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A double whammy this week, with @olliepurkiss post about Skill Trees and now a post about the progression changes we plan to make.
We’ve been reviewing the current system and discussing potential solutions to ensure we deliver a fair and fun system. So here's some some information about our latest plans for progression and experience gaining!
One of the major areas we are looking at changing is how you gain experience. Currently, you only gain experience for performing an action in a particular area. For example, when you hit a block you get mining experience points, when you craft an item you get crafting experience and so on. This has been fine for now, but there are a lot of actions players perform in the game which do not give you any experience and this has been mentioned on the forums a lot. The system doesn’t scale either so everything gives you the same amount of experience despite the difficulty and time it takes to get or make an item. We can also see players are finding ways to game the current system and speed up how fast they level, which is something we want to resolve.
In addition to the actions we currently have we also plan to add even more actions such as, healing, defending and exploring and we would need new XP earning events for those actions. Once those systems are added a complex system would need to be in place to track combat and handle players exploiting it. Ideally, we would want combat experience to be distributed fairly between who’s in the fight, what they did in the fight and so on. This logic doesn’t apply to other areas of the game and we would need different systems to handle gaining experience and for it to scale when you go exploring, mining, crafting, building and trading.
Attempting to implement this system is a huge undertaking and if we pursued it we would risk losing or poorly implementing other areas in the game. For this reason, we’re planning to drop the idea of gaining experience based on the actions you perform and instead only award experience when you complete an objective.
Objectives will essentially be a task list and you can go out and complete these at your leisure to earn experience and coin. The objectives will be broken up into multiple categories so you can complete ones you care about and ignore the ones which do not apply to your character. There will also be random daily and weekly objectives which will give you more experience and coin for completing them, so there should always be plenty to do.
The other area we are looking at changing is the gaining experience for multiple professions. This does not mean you won’t be able to specialise in a role, you’ll still be able to spend your skill points in areas relevant to how you want to build your character. However, we are not tracking the experience you gain and categorising it as a miner, crafter, etc. Instead, we are just tracking one single overall experience level.
The reason for this change is partially down to the removal of experience gaining per action, but it is to remove a particular flaw in which you had to do everything in order to get all the skills points and beacon plots, even if you have no interested in that area of the game. So if you were interested in only crafting, you had to go out and build, mine, trade, fight and so on just to get every upgrade possible, which didn’t seem right.
It also to makes it easier for players to understand and see how powerful a player is and understand what area they are specialising in. Right now, you could be level 50 in every profession but when you add skills to the system a level 50 miner doesn’t mean your skills are best suited as a miner, as you might have invested all your skills into crafting abilities but your crafting level is level 1.
So instead of looking at a player and seeing they are level 50 in this and 7 in that, then guessing where they invested their points. You’ll see the character is level 50 and then look at their profile screen to see their skill tree and where they’ve invested their points.
Understandably, more information has been requested. Particularly about what the objectives will be like and how they will work. So here's a brief overview with some examples.
All players will have an Objective list and they can activate 5 at any time. Once the objective is active it will start tracking what the player is doing and will mark as complete when the player fulfils the criteria. You don't need to turn it in, it just completes and you get the coin and exp.
Initially objectives will be tutorials and they'll teach the player about the game and the various mechanics. For example, an Explorer has an objective to build a warp and travel to another world and they'll have another objective to discover 10 regions on a world. It's up to the player to choose what they want to track and complete from the list. The important thing here is that the objective will teach you about what you are doing and explain how it works.
As you complete objectives more are unlocked and reveal more about the game and offers insight about how you can complete the tasks, where you can find certain resources or how you craft certain items.
We're aiming for 50+ objectives per area (crafter, miner, etc) which you only need to complete once. They are currently not planned to be repeatable but this is subject for debate. However, you only need to complete two or three professions to reach the level cap.
Repeatable tasks will mostly be for daily and weekly tasks which will have bigger rewards.
As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.