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Intentional/Controlled use of inconvenience to create dedicated builds in a free-skill system

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While the title may be outright clickbait/flamebait, It's best if you hear me out on this one.

 

(it is important to note that the game I will describe is an "earn-your-fun" type of game. Rather than giving the player all of it's great aspects, entertainment value, and enjoyment, it requires the player to think hard, plan out in advance, adapt their plan when sudden changes occur, and to search out solutions on their own, even if the game gives them one, in order to have fun playing this game. In short, this is decidedly a hardcore game, though unlike a certain more recent "earn-your-fun" RPG series this game is far from masochistic; it instead has the player learn through discovery and planning than through trial and error. As opposed to being difficult, it is merely long and requires much effort and involvement.)

 

Imagine there is a Sandbox RPG. It does not have a class system and is open-skilled, but only allows the player to reach high ratings in certain skills. Imagine that this game also requires players to have very specialized equipment and item set ups to make any practical use of that build. Now imagine that, as a counterbalance to its intricate customization system, the game's combat is entirely reliant on situational advantage; every build only suits one scenario or encounter and is functional (but certainly not ideal) in about 3 others, but in literally every other possible situation (due to the game procedurally generating most of its environments) said build becomes grossly ineffective.

 

On top of this, the game allows you to play as a vast breadth of characters. Some are major and have builds tailored to their identities, but this focuses more on the main character and recruit able minor NPCs. In this case, while the player is allowed to reset builds for the main and minor characters without cost, they must then re-spec their skills and have a new set of equipment and support items. 

 

This is what the title refers to. Because deconstructing extant items for their materials can only go so far as the materials and special effects are also made just for specific builds, the player must often buy/craft new materials, equipment, and Items. Doing so is obviously a very laborious process, and a costly one at that. It is also far more difficult later in the game because of the customization system: more special effects and methods of adding special effects are unlocked as the game goes on, which (again) encourages very specific build choices. 

 

As a result, this conceptual game requires players to plan their builds and weigh consequences when making changes or upgrades. The player often also has to chose between a slow, grinding process that may yield better results (and thus fun) in the long run or a simpler action that may or may not be completely effective. (it is also worth noting this carries into the story sequences and combat in addition to just customization; "bad or worse" choices figure heavily as a theme in this game, so it makes sense that the customization mechanic features it for thematic significance)

 

An open-skilled game system that appears to have options but really uses choices has been a design obsession of mine for a while. One constant flaw I find in this design is pitching it: it is not an easy system to describe fully in a short sentence. That being said (assuming you haven't been driven off by the title), I've gotten positive remarks from serious gamer and designer alike regarding this type of game system. Would anyone here want to play a game that used this system as it's core system? 

I've started drawing up concepts for just such a game (and some LNs that take place in the same universe that will actually establish said fiction), so please, speak your minds. :)

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This sounds a lot like the original star wars galaxies skill system, maybe with a couple of differences.

The one they had prior to the combat enhancement updates that nailed the coffin shut. I felt like this system was well Used in this game because it allowed for you to spend most of your points specializing in one path then allowing for a few extra points in the beginning skills of other skill paths

I'll try to find some YouTube videos to link

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