skill level micro-management


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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 15:14

Re: skill level micro-management

LunarHarp wrote:So these proposed changes really wouldn't decrease the time I spend in the m menu now.

No, but it would stop from making your gameplay suboptimal.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 15:25

Re: skill level micro-management

galehar wrote:We try to show only relevant information and hide irrelevant details.


But this isn't irrelevant information at all. Even in the current system, where progress between levels does nothing gameplay-wise, knowing that clearing D:22 has trained your conjurations from 16 (10%) to 16 (25%) or rather to 16 (85%) can have a definite strategical significance (and with new XP formula, managing you skill progress is vital in the early game). Partial levels actually having an impact on the gameplay would probably not affect most people's tactical choices all that much, but it certainly sways it towards "more relevant" rather than less.
Right now skill progress is displayed in 540 steps (27 * 20). You could argue this is too much, but cutting it down to 1/20th of that would be going too far in the opposite direction imo. If you want to stick with the number 27 for historical/flavour/whatever reasons, then at least display 1 decimal.
Plus, as many have already stated in this thread, even the least min-maxing of players typically DO get a sense of satisfaction by watching a number go up (we humans are indeed pretty silly :))

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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 15:28

Re: skill level micro-management

I like how the words "satisfaction" and "fun" do not show up in the list of Crawl design goals. I'm also surprised "crushing your soul" is not on that list.

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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 15:38

Re: skill level micro-management

Galefury wrote:I'm also surprised "crushing your soul" is not on that list.



...you're kidding, right? You still haven't realized they met that goal with the difficulty? :P
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 15:50

Re: skill level micro-management

asdu wrote:knowing that clearing D:22 has trained your conjurations from 16 (10%) to 16 (25%) or rather to 16 (85%) can have a definite strategical significance

Really? How? I agree that knowing the relative training speed between skills can be important, and I've just made a proposal of how to make it more easily accessible. But I fail to see how the rate of absolute gain is so important that such a precise feedback is necessary (or even useful).

asdu wrote:Partial levels actually having an impact on the gameplay would probably not affect most people's tactical choices all that much, but it certainly sways it towards "more relevant" rather than less.

Currently it is very relevant. Being at 5% has the same gameplay effect as being at 95%, but the gain/cost ratio of XP put in the skill is radically different. Which leads to skill level micro-management. That's why continuous progress makes it less relevant.

asdu wrote:Right now skill progress is displayed in 540 steps (27 * 20). You could argue this is too much, but cutting it down to 1/20th of that would be going too far in the opposite direction imo. If you want to stick with the number 27 for historical/flavour/whatever reasons, then at least display 1 decimal.

Maybe you're right, maybe I am. I really don't think we need to settle this right now, I already said that adding a decimal will be considered.

asdu wrote:Plus, as many have already stated in this thread, even the least min-maxing of players typically DO get a sense of satisfaction by watching a number go up (we humans are indeed pretty silly :))

And you'll still get it, you'll still gain skill levels and XL. And if you're telling me you get satisfaction from watching your skills progress to the next level, then maybe removing it will only make gaining skill levels more satisfying rather than less.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 15:59

Re: skill level micro-management

galehar wrote:And if you're telling me you get satisfaction from watching your skills progress to the next level, then maybe removing it will only make gaining skill levels more satisfying rather than less.

The point is that with this proposal, gaining levels won't actually mean anything. Being level 11.9 will be practically the same as being level 12. To be honest, if you're going down this road you may as well do away with skill levels all together.
However, this would completely get rid of the enjoyment of levelling up, which is one of the core aspects of role playing games.
The only way I can see that this would work and still retain the fun of levelling up is if you got bonuses for a level up (like a special attack or a new ability). If crawl had that, then I'd completely support this, but at the moment this proposal just seems to suck away a good deal of fun for a great deal of people.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 17:03

Re: skill level micro-management

galehar wrote:
LunarHarp wrote:So these proposed changes really wouldn't decrease the time I spend in the m menu now.

No, but it would stop from making your gameplay suboptimal.


Optimal play will become a hundred times worse. Optimal play will be checking the spell screen after each kill until you hit excellent and then turning off the skill.

Lets say all you need is charms 9.3 to cast haste at excellent, going up to 10 would be a huge waste of skill points.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 17:54

Re: skill level micro-management

tazoz wrote:
galehar wrote:
LunarHarp wrote:So these proposed changes really wouldn't decrease the time I spend in the m menu now.

No, but it would stop from making your gameplay suboptimal.


Optimal play will become a hundred times worse. Optimal play will be checking the spell screen after each kill until you hit excellent and then turning off the skill.

Lets say all you need is charms 9.3 to cast haste at excellent, going up to 10 would be a huge waste of skill points.


You are still getting spell power when you get up to 10 though. "Excellent" is such a relative description here. It just says you hit one of many thresholds in the game. Why not turn it off at 9.2 while it still says great? It wouldn't make much difference. Why not train till 10 and lesson the chance of a miscast a little bit.

And yes, this system would make my style of play not suboptimal anymore which gets my hearty approval.

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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 18:59

Re: skill level micro-management

It just says you hit one of many thresholds in the game. Why not turn it off at 9.2 while it still says great? It wouldn't make much difference. Why not train till 10 and lesson the chance of a miscast a little bit.


As Tazoz points out, it'll just mean that different thresholds will be established, so instead of x being the best number to get whatever skill to, it'll instead be 13.2 or 8.5. This doesn't do away with micromanagement, it just means that people have to be checking back more often to find out exactly where they've got too.
At the moment, you don't need to check back in the 'm' screen until you get the level up messages 'in game', whereas now if you wanted to get it to 18.5 you'd have to keep checking back regularly as that's the only indicator you have.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 19:56

Re: skill level micro-management

minmay wrote:
LunarHarp wrote:You are still getting spell power when you get up to 10 though. "Excellent" is such a relative description here. It just says you hit one of many thresholds in the game. Why not turn it off at 9.2 while it still says great? It wouldn't make much difference. Why not train till 10 and lesson the chance of a miscast a little bit.

Fine, optimal play will be checking the spell screen until it hits "Perfect." Or, for a more likely example, checking the spell screen until Mystic Blast/Magic Dart/[other spell] hits maximum power. Or pressing @ until your ranged weapon reaches minimum delay.

What if we remove perfect from the spell success scale? And shift the power dashes so that full dashes mean almost maxxed power (like it currently does for cap 200). And something similar for ranged minimum delay. What if optimal play were just about being smart, making the good decisions, knowing the monsters and using your resources intelligently instead of being about micro-managing skill levels and pillar dancing hobgoblin?
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 20:08

Re: skill level micro-management

galehar wrote:What if we remove perfect from the spell success scale? And shift the power dashes so that full dashes mean almost maxxed power (like it currently does for cap 200). And something similar for ranged minimum delay. What if optimal play were just about being smart, making the good decisions, knowing the monsters and using your resources intelligently instead of being about micro-managing skill levels and pillar dancing hobgoblin?


I can also recalculate my spell success from first principles simply by tracking when and how often I miscast. Hiding information that is useful and important makes micromanagement more painful, not less.

I'm really still not clear on why you're proposing to remove the granularity of levels, to be honest. Besides the fact that they are fun, levels are also easy to understand. Want minimum delay with your demon whip? Check the wiki for the target skill, get there, and done. Adding lots of sublevels in between these levels and making players go through arcane chores to figure out where they want to go is not really an improvement.

"Wait for the ding!" is an intuitive interface that all users will recognize from common household appliances. The toast pops up when the toaster dings, and then you get the benefits of toast for breakfast. Your new system seems to encourage us to repeatedly check the toast every few seconds to see if it's brown enough yet, and manually stop the toaster regardless of where it is. In the end, we have toast for breakfast either way, but in the proposed system we have to spend a lot more time and attention checking the numbers however we can.

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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 20:30

Re: skill level micro-management

That's not a problem in actual gameplay. I mean, seriously. WTF, people. WTF?

Reality check: with just making skill levels more continuous the "ding" will still happen at the same time and provide the same benefits. One skill level currently rarely provides a noticeable benefit (except for weapon speed and spell slots), so .3 skill levels would provide even less of a benefit. Few skills are actually tuned to reach a certain level, and even fewer would be tuned to reach a certain fraction of a level. For example I don't stop training dodging when I reach a certain amount of EV. I either want more defense, or I don't. If I do, I train my defensive skill of choice. If I don't, I don't. Playing Crawl doesn't require a spreadsheet (except for weapon choice, which is a different problem altogether, and usually just using a demon whip or enhancer staff will be best anyway). I really don't see why so many people (about 5 or so) are not even willing to give this proposal a chance. I think you are acting way more obsessive compulsive in this thread than you actually are. If you are seriously suggesting you would train a skill to exactly level 13.8, because that next .1 skill level would be beyond the optimal amount you might want to reconsider the way you play Crawl. It's a stressful enough game without worrying about trivial things like that.

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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 20:44

Re: skill level micro-management

Seriously Galefury, WTF.
Galefury wrote: If you are seriously suggesting you would train a skill to exactly level 13.8, because that next .1 skill level would be beyond the optimal amount you might want to reconsider the way you play Crawl. It's a stressful enough game without worrying about trivial things like that.

So we're playing the game wrong? if I enjoy playing to an averagely optimal amount, that's the way I enjoy it, and I'm sure as hell not going to reconsider because you don't.

As mentioned fun is subjective, but ease of use is more constant. As KoboldLord said, the current system is easy to understand and it's enjoyable to level up because it's meaningful. Doing it this way you may as well just do it from level 1-270 and not inform the player, and I think that would be seriously rubbish. Not only that, but people who DO want to play in an optimal fashion WILL go through hoops to do that, and this proposal just encourages that. Yeah you can say 'not many people will care that much to adjust every little bit' but then you could say 'not that many people will micromanage now'.

And the 5 or so people who are 'not willing to give it a chance' is quite a few, considering there aren't that many people talking on the boards, and there don't seem to be many championing the idea other than you. Don't get me wrong, I'm not shutting the idea down just because I like things the way they are, I just think it's a severe step backwards.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 21:08

Re: skill level micro-management

Yes, you're playing the game wrong. :P

I'm not saying you cant play Crawl however you want to. I'm just saying I don't think any of the really good players would go for that level of micromanagement. It does not noticeably help your chances of winning and inflates your playtime with boring (to me) number pushing. I can understand specifically going for about skill level 10 or level 15. I can even understand going for level 13 opposed to level 10 or 15. I can absolutely not understand specifically going for level 13.8, opposed to 13.7 or 13.9. And while I am not a great Crawl player I know I don't enjoy micromanaging skill progress, or even skill levels. So anything that reduces the time I have to put into that is good. For me, and for anyone else who plays like that. Which is why I am arguing for this proposal.

While this might encourage people who are seriously going for optimal play (which I personally cant understand at all, because the things you have to do to play truly optimally are just ridiculous in some cases) to jump through hoops, it would severely reduce the amount of hoops a player who just roughly tries to approach optimal play if it is possible with reasonable effort would have to jump through. I find myself in the second category, and I think most Crawl players are in this category. And I would really appreciate needing to jump through fewer hoops. And I think so would others. Having to train skills one at a time is one of those hoops.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 21:23

Re: skill level micro-management

I don't think that this will really change the game a huge amount. If a player wants to turn off a skill at the perfect time sure go ahead. I am sure some people would have fun doing this and love that you have even more customization and control.

For those players who don't like the idea that then going up a level won't make you feel good as an accomplishment think about how much you gain from one skill level, especially once you are out of the early game (level 12 or so). Sure in the early game where skills are cheap and you need to set up your character the skills make quite a difference. However, I don't feel that much of an accomplishment when say my earth magic goes from 18 and 19 and I get slightly more damage on my spells. Gameplaywise most skill increases simply don't make much of a difference. You need to level up a few times often to get noticeable results.

I think I speak for those who would not care either way if it stayed the same or changed. Then again I said that about the no victory dancing thing and I have a hard time going back.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 21:29

Re: skill level micro-management

Part of the overall problem is that, in-game, we do not know the limits for weapon skills.

We know spells. We have it right there for each spell - there is a power counter that goes up and hits a maximum, same with range and hunger (decreasing).
We know this decreases due to int and spellcasting.

We know weapons have a maximum speed that is hit when a certain weapon skill level is hit, depending on the weapon and the associated skill.
We know weapons have an increasing potential damage and to hit; not sure where those maximums are, but they're affected by skill and fighting.
We have no way to check these values outside of danr's increasingly legacy spreadsheet.

Much like spells have the "z" page, it would help to have weapons carried able to be shown on an associated page that shows the same sort of power "bars" and "ratings" that we currently see for spells, but applied to speed, damage output, and targeting ability. This would serve as a large goodwill gesture towards the naysayers.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 21:57

Re: skill level micro-management

Galefury wrote:And I would really appreciate needing to jump through fewer hoops. And I think so would others. Having to train skills one at a time is one of those hoops.


The proposal would not correct this even slightly. Even if you get incremental benefits for sublevels of a skill, each skill is not going to be equal for you at any point in the game. In the early game, getting your starting power spells castable is your goal, period. There is no skill or combination of skills that is going to be more useful to you than making Throw Icicle or Mephitic Cloud castable at the earliest conceivable moment. It's well-worth re-calculating the ideal balance of conjurations vs. ice magic given the aptitudes of your current race to get Throw Icicle as quickly as possible, because there is no concern more important in the early game than getting your power spells online.

Later on, you either have your workhorse spells at excellent and with satisfactory power, or you do not. If you do not, you need to fix it as fast as conceivably possible by any means necessary. If you are satisfied with your workhorse spells, and you don't have a new workhorse spell to add to your bag of tricks, then you pump it all into defense favoring whatever will give you the most benefit in the shortest amount of game, which is likely to depend on your current race's aptitudes.

Similarly, a non-caster wants to get weapon delay down and ranged attacks online, and nothing else can possibly be more important than these two things. Concentrate on those two things until you have what you need, and then pump it all into defense. It really doesn't matter at all if you're getting incremental benefits, because you're still focusing on powerleveling one thing at a time because skills in an actual game are never going to maintain parity in value for long.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 22:02

Re: skill level micro-management

minmay wrote:Fixing this is not as simple as hiding these things. You would have to remove them.

Huh, why? You said it would be optimal to constantly check your spell power to see if it's maxxed instead of at every level up. I'm saying that if you can still get a few points of power after getting the last dash, then you don't have to worry about overtraining conjurations by 0.2 and go back to checking it on level up. But let's not argue about this, I'm not actually considering doing it. I just wanted to say that it can be addressed, but I think it's too minor to bother.

Bim wrote:Not only that, but people who DO want to play in an optimal fashion WILL go through hoops to do that, and this proposal just encourages that.

dpeg sometimes says that it's our job as devs to protect the players from themselves. There's nothing wrong for players to try to play optimally. As devs, we try to make it so that playing optimally is fun, not tedious. I'm not saying this change will prevent all forms of micro-management, I'm just thinking it's a (big) step in the right direction.

Bim wrote:Yeah you can say 'not many people will care that much to adjust every little bit' but then you could say 'not that many people will micromanage now'.

I don't think that's true. I think most players do it, some just a bit, others a lot, because it makes a significant difference. And I do it and find it annoying.

Bim wrote:I'm not shutting the idea down

you know, I didn't came here to ask for permission. Open development doesn't mean democracy. I came here to look for feedback, and I got what I was looking for. The idea has matured and will be presented to other devs.

LunarHarp wrote:Then again I said that about the no victory dancing thing and I have a hard time going back.

And who designed and coded the system? Sometimes you have to trust.

XuaXua wrote:Much like spells have the "z" page, it would help to have weapons carried able to be shown on an associated page that shows the same sort of power "bars" and "ratings" that we currently see for spells, but applied to speed, damage output, and targeting ability. This would serve as a large goodwill gesture towards the naysayers.

Yeah of course, that would be great. However, it's completely unrelated to the topic.

minmay wrote:
Galefury wrote:So anything that reduces the time I have to put into that is good. For me, and for anyone else who plays like that. Which is why I am arguing for this proposal.

How does this proposal do that?

OK, this is the last time I'm writing this. Currently, if you play in auto mode, you should go to the skill menu from time to time to check if a skill is above 80%. If that's the case, you disable other skills so it can level up sooner. Or you can play in manual mode and babysit your skills by switching them on each skill level up. Or you can ignore all that and have an overall weaker character.
With this change, you could play in auto mode and go to the skill menu only when you want to adjust your strategy, not to babysit your skills.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 22:07

Re: skill level micro-management

KoboldLord wrote:The proposal would not correct this even slightly. Even if you get incremental benefits for sublevels of a skill, each skill is not going to be equal for you at any point in the game. In the early game, getting your starting power spells castable is your goal, period.

Well, that's how you play, and the new system won't prevent you from playing like that. Maybe it won't change optimal play much, but it will make "easy" play much more efficient. Also, if min-maxing is indeed quite crucial in the early game, it is much less in mid-game and late-game.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 22:29

Re: skill level micro-management

galehar wrote:
Bim wrote:I'm not shutting the idea down

you know, I didn't came here to ask for permission. Open development doesn't mean democracy. I came here to look for feedback, and I got what I was looking for. The idea has matured and will be presented to other devs.



I phrased that wrongly, I meant that I'm not shutting the idea out just because it doesn't fit my play style. I realise it's not a democracy, but many players, and certainly not a minority, feel that it will suck a lot of enjoyment out of it, and won't really help towards stopping micromanaging, it'll just shift to looking at the weapon speed screen or whatever else shows the useful information. Again, it's not a democracy, but enough people seem to be against it to mean that perhaps there is a better way?

I also have to agree with KoboldLord, although I'm sure there are other ways to play and KL made it sound slightly imperative, I can't imagine another successful way of playing other than what KL described for a caster class. The same with power levelling, in this new system there is a lot more need to focus on an individual skill(s) to get it up to what you need and then swap to something else. And as said, increments don't help that, they just shift it slightly.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 22:37

Re: skill level micro-management

galehar wrote:
XuaXua wrote:Much like spells have the "z" page, it would help to have weapons carried able to be shown on an associated page that shows the same sort of power "bars" and "ratings" that we currently see for spells, but applied to speed, damage output, and targeting ability. This would serve as a large goodwill gesture towards the naysayers.

Yeah of course, that would be great. However, it's completely unrelated to the topic.


It's not that unrelated when you have people complaining about being unable to effectively track the progress of their skills if your implementation goes through, which it should because it's awesome.

You don't see anyone complaining about being unable to track the progress / effectiveness of spell skills; this is likely because the spell screen allows you to track them in a completely non-numeric fashion. Weapons don't have this facility, so people want the level up dings to know to stop training short swords at 10 or whatever, which they only know because they've either read the code or studied the excel sheet.

But moot point because at this time, our portion of this discussion HAS grown offtopic.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 22:44

Re: skill level micro-management

galehar wrote:OK, this is the last time I'm writing this. Currently, if you play in auto mode, you should go to the skill menu from time to time to check if a skill is above 80%. If that's the case, you disable other skills so it can level up sooner. Or you can play in manual mode and babysit your skills by switching them on each skill level up. Or you can ignore all that and have an overall weaker character.
With this change, you could play in auto mode and go to the skill menu only when you want to adjust your strategy, not to babysit your skills.


Why would you do that specifically when your skill is above 80%, if you're going to do that at all? You can get quicker benefits from that particular skill at any time by shutting off the others. If it's currently not important to get any particular skill up so that you wouldn't shut off other skills at 60% or 40%, then it's not important to shut them off at 80% either.

If there's a problem with auto mode, shouldn't it be addressed directly rather than overhauling the fundamentals of the game? Auto mode may have annoying aspects, but it seems like a more direct solution would be to add a broader toggle, so in the early game when you need to get those spell skills online fast you can just toggle off all your defenses, turning them back to their previous state as a group. I'm usually focusing on 'magic', 'defense', or 'melee' at any given time, for instance. It's perfectly effective to co-train dodging, stealth, and shields all at the same time, for instance, since they all do similar things, but I'd want a defense toggle to leave armor skill off if I had it off before. Similarly, I'm perfectly happy leaving spellcasting and my main combat skills on at the same time, even if this is negligibly inferior to micromanaging them, but I'll disable them all as a group if I think I want more fighting hp than magic at the moment.

galehar wrote:Well, that's how you play, and the new system won't prevent you from playing like that. Maybe it won't change optimal play much, but it will make "easy" play much more efficient. Also, if min-maxing is indeed quite crucial in the early game, it is much less in mid-game and late-game.


If min-maxing is less crucial in the mid-game and late-game, then there's no particular need to micromanage your build order even with the current system.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 22:54

Re: skill level micro-management

KoboldLord wrote:There is no skill or combination of skills that is going to be more useful to you than making Throw Icicle or Mephitic Cloud castable at the earliest conceivable moment.

Actually, that's not even true. Currently, if you want to optimise your throw icicle spell success, you have to alternate between training conj and ice training each 1 level and switching to the other (assuming equal aptitude to simplify, but it's not much different if not). With my proposal, you can train both at the same time because having them both at 5.5 gives the same result as one at 5 and one at 6. So optimal early game play would be much less tedious. And don't you want some MP to cast your spells? Don't forget that partial spellcasting can provide MP and spell slots earlier. Maybe 20% spellcasting, 40% ice, 40% conj is better. Or not? Do we have an interesting question where we had a no-brainer?

XuaXua wrote:people want the level up dings to know to stop training short swords at 10

I'm not changing that. Weapon delay will still reach their minimum on level up. And level ups keep dinging. Please, stop bringing that up.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 23:47

Re: skill level micro-management

galehar wrote:Actually, that's not even true. Currently, if you want to optimise your throw icicle spell success, you have to alternate between training conj and ice training each 1 level and switching to the other (assuming equal aptitude to simplify, but it's not much different if not). With my proposal, you can train both at the same time because having them both at 5.5 gives the same result as one at 5 and one at 6. So optimal early game play would be much less tedious. And don't you want some MP to cast your spells? Don't forget that partial spellcasting can provide MP and spell slots earlier. Maybe 20% spellcasting, 40% ice, 40% conj is better. Or not? Do we have an interesting question where we had a no-brainer?


In the current system, if you get Throw Icicle online at conjuration 5 and ice magic 6, assuming neutral aptitudes, you're absolutely fine co-training both conjurations and ice magic until five, and then disabling conjurations to get that last level of ice magic faster. You might lag a half-point of damage behind on Throw Frost from time to time, but that's a much less serious sub-optimality than having Throw Icicle effectively non-functional when you run into Grinder.

Spellcasting is obviously important too, for the reasons you state. I'm sure on the release of 0.9 players will start debating build orders based entirely on anecdotal evidence to get exactly the right ratio of spellcasting to spell skills for each background, and maybe we'll even get some recommendations that are not comically counterproductive, like some of those that were associated with victory dancing spellcasting in previous versions. Short blades and dodging, though? No real question that those are much less useful for a caster background than a decent combat spell.
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Post Friday, 22nd July 2011, 23:56

Re: skill level micro-management

KoboldLord wrote:Short blades and dodging, though? No real question that those are much less useful for a caster background than a decent combat spell.


Say that again while I throw a swarm of blink frogs at you.
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Post Saturday, 23rd July 2011, 00:19

Re: skill level micro-management

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Post Saturday, 23rd July 2011, 04:21

Re: skill level micro-management

Potential benefits aside, wouldn't this be a big hassle to implement?
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Post Saturday, 23rd July 2011, 07:13

Re: skill level micro-management

minmay wrote:One other thing. How do you propose to handle decimal spell slots?

By rounding down. Duh.
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Post Saturday, 23rd July 2011, 11:55

Re: skill level micro-management

minmay wrote:If you hide things, people will find them.

I think this is a very large part of why I don't like it. At the moment its simple for people to decide when skills are at the right level.

This whole proposal seems to be based on the assumption that no one cares exactly how well everything is doing and instead is going to be happy if something is at 3.3 or 3.9. In a game based on numbers and working things out, I don't think that will be the case, people will just calculate things more and it'll add to the hassle for most serious players.

Surely having smaller numbers to worry about (even if they're not displayed) would make people attend to the skill screens FAR more rigorously?
As mentioned, it will still be most beneficial to train one or two skills up at a time, so it doesn't matter if they're getting increases all the time, as you're still only going to be wanting to train one or two up.

I just don't see how this helps other than by making things more vague, which I think is a terrible reason to do something.
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Post Saturday, 23rd July 2011, 12:13

Re: skill level micro-management

Bim wrote:In a game based on numbers and working things out, I don't think that will be the case, people will just calculate things more and it'll add to the hassle for most serious players.

If you don't like vague things, try to be more precise. What would you calculate more? And what values would you use for those calculations?

Bim wrote:Surely having smaller numbers to worry about (even if they're not displayed) would make people attend to the skill screens FAR more rigorously?

So you'll got the the skill screen more often to do what exactly? Try to guess what the hidden numbers are? Randomly toggling skills?

I understand that you don't like the proposal, you've said so over and over. But if you want to make a point, try to provide real arguments.
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Post Saturday, 23rd July 2011, 12:38

Re: skill level micro-management

Let's try a practical example. I'm not satisfied with those 5 dashes I want to know exactly what my IMB spell power is. I have 7 in spellcasting, 9 in conj and 20 int. I already know from the dashes that my power is between 35 and 50.

Currently, I can calculate that my spell power is 42. With the new system, I have to calculate twice and can only tell that my spell power is between 42 and 48. Now, how does that change anything? Does it prevent me from planning my skill progress or choosing my spells? Does it have any tactical or strategical significance? No it doesn't. That's why we're not showing the numerical value of the spell power to start with.
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Post Saturday, 23rd July 2011, 12:46

Re: skill level micro-management

galehar wrote:So you'll got the the skill screen more often to do what exactly? Try to guess what the hidden numbers are? Randomly toggling skills?

You'll make sure that absolutely nothing is wasted, because every point counts towards advancement. At the moment it doesn't matter exactly where every point goes, because you only see differences when you gain levels. Whereas with this proposal, you'll be wanting to swap stuff out every half level or so.

The above would only happen if decimals were shown, but if they weren't then I think that'd be where the vagueness I was talking about comes in. You'd have to be checking other screens (a weapon speed/damage screen) to see how you were doing, and as such you'd be spending time on loads of different stats screens.
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Post Saturday, 23rd July 2011, 13:20

Re: skill level micro-management

Bim wrote:The above would only happen if decimals were shown,

That's very true. If we show numbers, players think that they are significant and that they have to manage them. Skill level decimals are not significant and should be hidden.

Bim wrote:but if they weren't then I think that'd be where the vagueness I was talking about comes in. You'd have to be checking other screens (a weapon speed/damage screen) to see how you were doing, and as such you'd be spending time on loads of different stats screens.

Again, let's be precise. What screens would you be looking at searching for what information? And don't start with non-existent ones please. Let's try minmay's previous example. He said optimal play would be to constantly checking your spell power to see when IMB is maxxed, so conj can be disabled. Well I don't think it's realistic. If IMB reaches max power when your conj is at 15.2, is it a big waste of XP if you only realise it when you do your level up check at 16? You still improved your spell success and if you're casting IMB at max power, you'll probably want to use higher level conjurations at some point.
And in the current system, you would need to train it to 16 anyway to reach max power. You can play the new system exactly as the old one and use level up as reminders to evaluate your advancement. If you do so, the only difference is that you will be slightly more powerful.
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Post Saturday, 23rd July 2011, 13:34

Re: skill level micro-management

Indeed, perhaps decimals aren't the way to go but perhaps some shades of green could be used to distinguish between how far they are between x.0 and x.9? I don't know if this would help, but it'd obfuscate it enough whilst still giving a sense of direction?

I had thought that a weapon skill screen was part and parcel of this proposal, so that attack speed and damage could be evaluated as the numbers would be more slight.
As such, I have to agree with minmay that I think many players would keep checking to see where they were at with things, which you don't get in the more staged system like we currently have.
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Post Saturday, 23rd July 2011, 15:03

Re: skill level micro-management

galehar wrote:That's very true. If we show numbers, players think that they are significant and that they have to manage them. Skill level decimals are not significant and should be hidden.


But at this point the only significance of 1-27 (besides its legacy value) is that certain "dings" in certain skills correspond to a few significant breakpoints. The only such breakpoints I can think of are weapon minimum delays, removal of shield/armour penalties and increase in spell slot capacity (there's also HP gains from fighting, but I imagine that would be more gradual under the new system).
When that scale becomes for the most part removed from actual game mechanics, why stick with it? Pardon me if I insist on this point, but I think showing progress in 1/27th's is inadequate. For the most part I don't manage my skills in the optimal way described in this thread. Unless I have urgent skill-related needs I play most of the game having 4 or more skills constantly training: especially in the late game, this means I can go on for a fairly long time without seeing a level up. Still, by checking percentages every now and then, I can determine if my skills are training at the desired rate. If I had to wait for the ding to get feedback on my progess, guess what I'd do? I'd train skills one at a time :|
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