Skill unlocking

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Jetryl
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Skill unlocking

Postby Jetryl » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:35 am

A common feature of many RPGs which we share is "special techniques", whether magical or corporeal in nature, which the characters learn as they progress in experience. Right now, we're coasting into a design where they simply, suddenly, gain these things when they reach a certain level. I think one interesting idea would be to add a few more requirements:

- Skills the player knows nothing about are hidden, and don't show up in their list of techniques.

- Often, a player character must be taught the secret to, or even the general idea behind the technique. Once they've been taught this, the skill shows up in their tree of techniques, but may/may not be useable (might be greyed out), based on the next bulleted point below. As an example, I could see claudius being taught these by senior knights he encounters*, and completes missions for during his travels. There's nothing stopping us from making some skills simply naturally learned, or spontaneously figured out by claudius/other team members, without external aid. We'd just flip the bit from the outset, or flip the bit based on some action in-game.

- Skills would have some requirement before they would be useable. You could learn the skill, and see it in your list, but it wouldn't become useable until you were (sometimes literally) strong enough to use it. Usually, this would just be a level requirement, but some of them might have others, like physical stats for a melee spell, or mental/spiritual stats for a magic technique (or a combination of the two to, say, imbue a physical attack with magic).




* My own take on the story has the "chivalric tradition" that guides the Knights of Harrvah being shared with several neighboring countries, at least those of somewhat similar culture. The ranks at least, and a number of the duties of training, are shared between them. As claudius journeys to these, he'll meet captains of other cities, who will teach him his new techniques in exchange for displaying his readiness (e.g. completing missions).
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Postby Roots » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:50 am

Right now we have the ability to add skills in whatever way we want. We could give a character a skill from opening a treasure chest or walking onto a certain spot on a map if we really wanted to. The reason they are only given by level right now is... well the demo isn't exactly an exhaustive environment. But when we put the game together, we'll definitely create multiple ways to learn skills (training with a master of an art, reading a forbidden text, etc).


As for showing skills but not allowing them to be used, we sort of can support that right now. The easiest way is to just require that the skill consume an extremely high level of SP (higher than the character's current max SP) and then they could only use it once their SP gauge grows enough. I don't know if there's much advantage to showing the player a skill but not allowing them to use it though (why not just let the player see all available skills in the game from the beginning if we want to do this?). Unless there's some key information that says "to unlock this skill, you need to do X", I don't see any point in having it just sit there staring the player in the face, mocking them. :heh:
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Postby Jonan » Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:52 am

I find that idea quite interesting.

Some special attacks can only be learned by reading a secret paper or if someone explains it to you (if you have helped him doing a quest or something like that). So you can finish the game without having learned every single power and learning them all may make some people search all the Allacrost world for weeks :D

Another interesting fact is that you might learn a skill that consumes to much SP for your actual level and you can't use it or you can use it very few times. This skills should apear in the list because you now them, but you aren't strong enouth to use them.

Thinking more about this idea it might be interesting if some skills were only abeilabe with one kind of weapon or if you find a special object that you must carry with you
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Postby wayfarer » Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:26 pm

I always liked the idea of a skill tree. For a fighter some base skills are always included in the package (So you are a fighter? But you don't know how to point the pointy end of your sword? Right!) they are part of the job. On the other side this is quite limiting.

It would be nice to give the player a tree for the class he has. Free slots for his natural intellect and an limited amount of branches for every specialization he has earned (Also limited by intellect). This way intellect wouldn't be the must attribute for mages while the fighters are dump as brick walls. On the other side magical abilities and specializations should require more intellect to avoid any abuse.
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Postby prophile » Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:23 pm

Like a Diablo II style skill tree?
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Postby wayfarer » Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:52 pm

Not exactly.
A fighter for example would always learn the use of shield armor and basic weapon skills nothing fancy nor complex. It is part of his class and it is represented as his skill tree. Later he could brunch out this tree with specializations for example melee specialist, hunter, blacksmith, medical practice, mage etc... . Some kind of new profession or prestige classes. So that you could get a fighter (base class) with specializations in hunting and crafting for example. (Not all classes should have access to all specializations)

This branches would also have a small skill tree with their one requisitions.
For example the branch hunter offers the use of bows and silent movement etc....

Than he would still have the empty slots for stuff like bargaining, persuade etc something special that you won't learn in a profession or specialization. This must be taught by others or found or whatever and the character must decide if he wants to sacrifice one of his few free slots.


This way you wouldn't have the repetition like in Diablo but the cool effect that you could only learn special skills if you already know others as
prerequisite and that some skills could have culumative effects.
For example you are a skilled sword fighter which is a prerequisite for long sword fighter you could get a small boni for every point you invested in the skilled sword fighter skill and also the other way around. That would make sure that low level skills still get used later in the game and that the points are not wasted for them. Still the player has the choice what character he wants to have.

Instead of points per level up like Diablo the factor which decides what skills you can learn and how many should be intelligence.
That would allow you to create for example a streamlined fighter with high strength few skills, low intelligence and less universalism or a fighter with less sheer strength, more intelligence and more variety. One that could heal himself after the battle or could sneak though the biggest trouble because he has traded his strength for intelligence and more skills.

This would also stop the problem that most fighters invest zero points into intelligence which is if you think about quite stupid.
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Postby Jetryl » Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:46 pm

wayfarer wrote:Not exactly.
A fighter for example would always learn the use of shield armor and basic weapon skills nothing fancy nor complex. It is part of his class and it is represented as his skill tree. Later he could brunch out this tree with specializations for example melee specialist, hunter, blacksmith, medical practice, mage etc... . Some kind of new profession or prestige classes. So that you could get a fighter (base class) with specializations in hunting and crafting for example. (Not all classes should have access to all specializations)

This branches would also have a small skill tree with their one requisitions.
For example the branch hunter offers the use of bows and silent movement etc....

Than he would still have the empty slots for stuff like bargaining, persuade etc something special that you won't learn in a profession or specialization. This must be taught by others or found or whatever and the character must decide if he wants to sacrifice one of his few free slots.


This way you wouldn't have the repetition like in Diablo but the cool effect that you could only learn special skills if you already know others as
prerequisite and that some skills could have culumative effects.
For example you are a skilled sword fighter which is a prerequisite for long sword fighter you could get a small boni for every point you invested in the skilled sword fighter skill and also the other way around. That would make sure that low level skills still get used later in the game and that the points are not wasted for them. Still the player has the choice what character he wants to have.

Instead of points per level up like Diablo the factor which decides what skills you can learn and how many should be intelligence.
That would allow you to create for example a streamlined fighter with high strength few skills, low intelligence and less universalism or a fighter with less sheer strength, more intelligence and more variety. One that could heal himself after the battle or could sneak though the biggest trouble because he has traded his strength for intelligence and more skills.

This would also stop the problem that most fighters invest zero points into intelligence which is if you think about quite stupid.



It's not something I'd necessarily suggest for allacrost, but in my own pipe-dream RPG, I would probably implement base stats like so:

Strength: Affects how much you can carry, modifies quickness/precision of items based on weight (basically a multiplier against your dexterity - if a weapon is way too heavy for you, you get a fraction of your usual effective dexterity, if you're very overstrong for a weapon, you get a modest bonus to you dexterity. Affects how hard you can hit with weapons. Effects your stamina directly (which is a partly derived stat), which in turn contributes heavily to "magic energy". Has a heavy effect on your hitpoints.

Dexterity: Affects how quickly and how precisely you can move, for everything that involves movement. Some kinds of magic might involve hand motions, or even body motions, and as such, dexterity can have some affect on how quickly you can pull those off.

Intelligence: Affects how quickly you gain skill at anything that isn't your base stats. Affects your resistance to magic. Affects your speed at casting spells.

Will/Spirit: Affects your resistance to pain, and your regeneration of physical strength/stamina. Affects the strength of your magic, and somewhat affects your resistance to magic. Determines how much magic energy you have (in combination with stamina), and helps you to regenerate it more quickly.


The idea being that -no- base stats are "throwaways", even for specialized classes. Even a very lightfooted thief/monk type needs strength to wield their weapon quickly, and deliver blows. Even a mage needs strength to carry anything, and to not collapse in exhaustion after casting 2 spells. Even a fighter desperately needs intelligence if he's going to get any better at using his sword.


The non base stats should all be specialized according to class, and I could see mage units giving themselves no training in "swordsmanship," but the base stats themselves should be useful to everyone, and have effect on every class.
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Postby Rain » Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:34 am

I've always been quite fond of the skill tree system in Diablo 2. Not sure this is what you're talking about but it's nice to be able to customize statistics, to a point.
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Postby wayfarer » Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:04 pm

Jetryl I completely agree. :approve:
I for example haven't seen a dumb fighter at least non that lived for long.

Rain I loved the skill tree too on the other side it made your character development quite limited.

I suggest a base skill tree for every class. Than you can earn branches for this skill tree depending of which specialisation you take (Like a real tree). Perhaps to a max of three further branches (of course a fighter shouldn't be interested in arcane theory but perhaps in craftsmanship, lore, hunting, medical treatment, or even prestige classes like Paladin if he has learned a special set of specialisations). The possibilities should be directly linked to the character stats.
And as a bonus free slots perhaps 4 or 5 that can be filled with special abilities.


With this trick we would have the best of both worlds. No unused skills, complex skilling and still one fighter wouldn't look like the other if the player chooses different specialisations. This would raise the replayability immensely.
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