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FAQ: Skills and skill trees - Official discussion thread


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There's no way out of this. After enough time, nobody will want to start a new character but will instead try to buy one that already had months of passive training on his shoulders, or don't play the game at all. I feel after a while ACE might be willing to sell special packages for new players with X months of passive training already in them, but this isn't the brightest thing to do imho.

 

Let's not forget that this system works in EVE both because the combat system isn't action, and because the game is heavily based on alliance numbers.

Edited by Fenris DDevil

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Amoungst other things, the goal is to put many craftable items beyond wearable equipment that you seek out different types of crafters for.   Also I must appologise there are many details I had to c

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://ww

Well yeah, otherwise you wouldn't be able to make a Praetorian with Stealth!

Unrelated question:

 

Does any action a player takes influence how fast a given skill rises? i.e. using a power of X type raises a, b, c skills, or is it truly passive as in only time matters? Also, is that time in the game or just real world time?

 

Apologies if this has been answered and I feel like it probably has.

 

The reason I ask is that systems like this can lead to rampant afk macro play (see SOTA) to raise skills quite easily if not implemented properly. And macro programs have gotten pretty stupid advanced. I'd hate for that to take root here.

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Unrelated question:

 

Does any action a player takes influence how fast a given skill rises? i.e. using a power of X type raises a, b, c skills, or is it truly passive as in only time matters? Also, is that time in the game or just real world time?

 

Apologies if this has been answered and I feel like it probably has.

 

The reason I ask is that systems like this can lead to rampant afk macro play (see SOTA) to raise skills quite easily if not implemented properly. And macro programs have gotten pretty stupid advanced. I'd hate for that to take root here.

It's mostly passive. They've mentioned very basic levels of skill can be gained actively, and they may tune that as time goes on as a type of catch up mechanism. So to start, you might get like 10% just swinging a hammer, but if you want to level it to 130%, or whatever your cap is for that character, you'll need to wait it out with passive training. Edited by yamix
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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. 

Isn't that the same point I made about the illusion of actual choice? There will be a limited number of "viable" builds within a skill tree. I felt that this was addressed alternatively by providing Promotions to Archetypes.

 

Homogeneity is inevitable over time. At that point, the only difference will be Disciplines and equipment [and also Advantage/Disadvantages. We always seem to forget that idea existed.], same as if we simply didn't have this added "diversity" in the first place.

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It may be that we just have to wait and see what they have in mind to even have an opinion. I'm with you guys. I can't really conceptualize how this is going to work, which tells me I'm making assumptions that (hopefully) are invalid based on the reveals thus far.

 

I think this discussion is valuable for them anyway. I imagine Todd and Gordon sitting around sipping expensive bourbon and chuckling at our heated speculation.

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Isn't that the same point I made about the illusion of actual choice? There will be a limited number of "viable" builds within a skill tree. I felt that this was addressed alternatively by providing Promotions to Archetypes.

No. And I think I've addressed you on this point. I disagree with your entire premise that "There will be a limited number of "viable" builds within a skill tree." That's a conclusion. It may be correct. It may not. In absolute terms, sure there will be a number. Is it 2 or 200? I want 200. "Viable" is a nonsensical term in this context btw, and it's the reason I see your theme here as self-important. Who decides what is "viable?" You? 

 

 

Homogeneity is inevitable over time. At that point, the only difference will be Disciplines and equipment [and also Advantage/Disadvantages. We always seem to forget that idea existed.], same as if we simply didn't have this added "diversity" in the first place.

I disagree with this conclusion - for that's all it is - as well. Diversity in character builds is absolutely achievable within a system that utilizes a skill cap. It is not, in my experience, without a skill cap of some type.

Edited by coolwaters
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No. And I think I've addressed you on this point. I disagree with your entire premise that "There will be a limited number of "viable" builds within a skill tree." That's a conclusion. It may be correct. It may not. In absolute terms, sure there will be a number. Is it 2 or 200? I want 200. "Viable" is a nonsensical term in this context btw, and it's the reason I see your theme here as self-important. Who decides what is "viable?" You? 

 

 

Why is this about me? Viability is simply what works and what doesn't within the game, I have nothing to do with what people realize creates the most efficient results. But can you actually see more than 2~3 builds per archetype being viable? I find this vastness you wish to see as bloating the system with diversity. ArtCraft, I feel, has been covering as many niche roles and play styles as they can list without crossing into another role's territory too much.

 

I'm not saying I hate diversity, since that's what some think I've been saying. If you can actually think up 200 builds [this may be an exaggerated number, but I'll run with this as an exaggeration as well] which are each their own unique niche, I'd be both impressed and supportive. But I don't believe there are that number of unique niches can be supported by the game and which can't be created via promotion and disciplines.

Edited by Dondagora
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Why is this about me? Viability is simply what works and what doesn't within the game, I have nothing to do with what people realize creates the most efficient results. But can you actually see more than 2~3 builds per archetype being viable? I find this vastness you wish to see as bloating the system with diversity. ArtCraft, I feel, has been covering as many niche roles and play styles as they can list without crossing into another role's territory too much.

There you go again with the narcissism ...  No, this has zero to do with you. Sorry. It's your overly simplistic ideas for this game as expressed in this thread ... which are bad.

 

First, I disagree with you that the term "viability" is in any way a universally accepted term of art. One of the better players I know played a Greatsword Thief in SB for years. You wouldn't consider that "viable" I'm sure.

 

Second, we have a philosophical difference. I do not see more player choices in how to make their character as "bloating" "the system." I think those are baseless and inaccurate characterizations / conclusions that you are just throwing out there. Not only inaccurate, but detrimental to the game. 

 

Third, yes, I absolutely can "see" more than 2 or 3 builds being "viable" per archetype. If there aren't many, many more builds than 2 or 3 per archetype then I won't be playing the game very long.

Edited by coolwaters
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There will be a skill cap right ACE? Right?

 

I wont tell you why "jack fo all trades" is the worst and crap skill system to merge with a slow character progression, i have faith that you aren't so naive to not understand a simple concept like this.

Edited by kdchan

Archduchess Alice

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There you go again with the narcissism ...  No, this has zero to do with you. Sorry. It's your overly simplistic ideas for this game as expressed in this thread ... which are bad.

 

First, I disagree with you that the term "viability" is in any way a universally accepted term of art. One of the better players I know played a Greatsword Thief in SB for years. You wouldn't consider that "viable" I'm sure.

 

Second, we have a philosophical difference. I do not see more player choices in how to make their character as "bloating" "the system." I think those are baseless and inaccurate characterizations / conclusions that you are just throwing out there. Not only inaccurate, but detrimental to the game. 

 

Third, yes, I absolutely can "see" more than 2 or 3 builds being "viable" per archetype. If there aren't many, many more builds than 2 or 3 per archetype then I won't be playing the game very long.

The "Why is this about me?" bit is that you mention it is my own self-importance giving me these ideas, which I don't get.

 

As for viability, I don't even tend to go with the meta in most games I play, usually opting for the interesting builds. That's different from viable, which just means it is capable of working. I feel like I may have accidentally mixed meta and viable up in my last post. 

 

I am worried, however, with the type of passive skills we're seeing in these skill trees not being optimal with your suggestion. This is where I see it heading to a more absolute "meta".

 

To your second, I've a different vision for the game, so I agree with have some philosophical difference preventing us from seeing eye to eye. I find, at times, simplification to be better than complexity in systems. So yes, I believe there is a threshold of "too much".

 

To your third, I'm not saying diversity won't be a thing, nor will we be limited so much into so few defined builds, just within a skill tree with a cap will only have so many viable combinations.

 

Ah, just checking, but doesn't Advantages/Disadvantages already fulfill your ideas? Separate from skills, they offer unique combinations of additions and negatives to a character with a self-balancing "cap".

Edited by Dondagora
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Forgive me, but I was under the assumption that for each campaign world, character development would begin anew?  So for example, Dreggs Campaign #1 is starting and I make a new characters, I start from scratch.  When Dreggs #2 comes up, would I have to create a new character to enter - with my old character keeping progression to be used in other campaign rulesets?  Or would I re-enter with the old character, keeping skill progress but not gear/funds ect. ?

Edited by Ahkrael
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Forgive me, but I was under the assumption that for each campaign world, character development would begin anew?  So for example, Dreggs Campaign #1 is starting and I make a new characters, I start from scratch.  When Dreggs #2 comes up, would I have to create a new character to enter - with my old character keeping progression to be used in other campaign rulesets?  Or would I re-enter with the old character, keeping skill progress but not gear/funds ect. ?

I do not think that is correct. I think your character will retain its training.

 

I'm happy to be disabused of that notion. It might be a better system than permanent, unlimited training. Talk about a barrier to entry for new players ... sheesh.

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To your second, I've a different vision for the game, so I agree with have some philosophical difference preventing us from seeing eye to eye. I find, at times, simplification to be better than complexity in systems. So yes, I believe there is a threshold of "too much".

I do not promote complexity for complexity sake. Einstein was correct in observing:

 

 

“The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.”

That said, simplicity is not anopposite to diversity. I want clean. I want simple, to a degree. However, I don't want simple to predominate over forced decision making and many, many options to make your character "yours."

 

Ah, just checking, but doesn't Advantages/Disadvantages already fulfill your ideas? Separate from skills, they offer unique combinations of additions and negatives to a character with a self-balancing "cap".

To a marginal degree, yes. SB had a very similar character creation system. However, these decisions are only made at creation. Diversity in the building process is what we are discussing here.

 

I wish we had amazingly varied skills and amazingly varied stat choices within the archetypes. That probably won't happen, but we don't have to throw rose petals at one another and pretend it's a good thing.

Edited by coolwaters
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I'm curious if the crafting and exploring skills raise stats as well, or if that's just for combat skills. I could see either way making sense. I'm also against hard respecs but wouldn't mind some sort of soft respecs. Like an item that takes 5, 10, 50 or whatever it would be % from one skill and transfers it to another. As long as it's hard to come by and only used for minor tweaks here and there.

I can see it working it's way into stats like strength, dexterity or constitution (like a smith get's more upper body strength, an explorer improves their balance and endurance, etc.).

 

If they do decide on respecs MAKE IT REALLY HARD. Respeccing leaves things open to "flavor of the week" classes or cookie cutters and constant cycles of nerfs and rebalances, whereas if you can create a system that is harder to shift stats around, people often have to invest more into that character, making the player environment a little more static and easier to get concrete or meaningful data for balancing and reworking. Granted, the best way to avoid these is to make a combat design that favors skill more than stat totals, but that's beside the point at this stage.

Edited by RKNM
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I can see it working it's way into stats like strength, dexterity or constitution (like a smith get's more upper body strength, an explorer improves their balance and endurance, etc.).

 

If they do decide on respecs MAKE IT REALLY HARD. Respeccing leaves things open to "flavor of the week" classes or cookie cutters and constant cycles of nerfs and rebalances, whereas if you can create a system that is harder to shift stats around, people often have to invest more into that character, making the player environment a little more static and easier to get concrete or meaningful data for balancing and reworking. Granted, the best way to avoid these is to make a combat design that favors skill more than stat totals, but that's beside the point at this stage.

I agree with you and I feel very strongly on the respec issue. The most fun I ever had in a game was SB before they added refiners. To me the game slowly died from that point forward. Human nature being what it is, players demanded - and the devs caved and gave them - faster and easier respecs server after server.

 

You should have to either live with your mistakes in building your character or re-roll. We did just that many, many times. It increased the time to content curve, which is good. Lots of people will disagree with me, but I've never seen any argument for simple and easy respecs (or for any respecs, really) that ultimately didn't boil down to pure self-interest from the poster.

 

No respecs would be good for the long term success of the game in my view. It really gives you a sense of ownership as related to the character.

Edited by coolwaters
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Sure. Your assumptions are invalid. This one particularly:

 

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.

 

Every game claims the old "no best build, all situational" schtick, but in my experience (especially in a PvP game) this is all empty bluster. We would like for builds to be situational, but, in reality, the build most efficient at stacking bodies is most likely to win. This is what leads a lot of games to separate PvE and PvP, as well as the good old "cookie cutter" classes and flavors of the week. Mix and matching promotions and disciplines for ability access over making the ideal stat build at least gives the opportunity to mix things up in a more concrete and obvious manner.

 

And really, when you have a "cap" on skill training with few to no ways to respec, all you've done is essentially say that a character is now married to that build layout for every patch afterwards. Example: a Ranger has built a class that favors their ranged play immensely, when BOOM rebalance and expansion hits. The new pet skills are incredibly cool and versatile, but that particular ranger is essentially locked into only taking the skills that favors his ranged style. How is that any different from the soft cap and promotion system above?

 

Would like to see some way to augment abilities though that favors how players use them...kinda like how in TERA you could level up and improve specific abilities to recharge faster, hit harder, be used more successively, etc. Otherwise, the rotation for a Sentinel will be the same rotation for EVERY Sentinel. For example, if my favorite ability on the Knight is the Bleeding Onslaught, I hope there's a way that I can specifically buff that move, such as shorten the chain, or increase the bleed duration, etc. OR if I want to be a healing Legionnaire (which I STILL think needs a MAJOR rework to targetting and CD so that the ability doesn't become a whack-a-mole-game to keep health topped and off CD) maybe allow me to focus on building that ability so my heals are more powerful or have a shorter CD (God Forbid).

Edited by RKNM
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I really really REALLY like that they are putting stealth under the "explore tree." This to me suggests that stealth will be something that is at least offered to all archetypes. Of course, some archetypes may be better than others at using it than others, but at least everyone has some degree of even footing when it comes to this game breaking mechanic. After all, if a Confessor really works at it, I'm sure they can appear stealthy (imagining a "hooded arsonist" build, where sneaky confessors burn down crops and barns within castle walls as a distractions for a siege or invasion). And who's to say that a centaur or champion can't be good at camouflage, using some sort of medieval ghillie suit.

 

Still though, what I would really like to see is a new update on stealth in the game. To me (even more than the PvE survival elements) will be what makes or breaks the game. Never seen one that handled stealth in a way that was fun for BOTH stealthers AND defenders that wasn't overwhelmingly favorable to the stealthers.

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[Confirmed] Skills aren't reset with new campaigns.

 

Yes...confirmed in February  B)

 

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.

 

This is my preferred route, but I understand why they are going the archetype direction. Helps with themes and predefined "power" sets. Fortunately we will get disciplines to add to these power layouts. 

 

Sure. Your assumptions are invalid. This one particularly:

 

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.

 

This is all true and well but the real diversity wont be through skills. Rather it will come through powers AKA that stuff we can do. Archetype and diciplines will determine our true impact and play style. The skills merely support and aid a specific part of that. 

 

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

 

Stop talking about reality...you hype crusher! 

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