“Cat-people get +5 Agility.” It is a simple sentence, something you could expect from a dozen YAFMMORPGs. If your game has yet to release, how can you express it without being meaningless or getting into an endless cascade of information? (Or perhaps the endless cascade is a good thing for promoting your game, and you can turn this one thing into months of web site content.)
The first version of the game site will probably list all the races and include some mention of how swift the cat-folk are. Later, you list the bonuses that each race will get, so humans get these three, some for the nigh-inevitable elves, some for the cat-people. “Cat-people have above-average agility.” Great! Your potential players want to know what that means. Is it just flavor text about their being graceful, or does it have gameplay impact?
You quantify those bonuses, giving us “+5.” Great! What is the scale on that? +5 means a lot more on 1-100 than 1-1000. It could be the difference between “all Rogues are cat-folk” and “race is irrelevant.” Does Agility (or any other attribute) face diminishing returns? We are going to need more information about these attributes in your game. Context, we need context.
How do they scale? If it starts as 1-100 and grows up to 1000, the bonus is valuable early on but increasingly irrelevant. Or is this the kind of game where attributes never increase, so you are locked into these at the start, apart from magic items that affect attributes? At what level could we expect to receive a +5 Agility item? The scale might go past 1000; how many levels are there? Is it a hard cap, soft cap, cap with planned increase in an expansion? And is that a flat +5 or just a +5 at first level that scales? At what rate does it scale? We could be talking +1 per level, a fixed percentage, and is that a percentage of the base or a modified value? Context, we need context.
That is character advancement, but what about character development as a whole? What does Agility affect? It could affect dodging, ranged combat, melee combat, melee combat but only with light weapons, critical rates, parrying, countering enemy miss chances… Is Agility a base stat or derived from something else? Does something else derive from Agility? We are going to need to know a lot about the game’s systems to even understand what “Agility” means here. Context, we need context.
How do these numbers interact? +5 might be big or small in context, but the important things is the effect that difference has. How does Agility play into the formulas? If the “to hit” roll is dominated by level modifiers, my +20% modifier might effectively mean +2% hits. Can you give us any combat formulas for us to plug into spreadsheets? Context, we need context.
There is just one race of cat-people? The screenshots showed a variety, including lion-people, tiger-people, and cheetah-people. Are there other bonuses set based on sub-race? Are sub-races just cosmetic? We like the idea of lions being stronger, but we do not want to be locked into a lion-person to be a tank. Do other races have sub-races? At what point do you make that selection? Can we see the character creator? Context, we need context.
Have any of these answers changed during testing? When are you going to update the web site? Why won’t the devs tell us anything?