Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Character Skills in a Star Trek MMORPG +

Originally Posted by Bean:
The ability to also repair specific systems with specific tools x specific classes would also be neat. You can't repair a deflector array because it needs the ability to use a level 9 tool, and you are a level 6. (for example)
I agree. I really dislike the concept of being gated completely out of doing something that one should be able to do even at a minimal level of capability.

Getting a message like "You must be a Level 43 Doctor to use the Autolytic Sequencer" is not going to make me determined to spend more time in that game grinding XP to level up to 43. All it's going to do is irritate me that I'm being rather obviously manipulated by greedy developers who want more of my subscription fees while I grind, grind, grind for no other reason than to be permitted to use some object that can't possibly be worth all that effort. Enough of that kind of nonsense and I'm gone.

I'd much rather see a "percentage of success" system where the more skills and the better tools you have that are appropriate for a given task, the better your odds of success. Anybody should have at least a minimal (say, 2-5%) chance of succeeding at most tasks, but having the right training and tools can significantly increase one's chances of success. Critical failures and successes might be fun, too -- a character who has high levels of all the skills that are applicable to a particular task, and who's got high-quality tools appropriate to that task, ought to have a chance of extraordinary success.

A game with that more welcoming "fuzzy" approach to content accessibility (rather than the binary "you can/can't do it") could keep me playing for a long time.