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Author Topic: CSG update #32 - The Skills & Learn by Using  (Read 4728 times)
Vince
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« on: November 09, 2018, 03:02:39 pm »

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:
 
Medical:

  • 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).
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Kirov89
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2018, 08:01:39 pm »

In the first screenshot, are the neon signs and the electronic billboards an actual in-game capture? If so, they remind me of a scene in Mad Max when the protagonist enters a sort of Las Vegas in the middle of nowhere. The shiny lights are nice and all but it's just a mirage as that oasis turns out to be just as deadly as the surrounding desert for Mel Gibson. If you were actually trying to create that effect, it worked for me.

The Promised Land <- Personally, I hope nothing too exciting happens there. The game has a serious tone and too explicit a sexual innuendo would ruin the immersion. At most, you could use the Fallout 1 or 2 formula (can't remember which exactly) where if the PC acquires sexual services the screen goes black for a while and leaves it at the imagination of the player to determine what happened.

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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)

Even if you can't close all the exploits, if you make sure that the game feels rewarding enough by using good tactics, there won't be a need to resort to exploits. What you're suggesting in that scenario sounds tedious. I confess to doing quite a bit of meta-gaming in AoD, but it wasn't enjoyable. It was a necessary evil to squeeze more content of a play without having to make a new character. Felt lame, but some of us are impatient that way. However, if I don't get back something exciting or which I feel I should be getting a lot easier (when I find the game too hard) by using an exploit, I won't bother doing it. I'm not the type that looks for exploits just for the sake of finding them and slapping the developer in the face with it. The way I see it, the only realistic game is real life.

I sure hope you get the difficulty right, 'cause with the new system I don't think easy fixes will be possible. Like giving more SP in AoD.

About Evasion: it depends on Dexterity, Feats, Implants and penalties from heavy armor. Did I miss anything?

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(a man who clicks on all dialogue options first to gain all LP, then kills everyone anyway).

Would that even be possible? Aren't the dialogue options mutually exclusive?

Unrelated to this latest post, I've been meaning to ask something for a while: Do you have any plans for Steam achievements? The ones for AoD were so good, they were the only reason I bought it there.

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Vince
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2018, 09:49:51 pm »

In the first screenshot, are the neon signs and the electronic billboards an actual in-game capture?
Yes.

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The Promised Land <- Personally, I hope nothing too exciting happens there. The game has a serious tone and too explicit a sexual innuendo would ruin the immersion. At most, you could use the Fallout 1 or 2 formula (can't remember which exactly) where if the PC acquires sexual services the screen goes black for a while and leaves it at the imagination of the player to determine what happened.
The Promised Land is the headquarters of the de-facto mayor, so a lot of exciting things will happen there (except for sexual services and innuendos, of course). Every location in the Pit is there for a reason and has some quests associated with it.

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I sure hope you get the difficulty right, 'cause with the new system I don't think easy fixes will be possible. Like giving more SP in AoD.
Actually, it should be fairly easy. Changing the enemies' modifiers and pool size should do the trick. Double the modifiers and the weapon skills will go up twice as fast (note to future modders).

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About Evasion: it depends on Dexterity, Feats, Implants and penalties from heavy armor. Did I miss anything?
Nope. Well, grenades like flashbangs can set it to 0. Can't dodge anything if you're half-blind.

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(a man who clicks on all dialogue options first to gain all LP, then kills everyone anyway).

Would that even be possible? Aren't the dialogue options mutually exclusive?
Imagine this scenario: you're asked to convince a person to join a certain cause, if he refuses, kill him to prevent him from joining the competition. You should be given an option to kill him right away (why force you to talk if that's not your thing) or when you fail to convince or change your mind throughout the conversation.

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Unrelated to this latest post, I've been meaning to ask something for a while: Do you have any plans for Steam achievements? The ones for AoD were so good, they were the only reason I bought it there.
Of course. The achievements help us see how people play the game, i.e. tied to the content and choices.
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puppyonastik
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2018, 11:24:51 pm »

I'm blown away by the screens & GIFs! Outstanding work guys!  Salute Salute Salute
As for constructive criticism; The area looks super clean and perfect. Which goes against the idea of the ship being overpopulated and full of squalor... By that I don't mean remove anything! But I'd recommend adding decorative "hints".

As for the skills... At start, is the PC going to be dropped into an open world like the grifter in AOD when the story item is found? or will there be a tutorial-esque situation like the merchants and loremaster where the PC can build their skills in a semi-guided way?
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Kirov89
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2018, 09:02:04 am »

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The Promised Land is the headquarters of the de-facto mayor, so a lot of exciting things will happen there (except for sexual services and innuendos, of course).
Haha! Upon seeing the kind of advertising that particular establishment employs, I felt the need to ask about the mature content. Other than that, I sure hope a lot of other interesting things happen there. Just not quests of the garden variety like "Kill 10 rats" or "Retrieve my goat from the woods".  lol

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Actually, it should be fairly easy. Changing the enemies' modifiers and pool size should do the trick. Double the modifiers and the weapon skills will go up twice as fast (note to future modders).

Great! So there's plenty of room for fine-tuning if necessary. Just don't overdo it and dumb the game down too much. 'Cause you can be sure that there are going to be a lot of players screaming "Bloody murder!" over the difficulty as you did mention that the share of tougher fights like the Outpost will be greater in CS compared to AoD.

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Nope. Well, grenades like flashbangs can set it to 0. Can't dodge anything if you're half-blind.
Forgot about grenades. Will they set it all the way to 0 all the time or just lower it significantly so if you have a high enough rating, even with the penalty, it still won't drop to 0. After all, even if you are temporarily blind, you still have photographic memory and somewhat anticipate where you should probably roll over to to avoid a shot which you know for sure that it's on its way.

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Imagine this scenario: you're asked to convince a person to join a certain cause, if he refuses, kill him to prevent him from joining the competition. You should be given an option to kill him right away (why force you to talk if that's not your thing) or when you fail to convince or change your mind throughout the conversation.
The way I see it, it would be a dialogue check like any other. And if you decide to try your best to convince that person, the dialogue options would still be mutually exclusive. For ex, you can't introduce yourself to someone by making indecent remarks about his mother and then, if that doesn't work, try the other approach, lower your hat politely and utter "I bid you good afternoon, my good sir!". You can always reload and try both options but to advance the game one can only pick one and see where it goes (if it goes anywhere at all).

I'm sure we're of the same mind in this regard but the way you expressed yourself in the update makes it sound like one could choose all the options in a dialogue, even the contradictory ones, which would be illogical. However, trying to convince someone of something and failing is fair game even is the player got a little Persuasion LP out of it. After all, one does become more sociable over time by interacting with others.

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Of course. The achievements help us see how people play the game, i.e. tied to the content and choices.
Sweet! With the nice accompanying artwork like AoD had? 'Cause that eye candy really made it look like they were an extension of the game into Steam.  Cool

 
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Vince
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2018, 10:03:05 am »

As for constructive criticism; The area looks super clean and perfect. Which goes against the idea of the ship being overpopulated and full of squalor... By that I don't mean remove anything! But I'd recommend adding decorative "hints".
It's still work in progress, far from done.

However, the ship is not overpopulated. The mutiny, the war that followed, the current conflict, the worsening conditions (low quality air, water, n-tabs, medical services) are doing a fine job keeping the mortality rate high.

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As for the skills... At start, is the PC going to be dropped into an open world like the grifter in AOD when the story item is found? or will there be a tutorial-esque situation like the merchants and loremaster where the PC can build their skills in a semi-guided way?
Dropped in. Here is the current intro (I posted it before but maybe you missed it):

You open your eyes to a grey hull-metal ceiling, one panel of which flickers yellow, indicating dayshift. You overslept, not that it matters. With a grunt you roll off your stained mattress and open the "window" to let some fresh air in. Like everything else around here, fresh is relative. The Ship does its best to recycle air and water, but cargo holds aren’t high on Her priority list. You breathe in metal and burning oil and look up. Four of the bridge's six projectors are still operational, shining dully down on the container towers of Cargo Hold 3, aka the Pit, the free city.

Calling the Pit a city is a bit of a stretch, but so is calling this reddish-brown liquid water. You've read that water is supposed to be clear and cities are supposed to be big, but no ship-born has ever seen either. Maybe in another hundred years water will look and taste like oil and people will be talking about the good old days when it was the color of rust and tasted refreshingly bitter and tangy. That's the kind of optimism that keeps you going.

The elevator crawls up a groove in the cargo hold's wall like a black steel bug that's worn a path traveling to the bridge and back. It’s time to get up there and earn a few coins, but first you need a drink.

1. Make your way to the local bar.

The Ship provides the basics of human survival: recycled air, recycled water, and N-tabs, recycled nutrients and minerals pressed into chewable tablets. They taste like cardboard, but they’re free. Those who desire the finer things in life, like synthetic meat with a side of algae, have to pay.

Because the Forefathers disapproved of drink, the Ship was never configured to provide alcohol, but the law of supply and demand supersedes the dictates of religion, and everyone’s favorite vice is widely available. Each bar has its own secret recipe. The wise drinker prefers to leave it a secret.

The bartender gives you a nod as he sets a beaten alloy mug on the bar and fills it with a black, oily liquid. You take a careful first sip, fighting your body’s instinctive rejection of poison, and wait for the familiar warmth to spread through you. After a few moments, the world is a slightly better place.

“I’ve gotta a job for you, <charname>,” says Tanner, gesturing for another round. “Interested?”

1. “What kind of job?”

“An easy one.”

Tanner pulls a plastic rectangle from a compartment inside his sleeve and slides it toward you. The card is old and worn. The color has long faded but the raised print on the front is still as clear as the day it was stamped: A2, that’s Armory, Level 2, the Holy Grail of every scavenger on the Ship.

During the Mutiny, the rebels looted every depot on the first level, but the automated defenses on the second stopped them dead, literally. Those same turrets have dissuaded every scavenger since.

1. “Is it real?”

“Is it real?” repeats Tanner, miming a look of disbelief. “If you don’t have the stones for it, just say so. Don’t insult me.”

1. “Everyone has been searching for this card for decades, but you’re the one who found it?”

“I have my ways.” Tanner’s smile reveals stained, uneven teeth. “You see, I wasn’t looking for a long lost access card, since I’m not a fool. I was looking for Technical Officer Ulysses Colton.” Tanner pauses so you can show your admiration for his savvy.


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Sparacul
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2018, 10:46:41 am »

>Four of the bridge's six projectors are still operational, shining dully down on the container towers of Cargo Hold 3, aka the Pit, the free city.
Random quest idea: one of the four breaks at midgame and the lighting becomes duller in the area (everyone suffers -5% chance to hit) and you get hired to travel way up there to fix it.
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Wrath of Dagon
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2018, 11:26:44 am »

Anything specific yet on how tagged skills are going to work? (Aside from the general concept). In any case, there's going to be some dissonance here between character role playing and game mechanics. If you're playing as someone reasonable, you're going to want to settle things non-violently whenever you can, but that's really going to hurt you if you take on the tougher fights.
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Secondly--MURDER? Merely because I had planned the duel and provoked the quarrel! Never had I heard anything so preposterous.
Vince
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2018, 11:48:54 am »

Just not quests of the garden variety like "Kill 10 rats" or "Retrieve my goat from the woods".  lol
No FedEx, kill X creatures, or bring X items quests. No filler content of any kind.

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Great! So there's plenty of room for fine-tuning if necessary. Just don't overdo it and dumb the game down too much.
We aren't planning to make the game easy to attract a wider audience. We hope to attract more hardcore players who prefer challenging combat and don't expect to beat fights on the first attempt.

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'Cause you can be sure that there are going to be a lot of players screaming "Bloody murder!" over the difficulty as you did mention that the share of tougher fights like the Outpost will be greater in CS compared to AoD.
We're used to complaints and I'm really great at PR:



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Forgot about grenades. Will they set it all the way to 0 all the time or just lower it significantly so if you have a high enough rating, even with the penalty, it still won't drop to 0. After all, even if you are temporarily blind, you still have photographic memory and somewhat anticipate where you should probably roll over to to avoid a shot which you know for sure that it's on its way.
Zero by default, but protective headgear can reduce the effect. See update #21:

http://www.irontowerstudio.com/forum/index.php/topic,7514.0.html

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Of course. The achievements help us see how people play the game, i.e. tied to the content and choices.
Sweet! With the nice accompanying artwork like AoD had? 'Cause that eye candy really made it look like they were an extension of the game into Steam.  Cool
Yes, of course. Same artist (Mazin).
 
Anything specific yet on how tagged skills are going to work? (Aside from the general concept).
Right now the bonus is set at 25%.

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In any case, there's going to be some dissonance here between character role playing and game mechanics. If you're playing as someone reasonable, you're going to want to settle things non-violently whenever you can, but that's really going to hurt you if you take on the tougher fights.
The toughest fights will require a combat specialist. The rest can be done by fighter/talker and fighter/thief. You'll know which fights you should stay clear off.

>Four of the bridge's six projectors are still operational, shining dully down on the container towers of Cargo Hold 3, aka the Pit, the free city.
Random quest idea: one of the four breaks at midgame and the lighting becomes duller in the area (everyone suffers -5% chance to hit) and you get hired to travel way up there to fix it.
You'll have to travel up there anyway as that's where the exit is (the town is sitting in the cargo hold below), so you'll see the town from above in all its glory. There will be quests revolving around improving the Pit (installing auto-defenses, increasing the power output, etc).
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 11:53:04 am by Vince » Logged
Dr.Eleven
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2018, 07:12:24 am »


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).


Vince, do think that's really a good decision? It will urge players to fast-click dialogues just for the sake of lps.
Maybe assign lps for any achievement through diplomacy, - not necessarily complete persuation...
Make it tiered or leveled; i.e. - instill some doubt in NPC's reasoning - 50 lp, topple NPC's viewpoint completely - 150 lp.
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Vince
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« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2018, 10:56:56 am »


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).


Vince, do think that's really a good decision? It will urge players to fast-click dialogues just for the sake of lps.
It certainly fits the 'learn by using' design. Either way, it's something that's very easy to change during playtesting, so think of it as a starting point.
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Dr.Eleven
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2018, 03:03:15 am »

Intersting choice to apply Lockpicking skill to both mechanical and electronic locks.
I'd have thought hacking is more appropriate, but maybe mechnical locks are too rare in the game?
Hmm.. btw, why use mechanical locks on the spaceship? 
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Vince
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2018, 07:48:52 am »

Intersting choice to apply Lockpicking skill to both mechanical and electronic locks.
I'd have thought hacking is more appropriate, but maybe mechnical locks are too rare in the game?
Hmm.. btw, why use mechanical locks on the spaceship?
I'd say that mechanical locks are easier to maintain and repair, especially on a flight that takes centuries. Either way there are plenty of both.
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NewAgeOfPower
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« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2018, 08:18:47 pm »

I'd say that mechanical locks are easier to maintain and repair, especially on a flight that takes centuries. Either way there are plenty of both.
Will there be electromechanical locks requiring both Mechanical and Electronics?
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Vince
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« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2018, 10:08:17 pm »

Not planned.
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