Thursday, June 5, 2008

Return of the Dex Monkey

So I'm looking at this Character Class stuff in the game.

And I don't wanna do the Monkey-Robot-Pirate-thingie, well, not exactly, see, I'm gonna make it so that you can call yourself whatever the hell you want, you can be a Dwarven Cowboy or a Radio Wolfman or whatever the hell, that's your own bag, all those "Dwarven Cowboy" thingies will just be a variant of some kinda base class.

I haven't really made my mind up on how I wanna do it but I wanna lock it in a little bit 'cause I got a lot of programming to do.

I think I wanna make it so that the game doesn't have any max level (or like, the max level is Level 65535 or something heh), not because that's "cool" or whatever (although kids think that's cool heh), but because I'm lazy and I just don't care about end-game garbage.

I'm thinking more about buddies running around together in the game no matter what level they are, so that more-the-merrier-style grouping thingie like UO had it is a requirement, basically.

And I can do something like that with an endless level system as long as the level thing plateaus pretty quick.

And all I really wanna do is just compute rewards for leveling off some kinda base thingie, 'cause its stupid to waste database space and all that code on anything you can easily calculate, especially stuff that you don't need to calculate often, and especially in a turn based game where speed isn't exactly of the essence heh.

And the no-max-level thingie is no big deal, just think of like UO where a guy that had 70s in his skills and whatever could do fine and everybody could group together no matter what sizes they were.

Plus after a while, getting one extra hit point and a point of Dexterity (or whatever) ain't no big deal, but you are still having a little fun making your character an itsy little bit tougher, there's no sense in putting a limit on that, that's all thats about.

And I could always have it work like Fallout where you can pick "special powers" from a pool of powers, every so many levels, and then just add powers as folks get so big that they need new ones.

And since the monsters are all "calculated" by the game its pretty easy to have them sorta keep up with you (although the nice thing is that they'll plateau too, which makes it non-poisonous for everybody else).

Anyways I was thinking about doing something like D&D for classes at first, y'know, Warrior, Thief, Wizard, Priest, Druid, yadda yadda yadda, but those aren't really all that great.

I mean, there's no purely mathematical and logical way to break those down into something that make sense, like, although Warrior is good for a Strong Guy, he also needs to be a Tough Guy, and who is wiser, Thieves or Priests.

And what's the difference between a Thief and a Priest in real life, y'know, where the Priest wouldn't have any magical healing spells?

Not a whole helluvalot.

Not a big difference between a Thief and a Priest and a Psychologist either heh.

Psychologists got the most "issues" out of that bunch ahaha.

Hey man at least the goddam Wizard might make a semi-honest living as a computer guy or a Man of Science or something AHAHA.

Well, whatever, this thing has gotta work both for the Magical Worlds and the Non Magical Ones.

And so then I started thinking something like Smart, Strong, Quick, Wise, Tough, and Charming, for the six stats in D&D, that's pretty cool, 'cause like, an Archer and a Thief or a Two Gun Cowboy would be a Quick, a Samurai would be a Strong, a Wizard or a Mad Scientist would be a Smart, I dunno know who the hell would be a Wise, there ain't any of those in real life, maybe I should change that to "Lucky" heh.

Yah, no, Priests are Charmings in real life.

Oh okay, mebbe they are Wise, and that's why its so easy for them to trick people AHAHA.

Well, whatever, you know what nobody is gonna pick?


Nobody is gonna pick Tough, man.

I might as well call it Chewy heh.

"My super power is that I can get really beat up! For a long time!"


Y'know, if you are gonna make a Sword Guy or a Berserker you are gonna go for a Strong, let's face it.

Die Hard might be cool in the movies but nobody wants to specialize in walking on broken glass in their bare feet without screaming man that's just stupid.

But see, without Tough, there's only five of 'em, and everything is lopsided heh.

Gawd dang this conceptual crap is so pathetic, everybody is always like "my grandfather was not an ape! The gods are super powerful but not even they could turn an ape into a human and stuff 'cause that's impossible!"

But sometimes you can totally tell we were cavemen like, five minutes ago, our logic is so bad heh.

"I need six classes!"


"'Cause its gotta be even!"

"I thought it had to make sense?"

"Yah that too!"

"Well I'm not playing a Tough, man, so you can just put that right out of your goddam head. I'm gonna be a Quick. I'm a Quick in all these Parallel Universe Time Traveling Planet of the Apes Nailgun fighting games, I always play a Quick, that's my class."

"Me too!"

"I love pets and super speed and teleports and ranged attacks and being a dps class."

"Yah me too!"

Yah man, nobody is gonna pick a Wise or a... what the hell were the other things?

Strong, nobody is gonna be a Strong, not when a Samurai or a Ninja could be a Quick.

There's a reason there's never been no such thing as a Strength-monkey.

He might as well be a Tough and Chewy monkey while he's at it ahaha.

Its always gonna be a Dex Monkey.

Dex is just like, too good.

Everybody is gonna Pick a Quick.

With a Smart for an Alt or something mebbe ahaha.

So three classes is all I need.

Quick and Smart and the "Don't Pick This Guy" choice that only exists to make you feel better about picking a Quick or a Smart heh.

And you just know that somebody is gonna pick a Don't Pick This Guy and start complaining about how I didn't hardly program them at all 'cause I din't actually imagine that anyone would really wanna play one ahaha.

Man its funny how the more awful I get the more true I get AHAHA.

Hmm, I think I do need to do this pretty good though.

At first I was like, oh who cares about character classes, there's Time Travel and all that, you can have an Ancient Roman Quick, a Clash of the Titans Quick, a Caveman Quick, a Knight of the Round Table Quick, a Spaceman Quick, the list goes on and on with an endless variety of Quick Picks hehe.

But I might as well do this pretty good.

It could definitely add something to the replayability if I figure out a good way to divide things up, if the "pool of hilariously cool looking but generally equally effective special attacks" or whatever was interesting for each kinda guy.

Smart and Quick are easy to make interesting, its the other ones that're kinda tanking for me heh.


Squash Monster said...

Strong/Quick/Tough/Lucky/Smart/Charming works. You just have to make sure the system is designed in a way that makes everybody feel useful. Think of it like this:

The Tough guy stands in the front, and the enemies are dumb enough that they mostly attack the guy in the front. He gets powers like extra armor and regeneration and maybe he can grow spikes or set himself on fire so people who attack him get hurt.

The Strong guy just does a hellofalot of damage. Some enemies are just so burly that you need a Strong to kill them so it doesn't take forever. Medium-strength enemies take one or two hits for a Strong, and they can punch stupid little minion cannon-fodder so hard that their body explodes and the shrapnel hurts everything around them.

The Quick guy gets to do multiple things at once. So he can go dash around and kill a whole pile of miniony shit in one turn. And maybe you have lots of those enemies that charge up a big attack and then wreck everybody, and you need the Quick guy to hit his little super-reflexes button and punch them until they stop.

The Lucky guy is exactly the same as the Tough guy, yeah? Except instead of standing in front and getting hit, he stands in the front and inexplicably doesn't get hit. And every time he shoots somebody it's a lucky shot, of course, so he's kinda like a Strong too. But if he gets unlucky at any time he's just fucked, so he's really gambling on being as good as those other two guys.

Then the Smart guy has traps or something, and he messes with people. Maybe he could pick an enemy and an action, and if the enemy does that they get fucked with by a trap and can't do it. So he's kinda like a Quick cause he interrupts people, and kinda like a Tough because he's stopping people from getting hurt. But if he fucks up then it just doesn't work.

Then there's that Charming guy, and he's just completely worthless. But he'll trick some of the enemies into helping you, and that's like having an extra whatever-the-hell guy on your team. Except charming a Tough guy isn't worth anything because the enemies aren't gonna attack their own buddy. And if the enemy doesn't have anything that'll work as a Quick guy or a Strong guy then you're just kinda boned.

Squash Monster said...

So yeah, people will actually play a Tough, you just need to make sure people realize Tough means "guy who's so fucking burly that it hurts people just to punch him"

And really, Quicks are fucking pansies if you don't let them steal Strong's shit. I mean, who the fuck cares how fast you are if you can't actually do anything, yeah? It took me forever to figure out what a Quick was actually useful for in that example.

Ole Bald Angus the Monk said...

Goddam that was awesome man.

Okay Strong and Tough are cool enough heh.

The Charmings are easy if you think of 'em as Illusionists or the Pet Class.

I was thinking of making Smarts into Wizards AND Mad Scientist type dudes that can repair their own Time Machines and hack security systems and robots (or Golems) and stuff, depending on whether they're Magical or Non Magical, but I dunno, that gets into the major difficulty of trying to make a system for Magical and Non Magical worlds, its gonna be tough to make one "pool of specials" for those two kinds of guys that doesn't lose some flavor.

Mebbe I need to make Magical World and Non Magical World versions of these six guys, just so that the descriptions and pictures for their spells and stuff are cool looking (y'know its kinda lame to have to make a Lightning Bolt into something generic so that a Mad Scientist can cast it without looking weird when it'd be more fun to give the Wizard and the Mad Scientist their own versions of Lightning Bolt).

And I dunno if I should get rid of Wise and the idea of a "Healer" class and just give that kinda stuff out to everybody else or have Medicine Men and Doctors and stuff.

'Cause its easy to add diseases and plagues and all sorts of weird junk like that to this game, y'know, when you get into modern times the Doctor type guy can be the hero of a pretty freaky action movie, Wise could be like the Biological and Philosophical Version of a Wizard or a Mad Scientist, a Druid or something works for that too, I guess heh.

I like the idea of Lucky being a Jack of All Trades dude that can do a little bit of everything as long as he stays Lucky that's fricking AWESOME heh.

Or mebbe he's got totally Random Powers.

So I think I'll add that as the Seventh Class, so its Smart, Quick, Strong, Tough, Charming, Lucky, and Wise.

Its easy to do super complex junk just like they do it in Pen and Paper games where you have random encounters that are at such-and-such-a-distance, and your group might have surprised them or been surprised by them, and you can Run or close the distance and Declare Your Intentions (and everybody in your group get their intentions queued up) and Roll for Initiative and see what happens (as complex and gory as I wanna make it with shots to different body parts and all that good stuff, gotta love quickly scrolling text for some things) and all that.

Me and a buddy and a Physical Therapist girlfriend made a text-based sword fighting simulation in college once where it was basically two databases fighting and whenever somebody got wounded their ability to use the muscles in that location made some of their attacks work better and worse (and damaging their head made it hard for them to coordinate body movements).

It was all worked out with physics, where you needed a working leg to push against the ground with, and you had to coordinate the biological power of the attack through your whole body until it traveled out through your weapon and into the other guy.

I'm not gonna do anything THAT complex again (y'know, I just wanna shoot stuff and hack junk and blow things up and laugh heh) but I'm just saying, you can do some really cool junk with text that nobody usually thinks about doing.

And then you can wire any kinda graphics on to it later.

Ole Bald Angus the Monk said...

Oh I suppose I should add that I've already got spells (or "specials") as one of the things you can customize and personalize if you want (just like monsters and stuff).

Maybe I should just make it so that you can browse the Specials that are all the same (underneath) and pick one somebody else made too, to replace the one you were using, if you like what somebody else did better, that'd be a good way to do it.

Plus it'd cure this "technical versus magic guy" thingie some.

Like all User Added content, Specials got fields for Time Period and Setting (theme, or Parallel Universe, y'know, set up for when players (or dungeon master folks) wanna narrow things down to Ancient Rome or whatever later.