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FAQ: Skills and skill trees - Official discussion thread

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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.

 

You seem to misunderstand. Diversity is great, and I'd love more, however meaningless diversity, or the illusion of diversity, I can do without. That is all I am saying.

 

Please try to understand this point instead of passive-aggressively misrepresenting our thoughts by painting them in an overarching shade. 

 

I'll also argue that archetypes are, already, niche roles. And, within these roles, are advanced classes like the Knight's Crusader, which are niche roles within the broader role. This level of diversity is still large and defining. If you can name niche roles which the archetypes, promotions, and disciplines won't add, then you should post it in the suggestions to be added instead of attempting empty diversity within an already niche role.

 

That is, at least, the opinion I am of. Feel free to explain to me the benefits to the gameplay that your suggested level of diversity will provide and I will think about it seriously.

 

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.

What is with this level of aggression? I use the word "Meta" because it is easier than using a different word or explanation each time I need to use this idea within my argument.

 

Maybe my posts seemed condescending because I attempt to remain humble or neutral in them, but that was simply to convey my non-aggression, and I apologize if that backfired.

Edited by Dondagora

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I don't really see the "meta" argument as long as there are sufficient equipment/disc options.  A game like Hearthstone or WoW is very constrained to the point where there are very few real options (You have lots of things that *look* like options..).  I can't get shadow resistance gear to pvp with in WoW if I'm fighting tons of Warlocks or Shadow Priests. (I also don't know who I'm going to be fighting...).   In a CW, you will, to some extent, know who you are going to be fighting against (if you do your homework!), and can choose the correct options to counter that.

 

Because you aren't looking at facing completely random opponents, you can reasonably counter their groups (something you can't do in other games).    I can see the point of view that without some kind of limitation on skills, everyone will eventually become the same (minus gear/disc), which is kind of boring.  With enough time, it won't be a choice of "Do I want to play a tanky-swordsman or just go all out offensive?", it will be "I guess I'll go ahead and level the other side of the tree now that I'm done with this one".   

 

It'll work short term, long term, not positive.  If they keep adding skills, then sure, that can work... but at what point does that inflate to an unreasonable place or just become a way of doing the same thing as capping the character?

 

I get the feeling the bigger update for this month might give us more insight as to limitations - maybe or maybe not in skills directly (stat runes?)

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Pann it needs Discuss button on news page. If that is still a thing.

 

 

We are transitioning to a new web platform and it's still got some wrinkles to iron out, one of those being the way that the links are added during the update process. It will show up, it's just gonna take a few. 

 

 

litle bit disappointed that there were no "Discuss Now" or "Discuss Here" button was on the initianal news.


"To a New Yorker like you, a hero is some type of weird sandwich, not some nut who takes on three Tigers".

On 6/9/2015 at 3:44 PM, Tyrant said:

 

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A game with a level cap puts objectives in the minds of players; reach maximum level first, acquire gear then, proceed with endgame content. 

A game without one doesn't inherently cause this, even if, fundamentally, the requisites are the same, regardless of whether or not there's a finite cap.  I suppose it sort of encourages the 'journey' over the 'finish'. 

 

Yes, it's an illusion of sorts, but I can't say I mind.  If it makes the game feel less like the others, where, my primary objective is always to race to the max level - which takes me out of actually enjoying leveling, exploring, then so be it. 

 

 

On an unrelated note, not once has it been said that your choices are set in stone.  Shadowbane had the ability to untrain things, if you had enough gold, thus allowing you to change your build, experiment with new abilities, etc.  I can't claim to have read every single announcement made by Artcraft, but I don't recall reading anything saying this feature will not exist.  The difference now would be that you're losing the time you spend passively upgrading things, perhaps.  I suppose there's more at stake, but I can't say I mind there being consequences to do-over's.

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I knew that the game contained a passive training system, but I envisioned they would be skills that affected what you could equip, wield, wear, or do, as well as the degree or ease of success you would have doing difficult things like crafting high level weapons.  What I wasn't expecting was a skill tree full of passive bonuses resembling the early Talent Trees from vanilla WoW, or Path of Exile.  So it raises a lot of questions for me.

  • Will these skill trees only contain passive bonuses?  I really dislike the idea that the only thing separating two players of the same archetype are a bunch of passive bonuses. 
  • Will prestige classes, disciplines, and tomes only add new passives in which to train or will they add new abilities as well?
  • How will this system not create a huge gap between new players and long-term players?  How much additional attack power, health/regen, crit, movement speed, armor, etc., will a player have who's played a year, two years, or five years; without a skill cap new players will never catch up, unless they are given or can buy an artificial boost to skill gain.
  • What happens post launch when new archetypes are added? Will they have to start them off similar in power to other archetype of the same role that have been in the game for a while?  Will a new tank archetype added two years after launch be on par right out the gate with a knight that has had two years of passive training.

They've moved the bonuses normally acquired through gear (in gear treadmill PvE games) to a skill tree with a more or less fixed rate of acquisition.

In most long running MMOs you can play catch up because the rate of gear acquisition isn't fixed; upon reaching max level, you can craft, buy, run dungeons, or some combination of all three to obtain a decent entry level raid set, at which point it's just a matter of doing whatever content is current to get "caught up".   

I might get flamed for uttering this, but even though WoW has been out for over a decade, you could open a new account, role a new character, and be able to participate in "endgame" content within a month.  Because CF is a PvP game it's all the more critical that players remain on a somewhat equal footing unless they intend for the player base to be segregated by the total number of skill points earned.


Luke I am your Uncle... Bob.  What, my sister Padmè never mentioned me?

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I don't really see the "meta" argument as long as there are sufficient equipment/disc options.  A game like Hearthstone or WoW is very constrained to the point where there are very few real options (You have lots of things that *look* like options..).  I can't get shadow resistance gear to pvp with in WoW if I'm fighting tons of Warlocks or Shadow Priests. (I also don't know who I'm going to be fighting...).   In a CW, you will, to some extent, know who you are going to be fighting against (if you do your homework!), and can choose the correct options to counter that.

 

Because you aren't looking at facing completely random opponents, you can reasonably counter their groups (something you can't do in other games).    I can see the point of view that without some kind of limitation on skills, everyone will eventually become the same (minus gear/disc), which is kind of boring.  With enough time, it won't be a choice of "Do I want to play a tanky-swordsman or just go all out offensive?", it will be "I guess I'll go ahead and level the other side of the tree now that I'm done with this one".   

 

It'll work short term, long term, not positive.  If they keep adding skills, then sure, that can work... but at what point does that inflate to an unreasonable place or just become a way of doing the same thing as capping the character?

 

I get the feeling the bigger update for this month might give us more insight as to limitations - maybe or maybe not in skills directly (stat runes?)

 

Hm, to this I'd say that you choose to play a Knight for the general melee niche it fills, then choose the more specific niche, such as full-bunker or front-line offense. Thus, being a Swordsman in of itself is the decision of playstyle preference within this greater niche and thus you would not be a "tanky swordsman" but rather a swordsman itself is a "offensive knight", or a Sentinel is a "tanky knight", and so on.

 

That is how I see it, at least. Though, I might have accidentally nit-picked at a single comment within your post.

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You seem to misunderstand. Diversity is great, and I'd love more, however meaningless diversity, or the illusion of diversity, I can do without. That is all I am saying.

 

Please try to understand this point instead of passive-aggressively misrepresenting our thoughts by painting them in an overarching shade. 

 

I'll also argue that archetypes are, already, niche roles. And, within these roles, are advanced classes like the Knight's Crusader, which are niche roles within the broader role. This level of diversity is still large and defining. If you can name niche roles which the archetypes, promotions, and disciplines won't add, then you should post it in the suggestions to be added instead of attempting empty diversity within an already niche role.

 

That is, at least, the opinion I am of. Feel free to explain to me the benefits to the gameplay that your suggested level of diversity will provide and I will think about it seriously.

 

What is with this level of aggression? I use the word "Meta" because it is easier than using a different word or explanation each time I need to use this idea within my argument.

 

Maybe my posts seemed condescending because I attempt to remain humble or neutral in them, but that was simply to convey my non-aggression, and I apologize if that backfired.

There is no aggression here. I just think your ideas here lack any real substance. You continuously use vague or meaningless terms to advance an idea I see as horrible for the game.

 

When you say: "illusion of diversity" all you are really commenting on is balance. If only one build is truly effective that certainly has nothing to do with a skill cap. It's just poor balance.

 

When you refer obliquely to the "meta" I see a guy who doesn't really have support for his argument and simply reverts to reference to vague or even meaningless terms of usage.

 

Your unsupported proclamations that only one build will be effective with a skill cap strongly implies that you have some special insight, yet you fail to disclose what those might be. Simply put, I don't know you and have no inherent trust that these things you toss out here are correct or even rational. support them or I must dismiss them as the vagaries they are.

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I knew that the game contained a passive training system, but I envisioned they would be skills that affected what you could equip, wield, wear, or do, as well as the degree or ease of success you would have doing difficult things like crafting high level weapons.  What I wasn't expecting was a skill tree full of passive bonuses resembling the early Talent Trees from vanilla WoW, or Path of Exile.  So it raises a lot of questions for me.

  • Will these skill trees only contain passive bonuses?  I really dislike the idea that the only thing separating two players of the same archetype are a bunch of passive bonuses. 
  • Will prestige classes, disciplines, and tomes only add new passives in which to train or will they add new abilities as well?
  • How will this system not create a huge gap between new players and long-term players?  How much additional attack power, health/regen, crit, movement speed, armor, etc., will a player have who's played a year, two years, or five years; without a skill cap new players will never catch up, unless they are given or can buy an artificial boost to skill gain.
  • What happens post launch when new archetypes are added? Will they have to start them off similar in power to other archetype of the same role that have been in the game for a while?  Will a new tank archetype added two years after launch be on par right out the gate with a knight that has had two years of passive training.

They've moved the bonuses normally acquired through gear (in gear treadmill PvE games) to a skill tree with a more or less fixed rate of acquisition.

In most long running MMOs you can play catch up because the rate of gear acquisition isn't fixed; upon reaching max level, you can craft, buy, run dungeons, or some combination of all three to obtain a decent entry level raid set, at which point it's just a matter of doing whatever content is current to get "caught up".   

I might get flamed for uttering this, but even though WoW has been out for over a decade, you could open a new account, role a new character, and be able to participate in "endgame" content within a month.  Because CF is a PvP game it's all the more critical that players remain on a somewhat equal footing unless they intend for the player base to be segregated by the total number of skill points earned.

 

All good questions actually, and I sure hope you're not flamed for this.  You raise a good point in that, if most of the bonuses applied to characters - specifically the passive ones in this case - are to come from these skills rather than gear, then this will create wild gaps in the capabilities of characters.  Newer ones simply will not be able to compete, and, unfortunately, this game would go the way of Eve where someone who starts today literally cannot go toe to toe with someone who started at launch because of how their progression works.  Nobody wants that, particularly in a decidedly PvP game.

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For me,

 

Choice = the sequences I chose to level skills to 100

And then?

 

Diversity = the discipline runestones, advantages/disatvantages, or achetype taken to increase skills beyond 100

Even so, that diversity would be many orders or magnitude greater if there were any type of cap on overall training available.

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There is no aggression here. I just think your ideas here lack any real substance. You continuously use vague or meaningless terms to advance an idea I see as horrible for the game.

 

When you say: "illusion of diversity" all you are really commenting on is balance. If only one build is truly effective that certainly has nothing to do with a skill cap. It's just poor balance.

 

When you refer obliquely to the "meta" I see a guy who doesn't really have support for his argument and simply reverts to reference to vague or even meaningless terms of usage.

 

Your unsupported proclamations that only one build will be effective with a skill cap strongly implies that you have some special insight, yet you fail to disclose what those might be. Simply put, I don't know you and have no inherent trust that these things you toss out here are correct or even rational. support them or I must dismiss them as the vagaries they are.

 

I'm simply stating my opinion on a matter with very limited information, same as you with your own proclamations of diversity trumping any lack of choice and build balance. I have my own vision of the game's future and you have yours. Both our ideas are equally insubstantial, because neither of us yet has the level of substance/information to back our ideas up. At least, none that matters [information of the system's specifics]. So I wanted to opt out of the argument since it was clearly heading nowhere, we'd just keep bashing our heads, end up repeating the same lines, and loop back around. And, possibly, even if we had all the information there are some people who simply disagree on a subject. This can't be helped either, so thus I opted out before wasting time repeating myself to no avail, and vice-versa. I believe I understand your point in that greater diversity via a cap can be balanced, and I still believe mine to be valid in that the cap's diversity would instead convolute already niche roles.

And then?

Even so, that diversity would be many orders or magnitude greater if there were any type of cap on overall training available.

Why is diversity now the goal?

Edited by Dondagora

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I'm simply stating my opinion on a matter with very limited information, same as you with your own proclamations of diversity trumping any lack of choice and build balance. I have my own vision of the game's future and you have yours. Both our ideas are equally insubstantial, because neither of us yet has the level of substance/information to back our ideas up.

 

 

That's fair. I just think your vision is too simplistic and MOBA like for my taste. I'm looking for a far deeper experience that compels meaningful choices at as many turns as possible. We don't have to agree, but I think it's important to voice my criticism of the idea you're advancing with the appropriate level of emphasis. That's how bad I think the idea is.

Edited by coolwaters

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Why is diversity now the goal?

 

Without diversity and something to make both the game and the character unique, it won't sell, it won't have any appeal.  If people wanted the same thing already available to them, they'd still be lingering on WoW or other MMO's.  People are here because they're looking for something, no?  Diversity should be a goal, a priority at that.

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the longer it takes to train a character, the higher the value of VIP tokens... at least when you train multiple characters.

 

 

just a little reminder

You're right of course. That said, I see no place for blatant self interest in a discussion like this. I don't care if it individually benefits me. I don't care if a more balanced and more compelling system puts me at a disadvantage compared to younger gamers with more time.

 

A lot of us paid a ton of money to support this game because there's simply nothing on the market that has that level of depth and we were thinking this one might.

Edited by coolwaters

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Hm, to this I'd say that you choose to play a Knight for the general melee niche it fills, then choose the more specific niche, such as full-bunker or front-line offense. Thus, being a Swordsman in of itself is the decision of playstyle preference within this greater niche and thus you would not be a "tanky swordsman" but rather a swordsman itself is a "offensive knight", or a Sentinel is a "tanky knight", and so on.

 

That is how I see it, at least. Though, I might have accidentally nit-picked at a single comment within your post.

That would imply that all Swordsman with the same disciplines will be the same. Wasn't the whole point choice? Edited by yamix

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That would imply that all Swordsman with the same disciplines will be the same. Wasn't the whole point choice?

With that same argument applied to a greater extent, wouldn't all Swordsman with the same disciplines and skill/equipment choices be the same?

 

Of course, because it is simply a matter of cloning or coincidence. 

 

And there is choice. Maybe some less amount of choices than you're imagining, but there will still be a definite amount of meaningful choice. 

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With that same argument applied to a greater extent, wouldn't all Swordsman with the same disciplines and skill/equipment choices be the same?

 

Of course, because it is simply a matter of cloning or coincidence. 

 

And there is choice. Maybe some less amount of choices than you're imagining, but there will still be a definite amount of meaningful choice.

 

If you eventually get all of the useful skills, then they would all be essentially the same. I'm just playing devil's advocate here, with enough details we may find that there are so many prerequisites that you are effectively limited.

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With that same argument applied to a greater extent, wouldn't all Swordsman with the same disciplines and skill/equipment choices be the same?

 

Only if there were no overall training cap.

 

Which is the point. If a given archetype only has a limited supply of "trains" to use then the player is forced to make decisions in building his character the way the player wants to play the game. Can that lead to some terribad builds? Ya. That's the point as well. We have to be allowed to fail for success to have meaning.

 

Where there is an unlimited supply of "trains" if given enough time, homogeneity will be the natural and unavoidable trend. 

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