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ACE_JackalBark

Skill Mechanics & You - Official Discussion Thread

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I'm concerned about possible unintended consequences of this change for non VIP members. @jtoddcoleman

It puts a cap of 72 hours on the longest time it can take to train a pip, or else non VIP cannot bank enough to buy the pip.

If a pip gets close to costing 72 hours of bank time, then the non VIP member has to start putting reminders in their phone or they will  miss the window where they can train the long pip without losing bank accrual.  In the old system you could train the pip directly so it didn't matter if it took a month to train.

If ACE is sure that no pip will ever cost more than two days of bank time  then this concern goes away.  I like giving folks a 24 hour window in which to safely spend their points.

Edited by rivoth

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2 minutes ago, rivoth said:

I'm concerned about possible unintended consequences of this change for non VIP members. @jtoddcoleman

It puts a cap of 72 hours on the longest time it can take to train a pip, or else non VIP cannot bank enough to buy the pip.

If a pip gets close to costing 72 hours of bank time, then the non VIP member has to start putting reminders in their phone or they will  miss the window where they can train the long pip without losing bank accrual.  In the old system you could train the pip directly so it didn't matter if it took a month to train.

If ACE is sure that no pip will ever cost more than two days of bank time  then this concern goes away.

You are not required to fill a pip to add training to a skill. Just keep adding time to the skill from timebank whenever you want and you'll eventually hit a pip.


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9 minutes ago, Jah said:

You are not required to fill a pip to add training to a skill. Just keep adding time to the skill from timebank whenever you want and you'll eventually hit a pip.

I see a click to buy a pip button on the tooltip window, but in general they say very little about how you spend the points other  than it is much faster.

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12 minutes ago, Jah said:

You are not required to fill a pip to add training to a skill. Just keep adding time to the skill from timebank whenever you want and you'll eventually hit a pip.

Jah is correct, you are not required to fill a pip to add skill points into it.


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Are the tress gated by %? Meaning before I can go to elf, must I train a %% of sylvan? 

Another question, Are we still required to train in a linear fashion?  If so why? 

I would like to be able to jump around within a skill tree based on what I feel is important.  You can gate me on final skill in tree if your worried about people just taking last skill.  Say before you can train final skill in tree, you must have 75% of total tree completed.

 

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I think the game is coming along very nicely.  I'm very excited for these new changes!

I think the skill system should be separated further so that there are five spheres instead of three:

Combat, Exploration, Crafting, Class, Race

Right now the Profession sphere has items that are essential, but the Class and Race spheres are optional (you don't NEED to train Human and Elf, but you NEED to train Combat and Crafting).  It would put all of the spheres on equal weighting and make VIP feel less like P2W and more like expanding options.

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The UI seems to use too much math.

Skills_5.png

I like math but that 115410 - 3349 = 112061 looks ugly af.

And god, values like 123.370, 126.041, etc. doesn't belong to games. Players won't even bother with values like those.

It certainly isn't that simple but i would still like to suggest dividing them all by 1000.

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29 minutes ago, miraluna said:

I'm always confused by the negative/positive usage on the stats. If it's "Critical Hit Chance Defense" wouldn't positive be what you want (more defense)? :unsure:

I think it would make sense that they show it as 'mitigation' or 'resistance'. Though, I do find it a lot easier to understand damage resistances in Eve, where if you had 90% resistance in something that means you're only taking 10% damage in that way. It doesn't bother me either way (and it's actually neat they specifically have a skill to mitigate critical damage). Modifying it by -3% is fairly straight forward, but I could just have a weirdly wired brain.

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On 4/19/2018 at 11:39 AM, Jah said:

It seems like quite an exaggeration to say the concept of "choices have consequence" is entirely removed.

The order you train things does matter, even if you could eventually train them all. If I am trained in Blacksmithing now, and you won't get until a year later because you are choosing other stuff first, that is a real consequence.

Not to mention, skill training isn't the whole game. Its just a tiny part of the game. There are plenty of choices with consequences throughout the game. The list would go on and on.

-----

In the long run all Clerics will probably fill out the entire Divine tree, and thus resemble each other in that way, but for the many months it takes to do that they will make different choices about what to train first.

I agree that it is an exaggeration, but training has little consequence in of itself. You training Blacksmithing and someone else training Fishing (one day?) obiously provide differences, but two Rock Smackers aren't going to play all too different nor look different on paper. Some would simply have liked to see a deeper/complex system that allowed some uniqueness on the training end. Very true that training isn't the whole game and IMO, doesn't fit in this game even. Clearly one of the most boring, safe, less "skill" based aspects that a lot of time and effort (money) have gone into. Seems like a waste to put so much in and get something out that even those that aren't critical of, seem to dismiss as "don't worry about it, not that important." Every feature can't be mind blowing, but a dud is a dud. Still glad to see they are at least making it less tedious to use it.

For months of training, two players will still play basically the same based on training. What they choose to train 1st, 2nd, 10th, won't really make a difference unless I'm missing how a few stat points will drastically or slightly change things?

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On 4/19/2018 at 12:20 PM, coolster50 said:

It’s most likely ACE’s fault for pitching the game without fully designing the system; however, it would be bad UX for the Devs to actually allow you to screw yourself over mechanically. The “choices have consequences” thing will probably more in the emergent gameplay, rather than the mechanical gameplay.

They could of gone with less permanent "progression" or choices and allowed players to make short time commitments to choices that had consequences. Like per campaign training or respecs with timers. Make a choice, deal with it for a while, possibly win/lose campaigns based on those choices. Next campaign or time frame, try something different.

Not hugely different than GW2 sPVP, Mobas, Overwatch and other games where moment to moment or match to match choices impact outcomes more than what someone clicked or chose months/years prior.

On 4/19/2018 at 3:38 PM, frozenshadow said:

I think there isn't enough branching in the skill tree, and not enough differentiation on choice since you need every skill sphere that connects to the final one. It sort of defeats the purpose of a skill tree.

This bugs me. I'll give in and accept training is just boring stat gains, but making it so linear and having rather limited paths to even reach the same end as everyone else is so much more boring.

Rather just have a list of stats to train and let me train which ones I want when I do. At least then I could go all Dex or all Str or whatever, without needing to "waste" time on other things before getting to what I want. Having things like resource nodes locking out final stat nodes also seems forced or restrictive to how I want to play my characters. "You want to hit other players harder? Well train wood smacking 1st...."

I'm fine with pre-reqs, but would of rather seen something like EVEs system.

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On 4/19/2018 at 12:56 PM, Tinnis said:

do you think the current design matches goals of horizontal progression instead of power inflation? eg the whole a few newbies could take on a veteran etc (3rd training, gear and gameplay etc)

Progression seems almost entirely vertical so far. At least when it comes to stats/power.

  • Passive Training - Vertical
  • Gear (stats/quality) - Vertical
  • Vessels (stats/quality) - Vertical
  • Vessel Levels - Vertical
  • Professions - Vertical

Fairly similar vertical stat/quality climb found in most games. Start with nothing and grind away for better and more stuff.

Disciplines mix it up and add some horizontal options, but don't really counter so much vertical progression and power.

While a new player might be able to get top quality gear quickly from friends or nice folks, this likely isn't going to be the norm for most. Those that come before and or pay more will have more options and power.

Combat PVP comes with a lot of variables where a new player in bad gear might outplay someone with more training/stats, or maybe it takes a few. Or the more experienced and well equipped simply runs over a bunch of less fortunate players with little they can do. Can't really say one way or another that "4 new players with XYZ will beat 1 vet with ABC." Numbers wise, it might not be like something WoWish where a high lvl is untouchable, but I'm not sure where ACE means by "super shallow power curve." Will gear/training of a maxed player being 50, 75, 300% stronger than a relatively new player? How will this matter in small/large/siege situations?

When it comes to Profession PVP (gathering/crafting/economics), I don't see how a new player can outplay those that can do it faster/better or simply can do it at all with how some time gates work.

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On 4/19/2018 at 12:53 PM, Scree said:

What I am saying is the game pitched Kickstarter through one year after was promised to be far more unforgiving than the one we have today. I remember the devs even joked about "what happens if you make a mistake" and they said something off the cuff like "get good". Their motto "choices have consequences" is the best-phrased representation of a design vision that allowed for players to make mistakes.

 

On 4/19/2018 at 3:03 PM, Scree said:

It feels to me like you guys started pulling your punches specifically in regards to the Skill Training system. You wanted players to take risks. You wanted them to be rewarded for experimentation.

I want skill training to matter again (and not to just crafters/gatherers).

I want choices locked behind skill training, I want powers and disciplines and all manner of things locked behind it. 

I want the vision where players can make mistakes and be rewarded for it. This skill system is a shell of what it could have been. Arguably the most boring part of Crowfall right now.

In theory or on paper, I like the idea of being able to make poor choices, in reality, do I really want to play a game with those choices that result in some sort of permanent disadvantage? Probably not. 

Beyond time loss, I don't know of many games that have permanent "screw ups" that really result in a un-fun experience. Do you?

Most games that allow bad decision making usually make it more about time loss and simply having to allocate time to a better choice, respecs, or making rerolling relatively painless.

I totally agree that they could of gone a different route with training, but they didn't, never really did, and never really said they would. Our 1st version wasn't drastically different than what we have. Make a AT choice, then train it to become better till done. There were never any "choose A or B" or limitations that I remember. Promos were a possible, but this seems redundant with what they've added since. Training stats for a year to then train more stats doesn't seem all that amazing, even if some powers or what not get unlocked. When disciplines can do more easier, go that route.

IMO, the training system they went with is unnecessary and doesn't fit the rest of the game model. I believe new and old alike assume or want it to be something it isn't based on previous game experience and doesn't really provide a lot of entertainment or purpose that couldn't be done in-game through active systems.

With that, they have plenty of in-game options that can be further built out that do and will provide plenty of chances to make choices with consequences, including poor ones that result in us feeling like we screwed up. However, most are short term or able to be overcome.

I have no issue with FOTM players, let player skill be the factor, not who trained the right thing 5 months ago because they magically knew what would be performing well or Meta months in the future.

At this point, I've let it go. Training is boring and I'm just glad they are making it less tedious and time consuming to use. Let me get it done asap and back to what matters.

Maybe one day they will do something with it, but that won't be anytime soon. Much prefer they build out what they have and add Advantages/Disadvantages.

Edited by APE

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2 hours ago, APE said:

Progression seems almost entirely vertical so far. At least when it comes to stats/power.

  • Passive Training - Vertical

Passive training is not entirely vertical.  You have horizontal choices: which race, which class, which weapon, which harvest node, etc.

Nonetheless, I think I understand your concern.

It would be cool to specialize highly in something that is so niche that you could be pretty damn sure you were the best.... say, axe handles.  It's not everyday that you need the best axe handle, usually a piece of common Ash turned by a mediocre woodcrafter will serve.  However, if you want the best of the best, head through handle, metal core, soft outer wood for better grip, fine silver wire turnings...  you turn to that wierd old hermit out behind Pentos. He's the best of the best. And while iI'd never take him into battle with me, and I'd never let him watch my kids, I always go there to get axe handles to make weapons for my elite warriors.

I would get an absolute kick out of being in such a role.  I wouldn't care if I ever set foot in a campaign world, if I could be fairly certain that I could be the best at something.. some little thing though it may be.  Axe handles may not be such a niche thing.  Maybe squeezing juice from fae wings, that's gotta be rare.  Or the guy who puts those plastic things on the ends of shoelaces.

I don't think it will be fun if we are all blacksmiths, and we are all [insert every other role here] and whoever brings the largest party to the battlefield wins.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The skill tree is a leveling tree. 

Everyone in MMOs levels up the same, monotonous way. Sure ACE could make the passive leveling more interesting, but they certainly don’t have to to achieve their goal of passive training, imo. I’ll be fine with whatever ACE ends up with, I didn’t back this game for the skill tree.


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The one item in the Skills training that I'm not a fan of (and others have mentioned this) is that most trees end up at a single end point and you can't even start training that end skill until all the lead in skills are completed. Either break that final end point apart or allow me to train a least partially for each precursor I complete. It isn't in game yet, but a good example is Salvage.  If I just want Salvage under Blacksmith, and I complete that branch then I should be able to at a minimum complete 1 pip on the end skill that gives me some additional buff for salvage OR rather than having several branches dump to Master Blacksmith end node, have each branch had a distinct end node.  This allows for people to truly specialize and not be penalized for NOT completing every precursor, especially when some of the precursors give you nothing on the final node. 

 

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I get the "standardization" need yet now the skill trees do give very little choice that matters because I will now be a Gatherer AND Combat player like most everyone else out there even though I will get better a gathering twice as fast as combat, that will make little to no difference.   At 10X training and no basic trees it is likely 80% of the players can all do exactly the same things with nearly the same skill very quickly...    

I like the passive system, I have real reservations about it making anyone unique in their abilities.   I don't want to see choosing one branch lock out another choice, rather I think a lot more branch choices that lead to a long term skill or power at a branch ending and takes a commitment to that branch above all else could be a solution I feel could lead to some uniqueness.


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On 4/21/2018 at 10:59 PM, Brindylln said:

Passive training is not entirely vertical.  You have horizontal choices: which race, which class, which weapon, which harvest node, etc.

Such basic choices are found in every game. What comes next is what I'm concerned about.

What I pick Human, I'll be like every Human when it comes to training. Maybe not down to the exact 0.1% Crit chance at every moment along the way, but eventually, there is an end.

There is no meaningful horizontal choice within any particular path.

Then again, ACE doesn't really hype up CF as a horizontal game, so it's more of what I wish than what is planned. Was hoping for less of the old, not just a new wrapper.

10 hours ago, coolster50 said:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The skill tree is a leveling tree. 

Everyone in MMOs levels up the same, monotonous way. Sure ACE could make the passive leveling more interesting

What if a company did something crazy and simply didn't include a monotonous system just to have it because it's a "MMO" that has to have some cookie cutter features?

If they can't/won't make it interesting, why include it?

To me it seems like such a waste of resources.

We either get active grinding or passive waiting. Neither of which is overly stimulating or challenging. It's a means to an end that doesn't need to exist. I've seen people praise passive training as it lets them stay caught up with others, but it really doesn't, it allows them to stay caught up with others doing the same thing in only that one area and on top of that, they added active leveling (Vessels) in-game as well, which defeats the passive purpose.

 

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4 hours ago, APE said:

We either get active grinding or passive waiting. Neither of which is overly stimulating or challenging. It's a means to an end that doesn't need to exist. I've seen people praise passive training as it lets them stay caught up with others, but it really doesn't, it allows them to stay caught up with others doing the same thing in only that one area and on top of that, they added active leveling (Vessels) in-game as well, which defeats the passive purpose.

 

There is something to be said for the role of such systems in player specialization, and enforcing that specialization, and this player inter-reliance is one thing the EVE system did really well despite the drawbacks of its specific lock-heavy implementation. Is implementing a passive training model the only way to do that? Absolutely not. You could theoretically achieve the same specialization limits by forcing players to choose those specializations at the time of account creation, by requiring them to win or use some ingame resource, by tying it all in to some sort of expensive gear option, or a number of ways.

The time based approach is a proven method of doing this, and while its not the only one it is the one that gives players the least grindy opportunity to effectively specialize while requiring players to make the smallest amount of "blind" permanent decisions.

In an ideal world you could expect every account to know exactly how it wishes to specialize and select it up front, and never want to change its mind, and every player only owning one account, but that world isn't the one we live in. Without some sort of time barrier in place, either through grind or simply running a clock players simply don't need the players around them to specialize as they can do everything themselves. The time based approach has the benefit of being most fair to players with different play schedules even if it isn't perfectly fair in its objective of preventing players from becoming too self sufficient.

I think the system Crowfall has landed on of economic role gates and combat role soft vertical progression addresses things where they need to be. Having a mutually exclusive combat specialization that competes with the economic ones ensures there's an incentive for players to choose NOT to craft or gather. Not heavily gating combat ensures that the combat systems (which already intrinsically require inter-reliance through combat roles) don't become too bogged down (as EVE's are) in players having too narrow specializations to easily field balanced group compositions and create a fluid meta.

In truth i don't think there's a perfect system which can ensure economic interdependence while eliminating time barriers. Its kind of a give and take, same as player looting. You can't have the fun elements without the unfun elements. In the case of player looting you can't have the fun part of looting other people without the unfun part of getting looted. For crafting and harvesting, you can't have the fun part of being a valuable and unique economic skill that other people value without other people somehow being prevented from doing all of the jobs themselves.

Edited by PopeUrban

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Rub rock on face and say "Yes food is eaten now time for fight"

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I like the system mostly the way they have it set up.  Your time is going to go somewhere, so in the end an individual character is going to have vertical progression, and it's necessary to feel your character evolve.  What I like is that it's not just a straight run up to a specific level at which point everyone is the same.

The idea that I liked that someone else in this thread suggested somewhere, is add more branching options within the skill trees.  That way a path to the end could be wildly different between people.  Hitting that last node is homogeneous now when every player is filling out 90% of the same nodes to get there, but with more connected branches you could hop around a little more.  Especially since everyone won't be filling out every node once training is slower.

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