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Request: Skill Training Through Usage


Pathfinder Online

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Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:


Running as a duo we are piloting ships fitted for PvE missions.

Not an issue related to the pace of skill training, obviously.

Quote:

With some refit we can do small scale pirating in lowsec, however those refits and retooling could take quite some time depending on where we had to go for the parts.

So, that rules out doing anything different during the week where we might only have 2 hours to play.

How long have you been playing? Were you unable to find a place where you could run missions close to somewhere you could do pirating? In that place couldn't you establish a resupply point so that it would be easy to switch modes?

You seem like ideal candidates for alts. Why not pay for one month of skill training (maybe via PLEX if $30 is too much for your household budget) and create/train some alts to use for trading and transporting stuff to where you need it? Only re-open the account if/when you decide you need those characters.

Also, not an issue of the skill system.

Quote:


As a result we don't play most of the week cause we spent the last 2 weeks doing agent missions and we're burnt out on them.

We can't trade because our characters were built around combat to the extent that it would take X weeks training to do that, plus hauling cargo is boring.

We can't mine for the same reason but that is even more boring.

As a result you are training skills during that time that you're not playing, right? So all the cumulative time you're "on the bench", your characters are getting more and more diverse abilities - correct?

So the skill system isn't really blocking you from being a trader or a trucker. Your dislike of that playstyle is the blocker - correct?

Quote:


So, we wait till Saturday and refit for small scale pirating.

[edit tale of piracy]

Well, our replacement ships (don't pilot what you can't afford to lose) are many jumps away. So, we won't be back anytime soon. End of day.

Why didn't you contract with a 3rd party to haul backup ships to the place where you based your pirate activities from?

Why don't you have open lowball market orders in that system - you might induce someone who needs to generate ISK quickly to supply you with what you need to continue?

Why not use one of those alts I mentioned previously to haul more ships in an Orca to somewhere near you via hisec and just AFK the trip? Surely the ferry route from the nearest hisec system to wherever you're pirating can't be more than 10 minutes or so of travel time?

Still not an issue of the way the training system works.

Quote:


Beginning of Sunday, tedium of being back to where you were the beginning of the week. The skill you started training at the beginning of the week is still going.

Sounds like you're specializing your characters (which is just fine) rather than making them multipurpose (road not taken). Choosing to train skills that take more than a couple of days means you're doing pre-reqs for Tech II gear, or maximizing your efficiency, or targeting endgame ships like carriers. All of that is of course not a problem, it just indicates a choice you've made about how you want to play - narrow focus instead of being a jack of all trades. The skill system isn't what's affecting you (because if the game did skill by action, you wouldn't be doing those actions anyway).

It sounds like you're ideal candidates to join a corporation or alliance that needs combat pilots and has plenty of harvesters, crafters and truckers to supply you. Have you tried that route?

Anyway, I think this is a classic example of wishing the choices you make which are interesting (and thus meaningful) as being consequence free, as opposed to having detected a flaw with the mechanics of the game system in question.

RyanD

Goblin Squad Member

stealthbr, could you explain what you mean about EVE's system and skills in relation to Onishi's post? I don't understand how the two relate.


Skwiziks wrote:
stealthbr, could you explain what you mean about EVE's system and skills in relation to Onishi's post? I don't understand how the two relate.

Onishi stated that crafting skills would lose their value if they could be trained at the same time as adventuring skills, which is true. The expression "EVE-like system" refers to the fact that skills in EVE are trained in real time, that's all.

Goblin Squad Member

Ah, okay. I believe he was referring to Vanguard, where they were different spheres entirely. Best I can tell for this, the exponential increases in training time will ensure players have to specialize in some capacity, or spend years of real-time to become good at everything.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
I'd love it if PFO... allowed me to train Crafting Skills simultaneously with Adventuring Skills...

Upon more sober reflection, I believe I was wrong to ask for this.

stealthbr wrote:
... it is important to note that envision such a system providing a limited amount of skill points per sphere. Meaning, a character would not have the potential to be everything. The character would be able to designate a maximum value a skill would be able to reach, would be able to pause the skill's progression (using it wouldn't generate skill points), would be able to take points away from it (in case he does not like the skill and wishes to respec). This would encourage specialization and pre-planning while still allowing for generalist-type of characters.

This is absolute anathema to me.

One of the things I am most looking forward to is the open-ended character development. I will be extremely disappointed if PFO takes steps to try to arbitrarily limit my choices. If they implement something like WoW's Talent Tree, I might very well pick up my toys and go home, crying all the way.


Ryan Dancey wrote:

As a result you are training skills during that time that you're not playing, right? So all the cumulative time you're "on the bench", your characters are getting more and more diverse abilities - correct?

So the skill system isn't really blocking you from being a trader or a trucker. Your dislike of that playstyle is the blocker - correct?

It's both, this is a problem perhaps PFO can avoid that is present in Eve and *seemingly* related to the fact that it takes weeks of offline training to become efficient at a skill.

In order to move up tiers in an activity, whether it's manufacturing (move past iron stuff), contracting (move past low yield trips), combat (progress beyond goblins), or mining (move past copper) you have to invest weeks of time in making that activity worthwhile.

While no-one holds a gun to your head and forces you to specialize certain ways the reality is it takes weeks of realtime to make any given skill family efficient at making money for you. This means a new player should and will likely focus on one because it's uninteresting to have the same narrow choices of content available for very long periods of time; all of which are equally unprofitable.

Ergo, if you could within 4 weeks make millions of ISK off piracy or an agent mission, but only 30k ISK off a reasonable jump trading run, how attractive is it to trade? Mining is the same, manufacturing is the same, and hauling is the same. Meaning as a new player a month or two in, only the activity you specialized will FEEL worthwhile to do because the rest are resetting you back to start.

When someone begins playing Eve they will and do end up aggressively specializing the first thing they found that they enjoy doing because specializing that area is the only way to *move up in the world* while doing what they wanted to do. When they get bored and want to try something else they are looking at weeks of offline trading time; or migrating back to newbie content.

It's not that people or even I want *no consequences* for decisions. It is that we're all human; which means we like to do a mixture of activities. However if progression in a game only rewards focusing on one activity people aren't going to be a jack of all trades until they have mastered an activity WAY after the fact. Being a jack of all trades with a new character means someone is stuck hanging around empire space and the first tier of content for a VERY VERY long time.

It's easy to forget that when you log on an old character with millions of skill points. Rolling a new character to get my wife to play really brought back the frustrations I originally experienced years ago and am past with that old character. My original character can do all types of crap because I kept the account active for more than a year while I was playing other stuff.

So, I paid hundreds of dollars to unlock all those activities while I was barely playing the game due to life getting in the way. An expensive and unattractive proposition to me today, I didn't think twice about way back then.

Trying to continue to play the game when you are bored of your current activity on a NEW character and your options of worthwhile activities are very small is extremely annoying. It ceases to be fun and becomes tedious. I'm not at all alone in thinking this. It's why Eve is stuck in a niche they will never leave.

The inability to quickly jump into new playstyles and feel as if something is actually being accomplished (time based skill-ups) is at the heart of it. You may disagree, but it's not as if I'm making this up. The reason first tier content is always tolerable in standard MMO's where effort = reward is that you quickly move past it, and even while there you are *progressing* rapidly towards moving past it.

In a time-based game like Eve there is no reward whatsoever for swinging back to first-tier content. In fact, by doing a few hours of the activity you specialized heavily you could *progress* more financially than a week of going back to first tier activities. This means doing different activities is completely unattractive until those activities can accomplish as much as your current specialization...which means WEEKS OF OFFLINE TRAINING, WOO.

Goblin Squad Member

It sounds like the problem is that the game is creating incentives to specialize when a more enjoyable experience would be had by generalizing.

Gamer psychology is extremely important. It won't matter how rational a system is if players perceive it as creating perverse incentives.

I am very fond of the tale of WoW implementing a Rest XP system. They originally envisioned it as a 50% penalty to XP after a certain amount of XP was earned, but the player base was up in arms about being penalized. So they turned it around, cut all XP in half and changed the mechanic to double XP until a certain amount of XP was earned. Functionally, it was the exact same system. But the players perceived it as a bonus instead of a penalty, and they absolutely loved it.

Perhaps there are some things that GW can do to incentivize the choices that will generally make for a more enjoyable gameplay experience. It's certainly worth thinking about. If most players feel like they're supposed to delve deep into a particular skill, and then feel like it's not worth playing for weeks while that skill trains, it won't really matter if there were other options they could have chosen that would have been more fun.


Nihimon wrote:

It sounds like the problem is that the game is creating incentives to specialize when a more enjoyable experience would be had by generalizing.

Gamer psychology is extremely important. It won't matter how rational a system is if players perceive it as creating perverse incentives.

I am very fond of the tale of WoW implementing a Rest XP system. They originally envisioned it as a 50% penalty to XP after a certain amount of XP was earned, but the player base was up in arms about being penalized. So they turned it around, cut all XP in half and changed the mechanic to double XP until a certain amount of XP was earned. Functionally, it was the exact same system. But the players perceived it as a bonus instead of a penalty, and they absolutely loved it.

Perhaps there are some things that GW can do to incentivize the choices that will generally make for a more enjoyable gameplay experience. It's certainly worth thinking about. If most players feel like they're supposed to delve deep into a particular skill, and then feel like it's not worth playing for weeks while that skill trains, it won't really matter if there were other options they could have chosen that would have been more fun.

Absolutely it's a psychological problem related to design problem. The design problem is that if you want to try a bunch of different activities out on a new character the heavily controlled time-based advancement turns the newbie content into the Hotel California.

Further, by deciding to spend weeks of real-time attempting to make a new activity as profitable as your current one you are halting your specialization's progression. So, it's debatable whether that was even worth doing if you aren't already where you wanted to be within that specialization's progress through available content.

Goblin Squad Member

@Marou_, just brainstorming here, but how would you react to the system if it actually required a certain level of generalization to unlock the ability to further specialize? I think our Archetype Merit Badges may function that way to some extent.


Nihimon wrote:

@Marou_, just brainstorming here, but how would you react to the system if it actually required a certain level of generalization to unlock the ability to further specialize? I think our Archetype Merit Badges may function that way to some extent.

Can you elaborate some more? I figured out a better way to illustrate I think my point, and the OP's.

Lets say in PFO you had Grognak the Barbarian, and he's quite a successful caravan guard. But ya know what? Today he doesn't feel like fighting, Grognak is tired.

So, instead he's going to try to turn these sticks he found into arrows. He works on it a little bit and his arrows suck, but he got a little better. Maybe someday if he sticks to it with an hour here and there he will make good arrows.

That's in a standard MMO. In a time-based one Grognak would have to halt all of his combat training (the current skill will probably take days of realtime to finish) and devote hours of real-time (but passive) skill training to making his arrows marginally less crappy. His in-game act of trying to craft arrows being relatively pointless except perhaps in PFO to meet some merit requirement. So, he makes 20 to meet that requirement. Now he can twiddle his thumbs, or log off, cause he didn't feel like fighting this afternoon...but that's all he is good at.

He's certainly not committed enough to fletching to hang up his sword, retool his training plan, and move back to the newbie area where people would actually want to buy those sad arrows.

In this example time-based advancement sucked all the joy and entertainment value out of lollygagging. Since Grognak didn't feel like doing what he was good at, there was no reason to be online at all.

Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:
Nihimon wrote:

@Marou_, just brainstorming here, but how would you react to the system if it actually required a certain level of generalization to unlock the ability to further specialize? I think our Archetype Merit Badges may function that way to some extent.

Can you elaborate some more?

Well, I'm not really sure. So much depends on the actual skills that GW provides, and which skills are required for Merit Badges, etc. I'm just not sure it would be worthwhile to try to provide an example with specifics because those specifics might be so far removed from what Ryan has in mind that they actually make the situation worse.

In general, though, my idea was that certain Merit Badges would provide a real incentive for players to choose to generalize, and develop a wider variety of skills early on. The point being to provide enough of a carrot to overcome Grognak's tendency to spend 100% of his training time getting better at Two Handed Swords, and instead actually make it obviously worthwhile for him to dabble a bit in Fletching instead.

Ultimately, though, it's probably all going to boil down to how well each player can avoid the trap of thinking the game's not worth playing until they achieve some particular set of skills and ranks. That is one of the many reasons I am so adamantly opposed to any system that puts an absolute limit on the skills that can be learned: If there's a limit, then many people will feel like it's not worth playing until they reach that limit.


Nihimon wrote:
Marou_ wrote:
Nihimon wrote:

@Marou_, just brainstorming here, but how would you react to the system if it actually required a certain level of generalization to unlock the ability to further specialize? I think our Archetype Merit Badges may function that way to some extent.

Can you elaborate some more?

Well, I'm not really sure. So much depends on the actual skills that GW provides, and which skills are required for Merit Badges, etc. I'm just not sure it would be worthwhile to try to provide an example with specifics because those specifics might be so far removed from what Ryan has in mind that they actually make the situation worse.

In general, though, my idea was that certain Merit Badges would provide a real incentive for players to choose to generalize, and develop a wider variety of skills early on. The point being to provide enough of a carrot to overcome Grognak's tendency to spend 100% of his training time getting better at Two Handed Swords, and instead actually make it obviously worthwhile for him to dabble a bit in Fletching instead.

Ultimately, though, it's probably all going to boil down to how well each player can avoid the trap of thinking the game's not worth playing until they achieve some particular set of skills and ranks. That is one of the many reasons I am so adamantly opposed to any system that puts an absolute limit on the skills that can be learned: If there's a limit, then many people will feel like it's not worth playing until they reach that limit.

The scenario I described with our successful guard dabbling in fetching is why I was advocating some type of experience to supplement the time-based advancement. Even if it was controlled so you could only earn up to 2 hours worth of training advancement through it a day, and only in areas you weren't actively training, it would make his dabbling worthwhile.

That's an hour here and there of becoming a better fletcher that didn't take away from his becoming a better barbarian time.

So, I was loosely thinking about what my problems were with time-based advancement and how I'd solve them. To me, being able to earn crafting or gathering *experience* I could spend to somewhat progress those skills while I was *actively* training combat would do that. You wouldn't let me earn combat experience of course, that would ruin how fast you wanted me to progress. Conversely a miner that fights off 3 goblins would earn a little combat experience, because he was *actively* training to become better at smelting.

Anyways, just some random ideas. In order to even consider those ideas you have to first acknowledge that the system that exists in Eve disincentivizes dabbling and encourages specialization through monetary incentives.

Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:
So, I was loosely thinking about what my problems were with time-based advancement and how I'd solve them. To me, being able to earn crafting or gathering *experience* I could spend to somewhat progress those skills while I was *actively* training combat would do that.

Yeah, that's why I proposed separating Crafting skills from Adventuring skills and allowing both to be trained simultaneously. I keep going back and forth on whether that's a good idea. There's a strong argument that a system like that would hurt pure crafters.


Nihimon wrote:
Marou_ wrote:
So, I was loosely thinking about what my problems were with time-based advancement and how I'd solve them. To me, being able to earn crafting or gathering *experience* I could spend to somewhat progress those skills while I was *actively* training combat would do that.

Yeah, that's why I proposed separating Crafting skills from Adventuring skills and allowing both to be trained simultaneously. I keep going back and forth on whether that's a good idea. There's a strong argument that a system like that would hurt pure crafters.

It wouldn't really though, if Grognak could earn a few hours of crafting training per day through dabbling it would take him 16 days of dabbling to equal the progress someone actively training crafting would earn in 1 day.

If he could earn 3 hours worth of training even, he would progress 8X slower than a dedicated crafter. You wouldn't be putting something like that in place to make it efficient to dabble, just to make it *feel* like it wasn't an utter waste of time.

Goblin Squad Member

I think that one obvious gateway to generalizing skills from combat to crafting is maintenance.

Let's just say that smiths start out with some rudimentary skills like Working At Your Forge, which quickly branch to include Basic Dagger crafting and Blade Maintenance. But after a couple of badges in two handed swords, Grognak can unlock Blade Maintenance through a different path. He can continue with the maintenance, or make a short detour back to the forge work if he decides to craft. I'd think a lot of the low level crafting skills will be available for any archetype, as will some of the combat and adventuring skills.


Nihimon wrote:


This is absolute anathema to me.

One of the things I am most looking forward to is the open-ended character development. I will be extremely disappointed if PFO takes steps to try to arbitrarily limit my choices. If they implement something like WoW's Talent Tree, I might very well pick up my toys and go home, crying all the way.

Actually it is still very open ended. You can basically forge your own adventuring class, your own production class, and your own social class, choosing whichever skills you favor. The limit of total amount of skill points per sphere is necessary in a "Use to level" system, or else it becomes like Darkfall where everyone is everything (unless of course it takes really long to train something, but then it usually gets too slow and boring.)

Nothing in that resembles Talent Trees from WoW. More like Skyrim, mixed with Vanguard, and with total skill point limit to make choices more meaningful.


Here's the problem with a real-time skill training system. When you feel like doing something new, you don't tell yourself, "Oh, in X minutes
/hours/day, I want to partake in this activity." No, you want to start that thing right away, but in EVE you have to wait before you can start having fun. This occurs every time you decide to do something different. There's no support for spontaneous gameplay. Everything takes time to even start. Unless you plan ahead of time to start having fun (which is utterly ridiculous in a game), you're going to be stuck there waiting for those timers to expire. By then, your average player, that wishes to log into a game and get directly to the action, loses his excitement to even play. The constant and never-ending breaks really drag the pace of EVE and the experience is usually nothing short of boring and slow.

Goblin Squad Member

stealthbr wrote:


Actually it is still very open ended. You can basically forge your own adventuring class, your own production class, and your own social class, choosing whichever skills you favor. The limit of total amount of skill points per sphere is necessary in a "Use to level" system, or else it becomes like Darkfall where everyone is everything (unless of course it takes really long to train something, but then it usually gets too slow and boring.)

Nothing in that resembles Talent Trees from WoW. More like Skyrim, mixed with Vanguard, and with total skill point limit to make choices more meaningful.

So in other words, a race to cap grind system. I agree it is overall necessary in a use to level system, otherwise more people then not will more or less be forced to spend 70% of their time in game doing repetative tasks to level their character ad infinium, rather than the game starts when you cap system... Neither however sounds like a good idea to me. I believe GW is trying to eliminate the doing repetative tasks to skill up altogether, and allow infinite advancement, without you spending 3/4 hours repetatively killing whether you want to or not.

Essentially you just pointed out yet another reason not to do a skill level with use system.

This is the only true system that keeps the risk reward of killing 100 easy to find boars/wolves on par with spending an hour tracking and finding a rare dragon, with spending an hour waiting for a perfect ideal PVP strike at random, with joining in an army and assisting in a mass war to save or take over a kingdom. All of these things have pro's and cons for money leaving them about even, but in a skill world I would say hands down the boars would win, and maybe the war depending on if they count PVP.

Goblin Squad Member

Whew...and I just wanted a simple little sandbox game to play in.

Goblin Squad Member

stealthbr wrote:

Here's the problem with a real-time skill training system. When you feel like doing something new, you don't tell yourself, "Oh, in X minutes

/hours/day, I want to partake in this activity." No, you want to start that thing right away, but in EVE you have to wait before you can start having fun.

This happens in any system. You just change it from say a timer going up towards it, to either mashing a button or killing things weaker. I don't generally go in and think, Ooh I want to go kill 5,000 rats, I think ooh I want to join an epic battle against a dragon. The difference I suppose is that I'm more flexible with what I want. Your mentality is more on a "the game starts when you reach the cap, what is the fastest way to reach that cap", while mine is more on what would I enjoy the most with what my current skills are.

Any system other than you get X points at the start and never level again after, does not actually meet the goals you are after. Your system is essentially replacing 12 hours that go by regardless of what you are doing, with 3 hours of doing something tedious. As a result since the goals of the devs are more or less for it to take 2.5 years for people to be reaching max level in any archtype, this will have to be scaled for the no lifers, meaning actually reaching the max of an archtype will need to be scaled assuming an average of 6 hours a day for a 2.5 year period.

I believe the huge issue with your direction, is that you are wanting the focus to be on the endgame... in a game that is more or less designed from the ground up to not have an endgame.


Onishi wrote:
<snip>

I believe you missed my point. I'm not talking about doing high level content. I'm talking about starting things out. Meaning, if I log into any game, Darkfall, Runescape, etc. and say, "Hey, I want to go make some copper bars", I don't have to wait for a timer to expire before I can do so. I just grab a pickaxe, mine the ore, and I smelt it. Of course, I won't be able to smelt a Steel ore, etc., but atleast I can begin the activity without having constant breaks. Most games work like this, if I want to do something, I just grab the necessary tools and off I go. I don't need to queue up a skill, wait 15 minutes, then do whatever is it is I wanted to do in the first place.

Goblin Squad Member

@stealthbr

You run into the same problem in any system. When you want to do something outside of your skill set, you still need to work up to it. In PFO the hardcore players get less of a speed advantage, and the casual players aren't left in the dust if they can log in for a few minutes a day. This gives everyone more people to play with.

The merit badge system provides something to work towards while waiting for skills to train. That is where EVE fell short.

I would push to make sure that all the non-skill training required in a merit badge does not require a skill required to get that badge. So the skills in the badge, if anything, would be prerequisite to the skills in the next badge up.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Marou_ wrote:


I know some of those guys, and while a subset of them may have been casual a large portion of them were on 6+ hours a day during the events in question and were on teamspeak/vent the entire time. Ergo, they may have been "newer" players, but the core of their group weren't playing casually by any stretch of the imagination.

In addition, the only way they won were through the machinations of Mittani and theft by deception against their primary antagonist.

/edit: Sorry for the addition, I'm just not sold on the fact that a large group (several hundred) of internet trolls and griefers from a place like Something Awful or 4chan being very successful wresting control of the game world from established power blocs using borderline or unquestionably exploitative tactics is a good selling point.

While it's undeniably entertaining to read about, it's only entertaining from afar.

I doubt that the core of Goonswarm could have defeated the core of BoB by themselves. I also doubt that it wasn't fun for the winners.

Granted, there was a high-level traitor involved. The espionage aspect of war appears to have been rather one-sided, going against expectations (the side with the stricter admissions process was more heavily infiltrated, according to the reports I've seen.)

Your personal experience during that time seems to have been negative; is that because of the information warfare being performed on meta-channels which was specifically intended to demoralize?


Onishi wrote:
So in other words, a race to cap grind system.

Um.. no, not nearly. A race to cap occurs when, A.) You can grind your ass off, or B.) The only meaningful content is at cap. Neither of those need to be true in the system I propose.

Goblin Squad Member

stealthbr wrote:
Onishi wrote:
<snip>
I believe you missed my point. I'm not talking about doing high level content. I'm talking about starting things out. Meaning, if I log into any game, Darkfall, Runescape, etc. and say, "Hey, I want to go and cut down a tree", I don't have to wait for a timer to expire before I can do so. I just grab an axe and I'm good to go. Most games work like this, if I want to do something, I just grab the necessary tools and off I go. I don't need to queue up a skill, wait 15 minutes, then do whatever is it is I wanted to do in the first place.

In WoW, Rift, Vanguard, and virtually every other game I've played, if I wake up one morning and decide I really want to craft myself an Iron Sword, I have to first go out and harvest a ton of copper to get my skill up enough to where I can begin to harvest Iron. Then I have to go to a Forge and craft a bunch of Copper Swords, etc. until I can start to make an Iron sword.

Let's say for a moment it takes about 2 hours of dedicated harvesting to go from being able to harvest copper to being able to harvest iron. What makes you so absolutely certain it's going to take more than 2 hours of skill training in PFO to get the same result? And if it is roughly the same amount of time required, then why isn't it better for me to be able to spend that 2 hours doing something fun, rather than having to spend that 2 hours running around clicking copper nodes?


Nihimon wrote:
<snip>

I get your point, but I'm still really skeptical. I prefer a more realistic approach, where practice and experience leads to growth, where the player is in complete control of the speed of his progression.


stealthbr wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
<snip>
I get your point, but I'm still really skeptical. I prefer a more realistic approach, where practice and experience leads to growth, where the player is in complete control of the speed of his progression.

Perhaps most importantly where a player doesn't have to completely halt all progress in the thing they enjoy doing most just to engage in little side activities to prevent boredom.

Psychologically and from a gameplay perspective interrupting your 75% done 2 week realtime Swordmaster level 5 training to pick corn for 20 minutes isn't worth it. Especially when corn picking level 2 takes 8 hours of realtime training. Sure, you could do it; but it's awkward and unnatural feeling.

In any system you weren't really becoming a better warrior while you were messing around doing something else. However, a real-time training system hammers it in your face and makes activity switching very unnatural and unfun.

Knowing for certain you won't be strong enough to kill ogres by Saturday because you diversified is a very different feeling than getting immersed in other activities and subsequently not making much progress as a warrior for one day.

So, you're tired of killing orcs and goblins, but you won't be strong enough to move on to ogres and trolls until Saturday, and if you try to engage in any other training activity you won't be strong enough by Saturday; since this diversion halted your warrior progression.

That is the experience I was trying to convey to Ryan, perhaps unsuccessfully.

If in Eve for example you as a new player want to pilot Interdictors to run in a fleet with your buddies out in nullsec somewhere, doing any training not related to piloting Interdictors is tangibly derailing your plans by very visible realtime values.

Meaning, the activities you can do while training to do what you actually *WANT* to do are limited to those activities available to the ship classes between where you currently are (Newbie Frigate), and your goal: Interdictors (Tech 2 Destroyer).

Goblinworks Executive Founder

In that case, does the player enjoy focusing on one thing more than diversifying a little bit?

Why should the farming skill be needed to harvest corn anyway? Planting and maintaining a small farm should be the farming 1 skill, with detailed advance knowledge about likely production and effects on soil condition when deciding what crops to plant a higher tier benefit.


DeciusBrutus wrote:

In that case, does the player enjoy focusing on one thing more than diversifying a little bit?

Why should the farming skill be needed to harvest corn anyway? Planting and maintaining a small farm should be the farming 1 skill, with detailed advance knowledge about likely production and effects on soil condition when deciding what crops to plant a higher tier benefit.

To quote the blog, "I'd like to see the first 20th-level characters emerge around two-and-a-half-years after launch."

Meaning anything other than archetype you spend time on will set you back for months or years on catching up to that person. If they are melting your face the skill you have at "fishin'" don't help you much.

The people who focus exclusively on their archetype training or in a narrow craft area will be the ones running the show out in player controlled land for the first several years of the game. Newer players coming in later will have to replicate that path to minimize (2.5 years) the time it takes them to get to equal footing.

Eve somewhat alleviates this by having some positions in a fleet be specialized ones that require less time to reach (Interdictors for example). I don't see how Pathfinder it would ever be superior to have a level 10 ranger in your platoon versus a level 20 one.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:
DeciusBrutus wrote:

In that case, does the player enjoy focusing on one thing more than diversifying a little bit?

Why should the farming skill be needed to harvest corn anyway? Planting and maintaining a small farm should be the farming 1 skill, with detailed advance knowledge about likely production and effects on soil condition when deciding what crops to plant a higher tier benefit.

To quote the blog, "I'd like to see the first 20th-level characters emerge around two-and-a-half-years after launch."

Meaning anything other than archetype you spend time on will set you back for months or years on catching up to that person. If they are melting your face the skill you have at "fishin'" don't help you much.

The people who focus exclusively on their archetype training or in a narrow craft area will be the ones running the show out in player controlled land for the first several years of the game. Newer players coming in later will have to replicate that path to minimize (2.5 years) the time it takes them to get to equal footing.

Except they have stated the power gap won't be that huge. Instead of assuming the devs don't know what they are doing, why not give them the benefit of doubt?


Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Except they have stated the power gap won't be that huge. Instead of assuming the devs don't know what they are doing, why not give them the benefit of doubt?

Because the power gap has to be large enough to make the training feel worthwhile, and as a result if 2 equally skilled players A and B meet on the battlefield and A played sporadically only in a specific area (15 hrs week, at capstone), and B played in a more natural hodge-podge fashion (30 hrs a week, at level 14), B will lose 100% of the time.

Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:
If they are melting your face the skill you have at "fishin'" don't help you much.

Once you're around 10th level, they won't be "melting your face". Even if they have 4 Capstones.

Marou_ wrote:
The people who focus exclusively on their archetype training or in a narrow craft area will be the ones running the show out in player controlled land for the first several years of the game.

Nope. They won't be significantly more powerful, they'll just have more options - like "fishin'"!

Marou_ wrote:
I don't see how Pathfinder it would ever be superior to have a level 10 ranger in your platoon versus a level 20 one.

So, you're obviously aware of the level 10 thing. But GW never said a level 10 would be "superior" to a level 30 - they just said it wouldn't be significantly less powerful.

Sure, there will be people who obsess about hundredths of a percent, but in reality, it just won't be that big a deal.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:
Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Except they have stated the power gap won't be that huge. Instead of assuming the devs don't know what they are doing, why not give them the benefit of doubt?
Because the power gap has to be large enough to make the training feel worthwhile, and as a result if 2 equally skilled players A and B meet on the battlefield and A played sporadically only in a specific area (15 hrs week, at capstone), and B played in a more natural hodge-podge fashion (30 hrs a week, at level 14), B will lose 100% of the time.

Except it doesn't. The devs have said they want higher levels and older characters to have more options. Length of play = quantity of options. I think you are arguing about a game GoblinWorks is not making :)

Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:
Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Except they have stated the power gap won't be that huge. Instead of assuming the devs don't know what they are doing, why not give them the benefit of doubt?
Because the power gap has to be large enough to make the training feel worthwhile, and as a result if 2 equally skilled players A and B meet on the battlefield and A played sporadically only in a specific area (15 hrs week, at capstone), and B played in a more natural hodge-podge fashion (30 hrs a week, at level 14), B will lose 100% of the time.

I am highly skeptical of your premise.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

You are assuming that capstoned characters will be more powerful than broader characters, and that 'focused crafter' is a meaningful phrase.

I expect that the biggest limit to what a group can craft or gather will be the resources and coin to build or rent the crafting or gathering structure. I also expect that the majority of high-volume gathering crafting will not involve constant player interaction, but rather an expensive setup followed by significant real-time production time. A sword simply cannot be forged in a minute from ore.

Goblin Squad Member

And that's frustrating, and its' a dilemma, but I guess I don't see it as a problem with the design of the system. Having to make the choice between several mutually exclusive (if time is limited) options forces players to get creative with how they develop their characters. I dabbled in EVE, and didn't suffer for it, although I wasn't on any kind of time constraint.

The real question, as far as I can tell, is how can PFO incentivize/allow dabbling and generalizing without hindering intended character progression? And should it?

Different spheres of skills either requires a level cap, which I do not see as a good thing, or makes specialization valueless because everyone can focus on learning everything at once.

Training skills by usage can mean that the game becomes a grindfest, and requires a lot of work from the devs to make every little bit rich and enjoyable. It does however, provide direct progression rewards for what you do in the game.

One skill at a time, over time, means that you have limited choices as to what you can train and when, making generalizing a slow process, and dabbling disruptive to overall character goals. It does however remove the need to grind for character progression and keeps people who are playing together at a generally even keel.

I propose this then. Let's say there was an item you could buy either on the market for in game currency, or in PFO's cash shop. This item would give you the first level in a tiny number of skills, and the basic gear needed to accomplish some specific activity. A particular kind of crafting, or the basics of exploration, or a weapon proficiency, etc. Using this item would not halt your skill progression, but any further increases in those skills would. This would allow you to dabble in some new part of the game without interrupting your intended character progression. Thoughts?

Goblin Squad Member

Skwiziks wrote:
Thoughts?

I'm thinking the intro skill for any particular dabbling will probably be a 15-minute skill. It sometimes takes me 15 minutes just to get to my questing area after I log into LOTRO. Stopping a 3 week skill for 15 minutes to begin dabbling in something new does not seem like a bad thing to me. It's the same as deciding not to do your Daily Heroics in WoW and to spend a little time crafting that day. Sure, you missed out on those badges, and now you're a day behind everyone else who's been trying to grind out those badges. But for most people, that's just not a big deal.

I would be extremely cautious about introducing anything that allowed players to buy skill progression. I would rather see the intro skill for something be reduced to 30 seconds rather than see it purchased.


Nihimon wrote:
I am highly skeptical of your premise.

Raw character power isn't the only factor in play. There is also itemization and utility. A capstoned character will have vastly better itemization and utility than one that is not, so while both naked the level 20 may be 30% better than the level 14, when you factor in huge amounts of itemization (and the higher attributes/resists/damage/hp) that leads to, and the splashes of utility he has started to gain from say, mage archetype, the fight will be ridiculously one sided.

Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:
Nihimon wrote:
I am highly skeptical of your premise.
Raw character power isn't the only factor in play. There is also itemization and utility. A capstoned character will have vastly better itemization and utility than one that is not, so while both naked the level 20 may be 30% better than the level 14, when you factor in huge amounts of itemization (and the higher attributes/resists/damage/hp) that leads to, and the splashes of utility he has started to gain from say, mage archetype, the fight will be ridiculously one sided.

We can go back and forth, but I remain highly skeptical of your vision of what will be.

In fact, I would imagine that "itemization" will largely benefit whichever player actually spends more time playing the game effectively.

But, ultimately, your assertion that a level 20 will have a "ridiculously one sided" advantage over a level 14 flies in the face of Vic Wertz' assertion that a level 30 will not be significantly more powerful than a level 10. Forgive me if I take Vic's word over yours.

Goblin Squad Member

Skwiziks wrote:
Let's say there was an item you could buy either on the market for in game currency, or in PFO's cash shop. This item would give you the first level in a tiny number of skills, and the basic gear needed to accomplish some specific activity. A particular kind of crafting, or the basics of exploration, or a weapon proficiency, etc.

I'm generally with Nihimon, opposed to buying skill progression. Some of your initial skills can be trained in the tutorial, or a tutorial section after you pick your initial class.

Now, if you want to take a different path, there do need to be ways within the game to do so. Say you want to learn smithing after a few weeks of playing a fighter. It could require you to find a smith (an NPC or maybe even some PCs) and do a new smith quest/tutorial which unlocks the most basic part of that crafter class to get you started. All archetype multiclassing could be handled the same way.


Nihimon wrote:


But, ultimately, your assertion that a level 20 will have a "ridiculously one sided" advantage over a level 14 flies in the face of Vic Wertz' assertion that a level 30 will not be significantly more powerful than a level 10. Forgive me if I take Vic's word over yours.

The only reason I'm so skeptical is all the multiclassing muds I played years ago, coupled with the fact that utility is the most powerful thing to have in PvP.

Assuming reasonably that controlling, hindering, buffing, healing, and summoning mechanics exist in game putting all those tools into the hands of a class that does high damage does equal a very significant advantage. Perhaps not in raw damage dealt per hit, but definitely in actual combat. Even if gear availability and statistical differences between those characters are minimal that utility leads to a /faceroll situation.

All this is of course a digression. However, it leads again to optimized time builds, and how painful tangible regressions in progress feel when you dabble in other things.

Goblin Squad Member

@Marou_, I can understand your skepticism, and even appreciate it. Healthy skepticism is healthy!

But I think we owe it to Ryan to at least let him tell us what the mechanics are going to be before we make up our minds that those mechanics will definitely violate his other stated goals.

I've been very, very tempted to try to pin Vic and Ryan both down on specific answers as to what kind of win/loss percentage they anticipate (all else being equal) among a variety of combatants. I'd love to know, but I know it's too early.

Goblin Squad Member

Urman wrote:
Now, if you want to take a different path, there do need to be ways within the game to do so. Say you want to learn smithing after a few weeks of playing a fighter. It could require you to find a smith (an NPC or maybe even some PCs) and do a new smith quest/tutorial which unlocks the most basic part of that crafter class to get you started.

Hmm, I kind of like the sound of that.


Nihimon wrote:

@Marou_, I can understand your skepticism, and even appreciate it. Healthy skepticism is healthy!

But I think we owe it to Ryan to at least let him tell us what the mechanics are going to be before we make up our minds that those mechanics will definitely violate his other stated goals.

I've been very, very tempted to try to pin Vic and Ryan both down on specific answers as to what kind of win/loss percentage they anticipate (all else being equal) among a variety of combatants. I'd love to know, but I know it's too early.

Oh, I think they are smart guys. However, I also know they read these boards. Which means if we argue this stuff it's actually productive to do so. When they are designing these systems maybe they'll say, "Nihimon had a really good point in that one thread, we should make sure we address that."

So, very much looking forward to this game. Don't mistake my arguments for anything other than skepticism taken from gaming for 20+ years.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I think that the most basic abilities should be automatic-Everybody can pick corn, and eat, and carry stuff. Skilled characters can pick corn faster, and forage better, and carry more stuff.

Shadow Lodge

Marou_ wrote:


So, instead he's going to try to turn these sticks he found into arrows. He works on it a little bit and his arrows suck, but he got a little better. Maybe someday if he sticks to it with an hour here and there he will make good arrows.

<snip>

...but during the time he's mucking about with arrows, he isn't fighting, and thus not gaining any combat XP.

So the entire crux of your post is the assumption that you won't be able to interrupt a skill-in-progress, train something else for a bit, and then pick up the earlier skill where you left off. That, or that you would have to do more than just duck into a menu to change your training.

The last I checked, nothing had been said one way or the other about this, and it may well be possible to chop and change between in-progress skills with no difficulty. Obviously, it would delay reaching the threshold of whichever skills you put on hold, but otherwise there's no difference aside from what you're doing while the fletching skill is being trained.

Or am I misunderstanding you?


Kalmyel Stedwethren wrote:

The last I checked, nothing had been said one way or the other about this, and it may well be possible to chop and change between in-progress skills with no difficulty. Obviously, it would delay reaching the threshold of whichever skills you put on hold, but otherwise there's no difference aside from what you're doing while the fletching skill is being trained.

Or am I misunderstanding you?

No, you are understanding me correctly, the issue is part psychological and part related to how time-based training works in Eve, and this.

If you play with your friends in X settlement and want your character to meaningfully contribute say, smithing at level 7 profiency; you will likely chart out a plan to navigate through the skill paths to get you to where you want to be, smithing the things the settlements needs that require skill level 7, perhaps a new structure the settlement plans to begin construction on that day.

You know that under your plan, if you logged in only to requeue skills you'd be ready by Wednesday.

If you had a few extra hours to play on Sunday but didn't feel like doing things related to smithing, you can't advance any of those other activities or you will not achieve the goal you actually care about on Wednesday.

In a game with player driven advancement those extra few hours spent messing around would do nothing but help your character. In a game with time-based advancement they don't. They either set back your primary goal, or provide no advantage. It's fine for things to provide zero advantage, but if they do provide zero advantage the mechanics behind them have to be VERY FUN or how would they entertain you.

Opportunity cost comes into play when you want to dabble in Eve, it shouldn't, I dislike it, I consider it a problem with the system. That's the crux of my complaint with purely time-based advancement.

Goblin Squad Member

@Nihimon

Nihimon wrote:
Once you're around 10th level, they won't be "melting your face". Even if they have 4 Capstones.

Bad example, nobody will even have 2 capstones

GW wrote:
Of course, if you decide that it would be more interesting or fun for your character to training in the skills of more than one archetype, you'll still earn the appropriate class-type bonuses when you meet the prerequisites—you just won't be eligible for the final special capstone ability when you achieve the 20th merit badge in that archetype.
GW wrote:
In terms of sheer time, I'd like to see the first 20th-level characters emerge around two-and-a-half-years after launch. Capstone-level characters should be unique, powerful individuals not commonly encountered.
Marou wrote:
Meaning anything other than archetype you spend time on will set you back for months or years on catching up to that person. If they are melting your face the skill you have at "fishin'" don't help you much.

We are assuming alot at this point. Being that in PnP crafts and professions are in every archtype, I dont see losing your capstone for one of these. Also I don't see fishing taking months or a year to train. Even if it takes a week, the merit badges it opens may well be worth it. Who knows if there isn't a cooking recipe badge that adds hit% for 1 minute. So now that fishing skill, did help alot and only at a cost of a week. Now, you may be actually ahead even though your capstone is a week delayed.

Goblin Squad Member

@everyone

healthy debate is great for getting devs to consider all the options and poeples points of view. So please debate away, for me, against me. Who knows, maybe I missed a point a view.

My only true worry with a skill system is making crafters unvaluable or making it where you need one yourself for every craft.

Goblin Squad Member

@Scarlette

No-one has said we won't be able to have more than one capstone, and no one has corrected us when we say so.

To our knowledge going from badge1 to badge20 for a specific archetype without getting badges in other archetypes is how you get a capstone, so going from 1-20 ranger, then 1-20 rogue would result in 2 capstone abilities. We know that your character doesn't end at badge20 and you can start training another archetype.

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