Skills, Spells, and Training Design

Discussion/questions about gameplay (skills/classes/etc), current or suggested.
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laeZ1
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Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:45 pm

Skills, Spells, and Training Design

Post by laeZ1 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:10 pm

I've got a few questions about the game's design, if you don't mind answering, mostly having to do with Levels, Skills, and Spells.

The questions really boil down to how similar the Mentor/Trainer system will be to Shattered Kingdoms' training system (having to find trainers for skills/spells, only being able to train them to a certain point, then mastering them through use)?

It was a very thematic part of the game, and the Mentor system that sprung from it was a wonderful resource for RP opportunities, and the feeling of your character finally "mastering" a skill was pretty cool.

The frustrating part of that system was finding the "right" trainer. I've actually got a Veteran warlock in SK right now, and she's running around with burning hands and shocking grasp because I don't have the veteran knowledge of where to find the proper trainers for things like fireball or lightning bolt.

Having to find proper trainers promotes exploration, but the wilderness is dangerous, especially if you're running around without your proper spells.

Ideally, I'd like it if either "average" trainers for all of your classes skills/spells were relatively plentiful, and easy/safe to find while in a town, while specialized ones could be hidden throughout the world, OR for early on NPC trainers to have IC suggestions on whom to seek out (also NPCs).

All that being said, there's a chance Archaic Lands' skill/spell system will not resemble SK's in the slightest. Could you give us a rundown on what it'll look like?

Happy New Year, by the way

Cheers!

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Edoras
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Re: Skills, Spells, and Training Design

Post by Edoras » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:41 am

My impression so far, which I believe to be pretty accurate, is that concept of skills/spells/songs within AL will look very much like SK does, which is pretty standard for a lot of ROM/MERC codebases (Although this is a coffeemud base). Each skill has its own proficiency rating that you improve at via training with a mentor and putting it into practice. I also know that the intention is for AL to be class-based, but also to have general abilities from which you can choose up to 4 focuses for a single character. So crafting professions like skinning, blacksmithing, creating magical items, etc won't be limited to just a single class or pair of classes, but you will be able to have flexible options for fleshing out your character that don't necessitate joining specific exclusive groups.

I would -presume- that there's going to be a built-in mentoring system, in fact even the stock code of coffeemud allows it. In fact from talking with Alex one of the primary themes of AL seems to be that players should be capable of performing most important tasks, up to and including crafting armor/weapons/items that should rival even the most powerful unique items in the game.

In terms of the style of trainer availability, and access to basic/advanced trainers and how they're split out, I don't believe there are any sort of hard-coded restrictions in place for those at the moment, which means that input like yours is extremely useful to have early on to guide builders and perhaps an overarching policy in the future. I am also a big fan of having basic trainers for most skills be very easily accessible in terms of capitol cities. It shouldn't require a lot of exploration to learn the basics, and adventurers shouldn't be forced to rely on blind luck in order to find advanced trainers, or trainers for advanced skills. There should be reasonably achievable methods in place to learn about the direction to go to seek those.

On a related note, I'm also a fan of having the 'train' system actually be something where training is slightly more complex than just 'train with me and instantly jump to 50% or 75% effectiveness.' I'm a much bigger fan of 'training' boost both your current skill level -and- your ability to learn more in practice, so that if players wish, they don't feel obligated to blow through a great deal of coin and/or xp 'learning' a skill just by asking a mob or player to spam train them 10 times in a row. If they wish to conserve money or xp for lessons, they can just get a couple of lessons and then, with the lessons fresh in their mind, put them to practical use and see that doing so gives them 'more bang for their buck' if you will. Especially for advanced trainers that might charge an arm and a leg, it would be much wiser to practice in between each lesson as opposed to burning through a great deal of coin getting one lesson right after the other.

Similarly, I'm also a big fan of spell proficiency being more complicated than just determining the raw success rate of a spell, but rather determining moreso the effectiveness of the spell itself: Someone who's craptastic at casting magic missile will be able to cast it most of the time, but it might be slower/do less damage/be less accurate (Yes I know magic missile is an unerring spell just bear with me) as opposed to having to face the unspeakable frustration of failing a spell 5 times in a row just because you're only superg.

Alex
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Re: Skills, Spells, and Training Design

Post by Alex » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:32 am

laeZ1 wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:10 pm
The questions really boil down to how similar the Mentor/Trainer system will be to Shattered Kingdoms' training system (having to find trainers for skills/spells, only being able to train them to a certain point, then mastering them through use)?
So, currently, every skill that a player knows (for the most part) can be mentored to 75%. I may cut this for the mentor/master rank skills (I'll explain in a bit why) but basically as it stands, there's no way for you to learn a skill above 75% without going to a special trainer. Some NPC trainers might teach lower, but the default is 75% and the more advanced trainers will be located in places that must adventured to.
laeZ1 wrote: It was a very thematic part of the game, and the Mentor system that sprung from it was a wonderful resource for RP opportunities, and the feeling of your character finally "mastering" a skill was pretty cool.
I agree. That's why I'm wanting to extend it to 'expert' level skills too. I'll also be adding basic crafting/language skills as teachable.
laeZ1 wrote: The frustrating part of that system was finding the "right" trainer. I've actually got a Veteran warlock in SK right now, and she's running around with burning hands and shocking grasp because I don't have the veteran knowledge of where to find the proper trainers for things like fireball or lightning bolt.
I agree. I also find it very painful to force newbies to spam skills and fail and hate the game due to it.
laez1 wrote: Having to find proper trainers promotes exploration, but the wilderness is dangerous, especially if you're running around without your proper spells.
Yes, this is why when you're level 35+, you should be out running around. Your basic skills are done at this stage, only your 'power moves' are 36+.
laez1 wrote: Ideally, I'd like it if either "average" trainers for all of your classes skills/spells were relatively plentiful, and easy/safe to find while in a town, while specialized ones could be hidden throughout the world, OR for early on NPC trainers to have IC suggestions on whom to seek out (also NPCs).
Now, the reason I'm going to teach everything to 75% by default (including in cities) is for this reason, but also: you will have practices. Practices can be used to elevate a skill (literally practice it) with a trainer beyond the 75% mark based on the primary stat of the skill and your intelligence. You earn practices by doing every day things (unsuccessful skill checks) and on leveling.

So spend them wisely! You can also train for practices, if you want to immediately convert instead of 'practice farming'. Why make folks practice farm? Keeps you online in a 'safe' area while you earn pracs to use when you adventure to mentor/master skill trainers. This boosts numbers of 'bored folks', same as gathering materials for crafting or crafting items, or doing other things (such as propaganda or economic influence for war more on that much later) when numbers are low for you.
laez1 wrote:All that being said, there's a chance Archaic Lands' skill/spell system will not resemble SK's in the slightest. Could you give us a rundown on what it'll look like?
Sure, like Edoras mentioned, the skills will mirror in look/feel to a ROM/MERC/DIKU mud, with specific classes having skills.

However, there will be different classes of skills: your core class skills (mostly combat/utility focused), common crafting skills, common resource gathering skills, and languages. You will have 4 slots (I may modify this based on race to help balance, or increase to 6-8 - we'll see) for the 'crafting/resource' skills. This should allow anyone to have a character who can complete a 'crafting tree'.

For example to produce level 50, top tier armor: mining, smelting, blacksmithing, and armor smithing.

Now you can repair and produce level 50 mithril armor from mithril ore (smelting) or level 50 tanso steel (mining for iron, smelting to make steel).

Now, you could drop the mining and add weapon smithing. You would just need to find someone to mine the ore for you or to purchase it from a shop (either NPC or player/clan based). Also, each thing (mining, smelting, blacksmithing, armor smithing) will have basic, advance, and master levels - each with requirements and tiers. Not all races will have the stats to achieve master <skill> of every type (eg giants are too dumb for master alchemy, etc).

Now, if you wanted to be the best armor maker, you'd likely have to drop smelting and mining to make room for enchanting (which will require gems and other things that are harvested) and alchemy in order to enchant/buff the armor while still being able to work on adamantite/mithril/etc. The system is designed so you are not able to do everything well. Jack of all trades or master of one, type.


But there's a whole host of skills: from alchemy, to herbing, to fishing, to fire building, to irregation, hunting, cooking, liquor distilling.

Some of these will be 'freebies' (like climb, swim, etc) but ones that are heavily tied to equipment crafting and potion/pill/magical crafting will be limited. As a note, you will *always* be allowed to 'unlearn' a common skill and learn another in its place.
edoras wrote: . Especially for advanced trainers that might charge an arm and a leg, it would be much wiser to practice in between each lesson as opposed to burning through a great deal of coin getting one lesson right after the other.
This is where practices come in. It maybe worth it to not spam everything and instead use practices, which are 'free' (they take a practice, but you pay no xp or coin). Farming practices can only be done via skill failures. And lower level skills improve faster than high level ones.

Also, you can not get better at a skill (or prac farm) from a skill higher level than you are. Or learn one higher.
edoras wrote: Similarly, I'm also a big fan of spell proficiency being more complicated than just determining the raw success rate of a spell, but rather determining moreso the effectiveness of the spell itself: Someone who's craptastic at casting magic missile will be able to cast it most of the time, but it might be slower/do less damage/be less accurate (Yes I know magic missile is an unerring spell just bear with me) as opposed to having to face the unspeakable frustration of failing a spell 5 times in a row just because you're only superg.
This will depend on the spell. I'm tinkering with the ideas of 'time based' spells whose duration is based on your skill level (among other factors), as well as gems/items you can hold to boost your spell power (art).

Unlike other systems: Art does not increase your chances of a spell rolling successful - it augments the effectiveness. Spells, like skills, all will have an initial 'save' check that pits stats + affects against stats of spell/skill + affects of user. If a full save is had, the spell/skill is negated. Otherwise, the saves (magical protection + fort/willpower/reflex for spells - resistances - armor and armor protection) and art will determine 'what' happens. As a note, armor (generally, with the exception on skills that check if your armor is heavy/metal/leather/burnable/etc), armor protection and magical protection are just 'flat' damage reducers. It's really fort/willpower/reflex that determine if you get the 'bad affect' or not and art how much damage.

Fake Example: such as a spell called 'searching orb - blinds and deals damage.
Spell primary stat: int
secondary stat: cha
Primary resist: fortitude
secondary resist: reflex
caster art: 10
Victim prime stat: con (fortitude)
victim second stat: dex (reflex)
Victim fort save: 10
victim reflex save: 10
Victim level: 35
caster level: 40

int/cha for the caster will go against the fort/reflex (and associated stats) to determine if a spell 'saves' or 'lands'. Then the blinding part gets a save and art determines the length of the blind minus the resistance (if any, blindness has no resistance tho, but cold and acid and fire do for example). Then the damage part is done, with art boosting the power vs. any MP and the primary (fort) + 1/2 secondary (reflex) to reduce it. Character level will only determine the amount of 'natural' power or save.


I'll tweak these likely, and I do intend for prayer, arcane, and song magical damage to all be 'different' and have different pluses and minuses vs saves.

But for the first pass, it'll resemble something here.

laeZ1
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:45 pm

Re: Skills, Spells, and Training Design

Post by laeZ1 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:53 pm

The practice mechanic sounds perfect!

When I saw the crafting skilled mentioned offhandedly in one of your announcement posts, I was a little skeptical, but now I'm downright excited! It sounds like so much fun!

Thank you for the detailed responses. It's got me thinking about more topics for this game, but they probably deserve their own threads.

Ardith
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Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:08 pm

Re: Skills, Spells, and Training Design

Post by Ardith » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:51 am

One of the ideas is that players should be self sufficient, that's why there's going to be crafting and such.

Some people like me end up working other projects beyond what I can build in the mud so working full time and working on those projects takes away from working here.

Another thing is that it prevents builders from making gear for their characters or their friends.

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