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Character specializations

Posted: 18 Feb 2005, 01:53
by Kyokai
Hammerbear presented me with an interesting problem. How do we get players to specialize in the current stat system. I have posted what I feel would be a good solution to this on the skills page near the bottom. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Posted: 18 Feb 2005, 03:55
by Bjørn
I had typed this in the Wiki but I think it could be appropriate for discussion in this thread as well. Basically I present an alternative approach, I've already been in a lengthy conversation with Kyokai about this, but we haven't been able to agree yet.

We are discussing a system where it gets exponentially harder to gain levels for any specific skill. This is fine with me, but I see two problems. The first is that the skill with the lowest level will almost be the relative most rewarding one to increase, while at the same time this requires the least effort. And the skill with the highest level is the hardest to advance, but you get relatively the least in return. The other problem is that while this system places a practical limit on the level you can reach, it doesn't do the same for the amount of different skills you can specialize in. In effect you can specialize in everything, becoming master of all skills, and actually be not specialized at all.

To solve these problems I propose to not only make it exponentially harder to increase a specific skills, but also to make it exponentially harder to increase any skill at all. Suppose our system has 50 skills, and getting any of them to level 100 is the practically impossible limit. The extra limit placed on this system is then that getting over about 50 * 50 = 2500 skill points in total is a practically impossible limit as well, which comes from having all your skills at 50, the theoretical "perfect all-rounder" type that hasn't specialized in anything.

So how does this solve our two problems? Firstly about becoming a master of all skills. If you now try to become a master of all skills, you won't be able to reach as high levels for individual skills as characters that do more specialization. The other problem, about low level skills being the most interesting to advance, steering the character towards the all-rounder type, is also eliminated. This is because the player will be more reluctant to start increasing the skill that is easiest to advance in, because it will make it harder for him to advance further in what would like to specialize in.

I think this system is more realistic, easier to implement and easier to understand by players than other proposed systems where for example the player has to either explicitly choose the skills and groups of skills he wants to specialize in or join specific guilds to specialize in certain skills.

Posted: 18 Feb 2005, 05:47
by Kyokai
Ok, so we've got skill specialization framed for the most part. I'm still in favor of being able to acquire at least one skill accelerator in each group.

like for example, say the largest city has a hospitial. The head pharmacist has developed a medicine that improves a player's resistance to one type of status. He needs a specific ingredient to finish it, so that's the quest. Then, you go back and he gives you a dose of the medicine based on the ingridient you bring. So now your rate of gaining resistance to poison is doubled for the rest of the game. You can't ever take a different type of the medicine, because that would kill the character (ie: he won't give you another quest, so you can't become immune to more than 1 status effect except by the normal skill progression).

The same for magic, each spirit might have a quest that you can do, but once you do it, other temples won't offer the same quest to you anymore.

Weapons, you have to locate a powerful trainer, and other trainers won't accept you after that.

Posted: 18 Feb 2005, 23:27
by Bjørn
Sure I'm fine with these kind of quest rewards. :)

Posted: 19 Feb 2005, 10:38
by Argh

I like quest awards, too, but I wonder how this will be implemented in a MMORPG - are they're going to be automaticly created (which somehow may make them all be the same, if only the places, the ones who give you the quest and the items change), or put up by the "game masters"(hard work to build quests for so many players, but very flexible)?

Posted: 19 Feb 2005, 11:24
by Bjørn
It's almost definately going to be a mix, just like the world is going to be a mix of hand crafted areas and random generated ones, I imagine.

Posted: 21 Feb 2005, 15:10
by Rotonen
Another proposition: what if a player could become a skillmaster like this in a skill after he/she has reached a certain level in the skill he wants to teach. That'd bring a whole new job to the scene of MMORPGs: teaching. Obviously things like resistances shouldn't be learnable from other peoples. (This could apply only to practical skills like weapon handling and smithing.)

Posted: 21 Feb 2005, 18:08
by Kyokai
That's a cool idea. I think we can definitely do that one.