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#520437 16/07/14 01:49 AM
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When I stumbled upon Original Sin I had just been musing about how cool it would be to have turn based combat in a large free RPG.

Original Sin ticks a lot of boxes and I am constantly finding myself smiling at the great work the developers have done.

I do have some suggestions though. My main frustration is the use of skill books and skill limits. I don't see the logic or point of making people buy skill books. To me it's a distraction and an annoyance and gets in the way.

I want to feel a connection to my character. I get this from having freedom to make choices and seeing the character grow from those choices. I would really prefer a system like Neverwinter nights or similar where when your character gains a level you can choose to pick from a number of new spells or abilities. So you have trade offs to make and choices that allow you to make a unique 'ish character.

The skill books make no sense. Hey I just walk into a shop and buy a new skill book - read it and wala - I have a new skill. Well, they probably make sense if you need to give everyone access to every class skill. So, thinking outloud, I am probably saying ditch the classless system, or make it some thing people can unlock naturally. EG - if you put enough points into strength / constitution then you unlock a fighter....put points into Intel ---> you can unlock a mage - or you can put those point into your existing skills and unlock those class related abilities.

Books....bleh!!!


Jabba #520470 16/07/14 02:45 AM
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I think it is fine for the most part. The current system is a bit tedious though because of the micromanagment.

I wish that I could add skills and spells from skillbooks that I find to a character's personal skill book, so that I can change (or add to) a character's current repertoire of active skills at my own will.
I wouldn't mind if I had to pay tribute (a fee in gold) to a specific goddess, or something similar, in order to change a skill.

dlux #520610 16/07/14 06:20 AM
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....adding to a "character skill book" is still making it an in-organic book keeping process rather than something that is inherently part of the character.

I think making the game "classless" is way of dumbing the game down and the skill books is just a lazy way of accommodating that. What the player ends up with is big mess of vendors you have to visit to find the books to upgrade certain class skills. It doesn't add anything to the game it just makes it more tedious.

Better that if I ding a level I can just select my character sheet and make choices straight away rather than having to remember which vendor to visit to get the skill book I need.

Jabba #520620 16/07/14 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Jabba
I think making the game "classless" is way of dumbing the game down


So...giving people freedom to mold their characters however they see fit, is dumbing down the game?

Jabba #520629 16/07/14 06:42 AM
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JabbaI do have some suggestions though. My main frustration is the use of skill books and skill limits. I don't see the logic or point of making people buy skill books. To me it's a distraction and an annoyance and gets in the way.


You don't have to buy them, they can be crafted, and in fact it's the preferable method when you want to get specific skills that you cant find in the shops. But yeah I like the skill books, it makes me feel nostalgic, and I can't think of anything that would really fit better in this game.

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Jabba #520638 16/07/14 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Jabba
I think making the game "classless" is way of dumbing the game down and the skill books is just a lazy way of accommodating that.

rolleyes

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Originally Posted by Jito463
Originally Posted by Jabba
I think making the game "classless" is way of dumbing the game down


So...giving people freedom to mold their characters however they see fit, is dumbing down the game?


That's not what I said exactly, but because it's removing the common RPG complexity of class restrictions it does make the game more accessible to people not used to RPG rules I suppose; that's not necessarily a bad thing, but either way skill books just strike me as a silly concept.

You could make it classless without skill books.

Mijin #520689 16/07/14 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Mijin
[quote=JabbaI do have some suggestions though. My main frustration is the use of skill books and skill limits. I don't see the logic or point of making people buy skill books. To me it's a distraction and an annoyance and gets in the way.


You don't have to buy them, they can be crafted, and in fact it's the preferable method when you want to get specific skills that you cant find in the shops. But yeah I like the skill books, it makes me feel nostalgic, and I can't think of anything that would really fit better in this game. [/quote]

So in crafting, the game logic is, I have the knowledge to make the skill book, so I can get the skill and not pay for it, but I don't actually have the skill until I use the book?

That sounds even more silly. OR do you mean the idea is that once you have the skill, you make a book that you give to other members of your group but you still have to buy the skill initialy?

There's a nother silly thing. It's a book. Not a hamburger. Once you read a book it's still a book? Where does it go? smile

Jabba #520692 16/07/14 08:08 AM
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I wouldn't recommend saying "wala" again, the point would've been made without butchering the language!

As for skillbooks themselves I do agree the system has drawbacks, but ultimately one of the best games of the last 20 years had an interesting skill mechanic - Guild Wars.

Regarding someone foolishly proclaiming the game is "dumbed down" with a system that rewards players for being intelligent with their resources (in this case, skill points and which skills to take) is akin to believing that a classless system requires fewer brain cells activating in sequence. The classless system is just fine and worked out fairly well - obviously a few more companions would've been a boon but still, the game is enjoyable and those feeling it's "dumbed down" should stick to Sudoku to increase their brainpower.

Dmnqwk #520699 16/07/14 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Dmnqwk
I wouldn't recommend saying "wala" again, the point would've been made without butchering the language!

As for skillbooks themselves I do agree the system has drawbacks, but ultimately one of the best games of the last 20 years had an interesting skill mechanic - Guild Wars.

Regarding someone foolishly proclaiming the game is "dumbed down" with a system that rewards players for being intelligent with their resources (in this case, skill points and which skills to take) is akin to believing that a classless system requires fewer brain cells activating in sequence. The classless system is just fine and worked out fairly well - obviously a few more companions would've been a boon but still, the game is enjoyable and those feeling it's "dumbed down" should stick to Sudoku to increase their brainpower.


I find it ammusing that people don't seem able to conduct a rational conversation that has an opinion different to them without using personal insults.

Believe it or not people are able to formulate their own opinions about things that will differ from yours, and even if they make spelling mistakes or disagree with you it doesn't make them stupid, nor does it make them wrong.

Thankyou for your opinion. You might like to work on your people skills though.

Jabba #521455 16/07/14 11:16 PM
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Don't get me wrong, Larian have produced a exceptionally polished product. I am relieved that a developer has stepped up to plate to make the kind of RPG I love. This is definitely up there with the Baldurs gates and Neverwinter nights products; which they have borrowed heavily from.

The skill books / character skills feels like they didn't have enough time to fully polish this part of the game up and left it as it is.

Hopefully in future patches or DLC add-ons there might be a re-imagining on this facet. I think it would really add to the immersion if your character progression was more like the NWN system and skills, spells, and classes become unlocked organically. It would be interesting to hear what the rationale was for the books if it wasn't merely that they ran out of time.

At the moment the excitement of gaining a level is snuffed out and quickly replaced with annoyance that I have to find a vendor with the book I need.

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Jabba #521508 17/07/14 12:34 AM
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I dislike skill books as a rule in video games, but acknowledge it's probably one of the better ways to handle a classless system.

Zozma #521541 17/07/14 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Zozma
I dislike skill books as a rule in video games, but acknowledge it's probably one of the better ways to handle a classless system.


Without wanting to sound argumentative for the sake of it; what makes it better and what other methods would you have been thinking of as a reference?

What purpose do the books serve?

One purpose is to allow you get a new skill that you are able to use because you have level'd up. This could much more easily be achieved by keeping it all within the character management sheet. Just allow people to select abilities in what ever class they unlock. Simple.

Another purpose is as a crafting objective. There are scrolls etc to craft.

Another is as a Gold sink. Balancing player income need not come at the expense of infuriatingly annoying game mechanics.

It adds another challenge for you to overcome. That's true. One man's annoyance is another man's challenge. But one could argue that for most any poorly designed game mechanic.

A rich immersive RPG should seek to make the interface and game mechanics as invisible and unobtrusive as possible.

Maybe I am missing something?

Jabba #521578 17/07/14 02:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Jabba
Without wanting to sound argumentative for the sake of it; what makes it better and what other methods would you have been thinking of as a reference?

One purpose is to allow you get a new skill that you are able to use because you have level'd up. This could much more easily be achieved by keeping it all within the character management sheet. Just allow people to select abilities in what ever class they unlock. Simple.

What purpose do the books serve?


The way I see it:
1. Skills can be replaced, which makes selecting skills at level-up impractical.
2. Skill numbers are limited by their respective ability, meaning you'd have to hold off on filling your available skills if you're waiting for a higher level skill that you can't use yet. This would require foresight and planning that new players wouldn't have available to them.

Now both those things can be worked around in a different system, but I think they're examples of how a skill book system is simpler and more intuitive.

Originally Posted by Jabba
Another purpose is as a crafting objective. There are scrolls etc to craft.

Another is as a Gold sink. Balancing player income need not come at the expense of infuriatingly annoying game mechanics.


To be fair, skillbooks are probably the only worthwhile expense in the entire game. Vendors rarely sell anything else of value.

Originally Posted by Jabba
It adds another challenge for you to overcome. That's true. One man's annoyance is another man's challenge. But one could argue that for most any poorly designed game mechanic.


The only thing about it that's "challenging" is that merchant selection is random, which is a feature I've been pretty vocal against whenever it comes up. Otherwise it just constitutes a monetary investment that you can easily and consistently afford only a few hours after starting the game.

Zozma #521616 17/07/14 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Zozma
Originally Posted by Jabba
Without wanting to sound argumentative for the sake of it; what makes it better and what other methods would you have been thinking of as a reference?

One purpose is to allow you get a new skill that you are able to use because you have level'd up. This could much more easily be achieved by keeping it all within the character management sheet. Just allow people to select abilities in what ever class they unlock. Simple.

What purpose do the books serve?


The way I see it:
1. Skills can be replaced, which makes selecting skills at level-up impractical.
2. Skill numbers are limited by their respective ability, meaning you'd have to hold off on filling your available skills if you're waiting for a higher level skill that you can't use yet. This would require foresight and planning that new players wouldn't have available to them.

Now both those things can be worked around in a different system, but I think they're examples of how a skill book system is simpler and more intuitive.

Originally Posted by Jabba
Another purpose is as a crafting objective. There are scrolls etc to craft.

Another is as a Gold sink. Balancing player income need not come at the expense of infuriatingly annoying game mechanics.


To be fair, skillbooks are probably the only worthwhile expense in the entire game. Vendors rarely sell anything else of value.

Originally Posted by Jabba
It adds another challenge for you to overcome. That's true. One man's annoyance is another man's challenge. But one could argue that for most any poorly designed game mechanic.


The only thing about it that's "challenging" is that merchant selection is random, which is a feature I've been pretty vocal against whenever it comes up. Otherwise it just constitutes a monetary investment that you can easily and consistently afford only a few hours after starting the game.


So for you it's the replaceability of the skills that make the books seem appropriate to you?

I merely added other justifications to show I had thought about what inherent use the books could possibly be justified for I wasn't actually suggesting those points make a lot of sense but that's what I was able to think up.




Last edited by Jabba; 17/07/14 04:08 AM.
Jabba #521645 17/07/14 04:50 AM
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To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of skill books as a mechanic. However...
Originally Posted by Jabba
I would really prefer a system like Neverwinter nights or similar where when your character gains a level you can choose to pick from a number of new spells or abilities. So you have trade offs to make and choices that allow you to make a unique 'ish character...

So, thinking outloud, I am probably saying ditch the classless system, or make it some thing people can unlock naturally.
...if this is the alternative to skill books, then skill books are definitely the lesser of the two evils. Classlessness adds such a higher degree of customization than any form of class-based system ever could.

I honestly feel the best answer is for Larian to designate more guaranteed loot drops, such that at least one copy of every single spell is guaranteed. This doesn't necessarily need to be in the form of the skillbook directly; if clearing all the content guarantees blank skillbooks which can be Crafted with the appropriate scrolls, then that works too, assuming it's reasonable to assume the player has Crafting 5... so really, that would only apply to skills with a skill-level of at least 13. For everything higher than that, a guaranteed scroll hidden somewhere is fine; for everything lower than that, a guaranteed actual skillbook hidden somewhere is fine. It's okay to make some of these spots very obscure side areas, such as side quests. (If you need multiple copies of the skill because multiple characters in your party intend to use it, that would be on you.)

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Originally Posted by ScrotieMcB
To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of skill books as a mechanic. However...
Originally Posted by Jabba
I would really prefer a system like Neverwinter nights or similar where when your character gains a level you can choose to pick from a number of new spells or abilities. So you have trade offs to make and choices that allow you to make a unique 'ish character...

So, thinking outloud, I am probably saying ditch the classless system, or make it some thing people can unlock naturally.
...if this is the alternative to skill books, then skill books are definitely the lesser of the two evils. Classlessness adds such a higher degree of customization than any form of class-based system ever could.

I honestly feel the best answer is for Larian to designate more guaranteed loot drops, such that at least one copy of every single spell is guaranteed. This doesn't necessarily need to be in the form of the skillbook directly; if clearing all the content guarantees blank skillbooks which can be Crafted with the appropriate scrolls, then that works too, assuming it's reasonable to assume the player has Crafting 5... so really, that would only apply to skills with a skill-level of at least 13. For everything higher than that, a guaranteed scroll hidden somewhere is fine; for everything lower than that, a guaranteed actual skillbook hidden somewhere is fine. It's okay to make some of these spots very obscure side areas, such as side quests. (If you need multiple copies of the skill because multiple characters in your party intend to use it, that would be on you.)


Books are not required for a classless system. Making the books drop more essentially re-asserts the pointlessness of the books. The MAIN complaint is the pointless running around required to find the and buy books. It's just an annoyance.

The second complaint is that it is illogical and detracts from the immersion. With classes or without classes, I want to be immersed in my character and his/her development through experience and to see what my choices to his/her attributes make in the following encounters. I want to be able to apply my choices when I gain experience - I DON'T want to have to stop what I am doing, go back to a town, run all over the place to find a vendor that has various scrolls I can pick from and then go back to what I was doing. Only to have another encounter and have another member ding and do it over and over and again.

Everything the current book system provides can be done without books -you just get rid of the books and give people choices in the character management to allocate points as they see fit.


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I've had zero problems with this particular system and enjoy it personally.

It forces you to role play. If a vendor doesn't have a Skill Book you want upon leveling up, you can check many vendors and your Homestead. There are also numerous Skill Books to be found while you're actually playing the game.


There are casual friendly methods one could use to break this process like reloading after level up if a vendor doesn't have what you're looking for.


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Originally Posted by allsweptaway
I've had zero problems with this particular system and enjoy it personally.

It forces you to role play. If a vendor doesn't have a Skill Book you want upon leveling up, you can check many vendors and your Homestead. There are also numerous Skill Books to be found while you're actually playing the game.


There are casual friendly methods one could use to break this process like reloading after level up if a vendor doesn't have what you're looking for.



How does this have anything to do with role playing? I am playing a role of a warrior and I cannot use a skill until I locate a random vendor who happens to have a book I need? It would make some sense if there were trainers you had to visit. It would still be annoying but at least THAT would make sense.

So I level up and I go "My friends, please wait under yonder tree while I return to nearest town. Praytell who must I seeketh to find the charge boon I have been yearning for? Would that be thine fish monger or mayhaps the Shady character staying on the first floor of the tavern? "

"Fear not, when i return I will bring thee all cheese" .

OR

I can just allocate the points in my character sheet and keep questing?

This is more intuitive, fun, and allows me to keep playing my role and stay immersed.

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One alternative could be allocating skill points spent on skills, on skill trees, giving access to the skills/spells you want. This way Larian could put in some passive abilities as well, to even further give customization options.

Last edited by Nass; 17/07/14 09:41 AM.
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