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View Poll Results: Skill Panes or Skill Trees?
Skill Pane 91 42.72%
Skill Tree 122 57.28%
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  #11  
Old 03-30-2010, 10:02 PM
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I'm not voting because the original TQ Skill system which gave the best of both, is not listed.

I really loved the original TQ skill system and I think it was one of the games strongest selling points.
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  #12  
Old 03-30-2010, 10:05 PM
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Essentially what developers did with old design, especially in an ARPG, is they scaled up skills, so the deeper you got down a tree, the more powerful your abilities got.

However, it's just as easy to limit powerful skills with a cooldown and still make the skills without cooldowns scale well enough to be useful.

Adding a secondary effect to any skill will just make that much more desirable to have.

I don't believe that skill trees are broken, I just think for an ARPG, maximizing customization is probably the best way to make them more fun.
  #13  
Old 03-30-2010, 10:37 PM
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I think the further up a skill tree the more powerful it *should* be. It makes logical sense (with mastery access to more powerful moves is logical) and in my opinion it is also more fun. It give players things to look forward too. It's a crescendo...the climax!

Not to say lesser skills should be useless or even inferior...and I think in TQ that wasn't the case anyways. Ternion, Ice Shards, ect are all low level skill that were excellent and used greatly.
  #14  
Old 03-30-2010, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renevent View Post
I think the further up a skill tree the more powerful it *should* be. It makes logical sense (with mastery access to more powerful moves is logical) and in my opinion it is also more fun. It give players things to look forward too. It's a crescendo...the climax!

Not to say lesser skills should be useless or even inferior...and I think in TQ that wasn't the case anyways. Ternion, Ice Shards, ect are all low level skill that were excellent and used greatly.
That is because they scaled with gear, not because they were inherently so powerful.

imo skills should not become useless, I liked that about the early TQ skills, some were essential early on and still made sense in the long run. There is no point in having low level skills becoming useless, with skill point reallocation this at least means you did not waste points on them if they turn out to become useless (some certainly did for me...).

That being said, obviously higher level skills should be more powerful, this does not mean lower level skills should become useless however. Instead of always having 2 or 3 useful skills, your pool of them should expand.
  #15  
Old 03-31-2010, 12:24 AM
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I enjoyed the TQ Skill system, sure it was slow to get to you good abilities (unless you just poured points into levelling up that mastery early on) but it made you think about what would be the best path to take:
do you put all your points into the mastery and have no skills until later levels;
OR
do you just max out each tier before levelling to the next mastery;
OR
do you try and balance out and have some low level skills with the unlock paths open for your next level ?
It's slow but allows for the best character development because your always thinking "What would be the best use of my next set of ability points" and very rarely thinking "Nuke nuke nuke nuke nuke nuke nuke nuke".

As yerkyerk quoted:
Quote:
if it aint broke...
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  Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #16  
Old 03-31-2010, 12:35 AM
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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).

The masteries are, however, now designed to expand over 75 levels with room for 9 skill tiers. Each skill will probably have more modifiers that allow you to tune it in different ways according to your style - or just max them all out for uberness. This will allow for somewhat better balancing at the high-end.

In terms of skill design / balancing - my goal is definitely not to have every skill on a mastery "unleash hell". I agree with yerkyerk that this would make skill decisions much less interesting. It also isn't really possible unless you design masteries to have a bunch of redundant, similarly functioning skills.

I believe each mastery should be designed around a fictional theme that gives it a flavor and eventual nostalgia beyond simple numbers and efficiencies. It should contain skills large and small that provide different utility and tactical options that together, depending on where the player invests points, culminate in a particular gameplay style.

To this end, some of the skills in each mastery are there more for thematic reasons than utility. Other's have a certain situational utility that some players will love and others will pass on. Some skills may only be really useful when they are paired with skills from another mastery - but then they really shine. One or two skills are often the "big guns" of a mastery but need little guns to offset them. Some masteries have a bunch of medium guns instead. Some skills aren't the most useful or powerful but they're just fun. Each mastery in TQ had room for X number of skills but within the grand scheme of each mastery and the greater balance of all masteries, not all of those skills had to be or even should have been powerful and extremely useful. With more time and creativity maybe I could have come up with a way to make some of the less useful skills into more interesting and worthwhile options but such was not the case. Can't say it will be possible this time either.

So yeah, some of what you might see as imperfections of the system or the design are actually intentional and, I would say, integral to making a great skill system. Some are just fails - oops! ; )

Fortunately the system is designed to allow for a few fails, which really is the most important part of balancing. Plan for imperfection so that when it happens, it won't destroy your game.
  #17  
Old 03-31-2010, 01:22 AM
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And that is exactly why people are still playing and picking apart Titan Quest even to this day.

When I get the newsletter from the Titan Quest forums, its not discussing how great the setting is, or pretty the artwork is... its about class builds, its about what awesome combination someone came up with this week. About a under-appreciated or overlooked skill that was paired with another and created something fun and awesome.

The core mechanics of Titan Quest are very similar to Magic: The Gathering in that regard, and that's what makes for an exceptional ARPG.

Build + Loot + Creativity = Endless Fun.
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  #18  
Old 03-31-2010, 01:47 AM
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My opinion falls with the prevailing one of most of the community it would seem, the TQ system is very nice and need not change much (or at all) for GD.

It's great to hear straight from the "horses mouth" that the skill system isn't going to change heaps because with TQ and as mentioned by Void(Null) people will analyze and pick apart the game, try come up with the best build they can or come up with something "left-field" but still works great. The possibilities seemed near endless with TQ and re-playability was amazing. I hope we see the same in GD, and I have faith it will deliver
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  #19  
Old 03-31-2010, 02:56 AM
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That's pretty good to hear, thanks for the post Medierra. Once we play test alpha, we can make sure the system feels right too. lol

Last edited by Scryer; 03-31-2010 at 03:00 AM.
  #20  
Old 03-31-2010, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medierra View Post
So, instead of f**king up stuff that works
A novel idea... Seriously though, I'm very glad to hear that this won't be changing & your whole view on skills/etc sounds good/balanced/mixed.

Quote:
The masteries are, however, now designed to expand over 75 levels with room for 9 skill tiers. Each skill will probably have more modifiers that allow you to tune it in different ways according to your style - or just max them all out for uberness.
If skills will have more mods, will you be required to put points in the preceeding mod to unlock the next one, or will the mods only require that you've got points in the base skill? Or will it vary (like it did in TQ)?
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