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Critique this idea for dividing up the XP! (SRPG Game)

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As I have posted about before, I'm working on an SRPG type game in the mold of Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea.  One thing I'm focusing on is making battles play out quickly most of the time.  It is turn based, and thus, when the player wishes to take his/her time to plan things out then he/she is free to do so, however on the other hand when the player knows what needs to be done the battle should play out quickly.


I'm primarily looking to achieve this by having a solid interface that does what the player wants with as little input as possible, but in addition to that I'm looking at ways to streamline the battle itself by removing gameplay elements that aren't directly battle related and putting them elsewhere.


To this end, I am pretty sure I am going to remove the awarding of XP from in the battle to the conclusion of the battle where it is given in total to characters according to some set of rules.   It's that set of rules that I'm posting about here.  I'd like feedback and suggestions as to how I might improve things...


The basic idea is this.  An individual enemy will reward some amount of XP based on its type, level, etc.  That xp total will be added to a pool that the game holds on to in the background until the end of the battle.  So add up all the defeated enemy XP rewards and you have a pool of XP to award to player Characters after the battle.  I've thought up a few ways to divide things, none of these are really mutually exclusive, but I am also interested in keeping complexity down as much as possible.


  • Have the game track a "score" for each character.  An attack is one point, a kill is 3, casting a heal is 1, a debuff on an enemy is 2, etc.  After the battle, add up all the scores and get the total points, then divide each characters percent of the total.  That character then gets that same percent of the total XP.
  • Do the above, but in addition add a modifier after the xp has been divided.  That modifier would be based on the difference between a characters level and a rating of battle difficulty.  Overleveled characters would be penalized while underleveled ones might get a bonus.
  • I could factor in other things such as damage dealt, the effectiveness of a given buff or debuff (If you give someone a strength buff and that char never does anything that uses strength, why should that get you xp), getting reduced to low health and surviving, etc.  But I worry that would overcomplicate things.  Whatever method is chosen, I want to make sure that the XP awards are relatively transparent and the player has a good idea why one char got more than another.

Mostly I think something along these lines would work pretty well, but I'd like to know what others think.



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If XP is awarded after the battle, why not just let the player divide it himself?
(I know, the problem would be that one character could be there doing nothing at all just being there for the XP,
but that would mean that the battles are too easy,

and i still don't see any real problem in it, since the player would just be using the game-mechanics to get ahead,

which is something he/she should be doing over the course of the whole game.

You could make only a part of the XP available to the player for distribution though,

and have the rest of the XP being divided equally over all the characters.)

The battle would *not* play out faster if the player is trying to make a certain character certain actions to make sure he/she gets a bigger piece of the available XP ;)


As for giving higher-level characters less XP, usually higher level characters require *more* XP to gain their next level,

it seems slightly less complicated for the player to me, but both systems can work.

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Perhaps I should have explained the faster play a bit better.  I am more striving for a system where taking longer in a battle is a player choice rather than an unfortunate necessity (like FFT, for example).  When I say faster, I don't necessarily mean in terms of turns, or even time specifically.  I just mean a battle should move quickly.  I have a target goal where, if a player knows that all he/she wants to do with a given character is make a move and attack a specific enemy, there should be no more than 4-5 seconds between the start of that characters turn and the start of the next turn, attack animations included.  I won't be enforcing this on the player, and players that wish to take their time are free to do so.  Invariably, I feel like a player is going to want to take the time to use more optimal strategies, more special abilities, and better tactical planning in a big climactic boss battle than in a random encounter against some randomly generated scrubs. 


I thought about giving the player the ability to divide it up, and there may be some of that in the game in some context, I'd like it actually.  However, the difficulty isn't really the issue.  The player will always have access to battles and quests of all levels up to their current level.  Now, if the player wants to grind away on lowbie battles endlessely in order to get ahead, far be it for me to deny that.  But I would like to at least discourage it a little bit where possible.  I want rewards that are proportionally better for facing challenging battles, and I'd like to encourage the player to risk bringing lower level characters into the fray a little bit by offering bonus rewards.


Food for thought at least.  I'm definitely going to try and work in the ability to divide experience by choice.

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