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About the Talent/Skill Merger...

talents skills design mechanics lore survival athletics stealth

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Poll: The Talent/Skill Merger Poll (89 member(s) have cast votes)

Should Talents and Skills be Intertwined?

  1. Yes, I'm willing to give the new design a chance. (50 votes [56.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 56.18%

  2. No, I preferred the old system of buying Skills separately from Talents. (32 votes [35.96%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.96%

  3. No, and we need a system other than the previous one (please describe in thread). (7 votes [7.87%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.87%

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#1
PrimeHydra

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It's a considerable design change, but I like it because:

  • It's more strategic. It's now harder to mindlessly max out a specific skill. You actually have to sacrifice a talent if you want to be maxed Mechanics, maxed Lore, etc. You can have more/deeper talents, focus on more/deeper skills, or find a balance. This is more interesting to me than deciding which guy is going to max Mechanics, which one Lore, etc.
  • It's more logical. Linking talents and skills makes flavor sense--Hold the Line tying into Athletics, for instance. Having skills exist in their own vacuum, completely independent of talent selection, seems odd now.
  • It's more fun. I don't miss the dull process of pumping more points into whatever skill I want to max in order to reach gated content or unlock chests.

Let's see what you guys think. If you don't like it, how would you redesign it?


Edited by PrimeHydra, 25 October 2014 - 02:05 PM.

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#2
Seari

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I see the skill bonuses as a kind of requirements. If you want to have a dual wielding character, then the character has to be athletic, which makes a lot of sense.

 

I guess I would prefer a system where you could assign points to skills as before, but with the talents having actual skill requirements. You could see all the talents and the requirements from the start, so there would be no trap builds or whatever. But I don't mind the way it is now either.


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#3
PrimeHydra

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I guess I would prefer a system where you could assign points to skills as before, but with the talents having actual skill requirements.

This is really interesting...so the skills would be a major point of character development, and the talents would further specialize. Kind of the inverse of what it is now, where talents unlock further talents, which may in turn have skill bonuses attached...

 

The only downside I see to such a system is that it might further encourage specialization (maxing) of one skill per character, in order to not only pass skill checks but also have the strongest (read: most costly) talents.  In the current system it seems less punishing to get a little bit of this and a little bit of that, because you're not missing out on (most) talent unlocks by choosing a certain skill bonus over a specific talent.

 

On the other hand, some talents could require multiple skills (e.g., 4 Atheltics and 4 Survival), so it wouldn't have to favor specialization. It still means that certain talent selections would tend to appear with certain skill selections. This is already the case with the new design, just less so.


Edited by PrimeHydra, 25 October 2014 - 01:48 PM.


#4
Seari

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Josh Sawyer on the change:

[Skills-through-talents] is not really that major a change in terms of the time to implement.

 

In watching how people play PoE, skill advancement was bordering on mindless. Every player I watched simply mashed one skill for their chosen character, effectively making it a non-choice. In practical terms, there were still problems with redundancy because, as in many RPGs, skills often act as keys to locks (literal and figurative). Only one person needs to be able to open the lock, meaning anyone with redundant skills simply has wasted points.

 

Linking skill advancement to Talents is an attempt to make the choice more meaningful and making redundancy less relevant since the primary investment for the players is the Talent, not the skill.

 

The normal skill progression system is disabled so we can see how it works using only Talents.

Don't know the actual source, copied it from the codex.


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#5
Kiel29

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This is an interesting system, but looking at the skill bonuses, it is too limited. A large majority add to athletics, but out of that whole list, a scant few add to stealth or mechanics. The mechanics especially, there is only 4 talents that add to it: gunner, two trap-related, and the +4.

 

I hate saying there should be more variety, because holy hell is that list already daunting to scroll through each time, but it doesn't effect enough of the skills in a strong enough way.



#6
Namutree

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This new system is simply terrible. If I want my character to fight the way I want then he can't play the way I want out of battle. I feel forced to either get talents I don't want, or skills I don't want; it really sucks.


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#7
Quadrone

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Josh Sawyer on the change:

[Skills-through-talents] is not really that major a change in terms of the time to implement.

 

In watching how people play PoE, skill advancement was bordering on mindless. Every player I watched simply mashed one skill for their chosen character, effectively making it a non-choice. In practical terms, there were still problems with redundancy because, as in many RPGs, skills often act as keys to locks (literal and figurative). Only one person needs to be able to open the lock, meaning anyone with redundant skills simply has wasted points.

 

Linking skill advancement to Talents is an attempt to make the choice more meaningful and making redundancy less relevant since the primary investment for the players is the Talent, not the skill.

 

The normal skill progression system is disabled so we can see how it works using only Talents.

Don't know the actual source, copied it from the codex.

 

What Josh said is almost mostly what I wanted to post here.

While the new Talent/Skill System might not be ideal it is no worse then the old one (imo).

In the old System you just mashed the + button for your class favoured skills, why would you do anything else?

The only reason not to do so, seems to me, is if you want to roleplay a special snowflake or for some meta party optimization (i.e. all Wizard party but one is an athletic Wizard, one is a stealthy Wizard, etc...).

If all talents give skills that make sense and aren't mixed wildly I can see this working.


Edited by Quadrone, 25 October 2014 - 03:48 PM.

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#8
Sir Newbie

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I don't much about the beta (i am not a backer) but the thing i'm worried about is that some backers say there are no distinction between combat skills and non-combat skills.

 

What i mean is apparently (not a backer remember just reporting what some backers say) with the merging you have to sacrifice non-combat skills to choose combat skills and vice-verso. In my humble (remember not a tester) opinion i prefer when those two are separated that way at every level you can have a character able in combat (which is still a main aspect of the game) without sacrificing the role-play elements.

 

Hope someone agree with me...



#9
Karkarov

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Yeah I made a fighter, didn't really matter what I picked, it was giving me +2 athletics.  I was not happy.



#10
Karkarov

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I don't much about the beta (i am not a backer) but the thing i'm worried about is that some backers say there are no distinction between combat skills and non-combat skills.

 

What i mean is apparently (not a backer remember just reporting what some backers say) with the merging you have to sacrifice non-combat skills to choose combat skills and vice-verso. In my humble (remember not a tester) opinion i prefer when those two are separated that way at every level you can have a character able in combat (which is still a main aspect of the game) without sacrificing the role-play elements.

 

Hope someone agree with me...

Just to clarify, this isn't true.

 

There is no such thing as a "non combat skill".  The "abilities" you pick all have combat implications period.  The "skills" like athletics all have multiple functions that can be useful in all sorts of ways.  Technically mechanics is not an "in combat" skill, but you would have to be a loon to not understand the combat benefit of being able to fight in a room not filled with traps.



#11
Sir Newbie

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Damn me and my bad engrish. Just to be more clear, when i use the term "skill" i was thinking more about feats, talents all but mechanics/athletics/lore...(even if there were included in my head...)

 

Yay, now that i'm way more clear than before, hum, so there aren't non-combat feats/talents in the actual build ?



#12
Karkarov

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Damn me and my bad engrish. Just to be more clear, when i use the term "skill" i was thinking more about feats, talents all but mechanics/athletics/lore...(even if there were included in my head...)

 

Yay, now that i'm way more clear than before, hum, so there aren't non-combat feats/talents in the actual build ?

No there aren't.  Every ability has a combat use, period.  There is not even one clickable ability that is non combat oriented, in fact, many of them require being in combat before you can even use them.  The closest it gets is a stam regen spell I guess, but why would you use it out of combat everyone regens stam outside combat anyway.



#13
KaineParker

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I'm going to give it a chance, but it does feel weird. Perhaps reducing skill points gained per level and assigning a bonus based on talent selection would be a better middle ground?
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#14
Sir Newbie

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That would have been nice if the developers did a bit (i insist on the "bit") like fallout 2 with feats that makes you more diplomatic, or be able to carry more stuff...

 

I will insist no more thanks Karkarov for the response (and yeah i understand the tactical advantages of fighting in a room with the traps disarmed...).  


Edited by Sir Newbie, 25 October 2014 - 06:23 PM.


#15
Silent Winter

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Not a beta-tester but my feeling is that this will limit my choices rather than improve my character development.

If I want to play a lore-fueled fighter, then will I miss out on the combat skills I want?

If I want the aforementioned athletic wizard (cause a healthy body=high might=higher damage in my understanding) then will I need to sacrifice metamagic-type talents?

 

I'll wait to see what the beta-testers post - maybe it won't be restricting at all and everything will make sense ... but I'm not seeing it at the moment.


Edited by Silent Winter, 25 October 2014 - 06:22 PM.


#16
Namutree

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Not a beta-tester but my feeling is that this will limit my choices rather than improve my character development.

If I want to play a lore-fueled fighter, then will I miss out on the combat skills I want?

If I want the aforementioned athletic wizard (cause a healthy body=high might=higher damage in my understanding) then will I need to sacrifice metamagic-type talents?

 

I'll wait to see what the beta-testers post - maybe it won't be restricting at all and everything will make sense ... but I'm not seeing it at the moment.

Your feeling are right. 

 

If you want a lore-fueled you will miss the talents you want.

For your athletic wizard; again the answer is yes.

 

All the change has done is limit our options.



#17
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Not a beta-tester but my feeling is that this will limit my choices rather than improve my character development.

If I want to play a lore-fueled fighter, then will I miss out on the combat skills I want?

If I want the aforementioned athletic wizard (cause a healthy body=high might=higher damage in my understanding) then will I need to sacrifice metamagic-type talents?

 

I'll wait to see what the beta-testers post - maybe it won't be restricting at all and everything will make sense ... but I'm not seeing it at the moment.

Your feeling are right. 

 

If you want a lore-fueled you will miss the talents you want.

For your athletic wizard; again the answer is yes.

 

All the change has done is limit our options.

Not exactly.  As it stands now playing a high lore fighter isn't something you miss, it is just plain impossible.  Only like 1-2 of the skills for fighter actually give lore.  All talents are still useful, Namu is blowing it slightly out of proportion.  There is no talent you can pick that is "useless to your character" and if you go for muscle wizard with high athletics you will just have to pick a ton of weapon type talents.  Which would be good for a muscle wizard.

 

But yes, choice is removed.  For a game so focused on no bad builds I don't get why they took away the ability to distribute our skills manually.



#18
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Copy-pasted from my Something Awful post
 

It's not really that major a change in terms of the time to implement.
 
In watching how people play PoE, skill advancement was bordering on mindless. Every player I watched simply mashed one skill for their chosen character, effectively making it a non-choice. In practical terms, there were still problems with redundancy because, as in many RPGs, skills often act as keys to locks (literal and figurative). Only one person needs to be able to open the lock, meaning anyone with redundant skills simply has wasted points.

Linking skill advancement to Talents is an attempt to make the choice more meaningful and making redundancy less relevant since the primary investment for the players is the Talent, not the skill.

The normal skill progression system is disabled so we can see how it works using only Talents.One of the problems is because it took like 20 button clicks each time to just to get through the skill screen. Many people (such as myself) are only doing testing, and when I'm testing combat it doesn't really matter what skills I have, so it's faster to just mash one skill as high as it can go so you can get out of the level up screen faster.


I have found that I only really care about the Athletics skill in combat, because it forces me to rest when I don't want to. Characters with 0 Athletics get fatigued after a pitiful amount of time without rest. I don't care about Lore because you'll most likely get the Bestiary XP entries anyway, and even though I do look at the monster stats, I hope to be able to disable Combat HUDs altogether when the combat feedback is improved. I haven't really been using consumables, so Survival hasn't mattered, and I don't try and avoid combat, so Stealth hasn't mattered ... stock Stealth appears to be fine for setting up on enemies. Traps have not been working up until this patch, so I haven't needed Mechanics in combat yet, and all the traps were removed from BB Rogue's inventory so I haven't set one yet.

I really don't think it's a good idea to try to remove autonomous skill maxing, because that logic is just a simple reaction to how RPGs are designed. From what I've seen, Pillars of Eternity's out of combat scripted interaction and dialogue design also encourages it. The reason people just max two skills (or whatever) is because when you do that, you are guaranteed to experience all of the available environmental, scripted interaction and dialogue related options to that choice. Spreading out skills is almost always a bad thing when it comes to environmental checks and dialogue checks because it locks you out of higher tier options. You get access to more lower tier options, sure, but if you want to experience the skill choices of the higher tier options, you have to max those skills, not just dabble in them. If I intend to play a game a few times to try and experience all of the content/choices then I am going to max different skills on different playthroughs so I can see all of those options. No mechanical changes to skills at the low level (such as trying to give them an in combat benefit) is going to change that mindset, if I don't max a skill, then I'm going to miss out on the highest checks, and thus miss out on content - no thanks. If I'm going to play through the game 20 times, then yeah, on some of those playthroughs I might not max my skills, but I'm always going to max skills on the first few playthroughs so I can experience all of the highest tier options for each skill ... and then on any playthroughs after that I will decide whether or not to max skills based on that information, usually games still promote maxing skills because the content that max skills lock off is too good to pass up.

Tying skills to talents only forces people to either pick certain talents to get the skill allocation they want OR build their character the way they want for combat at the cost of missing out on the options locked out by the skill allocation they wanted. Personally I think that stinks to high heaven.

If you want more people to want to spread out skills, you have to change the RPG design.

Edited by Sensuki, 25 October 2014 - 09:23 PM.

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#19
Namutree

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Copy-pasted from my Something Awful post
 

I have found that I only really care about the Athletics skill in combat, because it forces me to rest when I don't want to. Characters with 0 Athletics get fatigued after a pitiful amount of time without rest. I don't care about Lore because you'll most likely get the Bestiary XP entries anyway, and even though I do look at the monster stats, I hope to be able to disable Combat HUDs altogether when the combat feedback is improved. I haven't really been using consumables, so Survival hasn't mattered, and I don't try and avoid combat, so Stealth hasn't mattered ... stock Stealth appears to be fine for setting up on enemies. Traps have not been working up until this patch, so I haven't needed Mechanics in combat yet, and all the traps were removed from BB Rogue's inventory so I haven't set one yet.

I really don't think it's a good idea to try to remove autonomous skill maxing, because that logic is just a simple reaction to how RPGs are designed. From what I've seen, Pillars of Eternity's out of combat scripted interaction and dialogue design also encourages it. The reason people just max two skills (or whatever) is because when you do that, you are guaranteed to experience all of the available environmental, scripted interaction and dialogue related options to that choice. Spreading out skills is almost always a bad thing when it comes to environmental checks and dialogue checks because it locks you out of higher tier options. You get access to more lower tier options, sure, but if you want to experience the skill choices of the higher tier options, you have to max those skills, not just dabble in them. If I intend to play a game a few times to try and experience all of the content/choices then I am going to max different skills on different playthroughs so I can see all of those options. No mechanical changes to skills at the low level (such as trying to give them an in combat benefit) is going to change that mindset, if I don't max a skill, then I'm going to miss out on the highest checks, and thus miss out on content - no thanks. If I'm going to play through the game 20 times, then yeah, oh some of those playthroughs I might not max my skills, but I'm always going to max skills on the first few playthroughs so I can experience all of the highest tier options for each skill ... and then on any playthroughs after that I will decide whether or not to max skills based on that information, usually games still promote maxing skills because the content that max skills lock off is too good to pass up.

Tying skills to talents only forces people to either pick certain talents to get the skill allocation they want OR build their character the way they want for combat at the cost of missing out on the options locked out by the skill allocation they wanted. Personally I think that stinks to high heaven.

 

THIS! 


Edited by Namutree, 25 October 2014 - 09:19 PM.


#20
Skie Nightfall

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I like the system so far, though didn't play much yet. So far, I didn't feel like it forced my picks or direction. It's pretty straight for your generic characters (playing as a druid with lore and survival now).

I do understand the arguments against it, but I still find it much better than just randomly assigning points to 5 skills each level up.

It does seem like it would be most hard on Mechanics.







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