I agree that it wouldn't necessarily add replayability but it would help flesh out your back story for people who are into that type of thing I guess, and it would be a realism factor to not start out with absolutely nothing, even if wasn't something amazing like say a camera for a photographer.
I was thinking more of along the lines of having more customization options to fine tune various characters I guess. But I get what you guys are saying about it not necessarily adding replay value. I look at it as being more willing to try out various "jobs" on different servers or solo.
It just adds another dimension to making the character your own I suppose more then replayability.
It could work if done right.
It just needs to be balanced. The zombie outbreak would never have happened in the first place if every person in existence was an ex-marine/fitness coach and only extreme roleplayers would play with any other background...
Absolutely, it would need to be balanced and well fleshed out.
I don't see Jobs, Hobbies, Traits, Perks, or any of that 're playability' so much as 'playability'. Your character becomes so much more unique and full of flavor, and not just an extension of the person controlling that player, but an entity with its own unique set of defining characteristics.
In short, my friend Bob is still Bob no matter which avatar he picks in Left4Dead. He's still going to be our point man, and he's always going to expect me to back him up with a sniper rifle. Only by choice would we reverse our roles, which is incredibly unlikely because there is nothing to reward us for playing sub-optimally. In fact, Left4Dead pretty heavily punishes you for it.
With traits Bob is no longer just Bob - He's a young male with short sightedness, night blindness, and the uncanny ability to pick any lock he finds. He's now not such a great point man, but still a valuable member of our team we need to protect for the off chance we find ourselves locked out of a large cache of goodies. Since he can't see well at night, we struggle during those times, and he forces us to hunker down whenever we find good places to barricade ourselves in. We now find that Bob's character is just as much flavor as some scripted event that causes us to defend a generator that is powering a bridge or some nonsense. Characters (real, fleshed out, dynamic characters) add such a new angle to the game that the way you play it WILL change based on the composition of your party.
Left4Dead, the only change you could really get is if you had terrible players on your team, which I think is just downright frustrating, not fun.
It would add a whole new depth to the game, granted I can see where this game play might not appeal to everybody. I'm have no idea how hard it would be to implement or code, but perhaps there could be a way to make it a server feature with a config file? That way nobody is forced to play the option of detailed traits.
Lucky Cat wrote:
This made me think about the plane and helicopter issue, an average Joe can't just get in it and know all there is to know about flying, but if you were a pilot pre-infection, you could easily remember what to do.