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  • Skill Trees; Lessons From RIFT

    I think adding some functionality to the Grim Dawn skill trees like those found in RIFT would tighten up character progression.

    I liked that increasing mastery added to specific stats in Titan Quest. I felt that putting points in masteries, and then to unlock skills and to improve skills was more cluttered than optimal.

    So I think a hybrid of the tree/root system in RIFT would work better. One option would be to have some/half? core skills be automatically awarded when the minimum amount of skill points was placed in the mastery.

    In one variant of this system, placing points into mastery would unlock the ability to place points into skills in that tier. And then placing points into the skills themselves would add flavor such as increase the number of projectiles or widen beam skills or add piercing percentage or add extra bounces to chain skills.

    Another variant of this hybrid between RIFT and TQ would be that some skills are awarded by points in the mastery and some skills won't be awarded unless you put points into them even if you have unlocked the tier with mastery points.

    In the former example, 2 characters with max mastery will get all of the core skills for that mastery but could be completely different due to the way they choose to modify those skills with the points they place in the skill tiers.

    In the later example, 2 characters with max mastery will get a fraction of the same skills from the mastery. The rest of their skills can be completely different skills chosen from the skill tiers and they can modify the different skills.

    The former is much easier to tune and conceptualize for the developers. It also has the side effect of early characters being more similar and then broadening out in complexity as the character reaches mid and later levels.

    The latter is complex and diverse pretty much from the getgo. And of course it is much more time consuming to implement.

    I prefer the former as some uniformity has many benefits. I think once you reach a certain amount of customization, the diminishing returns drops off a cliff. Plus uniformity combats class mish mash where you have so many points in things and only 2-3 are actually used. For instance, 2 necromancers with a pet and a life tap. The rest of the passive skills and gear bonuses are either not used or washes itself out so the 2 wholely different spec'd necros end up playing the same send in the pet and nuke style.

  • #2
    The beauty - or the notable feature - of the dual mastery system is, that there are no default core skills. Depending on how you want to play you can mix skills at your own discretion. I would not like the game to select skills for me.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by eisprinzessin View Post
      The beauty - or the notable feature - of the dual mastery system is, that there are no default core skills. Depending on how you want to play you can mix skills at your own discretion. I would not like the game to select skills for me.
      the game would get very boring is the skills were auto chosen, would make for a very boring game
      Legendary key holder since 20/12/2010

      Co-op Digital Deluxe Bundle supporter I hope GD is a success

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      • #4
        It's not a true MEANINGFUL progression system if it's chosen automatically.

        And in TQ, it was a meaningful decision, do I want to rush high skills by putting a lot in the masteries (with the only benefit is more Str, Dex, Int, Hp or Mp) or do I want to upgrade skills that are useful now.

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        • #5
          But that is the beauty of these systems. You may automatically get some or all core skills initially. But with the options unlocked in the tiers, you can warp them beyond all recognition.

          Options unlocked in the tiers could be simple things like increasing the radius of the projectile or making it bounce.

          So if you have the properties: bounce, explode, split, chain, pierce, rain, beam, dot, buff, debuff, etc.

          And each of the core skills can pick 3-4 of those as they level to make one player's fire ball into and exploding bouncing meteor and another's into a piercing chain debuff beam.

          I will just reiterate the last portion of my original post about uniformity. Nobody wants complete uniformity but some at the early levels can be a big benefit. Having no core skills selected for you won't completely prevent uniformity either. Having a wide open complex system can lead to uniformity too. That is what is called cookie cutter builds and it stems from the inability of the designer to spend much time tuning the option overkill. Nobody wants 1000 skills of which 5 are viable throughout the game. I think its much more reasonable and achievable on the development side to have 200 skills of which 150 are always viable, another 30 of the last 50 rotate in and out of viability based on patch changes and 10 are just trouble no matter what you do with them.

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          • #6
            I have the feeling you are asking for an overhaul of the mastery system.
            Originally posted by medierra View Post
            Skill system is something that won't change much. It is perhaps the only system in TQ that I don't think I have seen anyone seriously complain about and seems to have been the most well-received aspect of the game by press and players. So, instead of f**king up stuff that works, we're mainly focused on addressing feedback that we've gotten from fans over the years. Fixing areas where TQ fell flat and adding some of the features that have been most requested (assuming they make sense / are feasible).
            And you might want to read Masteries ... before we continue to explore options here.

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            • #7
              Skill system is something that won't change much. It is perhaps the only system in TQ that I don't think I have seen anyone seriously complain about and seems to have been the most well-received aspect of the game by press and players.
              You know what, I just realized a few things:

              1. I got really excited when I saw the occulist gameplay video
              2. This thread is very similar to a thread I created years ago when I first found out about Grim Dawn.
              3. That thread met with the same resistance.
              4. I am one who would complain about the TQ skill system. I believe it is a smash in the very short term (levels 1-20 for a small handful of builds) but ends up wearing thin in the long run. (higher difficulty levels and more than 3 months down the road)
              5. No matter how cool the occulist looks in that video, the fact that the skill system is TQ's, I have no faith that coolness will last more than 5-10 levels or will take 45 levels to build.
              6. Based on these and the quote above, Grim Dawn is probably not the game for me.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by djolar View Post
                4. I am one who would complain about the TQ skill system. I believe it is a smash in the very short term (levels 1-20 for a small handful of builds) but ends up wearing thin in the long run. (higher difficulty levels and more than 3 months down the road)
                The problem is that you don't explaine very well WHAT you don't like the skill system in TQ while your solution isn't one, since those kind of bonus could easilly be linked to the level.

                Root Advancement

                Players automatically unlock new "root" abilities as the Soul Tree increases in level. If the branches represent the unique choices a player makes, the root represents the core power of the soul that all players have access to. Root abilities unlock quickly at first, but slow down as the tree’s soul-level increases.
                So you complain about a skill system that isn't involving enough at higher level, and you suggest another that involve zero interaction while being slow paced at high level.

                You offer as example that you prefer a small amount of VIABLE skills instead of a blob of meaningless ones, but you offer as solution to add more skills, without game changing impact.

                2. This thread is very similar to a thread I created years ago when I first found out about Grim Dawn.
                3. That thread met with the same resistance.
                So maybe you should try another way to expose your ideas. And bear in mind that even if your ideas are the best in the worlds, to implement them at this stage of the devellopement (three masteries totally finished) would take a lot of work, and maybe broke the game (eg, difficulty progression).

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                • #9
                  I will explain one thing in my defense hopefully, succinctly.

                  There is a difference between skill effectiveness and skill type. Large amounts of the former hurt a game's longevity which hurts the developer's bottom line and affects their ability to make more of the games you like. The latter increases the longevity potential.

                  TQ's skill system offers a broad spectrum in both skill effectiveness and skill type. There is a split of skills where some are and some are not incredibly powerful when you get them. There is further a split of those powerful skills where some become useless in 5, 10 or 20 levels.

                  All my hope is that some streamlining of skill effectiveness of TQ's system will make Grim Dawn more enjoyable over years instead of months. So I presented modifications to TQ's skill system based on other proven game's systems.

                  Please look further than, "He wants to assign skills automatically so therefore he is automatically for removing all choice!" This is a discussion and suggestion and that is not what I am saying. For what it is worth, in that system you would still have choice as you could choose to put more or less points into the masteries to get more or less assigned skills.

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                  • #10
                    I think you are forgetting a couple of important things. Choice. Players want/love and crave choice. Nothing should be decided for you in the build of your character.

                    Also, I don't care what system you create or for what rpg/arpg/mmo there will always be cookie-cutter builds, it's inevitable.

                    Some players like to do that some don't. Which is why choice even at the most basic level is extremely important.
                    Legendary Key Holder Upgraded - Digital Deluxe Edition

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by NZSpy View Post
                      I think you are forgetting a couple of important things. Choice. Players want/love and crave choice. Nothing should be decided for you in the build of your character.

                      Also, I don't care what system you create or for what rpg/arpg/mmo there will always be cookie-cutter builds, it's inevitable.

                      Some players like to do that some don't. Which is why choice even at the most basic level is extremely important.
                      I fully agree to what you said

                      I played rift for a bit, and got bored of it, while the skill system wasn't bad, you could choose from from classes, and different souls, you had in total 66 points to spend once you were at max level. I didn't get a char at max level, the game became a real grind, and I joined a guild that fell apart at the seems pretty early on, for LOL. to me, you had to really put a lot of points into one class to really be effective, before branching out to the others. another issue that quickly cropped up, and the same problem exists in WOW, is balance, there were plenty of cookie crunching builds, and plenty of patches followed to try and sort out the balance and many others issues. the game dropped from my radar, I only played it a bit. and I played WOW for a while but had major issues in that game, and I still think balance between classes is still a major issue, too many classes, and not enough balance

                      to change the masteries at this change would be a massive undertaking, and I don't think the D3 system sounds all that good either, where you skills you unlock while they level up with you, but seems that blizzard has taken away choice, again once the game ships, people will probably use one or two builds from each class, as they are the best, that really doesn't sound like choice to me. sounds like its forced. but anyway, I did like the TQ masteries, there will be 5 classes in the game, so a lot of choice, and a lot of choice in what skills points to put into the skills , as the amount of skills have been increased to 25 I think? so I would call that choice

                      I think the issue is how fast you level, that seems to be your problem @OP, of course games will take longer to level as they go up, unless you mention WOW, where you can get to 85 in no time at all, but I have no desire to go back to that game, and a fast levelling system like that would bore me to tears

                      but anyway, I like the TQ system, it will have choice, which is more I can say for a few games these days
                      Last edited by matthewfarmery; 04-19-2012, 05:49 PM.
                      Legendary key holder since 20/12/2010

                      Co-op Digital Deluxe Bundle supporter I hope GD is a success

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by djolar View Post
                        In one variant of this system, placing points into mastery would unlock the ability to place points into skills in that tier. And then placing points into the skills themselves would add flavor such as increase the number of projectiles or widen beam skills or add piercing percentage or add extra bounces to chain skills.
                        that is exactly what TQ did, or am I missing something here ?

                        Another variant of this hybrid between RIFT and TQ would be that some skills are awarded by points in the mastery and some skills won't be awarded unless you put points into them even if you have unlocked the tier with mastery points.
                        What is the point of this, I can just as easily invest a few skill points to achieve it - and I can even chose the skills I want, rather than what someone else thinks are the core skills of this mastery...

                        The latter is complex and diverse pretty much from the getgo. And of course it is much more time consuming to implement.
                        Not sure why you consider it more diverse, if anything, automatically getting the same skills as everyone else is less diverse than the player picking the skills

                        I prefer the former as some uniformity has many benefits.
                        the former is TQ... so no need to mix RIFT in it seems
                        Last edited by mamba; 04-20-2012, 02:24 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by djolar View Post
                          4. I am one who would complain about the TQ skill system. I believe it is a smash in the very short term (levels 1-20 for a small handful of builds) but ends up wearing thin in the long run. (higher difficulty levels and more than 3 months down the road)
                          how is it wearing thin ? How is that a problem with the skill system and not the individual skills ?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by djolar View Post
                            There is a difference between skill effectiveness and skill type. Large amounts of the former hurt a game's longevity which hurts the developer's bottom line and affects their ability to make more of the games you like. The latter increases the longevity potential.
                            not sure what you try to say here, that having a lot of diverse but ineffective skills helps the developer somehow ?

                            TQ's skill system offers a broad spectrum in both skill effectiveness and skill type. There is a split of skills where some are and some are not incredibly powerful when you get them. There is further a split of those powerful skills where some become useless in 5, 10 or 20 levels.

                            All my hope is that some streamlining of skill effectiveness of TQ's system will make Grim Dawn more enjoyable over years instead of months. So I presented modifications to TQ's skill system based on other proven game's systems.
                            Given what you wrote, it seems that all that is needed is a slight rebalancing of skills, not a new system

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by djolar View Post
                              Please look further than, "He wants to assign skills automatically so therefore he is automatically for removing all choice!" This is a discussion and suggestion and that is not what I am saying. For what it is worth, in that system you would still have choice as you could choose to put more or less points into the masteries to get more or less assigned skills.
                              RIFT is a full-blown MMO and in order to make sure that players pick at least some core skills / abilities for their class, these are assigned automatically.

                              And don't tell me that all players are so smart that they don't need that help.
                              You could join a party and find out that none of the casters / priests has a healing configuration prepared. *facepalm*
                              Giving them the full choice would only make matters worse.
                              But that's an MMO.

                              In an action RPG, players generally don't have to rely on each other so it's no big deal if someone's running with a weird-ass build.

                              Experimenting with different skills is fun and there's just no reason to assign "must pick" skills. I'd rather be curious how far I can get with a whacky specialist build...
                              totus vestri castrum es nostrum possessia

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