Why have the mutation system?
I'm going to cross-post my comment from steam, because I really have this question and I don't know a good answer to it.
(quoting from a member of the steam forums)
>> I've seen some of your "balance" suggestions on the forums, like permanently stripping skill points from players who roll into bad mutations because they should "roll with it". There's already a mode for you. Go use that instead of ruining the fun of people who were sold Din's Legacy on being able to micro-mix-and-match the mutations and skills they want to the finest detail. That, and not punishing the player because of events they have absolutely no control over; if I wanted to be screwed over by fortune I'll go to the casino and actually have a chance at getting some real money out of it.
So why even have those bad mutations? You get so many skill points in this game, that removing bad mutations is effortless. They might as well not exist. If you refund the skill points used to remove those things, you have nothing. They're not scars on your character, they're just a nuisance to be removed.
Also, why even have a mutation system? Why not just give you a character editor, and let you build your character however you want?
At least in Din's Curse, choosing a hybrid meant losing out on one skill tree. In Drox, getting a larger ship meant you lost out on some character points, and you had to decide which skills to keep and which skills to let go of under the power requirements.
There are no hard choices in this game. None. It really might as well just be 'edit the character you like and go kill everything'. The mutation system that was supposed to give some semblance of risk and reward, some scars that your character picks up along the way, has been nerfed to bits. It literally has no impact. This game started out as the 'hardcore' Soldak game, and now it's become the exact opposite.
(Continuing this thought) Is the mutation system just supposed to be a way to give you an infinite power boost? For example, someone on discord got an earthquake procing on his sonic blast on kill. And it upgrades with sonic blast. So he's now got no game to play -- basically all the rest of the levels have been solved for him. Is this the only intent of the minor mutation system? Is the major system supposed to be just an editor to create your own character with zero cost and combine your favorite OP skills? Because if it is, I don't get it.
There are some limitations. When you get rid of a skill or skill level: 1) You are out some skill points until the skill you got rid of fully goes away and/or 2) You have to regain the mutation level to get something new
Having said that I do agree it's not much of a hard choice, so I might limit it a bit more. However it probably will not be by too much since the player doesn't have much control.
So one thing you can do is place limits to make it more predictable, or at least random with some predictability. You really want players to pick up and keep these negative traits, even without the permanent modifier, because it enriches the experience. Most of these aren't even that bad, but they give some personality to characters, like battle scars. How about the following:
* Each time you major mutate, you use up more mutation points. This discourages overly-mutating.
* You can only get 1 negative trait every X (say, 10) character levels, unless that trait is removed, in which case you may get another negative trait. X should be based on however many negative skills it's reasonable to have based on the max skill limit (which ideally could be raised anyway :) )
* Removing a trait costs more skill points each time you do it.
* Those skill points don't come back.
This way, you have a choice: accept that your character will randomly get around 10 (or however many it is) negative traits over its lifetime, or, if you really hate some of the traits, fight against them with skill points. That's a real choice though, and it has consequences.
Maybe there's one particular trait you really don't want and you want it removed. In that case, it'll cost you very little. But if you keep resisting your negative traits, that will have a growing skill point cost.
Additionally, create an optional character mode with none of this logic, allowing people to remove their negative traits for free. This is the mode for people who don't want any negative traits on their character.
It's also worth considering whether mutation points/levels are even needed, or if you can fold them into character points or skill points. It complicates understanding the mechanics of the game. Do we really need another leveling mechanism? Won't it be enough to get a mutation point and minor mutation when we level up? Or even to just get a minor mutation, and use character points to mutate (thinking of Drox's ship upgrade here: this gives an automatic hard decision between mutating (with growing costs) and investing in your character)? What does having this other leveling system/point system really give you?
Mutation system to me are very intresting,and mutation bar fine with me as we play for character that have unpredictable mutations,always fun in randomness in it.But as i think mentioned before, that removal of not needed mutation(to player) should cost mutation points not skill points,that would solve many problems.
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