[CONCEPT FEEDBACK] MONSTER-BASED RPG

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So this is one of those that I couldn't decide would fit better in help or here...I figured it was more feedback about a design concept as opposed to direct help in a game, so sorry if I guessed wrong!

So, I was thinking of taking a short break from Binding Wyrds (mostly because the next step in development other than 'more missions/more characters' is a rather large scripting exercise) to sharpen my teeth on some more standard RPG fare, with a simple graphical style I might actually be able to do myself.

The main concept I was looking for feedback on is fairly simple, but I wanted to get people's opinions on any potential challenges for basing a game/system around it. It'll look familiar if you ever played Final Fantasy Legend II.

The concept of the game would be a world of monsters, where they grow stronger by eating stronger monsters. In essence, you would start with a party of four identical monsters, and whenever you defeated an enemy, you would have a chance of them dropping meat. A monster in your party can use the meat to change into the same monster that dropped it, stat-wise and everything. In example, you start with four slime-styled monsters, you kill a hornet and it drops meat, now one of them can be a hornet. This would hopefully allow the game to focus more on strategy, building the right combination of monsters to beat an area, rather than leveling up.

Some concerns/thoughts I had:

A) Should I allow leveling up? Obviously not strictly XP based, but perhaps a certain monster would get stronger if it eats the same meat over and over, up to a certain level limit.

B) Should the meat choice be a usable item, or an after battle choice? The after battle choice limits later choices, and obviously makes it worse if it turns out you don't like the new skills since you can't have old meat saved up. However, I worry about some abuse if you can just store up meat and switch back and forth between healing monsters for example.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
A) Powering up by eating the same types of meat is a good idea. Otherwise that particular meat becomes useless when dropped again and that might become annoying when the player has to fight the same enemy several times.

Maybe have each piece of extra meat add "Meat Type XP" and grant a specific stat bonus when enough XP has been accumulated. For instance, the Insect type monster LV 1's meat grants 1 XP, the LV 2 Insect grants 2 XP, and so on.
So not only does spare meat have another use beyond transformation but stronger monsters' meat also grant more XP.

B) I'd opt for storing meat as items to avoid the potential frustration you mentioned. Not all players are inclined to abuse a game's system, so I think it's best to have a few players be too strong than potentially having a lot of players be frustrated.

But I would limit the number of meat you can carry. Three, five or nine pieces per meat type for instance... or maybe 9 pieces of any meat. It depends how much leeway you want to allow the players.

In that case you should probably also allow the selling or throwing away of meat. Otherwise having to hold to unwanted meat would force the players to eat them in order to make room for new meat.
I guess allow characters to grow stronger is a good idea.

About the abusing meat problem, you can just limit their item slot to 2 or 3 slots, so they can't stock things up. Or may be disable the use of meat in the battle.
Can't you just use the function(s) of stat-up items?

Anyways, you could make it with some kind of class system where the different types of enemies give you meat to boost yourself in different classes.
Well, what I'll likely do with rank up meats is have them change each characters class, initialize them back to 1, and then further uses level them up.
I like the idea, sounds cool. I think it would be neat if your starters evolve with each meal, taking on new features and abilities, rather than become the monster it ate right away...

eat a bird, grow wings
eat another bird, grow a beak (or larger wings)
eat a bull, grow horns
eat more bull, grow larger horns
eat a fish, grow a fin
eat more fish, get gills

Then you can raise a chimera for versatility, or dedicate a creature to a specific role by only feeding it fish for water attacks... just a thought. It may be too complicated as a side project though...
Yeah, sounds a lot more like what Bahumat Lagoon does with its dragoons, where if you feed them a mix of elements they become an ugly abomination ^~

That and the focus is more going to be using certain monsters you meet as random encounters in your own party to counter what you run into, instead of growing/evolving, which is closer to pokemon.
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