It’s sounding more and more like the skill system could do with an overhaul sooner or later. I don’t know whether we want to try incremental improvements, or a massive all-in-one change. Personally, I think what I’ve currently got is at least worth testing, but I can see the merits of a large overhaul as well.
why not increase the size of the xp pool?
That’s a thought, although if anything, that would just make me more inclined to hunker down and read books until it’s full. Combining it with additional tweaks might make sense, though.
This means unlike in your current system where morale is less important, it's still vital, but having a higher intelligence means you can learn more per session.
I’ve actually never found much use in morale. Although, I don’t know if that’s because I’m playing suboptimally, if it’s because significant XP increases are tough to get, if morale itself doesn’t have enough effect, or what. One thing I notice about morale is that each additional 20 points of morale has a higher and higher effect on XP gain (the difference between 1 in 10 turns and 1 in 9 is much less than the difference between 1 in 2 turns and every turn). Maybe we should tweak morale’s effect a bit, as well? Make it more obvious, somehow? More fine-grained?
Also, I didn’t actually remove morale’s effect - which, come to think of it, could mean very high XP gain for high-morale, high-Int characters.
Have skill books pull from the experience pool, but at a reduced rate.
I like this suggestion, it would de-emphasize the current perceived need to learn from skill books before you learn from practice. Maybe have Int affect the XP ratio, with higher Int == less XP spent during book-learning?
On the other hand… the amount of XP spent would often be less than what you get while you’re reading. I wonder if we want to instead reduce XP gain while reading skill books?
How does it work now? I was figuring that when a point of xp was spent with 142% skill comprehension, it was 100% chance of the first point going through and a 42% chance of a free point.
That’s how I thought it would work, too. That’s also how my variation #1 handles it. Instead, the current system is that skill comprehension gives the probability that XP will be transferred from the pool to the skill. Numbers above 100% don’t do much (except for high-level skills, there’s a skill comprehension penalty once it gets higher than half your Int). And failed rolls don’t actually penalize you, they just mean that XP wasn’t transferred. That’s a major annoyance with stuff like electronics, sure, but for combat skills and cooking and such? You may not even notice a failed roll, given how fast XP gets spent.
Rather than outright give you skill, have books give you a temporary skill boost.
I’ve heard DarklingWolf talk about changing how skill books work, possibly removing them entirely. I agree that changing how they work might be good for a full overhaul of the system, although I’m not sure at the moment what the best solution overall is regarding skill books.
Are you looking at just how Int (and thereby "Skill Comprehension") affects skill gain, or the entire skill system in general?
Just Int and skill comprehension for now, since I consider the current implementation to be functionally broken (it’s Fast Learner as a 3-point trait that really bugs me). I’m not opposed to a full skill system overhaul, though - it would just take more time and thought to do well.
[quote="Soron, post:1, topic:703"][b](0) Current playstyle[/b]:[/quote]
This is how I play currently and it feels too “gamey” to me. After day 1, I’m not surviving and fighting for my life. Read - train - repeat, becomes the mantra.
Cool, so I’m not the only one who has that issue.
Does #2 make skills ramp up that much faster though? Are you powering some of them so fast it'll imbalance things?
Option #2 does have the effect of making easily-trained things even faster to train. Which… now that I think about it, is probably a negative. I think it’s less of a negative than the current system (and the numbers could be tweaked), but we should definitely watch out for stuff like that.
Frankly, I'd almost see Perception as a variable in practice-based skill gain. I have to pay attention to my golf ball in flight, where it lands, and my body especially, to help me realize what I need to do to get better next swing.
That seems like a good way to look at things, actually. I don’t know if we want to split stuff like that, but it’s definitely good to think about.
On that note - when NPCs get back in, I wouldn't mind if you had to specialize your character in a craft/trade .. and NPCs would make up for whatever you didn't have.
- I like the idea of NPCs handling skill-specialization but would worry about forcing all characters to specialize, pretty much for the LMOE reason. Not everyone wants to manage a team. (I’d like for a craft-y character to be able to equip troops–forming NPCs into a militia or somesuch to patrol the region, etc, but that’s rather down the timeline at best.)
I like the idea of encouraging specialization, but I don’t think we’d want to force it. It would also have to be clearly explained somewhere in the UI or help screen. Maybe reduce learning rate by some amount based on the sum of all skill levels? Not enough to cause excessive frustration, but enough to make people think twice about skilling up Cooking to 8 without a reason to. Actually, that might address some (not all) of the issues with certain skills getting way out of hand.
Now, with all that replied to… that’s given me some ideas for a more significant overhaul. For instance, maybe we want to introduce more ways to affect morale, and replace the “hunker down and read” phase with activities meant to maintain your sanity? And in line with that, it may be sensible to smooth out the XP bonus from morale a bit, like maybe use morale the way I’m using the reworked skill comprehension-thingy in variation #2 from the OP. In that sort of situation, I’m not sure whether or not we want to have stats affecting skill learning or not.
Also, after reflection… it seems like the numbers involved are too small (and too coarse) for long-term play. They work well for someone surviving a few days, sure, but not so much for long-term survivors. That’s possibly something that should be tweaked, as well, if/when we overhaul the system.