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Lets Talk about the Skill System

Discussion in 'Release 21 Feedback' started by Cryodacry, Sep 9, 2015.

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  1. Cryodacry

    Cryodacry Avatar

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    First off i want to say the skill system is a fun change from the previous iteration. I love how the system make this a very dynamic means of getting our abilities.

    Now i am not going to get into all the positives of the system as all of us from the days of UO know very well why we love it. I am going to get into why the current version is terribly flawed.

    First problem would be the fact there is not a level cap / skill cap. This is going to make balancing content very difficult. Even UO had the 700 pt cap. (in the beginning anyways) This was good for several reasons. #1 being that you can balance your content around your players being confined to some rules. With out having this skill cap of an arbitrary number like 1200. Players are going to continue to play one character. This system drastically discourages the playing of alts.

    Second problem would be Decay. Skill decay is bad. Instead of trying to avoid power creep with skill decay just implement a skill cap. The skill cap in UO did not stop anyone from continuing to play. It just established the rules so you could not run around with 20 gms because you played all the time. Skill Decay discourages Alts, heavily. Any Pragmatic player will realize that any time spent on an alt is not only increasing the decay on the account to be divided by two characters it is also not going to level inefficiently causing your main to suffer more decay then normal.

    Third problem is the fact that there is still XP. Uses of a skill should warrant the xp needed to gain said skill. I personally don't see the problem of "gustball" training. Back in the days of UO you would gain up to 60 skill on training dummies so until we get training dummies gustballs are it. UO avoided someone afk macroing GM weapons skills by calculating against the targets tactics to determine the possible skill gain.

    Fourth Problem is that we are still tied to Adventure Level. Adventure level is very bad for a skill based system. Not only does it make it difficult to understand. Adventure Level is used in the avoidance / hit calculation. It also yields entirely too many stats for health / focus. Adventure Level in a PvP environment is a farse.... use skills that will explain and make up for this lacking of Avoidance skills. Amplify the Healthy glyph/skill and the Focus glyph/skill to compensate for this. The addition of a proper Avoidance skill like "dodge" and the reliance on armor will help control the damage coming in. Adventure level should not be a calculation. These are just ties to a legacy system that has no purpose in this game.

    Fifth and final problem i have in this current iteration would be that we do not have skill locks. We need to implement a skill cap. And a means of controlling how much we are putting into a skill. With the implementation of a skill cap this would only be the next evolution. We all remember us thanking the day that skill locks came about because of idgets practicing camping near the banks. Understandably we don't have that problem here but the concept and how well it went over has a place in this discussion.

    Thanks
     
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  2. Jivalax Azon

    Jivalax Azon Avatar

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    A well written post. I might point out two things.

    1) They are not encouraging alts. Each account will have one, unless you have upgraded enough to get more and people screamed when that happened. So, since your avatar is suppose to be you, alts are outright discouraged. While I love them, SotA is not the venue for alt related arguments.

    2) There is a way to lock your skill. Simply click on the arrow and it will change to a dash or a yellow arrow. A dash means it will not be maintained and a yellow arrow means it will only be maintained to a minimum level to support skills under it.

    I do agree decay - bad. Not in that it will really impact most players. But with the triple threat to level gain (requires more XP, get less points and increasing skills require more points) decay carried to its maximum with levels and time will make it so you cannot maintain skills. Decay as it stands now - bad. But I don't think the problem is the decay, but the triple threat to leveling.
     
  3. Chatele

    Chatele Avatar

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    I for one think they made a VERY bad decision implementing skill decay ... I don't like it for all the reasons people and myself have stated. And I HATE control points, 1500 Gold to bypass it? ARE YOU NUTS?
     
  4. Duke William of Serenite

    Duke William of Serenite Avatar

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    Just run past them. Stay out of combat and a level 1 can get through them. Just a tip.
     
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  5. Duke William of Serenite

    Duke William of Serenite Avatar

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    Training dummy yea we need those.
     
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  6. Chatele

    Chatele Avatar

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    I did run pass the one you had to get to Desolis ..... but when i had to stop to break down the doors, well that's when the dang critters continued to attack .... as a light armor wearer, that bites ....... and they still need to lower the cost to bypass it .... ALSO Let's talk about the Devs answering all these Lets talk about :)
     
  7. Cryodacry

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    i would very much appreciate their feedback ... I try very hard to make very objective posts on the direction i feel needs adjusted. I strongly encourage people to keep posting on these threads so we can get some Dev feedback for their either acknowledgement or discussion with regards to how we the players are wanting the game to end up.
     
  8. GreyMouser Skye

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    I believe this is the "how to improve it" thread and not the "critique only" thread, so I will post here.

    Being new to use-based I have to agree with Cryodacry's 4th and 5th point... sort of. It seems a bit unnatural to me to "turn off" learning a skill. I know there needs to be mechanics and all to make a game work, but this is one I have trouble with and it seems to be the one where people use it to advantage. By advantage, I mean that if you ramp up one weapon tree to 100 as your sole objective, then you can kill more things easily, so now you can open up other things and advance more quickly as you get more XP from killing, and killing bigger and bigger things, etc.

    How do you actually turn off something? And why do the poor wolves have to be slaughtered so? (The spiders deserve it! Arachnophobe here). So if I am swinging a sword all day, how do I really tell myself that I want to stay dumb or not get strong or not realize how this shield in the other arm is working better with balance, etc.

    OK, here is my suggestion: No locks, no turn-offs. How about a toggle for "Concentrate" on this skill. Example: I am concentrating on swords today, so my focus is there (bigger application of the pool or whatever) but I still am getting stronger, faster, healthier... I can still stop and learn to gather some garlic or black pearls without having to flip a million toggles to gain skill in it, but then back to what I am concentrating on for a while.

    Not sure if this is a good idea, it is just an idea. Please critique. At work so I did not have time to go into full detail. Will edit later if feedback shows I need more explanation.
     
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  9. Lord Ravnos

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    I have to agree. If phasing out of both the producer and adventurer levels is possible, I'd be all for it. They are somewhat arbitrary with a use-based system and require too much immersion breaking for my likes.
     
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  10. Lord Ravnos

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    The way I look at it is when you "turn off" a skill gain, you're effectively saying to yourself, I'm no longer going to get better at this skill, ie, I'm not going to attempt a different way of swinging this sword because I'm satisfied with the current level of swinging I've already attained. I don't see anything non-real about it... in "reality" if I decide I am going to program a computer in a certain way, with a certain language, and all of a sudden someone else write some code that does the same thing I have programmed but in 20 less lines, I can decide not to use that new code, and keep going about it the old, "less effective" way, effectively turning off my programming skill gain. What do you think?
     
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  11. Jivalax Azon

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    Lord Ravnos, Greymouser, good points. I find myself a little more aligned with Greymousers line of thinking. I agree we can keep using sub-optimal paradigms. Most of us do in fact. (My wife insist on peeling potatoes with the incorrect draw the peeler toward you - as some 70% of users do - method. Fools.) However, even incorrect sub optimal use gains in proficiency with time. Coding the less efficient over and over will make you quicker at typing the less efficient code. What I really like is Greymousers term "Concentrate". This is a mechanic I could totally support and still feeds into the "I am not focusing on ..."

    But, for this to work, the skills have to be edited a bit. No more gaining in one active skill by using another.
     
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  12. Vallo Frostbane

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    I liked the way UO handled it, but I think the decay will be fine. Definetly agree on the Adventure Level part of your post. They should get rid of that.
     
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  13. GreyMouser Skye

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    Yes. It seems like now you are not gaining in that other active skill, but gaining the potential (pool) to gain once you finally use it. A bit odd.
    I wish I knew the UO way, but that was during college when I played for a month and I knew not to jump into something that big then.

    There are so many threads on this Use Based system in the feedback that I wonder if the Devs get a chance to catalog any of the plausible and good ideas?
    Does this forum have polls? The more I think about it, the "Concentrate" idea seems more and more intuitive with less to micromanage. Would really like to get lots of opinions.
     
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  14. Ship One

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    I do not much care for being able to have an unlimited amount of skill-ups. I am not a fan of a true classless system. I.E. Being able to use any weapon, any magic and any tactic, any craft. make any number of Decks to fill any role. To process and produce everything in the game as a single person. At Endgame, all that differentiates us is how we look. We do not really need one another besides a few mobs. Other than that, it's a complete solo game. For PVP, people will figure out what is most lethal and most likely go with that, likely in SPO also.

    In a more realistic view, people would have to choose a discipline for how they fight and a mastery for what they choose to produce. What this does is force people to play more than one character and/or rely to some degree on others to help produce or obtain what you need to do your craft. And to complete quests and defeat difficult mobs. As it stands now, all you need is playtime.
     
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  15. Jivalax Azon

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    Golden wolf, you had me right up to the "play more than one character" part. The Devs have stated more than once, they really don't want people to have more than one character. With reluctance some pledges got more, but most players will only have one character slot. I do agree it will foster reliance on other players, which is good.

    I believe though, that while it may be theoretically possible to gain in all skills, there are some realistic limits. Since it is still working off an XP pool, and XP is gained from killing things and missions. Skill gain is gated pretty tight. Since from the old system each higher adventurer level (in 10s) granted less skill points to the pool and each successive level required more XP, you get to a point where you cannot adventure or run missions enough to level up and increase the pool to gain skills to counter decay. In short, you can't GM in all things at once.
     
  16. Hardin Steele

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    I can't tell if this is part of the current skill system or not, but here goes...
    ..I have not played a lot, checking in every few updates. This time I played throughout most of a weekend off and managed to level up a lot of different skills to the teens and some 20s. Blades in in the 202 , but I wanted to try bludgeon. Bought a decent mace and put the limited bludgeon skills in a new deck, but the numbers aren't budging. The arrows are up. The primary skill (Bludgeon Combat) is advancing slowly, as expected, but the two skills I have in my deck (Crushing Blow and Break Weapon) are not advancing one bit.

    Is there a cap? It surely feels like the old UO cap ceiling. If so I am actually okay with it, but don't want to spend hours for nothing. Thanks. Move this comment to a different thread as needed.
     
  17. NRaas

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    There is no cap in the manner you described.

    Are you absolutely certain "Crushing Blow" and "Break Weapon" are not advancing ? There is a small green bar under each skill which specifies your progression to the next level.

    It should increase slowly with each use of the skill, provided you have unused experience available to allocate.​

    You acquire unused experience by killing creatures, with more difficult creatures naturally providing you more experience to apply.

    Are you killing sufficiently high-level creatures ? You may need to move to a higher-level scene if you feel you are not progressing fast enough. :)
     
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  18. majoria70

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    There is no cap, but there is an exp pool, also consider doing some quests to get it to move or as mentioned move to a more challenging location to fight. If you are just raising by fighting it doesn't keep advancing. ;) I did think it was mentioned that the pool was based on combat and adventuring though. So someone correct me if I'm wrong.;)
     
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  19. Hardin Steele

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    It could be I can't kill tougher stuff. The spiders are ridiculously tough (the most flimsy creatures in nature...go figure). Thugs and bandits, no problem, some wolves, regular undead...working my way up. Maybe I did hit a cap of sort in that I ran out of experience to use as fuel. I'll keep working on it.
     
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  20. NRaas

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    Could your innate skills perhaps be absorbing too much of the experience ?

    You may want to turn some of them off temporarily, to increase the flow into the new skills you are working on. :)
     
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