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Will Spending Skill Points Be Interesting?


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I'm very excited for the PoE release, but one thing has me a little worried: Skill points. Will there any incentive not to max one skill per character? Won't buying, say, five or ten points each level-up be mainly a matter of "clickclickclick" on the same arrow for the same skill each time? This is in order to reach skill-check thresholds.

 

Mechanics is the classic example--who won't have a character in their party with maxed Mechanics in order to unlock and disarm everything in sight? (Before you say, "I won't, I don't like mechanics or rogues"? It's just an example, thanks.)

 

I realize you guys had changed things up a bit for an earlier beta build, where you buy "packages" of skills, talents or some combination thereof. While a little hard to sort through, I found this more interesting. Not trying to revive a debate about that particular design, but it took more thought to decide "I'm going to forgo all these perks and JUST max my Mechanics skill check". In other words, you could still min/max skills, but it came at an actual cost of missing perks, not the possibly-fake cost of forgoing skills you would never use with that character anyway.

Edited by PrimeHydra

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Since cost increases the more points you invest, it does make sense to spread out a little into athletics at least.

 

Mechanics will likely be a 1 character maxes it sort of deal. Albeit JE Sawyer said you could use it to lay more total traps I think, if taking it w/multiple characters. I doubt anyone will end up doing that.

 

Lore is probably going to be the stat the PC takes for dialogue.

 

Survival I'd have maxed for a single character just for various skill checks, and ignored on everyone else. It might be good on everyone for some players who use consumables, but I'm a consumable hoarder and usually end up selling my potions and such in these sorts of games. In the backer beta so far I haven't used any, and had no trouble.

 

I might be taking some level of stealth on all characters, depending on how it ends up in the release version. If I need really high stealth, I'll just take it on one scouting character.

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Mechanics affects trap accuracy.

 

Which is why I doubt many players will use it on more than one character. No point in having lower levels of it if they're just going to have traps that suck.

 

If low-mid level mechanics gave you reliable traps with decent effects that weren't basically outscaled by enemies, maybe. 

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Traps are sooooooooooooo buggy right now, it's hard to tell whether they'll be good one more than one character or not. ushas is doing a great job reporting all the problems.

Edited by Sensuki
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Traps are sooooooooooooo buggy right now, it's hard to tell whether they'll be good one more than one character or not. ushas is doing a great job reporting all the problems.

 

 

Yeah I'm hoping we get one more beta build before release, not just for traps but also to see how the game plays without the interrupt and dexterity issues of the current build.

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The unknown variable with skills is how often and for what purpose each of them has in conversation checks with the protagonist character.

 

My guess is that you'll want at least one character deeply specialized in each of the skills, and then some general competence across the board for things like party-wide skill checks to see who's exhausted from swimming the river or whatever. 

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The unknown variable with skills is how often and for what purpose each of them has in conversation checks with the protagonist character.

 

My guess is that you'll want at least one character deeply specialized in each of the skills, and then some general competence across the board for things like party-wide skill checks to see who's exhausted from swimming the river or whatever. 

 

I think that's how it'll play out, too--only I'm not sure you'll need to even give a basic amount of any given skill to each character. This is because most skill checks are per-character rather than per party, so to unlock the most content you'll want a team of hyper-specialists.

 

It would be more interesting IMO if you could benefit from having

a) more than one character focusing in a specific skill--like how having a party of all Fighters is viable.

b) a reason to have "jack of all trades" characters or at least a reason to split into two or three skills.  Maybe this will be more appealing for players who want to go through solo, or with fewer characters in their party?  As it stands, it seems the default for most people is going to be "this little piggy does Mechanics, this little piggy knows Lore".

 

It works, it's just--kind of uninteresting. 

 

One idea is to have checks that take into account your party's total score in a particular skill. This increases replay value--maybe you need an army of musclemen to join the Fight Club side area. Or perhaps it takes multiple mechanics to disarm a particularly devious trap, or to crack the penultimate safe.

 

Spreading your skill investment across toons could give you another way to reach these goals. So rather than acting on the maximum of skills among your characters, which encourages maxing by definition, the game would look at your total--adjusting the formula if necessary to avoid "must-have" configurations, one-point wonders and other loopholes.

 

With the right tuning, such a system could award specialists, generalists, and combinations thereof. No particular party would be able to access all of the content in any one playthrough, which is kind of the definition of replayability.

Edited by PrimeHydra
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Ask a fish head

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Frankly, I plan to split my character's skills between Survival, Lore, and Athletics. I will have one character each dedicated to lore/mechanics/athletics. Everyone else will split survival and athletics. Even my focused characters will take some levels in athletics, and everyone will have a dusting of stealth as well.

 

There is value in having multiple skills, especially with your main character. However, you will no doubt benefit highly from having two characters focusing in Lore (for scrolls) and Mechanics (for disarming traps/picking locks), and atheltics (a vital skill in a game like this).

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If I understand it correctly for conversations (other than special scripted events like the dragon egg) isn't it only the Protagonist attributtes & skills that will be accessible for opening other options or will other party members have the option to chime in if they have the needed stat/skill?

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If I understand it correctly for conversations (other than special scripted events like the dragon egg) isn't it only the Protagonist attributtes & skills that will be accessible for opening other options or will other party members have the option to chime in if they have the needed stat/skill?

 

The beta doesn't reveal that. It may be that there will be situations where your companions will chime in, similar to how Minsc or Jan could get you into the Asylum.

 

However, no characters have personality other than the main character in the beta. So, we don't have examples of where this is the case.

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Frankly, I plan to split my character's skills between Survival, Lore, and Athletics. I will have one character each dedicated to lore/mechanics/athletics. Everyone else will split survival and athletics. Even my focused characters will take some levels in athletics, and everyone will have a dusting of stealth as well.

 

There is value in having multiple skills, especially with your main character. However, you will no doubt benefit highly from having two characters focusing in Lore (for scrolls) and Mechanics (for disarming traps/picking locks), and atheltics (a vital skill in a game like this).

NO STEALTH?

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I have been giving everyone at least 3 levels of stealth for the BB which is enough to scout with the whole party and get off the opening salvo (mostly). 

 

It's also unclear (to me) how the search mechanic works - finding hidden items works off the stealth/search mechanic but what skill does it use for searching?

Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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It would be cool if there were combo skill checks... like some kind of  magical device that needs mechanics and lore to unlock.   Also,  if there was an assist option,  so you could combine two characters checks for a stronger check, which would allow more across the board skill picking.

Edited by tdphys
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The use for stealth is entirely dependent on your party style and auto pause settings.

 

My party is 2 defense, 2 hybrid, and 2 offensive. I'm covered for a lot of contingencies regardless of initial positioning, and occasionally run into those exciting moments when I am in trouble, and have to think creatively in the moment. I save frequently, so if I encounter something I can't beat the first time, I can reload it. 

 

My auto pause is set for 3 conditions. Enemy Sighted, Combat Begins, and Hidden Item Found.

 

My initial position is exactly what it is when the fight begins, and I plan out my moves from there. I take up a defensive position if it calls for it, or charge and crush if it doesn't. I don't need stealth because the content isn't difficult enough to require it.

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I have been giving everyone at least 3 levels of stealth for the BB which is enough to scout with the whole party and get off the opening salvo (mostly). 

 

It's also unclear (to me) how the search mechanic works - finding hidden items works off the stealth/search mechanic but what skill does it use for searching?

Mechanics.

jcod0.png

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^ That's a bit odd, innit? "Guys! Thanks to my expertise with mechanical things, I noticed this gemstone lying in the dense, tall grass of this field! 8D!"

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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^ That's a bit odd, innit? "Guys! Thanks to my expertise with mechanical things, I noticed this gemstone lying in the dense, tall grass of this field! 8D!"

 

I don't know,  every time I try and fix my car,  I spend half the time looking for that last, lost nut....  mechanics must be really good at this...

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^ I think actual mechanics-by-profession just replace it with a new one, 'cause they never find it. 8P

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I couldn't care one bit about the spending of skill points. I care much more about how skills are used.

 

Having a multiple requirement, either two or more characters needing to do the same skill checks, or having one character needing to do multiple skill checks, is enough incentive to not simply max out one skill per character at the expense of all other skill.

 

A good exemple of this is the Dragon's Egg quest that requires both an Athletics check and a CON check to succeed. Or that party members can be fatigued after performing a physical task with a low athletics score, like crossing the chasm in the Skaen temple.

 

If the other (although not all) skill checks are similar, that's plenty interesting to me.

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