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 Post subject: skill points question
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 8:41 pm 
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As some of you may know, particularly if you've followed the content of the Tea Time with Ryme chats, we've been considering adding a skill points system.

I'll try to keep it brief, but what this would do is let you invest those skill points into the various skills you learn, to make them better or more powerful. (If you've seen the Diablo II system, we're thinking something vaguely like that.)

Each skill is thus going to have a pretty wide range of potential effects, starting with the base amount and increasing with each additional skill point. There's likely to be a cap for each skill, too. For the moment let's call it 10 points, at which point you've mastered the skill and aren't going to get any better.

My question is, if we take that example and assume there's at least 11 different values for each skill, is that something spaders are going to be at all interested in trying to figure out? Or is that better served by just being part of the game manual, public information, which any interested player can see going in?

Personally, I'm leaning toward the latter. I think the vagueness in skill abilities doesn't serve much purpose, most players aren't really interested in trying to figure out how much of X effect they get when Skill Y has Z points by exhaustive testing, and if they're going to distribute their skill points they'd rather know what they're buying ahead of time. Referencing Diablo II again, that information is completely open to the public, and while it's a different sort of game, I don't think there are all that many people who would suggest the game would have gained anything at all by hiding those details.

Still, before I put together a massive spoiler sheet and drop it into the manual, I thought I'd give some portion of the playerbase a chance to let me know if my impression is misplaced, and there are actually a lot of people who would enjoy the mystery behind figuring out 11 levels x 16 skills x 4 classes = 704 separate data points for character abilities.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 9:36 pm 
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I think an intermediate choice would be optimal. If you can, put as much info into the write up as possible as narrative and leave the full mechanics up to the spaders. This way the casual users will not feel "lost", but the spaders will still have a job to do.

Would the skill points travel between Transmorgs?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 10:08 pm 
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I'm gonna hold off on other aspects of skill points for a bit, don't want to muddy the issue.

Could you give an example of what you think might be a reasonable middle ground for a skill? The choices as I see them will tend to be either really vague or precise.

Take for example an imaginary Electric Eel naturalist skill that does electric damage to opponents.

The base damage is 5 electric points per weapon hit. Each skill point increases the damage by 1, to a maximum of 15 at 10 skill points.

The two most understandable options are either to tell players

a) this skill does electric damage, or

b) this skill does 5 + X electric damage, where X is the number of skill points invested

Obviously that one isn't too difficult to spade, because the results will be obvious. Though if I go with a) most players won't know what an extra skill point will get them.

A more realistic example might be a (again fictitious) elemental skill called Cold Shoulder. I'm looking at:

a) deals cold damage to opponents, or

b) deals 2-6 + 2-6 + 2X + (Your Level) damage, with a damage cap of 30 + 2X.

Now, realistically, a dedicated spade could eventually figure out the range, but it's complicated enough that most players won't really have any clue what the difference is between investing 3 skill points and 5.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:37 pm 
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how about doing both descriptions?

Like telling the general public what does the skill do and a more detailed info on hte skill on the game manual, so the user decides if he stays with the basis and experiment, or read the full picture and know what he is doing

I am telling this while remember what you did with the atmos spear, you had one general description and the option of reading the whole legend.

Ok. that might be boring to spaders, and maybe confusing to those who have hard time with equations, but it is a way to keep the mistery and show the maths at the same time

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 2:26 am 
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I'm really torn about this one. While people tend to classify me as a spader, I'm more of a explorer/librarian/optimizer. I enjoy figuring out things so I can write them down. I enjoy drawing maps of levels and what drops where. I enjoy documenting all skills, sorting them by power and determining the best outfit and skills to achieve a target.

On the other hand, one cannot deny the enjoyment of a eureka moment when a pattern which looked totally random suddenly emerges (and many times the head banging for not seeing it immediately).

On top of that, we still have plenty of unknowns. We haven't figured out the basic damage mechanism. We haven't figured out the basic to-hit/dodge mechanism. If someone wants to spade, I feel there is plenty they can do. If I had more time I'd get into these.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, whatever this will turn out to be, I will find my way to enjoy it. If many people want everything to be revealed, I don't think that they should be denied.

I'm not sure we have many "real" spaders active, and I'd really like to hear how such a person would feel.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:40 am 
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Being a non-spader, I'd prefer the explanation given up front.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:23 pm 
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If the skills are going to be simple, then all the info up front is fine.

I was assuming that it would be a bit more complicater, perhaps with diminishing returns like:

Skill - Metal Detector (find chips)
1-5 SKp = +2.5% per
6-10 SKp = +1.25% per
11-15 SKp = .5% per

The description could be:

Metal Detector allows players to find more chips. The more SKp put in, the higher the chip find Bonus.

The actual % left up to the spader.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:24 pm 
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I am fine with either way but I am a semi-spader and like to figure some things out. If you did decide to leave the equations unknown I would want the spaders to be able to talk to you and see if the equations are accurate or not.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:26 am 
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I would prefer to have everything spelled out so that I don't have to go back and check the wiki each time I level when I want to figure out where would be best for me to spend my skill points. Not to mention having to figure out what all the values are in the first place...

On a related side note, have you considered making skill points be the reward for ascension? you get one permanent skill point each time you ascend, thereby increasing the number of times you need to ascend in order to max out all the skills. Plus you wouldn't have to worry about adding more skill points for each ascension a character goes through. And if you wanted to make it even tougher, you could say that points could only be spent on skills for whatever class you were currently.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:13 am 
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Seventh, I've argued heavily for those options, but there's no confirmation one way or the other yet >.>


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:12 pm 
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seventhcross wrote:
I would prefer to have everything spelled out so that I don't have to go back and check the wiki each time I level when I want to figure out where would be best for me to spend my skill points. Not to mention having to figure out what all the values are in the first place...


I like this point :D

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:18 pm 
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seventhcross wrote:
On a related side note, have you considered making skill points be the reward for ascension? you get one permanent skill point each time you ascend, thereby increasing the number of times you need to ascend in order to max out all the skills. Plus you wouldn't have to worry about adding more skill points for each ascension a character goes through. And if you wanted to make it even tougher, you could say that points could only be spent on skills for whatever class you were currently.


Yes and no. I've definitely considered it, and expect ascension to give a benefit in that area, but not quite as described. But as I said, this is about "should I spoil it for you?" and not about the nitty-gritty of how it'll work in detail. That's potentially a huge discussion, and I don't want to distract from what's an important answer for me to have as I make my plans.


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