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FAQ: Skills and skill trees - Official discussion thread

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Awesome update I can see the reasoning for no overall cap even if it makes me nervous. I get you want to give us room to grow in a leveless game for future updates.

 

Thanks for the centaur promotion Blair! I hope you tell us about more promotion classes soon because the only ones I've seen are the knight's and Templar's, but others might've been revealed some point .

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...husbandry...?

 

I wonder how that will work, with animals behaving like chess pieces and all.  Animal husbandry in your pocket?

 

How do they reproduce?  Are these animals actually artificial golems created for convenience?  That would certainly explain their ability to transform into little statues.  Although I guess the little statues could also just summon them.  But then who is taking care of them when they are not active?  Only people who would bother doing that I think would be the thralls.

 

It's a little bit jarring to hear about the other game systems after such a long time of being exposed to pure combat.  This Crafting + Exploration skill tree drop is such a tease.


How Can Mounts Add to the Crowfall Experience?  Caravans, Hunting Boars, and more.

 

How Complex can Mining be in Crowfall?  Mining difficulty, fatigue, infrastructure.

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This honestly doesn't look interesting at all. Feel free to convince me otherwise but all you're showing is a tree where you can pick everything. So already no long term choices unless you're going to neuter new players who start after launch. But the abilities aren't even interesting unless you picked the least exciting thing to show off for some reason.

 

Its hard to say much about the design without a proper in depth look at it. But I can say that this is the most underwhelming teaser you've done yet.


David Sirlin's Balancing Multiplayer Games should be mandatory reading for all gamers.

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Are promotion classes archtype specific? Is the Knight the only way to be a crusader?

 

Favorite SB toon was centaur cursader

 

Promotions are Archetype specific, yes.

 

This honestly doesn't look interesting at all. Feel free to convince me otherwise but all you're showing is a tree where you can pick everything. So already no long term choices unless you're going to neuter new players who start after launch. But the abilities aren't even interesting unless you picked the least exciting thing to show off for some reason.

 

Its hard to say much about the design without a proper in depth look at it. But I can say that this is the most underwhelming teaser you've done yet.

 

From what we see so far, the Promotion and Discipline choice will be the actual "build" players will be able to create while the skill tree is not so much that as simply one's progress within certain piece of their build. The decisions within the skill tree are simply how you wish to reach the end "maximum" state. While looking at the end result, all players will have the maxed out skill tree to some degree for certain, but given that progress here is time-based the journey to that end result will likely be important decisions to players before reaching that point.

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Ah, I possibly just realized why they're doing this whole "no cap" thing which some people are a little off on. 

 

To save time, here's the video I happened to watch when I realized this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg8fVtKyYxY

 

Simply put, it denies a definite "meta" and allows player choice to actually matter when included instead of providing a simple illusion of choice.

 

If we were to create builds within a cap within the skill trees, there would no doubt be an objectively and calculated "best build". Thus, there is no real choice in the matter of character creation at this level. Instead, however, they allow you to control your progress within the true choice of "Archetype" and then "Promotion", both of which are balanced with greater ease around their end result and thus not providing room for calculated Knight builds that are better than other Knight builds. Instead, it would be [for example] a Knight who can Cook and Raise Animals vs a Knight who can climb mountains and ride horses better. They are without a doubt different, but "better" now relies on a more subjective voice rather than a calculated "Cooking > Climbing" equation. To the point of promotions, a Crusader won't be objectively greater than a Sentinel because they are purposefully different roles within the Knight, and therefore are true choices rather than an illusion of such. There is, thus, no "meta" Knight [pun not intended, but fully appreciated].

 

tl;dr This system in which the innards of the skill tree are not so important as the end [maximum] result strengthens the importance of the choices the player do make and denies the creation of a set "meta".

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If we were to create builds within a cap within the skill trees, there would no doubt be an objectively and calculated "best build".

 

Everything you just said applies equally well to this uncapped system. Just add "in this order" to "take these skills". If the tree creates actual diversity it has zero to do with the lack of a cap.


David Sirlin's Balancing Multiplayer Games should be mandatory reading for all gamers.

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Also I must appologise there are many details I had to censor out of this FaQ update because they would spoil what we plan to reveal later in the month. Game Systems in an MMO tend to be a big spiderweb of interconnected systems, touch one part and the whole thing jiggles.

 

you, guys, are killing me with this.

Edited by volahn

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Everything you just said applies equally well to this uncapped system. Just add "in this order" to "take these skills". If the tree creates actual diversity it has zero to do with the lack of a cap.

 

Ah, I'm saying that this choice which leads to the same end result would be the same should it be given with a cap, only in a more illusive way that isn't apparent from the get-go. Simply, Crowfall isn't disguising a calculation with a definitive answer as a choice. Thus, it eliminates an absolute wrong way of building one's character, instead emphasizing on a) the journey to the end state and B) the sum of the end results as a non-mathematical equation, AKA non-vertical progression.

 

I stated that the "meta", a mathematically better build, is culled to some extent by this system. And it is in such a way that it destroys the option of choosing a objectively worse path to go down, as the end result to these skill trees, given time, will be the same. The choices then fall to which skill trees one wishes to add which, so long as they each fill a niche of some equal importance within the player's own style, won't create a so-called "meta". Perhaps there will be a best combat build, such as a Werewolf Ninja Crusader [randomly generated~], but that would be a single faucet of the game. There could then be various play styles with their own tactic to win the campaign or reach their own goal, be it by wilderness survival as a Chef Duelist with Falconry or a Blacksmith Scouter Champion.

 

If ArtCraft are going down the route I believe them to, I see meaningful choices which make true differences instead of pseudo choices which have some mathematical certainty.

 

To give an example which is more relevant to this state of the game, the choices which have meaning would be, let's say, between choosing between the Knight and a Champion. One is tanking centric, the other is DPS centric. Different roles, different styles, which will effect how the player plays. The pseudo choices would be between 15% crit chance and 5% flat damage. With enough calculation, one can find the clearly correct choice between the two. However, if the end result will have you gaining, eventually, both the crit chance and the flat damage, it removes the possibility of choosing the mathematically incorrect answer. 

 

tl;dr it isn't the tree creating the diversity. The design of this tree which denies a "meta" way of building one's skill tree. And, without a doubt, a meta is the definition of "right choice", AKA "non-diversity". The tree is thus linear in a certain sense, but in turn highlights the more important true choices one makes instead of burdening us with the need to find the "right" answer. 

 

Was this explanation confusing? If so, I'll try again. 

 

tl;dr The game doesn't attempt to create the illusion of choice and the system emphasizes horizontal progress, thus skill, rather than vertical progress, thus meta.

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I think i like the Idea.

They give us both a Tree in wich we can progress without a cap and almost indefinetly until everyone is theoreticly as strong as everyone else again (wich, btw, may never happen until they stop to support the game), and a clear set of build choices (archetype, promotions, disciplines, equipment, limited action set) to distinguish ourselfs.

 

The first gives a sense of permanent progression towards the goal of learning all the skills you need for your build (and then all the skills you need for any other build), while at the same time giving new players the possability to get the most important stuff relativly quick.

 

The second part on the other hand offers permanent choices of direction (archetype and promotions), difficult to change choices (disciplines) wich further enhance and diversify your abilitys, and easy to change choices (equipment, LAS) to find the single best combination for any given situation.

 

Yes we will have to think about wich parts of the tree to learn first and try not to fall behind compared to other players by making (or not making) mistakes, and yes in the theoretical end of the universe we will all be the same (given we all choose to play the same archetype/promotion), but is it that bad?

 

I think its one of the best approaches so far.

Edited by Metauriel

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This honestly doesn't look interesting at all. Feel free to convince me otherwise but all you're showing is a tree where you can pick everything. So already no long term choices unless you're going to neuter new players who start after launch. But the abilities aren't even interesting unless you picked the least exciting thing to show off for some reason.

 

Its hard to say much about the design without a proper in depth look at it. But I can say that this is the most underwhelming teaser you've done yet.

I tend to agree with this sentiment. Sure, you can give lip service to differentiating character builds because there are archetypes and disciplines in the game. Based on what little we know, I don't consider this significant differentiation personally. Now imagine if you could only GM 7 or so skills, like in Ultima Online. Imagine the many many thousands of crazy combinations of character builds that we would see.

 

Some kind of cap imo.

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Ah, I possibly just realized why they're doing this whole "no cap" thing which some people are a little off on. 

 

To save time, here's the video I happened to watch when I realized this: 

 

Simply put, it denies a definite "meta" and allows player choice to actually matter when included instead of providing a simple illusion of choice.

 

If we were to create builds within a cap within the skill trees, there would no doubt be an objectively and calculated "best build". Thus, there is no real choice in the matter of character creation at this level. Instead, however, they allow you to control your progress within the true choice of "Archetype" and then "Promotion", both of which are balanced with greater ease around their end result and thus not providing room for calculated Knight builds that are better than other Knight builds. Instead, it would be [for example] a Knight who can Cook and Raise Animals vs a Knight who can climb mountains and ride horses better. They are without a doubt different, but "better" now relies on a more subjective voice rather than a calculated "Cooking > Climbing" equation. To the point of promotions, a Crusader won't be objectively greater than a Sentinel because they are purposefully different roles within the Knight, and therefore are true choices rather than an illusion of such. There is, thus, no "meta" Knight [pun not intended, but fully appreciated].

 

tl;dr This system in which the innards of the skill tree are not so important as the end [maximum] result strengthens the importance of the choices the player do make and denies the creation of a set "meta".

that's fairly terrible logic.

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Mn, but can you give me a reason why its bad?

 

If so, please do, as I strive to cover any bases that I, in my boundless ignorance, may have missed.

Sure. Your assumptions are invalid. This one particularly:

 

"If we were to create builds within a cap within the skill trees, there would no doubt be an objectively and calculated "best build"."

There is not a single "best build" given the number of variables. The best build, if done correctly with a cap, will be situational.

 

Taking away that flawed assumption your entire argument (which is essentially that having to make no choices somehow equates to more choice) falls away like a cheap fasade.

 

The short answer is that the game design must force meaningful choices in character building to create real diversity. A system with no real cap on how many trains you can have in the numerous skills will absolutely result in homogenous character builds.

 

And that's bad for a game like this.

Edited by coolwaters

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Sure. Your assumptions are invalid. They're is not a single "best build" given the number of variables. The best build, if done correctly with a cap, will be situational.

 

Taking away that flawed assumption your entire argument (which is essentially that having to make no choices somehow equates to more choice) falls away like a cheap fasade.

 

The short answer is that the game design must force meaningful choices in character building to create real diversity. A system with no real cap on how many trains you can have in the numerous skills will absolutely result in homogenous character builds.

 

And that's bad for a game like this.

Ah, that can be true in the sense that the "best" would be situational for, let's say, a pure DPS vs a pure Tank which would require, in a capped system, drastically different builds. The opposing argument, however, is efficiency. Min-maxing for DPS or Tanking would make your argument valid, but that makes sense for every game. The problem is thus efficiency, or rather the build which offers the greatest chance of success and benefit in the maximum number of situations, thus Meta. You seem to be under the impression that when given two numerical choices, there is not a definite answer. I find this to be wrong, and still find no reason to believe that a choice between, let's say, +5 Armor and +5 Damage does not have a definitively better answer when the end result is taken into account.

 

However, it seems that you misunderstand what I said. I meant to convey that the game would now lack the illusion of choice which many games have, ultimately leading to the Meta.

 

The game would have the same amount of true choices, just simply eliminating the ability to make punishing and objectively "bad" choices.

 

So the goal is not more diversity as you misunderstand, but simply meaningful diversity in which one's choice actually matters.

 

tl;dr Even with the number of variables given, there can be an objectively "best build" which is most efficient in the most situations. Also, my point was that the system simply removed the illusion of choice in areas usually ripe with such, not that it gave more.

 

You state my assumption is flawed, however to prove this you would then have to explain the existence of the Meta within other games in such a way which contradicts my explanation of the Meta and makes it invalid. Or perhaps explain the mechanics of your own system with a cap which would also refute the Meta existence I've explained.

Edited by Dondagora

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I disagree that skill caps create an illusion of choice. They create real choice. Having played the game with the singular and greatest character build diversity in the history of gaming, yes that is SB, I feel confident in this reality.

 

Even in the emulator, years after everyone had figured out the mechanics entirely, I had a rather unique entirely spirit based dwarf sac sader that was amazing for its intended use.

 

My real point is that it would be quite a shame in my view to pass up the opportunity for such amazing character building diversity by omitting a skill cap entirely. They have enough variables that with a skill cap you would see real crazy builds, some effective and some less effective. Without a cap everyone will eventually be the same if they played long enough within their archetype and discipline. Because disciplines can be removed and changed, that's not even really a differentiation long term.

 

This is not even touching on the many years will take for most gamers to even figure out the type of build that you consider to be the most effective. I emphasize that would be your opinion and not necessarily shared by many players anyway. It's a bit narcissistic and self important to claim that you can say there will be one build that is the best. I would go so far as to say that you can't even be certain what you will think about the system once you play it. What we can say for certain is that if everyone can train everything, eventually they will.

Edited by coolwaters

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Dondagora, 

Many believe that choosing a niche role for each toon we roll creates diversity, and maximizing that diversity is more fun for the metagame.

Apparently you and Blixtev don't. We will have to disagree on this point.

Hey, at least the journey to the skill cap will be different for most players, even if we can max out every skill we can train.

Edited by chancellor

I think the K-Mart of MMO's already exists!  And it ain't us!   :)

 

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I disagree that skill caps create an illusion of choice. They create real choice. Having played the game with the singular and greatest character build diversity in the history of gaming, yes that is SB, I feel confident in this reality.

 

Even in the emulator, years after everyone had figured out the mechanics entirely, I had a rather unique entirely spirit based dwarf sac sader that was amazing for its intended use.

 

My real point is that it would be quite a shame in my view to pass up the opportunity for such amazing character building diversity by omitting a skill cap entirely. They have enough variables that with a skill cap you would see real crazy builds, some effective and some less effective. Without a cap everyone will eventually be the same if they played long enough within their archetype and discipline. Because disciplines can be removed and changed, that's not even really a differentiation long term.

 

This is not even touching on the many years will take for most gamers to even figure out the type of build that you consider to be the most effective. I emphasize that would be your opinion and not necessarily shared by many players anyway. It's a bit narcissistic and self important to claim that you can say there will be one build that is the best. I would go so far as to say that you can't even be certain what you will think about the system once you play it. What we can say for certain is that if everyone can train everything, eventually they will.

Hm, I see we've hit a dead-end in this argument. Why? Because of lack of information. Skills in this game seem to be numerical based so far and, thusly might then follow my train of thought into a Meta if capped. However, should skills expand beyond the small glimpse we've seen, which might be the case with new skills being added and learnt post-launch as the devs have confirmed, then perhaps the variables are indeed much too vast for the Meta to be formed definitively.

 

Thus, I'd like to put a hold on this argument until we have more information on more skills, else this will continue to head nowhere.

 

Also, I'm not being narcissistic or self-important. I'm simply stating a contrasting belief to your "more choices = better" in regards to this skill tree, however, as I said, we are both lacking in information on skills themselves. Without it, we will both be shouting half-informed ideas.

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In my experience you can tell how much b******* is contained in a user's post by directly correlating that value to the number of times they use the word "meta."

 

We do agree on one thing and that's that you and I are not going to agree on this issue. More information will not affect the way I view this issue at all. (Unless that information is that there is some sort of soft or hard skill cap to the game). Hopefully it will modify the way you view this issue.

 

If you want a flavor of how a game looks with no real skill caps go download SOTA and give it a shot. There are truly no differentiating character builds. Everyone is basically everything and it sucks.

Edited by coolwaters

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