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Old 09-23-2010, 10:51 PM
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Post Customization - Where Depth Begins

Quote: "Depth of customization comes from many different systems working together in concert."

With this in mind, lets examine the quote.

I believe what it's saying, is that customization can be derived from different systems working together towards a common goal. That goal generally being, the player's choice, which is, in the end created by the developers.

Obviously, you don't want to make customization feel too complex, or so big and overwhelming. However, there's an obvious caveat to the quote above. It mentions, working in concert. So there is a commonality between all the systems, they allow you to bring about your ideal character.

What types of systems, then, could be implemented to give a player, in a game like Grim Dawn, depth of customization?

- Skills -

Skills are pretty unique, but what could help us in terms of customization? Well, most skills can be separated into 2 broad categories - Passive Skills and Active Skills.

- Active Skills, these skills are characterized by the ability to activate them at will. They're also used, sometimes in rabid succession to give them a higher efficiency in killing enemies.

- Passive Skills, these skills are characterized by being the silent adaptor, they work in the background allowing your character or chosen class to benefit from them without actively using them. They can be as simple as + stats, or as complex as causing a proc on hit, or a proc on dodges or blocks.

How can we effectively take these 2 categories of skills and make them add to the depth of customization?

- My Suggestion -

Split them up, that is, make them 2 different types of skill panes. As the player levels up, give them individual points for each of these 2 panes. The player can then decide which specific active skills will suit their play-style, and tailor their passive abilities to support that play style.

Essentially, the Passives skill pane will get separate points from the Active skill pane.

I realize this may seem overly complex, but it is not, let me explain why.

This basically gives the player 2 different ways to customize their abilities, rather then forcing them to take either passives, or actives through an integrated skill tree. They'll be able to select different passive abilities to go along with their active skill set.

This passive skill pane could be different for every class combination, or it could be the same for all classes. Regardless, the point is, that the player receives points separately for each pane.

I believe, very much so, that this would actually enhance customization.

With an integrated skill set, with passives and actives, the player is forced to choose and tailor both to his or her build. This can either lead to the player having more passives then intended, or more actives then intended. Separating the 2 types of skills will allow the player to balance each type of skill around their specific play style. Without either actives or passives gaining more or less control over the total share of skill points.
At the very least it will increase the depth of customization, because in this case players will get more choices, and more active skills to max out.

Which, I think anyone can easily say that active skills generally are lacking in this genre, with 3-4 generally dominating the players attention 80% of the time.

Rather then having the player choose active skills vs. passive skills, they can tailor their passive skills to help their active skills out. This will allow the player to have more over-all active skills and adds customization as a result.

Edit - I would also like to say, while this may seem to restrict the player, it actually frees the player to decide what active abilities they want and what passives they want, without causing them to have an internal struggle as to which is better for them. It allows them to tailor and customize their passive abilities towards their active ability goals. I would also argue that the 2 different types of skills are different enough to call for this kind of breakaway from each other, to allow the player to choose what is best for them.
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Last edited by Scryer; 09-23-2010 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:05 AM
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I don't really think this is necessary, Diablo and TQ did just fine with a single integrated tree. It could make skill choice easier but it could make game balance harder too because player would get more skills faster. Also having separate skill trees is just an abstraction that may seem like more choice but is really just the same choices with new restrictions.

What I guess I'm trying to say is if it ain't broke don't fix it.
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:08 AM
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Yeah I agree with Druthers...and personally I don't see the benefit of the proposed system. To be honest it sounds like it makes the skill system a little generic.
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Old 09-24-2010, 03:47 AM
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Yeah, I'm with the general consensus here. If you split the way you get skills between two trees (ignoring the fact that TQ has 3 skills per level, with 2 masteries to worry about), passive and active then you're gonna have to make as many passives as actives... Personally, I hate using too many actives. A few is nice, 2 - 3 auras or buffs is a good number, an "ultimate" temp buff for bosses, and maybe 3-4 other spells. The rest would be passives, so that leaves you about 3+1+4= 12 slots for passives. Ok?

That's a lot of freaking passives. In TQ, each mastery had... max one or two passives... unless you include passive ATTACK skills, ok then you're up to an average of ...2 or 3. (defense had ~5 passives, warfare had 6, those two being the MOST passive classes...haha). Where do the synergies go? ...

... Wait... are you the guy who hated synergies? If so, this argument isn't gonna go anywhere with ya haha.

Personally, I wanna see an identical system to TQ's. HOWEVER, I would LOVE to see an added "combo" tree. Specific skills(passive or active) that apply directly to your combination of masteries. THAT would be freaking cool.
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Old 09-24-2010, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Druthers View Post
I don't really think this is necessary, Diablo and TQ did just fine with a single integrated tree. It could make skill choice easier but it could make game balance harder too because player would get more skills faster. Also having separate skill trees is just an abstraction that may seem like more choice but is really just the same choices with new restrictions.

What I guess I'm trying to say is if it ain't broke don't fix it.
You tell me what the new "restrictions" are.

As I've said, it actually enhances customization by giving the player more choices. Rather then forcing the player to decide which, of passive or active, is better for them, they can now support an active build with appropriate passives.

I would argue that you have even more choices in this case as you're not forced to choose one or the other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASYLUM101 View Post
If you split the way you get skills between two trees (ignoring the fact that TQ has 3 skills per level, with 2 masteries to worry about), passive and active then you're gonna have to make as many passives as actives... Personally, I hate using too many actives. A few is nice, 2 - 3 auras or buffs is a good number, an "ultimate" temp buff for bosses, and maybe 3-4 other spells. The rest would be passives, so that leaves you about 3+1+4= 12 slots for passives.
You're making up arbitrary numbers here, there's no rule that says there must be X # of passives or X # of Actives that a player must get. I would also argue that having many to choose from however enhances customization though. It's simply separating the 2 types of skills to allow the player more diversification in their active skills, and allowing them to put points into their passives as well.

Also, this could very well be manipulated to end with a specific # of maxed out active skills and passives skills by max level.
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Last edited by Scryer; 09-24-2010 at 07:16 AM.
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:23 AM
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Scryer - were you not content with the feedback medierra gave you in April? From Skill Tree & Multiple Paths:
Quote:
Originally Posted by medierra View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scryer View Post
You could just as easily take TQ's skill sets, unlink each skill that was linked, remove synergies and just make skills scale better, and you'd have the same great TQ skills, the same great mastery system, but you'd be able to select the skills you wanted as you progressed down the mastery line.
The point of synergies is to attempt to help maintain the power and effectiveness of early skills as the player reaches higher levels and do it in a way that is paced out so that the player cannot unlock too much of this power too early in the game. Removing this dynamic would pose a serious balancing issue. It would also be incredibly boring.
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Originally Posted by medierra View Post
A system with just individual skills and no synergies or other gating mechanism doesn't seem like it will achieve very good results.
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Originally Posted by medierra View Post
To me the most interesting class / skill systems are ones that offer a lot of freedom but not complete freedom. With complete freedom you have no difficult choices to make, no interesting trade-offs or relationships. I also feel that thematically they offer no feeling of structure or purpose. You just end up with a bunch of individual skills that feel random and generic. There is also nothing to guide players in their decision-making. Most players want to feel like they are progressing in a skill tree, not just amassing a collection of individual skills. Thematically trees also give the feeling of growing as a character and honing skills that are central to your class.
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Last edited by eisprinzessin; 09-25-2010 at 09:31 AM. Reason: wrong month ... damned American date format
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:10 AM
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The post I gave then is a different idea entirely. These are 2 different ideas and I felt the need to voice them.

If they aren't liked for whatever reason is irrelevant, a lot of good ideas can come from bad ones.

While I respect Medierra's opinion, I have my own ideas and would like poeple to see them, even if they don't like them.
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Last edited by Scryer; 09-26-2010 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:47 AM
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Entirely different ideas? They both require that you remove synergies between the active and its passive skills. Such a system might work, but it is entirely different from medierra's vision. I picked those quotes as they apply here, too.

I'm wondering why you took the effort to post another idea, which was bound to be declined. What is the good idea you are hoping to come from your post?
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Last edited by eisprinzessin; 09-26-2010 at 11:30 AM. Reason: mixed up to and the again *grmblsmpf*
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:10 AM
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If I understand correctly, instead of being able to choose between active and passive skills, you're forced by the game to divide your skillpoints between active and passive skills?
Often restricting players in choices might paradoxically create more unique builds and customization, but from what I've read this will lead to more generic builds and less choices for the player.
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Old 09-26-2010, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eisprinzessin View Post
Entirely different ideas? They both require that you remove synergies between the active and its passive skills. Such a system might work, but it is entirely different from medierra's vision. I picked those quotes as they apply here, too.

I'm wondering why you took the effort to post another idea, which was bound to be declined. What is to good idea you are hoping to come from your post?
I find it funny that you don't think Synergies can coexist in the system I have described. I don't mention removing them anywhere. They would simply be implemented differently. Also, can I not post whatever ideas come to my mind? I searched for this topic and couldn't find it; it's a new idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yerkyerk View Post
If I understand correctly, instead of being able to choose between active and passive skills, you're forced by the game to divide your skillpoints between active and passive skills?
Often restricting players in choices might paradoxically create more unique builds and customization, but from what I've read this will lead to more generic builds and less choices for the player.
I would argue that it entirely depends on how the system is implemented. If the passives are pooled in, and can be chosen at any level, while the active skills work as they always have, this could create a larger potential for builds and strategies. Also, it means that players will have a larger number of active skills to play around with, as they'd be able to focus their points in the active skills that matter to them.
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Last edited by Scryer; 09-26-2010 at 11:25 AM. Reason: inappropriate comment
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