For some basics, lets just assume that, at least for now, before AGS can design a better system, once a character reaches level 60, they gain the right (by something simple, maybe an easy quest, or just the clicking of the mouse button) to restart their character at level 1, but to keep ‘something significant’ from their past live(s).
Here is what I have in mind:
A character is something that can gain levels and new skills, respec their attributes
& weapons mastery at any time and such, and even swap out gear. But what if there were a way to split your character, into the currently being played toon, and a Remnant of their past lives?
What I have in mind is that a Remnant would have everything they had earned in their previous lives in terms of equipped items, unlocked story line access, and skills, but the Remnant cannot progress further, it cannot swap out any equipped items, gain/change levels or skills.
So a player would start over at level 1, with zero territorial standing in any towns, but whatever progress they had made in their previous lives unlocked things, and these unlocked things would still accrue to the current version of the toon’s life in New World.
So, as far as equipped items, the Remnant keeps all items they had in the character’s past life, and these items of equipment can never be removed, upgraded, nor exchanged out, as they become a part of the Remnant itself. This means that, you would want to carefully pick which items to equip before making the choice to be ‘reborn’ as a 1st level character. Also, all weapon skills become fixed and permanent, so make sure that you have these all set, because you cannot change a Remnant’s skills once converted from a playable character into a Remnant of their former lives. Additionally, a Remnant cannot respec their attribute points once created, so set these exactly as you want them, before making the Remnant.
So what does this do for a player of this (potentially great) game?
Although I would have character able to restart by making a remnant of their character once you got you character to 60 level (that being the only requirement), I would want the player to be unable to make use of their Remnant until they had gotten some levels for the current life, and to keep a role play aspect central to this theme, the more powerful the Remnant, the sooner that a player could resume using it.
Let us say, no Remnant can be used, no matter how powerful, until the current character reaches level 20, and all Remnants of a character are unlocked by level 60 or so, no matter how weak.
Remnants power would have nothing to do with the strength attribute, but maxed out skills/weapons they possessed in life. The weakest Remnants would be those that had just rushed to 60th level, without taking the time to max out any weapons or skills, while more powerful Remnants would have multiple weapons maxed out, and the most powerful Remnants would have all weapons and trade skills maxed.
So what would a Remnant be, and how would a player use it, and why would this be an advantage over not having a Remnant?
Functionally, a Remnant would be like an extra pair of weapons, in that, a character could currently switch out between the two weapons they had equipped, but if the character had one or more Remnants of former lives, these Remnants of past lives still have all the equipment on that they had at the time the were created. So, with a single click, any player could swap out their currently equipped items (ALL of them, not just their weapons), and play using the Remnant items. Multiple Remnants would probably have to be setup using the mouse wheel to rapidly select between them. Items equipped on a Remnant take up no weight and are not subject to damage if the character is slain. For purposes of picking up loot bags and opening chests, the equipment of which ever Remnant or the current character grabbed them/spawned them would determine their roll, so if you kill something while your “Luck gear wearing Remnant” was selected, the Remnants gear would affect the bag drop.
I personally would love to have a Remnant that possessed maxed out sword & shield, and Lifestaff for my two weapons, but think about all the variations and personal choices even here.
Would you take such a weapons combo, and go all Focus? Your healing would be epic, but your sword damage would be pitiful.
Would you take such a weapons combo, and go all Strength? Your healing would be weak, but your damage would be great.
Would you take such a weapons combo, and go all Constitution? Both your damage and healing would be weak, but you character could be a rock.
The possibilities are endless, and allow for more than just generic cookie cuter characters, and replayability would go through the roof.