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Author Topic: Skill Tree Rework  (Read 309 times)

The Soldier

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Skill Tree Rework
« on: May 18, 2021, 05:34:31 PM »

With a not-insignificant portion of the community dissatisfied with the new skill tree, I thought a fresh set of ideas might be worth considering. I apologize if any of your favorite skills aren't included in this rework, there were only so many places I had to cram in skills. I also don't claim this to be expertly balanced, rather as a showcase of what a new skill layout might be.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/17RwOe5-Fq4KyAUpNMFn-Gr01uLkHhvxuX-CklMOQ4V0/edit?usp=sharing

The skill trees have been redesigned to be more combat-oriented, along with organizing them around fleet compositions instead of generic ideas like "Combat", "Leadership", or "Technology".  Five trees are present - 4 combat-oriented paths along with 1 fleet-oriented path. With the addition of a fifth skill path, at least 5 additional skill points are needed to get a basic sense of the tree. Each path continues to be laid out in the new skill tree method - 5 tiers, 2 skills each, with wraparound feature. However, the way the paths are laid out has been changed - each path has a general fleet theme to it, but their layout is more predictable. Tiers 1, 2, and 4 have personal combat skills to the left, and fleet combat skills to the right. Tier 3 has Nav skill on the left, and ECM on the right. Tier 5 has Raiding skills on left, and Colony skills on the right. The Tier 4 fleet combat skill is also the capstone skill of the tree, which provides a large bonus for playing to the strengths of the tree.

ECM has also been reworked slightly - it does away with the friendly ECM rating vs. enemy ECM rating, ECM is now an activated effect based on what skill you're running, where both you and the enemy can suffer from ECM disadvantages at the same time. Each path also includes it's own unique Nav and ECM-boosting skills on the third pick, so no matter which way you go, you will always be able to get at least one form of each.

Grand Battlefleet focuses on engaging and destroying the enemy fleet in a single, extended engagement. Receive bonuses to survivability, peak operating time, and combat readiness, while sticking together with Defend and Escort orders provides more bonuses. Use the capstone skill Decisive Battle to end the enemy fleet rightly once their peak operating time runs out.

Cruiser School focuses on the battle of maneuver and creating opportunities to exploit through the judicious use of overwhelming firepower. Receive bonuses to raw damage, speed and maneuverability while your ships follow orders. Use the capstone skill Task Force to overwhelm an enemy with combined arms of different ship sizes.

Interdiction focuses on rapid strikes against isolated enemy targets. Receive bonuses to damage, speed, and phase vessels while your smaller ships dogpile larger ones. Use the capstone skill Commander Profiles to take advantage of the Clean Disengage feature to pummel your enemy to pieces through deadly short engagements.

Carrier Primacy focuses on use of massed fighters to solve battlefield problems. Fighters receive a number of bonuses to their survivability, damage, and speed while engaging the enemy. Use the capstone skill Carrier Group to give a wide buff to all fighters depending on what's currently deployed.

Fleet Management, the fleet-oriented path, condenses many of the previously important skills that weren't directly combat-oriented. Many have been combined with others, or had new effects applied. Includes bonuses to salvaging, campaign movement, combat readiness, officers and administrators, and ship loadouts.

Each path also includes one Raid-buffing skill and one Colony-buffing skill, depending on theme. Grand Battlefleet and Cruiser School focus on larger fleets and the use of Heavy Armaments in Raids, Interdiction removes the Free Port stability penalty and gives bonuses for the first time you Raid a location, and Carrier Primacy boosts accessibility through military assets and increases Raid power through fighter wings. Administrators can get any of the four Colony skills from any tree, though only the player can get the Elite bonus, which applies to all Colonies.

That covers the general aspects of this proposed skill tree rework. Hopefully the goal is clear, and hopefully that goal looks better than both the current and preceding skill trees.
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Morrokain

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Re: Skill Tree Rework
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2021, 04:44:56 PM »

Some pretty cool concepts here for sure. I also love a lot of the added quotes. Hehe  ;D

I'm curious, why are raiding and colony skills T5? Are they the most powerful in your opinion or are they there specifically to limit the number you can take to 3 for varied playthrough purposes?

I ask because one of the things that players seemed to take issue with the new system is the inability to get most of the campaign bonuses.

My only other concern would be back-end issues. For instance, I'm not sure if there is a functional difference between first engagements and second engagements. Things happen in between them, sure, but I think a new battle is just considered a new battle rather than being tracked as the "second battle" of the series if that makes sense. I don't actually know for sure if this is the case though.
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Megas

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Re: Skill Tree Rework
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2021, 07:19:51 PM »

My guess about colony skills at tier 5 is so combat junkies who do not care about colonies (in part because of easy alpha cores) can save a point for more combat stuff without hurting their build.

I want to be not only a combat junkie, but also a colony lord, like a theoretical early AD&D fighter whose high-level power is getting a barony and army (instead of 9th level spells for a wizard).  In Starsector terms, it means getting a colony.

I like colonies, and it is annoying when getting the skills are too hard.  (More annoying when their bonuses are rather weak.)

I enjoyed getting the old 0.9 skills and could control a respectable sized empire without cores.  That is not possible in 0.95 (need Leadership 10 and Industry 10 for that, but only 15 skill points), and player is forced to get Leadership and Industry, while old 0.9 player could get stuff from every other tree, just not as much.

Player should be more than a hired brute or dumb muscle, no matter how good he is at mugging the enemy.  Eventually, he should be able to grow to command more than his fleet and rule planets!
« Last Edit: May 19, 2021, 07:24:59 PM by Megas »
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The Soldier

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Re: Skill Tree Rework
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2021, 10:10:29 PM »

Some pretty cool concepts here for sure. I also love a lot of the added quotes. Hehe  ;D
If it turns out this idea isn't well-received, I at least took some enjoyment writing the descriptions!

Raiding and colony skills were at T5 so the player could just pick personal combat or fleet skills without making them pick something they didn't want (pretty much what Megas said). If you did want to pick all the skills out of one path though, you'd be at the point where you've lost the Galatia Academy Stipend, so you'd need another method of financially supporting yourself - Raids or Colonies are both powerful, so pick one or both.

With the 5th path, the game would need at least 5 more skill points, or 10 if you're feeling generous. That'd make getting the fleet skills easier, though personally I've learned to go without many of them due to vanilla's fairly heavy restrictions.

I didn't really make these with consideration as to what would be "possible" to do or not - it's a collection of more complex ideas that, if possible to put in, would make things much more interesting than currently to leverage some of the more underutilized mechanics. I wanted to go for something like Energy Weapons Mastery or Ranged Specialization that rewarded you for doing something specific, rather than the general blanket-buff as most of the skills are.

I want to be not only a combat junkie, but also a colony lord, like a theoretical early AD&D fighter whose high-level power is getting a barony and army (instead of 9th level spells for a wizard).  In Starsector terms, it means getting a colony.
Let's face it, becoming the next leading faction in Starsector is not in the cards for the vanilla game. As much as you want that, leave it to Nexerlin.
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I am officially an epoch.
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Note: please sacrifice your goats responsibly, look up the proper pronunciation of Alex's name. We wouldn't want some other project receiving mystic power.