What sort of progression system would you like to see?

  • Default system; predetermined skills gained at predetermined levels.

    Votes: 6 8.0%
  • Early Final Fantasy style; skills/spells purchased from vendors/trainers.

    Votes: 7 9.3%
  • D&D/Pathfinder style; some skills/spells predetermined, others chosen by player.

    Votes: 43 57.3%
  • Other (Please specify)

    Votes: 19 25.3%

  • Total voters
    75

LaFlibuste

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I haven't really seen it often in video games, but personally I prefer fully customizable, class-less & level-less systems, like you'd see in some pen and paper table top RPGs such as the White Wolf system (Vampires: The Masquerade, Werewolf, Mages, Exalted, etc.) or Shadowrun. Like, you receive exp at the end of adventures and you use it to increase / buy attributes, skills, abilities, etc. I also like the "minimalist" approach to stats: you generally have a handful of life points and you are not going to see any stat going in the hundreds. In fact, they rarely go above ~5 - 10. Likewise for damage. Of course, most of these systems really make more sense when you have the possibility / need to specialize in something non-combat-related, like diplomacy, crafting or whatever. Else, characters might all look a little similar, I guess...  :unsure:
 

TheRiotInside

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When playing a game, I'm drawn to skill trees and skill equip (FFIX) systems that allow you to build your characters in specific ways depending on your style of play and/or current needs. You get to experiment and discover inventive combinations of skills and change up your party completely if you want.

When making a game though, these systems can be tough to properly balance. Say you have a standard skill tree system with three trees for a character. Not only do you have to plan out the logical order of skills in a given tree for balance and progression purposes, but also how they interact with the other trees. Say if two skills work great in tandem. One is available with 5 levels spent in one tree, and the other with 15 spent in another. This means that by level 20, the player has this combination available to them. Where should they be at level 20? Is this skill combo too strong for this section of the game?

Maybe you want that skill combo to be available roughly 5 levels later, but cannot find a good way to change the position of the two skills. Maybe make the skill after one of them really appealing for level 20, forcing the player to make a tough decision between having a sweet skill combo or having this other sweet skill.

You want to find all of the potential skill combos and analyze the crap out of them. When it then comes to battle testing, the fun does not stop, haha. Depending on how hard you want to make your game, you then need to see how your party fares with terrible combinations of skills (or none at all) and the best combinations. Can you barely scrape by without the right skills? Is there even a remote challenge with the best combos? These are all important questions!

Kudos to those who have successfully made RPG's with balanced skill tree systems. It's by no means an easy feat, but totally worth the payoff in my opinion. :)
 

Sixth

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I made a system where the player gets growth points (GP) upon level ups, and that's that, no automatic skill learning, stat raise or anything else.


These points can be spent on stat points however the player wants to, no restrictions.


The stats are assigned an attribute, these can be: physical, magical and speed. Assigning growth points to stats will raise these attributes as well depending on a formula.


And depending on the level of these attributes, new skills can be unlocked. The skills are unlocked immediately upon confirming the growth point allocation.


This way, the player can develop their characters how they want, and depending on their builds, a matching skill set will be learned along the way.


Also not so restrictive, since there are multiple ways of unlocking the same skills too.


For example, learning Heal requires 20 magic and 5 speed attribute. Magic attribute can be gained by raising either MAT, MDF or MMP, and speed attribute can be gained by raising AGI or LUK (well, I renamed LUK to DEX and changed it's function, but you get the idea, right? :p ). So there is a multitude of ways to gain the same skills with a different build.


It is a pain to balance a system like this for sure. Requires countless hours of brainstorming and testing, editing the requirements, and so on, but in the end, most of the players will enjoy a system like this way more than the old and boring default system without any way to customize the growth of your characters.


So, my choice belongs to the "Other" category, I guess.
 

Wavelength

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I made a system where the player gets growth points (GP) upon level ups, and that's that, no automatic skill learning, stat raise or anything else.

These points can be spent on stat points however the player wants to, no restrictions.

The stats are assigned an attribute, these can be: physical, magical and speed. Assigning growth points to stats will raise these attributes as well depending on a formula.

And depending on the level of these attributes, new skills can be unlocked. The skills are unlocked immediately upon confirming the growth point allocation.

This way, the player can develop their characters how they want, and depending on their builds, a matching skill set will be learned along the way.

Also not so restrictive, since there are multiple ways of unlocking the same skills too.

For example, learning Heal requires 20 magic and 5 speed attribute. Magic attribute can be gained by raising either MAT, MDF or MMP, and speed attribute can be gained by raising AGI or LUK (well, I renamed LUK to DEX and changed it's function, but you get the idea, right? :p ). So there is a multitude of ways to gain the same skills with a different build.
This is essentially automatic skill learning in the sense that skills would be learnt in a rough order unless you completely ignore an entire set of stats, but even in light of that, I think this sounds like a good and fun system!
 

Hopelessdecoy

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I like large branching skill trees that offer strategy and replayability. It also allws you to sort of create your own characters and makes no 2 playthrpughs the same.
 

Milennin

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I'm fine with a basic system that has predetermined skills at level ups, but it's nice to also have some choices to make when it comes to what skills you want to learn for your characters. I'm thinking of somewhat re-doing the skill learn system in one of my games, to give the player a choice between 2 different skills at higher levels. The characters' early skills will be predetermined, but the later skills will be choice-based. As well as having equippable skills.
 

Wavelength

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One other thought I just had: one very simple skill progression system that I enjoyed a lot was the one in the RPG Maker game Simple Man's Quest for the Playground: after completing every major mission, each member of the party is given a choice of two different skills they can learn.  You pick one or the other, and whichever one you don't pick can't be attained at any other point.  It makes the decisions feel very weighty, in a good way, and also offers some freedom in how you want to play your characters.

I basically used this system for timeblazer, with the exceptions that you pick one of three skills after each boss, and a character that dies in a boss fight will not get to pick any at all (which is a mechanic I wouldn't recommend for most games but it works well in mine).  I also have one opportunity late in the game to pick any one skill that you haven't learned already for each character, which allows the player, in the final moments of the game, to utilize broken combos that mutual exclusivity had previously prevented.

This "pick this or that" system could be used for missions, bosses, level-up skill gains, item-based skill gains, or pretty much any skill acquisition system.  But I think that the choice between multiple skills (whether the choice is permanent or reversible) can add a lot to a game.
 
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Zoltor

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The 2nd option is not only sloppy/makes very little sense, but it causes some unwarranted issues as well(specifically with the way the old FF games handled such), doesn't mean there aren't ways to do such, but the old FF games does it in the most restrictive way possible.

I have quite a few skill systems going on in my game, here's a list of the different skill systems in my game:

Standard Magic/Unique magic type, specific to a Actor: this is based on just old fashioned leveling up(these use regular MP).

Special:  These are skills tied to equipment, while "technically" some of these could be bought, they're inferior to the equipment you'll be getting by other means(these use TP)

Techniques: There are technique scrolls that can be found, won or even crafted(These wont be found in shops though), that when obtained, you can use(they are expendable, so they are rather precious items to say the least) to make a character of your choice, learn the Technique that is inscribed on the scroll(these also use TP, but have the benefit of being permanently learned, instead of needing to have a specific piece of equipment on)
 

Amuseum

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There are an infinite number of methods for character progression. How can a poll of three choices be even close to enough to cover the vast variety out there?


I prefer freedom of choices because that tends to generate more replayability. Such that players come back over and over to try different combinations and each replay would provide different experiences.


Some of the SaGa games within themselves provide several different progression methods. Usually each race has their own development. Humans raise by training weapons. Mystic/Mutants can learn skills depending on which enemies they fight. Monsters turn into the same enemy monsters you fight. Robots get abilities and stats directly from the type of equipment they wear. And so on.


For this reason, SaGa series remains the most inspirational series to me. Not only are the mechanics fun and interesting, each playthrough is a different experience as you experiment with different combinations of team structures and weapons and skills. Perhaps you want an all-agility team of robots. Or maybe mutants and monsters that blow everything up with big magic spells. Or humans that get better at a different types of weapon. Or a more balanced, conventional team. They're all viable and fun in their own ways.
 

ennogyoza

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I am trying to build a system that gives player the chance to acquire skills by spending exp points, but the most annoying thing is that I cannot cancel from stats menu level and remaining exp point and mantain only the simple exp points. Does anybody can help me? I think it is a simple issue, but really can not figure out how to solve it!
 

Shaz

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@ennogyoza

your post has nothing to do with this topic. Please make your own thread stating what plugins you are using and show how you have set things up.
 

Aesica

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I like having lots of varying ways to learn skills in a given game:
  1. Preset skills: "Harold starts with X and gains Y after a few levels, etc"
  2. Choice skills: "Harold has points/gold/whatever he can spend to buy skills he may want as soon as he can afford them, finds someone selling them, etc." Of course, point-based skill buying always allows for refunds/resets when I use it.
  3. Temporary skills: Equip the Firestaff, gain the Fireball spell until you switch to another weapon."
  4. Blue magic skills: "Marsha gets hit by Level 4 Flare and learns Level 4 Flare. Good thing her level was a multiple of 4!"
  5. Plot-timeline and/or random find skills: "I will teach one among you the Zap spell. Who will it be?"
  6. Spark-based learning: Ever play SaGa Frontier?
And so on!

Edit: Aw crap this goddamned thing is from 2015...
 
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duty

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I voted for the 'ol Final Fantasy "buy weapons and spells at shops" system.
  • It makes your player's equipment more meaningful, especially if you find a unique item in a hidden area of a dungeon
  • It makes mob loots and currency way more valuable
  • Shops are now more exciting
  • It rewards and incentivizes exploration (have to go to new areas to find new stuff)
  • It discourages grinding (unless you've horribly balanced your equipment shops)
  • It streamlines two systems (class/level skill progression and equipment) into one system for the player to manage
  • Limited equipment slots means more tactical decisions and strategies for what gear/skills to take into an encounter
Standard leveling and point buy methods separate the character's skill progression from the rest of the world.

You could hypothetically just grind in the game's starting area and become the greatest warrior or wizard in the land without ever leaving your front yard. It also makes the party's capabilities seem common and therefore less awesome.

It's a missed opportunity. Rather than just learning how to heal, the party priest could be carrying a rare, one-of-a-kind holy relic. The thief isn't wielding just any poison dagger, it's the ritual dagger you looted from the temple of some long forgotten serpent deity.

The items tell a story. They enrich your game world and enrich the player's party by making them stronger and opening new options.

The flaw in the original Final Fantasy for NES was that only the mages got to buy cool new abilities in town. It would have been awesome if the Fighter or the Black Belt could gain new things to do beyond hitting the Attack command.

You can still level-lock incredibly powerful gear behind MP costs that the characters cannot pay until they're at an adequate level.
 

TheoAllen

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Interesting thread that I haven't replied.
My preference is simple. Spoil me.

I see a skill progression system. I see a skill that I haven't yet learned, I read the effect, and then I got excited. It does not matter how to get the skill. As long as it isn't frustrating (such as gated by a specific challenge or achievement). Grinding is fine. I would work toward it. I would raid every dungeon for exp.
 

LightBorneX

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I played one game online where you didn't level up skills per se but you leveled up certain areas of control like water control. When you leveled up your water control high enough you unlocked a skill. The game forced you to choose between different people who could train you, meaning you were guaranteed to miss out on certain powers. It was more a mechanic you ran into over time, like finding a random stranger who offers to train you in a bar, and not two people standing near each other. You didn't always know where they would lead you in your training or what it would do. I found it to be a very interesting concept and a very interesting way of natural progression.

That said, I also love customization, so the more options people have to play with I often find the better. I also like class limitations. Having a certain amount of skill points you can only put into so many skills which limits your skills choices is what I'm working on right now.
 

Tai_MT

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I'm probably going to be among the strangest answers you get.

Honestly, I prefer to have all of my skills at the start. That is, unless you're doing something else (which I'll get to later). What I personally enjoy is having every skill I will ever know at the beginning of the game, and then being able to "upgrade" those skills. There's a couple reasons for this.

1. It's almost universally the case in every RPG I've ever played that I'll generally use one to four skills pretty exclusively and ignore everything else. It doesn't matter that I learn a skill at level 25, I've already figured out my Meta with the skills I already have and I'm rarely ever eager to discover new skills are less useful than the old ones, or that the new skills require a complete rework of how I play a character in order to viable. Likewise, I'm even less enthused when you give me "Fire 2" after I've still got Fire 1 in my freakin' skill list.

2. The vast majority of skills in any given RPG just aren't things I'm interested in. They don't tend to add much in terms of "interesting gameplay" and instead offer "menu bloat". Or, most often, new skills tend to just be, "better damage dealing than your previous skills". Which... who cares? I don't really care about 8 spells with the same effect and only different elements attached to them. I don't care about having a bleed skill AND a poison skill (unless they do vastly different things). Skill lists tend to have too much overlap and I just lose interest in them. Generally, I'll go, "Okay, I need one good damage skill... a good healing skill... and maybe a buff skill if the buffs in this game aren't hot garbage that is also useless". In a singleplayer experience, I'm looking to kill things as fast as possible. If your skills don't allow me to do that, then I'll rarely engage with them, or leave them to gather dust in my menu. Or, if they do let me kill things as fast as possible... then any skill that isn't 100% optimized for this, will gather dust.

Now, the reason I prefer to "upgrade" the skills I have going forward is because it allows me to tailor them for the experience I want to have. Maybe I find I never use Lightning, so I just pass on any skill that increases damage output for Lightning. Maybe, I never bother upgrading it at all. Or, if it's a system where using it more upgrades it (leveling it up), maybe I don't bother using it to level it up because I don't care about it. Fire kills the vast majority of everything, so I want it to be a ball of death and use it as often as possible to get it to be that way. Lightning kills just like fish and junk and I never really fight all that many fish, so I ignore ever using it for any reason. Or, maybe I upgrade everything because I feel like being a completionist and maxing it all out.

Other systems I tend to enjoy are "skill tree" type systems. There's a caveat to that, however. The first is that "I can't get everything in the list". If I can get everything, then the tree serves no point and I'll just grind until I get everything anyway. I don't care if the tree is as simple as, "choose between reducing MP cost of the skill by 1 or by increasing damage by 3". I like the option of unlocking the tree as I go and seeing what each new choice is. I also like feeling like each character is somewhat "uniquely mine" as other players may choose different options. The other caveat is, "I generally like a skilltree to have enough nodes to last me most of the game". If I max out the tree through simple grinding (or you wall off chunks of it from me via story progression), then the skilltree is meaningless. The fun in a skilltree is being able to plot a course based on options available and "growing" the tree as you move along. It's especially nice if I'm still unlocking nodes and options after level 60. Even better if it's all the way up to max level.

The "Skill Tree" system is also a system in which I enjoy unlocking new skills through. While I may not use all the skills I unlock, it can be exciting when there's a choice between a couple every so often and those choices play into how I've already been building my character. This is one of the few times I actually enjoy not having all my skills at once.

The final way I tend to enjoy Skill Systems (and Character Progression) comes from multiplayer games. Most often, you'll see this in "cooperative" games, but I do sometimes see it in "competitive" games and enjoy it there too. That system is essentially that a character has a "permanent progression" and you can't get all the options, but your teammates can get those options. Let me use Ark: Survival Evolved as an example (mostly because I've been playing it every single day for over a month now and it's a new game I got pretty deep into). Each level grants you "Engram Points" which let you pick "blueprints" to learn. You can't learn all the blueprints in the game. It's impossible. You are meant to "work together" with other players in order to cover things you don't have. If I take all the "structure" blueprints, I have almost no points left over for "dinosaur saddles" or "weapons and armor". Now, granted, I can take all the armor engrams AND all the structure engrams... But, I'll be hard-pressed to find enough points to get most of the saddles, survival stuff, utility stuff, AND weapons. I need to pick how I play and work with other players who can fill in things I can't do. Then, we get to the "skillpoints". You get 1 every single level up. Just one. Maximum level is 155 (if you complete all the boss fights and such from the main story... it's 105 if you don't). This gives you 154 points to spend on various things. You can get health, stamina, oxygen, crafting speed, melee damage, movement speed, carry weight, and fortitude. Most of these have no "maxed out" point. Some of these skills do "double duty" for other things. For example, "crafting speed" also increases the quality of items crafted from "rarity based blueprints". That is, if you find a "Masterwork" blueprint for a gun, crafting speed can increase the quality of the item produced with that blueprint beyond what that blueprint says it can do (so, if the blueprint says it gives you a gun that does 300% damage, which is 3 times base damage, that's all you'll get, unless you've got Crafting Speed... where you can go above even 300% with it). "Melee Damage" also increases "resource gain" when you go out collecting. That is, if you have a large amount of Melee Damage and hit a tree with a hatchet, you'll get a lot more resources out of that tree than someone with the standard 100% melee damage. But, guns and bows don't use Melee Damage to determine damage either. Swords do though! And Punching! What's useful about punching? Well, "Fortitude" prevents the effects of "punching" on you. Fortitude prevents you getting "Torpor", which is essentially putting you to sleep. The higher the Fortitude, the less likely you are ever going to be "knocked unconscious" ever again. So, a punch may outright kill you from sheer damage it does... but weak punches landed in quick succession will never put you to sleep. Likewise, neither will tranq arrows, tranq darts, shocking tranq darts, narcotic berried, narcotics, some animal bites/stings, being dehydrated/starving, or being hit with clubs. The other duty "Fortitude" serves is a degree of "temperature tolerance". That is, you'll be less hot and less cold in areas than you might otherwise be. This allows you to easily survive naked in absolutely frigid environments or blazing hot deserts. Other players will need to use clothing to be able to do this, but you can do it naturally with high enough Fortitude. Yeah, you can ignore the weather and climate. Any point you spend in one skill, is a point you didn't spend in another. If you spent all your points on health and stamina, you won't be able to breathe underwater for very long and will require someone build you a SCUBA set to tackle underwater challenges. If you dump all your points into carry weight and movement speed, you'll die fairly quickly to anyone or anything attacking you, and you won't be able to take advantage of your speed since you can't run very long.

Basically, it's a game of "trade offs". You need to choose how you're going to play the game, what you need to play that way, and then partner up with players who can supplement your own character. You need to mesh skillsets as well as sometimes plan with others to decide on a "team dynamic" between you both. For example, my friend basically went full into "PvP" type upgrades. He's geared for combat. I went full into structures and armor (and a few saddles for dinosaurs I wanted to use). He dumped most of his points into carry weight, stamina, and movement speed. I dumped most of my points into Crafting Speed, Carry Weight, and Fortitude. I build our bases, he defends them. I build our armor and maximize usefulness of our blueprints and he uses those items to fight more effectively. Likewise, I also went into "chemistry" stuff. I craft a lot of "put people to sleep" items and he uses them to fantastic effect. He also brings me materials from difficult areas because he can tackle them while I can't. But, I can easily build in temperature locations that would effectively murder him if he was there too long. I've built bases in "subzero" type areas where being outside for a few minutes drains a quarter of your health. It has taken me dozens of hours to build them. A feat he could never accomplish. At least... not without a ton of help and really great blueprints for Fur Armor.

I enjoy systems where you need to work with other players in this fashion. You can't get everything, so you team up with other players to "shore up" weaknesses and assign jobs. This is a fun way to distribute skills.
 

PixeLockeT

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The way I usually do my skills is that certain characters can obtain certain skills that they will specialize in, but instead of skill trees or everything being seen, the way the person plays the game through the narrative/exploration/battles affects if they will pick up the skill or not.

For example, we have a character let's call her Kaycee. The player has done some narrative choice which has set her as an axe user. So she's skilled in basic melee stuff. But oh darn, there's flying monsters that she can't quite reach. But Kaycee read in a book somewhere about a stance that will allow her to jump to great lengths! On the journey......It's helped her exploration but.....darn those flying monsters! After a few swing and misses Kaycee has a breakthrough mid-battle and one of her melee skills evolves to allow her to use the jumping skill + that melee skill to do damage to flying creatures.

Likewise some skills are picked up and evolved as characters understand more about themselves and options available to them. I tend to tie my battles mechanics into the actual narrative/exploring. I also hated the whole "use one skill through the whole game" and doing this help me cut down on skills becoming obsolete.

My players generally favored this in my game(s). It made them wanna grind or find all the lil secrets and combinations out there.
 

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