Good day everyone.
I am designing a skill tree for our game VoidExpanse, it a game where you as a pilot can fly around in an open world space, buy new ships and equipment and advance your character. Well, it is a bit oversimplifying things but oh, well.
Anyway, it turned out to be WAY harder than I first though. So far I have outlined all possible passive skill effects we can have in the game and now I need to make it into a coherent tree with different paths that are meaningful.
So far the rules:
* Only passive skills, as "fireball", "exploding arrow" or "bone shield" type of skills would not make much sense in the space setting because your ship can't magically start shooting plasma cannons just because you learned that skill. So I decided to only have two types of skills: passive that adds stats or % to stats, and the skills that allow the player to use something, for example bigger ship hulls of specific equipment.
* So far I am thinking of creating 4 pages of skills: piloting, combat, engineering and other, each of these will have a separate tree that would branch into specific areas.
* I don't want to create linear logical progression such as speed -> acceleration -> deceleration -> maneuvering or similar, because it is just too boring, contrary I want to create a tree that might seem very random at first where completely different effects are grouped together in different paths, but in the end it should produce smart character builds and take some time for players to figure out which paths they want to pursue.
* Ideology of "broad to specialized". I want top of the tree to be generic but then branch more and more into specific areas since we do not have separate trees for different character classes, thus having to rely on the trees itself to provide specialization for players.
So far I looked through skill trees in some games, for example EVE online, their skill tree is insanely huge in its scope and I like it, but this doesn't seem right for what we are doing. Another natural example is diablo 2, which is more like what we want to do. And of course Path of exile, also a great example of skill tree design.
Anyway, the reason for creating this topic if possibly to get some ideas from you guys
There are a lot of materials and ideas for classical RPGs design, but not a whole lot for sci-fi and specially space games.