There are two general methods of making skill trees. One is the way Boundless has been doing it. You get points with leveling by getting experience doing anything. So, you can create a hunter by doing no hunting at all and use your skill points for creating the hunter you want. The result is you can be a highly skilled hunter with zero experience and thus zero knowledge of actual hunting. Or you could make a highly skilled builder that has almost no actual knowledge of how to build and a crafter that has no actual crafting experience. Personally, I find that system rather bizarre and overly complicated.
The other system that I prefer has as a good example the MMO Shroud of the Avatar. At the moment it has something like 133 skill trees. In the beginning you go out and kill something. You get experience in using the type of weapon you used. You probably get a little experience in agility and strength etc. due to the movements you did while killing things. It takes a long time to level attributes like strength and agility. You don’t do specific things it just happens as you are doing other things. You can get experience with bows, bludgeoning weapons, bladed weapons, etc. When you get to level 20, 40, 60, etc. you can go to a trainer (Adventuring Trainer or Crafting Trainer in general but some skills like fishing that I always love in games, there are only a few trainers to learn those from). The same general idea goes for crafting (leather, textiles, food, blacksmith, forging, etc. are all separate skill trees), building (with carpentry stone, etc. separate). You gather by cutting trees, picking berries, etc. as a foraging skill plus there is mining and butchering etc. In short, you just go try different things… some by necessity and you can sell the products you get (buildings you can be hired by other players to build, build for yourself and use the building or rent rooms etc. to players. Recipes you can find sometimes, you can purchase from crafting trainers, various merchants, or purchase them from players (many skills and recipes can be resold once you learn them including many emotes). On things like building, as you build and make money plus get experience in all facets of building you can learn to make fancier buildings including homes with greenhouses (yes, farming is in the game too), shops and larger homes, etc. If you are not interested in building you can hire a builder to build for you or you can go to the online store and purchase a building with real world money. The shop gets insanely expensive (some things are like over $3,000 U.S.) but if you are cash rich and don’t have an interest in making in game money to hire players to build a building, make furniture etc. for you and of course have no interest in crafting either then hey, go ahead and support the developers with real world money. You can get the same things in game with game money or by crafting yourself after learning all the skills necessary for what you want. The choice is yours. In theory you could learn every one of the 133 skill trees completely with a single character. I think it would take many years (perhaps more than I have left in my life lol), but, it is theoretically possible. Everyone starts with one character as that is all that is needed since you can learn all skills and attributes. You can purchase more characters for $10 each. I have three characters myself. Anyway, you can’t get the skills for building or crafting or gathering by killing things. You can’t get the skills to be a hunter by building or mining forever. You only get the skills for those things you actually do. I like that. It’s also simpler to me as there are no skill resets ever needed and you don’t have to even know what the skill tree looks like (I have no idea what any of them look like and don’t care). You just do various things over time and you will level skills. Go pay your hundred coin choosing from available skills from a skill trainer (a hundred is nothing in game) and learn skills or don’t learn skills and use the money to hire players to hunt, build, gather, etc. Just live your life in the game and be a generalist or learn trades or do whatever it is you find you enjoy. That is my preferred system.
So, what would be your favorite way to do the skill trees in Boundless?
- Keep the current method of skill points used and reset skills when needed or switch skill sets.
- Keep the current method but change the cost of skills to re-balance skills.
- Only level skills in things you actually do and hire players to do what you don’t have an interest in learning. Re-balancing and resetting or switching skills is unnecessary. Make the character whatever you like through simply doing what you like to do.