The current job system let exp required for each level grow to prevent rapid job changes. However, job perks doesn’t retain after job change, other than HP bonus, which is only 10 per level. So I think witty hearthlings should be able to use at least some of their experience from former jobs to make their current jobs easier for them, so hereby I propose this mechanic of “Perk Shift”.
As its name suggest, with this mechanic, some job perks will remain active as job change, but works somewhat differently (so it’s “shift”, not ”migrate”). The differences comes in two flavors: simple reduce and form shift.
When a perk shifts in simple reduce style, it doesn’t change in any way other than its power reduced. Take farmer and trapper’s speed boost as an example. Even if a hearthling have the ability to move faster while in trapper suit or farmer smock, the same training and experience may only partially applies when he or she is in a padded vest or blacksmith uniform. As a result, it will be reasonable to keep their perks working, but at half of their powers.
However, only few perks can work in such a general style as speed boost were, and most perks are job specific, so that’s where form shift can kick in. As its name suggest, when a perk expriences form shift, it works in a way that is related to, but not the same as, the original perk. Look at trapper’s LV6 perk, it allows trapper’s traps to become deterring weapon, so it will not hard to imagine how will this experience work for ex-master trapper hearthlings: when monster comes to their melee range, they can throw a trap at their feet, immobilize them for a few seconds to do something, such as run away or let their friends to take the monster out.
Other than this, many other perks can be shifted in my idea. For cleave (Footman LV5 perk), it can shift to “barrage” for archers, allow them to damage multiple targets at once. For Horn (Knight LV6), it can become “lifesaver” perk for all other protector classes, taunting a monster when it is attacking one of their low health fellow, so save his or her life (or spare a rescue at least). For “Artisan Inspiration”, it can shift to “experience of inspiration” for other crafter classes, boosting their chance to create fine production given they have obtained the perk to do so. How about blacksmith’s recipe perks? Well, if a blacksmith knows how to make arms and gears, they should also know how to break and bypass them, so they can receive armor penetration and evade bonus when fighting as protector classes. The reverse is also true, an experienced protector will know more about how to make armor useful to their users than an armchair blacksmith who didn’t even slain a goblin. so an experienced protector class may get their ultimate perk shift to a "user friendly " perk to allow them to occasionally make “improved” weapon and armor, which is better than the usual ones, when working as crafters and making armors and weapons.
If this mechanic is on, I think players will once again being encouraged to level their hearthlings, while developers won’t need to have worries on players “cheat” the game by rapid job changing and getting those 10 HP bonuses. Players should be encouraged to let their hearthlings keep learning, and always ready for their new jobs when they’re getting one: compare to a “quick archer” who just get job change at footman LV3, there will be player who prefer “full archer” who get job change at LV6, the latter can not only deal more damage (Since damage boosts from footman can be shifted with simple reduction), but also can occasionally fire barrages, just like “JUSTICE RAINS FROM ABOVE!” (It will actually become a milder one though, for every monster only get hit once)
Furthermore, this can also make those high-intelligence low-body low-spirit bookworm hearthlings leap into battle. Although they may be not so strong and not so trusting, their high intel’s exp boost can make them go across more jobs, which equal to more HP bonus and perks, they should also be more powerful at shifting their experiences to current work than their relatively dumb peers. When a intel 1 hearthling may get a 50% penalty on perks shifted with simple reduction, a intel 3 hearthling may only receive 30% penalty, when a intel 6 hearthling receive no penalty at all. Also, for form shifted perks, like barrage and point-blank traps, high intel hearthlings may have a shorter cooldown for these skills than their low intel fellows.
So that’s my idea of “perk shift” mechanics: let witty hearthlings use their life experiences. Two forms of shifts: simple reduction which simply reduce a perk’s power, and form shift hich make perk works differently for other jobs or classes. This mechanic will encourage players to keep hearthlings levelling, discourage deaths ( as experienced hearthlings have a lot of street smart), and may let bookworms tell goblins what is “knowledge is power”. I know this wll require lots of balancing and other works, such as icons and descriptions for shifts of perks, but I really wish you can put this up. Because I’m a kind of RPG style player, and only a little bit less interested to see my hearthlings’ growth compared to that of my town. Also, this makes the game’s job system makes more sense.