Ah, no! I’m actually suggesting lowering the cost compared to what we have today.
Think about it in terms of effort: Getting a character to some level takes quite a bit of time/effort on your part. Getting multiple characters to similar levels takes dramatically more time, and also favors players w/ lots of time, which may not be desirable.
Instead: allow players to save skill sets that they can switch between; the total number of skill points you’ve accrued on that character could be (fully or partially) used when setting up a new skill set.
So, it may cost more coin/items/resources/whatever to switch skills - but that costs waaaay less than your time in game (which nearly directly translates to coin/resources/whatever)
After reading through the whole topic I still stand by my point of not having any character will all skills unlocked. The matter of more or less skill points allotted on max level, or max level being higher can be discussed later. I’m all for having either generalists or specialists, but in the far off chance that we end up allowing characters that could unlock everything, I would accept it and keep playing.
Now moving back to the topic, I think we can address the particular concerns with some solutions imposed for the different situations.
Have “family” names: Meaning one could choose to display or not said name to others, said I had an alt named Katana, he would be displayed to others as Katana [Dzchan94], or if I didn’t he would be displayed as Katana.
Cleansing potions: Allowing for players prestiging over level 50 (current max level) to create potions with their cleanse points, in order to avoid players creating alts to create fast cleanse potions, cleanse points after level 50, will have an special connotation and will be the only usable cleanse points for those potions. Those potions could be sold or traded for people looking to respec their characters faster. This would give an incentive for players using the same character, not only for the extra plots and coins, but for the cleanse points. While also allowing players to switch builds on the go.
Saved skill builds: One could choose between different skill builds, as long as they had the skill points to hot swap, instead of making the player note down specifics about each of their skill builds.
I think overall, the whole alt system opens up to a player having a character for each “class” they want and let everyone know they own the three characters or simply have three alter egos with people not knowing it belongs to someone.
Boundless currently allows for one to be very good at a lot of things and the most efficient at one or two. Or choose to be the most efficient at more than two things, but give or take in some other aspects of the game. I think leaving it open as it is, it’s a good approach and while consideration for more skill points could be made. I don’t think the alt system is wrong.
I think multiple switchable builds would be cool too, but I do personally also like the idea of having multiple characters. As long as what we’re talking about is increasing choice and flexibility, I’m for it, I just didn’t like the sound of more restrictions.
I must confess, given the results of past discussions I’ve had on this forum expressing how I don’t believe it helps to limit available skill points but freely allowing alts to essentially bypass that limitation for anyone who wants to, I didn’t expect to see a thread going down these lines.
I believe that the primary focus of alts should be to give people the opportunity to play different characters, not to fulfill the shortcomings of other characters on an account (as they are frequently being used at present). Otherwise, every character made solely to fill a functional niche on an account feels like it’s diminishing the authenticity and immersion of alt characters for the people who want to use them for role play. As such, my personal preference is always going to be for more freedom within the scope of a single character. so that people who don’t really want to make alts don’t feel forced to. Everybody wins.
I think switchable skill specs are a good (and looking at the games industry at large, increasingly common) solution to this viewpoint. My personal preference is for the ability to pick up all the things on one character, but understanding that other people are very much opposed to that, this feels like a workable compromise.
From a practical standpoint, I’d suggest having 3 skill-sets to switch between. It provides a single character with the same freedom to experiment and develop that a single player currently has by making alts. Assuming that any given tree could also be reset (either incrementally, fully, or both), I feel like it offers all the flexibility a player needs while still giving the developers scope to build balanced combat around the idea that a character can only have a certain number of skill points at any given time.
I also might be in favour of leveling up skill specs independently. For example: I have SpecA, and I level it to 34. I then decide I want to try something different, and so switch to SpecB. I would then earn and spend skill points in this tree, as if I were doing it from scratch. However, I retain the ability to go back to SpecA and play from where I left off.
My reasoning for this is because in too many games with this feature, you focus on a single spec and level it all the way, then at the end have other specs available to spend all of the points at once. In my experience, this leads to people not really understanding the skills an abilities they have. If you pick things up one or two at a time while levelling, you think more about what you might pick, and you get to really experiment with and test each skill point as you get them. Instead of trying to learn an entire build that you ‘hope’ will work as a whole.
Personally, I love having 3 characters to specialize in certain things, and carry only the things they specialize in. I have a hunter , miner, crafter. Soon will have a lancer and a bomber, and a medic rezzer. I don’t want an all in one. There isn’t enough points, or enough space, and a pain to change gear and items all the time.
For me it seems more hollow depending on how you use your alts. Some ways may be more hollow than others. To me they are far more valuable than a respect tool. With more game content coming like armor, weapons, planetary defense (poison) and skills, we will need the extra characters. I even bought two accounts.
I like the idea of having multiple skill specs for characters - similar to WoW - it would be a good compromise for those that refuse to roll an alt, just so they can do everything.
However, the comparisons you make to WoW, diverge below the surface …
In WoW, you had specific class types, so respeccing was limited to predefined skills within that class - not an entire skill tree. Not all classes could heal other players for example.
You also complimented different skill specs with specialised armours, which is something that we won’t have in Boundless (although the forge may cover some of that to a limited degree with tool/weapon statributes etc.).
So whilst I do think it’s a good idea, and having multiple specs per character would assuage some of the single character puritans, I personally think it offers little in return, beyond what alts already do, for whatever development time would be required to implement it.
Surely this would make it just the same as having an alt character, with the exception that you get to keep your original character name…?
… which leads me to …
I think this would be a more simple solution to cover all of what has been suggested (especially so if it were implemented with @Marrash 's suggestion regarding earning your skills in the normal way for each spec) … and … ok yes, you still have an alt, and yes you’re still filling a skill shortfall with that alt, but skill respecs would be doing exactly that as well. At least with a family name, you could add that family name to your beacon permissions, instead of all 3 of your friends characters, whilst still allowing you to pick and choose individual characters if you chose to as well.
Maybe have it so that the “family” name is displayed first … so I could have Stretchious Khan or Stretchious Jenkins.
Just in addition to that, you can already see all alts from steam friends, so being able to sort characters by steam account, or being able to add an actual steam account (thus all characters associated with that account) to permissions in one hit would be beneficial (but certainly not the only way to do so!).
As someone who used to 3-box Everquest and WoW, I’d really like to only have a single character in Boundless, without having my skill advancement crippled. I’m only in the high-20s so far, but I can already see I’m not going to be able to even come close to the skill mix I’d like to develop.
Well thank you for that observation. I assure you I don’t actually think bombs are just for healers. The thread above we were discussing roles both combat and general careers. I used bombs(only friendly heal In game) as an example to support my previous arguments and to show how my proposal could be implemented I used that example.
Wait a minute here… the only real reason one might need an alt account in the first place is if you originally created a pure mining or combat character and wish to have a more balanced, can do everything type of character, or vice versa. There’s more than enough points given to create a balanced character that’s efficient in everything. The problem is most players want to be maxed out in certain areas which comes at a cost. The fact that you have the option to focus on certain features more so than others is what makes boundless so cool. From what I’ve been hearing though is ultimately many players want everything maxed. That’s unreasonable isn’t it? It’s up to each of us to decide what kind of gameplay we are looking for the most in boundless. If you want nothing more than to hunt than by all means spend all your points on those skills. But then don’t complain later when you aren’t able to craft or mine anything. The main thing each of us need to do is determine exactly what kind of character we want. And if later you decide you would like a different type of skill set? Well then we have the option of creating an alt account. But to me that’s just a nice option.
The way WoW did it (at least the last time I played) was that you level up to a certain point, at which time you can learn a respec skill.
You still earn skill points when you level up. Those skill were available for each respec build. So for example, say you had earned 20 skill points, you would be able to use 20 skill points on each of your respec builds.
With gear, all weapons and armour had different stats, some would be only usable by a certain class (i.e. Paladin, Druid, Warrior) whereas others would be more suited by a general combat type, such as DPS, Tank, Healer etc.
I used to play a druid as my main character, so I had a complete set of armour and weapons for each of the 3 respecs that I could do - which would be Tank, DPS or healer. I could respec anytime I wanted and additionally boost all my attributes by switching armour over (they made armour switching easier later on, by giving you “outfits” which would apply all your armours/weapons at the click of a button - unless that was just a mod - I can’t remember now!).
It worked in WoW, but I don’t think it’s a perfect (or even a good) fit for Boundless as the same dynamics are just not there.
There are plenty of other reasons people like to make alts:
They want a fresh start, or just enjoy leveling characters
Roleplaying: different personality/story/whatever
Avoiding harassment (or just avoiding someone)
Also, characters are more than just a set of skills:
their position and current planet
friends list (except Steam friends, which are account-wide)
whatever other future things that will be character-bound in the future. for example:
Things like player-generated quests, if officially supported (imagine running across a quest you’re interested in, but you’re on the wrong character, and so now you have to switch, rush back to where you are, and hope no one else snagged it - if some quests are limited)
Skill switching allows a player to keep all of those things around.
That’s not the case for me personally, at least. I don’t want my character to be able to do everything at the same time. There is a lot of fun in figuring out the perfect skill set, min/maxing, and all of that.