Skills and Levels

AuthorTopic: Skills and Levels
Shock Trooper
Member # 6754
Profile #0
Okay, the Geneforge boards are a little quieter than I'd like, so I'm inciting discussion. I am of the opinion that Geneforge games (and the other Spiderweb RPG's if I'm not mistaken) have too many skills.

As of Geneforge 4, the skills are:
Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, EnduranceMelee Weapons, Missile Weapons, Quick Action, ParryBattle Magic, Mental Magic, Blessing Magic, SpellcraftFire Shaping, Battle Shaping, Magic Shaping, Healing CraftLeadership, Mechanics, LuckThat's nineteen. I'm not feeling very academic this summer, but I still think it's too many. Besides, the organization is strange. Healing Craft is under Shaping Skills, and General Skills include infiltrator stuff instead of Strength and Dexterity. I'm okay with all the resistances
I would do it more like Super Mario RPG. The best game for the SNES, by the way. I made a screenshot special for this thread:

IMAGE(http://img175.imageshack.us/img175/3554/supermariorpgu00008jl7.png)

That's it. You level up, you get a little stronger, and you pick your specialization. Attack, endurance, or special attacks. Now Spiderweb games have a little more than three skills could cover, but if it were up to me (and I respect that it isn't) I'd dramatically bring down the number of skills. Might look a little more like this:
Strength (carrying capacity, weapon attack power)Speed (turn order, dodge chance)Dexterity (mechanics, stealth)Intelligence (leadership, diplomacy)Magic (includes healing magic)ShapingI don't expect most people would like that, reducing Shaping and Magic to single categories. But I think you can specialize within the skills by studying certain spells and creations. And screw Skill Points. Each level, you get 5, right? A lot of skills cost that much! By level 20 you have to save up for the ones you specialize in. I say give one skill upgrade per level, just like that. I guess my way doesn't leave much room for creativity though.
I also composed a list a while back that reorganized the skills a little for class specialization and changed subcategories. It looked like this:
Endurance (Hit point capacity. Protects you from poison.)Strength (Carrying capacity and damage in melee combat. Protects you from being stunned.)Intelligence (Essence and spell energy capacity. Protects you from mental attacks.)Dexterity (Chance of dodging an attack. Makes your blows more likely to hit. Helps you act sooner in combat.)Melee (Damage in melee combat and chance to hit with melee weapons.)Projectiles (Damage in projectile combat and chance to hit with ranged weapons.)Defense (Resistance to damage taken, especially in melee combat.)Casting (Ability to deal magical damage.)Blessing (Ability to bless and protect magically.)Charming (Ability to confuse enemies or magically loosen locks.)Influence (Aptitude in conversation. Opens better options.)Mechanics (Ability to operate, fix, and unlock things. Increases efficiency of living tools.)Stealth (Ability to go unnoticed. Makes stealing things easier.)Creation (Ability to Shape a Creation.)Infusion (Ability to infuse a Creation with essence.)Aura (Ability to control a Creation.)Crafting (Your ability to work with enhancements and forge. Improves effect of items.)Healing (Ability to heal and cure yourself and your allies.)Luck (Chance of certain events occurring. Helps in many special encounters.)I'm afraid I like both of my lists better than the existing one. Uh, granted, the descriptions rip off Geneforge. What do you think? This thread sure as hell won't change future games, but I'm curious nonetheless. I feel a little mean putting down . I'm particularly interested in the opinions of the jaded RPG players like Kel, Synergy, and D-Vlish.

--------------------
One of these words is mispelled.
Posts: 284 | Registered: Tuesday, January 31 2006 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #1
Hooray! Let's make SW games pander to the 8-year-old market even more than they already do!

--------------------
The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #2
The Geneforge categories were chosen as a way to balance out the different player classes, With them every class had something it was great at and something that was a weakness.

Your way would result in powergaming where most people would concentrate on what is usally perceived as the more powerful skills that are currently separated.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #3
Albert Einstein once said something to the effect that everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. I don't think the Geneforge engine would support the same range of interesting build strategies if it were much simpler.

It could perhaps use a bit of tweaking, though. I could see adding some skill that directly affects Stealth, since it doesn't really seem as though any of the current skills should logically do so directly. I could see adding a crafting skill, so that getting artifacts would require investing some skill points.

I could see dropping Luck from the game, in order to keep the number of miscellaneous skills down. Luck is a bit silly as a skill, I think.

I've always been a bit concerned at how Quick Action seems overpowered, especially in comparison with Dexterity, because hitting first can be so important, and QA is so much cheaper than DX. Probably QA could be slightly nerfed; but you don't want to kill the 'glass cannon' builds, just make them a bit trickier.

Parry after G2 has been reasonably fair, but boring because its effects are mostly invisible. Maybe adding a sound effect or animation is all that is needed.

--------------------
We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 6754
Profile #4
Parry does have a sound effect. It's pretty slight, like a blade scraping another.

quote:
Originally written by Randomizer:

Your way would result in powergaming where most people would concentrate on what is usally perceived as the more powerful skills that are currently separated.
You're probably right about that ... I just finished reading that month-old "Insidious Infiltrator" thread for Geneforge 4, and realize that powergamers aren't above downright raping a game.

Say the skills shouldn't be clumped together. As is, does it bother anyone that there are skills you can't spend Skill Points on (Vampiric Touch, Stealth)?

--------------------
One of these words is mispelled.
Posts: 284 | Registered: Tuesday, January 31 2006 08:00
Councilor
Member # 6600
Profile Homepage #5
Originally by Student of Trinity:

quote:
Parry after G2 has been reasonably fair, but boring because its effects are mostly invisible. Maybe adding a sound effect or animation is all that is needed.
Parry gets a little bit more interesting with the addition of spineshield, though. "Shoot, I parried again!" :P

And I've never had problems with skill points, since I usually gain a few levels before I need to use any of them. G1's fixed costs had a appeal, though, if only because I could quickly get mechanics and leadership as high as I would ever want them early in the game and never have to worry about them again.

Dikiyoba.

Edit: Added quote.

[ Wednesday, June 27, 2007 15:14: Message edited by: Dikiyoba ]
Posts: 4346 | Registered: Friday, December 23 2005 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #6
Super Mario RPG was, indeed, a brilliant game. But even its system could be analyzed and powergamed. The possible point gains at each level up are 100% predestined but different for each choice; thus, there is a pattern to follow alternating between all three choices that will get you the highest total statistics. Even then there are further considerations when you consider how meaningless some of the HP bonuses are (particularly for Bowser). There are also hard caps on all four attack and defense stats which are high but very easy to run into if you use the Quartz Charm, Troopa Pin, Ghost Medal, Geno Boost, or the various stat-increasing items; meaning that raising your base offense above 255 before those boosts is not quite so useful, and given some of the weapon powers (Lazy Shell) it's quite easy to get to the point where this is relevant. Similarly, if you know you plan on giving someone (Toadstool) the Lazy Shell Armor, you can completely ignore the HP and physical stats, as they will be useless for her, and just pump her magic to make it less wimpy with the armor on.

--------------------
Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 6754
Profile #7
After firing it up to get that screen shot at Mario's first level-up, I decided to play the ole game through.

--------------------
One of these words is mispelled.
Posts: 284 | Registered: Tuesday, January 31 2006 08:00
Canned
Member # 8014
Profile #8
quote:
Strength (carrying capacity, weapon attack power)
Speed (turn order, dodge chance)
Dexterity (mechanics, stealth)
Intelligence (leadership, diplomacy)
Magic (includes healing magic)
Shaping

Strength makes sense.
Speed...well dexterity is basically that. Dexterity being mechanics/stealth seems pretty dumb.

Intelligence...makes a little sense. Leadership can go in there...but diplomacy is used in leadership. And you forgot the whole "increase magick potencity" and "increace essence" sort of thing.

Magick...okay.

Same with shaping.

Now...overall, I think that the stats already are pretty well balenced. Healing magick under shaping makes a lot of sence. You are healing yourself or your creations (usually). You are mending wounds. Does it sound sort of like shaping now?

Oh, and G5 is supposively the last in the series. Changing dramaticly now...boom. And Jeff is not likly to even see this thread, by the way.

--------------------
I can transform into almost anything, though not sanity.

I heard a man sing "The Muffin Man" one day. He got to see the light.
Posts: 1799 | Registered: Sunday, February 4 2007 08:00
Raven v. Writing Desk
Member # 261
Profile Homepage #9
quote:
Originally written by Adventuring Muffin:

Speed...well dexterity is basically that. Dexterity being mechanics/stealth seems pretty dumb.
I realize this isn't your fault, it's the fault of the games you've played; but for crying out loud, go look up dexterity in a dictionary!

--------------------
Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
Posts: 3560 | Registered: Wednesday, November 7 2001 08:00