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Stat Caps

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Should an rpg game have stat caps ?

1) No stat caps :

a) Allows full character customization that matters : For example i could be a weak lv 1 blacksmith with 10 str, and 10 hp, but because of practicing "Blacksmithing skill" for 30 hours, i would have level 306 blacksmithing allowing me to produce ultra strong weapons / armor, to cover my weaknesses in other areas,
this would allow me to finish the game with a pacifier role (you only have to kill the final boss).

b) Profficiencies have a meaning, for example i am a lv 1 character with lv 405 trading-mercantise skill i can buy at 2.42% price and sell them at 1247% price (cannot go past buy value = no infinitive money). A normal warrior with no trading-mercantise would have to grind for 123 hours to buy the same weapons.

c) allows disgaia stat system. Have 12312123123 hp and attack to survive this battle.
However imagine cases you are lv 99999999999 vs lv1 enemies that are no threat = boring.

d) tremendous feeling of power and bragging rights.

e) New Metagame goal : grind until you obtain 9999999999 in all stats. Thus makes others play your game for more hours.


2) Stat caps.

a) forces you to have a generalised role with minor variations. You will have all proficiencies in the game at lv100.
Or since the level is capped you will only invest your xp into the "Best proficiencies".
b) proficiencies have minor meaning i wont be able to deal more than 150% damage because of my profficiency.
c) enemies are always balanced at right difficulty, not too easy or too hard.
d) minor feeling of power.
e) Forced to quit when you see that your power doesn't grow anymore (fast enough) since there isn't anything else to do (you already finished the game).


Questions :
1) Which one would you prefer.
2) Will permadeath role change your decision to stats having caps ?

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Neither. No stat cap with a controlled progression that doesn't rely on grinding. Disgaea is not a good example to follow because its endgame caters to a narrow demographics. You want player skill to be the source of success, not stats.

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Make training a skill become less effective over time. Thats realistic and that way training many skils is better than just a few, but you can always train something even though it gives just a little benefit.

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Playing Fallout New Vegas right now. My level just capped and now the skill levels that I have are what I'm stuck with for the rest of the game. Other than I just needed 2 more points on my lock picking to be able to open any lock, it doesn't bother me at all. It's kinda nice knowing that my character won't become completely unstoppable and godly (though it's close enough already).. And although I wanted to increase my stats I didn't really want to race to the level cap so there was less motivation for me to grind.

With that said, I don't really like either of your suggestions. I don't play RPGs to try and race to the finish. I play them for the story and the journey.

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favorite games :
1) elona rpg.
2) disgaia.
3) morrowind / oblivion (only the skill based system, endless world )
4) kingdom hearts ( only the graphics, animation )
5) baldur's gate series ( quests, lore, spells, world size)

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