AL Lateral Expansion
For a really solid, long-lived game, we want to provide multiple avenues for progression other than "grind monsters for experience, gain levels, repeat". Instead, I propose three seperate systems that support one another but do not require each other. Ideally, no one system should "gate" another, but improving all three should provide benefits and quality-of-life improvements.
- Combat - Games, basically your character level and classes, etc; the core of the game.
- Crafting - this will include making items as well as building structures and vehicles, and fashioning trade goods.
- Crafting idea - by necessity, the game is going to generate "vendor trash"; what if these could be assembled into packages for easy transport and sale? This adds experience points, and allows a venue for fantastic inventions, too.
- Social - not with other players, but with NPCs. Building your social skills improves your reputation and changes the way NPCs interact with your character. It might also change the gameplay later on: unlock new quests and skills, for example.
One idea is to have all three systems generate generic "experience points" which can be used to level up any system. So for example you could level up a character by crafting rather than fighting, if for example you wanted to play a strange level-split that wouldn't become very effective until later on.
With the exception of combat, which is the core of the game, each other system will be subdivided into a series of skills. Mostly, having high skills just makes you better at that thing, but some of them will have benefits on other spheres.
What if at level cap, players could keep earning XP, and spend it to buy additional perks" in increasingly high amounts? The thought process is to let players who want to stay at cap have one more thing to do with their time.