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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:00 pm 
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As I've mentioned in a few places, the current frusion event is part of adding skill points to the game. After some public discussion, I've decided in favor of openness, and plan on making the new equations public. If for nothing else, those who want to know can see what their skill points will get them.

Still working on a few details (particularly the results of a few of the gadgeteer skills), but I figure if I'm going to post the details later, I might as well post now. Why wait, right?

For those who don't mind having things spoiled, they're available here:
http://www.twilightheroes.com/game-manu ... _class.php

Obviously, if you intend to spade or just like to keep some mystery, don't click that link.

Besides the gadgeteer skills that need to be sorted out, I recognize there are a few other clunky spots. Primarily the +/- combat skills, where the numbers are low enough that progress isn't smooth, and there's no difference between 9 points and 10 points. Still trying to figure out if there's anything I can do about that.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:34 pm 
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Hm. Seems Gadgets are missing ideas for Upgrade Armor, Supercomputer Skills, and Upgrade Weapons (not counting missing skills). The two Upgrades could just be graduated like Biofeedback:

Upgrade Armor
Level 0: Fireproof
Level 4: Absorbtion
Level 8: Improved Reflexes
Level 10: Better numbers for above.

Upgrade Weapons could follow a similar path. Or, if you want all three options available from the start, they could just have increasing bonuses. Like Better Grip could start at fumble reduction until you get No Fumbles at the max level.

Supercomputer looks tricksier, but I would again take the graduated bonus route. Start with giving the ability to build Positronic Computers, and slowly add the other bonuses at higher levels (and improving said bonuses if needed).

Ryme wrote:
Primarily the +/- combat skills, where the numbers are low enough that progress isn't smooth, and there's no difference between 9 points and 10 points. Still trying to figure out if there's anything I can do about that.
I'd go the kludge route. Either make level 10 just have an additional bonus, or increase the duration of the effect. Sloppy, but effective.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:56 pm 
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+/- combat could start off only giving a small boost to initiative; if you're looking for a fight, you probably won't be surprised to find one... and on the flip side, if you're skulking around in the shadows and still run into the enemy it'll probably be a surprise to them. So it'd do that at level 0, and after that give +1% +/- combat per two points into the skill, or something.

Or you could have it scale unevenly; +1% to start, +2% with 4 points into it, +3% with 6, then add another +1% for each of the next 4 points. So that players are rewarded disproportionally for investing heavily in that skill After all, this seems like the kind of thing people are either going to go whole hog on or ignore.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:12 am 
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I actually think diminishing returns makes more sense. It would also be better to see a benefit from each spent skill point. Is there a design reason why +/- combat must be an integer? Otherwise:
Level 0: 1%
Level 1: 2%
Level 2: 2.5%
Level 3: 3%
Level 4: 3.33%
Level 5: 3.66%
Level 6: 4%
Level 7: 4.25%
Level 8: 4.5%
Level 9: 4.75%
Level 10: 5%


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:59 pm 
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Main reason to do things in chunks is because I'm trying as much as possible to keep the equations linear. I'd rather have a single line than a mess of 11 separate switch statements. Simpler from my standpoint. Also, consistent benefit from the player's standpoint. I'm probably going to have to break that stance for the gadgeteer multi-choice skills, but I'd like to limit the number of times I do that.

Quote:
was it intended that elementals and psions benefit so much, comparatively, from skill points?


That seems like pretty selective picking. If you pick other skills, the exact opposite might be said. Overall, I'm trying to set up what would give a number of skills compelling reasons to be invested in, and I think you've got to pretty dramatically boost direct damage spells to keep them on par with the other benefits. I'd like someone with 10 skill points to feel like they've got something very powerful compared to someone with 5 skill points, and incredibly powerful compared to a beginner at 0.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:11 am 
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Looks cool. I do agree that each skill points should make a difference, even if small.

Also, small nitpick for gadgeteers - if we have levels for skills, from 1 to 10, does it really make sense for them to have both 'Basic Martial Arts' and 'Advanced Martial Arts'? I think it might be nicer to have a single Martial Arts skill that gives both to-hit and offense...but I can see how this might be a problem, as it would mean a new skill would have to be created as a replacement.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:22 am 
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With that line of thought, Upgrade Weapons, Upgrade Armor, and Improved Tinkering could all be rolled into one skill. Actually, the vehicle one could also be rolled in. 3 levels for weapons, 3 levels for armor, 3 levels for vehicles, 1 level for improving the effects (ie: Better Grip into Self-Balancing) makes for 10 levels. Of course, that's 4 skills collapsed into one (and two more collapsed with Martial Arts), but you could fill one of those gaps with a new version of Improved Tinkering that handles the duration bonus, and maybe a slight bonus to other buffs (it's heartbreaking to see that level 10 MD will be worse than the current version, mistake or no).

Of course, this still leaves a lot of gaps and has distinct power and balance issues, but it's a neat idea. And, frankly, I think that if Gadgeteer skills had been designed with skill points in mind, they might have been collapsed from the get-go.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:20 am 
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From a programming standpoint, a skill that does 3 things is pretty complicated. A skill with two sets of 3 things is ridiculous, and I never should have done it that way. A skill that does 10 is out of this world. Also, if you can only have one at a time, that's a lot of unused potential.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:46 am 
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Ryme wrote:
Also, if you can only have one at a time, that's a lot of unused potential.
Yeah, as i was driving home I realized that my brilliant idea destroyed my options. While I could live without upgrading my armor, having to pick between a time boost for my vehicle and self-balancing would suck.

This is why I write silly descriptions and not code :D

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:48 pm 
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has there been any thought into how skill points and retconning will mix together? I.E. When I "perm" (for lack of a better word) a skill, will it remember how many skill points I have invested in it, or will it be set to 0 or 10 skill points? Will I have to reinvest skill points into the skill the next play through? Will skill points roll over? I dont knows are perfectly acceptable answers.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:05 pm 
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That's currently being discussed in another thread.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:39 pm 
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so when players cast a buff on other players, especially sidekick buffs, how will that work? i can't imagine that each water buffalo item will have an individually stored set of stats. same with buffs: say I cast a level 1 ants strength for half an hour and someone else casts a level 10 on me for 2 hours. how'll that be sorted?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:43 pm 
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the SUPERnaturalist wrote:
so when players cast a buff on other players, especially sidekick buffs, how will that work? i can't imagine that each water buffalo item will have an individually stored set of stats. same with buffs: say I cast a level 1 ants strength for half an hour and someone else casts a level 10 on me for 2 hours. how'll that be sorted?

Presumably, the buffee would get the increased duration, but all buffs are going to have to be at level 0 strength.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:00 pm 
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I think Satan's right, but I don't entirely have it figured out yet ... part of the reason that this is still in the works and not done yet. For the purpose of discussion, it may be better to state it in terms of "I have X casts of it" and "someone else casts it on me X times." Assuming the time may be begging the question.

It's almost guaranteed that the benefits of any buff will be placed on you whatever level you have in that skill. If you don't know it, it's 0.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:48 pm 
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Doc Igor wrote:
Technically, there's no reason why one skill couldn't generate four-nine different buffs: even making them sets of three mutually exclusive buffs isn't that challenging. It's just a matter of testing for non-zero durations and a simple skill level check. (Actually, it's even easier: a simple function to create that element for the html would just be a for-loop, and add one option for each level in the skill... although it would need to disable options that aren't valid because of non-zero durations of mutually exclusive buffs, although that isn't that difficult.)


It's not that it can't be done, it's that it's a pain. It's not just casting the spell, it's the error checking and validation. And the mutually exclusive options. Lots of code in lots of places, all to make sure people get what they expect and what they're allowed, and don't get the other stuff. It's not hard in the sense of challenging; it's messy in the sense of being long, detailed, and ultimately far outside the bounds on the "amount of time and effort for Ryme versus benefit to the player". Which means either I won't ever want to do it, or I'll do it and hate it while wasting a bunch of time that could be devoted to better things.

Doc Igor wrote:
Also, one question... has it really been considered just how little use getting buffs from other players will be, when it results in 'level 0' results? Or was that one of the deciding factors in implementing this? (ie: to render aid from other players completely trivial)


First, I dispute the use of the phrase "completely trivial" and would substitute the phrase "slightly worse" to describe what happens to buffs other players give you. It varies a bit depending on the buff -- some are more affected than others, but many aren't worsened by that much.

It's not my intention at all to make buffs from other players worthless.

I would say that I don't think it's a bad thing if these changes mean that doing something yourself is likely to give you greater benefit than having someone else do it.

I also don't think it's a bad thing if it enhances the flavor of each class by dramatically increasing the benefit to the buffs players can get from members of their same class.

Keep in mind this is also in preparation for retcon/ascension, where characters will very quickly NOT be limited to just a single class's skills. After just a handful of replays, most characters are likely to have proficiency in many of the most popular skills, and will be investing skill points into those skills, meaning the buffs they receive will be increased in power.

If there are suggestions for a reasonable alternative, I'm listening.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:59 pm 
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Buffs from the same class have the skill level the buffed character has on that same buff skill, right?

For buffs from other classes, it seems logical that the effect is smaller, after all, the energies the character that was given the buff wields aren't the same as the energies of the caster...

Perhaps there could be a set of items scattered across the town that improve the buffs from certain classes, or if that's too hard/painful to implement then have them improve other classes buffs in general, lets say, adding up to 5 (or any other cap...) skill points, taking the buff's power from level 0 to to that level of power....


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:19 pm 
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Those would be pretty powerful items, and kinda undermine the importance of skill points. I think it's best we just accept the slight decrease in buff strength for the benefit of skill points in general.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:32 am 
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Ryme wrote:
Besides the gadgeteer skills that need to be sorted out, I recognize there are a few other clunky spots.


Eer...about that, any chance you'd tell us the actual current in-game effect of supercomputer skills? It mentions improved firing rates and effects for softwares, but no formulas. Just weird you wouldn't spoil that but all the rest.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 2:14 pm 
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Edivad wrote:
Eer...about that, any chance you'd tell us the actual current in-game effect of supercomputer skills? It mentions improved firing rates and effects for softwares, but no formulas. Just weird you wouldn't spoil that but all the rest.


I think the "improved firing rate" may be referring to the fact that it decrypts faster than an electronic computer does. Unless someone wants to spade it out and see if the positronic computer really does fire off more often than an electronic.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 10:30 pm 
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Ryme wrote:
Besides the gadgeteer skills that need to be sorted out,
As far as the multiple choice powers go, I think you should simply give each option a formula so that each one increases in power as you put skill points into the base upgrade power. So for weapons we have extra damage (base the extra damage on X, either 1 for 1 or 1/2 for one?), no fumbles (-1 or 2% fumbles per X until you get to 10 which would be no fumbles), and bonus to hit (scaled by X).
Armor would work the same way, Reflexes, resistances and absorption would all be based on X. You may have to increase the damage absorption, but that shouldn't overpower it too much, and several other skills have been boosted due to skill points anyway.
Super Computer could give positronic building at level one, then give increased firing rate to all the software based on X, and increase software effectiveness based on X for the software that is affected by it (alternately software improvement could simply be unlocked at level 5 and then firing rate is the only bonus for increasing it up to ten)
The current Vehicle upgrade is the only one I see this being a problem for since you have the rugged +1 range ability. It's kinda hard to break that into increments. perhaps rugged could give a slight increase to the effects of the vehicle as well? and as for booster jets, I'd make it more like "environmental handling" or "exploration capabilities" and add underwater breathing to the list so you could get super jump at level 1, underwater breathing at level 5, and flying at level 10.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:33 pm 
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I am making progress, though it's still slower than I wanted. It's really buffs that are being troublesome, plus the gadgeteer upgrade skills, but most of the passives, noncombat skills that aren't buffs, and combat skills seem to be working. Originally I wanted to do everything at once, but I think I may release that part first just to make progress, and then work in buffs once I wrap up loose ends.

To that effect, I've started to include the skill points and skill equations in the manual. I want to give people a chance to know what they're getting before they invest skill points, or to know why to hold off if you think you want something that's still not implemented.

http://www.twilightheroes.com/game-manual/skills.php

Note that I have changed the values on a couple from the original proposed page -- added a bonus point to starfish and proper hydration to make 10 points not useless; also improved the Naturalist attacks a bit.

That version is a lot more cleaned up than the original link I posted, which was more of a before/after discussion piece. I don't want to clutter up the proper manual with old data and speculation. The original is still out there, though, for those who want greater details.

http://www.twilightheroes.com/game-manu ... _class.php


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:22 am 
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Some of the skills look really good - i'm already writing a list of skills to aquire to be an uber spell damage pro. I like what the Fire Within will become.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:55 pm 
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On the skill points manual I see two things mention in regard to spell damage. One is [intellect factor] and the other is "soft cap". For example, ice bolt does 5-10 + ((2-3)*X) + level + [intellect factor]; soft capped at 30 + 3*X.

Is the intellect factor going to be revealed? How about the mechanism of the soft cap? Is it always the square root of overage?

Another question: is the chance to stun on groundquake going to be revealed?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:41 pm 
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Pretty sure soft caps are spelled out in the "old" version; they're the same in the new version--and do vary by skill.

Intellect factor was fudged to not complicate things more than they are. I can share, if you're interested, when this is over.

Groundquake chances, yeah, can do.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:26 am 
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Ryme wrote:
Intellect factor was fudged to not complicate things more than they are. I can share, if you're interested, when this is over.


Just making sure I understand correctly. Intellect factor is currently fudged, and will be restored to some working fashion when this is over. Then it will either be revealed or not.

An unrelated question: How do sidekicks summoned from wolf bait and buffalo snax behave? Do they do damage according to the number of skills invested in the respective skills? How about the duration, is it based on skill points too?

And a minor issue: 12. Nurture versus nature Equation: sidekick bonus of 10 + X. I assume this is 10 + X%

Same for 16. Maul of the cave bear Equation: to-hit +15% + X% of current to-hit, minimum of 20 + X. That would be 20 + X% at the end.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:07 am 
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Harry Dresden wrote:
I think the "improved firing rate" may be referring to the fact that it decrypts faster than an electronic computer does. Unless someone wants to spade it out and see if the positronic computer really does fire off more often than an electronic.


I might have been unclear...To me, it read like the skill made software effects fire more often, and not like positronic computer themselves fire more often - they just give more powerful effects I think. Do remember remember that although only Gadgs can make positronic computers, others can use them.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:18 am 
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Another clarification that might be needed.

8. Advanced martial arts

Equation: offense increases by 10 + 3X + level power

Is "level power" any different than "level"?

And another regarding Catalyze: at what skill points do you get the hyper-c variants? The manual doesn't mention them.

Also, very minor: 13. Shock grenade Equation: damage = 5 - 15 + 3X + (level/2). Got me confused for a sec, it should be 5-15 + 3X

Also also, the note text for combat chance modifiers will need to be changed. It says "Combat and noncombat chances can only be increased up to a maximum of 4 units, which is 20%.", and I don't believe "4 units" still stands.

Also also also, Knit bone "Removes several negative effects (stitches, concussed, still bleeding)". I am not familiar with that last effect. Was it meant to be internal injuries?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:03 am 
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Muhandes wrote:
8. Advanced martial arts

Equation: offense increases by 10 + 3X + level power

Is "level power" any different than "level"?


I think that is read more as "Offense increases by (10+3x+level) power". The offensive power increases, vs being increased by level power.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 7:12 am 
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Muhandes wrote:
Lots of stuff ...


Almost all very valid points. I'll be doing some cleanup this weekend, along with trying to get the remaining skills using skill points properly.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:59 am 
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Some minor documentation issues I found so far.

  • The skill names in the spoilery page do not use Proper Case like the actual skill names.
  • The skill "Fire Within" is actually called "The Fire Within".
  • The skill "Icebolt" is actually called "Ice Bolt".
  • Stone armor: fire, ice, and elec resist = 5 + (X/2)%. Better: 5% + (X/2)%
  • The skill "Nurture versus nature" is actually called "Nurture vs. Nature".
  • Echolocation: 10 + X% item drop. Better: 10% + X%
  • Snout of the swine: 15 + X% chips. Better: 15% + X%
  • Sinus of the shark: +3 + round(X/3)% chances. Better: +3% + round(X/3)%
  • Stun gas: chance of stun 20 + X%. Better: 20% + X%
  • Motorized max value does not match. Reflexes + 4 + (X/2) (with a bonus point at X = 10). That should be 10 with X=10. However, Max +9 reflexes.
  • Self-Balancing: @ 0-5 points: -X% chance of fumbles. It has no effect with 0 points?
  • Stealth:+3 + round(X/3)%. Better:+3% + round(X/3)%
  • Telekenesis -> Telekinesis
  • Aura: keen observation: XP gain increased by 1+ (X/2)%; +20 + X% chips drop. Better: 1%+ (X/2)%; +20% + X%
  • Electronic understanding: Electronic robots take 50 + 5X%; Positronic robots take 10 + X%. Better: 50% + 5X%; 10% + X%
  • Aura: vigor: +20 + X% max HP. Better: +20% + X%
  • Biofeedback: resist = 5 + X. Better: resist = 5% + X%
  • Aura: mental magnetism: +/- 3 + round(X/3)%. Better: +/- 3% + round(X/3)%


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Thanks, Muh. Think I got all those. Sharp eye.

Muhandes wrote:
Some minor documentation issues I found so far.

[*]Self-Balancing: @ 0-5 points: -X% chance of fumbles. It has no effect with 0 points?


Apparently. I'll have to think about that. Might add an extra 1%.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:34 am 
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Great. And thank you very much for what you sent me, it's really nice to know what you do is appreciated.

Rather than make you go over my previous posts, I'll list the things which are still open. Of course, not relating to the few unimplemented skills yet:

  • Maul of the Cave Bear: minimum of 20 + X, minimum bonus of +30. Better: minimum of 20% + X%, minimum of 30%
  • Advanced Martial Arts: offense increases by 10 + 3X + level power. Perhaps "offensive power increased by 10 + 3X + level"? Or "offense increased by 10 + 3X + level". Same for the Max value.
  • Shock Grenade: damage = 5 - 15 + 3X + (level/2). There are extra spaces in 5 - 15 which make it slightly confusing.
  • The exact effects removed by Knit Flesh/Knit Bone are not clear. One of those mentioned does not exist.
  • The effect of Improved Tinkering on Upgrade Armor/Upgrade Weapons is not documented yet.
  • Lifeblood Manipulation: heals 50 + 5X% of HP. Better: 50%+5X%
  • Charge of the Bovine: to-hit increased by 10 + (level) + S. Why parenthesize level?
  • Trample of the Rhino: to-hit +10 + 2X + (level). Why parenthesize level? Text and order different than Charge of the Bovine.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:35 pm 
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Ok... I wasnt sure which post to put this in so I decided to play it safe and put it here. On my naturalist alt, I have been buffing myself with Snout. I have 10 skill points in it. Today I was buffed by someone else with a lot of Snout. How is the skill level of my snout buff affected by this (because snout only appears once in my buff list)? Is it at 10 or 0?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:48 pm 
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All buffs are calculated based on your skill level. For example:

I buff myself with Metal Detector; it counts as 10 points.
Someone else with level 3 Metal Detector buffs me; it counts as 10 points.
You buff me with Snout of the Swine; regardless of your level, I get it at 0 points.
I buff you with Metal Detector; even though I have ten points in it, you get it at 0 points.

So, if you have 10 skill points in snout, no matter who buffs you, you get it at 10, regardless of their level.

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