Learn by doing hybrid idea

Discussion about the upcoming Wasteland 3!

Moderator: Ranger Team Alpha

Post Reply
User avatar
GodComplex
Master
Posts: 1340
Joined: March 28th, 2012, 5:21 am
Location: Seattle

Learn by doing hybrid idea

Post by GodComplex » October 24th, 2017, 1:39 am

Pretty sure this was discussed to death in the WL2 forum, but why not continue to beat a dead horse. Personally, I love learn-by-doing systems, but the biggest draw back is always the balance of grind vs opportunities to grow. So here's a thought, what if you had normal skills progression with a learn by doing bonus. Say you can level up your character to a skill of 10, but then you had a possibly of hitting 12 through learn-by-doing. Or maybe have a reduction in severity of crit fails?

My rationale is that everything we do as humans is a dual process of thought and action. You can pick up a book on auto mechanics, but you will never achieve any degree of mastery until you actually work on vehicles. So why not have a bonus bar or secondary XP bar to reflect that action part of the learning process?
1/3 of my brain says blue radiation might be cool
1/3 says stop being overcritical
1/3 says a Baby Ruth could have prevented this situation
~Damoriel

User avatar
Gizmo
Grandmaster
Posts: 3073
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

Re: Learn by doing hybrid idea

Post by Gizmo » October 24th, 2017, 1:42 pm

Lands of Lore worked somewhat like this... In the sense that you could pick from three characters, where one had special aptitude for magic, and spent their time as a spell caster; and so started the game as a more powerful one. The other two were not as strong in magic. One was a focused melee fighter, and the other was a jack-of-all-trades; (and a cat—sort of like Khajiit in Elder scrolls... He was also the canon character IIRC).

But once the game began, they improved by usage. I don't recall if the spell caster and fighter had more advantageous progression than others, in their chosen field of expertise.

Personally I do not favor 'learn by doing' in RPGs. This is because the characters (at least ideally) should already have a background of accomplishment before the game even begins... in D&D and Wasteland both...Rangers should be qualified before beginning their adventures. My experience with 'learn by doing' systems... is that that's about all you do; it means that the player knows that they must do these specific actions in order to improve... So playing a thief character is all about practicing thieving instead of applying a thief's perspective and skills to roleplay situations. In Oblivion, the acrobatics skill increased every time the PC jumped... so it behooved all players to hop everywhere... including in towns; the game of course, ignored reaction from the townsfolk, or passers by in the wilds, that that behavior should have evoked.

By and large, I much prefer per-level advancement; because it allows the player to develop their PC towards their character ideal; and without imposing rigid behavior during play. Better IMO to assume that the character's maintain their skills on their own time, and not have to practice on the mission... What's more fun(?) using the axe, or sharpening it?

The second aspect is the roleplaying itself: I would rather roleplay a Bruce Lee style character in a game, than train like him in the game; (ie. play the good parts as a PC with benefit of past experience). I would rather decide, "What would a consummate martial artist do" rather than "how best to become a consummate martial artist".

Wasteland used 'Learn By Doing', so WL2 & WL3 should of course do the same (unfortunately for me); because it's integral to the 'report in—and get a field promotion' mechanic of the series. But I personally wouldn't mind if they implemented it a bit as you've suggested.

User avatar
Drool
Forum Moderator
Posts: 8867
Joined: March 17th, 2012, 9:58 pm
Location: Under Tenebrosia, doing shots with Sceadu.

Re: Learn by doing hybrid idea

Post by Drool » October 24th, 2017, 4:51 pm

Gizmo wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 1:42 pm
In Oblivion, the acrobatics skill increased every time the PC jumped... so it behooved all players to hop everywhere... including in towns; the game of course, ignored reaction from the townsfolk, or passers by in the wilds, that that behavior should have evoked.
Exact opposite, really. You're forgetting the other part of Oblivion leveling: skills were attached to attributes, so if you powerleveled via Acrobatics, your attributes would be all messed up and, in the long run, it would cripple the player. Much like how powerleveling your Sneak by walking into a corner of a bar for a couple hours would mess you up. In fact, almost ever leveling guide ever written not only suggests walking and almost never jumping, but they'd also recommend that you make acrobatics a tertiary skill so that it would only count for leveling multiplier, but not for actually gaining levels.


Beyond that, I, again, believe that Wasteland had a perfectly serviceable hybrid system in the first place and, aside from a rights issue with using MSPE, there was no need to change it. Outside of trying to get a level or two (or when grinding to Supreme Jerk as a stunt), I never felt a need to grind anything in Wasteland. Furthermore, because of the skill-attribute-exp interaction, "grinding" was a rather minor affair. Do a few laps in the swimming pool, run up and down the skylight outside Ugly's, jump in the river, climb a few piles of sand, and you're fine, and even that was more QOL than necessary to succeed (unlike 99% of games with grinding).

Really, this is totally a case of, "it wasn't broke, so why did you 'fix' it?"
Alwa nasci korliri das.

I neither work, nor speak, for inXile.

Not too late; make it eight!

User avatar
Gizmo
Grandmaster
Posts: 3073
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

Re: Learn by doing hybrid idea

Post by Gizmo » October 24th, 2017, 5:36 pm

Drool wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 4:51 pm
Gizmo wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 1:42 pm
In Oblivion, the acrobatics skill increased every time the PC jumped... so it behooved all players to hop everywhere... including in towns; the game of course, ignored reaction from the townsfolk, or passers by in the wilds, that that behavior should have evoked.
Exact opposite, really. You're forgetting the other part of Oblivion leveling: skills were attached to attributes, so if you powerleveled via Acrobatics, your attributes would be all messed up and, in the long run, it would cripple the player...
I only ever played an Acrobat. :mrgreen:

But this brings up a disturbing point. Apparently jumping too much during play screws up your stats, and cripples the PC? (...if you are not playing an Acrobat?)

It sounds like the exact opposite, really, of needing to do specific actions to advance... It is needing to avoid favoring specific actions to not damage your character through advancement. :shock: That's just bizarre nonsensical design IMO. Doesn't that mean that technically a player could be awarded an unwelcome advancement for having to jump in the game? (...perhaps while escaping from something, or upon climbing up to meet it), and suddenly they level up —the wrong way?

What's interesting though (to me), is that I found out that Acrobats can (without cheating)... climb over the arena wall from the outside; and also climb atop—and over the Tamriel wall; (and ergo, just about any other city's wall). The game doesn't like that BTW... It assumes the player is in the city, and uses the lowest detail for all textures outside of the walls... You have to leave via the city gates in order to fix it. The arena is an empty lot inside... like the back side of a movie set.

One can also run up dangling chains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V26jNsPlO90
Last edited by Gizmo on October 24th, 2017, 6:14 pm, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
Woolfe
Supreme Jerk
Posts: 5675
Joined: March 22nd, 2012, 6:42 pm

Re: Learn by doing hybrid idea

Post by Woolfe » October 24th, 2017, 5:55 pm

GodComplex wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 1:39 am
Pretty sure this was discussed to death in the WL2 forum, but why not continue to beat a dead horse. Personally, I love learn-by-doing systems, but the biggest draw back is always the balance of grind vs opportunities to grow. So here's a thought, what if you had normal skills progression with a learn by doing bonus. Say you can level up your character to a skill of 10, but then you had a possibly of hitting 12 through learn-by-doing. Or maybe have a reduction in severity of crit fails?

My rationale is that everything we do as humans is a dual process of thought and action. You can pick up a book on auto mechanics, but you will never achieve any degree of mastery until you actually work on vehicles. So why not have a bonus bar or secondary XP bar to reflect that action part of the learning process?
Whilst I agree with Drool on the "not broke so why was it fixed", I had a similar idea to the above.

My concept was that you could only ever level up by doing to a certain point, after which you would have to either spend some manual points, or Read a book or spend some resources etc, to get past a "hump".
So make it 10 major levels, each containing 10 minor incremental levels that gave you bonuses.

That would represent the knowledge learned through experience, and the knowledge learned through being taught/reading etc.
It's not too late. Make it Eight!

User avatar
Gizmo
Grandmaster
Posts: 3073
Joined: March 6th, 2012, 6:25 am

Re: Learn by doing hybrid idea

Post by Gizmo » October 24th, 2017, 6:02 pm

How about just a modest skill bonus based on tracked usage? So if the PC did use their 'Pick Locks' skill 25 times, they'd get an additional (free) 2.5% tacked on to their proficiency when they level up; perhaps capped @+5% per level.

Fallout 2 allowed for unlisted perks to be acquired by PC actions; one such, was by shoveling enough Brahmin poop. Surely WL3 could implement similar skill related bonuses from narrative actions, or from repetitive skill use.

User avatar
Drool
Forum Moderator
Posts: 8867
Joined: March 17th, 2012, 9:58 pm
Location: Under Tenebrosia, doing shots with Sceadu.

Re: Learn by doing hybrid idea

Post by Drool » October 27th, 2017, 3:41 pm

Gizmo wrote:
October 24th, 2017, 5:36 pm
But this brings up a disturbing point. Apparently jumping too much during play screws up your stats, and cripples the PC? (...if you are not playing an Acrobat?)
It can mess up any build, really. Acrobat was tied to an Attribute (Endurance, I think). If I recall the numbers corrected, the player leveled when they got a combination of 10 skill levels in their primary skills. When you leveled, you got to add to three Attributes with multipliers based on the skills that had leveled since the last player level (pre-Skyrim leveling was complicated). Thus, if you just jumped everywhere, you could get your 10 skill levels from Acrobatics, meaning your character leveled up and would get a x5 for Endurance, but x1 for everything else. So, 5 points to Endurance, which is great, but only 1 for whatever else you decided to raise. Coupled with the level scaling, this was a bad position to be in. The goal was to raise a wide variety of skills to maximize your Attribute gains. Keeping Acrobatics one of your secondary skills meant that leveling it would give you that modifier to Endurance on leveling, but prevented it from raising your character level too quickly.

There's a reason they ditched this overly complicated system for Skyrim. Granted, they went too far in the simplification, but I don't begrudge them ditching it.
Alwa nasci korliri das.

I neither work, nor speak, for inXile.

Not too late; make it eight!

Dork Mage
Scholar
Posts: 158
Joined: May 13th, 2013, 5:58 pm

Re: Learn by doing hybrid idea

Post by Dork Mage » October 28th, 2017, 8:02 pm

Drool wrote:
October 27th, 2017, 3:41 pm
There's a reason they ditched this overly complicated system for Skyrim. Granted, they went too far in the simplification, but I don't begrudge them ditching it.
IMO, the "real problem" was attributes increased with skill use. It resulted in all character builds being essentially the same 2/3 into the game. The limiting of max skill to max attribute was a good mechanism made irrelevant by the attribute level-ups.

The leveling of attributes only happened after sleeping so I purposely didn't sleep to keep characters unique.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest