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Scott
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« Reply #90 on: September 12, 2008, 01:23:16 PM »

Another thing I've been thinking about is crafting. Is there any point in developing it to say 147 and then stopping? That won't be nearly enough to make the best stuff which you'll still have to buy so the way I see it that would mean wasting 100 skill points. Or am I wrong and there will be continious benefits of having a mid-range crafting skill throughout the game?

I concur that being able to craft common, non-disposable items (like a short sword) is lame.  If you spend points in crafting you should get an at least slightly superior short sword to what's available in stores.  I wouldn't go to a carpenter to buy an Ikea table after all.

Also, there has to be some intermediate benefit along the way.  Arcanum did a good job of providing entertaining and useful low level spells and tech.
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Vince
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« Reply #91 on: September 13, 2008, 09:04:45 AM »

So I'm wondering if you could let us know what roughly is the difference between having a skill such as persuasion, streetwise and etiquette at 100 and 200 and 300?
Different situations/solutions require different skill levels. Just like in real life. For example, picking up a drunk girl in a bar requires persuasion 10. Talking your way out of a speeding ticket would require at least 100 points. Talking your way into the Playboy mansion would call for all 300. See what I mean? You don't have to max a skill to beat the game, but if you do your points won't be wasted.

Most skill get at least 10% of lvl300 content. Some get more. Keep in mind that there are passive traits that are skill value-based (forgery, instant kill, interrupt, bypass armor, etc).

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And while we're at it, what is the difference between having a skill at 107 and 100?
For non-combat skills? Most likely* none. For combat skills? Extra 7% to hit chance.

*some skill check values calculations may result in 106, for example, in which case 100 fails, but 107 prevails.

Keep in mind that we don't have levels and experience points. We have skill points that are earned often, so investing in skills and getting your skills to decent levels isn't as challenging as it is in level-based games. So, you won't be facing decisions like "do I increase my skill from 107 to 108 or not?".

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Another thing I've been thinking about is crafting. Is there any point in developing it to say 147 and then stopping? That won't be nearly enough to make the best stuff which you'll still have to buy so the way I see it that would mean wasting 100 skill points. Or am I wrong and there will be continious benefits of having a mid-range crafting skill throughout the game?
A skilled craftsman, especially a great master, can make a much better weapon than what a novice can do.

For example, at slvl 25 you can make a basic bronze 2-8 short sword. If you have the "masterwork" technique, you can make a 2-9 sword. every 25 slvls your quality increases. At slvl 75, you can make a 3-10 sword (same bronze short sword). At slvl 100 - 3-11, at slvl 200 - 4-14, at slvl 300 - 6-16. As you know a short sword could be a weapon of choice in AoD, so it won't be discarded once you find a bigger sword. Now, do you need to be able to make such weapons? That's up to you. However, if you want to be able to craft your own uber gear, this option is available and well supported.

You can harden your armor and your weapon's edge. At slvl 50, you can increase DR and vsDR value by 1. At slvl 300 by 6. That's a huge difference. Then we have balancing upgrades, numerous alchemy techniques, and so on.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 09:06:37 AM by Vince » Logged
Dragatus
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« Reply #92 on: September 13, 2008, 10:57:23 AM »

Thanks for answering. I understood that better skills mean you pass harder checks, I was just wondering how often maxed non-combat skills come into play.

A skilled craftsman, especially a great master, can make a much better weapon than what a novice can do.

For example, at slvl 25 you can make a basic bronze 2-8 short sword. If you have the "masterwork" technique, you can make a 2-9 sword. every 25 slvls your quality increases. At slvl 75, you can make a 3-10 sword (same bronze short sword). At slvl 100 - 3-11, at slvl 200 - 4-14, at slvl 300 - 6-16. As you know a short sword could be a weapon of choice in AoD, so it won't be discarded once you find a bigger sword. Now, do you need to be able to make such weapons? That's up to you. However, if you want to be able to craft your own uber gear, this option is available and well supported.

You can harden your armor and your weapon's edge. At slvl 50, you can increase DR and vsDR value by 1. At slvl 300 by 6. That's a huge difference. Then we have balancing upgrades, numerous alchemy techniques, and so on.

I have the impression you misunderstood my question in regard to crafting. I didn't ask wheter the crafting skill was useful. I've read up enough on AoD to know that it will let me do some cool things.

What I'm wondering about is that with a 75 (for example) skill in crafting I will not be able to make the best possible shortsword, so if I don't upgrade my crafting skill further I will need to buy/steal/loot the corpse of an enemy/whatever in order to get a better shortsword, just like if I hadn't invested any points into crafting at all. At first glance this makes it look like crafting is a skill that one should either max or not invest into at all and I would like to know that this first glance is false.

Or to phrase it a bit differently: what are the benefits of investing into crafting if you don't go all the way? Do the NPCs only use basic unupgraded equipment (in which case even basic upgrades you can make remain useful until the end of the game)? Or is it a good moneymaker?
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« Reply #93 on: September 13, 2008, 11:27:10 AM »

I think Arcanum had the right idea when they went for 6 skill values only. What's the point of having a 0-300 range, when you only use a fraction of those values?
Could you at least explain which values are better to go for? If I have 20 points and two conversation skills at 100, should I split them up or dump them into a single skill and wait for 20 more points to increase the other? If there was a use for 110 skill value in those skills, the first option might be preferable, but if the only useful value past 100 is 120, going for the first option rather than the second would be an unpredictable mistake.
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Vince
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« Reply #94 on: September 13, 2008, 11:34:52 AM »

What I'm wondering about is that with a 75 (for example) skill in crafting I will not be able to make the best possible shortsword, so if I don't upgrade my crafting skill further I will need to buy/steal/loot the corpse of an enemy/whatever in order to get a better shortsword, just like if I hadn't invested any points into crafting at all. At first glance this makes it look like crafting is a skill that one should either max or not invest into at all and I would like to know that this first glance is false.
I can't answer that. It's subjective. I can't say "yes, you will need to buy/steel/loot better equipment for it's the only way. It's a role-playing game. So, the question is do you want to play a character who tinkers with his equipment a lot and is able to produce cool and reasonably rare things?

Most weapons you loot are standard. You'll be able to make slightly better weapons at slvl75 (which, btw, represents a modest investment since skills don't start at 0). Is it important to you? I don't know. You'll be able to buy and sometimes find rare weapons, but that doesn't mean that crafting is useless unless maxed. Crafting allows you get what you need when you need. Let's say you found a steel axe, but axes aren't you thing. If you dabble in crafting, you can reforge it into a sword or melt it, saving the metal for steel armor. Is it an important ability? Again, it's subjective.

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Or to phrase it a bit differently: what are the benefits of investing into crafting if you don't go all the way?
Access to better quality of exactly what you need, when you need.

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Do the NPCs only use basic unupgraded equipment (in which case even basic upgrades you can make remain useful until the end of the game)?
Most NPCs use basic equipment. Some NPCs have great stuff, which most likely would be better than what you can craft at low-mid crafting levels. Whether or not you are "bad enough dude" to get that equipment is a question.

In AoD NPCs kill you!

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Or is it a good moneymaker?
Depends on the skill level. It's also a good dialogue-options maker.

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Vince
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« Reply #95 on: September 13, 2008, 11:45:29 AM »

I think Arcanum had the right idea when they went for 6 skill values only. What's the point of having a 0-300 range, when you only use a fraction of those values?
Would being able to max all or most skills be a better design?

Again, you earn skill points from quests and kills. You'll earn them fast. High INT increases the amount, so smart characters (who would be interested in more than combat) would get access to more points to play with. So, while 300 sounds like "OMG! Why so many?!", it's not a lot since we don't increase the buy cost like in Fallout or Bloodlines.

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Could you at least explain which values are better to go for? If I have 20 points and two conversation skills at 100, should I split them up or dump them into a single skill and wait for 20 more points to increase the other?
It depends exclusively on your play style.

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If there was a use for 110 skill value in those skills, the first option might be preferable, but if the only useful value past 100 is 120, going for the first option rather than the second would be an unpredictable mistake.
Stats affect skill checks. Let's say your Persuasion is 105 and you're facing a 120 skill check. Your charisma is high and it modifies the check value by 15%, so 120*0.85=102. If you're a butt ugly and unpleasant, you may actually end up with a 132 check value. So, the answer to your question depends on what character you're playing.

Clevar?  lol
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Morbus
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« Reply #96 on: September 13, 2008, 11:45:56 AM »

I think Arcanum had the right idea when they went for 6 skill values only. What's the point of having a 0-300 range, when you only use a fraction of those values?
My thoughts exactly. It doesn't bother me much though...
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« Reply #97 on: September 13, 2008, 11:57:21 AM »

Yeah, I guess that if you want complicated equations for skill check, you need a large skill range.
But I still think Arcanum's way is a much better solution, because you know every skill point is worth it. And I don't think that implies being able to max all skills. For example, you could simply make all increments require 10 points, but give out points at the same rate as now.
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Morbus
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« Reply #98 on: September 13, 2008, 12:24:17 PM »

I also like how The Witcher did it. Of course the skill tree was linear and actiony and next-geny, but the system itself worked incredibly well. Arcanum's system is very complicated and hard to get into, and even then it's a bit unpolished.
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renkin
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« Reply #99 on: September 13, 2008, 08:52:48 PM »

Really cool lore quest you've got there. This just keeps looking better and better all the time (and then it looked pretty good from start Wink).
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« Reply #100 on: September 14, 2008, 07:26:51 PM »

For example, at slvl 25 you can make a basic bronze 2-8 short sword. If you have the "masterwork" technique, you can make a 2-9 sword. every 25 slvls your quality increases. At slvl 75, you can make a 3-10 sword (same bronze short sword). At slvl 100 - 3-11, at slvl 200 - 4-14, at slvl 300 - 6-16.
6-16 with a bronze short sword? That sounds epic. I dread to think what kind of damage a steel sword by a master crafter would do. I am outright terrified by the idea of a "slvl 300" twohanded sword. It seems like that would easily cut through the heaviest armour.


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You can harden your armor and your weapon's edge. At slvl 50, you can increase DR and vsDR value by 1. At slvl 300 by 6. That's a huge difference. Then we have balancing upgrades, numerous alchemy techniques, and so on.
That's pretty impressive, given that the heaviest armours we've seen so far had DR 9.
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Oscar
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« Reply #101 on: September 14, 2008, 08:55:20 PM »

Yep, you can make some truly epic weapons. Grin
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« Reply #102 on: September 15, 2008, 05:47:36 AM »

I think Arcanum had the right idea when they went for 6 skill values only. What's the point of having a 0-300 range, when you only use a fraction of those values?
This. If you're going to be using a more fine-grained scale, it'd be great to let the player know which values come with tangible rewards (i.e. more than just "higher value for skillchecks"). For instance, explicitly stating that you get new crafting options every 25 points. Or having a rank attached to a skill ("Inept", "Skilled", "Master", etc.), having these tangible rewards tied to rank, and displaying the "points needed until next rank" somewhere on the character screen.

Using the previous example for crafting: having a skill value of 74 or 75 makes very little difference when you just look at the numbers, but not if you look at the character's crafting options. The player should be able to tell that to make better informed decisions regarding character development. Otherwise you'll have stuff like pouring all the skill points into a skill, to see whether there's anything new, then reload and retry until you find the exact value you need to craft that shiny new sword. 600 skill points over the course of the game for 23 skills is 26 skill points per skill, so there's not a whole lot of room for experimentation and wasting skill points. (Which is a good thing, by the way, but necessitates that the player have a better idea of what spending SP on whatever skills is going to be good for)
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Tacticus
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« Reply #103 on: September 18, 2008, 01:16:35 PM »

Hmm here's an idea to placate the opinions so far on skill levels and knowing what you can do at each skill point plateau...

Guilds-for almost all of the useable skills:
Mercenary guild
Loremasters guild
Alchemist's guild
Armorer's guild
Blacksmith's guild
Thieve's guild
Assassin's guild
Bard's guild (performers)
Cartographer's guild (any mapmaking skills?)
etc...

Now, lets say you have 50 skill points in technical lore (mechanical knowhow). You need to reach 75 SP to be accepted into the Loremasters guild.  If you are accepted they tell you that with your present skills you are an apprentice.  They tell you that an apprentice has the ability to use power tubes to engage the engines on the ancient machines, as well as do basic repairs.

They tell you that if you continue your studies as well as practice the applications of, you may qualify for journeyman status and take the test.  You can attempt the test at several points, lets say 100, 110, 125 SPs.  You only pass the test at 125 SPs, so then you gain the Journeyman title.  Now you read and are told in the game about the ability levels of Journeymen:  The can assemble power tubes if they acquire the correct components, repair all levels up to hard problems on mechanical devices, and create simple mechanical devices of their own.

It follows for the Expert Loremaster,  SP needed, additional commonly known ability levels including repair all mecahnical device problems up to very hard, create medium complexity mechanical devices etc.

Then you can have a Master level at 250 SP with its benefits.  In this manner their are tangible abilities that can be revealed to the player in game through dialogue or documents when they are able to achive the requirements.


You can similar rankings for all the skills/guilds with appropriate communication of common ability level in each skillset (e.g. Journeyman armorer's can upgrade scale mail, whereas apprentice armorers could not etc.)

Of course if one doesn't care for guilds or it would be to much to implement them at this point, the same ranks and ability levels can still be added without formal guilds.  They would be considered common descriptors of expertise levels.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2008, 01:21:10 PM by Tacticus » Logged
Tacticus
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« Reply #104 on: September 18, 2008, 01:32:50 PM »

So I'm wondering if you could let us know what roughly is the difference between having a skill such as persuasion, streetwise and etiquette at 100 and 200 and 300?
Different situations/solutions require different skill levels. Just like in real life. For example, picking up a drunk girl in a bar requires persuasion 10. Talking your way out of a speeding ticket would require at least 100 points. Talking your way into the Playboy mansion would call for all 300. See what I mean? You don't have to max a skill to beat the game, but if you do your points won't be wasted.


Of course, if you built up a good level of social and business clients/network, you may be able to get access to the playboy mansion via a favor owed or a bribe placed.  By the way, is there any form of "contacts" or "associates" that may grant or return favors in the game that would be somewhat like this example used?

It would be very cool indeed to see the merchants or loremasters guild to be able to provide access to the playboy mansion after, lets say the player escorts a playboy bunnie back to the mansion after she tells the player she saw a group of thieves sneaking around the rooftops around the Loremaster's guildhouse.  The player is able to prevent the robbery, the Loremaster's reward him with access to the playboy mansion which he asked for.  They are able to do so because they are owed a favor by the mansion proprietors. Silly example of course, but the question is still there, are their contacts/associates which can grant or retrun favors?
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