Hello, I'm new on the forum and this is my first post so please bear with me.
I'm very excited about this game. I'm especially intrigued by the whole concept of building a game around a community and I hope I can contribute something.
While I don't think that Ground Branch should be anything other than a "tactical shooter," I also see why a tactical shooter would benefit from incorporating some role playing elements into the gameplay. Even the venerable OGR allowed us to assign points earned after successful missions to character attributes.
For one, I believe that the time it takes to "invest" in one's game character would necessarily add a layer of immersion to the experience. Furthermore, it would increase the replay value of the SP aspect of the game.
I want to emphasize that the fundamental focus should still be squad based military action. However, perhaps it might be worthwhile to consider a system which gives players that spend more time playing the game certain built-in advantages, without departing from the NORG concept.
For instance, the game may allow players to develop the certain attributes within prescribed limits, thus:
1. Since the characters are trained operators, it makes sense to give them a minimum base number of points. They could all fire a sniper rifle, if needs be but only sniper classes can develop certain skills (like stealth) beyond a certain
2. The classes (i.e, commander, sniper, heavy gunner) don't determine the what attributes one should have. Rather, the attributes that a player chooses to develop would determine what class is more appropriate for the player. And there should be a finite number of points to distribute. One could develop all skills evenly but he'd end up a "non-specialist."
3. There could be different skills that become available only after one becomes a specialist. For instance, commander "classes" bestow limited "attribute or morale bonuses" to their team mates. Or if someone becomes a sniper after the required degree of training, gun sway will be reduced or he will be allowed the ability to hold his breath to keep the rifle steady for a limited period.
Of course, not being a programmer, I have no idea how all the skills can be translated in-game. I believe it can be done without it feeling too much like Operation: Neverwinter Nights. For example, I always thought it would be cool to develop rifleman skills in a range or in the field. The rifleman skill will determine how fast the player can acquire his target, PROVIDED the target has been previously tagged. Since the game characters are presumably skilled marksmen, I believe it makes sense to allow some SMALL degree of computer assistance in this regard. One mouse click snaps the player's view from the normal panoramic view to ironsights and the higher level of rifleman skill allows for a quicker snap and perhaps closer proximity to the target, without centering the target too much. The player would still retain control over his cursor and the element of "dice throwing" would hardly be noticeable.