Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

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Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Kattekwaad » January 30th, 2017, 6:27 am

I've given it some thought and I don't think Intelligence should be the God-stat that gets to dictate how many skills points are allocated to each level-up.

I know the game is not supposed to be ultra realistic but would you consider a clever dude to get more skill points to spend on agility based skills such as lockpicking or shooting? No matter how clever you are, if you suck at shooting, you're probably still going to suck no matter how many science-nobel prices you get nominated for.

It feels almost a little daft that a clever ranger becomes ultra good at shooting so shouldn't that be based rather on the attribute that applies to the respective skill? The more agility, the better your agility-based get rewarded and similar to the others -> strenght = more skills for melee,unarmed and heavy weapons etc?

Tell me what you think?

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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Grohal » January 30th, 2017, 7:14 am

Fallout had done this right imo: if you rise a certain attribute, skills connected to that attribute go up a bit.

But that would mean InXile had to fix the whole charsystem (which they hopefully do) and connect attributes and skills.

In general intelligence should have more effect than other attributes, because the brighter you are the faster you can learn new and improve known skills - even motoric ones. So imo it is ok to let INT decide how many skill point per level up you get.

To make this work and not being IMBA - level up progress has to be slower than in WL2, more like in WL, though.
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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Zombra » January 30th, 2017, 12:06 pm

Well ... in my dream world Wasteland would return to "learn-by-doing" skill levelling.

BUT until that happens I think it's fine for Intelligence to govern all skill increases. No matter how nimble your fingers are, you don't learn to be a master knife thrower without expending some mental energy on it. That's what Skill Points represent - practice, emotional investment, whatever you want to call it. Does this all fall STRICTLY under the umbrella of the dictionary word, "intelligence"? Maybe not, but who cares, it's not a dictionary word, it's a statistic on a character sheet.
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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by kilobug » January 30th, 2017, 12:24 pm

Zombra wrote:Well ... in my dream world Wasteland would return to "learn-by-doing" skill levelling.
I really dislike "learn by doing" systems, and while it was bearable in Tyranny, it's still my biggest complain with the game. It encourages very silly behavior of doing needless skillchecks just to level, and overall completely saturates the gameplay with metagaming that kills roleplaying.

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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Zombra » January 30th, 2017, 1:56 pm

I disagree, but it's never coming back to Wasteland anyway so what is the point :)
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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Drool » January 30th, 2017, 9:57 pm

kilobug wrote:I really dislike "learn by doing" systems, and while it was bearable in Tyranny, it's still my biggest complain with the game. It encourages very silly behavior of doing needless skillchecks just to level, and overall completely saturates the gameplay with metagaming that kills roleplaying.
You didn't do silly skill stunts to gain promotions (unless you were grinding). You did silly skill stunts to level those specific skills. Notice a landmine while walking, and maybe your Perception would go from 1 to 2. Heal a MORtally wounded companion with your crappy Medic skill, it might go up a level.

And, of course, rip a clip into a Hexborg, and maybe you'll raise your Energy Weapons skill.
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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Woolfe » January 30th, 2017, 11:04 pm

Zombra wrote:Well ... in my dream world Wasteland would return to "learn-by-doing" skill levelling.

BUT until that happens I think it's fine for Intelligence to govern all skill increases. No matter how nimble your fingers are, you don't learn to be a master knife thrower without expending some mental energy on it. That's what Skill Points represent - practice, emotional investment, whatever you want to call it. Does this all fall STRICTLY under the umbrella of the dictionary word, "intelligence"? Maybe not, but who cares, it's not a dictionary word, it's a statistic on a character sheet.
I too am of the learn by doing ilk... No matter the abuse potential.

And without it, I have to disagree on the intelligence governing stat. The problem with it is that suddenly all your characters have to be geniuses to get the full worth of the character.

There are a couple of ways to solve that here are 2 off the top of my head
You could reduce the cost of skill points in certain abilities based on the other stats. So a high Ag character pays 1 skillpoint for a skill, a low ag pays 3.
Give bonus skill points that can only be applied to certain abilities. So if you have a high Ag, you might get an extra couple of points that can only be associated with Ag skills.

You could then build an "Agility" character, with a lower intelligence. Because they will still be able to excel and keep up in the Ag area.
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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Zombra » January 30th, 2017, 11:19 pm

Woolfe wrote:The problem with it is that suddenly all your characters have to be geniuses to get the full worth of the character.
Like everybody else, you are hung up on the language. Fine. Let's change the name of the Intelligence statistic from Intelligence to Capacity To Learn Multiple Skills To High Levels. Better?
Woolfe wrote:You could reduce the cost of skill points in certain abilities based on the other stats. So a high Ag character pays 1 skillpoint for a skill, a low ag pays 3.
Now you're making character classes. No thank you.
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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Woolfe » January 31st, 2017, 2:13 am

Zombra wrote:
Woolfe wrote:The problem with it is that suddenly all your characters have to be geniuses to get the full worth of the character.
Like everybody else, you are hung up on the language. Fine. Let's change the name of the Intelligence statistic from Intelligence to Capacity To Learn Multiple Skills To High Levels. Better?
Not at all, its still an attribute that you are essentially forced to take in order to get the additional stats.
Zombra wrote:
Woolfe wrote:You could reduce the cost of skill points in certain abilities based on the other stats. So a high Ag character pays 1 skillpoint for a skill, a low ag pays 3.
Now you're making character classes. No thank you.
I see what you mean, and I don't fully disagree. But you are assuming classes based on an attribute. I don't see that. Oh sure a high dex could be a thief type. But it could equally be a sniper, or a expert melee type etc. It all depends on how you assign attribute skills. If you don't have to have a high INT, you could have 1 high stat and then a second almost as high stat, which allows you to vary your decision. Dex + Str = Melee, Dex + Int = computer hacker/bomb disarm, Dex + agi = Sniper/Knife thrower/Ninja etc etc.
So yes it defines it a little bit, but at the same time by simply taking the stat you define your character slightly. And you still have the INT points if you wanted. So you could build you hulking brute who is light on their feet. etc etc
I think the big problem with your anti classing when it comes to attributes is that ultimately what is the point of the attribute then?

I do appreciate what you are saying tho, so perhaps a better way is to simply divorce the skill points from any single attribute. But then what mechanic do you use?
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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Zombra » January 31st, 2017, 3:45 am

Woolfe wrote:
Zombra wrote:
Woolfe wrote:The problem with it is that suddenly all your characters have to be geniuses to get the full worth of the character.
Like everybody else, you are hung up on the language. Fine. Let's change the name of the Intelligence statistic from Intelligence to Capacity To Learn Multiple Skills To High Levels. Better?
Not at all, its still an attribute that you are essentially forced to take in order to get the additional stats.
... Unless of course you don't do that. My four Rangers in Wasteland 2 had 1, 4, 8, and 10 INT. They all had different numbers of skill points, all specialized in different things, and were all fun to play. I wasn't "forced" to do anything. I had the freedom to build my characters how I wanted, and I did. You're advocating a narrowing of options, not a broadening.
Woolfe wrote:I do appreciate what you are saying tho, so perhaps a better way is to simply divorce the skill points from any single attribute. But then what mechanic do you use?
If the goal is for all characters to have an equal number of skill points, then the solution is to give all characters an equal number of skill points. Don't bother having attributes matter at all. That sounds boring as hell to me, but "problem" solved.
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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Grampybone » January 31st, 2017, 6:30 am

What if different skills are put under individual attribute branches, and you get each attribute skill points per level based on amount of points invested in each attribute?

That way a strongman would get more strength skill points to spend on unarmed combat or force open lock, for example, than a smart character, who would get more intelligence skill points to invest in science or medicine, for example.

It would provide for actual independent freedom of character development.

I would prefer this over obligatory intelligence for skill points system.

Edit: This development mechanic would allow for some really fun combination planning, for example, in order to attain the top tier in unarmed combat, the martial arts black belt for example, you'd need to invest skill points from strength, endurance and intelligence pools.

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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Zombra » January 31st, 2017, 9:51 am

Woolfe wrote:I think the big problem with your anti classing when it comes to attributes is that ultimately what is the point of the attribute then?
I neglected to answer this in my previous post. I think we agree that it's a shame that attributes don't interact with skills. One simple way to bring them together would be to have skill caps based on the appropriate attribute. So if you have an 8 Strength, your Brute Force skill would cap at 8 as well. Anyone can learn to kick in a screen door but to knock down a brick wall you need to have the muscle to back it up. And so on. I wouldn't be crazy about this honestly but it is an obvious solution.

Another obvious solution would be to change the scale as in the original Fallout. With 0-150 skills, you could fold in attribute bonuses easily. Brute Force could start at a base of 20% + 2x your Strength score, whatever. I'd like this better as I find caps annoying.
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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Drool » January 31st, 2017, 9:28 pm

Eh. Or could just as easily give a bonus based on the Attribute.

You know. Like that one game back in the late 80s did...
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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Woolfe » February 1st, 2017, 5:32 pm

Zombra wrote:
Woolfe wrote:
Zombra wrote:Like everybody else, you are hung up on the language. Fine. Let's change the name of the Intelligence statistic from Intelligence to Capacity To Learn Multiple Skills To High Levels. Better?
Not at all, its still an attribute that you are essentially forced to take in order to get the additional stats.
... Unless of course you don't do that. My four Rangers in Wasteland 2 had 1, 4, 8, and 10 INT. They all had different numbers of skill points, all specialized in different things, and were all fun to play. I wasn't "forced" to do anything. I had the freedom to build my characters how I wanted, and I did. You're advocating a narrowing of options, not a broadening.
By Choosing attributes you are by definition narrowing your options.

But that said, the above options do not prevent your selection you can still build how you want, no one is stopping you from choosing a skill that is not associated with your attribute. If you only had 1 int you would still only be getting that many SPP anyway, you can dump them where ever. But in addition you now have a couple of extra points to drop in skills associated with your Main Attribute. And if you have no skills there, then it doesn't matter.

It doesn't break your desire, but it fixes the Int dominance, for those who don't create a character for the character.
Zombra wrote:
Woolfe wrote:I do appreciate what you are saying tho, so perhaps a better way is to simply divorce the skill points from any single attribute. But then what mechanic do you use?
If the goal is for all characters to have an equal number of skill points, then the solution is to give all characters an equal number of skill points. Don't bother having attributes matter at all. That sounds boring as hell to me, but "problem" solved.
Yep, if that is the goal.

To me though the goal is to make different builds that work without affecting the ability to make any build you want.
Zombra wrote:
Woolfe wrote:I think the big problem with your anti classing when it comes to attributes is that ultimately what is the point of the attribute then?
I neglected to answer this in my previous post. I think we agree that it's a shame that attributes don't interact with skills. One simple way to bring them together would be to have skill caps based on the appropriate attribute. So if you have an 8 Strength, your Brute Force skill would cap at 8 as well. Anyone can learn to kick in a screen door but to knock down a brick wall you need to have the muscle to back it up. And so on. I wouldn't be crazy about this honestly but it is an obvious solution.

Another obvious solution would be to change the scale as in the original Fallout. With 0-150 skills, you could fold in attribute bonuses easily. Brute Force could start at a base of 20% + 2x your Strength score, whatever. I'd like this better as I find caps annoying.
But that is still the exact same issue, just the scale is changed.

Ok lets step back.

What is the problem - Putting points into Intelligence is prioritised over other attributes because it has an ongoing effect in that it provides you more SPP.
This means that "Dumb" characters are less desirable because over time the skills outclass the raw attributes.

Solution 1 - Fix the attributes. Make the attribute bonuses more competitive with the "skills". So SPP is no longer the primary consideration. Having a hulking brute whose strength bonus goes up appropriately at every level. And these need to be obvious and clear to someone without a spreadsheet.

Solution 2 - Remove the raw SPP defining bonus of INT, make it into a general boost that adds a chance of getting an extra skill point in any skill you have.
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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Blindchance » April 18th, 2017, 5:59 am

CLASSIC is a mess...I would spend hours trying to figure out how to build my characters without totally gimping them.

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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Amon Ra » April 18th, 2017, 7:08 am

In some regards intelligence as a stat is meaningless, as the in-game characters behave as intelligently or as dumbly as the players themselves.

It would take a phenomenal commitment to role-playing to make your dumb characters do dumb things at every opportunity, such as never taking cover in a fight or shooting at enemies before the squad have "set-up" an encounter.

I digress. I think that certain [real life] people have an aptitude for picking up and improving upon certain skills regardless of their intelligence, and agree with the posters in this thread; who think something else should govern the progression/acquirement of skills/leveling. Maybe when assigning skills in character creation some of then could be inherent skills and can be kept at optimal levels through continual usage; but will decline if they are not.

That way skills can be maintained [and trained] but never leveled once initial character build has been established.

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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Crosmando » April 20th, 2017, 12:58 am

kilobug wrote:
January 30th, 2017, 12:24 pm
Zombra wrote:Well ... in my dream world Wasteland would return to "learn-by-doing" skill levelling.
I really dislike "learn by doing" systems, and while it was bearable in Tyranny, it's still my biggest complain with the game. It encourages very silly behavior of doing needless skillchecks just to level, and overall completely saturates the gameplay with metagaming that kills roleplaying.
True, also it eliminates player choice. The player should decide where skill points are allocated.
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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Gizmo » April 20th, 2017, 3:00 am

kilobug wrote:
January 30th, 2017, 12:24 pm
I really dislike "learn by doing" systems, and while it was bearable in Tyranny, it's still my biggest complain with the game. It encourages very silly behavior of doing needless skillchecks just to level, and overall completely saturates the gameplay with metagaming that kills roleplaying.
I do not like the 'learn by doing' systems, for the very reasons you mention. It also means that specialized skills are never really developed —or likely not even included in the games. In Oblivion, the PC's leveled Acrobatics by jumping; many bunny hopping PCs ensued from that mechanic.

Odd thing though... For some reason the Lands of Lore series did not bother me with its 'learn by doing' system. Perhaps it was pacing and/or difficult or non-existent grinding.

*Aside: I always thought it was odd that these system tend to only award learning [points] from success —only from what worked, and not from what didn't work —as in always learning from one's mistakes.

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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by paultakeda » April 20th, 2017, 8:21 am

Learn by doing kills roleplaying if you think of it as killing roleplaying. I have no issue with the idea that a ranger decided to go and be a lumberjack for awhile, taking a sabbatical from killing things, to get better at cutting wood.

Now if the world had time-sensitivity for active quests, rangers wouldn't take a long sabbatical to up their axe game. If you know a quest will need an axe and you train prior to accepting the quest, that just means you've already played through once and know what to do (or you reloaded prior to accepting the quest and went off on your deforestation trip knowing why), which is something a game cannot and should not account for; that's you, the player, making a decision outside the game on how to play the game.

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Re: Should Intelligence be the governing attribute for all skill-leveling?

Post by Zombra » April 20th, 2017, 9:49 am

This may be a silly thing to say but apparently it needs to be said. LBD systems are good if they are done well and bad if they are done poorly.

Oblivion's "jumping up and down" or Skyrim's "stab an immortal NPC in the back over and over" are famous examples of how it can be done wrong.

The simple flag to look for: can the player improve a skill while doing anything that is a) infinitely available and b) not dangerous in any way? If so, your design is fucked up.

Gaining skill from picking locks is fine as long as they are nonrepeatable. Gaining skill from fighting respawning monsters is fine as long as the monsters are high enough level to present some threat. Picking a "practice lock" over and over should not increase skill, nor should farming underlevelled monsters. Every example of a bad LBD system in some way gives the player unlimited access to behavior that presents no challenge yet awards skill points.

Avoid this and you have a good system, period.
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