One game design aspect I've been struggling with is how flexible to make the Character Class selection. In my case, the Character Class is not Druid, Mage etc but rather which Starship class (Scout, Frigate, etc).
The initial version of the game is 2 teams of 20 players each, it is a 2d space combat MOBA game for mobile inspired by League of Legends and Netrek.
The design issue is that I am trying to support two goals that seem to contradict to some degree.
#1 - flexibly : Players should be able to join and leave a game in progress at will, as well as choose any Starship class they want (as long as it is available for their race, and isn't a unique slot that is already taken such as the Starbase). (eg: Netrek, TF2)
#2 - progression : (eg MOBAs/LoL) : you will be able to level up during the game, as well as increase your abilities through items over time.
Should you be allowed to start as a one Class (for example a Scout), and later in the game change your class to another (a Frigate)? Netrek allows you to do this by Retrofitting at no cost on your home base and it works fine, LoL doesn't allow this.
Should new players who join the game exactly inherit the previous players Character Class and items?
Should I allow players in the game to retrofit to another Character Class?
Here's my current thinking on these:
- During the game, any player can retrofit to another starship type, but only at home base and only by selling all their items first (which in many cases they would want to do anyway to get items more suitable for their new starship type). However, selling items is done at the typical discount versus buying a new item of 20%. So if you had 8,000 minerals worth of items before, once you liquidate them you will have an empty inventory with 6,400 minerals. Also, they lose 10% of their Experience Points (which may reduce their level slightly).
- The same math applies to a new player who joins the game. The player begins the game with an empty inventory, and their minerals that are available for them to spend on items are whatever the previous player had worth of items minus 20%. They will start with 10% less XP than the previous player.