Theorycrafting page for miscellaneous notes/brain dumps
Basic Design Concept
Work everything around the rule of 3x3. So for example 3 broad categories of weapons, 3 super categories categories, and 3 sub categories. This is NOT HARD AND FAST, meaning a 4th category could be added later at any level. This is both for organizational purposes as well as to provide design depth.
Example: category bladed, super-category swords, sub-category longswords - thats where the longsword is. Getting into perks and other concepts, bonuses can be applies anywhere along the chain denoting areas of specialization.
This kind of 3-deep mentality adds a lot of dimension.
So the general idea is all characters have access to all skills, but only specific classes get perks that make the skills work/make them better.
As an example, we are going to look at weapons.
Every character has access to the skill for a specific weapon-type; is there. But in order to equip that weapon, they ALSO need the 'perk' that gives them proficiency with it.
In general, classes will recieve class-specific perks as they level, this ties in with the multi-classing system. Its based on your level in that class, so someone with 3 levels of Warrior recieves the lvl 3 warrior perks, regaurdless of whether that was taken as their 3rd or 17th level.
It will also be possible to earn the perk simple by achieving a certain level with the skill. Sound like a catch-22? this is for the reincarnation mechanic, skills will be preserved, allowing a player to earn proficiency on a weapon in a class that wouldn't normally have it.
Totems are your basic skill tree, there to provide additional customization. Each class will have its own totems(aim for 3), + a "Creed" totem.
There may also be a couple of universal Totems.
Access to certain levels on the totems is gated by levels in the class; and players will have a number of "points" to spend how they want.
To hit system
Screw it all, just going to design it.
Everything in the game, be it an attack, a spell, etc, has a base to-hit chance, and everything else modifies that.
For an example, let's begin with the most basic melee attack. This has a base to-hit of 50% against a normal target. It should not be difficult to get this attack up to 100%, and melee-speced characters should be able to hit 70-80% fresh off the character build screen and in the starting zone.
Of course, there are multiple different melee attacks, each tih progressively lower to-hit potentials, that can be chained together into combos for maximimum damage. You improve the to-hit of these attacks using perks and by building up weapon-skill. This makes combat more of a tactical design/build-based effort than pure "grind for higher levels to make numbers higher" approach.
A very simple combo might look like: base attack(50%)-->feint(20%)-->overhand(30%). If all three attacks hit, the target receives an instant crit.
A normal attack deals damage based on the weapon Critical hits are a different story.
This is going to need to be based on a different system than the base attacks. Going with the 3-deep philosphy you have "power" based on weapon skill, "crit chance", and "crit multiplier"
A crit deals regular damage based on the weapon, plus bonus damage based on a random roll x weapon skill.
Every weapon has a "crit chance" and "crit multiplier" stat to it. These are added to chance+multipliers that the character has. So for example a generic longsword might have +2 crit chance and 1x multiplier. With no other bonuses, that translates to 2% critical chance and 1x multiplier, so 2% of the time on a successful hit, your skill with longswords times 1 is added to the damage.
A dedicated melee character might have their own bonuses to crit and multiplier, increasing that dramatically. The multiplier will be the hardest/rarest thing to increase. As mentioned above, crits can also be "Triggered" by combo attacks which preform a critical hit automatically if all 3 attacks hit.
Maybe the combo needs to be less "preform these three actions" and more based around an attack cycle? So on the character page, my cycle of attacks is "base attack-->feint-->overhand-->base attack again" with special moves down on my hotbar. So I move in and start swinging, the first attack will be basic, the second a feint, and so on. I can add in special moves that do or don't break the cycle.
I like this idea better because it puts more emphasis on "build" and less on "how fast/accurately can I manipulate the controls?" - the latter appeals to younger players because they can feel "better" simply by being younger, but shuts out the older players who don't want that stress. Meanwhile the former appeals to everyone.
So characters get "stances", you have a functionally unlimited number(though if you need more than 3 there's something wrong with you), each "stance" denotes a different offensive cycle, and players can build their own and customize them. There's not much to customize; a melee character might get 8 different attacks and would build multiple stances to respond to different threats(so one stance for clearing trash mobs, one for DPSing bosses, one for fighting defensively, etc). Mages have the same option but as there are fewer casting methods there isn't as much opportunity for customization.
There will need to be a visual indicator on the display which shows where you are on the cycle and the next one.
What if spells are generic but casting "styles" are the combo/cycle? So I can make a fireball simply by knowing the fireball spell, and I can cast it either somatically(gestures), verbally(shouting "FIREBALL!") or mentally(thinking really hard) - each of those could be an individual skill that can be built up. Unlike combat there is no "to hit" with magic, but this ties into the crit system above.
Each spell has a different profile based on how it was cast. So a verbal Fireball does more damage than a somatic one. For magic we may just stick to the 3 basic ideas.
Each type of magic could be tied to a different stat(somatic is dexterity-based, etc)
AL_Skills are independent from race, class, or level. They are "leveled up" by using them and have no maximum, but do eventually hit a point of diminishing returns.
Skills will include everything from weapons handling to other basics. They are universal and all characters have them, its simply a matter of leveling them up.
The idea here is to provide more lateral expansion as well as adding more versitility. A dedicated mage, for example, could also do a fair bit of damage with a sword simply by having trained up the requisite skill. They will never do as much as a dedicated swordsmen, but they won't be wasting their time.