I’ll try to make short, each point could be an individual thread long discussion. We need something at least as big as re:build to get this game growing. Many of these points are some of the reasons why new players quit.
1) Prioritize diversity
2) Reduce the importance of stats
3) Simplify equipment
4) Improve monster combat experience
5) Give monsters unique/memorable features
6) Slower combat
7) Change the relationship between basic attacks and skills
8) Update skill tree system
9) Reorganize class divisions and redesign classes to fit them
10) Give classes visible identities, strengths and weaknesses
11) Provide a restriction free route for every class
1) Prioritize diversity - The main selling point of the game is the class system and build combination, people come to the game to play with these in every content the game has to offer. Anything that prevents people from playing multiple characters or forces them to commit to single character is harming the game.
2) Reduce the importance of stats - Stat numbers just became too high, volatile and the defining factor for failure and success. High offensive stats should make your do content faster and high defensive stats should allow you to make more mistakes, but never determine if you can or not participate in any kind of content. Player performance, decision making, strategy and teamwork should always be higher on the list than raw stats and equipment.
3) Simplify equipment - There’s just too many equipment types and systems to engage with and these prevent players from using equipment once they obtain it. Just for classic equipment we have gems, anvil, awakening, transcendence, set effects, ichors and enchantment jewels, all that has to be done before changing equipment and set effects make that applied to 4 pieces instead of one. With a new equipment type being added on every new episode it makes too hard to be up to date and be allowed to participate on content, new and returning players are just overwhelmed by it. Equipments are meant to be tools you can change to better suit the task you will perform, they should be usable once you get them, be specialized and not require you to have all pieces to use them.
Seals were added as a new equipment that can be leveled and unlock new features, Arks were added as new equipment that can be leveled and unlock new features… Relics (or Res Sacrae) were added as new equipment that can be leveled and unlock new features… There’s no point in making slight different versions of a system when you can expand the current ones.
4) Improve monster combat experience - Monster combat is the most frequent interaction in the game and it has barely received any change aside monster nerfs and external system changes. The worst aspect of monster combat is the fact any player can dodge their attacks by walking alone yet you still have the ability to run and jump, which makes any non direct attacks miss the target. In addition, their damage capability is low and they can be obliterated by a single skill, except for some instances at high “difficulty”. Regardless of the content or map, monsters combat should have tension and this requires monsters in the character level range to be somewhat of a threat during fights.
5) Give monsters unique/memorable features - The only distinction from monsters is their stats, weaknesses and base aggression, you can always approach them and interact with them in the same way every single time. It is weird for a Hanaming, a petal rabbit monster, to fight (and be fought) rhe same way as a Living Armor, a golem axe knight, when these monsters have nothing in common aside being monsters. An easy way to address it is by adding conditional effects that makes monsters weaker or stronger depending on common player interactions such as dealing damage from a specific property, incapacitate enemies (stun, freeze, petrify, etc), reaching an HP threshold or the number of allies/enemies nearby. This kind of addition can make monsters feel like unique species.
6) Slower combat - The faster the combat is resolved the less room it has for control (hold and reposition enemies) and debuffs skills and effects, which leads to have damage dealing as the only important aspect. Demanding different actions and strategies from players is important to make combat engaging and diverse, and that can’t happen unless things are slowed down.
7) Change the relationship between basic attacks and skills - Functionally speaking Z and C attacks don’t exist, there is too huge of a power gap between basic attacks and skills. Some buffs and equipment try to address it but it only applies to a limited amount of classes and builds. Since skills can hit more enemies and deal more damage they just became the default damage option, basic attacks have no purpose once you reach second or third advancement. Skills are meant to be fixed tools you have on your disposal, they should have a limited use and contextual value, players should have to save skills as response to certain conditions and punished if they miss use them. The role of basic attacks is to be the constant all purpose damage resource.
8) Update skill tree system - Every time a new player asks about builds they’re always confused why they can’t get a certain skill or why they can’t put more points into a skill. The current skill tree model is a legacy of the old class system and it made sense for that system, this was no longer the case once circles were removed. It would be easier to manage builds if all skills were maxed at level 10 and level requirements were reduced or even removed, skills with lower maximum level gain too much power per point spent while skills with those with higher maximum level gain less power per point spent and cannot have a good balancing point for additional characteristics that are improved with level. The best example was (OLD) Joint Penalty as a skill that added 0.5 target per skill level, requiring two skill levels to gain an extra target. It also doesn’t make sense for essential single point skills to cost skill points. It’s not even an option if 99% of the player that use said the class have it, just give it away for free.
9) Reorganize class divisions and redesign classes to fit them - Class are split among the following groups - Offensive (red), Defensive (blue), Support (green), Business (yellow), Summoner (purple) and Special/GvG (white). By listing every class in this division system we can see that the offensive division contains the majority of classes in every single tree, ignoring offensive classes that are have a green icon. It also doesn’t make sense to split classes in defensive and support groups as these two aspects can easily overlap, you can have support classes that focus on protection and defensive classes that use party buffs. Meanwhile, business classes have proven to not work as a standalone concept and special/gvg is limited to a single class, even summoners are at a weird spot since they are restricted to a single class tree.
A clearer way to split these is by sorting them into three groups - Offensive, Control (hold and reposition enemies) and Support - with intermediate groups as the combination of two of them (Ex: Support + Control), for a total of six groups. With more well defined groups classes can be redesigned to provide an almost equal number of options for each group.
Non-labeled colors mean the combination of two groups. Yellow means Offensive + Support
Squire was added to represent a new class added for the minimum quota of 4 options for Support only build, it should never have left Sworsman tree though
10) Give classes visible identities, strengths and weaknesses - Classes have become more and more versatile over time, the natural result of this is to have one class or build to be dominant as it is overall better than everything else. For classes to be interesting they have to be really good at something, average at other things and bad at everything else. The ability to combine classes should further amplify these strengths or mitigate some of the weaknesses, and this leads character building to be interesting. It’s also important that classes that are bad at something aren’t excluded from any kind of content due it, a skill that only works on PvP or doesn’t work against bosses is the kind of thing that doesn’t make a class or skill bad, it makes it worthless.
11) Provide a restriction free route for every class - This is mostly exclusive to Swordsmen, Archers and Scouts. There are multiple classes in game that cannot work without a specific weapon type and this kills any build possibility with a different weapon, that is important to keep the fantasy and it can never be truly solved. What could be done instead is to have some of these skills available for every weapon and mount state, in a way that it has at least one route that doesn’t have leftover points for weapon and/or mount exclusive skills. A spear user with Fencer should still be able to use all skill points effectively without needing a rapier, even if limited to only a specific combination (similar to Retiarii).
Will gladly discuss about these (even go in depth) and other things that could also be done and weren’t in here.