Just flipping ideas in my head. Feel free to gimme your thoughts on my thoughts so I can think about what you're thinking. (BtW, it's a superhero MMO I was knocking around my brain case a little bit ago. I'm just brainstorming; I prefer public transparency when I create. It allows me to see what sticks and gets peoples' interest.) I'm an ENTP-A, so I probably won't ever actually use this shit, but it's a nice mental exercise, at least. XD ===> Character perk-trees and free-form advancement system: ==> Divided into four trees (see below) with their own unique functions, items, and playstyles. Players can spend character points on any perk in any of the four trees as they develop their characters. Each of the four trees also includes specific item types that are associated with that tree, enabling some players who specialize only in one or two trees to craft items/devices, weapons, armors and boosters unique to their chosen path. => Superhuman "Mutations" Tree: Mutations enable an inherent manipulation of natural forces by means of the hero's/villain's mutated physiology. This can include the projection and manipulation of fields of force, cryogenics, pyrotechnics, electricity, and so on, but can also provide incredible enhancements to speed, perception, strength, and endurance, far beyond the limits of mere human capability. Higher progress in this tree can enable heroes/villains to levitate, can provide them with full-size wings, and can even enable them to transform their physical forms at a moment's notice into a number of various substances. Mutations can be distilled into single-use, limited-time consumable items called "mutagens." Mutagens can be given or sold to other heroes/villains to grant them temporary access to specific mutations based on the superhuman ability tree. The creation of a mutagen, however, drains the hero who creates it of character ability points in an amount based on the level of the power being emulated. This drain lasts for an amount of time determined by the level of the emulated mutation and the drained points are afterward restored to the character. Using superhuman powers requires the use of an energy bar. They can be used instantly, but using too many too often can leave the character in a weakened state, without powers to use in his or her defense while he or she recovers. Some powers can be enhanced to a more powerful state by holding the power's button/key longer and allowing it to "Power-Up". The character cannot move or do anything else while Powering-Up a mutation ability. => Engineering "Technologies" Tree: Technologies are explicitly crafted devices made with advanced designs and can include guns with various functions and capabilities, bionic armors that can be equipped to a character which can be upgraded with various modular weapons, defenses, and utilities, as well as many other potential craftable devices such as grenades, mines and so on. Crafting these devices requires an assortment of technology "Components" that can be scavenged from enemies, looted from locations or lockboxes, or bought and obtained from other players. Some "Advanced Components" may be required to create certain devices. These must be created by combining certain basic Components.This tree is one of the only two trees that can also craft vehicles, the other being the Mysticism tree (see below), but only Engineers can create bipedal, giant "Transtech" pilotable mechanical armors. These are enormous weapons platforms that are designed to confront gigantic enemies on their own scale, and Transtechs can only be created by the most specialized and talented engineers at great expense in both time and resources. Unlike regular vehicles, Transtechs cannot be protected by insurance, and therefore must be used only in the direst of situations. An engineer must already have acquired a personal Hideout and upgraded it with a Hanger Workshop to create a Transtech, or else have access to a Super Team's Hideout Hanger Workshop. Devices, weapons, and armors use charges. Once a device, armor or weapon's charges have been drained, it must be recharged before it can be used again. Some special devices can be used to recharge specific devices, armors, and weapons instantly, for example, a proton rifle can be recharged by using a proton rifle pack from the character's inventory. Anybody can use the items crafted by an Engineer, but some Technologies can only be operated by characters with sufficient training in the Engineering tree. => Mystical "Cantrips" Tree: Spells from this tree have a "Casting Time", however, they do not use energy, meaning they can be used without stop and without suffering from exhaustion. The time spent casting is dependant on the level of the specified Cantrip. Most can be used while moving, but without the necessary ability upgrades, a Cantrip can be interrupted before it is cast by taking any damage. Some Cantrips are "Rituals" that must be cast with the aid of other Mystics who are in the character's party and who also possess the Ritual Cantrip being attempted. These are often very powerful and are given a recast timer after use, making the same Ritual useable for a time. Some powerful Relics exist that can only be activated with sufficient Mystical training by way of specific Cantrip abilities. Unlike technology items, Relics will slowly recharge themselves over time. The most powerful relics, called "Cosmic Relics" are devastatingly potent but can only be used once and are extremely rare. => Martial "Skill" Tree: Martial skills enable a character to use various combat techniques. Specific weapons can alter these abilities to grant additional effects. But even unarmed, a Martial character becomes a potent fighter capable of taking on other powerful beings with relative ease. At higher tiers on this tree, a character can gain access to pseudo-mystical abilities that enhance it's innate physical and mental abilities, as the character connects with its inherent cosmic divinity through disciplined martial practice. ===> Leveling Up and Ability Point Acquisition: ==> Character Levels and Ability Tiers: => Characters have between level one and one hundred as they gain experience points. These levels are segmented into groups ranging from 1 to 40 (Heroic), 41 to 70 (Super), 71 to 90 (Ultra), and 91 to 100 (Legend). Each of the four ability tiers is similarly segmented into four. Upon reaching a new level-tier, the player may choose to unlock the Heroic tier of abilities in a new tree, or further specialize in a tree the character already has access to. Each level grants the character an additional ability point to spend on any ability available within the unlocked tier of a given ability set. [I'm going to change modes here, for a bit, since I'm getting a little bored writing about mechanics. I'm going to jot down some ideas about the story. For obvious reasons, I won't pitch all of what I'm thinking. Anywho, I'll pick back up on the mechanics at a later time.] ==> Story Synopsis: Several leading national governments form an R&D coalition to create superhuman protectors from volunteers around the world. This they named the Aegis Initiative. They looked among available options for specific qualities that would make them effective combatants as well as loyal to the goal of preserving humanity from extraterrestrial and extradimensional threats. As these things tend to go, this coalition neglected to consider the humanistic factor and as these "super soldiers" began field operations in varying capacities and levels of public visibility, these soldiers began to form a deep and divisive rift in ideology. Some resented being used as tools for government warfare and wished to strive for a higher purpose than what petty politics would allow of them. Others simply resented being leashed and were determined to free themselves to seek whatever end they desired. As tensions grew, the two sides eventually broke out into the public view as a violent coup was fought, both sides seeking the decimation or destruction of the other, as well as the freedom to pursue their own agendas. When the war was finally won, those who sought the betterment of humanity at any cost had fled to the refuge created by one of their own, a satellite station orbiting Earth. They called themselves the Sentinels of Liberation and their base of operations the Stronghold of Light. The other group, who at first operated independently but then banded together for safety, began to call themselves the Lords Under National Authority, an acronym born of their refuge in a subterranean complex that enabled them to deploy to many continental locations very quickly via a network of secretly-crafted transit tunnels. The coalition, having learned its lesson, began it's project once again, but this time focused on finding subjects loyal more to their governing coalition than to ideals. These would be true soldiers, however super, and would put the preservation of the governments (and, by extension, the people) before anything else. These loyal operatives were codenamed the Global Advanced Intervention Agency and proved to be a much more stable fighting force. Operating primarily in secret, due to the debacle that was the initial run of the Aegis Initiative and the fallout that followed, GAIA became a sort of secret police force for the coalition, but they were still less-shadowy than the coalition itself, whose members had never been revealed. GAIA's means are brutal but effective. And where members of SoL and LUNA can be found in combat with one another, GAIA is sure to be nearby, single-handedly shouldering the burden of protecting the governments and the people from these two lawless organizations.