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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: A Tale of Two Tech Levels (05/28/21)

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Author Topic: New skill system is a step backwards  (Read 7587 times)

intrinsic_parity

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #45 on: April 07, 2021, 10:27:58 AM »

I will say, there are a lot of carrier skills that feel kinda lackluster because carriers feel kinda lackluster (because carrier officers feel kind lackluster) and all of a sudden a significant number of decisions in the skill tree are less significant.
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Dex

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #46 on: April 07, 2021, 10:31:38 AM »

I agree with Captain Parity, some skills definitely need tweaking. Carriers are still useful, but they arent god tier anymore and i want to readjust to the MASSIVE shift before i venture an opinion, though.
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Chaos Blade

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #47 on: April 07, 2021, 10:38:47 AM »

part of the problem with the picks is that you pick this generalist skill or this specialist skill, but it isn't consistent. I can turn into a carrier specialist and a ranged specialist and a phase specialist.

What I am trying to say is that in the one by one the vs of the skills isn't interesting, and there doeesn't seem to be clear specialization branches. in the tree
because it isn't a tree but a sequence.


So we have no sense of progression and on a one vs one the generalist might win over the specialist time and again.
at least in the L tree

Worse running a fleet, it should be less about generalist/specialsit and more about the role to take centerstage
Will carriers be auxiliaries or core? (assuming a partial denerf) are your phase ships the core of the fleet or harrassers? are you running a battleline as the core? or just an anchor for the phase ships? or a shieldwall for your carriers?

again with a lineal progression this jsut doesn't work. generalist is going to be more useful, by and large, with a few exceptions here or there
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Immahnoob

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #48 on: April 07, 2021, 10:55:47 AM »

I was talking about the player. In terms of dealing more damage when it matters: you may enjoy a more aggressive player ships like an aurora, SO ship, phase ship, Sunder, tempest etc, or you may enjoy a ship with more missiles, such as the dominator, onslaught, conquest, etc.

Either option lets you pick and choose when to apply a burst of damage: usually enough to destroy a ship of the same weight class in one or two passes, though capitals have a lot of hull to chew through.
You don't get what I mean, I meant that giving AI too much damage and forgetting their survivability is pointless most of the times, they won't be able to do damage when they're dead, so I can see why you'd go Point Defense and Impact Mitigation for them.
But even a player that isn't "the best ever" can avoid what the AI can't so they can pretty much always pick a generalist approach, or in most cases, the damage side, since not only is it going to fit most of the situations, it'll do so better.
ok, maybe i didnt read everything everyone has wrote cos well, you saw your last message, AND i get carried away with prose smithery sometimes. I make myself snigger. Sue me.

But you are ignoring my point. what I gave was an EXAMPLE of why your opinion, is.... well its your opinion. Its not everyones. You dont play carriers, obviously. Nor phase ships. What you should be doing is realising that OTHER people use these skills. What you are missing here is perspective, that the choice that is being made is the PLAYSTYLE THAT REQUIRES THAT SKILL CHOICE.

From other peoples perspective, your favourite skill is the pointless one.

YOur playstyle is the choice that youve made, which is iterated at every skill tier.
Don't worry, opinions can also be wrong since this isn't a matter of "preference". This is a matter of efficiency, and in the confines of this binary choice, the only meaningful choices are like three on all trees.
I'll tell you one thing though, when you're trying to appeal to your customers, you don't listen to the 5%, you listen to the 95%. I'll assure you that psychologically, most will not gimp themselves and pick the worst option unless they're kind of done with your game so they're trying to squeeze it dry, it's actually really their playstyle, or they don't know better.
Carriers suck right now, and their skills do not help them pretty much at all is the issue here, so why would you ever go carrier? Let's actually forget the part where carriers suck. Why would you not go generalist and still go carrier because the skills don't factor in at all because the carrier skills suck? You'd do better as a carrier if you'd pick the generalist side, it's certainly more useful.

Phase ships are your only example and you keep on bashing them on the head, but even there, the only one that is TRULY needed is operating time, while the other is useless since you don't have shields, but that's the only playstyle difference, mostly because of game mechanics.

Again, this skill system isn't good.
part of the problem with the picks is that you pick this generalist skill or this specialist skill, but it isn't consistent. I can turn into a carrier specialist and a ranged specialist and a phase specialist.

What I am trying to say is that in the one by one the vs of the skills isn't interesting, and there doeesn't seem to be clear specialization branches. in the tree
because it isn't a tree but a sequence.


So we have no sense of progression and on a one vs one the generalist might win over the specialist time and again.
at least in the L tree

Worse running a fleet, it should be less about generalist/specialsit and more about the role to take centerstage
Will carriers be auxiliaries or core? (assuming a partial denerf) are your phase ships the core of the fleet or harrassers? are you running a battleline as the core? or just an anchor for the phase ships? or a shieldwall for your carriers?

again with a lineal progression this jsut doesn't work. generalist is going to be more useful, by and large, with a few exceptions here or there
I fully agree even though I'm not the type to argue from this perspective, this seems like a more interesting option than what we have now.
This actually brings up an issue I have here in this game and has never been fixed:
The lack of tactics and how commands are very poorly implemented. If only we could have something like Battle Brothers now that that was mentioned, even a shieldwall would make fights more interesting.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #49 on: April 07, 2021, 10:58:56 AM »

I like the skill system. No wasted points in effect-less aptitudes, genuine choices that have big impacts, and a respec option should it be necessary (but it's entirely optional).
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Serenitis

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #50 on: April 07, 2021, 11:06:14 AM »

Plenty of games use gated skills and it works fine, so why isn't it working that well for Starsector?

Generally games with skill progression like this tend to be linear. Whether that's an RPG, a shooter, whatever - there's a single pre-defined goal and the entire game revolves around that.
There may be multiple ways to get there, multiple play styles to use, but ulitmately only a single objective.

Starsector has a multitude of playstyles just the same, as evidenced by the huge variety of strategies and advice found on this very forum.
But, it also has just as many objectives.
Only one of them is pre-defined all the rest are player derived, and many of them are wholly incompatible with each other.
Every single player wants something different out of the game, and has a different goal in mind for thier 'end game', and a different means of achieving that.
This is arguably Starsector's greatest strength - It is open enough to allow this much freedom and diversity.

This is why I think this new skill system is causing so many issues. It's undermining that openness.
Some things that people want are 'trapped' behind other things which are either of no use/interest to them, or would actively hinder them in pursuit of thier goal.
And the explicit reason why this new system is (imo) never going to fully acceptable to everyone is that you can re-arrange the skills as much as you like, put them in any configuration you desire, and if A is still required to unlock B the core problem will remain:
Some players will always be 'locked' out of things they do want by things they don't.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2021, 11:09:06 AM by Serenitis »
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Sabaton

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #51 on: April 07, 2021, 11:07:07 AM »

Derelict contingent should do what it did in the previous patch: reduce maintenance costs per hull mod and decrease d mod penalty, though not as much as 0.91.

It should also become top tier together with field repairs so you don't have to choose antithetical skills.
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Dex

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #52 on: April 07, 2021, 11:20:47 AM »

Don't worry, opinions can also be wrong since this isn't a matter of "preference". This is a matter of efficiency, and in the confines of this binary choice, the only meaningful choices are like three on all trees.
I'll tell you one thing though, when you're trying to appeal to your customers, you don't listen to the 5%, you listen to the 95%. I'll assure you that psychologically, most will not gimp themselves and pick the worst option unless they're kind of done with your game so they're trying to squeeze it dry, it's actually really their playstyle, or they don't know better.
Carriers suck right now, and their skills do not help them pretty much at all is the issue here, so why would you ever go carrier? Let's actually forget the part where carriers suck. Why would you not go generalist and still go carrier because the skills don't factor in at all because the carrier skills suck? You'd do better as a carrier if you'd pick the generalist side, it's certainly more useful.

Phase ships are your only example and you keep on bashing them on the head, but even there, the only one that is TRULY needed is operating time, while the other is useless since you don't have shields, but that's the only playstyle difference, mostly because of game mechanics.

Again, this skill system isn't good.


No, opinions cannot be wrong.
With that out the way, yes, its about efficiency, and ill tell you one thing though, if you are flying a carrier and you havent picked the birds at tier 1 then youre not being efficient when you are flying that carrier. What you ARE doing is choosing to be flexible, you dont think you will be flying carriers very much, so you will pick something that universally applies. This is a choice between specialisation and flexibility.
Theres apparently a communication breakdown as to what choices you are making and where you are making them. Never mind.

Here we go again regarding your perspective. Are you assuming you represent 95% of customers? Are you sure that you arent just a part of the displeased and yet very vocal 5%? I cant remember statistics but people tend to scream about being annoyed rather than scream about being happy.

Carriers do not suck. they have, however, received a very long time coming NERF. They were stupid strong and they are great against phase ships still, for a start. Hell, i even rocked omega using fighters.

Whats the obsession with my supposed obsession with phase? Shall i do carriers as an example? I wont but i could. I thought the example was a gentle method to articulate your perspective.
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Chaos Blade

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #53 on: April 07, 2021, 11:27:20 AM »

Plenty of games use gated skills and it works fine, so why isn't it working that well for Starsector?

Generally games with skill progression like this tend to be linear. Whether that's an RPG, a shooter, whatever - there's a single pre-defined goal and the entire game revolves around that.
There may be multiple ways to get there, multiple play styles to use, but ulitmately only a single objective.

Starsector has a multitude of playstyles just the same, as evidenced by the huge variety of strategies and advice found on this very forum.
But, it also has just as many objectives.
Only one of them is pre-defined all the rest are player derived, and many of them are wholly incompatible with each other.
Every single player wants something different out of the game, and has a different goal in mind for thier 'end game', and a different means of achieving that.
This is arguably Starsector's greatest strength - It is open enough to allow this much freedom and diversity.

This is why I think this new skill system is causing so many issues. It's undermining that openness.
Some things that people want are 'trapped' behind other things which are either of no use/interest to them, or would actively hinder them in pursuit of thier goal.
And the explicit reason why this new system is (imo) never going to fully acceptable to everyone is that you can re-arrange the skills as much as you like, put them in any configuration you desire, and if A is still required to unlock B the core problem will remain:
Some players will always be 'locked' out of things they do want by things they don't.

Thank you, you put it far more succinctly that I could and managed to touch the core of the problem.
A wide skill tree could prove drowning but can give you more to work with, specially as you learn more of the game and what one wants to do with it.
Maybe a wider skill, but either with some initial restrictions (opened up by quests or by particular missions? or perhaps handled by a long, multi hour long tutorial) or can be arranged in some way that unfolds as the game goes on, so that you have less things to juggle and pick at hte start but can have more as the game goes on
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Immahnoob

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #54 on: April 07, 2021, 11:38:16 AM »

Don't worry, opinions can also be wrong since this isn't a matter of "preference". This is a matter of efficiency, and in the confines of this binary choice, the only meaningful choices are like three on all trees.
I'll tell you one thing though, when you're trying to appeal to your customers, you don't listen to the 5%, you listen to the 95%. I'll assure you that psychologically, most will not gimp themselves and pick the worst option unless they're kind of done with your game so they're trying to squeeze it dry, it's actually really their playstyle, or they don't know better.
Carriers suck right now, and their skills do not help them pretty much at all is the issue here, so why would you ever go carrier? Let's actually forget the part where carriers suck. Why would you not go generalist and still go carrier because the skills don't factor in at all because the carrier skills suck? You'd do better as a carrier if you'd pick the generalist side, it's certainly more useful.

Phase ships are your only example and you keep on bashing them on the head, but even there, the only one that is TRULY needed is operating time, while the other is useless since you don't have shields, but that's the only playstyle difference, mostly because of game mechanics.

Again, this skill system isn't good.


No, opinions cannot be wrong.
With that out the way, yes, its about efficiency, and ill tell you one thing though, if you are flying a carrier and you havent picked the birds at tier 1 then youre not being efficient when you are flying that carrier. What you ARE doing is choosing to be flexible, you dont think you will be flying carriers very much, so you will pick something that universally applies. This is a choice between specialisation and flexibility.
Theres apparently a communication breakdown as to what choices you are making and where you are making them. Never mind.

Here we go again regarding your perspective. Are you assuming you represent 95% of customers? Are you sure that you arent just a part of the displeased and yet very vocal 5%? I cant remember statistics but people tend to scream about being annoyed rather than scream about being happy.

Carriers do not suck. they have, however, received a very long time coming NERF. They were stupid strong and they are great against phase ships still, for a start. Hell, i even rocked omega using fighters.

Whats the obsession with my supposed obsession with phase? Shall i do carriers as an example? I wont but i could. I thought the example was a gentle method to articulate your perspective.
You don't know what an opinion is then, pick up a dictionary. And yes, psychology pretty much says I'm the 95%. Play the game for a bit and you'll suddenly move away from defensive options unless you can't pick otherwise, or game mechanics force you there, or again, you're not the type that improves in any way.

Your pick on specialization for carriers isn't as good as being "flexible", because you'd certainly do more with your carriers without picking the clearly bad skill.
Carriers suck and you're better off replacing the spots they fill with suckiness with something more useful, like pretty much every other ship in existence, or at least with hybrids, like the Legion if you really want to waste your time with carriers right now.

Serenitis has the right idea from a perspective.
I still think that these skills either need to be made to be "generalized but with caveats", or have more options to specialize properly and in a useful manner.
Besides that, many of them need to be rearranged, and respecing shouldn't cost you your Elite Skill story points.



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Dex

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #55 on: April 07, 2021, 11:47:22 AM »

I assure you, i know what an opinion is.

Hrm. Pardon me if i doubt your psychology credentials.

My friend, you seem to treat your opinion as fact as you seem to treat the definition of opinion is itself a fact.

I feel we are just flinging mud now, we dont seem to understand each other. Thank you for the conversation.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #56 on: April 07, 2021, 11:49:57 AM »

This is why I think this new skill system is causing so many issues. It's undermining that openness.
Some things that people want are 'trapped' behind other things which are either of no use/interest to them, or would actively hinder them in pursuit of thier goal.
And the explicit reason why this new system is (imo) never going to fully acceptable to everyone is that you can re-arrange the skills as much as you like, put them in any configuration you desire, and if A is still required to unlock B the core problem will remain:
Some players will always be 'locked' out of things they do want by things they don't.
I think there's an implicit assumption here that the player should be able to get whatever skills they want. I think the point of the new skill system is that some skills can be stronger because it is inherently very difficult to combine them in ways that would be overpowered. If it were changed so you could just take whichever skills, the skills have to be individually weaker so that they are balanced in any combination.

I do agree with the criticism that there is too much mixture of skills that benefit different aspects of the game in the same tree so that it often feels like you're taking skills that do other things to get skills that do what you want. The biggest offender is the industry tree for sure. I think I2 belongs in the combat tree personally, but I think moving it into the leadership tree and taking the colony skills from the leadership tree into the industry tree would be a big first step. I know the colony skills were split between two trees precisely so that you couldn't get all of them, but I think industry really needs to be an exclusively out-of-combat tree. I wouldn't mind light nerfs to colony skills so they can all be in one tree. If I spend 2/3 of my skills on colonies, I feel like it's ok to be very good at governing them.

I've also seen the suggestion that the structure of 5x2 skills per tree is too restrictive and I think I agree. Maybe having different length trees and sometimes having 3 choices might let there be better paths through the tree. I almost feel like there should only be three trees:
Flagship Combat buffs
Fleet wide Combat buffs
Out of Combat Buffs
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Dex

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #57 on: April 07, 2021, 11:53:35 AM »

I think there's an implicit assumption here that the player should be able to get whatever skills they want. I think the point of the new skill system is that some skills  ...
st feel like there should only be three trees:
Flagship Combat buffs
Fleet wide Combat buffs
Out of Combat Buffs

Little bit of alternate opinion, maybe the different skills where spread into different trees so that even the industry and leadership focused had a little boost to their combat. As its THE main aspect in the game.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #58 on: April 07, 2021, 11:58:38 AM »

I think there's an implicit assumption here that the player should be able to get whatever skills they want. I think the point of the new skill system is that some skills  ...
st feel like there should only be three trees:
Flagship Combat buffs
Fleet wide Combat buffs
Out of Combat Buffs

Little bit of alternate opinion, maybe the different skills where spread into different trees so that even the industry and leadership focused had a little boost to their combat. As its THE main aspect in the game.
I feel like it's better to leave the player to decide if they need help in combat than force them to get marginally better in comabt no matter what they do. It's always going to be easy to take the first 1-2 skills in any tree, so just make sure those are generally useful int he combat tree and the player will always be able to quickly and easily re-spec into minor combat buffs.
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Chaos Blade

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #59 on: April 07, 2021, 12:00:43 PM »

This is why I think this new skill system is causing so many issues. It's undermining that openness.
Some things that people want are 'trapped' behind other things which are either of no use/interest to them, or would actively hinder them in pursuit of thier goal.
And the explicit reason why this new system is (imo) never going to fully acceptable to everyone is that you can re-arrange the skills as much as you like, put them in any configuration you desire, and if A is still required to unlock B the core problem will remain:
Some players will always be 'locked' out of things they do want by things they don't.
I think there's an implicit assumption here that the player should be able to get whatever skills they want. I think the point of the new skill system is that some skills can be stronger because it is inherently very difficult to combine them in ways that would be overpowered. If it were changed so you could just take whichever skills, the skills have to be individually weaker so that they are balanced in any combination.

I do agree with the criticism that there is too much mixture of skills that benefit different aspects of the game in the same tree so that it often feels like you're taking skills that do other things to get skills that do what you want. The biggest offender is the industry tree for sure. I think I2 belongs in the combat tree personally, but I think moving it into the leadership tree and taking the colony skills from the leadership tree into the industry tree would be a big first step. I know the colony skills were split between two trees precisely so that you couldn't get all of them, but I think industry really needs to be an exclusively out-of-combat tree. I wouldn't mind light nerfs to colony skills so they can all be in one tree. If I spend 2/3 of my skills on colonies, I feel like it's ok to be very good at governing them.

I've also seen the suggestion that the structure of 5x2 skills per tree is too restrictive and I think I agree. Maybe having different length trees and sometimes having 3 choices might let there be better paths through the tree. I almost feel like there should only be three trees:
Flagship Combat buffs
Fleet wide Combat buffs
Out of Combat Buffs

But that is the thing, the issue isn't about the player getting the skills they want or not, is that they are having to get skills they most definetely don't want (or are at least ambibalent about)

To be honest, I think part of the problem is in keeping the skill grid, four aptitudes each with the same amount of skill picks, to the point some options seem forced.
On the flip side, there is no feeling of progression between the picks. it is not like I order first a vegetable and then get a vegetable salad, and then maybe a stir fry. I get a vegetable, followed by a nice orange and finally I got raw chicken?

if you are going to have skills unlocked by progression, you either need to make them feel like an upgrade of sorts, them being better than the skill before, or at least a sidegrade (provide some benefits and some maluses) but there is no rhyme or reason here.
and the lineal progression doesn't help

Maybe Alex needs to rework the whole thing without the inherited constraints.
I'd prefer a wider approach more akin to 0.9.1, but I am the sort of player than enjoys that sort of thing, and I really can't tell if I’d be a majority or not. that is something that I can't tell right now.
We have had a few of these threads with quite a few members posting, but, ultimately we might be just loud voices
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