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Nichollan

Character development

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Values that I think a character development system should have or might be cool having: - Players should have many interesting possiblities in painting their character and its development through the system. The system should have something of interest to everybody. - What paths your character chooses should affect what possibilities you have later on. In an MMO it should also affect what roles and/or behavior, like in team play, other players might expect from you. The latter might demand the system to be restrictive toward letting you have multiple paths for your character's development. - Some abilities might be hard-earnt and be (almost) unique for your character. - There might be different ways of gaining a set of skills - some might be available only at some distant mountain temple where you have to accomplish a set of challenging tasks. Other skills might be learnt from books that other players might have spent a great deal of effort crafting, and which might demand a great deal of effort processing too if the book is to be reusable and available at some in-game library (which might also be destroyed by enemy factions). I like the idea of a blueprint lottery which apparently exist in EVE Online, I believe a concept like that might inspire new interesting character development systems. Anyway, what do you expect from a character development system?

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An important aspect of any character is their relationships with the other characters in the game, so I would expect any good character development system to include faction reputations and individual friendships/romances with NPCs.

And of course it is nice as one progresses through the game to be able to earn new options for customizing your avatar's appearance (unless you were including that under 'painting the character'?) Importantly, this visual customization should not affect combat stats.

I'm not personally interested in having abilities or items unique to me - anything unique is probably going to be either buggy or unimportant to gameplay or will be an attempt to pass off brainless randomness as uniqueness. Rather, I would like the combination of skills that make up my character to make me unique because rather than being locked in a pre-chosen class or race set of skills I would like to be able to 'purchase' the skills I like from the large library of all skills available in the game.

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Maybe not uniqueness, meh you're right - its a bad idea.

However, a special kind of skill that you put a great deal of effort gaining, not necessarily unique, but it should be rewarding nonetheless.

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I'm not at all into MMORPGs, but I can look at the question from the perspective of a single player RPG.

Incentive is what character development is all about for me. It's not about improving my character. It's about WANTING to improve my character. That want pushes me to enjoy parts of the game that reward me with progress toward that end. If those parts of the game are boring (which is typical), I might still enjoy them a little bit because of the incentive. But if those parts of the game were already fun without the incentive, I'll fall right into your game and forget to eat for three days.

As a side note, cheap tricks to take advantage of this concept (like leveled enemies) do the opposite, making me care far less about leveling.

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