How do you feel about 'Natural Skill' progression?

ShadowVenShadowVen Member, Founder
edited October 30 in General Discussion
Throughout all the years of playing various MMORPG's, one element of progression that has stood out to me is just the basic premise of: 'doing more of it, makes you better at it'. The more you do something, the better you get at it idea within any game has always grasped my attention. I've noticed a trend of absence for this basic idea within the gaming industry, and wanted to get this community's opinion.

Off the top of my head, here are two games that utilize this element:
  • 1. Everquest
  • 2.Final Fantasy Xi

Here are some ideas that I've had; This natural skill progression I speak of is: Let's say you have a 1H sword and Shield equipped, the more you use that 1H sword the more accurate you become with it, and the more you have a successful block with the shield, the higher chance of you blocking successfully. I believe this type of incremental progression could be implemented within Ashes without causing much grief to the current skill / Augmenting system. One way of integration, for example, being a SpellHunter Augmenting a certain magical Element to your arrows. Having natural skill in Archery and Elemental Magic would affect your accuracy and the stacked imbued elemental dmg of that Elemental arrow on top of your physical dmg.
I'd prefer not to have to go talk to an npc to raise these particular natural skills, but instead maybe doing certain "training" quests could give an improved rate of learning. Rather than it flooding your chat box in previous games, there could be a UI window that shows the current value of that particular 'natural skill'. I think these natural skills could be a passive sub-set to basic Stats such as "Strn", "Dex", "Agi", "Int/wisdom", "Endurance/stamina", etc ....

What do you think? What could be the Pro's and Con's of this to you?

Thank you for any input =D
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Comments

  • I personaly like natural skill progression, if that also gives you skill/elemental passives. Example: You mainly use and level fire spells, and at some level you get fire afinity, and if you use water or earth you get water/earth afinity.
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  • WololoWololo Member, Leader of Men
    I like seeing hours of work of being good at something make me stronger so im all about that progression. Sounds cool! But (yes here comes the butt), what keeps a player from grinding it out? Against mobs or meeting with a friend to block eachother's attacks for some hours just to cap out that weapon stat. Imagine long after launch you want to start using a weapon you barely use now you need to grind it out before being accepted in raids or be viable in pvp xd
    Wololo.png
  • MesisMesis Member
    It definetly enhances immersion but usually unless limited, becomes pointless or a chore to grind up on alts etc.
  • ShadowVenShadowVen Member, Founder
    Wololo wrote: »
    I like seeing hours of work of being good at something make me stronger so im all about that progression. Sounds cool! But (yes here comes the butt), what keeps a player from grinding it out? Against mobs or meeting with a friend to block eachother's attacks for some hours just to cap out that weapon stat. Imagine long after launch you want to start using a weapon you barely use now you need to grind it out before being accepted in raids or be viable in pvp xd

    Wololo,

    I also thought of that scenario, howeve I believe it would be easy to mitigate that simply by disallowing skill progression to be obtained by hitting other PC's. I dont mind the grinding part to learn faster, thats part of the progression, however for higher lvls, maybe there could also be a passive skill called "learning" which would increase your learning rate overall of any natural skill, or at higher lvls you simply learn faster for skills under a certain numerical value.
  • ShadowVenShadowVen Member, Founder
    Mesis wrote: »
    It definetly enhances immersion but usually unless limited, becomes pointless or a chore to grind up on alts etc.

    I see your point about the alts, however, I personally dont mind that aspect of the game for each of my characters. It would give me a chance to focus on a certain path of skills in comparison to my main character.
  • WololoWololo Member, Leader of Men
    @ShadowVen Intresting :smiley: I hope the devs look at this post and pick up something from it. Maybe a little perk you can get for every weapon to get have experience with all of them. Sort of like a tutorial
    Wololo.png
  • For combat skills the natural progression works, but the natural progression becomes less clear when it comes to non-combat skills. Let's take for example a character who has a skill called "Transcribe"- for our purpose this skill is the ability to correctly copy a scroll or book - specifically a spell scroll or book. It would be very tedious for the player to repeat this process over and over in order to advance in that skill.

    So this natural progression works fine as long as combat skills are involved, but can become a drudgery for other skills
  • Dayuhan wrote: »
    For combat skills the natural progression works, but the natural progression becomes less clear when it comes to non-combat skills. Let's take for example a character who has a skill called "Transcribe"- for our purpose this skill is the ability to correctly copy a scroll or book - specifically a spell scroll or book. It would be very tedious for the player to repeat this process over and over in order to advance in that skill.

    So this natural progression works fine as long as combat skills are involved, but can become a drudgery for other skills

    Now comes the question: Will we have such passive skills like Transcribe in Ashes?
    XD
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  • AzathothAzathoth Member, Braver of Worlds
    I like this progression theme a lot in the games I play. I do think it favors leveling combat skills (and magic attacks) over anything else.

    I think in a lot of cases it negates the necessity of classes and somewhat homogenizes characters, because some skills are used frequently by everyone. I am sure there are ways to address these issues though.

    As for PvP, I don't think advancing combat skills should be limited to PvE. I am not sure what Ashes currently plans for xp related to PvP though.
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  • Azathoth wrote: »
    I like this progression theme a lot in the games I play. I do think it favors leveling combat skills (and magic attacks) over anything else.

    I think in a lot of cases it negates the necessity of classes and somewhat homogenizes characters, because some skills are used frequently by everyone. I am sure there are ways to address these issues though.

    As for PvP, I don't think advancing combat skills should be limited to PvE. I am not sure what Ashes currently plans for xp related to PvP though.

    I think that weapon skilltrees should be something that everyone shares. A sword for a warrior would be used the same way a sword would be used by a summoner for example.

    Sadly this would lead to other problems like: "Searching for a fighter with at least two passives in helbards!" Or "Lf1m sword mage with electricity passives! Fire is also okay!"
    uQHKizC.gif
  • AzathothAzathoth Member, Braver of Worlds
    Or everyone leveling their combat skills more than anything else. I don't mind dping combat for rewards elsewhere on my character sheet.
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  • ShadowVenShadowVen Member, Founder


    Damokles wrote: »

    I think that weapon skilltrees should be something that everyone shares. A sword for a warrior would be used the same way a sword would be used by a summoner for example.

    Sadly this would lead to other problems like: "Searching for a fighter with at least two passives in helbards!" Or "Lf1m sword mage with electricity passives! Fire is also okay!"

    @Damokles
    so, your sword passive value wouldnt be different for other classes, rather perhaps the Cap value per class may be higher or lower in particular weapons based on the class. So warrior 2H sword cap..say.. could be 500 at max level, where a summoners sword value caps at 300. Or if you think that would take away the diversity of classes, you could attach a natural skill passive cap dependent upon a general stat. So say, for every 5 points in STRN, you'r cap would be raised 10-15 pts for particular passives, such as 1h Swords, 2H swords, Blocking, etc...
    I dont see this getting to a point of players requiring other players to have a certain value in their passives.
    Azathoth wrote: »
    I like this progression theme a lot in the games I play. I do think it favors leveling combat skills (and magic attacks) over anything else.

    I think in a lot of cases it negates the necessity of classes and somewhat homogenizes characters, because some skills are used frequently by everyone. I am sure there are ways to address these issues though.

    As for PvP, I don't think advancing combat skills should be limited to PvE. I am not sure what Ashes currently plans for xp related to PvP though.

    @Azathoth
    I guess, as long as there is a Cap value for each skill per level, then I wouldn't see a problem with that. It's not like these passives would give any extra advantage. Its more for the immersion and giving the added possible difficulty in encounters. Having the ability to not dodge an attack based on your stats and a low sub-passive "dodge" value.
  • ShadowVenShadowVen Member, Founder
    edited October 29
    Also, to further indulge, as I said in the OP, perhaps there could be Quests (maybe more certain quests available within a Militaristic's Metro ZOI or other specific node ZOI's for certain type of Passives) That either help raise the base passive value or give additive value to the general stat. (For example istead of the additional 15 cap value per 5 strn maybe a quest could raise it a 0.1% additive to your overall general stat. So, for instance 60 STRN would now allow the cap to be raised 186 instead of 180.) 60x .1% = 6 additional Over Cap. Of course using the Metric that I.S. has stated multiple times, pertaining to some quests, to be rare or difficult to either complete or initiate.
  • ShadowVen wrote: »
    I believe it would be easy to mitigate that simply by disallowing skill progression to be obtained by hitting other PC's.
    But then how do PvP centric players improve their skills?

    I'm not that in to PvP, but saying they have to PvE in order to get the skills to PvP is literally as abhorrent as saying a PvE player needs to PvP in order to get the skills to PvE.

    I'm all for natural skill progression, but the answer to "what is to stop people just grinding it out" is simply "nothing".
  • ShadowVenShadowVen Member, Founder
    edited October 29
    @noaani , Thank you for your feedback =D
    ShadowVen wrote: »
    Azathoth wrote: »

    .....
    As for PvP, I don't think advancing combat skills should be limited to PvE. I am not sure what Ashes currently plans for xp related to PvP though.

    Azathoth
    I guess, as long as there is a Cap value for each skill per level, then I wouldn't see a problem with that. It's not like these passives would give any extra advantage. Its more for the immersion and giving the added possible difficulty in encounters. Having the ability to not dodge an attack based on your stats and a low sub-passive "dodge" value.

    As far as grinding it out, aside from the OP mentioned quests. I don't see anything wrong with grinding it out. Again its just another element of immersion. An additive is the theory that I mentioned of the sub-passives cap being attached to general stats.
  • UndeadCanadianGamerUndeadCanadianGamer Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited October 30
    Having skill progression is a good thing (I spent many hours in EQ2 grinding alcohol tolerance for the Kelethin runs), but unfortunately, we are in a (at least part) skill based game. How do you increase the 'skill' of an action combat move? That is a personally physical skill, not a game based skill.

    Using it for skills like swimming (don't drown as quickly), running (you get a small speed buff?), and trading (for a bit better price from certain NPCs). It would be wonderful for crafting, but only as an add-on to the system.

    My opinion is that the progression skills cap at a very small amount, so those who want that little extra will grind them, but they won't have a huge impact on the game.
  • ShadowVenShadowVen Member, Founder
    edited October 30
    undead,

    I see your point and agree, although even within the fast paced combat action movement type, the so called "dodge" passive could still have an affect on whether your opponents hit lands or not. Each character/entity will have a hit box which therefore will give the ability to have multiple layers. The hit box can be hit through Action Combat Aim or Tab target hit chance. The (weapon) passives could affect both. For action combat, it could mean whether your hit dmgs for closer towards Min or closer towards Max dmg by minimal or fractions of number, & For tab target your overall chance of hit (small changes).

    Although the passives would be a sub-set of general stats, there could definitely be in depth layers that could add overall immersion of gameplay. It would also increase the Diversity of how a player can focus on their character build. I do agree that it shouldn't have a huge impact, but perhaps for HC players every % of block, dmg mitigation, DPS output, Casting speed, Accuracy, Dodge, etc... counts in the long run. For the casual player they can decide whether or not to cap the skills or even focus on them, and just allow them to rise passively while playing.

  • JoselineJoseline Member
    edited October 30
    I like if theres something to do after reaching max Lv.
    It always feels unsatisfying when you reach that max cap and everything you do feels partially wasted as youre not getting a passive reward for clearing dungeons or smth. All you get is EQ

    This idea of "natural skill progression" sounds nice but often than not things like that end up in a grind festival.
    I like how BnS handled it with their HM levels. You get a few statpoint with each lv up which only grant some small benefits but werent worth "grinding" as it would just take too much time. It also was kind of a mark that shows how long you played that character. I like things like that

    Elsword has something simliar, but issue there being that theres actually a reason for you to grind to a specific level. Those "post max Lv" - levels can give you stats like +35% skill dmg (this is basically flat out +35% dmg), +7,5% true dmg (gets added after dmg calculation) or +15% dmg to bosses. So having a high "post lv" there can boost your damage quite significantly
    To me "train your 1handed skill over time" sounds like something that goes into the same direction. Im fine with rewarding players that have played the game for a long time, but rewards should be limited to small gimicks and mostly be for "showing off" my work rather than "making me superior to the other guy"
  • TsukasaTsukasa Member
    edited October 30
    I've recently tried a similar system in Archeage and didn't like it.
    Leveling up skills trees is as grindy as character level. Nobody enjoys forcefully repeating things, hence AoC doesn't want dailies. "Grinding/hardwork" is okay if it's enjoyable. It shouldn't feel like work or chores.
    There is already a high cap natural progression inside the player's mind(aka skill cap), and this is appreciatable & more than enough for me. See Apoc currently for example. A single player can win multiple times in a row against good players just by being "too good" via gaining actual experience by playing a lot with proper mindset.

    This kind of progress, is the ultimate fun and the reason I love action combat and strategic games like League of Legends. You could get worse(rusty) and you could get better without knowing an end to your potential. You don't need the game to tell what went wrong and what went right or how to play it!
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  • What if they implemented it after reaching max level? Imagine: you reach max lvl, know most if not all of you spells, but like a specific type of spells, lets say fire spells, or the moveset of a specific weapon, lets say the sword, more. Then you can grind that out in dungeons or in the open world.
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  • I love the way this was a mechanic back in the old Wolrd of warcraft and i support it, but i do not agree with the implementation of this in the magic users, maybe in those cases there could be another type of skill progression since an "affinity" sounds more of an option that could be chosen when you specialize in certain type of magic

    Since every weapon, even the legendary weapons, are going to be available from level one, maybe the skill should be a requisite along with level and other stuff, to be able to use the total stats, passives and powers of each weapon
    Wololo wrote: »
    I like seeing hours of work of being good at something make me stronger so im all about that progression. Sounds cool! But (yes here comes the butt), what keeps a player from grinding it out? Against mobs or meeting with a friend to block eachother's attacks for some hours just to cap out that weapon stat. Imagine long after launch you want to start using a weapon you barely use now you need to grind it out before being accepted in raids or be viable in pvp xd

    very simple
    1 don allow progress of the skills when the combat is pvp
    2 the skill progression only work if you are against mobs that are close to your level 2 or 3 leves above or below
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  • Natural progression only makes sense to a point. Look at Skyrim, where you can make iron daggers until you’re a master at crafting with dragon bones (despite never even seeing a dragon bone)

    If you can level up by grinding out a single action, the amount of leveling you can do needs to be hard capped, and only apply to weapons of that level. If all you have is a level 5 iron sword, you shouldn’t be able to master swordsmanship with it no matter how often you use it.

    Same with different elemental affinities. Using a tier 1 unaugmented frost spell should never let you have significant mastery over elemental magic.


    If people want a practice-makes-perfect system I’m all on board, but it has to demand actual use of the skills, not just bare minimum repeated unto infinity.
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Member, Founder
    edited November 1
    Having an arbitrary number to tell you whether you can hit someone with a sword is about as far from "natural" as you can get. To me, these kinds of weapon skill systems always came across as just another grind that prevented you from using the weapons you want to use.

    If you want skill progression to be natural then it should be about player skill, not character skill. For example, in a fighting game if both players choose the same character, the only thing separating them is player skill. This is natural. Imagine if the first time you use a new character, that character's damage was lower than someone who had played hundreds of matches.
  • it should be about player skill, not character skill.

    This is essentially the tab target vs action combat thing again.

    Tab target is all about building your characters stats, your characters abilities. Character progression is the single most important thing.

    Action combat is about the players ability. Progression is anywhere ranging from actually pointless to somewhat less useful than it is in tab target combat.

    The above said, tab target is as much about the player as action combat is, it's just different things that the player needs to do.

    The skilled gamer in a tab target game knows full well that those numbers are anything but arbitrary - because the skilled tab target player fully understands the system those numbers are used in (which means they are no longer arbitrary by definition).

    No offence, but if you are playing a tab target game and a number seems arbitrary to you, then you are not a good tab target gamer.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds
    RPGs are all about character skill, though.
    "Natural skill" is really more the purview of the FPS genre.
    But, MMORPGs try to appeal to a wide range of gamer playstyles - hence, the hybrid Ashes is aiming for.
  • nefelianefelia Member
    edited November 1
    Wololo wrote: »
    I like seeing hours of work of being good at something make me stronger so im all about that progression. Sounds cool! But (yes here comes the butt), what keeps a player from grinding it out? Against mobs or meeting with a friend to block eachother's attacks for some hours just to cap out that weapon stat. Imagine long after launch you want to start using a weapon you barely use now you need to grind it out before being accepted in raids or be viable in pvp xd

    I assume it would be relatively easy to attach diminishing returns to certain actions after 'x' repetitions within a period of 'y'.
    Chezshire wrote: »
    very simple
    1 don allow progress of the skills when the combat is pvp
    2 the skill progression only work if you are against mobs that are close to your level 2 or 3 leves above or below

    But why penalize all PvP players just to prevent an exploit among a few?



    My opinion is that the progression skills cap at a very small amount, so those who want that little extra will grind them, but they won't have a huge impact on the game.

    There are other possibilities for passive progression. Perhaps weapons and spells could be divided into sub-types and familiarity with each sub-type would offer a small bonus when using said sub-type. Melee weapons, for instance, could be blunt (small armour piercing perk), bladed (small bleed DoT is applied over 3 seconds), or piercing (small boost to hit chance/damage). The only way to level these small bonuses is through the prolonged use of the appropriate weapon type, with only one of the boosts being active at a time based on equipped weapon type. Would be an extra layer of complexity for those who enjoy that, without being a mandatory concern for those who just prefer to pick a weapon type and stick with it.
  • MarzzoMarzzo Member, Braver of Worlds
    I like natural skill progression but don't make it "unrealisticly" complex. For example, if I am an elemental ranger i am all for skill progression in Crossbows, long bows, and short bows as well as elemetal arrows.

    But if i am "rank 10" in elemental arrows, I should be rank 10 elemental arrows for all different types of bows and crossbows. Because really, how different is it to shoot a lightning arrow vs a frost arrow.

    A maxed out elemental ranger would look something like this:
    Elemental archery: Rank 10
    Crossbows: rank 10
    Short bows: Rank 10
    Crossbows: rank 10

    Also, do not make this for every single unique type of weapon. I don't want:
    Shortsword of 1 cm shorter: Rank 10
    Shortsword of 1 cm longer: Rank 10

    Keep the mastery for the different weapon types. Not unique weapons.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited November 1
    Shooting a Lightning arrow could be very different from shooting a Frost arrow.
    Lightning arrow could be considerably more chaotic.
    All depends on the nature of magic in the specific setting.

    In Ashes, weapons and the effectiveness of their abilities will likely be more tied to the crafter than to the wielder.
  • ShadowVenShadowVen Member, Founder
    Marzzo wrote: »
    I like natural skill progression but don't make it "unrealisticly" complex. For example, if I am an elemental ranger i am all for skill progression in Crossbows, long bows, and short bows as well as elemetal arrows.

    But if i am "rank 10" in elemental arrows, I should be rank 10 elemental arrows for all different types of bows and crossbows. Because really, how different is it to shoot a lightning arrow vs a frost arrow.

    A maxed out elemental ranger would look something like this:
    Elemental archery: Rank 10
    Crossbows: rank 10
    Short bows: Rank 10
    Crossbows: rank 10

    Also, do not make this for every single unique type of weapon. I don't want:
    Shortsword of 1 cm shorter: Rank 10
    Shortsword of 1 cm longer: Rank 10

    Keep the mastery for the different weapon types. Not unique weapons.

    Marzzo, thank you for your feedback.

    The idea I had wouldn't be "unrealisticly" complex.
    Two ways the passive sub-sets could look like pertaining to weapons:
    • By weapon type: 1Hsword, 2HSwords,Hammers,Polearms, Scepters, Wands,Staves,Bows,etc...
    • By Damage: Slashing, Piercing, Blunt, elemental,etc..

    Of course there would be other categorical skills, such as blocking, conjuration/summoning, dodge, etc..

    Various ways to include these passives into Ashes that wouldn't be Bold face complex or even something a player would "need" to focus on.
  • ilisfetilisfet Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited November 1
    The Elder Scrolls (IV and V, can't vouch for I, II, or III) use this method of leveling and it is immersive and conducive to "play how you want," but it raises issues at high level play without power leveling methods. Namely, any skills unleveled at that point are so low as to be useless, making leveling them now a painful grind. However, that's in the presence of level scaling.

    RuneScape has this system and it works fine. Grind is part of the game and the world is holistic (fixed levels), so there's always a place to grind up that skill you've been neglecting. Plus, unlike TES, RS separates combat level from total level, so you don't run into the issue of raising non-combat skills making you weaker in combat (due to enemies scaling).

    Trainers can also alleviate the high level grind issue, or any intended method of power leveling.

    The one point to confront about this system, however, is that all players will ultimately become a master-of-all. Even if you make the road to get there take 30 years, the road still has an end. If the aim is to have players specialize, either for balance or group play, this system isn't for it.
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