The switching cost of alts


As someone who NEVER wanted an alt and voiced that very loudly I think it’s fair that I write when I’m wrong, and I was wrong. I’m actually really enjoying my alt and I never thought I’d say that. So, I take it all back - I love it as is. Adding my alt to my home was easy (thank you guys for your help) but I do think it would be really helpful if our alts shared a family name (dibs on Morningstar lol) and shared the friends list.


We’re putting in a weekly skill reset, hopefully in the next update for Early Access but what form this takes in the final version is to be decided.

We do have a dev way to save and load builds so it might be nice to expose this to players in some way for them to save and load their classes.

If we allowed spaces we could allow players to manually set their family name in all their characters.

Unskilling points bug? [SOLVED]

That would be perfect, thank you.


:+1: Helpful for both those that feel they have unwittingy ‘self-nerfed’ their first char (I may or may not be one…) and those that will respec to test builds and help balance/bugtest.

I know this would take some code and UI, but I would love to see this exposed, perhaps just for one update cycle. Let us all see it, let us all try it, let all of you devs see it (with alts still available), and then let us all discuss it together. A more informed, tested, discussion.



No need to apologise, but you are indeed wrong :wink:
My first alt is shaping up to be the pretty much the same skill build as my main character… a generalist - Personally, I like the creative aspect of building more than anything else. But I still have some points invested in being able to defend myself and excavate at a fairly efficient rate. Not only that, but my alt is not an extension to me - it’s a different persona. It’s an escape from those that do actually know me by my main character name (no offense to anyone), but sometimes it’s fun to just go off and do your own thing and stumble upon other players naturally and experience that “first meeting” aspect of the game. It’s a role play of sorts.

I’m certainly not discounting that - I think that it’s a good idea generally. I just think that it defeats the purpose of some of what I bought into on the role-playing aspect of the game. You know, get to know people by not only their name and reputation (as a person behind the character), but also by their specialised talents within the game… TeapotTom the master builder… Bobcat the master tool crafter… SlimJim the seasoned hunter.

For me personally, I feel a single character being able to do everything with a simple skill switch button (which is essentially what having 3 skill respec slots per character is asking for) makes that character lose some of that identity… “Look… it’s Toblorone the … oh wait, they’ve just changed skill sets… again… oh, they do everything”.

You’re not role-playing a character when you can do everything the same as everyone else.

The above statement was described as a downside to switching to an alt, just to use other skills - my reasoning is, that having a thought out skill set attributable to an identifiable character, makes it more valuable, not less.

Exhibit A (:wink:):

To me, having switchable skills on a single character would be just the same as removing the skill cap altogether and people maxing out their characters with everything.


To me, having switchable skills on a single character would free me to create the alts as truly separate personas and fit their skills to that persona, without needing to spec them separately in order to play the game the way I like to.

I don’t think we at all are that different in the wanting alts to be separate, unique individuals. The difference lies in that I am someone who like to do things myself, start to finish.

Freeing up the alts from being used as skill-alts for those that are completionists or Bartle-Achievers and such, just allows those same people to be free to use those alts exactly as you are feeling they should be used.

Alts are in-game now. They can work exactly as you discuss wanting them to.
But, alts are in-game now, and are being used as skill-alts now also, by many, many people. And will be at launch without a skill-swap system. Just asking that the alts be freed for the exact purposes you discuss, so we can all play the game the way we enjoy it. :v:


I’m failing see a way that both of these things can work harmoniously together (perhaps it’s just because I’m tired - but possibly not).

To truly have …

… you simply can’t have a character that can skill swap and do everything.

Another way to look at that, is that with 3 alts, each with 3 skill respec slots - you now have the potential to have 3 characters that can do everything just by respeccing, albeit with a maybe a different mixing of skills between them.

Looking at this from a different perspective… from your comments (and I know this won’t cover all yours or everyone else’s reasons for wanting this), you want to be able to complete everything in the game, so all feats etc. right?

Ok, something different to consider…

Would it make more sense for things like feats to be associated with an account (or a character “family” name), and not with individual characters themselves?

It would require some rethinking with regards to rewards etc. and possibly even making them cumulative across characters from the same “family” name (This would also allow an account to be used for multiple players within a household (my daughter currently derps around on one of my characters for which I wouldn’t want her gameplay to affect my characters)), whilst still allowing you to group your characters, if you so wished, to achieve the completion of all feats etc.

Another alternate idea that just came to me as I was typing something else…

What if you could gain a skill reset once you had completed the final high-tier feat within a branch? You would then be able to maintain your progress on completed feats, whilst being free to respec your skills into a new “locked” set, allowing you to pursue other areas of gameplay and completion?

The original comment that sparked that idea was that I was going to mention, is that skill resets had been talked about previously, either as a crafted item or potentially as a micro-transaction (although nothing was confirmed at the time), so they could become a thing in future.

Anyway, food for thought :wink:


I’m failing to see how they can work together also, just in a different way :wink:

I do now, he just has three different names.

You’d have that ability then, yes. This is already possible, without respeccing even. (At least until the additional skill trees are opened, and depending upon skill point balancing with that).

This seems to go against your very statement that alts should be separate characters. If Bob the builder gets an achievement, should Joe the Lumberjack have it also then?

Personally, whether feats are character or account wide, does not matter to me at all. I’m not a feat-achiever/completionist. I do them because they gain me xp that allows me to advance my character which then in turn, allows me to expand what my character can do in the world.

Not against this idea at all. If there was a vote on feats being character or account based, I’d abstain and let others choose. I also see valid points in your suggestion.

And like I said, I could honestly care less about feats.

If I see a nice overlook and want to build a house, I don’t want to have to char-swap to Joe the Lumberjack to cut down that tree, then swap again to Fred the Miner to mine the stone, then swap back to Bob the Builder build it. To me this breaks my immersion in the world. Breaks the, I believe writers would call it, ‘suspension of disbelief’. At least for me.

…I just want to be Boundless :wink:

(And heck, I might create some crazy alts, just for fun and RP, too)

This goes more towards total skill-reset respecs, than skillset-swapping vs. alt-swapping, to me.
Total skill respecs should absolutely be a tool in-game. In what form I do not know.

Totally against respecs being microtransactions, personally. Not against microtransactions overall, but I feel they should be totally non-game-system things or effects. Things that effect the gameplay or game systems should be available in-game. Just my 2c.



If it’s attributable to a family then you still have your individuals. For example (sorry example based on real world incoming)… my brother is a plumber, I am a software developer. I may be able to do some basic plumbing, but by no stretch of the imagination am I considered “skilled” at plumbing. Likewise for my brother with regards to my profession. We are different people… separate, unique individuals you may say.

However we share the same family name. Collectively as a family, we have attained those “achievements” between us and have received whatever gains are associated with them.

Translate this into Boundless and that is exactly the premise I was suggesting. Hopefully that makes it much more clearer to understand.

Sorry, I took your comment to include yourself as a completionist when you mentioned you like to do things yourself, start to finish. I misinterpreted.

Not quite, currently you can have 3 separate characters that can do everything collectively between them… not 3 characters that can each do everything themselves.

I think you’re taking that example a little far to the extreme there. As already mentioned, my characters are generalists - I can do all those things you mention. I may not be the most efficient at them, but I can do them nonetheless. With the ability to swap for different skill sets with the same character, you’ll have the ability to be the best at all of those things… you become one character that is best at everything… everyone becomes one character that is best at everything. It negates the need for a skill cap, which I think is definitely required if the ability to play a specific role within a role play game is to be maintained.

Yes you can just have alts that allows that anyway, but then they are “separate, unique individuals” because of that - different name, different professions, different skills… unique… individuals.

Same for me. I only mentioned it because it was discussed previously.


I think the point that Storm’s trying to make is that functionally there is no difference in regards to skill switching. In one case you hit “switch character”, and in the other you hit “switch skill set”, but the outcome is that you get to instantly play with the desired skill set

(there’s a lot of difference in how you obtain those “skill sets”, for sure, but that’s a separate point)



And this.


Fair enough and fair point. What I was in fact pointing out though, was that my point had been misconstrued in the first place :wink:


I agree with this (and the rest of your post) in principle, especially with regards to needing an ‘idea-freeze’ at some point in the same way that any development project needs a code-freeze to start prepping for a release, otherwise things slide. However, while it may put me at a disadvantage in knowing what’s going on (or not) with future development, I’m consciously deciding to stay away from the Trello board. Past experience tells me that these things end up flooded with largely conflicting ideas, which themselves have short enough descriptions that two different people understand one suggestion at least a little differently, and it just gets a bit muddy. I do hope that it pans out better than that though. Hell, I generally just watch what goes on here in the forums, and only post on things that feel strongly about.

I do appreciate the post though (and perhaps the reminder that my post was a little melodramatic :stuck_out_tongue: )

Does that mean that you’re also not in favour of full skill respecs then? That essentially allows for exactly the scenario you would prefer to avoid. And as an unrelated point of curiosity, were you dissappointed (I know that I was), when the idea of Professions slowly went away?

Perhaps this might be where you and I differ most in opinion, and why we can’t seem to find common ground then. If I could ONLY have one character who defined who I was in Boundless, I would be entirely happy with a limited skill set. But the fact that a single Player account can do everything with a little character switching (if they so desire) really dulls the impact I feel of making genuine choices. Subsequently I’d just rather play in exactly the same way on one character than across 3.


You’re not really talking about role-playing the character you want, you’re talking about forcing other people to role-play characters whether they want to or not, and that’s not a view I can sympathize with. Being able to have multiple skill sets in no way prevents you from being TeapotTom the master builder, Bobcat the master tool crafter, or SlimJim the seasoned hunter. In fact, I’d argue that those identities become much stronger when they are not forced on everyone.

When I played EverQuest back in the 90s, I loved playing a merchant. I spent most of my time just buying and selling things at the unofficial EC bazaar, gradually growing my wealth and reputation. Eventually I had enough of a reputation that I started branching out with deliveries and money changing services. My character never got higher than level 14, yet I’d still run out into level 40 zones to deliver somebody platinum in exchange for their gold (people did this to reduce encumbrance). My level 14 monk was better known than hundreds of other monks in part because I just never got around to leveling up, even though nothing was stopping me.

If there had been a merchant class capped at level 15, yes it would have suited how I wanted to play the game, but it also would have taken away from what made me so unique. On the same note, force everybody to specialize, and TeapotTom the master builder ends up being something close to a dime-a-dozen cookie cutter spec. There are hundreds of TeapotToms. However, if everybody can swap between three skill sets, TeapotTom the master builder is extremely unique because he only builds when most people at least set up a second skill set.

Furthermore, the current alt-based system (which nobody is advocating changing) already runs the risk of the kind of identity dilution you’re afraid of. Instead of Toblorone with three full skill sets that can do everything, it’s Toblorone, TobyHunter, and TobyCrafter. You don’t say, “Hey, it’s Toblorone the master hunter!” Instead it’s, “Oh, Toby is on his hunter today.” Forcing people to make alts for different skill sets still isn’t going to guarantee unique identities like you seem to want, and swappable skill sets won’t prevent you from playing a unique specialist character (or several!).

So ultimately, I think role-playing is tangential to the issue of whether or not to support multiple skill sets. Players will find a way to play how they want regardless, and if they can’t then they’ll just play something else.


Personally, one of the things I love about FFXIV is that one character can do everything. In WoW I had 8-10 different characters so I could have one of each class, and it was a huge annoyance. It was a pain for friends to keep track of which of the random alts on their list were mine, but worse was when I wanted to cut myself off for awhile. For the longest time, my Priest was my “solo” character that I didn’t tell friends about. It was the character I played when I just wanted some quiet time. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that simple. I often wanted to play Priest when playing with friends, and sometimes I wanted to play alone, but I didn’t want to be stuck on just my Priest.

If I could have simply leveled up Priest on my main, or played other classes on my Priest, I would have been free to play each as completely separate characters. I enjoy that same freedom in FFXIV now. Back in WoW, my Priest eventually got absorbed into the enigmatic hydra that made up “me”.

Right now Boundless is littered with hydras. It won’t lose anything if you let them play the same way with only one head.


if cap skill is well balanced and no one can get all important class skills maxed out, you will have different TeapotToms. Using example of a hunter I play now, I might have maxed vitality and regen like everyone but beyond that there is not enough points to get all immunities and defence skills plus weapon masteries (when lances and bombs come in, people will have to chose which weapon they want to max out - at least I hope we wont get enough skill points to max all).

there are other differences like speed/power/swing speed etc where hunters already differ as they cant get it all

so, no - forcing to specialize doesn’t have to mean that within a class all characters are the same

As for alts as unique identities - lets forget about role playing (thats up to people and they desire and ability to do so). Uniqueness here is based on a simple fact that when you meet a hunter, you dont know if he is going to be a sling master or a lance master or maybe a bomb specialist. You dont know if he is sturdier but slower or faster but softer. Every time you meet an individual specializing in sth you will have to find out what his qualities are. And then you can meet a generalist who can do everything to a degree.

And to summarize - no system can make all players happy so lets let devs figure out what way to go (with our feedback help). At the moment going too far with this discussion might be futile as there are skills to be added and skill cap to be balanced - only then we will be able to test what kind of characters we can build within one alt and how it affects different styles of play.


I’m on the side that doesn’t really like alts. I grow attached to my character and prefer games that restrict what you can do at once but offers the choice to change builds in a restricted area for balance (EVE Online and its ships which can be changed in stations, FFXI and changing jobs that can only be done in your home) over a game that forces you to have several different characters.

I think having a weekly skill reset or maybe an item that is difficult to craft which lets you reset your skills (or pick from a list of builds you saved) near your beacon would be a fair compromise for those who doesn’t want to play multiple characters.

It’s not stopping me from enjoying the game as is though.


I think that everyone who doesn’t want alts should get their way. I also think everyone who wants an alt should get their way. I was thinking about making an alt for this thread so I could argue both points, but I decided I wanted to argue both points with the same name…


This is correct in theory. In practice, players always figure out the most effective set of skills, then the community at large gravitates towards that set. For it to happen otherwise, balance between skills has to be very thorough, and that takes a lot of iterations and dev time. It is possible, just very difficult and time consuming. The end result is there will always be only a handful of variations.

However, solutions like multiple skill sets and/or weekly respecs do encourage players to experiment and find new combinations that work, or just try something weird for fun knowing they won’t be stuck with it when they want to go back. The more you force players to stick to only one skill set, the more they will gravitate towards a smaller set of accepted skills instead of experimenting on their own.


But the point that seems to be inferred from that kind of specialisation and used as a reason against more flexible skill point assignment is that once a person has spent their points and you have learned what a person is good at, then you know that character. They have solidified a name for themselves by their choice of skill points as much as by who they are and how they play. But realistically I don’t think it’s going to work like that.

As an example, I’m sure I remember talk of the more difficult planets having significant harmful weather to the unprepared. I don’t know whether that’s still on the roadmap (or if it ever was), but it makes a good example scenario. I can imagine that a player might think it interesting to spend skill points to get great defences against a specific element, at the cost of being less well rounded and taking points out of other defences to do so. It’s really cool that they have the freedom to do that.

The hypothetical player has created FireproofPhil. They carve out a nice living where they are more easily able to collect resources to sell. But at some point they want a change and to explore other planets. Sadly, their lack of a well rounded defence is suddenly a big hindrance.

So what happens now? Maybe the player may want to keep that up. They might roll ‘MiddleOfTheRoadMel’ for exploring and only use FireproofPhil to go to planets where he shines. Chances are what will happen though is that they’ll use cleanse points and re-spend their points differently instead of rolling a new character and levelling the all the way up again. They will have instantly stopped having that uniqueness of build that they were known for. There are already systems in the game designed to make your current specialisation malleable.

I will concede that the ability to hot-swap entire specs would be a significantly faster process than using cleanse points. But if a full reset makes it into the game as has been suggested potentially ‘could’ in some form by @luke-turbulenz in this very thread, doesn’t the ability to have a unique character defining build stop being a valid argument against skill specs?