Those who were following the development of MMORPG Tycoon 1.1 (before I cancelled work on it) will remember that the major new features in version 1.1 were going to be the new, more interesting player AI model, and the user-adjustable MMORPG game rules, particularly as they relate to combat.
Well, I’m now starting to get those game rules from version 1.1 back into place in 2.0. In this screenshot, I’m editing an ability on the “Paladin” class, which I have entitled: “Mighty Smite”. Mighty Smite, when used, causes 40 points of “Health” damage to an enemy, and uses 20 points of “Energy” from the player using the ability. And I’ve set for it to take a few seconds before it becomes ready for use again. As your subscribers play, they’ll be forming opinions about which classes are the most powerful, and if they’re not reasonably well-balanced, you’ll probably see the perceived-to-be-weaker classes becoming much less popular amongst your subscribers. That is, until you buff or nerf classes back into balance.
I mentioned “Health” and “Energy”, earlier. These are both user-editable character attributes; the player can change their names, the colours in which their stat bars are drawn, how quickly (and in which direction) they recharge, and what happens if they should drop to zero. When you start a new MMORPG, you get just the “Health” attribute. Additional attributes can be purchased from the MMORPG Tech Tree (currently up to a total of five). In this shot, I’ve bought one more attribute, named it “Energy”, set it to recharge slowly, and to do nothing if it should ever hit zero. “Health” also recharges slowly by default, but will kill a character or monster if it ever drops to zero.
With this system, you can already do regular attacks and healing of yourself or teammates. (Or healing of monsters, if you had some reason to want to let your various classes do that). Eventually, I intend to also allow these abilities to do area of effect and damage over time damage/heals to attributes, as well. But that probably won’t be in the initial release.