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Hawkins8

An Innovative Skill/Level System

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I think that a skill-based system is a must as players are actually getting tired/sick of the level clones. Yet a level-based system has its own merit. So I prefer a cross-over hybrid accommodating a level system on top of a skill-based system, plus a brand-new custom skill/special system. The system starts with a general skill system just like that of UO, you can choose to grow in any skill combination as you wish to deal with the grinding and crafting situations, exactly like in UO. You can be miners, or fishermen or treasure hunters. However, a hidden level-based system is working behind the scene. That is, along the path of your skills growing, your experience against mobs will also be counted, as in a level-based system. And your level keeps increasing but it's done without your knowledge, you can't read back which level you are currently is, you will be given a message or a simple title to reflect roughly what your level is. For example, you are a journeyman when you are between level 10 and 20. Just like a level system, the hidden level will determine the validity of your grouping. That is, grouping will be divided into 2 types. A free grouping type as in UO where no constrain is put that you can virtually group with people at all levels. The high levels may group with newbies to help them out. However, this kind of free grouping will not apply to tougher mobs. For tough mobs, a stricter grouping requirement is followed, where out of level toons are not suitable or not efficient for such a kind of grouping. The party leader will be warned of the situation that someone in the team is out of level. The party leader can however determine whether to continue the party hunting with an ultra low level or to tell him to leave in order to maintain the team's efficiency in fighting the tough mobs of the same level range. Professional unions: Now the player's toon keep growing, just like in UO. When he attains a certain level of proficiency in skills, that is, a skill combination milestone is met, the player is entiled to fit his toon to a pre-defined template. In UO, when you bring up your toon for awhile and decided to go the path of a treasure hunter, you will ask around for a good Thunter template. Then you'll get a bundle of these "good templates" and choose one to grow your toon. Similarly in my design, there are different professional unions in game holding these different "good templates". Say, when you decided to grow your toon into a treasure hunter, you need to find him a Treasure Hunter Union. There are many treasure hunter unions in the world, with each holding a "good template". So finally, you choose your favortie one by joining a profession union (which is with a "good template"). Now your professional life begins. you are now already adapting a "class", as in a usual level system. Your class is called "Treasure Hunter" with a skillset template. Now the game starts to enhance your class bit by bit. In such a union, you start to acquire the treasure hunter specials. The set of specials is just like those so-called "skills" in a level-based game. The special sets of a treasure hunter will allow him to fight in a class-unique style. The special sets will mold your toon to that he'll be able to solo and party hunt in a style unique to the class "Treasure Hunter". Along with the special sets, some specials are given to be race-specific such that your toon will end up as a, say, dwarf (race) treasure hunter (class) with a set of treasure hunter skills (template) and a set of specials (level-based skills). The same applies to other classes ranging from paladin, warrior, rogue, mage, druid, shaman, archer, fishermen, bard, tamer, ninja, samurai.......etc. They are all formed with a template by joining the corresponding professional unions, then to acquire the level-based skills (specials) and race-specific skills (specials). You can hybrid as many skill combinations as possible, and as flexible as possible, just like in UO but in the form of unions. The only difference from UO is that, you don't have pure mulls (pure crafters), everyone needs to armed with fighting skills / specials. While you don't need to worry about what fighting skills a mull requires, as when you mull joins a professional union, a template is always available which should have already included the fighting skills/specials needed by your mull/crafter. Custom Skill set: Other than the skills/specials mentioned above, you'll have another set of skills. You acquire these skills from mobs drops or quests. Low level toons will get low level skills while high level toons will get high level skills. This skill set contains only 2 to 3 special skills, they are either powerful death blow spells, or special crafting skills. For example, all the skills/specials of a tank are tactical skills in tanking the damage for a party, he has not much PvP skills at all. However, from a special mob drop or quest, he gets his custom skill. The skill is for the tank class, however this skill cannot be used in a party hunting. The skill can only be used in a one to one PvP. When a tank class acquired like 3 such 1-vs-1 PvP skills, he can thus be a nasty PvPer in a 1-vs-1 fight. In effect, this kind of custom skills can be unlocked. For example, when all the players whine about that human Paladin is way too powerful in a group vs group fight. New custom skills can thus be unlocked, such that other classes can train up the new skills specially created for beating down the powerful human tanks, such that whenever the new skill is used a a buf, the human tank's offensive power will be greatly reduced, such that the human paladin will no longer be over powerful. Skill Train-up: The skill-based skills (UO-like) are trained up just like they are in UO. The level-based skills are unlike those in a usual level-based game. In a usual level-based game, you obtain skills by reaching a certain level, say, when you reach level 20, you acquire new available skills of which you can use freely. In my design however, even the level-based skills require to be trained up just like the skill-based skills. However, the level-based skills take much shorter time to train. For example, a tamer's taming skill may take 9 months to max, just like in UO. The tamer's death blow special (a level-based like skill) will take only 1 to 2 months to complete. And unlike the skill-based skills which you can use even before you max out them, a level-based special requires to complete the training in order to be used. That is, before you max out the skill, you cannot use it as a special. Since custom skills are also specials, they are thus trained up the same way as that of the specials. You need 1 to 2 month to complete the custom skill training then use it as a special. [Edited by - Hawkins8 on June 15, 2008 10:34:30 PM]

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This skill/level should work well with the Asymmetric Class System I mentioned earlier.

http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=497637

It should also work well with the battle system I post in another thread. Balance should be made to allow classes to be group friendly, solo friendly or both or crafting friendly.

For example, grouping with crafters such as tailors and blacksmiths will not be a burden to the timeslot/token desgin I mentioned, that is, they are not bound by the timeslots. They are free fighters can do medium damages to the enemies. They are nice to have damage dealers who will not give too much burden to the group. And each group may allow up to, say, 2 to 3 these free fighters doing stable but not serious damages through puts.

On the other hand, those crafters may have their own specials doing special things in a group. For example, a tailor will cause direct damage to the leather armors, such that enemy classes wearing leather type armor may be more subject to melee and spell damage when they are hit by a tailor's special. The same applies to blacksmith and other crafter classes. So that even in siege group PvP, these crafters can do the dirty (even disgusting) jobs of damaging the other side's uber gears. Something like that, hehe...

Some other classes such as fisherman can have powerful under-water spells such that they will be teamed up for under-water battles. When in lands they become the free fighters capable of stumbling the enemies with his threads using for fishing-nets. etc.

[Edited by - Hawkins8 on June 16, 2008 3:05:36 AM]

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