Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Setting and Progression, Part 3

This time, a more bullet-point-y version of our planned game progression. Once we've got this down we can talk more about advanced classes and mitigating the class explosion the current design entails.

So the rough idea:

  • Character creation:
    • Levels 0->5
      • Training missions, teaches basic control concepts and culminates in deciding which two of the four initial classes are available (Shieldman, Swordsman, Archer, Scout)
  • Survival and finding faction, seeing the new world:
    • Levels 5->10
      • Introduces active abilities on primary classes. The initial 4 seeds focus less on passive abilities and more on 'relatively boring' buttons to push. There is also very little synergy between these classes, and their mechanics are 'easy'. Threat mechanics are exaggerated for simplicity, morale works well by default, no actions consume resources.
    • Levels 10->15
      • Introduces commander skills, starting with Tactical skills. These are the simplest category and are similar to primary classes actions and passives.
      • Introduces primary class decisions: At 10 the first class-change will be available, so the units can decide to specialize or not.
      • Begin introducing simple equipment for primaries
    • Levels 15->20
      • Introduce controllable formation mechanics, rather than only having the default automatic formations. Do so by starting learning commander skills of the 'Command' tree.
      • Class abilities migrate towards 'use at the right time' abilities with costs and potential negative consequences. Likewise introduce synergies between primary classes and formation mechanics.
      • Managing engagement and threat to become more important.
  • Exploring new power
    • Levels 20->30
      • Elemental archetypes are introduced to the player seeds. A specialized set of quests are built to train the player in the new class mechanic, do be discussed in the next article. This quest, like the training, should culminate in a class-availability selection.
      • Introducing terrain and region mechanics to combat statistics and movement.
      • Introduce commander-equipment, such as a standard.
    • Levels 30->40
      • New formation mechanics are available through Command-skill training, allowing more dynamic control.
      • Maneuver introduction: Maneuvers are a sort of 'group script' that can be setup beforehand and executed as a whole. Examples of such would be a simultaneous knock-back to afford regrouping into formation. Maneuver slots are granted through Command skills.
      • Antagonist introductions! Plot continues! 
      • Strong focus on primary classes' abilities synergizing, especially with new elemental-classes incorporated.
      • Introduction of consumable primary-class resources?
      • Managing morale to increase in importance and difficulty
  • Advanced settlement
    • Levels 40->50
      • Reintroduction of technology. New classes available. More decisions to be made.
      • Commanders gain access to their 'Resource' skill trees.
      • Introduction of combat-area manipulation in combat: Building walls, ditches, modifying the region through elemental magic or technology.
    • Levels 50->60
      • Introduction of automata construction for combat. Both elemental and technologically based. 
  • Confrontation
    • Levels 60+
      • Merged technological and elemental units. Access through quest-arc. No decision making here, previous decisions cover it. 
      • Other Awesome Things!

Actual 'level' numbers may change of course. A 'level' right now is defined as a number of ranks gained for primary classes, and by skill point availability for commanders.

Sounds kind of complicated by the end, doesn't it?

Next time, focusing on primary classes development over levels.

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