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What I'd like instead is a system that closely follows your play styles and gives out a big stream of small bonuses and perks for particular applications or techniques. Since this wouldn't be something the player would control directly, you could really go to town with thousands upon thousands of them. For instance, if you cast magic missile enough times on kobolds, you could get a point for that particular skill and do extra damage next time. Or if you wear enough different kinds of chain mail, you could get a perk for appraising chain mail. These wouldn't be huge factors, mind you; just a constant little stream of perks and awards that would encourage players to both try new things with old skills or keep working on the diminishing returns, or perhaps you'd eventually max them out and then discover a new technique or set of techniques. So coming back to the kobolds; perhaps after awhile you'd discover exactly how much magic you need to use to kill one with a magic missile, thus conserving your mana.
It's seems "achievements" have this function today, but not the gameplay. Throw 100 fireballs and you get a reward in form of a badge :D. Do you think it would work getting new skills from your main attributes? Raising strength will give you bruteforce skills and raising wisdom will give you new magic skills for example. Or would it be too boring for the player; not being able to fiddle around the spells and stats. Hoping that maxing out strength will lead to something good or maxing out wisdom will lead to the ultimate spell?
Have you ever have the same thought about classes? What if you would become your class. Raising just your strength would make you a barbarian.
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