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Colony Ship update #32 - The Skills & Learn By Using

Discussion in 'Iron Tower Studio' started by Vault Dweller, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    But first let's take a look at how the Pit is shaping up:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Combat skills

    Weapon skills – increase your to-hit chance by 10% per rank.
    Evasion – reduces the enemy’s to-hit chance with guns by 5% per rank, with melee by 10% per rank.
    Armor – reduces armor penalties by 10% per rank.
    Critical Strike – increases your chance to score a critical hit by 5% per rank

    Our goal here is to raise skills you’re using the most, ideally reinforcing your gameplay style, while eliminating all possible exploits to raise skill fast. Here is the design overview:

    XP – experience points that go toward increasing your character level and gaining feats
    LP - learning points that go toward increasing your skill level

    • Eeach attack that does X points of damage gives you X learning points multiplied by the enemy-specific modifier; the points go to the skill matching the weapon used. So if you hit an enemy for 8 points of damage and the modifier reflecting the enemy’s type is 1.5, you get 12 learning points.
    • Each critical strike gives the character who scored it 10+[critical damage] lp, so if you critically hits enemy for 17 points of damage, he gains 27lp. Certain weapon and attack types increase your CS chance and/or CS damage multiplier, so to put things in perspective, if you play a Riddick like character your CS skill will be much higher than if you play a Conan like character.
    • Evasion & Armor. This is where it gets a bit tricky as we have to limit exploits (the obvious one would be rotating your characters while letting the last remaining enemy to attack them to milk every last drop of LP). Each enemy will have a pool of learning points (i.e. what you can learn about defensive skills while fighting this enemy). Once the pool is depleted, the lesson is over. The points can go to one character or split evenly, based on how you fight. The frontliners will get the highest share while your sniper will learn very little or nothing at all.
    • Evasion: When the enemy targets your character and misses, that character gains 5 lp x the modifier until the above mentioned LP pool is depleted.
    • Armor: When the enemy hits your party member, that character gains learning points equal to damage resisted by the armor until the pool is depleted, so the heavier the armor the faster you’d develop the skill. Keep in mind that the pool is the same for both Evasion and Armor, so which skills gain learning points depends on which characters will be targeted first and whether the enemies hit or miss.
    • Each fight gives your party Y xp that's divided between the party members, so if you have 4 guys and you got 100 xp after a fight, each gets 25xp; if you have 2 guys, each gets 50xp. You’d gain most XP from solving quests though.

    Science skills:

    Medical:

    • Heal yourself and you crew after fights (i.e. how many hit points you gain after a fight). Very handy when you have to fight several battles in a row.
    • Extract implants from corpses after fights and in scripted events
    • Governs the use of combat stimulants

    Mechanics & Electronics:

    • Repair broken devices and mechanisms
    • salvage parts for repair and upgrade

    The ship is falling apart so if you want to explore it, meaning get past various obstacles, you won’t get far without these two skills. The best example from AoD would be the broken generator in the Library ruins. You need to fix it to gain access to an optional area but you can’t fix it without parts. In Colony Ship you’d have to salvage parts as you explore and then use them to repair various devices to gain access to optional areas.

    Plus if you like restoring old things such as a murderous anti-riot droids, you should use every opportunity to practice these skills.

    Stealth skills:

    • Lockpicking– open mechanical and electronic locks, meaning locked doors and containers. At level 10 you can even beat retinal scanners, so if you firmly believe in redistribution of wealth, this skill is for you.
    • Hacking – gain access to various computer systems, from intrusion detection and countermeasures to multi-purpose terminals scattered throughout the Ship. These terminals were designed to get the future colony up and running, so they can be easily hooked to various machines.
    • Sneaking – infiltrate restricted areas and live to tell the tale. The higher the skill the longer you can remain undetected, meaning you can take your time cleaning up a place or get into high-security places with faster detection.

    Obviously, you’ll need all 3 skills to do any serious breaking and entering, but lockpicking and hacking will be very useful for explorers as well.

    You’ll gain LPs every time you pick a lock, hack a terminal, or infiltrate a place. Needless to say each lock and terminal pays LPs only once and sneaking is a special event, kind of like decking in the new Shadowrun games – you can’t do it at will but only during quests and special encounters while exploring.

    Speech skills:

    • Persuasion – convince people to do something through reasoning or argument, the art of debate
    • Streetwise – manipulate and deceive the gullible, the art of urban survival.
    • Impersonate – pretend to be someone else, the art of acting.

    You gain 10lp every time you pick a tagged line (the points go to the skill matching the tag) plus 100 bonus points if you solve a quest with diplomacy. This way a pure talker would have much higher dialogue skills than a chatty killer (a man who clicks on all dialogue options first to gain all LP, then kills everyone anyway).

    http://www.irontowerstudio.com/forum/index.php/topic,7664.0.html
     
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  2. Harry Easter Learned

    Harry Easter
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    Wow. This impressive. Really shows how powerful the engine has become. Nice :).
     
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  3. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

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    I'm psyched for this game
     
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  4. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    It's moving!

    Any chance we'd also see things like occasional flashes of light from a window (as if someone's doing electrical work), and other types? Gives it a certain adventure game feel, I like it.

    Would there be an easy UI marker for X enemy's THC on you? E.g. hover over an enemy to see your THC on them, but then press Ctrl or something to see their THC on you. In most games you have to deduce it, e.g. by looking up the enemy's roll in the log (IE games, POEs). But it would be a nice thing for players to see and calculate on the spot which enemies they have to avoid, and how they might need to invest more in Evasion.
     
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  5. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
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  6. agris Arcane Patron

    agris
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    Vault Dweller This sounds very interesting. I am curious though, with the way that you've partitioned LP, you must envision a certain number of discrete archetypes that the player can make. Similar to the Merchant/Praetorian/Assassin etc dichotomy of AoD. How many of and what are those archetypes? Do you see hybrids (hybrids of whatever archetypes you have in mind) being more viable than in AoD, or less?

    Is there enough LP present in the game to make a talky techno-thief hacker with no combat skills? Would such a character extract the most content out of the game?
     
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  7. Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Developer

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    Yeah, we'll definitely make the environment way more "active" than in AoD.

    THC is quite variable, but I always wanted to have enemy info on hover, depending on perception how fast you get the information.
     
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  8. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    Same overall concept, just got refined a bit. Replaced Computers with Electronics, Pickpocket with Hacking (more setting appropriate, plus gives you more options), and Trading with Impersonate (more interesting, gives you more options in quests).

    This time around the design revolves around hybrids not specialists, although specialists will have their own reward:

    http://www.irontowerstudio.com/forum/index.php/topic,7503.0.html

    Overall, the 3 main ways through the game are combat, diplomacy, stealth, plus all possible combinations (fighter/thief, thief/talker, etc). The Science skills are a bonus, good for all 3 main 'classes'.

    Unlikely. First, there won't be enough LP to fully develop all 3 branches, second, mutually exclusive content is still a thing, third, some content will be set aside for specialists only (in all 4 branches).
     
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  9. Rivmusique Arcane Patron

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    Is it assumed players will deplete enemy pools for defensive skills and anyone who doesn't is a fool who didn't understand the system and deserves to be left behind? How easy is it to deplete the pool? If you go in just trying to get the kill/win the fight, do you think it will happen naturally?
     
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  10. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    Very excited for this, Vault Dweller and team!

    My biggest question about the game so far is: are the character builds going to allow for a little more flexibility in game progression than AoD had? My main issue with AoD, which I enjoyed a great deal anyway, was that I felt like I either had to know exactly what skills to invest in prior to hitting a skill-check impasse, or that I had to save up most of my skill points and save-scumm when I failed a check, then invest in said skill to continue progressing in the game. I know that a lot of people suggest playing the game on Ironman, but it just wasn't for me. I guess in this case: are we going to have to strictly adhere to trying to improve certain skills, or spread them out a little more without hitting roadblocks?

    Anyway, really looking forward to Colony Ship! Looking great so far.
     
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  11. nikolokolus Arcane

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    As a fan of Chaosium's BRP, I'm excited to see a "learn by use" system implemented in a CRPG. Good stuff.
     
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  12. sorinmask Literate

    sorinmask
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    This looks like a lot of work put into it. I look forward to purchasing your game.

    ... and in the light of the recent P:K... try not to have too many bugs. haha :)
     
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  13. Eyestabber Arcane Patron

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    Oh FUCK! He is on to us, boys!

    Man, I hate it when I ACCIDENTALLY pick the diplomatic option.

    Meaning there will be stuff in the game that can be murdered, but only dedicated psychopaths will ACTUALLY manage to murder it. Kinda like Agatoth? :positive:
     
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  14. Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Developer

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    The idea is that it's depleted fairly quickly, during the first few turns of combat. We aim that the pool is depleted by turn 2, turn 3 max. AP pool is higher than AoD, so it's about 3-4 attacks per turn So unless you critically kill them in one turn (which would give a lot of CS points), you will take the defensive LP pool of enemies.

    These two were the hardest ones to design, as they are dependent not on actions you take, but actions that are taken on you. At one point we thought for armor to give out points on combat end, depending on the bulkyness of the armor you were wearing during combat. But for evasion there's nothing similar.

    CS was a bit hard as well as it depended quite a bit on chance, but you can take a lot of actions to increase those chances, like weapon and attack selections.
     
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  15. Trashos Magister

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    Looks gorgeous!

    Still not sold on the Learn by Use stuff. I return with this complaint every now and then ever since Learn by Use was first announced, so feel free to disregard me. I just don't see how designing a character (a significant part of RPGs' appeal to me) will be any fun with this system. Some people had similar complaints for AoD, where initially, at least, we were kinda forced to follow archetypes instead of doing our own creative design. But once one learnt the ropes, he could then go on designing hybrid characters, which was great fun. I don't see how this will be possible with this system.
     
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  16. Politician Lurker King

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    I hope snipers wil not learn less because of one shot kills.
     
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  17. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    Well, it's still you who determines how to solve quests and handle situations, and how to fight (hence my example with Conan vs Riddick). If you solve all problems by talking, don't expect to be good at combat. If you solve all problems by shooting people in the face, you're a combat specialist. Anything in the middle is a hybrid character.

    More like gangs and armed groups that would obliterate anyone else but a natural born killer.

    One shot kills will raise your critical strike skill much faster. Overall, combat will be challenging so the focus will still be on surviving without losing party members not on farming learning points.

    Yes. A LOT more flexibility.
     
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  18. Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Developer

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    Learn less what? Of course he will earn less defensive skill, but his aim and CS will skyrocket.
    Thanks!

    Don't forget we also have traditional levels and feats on every level up. Those are mostly up to you to pick, as only 75% of them have a stat or skill requirement, and in general, they are very low ones. Those are the meat of the character design, not manually increasing skills.
     
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  19. CappenVarra Phantasmist Patron

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    Will the game be released on Thursday, or are you taking the additional time to polish it for Friday? Can't wait :salute:
     
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  20. RegionalHobo Novice

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    i see the skill system is quite different from AoD, it s a lot more ambitious. i think the reactions to locked content by not having certain skills will be a lot better if you improve the ones you use instead of the '' puzzle '' mini-game munchkin characters did in AoD.

    the images give me the same vibe from Teron, that low level fantasy, gritty setting that was the part i loved the most from AoD.

    learning this early about a project that hypes me so much is pure torture thou
     
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  21. Zombra Arcane Patron

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    Will Learning Points be visible to the player? Will there be an option to turn visibility off? I love how the system works but I don't want to be encouraged to "game it". Even in a farming-limited situation, I don't want to know how to optimize my farming (e.g. aha, that bandit attacked me 4 times but I only got LP for the first 3, therefore I should always let bandits live exactly 3 rounds).
     
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  22. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    The progression to the next level? Yes.

    [​IMG]
    The skill level is on the left of the skill names, the progression is to the right.

    Gaining learning points will be shown in the textbox. You won't see the enemy's learning points left.

    Overall, the focus is on surviving fights with all party members alive not farming LPs. Letting a tough enemy live another turn so you can earn 5 more points will greatly increase the risk of him killing one of your men.

    Exactly. From an old update:

    • One of the most common complaints about AoD was meta-gaming, yet the problem wasn’t on the design end but on the player’s end. Basically, it was driven by the player’s desire to get more content in the course of one game. As that content required stats and skills, it forced some players to metagame, either to spread skill points in the most optimum manner or to hoard points and use them like currency to buy extra content. The ‘increase by use’ system eliminates this meta-gaming aspect as now there are no skill points to hoard or distribute. The content you get will be determined by your actions and choices (including which skills to use as your primary and secondary groups).

    • The main problem with a party-based, skill-based (as of opposite to class-based) setup is that even with a 3-man party you can easily cover all skills you want to have. You’ll have a fighter/talker, fighter/thief, fighter/fixer, which is something we’d like to avoid. The ‘increase by use’ system solves this problem in the most natural and logical way possible. Your abilities reflect what you do, not how (usually arbitrary) you distribute your skill points.

    • It reinforces the party-based design I talked about in the previous update. If you let one of the party members do all the repair work while you concentrate on other areas, losing this party member would hit you hard and you’d have to make sure (via choices made during quests) that he/she would stay with you no matter what.

    • It rewards consistent gameplay. Let’s say you need to deal with a gang that stands between you and that door over there. If you kill them, everyone’s combat skills will improve a bit. If you talk your way through, only your dialogue skills will go up.

    • We’re well aware of the possible exploits and want to reassure you that skill use will be a somewhat limited resource (no respawning enemies, silly things like greeting every NPC to increase your speech skills, spamming activities to max skills in 30 min, using faster weapons to level up skills faster, etc). Instead of counting how many times you did something, we’ll assign a certain value (let’s call it learning points) to each activity (attacking, killing, fixing, sneaking, convincing, lying, etc). So killing a tough enemy or repairing a reactor will net you more points than killing a weakling or fixing a toaster. Basically, it will work the same way as XP but go directly toward raising a skill that did all the work.
     
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  23. Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Developer

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    I was just looking at the feat list and planning possible builds. And thought, damn, we have to make it first :P
     
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  24. Trashos Magister

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    Feats are great, but then I will naturally compare the character design complexity (complexity=good) with games where I had to think both about feats AND SP allocation. Fallout, Underrail, Wasteland 2. At this point, it sounds (to me) like the character design aspect won't be as rich in Colony Ship.

    What's my motivation to go with a hybrid character in Colony Ship though? In AoD, the motivation was to be able to do more stuff in a single playthrough. So I took advantage of metagaming knowledge to optimize my hybrid characters and push things to the limit. That is great fun for people like me.

    In Colony Ship? Maybe it will be the same, but it does not sound like it will be. I strongly expect that the Learn by Use system will make it much harder to hybridize in comparison to AoD, as I can't use my acquired skills in order to improve in something different.

    OK, maybe this is the answer. Maybe there will be many more SP to go around, so that hybridization won't be impossible even with Learn by Use. But then, how is the game going to be challenging for archetype characters? I might be missing something, but I just don't see how this will work.

    (EDIT: Hmm, unless the answer is: lone wolfs will have enough SP to hybridize, while PCs in larger parties won't)
     
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  25. Sykar Arcane

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    So I can have hookers and black jack?

    [​IMG]
     
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