Multiples uses of the skills

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draxdeveloper
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Multiples uses of the skills

Post by draxdeveloper » October 6th, 2017, 6:41 am

I was thinking that would be interesting if almost all skills have multiple use, I will try to explain better.
First, we need to think that the skills would functional groups, those groups are the way(s) you can use a skills, it's just something to analyse better, not a mechanic.
I can think in 3 possibility on this:
Social use, Combat use ,Field use
Social use, Combat use, Exploration use, Resource use
Social use, Combat use, Exploration use, Improvement use

Social use - It's when a skill is used in interaction with others chars (most of time in conversations)
Combat use - as the name says, is when you use on combat
Field use - when you use in anything that is on the field (open doors, disarm a trap) or if there is no other skill group, anything that is not social or combat
Exploration - any use that let you explore new areas (or explore in a better way) and that open lockers and etc
Resource use - when you use a skill to get more resources. ex: barter when get more scrap, outdoorsman when you use less water crafting weapons, mods, . If you don't have a improvement group, anything that give you more xp, skill points and etc
Improvement when you use a skill to improve a char from your squad (ex: more xp)

That said, the idea here is any skill would have at lest to group uses (and if is possible, all use at least on a minimum scale)

So, you can use computer skill on the field to hack a computer, on the combat to hack a robot, on social use to say about computers
You can use unarmed skill on combat and in a conversation to talk about brawling

To help to analyse it. You can usage points related to each skill
Ex: Computer having Field -3 , Social -2, Combat - 1 (so is more used on field, then on social and then in combat)


edit(more stuff):

To me, the ideal would be that all skills have at least 1 social use, at least 1 combat use and 1 third use (exploration,resource,improvement

What you think?

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sear
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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by sear » October 6th, 2017, 9:40 am

Thanks for the feedback and insight! This is absolutely something we are exploring, though not exactly in the way you've described. With the Director's Cut of Wasteland 2, we added perks to pretty much every skill, many of which gave direct or indirect benefits to combat or elsewhere. We are building on that apparoch for Wasteland 3.

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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by Gizmo » October 6th, 2017, 10:18 am

sear wrote:
October 6th, 2017, 9:40 am
With the Director's Cut of Wasteland 2, we added perks to pretty much every skill, many of which gave direct or indirect benefits to combat or elsewhere.
Do you recall the scenes (typical) seen in 'Ghost In the Shell' films & TV series? Scenes where humans reliant on technology (full & partial cyborgs) could have their augmentations hacked during combat, and used against them; for instance, a combat effect, where a targeting computer's aid is made faulty; (or even rerouted to the robot's ability to DODGE those incoming attacks—to sidestep sniper-fire by reading the targeting data the shooter is given). That is a good example of 'combat hacking' I think; though in the films it wasn't a spur of the moment event.

*It's certainly some nasty tricks that an AI could manage on the fly... :twisted:

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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by draxdeveloper » October 6th, 2017, 3:10 pm

sear wrote:
October 6th, 2017, 9:40 am
Thanks for the feedback and insight! This is absolutely something we are exploring, though not exactly in the way you've described. With the Director's Cut of Wasteland 2, we added perks to pretty much every skill, many of which gave direct or indirect benefits to combat or elsewhere. We are building on that apparoch for Wasteland 3.
This is really nice. Combat is a main part of the game and it's kind of sad that sometimes a support character can do nothing useful or you have to put a lot of combat in him, making him less support.
The perks is a nice way and i think i read somewhere that we will have another thing to the combat, just forgot the name.

About the social part, i have a suggestion.

The main thing here is to think that is weird (and most games do this a lot of times) that a character with high computer skill have a conversation with a npc with high computer skills and fells like he have none of it. They should "talk like equals"

I remember in the past fallout days where sometimes your skills would change options in a conversation (don't know if this happens in WL2)

The thing is, if you use this a lot, then you loose some of the use of the main social skills (like kiss ass)

So, what is the solution?

You can have a serie of social check types, they would check up to 3 things: one base social skill, one extra skill, one attribute

Most of times, the check would require a base social skill, but i think is possible to make checks that don't require a social skill

So, the most common checks would be:

Base social skill, for checks that don't evolve any relevant extra skill or attribute
Base social skill + extra skill, for checks that you would use your knowledge on that skill but you also need to be good on a social specif skil
Base social skill + attribute, less common, but is for checks that you knowledge is not relevant but you natural abilities are.

And, on more rare occasions

extra skill, for checks that don't matter if you speak well, but just about what you are speaking
attribute, for checks that just your natural abilities matter

A base social skill + extra skill + attribute is a possibility. But to me it's fell just a overload of checks and information and will not be "elegant"

Some examples:

Base social skill: You are trying to soft someone with kiss ass (and just it)
Base social skill + extra skill: You are trying to convince someone that you are a REALLY good at mechanical repair (maybe even convince that you are better that you really are)
Base social skill + attribute: Your are trying to intimidate a really bulky and intimidating person with hard ass + strength
Extra skill: Your are trying to convince someone that you are able to use the computer with Computer Science skill
Attribute: You are trying to convince someone that you can reach on time with Speed
Base social skill + extra skill + attribute: don't have a good example

So, this is it.

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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by Drool » October 7th, 2017, 9:06 am

sear wrote:
October 6th, 2017, 9:40 am
Thanks for the feedback and insight! This is absolutely something we are exploring, though not exactly in the way you've described. With the Director's Cut of Wasteland 2, we added perks to pretty much every skill, many of which gave direct or indirect benefits to combat or elsewhere. We are building on that apparoch for Wasteland 3.
Yeah, but those perks were pretty unbalanced. Many of them were effectively useless (thinking of the free shot ones), or so unlikely to happen as to be useless (reduced reload cost ones), not to mention the ones that were completely broken (in the not-working right sense; see: the melee autoattack ones). And that's not even getting into things like Master Thief which provided little more than a QOL bonus but required a massive investment. Honestly, the perks (and quirks) felt like a last minute addition that weren't particularly well tested; they felt like they were in their beta stage. I did a 50 hour or so playthrough with the lightning strike quirk and had it trigger a total of 5 times. 4 of those times on my party.

I really hope the WL3 team is taking a deep look at the core mechanics of the game because, frankly, CLASSIC was a terrible compromise. You lost the interactivity between skills and attributes and in exchange got... a Fallout-style acronym and percentile systems.

Go take a look at Wasteland again. The attribute/skill interaction isn't loudly broadcast, but it's there. You can have a Rifle skill of 7 and still miss left and right at point-blank range if you Agility is crap.
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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by Lakstoties » October 9th, 2017, 11:15 pm

Hontestly, it seems the lack of skill variety stems from some real limited thinking on part of the development team. Really, the whole skill grouping thing is silly and doesn't serve any decent purpose. If you just treat skills like labels with numbers, things become really easy to use in different ways. You don't need perks or anything special.

"You find a body on the ground. Various wounds cover the corpse in a chaotic pattern of red, flesh, and char that makes it hard to exactly decipher what actually happended. Nearby you find an ancient driver's license. The card is badly damaged, but you can still make out one word: Rasputin."

Skill List Applicable to Check and information granted:
Medic - Mass trauma killed this man.
SMGs - He was shot a bunch.
Rifles - These are wounds from a rifle.
Blades - Those slashes are from a knife.
Explosives - There's sharpnel tears and flash burns.
Toaster Repair - Burns from a four slice toaster?
Doctor - There's signs of arsenic poisoning.
Science - Looks like acid burns.
History - Wait... Rasputin?!

The thing is you don't need anything special to say a skill is applicable to X, Y, or Z. If the name fits, just use it!

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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by draxdeveloper » October 10th, 2017, 10:35 pm

i think Tides kind of use this, don't?

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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by undecaf » October 12th, 2017, 12:47 pm

INDEED more uses for skills. And overall gameplay versatility. While combat is definitely a big feature, a better balance between combat and non combat activities (and skill checks) would definitely enliven the game from how heavyhanded Wasteland 2 was with combat grind. I wouldn't mind if it was even possible and viable to build an emissary/infiltrator squad that is only semi capable of combat while very capable in other areas (that would also include stuff other than direct "combat avoidance", i.e. more roleplaying).

Also agreed with Drool. The way CLASSIC was put up was not the best way of doing it. Aside from what's already mentioned, the low range of the skills along with how the increments worked, and how the crits worked, and the visible success chances encouraged skillpoint hoarding over organic progression. That felt more gamey and distracting than it was probably supposed to, and I'd very much like to see it corrected with WL3.
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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by Lakstoties » October 13th, 2017, 2:05 pm

Point hording was a big problem with Wasteland 2. Simply put, the drastic cost increases for skill advancement along with the minimum requirements for skill checks in later stages just forced you to do it. Too many times, I would run into a safe cracking check that was WAY too high for anyone's good. I know you are suppose to specialize, but going from when the average skill checks require level 3 to quickly level 6 or higher was a bit ridiculous... Given how much you really need to put points in combat skills and how little many of the non-combat skill mattered in the long run... You HAD to keep your points in reserve or pay dearly later.

There's a few ways to combat this.

1. Have non-combat skills used FAR more often for FAR more things. This gets the player in the mindset that those skills will be just as useful as any other and that points put into it will be rewarded.

2. Finer granularity of skill levels. 0 - 10 skill level scale may just be too coarse depending on implementation. Make the finer levels count and be less expensive. That should encourage players to invest.

3. Keep skill level minimums low. If you raise them too high, you are going to burn players and put them in the mindset they have to keep points at ready for when a shitty curve ball is thrown their way.

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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by Drool » October 13th, 2017, 4:56 pm

Learn... by... doing...
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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by Gizmo » October 13th, 2017, 5:21 pm

Eeww. The only games that I have played that did that well, were Lands of Lore 1 & 2, and maybe Gothic 2. I certainly don't seek out games that advertise that as their system; and greatly prefer it when that is not the method used.

Learn by doing is more suited to a (usually first person) 'stream-of-consciousness' game, than any kind of roleplaying game; something like Mirror's Edge... not Witcher or Shadowrun. The main reason being that it usually means that the PC is only skilled in the player's own interests (and primary activity in the game)—hardly much of a role to play, and hardly ever a changing one (even between entirely different games).

Unless the PC fell out of a hole in the sky, or has just run away from home at age 7, they should have some established aptitudes, hobbies, or possibly formal training in something; to start the game with a life's ambition, and not start the game as an adult—infant, with no appreciable skills, and no means of having survived to beginning of the game.

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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by Lakstoties » October 13th, 2017, 10:42 pm

Learn by doing opens up more problems.

It's a system that works for something like the early Elder Scrolls games, when the player is playing a single character through their perspective and is there for everything the character does in a fairly simulationist manner.

Wasteland is a squad based overhead perspective game and much of what individual squad members do outside a mission site is abstracted away.

Two different styles of game. The reasoning behind getting skill points to spend is that it gives players a choice to improve skills the way they feel their characters have WITHOUT having to grind. And that's what a "Learn By Doing" system opens up for worst than anything... grinding... and more importantly, Cheese grinding. Reminds me of Ultima VIII with how you could max out your strength score before the first major scene in the game by just spamming the attack for ten minutes straight. Or Skyrim with flooding the market with mass produced iron daggers.

It just opens up more problems than it could ever solve.

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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by sear » October 14th, 2017, 8:42 am

Lakstoties wrote:
October 13th, 2017, 2:05 pm
Point hording was a big problem with Wasteland 2. Simply put, the drastic cost increases for skill advancement along with the minimum requirements for skill checks in later stages just forced you to do it. Too many times, I would run into a safe cracking check that was WAY too high for anyone's good. I know you are suppose to specialize, but going from when the average skill checks require level 3 to quickly level 6 or higher was a bit ridiculous... Given how much you really need to put points in combat skills and how little many of the non-combat skill mattered in the long run... You HAD to keep your points in reserve or pay dearly later.
As the system designer for the game, these sorts of things are certainly important to me. We don't want players hoarding skill points, or feeling like they have no viable ways to deal with gameplay challenges (though I'll argue some "come back later" is okay, so long as it's not too often). There is no shortage of ideas, but one thing to keep in mind is that in RPGs, every system is interrelated, as is the content. World and level design, items & equipment, balancing, economy of both items and skill points, and more, are all significant factors beyond just the raw skill system.

Wasteland's skill system has a lot of strengths - huge variety to define your characters, multiple ways to solve problems, perks that let you specialize and unlock new mechanics and syerngies, etc. Those are the kinds of things we want to continue to enable and expand on in pretty much every way. I definitely hope we'll be able to touch on skill specifics in future campaign updates.

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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by Drool » October 14th, 2017, 1:48 pm

Gizmo wrote:
October 13th, 2017, 5:21 pm
Eeww. The only games that I have played that did that well, were Lands of Lore 1 & 2, and maybe Gothic 2.
Worked pretty well in Wasteland...
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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by Gizmo » October 14th, 2017, 2:42 pm

Drool wrote:
October 14th, 2017, 1:48 pm
Gizmo wrote:
October 13th, 2017, 5:21 pm
Eeww. The only games that I have played that did that well, were Lands of Lore 1 & 2, and maybe Gothic 2.
Worked pretty well in Wasteland...
Wasteland and Lands of Lore 1 are not so different... If you don't count Phased combat vs Realtime, 2D top-down vs 2D FPP; and Lands only allowing three PCs. :mrgreen:

I would not want 'learn by doing' in a game like BG2, or ... most RPGs really.
*Arx Fatalis would make a likely candidate for using 'learn by doing', and I was very glad that they did not.

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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by Drool » October 15th, 2017, 4:16 pm

Gizmo wrote:
October 14th, 2017, 2:42 pm
I would not want 'learn by doing' in a game like BG2, or ... most RPGs really.
*Arx Fatalis would make a likely candidate for using 'learn by doing', and I was very glad that they did not.
Um. Okay?

I thought we were talking about mechanics for Wasteland 3. Importing mechanics from Wasteland seems rather fitting. Frankly, I don't much care what Balder's Gate or Arx Fatalis (whatever the hell that is) does.

Dropping the ridiculous CLASSIC system to bring back something based on MSPE and bringing back learn by doing would solve almost all the problems that were present in WL2 with the attribute and skill system. And it would bring the game back to its roots.
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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by Lakstoties » October 15th, 2017, 4:49 pm

Drool wrote:
October 15th, 2017, 4:16 pm
Dropping the ridiculous CLASSIC system to bring back something based on MSPE and bringing back learn by doing would solve almost all the problems that were present in WL2 with the attribute and skill system. And it would bring the game back to its roots.
I'll agree with dropping CLASSIC. This would allow the devs to clear their heads so to speak, and allow them to focus on addressing the issues from Wasteland 2 without influence from the source of many problems. I'm still hesitant of a learn back doing system strictly. Skill buying abstracts A LOT of hunt and grind from the player's life and saves a developer tons of trouble when it comes to having to provide enough places for someone to actually "learn by doing" to a degree to be proficient for the next level of challenges.

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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by Gizmo » October 15th, 2017, 8:44 pm

Drool wrote:
October 15th, 2017, 4:16 pm
I thought we were talking about mechanics for Wasteland 3. Importing mechanics from Wasteland seems rather fitting. Frankly, I don't much care what Balder's Gate or Arx Fatalis (whatever the hell that is) does.
Well... Lands of Lore did okay with it, and while I'm not partial to 'learn by doing' systems, I am in favor of series retaining their foundational systems.

**Arx Fatalis is an unofficial (unlicensed) successor to Ultima Underworld; and is possibly the best FPP RPG that I know of.
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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by Grohal » October 16th, 2017, 12:48 am

Lakstoties wrote:
October 15th, 2017, 4:49 pm
Drool wrote:
October 15th, 2017, 4:16 pm
Dropping the ridiculous CLASSIC system to bring back something based on MSPE and bringing back learn by doing would solve almost all the problems that were present in WL2 with the attribute and skill system. And it would bring the game back to its roots.
I agree on that one at about 90%.
Lakstoties wrote:
October 15th, 2017, 4:49 pm
I'll agree with dropping CLASSIC. This would allow the devs to clear their heads so to speak, and allow them to focus on addressing the issues from Wasteland 2 without influence from the source of many problems. I'm still hesitant of a learn back doing system strictly. Skill buying abstracts A LOT of hunt and grind from the player's life and saves a developer tons of trouble when it comes to having to provide enough places for someone to actually "learn by doing" to a degree to be proficient for the next level of challenges.
The only thing I see as a problem is bringing the learing by doing from Wasteland into the Engine Wasteland 2 uses.
For example the shifting sand dunes for climbing and the river jumps for swimming are hard to implent on THAT new engine. I at least can't think of a way. Also I am not sure anyone would want to play it this way today (grinding as you call it).
Annother example (not engine related): How do you grind picklocking skills unless you open every lock you find from early game on or you live with that you are unable to get the high end security locks of the endgame open.
Of course you could BUY those lacking skills with level up skill points. But that would mean not only would have CLASSIC be changed back to MSPE (or something completly new), but also the leveling would have to be more like in the original Wasteland. Meaning no level cap and more grind.

For grinding combat skills there would have to be WAY more different random encounters like there were in WL2, else it becoms boring real fast. Meaning: more and more variant enemies, more and more variant combat zones, more (and on the average easier to kill) enemies per combat zone (this would have two positive effects: 1. more bullets used per encounter, thus making ammo less available and 2. getting more little wounds instead of a few serious, or no wounds at all, thus making first aid stuff more useful and also more scarce).
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Re: Multiples uses of the skills

Post by Lakstoties » October 16th, 2017, 11:05 am

Grohal wrote:
October 16th, 2017, 12:48 am
Annother example (not engine related): How do you grind picklocking skills unless you open every lock you find from early game on or you live with that you are unable to get the high end security locks of the endgame open.
Of course you could BUY those lacking skills with level up skill points. But that would mean not only would have CLASSIC be changed back to MSPE (or something completly new), but also the leveling would have to be more like in the original Wasteland. Meaning no level cap and more grind.
That's my fear with a strictly "learn by doing" system. It's really easy to corner the players into situations where they literally have no valid options if they don't do enough skill grinding before a certain point. Which is REALLY frustrating when the player would have no real idea until it is too late.

I'm not opposed to a skill buy/skill learn hybrid system, but only if it's a 80/20 split. That way you can bootstrap characters to be somewhat effective and then get optional bonuses to refine them outside of skill point buying. (Which might useful when upper limits of skill proficiency gets too pricey for purchase.)

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