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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 7586 times)

HUcast

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #75 on: April 07, 2021, 08:35:31 PM »

From my own experiences, the problems with this new skill system aren't inherently with the style and how it's presented, this sort of system can work well, and has in many other games that I have played. The main problem stems from how it's laid out, and what skills the player has to choose from at any given time. On many occasions, I have found myself leveling up and not being very interested in any of the options presented to me. This is a very bad thing, a player should ALWAYS be excited at each levelup, as it is a major milestone in any RPG. If nothing stands out or makes you excited for that next level, the system has failed.

I saw battle brothers brought up earlier in this thread, and I think it was an almost correct comparison. I do believe that battle brothers does this sort of system, but correctly because of a few key differences. The first, and most important to making things varied and interesting, is that battle brothers's skill tree completely opens up once you have invested 7 out of the 11 total skill points you get at max level. afterwards, you can pick and choose any perk from any tier without worry. The idea is that you are given less choices to not feel overwhelmed at first, something Star Sector is trying to do, but as you level up more, it opens up and allows complete freedom when you actually want it, which Star Sector doesn't do. It would be a very welcome change, in my opinion, if you could assign the final five skill points wherever you wished in SS. The secondary aspect that battle brothers does well is each new "Tier" of skills is carefully planned to have a viable option for any build, and what's more, you can instantly go back to any former tier and pick from there instead, which Still unlocks the next tier of skills.

So in essence, this system can be workable, but needs two things, a "Blossoming" skill tree that presents more and more options as you level, and careful planning in the skill unlock paths that assure every player will be able to pick something useful for their playstyle at every level. Getting rid of many of the false choices, like either high level officers or more, more productive colonies or more, and replacing them with actual choices could free up more space for this.
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Gothars

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #76 on: April 07, 2021, 11:55:49 PM »

@ Dex and Immahnoob

I feel we are just flinging mud now, we dont seem to understand each other.


I agree, please disengage, the both of you.
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The game was completed 8 years ago and we get a free expansion every year.

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BiggestBoss

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #77 on: April 08, 2021, 01:20:21 AM »

From what i see people dont like the tree as in comparison to the previous version if you want a specific skill to prioritise before getting another such as missile spec,it's now at the end of the skill tree,meaning that a missile boat isnt as strong at the first levels as it was previously even if missile spec now gives you an extra missile,while there are some skills that some people find questionable like the civilian ship hull mod buff.

Although i think most of this issues can be fixed with moving the location of some perks or tweaking them,one thing im not sure if it was already addressed is how the new skill tree affects ship classes,frigates and destroyers are buffed significantly with some skill trees but there are a few more skills that give buffs depending on the fleet's DP value,if you go over it the bonuses get reduced meaning that if you significantly go above the limit with either cruisers or capitals you are going to go over the limit with ships that dont benefit from the buff and reduce it for ships that can,while also making it so you have to get as much value with these ship classes to get the most benefit,which is fine but there is no alternative for those that do want to use cruisers and capitals.

I would mention the officer and ai ECM issue but im sure people know about it,i would experiment to see if ECCM would help with dealing with enemy ECM.
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FelixG

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #78 on: April 08, 2021, 01:34:18 AM »

I will admit, I havent read all 6 pages of this, but I will toss my 2 cents in for the Dev in case he actually reads this:

I don't like the new skill tree, I preferred being able to spec into what I wanted as I went, and I doubly don't like the "loop through twice if you want a second skill from the same tree." system.

There also needs to be more skills for carriers, and not spread them out over all the trees. Just stick them back in the leadership tree where they belong.
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Radicaljack

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #79 on: April 08, 2021, 01:34:32 AM »

Yeah so much of the progression feels forced and pointless, why are missles last but speed first. The same tree opened up would be way more fun, I like the skills and like the choices but having the lines like they are now is not good.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 01:36:30 AM by Radicaljack »
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Sinosauropteryx

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Re: Make skills moddable
« Reply #80 on: April 08, 2021, 07:12:24 AM »

Instead of endlessy reworking skills why not just let modders do it for you? Make some API that allow skills to be easily moddable, let modders create skills, trees, etc... whatever. I am sure someone will come up with something cool.

Please make the skill system fully configurable with simple text files. While developers may have their vision, players may have it completely different so that you'll never be able to satisfy everyone. Modding is the way is such cases. Players will no doubt surprise you with well-thought and properly balanced skill mods.
If the skills become configurable, there will be about twice less posts in this forum section.

Holy moly, this idea is gangbusters.
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Chaos Blade

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #81 on: April 08, 2021, 07:29:54 AM »

From my own experiences, the problems with this new skill system aren't inherently with the style and how it's presented, this sort of system can work well, and has in many other games that I have played. The main problem stems from how it's laid out, and what skills the player has to choose from at any given time. On many occasions, I have found myself leveling up and not being very interested in any of the options presented to me. This is a very bad thing, a player should ALWAYS be excited at each levelup, as it is a major milestone in any RPG. If nothing stands out or makes you excited for that next level, the system has failed.

I saw battle brothers brought up earlier in this thread, and I think it was an almost correct comparison. I do believe that battle brothers does this sort of system, but correctly because of a few key differences. The first, and most important to making things varied and interesting, is that battle brothers's skill tree completely opens up once you have invested 7 out of the 11 total skill points you get at max level. afterwards, you can pick and choose any perk from any tier without worry. The idea is that you are given less choices to not feel overwhelmed at first, something Star Sector is trying to do, but as you level up more, it opens up and allows complete freedom when you actually want it, which Star Sector doesn't do. It would be a very welcome change, in my opinion, if you could assign the final five skill points wherever you wished in SS. The secondary aspect that battle brothers does well is each new "Tier" of skills is carefully planned to have a viable option for any build, and what's more, you can instantly go back to any former tier and pick from there instead, which Still unlocks the next tier of skills.

So in essence, this system can be workable, but needs two things, a "Blossoming" skill tree that presents more and more options as you level, and careful planning in the skill unlock paths that assure every player will be able to pick something useful for their playstyle at every level. Getting rid of many of the false choices, like either high level officers or more, more productive colonies or more, and replacing them with actual choices could free up more space for this.

Well, battlebrothers doesn't have mutually exclusive skills and all skills are for the individual brother, but yeah, I think the skill grid isn't working.
I am no fan of mutually exclusive skills, but I think the rigidity of the system as it stands, four aptitudes with five pairs, is a weakness, they don't need to be symetrical, regardless of other considerations.

I will say that the picks aren't well-thought-out, having a generalist tranche in, say, combat, with specialist alternatives isn't bad in theory, in practive you'd need specialization paths, I think, not locked out but paths that would further specialize your force for different configurations.
Honestly, rather than OR picks, having the whole system administered by skill point scarcity feels a better idea to me.
We can probably keep the system as it is for officers and administrators (speaking of that, we need more admin skills) well, assuming the skills are fine-tuned
And derelict contingent is turned into its .9.1 version of itself. Really, I can't stress it enough a skill that turns a wrecked version of itself onto a far more sturdy ship than its pristine equivalent is a terrible skill, immersion wise.
Specially given how expensive it is to restore a ship to pristine.

I am not fan of the respec as a common tactic or the wrap around in the aptitude branch
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Ryan390

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #82 on: April 08, 2021, 09:13:54 AM »

Interesting reads all of this!!

Dex, I learnt from those articles you posted, very interesting!
There are people who still think the earth isn't round, and that's their 'opinion' - Now we know it's not actually an opinion at all, but a contradiction of proven facts, and is wrong..
Where religion falls into this is anyone guess, but I'm not opening Pandora's Box.. *whistle*  ::)

Now in terms of skills, I think from what I've read that it warrants a vote, (It's Great!) | (Old System is better)
I get a feeling more people will be leaning to the latter option.

I personally like the new system but there's definitely room for improvement. The biggest gripe I have is with furthest right skills not being available till you've chosen a skill to the left side.
Which don't actually synergise too well, but it does make for some interesting decisions.

I think Alex needs to acknowledge there's some issues here, I'm sure he will be making changes in the future we will all just have to wait and see.
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Dex

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #83 on: April 08, 2021, 09:57:43 AM »

Interesting reads all of this!!

Dex, I learnt from those articles you posted, very interesting!
There are people who still think the earth isn't round, and that's their 'opinion' - Now we know it's not actually an opinion at all, but a contradiction of proven facts, and is wrong..
Where religion falls into this is anyone guess, but I'm not opening Pandora's Box.. *whistle*  ::)


Well that means it wasnt a complete waste of effort. So thanks for that. I will say however, when i sat down an hour ago and re-read what i wrote, i feel i may have overdone it just a little tad. Fever induced hubris, perhaps.

While im here, and for what its worth, previous version was far inferior. There were no meaningful choices at all. Im compensating for the silent majority that are going to agree with me because i am always right and my mom agrees with me. So there.
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Ryan390

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #84 on: April 08, 2021, 10:08:42 AM »

Do you mean the previous version of the skill system? if so do you mean the mechanic of *how* skills were selected? (For example clicking the little plus icon on whichever one you wanted after you had a certain level in that swimlane)

Or do you mean the actual skills themselves, regardless of how they are obtained?

For me it's not the current skill list that's been the issue it's *how* you go about actually unlocking them. The new system is definitely more restricted in *how* you unlock skills, regardless of what the actual skills are themselves.
I'd wager that's not a good thing as putting a straight jacket on a design mechanic is rarely a fun thing to do to a player base, IMO..

Of course games need limitations / rules and restrictions or it's just utter carnage, but not to that level. It's like taking candy away from a child because it burped a little?  ::)
« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 10:10:39 AM by Ryan390 »
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starbow

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #85 on: April 08, 2021, 10:09:43 AM »

I feel a meaningful change would be allow a story point cost to "jailbreak" a single skill in each tree.

Or possibly tie it to a mission, "Captain, if you help this magnate of industry they will teach you something meaningful about how having all of your ships being broken shitheaps is good!"
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Ryan390

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #86 on: April 08, 2021, 10:11:23 AM »

I feel a meaningful change would be allow a story point cost to "jailbreak" a single skill in each tree.

Or possibly tie it to a mission, "Captain, if you help this magnate of industry they will teach you something meaningful about how having all of your ships being broken shitheaps is good!"

Good idea +1
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Dex

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #87 on: April 08, 2021, 10:37:35 AM »

Do you mean the previous version of the skill system? if so do you mean the mechanic of *how* skills were selected? (For example clicking the little plus icon on whichever one you wanted after you had a certain level in that swimlane)

Or do you mean the actual skills themselves, regardless of how they are obtained?

For me it's not the current skill list that's been the issue it's *how* you go about actually unlocking them. The new system is definitely more restricted in *how* you unlock skills, regardless of what the actual skills are themselves.
I'd wager that's not a good thing as putting a straight jacket on a design mechanic is rarely a fun thing to do to a player base, IMO..

Of course games need limitations / rules and restrictions or it's just utter carnage, but not to that level. It's like taking candy away from a child because it burped a little?  ::)

Well both, yeah. This choice of 'This skill OR this Skill' up to tier 5. And then when you max out, say combat 5 your choice is now, 'Do i skip out on another 5 skills in another tree or do I loop back round in combat?'

Hrm. I donnt see this a RESTRICTION, per se. The only mechanic exclusively unlocked by a skill point is the redacted one. ECL. All other skills are gravy, bonuses. People are upset that theres a button they cant press because they pressed another button. they arent losing something existing making these choices, they are just choosing their progression. Im just repeating my opinions in slightly different words now.

Consider this: You can now pick all the skills you wanted, every complementary skill is yours and you are buff as heck. Now the game is easier than it was before and power creep is having to be balanced in different ways by the developer. too many enemy officers? 'Unfun!' someone shouts at the back. Nigh unlimited sized enemy fleets! 'Impossible! The CR mechanics arent compatible!' another weeps. Managing the character progression is one of the tools developers have to keep their game fun and challenging. I dont really want to turn a game that could very easily be played in the manner of a rogue-like (eminently a good thing, as EVERYONE agrees) into a rather more complicated bullet hell shooter. Which ok i also like, but wouldnt be doing the other established mechanics justice. Reductive i know.

 
« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 10:48:14 AM by Dex »
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starbow

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #88 on: April 08, 2021, 10:44:20 AM »

I feel a meaningful change would be allow a story point cost to "jailbreak" a single skill in each tree.

Or possibly tie it to a mission, "Captain, if you help this magnate of industry they will teach you something meaningful about how having all of your ships being broken shitheaps is good!"

Good idea +1

Thanks!

How about some bad ideas?
-Skyrim style skill system where you just have to fly in circles to increase helmsmanship for a 1% increase to maneuverability per level, etc.
-The captain gets a very limited set of skills and instead you have to recruit subordinates for some of the more advanced ones. For each subordinate slot you may have to choose between people that offer different skill trees. Examples, a chief engineer, a marine commander, a hotshot pilot, a phase physicist (a phasicist?), a guy with a hammer who hits panels to fix things, a dog (Lieutenant Woof), a rock you found floating in space that looks really cool.
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Dex

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Re: New skill system is a step backwards
« Reply #89 on: April 08, 2021, 10:47:18 AM »

I feel a meaningful change would be allow a story point cost to "jailbreak" a single skill in each tree.

Or possibly tie it to a mission, "Captain, if you help this magnate of industry they will teach you something meaningful about how having all of your ships being broken shitheaps is good!"

Good idea +1

Thanks!

How about some bad ideas?
-Skyrim style skill system where you just have to fly in circles to increase helmsmanship for a 1% increase to maneuverability per level, etc.
-The captain gets a very limited set of skills and instead you have to recruit subordinates for some of the more advanced ones. For each subordinate slot you may have to choose between people that offer different skill trees. Examples, a chief engineer, a marine commander, a hotshot pilot, a phase physicist (a phasicist?), a guy with a hammer who hits panels to fix things, a dog (Lieutenant Woof), a rock you found floating in space that looks really cool.

You missed out miniature giant space hamster!
« Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 10:50:57 AM by Dex »
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