So I have added a rudimentary combat system, it still needs to be tested and tweaked however. But this post is more about my progress with the character classes. Some minor changes have been made such as renaming a couple of classes, but a big change is the way gaining ranks works. Initially I was planning on dictating which skills will progress with each rank purchased, but in my eyes, doing this to the player would be unfair. A player that wants to specialize in heavy weaponry shouldn’t be forced to adhere to a strict ladder of ascension where they have to learn several skills they don’t intend on using. Instead, I have changed the structure to allow this method for each rank:
“(#) of skills +(#) and (different #) of skills + (different #).”
This should allow players the freedom to choose which skills they deem more important than others while restricting them from simply placing all of their points into a single slot too quickly. In my experiences, when given this opportunity, maxing out a skill as fast as possible ruins the playability and fun of a game as you’ll likely end up tipping the balances out of whack (items only available to people with high level skills become available too early and combat becomes too easy etc.). So now I am working on the problem of the experience cost for each rank. Each class has a role to play, but some demand different skills than others. Adepts need more ability points to focus on gaining powers while Commandos are more skill point based. The other three classes fall somewhere in between this area. I am wondering now if it would be unfair to charge different Experience Point costs for each class to gain ranks. This would be introduced to compensate for that fact that some classes receive better skill point or ability point bonuses per rank to meet the demands of their specialization. There are obviously other solutions, but this is the one I have been thinking most about and it does have its obvious pitfalls such as the question of, “Why should I play the character that gains ranks faster if I get better things from another class?” I am considering my options in this area, but that is the current update for Astronovus: Mercenary Company.