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DigitalCommunist
November Corporation
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:07:00 - [1]
 

HARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Its fitting that I end my first day back to these forums with some post on game design, so brace yourself things might get a little epic.

Why? Well, one thing I found these forums lacked (while pervertedly stalking and lurking from the shadows) were more posts on game balance/design that didn't have to do with ships and combat. Its not as if I don't enjoy telling people how flagrantly overpowered missiles are, I am just so damn bored of the constant and meaningless nitpicking of stats. EVE is more or less balanced between races, and I fear when CCP starts throwing phrases like "boost patch" around in response to trivial whining. I am probably not alone.

But instead of giving a care I'm moving on.. to talk about something a bit more random. In fact, probably EVE's single best feature. The skill training and character system. I'm going to try and ruin it completely.

I found myself thinking of it too much this year, for various reasons. One of them is the nitpicking mentioned above, and how people create noise because of the ships they fly being touched (or not touched). Another reason is my experience with it personally over the years. 73mil on this character, and 60mil on another. Complete racial and combat specialization for what its worth. I've been specializing so long I'm not even specialized!

Despite having some flaws, my opinion of this being THE BEST DAMN THING IN EVE is going to stand. So don't think I want to hump Richard Garriott's filthy leg and rewrite the book when I suggest... we make some changes! :O :O :O :I

The first change is to allow a version of respeccing. On top of your regular training speed, you'd have the option to shift a bit of skillpoints from areas you have already trained at a much slower rate. I'm not going to speculate on the exact numbers like some yokel, but it would contribute about half of the speed your secondary attribute gives.

This fixes a lot of the flaws, but for me personally? It lets you grind down those bad decisions you made as a newb (or playing the FOTM game) to zero. I have stayed the course, and I still have these; irritating. It lets your character adapt with time just as your gameplay choices have. It lets you experiment in different parts of EVE without worrying about screwing up your skill sheet. It decreases the pressure you have to buy a second account (especially if you want to try both combat and industry without completely sucking at both). But most importantly, it completely encourages the very fun "hmm, what do I train next.." aspect of character advancement.

It opens more potential for the "Learning" skill tree, which currently maxes out at 5.3mil. All of the current skills make your character better at training than others. What if we had new skills that augmented how fast, how many, and how often you could shift. None of these skills would make you train more sp/hour, and none of them would pay themselves off with stupid amounts of time. Therefore, people who truly specialize and focus on one area will still be ahead of the game - but at the expense of adaptability. There is also the potential for new implants, special clone types, and other junk.. but lets leave it at that.

The second change is more revolutionary. Allow the shifting of skillpoints between characters on a single account. Since alpha and beta EVE has had three character slots. This fact has contributed to a lot of alt-oriented wretchedness in EVE, and has done nothing for the game in return. In fact, the only thing it does is tease you to buy more accounts. "Hey check out this cool character you just made, its completely worthless without some skills"

Like you, I have had characters where the purpose wasn't training something particular, but becoming a new personality and identity. This would open the possibility of people training 3 fully functional (albeit less effective) characters on one account, and try EVE in 3 completely different ways.

Bek
Dark Cartel
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:09:00 - [2]
 

Edited by: Bek on 21/12/2007 05:18:21
Hi,

Firstly, I'd like to welcome you back to the forums, Mr. Communist.

Secondly, I'd like to support your views in allowing some degree of character respecing over time.

DigitalCommunist
November Corporation
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:09:00 - [3]
 

Obvious exploits with the above: people buying up characters to ďconsumeĒ their skillpoints. Simple solution: once a character leaves its first and original account, it cannot share. Obvious metagaming: people making cheap and disposable spy alts that are passable as real chars. Combined solution: EVE API already supports checking of all characters on a single account and their information. CCP should use their own API backend to code a feature into the application process. If requested, the corp recruiting said character would see who the other two characters on that account are. Therefore the end result is: it doesnít stop spying, it doesnít help it, doesnít hinder it. Obvious metagaming 2: training one char with all the adaptability skills learned to 5. Very simple solution: the rate of SP transfer between characters should always be limited by the slowest char.

There is probably more, but Iím not going to do CCPís job here. The point is that it can be done in a way that creates more fun, potential and options without changing core gameplay. Skillpoints will still be an asset, veterans will still have them in spades, specialization will still rule, crappy spies will still fail, farmers still donít benefit.

From a business perspective this seems like a pretty terrible idea at first. It removes a lot of the pressure and reasons people get second, third and fourth alts. We broke 40k recently, but Iíd be surprised if 30k were real people. But in the longer term...

- People are still going to buy multiple accounts just because you can play two chars at once, get twice as much done, be in two places at once, safely separate two distinct identities

- People are going to play longer because they have more options in EVE (lower turnover rate)

- Creates more roleplayers, lololol

- CCP can focus and unfocus on different parts of the game in expansions without worrying about leaving a certain part of the playerbase in the cold

- More people exploring different gameplay means less racial bias, nitpicking, and subsequent bitterness

- Less bitterness/resistance towards change, and less accounts per person means there is reduced risk of CCP causing a significant drop in subscriptions

Thatís it for changes. Both suggestions are pretty much the same thing, with the ability to shift points between chars only being a logical extension.

The third and last thing I wanted to say isnít a change, but a suggestion that ties well with this and the future. If we ever get dynamic training, CCP would need deeper specialization options. There needs to be more than [ship class][weapon type][gang skills]. With the introduction of ambulation you have a completely new environment in which players will want to compete. An upcoming overhaul of physics/ui/effects means CCP can finally start creating tactical environments. What if planetary interaction and eventual warfare comes into play? All of these things will require skills, and without skills you have no basis for depth. And why should anyone care that EVE has a hundred gameplay styles or features if the two you really care about are shallow and weak? Adding a thousand skills in EVE is not the way to go, if it means becoming Kayosoni just to avoid boredom and stagnation.

Maybe you see my point, but where youíre doing something has the potential to become as relevant as what and how. Thus my suggestion is environmental specialization becoming the next consideration of training. To put this into perspective, consider how much more valuable smaller corps or newer/solo players would be if they focused on a very tight set of circumstances! Consider what it could do for regionalization and localization in a game ruled by jump clones and jump drives. But whether or not you agree with anything I just saidÖ

DigitalCommunist is back. Hail to the king, baby.

techzer0
Caldari Provisions
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:10:00 - [4]
 

Edited by: techzer0 on 21/12/2007 05:15:50
/signed

Posting in an Epic thread.

Or at least that's what the OP tells me Very Happy

Well written, and yes I managed to read that wall of text. I like the idea and am not going to try to think of a way to slam it at the moment (I have some skills I wouldn't mind shifting some sp out of, even if it's slower than my actual training times).

Soo.. yeah the Epic part seems appropriate, prepare for a 20+ page argument Laughing

ProphetGuru
Gallente
Evolution
Band of Brothers
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:16:00 - [5]
 

Edited by: ProphetGuru on 21/12/2007 05:19:57
wb Digi.

Interesting concept.



NTRabbit
Caldari
Guiding Hand Social Club
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:16:00 - [6]
 

Welcome Back, Digi

An interesting proposal

Homo Erectus
Evolution
The Initiative.
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:19:00 - [7]
 

If I wrote that much on my first day back I would definitely get banned again. <3 @ Digi.

Vitrael
Reaper Industries
Cry Havoc.
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:20:00 - [8]
 

The only bit I really agree with is that we should have more than three slots per character account and if we like we should be able to split skill training between them more easily than we can now.

Other than that, welcome back Digicom.

Captain Thunk
Sniggerdly
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:22:00 - [9]
 

Edited by: Captain Thunk on 21/12/2007 05:37:41
Originally by: DigitalCommunist
The second change is more revolutionary. Allow the shifting of skillpoints between characters on a single account. Since alpha and beta EVE has had three character slots. This fact has contributed to a lot of alt-oriented wretchedness in EVE, and has done nothing for the game in return. In fact, the only thing it does is tease you to buy more accounts. "Hey check out this cool character you just made, its completely worthless without some skills"


This would enable people to buy a character for ISK transferred to the account. Shift all the SP to the original main. Delete the bought character. Buy another. Repeat ad infinitum.

If tied to only the original account then it's not really much use is it? Only if you want to break up a high SP main into 3 lower SP alts which isn't in that much of a demand. The transfer penalty would have to be high enough to prevent people getting ahead by training skills on uber stated alts then transferring the SP to the main to beat the training time they would have encountered training directly on the main.


Multi accounting is here to stay in Eve, there aren't many single account owning capital pilots in the game and I doubt very much that there ever will be, through the necessity of moving yourself from system to system.

" corp > hey guys? can anyone spare me 20 minutes and do me a cyno so I can like...move... ?" doesn't generally go down too well, certainly not regularly anyway.

With capitals a high focus of the game, that can only mean more accounts.

THUNK!

Eval B'Stard
Minmatar
Republic Military School
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:23:00 - [10]
 

Interesting 'nice to have' tbh

I'd still be happy with just a skill queue tbh Smile

DigitalCommunist
November Corporation
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:24:00 - [11]
 

Lack of reading comprehension and memes, god I love this place.. Crying or Very sad

MotherMoon
Huang Yinglong
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:24:00 - [12]
 

nice to finally meet you.

some good ideas.

some bad ideas.

Frozen Fallout
Gallente
Mecha Enterprises Fleet
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:27:00 - [13]
 

Interesting

Sergeant Spot
Galactic Geographic BookMark Surveying Inc.
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:29:00 - [14]
 

welcome backYARRRR!!

MOOstradamus
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:31:00 - [15]
 

Disappointingly, in his first attempt upon returning from the void, DigiComm has presented little in the way of innovation here that hasn't been raised multiple times, over the years, in the appropriate 'Features and Ideas Discussion' forum. Confused

Omber Zombie
Gallente
Frontier Technologies
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:32:00 - [16]
 

welcome back digi, i've missed you Crying or Very sad

now, some discussion:

1. The skillpoint redistribution thing - it has been suggested before, and the counterargument is that it heavily weighs in the favour of long-term players as it allows them to instantly specialise in new areas (heavy interdictors as an example) where mid/short-term players will take longer to get there. Yes, the skill switching may take a little longer, but if you can train skills and switch skills at the same time, you create a very very specialized character much faster than just training for it.

Personally I'd rather see a new set of learning skills that allow you to buff one attribute for another (i.e. Boost Perception by 1 at a loss of Intelligence of 1), which would allow people to specialize somewhat in a way that doesn't instantly give them new skills, but allows them to train new/existing skills faster if that's the area they want to specialise in.

2. Multiple characters on same account sharing skills - As above, I don't see it working too well, but what if it were done in a slightly different way:
I have me with my stupid amounts of skills trained in trade, what if I chose to cut ot that part of my brain and implant it in a specially grown "clone" that then took up a character slot? It means your new "clone"would have teh skills, which you could utilise fully, while dropping your "main" characters sp's (handy for cutting down the costs if you get podded a lot.

3. Environmental skills sound interesting - the ability for you to have a leadership style bonus that you can confer onto fleets you are in command of would be insanely cool. I.e. I just spent a month training a skill that allows me to warp through a specific constellation at 50% speed increase and with a 25% less need for cap. If I could pass that onto my fleet, it would be a great advantage and lend a 'home-town' style advantage to people.

/ramble off

Terminus adacai
Caldari
Racey Bee
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:35:00 - [17]
 

Nice idea, but leaves to much to abuse.


Bellum Eternus
Gallente
The Scope
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:45:00 - [18]
 

Cute idea, but CCP will never do it.

Why make it easy to re-spec, when it's better from CCP's viewpoint to force people into more training? More training = more time = more money for CCP.

Example: train up for an Eos, buy one, fly it for a week, new patch comes out, Eos is useless, dump it and start training up for a Sleipnir, all the associated shield tanking and nav skills, T2 medium projectiles, etc..

No way is CCP going to make it easier to re-spec.

Adunh Slavy
Ammatar Trade Syndicate
Posted - 2007.12.21 05:51:00 - [19]
 

I'm unsure as to some of the ideas in the OP, looks like some shenanigans could go on that would not be good for the game. However, I would certainly like to be able to move some attributes around, be it a one time deal or with some skill lets you move one point of an attribute once per week or something along those lines.

Something like that would be slow enough that someone could respec with out causing serous imbalances because it is nice and slow.

DigitalCommunist
November Corporation
Posted - 2007.12.21 06:01:00 - [20]
 

Originally by: Omber Zombie
welcome back digi, i've missed you Crying or Very sad

now, some discussion:




Now you've got me all hot OZ.

1. As I just told the incredulous Bek and crusty moocifer on IRC, anything that hasn't been suggested before is probably unique because its an unobtainable pipe dream so far into the future that nobody will care. Sorry for being practical :P

As for your point, it really just favours towards anyone that is willing to lose skillpoints in one area for the sake of another. How many sp you have does not affect the rate, you just need a minimum of two skills for this feature to work as intended. In fact it hurts vets like me more than a newer player because I have many millions more SP to shift over to another race to reach the same level of efficiency again. How long does it take to get 20mil in Gallente and 18mil in Hybrids? Now imagine moving that over at a fraction of the rate. You're looking at years of having a mixed / jack of all trades skill set. If I use this, its refining myself or dabbling into new areas a bit. If I'm going to respec fully, wow thats probably a bigger decision than getting married Neutral

ps: I like DNA mutators too, but thats another thing entirely which could exist independent of these changes.

2. How well it works depends on implementation. Any feature can be made balanced and good if the justifications for it are solid. Saying there is this exploit or that exploit and raising a fuss over potential imbalance without any stats is like crying wolf really. I already admit the simple words "sharing skillpoints" conjures vile satanic imagery. So er, if something goes wrong don't blame me? Your other suggestion is neat, but doesn't solve any problem. There is no justification for it, besides reducing clone costs that are already pretty pathetic.

3. You have the idea, but gang environmental skills are an extension of environmental specialization. What I envisioned is combat being affected by space and circumstances in a way that people can specialize for "asteroid belt warfare", "solar warfare", "gravimetric warfare" and having different subskills in each of those - one of those being in the leadership tree, another in electronics maybe?

I fear tactical environments being shallow gimmicks that are only there to create interference by affecting your ship in predefined ways. Tactical environments are singlehandedly the most important addition to combat in EVE since Capitals, and I would like if it became a tool for players.

Omber Zombie
Gallente
Frontier Technologies
Posted - 2007.12.21 06:08:00 - [21]
 

Originally by: DigitalCommunist

3. You have the idea, but gang environmental skills are an extension of environmental specialization. What I envisioned is combat being affected by space and circumstances in a way that people can specialize for "asteroid belt warfare", "solar warfare", "gravimetric warfare" and having different subskills in each of those - one of those being in the leadership tree, another in electronics maybe?


Oh, i understood where you were going, i was just going a little further Razz

Quote:

I fear tactical environments being shallow gimmicks that are only there to create interference by affecting your ship in predefined ways. Tactical environments are singlehandedly the most important addition to combat in EVE since Capitals, and I would like if it became a tool for players.

agreed

as for the rest, as mooci said, most of it has been suggested before, i'm just throwing counter suggestions out too Very Happy

Tripoli
XenTech
Posted - 2007.12.21 06:09:00 - [22]
 

DC, long time, bud. Alway....well, usually a pleasure. Wink

First off, MOOstradamus is right. Wrong forum, bud. This belongs in the Features and Ideas Discussion forum, or maybe (and to my preference) the Skills forum. Tisk, tisk.

Second, and more importantly, my response...

To your first item: No. You can't and shouldn't be able to unlearn things, no matter if it's instant or if it takes weeks.

To your second item: No again. It's totally pointless. Your proposed spreading of the skills between three characters on one account has the safe effect as simply taking the time to train three characters on one account. I'm not seeing the point here. Why take away SP from a developed character when you could just as easily stop training that character in favor of another?

To your third item: Hell yeah! I'm 181 days away from having trained EVERY skill in EVE (for the 3rd time), at which point I'll have a mind-numbing 104 level 5 skills out of the 359 I'd have trained. Although you're a bit contradictory when you say, "adding a thousand skills in EVE is not the way to go" because I believe that's exactly what you're suggesting.

The only possible change to the current underlying skill system that I could find myself coming to accept, would be the introduction of a way to adjust your base attributes very, very slowly over time. This could be done with something along the lines of DNA mutators (which the devs have stated quite plainly, and I quote: "ain't happening" EON #4). Assuming the Devs changed their mind on this idea, I'd suggest a gradual change not to exceed 1 base point per 3 months, and not to exceed +/- 3 points from the original base you chose at creation. This would allow a slow, realistic change over a very long period of time that would be kept within reason to prevent the creation of super-characters.

Daphne Eveningstar
Posted - 2007.12.21 06:17:00 - [23]
 

Edited by: Daphne Eveningstar on 21/12/2007 06:21:47
Edited by: Daphne Eveningstar on 21/12/2007 06:20:57
Edited by: Daphne Eveningstar on 21/12/2007 06:19:12
Something I've been working on, might as well put it here, not quite finished:


Skill Distillation aka Cyberneural Reprofiling


Years ago I played an obscure MMO called Neocron. One neat and handy feature there was Loss of Memory (LoM) pills. These pills allowed you to de-skill individual skills, retaining something like 80% of your skill points to be redistributed to another skill based on the same parent attribute (like intelligence, strength, etc.) You could only consume about 1 LoM every 6 minutes, and as you got further up the skill tree you might find yourself needing to taking several hours to de-skill 1 single skill. You'd find yourself losing several whole levels while doing it (if you were completely de-skilling a skill from level 65 clear down to 0.)

For example, you could take all the skill points you had in Droning at level 60 and LoM them to Construction, another Intelligence-based skill. You'd lose a few levels worth of skill points and have Construction at, say, level 57 with only a few hours of admittedly boring time spent taking LoMs every few minutes.



So as applied to Eve:

1. Cyberneural Reprofiling (science-4) is a skill you'll need to learn for the basic act of distilling your skills. It requires Science 4 and Cybernetics 4 to learn. Each level of Cyberneural Reprofiling (CR) lets you distill skills of that respective rank.

Skill distillation can be initiated at starbase medical facilities for a fee. Using the interface you distill a fully trained skill level into a pair of cartridges containing its constituant skill points; Let's call these Neural Reprofiling Cartridges (NRCs-"Nercs"). Distilling a skill grants you 2 Nercs, a Primary-grade for the skill's primary attribute points and a Secondary-grade for its secondary attribute points. The process is not perfect and only 75% of the total skill points from the level are preserved in the NERCs.

Distilling a skill takes from 1-5 hours depending on its rank. During this time you are free to move about although if you are killed you will lose a proportional amount of skill points to the amount of distillation completed and the process will fail. If you were to be killed 4 hours into distilling a rank-5 skill, you would lose 80% of the skillpoints of that level.

Applying a pair of Nercs to a skill adds those stored points directly to the total points trained for the skill, instantly. Granting up to 75% of the needed skill points to the target skill, up to a total of 99% of the required points--you still have to train the skill the final percent.

Obviously we need a few rules to keep things interesting and balanced:
a) Skills prerequisite to another skill you know cannot be distilled until the dependent skills have also been distilled.

b) Distilling a from level 1 to untrained doesn't return a skill book.

c) Nerc injection requires the target to have at least one skill point trained in the target attribute trained, so you must still complete the prerequisites, acquire, and apply the skill book.

e) A skill doesn't become eligible for distillation into constituant Nercs until 30 days after it was last trained.

f) 1 Nerc (Primary or Secondary-grade) for either of the base attributes can be applied to a single skill.

g) A Primary-grade Nerc for a specific attribute can be applied to a skill where that attribute is the secondary attribute, for all of the needed secondary points.

h) Only 1 skill can be distilled per day.

i) Only 1 Nerc can be applied per day.

j must be applied in primary/secondary pairs

k) skill training disabled while distilling








Daphne Eveningstar
Posted - 2007.12.21 06:17:00 - [24]
 

Edited by: Daphne Eveningstar on 21/12/2007 06:19:25
Edited by: Daphne Eveningstar on 21/12/2007 06:17:55
cont'd

undiscussed

Nercs are MARKET ITEMS meaning skills will be slightly farmable although at severely ******ed rates do to the mechanics enforced. Of course some guy will start 400 accounts and sell the things at obscene prices but I project that the cost of a single rank 5 primary Nerc (worth ~50 days of rank 5 training time rough est) at around the cost of a 90-day GTC


rehash primary and secondary attributes for each skill group--5 attributes, so 5 primary Nerc types and 5 secondary (lesser) types.

Obvious net gain in $ for CCP in the short term, long term is ? many will reactivate old alts to distill their points. Deals like "power of 2" will get a lot of people to sign up so they can make a training alt" for a few months at least.


example of exact scenario of Nerc creation and use start to finish




fin

this is not a final draft obviously but near enough to present the concept.

MOOstradamus
Posted - 2007.12.21 06:20:00 - [25]
 

Edited by: MOOstradamus on 21/12/2007 06:20:53

Originally by: DigiComm
.. 2. How well it works depends on implementation. Any feature can be made balanced and good if the justifications for it are solid. Saying there is this exploit or that exploit and raising a fuss over potential imbalance without any stats is like crying wolf really. I already admit the simple words "sharing skillpoints" conjures vile satanic imagery. So er, if something goes wrong don't blame me?


You do this a lot on IRC following a similar pattern.

Throw out a vague idea/concept without providing any concrete figures. Then when anyone dares to contradict your opinion or point out an immediate flaw you either suggest they're a fool because you've already thought of every possible connotation or, as above in this case, claim they are 'Crying Wolf' before seeing it through in detail - which of course you never actually provide them with.

Just a little observation I felt like sharing btw .. Razz

Tripoli
XenTech
Posted - 2007.12.21 06:30:00 - [26]
 

Edited by: Tripoli on 21/12/2007 06:31:37
Originally by: Daphne Eveningstar
Skill Distillation aka Cyberneural Reprofiling
That's certainly a new spin on an old idea. I don't really have a problem with your LoM/distilling approach to removing skills, but it still leaves the problem of not having a logical way of re-learning something new. I refuse to accept a simple "plugging in" of a "learned" skill, beyond the limited use of our current implant system.

Another downside I see to this and all similar propositions, is that it will inevitably lead to people complaining about getting farther "behind" those who choose not to exercise this ability. All I need is yet another version of "vets have the advantage," this time because we intelligently decided not to make use of a new learning method.

Karlemgne
Tides Of War
Posted - 2007.12.21 06:38:00 - [27]
 

Originally by: DigitalCommunist
stuff


Who are you and why do I care?


With love,

The real life communist

Goumindong
SniggWaffe
Posted - 2007.12.21 06:42:00 - [28]
 

Much too exploitable.

Set character 1 training in empire. Implant +5s, train learnings up.

Transfer skillpoints from character 1 to character 2. Respec slowly character 2.

Character two now gains all the benefits of a +5 set while keeping his implants open.

Daphne Eveningstar
Posted - 2007.12.21 06:43:00 - [29]
 

Edited by: Daphne Eveningstar on 21/12/2007 06:46:47
Edited by: Daphne Eveningstar on 21/12/2007 06:46:08
Originally by: Tripoli
Edited by: Tripoli on 21/12/2007 06:31:37I refuse to accept a simple "plugging in" of a "learned" skill, beyond the limited use of our current implant system.



by the mechanics I've laid out you would never be able to simply insta-train a skill to completion. Nercs would grant 75% of the skill points for a skill instantly, but never finish a skill to 100% (99% max) if you already had it 25% trained. You still have to get ahold of the skill book and have the pre-reqs too.

Could probably put a limit on Nerc consumption of X days (where X= skill rank) after each.

As I said it was nearly done Razz

edit: I just love the idea of pre-trained (someone paid CCP full price for them) skill points being a market item.


G8torSkull
Minmatar
The High Hats
Posted - 2007.12.21 06:49:00 - [30]
 

signed..... also waves at OZ


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