gain levels on your weapon and can customize it to allow variation in the game, as they did for the recent expansions armor, also you will be allowed to customize your armor, these will decide your jobs and abilities you receive,,, just a thought
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