Player Specialization and Skillpoint Scaling


  • Moving forward towards Alpha 6 and Beta, we're looking to push for a stronger emphasis on player specialization (professions) and encourage the use of trade, contract, and other economy features.

    Currently in the Alpha 6 staging build we've added a 5% increase in all skills for each skill level a player has. This means when a player has purchased 20 skill levels, all other skills will be twice as expensive. The idea is to encourage players to focus on a more narrow range of skills rather than picking up a bunch of low level skills just because they're cheap while still allowing newer players the ability to pick up the skills they need at a reasonable cost. These changes are not necessarily going to end up in the final build of A6, but something in a similar vein will.

    This exact topic has come up in the past and we’ve received a lot of interesting feedback on the subject (especially when we changed the skill costs and changed the food nutrition). Ideally, I would love to get feedback on the current state of skills as they exist in A5.6 and any issues you think may arise from the changes that will end up in A6.

    • Ecoylent is not intended to replace every meal, but it can replace any meal

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  • I like making specialization more of a thing.

    Maybe it would be good to put a way to reset some of those points. With a more tactical system like that, a new player could hurt himself a lot by putting points where he don't need them. Also I think it's good to make career change an option. In case the player grow bored by what he is doing.

    Maybe allow the player to forget skills, and make it so there is a delay before he get his sp back to stop abuses. 20h delay maybe? Or just some small sp penalty.



  • in my opinion 3 - 7 day, just to "force" users to choose profession, and stay in it... and there must be way to choose so called profession at start, who want to be smith who baker etc, who hunt who farm.. without waiting days/weeks without doing nothing at all, only to get access to research skill scrolls....



  • and there must be way to choose so called profession at start, who want to be smith who baker etc, who hunt who farm.. without waiting days/weeks without doing nothing at all, only to get access to research skill scrolls....

    The player objectives are kind of already doing that. You can also see who is taking which skill. But the best way remain to talk to each other.
    Some guy could come to the server, play 5 minutes, claim a profession and never come back. You want to rely on active players. Not to mention some players don't want to trade, you can't rely on those either.



  • This is awesome, but like Mog said, you have to setup a way to be able to change career. I was a new player 2 weeks ago, and didn't know too much what I was doing on the 1st server. Then, to start back, I had to change server. It needs some more specialization, in 14 days, 3 active players, we are able to finish all the required things, and I can specialilzed in more than 4 items, that's not what we want.

    But you have to set all specialization interesting. Everybody wants to be smith... Nobody wants to be carpenter... Carpenter needs more furniture as in late game, people wants to have nice things in their house, etc. Just a suggestion.



  • Actually there is only one profession in game, at moment, that is "world saver" that mean survival > Farmer > Cooker > Lumbering > Masonry > Smithy > all till Computer Science, that all you must to be, in order to save world, and peoples do that, what ever it cost. scaling skill points only make them idle(logged off) whole mount or year (when ever meteor impact is happening).

    To scale skill points, you also need scale meteor impact times, all way from 6 month to years.



  • what about if you are playing on your own then you need to learn most skills, really need to give this some thought before release on Steam because you can guarentee that the servers will be full of unfinished buildings and people going on servers and not going back



  • Its not a game of playing on your own. Its a game of communication and playing as a group. I think that is what the developpers were looking for, a community game, not a solo game :).



  • you still have the ability to play on your own , so this would have to be considered when looking at skills



  • Some kind of scaling difficulty in specialization will be needed to support both small and large servers, we'll do something like that.

    I'm also thinking we turn up the 'inflation' of skill points, so everytime you spend points the cost of everything goes up even more, by X% of the spent skills. Perhaps this could be the scaling factor as well, what percent skill costs inflate.

    Basically it will take a lot of experimentation, so we'll try different stuff and give us feedback and hopefully it can be nice and solid for Steam release.



  • I honestly think this idea of scaling up skill points is way beyond ludicrous. I have said in the past that making the game mechanics to force people to do things how you the developer think it should be is a bad idea. Incentives are a way to get people to specialize and like it. Make the skill trees for each profession more in depth and deeper. at the end is where the best of the best items are and midway is the good stuff and bottom of the tree is preparing for later in the tree. I'm so far seeing a need for 4 people to live right next to each other and each one is basically a slave on a farm tasked with an individual job. One hunts, one cuts wood, one digs the dirt out from a mine and the fourth picks away at the stone. 107 calories at 1st skill level is horrible and makes starting out difficult and a grind.

    This game is directed towards middle school aged children and so far everything you are doing is going to push away that age group. A teach is not going to realistically allocate enough time for students to do the grind needed to reach deep into the skill trees since progression is slowed down so much by the developers that your talking months to accomplish the goal of stopping the meteor.

    My son is in middle school and every semester of school he has a different teacher in all his classes. so after 2 to three months the students will loose access to the game in class and a new one will be starting..



  • The trick is to find a way to keep specialization important in worlds that have lasted a long time. If there are tons of 'skill gods' that have managed to specialize in everything, there will be no need for an economy. There's only so far you can take the skill tree content, we'll make it as deep as possible but it will always be finite, and thus without limiting the economy will eventually become obsolete.

    Thanks for the feedback, what level of skill specialization are you playing with? The goal is to let players differentiate a bit and have a few things they can do really well and a lot of stuff they can do not so well, such that specialization stays relevant but not restricting. It's a very challenging balance to find.



  • @JohnK. If i may make a suggestion. I suggest instead of the skill points costing more overtime that you simply block out whole trees, but allow everyone to get the 1st tier in every tree and everything in one or two other trees. I.e. if you want to be a smith you research the whole tree that is involved in it, but you can still farm, hunt, gather etc etc but you wouldnt be able to say cook advanced recipes as a cook. You could even have an admin server option that lets you pick by clicking on a box... 1 full skill, 2 full skills, normal mode. Keep both sides of the fanbase happy.

    I suggest this because i have tried it on a personal server with a few other people and it had good results for server size. I allowed people to specialize in 2 tech trees fully (opens up more gameplay for everyone while encouraging trade) i also allowed everyone to fully deck out the survival tech tree (allowed for everyone to do manual labor and not grind all the time) and also allowed them to learn one tech block in each tech tree (i.e. you could either learn the 1st level of carpentry or the 1st level of paper, not both) doing this allowed for the game not to become impossible if others werent on. You could still farm your own land and such, but not nearly as efficently as someone fully decked out in the farm tree. You could still cut boards, but someone specialized as a carpenter would use a lot less wood and be quicker.

    If you need any further explaining or help im here to ask



  • @chaorfighter said:

    ting more overtime that you simply block out whole trees, but allow everyone to get the 1st tier in every tree and everything in one or two other trees. I.e. if you want to be a smith you research the whole tree that is involved in it, but you can still farm, hunt, gather etc etc but you wouldnt be able to say cook advanced recipes as a cook. You could even have an admin server option that lets you pick by clicking on a box... 1 full skill, 2 full skills, normal mode. Keep both sides of the fanbase happy.

    I suggest this because i have tried it on a personal server with a few other people and it had good results for server size. I allowed people to specialize in 2 tech trees fully (opens up more gameplay for everyone while encouraging trade) i also allowed everyone to fully deck out the survival tech tree (allowed for everyone to do manual labor and not grind all the time) and also allowed them to learn one tech block in each tech tree (i.e. you could either learn the 1st level of carpentry or the 1st level of paper, not both) doing this allowed for the game not to become impossible if others werent on. You could still farm your own land and such, but not nearly as efficently as someone fully decked out in the farm tree. You could still cut boards, but someone specialized as a carpenter would use a lot less wood and be quicker.

    If you need any further explaining or help im here to ask

    Its an interesting idea, and the idea of capping the skill unlocks that I added gets to this. Was thinking of more explicit 'branching paths' like you describe, where if you choose one path you lock off the other, but it can break the game in a small number of players.
    With alpha 6 I did add the 'difficulty settings' which lets you decide how much skill specialization is needed, and we can experiment and see what feels good.



  • @JohnK perhaps if you allow them to get the 1st skill of each one and then it blocks out the rest it will help with the game breaking part. Theoretically my way you only need 6 active players specializing in the 6 different skill trees aside from survival



  • @chaorfighter said:

    @JohnK. If i may make a suggestion. I suggest instead of the skill points costing more overtime that you simply block out whole trees, but allow everyone to get the 1st tier in every tree and everything in one or two other trees. I.e. if you want to be a smith you research the whole tree that is involved in it, but you can still farm, hunt, gather etc etc but you wouldnt be able to say cook advanced recipes as a cook. You could even have an admin server option that lets you pick by clicking on a box... 1 full skill, 2 full skills, normal mode. Keep both sides of the fanbase happy.

    I suggest this because i have tried it on a personal server with a few other people and it had good results for server size. I allowed people to specialize in 2 tech trees fully (opens up more gameplay for everyone while encouraging trade) i also allowed everyone to fully deck out the survival tech tree (allowed for everyone to do manual labor and not grind all the time) and also allowed them to learn one tech block in each tech tree (i.e. you could either learn the 1st level of carpentry or the 1st level of paper, not both) doing this allowed for the game not to become impossible if others werent on. You could still farm your own land and such, but not nearly as efficently as someone fully decked out in the farm tree. You could still cut boards, but someone specialized as a carpenter would use a lot less wood and be quicker.

    If you need any further explaining or help im here to ask

    This is a great way to do it, But to add to your idea here.

    I would suggest not making the gathering skills such a pain to use. first level costs 1 skill point second costs 6 and it only reduces calorie consumption by 14%. that means for the first ~6 hours of gameplay it's grinding for food. And this is just for getting level 2 of a gathering skill such as logging. That second level drops the calorie consumption from 107 to 92 so it's still a grind for food. No matter what food is always needed even in the later game, which is why I don't understand why it's so high when starting the game.



  • @Flix79 with blocking out whole skill trees points will no longer be an issue for survival skills



  • @JohnK

    @JohnK said:

    The trick is to find a way to keep specialization important in worlds that have lasted a long time. If there are tons of 'skill gods' that have managed to specialize in everything, there will be no need for an economy. There's only so far you can take the skill tree content, we'll make it as deep as possible but it will always be finite, and thus without limiting the economy will eventually become obsolete.

    Thanks for the feedback, what level of skill specialization are you playing with? The goal is to let players differentiate a bit and have a few things they can do really well and a lot of stuff they can do not so well, such that specialization stays relevant but not restricting. It's a very challenging balance to find.

    I believe that the inflation rate needs to be scaled globally based off of the skill points used by all players on the server not just yourself. This way it will be more reflective with the current amount of players on the server.

    Currently I don't have a lot of active players and with the inflation rate there are several skills I can't unlock that are necessary to progress and there are not other players that I can either barter the skill scrolls from or buy the components I need. This ultimately brings a deadlock to progress.



  • Dungeons & Dragons already solved this issue.

    Your proficiency (in this case inflation) raises two ways - in your main profession and multi-classed
    So lets say You chose to be chef
    You are a chef as main class, butcher as 2nd and farmer as 3rd
    Chef skills 5, butcher skills 2, farmer skills 2
    In this way increasing Chef skills from 5 to 6 will increase inflation for Chef skill points only - so it will cost you 6
    But if You level cross class adding one more skill to butcher - from 2 to 3 - will cost amount of skills You have +1 so in this case (5+2+2)+1 -> to level up butchery from 2 to 3 will cost You 10, while leveling Chef from 5 to 6 will cost you 6.

    Bit more complicated but perhaps this way solves one-man-army that can beat game alone, right?



  • @Foolish_Crok said:

    Dungeons & Dragons already solved this issue.

    Your proficiency (in this case inflation) raises two ways - in your main profession and multi-classed
    So lets say You chose to be chef
    You are a chef as main class, butcher as 2nd and farmer as 3rd
    Chef skills 5, butcher skills 2, farmer skills 2
    In this way increasing Chef skills from 5 to 6 will increase inflation for Chef skill points only - so it will cost you 6
    But if You level cross class adding one more skill to butcher - from 2 to 3 - will cost amount of skills You have +1 so in this case (5+2+2)+1 -> to level up butchery from 2 to 3 will cost You 10, while leveling Chef from 5 to 6 will cost you 6.

    Bit more complicated but perhaps this way solves one-man-army that can beat game alone, right?

    Interesting, got a link describing this fully?

    @ExPLiCiT said:

    @JohnK

    @JohnK said:

    The trick is to find a way to keep specialization important in worlds that have lasted a long time. If there are tons of 'skill gods' that have managed to specialize in everything, there will be no need for an economy. There's only so far you can take the skill tree content, we'll make it as deep as possible but it will always be finite, and thus without limiting the economy will eventually become obsolete.

    Thanks for the feedback, what level of skill specialization are you playing with? The goal is to let players differentiate a bit and have a few things they can do really well and a lot of stuff they can do not so well, such that specialization stays relevant but not restricting. It's a very challenging balance to find.

    I believe that the inflation rate needs to be scaled globally based off of the skill points used by all players on the server not just yourself. This way it will be more reflective with the current amount of players on the server.

    Currently I don't have a lot of active players and with the inflation rate there are several skills I can't unlock that are necessary to progress and there are not other players that I can either barter the skill scrolls from or buy the components I need. This ultimately brings a deadlock to progress.

    Yeah thats the trick with servers having variable numbers of players: do we change the skill specialization rates? If so, you could start as a lone wolf and get everything, but when new players come the skill inflation goes up, and you cant get as much, but that first person has a ton of skills already, which feels unfair. Perhaps theres some dynamic change that happens slowly over time, or maybe you would actually lose skills if more players entered the game and the world was set with 'dynamic' skill inflation.



  • @JohnK I don't know if I would concern myself too much with being completely fair. As in life if you are first to the founding of a community there should be some benefits since you were the ones that built the base infrastructure of that community.


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