The eye of the storm

So, as of late I have had little to no progress on Enigma. There are several factors that caused this to happen. One is that I realized this release was going to be allot of work because of the lack of database code. Another is that I had tons of papers due for my different college classes. And the final major reason is because I have been playing DDO. :-)

I intend to make some major code updates this week because I have it off from school. I had this last week off as well but I didn't get around to updating any code. I did however have a 3 hour discussion with one of the artists about combat system ideas. Although a bit lofty I think some of our ideas are worth shooting for.

Having an extensive & robust combat system should make it easier for people creating derivative works to achieve what they need to fit into their game play design. One danger with this though is the fact that not every player will want to stop and think about things. I think having options may scare some players away. Likely though we will still go through with it and allow 3rd parties to pare it down for the unwashed masses.

Also, we discussed moving back toward a class based system and a more traditional leveling system. Although abandoning them would provide the player with more options after talking with a few people I don't think the average player will be able to wrap their head around that degree of flexibility. In addition it makes it hard to tell which players will be well suited to fill particular roles in a party/raid.

For example in most games if someone is a cleric you know they can handles heals. However in a classless system you have to just ask people what they are setup for and although that encourages player interaction it could be frustrating for party/raid leaders dealing with people that just don't understand what is required to fill a role.

Another thing that came out of the discussion is that we are leaning toward micro classes. That is classes that are extremely specialized and then allow the player to multi-class. This will allow the player to maintain some of the flexibility they would have under a classless system but allow them to just pick a class and run with it if they prefer that play style. each micro class will represent a very specific type of game play and party/raid functionality. This actually makes it easier for party members to know what to expect from a given party member.

Another feature we are kicking around is the idea of group or co-op skills. Basically there would be some skills that require the cooperation of multiple party members. More than likely these would be some of the most powerful skills in the game. We talked about using this to help make having multiple players with the same class in a party useful. In some most games one of a kind is great but after that the usefulness of more players with that class decreases. We are planning on having co-op skills that work between players of the same class as well as different classes. So if you want to play a given class you don't have to worry about that fact that there are already a large number of people playing that class.

That will also help in the early stages of the game because the first fully playable and stable version of the game will probably only have one class. We plan to add new classes on a regular basis but adding classes is allot of work and the first class will be worse because of all the combat systems that have to be developed to make it function. So in short micro classes and co-op skills are in the works but not yet because I haven't even finished items or any database code yet.

Alright, that's all for now.

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