*Atttention* *Massive wall of text ahead*
With the character progression founding almost finished something that annoyed me in almost every RPG so far came into my mind: RPG´s that adviser with ‘unique skill customization’ or ‘freedom to play who- and whatever you want’ but eventually come down to a few good sets/combinations that you are forced to skill in order to get into decent groups/guilds.
Here some examples for games where that’s the case:
In Tera you might have 9 classes but every class has several ‘must have skills’ that are too powerful for not being skilled and take up most of your skillpoints (glyphs). Whats left of your skillpoints after taking those ‘must have skills’ hardly affects your gameplay, meaning that 1/9th of the players use a skillset that to 90% identical with yours.
Here the devs lure you with 120 different classes but only about 15 of those really work. The rest deals 75% of the damage of the “good” builds at most. So if you want to get decent stats with your build you have to google the few classes that are in the current meta.
So far for my personal opinions, now to my suggestion.
The core of my idea is a puzzle like skill tree with randomly generated puzzle pieces.
The layout of the puzzle pieces(I´ll call them Skillcubes from now on) is inspired by the layout of the Oortain numbers.
To craft a Skillcube you need to put an Oort Cube (Dropped by titans and other strong creatures) and 4 Skillgems into the crafting window.
A Skillgem can come in different colors, each giving you a different bonus (in absolute values not percentages).
Red: Defensive gem that randomly provides a +health regeneration, +maximum health, -stun duration or – damage taken bonus. Has a small chance to drop whenever an aggressive creature dies and one or more other aggressive creatures are engaged .
Blue: Caster gem that randomly provides a +mana regeneration, +maximum mana, -cooldown or + magic damage bonus. Has a small chance to drop whenever an aggressive creature dies while its stunned, slowed or affected by any other form of CC.
Yellow: Physical damage gem that randomly provides a +attackspeed, +stamina, +attack damage or +crit damage bonus. Has a small chance to drop whenever a creature dies due to a critical hit.
Green: Miner gem that randomly provides a +mining speed, +mining yield, +tool durability or + light radius bonus. Has a small chance to drop whenever an ore block is mined.
White: Healer gem that randomly provides a +mana regeneration, +maximum mana, -cooldown or +amount healed bonus. Has a small chance to drop whenever a fighting player is critical healed.
Purple: Common gem that randomly provides a –starvation speed, +building speed, +movement speed or +gold found bonus. Has a small chance to drop instead of any other gem.
As soon as you build a skill cube each gem is placed in a random corner (red circles) and a random bonus for it gets chosen. Also they layout of the connections of the skill cube is randomly generated (following some rules to prevent dead ends)
After that your skill cube is ready to be slotted into the ‘Skillgrid’.
The Skillgrid is where you place your Skillcubes , starting from a central core. In order to receive a bonus from a Skillgem it has to be connected to the core. Once a Skillcube is slotted it can only be removed by destroying it.
Here is a quick sketch of how the Skillgrid of one of our feline characters might look. As you can see there are already Skillcubes slotted.
You might notice 3 things:
The slightly darker colored gems and connections on the top left and bottom right.
That’s because they are not connected to the core and means that you don’t receive any boni from them as long as they are not connected to the core.
The pink circle in the middle of the core.
That’s your level progress and will be explained in a later paragraph.
The big brown gem. That’s a Keycube and will be explained in the next paragraph.
Just some additional damage and health would be a pretty boring skill system, so I´ve added Keycubes to the system. Keycubes are special skill cubes that need an Oort cube and 5 skillgems with a specific quantity of each color (this allows up to 252 different Keycubes). They are always generated with the same shape (one big block in the middle and 8 one-way-connectors, meaning that a Keycube can only get powered but not power Skillcubes(as you can see in the picture above)). To activate it at least 4 of its connectors have to be powered. Each additionally activated connector makes the Keycube give a better bonus.
Here are some examples for potential Keycubes:
(Applies only to ranged attacks)
+50% damage if the target is closer than half of your maximum range (increases 3% for every additionally activated connection).
-50% damage if the target is further away than half of your maximum range (decreases 2% for every additionally activated connection).
(Applies only to melee attacks)
Ignores 5 % of the targets armor/protection (increases 1% for every additionally activated connection).
Weapons loose durability 10% faster (decreases 1% for every additionally activated connection).
(Only active while fighting)
+2% Mana&Life regeneration to all friendly players within a certain radius (increases 1% for every additionally activated connection).
-1% Mana&Life regeneration for yourself for every friendly player within a certain radius (decreases 0.1% for every additionally activated connection).
+10% Damage/Mana/Life (increases 1% for every additionally activated connection).
-2% Damage/Mana/Life for every friendly player within a certain range (decreases 0.1% for every additionally activated connection).
Power of the pack:
-5% Damage/Mana/Life (decreases 0.5% for every additionally activated connection).
+0.5% Damage/Mana/Life for each friendly player within a certain range (increases 0.1% for every additionally activated connection).
10% chance to find extra loot when looting a corpse (increases 2% for every additionally activated connection).
10% chance to find nothing when harvesting plants (decreases 1% for every additionally activated connection).
Since the boni from Skillcubes are absolute und not percentage based you might want to upgrade those at some point. This is done by leveling your core. When you create a new character your core is level 0, meaning that it gives a +0 bonus to every gem. After placing every 5th Skillcube (whether it´s powered or not) you have to level up in order to place more. As soon as you have placed the 5th Skillcube the skill system counts how many gems of each color you have slotted and then generates simple goals according to that number (and since you hopefully choose your gems according to your play stile those goals will go along with your everyday tasks)
Possible goals for each gem color:
Red: Take x damage from creatures.
Blue: Deal x magical damage. Cast x spells.
Yellow: Deal x physical damage. Place x critical hits.
Green: Mine x blocks. Melt x blocks of ore.
White: Heal x damage. Revive x players.
Purple: Place x blocks. Run x*0.1 km.
(x depends on your current level and increases exponentially with every level, this forces you to go to higher tiered worlds (could take quite a while until you receive 60000 damage from tier 1 creatures)
(Please note: Those goals are not meant to be grindy. They much rather should be done alongside your normal gameplay)
Here an example of how the goals of our example skill layout might look:
Level 0->1 means that x= 10.
6 red gems * 10 = 60 [Take damage]
5 blue gems * 10 = 50 [Cast spells]
1 yellow gem * 10 = 10 [Deal physical damage]
5 green gems * 10 = 50 [Mine blocks}
1 white gem * 10 = 10 [Revive players]
2 purple gems * 1 = 2 [Run km]
After our example character has done all those tasks every gem gives +1 more bonus and we can place 5 more Skillcubes.
The purple/white circle in the middle shows you how far from completing your goals you are. If you want more detailed information about your progression you can just move your mouse over the circle and a window like this shows up:
There may be some questions or concerns left that I’ll try to answer in this paragraph:
- What´s about active skills?
I´ve already had an idea of how to add active abilities to this system but since we don’t know how active abilities will be implemented I didn’t want to make too many out of the box assumptions.
- Making such a shape generator would take too much time and saving all those randomly generated shapes would take too much storage space.
That’s also what I thought first so I tried to make such a generator by myself.
It took me about 2 hours, the code is 140lines long / 34 KB big (meaning that the picture above is about 5 times bigger than the code it´s displaying ) and saving a pattern takes 16 bits or 2 byte of storage.
- Why do you bother with writing such a wall of text?
Well my PC broke down and my laptop can barely run Office programs. So I pass the time until my new hardware arrives with writing this thread.