Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Time points" system

Here's an idea about a system that could be used by characters to buy skills or do some actions. Something to replace the XP system and the "active" grind. I'm not aware of all systems ever imagined so if it's already been done well, I like the idea anyway.

Every hours, a character receives X time points. A character can accumulate Y points before he reach a cap and need to spend them to receive more.

Each skill require that an certain amount of points be spent to learn it. Lower "level" skills could require an amount of points lower than the number of points a character receives in a day, some might require more.

When a skill require more points than the maximum a character can accumulate, he need to spend some to start the learning progress.

Time points can be spent to learn skills (combat, crafting, ...)

Ex.: Dak wants to learn the Fireball spell. Fireball cost 200 time points and Dak can only have a maximum of 150 time points at the same time. He decide to spend 100 points right now, leaving him with 100 more to spend later while still having 50 points to use somewhere else. Dak won't know the Fireball spell until he paid all 200 points.

Time points can be used to collect some materials (mining, cut wood, ...)

Ex.: Instead of spending countless hours mining for ore, Dak goes to the mine and spend 50 points. Those 50 time points will give him 20 units of ore. If he'd spent more, he'd collect more ore.

Time points can be "sold" to a NPC for money

Ex.: Dak is a little short on money. Hopefully, he has the "create leather armor" skill. He's not interested to create his own business so he goes to the armorsmith. The blacksmith tells him that if he helps him finish that big full plate his working on, he'll pay Dak 1 silver coin. Dak spend the necessary amount of time points and receives his money.

If Dak would have been better at helping the
armorsmith, he might have received more money. Dak won't get rich this way and the armorsmith might not always need some help.

Time points can be spent to teach a skill to another character

Ex.: Dak still want to learn the "dragon swordfighting style" that cost 100 points while he only have 75 left. He go see Zak that already have that skill. Zak can spend 25% of the time points needed by Dak to learn this skill, leaving Dak with 75 points to spend to learn this skill.

Time points can be spent to craft

Ex.: Dak wants to craft a sword. A sword requires 200 time points to craft. If he have all materials needed, he can spend points to begin crafting. He can spend 100 today and the remaining tomorrow.

So you're saying I could "maxxed" my character by just doing nothing?

Well, that's up to you but I guess that wouldn't be really fun. Is it unfair to the hardcore players that spend countless hours killing orcs over and over? I know this is the usual way of measuring the "hard work" someone is putting in a game but frankly, it's not my cup of tea.

Beside, I think that with an approach "skills brings more choices and not more power" it might be successful.

If it's been done over and over, it must be because it brings some kind of "success" to a game (keep the players hooked for not much in the end). But it's been done over and over so why try to do it again...

I'm throwing this idea because that's what I'd like to see in my game. Of course, this is a first draft, I'm sure some there's some flaws in it. I'm also sure a lot players won't like this system like (hopefully) a lot of players will. However, if I'd do a "grind system", I would be the one not liking it and I don't see a point spending time for something I wouldn't like in the end.

If I'm not mistaken, Eve Online works a bit like this (think that's what I read).