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  Grinding Away 02:01 AM -- Wed February 20, 2008  

I spent most of the day in a tizzy trying to work out some attribute stuff in the game and not really accomplishing anything. So at the end of the day, I just dropped that and decided to get something done, so now the game can read in the text file that describes character classes! Well, I don't know that it can, but the code compiled at any rate.

The first character class, the one I'm doing to get things started, is to be expected: the Warrior. Oh, another new thing today is that each class has potentially a different set of 5 item types they can equip. Warriors equip Axes, Shields, Armor, Helmets, and Boots. They have a Stamina meter only. Their three skill sets are Offense, Defense, and Tactics. I have only actually thought up the skills that go in Tactics, but Offense will be pretty much a copy of the Attack skill page in Loonyland 2. Defense will be, surprisingly, defensive skills. A lot of the passive stuff will be there, like increased life and armor, along with some active abilities. I suppose Parry will probably go in there. Tactics includes things like a shout to boost your stats temporarily, another shout to stun enemies, a passive ability to make all your shouts hurt badguys, and the always handy Retreat skill (double speed and increased armor, but it cancels if you attack!).

I kind of mentioned before that each class would give you something in your town. Today I am modifying that - each class gives you the potential for something in your town! The Warrior's "building" is a Training Dummy. You'll need to collect a bunch of logs, maybe some rope, and of course some money in order to build it. Once it's built, it grants a permanent 5% bonus to how much experience all your characters gain. So a lot of the buildings work like that - they just make your whole team more powerful rather than actually being used for anything. Then as you collect more logs and money, you can bump into the Training Dummy again to upgrade it, increasing the XP bonus.

So you can kind of see how the game will push you to play with all the different classes and accomplish things, gradually making everybody more powerful. It's sort of like quests to accomplish, but nobody tells you "Bring me 10 logs and $50" - you decide for yourself that you should do that, since the Training Dummy requires that for an upgrade. In addition to those self-imposed quests, each class has a set of achievements to complete. Completing those earns you Stars (or maybe something else, but you know, a token of completion) which are the things you spend to buy new classes. The class achievements include one or two that are unique to the class, and then some obvious generic ones like "Beat the final boss" and "Reach level 50". There will be enough low-level goals that you will be able to add on character classes pretty quickly at first, but there will also be special high-end classes that cost a whole lot of stars. They won't necessarily be more powerful, just more complex to play, I think. You may also get a Gold Star (or whatever) for completing all the achievements of one class, and the high-end classes are priced in Gold Stars rather than regular.

This is a game that's really in its infancy still, though. Almost none of what I said above exists anywhere except on paper and in my head. I'm really scared for the moment when I tear out the skills to put in the ability to enter skills through a text file. That's going to involve ripping apart almost every file in the game, and not leaving much at all behind.
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