Skill Rust Interval

So I feel bad just turning skill rust off because it makes it a lot easier but it feels like I can never keep up with it once my skills start getting high enough to trigger the full effect (7 or higher). I saw in the recent experimental that there is an added option where it is based on intelligence but it just gives a percent so I am not sure if thats percent chance for a skill rust or a percent modifier to interval before rusting begins or perhaps even just a flat reduction in the amount of skill lost.

In any case, the reason I think it is unbalanced is due to the duration before rusting starts being so low. Trying to keep all of your skills practiced enough to prevent rusting is extremely difficult, and can be especially problematic with skills that don’t have a lot of recipes and train rather slow from normal use (namely, first aid). Even if I can practice all of my skills during the day, some of them inevitably rust when I sleep.

What I would like to see is an option that drastically increases the time after practicing a skill before rust sets in so you don’t have to do every skill every day just to maintain them… and disable rust while asleep altogether. Rust should really just be costly for skills you neglect for significant periods of time… and as it is now it feels like its taking most of my time every day just to keep up with it and I have to start all over every time my character sleeps. Other activities that take long periods of time (like reading or crafting certain things) are problematic as well but at least they can usually be interrupted.

There is a lot of optimization going into skill rust currently, and the devs are thinking over ideas that are not too powerful but also not too weak. They want it to be realistic/playable but not so much that it is too tough/easy. Their balancing may take some time, so be pacient.

Alrighty. I just figured I would throw that out there since I noticed some changes to skill rust in the recent experimental.

well heres a good example of skill rust, i IRL work in fast food, and everytime i take my vacation which is from 1-2 weeks, when i go back, i get slower, and sometimes have a little difficulty memorizing how to make something, but the biggest being when something is needed, so to scale it down to DDA i think from 3-4 days in game, should be when skills start to rust, which seems practical because it keeps you from having to cram skill training in every minute, to giving you a couple day window in training. however for someone to completely start losing skills it should take waaay longer, because some things about your particular skills you just dont forget.

Skill rust doesn’t really make much sense as it is implemented. I play with the option that makes it so that you cannot rust points away but you can lose the benefit of practice, making it take longer to level skills. Because that’s more or less the closest to reality.

The key thing to know about how skill retention works in real life is that although there is a refractory period of sorts after long periods not using a skill, where the skill will not be as strong as it was, the skill doesn’t quite go away. The neural pathways which governed the use of that skill have not gone away - they remain there. What happens (in real life) is that the neurons become less and less responsive as they fall into disuse. However as you use those neural pathways, the neurons become more sensitive again, and the skill is quickly restrengthened.

As an example, if you take a professional sports shooter, take his gun away for ten years and then put him on the range, he will a) still be a better shot than most people, and b) rapidly recover his skill. So what should skill rust be like in the game? Currently it is treated like a weird kind of progressive skill-based amnesia.

It should be a fairly temporary debuff. Like a negative to a stat. ‘Practice’ can rust away, that makes some abstracted sense to me. But the rusting of actual skill points away should be handled very differently. First of all, you should not lose the ‘knowledge’ or recipes that you’ve gained. Just because you’ve rusted below the threshold for a recipe doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to craft it. It might, however, take longer. Secondly, recovering from skill rust should be far, far faster than having to relearn the skill from scratch. Easily close to 1/3 the time required to learn that skill level the first time around. Thirdly, there should be a limit to how much a skill can rust. -2 or -3 to the skill at most. You simply don’t go from being an expert in something to being completely inept. Not without brain trauma of some kind. Until someone’s character survives long enough to worry about Alzheimer’s disease, let’s keep things in perspective.

In other words, your skills don’t actually degrade so much as a modifier is placed on them with disuse. This would affect how effective that skill is (someone with Firearms 4 and -2 rust would be effectively firing with a 2 Firearms skill) but not your capabilities (someone with cooking 2 and -2 rust would still be able to make coffee but it would take longer and be more prone to failure).

I really really like Hyena’s idea.

I know skill rust is currently being refactored, but I’d like to throw my support behind Hyena’s post here. Hopefully that’s the direction it’s being taken.

Actually, looking at git-hub, I don’t yet see anything there about further updates to skill-rust for .9… are further changes still planned?

Maybe the game can track how far one has gone up a skill, using that as the “cap” for what you can make, or do, but use the current “floating” number for how well you do it. Additionally, I like the idea of getting a bonus to relearning a skill that you’ve already learned. Now if I can just get around to surviving long enough to make it worthwhile

We’ve got a plan for a complete skill rust rework, we just haven’t gotten around to making and implementing it yet. If you want to read some of the details you can do so here (or in Glyph’s original post which is slightly less compartmentalized directly above).