Mutations should be per-world
(Minor mutations, specifically).
I know DL is basically over, and I wish I'd thought of this idea before. One of the big issues with DL is that the minor mutations are OP and build up over time to be impossibly strong. Also, you can easily get rid of a negative minor mutation with no consequence. Also, this game was supposed to be hardcore but isn't.
This is the idea that I think would have made this game truly awesome: minor mutations are irreversible, but they're local to the world. Once you leave the given world (including losing), they're gone forever.
This simple idea makes the game into a semi-roguelite. Bad (and good) things happen to you and you adjust. They're not permanent though -- they're just for this world. Your own character evolves in awesome, unpredictable ways -- but only for the current world. In a sense, the current world is now the rogue-lite, and when you move on, you carry the 'basic genetic imprint' that is your character sans mutations. (To be more precise with regard to the current system, you could say the minor mutations are gone in the new world, and perhaps that you get *one* major mutation point per level or per 5 levels, which is permanent, but all the crazy multiple projectile stuff goes away when the world is gone.)
It also justifies having a separate XP bar. This other XP bar is only for the current world, and it can therefore provide an experience that's much more vivid and exciting even at high levels where you need a lot of XP to advance -- the world's XP bar is always small and therefore it's always interesting to see what will happen to your character. Since you're not piling up tons of mutations on one character but only the ones from the current world, it's now exciting to see which mutation you're going to get, and all the mutations that were added to the game are now relevant and interesting.
Long term balance is no longer much of an issue -- minor mutations don't add up in a crazy way on old characters -- they're just what's been collected in the current world. And you can really go nuts with them, because they're only for the current world, so no long-term issues.
Again, I'm really sad I wasn't able to suggest this idea earlier in the development cycle. I still think that if you make this happen though, the game will become incredibly awesome, and make mutations the star they were supposed to be. Not sure if it's worth it at this point financially, but I imagine Soldak games have long tails.
At the very least, make this a mode we can turn on at character creation!
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