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Author Topic: Skills and Story Points  (Read 39249 times)

Auraknight

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2019, 11:49:41 AM »

So after I get to the last skill in a tree, I can put points in any skill in that tree I missed the first time? Or if I want the second T5 aptitude, do I need to spend another 5 points?

I can see the ups and downs of both, but if I don't want anything besides one or two things a ways down the tree, it's gonna feel like an unreasonably large investment.


Will using story points on salvaging a ship let you pick which one you want, letting us snipe out specific ships in a fleet again? Or is it, (as I just thought of mid-writing) when you find a random ship floating about to pick loot of, you'll always be able to choose to make it recoverable instead of no? (And more importantly, will we know if we need to spend the point beforehand to garentee it? Or can we decide to take it anyways when the game initially says it's unsalvagablee? (Akin to adding the dice after the inital roll, as you mentioned?)

Either way, I'm hyped! I wonder how many skill points you'll have to throw around after getting all the non-refundable skills. I also wonder how you'll work with them being deeper in the tree, or if you'll just front-load them? It means you could go down a path, snipe a skill, and reset your points, keeping that skill and going elsewhere.
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Originem

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2019, 11:50:54 AM »

All is fine but I don't think making remnants recoverable is a good idea...
And so as permanent hullmods, "just put the hullmod which cost most op inside the ship!"oh that's...wild.

I have to say, story point system is an awesome idea but the application you showed might have a very bad influence on the game balance.

There should be more limitations.
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xenoargh

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2019, 11:51:49 AM »

A thought on this system.  You probably won't like this, but...

What if you just give players their 15 Skill Points right off the bat?  De-couple that from Levels; tie Story Points to Levels and Doing Stuff That's Impactful instead? 

One of the major problems with the Skills system, in general, that this overhaul doesn't really appear to fix, is that it feels like a pay-wall in the game design, locking away most of the "good" gameplay.  Players keep hoarding their Skill Points, comparing builds, etc.- this is all detrimental to the gameplay. 

Right now, players are all pushed towards monoculture characters, where they need to be able to fight but also have to be good Colony admins, if they want to "win" the easiest way.  I think that having players be pushed into pushing around Carrier fleets optimized via putting as few skills as possible into Combat (and therefore, being unable to explore fighting their own ships much) was one of the unfortunate side-effects of this.

What we want, I think, is to deliberately encourage players to re-spec as they want, try new things out, keep having fun- not feel like they're Doing It Wrong because they invested more than 6 points in Combat (or whatever).

In Vanilla right now, the caps mean that the player's basically unable to go a bunch of routes if they're trying to minmax. 

My current solution was drastic- get rid of the level cap and make experience gains considerably faster, so that players aren't nearly so starved.  It's not a great solution; you still can't re-spec and eventually even un-capped Levels get slow.  But at least the early game doesn't feel artificially hard.

In a system where all players have Skills to allocate immediately, they won't feel crippled or stuck behind a pay-wall.  That these Skills are initially weak isn't such a big deal then; there will still be "better" routes, but psychologically, nobody's going to be stuck in Choice Anxiety (at least, not in this area of this game design, lol).

Story Points could then be used to logarithmically improve Skills or unlock Elite, and spending them is good, because they'll give the player something that improves an area a little bit, as well as XP gain to keep moving forward against the endless Level curve. 

Story Points could continue to be Level-bound as proposed, but Levels could be capless (but the XP needed to keep going up would, of course, skyrocket).  Other Story Points could be gained by Doing Something that scales in challenge with level and times accomplished, keeping it tantalizingly available but not over-powered.

Anyhow, just my $0.02, for what it's worth; I think that, in general, there's a lot to be said for having a system where players respec quite a lot and make themselves into the thing they need over and over as part of a playthrough, rather than feeling that they need to understand <this specific Elite build strat that requires X levels, Y Story Points, and Z grinding>.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 11:54:54 AM by xenoargh »
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The Soldier

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2019, 11:52:24 AM »

I think these new-fangled "story points" are the first time I've seen plot armor worked into the mechanics of a game.  Not to mention all the other stuff you can do with them.  Interesting.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 11:53:58 AM by The Soldier »
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Dark.Revenant

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2019, 11:54:59 AM »

An immediate concern is the Ordnance Point scaling method.  Won’t this disproportionately benefit ships with built-in weapons?  Some modded ships mostly rely on that type of weapon.  Perhaps the scale should count weapon-OP from built-ins for the total amount of OP that a ship counts as having.
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Wyvern

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2019, 11:57:06 AM »

This all does look good - especially being able to respec (at cost of story point).  If I, say, go for the phase ship boosting skill, and then later find a really awesome non-phase ship that I want to use as my flagship, it's good to be able to undo that decision.

As for permanently adding OP-free hull mods... On the one hand, this is neat!  On the other hand, I'm a little bit wary of the 'max 2' bit - means there's incentive to pick the most expensive hull mods, rather than the most interesting.  May I suggest that you have an ordnance point limit as well, so that if the player chooses to install mostly cheap mods, they can get to three or four of them, while someone who installs Safety Overrides and Augmented Drive Fields would only get the default two?

Also curious: what happens if I have a civilian vessel, install Militarized Subsystems, and then attempt to perma-install SO?
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Surge

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2019, 11:59:02 AM »

Story points are a fascinatingly fresh take on incorporating a TTRPG mechanic into a video game. My only concerns with this new system is that I won't be able to edit a file and make sure I can have all the skills now, and more importantly that some people may feel that story points make this not the game they paid for. I suppose the solution to that would be to allow players to disable story points and their associated mechanics but the larger skill system is kind of built around them so I don't suspect that will work well.

Either way, the next patch has my full attention with this new system and I am eager to see how much I can trick out my fleet and officers under it.
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Megas

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2019, 12:00:44 PM »

Something I noticed:  If the only skill I am interested is something in tier 5, then the other four skills might as well be dead aptitude skills.  Worse, if both must-have skills occupy the same tier, that may hurt.  Noticed that Gunnery Implants and Loadout Design (as shown in the pic) occupy tier 2.  That is 7 out of 15.  Also noticed Colony Management and Industrial Planning both are Industry tier 5.  If I do not want to rely on cores (to avoid Pathers and Hegemony), that is 10 out of 15 just for babysitting mitigation.  I guess time to farm alphas for unlimited colonies and save 10 skill points.  Pathers will be a royal pain, though, and I need to stay vigilant for inspection alerts.

If XP needed for story points curve up like current XP progression, then story points may be effectively limited.

Quote
As for permanently adding OP-free hull mods... On the one hand, this is neat!  On the other hand, I'm a little bit wary of the 'max 2' bit - means there's incentive to pick the most expensive hull mods, rather than the most interesting.  May I suggest that you have an ordnance point limit as well, so that if the player chooses to install mostly cheap mods, they can get to three or four of them, while someone who installs Safety Overrides and Augmented Drive Fields would only get the default two?
Yes, I would pick the most expensive ones, not necessarily the most vital ones, to maximize OP on a ship.
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Dark.Revenant

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2019, 12:04:11 PM »

Another thought: Story Points offer a means to scale difficulty.  A complaint I’m hearing is that it could be perceived as “glorified cheating”.  Perhaps Easy/Medium/Hard should scale the number of Story Points you get per level. Maybe you should start with some on Easy.  Players that feel like they make the game too easy, or feel like it makes their victory unearned, could move to Hard Mode where you get fewer of them.
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xenoargh

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2019, 12:05:04 PM »

The Hull Mods thing does sound like it'd cause some headaches, but I'm all right with expense being free from consideration. 

Players will pick whatever works best for their flagship; that won't necessarily be the most-expensive thing, I'd think, if Hull Mods are well-balanced for their OP costs.
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Ishman

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2019, 12:05:40 PM »

Actually; expanding on the spending story points on your ship thing to improve it - I'd *really* like to be able to spend points on improving aspects of a ship's stats.

Just a few more OP to fit in the capacity for your frigate to actually fire all of its strike weapons in one alpha, or the dissipation on an artillery platform to actually hammer away at a station
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(holy moly I hate fighting higher level stations since the AI doesn't see them as special and has no idea how to handle it, doing things like rotating out behind anything which has high eff shielding to vent like the apogee you deployed specifically to tank and point the HIL at the station (which it doesn't, incidentally), but no - they just spread out to surround the station which means that the lone gryphon you left to just dump sabots at the station has moved around to solo manfight an entire module and you've just looked over and oh, there he's gone and overloaded aaaand it's gone) rant over
[close]
some more top speed on the one destroyer whose sole purpose in your fleet is to be deployed to tackle things in a pursuit but frustratingly isn't *quite* fast enough to catch, and so on. Not shield efficiency though, unless it's awful - I've played enough against bladebreakers and piloted a monitor for the lulz to know how snoozefest that would make the game - that's on the opposite end of the fun spectrum alongside drover spam. No, we want to be on the multiple gryphons oneshotting the flux pools of big bois and exposing their hullpools, or a billion taclances lighting up anything that dares get near your INCREDIBLY suboptimal disco ball death ball.


Uhhh, also you could use them for other funsies stuff like buying and setting up system improvements once you've gotten to the colonization stage (or pay out in a bar to come across someone who's got info on good colonization targets? If you pay X amount it could roll through the list of every planet and look for stuff that a player would be interested in - low hazard ratings or extremely rich in resources, or  the third desirable criteria of several nearby good enough colonizables that the patrols support each other meaning you don't have to baby it) like an asteroid belt mining operation (+1 resource to system, as a bad example) or any of the other potentially neat megastructure stuff.
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Megas

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2019, 12:06:17 PM »

Another thought: Story Points offer a means to scale difficulty.  A complaint I’m hearing is that it could be perceived as “glorified cheating”.  Perhaps Easy/Medium/Hard should scale the number of Story Points you get per level. Maybe you should start with some on Easy.  Players that feel like they make the game too easy, or feel like it makes their victory unearned, could move to Hard Mode where you get fewer of them.
If the only difference is time, then it is fake difficulty, or just more grinding.
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Drackogon

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2019, 12:08:38 PM »

To be honest, the "Story points" feel like glorified cheating. being able to bride patrols with story points for not conducting a scan, or using story points to boost things out of balance ... it just feels like cheating and creating more balance issues.

If i were a guard on patrol duty and had to scan a ship, i would accept a credits bride because we all need credits, not some magical "you're immune to 1 scan" pass.

with story points, you can permanently assign hull mods to a ship. isn't that a balancing issue? so you can end up having a pretty invulnerable ship.

My point is- if the enemy can't do, the player shouldn't. otherwise its a balancing issue (because no matter what the enemy does, the player will be unkillable and eventualy fights will become boring because you are pretty invulnerable at that point).

i agree having more control over your officers and being able to change stuff on them. but shouldn't that be something like specific training or things you do thogeder with the officer that makes the officer change? you know ... developing a connection with your officer and slowly building him/her up.
For an example: the more battles the officer does on board a carrier, the more experience it gets while piloting a carrier and if forced to change to a cruiser, it will underperform because its used to flying carriers and not cruisers, and it will take time untill it gets the hang of piloting cruisers. but at the same time will forget about his carrier experience.


TL DR - story points may feel good on paper but will possibly open up alot more balancing issues, it feels like glorified cheating (the more you play, the more you're allowed to cheat certain aspects of the game) and officers should get some slow and steady progress on them, make them feel more like human beings learning, adapting and getting better at what they do instead of injecting some magical points and going from an inexperienced officer with few skills to a battle-hardened general with multiple normal and elite skills on his belt. Also, the enemy should be able to do what the player does or the end game becomes very boring because the player ends up being immortal and the enemy not.
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Wyvern

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #28 on: July 08, 2019, 12:11:03 PM »

May I suggest that you have an ordnance point limit as well, so that if the player chooses to install mostly cheap mods, they can get to three or four of them, while someone who installs Safety Overrides and Augmented Drive Fields would only get the default two?
On second thought, don't do this - instead, scale the bonus XP granted based on the OP cost of the hull mod, so a super-expensive mod like SO costs (in the long run) more of a story point than installing something cheap like Advanced Turret Gyros.
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Inventor Raccoon

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #29 on: July 08, 2019, 12:11:30 PM »

Something I noticed:  If the only skill I am interested is something in tier 5, then the other four skills might as well be dead aptitude skills.  Worse, if both must-have skills occupy the same tier, that may hurt.  Noticed that Gunnery Implants and Loadout Design (as shown in the pic) occupy tier 2.  That is 7 out of 15.  Also noticed Colony Management and Industrial Planning both are Industry tier 5.  If I do not want to rely on cores (to avoid Pathers and Hegemony), that is 10 out of 15 just for babysitting mitigation.  I guess time to farm alphas for unlimited colonies and save 10 skill points.
Considering it seems that Loadout Design is now more like a ship-specific hullmod (it's in the menu for picking an AI core's skills), I would not assume immediately that all skills are the same as in 0.9.
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