Skills?

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Bjørn
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Post by Bjørn » 17 Feb 2005, 03:07

I agree the weapon skills should be more generic and include things like blunt weapon, short blade, long blade. The Elder Scrolls games are a good example here I think. I also agree about the skills being more in the 0-100 range than 0-10 (though I'm not implying any maximums here). As I've posted in another thread I'm imagining the time during which it is interesting to train your character just for the sake of levelling up your skills could be about a month of play.
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Post by Talaroc » 17 Feb 2005, 04:09

I saw your post regarding skill maximums right after posting, and I agree. I know some people who would love the challenge of trying to get a skill to, say, level 125, even though that'd be damned near impossible. It would also make for a much more realistic system.
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Post by Kyokai » 17 Feb 2005, 06:05

I hear you. I'll run the numbers and see what kind of xp curve shoots at about level 80.
Bjorn wrote:Exponential rate of improvement scared me a little, until I realized you meant to use an exponent less than 1.
An exponent less than 1 would yield a declining curve, where levels get easier and easier (relative the last level). We want to use an exponent slightly higher than 1, like 1.2 to yield a curve that increases at a slower rate, but still makes each skill level exponentially harder (notice skill level, not character level.)
With a formula like
next = 10*lvl^1.2
we get results like:
level 1 = 10 uses to advance
level 2 = 22 uses to advance
level 5 = 68 uses to advance
level 10 = 158 uses to advance
level 20 = 364 uses to advance
level 30 = 592 uses to advance
level 50 = 1093 uses to advance

if each use of a skill provides 1 skill xp, this seems reasonable enough. Skills like weapons, combat, and hunt will need this kind of progrssion to stay realistic. As for crafting skills, you will gain more xp based on what level of items you create. (More outlined in the item creation system once I get it framed) For per-use skills. This is a good fit, since they will be used often in the course of questing. I want skills to level up based on how players fight, and these numbers seem discouraging enough to dissuade players from standing around leveling, yet small enough to get accomplished in the course of gameplay.

Also--- SkillCap = 10 + Player level*2. To prevent people from maxing out skills without real training.[/b]
Bjorn wrote:I agree the weapon skills should be more generic and include things like blunt weapon, short blade, long blade. The Elder Scrolls games are a good example here I think
I don't really know about that. I want to limit the initial number of weapon types so that our artists can keep up. Once things get up to speed, adding more weapon types and their respective skills is a simple thing. I really want to balance each skill group by having about 8 skills in each one. I don't have the complete master list yet, though, so that's why some skills categories are lacking.
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Post by Bjørn » 17 Feb 2005, 20:22

Note that I was just being picky on the notation when you were talking about the "rate of improvement" going up exponentially, which would mean exponentially getting better, not making it exponentially hard to get better. Sorry about that.
Kyokai wrote:
Bjorn wrote:I agree the weapon skills should be more generic and include things like blunt weapon, short blade, long blade. The Elder Scrolls games are a good example here I think
I don't really know about that. I want to limit the initial number of weapon types so that our artists can keep up.
I think we should try to come up with the complete list of weapon types, regardless about when the artists will finish all the weapons that will be related to these skills, cause we have nothing to do with that at the moment. I assume we're just trying to come up with a base flexible enough for a vast range of weapons, which isn't likely to need extensions when new weapons are added. I've looked up the Morrowind skills, these are the ones that directly relate to weapon types:

* Axe (heavy chopping weapons)
* Blunt weapon (heavy bashing weapons like maces, hammers, clubs)
* Hand-to-hand (no weapon, maybe with gloves)
* Long blade (long swords, sabers)
* Marksman (ranged weapons like bows or throwing knife/star)
* Short blade (short swords, daggers)
* Spear (spears, halberds)

I really like this list. It's not too long, and it covers a vast range of weapons. Having looked this up I checked the list you currectly have on the related wiki page, and it seems very similar, so imagine we can pretty easily come to a list we can agree on.

The complete Morrowind list, with descriptions and the calculation used to level them up, can be found here:

http://www.uesp.net/morrow/hints/mwskills.shtml
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Post by MathGeek » 18 Feb 2005, 03:31

I've been programming a skill class for sometime now, but since I'm not on the dev-team couldn't submit it. It would have skill roles as a random value between a 'base' and 'highest' value. The highest value would increase with every attempt of the skill, while the base would be at least 1/2 of the highest. The highest would degrade at a constant rate, but never below 110% of the base.

In my system a player would role against the difficulty of accomplishing a task. This is completely different than Kyokai's system, but I prefer it. I feel that the loss of skill, if that skill is under used, is more realistic, while not tying the difficulty to levels allows more flexibility.

I could submit the files tonight if anyone likes the sound of this.
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Post by Kyokai » 18 Feb 2005, 05:38

Mathgeek wrote:In my system a player would role against the difficulty of accomplishing a task. This is completely different than Kyokai's system, but I prefer it. I feel that the loss of skill, if that skill is under used, is more realistic, while not tying the difficulty to levels allows more flexibility.
The problem is that people only appreciate realism to the point that it doesn't hurt your character, if you know what I mean. This is the same as the suggestion for an age system where you grow old and die after so much time. No one wants that, even though that's the way it works. :roll:

What you suggest sounds more like D&D feats than anything else to me. There aren't alot of situations where you have to roll against a difficulty check at the moment. The "skills" as we have them now are mostly to keep track of how good the player is at various things, not to allow him to open locks or lift heavy objects. There may be a system for this later, but it doesn't come up in an MMORPG the same way it does in pen and paper games.
Last edited by Kyokai on 18 Feb 2005, 06:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by MathGeek » 18 Feb 2005, 06:00

Kyokai: I've now stated my opinion and you've stated yours. Now I think we should get other opinions. I'm not trying to out do you, but I've been playing with this idea for months. Short of putting it into the game it's all working, but it may need some tweaking to run under windows.

I should also point out that I dislike level based gaming, and would prefer not to show a character their stats. If you can lift a 100 kg stone then that's a measurement in itself, rather than strength 15.
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Post by Kyokai » 18 Feb 2005, 06:30

Mathgeek wrote:Kyokai: I've now stated my opinion and you've stated yours. Now I think we should get other opinions. I'm not trying to out do you, but I've been playing with this idea for months.
Sorry about that. I didn't mean to insult your idea.

We are doing our best to balance character building with realism with playability and fun. It's a tough act.

Why don't you submit the files to me and I'll take a look at them. I may not have understood exactly what you were saying. If non-combat feats do come up in the game, I imagine they will be handled something like this.
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Post by Bjørn » 18 Feb 2005, 23:36

MathGeek, I have a feeling you have been working on something for all this time basically on yourself, and you'd now be lucky if a majority of people would like to go ahead with what you implemented, which is unfortunate. The difference with the approach Kyokai takes is that he puts all his proposals online and for the past few days a lot of people have been giving inputs about the system and slowly we're working to something we agree on. This brings us now almost in a state were we can start implementing something many people support, and which has already build up quite some documentation.
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Post by Argh » 19 Feb 2005, 12:16

I've got a suggestion for the weapon skills:
Why using weapon types? Why not giving the player the abilitie to use EVERY object he can carry to attack in a list of ways and express his attacking abilities via these attack skills? I think it's better to think about HOW he attacks and not with WHAT he attacks in the first place.
This would mean more fun, realism and is much more flexible, IMHO.
I would suggest the following attack skills:
  • hack
    throw
    stab
Damn, don't know many more appropriating english words for attacking... :cry:

btw: I know there are many question I will post some text in the wiki today, which describes the usage of objects in general.
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Post by Talaroc » 19 Feb 2005, 17:44

If you're going to go that route, you'd need:
chop (small)
chop (large)
slash (small)
slash (large)
stab (small)
stab (large)
bash (small)
bash (large)
hook (small)
hook (large)
throw (small)
throw (large)

Those are all the basic types of weapon attack I can think of offhand. I stand by there needing to be different skills for small and large weapons, as they are different skills (Talaroc is a student of martial arts).
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Post by Bjørn » 19 Feb 2005, 19:13

I still prefer the weapon-type based skills. Note the types stand for a large range of weapons that are about the same type, and share properties like weight, shape and the way of using it.

I think it makes sense to learn both how to fight with what you use to fight (weapon skill) and how to fight the thing you are fighting (knowing your enemy, his weak points).
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Post by Argh » 19 Feb 2005, 19:53

But then you'll need to think about every object in the world, which weapon type it is instead of letting all be decided automaticly. For example: if you would attack a creature by throwing an apple? is the apple then a throwing weapon? if you hit the creature with it, what is the apple then? how would you decide what weapon type a plank, a stool, a latern or whatever is? IMHO weapon types are unflexible...
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Post by Bjørn » 20 Feb 2005, 00:35

Uh, notice there is one throwing skill which will count for all throwing weapons. If you use a stool or an apple to throw at a monster, it's your throwing skill that counts, and the amount in which you know where you need to hit the monster to hit him most effectively, by experience with the monster type in question.

Note that the inherent affectiveness of an apple is much lower than a stool, which could still be lower than a throwing star with its sharp sticky out kinda things. This is the same difference as between a wooden dagger or a dwarven short sword, but both fall under the short blade skill.

A plank will probably go for "blunt weapon" when equipped and used as a club. Just like any other form of club, mace or hammer. A long plank will probably be two-handed.

The thing is, you can't hope to determine the weapon type of an object automatically. These are properties of an object, just like weight, icon, value, etc. that will just need to be specified for each new object added to the game.
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Post by Kyokai » 20 Feb 2005, 01:08

I don't know about all this. Throwing apples and stools and such is a nice effect, but doesn't it get a bit away from the original SoM concept? Players will fight with weapons, I think that's how it's going to have to stay. If you want to classify throwing apples or a stool as a type of hammer weapon, that's perfectly fine, but there's generally only one way to use each type of weapon.

A sword will always act like a sword. No one needs to know how to throw a sword. No one will want to throw a sword. So why put it in? It just overcomplicates things, in my opinion.
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