One of the engaging parts of any RPG is character growth, both in story and gameplay. Gameplay-wise that typically involves characters getting stronger as the game goes on, and usually stat-increases when the character levels up is part of that. However, different RPGs have used different systems to manage these stat-increases. What kind of system do we want to see in Unsung Story?
Here are 3 common implementations:
- Growth-Based Stat Increases - The most common implementation, different stats will increase (grow) at different rates depending on a number of factors like class. For instance, an Attacker might get +4 Strength but only +1 Mind, while a Mage might get +4 Mind but only +1 Strength. This makes stat-increases predictable, and the player can manipulate them if they can control the factors the growth rate is based on.
- Percentage-Based Stat Increases - The implementation used by games like the Fire Emblem series, on each level-up stats have a percent chance of increasing. For example, an Attack might have a 75% chance to increase Strength, while a Mage might have only a 10% chance to increase strength. Typically in this implementation stats only go up by 1 per level up, but not necessarily. This makes stat increases highly variable, and characters might be great in one playthrough but terrible in the next. Since players usually aren't able to manipulate the percentages, they have to adapt to whatever the situation is on the current playthough - which can be an interesting challenge for players.
- Player Choice - The player can directly choose which stats to increase. Either the player can directly choose a stat to increase, or players are given a number of points to spend and can use them to increase stats (or for other effects) which may have different costs. This is seen frequently in Pen and Paper RPGs and other more involved systems. This can also be combined with other options, allowing players to add addition stat increases as a bonus or otherwise involving player choice in the process.
I would like to see Player Choice used in combination with another system - I think Growth Based would likely be more familiar and more comfortable for most players. Making the player choice a bonus stat increase may make it feel like more of a reward for players. In order to streamline the process, I think it should be a straightforward choice instead of a point-based system. Finally, in order to mitigate min-maxing I think the increases should be greater for stats that are below the curve.
Here's an image to demonstrate the kind of thing I'm thinking:
What do you think? Do you prefer one of the commonly used systems, or do you have another idea?