Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
The general issue with the skill system is that the skills are too expensive, and front-loading makes it far preferable to not take a skill all the way to rank 9.

If they weren't so expensive, then the economy of skill points wouldn't be quite as necessary as it is. But because it is, I can't really recommend to anyone to take most skills to rank 9. It just isn't worth the loss of benefits from front-loading a second skill.


With the coming changes, skills will rank up like this:
18
18
18
10
10
10
5
5
5

This gives a total of +99 bonus to a skill for ranking it to 9. However if you were to spend those 9 ranks across 3 skills, you would have +54 to 3 skills for a total bonus of 162. Or across 2 skills you would have say 74 and 64 for a total bonus of 138.

Unquestionably, a rank 9 skill is better than a skill at rank 3 or rank 5, yet is it worth not having more skills at intermediate ranks? Unfortunately, the answer, more often than not, is no. Ranking most skills to 9 is not worth losing the ranks in other skills, even if you really want maximum effectiveness from that skill.


So here is the idea: Implement a synergy bonus at rank 9

Essentially, taking a skill to 9 would unlock a synergy bonus with another pre-determined skill, which effectively grants you say +15 to that synergistic skill. This would stack with any ranks in that skill.

For example lets say that taking 9 ranks in warp core potential would give you a +15 to electro-plasma systems, and vice versa, taking 9 ranks in electro-plasma systems would give +15 to warp core potential.

Not all skills would need to have a synergy bonus, (I'm thinking damage and healing ones can pass on this, since it could cause balance problems), however most would, and would grant synergy to some other skill, though not necessarily in the same tier. It also would not need to be reciprocal, for example, sub-system repairs might grant a synergy bonus to batteries which might give a synergy bonus to warp core efficiency which might give synergy to inertial dampners.


I think that a synergy bonus would provide an actual decision when skilling up whether to take something to 9 for a synergy bonus or spread the skill points around and maybe just take said skill to rank 6. It obviously is not meant to replace or be more effective than spreading skill points around, but it makes focused spending less punishing than it is.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
11-16-2011, 01:16 AM
This is an interesting idea. But I wonder if it's not too complicated to grasp all the implications for players? How much (more) system mastery do we want to demand of players? I tend to think people still have their hands full with figuring out which BO powers they need to pick to have a strong build.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
11-16-2011, 09:09 AM
I agree with MustrumRidcully, it's an interesting idea, but it adds a lot of complexity.

It seems to me there are two main schools of thought about what you should get for your skills:

1) That you don't have to invest fully in a skill to be effective. There aren't enough skill points to invest fully in every skill, and that seems unlikely to change, so I think it's a good thing to have this be the case.

2) That you should get a reward of some kind for investing fully in a skill anyway. It seems to me the main driver for this is that if 1 is taken to an extreme, all characters will take the same skills, because there's no reason to specialize.

I think these goals are in conflict. You can't satisfy both. More incentive for one opposes the other one.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
11-16-2011, 09:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
This is an interesting idea. But I wonder if it's not too complicated to grasp all the implications for players? How much (more) system mastery do we want to demand of players? I tend to think people still have their hands full with figuring out which BO powers they need to pick to have a strong build.
it's not any more complicated than trying to make the 100 points I have left fit into categories of "150" "300" "450" "600" and "750"
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
11-16-2011, 09:33 AM
I don't understand or like the idea of giving someone an extra incentive to reach level 9, which basically breaks everything.

Why go to 8 if one more point gives you a huge bonus? You've made the math much trickier, and the objective is unclear.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
11-16-2011, 10:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuatela
it's not any more complicated than trying to make the 100 points I have left fit into categories of "150" "300" "450" "600" and "750"
I suspected that such combinations of skill point allocation where still possible, but I hoped that they had fixed that with the extra 50 skill points we now can achieve.

I think the best idea for Cryptic would be to rejiggle the skill point values to multiples of 100, with the lowest being 100. The steps afterwards are not as important (for example 100 / 300 / 400 / 500 / 600 could work), but it seems best to avoid 50s. And then ensure that you don't max out your skills at Tier 1.

We already got enough issues with people that run into this on Holodeck. This is making it worse.

(OF course, they could also just stop forcing us to spend al skill points before can leave the skill trainer or get our Captain abilities.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
11-16-2011, 03:18 PM
I like it! Which means I need to try to forget about it in an attempt to avoid crushing disappointment.

People should be encouraged to think, to make sacrifices to achieve desired results. We need more options, not this overly condensed mess we have now. We need to expand and stream line to make it more intuitive.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
11-16-2011, 03:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naevius
I don't understand or like the idea of giving someone an extra incentive to reach level 9, which basically breaks everything.

Why go to 8 if one more point gives you a huge bonus? You've made the math much trickier, and the objective is unclear.

It doesn't break anything. I'm not sure where you see that. It adds depth and options to builds to what is an otherwise simple system.

And yes that question is deliberate, why stop at 8 if I can go to 9 and get a bonus I want? The trick is that going to 9 may not give a bonus I actually want. It also forces people to make a decision. Rather than the "duh" decision of stopping at 6 and investing into a different skill for 3 ranks for best overall gain, there would be an option to gain something from going to 9. It is a tradeoff, something to think about and consider, something lacking in the skill system right now.

It's not guaranteed to be worth going to 9, it might give a bonus to a skill you don't care about. But to have a reason to go to 9 in the first place is something that should be part of the skill system. Training is not and never was that reason.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yzak
I agree with MustrumRidcully, it's an interesting idea, but it adds a lot of complexity.

It seems to me there are two main schools of thought about what you should get for your skills:

1) That you don't have to invest fully in a skill to be effective. There aren't enough skill points to invest fully in every skill, and that seems unlikely to change, so I think it's a good thing to have this be the case.

2) That you should get a reward of some kind for investing fully in a skill anyway. It seems to me the main driver for this is that if 1 is taken to an extreme, all characters will take the same skills, because there's no reason to specialize.

I think these goals are in conflict. You can't satisfy both. More incentive for one opposes the other one.

That is exactly correct, you can't satisfy both at the same time, but you give both as an option. I'm not proposing to get rid of front-loading and "wide" spending. I'm proposing to give something to people who spend "deep" since they are basically spending skill points inefficiently as it is currently. There is no particular reason to go to 9 in most cases when you can spend some points in the early ranks of other skills.

It gives a strategy to the skill tree. What do you invest in, and how deep? This instead of rules of thumb that say "never invest past 6, spend those last 3 ranks elsewhere for best performance".


Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
This is an interesting idea. But I wonder if it's not too complicated to grasp all the implications for players? How much (more) system mastery do we want to demand of players? I tend to think people still have their hands full with figuring out which BO powers they need to pick to have a strong build.

I'm of the opinion the skill system is really quite simplistic as it is, and always was very simple. Really so many of them are rhetorical choices. You want this that and the other thing because there aren't any decent alternatives. But if you start getting something that gives synergies, maybe a lesser used skill suddenly becomes interesting for a particular build.

This idea doesn't actually force anyone to do anything, it potentially gives people options for those who want to get more out of the system. You can still front load all you want and never spend past 6 since that seems to be the obvious stopping point with the next update. But with my idea if you go to 9, you aren't "wasting" skill points any more.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
11-17-2011, 04:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxrocks
I'm of the opinion the skill system is really quite simplistic as it is, and always was very simple. Really so many of them are rhetorical choices. You want this that and the other thing because there aren't any decent alternatives. But if you start getting something that gives synergies, maybe a lesser used skill suddenly becomes interesting for a particular build.
This may be true. (Heck, the ship type skills is a definite example of that. Skilling into the ship you are obviously already flying is not particularly interesting. And speccing into two is hardly a good idea because you can't just switch mid-fight). But the skill system is only part of the character's build, so maybe it's okay if it stays simple.

What definitely wouldn't work is the only incentive being the ability to train skills. That leaves the option to respec after you have trained all the BOs you wanted to train. A synergy bonus you can benefit from all the time if you stay trained in the skill definitely works better.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
11-17-2011, 09:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yzak
I agree with MustrumRidcully, it's an interesting idea, but it adds a lot of complexity.

It seems to me there are two main schools of thought about what you should get for your skills:

1) That you don't have to invest fully in a skill to be effective. There aren't enough skill points to invest fully in every skill, and that seems unlikely to change, so I think it's a good thing to have this be the case.

2) That you should get a reward of some kind for investing fully in a skill anyway. It seems to me the main driver for this is that if 1 is taken to an extreme, all characters will take the same skills, because there's no reason to specialize.

I think these goals are in conflict. You can't satisfy both. More incentive for one opposes the other one.
I agree,

If every skill could be averaged out and partially invested in we’d all have the same type build and that would seem pretty vanilla.

The skill system seems to be set up to give the player choices.

Maxing out on one skill means that you’ll be less effective in another, a trade off that I’m perfectly happy to live with.

The skill system has it stands on tribble right now seems to be setup to create diversity and mismatches that encourage more teaming in Pvp and Pve. (Not so much Pve)

I kind of like the way the new skill revamp is shaping up; however, there’s plenty of room for improvement.
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