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Astral Terra
Vayra Jan 8, 2014 @ 8:55am
Suggestion for character progression
First of all, let me start off by saying I am stoked to have a go at Astral Terra because it is a great concept that I have been waiting for. We desperately needed a sandbox in fantasy setting! But I also have some questions / suggestions on how the game could be more enjoyable to a wider variety of players. This applies mostly to character progression, which to me is the core of a good RPG because a solid character progression is what gives these games awesome replay value and keeps the mundane, interesting.

- Avoid the kill/loot system as a compulsory way to progress.

Every RPG out there has a variation on the theme: kill to get stronger. Quest to get stronger (which generally bores down to killing more stuff). What I feel a sandbox game like Astral Terra absolutely needs, and that which is missing in most other sandbox games with progression, such as Starforge, is a way to progress without making a single kill or ever touching a weapon. Let us progress and discover in every way conceivable. If I had to think of a way to implement this myself, I would consider working with an achievement system. Since every world is random, allow players to go entirely their own way by having an achievement tree for every single action: walking long distances, diving in deep water, mapping the area, building stuff, creating items, etc. Players must be able to advance without ever touching an enemy.

Implementing such a system would elevate Astral Terra from a glorified 3rd person action RPG to a freeform game where different people have their own disciplines and specializations. It also encourages the creation of wildly different 'worlds' and objects in those worlds. Since you already mentioned 'Morrowind' as a source of inspiration, I would think you are already on such a path.

- Randomization cannot be everything

The pitfall of having many randomised instances in games is that after a while everything will look and feel the same. What these games desperately need is a good number of handcrafted events, NPC's and memorable sequences to give it some more 'body' alongside all of the random content. I am hoping you will incorporate this as well, because those are the things that give the game flavor, make it unique and memorable.

Thanks in advance for your consideration, and looking forward to hearing your and other peoples' views on this!
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Tethys Interactive  [developer] Jan 31, 2014 @ 11:15am 
@Vayra - Gratitude for the well thought input.

Your suggestion on ways to earn XP outside of combat is spot on - it is certainly something we agree with and are looking into options for. Since every players world can be different, balance isn't as much of an issue as providing ways for emergent play to happen, as well as providing ways for the player to find their "fun" without shoehorning them into something. You idea speaks to this and we appreciate it. :)
Last edited by Tethys Interactive; Feb 2, 2014 @ 8:22pm
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