Let’s talk about the infamous stamina gauge. While the idea was to represent the character tiring during battle, I think they were “getting tired too fast”.
So, instead of removing it I’d, instead, use stamina gauge to rhythm the flow of battle, making overall characters’ performance diminishing over time, becoming then an extra strategy factor for longer battles. But of course the gauge cannot be the current one for this…I’d make it like 10 times bigger and also reduce the stamina cost of actions so would take a few minutes before the player getting too tired.
And, for balancing purposes, I’d also add at stamina gauge 4 stages…fresh, tired, exhausted and enraged and, with this classification, also add actions that can be used only in certain stages. But let me explain the stages…
Fresh: This stage is for when the character is ready to battle. It would cover the first 50% of stamina gauge and have no performance impact.
Tired: This covers the next 25% of the gauge (50% to 25%). It’s when the character started feeling the effects of a continued battle. The attack and accuracy should start progressively going down with the stamina, in a rate of 1% less attack and damage for every 5% stamina lost (if he take a quick break to recover stamina, the attack and accuracy will also recover with it).
Exhausted: Similar to tired, but it would cover the next 15% (25% to 10%).Here the character will be really tired, having the effects of tired stage added with similar attribute penalty. It’s that stage the character needs to avoid at any cost for performance purposes.
Enraged: Many say that real fighters, after reaching their body limit, start being moved by their own will only. Sometimes he would keep fighting even while actually unconscious, moved by his battle spirit. This is what the enraged stage is all about. It’s when the fighter reaches the ecstasy of the battle, being able to let the mind take over and to pull out his strongest moves!
During enraged stage, any and all penalty from previous stages are removed, letting the player fight at his fully. Also, I’d add one-time actions in this stages…they could be compared to FFXI’s 2-hours abilities…but here not being restricted to classes. However, obviously a player would be able to have only one of these abilities equipped at a time. There would, though, have many others less impacting actions that would be restricted not only to enraged but also to other stages as well.