Update #32 - The Skills & Learn By Using

But first let's take a look at how the Pit is shaping up:

Combat skills

Weapon skills – increase your to-hit chance by 10% per rank.
Evasion – reduces the enemy’s to-hit chance with guns by 5% per rank, with melee by 10% per rank.
Armor – reduces armor penalties by 10% per rank.
Critical Strike – increases your chance to score a critical hit by 5% per rank

Our goal here is to raise skills you’re using the most, ideally reinforcing your gameplay style, while eliminating all possible exploits to raise skill fast. Here is the design overview:

XP – experience points that go toward increasing your character level and gaining feats
LP - learning points that go toward increasing your skill level

  • Eeach attack that does X points of damage gives you X learning points multiplied by the enemy-specific modifier; the points go to the skill matching the weapon used. So if you hit an enemy for 8 points of damage and the modifier reflecting the enemy’s type is 1.5, you get 12 learning points.
  • Each critical strike gives the character who scored it 10+[critical damage] lp, so if you critically hits enemy for 17 points of damage, he gains 27lp. Certain weapon and attack types increase your CS chance and/or CS damage multiplier, so to put things in perspective, if you play a Riddick like character your CS skill will be much higher than if you play a Conan like character.
  • Evasion & Armor. This is where it gets a bit tricky as we have to limit exploits (the obvious one would be rotating your characters while letting the last remaining enemy to attack them to milk every last drop of LP). Each enemy will have a pool of learning points (i.e. what you can learn about defensive skills while fighting this enemy). Once the pool is depleted, the lesson is over. The points can go to one character or split evenly, based on how you fight. The frontliners will get the highest share while your sniper will learn very little or nothing at all.
  • Evasion: When the enemy targets your character and misses, that character gains 5 lp x the modifier until the above mentioned LP pool is depleted.
  • Armor: When the enemy hits your party member, that character gains learning points equal to damage resisted by the armor until the pool is depleted, so the heavier the armor the faster you’d develop the skill. Keep in mind that the pool is the same for both Evasion and Armor, so which skills gain learning points depends on which characters will be targeted first and whether the enemies hit or miss.
  • Each fight gives your party Y xp that's divided between the party members, so if you have 4 guys and you got 100 xp after a fight, each gets 25xp; if you have 2 guys, each gets 50xp. You’d gain most XP from solving quests though.

Science skills:

  • Heal yourself and you crew after fights (i.e. how many hit points you gain after a fight). Very handy when you have to fight several battles in a row.
  • Extract implants from corpses after fights and in scripted events
  • Governs the use of combat stimulants

Mechanics & Electronics:

  • Repair broken devices and mechanisms
  • salvage parts for repair and upgrade

The ship is falling apart so if you want to explore it, meaning get past various obstacles, you won’t get far without these two skills. The best example from AoD would be the broken generator in the Library ruins. You need to fix it to gain access to an optional area but you can’t fix it without parts. In Colony Ship you’d have to salvage parts as you explore and then use them to repair various devices to gain access to optional areas.

Plus if you like restoring old things such as a murderous anti-riot droids, you should use every opportunity to practice these skills.

Stealth skills:

  • Lockpicking– open mechanical and electronic locks, meaning locked doors and containers. At level 10 you can even beat retinal scanners, so if you firmly believe in redistribution of wealth, this skill is for you.
  • Hacking – gain access to various computer systems, from intrusion detection and countermeasures to multi-purpose terminals scattered throughout the Ship.  These terminals were designed to get the future colony up and running, so they can be easily hooked to various machines.
  • Sneaking – infiltrate restricted areas and live to tell the tale. The higher the skill the longer you can remain undetected, meaning you can take your time cleaning up a place or get into high-security places with faster detection.

Obviously, you’ll need all 3 skills to do any serious breaking and entering, but lockpicking and hacking will be very useful for explorers as well. 

You’ll gain LPs every time you pick a lock, hack a terminal, or infiltrate a place. Needless to say each lock and terminal pays LPs only once and sneaking is a special event, kind of like decking in the new Shadowrun games – you can’t do it at will but only during quests and special encounters while exploring.

Speech skills:

  • Persuasion – convince people to do something through reasoning or argument, the art of debate
  • Streetwise – manipulate and deceive the gullible, the art of urban survival. 
  • Impersonate – pretend to be someone else, the art of acting.

You gain 10lp every time you pick a tagged line (the points go to the skill matching the tag) plus 100 bonus points if you solve a quest with diplomacy. This way a pure talker would have much higher dialogue skills than a chatty killer (a man who clicks on all dialogue options first to gain all LP, then kills everyone anyway).