Skills and Class stuff.

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Skills and Class stuff.

Post by Pauan » Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:59 am

Well... I take it there might be some dispute on this... but either way, I think this is a nice system. First off, I'll mention the system we're using now (which will almost certainly be changed in the new server), and what I think of similar systems.

As it is right now, in RO and like-such games, you earn points at a level up, which you can use to "buy" skills. That is just plain silly! You cannot buy skills. You learn them. How do you teach yourself a new skill out in the wilderness by "using" points? Quite silly isn't it?

I was thinking, and came up with this system, which in addition to being more realistic, is also far more flexible.

The general idea is... you never buy skills or class changes. You earn them. You start out as an unarmed traveller with only the clothes on your back. I can tell you a story about how you got to The Mana World, but I'd like to keep this on-topic for right now. :wink:

How my system works is, you start out with no money, and go around using your fists to lay waste on random low-level monsters nearby. Once you get enough money, you can buy a "base weapon." Theoretically, you could have an infinite amount of these weapons, but for the sake of this suggestion, I'll say that there are 6.

Each are different from eachother. Some are short-range, some are long-range. Some are swords, bow, axes, whips, spears, etc. Anyways, let's say the player wants to become a soldier. Soldiers use swords. Thus, if you want to become a soldier, you must buy a sword.

Now that you have a nice shiny sword... what the heck do you do? You go out and kill monsters of course! After lots of killing, you will become more proficient with your particular weapon, indicated by a weapon point. The more weapon points you have, the stronger your attack becomes, for instance... more weapon points on a dagger will increase your chances for a critical attack. More weapon points on a bow will increase your accuracy. Etc. etc. This concerns the stat/level-up system too, which I won't go into right now.

Anyways, so you gain a weapon point.. but it's not enough. So you kill some more monsters. Aha! But now you have TWO weapon points! And now you have SO much training, that you are finally able to become a soldier! So what do you do? You head over to an old retired warrior in Tulimshar and pay him to tutor you. He rants on for 50 hours about old battles and such... and after giving a test to show off your sword skills, he awards you with the title of soldier!

Naturally you would want to gain some skills... but you can't. Why? Because you have to earn them. Darn. Anyways, moving on.... My idea involves weapons too. Rather than having weapons JUST control classes... why not have them control skills as well? Taking a small hint from FFTA, we could use a weapon-skill system. Basically, almost all weapons will have a skill attached to them. This is based on the oriental idea of "ki," and that something you touch (like a sword) will have another person's "ki" in it.

Based on this principle, various weapons have different skills attached to it. Thus, a Katana would teach you something like "The Warrior's Cry" which will increase your strength temporarily at the cost of MP. But how do you get these abilities? You spend hours killing MORE monsters of course! Whenever you use a weapon for a while, it gains a weapon point (also mentioned earlier). Once that particular weapon's points are high enough, you will learn a new skill! One weapon could have lots of skills attached to it, but I would suggest 1-3.

Another idea to consider would be rare items. Do we make them have a super-rare skill... or a random skill? I think it would be very interesting if rare items had a random skill attached to it. It would also make that rare sword even RARER if it had an incredibly powerful skill along with it. In addition, it would encourage people to play even MORE in order to gain a DUPLICATE weapon.... with a better skill. Sound interesting?

This also brings up the subject of rare items... Using my system, there are two kinds of rare items: rare items, and normal items with LOTS of weapon points on them. Thus, a weapon with lots of weapon points attached to it will be more valuable than a brand new one...

Another idea to consider is weapons that wear out if you use them too much. Thus, the two balance out. Let's say each weapon has a certain point, that once you reach it, the weapon breaks. So... you need to decide: Should I use this weapon more, making it even MORE valuable... or just sell it now, and not risk breaking it? It adds another more dynamic, nice side to the game. It also ties in with AHarrison's idea that those who takes bigger risks get more gain. This also brings up the subject of "unbreakable weapons." Some rare weapons will be breakable, and some will be unbreakable. Those that are unbreakable would naturally be worth a lot more than those that are not. Just some food for thought...

Anyways... there's my two cents. Personally, I like this system... but I'll leave it up to you guys to decide. :wink:
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Post by Master Ar2ro » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:29 am

My comments:
- Starting out unarmed is good, and I think that's how it should be - no weapons at the very begining.

- Not buying but learning skills is a good idea too.

- The general weapon points idea is a good one too, but they should stay on the player rather than the weapon. Let's say I've been using a short sword for a few days, I learned a couple of those points, and then I lost/sold/broke the sword I was using. I then go buy a new short sword. I should be able to use it just as the last one, and not learn using it all over again. But if I buy a long sword, or a bow, then sure, I must get weapon points for those to be good enough. The same thing considering selling that weapon to a newbie. It was me who used that weapon, and even if he gets it, he has to learn how to use it. (consider such a situation: I am training with my weapon and have like 10 points on it and am quite good; a newbie joins the game and gets a similar weapon with 60 points on it, from an elite friend; this newbie would kill me on the first day of playing even though I played a whole damn lot more)

- The weapons having skills attached to them is a nice idea (Final Fantasy was it?) and I like it. BUT you don't have to base it on any 'ki' principle. It's obvious that some skills might require a katana and not a short sword, and the other way around. So getting skills out of using weapons is good, but again, if that particular weapon brakes or I sell it, the skill should stay with me. Sure, it can be a skill I can only use with a specific TYPE of weapon, but not with a SPECIFIC weapon. I don't lose that skills if the weapon breaks. (If your bike/car breaks, do you lose the skills to ride/drive it?)

- When there is a couple of skills for a given type of weapons it's OK I think to make weapons have random skills, but only those for a give type of weapon.

- Destroyable equipment is an idea I like. Let's say I use a sword for a month, it surely is not as sharp and strong as it was, when I bought it, so it's damage and speed are a few percent less than they were then. I should be able to repair that weapon at a blacksmiths, BUT it would not regain it's first potential (let's say that each time you repair a weapon it can only have 95% of it's current damage, discarding the weapons state, so it doesn't matter if it's damaged in 5 or 95%). This way, I should buy/find new weapons and armour every once in a while to get back to the full form, but I wouldn't loose those I have as fast as when they simply break. Again skills and weapon points should stay on the player not the weapon.

That's it from me. General opinion: positive.
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Post by Crush » Thu Aug 31, 2006 1:37 pm

About the skill system:
It is a consensus in the dev team that we want some kind of learning by doing system. There are also some different drafts about it on the wiki. At the moment it looks like we will be using a hybrid system combining two of them:

-skills increased like described here:
http://wiki.themanaworld.org/index.php/Stat_system_2
or here:
http://wiki.themanaworld.org/index.php/Skill_system
(where i favor the first)
-and additional character attributes based on this system:
http://wiki.themanaworld.org/index.php/Attributes

Although all these systems don't cover active skills. Maybe you should find a way to integrate your idea for acquiring active skills into the above concepts.

About classes
There has been a consensus in the dev team that we don't want predefined classes. We want to force the players into specalisation using other means.

About destroyable weapons:
i think this is a good idea. An active economy needs a drain of resources. When everyone has to buy a new sword or armor from time to time the crafters have much more to do.

My idea would be that every piece of equipment got a currend durability and a max durability. Everytime it is used the current durability is reduced. the effectivity is propotional to the current durability. so your epuipment becomes worse and worse. Player characters can repair equipment, but everytime you repair it the max durability is reduced (the ammount depends on the repair skill of the repairing character).
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Post by Tarm » Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:32 pm

I dont like that everyone are the same at the beginning.If we do go that way we need to have races to get some diversity.

Breakable items in a game is like having to eat food.Irritating.If they do wear out it should at least be possible to get the weapon/thingie fully repaired without a reduction at a blacksmith as in diablo.
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Post by Crush » Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:49 pm

Tarm wrote:I dont like that everyone are the same at the beginning.If we do go that way we need to have races to get some diversity.
What's wrong about that? I think it just makes the learning curve easier when everyone starts with a most basic character without having to make decisions about things he hasn't got enough information about (what class plays how? what stat distribution is the best?) and additional complexity is introduced step by step.
Breakable items in a game is like having to eat food.Irritating.If they do wear out it should at least be possible to get the weapon/thingie fully repaired without a reduction at a blacksmith as in diablo.
Having to eat food at regular intervals is usually a boring and useless element because it doesn't add any interesting decisions to the gameplay.

But a limited lifetime for weapons on the other hand adds a lot of elements to the game:
  • You can't just sit back and relax when you got your "perfect" equipment. You have to maintain it and replace parts from time to time. This makes the late game much more interesting while low levels won't be affected that much of it anyway (before a weapon is worn down it is usually replaced by a better weapon)
  • You may decide to save strong but fragile weapons that are difficult to repair for special situations.
  • Players who focus on crafting will have much more to do because weapons have to be replaced at regular intervals. An economy where goods are constantly consumed is much more active. There will be no stagnation of productivity when all characters got the perfect equipment and only newbies need new weapons like it happens in other games.
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Post by Tarm » Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:18 pm

If everybody is the same at the beginning and there's no way to get a edge with a certain playstyle RP takes a hit.You should be able to specialise.Example : Elfs - Good at magic, Orcs - Good at fighting.Or small and smart - magic user, big and stupid - warrior.Something like that.More choices.
This way you can have fun experimenting and create odd fun characters like a small fencer or a big paladin.
In short.Races or a feature where you decide the overall physic of your character.
You raise another question.Short or long learning curve?Personally I like long learning curves.It's hard and maybe even boring in the beginning but the rewards are greater when you do get the hang of it. :)

I dont like breakable items because when you do get a nice item you either use it a lot, gets some easy levels/money/loot but when the item breaks you get a hard time or you dont use it at all because you dont want it to break at the wrong time.If you dont use it eventually you will find a better item and/or the monsters/quests are harder so the first item isnt any good anymore.That's what happens to me all the time.Wands with expendable charges is a perfect example.
Also you tend to hoard items.Dragging along a lot of items in the event you might need one of them.Most of these items you never use because of this.
Maybe it's me that's a stupid player. :roll:

The only positive thing with breakable items is as you said economy.It helps the ingame economy.But I would very much like it if we find other ways to get a functioning economy.
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Post by Crush » Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:24 pm

Just because everyone starts the same doesn't mean that everyone stays the same. Players will get more and more ways to specialize when they advance in the game and create individual characters that grow naturally.

I picture a new character as an empty canvas and every hour of gaming creates some new details so that the picture of the character becomes more and more detailed.

Regarding races:
Choosing a race at a later stage of the game would be very unrealistic. So when we introduce races they have to be chosen at the beginning. But at the moment it is still disputed if we will have multiple playable races at all and if we have how much different they will be gameplay-wise. the only two things we are quite sure about are a) all races have to be the same body shape so we needn't create even more equipment sprites and b) we want to abstain from classical fantasy races like orcs and dwarfes but invent our own races. For more details read http://wiki.themanaworld.org/index.php/Races
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Post by Tarm » Thu Aug 31, 2006 3:34 pm

Crush wrote:Just because everyone starts the same doesn't mean that everyone stays the same. Players will get more and more ways to specialize when they advance in the game and create individual characters that grow naturally.

I picture a new character as an empty canvas and every hour of gaming creates some new details so that the picture of the character becomes more and more detailed.


Yes I know.I have absolutely no problem with that, in fact I like it.My point is that if you know what you're doing and want to specialise you should be able to get a edge right at the start.That is to start with more strength and less agility for example.Or that your chosen character is easier to raise the archer skill and harder to raise blunt weapons.
Anyone played Fallout?You could chose Traits I think the name was in the beginning to get this effect.

Edit : It doesnt have to be races.Something like Traits would be my prefered method. :)
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Post by Rotonen » Thu Aug 31, 2006 5:02 pm

Traits would be nice: you gain something by trading something for it.
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Post by Tarm » Thu Aug 31, 2006 5:15 pm

Rotonen wrote:Traits would be nice: you gain something by trading something for it.


Exactly.Should keep player balance that way.
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Post by Crush » Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:23 pm

how about choosing traits later when the player got more knowledge of the game mechanics and got an idea of what advantages and disadvantages the traits really mean for the playing style. Like all 20 levels the player can choose a trait to become better at task A and worse at task B.

These traits could reflect the experience of the character and how they changed him. Some examples:

"Scarface"
The character got a scarred face after many hard battles. This reduces his charisma but increases his hit points because he is used to pain.

"Hate for creature type X"
The character suffered some personal loss because of undeads, animals, whatever and now hates them. That means he inflicts more damage to them but also receives more damage when they hit him.

"Afraid of creature type X"
the counterpart to "hate" which reduces damage from and to the creature type (the character is more careful).

"Lone Wolf"
Gets a bonus when fighting alone and a malus when fighting in a party.

"Socializer"
The other way around.

"Night/Day Person"
Gets a bonus at night and a malus at day or vice versa.

"Pacifist"
A rather extreme trait. The character can not use any weapons or offensive magic anymore but he gets a big bonus on all crafting skills and defensive magic skills. A useful trait for designated crafters or healers.

"Remove trait"
People change and so do characters. Instead of getting a new trait at a 20th level the character can instead decide to remove one of his already selected traits.
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Post by Tarm » Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:04 pm

This could work.If we put traits at level twenty then we need to have information somewhere about the major traits so that you can build/train your character from level one to fit the trait/traits you want to have.The information could be ingame, manual or a website.Doesnt matter as long as it's somewhere.

Another fun thing with traits is that you can have them as "rewards" in certain quests or "secret" locations.They dont have to be positive either.Ponder that you didnt do a quest and get a traitor trait or something. :)

Im not sure I like "trained" traits.For example if you use a bow alot you get a "expert archer" trait.I'd like to chose my traits and not get them automatically.

Edit : Stop editing your posts.I answer to quick. ;)
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Post by Pauan » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:27 pm

Master Ar2ro wrote:- The general weapon points idea is a good one too, but they should stay on the player rather than the weapon. Let's say I've been using a short sword for a few days, I learned a couple of those points, and then I lost/sold/broke the sword I was using. I then go buy a new short sword. I should be able to use it just as the last one, and not learn using it all over again. But if I buy a long sword, or a bow, then sure, I must get weapon points for those to be good enough. The same thing considering selling that weapon to a newbie. It was me who used that weapon, and even if he gets it, he has to learn how to use it. (consider such a situation: I am training with my weapon and have like 10 points on it and am quite good; a newbie joins the game and gets a similar weapon with 60 points on it, from an elite friend; this newbie would kill me on the first day of playing even though I played a whole damn lot more)
I agree. They should be specific to a particular weapon. What I mean is, you the player DID learn how to use a particular weapon. The point I was trying to make is, that you get more proficient with a particular weapon if you use it. But your idea is nice too, using types of weapons. However, in real life, if you pick up a Katana as opposed to a Rapier, they will handle very differently, requiring you to re-learn how to use them. That's why I suggested weapon rather than type. And yes, I did make an error in my thinking, thank you for pointing that out! Yes, proficiency points should stay on the player, but be used towards a particular weapon.
Master Ar2ro wrote:- The weapons having skills attached to them is a nice idea (Final Fantasy was it?) and I like it. BUT you don't have to base it on any 'ki' principle. It's obvious that some skills might require a katana and not a short sword, and the other way around. So getting skills out of using weapons is good, but again, if that particular weapon brakes or I sell it, the skill should stay with me. Sure, it can be a skill I can only use with a specific TYPE of weapon, but not with a SPECIFIC weapon. I don't lose that skills if the weapon breaks. (If your bike/car breaks, do you lose the skills to ride/drive it?)
I only mentioned the 'ki' principle to show that people in real life DO actually believe that you can gain certain abilities from different items. Not just a type either. They believe that if a certain person uses a certain sword over a lifetime, that sword will have it's master's 'ki' inside it, so anybody who uses that particular sword will gain the abilities inside it. I also agree that skills should stay with the player. If you learn the skill, it's yours to use, even if you have to have that particular weapon equipped in order to use it. (Example: You learned the skill "The Samurai's Cry," for the rest of the game, but cannot use it unless a Katana is equipped.
Master Ar2ro wrote:- Destroyable equipment is an idea I like. Let's say I use a sword for a month, it surely is not as sharp and strong as it was, when I bought it, so it's damage and speed are a few percent less than they were then. I should be able to repair that weapon at a blacksmiths, BUT it would not regain it's first potential (let's say that each time you repair a weapon it can only have 95% of it's current damage, discarding the weapons state, so it doesn't matter if it's damaged in 5 or 95%). This way, I should buy/find new weapons and armour every once in a while to get back to the full form, but I wouldn't loose those I have as fast as when they simply break. Again skills and weapon points should stay on the player not the weapon.
That isn't something I had thought through. Thank you for pointing it out! I like the idea of repairing weapons, and that they lose some potential. That is how it is in real life, a repaired sword will always be weaker than a brand new one. I enjoyed reading your critiques! Thank you.
Crush wrote:*Some gibberish about traits and such and such*
I actually really like that idea. However, if we use a lower-leveling-curve, we're going to have to make it more than every 20 levels. Maybe have smaller traits every 10 levels, and a HUGE one at 20? For instance... you can't change Pacifist until every 20 levels, but if you wanted to, you could exchange strength for dexterity. Thus, every 10 levels, if you wanted to, you could increase your dexterity at the expense of strength, exchange HP for MP and so on... This would work very well if everybody started out with the same stats...
Tarm wrote:*Some more random gibberish and stuff...*
Yet at the same time... that would be kinda unfair. If you could choose right from the start that your physical strength is higher, then you will level up faster in the beginning than other people. It should be that everybody starts out equal, but can change their character later on. I think the 'traits' idea works very well for this purpose. That way, you can specialize your character however you want.
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Post by Tarm » Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:58 pm

You wont necesarily level faster than everybody else.Traits doesnt generally make you stronger, it makes you better at certain things and worse on something else.I agree that for example a magic user with a trait that helps magic users will level faster than a magic user without the trait but imho that's how it should work.

I dont like the idea of many traits.Traits should be something that really makes a difference but it shouldnt take many to notice a marked difference.If you do need many traits it will wander into the skills area.Skills and traits are not the same thing.
How quick you get them is really a game testing issue.Say in alpha or early beta status.

Edit : I mean play testing issue.
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Post by Pauan » Fri Sep 01, 2006 2:55 am

Tarm wrote:You wont necesarily level faster than everybody else.Traits doesnt generally make you stronger, it makes you better at certain things and worse on something else.I agree that for example a magic user with a trait that helps magic users will level faster than a magic user without the trait but imho that's how it should work.

I dont like the idea of many traits.Traits should be something that really makes a difference but it shouldnt take many to notice a marked difference.If you do need many traits it will wander into the skills area.Skills and traits are not the same thing.
How quick you get them is really a game testing issue.Say in alpha or early beta status.

Edit : I mean play testing issue.
If you take my ideas here, that everybody starts off with no weapons, and only fists, then yes, they WILL level up faster, since fists rely on strength. So if you could choose at the beginning of the game to have a race with stronger physical abilities, you will have an advantage. So, why doesn't EVERYBODY pick that race, and just change your trait later?

I agree that they should be few and far between. However... I also like the idea of merging traits and stats. Why bother gaining a certain amount of points per level up? That's just as silly as "buying" skills. You cannot buy abilities or stats. Something needs to be exchanged for it. Thus, if you want to increase your dexterity, it will have to be at the expense of a different stat. Thus, the "traits rule" could apply to MANY things in the game. So what I'm saying is... once in a while use a huge trait, but along the way, you can use much smaller traits to tweak your character. This will keep the specialty characters in check.

What I mean is... one of the topics are those players that are "omni," that is, they are super-good at EVERYTHING, and are basically unbeatable. However, if you apply the "traits rule" to the stat and level-up system, then it's impossible to be good at EVERYTHING. You might be good at... 3 out of 8 skills, but that's it. That's over 24 different routes ONE character could take! That allows for a LOT of variety... If you wanted to be a specialized archer, you can. If you want to be a specialized mage, you can. If you want to be a mix between an archer and a mage, you can. If you want to be a mix between an archer, mage, and assassin, you can. But if you want to be a mix between four or more classes, you can't. Why? Because your stats will be already twisted to one side. Thus, you could exchange dexterity for strength, MP for HP, and luck for agility. Sure, you won't be all that powerful, but you'll be balanced. And, this system prevents anybody from becoming an omni-character while at the same time encouraging specialization....
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