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Author Topic: split skills for fun (piloted ship) and the rest into separate categories / etc.  (Read 1353 times)

msoltyspl

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I was wondering if it wasn't actually a decent idea - currently there are 14 "piloted ship" + "neural link" skills in vanilla (and nominal limit is 15 skills total). I know there are some interesting combinations with neural link and big ships, but for the most part it feels like the player is trading "a bit of fun" for skill-wise crippled fleet/other options - or - one could suck it up, put a good officer or fly a bit weakened just one ship and just use skills for better stuff.

So for example following the current set of skill - split them into e.g. 15 "personal" (current 14 + neural) skills (8-9 can be chosen) and 25 fleet/colony/etc. skills (13-15 can be chosen) - perhaps with explicit limits to how many T4 skills are allowed to be selected in each category (so e.g. 1 T4 in personal, and 2-3 in non-personal - depending on how many will be designated as T4). [all values just an example].

A simpler way would be to just formally bump max level ... (yes, I know it's in settings.json) - but the above approach imho would be better as it gives more fine grained control over limitations (and avoids situation where someone can still choose [almost] all piloted or non-piloted skills if the max level was just boosted).
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Grievous69

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Weird, just had this discussion on a stream. Anyways I'll repeat myself and say piloted skills aren't really "for fun" or QoL. A player piloted ship with a number of combat skills is many times stronger than a ship with an AI officer.

Splitting the personal and fleet options would just make everyone always pick the best combat skills for their ship and then taking fleet skills which they like no problem. If anything it would greatly reduce replayability and variety.

This has came up multiple times over the years (god knows we had skill reworks) and the response has always been the same.
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SCC

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Personal skills aren't just "for fun", but they require you learn how to pilot your ship.

intrinsic_parity

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I don't agree with OPs wording/reasoning but I do agree that having personal and fleet skills competing against one another creates some fundamental issues.

Namely, personal skills are more fun in some sense because they directly augment your piloting experience while fleet-wide skills more augment your ability to win combats but don't make a huge difference in your personal second-to-second experience. That creates some really annoying decisions where you have to choose between having more fun and being better at winning, which I think is not a good decision in a game. It's analogous to deciding between going into finance and being rich but hating your job, or going into poetry and doing what you love but having low standard of living. It's variety, but it's not good variety IMO.

That's not even getting into balance of the two against one another. Balancing things that have categorically different effects against one another is also just inherently much more difficult, and will likely result in many more balance issues.

I think having separate combat and fleet skills still creates interesting decisions. The decisions are just more of 'what kind of ships/strategies do I want to use and how can I pick skills to augment that' rather than 'do I want to have fun piloting a strong flagships with a weak fleet, or do I want to build an AFK farming fleet and go alt-tab into a youtube video'. Personally, I think that later is not an interesting decision, but I understand others might disagree.

I do bump max level to 17 so I can get a couple extra combat skills because the game is just more fun when your flagship is strong, but I think the fleet skills I would have to drop to get those skills at level 15 are more valuable overall.
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SonnaBanana

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I don't agree with OPs wording/reasoning but I do agree that having personal and fleet skills competing against one another creates some fundamental issues.

Namely, personal skills are more fun in some sense because they directly augment your piloting experience while fleet-wide skills more augment your ability to win combats but don't make a huge difference in your personal second-to-second experience. That creates some really annoying decisions where you have to choose between having more fun and being better at winning, which I think is not a good decision in a game. It's analogous to deciding between going into finance and being rich but hating your job, or going into poetry and doing what you love but having low standard of living. It's variety, but it's not good variety IMO.

That's not even getting into balance of the two against one another. Balancing things that have categorically different effects against one another is also just inherently much more difficult, and will likely result in many more balance issues.

I think having separate combat and fleet skills still creates interesting decisions. The decisions are just more of 'what kind of ships/strategies do I want to use and how can I pick skills to augment that' rather than 'do I want to have fun piloting a strong flagships with a weak fleet, or do I want to build an AFK farming fleet and go alt-tab into a youtube video'. Personally, I think that later is not an interesting decision, but I understand others might disagree.

I do bump max level to 17 so I can get a couple extra combat skills because the game is just more fun when your flagship is strong, but I think the fleet skills I would have to drop to get those skills at level 15 are more valuable overall.

I remember someone's suggestion about personal skills and fleets skills each having their own skillpoints instead of using the same skillpoints as it is right now.
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Grievous69

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I don't understand why people are making the comparison in black and white. You don't either go with 15 combat skills and zero fleet ones, or vice versa. There are many fleet skills that will make your ship also stronger, and even just having 2-3 pure combat skills is a strong boon. Likewise you're always able to grab something for the fleet even if you're going crazy with the combat skills.

And no one has yet responded to the argument: "I'll just always pick the best combat skills for my flagship", with the fleet skills at least there are more meaningful decisions.

The solution to that would be to have 20 combat skills that are all slightly different flavours, which honestly sounds even more boring.

I completely 100% agree that it sucks having few combat skills on your flagship when you want to have a super strong fleet. But that's the whole point of the skill tree, you can't have it all.
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TaLaR

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I already pick quite different skills for piloting Afflictor or Conquest. There is no small set of universal best personal skills.

There are also some semi-personal skills like Phase Corps or Wolfpack, that I take mostly for effect on piloted ship, if I take them.
Personal vs Fleet-wides that also affects my piloted ship - yep, I take these. But Fleet-wides that have no effect on piloted shop - never (carrier skills since I never pilot a carrier, phase corps if I don't pilot a phase ship, auto-ships if I don't link a Radiant, purely economic skills, etc).
« Last Edit: August 15, 2022, 08:58:32 AM by TaLaR »
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Grievous69

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I already pick quite different skills for piloting Afflictor or Conquest. There are no small set of universal best personal skills.
That's not what I meant, of course the skills will change with different ships. I'm saying in 2 different runs, a similar type of ship will have the same combat skills because now you have to pick them.
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SCC

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Combat skills being quite play-style specific is probably their biggest weakness right now.

intrinsic_parity

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The difference between 3,5 and 7 personal combat skills is pretty massive for personal piloting experience, and those are the decisions you have to make. It's an issue of being incentivized to reduce your personal piloting enjoyment.

And obviously you're going to try to pick the best skills for your flagship? I don't see how that's different from the current game, the only difference is that you might choose to get less personal skills so your flagship is weaker (which I think is choosing to have less fun playing in order to be better at winning, which is a bad choice to be presented with in the first place).

The process of picking the personal skills you decide to get is the same, you're going to pick the ones that benefit you the most, although I still think there is decent variety for which skills can be used on any given ship.
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Grievous69

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Combat skills being quite play-style specific is probably their biggest weakness right now.
I agree but do people even like skills like Target Analysis? Even Gunnery Implants and Ordnance Expertise aren't good for every type of ship.

Think Alex wanted to make fun skills enabling different and unique playstyles, everything being general use wouldn't exactly be a "strength" to me.

EDIT:
And obviously you're going to try to pick the best skills for your flagship? I don't see how that's different from the current game, the only difference is that you might choose to get less personal skills so your flagship is weaker (which I think is choosing to have less fun playing in order to be better at winning, which is a bad choice to be presented with in the first place).
That's very subjective, there's a ton of folks who just don't care about combat skills (be it they prefer the admiral style gameplay, or are just not good). Why should we nerf those playstyles? I'm the one enjoying piloting strong combat ships and I'm defending the current system, surely I'm not the only one.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2022, 08:31:30 AM by Grievous69 »
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Alex

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I feel like there's an unexamined assumption here that more flagship power unequivocally means more fun. I think past a few key skills for whatever you're doing, this isn't necessarily the case. You really want something - an edge you can leverage - since that opens up some interesting decision-making. But once you have that, adding more and more power to your flagship doesn't mean it's more fun to fly. It'll have more impact, certainly (which trades off for less impact by the rest of your fleet), but the actual moment to moment gameplay can easily be more fun when you have a little less to work with.

I mean, consider a flagship buffed to the point where it one-shots everything and takes no damage. That's not fun - beyond a few minutes, perhaps - so clearly there's a line beyond which more power is actually... less fun. The question is where that line - and its more fuzzy cousin, "more power isn't bad but isn't actually *more* fun, either" line - actually are. I think it's at a pretty low number of skills, but a lot of this is necessarily going to be personal preference. And, you have that choice!
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BigBrainEnergy

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Spoiler
I feel like there's an unexamined assumption here that more flagship power unequivocally means more fun. I think past a few key skills for whatever you're doing, this isn't necessarily the case. You really want something - an edge you can leverage - since that opens up some interesting decision-making. But once you have that, adding more and more power to your flagship doesn't mean it's more fun to fly. It'll have more impact, certainly (which trades off for less impact by the rest of your fleet), but the actual moment to moment gameplay can easily be more fun when you have a little less to work with.

I mean, consider a flagship buffed to the point where it one-shots everything and takes no damage. That's not fun - beyond a few minutes, perhaps - so clearly there's a line beyond which more power is actually... less fun. The question is where that line - and its more fuzzy cousin, "more power isn't bad but isn't actually *more* fun, either" line - actually are. I think it's at a pretty low number of skills, but a lot of this is necessarily going to be personal preference. And, you have that choice!
[close]
Even though I know from experience that games are most fun when you're this close to failure, my lizard brain wants me to take all the skills and win more.
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FooF

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I feel like there's an unexamined assumption here that more flagship power unequivocally means more fun. I think past a few key skills for whatever you're doing, this isn't necessarily the case. You really want something - an edge you can leverage - since that opens up some interesting decision-making. But once you have that, adding more and more power to your flagship doesn't mean it's more fun to fly. It'll have more impact, certainly (which trades off for less impact by the rest of your fleet), but the actual moment to moment gameplay can easily be more fun when you have a little less to work with.

I mean, consider a flagship buffed to the point where it one-shots everything and takes no damage. That's not fun - beyond a few minutes, perhaps - so clearly there's a line beyond which more power is actually... less fun. The question is where that line - and its more fuzzy cousin, "more power isn't bad but isn't actually *more* fun, either" line - actually are. I think it's at a pretty low number of skills, but a lot of this is necessarily going to be personal preference. And, you have that choice!

In absolute agreement from a gameplay perspective. From a player mindset, however, routinely being less powerful than your subordinates is a weird place to be in. I choose quite a few combat skills most runs but more often than not, my flagship is the weakest vessel in my fleet “on paper.” Why? Because officers don’t have to choose between fleet and combat skills.

I don’t think we need another skill revamp or anything like that but I would love for there to be opportunities to earn Combat traits (and exclusively Combat) via missions or quests that don’t eat into other skill points. The Galatia quest line grants your transverse jump and neutrino detector without spending skill points. Why not earn portions of Combat skill traits in a sort of piece-meal fashion? Maybe 3-4, tops. It could be completely optional but for those combat-minded, you’d have an alternate path to improve the flagship passively, albeit not as quickly or powerfully as actual Skills. Maybe you have to spend a Story Point too. Just spit-balling.

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Candesce

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From a player mindset, however, routinely being less powerful than your subordinates is a weird place to be in.
You must really dislike Pokemon.
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