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Joe the Bartender
Ogj321
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PostSubject: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeFri Oct 25, 2019 4:41 am

So after 0.8.9 I have returned to playing protectors, and sometimes WBC 3.
Both have similar problem of rather bad char level up system. My main gripe is usually you just chose three or four skills and advance exclusively in those. Granted mod go in correct direction with it five SP per level to spend as you wish, but this is still not satisfactory for me.
I wondered a bit what you can do to make system better and have following proposition:

Attributes:
1) All attributes are at base ten at start.
2) Race adds only positive modifiers about +10 overall.
3) Class also add only bonuses, similarly also about +10.
4) You get some free points, to be original also about +10, to distribute at char creation as you see fit.
5) You don't get any stat points at leveling.

Skills are something akin to Might&Magic series:
1) Each point in skill cost more to raise 1-> 2 two points, 2-> 3 three points etc.
2) You get more points to spend as you advance in levels 1->9 five points, 11->19 six points etc.

This overall would make hero more powerful on lower levels but less so on higher ones preserving need to use army. It would also bring need for some diversity in skills.

Other:
1) Could we rename attributes to Might, Cunning, Magic? i really don't like dumb warrior archetype, and since intelligence mainly serves as spellcasting stat...

Opinions?
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Joe the Bartender
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeWed Oct 30, 2019 2:24 am

Thanks for the feedback! Everything helps.

Ogj321 wrote:

Both have similar problem of rather bad char level up system. My main gripe is usually you just chose three or four skills and advance exclusively in those.
There's definitely something missing in the level up system. It's much better than it used to be but it doesn't have the satisfying feel of the level up systems found in other RPGs. Should there be a skill tree? Perhaps as the hero levels up, they could get a choice of skills instead of a static set given by the Race/Class? Should spells be more-incorporated into the hero levelling system? Maybe some classes could get access to specific spells from multiple different spheres? Should hero level ups always give 5SP to help promote distribution? I wonder if the problem is that the level up/hero system is too disjointed - like the stats are separate to skills but do the same thing and the spells and perks are completely separate. Perhaps there needs to be more integration between these various different systems? Or maybe they need to be unified in a clever way.

Ogj321 wrote:

Attributes:
1) All attributes are at base ten at start.
2) Race adds only positive modifiers about +10 overall.
3) Class also add only bonuses, similarly also about +10.
4) You get some free points, to be original also about +10, to distribute at char creation as you see fit.
5) You don't get any stat points at leveling.
Having fixed-stats is an interesting idea. I think the values are too extreme - maybe +3/+3/3 stat points would be better? Or +5/+5/5. Anyway, unchangeable stats should help to prevent wizard classes from being too heavily-invested in physical playstyles which could be a good thing. That said, it does also mean that there would be less variety in hero creation. Something does need to be done to help prevent min-maxing when it comes to the stats. It's rare that a spellcaster hero invests in anything except Intelligence for example. In other cases like hybrid warrior/spellcaster classes, they need to invest into Intelligence because they don't have access to Ritual or other spellcasting skills. Something feels very ham-fisted here.

Ogj321 wrote:

Skills are something akin to Might&Magic series:
1) Each point in skill cost more to raise 1-> 2 two points, 2-> 3 three points etc.
2) You get more points to spend as you advance in levels 1->9 five points, 11->19 six points etc.
This is definitely a possibility. It's quite likely that something like this will be implemented, at least for the spells. I'm not sure what the purpose is behind the SP increases though, since point 1 promotes SP distribution and point 2 gives an incentive to min-max again. Instead of going for this route, we made hero level-ups give less SP at higher hero levels, which I think isn't as good. Our current system is inferior to the one above because it doesn't discourage min-maxing.

Ogj321 wrote:

Other:
1) Could we rename attributes to Might, Cunning, Magic? i really don't like dumb warrior archetype, and since intelligence mainly serves as spellcasting stat...

Even though those stats sound better, I don't think so. The stats do have boring names, but might/cunning/magic just sounds like we'd be ripping off Might & Magic. I wouldn't want to detract from that series' originality. That's just my opinion though. If other people want it, then I'd be happy with the name change.
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeSat Nov 02, 2019 9:27 am

Oh there are lots of ways in how to change level up system. My propositions are mostly theoretical and definitely needs to be refined.
I stayed mostly cautious because I don't know how much engine limits potential changes.
Modifying my previous idea, perhaps:
1) Start with five in all stats.
2) Race add +4 with no penalties.
3) Class add +2 also no penalties.
4) You get three free points to spend as you will.
5) Character get one stat point per level.

About skills I'm much less sure. My problem was summed in previous post, but also I want to note that high levels combat heroes basically murder everything. That's no fun at all. Perhaps somewhat radical decision would be level cap of 20? Something more akin to d&d, with levels having more impact.
Skills could be then made as mini trees? You get one skill point per level, skills have three levels itself. For example ferocity->expert ferocity->master ferocity giving character +3/+6/+9 combat skill. Character start with two skills one from race and one from class and gain access to others from class/race combination.
About spells, here I'm radical. Honestly most of spells are borderline useless. I personally ,when using system presented above, would remove most spells and turn rest in they own skills.
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeTue Nov 05, 2019 2:35 pm

After giving it some thought, I think TPC's hero system is too segregated, focuses too much on race selection rather than class, and lastly that the skills don't allow for much differentiation between the classes.

I can understand stats being on a separate page, but skills, perks and spells should all be on the same page and should be investable in the same way. I agree that individual spells should take the place of certain skills (as if spells were like a normal skill slot, and were capable of being levelled-up in the same way) and I also like your stat system as well. The spells should be balanced using the same formula and the same system as the skills rather than them being an entirely segregated feature that jams ten different functions into a single skill slot. Other RPG games manage to do this very well. It would also be really cool to see an upgradable War Cry ability for the Warrior for example.

When creating a hero, there are so many different factors which are all based around the choice of race, class and faction. This sounds fine, but what this does is base hero builds on the choice of race and class combination rather than the choice that should be inherently available in for example, a skill tree. Skill trees are superior because they can allow a class to play in different ways without any outside influences from aspects like the race or faction. I don't think race/faction influences should be removed, rather I think classes should matter more than any other choice. The reason for this is because of the capability to distort classes based on the race because races offer warrior, spellcaster and support skill choices - some of which are unique. It could be argued that this can present more choice when it comes to builds, but then the choice should simply be available within the class by using skill trees rather than for it to be based on static combinations.

Then there's the immense number of mundane and shared skills between classes. In other RPGs with similar systems, there's stats and then there's the skills/abilities/spells etc. Stats determine the basic functionality of the hero, as they currently do in TPC. However, there are numerous skills which have an identical function as the stats except they're slightly more efficient. That's so boring and uninventive. It's like there's no special skill there at all, it's just more of the basic stats. Secondly, loads of skills are shared between classes. Because of that, few classes have a genuinely unique function. The Warrior bashes things. The Monk bashes things. The Dragonslayer and Chieftain also bash things - albeit, with slight differences. TPC has improved this aspect of the game, but it still has this problem. Take a look at Titan Quest for example. Every class has a unique skill tree with unique passive effects and unique abilities. The Theurgist (the Spirit-specialisation) for example can use an ability which drains life from a single target. No other class has that. The Wanderer (the Druid-specialisation) can heal any target. No other class can do that in quite the same way. The Warrior (the Warfare-specialisation) can duel-wield and use whirlwind attacks. Again, no other class can do any of those things. Just about every single passive and every single active ability is completely different from class to class and because these classes have skill trees, they can be played in different ways - they're dynamic and flexible as opposed to the mundane, static race/class selection in TPC. Healers are pretty much the same as Priests except that Priests have more functions. Merchants are pretty much the same as Tinkers except the resources are swapped around. What if these classes simply became merged and the Tinker/Merchant skills became the merged classes' skill tree? That would be so much better. I feel like perks were a good attempt to try and distinguish the classes, but they don't manage to because skills are still the main basis for the hero, meaning players usually pick based on those.

Right now, I think trimming/removing racial skills, scrapping mundane stat-skills and merging similar classes is the way to go. That way we get to provide multiple choices to play the same class instead of static race/class combinations. Question is, how should the skill tree work? Should access be determined only by the prior skill/ability? Should it be determined both by the prior skill/ability and by the hero's stats? Should it be determined both by the prior skill/ability and by some level of investment like in Titan Quest, which the player has to invest in to access the upper tiers of the tree?

The combat system is also a bit of a mess unfortunately. The combat stat is one of the causes of imbalance and is one of the fundamental flaws of the game (I can give further details if you're interested). I hope that the combat system will be updated someday. Level caps were liked by multiple devs (at least Kharn and myself), but we thought that the general public wouldn't be in favour of them. I'm not sure if any of the above sounds good, or if it's worth thinking about or if it's going too far in the wrong direction. Those are just my thoughts. Any suggestions? Stuff you liked/disliked etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 06, 2019 4:37 am

Yeah, I agree that current skill system is bit boring, defaulting to basically more of the same, and I would gladly see proposed skill tree system. Problem lies of course in balancing it and this I fear can be impossible to do. Another thing is hero building in all systems is always exercise in rising numbers unfortunately.
I would definitively agree to combining skills with perks and spells. My main problem with skills is not that they are boring as that lot of heroes will basically mono focus skill, granted TPC is much better here that original - I still remember Dark Elf assassins...
Another thing with skills and spells is to remember that TPC is still mainly RTS game with RPG elements not other way around, so you can't make system too complicated because I as a player have allot things to do in game.
More I think about it the more I like level cap, it would put definitive break on hero power creep. BTW units also should be similarly level capped, in my current game there is no way to use my lvl 50 inquisitor, 31 deployment points...
So I'm for trimming racial skills to 2-3 per race and rolling classes together, hell you could go fully radical and remove classes. That way player could select skills by themselves, 3 racial +3 chosen at level one rest at levels 4/8/12/16?(If there is lvl 20cap)
My main question is do you really want to commit to such serious undertaking as designing new skill tress and balancing them so late in development cycle while there is quite a lot things to polish and balance?
This why I proposed simplified skill system inspired by something like Knights of Old Republic RPG, with only three levels of each skill and single skill point per level, this wayl at lvl 20 you can have 7 maxed skills. Good enough for government work I think.
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeSat Nov 09, 2019 1:52 am

Balancing would be difficult, I agree. There might be a way of testing it but due to the way the game works currently, it would be impossible. Since there are major systems on the table right now, implementing this new hero system should be feasible. Don't worry about overcomplication, if some parts of the game can be updated, they will also be simplified at the same time as a side effect (in addition, the power creep would substantially diminish as well and instead would be more linear). If these major systems can be modified, it would make the balancing work much easier. If not, then it is probable that the skill tree would be too much work.

We've had similar thoughts about the retinue system. At present, it simply doesn't work because their ASP cost increases. If this wasn't the case though, it would be possible to get ridiculously powerful units for the same cost as regular ones. Instead of allowing them to be recruited at the start of a game, we're thinking of making the retinue producible at the HQ building. The unit's cost would scale with its level and it would work in the same way as hero resurrection.
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeSat Nov 09, 2019 5:29 am

Well that's pretty cool. If you want some inspiration as to skill trees there is always Spellforce III. But overall I think that radical reductions in available skills would being order then. Lot of various spell schools could be rolled together, for example divination and healing magic could be united into white magic.
Producing retinue is good idea although it would make charisma/diplomacy based heroes rather useless.
Oh another minor thing, could racial factions differences could be explained somewhere in game. Preferably in pedia perhaps?
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeMon Nov 11, 2019 10:44 pm

Perhaps you could break it down further? An overhaul of the psychology trait sliders you've now given to factions could see them converted to racial culture and replace the skills associated with race. That way it would depict that you, as leader, give cultural direction. The units and buildings themselves already being clear racial distinction.  

Then separate skills into two or three or 4 categories from there. From either just Class and Character to Class, Character, Faction and Fighting Style. Each could have 2-4 skills depending. Personally, I'd rather have 6-8 skills than 10 and then also 1-2 of the new traits you guys made that go with race and class associated with each one.

Fighting Styles would suit 2-3 skills/ new class and race traits.

Ranged: Marksmanship, Bow Mastery - Ranged attack.

Defensive: Invulnerable, Elemental Resistance - Some sort of resistance to Disease and Poison.

Melee: Mighty Blow, Ferocity - Renamed Master of Arms.

Mage: Extend, Longevity - Magery.



Class would be like what you have now, just, again, with 2-3 skills.

Alchemist: Alchemy, Metallurgy, (Smithing) - Goldify

Assassin: Assassin, Evasion, (Shadow Strength) - Cloak of Shadows

Shaman: Nature magic, Ritual, (Warding) - Ancestral Blessing

Character would include things that could be considered personality, possessions, perspective, etc..  

Leader: Tactician, Leadership, (Diplomacy )- Tactical Formations

Aristocrat: Wealth, Frugal Investor, (Engineer (would want the best)) - Lucrative Connections.



I don't know enough about the lore to do factions, but I was thinking the same sort of deal, but where you find faction and  unit specific buffs like the XP and HP buffs from Rune and Lord skills, plus this would be where you get a second of skills found in the other categories.

This would allow for a lot more variation and customization in skils and push toward more character building through attributes due to the shared points pool. I feel that would be much more satisfying.

Also, I like the idea of hard capping skills, preferably at 40. This would allow for better balancing in the long run, while still allowing each character to be unique through attributes and add a depth to planning builds, since, in some cases, there would be better times to max out certain things than others. Character building in-and-of itself is what seems to be missing. As it stands, the best thing to do is pick out a few skills and push them until soft cap hits, diminishing returns make it more effective to up an attribute or disregard one or two of either attributes, skills and spells. Putting a hard cap on them helps with all of those issues and allow for removing diminishing values, making each point as worth it as the one previous.

Additionally, a slight overhaul of the attributes might help as well, with values offered being very rough for examples.

Physicality or Body: +5 HP, +0.25 Melee damage, +0.25 Armor Piercing, +0.25% Critical Strike Damage, +0.20 HP regeneration/s.

Dexterity: +0.025% attack speed, +0.5% critical strike chance, +0.25 Combat, (I don't know how spells are meant to be cast in the lore, but... ) +0.5 Spellcasting Range, +1% Spellcasting chance.

Intelligence: +2 Mana, +0.020 mana regeneration/s, +0.25 Item Stash Page, +0.25 Spell Radious, +0.20s Spell duration.

Influence: +0.25 Morale, +0.25 Initial Troop Experience, +0.5 Command Radious, +0.25 Army Set-up Points, +0.20s Conversion Time Reduction.

The smaller bonuses in places would ideally coincide with smaller skill bonuses. Percentage bonuses that contribute to a 100% cap like critical hit, could be reduced to 1.5% per skill point, making it necessary to up Dexterity as well to get a 100% critical hit chance, which would mean choosing a 100% critical hit chance or something else. This could be further enhanced by making attributes cost only 1 point. That way you get a quick bonus to hard cap through skills for early game, then be able to flesh out the rest of the character later in the game. The slower power progression through attributes. That way you wouldn't have to front load a bunch of skill points, but then standardizing 5 for every level would allow much more diversity in build options, consistency and, I believe, overall satisfaction.

If I did the math right on the critical hit chance, you get 60% from Skill by level 40, with one point per level. If you then invest your remaining 4 points into Dexterity per level, you have the Dexterity you need by level 20. Otherwise you should max it out around level 40 through Dexterity alone. I don't know what balancing to look for, but it seems like good maths.
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Joe the Bartender
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeTue Nov 12, 2019 1:47 pm

Ogj321 wrote:
Producing retinue is good idea although it would make charisma/diplomacy based heroes rather useless.
That is true, Diplomacy builds would suffer. Charisma builds not so much since they discount all buildings/units and research. Diplomacy would need to be buffed for sure.

Ogj321 wrote:
Oh another minor thing, could racial factions differences could be explained somewhere in game. Preferably in pedia perhaps?
A list of faction details is planned. These details may be listed before the race description for easy-viewing.

TwelveStep wrote:
Perhaps you could break it down further? An overhaul of the psychology trait sliders you've now given to factions could see them converted to racial culture and replace the skills associated with race. That way it would depict that you, as leader, give cultural direction. The units and buildings themselves already being clear racial distinction.  

Then separate skills into two or three or 4 categories from there. From either just Class and Character to Class, Character, Faction and Fighting Style. Each could have 2-4 skills depending. Personally, I'd rather have 6-8 skills than 10 and then also 1-2 of the new traits you guys made that go with race and class associated with each one.
If I understand correctly, it's an interesting idea, but I think its implementation could be developed in a better direction. There are a few problems that would occur with this system, two of which are currently present in 0.8.9.

The first problem is that making skills and abilities so that they're based on the hero's psychological traits may not work well because they can be modified by playing the game. There's no way to give a hero a specific set of skills without also making them change along with the psych perk (and if they didn't change with the psychological trait, they would make no sense). There wouldn't be balance or choice so to speak, rather the skills would mostly be outside of the player's control.

The second, which occurs in 0.8.9, is that the hero development choices would be partially limited, if not completely limited, to character creation. Giving players choices when they level-up is generally better than giving them a single set of choices on character creation.

The third problem, which also occurs in 0.8.9, is that heroes would be able to perform roles outside their class definitions. In the most extreme cases, certain race/class combinations can make other classes irrelevant. This happens in 0.8.9 because of unrestricted stats, unrestricted racial skills and because of unrestricted spell sphere access. To give some examples, Healers can become superior Master Paladins by making use of racial combat skills, and vice-versa via racial spellcasting skills. Warrior/wizard hybrids shouldn't be as capable as wizards when it comes to casting spells, yet racial skills can allow them to be (especially Plaguelords, since they have Leech). Certain classes have the same function as others but with additional features (the Priest's Healing/Divination combo comes to mind). In general, heroes shouldn't share as many skills and spells as they do for risk of performing the same function (or a superior version of the same function or the same function with additional functions).

I like variety and think it's always a good thing, but I also think that there is such a thing as the wrong kind of variation. In 0.8.9, classes can perform the exact same role as other classes through the use of racial skills and stats. It could be argued that this increases variation since it's possible to play a melee Healer build for example, but what this can do is blend the definition of the hero with another, such as a Master Paladin. In some cases, these race/class combos can perform the same role as others but in superior ways. That does present an issue, where balance is concerned. That means there's less variance since those two, different builds essentially perform the same function. I think more of the hero's build should focus on a single aspect, such as class for example, so that each one plays in a different way. I think there needs to be restrictions to ensure that balance is maintained and so that different classes actually play as different classes. That's why there needs to be as few overlapping skills, spells and abilities as possible. In that sense, the number of racial skills would need to be reduced, or racial skills would need to be exchanged for other skills or perhaps they need to be removed altogether. Stats would also need to be restricted, since they essentially offer skills like Ferocity, Mighty Blow, Swiftness, Invulnerability/Elemental Resistance, Diplomacy, Convincing etc for any hero.

I think merging classes into super-classes and providing skill trees fixes most of these problems whilst still providing unique variance. For example, a spellcaster hero could have healing magic, nature magic and rune magic or they could specifically invest their skill points down one or more specific trees. That equates to 7 different hero classes, rolled into one (healing, nature, runes, healing & nature, healing & runes, nature & runes and lastly all three skill trees). Classes like the Master Paladin could have access to specific spells in the healing spell sphere, whilst the aforementioned super-class could have access to different spells in the healing spell sphere. By separating class abilities, they can be made to play in different ways since they share no abilities with other classes.

TwelveStep wrote:
Also, I like the idea of hard capping skills
I like this idea too, though I'm unsure what others would think as it may create a hero level cap, or at least a sense of hero level cap. I would be happy with either or both of these implementations.

TwelveStep wrote:
Character building in-and-of itself is what seems to be missing.
It is for sure (though I'd say that would be to do with the hero's role-playing factor rather than their stats). The campaign isn't finished and there's currently no way to translate the hero's actions into skirmish battles (perhaps some quests can generate based on the hero's campaign bonuses?). I think one of the things that needs to happen is that the hero's campaign diplomacy should be reflected in skirmish missions. A hero's diplomacy should be connected to the hero rather than their relations in a specific campaign. That way, this information can be carried over into skirmish levels or into other campaigns, chapters and missions. For example, if the hero is an enemy of all the daemon factions, then they'd be unable to trade with a daemon shop or they may even get attacked by guards. Perhaps the hero should earn titles through their actions? Say if they free Gorgon, they could be given a title to display that (and events/quests can react based on this as well, as they should with the hero's achievements). Moreover, quests should be one of the primary systems to handle this element of the game. Quests need to be able to react based on the character's psychological traits and on their feats, such as units killed, dragons slain etc. There needs to be events which simply happen to the hero when they visit quest sites. At the moment, quests follow the formula: 1. Do something, such as kill some things or pay some resources, then return to the quest site. 2. Claim reward. There's no role-playing element whatsoever. There's so much room for improvement here.

TwelveStep wrote:
Additionally, a slight overhaul of the attributes might help as well
I agree with this. There are a lot of problems with stats, such as their universal accessibility and their shared bonuses with skills (then there's Dexterity's attack speed modifier which multiplies the effectiveness of combat heroes. Because of that, it's impossible to balance since there's no pre-defined average for hero damage and there never can be).

There's definitely a lot of development required in the hero system. As always, thanks for your continued interest! It's always helpful and everything will be taken into consideration. It's amazing to see people sticking around after all these years.
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 13, 2019 10:17 am

Actually I'm not a fan of psychological traits. To little effect and inability to have any choice when changing them are irritating. Secondly balance is rather weird, why for example I would want quantity when quality gives me + 2morale witch increases both attack speed and army limit?
My solution would be making those traits "binary" I guess is best description and unchangeable in normal game. Perhaps only some choices in new campaign should be able to change them.
So for example you get:
1) Good/Neutral/Evil - character of you hero
2) Nationalist/Indifferent/Diverse - -50% shop prices/no effect/-25% shop prices when different race.
3) Populist/Centrist/Aristocratic -  -50% unit cost and -50% HP/No effect/ +50% unit cost and +50% HP.
4) Altruistic/Centred/Selfish - +5 morale +20% unit cost/No effect/-5morale -20% unit cost.
5) Daring/Steady/Cautious - +10 %critical chance for you and enemy units/No effect/ -10% critical chance for you and enemy units.
6) Extrovert/Balanced/Introvert - -20%HP/MP regen for hero +20% HP/MP regen for units/No effect/Reverse to first
7) Traditionalist/Mixed/Liberal - + 50% conversion time for enemy/No effect/ -50% conversion time for you.
8 ) Experimental/Curious/Methodical - -10%casting -10%MP cost/No effect/+10%casting +10%MP cost.
9) Quantity/Standard/Quality - - 50% training time -25% combat/No effect/ +50%training time +25% combat.

About skills perhaps something like Heroes 5 system? Each skills have three levels an have three sub-skills to chose from. For example mighty blow-> expert mighty blow-> master mighty blow (+3/6/9dmg) with sub-skills of cleave(splash attack), reaver(double damage vs. large) etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeThu Nov 14, 2019 5:25 am

Making them normal, investable perks is a possibility. The other option would be to remove their effects on RTS gameplay. I'm more inclined towards that option since it could be a bit strange to invest skill points to make a character more liberal for example.

Quantity/Quality and Methodologist/Experimentalist were shifted from proficiency perks to psychological perks in 0.8.9. I think both of these have particularly strange functions and don't really fit. Quantity/Quality is particularly strange to me, as it's not a psychological trait.

The Heroes 5 style system is pretty much skill trees so I'd assume something like should work well.
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeThu Nov 14, 2019 12:17 pm

Ah, I mean that those perks are assigned at character creation. It would depend on chosen race and faction.
So Knight Crusader of Mirea would have Good/Nationalist/Aristocratic/Daring/Extrovert and Traditionalist tags.
Or player could chose their perks at start.
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TwelveStep
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 15, 2019 12:22 am

My idea was based on minimal overlapping. For instance, some classes may have the same skills, but class skills wouldn't be found anywhere else other than faction skills. Likewise, Racial skills would only otherwise be found in faction skills. Since factions could determine a huge number of things.

I didn't realize, however, that with the skill trees, you would also be condensing classes to archetypes and allowing branching as the player sees fit. That does sound like it would be awesome.

Question about that, though: do you know, at the moment, if we would still be at a 10 skill cap?
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Joe the Bartender
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 15, 2019 7:24 am

Ogj321 wrote:
Ah, I mean that those perks are assigned at character creation. It would depend on chosen race and faction.
So Knight Crusader of Mirea would have Good/Nationalist/Aristocratic/Daring/Extrovert and Traditionalist tags.
Or player could chose their perks at start.
Ah I understand now, thanks for the suggestion. I think a psych perk poll would be really helpful, since there are others which feel the same way (that either they become investable, controllable perks or they don't have effects on the RTS gameplay).

TwelveStep wrote:
My idea was based on minimal overlapping. For instance, some classes may have the same skills, but class skills wouldn't be found anywhere else other than faction skills. Likewise, Racial skills would only otherwise be found in faction skills. Since factions could determine a huge number of things.
What about the function of race skills, faction skills and the proposed fighting style skills? Wouldn't that allow classes to play as pretty much every other class? Since some races have fewer factions than others, wouldn't that present an unfair number of choices, since factions would become more important?

TwelveStep wrote:
Question about that, though: do you know, at the moment, if we would still be at a 10 skill cap?
I'm unsure at present. I guess it depends on whether or not there are enough skills, spells and perks or if there are more than enough per skill tree per class. It would also depend on the number of different skill tree pathways we give each class too.
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeMon Nov 18, 2019 9:07 am

It would allow every class to play as pretty much every other class, if the same choices were made, aside from the class skills for the most part. With fewer class skills given, though, it would allow for more distinction between classes as well. Magic spheres could be specific to one or two classes. Alchemist being the only class that gets alchemy, for instance.

Honestly, I was really sleepy when I thought of it and didn't go too in depth in my head and even less so in explanation. There was a lot left out and a lot I felt was implied, but wasn't.

I hadn't played too much with the latest update and still wasn't entirely clear on how factions worked and still have no idea how you're going about developing them, but again, the implication I left out was that they could be overhauled to suit balance as well. Otherwise, yeah, that could be very imbalanced.

For the classes, though, I feel like specifically it wouldn't be that big a deal, since it would be more about the player building the character they want to play rather than building certain play style around themes based one title, spreading it, instead, to several categories.

It would leave a lot for roleplaying and allow to compensate for lack of optimization by finding it somewhere else.

If I wanted to roleplay a pure caster, I could choose a Mage Combat style I posted with an Elementalist class (fire and ice spell spheres for this example) and a character trait of something like "Scholar" which could give mana and mana regen bonuses. Then through faction, if I'm playing Empire, I could find my variation or continue the theme. A faction that buffs caster units or a faction that buffs melee unit defenses, so my hero has meat shields.

Or I could make something like a Melee Shaman (from previous examples) with a rager personality that could have the rage mechanic you have minotaurs and a crit damage % increase or death blow or something with a faction benefit of units raging, too.

Otherwise could go build thematic in a way that doesn't really suit roleplaying and have a Defender Necromancer with a character trait of Aristocrat and a faction bonus that improves  building HP and tower damage.

Or just get crazy and have a Ranged Monk (attack speed, Evasion)  with an intimidating character (fear aura, Coward slayer for example) and a faction benefit that improves spellcasting.

Just to toss some ideas out to better explain how I was seeing it in my head. Again, I don't know how much of what can be moved, condensed, expanded or what else can be created, but I figured this would expand character choices on how each individual wants to play while also allowing them to try different factions or classes in a way that suits them better, by giving more moving parts to focus the whole thing how the player wants.

If I'm understanding the tree thing, though, it seems like it would do pretty much the same thing with more options given to the character after creation rather than structuring the whole thing at creation, which could work out better for everyone. Especially you, since it seems easier than recategorizing and reorganizing virtually every aspect of character creation.
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Joe the Bartender
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeTue Nov 19, 2019 12:42 pm

If every class can play as pretty much any other class, why have classes? Might as well go all the way and remove all skills, spells, abilities and perks from races, classes and factions and instead have one huge skill sheet or skill tree. Then, any hero would be able to do anything.

Currently, factions modify each respective parent race in a similar fashion as Age of Empires. In general, they make a few tweaks to the race's productions. There are a couple of factions which have more substantial modifications too. Factions were partially developed to replace TPC 0.8.8's Proficiency (that's why they each one gives access to a perk). They've been made according to the game's lore, though there are a few unofficial ones because there isn't any lore about certain races and areas of Etheria. Because they are based on the lore, there may continue to be an uneven number of factions between the races. It depends on whether or not it causes issues down the line.

I don't see how complete freedom of hero creation would benefit the roleplaying element. Some players might try to create balanced, sensible heroes, but they would have to define that themselves as there would be no definition of what a hero is supposed to be. In addition, a lot of players would create ridiculous heroes which break game balance. A large majority of players would never conceptualise self-restriction. As a result, a lot of players would make heroes which play like any other, treating the skill-set as one single hero class. Heroes would no longer have roles since they are effectively all roles. Some players would have little desire to make more than one hero as they would probably play in a similar way (or share specific elements). Events, dialogue, stat checks, skill checks and spell checks would all be relatively meaningless since there would be less variation in the unique approaches each hero could take with regards to a certain event or situation. Every hero would be capable of healing the sick man lying by the road or casting pyromancy spells to warm themselves during a blizzard or controlling plants to create barriers against an ambush. Instead of having a specific role, the hero would be a vague entity or concept. Overall, I think the idea would impair re-playability and deconstruct the roleplaying format. The idea gave me a lot to think about and it took me a great deal of time to develop an answer. I think it's a good idea and I appreciate it, but I feel something like this is better for sandbox games rather than RPGs.

The merged super-classes and skill trees idea is similar in some respects, but there are differences as well. It's more of a compromise between pure freedom and archetypal roles. Instead of allowing any hero to be just about any other, the super-class & skill tree idea offers restrictions which make heroes easier to balance and makes them more distinct (since most super-classes would have their own unique functions). It still offers some versatility, but the versatility it offers would be controllable both because of the restrictions and because of the way skill trees work (spreading out investment among the available skill trees would mean that the hero would be incapable of accessing the higher-tier skills).
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PostSubject: Hmmm food for zombie thoughts   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeFri Mar 06, 2020 4:40 am

Here's what I understand and think should happen.

If my thoughts are correct each ability starts at 5, but this can lead to -? numbers...

My solution is simple, start at 8. but reduce the core formulas so that for ever 3 points of the system would be 2 from the old. This would mean however we would get 4/5 base values at start.

But here's where things get dicey.

The first level, pick a race. It should have a total bonus of +2 in one or two abilities, and in the event a bonus gets to +3, a -1 penalty should be applied elsewhere.

Then at second level, pick a archetype, This archetype would give you another total bonus of (+1/+2) / (+3/-1) to it's chosen ability, plus 5 points into skills or further develop your character.

Then at third level, pick a class. It gives you another (+1/+2) to it's core type, or (+3 / -1) if needed with another 5 points.

This allows a total bonus of 6 points to help develop the character, which would then add +6/5 bonus with a base value just over initial character creation.

After that, it's character development as normal.

If your not sure what an archetype should feel like, I have Ideas.

Magus
Key Bonus: INT
Weapon Type: Magic
Skills:
Lore
Ritual
Occultism


Juggernaught
Key Bonus: STR
Weapon Type: Melee
Skills
Demolition
Consitution
Ferocity


Warrior
Key Bonus: +1 STR / +1 DEX
Weapon Type: Melee
Skills
Engineering
Constitution
Rally


Hunter
Key Bonus: DEX
Weapon Type: Ranged
Skills
Marksman
Leadership
Nature Magic


Anyway, food for thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeSun May 03, 2020 3:59 pm

I like this discussion and I would love if the RPG element were to improve as it is really my fav part. I think one way to support balance is if a hero is say intelligence based then strength should cost more to develop. Like to me if you play Fey now, you start out way behind in strength based on class choice but maybe not so far ahead in intelligence. I too would like to see stats more class based. Caps I think would break the rpg element. At times I feel limited with the current system because I want to take parts of two classes and put them together. This sounds like creating more classes but actually I think your suggestion of combining/eliminating would solve this. I'm up in the air because while I clearly see your point that many of the classes are very similar, I see a vast difference between the healer and the priest.
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeMon Jun 22, 2020 5:36 pm

I really like the layout of how character level is in the latest release. All the pages seem strong and the options are interesting.

I do feel values need to be modified to make it more satisfying, though. I'm strongly on-board with a fixed attribute value and only positive numbers coming from race selection. Preferably 6 to allow a better pace with new characters. Race modifier boost based on racial strengths.

You'd have to use the factions with the lowest stats as the guidelines. 5 Intelligence being the lowest would have to be based on like orcs. So, high elves would get like +4 Intelligence. Lowest Charisma probably based on Daemons, so High elves would also get +4 Charisma. I guess a combined bonus of 8 overall from race seems right from my perspective. So Fey being the basis for 5 strength, Minotaurs could have +6 Strength, Dwarfs being the basis for Dexterity, +2 Dexterity for Minotaurs seems appropriate. One thing I do feel is a little off is how Charisma is looked at. It's based on troop bolstering and bartering. A good Orc leader would have high Charisma in this case, because he would inspire following, effort and be able to intimidate better prices. So, Orcs would have a decent Charisma. +3 Strength +3 Dexterity, +2 Charisma. Empire +2 everything. Knights, +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +1 Intelligence, +3 Charisma

Classes could then have a +5 bonus with a -10 deficit.

Warrior +3 Strength, +2 Dexterity -5 Intelligence, -5 Charisma. In this case, Minotaur Warriors would start with 20 Strength, but they would be able to build significantly fewer units with no experience or stat bonuses. Their units already take a while to build, so they could either risk their early defensive advantage by harassing enemy expansion in the hopes their enemy doesn't have a counter to single-unit brute strength or play the strong defense themselves. This would allow for extremely satisfying warriors while not denying a means to counter them.

Runemaster: +3 Intelligence, +2 Dexterity, -5 Strength, -5 Charisma. They keep their head in their books and use magic for labor.

This would allow for more differentiation and better pace at start and a significant amount of character satisfaction in that dedicated characters would have a significant boost over characters that choose caster, then run it melee or something.


I do feel like 5 points per level is necessary, though. It's already a slow build with much smaller scaling than the original.

I was also thinking there could be skill trade-offs in certain classes for units. Tinker, for instance, instead of getting five skills, allows the race to build units it wouldn't normally get to build instead, kind of like how factions work. Or Otherwise gets one skill that progressively unlocks mechanical units and then increases starting XP for them and some skills that increase certain stats for those units.

If Tinker unlocks Flame Tanks and those spider bomb things, you could remove Tactician and Alchemy for more appropriate classes. Allowing more focused builds and flavor.

This would also allow the removal of summons in spell trees other than Summoning magic, giving Summoning magic a unique position that allows for diversity in what can be summoned and allow more focused points to be done purely through unlocking units.

Daemonologists could then get the means to train certain demon units instead of being about summoning. You could make Summoner its own class. Make Daemonolist more about being demony than magicy.


Master Paladins could unlock Paladins and then as a point of preference, maybe be more about buffing ones own units than being another healing unit. Something like... the unlocking of Paladins, Tactician, Warding, Fervor, Elemental Resistance. Or give them unique buffs that only work on righteous/holy/good units at level 9 with a perk that makes all of your units Righteous. Kind of like how Defiler has an HP bonus to units that can transmit disease then has a perk that allows all of your units to transmit disease.


I think overall this would open up a lot of options, focus flavor more clearly and be more satisfying.
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 24, 2020 10:58 pm

a good way to make a fixed creation character with points a things could be to implement a D&D character creation. each class having a base 10 for each attribute + penalty/bonuses depending on which is the main/secondary attribute like wizards classes could have a +2 to intelligence +1 to charisma -2 strenght -1 dexterity, and having then like 20 points to distribute, but the cost of points needed (only in the creation) to raise an attribute increase with the attribute level. like 1 skill point needed from 5 to 12, 2 for 12-15 range, 3 for 15-20 range. or something like that. In D&D the creation is made that out of the 6 atributes you can have some preset:

15, 15, 15, 8, 8, 8

15, 15, 14, 10, 8, 8

15, 15, 14, 9, 9, 8

15, 15, 13, 12, 8, 8

15, 15, 13, 11, 9, 8

15, 15, 13, 10, 10, 8

15, 15, 13, 10, 9, 9

or many more. To these values you add racial/class penalty/bonuses, which makes the highest attribute like to 18 obtainable only to 1 attribute. like minotaurs/dwarven races could have a +2 to strenght, while high elves +2 intelligence, wood elves/feys +1 dexterity + 1 intelligence or things like that. Or instead of giving penalty/bonuses to attributes, race could give penalty/bonuses on skills directly. Like undead/plaguelords could have a penalty on healing magic or bonuses on necro/poison magic. Or could be both meaning attributes AND skills racial bonus/penalties (maybe adding variation for the new factions stuff), + leaving untouched the class related skills.

i don't think that implementing a D&D hero creation would be a bad idea. surely is it would need a rework for the downgrade from 6 to 4 attributes. No need to touch the skill system.
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PostSubject: Here's a thought   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitimeTue Dec 22, 2020 7:11 am

As of right now, Each ability starts at 5.

There are four abilities.

Total 20 points.

Now, If there were say six or eight abilities that started at 6 that would be 30 to 40 points. But there would need to be nerfs on how each point effected the character. Say 4/6 or 5/6 stats. Also another idea popped into my head. Not sure if this would be better or worse, but each 1st level each character only gets 4-12 hp / mp depending on their class then gets a small amount each level. All damage would have to be nerfed down but just a thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Different Character leveling system   Different Character leveling system I_icon_minitime

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