Yup, all the basic swords and stuff I've made - along with many more or less custom weapons - can be added as weapons with the new system I imagine. In my current game engine every weapon needs a separate entry in the code, making new weapons cumbersome to add. I plan to replace it with a script where I define weapon types but not specifics, so that instead of having to make "fire sword" and "ice sword" be entirely different things I can just have the player equip "sword" and then vary the graphics and finer details of it.
Below is a preliminary list of perk types, by the way, to help describe how the new character creation might be listed up. Perks are meant to replace stat points, so that instead of increasing the Element stat to gain more damage, better effects, more energy points and faster recharge; these things are split into separate icons of sorts. You can therefore apply 1 point to Elemental Damage, for example, and another point in Fast Recharge. Or, you can choose to put a point into Fast Recharge, but spend your other point on Improved Blocking or something like that. Having each point mean something more than just a tiny boost helps lessen the problem where some stats are too useful. For example, having 3 points in ELM is not all that different from having 4 points, because the bonuses per stat per point are very minor. If you want to gain extra energy that actually means something, you currently have to invest several points at once.
With perks, you can instead spend that 1 point on energy recharge, and it will have a real effect on your character. Boosting recharge will not suddenly turn you into a god of damage, though, that would cost a second point in a different perk. Before we would have this kind of setup:
- Character with low ELM stat = bad damage and bad energy pool.
- Character with high ELM stat = good damage and good energy pool.
It's very much an "either or" situation, where you cannot have a character that deals good damage in short bursts, or has little effect but can keep doing his thing for a long time. It's either "very good with element" or "very bad with element". Same goes for melee, movement, etc. You're either good at everything or bad at everything related to a certain stat. Before I buffed melee damage STR was determined to be useless, and the same almost happened to VIT too until I gave it more extra HP per point. In fact, VIT is one of the best stats, because each point gives a flat increase or decrease in HP and nothing else. You know exactly what you're getting, and it does not affect any other aspects of your character (apart from Rahkshi levels, those are unbalanced too).
Stat effects have now been mostly isolated from each other and put into new perks. The exact number of points you get to spend will have to be balanced out as we go (in fact, it will likely be a variable setting, at least for single player games) but it will be enough to "fully" specialize in a certain type of character if you wish. For example, enough points to specialize in both melee weapons and using shields, but maybe not enough to completely max out damage boosts or weapon types for melee.
Please note that this list is by no means finished. Also note that this list assumes that a player can carry whatever gear they want without having to spend points on them, with appropriate balance measures stemming from that fact. For example, carrying two melee weapons lets you attack more quickly (possibly with two different special weapon effects) but at slightly reduced damage. Carrying a shield allows you to block very effectively, but reduces max movement speed due to the weight. Different weapons have different attack animations, such as an axe using an arcing strike and a knife being used for stabbing.
On this list, each entry would be contained in its own perk/skill. Most perks are unnamed, not all effects are even certain to be like this once actually in-game. Feel free to comment and suggest changes/additions; though note that certain things will have to stay unique to powers and elements. For example, there should probably not be a perk that adds resistance to status effects or temperature changes, as that is the schtick of Adaptation and passive bonuses for elements like Fire and Ice.
- Generic melee damage boost stat. (Can be adjusted + or - 2 points).
- Dual-wielding applies no penalties to damage or force.
- Greatly improved range with a thrown weapon, plus a small damage bonus.
- Can melee attack without having to slow down.
- 50% extra force on each melee strike, 25% slower attack speed.
- On special swings (press a direction while attacking, or maybe hold the button to "charge up"): Power strike that has double damage and force, but swings slower.
- Every melee strike deals extra damage to enemy equipment.
- Generic damage boost stat for projectile weapons. (Can be adjusted + or - 2 points).
- Reduced reload speed and/or cooldown between shots.
- Can enter and exit aim mode much quicker.
- Reduced/removed movement speed penalty while aiming.
- Getting hit no longer affects your aim.
- Generic damage boost stat for unarmed/claw strikes.
- Increased attack speed and certain special moves with unarmed/claw attacks at the cost of worse performance when carrying other weapon types.
- On special swings: Can perform a special strike which will disarm the enemy if they are currently using their weapon. (Striking or blocking with the weapon).
- Can grab and throw an enemy who is not blocking.
- Faster shield deployment.
- Carrying a shield no longer affects normal movement speed.
- Reduce the extra speed penalty applied when blocking.
- Timing your block perfectly will potentially stagger a melee attacker.
- Enemies walking too close to your shield can be pushed back.
- Doubled force resistance while blocking.
- Blocking can now reduce damage from defense-piercing attacks.
- Generic armor effectiveness vs movement penalty adjustment perk. (+ or - 2 points).
- Reduced penalty to movement and weapon aiming while wearing armor.
- Can block just as well with a melee weapon as with a shield.
- Attacks targeted at your armor no longer gains any special benefits because of it.
- Change the max amount of your health bar. (Can be adjusted several points up or down).
- Very minor health regeneration after not taking damage for a few seconds.
- Change the max amount of your elemental energy bar. (Can be adjusted several points up or down).
- Your elemental energy recharges faster after not being used for a few seconds.
Main (elemental) power
- Change the max movement speed of your character.
- Change the maneuverability of your character in water and in midair. Jump a bit higher.
- Gain the ability to combat roll on the ground by double-tapping a direction key.
Kanohi (and other types of special power) perks
- Generic perk for changing the base damage and effect potency of your main power. (+2 or -2 points).
- Specialized perks related to your main power/element. (Ideally 4 points total for each).
- Elemental effects on weapons require less energy to use.
- Elemental effects on weapons are much more potent.
- Change the base duration (energy usage) of Kanohi powers. (+2 or -2 points).
- Change the base effect potency of Kanohi powers, or upgrade/specialize the equipped power. (2 points max, can potentially be -2'd as well).
Getting a perk or skill boosts costs 1 point. Certain skills will allow you to impose penalties on yourself in order to gain a point instead. Equipment costs no points, but has their up- and downsides. Weapons are free to use, but obviously bad to lose to corrosion etc. if you happen to meet that kind of enemy. Armor protects you (some different types will be available), but slows you down and makes it hard to jump/swim. Shields protect you much better than standard blocking, but have a minor speed penalty as well.
As an example character, let us use Kopaka. Kopaka would have points invested in shield usage and his element, possibly also improved melee attacks. If we're talking about the Nuva version, he might also have a point in armor and something related to dual-wielding. His weak points would be that he has no proficiency with projectiles (he might even have taken a penalty on them in order to melee/element specialize better). He would also not have anything more than normal movement abilities.
On the other end of the pool, Vakama Metru would be using no armor, and only invest in projectile weapons. He would not have much of an element boost, but he could have taken some Kanohi-related perks and possibly used the Fire Storm skill I mentioned in another post to replace large fireballs with smaller, quicker ones.
My own character Madrihk (from the BZPRPG) would be using melee attacks, blocking with weapons, quick movement and Kanohi perks. He would not be using any armor (or if he did, he'd be making it lighter) or shields, but might spend a point on projectile weapons "just in case".