Encouraging player specialization

I’m not sure how that’s functionally different from just having skill limits apply to the world.

The difference is that one attempts to address the exploit specifically, the other doesn’t. The stance taken on most exploits in CDDA is “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Much like enabling debug mode, you’re free to do it, as long as you accept the fact that you’re not playing the game as intended, and your enjoyment may suffer as a result. We don’t need to enforce global skill limits, because from a design perspective, we treat multiple simultaneous characters as if they don’t exist. It’s up to you to police yourself in that matter.

Well, I always assumed multiply chars per world was actually a-ok.
If we assume that’s actually not intended game-play, then “mule” crafters are, indeed, a non-issue.

So let’s talk implementation, shall we? How about:

At character creation you get an option to turn on “specialization” mode.

If you do, you get to tag 3 skills as primary, 3 skills as secondary, 3 skills as tertiary.

Primary skills have no cap and get 2x the normal learning speed.

Secondary cap at lvl 12, 1.5x the normal learning speed.

Tertiary cap at lvl 8.

All other skills cap at lvl 4.

Enhanced Memory Banks CBM now raises all caps by +2.

With this system if you want “full” crafting you need to spend 5-6 picks out of 9. Thus you can only master either ranged or melee with the remaining 3.

If this change absolutely has to happen, I like Kevin’s original idea of something that would eventually allow you to master all skills, just make it slower and slower as time goes on. I feel like capping things just takes a lot away from the player, because now there’s no easy way to access those skills you can no longer get.

If the idea is to access those skills through NPCs, I want to see NPCs get a serious revamp before I put my faith in the idea of putting hard caps on skills. As it stands, NPCs can steal something from you right in front of you, and you get a penalty for shooting them in the face. They require supervision and won’t take care of themselves, won’t restock their ammo, will pick up random crap, won’t drop rotten food, will randomly smash parts of your car for no reason… Personally I think NPCs are a much bigger problem than Skill caps, but that’s just me…

In all honestly, I’m against any idea that restricts the player from what we have currently. A slowed down skill gain is one thing, but a hard cap on how high you can get some skills? I’d hate that. I can’t speak for others, but I’d hope I’m not alone. That’s why I put forward my perk idea; it doesn’t take anything away from players, but it does add something to the game; something I still can’t see this limiting system doing.

As for the Perk System, they’d be a series of Traits you’d acquire either by taking a Profession, or by finding special books in game. You’d be only able to have a limited number of Perks (how this would be limited, I am not sure). Each perk would correspond to a skill, and give you some bonuses to that skill.

Some Ideas I had
Shotgun Reloading (Shotguns): Halve the time it takes to load your shotgun
High Quality Builder (Fabrication): All items you make using Fabrication will automatically start at ++ Condition.
Cutter Above the Rest (Survival): You get better returns from Butchering Corpses

If you want to get THE BEST out of a skill, you need to select as many perks from that skill as possible. If you choose to diversify, you won’t get the strongest benefits out of that Skill. I think this should be reflected by allowing Perks to synergize somehow; perhaps having more perks in a skill makes those perks function stronger. This encourages someone to select ONLY perks from the skill they want to maximize.

Does anyone else like this idea? Any flaws? Criticisms? Add-ons?

I’m also much more in favor of a soft cap than a hard cap.

1 Like

I think a limitation on skills is just gamification. Any one with the time and motivation can learn anything, in the cataclysm you have both in abundance.

1 Like

Character creation is gamification central. You can literally trade poor eyesight for better skill in marksmanship there. Or weak stomach for strong back. Etc. Enforcing specialization is quite mild gamification as compared to THAT.

I really think we should go the way of multiply vs single pool here, i.e. make it something a player can toggle at char creation.
Adding soft cap for everyone is neither here nor there and will most likely just add grind.

Time should the only limiting factor here.

If one lives long enough, he should be able to learn anything.

Although CDDA is the most contentful roguelike, when the player is limited to one scope, we need more content to make the playing interesting.

1 Like

Specialization is one thing, limiting skills is another. Skill specialization doesn’t have to come at the price of restriction. Again, what does hard-capping the skill levels or otherwise restricting the player in someway add to this game?

1 Like

i like the idea of perks for skills, like Skyrim?

  • have X amount of perk points available – the Enhanced Memory Banks CBM could add a couple;
  • once a skill gets to a certain level you can take a perk for it – faster building times, or a chance to stop bleeding automatically? i dunno, i haven’t thought that far ahead
  • could be weighted like the now-kinda-defunct CBM slots – each skill having an okay/good/better perk, and only having a pool large enough to get, like… 1 better, 2 good and 3 okay perks, or 5 okay and 1 good?

that way you can still advance all your skills to max (which i think is needed, cos you want to be good at everything to survive in this world), but you can’t have all the skill perks that are available.

it also wouldn’t “restrict” anything, other than the new content (being the actual perks)

It adds meaningful choices and challenge.
If it’s added as an optional mode selected at char creation (think multiply vs single pool) it does not take anything away.

If having supermen running around is a problem then implement a hard cap. It would probably be a terrible solution alone but it is simplicity itself.

If you still want everything to be attainable then implement a soft cap and make it difficult to maintain. We pretty much have that already but the balance is such that we still are discussing it. The idea at least leaves everything accessible while in theory not letting it a character be good in everything. Perhaps increase the gains and losses through some means such that preparation is needed before doing a task, and decay is near immediate after it is done. Think of it as less of a complete understanding of a topic and more following directions to the letter.

An alpha as the base line for a superman could be a good starting point. Perhaps int plus one or two of the others could determine a soft cap for each skill. Getting to the desired skill level in preparation for a technical feat could require hours of reading as a deterrent to maintaining everything. Quicker skill rust would effectively ensure that you won’t be running around with those skill levels for long. The soft cap would probably determine the practical cap of anything without a book.

It would be a good idea to change memory banks so that it does not turn skill rust into a joke. Guaranteed recipe recollection from books or disassemble could be useful. The ability to reread any book without having to carry it is useful as well.

The thing is, we’re not going to add a whole lot of new things you can do at the top of the skill tree. Whether it’s perk based or increasing cost based or skill cap based, the bottom line is we have a limited amount of abilities to grant, and what we’re discussing is the mechanism to avoid handing them all out to every character, because that makes every character very similar.

ahhh, i meant like “wouldn’t restrict anything existing” d:

having limited slots for taking perks would make it so a character couldn’t take /get them all?
so one character could take only health / first-aid related perks, another could take only the crafting / construction perks, another only combat or recovery

that’s more “a limited amount of abilities that can be taken in one run” rather than abilities to grant, however

Character creation is gamification central. You can literally trade poor eyesight for better skill in marksmanship there. Or weak stomach for strong back. Etc. Enforcing specialization is quite mild gamification as compared to THAT.

Opinions about what level of gamification you think something is isn’t constructive commentary neither is comparing unrelated mechanics. You may be unaware but there has almost always been a push to reduce the gamification as much as possible where feasible.