Imagine you're in combat. You have your standard few buttons on your UI and at first glance it feels like another WoW clone. You go to cast cure on your ally, and he's in bad shape. Instead of pressing 'cure', you press and hold it. Your character begins to cast and holds the animation -- he's praying longer than normal -- until you let go. Then your friend is cured for a more-than-average amount. You're on the offensive now, and you begin to cast Ice. You cast, and your partner is doing a good job keeping the monster off of you, so you hold the button. You release, and Ice does more damage because you charged it longer. Maybe to balance this, charging up abilities like this generate an exponential amount of hate, so casters would have to find that delicate balance between good charge times and bad.
What does this mean for melee classes? Something I've long envisioned is a charge-based combo system. Mixing short, medium, and long charged attacks would unleash new weapon skills/abilities (separate from class abilities that you'd get by game progression). By doing that, in addition to simply using your weapon, your skill with that weapon grows and you unlock new combinations.
This would also add another layer to skill-chaining. Instead of certain spells being required for skill chains, you'd need each spell to be charged for a certain amount of time (or be charged to within a certain window). It adds a lot more customization to how people play -- short fast hits/casts or long, powerful strikes/spells -- without really having a draw back (as far as I can see).
The addition of a charge meter to the interface would be pretty cool. Maybe have it be in 5 different segments that fill up continuously until you let go of the button. The segment your marker falls in when you release the button determines the strength/outcome of your ability.
This could also add a lot of interesting abilities to the mix. Ones that change completely depending on where you are on the meter, and others that fill the meter at different rates (so you have to be more reactive). Eh?
edit 2: ability ranks
Down below, I wrote:
I was thinking about this, and this could be balanced for. Just going off the cuff, I'd say something like "holding Cure I for 4 seconds would be the equivalent of holding Cure II for 1 second". Mana costs would increase to balance this out (e.g. holding Cure I for 4 seconds costs roughly as much mp as holding Cure II for 1 second). What this means is that holding Cure II for more than 2 seconds results in an amount of healing you can't get by using Cure I, which would preserve the overall progression of spells by increasing their rank.
Edited, Jun 23rd 2009 4:06pm by Kharmageddon
Edited, Jun 23rd 2009 5:32pm by Kharmageddon