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Passive Skill Training Tree - Why It Hurts the Game


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On 11/16/2020 at 6:10 PM, APE said:

Linear vertical stat chasing is easier to do. Horizontal requires more effort and creativity. Insert small team small budget excuses why it is not fun or interesting. Maybe it's one of those "future dev problems" like passive catch up.

Honestly before they can even reasonably put in horizontal progression they need a complete game experience without unlocks in the first instance. Only then should they worry about time gating other content.

Edited by RobbenDumarsch
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Your cons are largely either speculative, ill informed, or just plain wrong. Combat training constitutes an extremely minor advantage much easier to acquire through gear which any level 1 day 1 p

I would rather there be a montly XP Cap where you gain XP for the passive tree via playing the game however there a cap so you cant get to far ahead each month and by the end of the month everyone get

This relevant in practical terms but not for this discussion. The point RobbenDumarsch is trying to make is that a player could reach that point and it makes new players less viable - which is true.

On 11/16/2020 at 3:10 PM, APE said:

Insert small team small budget excuses why it is not fun or interesting. 

65 employee's is not small team and 30 million is not small budget. Not AAA funding of 50+ mil to be sure. For the progression they have made from late 2015/early 2016 game until today is what a small team of 4-5 could accomplish. 😈 I think many of us know this to be true. 

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On 11/18/2020 at 4:28 PM, mystafyi said:

65 employee's is not small team and 30 million is not small budget. Not AAA funding of 50+ mil to be sure. For the progression they have made from late 2015/early 2016 game until today is what a small team of 4-5 could accomplish. 😈 I think many of us know this to be true. 

No clue as it isn't my field, but looking at much older games working with far less resources, I don't understand why modern games struggle so much. I've always assumed it's all relative that with new tech, experienced teams, more funding, etc that it should compensate for any modern perks and costs. That would sort of the pitch ACE gave as to how they could do it easier, faster, better with less. I must be completely wrong with that assumption. Seems like a lot of resources have been spent trying to make things that few actually want or care about (procedural worlds, 100 step crafting).

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The passive system took its turn for the worse back in 2018 when they gutted actually being able to specialize into a specific race and class, because people like krakken and mandalore were screaming it limited there choices and it would take to long to switch to other races/classes (DUH, it forced a hard choice... a specialization). I felt that it was completely against the games original and intended vision and would absolutely reduce the feeling of being an individual and caring about your character.

My question is now is, regardless of which of the paths you take in the passive tree... do any of you feel like it makes you any different than anyone else? I sure don't.

I absolutely hate the fact that they made it so pointless to choose a race/class combo... you're guinecean knight, then a elken ranger, then a fae assassin, all within 5 minutes.. No one will ever feel like the time they've invested will actually matters now, because it doesn't...

It would have if they would have made you choose a specific race to make more powerful to play than the others and a class the same way... that way you don't want to keep hopping and switching.. but whatever.. it was their game to screw up. HUGE disappointment in the end.

Eat or be eaten

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7 hours ago, Omen said:

My question is now is, regardless of which of the paths you take in the passive tree... do any of you feel like it makes you any different than anyone else? I sure don't.

I saw the passive training as a universal set for all your vessels.

I saw the gems and the character-based selective training as the specialization paths. 

IMO, it works well that way because if one day a person get sick of being a donkey-eared daggerdouche and wants to become an apple-gathering bull or a hunting/skinning deerperson, they haven't completely painted themselves into a corner with their training. 

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8 hours ago, Omen said:

The passive system took its turn for the worse back in 2018 when they gutted actually being able to specialize into a specific race and class, because people like krakken and mandalore were screaming it limited there choices and it would take to long to switch to other races/classes (DUH, it forced a hard choice... a specialization). I felt that it was completely against the games original and intended vision and would absolutely reduce the feeling of being an individual and caring about your character.

My question is now is, regardless of which of the paths you take in the passive tree... do any of you feel like it makes you any different than anyone else? I sure don't.

I absolutely hate the fact that they made it so pointless to choose a race/class combo... you're guinecean knight, then a elken ranger, then a fae assassin, all within 5 minutes.. No one will ever feel like the time they've invested will actually matters now, because it doesn't...

It would have if they would have made you choose a specific race to make more powerful to play than the others and a class the same way... that way you don't want to keep hopping and switching.. but whatever.. it was their game to screw up. HUGE disappointment in the end.

This, bring back racial trees....also copy in some form Albion Online's hybrid time / world gain experience training skill system. It's that easy to fix this boring unjoyable passive skill system.

Hammers High !!  Master Brewer of the Dwarven Hold Mithril Warhammers

 

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1 hour ago, Barab said:

This, bring back racial trees....also copy in some form Albion Online's hybrid time / world gain experience training skill system. It's that easy to fix this boring unjoyable passive skill system.

racial and  class trees, poorly made dergs even promotion trees. 

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The passive trees are dead boring and generic as can be.... so what I'd like to see with the passive trees is as follows.

     Racial Trees-

  • Stat bonuses while on that race body
  • Racial passive or ability upgrades. EX Human goes from +1 hotbar slot to +2 hotbar slots
  • Extra Active racial abilities unlockable. EX: Human gains [Rallying Cry] group gains 5% damage and power efficiency for 10s

 

     Class Trees-

  • Stat bonuses on that class
  • Extra domain unlocks per promotion. "If you chose Paladin, you will automatically gain X domain" 
  • 4th / 5th unlockable Domain choice per promotion. 
  • Extra Class abilities or passives locked behind passive training that would become free once unlocked. 

 

 Weapon / Armor Trees-

  • Extra Weapon / Armor specific abilities

 

Look at EVE as an example, you can specialize in Caldari Cruisers, then missiles or Railguns etc etc

You should be drowning players in upgrades that they want but can't fit all at once. Giving races / classes even more unlocks via the passive tree will help with this in the long run and player retention. 

Edited by Ranik
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12 hours ago, Omen said:

The passive system took its turn for the worse back in 2018 when they gutted actually being able to specialize into a specific race and class, because people like krakken and mandalore were screaming it limited there choices and it would take to long to switch to other races/classes (DUH, it forced a hard choice... a specialization). I felt that it was completely against the games original and intended vision and would absolutely reduce the feeling of being an individual and caring about your character.

My question is now is, regardless of which of the paths you take in the passive tree... do any of you feel like it makes you any different than anyone else? I sure don't.

I absolutely hate the fact that they made it so pointless to choose a race/class combo... you're guinecean knight, then a elken ranger, then a fae assassin, all within 5 minutes.. No one will ever feel like the time they've invested will actually matters now, because it doesn't...

It would have if they would have made you choose a specific race to make more powerful to play than the others and a class the same way... that way you don't want to keep hopping and switching.. but whatever.. it was their game to screw up. HUGE disappointment in the end.

No, "limited choices" wasn't what I said at all, or rather was not the intent if it came across that way.   I said it locked hard choices for too long, and possibly into broken meta. That it would be possible to literally BREAK an account, or even an entire guild.

The first problem I had was that if I had picked for a current example Elken/Confessor and passive trained for months, and found that something ACE did to alter that combinations meta to the point where I didn't want to play it anymore, I would be stuck trying to play a new meta with all those months and months of training PERMANENTLY wasted. It would for many people be a hard "time to rage quit" moment when that sort of long term investment is devalued so dramatically. 

Cripes, people are already grumpy about not having a respec for vessels, and at starting vessel quality that is literally only 2 hours or less of "work" to undo/replace. 

The second problem was around guilds.  If anything of the 1x training time has recently been learned, is how critical that teams have one person training in each line.  If your a small guild, and ONLY have one trained blacksmith, and they quit, well suddenly your whole guild is non-viable for months, and it creates a time when the entire guild may just shuffle on to a different game. 

There are a few things that could be added/changed to allow for better depth, like point refund/respec, or a model that was based on limited selection at a time (like you can only pick one promotion class at a time), with no time gate. 

TBH, I also don't think passive training is matching the goal it originally had, of letting people "keep up" when only playing casually. It's in fact gone quite the other way, so making it even more  specialized in its current state, just ugh. 

What I have always said I would prefer, is that passive training should be tied to the world you are in, be it Gods' Reach and EK's or a campaign world, and that training in campaign worlds should be super fast so that you can get to the end of a training line by the time fall hits, for that world.  Do that, and sure, you can drive down the super specialized route, because the next world you could try something different. 

 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken
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35 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

No, that wasn't what I said at all, or rather was not the intent.  I said it locked hard choices for too long, and possibly into broken meta. That it would be possible to literally BREAK an account, or even an entire guild.

I also believe that locking out core functionality is bad and people should instead be passive training for upgrades. I'd say core functionality is the ability to Fight / Harvest / Craft and currently some of the important bits in Harvest / Craft are tucked away in training. 

 

In my example above of a passive training wishlist. Core functionality was "I can use X race, Y class and Z1-3 Domains." but then you can add more to that core functionality by layering more onto the existing stuff. +Promotion domain, +1-2 more domain choices, +more passive unlocked race / class abilities

 

For sake of argument, what would you define as core functionality and how would you "layer" things in?

Edited by Ranik
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1 hour ago, Ranik said:

I also believe that locking out core functionality is bad and people should instead be passive training for upgrades. I'd say core functionality is the ability to Fight / Harvest / Craft and currently some of the important bits in Harvest / Craft are tucked away in training. 

 

In my example above of a passive training wishlist. Core functionality was "I can use X race, Y class and Z1-3 Domains." but then you can add more to that core functionality by layering more onto the existing stuff. +Promotion domain, +1-2 more domain choices, +more passive unlocked race / class abilities

 

For sake of argument, what would you define as core functionality and how would you "layer" things in?

I would do the following. 

(First let me caveat this bit. There is currently quite a bit of rune grind that needs be fixed. The current drop model is on a first pass, and it needs to be adjusted so it's not so grindy. Full commentary on that system would require its own post) 

Put all "gates" like rune tool use and similar only behind having the correct exploration rune equipped.  That to me is enough of a commitment to your vessel that you have made a "hard" (cost you gold to buy, can only have two per vessel) choice about profession. They have done part of this by putting the profession recipes in the runes, I would do that to harvesting tools as well. 
I would put specialist of trade lockouts like special components, or "advanced" recipies higher in the quality arcs of the runes.

I would move ALL the current "basic" talent abilities into the first rune.  

I would take out the "combat" training line, and add a line of passive training for each domain, that would give additional stats when a major/minor rune of that domain is equipped.  
I would also add in short node training for specific runes.  So you can quickly, say no more than a week, train out 5 pips in for example "Spirit whip", that would give you bonus values ONLY when you have spirit whip equipped. 

I think that sort of a system would highlight the fact that your "broken" builds are based on a "broken" vessel, but if you want to try a new model, you have only to equip the correct rune, and train it up. 

Basically, extend what is a pretty good system, (promotion/domain/rune/ customization), and more fully integrate the passive training aspects with that. 

With something like the above, if you have "wasted" a week training out a specific rune, you can undo and try a new one in the next week, and have not committed an account to 6 months of wasted training effort. 
 

 

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Here's my generic proposal for passives (at least for combat, im still trying to think how to make harvesting/crafting more variable without flat stat bonuses, but i cant think of that many different ways to hit a rock sadly)

First off my generic complaint i always make. Get rid of trees, they are pointless. Gating an option behind some other irrelevant option is lame and a waste of time. I should not have to get generic crappy node 1 and 2 to get somewhat useful node 3 then have to go down a different route and get useless node A to get to somewhat useful node B and then Good node that i actually want C. I should be able to get node C and node 3 and maybe grab node B, as i get the training time to "pay" for it, if i feel its useful enough to start putting my passive training into it. All nodes have a cost in passive time, That is the Gate to the passive node, there is 0 reason to gate the nodes behind other ones. 

Second, Set all classes back to their base kits form 5.6, where when a player dropped in they had their entire classes set of skills and could immediately be useful/contribute to something even if just a small part of it. This would need to come with either; a revamp of the talent trees to include new skills for the classes (instead of just giving them what they originally had + some stats), or removal of the talent tree in place of the passive revamp

Revamp: Combat Basics Section

No more tree, make combat basics a series of nodes grouped by weapon types, give each weapon type a set of global ability's that any person can train into that can be slotted into any character with the specific weapon currently equipped. These skills should include tooltips if they have additional requirements (ie if a skill required dual wield then it should have that noted). Allow a person to take the nodes from any weapon in any order they want, there's no reason to restrict the abilities.

Example:
Generic Hand Axe skill 1 - Frontal cleave (small cone) with descent damage
Generic Hand Axe Skill 2 - Overhead swing that "hooks your enemies weapon" (applies a short suppress)
Generic Hand Axe Skill 3 - Dual Axe Slam Skill (similar to myrms ability) *Requires Having Axes equipped in main and offhand*

This gives new players a chance to play with their class a bit and makes it to where they dont needlessly invest in a class they would end up not liking, since training combat basics up to a point to move forward would require getting most of the skills of at least a few of the base weapons which gives them ample time to try out different classes (and weapon combos for classes). Which they can actually try out because you know they actually have their class skills and dont need to waste time leveling.

Return: Class Basics Section

Bring back the old class sections of passive training but have all base classes be under the same umbrella instead of splitting them off into individual pieces. ie. instead of having a separate section for Knight, Assassin, and Duelist. They are all under the "Class Basics section" (So your accumulated time in "Class Basics" can be split between any class as you see fit). Same thing as above, get rid of the tree format and have the nodes spread out and just grouped by class and let them take any nodes in any order. Have this section have a series of new class abilities, ability augments (the way some of the skill upgrades from the promotions work), and maybe some class related passives.

This would allow players to start specializing in the class or classes they want without having to split their time between different sections because all of the classes will be contained in one. This also minimizes the old issue where a person was playing Knight for a few weeks then started thinking they dont wanna play Knight anymore but still had like 60K passive points they hadnt spent in knight that were basically useless to them now, because if they start feeling like they dont wanna play knight and wanna swap, then that 60K points they didnt spend can just be put into a different class's skills (or saved till you play a few classes more and want to make a decision on a new one).

This brings back the hard choices from before and puts it more on the player if they choose to all in on one class or spread things out a bit between multiple.

New: Promotion/Specialization/Per Class Section

Then at this point you would branch into the class specific sections (ie a separate section for Knight Promotions, Confessor Promotions, Etc), that contain the upgrades and such for the different promotions. It would contain new promotion skills, the augmented skills for the promotion (basically the stuff after the promotion point in the talent tree), and passives specific to the promotion etc.

Then depending on what's done with the talent tree, either add the promotion towards the end like always and then when you select it for the vessel it gets all the bonuses for that promotion that you got from passives + anything remaining in the talent tree after the promotion, OR if the talent tree was removed, just make a new crafting item for necromancers that allows a character to choose a promotion when the item is sacrificed and another crafted item that allows a player to change promotions when sacrificed, that way if they want to play one promotion of a class when roaming/ganking  but another when prepping for a siege, they can swap between them if they had trained enough into the different promotions to warrant it.

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