"Slimming Down", or, "Features are Creepy"
Back when Harmonia was a private little hobby project, I had the luxury of using it as a test bed for a variety of gameplay concepts. All of the small, incomplete zones were little experiments, like a randomly-generated cavern, an 8-room Zelda-style dungeon, a long scripted quest, a goofy mansion with logic puzzles (ugh), blah blah blah. Some of the experiments included wacky stuff like random spell generation and day/night effects. In the swamp, for example, certain pieces of equipment are stronger during the night, while others are anti-zombie. Each feature typically represented a small step forward in the engine as well.
This is all fun, but now that a million concepts have been thrown against the wall, it's time to stop and stick with what works. Some gameplay elements that made sense a while ago can be tossed aside now, in addition to anything that's really tedious or anti-fun. I'm slimming everything down to the absolute core concepts to get this thing shipped out in a timely manner, so here's a list of stuff being streamlined:
Skills, Spells, and Class Roles
75% of the abilities are being cut. Once multiple character control was in, it made no sense to have so many skills for each "unit". So now, each character has one thing they're good at, and that's it. Magicians will learn better versions of their spells, of course, but most if not all of their utility spells are currently gone. They could possibly make a resurgence as spellbooks as quest rewards, but that's not essential, so consider them gone.
Here's the current table of skills and spells. All of these abilities are currently completed:
|Soldier||*Bring, *Return, *View, *Suppress||Utility spells for group and dungeon management.|
|Knight||Pierce||Armor values greater than zero (which is average) are cut in half.|
|Warrior||Guard||Increases defense of the warrior and holds adjacent enemies.|
|Archer||Adapt||Increases sight radius and night vision of the archer.|
|Bird Soldier||Focus||Increased attack speed followed by short exhaustion.|
|Magician||*Blaze, *Freeze, *Desoul, *Spark||Standard elemental spells with varying ranges and AOE.|
|Priest||*Heal, *Aura, *Antidote, *Revive||Healing, AOE healing, and other forms of healing.|
|Monk||*Slow, *Support, *Negate, *Resist, *Attack||(De)buffs for agility/defense, magic resistance, and attack.|
* This skill/spell will be renamed. These names come directly from good ol' Shining Force, back when it was originally a fan game. But now it's not. Intellectual property blah blah blah
The original plan was to have classes that gain levels and promote to other classes, branching off. This implies adding way too many classes, so, reluctantly, it's cut. There are plenty of other ways to customize your characters using different equipment, rolling with different personalities, and simply from the sheer variety of characters you may earn randomly through quests and such. Aside from very specific "secret" classes, the current 8 is more than enough.
Harmonia has a lot weapon types - about 20 or so. There were plans to have multiple levels of these weapons, so you could train them up, learn a variety of special attacks, blah blah blah it's gone. In its place is something a lot simpler - remember those skills that were cut? They're being redistributed to the weapon classes. All player classes will be able to use all weapon classes, aside from the Wing which is bird-specific. Characters will still have to train them like they do now, but they will always be at 100% strength - just without the skill.
Here's an incomplete list of skills for the various weapon classes:
|Sword||Channel||Uses MP to inflict magic damage.|
|Lance||Charge||Attack pushes an enemy out of the way, thrusting you forward.|
|Spear||Repel||Attack pushes an enemy back, keeping you in place.|
|Halberd||Swipe||Melee attack hits two adjacent enemies.|
|Mace||Bash||Knocks an opponent down, preventing movement and spellcasting.|
|Ankh||Smite||50% chance to inflict heavy light damage. Very effective against undead.|
|Wand||Missile||Non-elemental ranged magic attack.|
|Rod||*Burst||Earth-based AOE damage.|
|Wing||Dive||Attacking a foe also moves your character like a chess knight.|