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OT: My MMO Ideas (or what I would have done with FFXIV)Follow

#1 Mar 08 2011 at 3:34 PM Rating: Good
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I’ve thought long and hard about the physical level/class level system. It has its definite pros and cons right now, because the game generally lacks class definition and the attributes you earn as you increase your physical level don’t really have that great of an effect. I like the concept of a physical level because it feels more realistic than changing weapons and suddenly becoming a lowly, level 1 archer, even though you’re already a big, strong marauder, but it’s a kind of meaningless system right now.

I spent some time brainstorming how I would do an MMO and this is what I’ve come up with so far, concerning a skeleton of level/skill progression. I wanted to keep the idea of the physical level and the versatility of the class system from FFXIV, but fine tune it all and make it seem more substantial. The following idea involves a physical level, individual weapon/magic skills, and a different system of learning spells. The idea is to hopefully, maintain some of the flexibility of the FFXIV system while also having more specific, defined, traditional jobs. I’ll update more as I think about possibilities for a battle system that fully utilizes all of this frame work or any ideas/refinements that occur to me. I am fully open to ideas and constructive criticism and really just posted this up for fun, because my mind was wandering while I was supposed to be doing research for a paper.

Physical Level:

Your Physical Level is the sum of all of your individual statistics and it increases, in various ways, with everything you do in the game. Nearly every action will impact your physical level in some way. The individual statistics that the Physical Level is ultimately comprised of could be (for example):

Strength – this will determine how strong your character’s physical attacks are in conjunction with your character’s skill with the weapon they are currently wielding. Strength will primarily be increased through battle, but can also be increased (though, overall, not nearly as much/as consistently) through completing various quest objectives or crafting/gathering activities. For example, while melee combat experience will provide the bulk of your STR+ points as you progress, you may also earn STR+ by completing a quest called “knight training” where you carry out various tasks for one of the more accomplished city guards in exchange for his promises to give you a few combat pointers. You may also earn STR+ in select crafting/gather instances such as reeling in a fish that is above your fishing skill level or for every {set amount of time} that your character spends mining or smithing.

Stamina – this will be more of a background stat, as it will increase with most actions (battle, casting, questing, crafting/gathering), but will have a slightly greater significance for those who wear a shield or wield a larger weapon such as a great axe or sword. Using a shield or great axe will give a bonus to Stamina progress (when used in combat, not for regular stamina growth) and stamina will effect physical accuracy and physical damage mitigation (via shield) as battles go on. Imagine a stamina bar, somewhat like the one in FFXIV, but which slowly drains while in active mode. Stamina only regenerates in passive mode, but various classes will have various abilities and spells (single target and A.O.E) that will regenerate stamina such as “invigorate”. Stamina will not have so drastic an effect, but it will play a role, impacting how fast parties can chain kills together and, especially increasing the danger of picking up an additional aggro while already engaged with another mob, because parties will not have a chance to enter passive mode in between battles.

Vitality – this will determine how survivable your character is and will be directly tied into HP. As with all of these concepts, I am open to ideas on how this particular trait will progress, but I feel it should be tied in with the accumulation of strength. It will not, however, only be gained through melee combat, and may also have to do with damage taken/mitigated, either through getting hit (and surviving), decreasing damage with a shield or decreasing damage through use of magic (only decreasing damage directed at yourself).

Charisma – Eventually, this will influence pet affinity, but aside from supplementing a “charm” kind of ability for a potential beastmaster class, this will be kind of like fame was in FFXI, though there should also be a fame system in place as well. Where fame determined whether or not you could open certain quests, high levels of charisma will enable you to access quests or gain information from NPCs where your fame level may have otherwise held you back. Charisma can be gained by completing errand quests for townsfolk and according to dialogue choices in certain scenarios. Charisma can be gained by spending more time in towns, exploring every shop and corner of a city and talking to as many NPCs as possible. Sometimes an NPC will mention that they are looking for a certain item without initiating a quest; taking the initiative to bring that item back to the NPC and trade it to them – out of kindness, without a reward – may increase charisma. Similarly, a mother may be looking for a child NPC that you can find on the other side of town. Returning to the mother to inform her of the child’s whereabouts, while not a quest, may increase charisma.

Agility –
this will determine attack accuracy and ability to evade attacks. It may also determine critical hit rates and have some impact on effectiveness or frequency of shield blocks. I’ve consider splitting this into AGI/DEX, but it seems overkill to have both. It will progress like the Strength stat, through combat and also, to a lesser extent through quests, such as “dance lessons” in which your character makes the acquaintance of a beautiful dancer and through winning her favor by carrying out various tasks/strength of Charisma stat, receives an offer to take a dance lesson, which will improve their footwork in the field.

Mental - this will primarily impact magical accuracy and MP pool, but will not be limited to effecting only caster classes. The mental stat will, secondary to agility, have some impact on accuracy and evasion and crafting success rates, as it will impact the character’s focus. Making all of the stats relevant to all classes will make it difficult to focus entirely on any one aspect of the game. This will progress primarily through spell casting, but like other traits, can also be increased by focusing on crafting or completing quests such as “scholarly research” which requires you to travel to various areas of the city assisting an NPC with some research, or completing a quest which grants you access to an NPC’s private library.

Spiritual – this will primarily impact magical potency, but will have a secondary effect that impacts all classes and is similar to luck. Essentially, this effect will be based on the character’s spiritual relationship with the gods that govern the game world and a character with a high spiritual stat may encounter slightly higher drop rates or favorable conditions in combat, such as a monster missing when your HP is in the red, giving you a chance to get off a heal or execute a quick ability. Spiritual strength will progress primarily through spell casting, but also through certain quests and activities such as bringing candle wax to an abbot who, in passing, complains that he hasn’t been able to find the wax to forge more candles for the cathedral, whose supply is running low or completing a quest like “In the name of Altana”.

Skill/Magic Levels:

Every weapon will have an individual skill level and your competence with each weapon, including shields, will increase as you use them. Unlike FFXIV however, you will gain skills with each weapon in a manner similar to how you did in FFXI – “Axe Skill rises .2”, “Shield skill rises .4”, etc.

Currently in FFXIV, a gladiator learns shield skills simply for leveling gladiator; with this system your shield skills are learned only by having used shield enough to unlock a new skill with it. An ability like shield bash will be available very early on to give the player a means of ensuring that their shield IS used frequently, and this ability will help earn shield skill points as well as random blocks and counters with the shield.

I also propose that the ability to dual wield be available right off the bat, for anyone who wishes to equip two swords or daggers, but only with increased agility, sword/dagger skill and off-hand skill will dual wield reach its potential effectiveness and start to pay off. Off-hand skill will not level until a player tries to dual wield. Some swords will say “Cannot be used in off-hand” because of size/weight while others will have a main-hand skill level and off-hand skill level, generally allowing them to be equipped more easily in the main hand than the off hand.

Whether or not a weapon can be equipped will be dependent on the character’s skill level with that weapon and whether or not their current job allows that type of weapon to be used (example: ******* Sword – stats – requires Sword Skill 55). I plan to allow most classes to use most weapons, to allow flexibility – it may not be optimal, but there’s no reason why a Paladin CAN’T use a lance if that’s what they choose.

Every different kind of magic will have a skill level as well. The more each form of magic is used, the more skill it will accumulate. Again, just like in FFXI, we will see “Healing magic rises .3”, etc. Rather than being given spells as a class increases, however, players will buy scrolls or materia/some magic granting item like in most other FF titles. These items will have a skill level restriction, just like weapons will have a skill level restriction.

Job Levels:

I plan to have more traditional/defined job classes than FFXIV. They don’t have to be verbatim the jobs from FFXI, but the point is that they will have certain abilities of their own, that define them and give them the clear party roles that are lacking in FFXIV. For example, a Paladin will receive abilities that buff their defenses and generate enmity – perhaps even a stance that encourages more shield blocking and less powerful attacks. These skills will be unlocked by leveling the Paladin class, regardless of what weapon the Paladin is using and how skilled they are with that weapon. A level 5 Paladin will receive his first defense buff at level 5 regardless of whether he is using dual daggers with 50 skill or a great sword with 15 skill. The overlapping of skills is where this will all get complicated. Here is my plan:

The level of the JOB you are currently playing will dictate how much of your skills/physical level stats are utilizable. If you have your physical rank at 50 and begin a new Paladin, you obviously can’t have ALL of the strength, HP, MP, etc. of a physical 50 (but this doesn't mean the Physical Level is pointless either; basically there is a range between a pure level 1 who has both job and physical level at 1 and an "experienced" level 1, who may be on a level 1 job, but has other classes bulked up). Likewise, if you begin a new Paladin after leveling White Mage to 50, you can’t yet have access to all the spells of your 50 White Mage or you would have a level 5 Paladin casting Cure IV. What will happen is the job you are playing has caps for each skill available to it.

A level 20 WHM might have a healing magic cap at 55 while a level 20 PLD might have a healing skill cap at 40. This means that a level 20 PLD doesn’t have access to the same spells as a 20 WHM. As you level, however, you will have access to all of the skills, within the capped range of your CURRENT job that you have acquired on other jobs. This means that if you learned a shield skill as a 50 PLD, where shield skill capped at 200, and you get WHM to level 70 (where shield skill may also cap at 200), when your WHM is able to utilize 200 shield skill, he will be able to use a ferocious, stun inducing, enmity grabbing shield bash, if he chooses to wear a shield and use the ability.

Basically, if you went dual wielding Thief with daggers all the way to the level cap, and followed that with a Paladin with a sword and shield, which you also capped, if you decide to start a dual sword wielding Dark Knight next, he will have the maximum dual wield and maximum sword skills available to a level 1right out of the gate, and as he levels, all of the skills you learned on previous jobs that can be applied to your new setup, will be available to you, in addition to new job specific abilities you learn as a Dark Knight. If you hadn’t ever used a sword before starting this DRK, however, you would only have the maximum dual wield proficiency at each level and would need to learn all of the sword skills along the way.

Like I said, I’ll post more if it comes to me. I have some ideas as to how to implement this all into an effective battle system – a kind of synthesis between the auto attack of FFXI and the skill bar of FFXIV, and I’m open to hearing what anyone has to say, but I just thought I’d share since I took the time to write it all out.


Edited, Mar 8th 2011 4:35pm by MCraine

Edited, Mar 8th 2011 4:41pm by MCraine

Edited, Mar 8th 2011 4:51pm by MCraine

Edited, Mar 8th 2011 4:51pm by MCraine
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