lessee. of all the things i need to add, i need to figure out which i want to add most.
i could add an item screen, but i'd need to have more items. no, i'll probably do an ff/dq item-list before i do an item screen. and even before that i'd still need more items than potions.
i could think about different kinds of items.. swords with different attack values, maybe a couple of different kinds of potions? since right now the focus of the game is on killing the monster and staying alive, that makes some sense.. that'll sit high up on my priority list.
adding in a ranged attack seems to make alot of sense to me right now. after playing ultima: quest of the avatar so much recently, i can't forget that. i do most of my battles with Bow and Sling and more or less finish off the monsters when they get close enough. (well, not counting when the monsters start off surrounding you) funny though, i'd rather go at a monster in ffxii with a good sword or katana before i'd take them on with bows, unless i'm just running through a wimp area. i guess ranged attacks' effectiveness depends on how many hits you can get in before the monster closes the distance.
another fun aspect to ranged attacks is making it reasonably easy to switch to a melee weapon. ultima:qota has it so you equip both melee and ranged and it decides which to use based on whether the monster is right next to you or not when you choose to attack it. in most other games, you have to go through the equip screen. at one point i was doing the equip-swap in ffxii because i'd get an extra bit of damage in, and i do it in diablo2 because i can swap with W and its not too bad. generally you only get the one extra hit in though, it doesn't really seem to matter much most of the time.
so when i get to ranged attacks, i have to make sure they don't make the game too easy. i've played games where you could literally get a monster caught on the map and just stand there and hit him until he dies, even if you're only doing tiny bits of damage. that isn't a good thing to be able to do, in my opinion.
a list of some things to add to actionrpg: damage variance (better equipment, levelling, poison/element-dmg), healing variance (better potions/spells, levelling, regen), status effects (poison, freeze, haste/slow, float), movement boundaries (maps), AI
i'm stuck on final fantasy, i know. its been an influence on me since i was but a wee child. alternatives like dragon quest and the tales series have burned their mark, and i'll surely be looking to them for things (30%/60% gumi, for instance - better than fixed value pots)