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So I've decided I liked the FEP system from Haven and Hearth http://havenandhearth.wikia.com/wiki/FEP , which is an advancement system based on gaining stats through eating crafted food. But I've decided to turn it into a logarithmic advancement system, meaning players could get to the 30% point of max power tier in under a day but getting the last 30% would take about a week of time(even then still having tiny little +1s here and there you could get with a lot of effort).
I've also come to hate "free stats" in a PvP games. A classic example of a free stat would be the Navigation skill from EvE where you gain 5% speed for every level http://www.eve-wiki.net/index.php?title=Navigation. I believe this is fundamentally a flawed design for my goals since it does not offer play and counter play in customizing your character. You just have it or you don't, after you have the skill there is no longer a cost for having it(I'm not going to argue something silly like cloning costs).
Game based on crafting to allow players to customize the gear that they've spent time gathering materials for. Crafting increases team play, as to produce 1 item you don't need the group all conquering a dungeon at the same time you can log on at separate times or even gather materials in completely different parts of the world for your production. Essentially I choose to have all gear be made by crafting to reduce the cost of team play, increasing the total amount of team play. I see a difference between team and group play, and team play is more than sufficient for awesome MMO "touch and feel".
The game is also designed so that there are almost "no skills to level", with the exception of stats. There is no sword skill, no iron smelting skill, or similar. There is also no experience bar anywhere as the food/stat system means it's not required. Essentially I am achieving a system where if you can acquire food you're going to be able to advance, and to acquire food you're going to need to make it or trade for it.
Crafting is not tied to a crafting skill/level, if you have the materials you could create an epic item. Instead Crafting is a step by step process(materials, production process, production process, finalizing), the steps used for producing an item will produce a seed value for making the item(seed value slightly modified by account number). So taking the same steps on the same character will always produce the same item, achieving an extent of navigable randomness.
There are four stats: Mind, Body, Spirit, Soul. All of these stats are essentially identical in the sense that they provide points for investing into a skill tree, and that they provide "reasoning flavor". These stats usually provide no direct benefits however may make some abilities more powerful. The skill tree essentially contains all abilities and stats in the game, to start in an isolated part on the skill tree would cost 15 points, to invest in an ability that is "connected" to another 5 points worth of stats. An unlocked ability could be anything from a usable Skill/ability, to +100 health, or +armor. The end result is that a "create your own class" system happens as you unlock abilities and stats, but you can't spread your arms too wide without high costs in effectiveness. Players are also forced to spread arms as there isn't the ability to cross link unrelated paths.
As mentioned earlier stats are increased by eating, so an example food item
Slice of meat
skill change +.2 (after collecting a full skill change can un-invest 1 ability in skill tree, with extra rules)
if body>50 spirit -3
if body>75 mind -3
if body>100 body -5
What a player with >75 body would see would be(body +5, spirit -4 mind -3, skill change +.2). A newbie with 30 in every stat would see(Body +5, Spirit -1 , skill change +.2). The diminishing returns on high stats is how I achieve logarithmic growth as players min-max themselves they're going to need to eat more and get fewer stat returns. It also makes it so that newbies have an easier stat system to work with before they get to the point of min-maxing. It's also worth noting these are directly added/subtracted from stats rather than a random FEP system. Which means that by design producing food will be a process that is a bit longer than in Haven and Hearth.
A few additional rules that need to be worked on: What happens when players no longer have the stats for a skill tree? Type of combat system to tie it to? the type of stats gear should give, and if gear should affect ability unlocks? and just tons of organic questions that can only be answered by playing with a working system.
So I'm just looking for views from people who like MMOs.
Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.
"At one point technology meant making tech that could get to the moon, now it means making tech that could get you a taxi."