Bartering doesn't need its own skill


-Well, when I learn enough to start making video games (and also have enough experience and resources), I shall make many a game that has lots of skills! You get multiple skill points per level up, and you likely will want to care about multiple things. “Nah, I don’t need a sword! I have magic!” Moments later “AAAAHHHH! My face!”
-I, personally, like that bit of complexity. It may not be the best business idea to almost always go with what you want instead of your consumers… But I don’t care! At least to some extent anyway. I’ll still end up seeing what the community has to say and all that.


The issue with skills is that they have to be meaningful. It doesn’t matter if you’re adding more or removing existing ones, if you don’t have a decent reason then you’re going to have a bad time.

D&D (whichever edition is current) does a pretty good job of the “few skills” strategy, since you have only a handful of skills, but they have quite a profound effect, depending on the level of your character. However, you only get them at character creation or at certain levels, so you can’t exactly max them all and sit there like a (multi)tool. While D&D isn’t the best example since it’s designed to be multiplayer, the principles remain the same. Having only a few skills means that they can have drastic effects, but they have to come at a substantial cost.

EVE Online does the opposite (as far as I can tell) in that it has dozens of skills, but becoming proficient in each one takes very little time or effort. However, most skills only have a very small effect on the game. If you have lots of skills they have to be small and easily obtained, or you get some very strange balancing.

The first problem with Cataclysm is there’s only you to have skills. You can’t just let the rogue handle traps because he has proficiency, so you need to be competent in a bit of everything to even survive. The second issue is that the UI does not play nicely with large amounts of information at once. I already have a very hard time finding individual skills in the status menu.

What that means is that going either way entirely is bad. Cataclysm just isn’t set up to handle 50 skills, but take out too many and there’s no actual way for a character to progress in power. Unless skills get divided into minor and major skills or skills and sub-skills, we’re far better off limiting things as best we can and making sure that we have room for new content as it becomes necessary, rather than having to try to stuff a bunch of weird things into the same skill. Personally, I’d be happy to see quite a few skills merged with others, but I’d also be quite happy to have a number of skills split apart, while significantly raising the overall speed at which skills are gained.


I never thought D&D did skills very well actually, most versions certainly have too many skills and quite a few poorly designed ones. I won’t go into details, but for my general view see the post I made earlier. I don’t want to derail this thread too much.