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Skills in Left Field

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Skills in Left Field

Postby cfelch » Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:44 am

Just a crazy idea i had thought to combine the resource and end product designs in crafts.

Arrange things into a huge array of skills in a branching tree system.

Combat branches into Offense and Defense
Defense branches into Dodge and Parry
Offense branches into Unarmed, Melee, Ranged and Dirty
Melee branches into Pierce, Slash and Crush
Ranged branches into Fired and Thrown

Resources branches into Animal, Vegetable and Mineral

...and so on down the line till you have what you want.
Each 'parent' skill's value would be determined by the average of all its children.

This would be a backbone of free skills to drop us in with.
(It expresses the potential for anyone to do anything.)

Hold on, I know your already wondering about those people who will want to learn everything.
Well, the sheer number of skills, not to mention average lifespan in a permadeath game, make that unlikely, but I had another idea...

This is where the skill picks come in. Only they couldn't very well still be called skills what with the new backbone. Lets call them Talents.

These Talents would be what open up your various craftsets and special abilities not just everyone should be attempting.

Enlisted
Officer
Berserker
Criminal
Law
Chef
Butcher
Tanner
Hunter
Science
Magic
Literacy
Philosophy
Artistry
Etc

Then all your crafts could have:
Talent prerequisates/augmentations
Rely on one or more skills
Have outputs that change dynamically based on materials and skill

Yea... I know it'll prolly never see the light of day, but I thought I might at well throw it out there.
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Re: Skills in Left Field

Postby Octavius » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:21 pm

I appreciate a brainstorming post to bring forward new ideas. :)

I see three principles in your proposal.
  • Renaming all skills to a new schema
  • Creating opportunity to learn across all skills
  • Limiting access based on "talents" which prevent learning

Renaming all skills to a new schema

A rewrite of all skills is a big task with a lot of code ramifications, so requires a large benefit to justify it.

In this case, you're adding a lot of "echelons" to roll-up skills, but at the bottom level they have the same names as the current ones. I assume the logic for this is similar to having the Offense skill to provide basic capability when a specific skill is lacking.

Specifically, I imagine you're proposing:
Mineral -->
Metal -->
Weaponcrafting / Armorcrafting / Blacksmith / Whitesmith

That's a pretty complex mathematical problem that I don't think adds a lot of return for the investment.

One thing I did pull out of this section was adding "dirty-fighting" as a style. I do like the idea of combat styles that modify echoes, and could see that as a separate topic. Would it be a SET option, like Aggressive, Defensive, Dirty? Or would it be a skill that provides special moves like sole-wield and dual-wield?

Creating opportunity to learn across all skills

This is actually already part of our code. (It was not on old SOI code, it is a major change implemented in the new code.)

If there is a way to attempt use of a skill, the first time you check against it the skill opens (without a teacher) but stays invisible to you. Each time you use it after that it has a chance to improve (as normal). When it reaches a minimum threshhold, it becomes visible to you as a player. So, if you work at something, eventually it will pop up on your skill list. (If you find a teacher, it should still pop up faster, as we want to encourage that RP.)

It is part of our design to build in ways to open each skill. There ideally will be low-skill tasks that you can work at to engage in low-level learning and develop your existing character into new career fields during play.

Hold on, I know your already wondering about those people who will want to learn everything.
Well, the sheer number of skills, not to mention average lifespan in a permadeath game, make that unlikely, but I had another idea...


The code already has a way to handle this. It calculates a maximum skill pool (mostly according to your Intelligence). All skills you have sum, and when you hit that total, you are capped. It then begins subtracting points from unused skills (that are atrophying) to add to your newly-learned skills. There is a command available to players that will allow you to "focus" on skills to prevent them from ever being targeted for skill loss, so don't worry.

Your second point about average lifespan is well-taken... I don't recall ever hearing of a character on ARPI who hit their maximum skill pool level. I imagine it being more likely on SOI, though... in SOI2 we had plenty of PCs who lived 2-4 years and LOVED skills, and so would face this issue.

Limiting access based on "talents" which prevent learning

For me, this idea undoes the good done by the above systems. Having to be staff-designated with a "talent" is part of what we have deliberately avoided in the design of the skill system. Anyone can learn most anything in game given opportunity and time, and that's how it should be. IMHO, Staff control initial roles and people who start out on the way there, but staff should not have such total control that they prevent you from ever taking your character in a desirable and allowable new direction. Many of the changes we built in to the code at ARPI are based on the principle that nothing should be achievable with RPP that can't also be achieved through hard work and time in-game.
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Re: Skills in Left Field

Postby cfelch » Fri Feb 07, 2014 5:16 pm

The Talents (its just a placeholder name) are meant to be indicators of actual skilled training.

Like the difference between general crafts, and craftsets unlocked by skills, but without the need to actually have duplicate crafts.

They represent this by unlocking the upper echolans of end product quality in basic items, and more specialized techniques of a skillset that might not be obvious otherwise.

Like the difference between skewering fresh game over a fire, using secret family recipes, and being able to plate for a gourmet restaurant.

Some basic talents could be branched out by yourself, but others would not, serendipity and sagacity can only take you so far.
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