Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account


Need Ideas for a skill trees


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
13 replies to this topic

#1 Scouting Ninja   Members   -  Reputation: 540

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:06 PM

I'm working on a RPG and after doing some research on skill trees, fount most of them lacking.

 

The skill tree I wan't to use is based on FinalFantasyX the sphere grid,but had to abandon the idea when most of my test runners struggled to under stand how it works.

because my game needs to be user friendly to draw in non RPG fans I decided to go with the basic skill tree used in many games, like in diablo 2

or dungeon siege, unfortunately compared to the rest of the game it feels to simple and over used.

I am hoping some one can think of a better skill tree than me,I feel that my mind has been tainted by my research and love for complexity.

 

A important note: In my game you don't level up, skills are purchased with items found in the game and won from battles, strong skills are bought with rare items ens...

In the game you control 6 party members that fight on a real time turn based battle system against as many as 12 opponents, the battle is a bit more complex than most, but none of the testers struggled with it.

Classes are wide spread and I am adding more each day(The basic are there diablo 2), skill trees are class specific.(I am playing with the idea to change the way the skill tree works based on class e.g. basic skill tree for warrior and complex for wizard.)

 

please share all your thoughts about this,the game is still in the early stages.

 

Edited: Thanks to Plethora I have a new concept.

 

The puzzle pieces will be the grids with the orbs as the skills.(Red Attack,blue defence and green a buff)

The yellow lines show how thy will connect, smaller orbs are levels(1 large +4 small = 5 = 20% improvement).

Finally the purple will be the second layer made from combining grids.

 

This concept was rushed and only took about 5 minutes to make, do not judge the final game by this.

 

I welcome your proposals on improving this system or even thinking of a better one.

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Grid.jpg


Sponsor:

#2 Plethora   Members   -  Reputation: 679

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:20 PM

Off the top of my head:

 

Consider creating some skill trees that govern certain things in the game without worrying about classes first.  Say for the sake of argument you make a skill tree for short bladed weapons (include stuff like backstabbing, dual-wielding, etc.), you make one for one-handed weapons and one for two handed weapons, another for necromancy, nature magic, acrobatics, stealth, etc.  Then, rather than defining the skills based on the class, you do it the other way around.  Give each class three skill trees (like D2) based on what they should be good at.

 

Warrior - Gets a tree for one handers, two handers, then maybe an armor tree

Rogue - short blades, acrobatics, thrown weapons

Ranger - one handed, ranged weapons, nature magic

etc.

 

So the one handed tree for the warrior would be identical to the one for the ranger, but you could bestow different bonuses based on how those abilities might sync up with those in another tree.  A warrior could get sword & shield bonuses, whereas the ranger couldn't, that sort of thing.  If you're able to come up with a solid number of trees then you can then create a class that uses just about any combination of them without having to come up with a new set of skills ever.


I'm working on a game!  It's called "Spellbook Tactics".  I'd love it if you checked it out, offered some feedback, etc.  I am very excited about my progress thus far and confident about future progress as well!

 

http://infinityelephant.wordpress.com


#3 Scouting Ninja   Members   -  Reputation: 540

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:39 PM

Plethora, that sounds good and just inspired me!

 

What about skill trees that govern not only combat skills but civil skills as well, say a farming and treasure hunting.

Then allow player to bay these skill trees and combine them, also allowing  players to create classes by combining skill trees(Warrior + White magic = Paladin).

This way I can use the basic skill tree that is easy to understand, but also add depth to the system.

Or am I getting to complex again?



#4 Plethora   Members   -  Reputation: 679

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 04 March 2013 - 08:02 PM

I think that's an awesome idea.  I think maybe the way to go would be to have a small set of pre-defined classes for the player to use at the start, and then as the player progress give him the ability to combine them as he sees fit in order to unlock new classes.  Using the same idea for civil skills would be great as well.

 

:)


I'm working on a game!  It's called "Spellbook Tactics".  I'd love it if you checked it out, offered some feedback, etc.  I am very excited about my progress thus far and confident about future progress as well!

 

http://infinityelephant.wordpress.com


#5 Rits   Members   -  Reputation: 259

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 04 March 2013 - 10:23 PM

Here's my imput: How "balance" you intend your skill trees to be?

As in this way: MMORPGs serving competitive multiplayer purpose emphasize more on class balance (hence skill tree balance) than traditional offline RPG.

But even so, top tier MMORPGs so far have not one succeeded in providing a balanced skill tree that really gives players the option to pick the style they desire; there's always "flavor of the month class", and players are forced to stick to which ever has the best performance. Failures include WoW , D3, Aion, Rift, Warhammer Online, C9 online, and many more. Guild wars 2 is a different case cuz they offer minimal differences between classes (so basically there isn't much difference between different builds or classes).

 

tldr: its very hard to make a skill tree that allows players to choose due to balance issue.

 

Game companies fail to balance because they keep taking majority players' opinion on "why i think my class is underpowered", the truth is minority competitive / elite players would know better on how to "be fair" >>to everyone<<, and they don't usually voice out in surveys, they just do their thing to be the tops and if things get completely hopeless they'd quietly move on. 

 

That is to say, complexity and variety mean little if after all, specific build(s) is/are unreasonably OP.



#6 Scouting Ninja   Members   -  Reputation: 540

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 05 March 2013 - 05:09 AM

Thanks for the input Rits , now I also researched MMORPG skill trees to see how thy work in my game, and thy don't.

You are right thy focused on a fair game play for the players(and never really getting it 100% right),when you think about it, it's clear why thy do it.

In my game however I want to brake away from the "you need to take this skill or the enemies in the new area,will crush you!" thing,so the skills are powerful e.g. a defence spell will half all damage and a power up spell will double damage of the target.

warriors will do almost double the amount of damage of a normal class and berserkers tree times as much, but both these classes will be extremely weak to magic.(Just think of the power if you double it!)

I want players to achieve balance by using deferent classed party members instead of balancing each member on it's own, this is working great so far, players who like strength have made teams of Warrior *2,Defender,Archer *2 and a support class(Healer or Alchemist) where magic users have used one wizard of each element (Fire,Water,Earth,Wind,Light,Dark), unfortunately no one used a stealth team yet.(We have Thieves,Assassins and Illusionist).

This is all data based on the old skill tree(That only two out of 9 players could use, and I was one of them!).


Edited by Scouting Ninja, 05 March 2013 - 05:10 AM.


#7 Plethora   Members   -  Reputation: 679

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:22 AM

its very hard to make a skill tree that allows players to choose due to balance issue.

 

Ya know, this is a theory I would love to be able to test on a large scale.  Ultimately games are about fun, and competitive environments are fun because players want to compete, and they want to be able to compete in a fair way in which player skill is as close to being the only determining factor in the outcome as is possible.  Obviously, balance is important but I'm not sure I agree that simplifying a system is the only way to achieve good balance.

 

I theorize that you could preserve the "fun-factor" of a competitive game while going the other way with it.  Give players tons of options that they can fiddle around and tinker with to their hearts content.  Obviously, there would be balance issues, probably more balance issues than doing it the other way around, however, I believe that what destroys the fun factor is when a player feels like there are no further options at his/her disposal.  I believe you can make a game that is still a whole lot of fun if the player never runs out of different tactics, skill builds, etc. that he/she could try.  Call it the Magic: The Gathering approach.  I used to play a whole lot of Magic, and I don't think I ever left a match thinking that I could never beat the deck I was playing against.  If I lost, even if I lost badly, I would go back to the drawing board, I'd break out my boxes and boxes of cards and build a new deck.  

 

Now, maybe I'm just wrong, maybe it wouldn't work because too many people who play MMOs don't want to sit there for hours messing around with skills like I adore doing, but I would love to be able to take over WoW or some other game with a huge player base, change the whole system around and observe the results.  The whole theory might crash and burn, but I think it would at least be interesting to watch, and I can't think of any big name MMO that's tried to do it this way.


I'm working on a game!  It's called "Spellbook Tactics".  I'd love it if you checked it out, offered some feedback, etc.  I am very excited about my progress thus far and confident about future progress as well!

 

http://infinityelephant.wordpress.com


#8 Rits   Members   -  Reputation: 259

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 05 March 2013 - 02:47 PM

its very hard to make a skill tree that allows players to choose due to balance issue.

 

Ya know, this is a theory I would love to be able to test on a large scale.  Ultimately games are about fun, and competitive environments are fun because players want to compete, and they want to be able to compete in a fair way in which player skill is as close to being the only determining factor in the outcome as is possible.  Obviously, balance is important but I'm not sure I agree that simplifying a system is the only way to achieve good balance.

 

I theorize that you could preserve the "fun-factor" of a competitive game while going the other way with it.  Give players tons of options that they can fiddle around and tinker with to their hearts content.  Obviously, there would be balance issues, probably more balance issues than doing it the other way around, however, I believe that what destroys the fun factor is when a player feels like there are no further options at his/her disposal.  I believe you can make a game that is still a whole lot of fun if the player never runs out of different tactics, skill builds, etc. that he/she could try.  Call it the Magic: The Gathering approach.  I used to play a whole lot of Magic, and I don't think I ever left a match thinking that I could never beat the deck I was playing against.  If I lost, even if I lost badly, I would go back to the drawing board, I'd break out my boxes and boxes of cards and build a new deck.  

 

Now, maybe I'm just wrong, maybe it wouldn't work because too many people who play MMOs don't want to sit there for hours messing around with skills like I adore doing, but I would love to be able to take over WoW or some other game with a huge player base, change the whole system around and observe the results.  The whole theory might crash and burn, but I think it would at least be interesting to watch, and I can't think of any big name MMO that's tried to do it this way.

 

I agree that simplifying the system isn't a solution. I've seen how GW2 tried to simplify the system to be "fair" which afterall , yes, options are balanced, but that's cuz they make too little differences. Nor do you want to simplify things in a way its only a game of rock-paper-scissors, i.e. if i'm water mage and you're fire mage, and the system is water > fire > earth > water, then oh! I win this match by default. Some system balance things to this extent.

 

What I propose is a complex system that actually balance out the varieties, leaves a fair amount to default system factor, but still leaves room for personal skills to compensate, and perhaps little bit of luck factor. There is no absolute rule of what the perfect ratio is, so its an open question to every designer. AND most big titles failed to do so is because they underestimate the importance of the issue, and refuse to invest resource into re-designing / tweaking / patching the skill trees. It is a lot of effort indeed, and takes time to test the results. Far as I know, board games like Dungeon & Dragons with their long history of development usually have better systems than MMORPGs. MMOs are intensive business, and their business model stop the investment into further development once the revenue hits marginal return, so its only reasonable that the system's maturity lose to D&D, cuz those board games have loyal players devoting years of communal effort to design rules in the best interest of all devoted players.

 

Unfortunately I personally haven't played any of those games before, I've only heard about them. On the MMO's side, since I occasionally come across insiders in the industry, I have heard facts about the business management, I bet most people here know the story.

 

A bit more rumors, I have heard that Torchlight 2 has their class system quite balanced, so far no major negative feedback. I'm a long term Team Fortress 2 player, and me and my friends all find Valve nailed a well balanced class system, even with all the new weapons added in. I guess FPS has the advantage because it is heavily reflex and accuracy skill-based.


Edited by Rits, 05 March 2013 - 02:50 PM.


#9 Scouting Ninja   Members   -  Reputation: 540

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 05 March 2013 - 08:26 PM

Nor do you want to simplify things in a way its only a game of rock-paper-scissors, i.e. if i'm water mage and you're fire mage, and the system is water > fire > earth > water, then oh! I win this match by default.

 

It's not as bad as it sounds,true that if a game focuses only on this kind of system a player quickly loses interest, but it allows for players to pick up an play with out needing to do a tutorial.

The trick is to expand on the idea and to add depth, like pokémon, any player can play it and understand it,but would have hard time winning the game from the start if you gave them the correct level pokémon(Then again some are just lucky).

Strategy games also often uses a rock paper system and then adds units that don't follow these rules, this gives new players some ground to stand on while working on there strategy.

I feel it is important to have this feature, because research shows that player will only play a new game for about two weeks before moving to a new game(Even if thy didn't complete the previous game),thy would then often go back to the previous game and play it again when thy have no other games or have grown bored with there new games.(There are exceptions, games that emerge players often lasts longer,but can any one truly say thy have been playing the same game for years with out uninstalling it once?)

So because players go back to there old games you shouldn't punish them by forcing to start from the beginning just to relearn how to play,that is how I personally feel.



#10 Rits   Members   -  Reputation: 259

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:58 PM

Nor do you want to simplify things in a way its only a game of rock-paper-scissors, i.e. if i'm water mage and you're fire mage, and the system is water > fire > earth > water, then oh! I win this match by default.

 

It's not as bad as it sounds,true that if a game focuses only on this kind of system a player quickly loses interest, but it allows for players to pick up an play with out needing to do a tutorial.

The trick is to expand on the idea and to add depth, like pokémon, any player can play it and understand it,but would have hard time winning the game from the start if you gave them the correct level pokémon(Then again some are just lucky).

Strategy games also often uses a rock paper system and then adds units that don't follow these rules, this gives new players some ground to stand on while working on there strategy.

I feel it is important to have this feature, because research shows that player will only play a new game for about two weeks before moving to a new game(Even if thy didn't complete the previous game),thy would then often go back to the previous game and play it again when thy have no other games or have grown bored with there new games.(There are exceptions, games that emerge players often lasts longer,but can any one truly say thy have been playing the same game for years with out uninstalling it once?)

So because players go back to there old games you shouldn't punish them by forcing to start from the beginning just to relearn how to play,that is how I personally feel.

I see what you mean.  Indeed its not completely worthless, but i think its just some games went overboard with that to a point that player has zero hope when their spec is by default in disadvantage. If i came in with "scissors" and my opponent with "rock", perhaps that makes our power difference 1:9, but still if the system allows me 5% chance to win based on my skill, 5% luck factor, i'd still say its a fair game.



#11 Hasmond   Members   -  Reputation: 143

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 06 March 2013 - 01:51 AM

How does this work exactly?

fight on a real time turn based battle system



#12 Scouting Ninja   Members   -  Reputation: 540

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 06 March 2013 - 04:54 AM

How does this work exactly?

fight on a real time turn based battle system

 

 

Your party members each take a turn to attack when thy can, but if you take to long to make your choice the opponent will strike first.

Final Fantasy and Dragon Age use this kind of system and in the case of Dragon Age you can pause at any time to make choices.

 

 

Nor do you want to simplify things in a way its only a game of rock-paper-scissors, i.e. if i'm water mage and you're fire mage, and the system is water > fire > earth > water, then oh! I win this match by default.

 

It's not as bad as it sounds,true that if a game focuses only on this kind of system a player quickly loses interest, but it allows for players to pick up an play with out needing to do a tutorial.

The trick is to expand on the idea and to add depth, like pokémon, any player can play it and understand it,but would have hard time winning the game from the start if you gave them the correct level pokémon(Then again some are just lucky).

Strategy games also often uses a rock paper system and then adds units that don't follow these rules, this gives new players some ground to stand on while working on there strategy.

I feel it is important to have this feature, because research shows that player will only play a new game for about two weeks before moving to a new game(Even if thy didn't complete the previous game),thy would then often go back to the previous game and play it again when thy have no other games or have grown bored with there new games.(There are exceptions, games that emerge players often lasts longer,but can any one truly say thy have been playing the same game for years with out uninstalling it once?)

So because players go back to there old games you shouldn't punish them by forcing to start from the beginning just to relearn how to play,that is how I personally feel.

I see what you mean.  Indeed its not completely worthless, but i think its just some games went overboard with that to a point that player has zero hope when their spec is by default in disadvantage. If i came in with "scissors" and my opponent with "rock", perhaps that makes our power difference 1:9, but still if the system allows me 5% chance to win based on my skill, 5% luck factor, i'd still say its a fair game.

 

The problem with skill is that not every one has it, and players although thy might claim thy like a challenge do want to win.

So to fix the rock paper system you add meteor that instantly wins but can only be used if you cross your arms and say: this isn't fair! or you can keep challenging the player till you win.

So to change all that in my game player's characters will actually die(Yes thy can still be revived, but it is hard and you will have to really want it, and scream: this isn't fair!), battles can be avoided with out feeling a sense of lost(Like I said there will be no EXP, skills are bought) and exploring will instead be the main focus of the game.

Can it be Done?

I don't know but I have done two years of research to find a way and now I will test my theory.

 

Back on the main topic, the skill trees layers makes it to hard to navigate and confusing(Purple puzzle) so what would be a better way to add the part with the skills gained by combining the grids?



#13 LorenzoGatti   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2460

Like
2Likes
Like

Posted 06 March 2013 - 11:45 AM

I suggest simple prerequisites, combining nodes from any number of skill trees as prerequisites of "advanced" skills.

 

For example, some advanced combat maneuver could be available if you have any tier 3 or above skill in any two weapon types (i.e.two different skill trees), while a fancy magical attack might require "all-in attack" skill with any weapon type, any other skill with the same weapon type, and a rather common spell. Egregious examples of this style include third edition D&D feats and other features, and GURPS spells (which commonly have prerequisites like "N spells of the same school as the desired spell", "any spell from any N different schools", "any N of this list of N+M similar or relevant spells").

 

From the point of view of the player, the skills form a direct acyclic graph (I can learn a certain set of skills because I already know another disjoint set of skills), even if the potential skill dependencies could have cycles (e.g. if knowing A or C allows learning B and knowing B or D allows learning A, players can learn C then B then A and D at any time, or D then A then B and C at any time).


Produci, consuma, crepa

#14 Scouting Ninja   Members   -  Reputation: 540

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:25 AM

Thanks LorenzoGatti.

 

dependencies could have cycles

 

This has solved some major problems I have with the grids.

My new system uses a square grids that have pillars resembling each skill,each grid can link to 4 new ones,empty place holders resembled by broken pillars will "repair" once you have learned the necessary skills.

There are a few minor bugs to fix, once I have a good prototype I will share it so you can see how it works.






Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS