If you have attributes increase automatically with practice, rather than having to buy points in them, then I feel like [attack (ranged)] and [aim] are a bit redundant, since shooting things would increase both.
What, exactly, does [overall level] increase. You've said it increases HP slightly, but what else?
Now that I've been mulling it over, here's what I've come up with (roughly) for how this system could work:
1) Main levels are the times when the things you've done are totaled and a certain number of EXP Attribute points (the total is derived from the main level you just reached) and are scattered about your attributes, depending on what work you did to reach that overall level. So if you spent all your time mining, all the points go to mining. If you do 60% mining, 30% fighting, and 10% cooking, then the points are distributed like that.
2) Something else I've been thinking about is maybe categorizing the attributes. Not into classes exactly, but to let the player choose what he might want to work on. So if you get 10 points towards utility (which might hold things like cooking, blacksmith, logging, farming, etc.) you can choose what you might want to level up. This idea, I feel, needs to be thought out quite a bit more, as you don't want someone cooking all the time to raise their blacksmith-ing all the way up.
EDIT: maybe this #2 part would be good for special attacks or such? So you can categorize special attacks for different melee or ranged weapons, and then when you get EXP Attribute points to spend on special attacks, you can choose which special attacks you want to upgrade that particular time.
'studentTeacher', on 10 Sept 2013 - 4:48 PM, said:
Maybe even tackling a really difficult (read: much higher than challenging) dungeon might open up research on new, harder and durable metals, or certain chemical recipes for medicine.
Would it be possible to hire soldiers a ways into the game, and off-load the combat onto them? Because, if it is, I just know someone (probably me) is going to try to just become a scientist/alchemist/philosopher and live off the benefits. But if I have to personally fight my way to the bottom of a nigh-impossible dungeon in order to get any of the higher level tech, and I haven't been putting any points into fighting skills, it'll feel less like an adventure and more like punishment.
Actually, come to think of it, if I go down the path of building an empire, how much control do I get over my subjects?
That part was more for research skipping -- if you are in the stone age, and you take and complete a dungeon that's at a diamond age, then you can gain early access to diamond, as long as you can get the materials. It's like a sort of shortcut, but not an easy one. So to address making it "near-impossible" to get to the next research/age, what I meant to say is that is more for shortcuts.
As for hiring NPC's, I feel that it might be more like until you are at some type of kingdom or empire level, you need to go into battle with your troops, if you have troops at all. And depending on where you are in the game (different areas = different levels) and where your levels are, the NPC's will play off that as well, to make sure you don't do none of the work, while not having to grind, either. Again, I think that's a balance thing. Another thing that could happen is NPC's can have a chance to keep some of the profit. Depending on their trust of you, and you not being there during the battle, they might keep some of the good stuff and give you most of the average stuff. Heck, they could even revolt, if you are truly that despicable!! But I'm getting ahead of myself ;)
As for full control in the end-game, I need to figure out the beginnings first. That's something i'll tackle after this system is set up. For now, I'm going to focus on the player, and then hire-able NPC's later.
Does this mean that getting a lucky streak makes it more likely that the player will be lucky in the future?
To use minecraft for lack of a better example coming to mind, think of level 1 in [luck] as a regular pickaxe, and level 100 as a full-fledged fortune 3 effect on the pick for the ores that need it.