How you tackle Classes and Skills Progression/Customization

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
1,116
Reaction score
813
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Actually, one of my favorite characters in all of gaming is Kreia from KotOR 2. She always had deep words of wisdom and a moral to teach you. Another wise figure that comes to mind, though not from a game, is Uncle Iroh from Avatar lol. I guess I have a soft spot for old people...
:rswt
 

woootbm

Super Sand Legend
Veteran
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
218
Reaction score
148
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
However, when using a menu based skill learning system, I've gotten asked, "How does the hero/actor learn a skill just like that?" Does he/she just have an epiphany when they level up and "realizes how to do something new"? Where does the knowledge of this new skill come from? I have yet to come up with a good answer to this question... Any ideas?
Going back to town has more to do with reinforcing gameflow and giving the player downtime. You can streamline the process if you're not so eager to kill the player's time.

As far as narrative reasoning? It's about experience. Literally. There's a reason we use that word. There's only so much you can learn from training. After that, experience will teach you everything else. A doctor might learn a heck of a lot in med school. But a doctor whose been working in a hospital for 20 years is gonna know a lot more than some kid fresh out of school. There's stuff you simply can't teach a person.

The same is true for combat. Even by practicing with sparring, a person who's been in tons of real world fights is gonna know things that someone who's just been training the whole time.

So why would it make sense to go to a trainer? If you pick something up on the job, you know that thing now.
 

Vergel_Nikolai

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 6, 2020
Messages
67
Reaction score
12
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
One thing I'm planning to do to my game but didn't because I don't know how to program it would be a Skill Tree Progression system and a Skill Equip Customization. I guess none of those words make sense to you cuz neither do I know how to say it.

Basically a character/class will learn a new skill every Level 3/6/9 and once they get to 10 they unlock a Skill Tree. Every time they level up they gain 3 Skill Points and they can spend 1 SP to boost a chosen stat or all 3 to learn the next skill to learn in a tree. Learning certain skills will open an opportunity to grab even more skills, just like a tree system.

As for customizing skills, what I'm saying is you can choose which skills you are gonna bring in battle. You can change them up any time. Each class would have 5 skills (7 if you count the passive and ultimate skills you can also customize in the game) to bring in every battle, each slot for a certain type of skill. For example, a Mage class can equip themselves with 2 Simple Spells, 2 Effect Spells, and 1 Group Spell. You can have the mage carry a Fireball and Electrocute for his 2 simple spells but you can choose to swap one of them with maybe a Frostbolt or Arcane Blast. You will continue to learn newer skills as the Skill Tree goes far and this will expand the possible combinations you can have for even the slot of skills you can carry may expand as well.
 

Kupotepo

Fantasy realist/ Forum Reactor‍
Veteran
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
Messages
1,807
Reaction score
1,806
First Language
Thai
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Vergel_Nikolai, thank you for your input.
I do not need to coding; someone else already creates a plugin for you just credit them:
Here is an alternative free plugin:

Update:

Skill Tree Progression system

I tried my best to help people.
 
Last edited:

Vergel_Nikolai

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Mar 6, 2020
Messages
67
Reaction score
12
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Kupotepo Thanks. But the Equip Battle Skill plugin's for sale, and I'm but a wee broke developer. But I will gladly take the Skill Tree System.
 

Kupotepo

Fantasy realist/ Forum Reactor‍
Veteran
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
Messages
1,807
Reaction score
1,806
First Language
Thai
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Vergel_Nikolai, sorry, I forget the Yanfly put the paywall on some plugins.

Basically a character/class will learn a new skill every Level 3/6/9 and once they get to 10 they unlock a Skill Tree.
How many skills will you think to give an actor in total? When does an actor get to level 10 how many skills an actor gets to choose?
Nevermind, you just answered the questions.:kaopride:
 
Last edited:

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
1,116
Reaction score
813
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Vergel_Nikolai Yes! Yet another soul converted to the @SomeFire side lol.

But yea, I also use both @SomeFire Skill Trees System and Yanfly's YEP_EquipBattleSkills plugins. They work beautifully.
 

Tai_MT

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
5,438
Reaction score
4,785
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Here's how I tackle skills:

Character's Theme
I create skills based upon a "toolbox" for each character in the party. This character is a "Tank", they need skills that emphasize and capitalize on that role. This character is a "Glass Canon", they need skills that maximize their damage output or increase survivability in minor ways. I also allow "no overlap" or "very little overlap".

Purpose of Each Skill
With "no overlap" in mind, I set about creating skills that have specific purposes. This skill can be used in these situations. This skill is useful for doing X type of strategy. Damage is always going to overlap, but how that damage is delivered or secondary effects for that damage can be made different. Fire and Ice will do the same amount of damage with just their elemental strengths making a difference... But, Fire also has a chance to Burn and Ice has a chance to Freeze. It might be more beneficial to Freeze an enemy sometimes than to Burn them.

Limited Menu Navigation
I try to eliminate as much Menu Navigation as possible. If you have to scroll to get to the skills you want to use, it gets tedious after a while. I prefer to keep my skill lists "short" in order to fully specialize my characters as well as keep the scrolling to a minimum. I'm usually using 6-8 skills per character as a result. This allows me to keep my toolboxes highly specialized and not engage in "Fire 1, Fire 2, Fire 3" all being in my list at once. Especially since most players aren't likely to use Fire 1 again once they get Fire 2. Not unless your gameplay requires it (like you can't cast Fire 2 until you've cast Fire 1).

Skill Progression
I like to have existing skills "upgrade" as the player moves along. That is, older versions are often replaced with the stronger versions. Most of the time, I also like to give the player some amount of "input" on how these skills upgrade. These upgrades create an even more specialized "toolbox" for the characters, making them even more potent in how they approach combat.

No Respec
I do not allow my players to "Respec" their choices. There are two reasons for this.
1. It encourages players to play the game again to see all the options.
2. It makes each choice very meaningful if it isn't reversible.

Furthermore, not allowing the player to "Respec" means I have to make all options viable and useful and equal. I cannot have "bad choices" or "underpowered choices". I have to design enemies with every single skill in mind and its usefulness against that enemy. I have to design each option to provide the same impact as every other option. The options that grant less damage need to do something else equally game-changing to just killing enemies faster. Sure, you could do a ton of damage with Lightning... or you could basically guarantee "Paralyze" on the enemy which essentially removes them from battle anyway since they can't act ever again unless cured by some other creature.

Character's Start With All Skills
I'm sure it's very exciting to gain a level and learn a new skill. It's like a little prize! Except, it really messes with the balancing of the game. A player who is overleveled might have access to skills I didn't plan on them having. Those skills might render an entire fight meaningless. It can also lead to "menu bloat" if I'm handing out skills every so often. Likewise, it also limits the "toolbox" each character has at their disposal, which means they can't be effective in combat until they reach a certain level and have gained a good chunk of the necessary skills.

I prefer to start my characters with every skill they will ever learn. I can then more easily balance my game around them having the full toolbox. I can also have each character have far more of an identity in combat. I find its better to have everything accessible all at once if you plan on having "challenging" or "tactical" type RPG combat.
 

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
1,116
Reaction score
813
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
For those who implement multiple ranks of the same spell (i.e. Fire 1, Fire 2, Fire 3), you can use the <Hide if Learned Skill: x> note tag (Yanfly plugins) so your skill menu isn't bloated. This way the player won't have to scroll as much (or at all). I personally don't use multi-rank spells though since I'd rather just have the spells scale with the user's stats instead. The skill hide thing can also be used if you're upgrading a skill into different versions like in @Tai_MT's example.

No Respec
I do not allow my players to "Respec" their choices. There are two reasons for this.
1. It encourages players to play the game again to see all the options.
2. It makes each choice very meaningful if it isn't reversible.
Good points, I may just leave out respecs after all. It's not like I've implemented it yet so this would save me some work lol. That or only provide the feature at end-game.

Character's Start With All Skills
I'm sure it's very exciting to gain a level and learn a new skill. It's like a little prize! Except, it really messes with the balancing of the game. A player who is overleveled might have access to skills I didn't plan on them having. Those skills might render an entire fight meaningless. It can also lead to "menu bloat" if I'm handing out skills every so often. Likewise, it also limits the "toolbox" each character has at their disposal, which means they can't be effective in combat until they reach a certain level and have gained a good chunk of the necessary skills.
Interesting, now this is something I've never considered. Not something that would work for my project, but definitely still worth considering overall.
 
Last edited:

HumanNinjaToo

The Cheerful Pessimist
Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
1,226
Reaction score
601
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
No Respec
I do not allow my players to "Respec" their choices. There are two reasons for this.
1. It encourages players to play the game again to see all the options.
2. It makes each choice very meaningful if it isn't reversible.
I kind of half agree with this because the points you make are valid. However, sometimes players will make poor choices due to not having the best understanding of the battle mechanics or how some skills interact with one another. If that player can't respec they may decide to just stop playing. I'll admit this is probably very niche. However, if the game is using a lot of skill trees with a lot of skills then I think respec should be an option. Sometimes a player may use a certain build for the first part of the game, then when higher tier spells are available later they may want to change the build up based on the newly possible builds available. For an example, tactical games like DoS2 come to mind. In a game like that, with such a large tool kit at your disposal, and only a max of 4 characters per playthrough, I cannot imaging playing that game (at least in the beginning before all the build guides came out) without being able to respec. I prefer to not look at build guides and walkthroughs unitl after I've beaten the game once, and some games can be difficult if you make poor choices when building your characters toolkit.

I'd rather just have the spells scale with the user's stats instead
Sometimes though there may be things you want to change besides damage output. For example, the rate at which a state is applied, the casting cost, the casting speed, etc. I use the replace method to prevent bloat because I have skills that are used to upgrade certain functions that can't be handled with any skill mastery plugins I've seen.
 

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
1,116
Reaction score
813
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Sometimes though there may be things you want to change besides damage output. For example, the rate at which a state is applied, the casting cost, the casting speed, etc. I use the replace method to prevent bloat because I have skills that are used to upgrade certain functions that can't be handled with any skill mastery plugins I've seen.
Oh most definitely, so in those cases, I did what @Wavelength suggested in another thread and employed utility scaling for the skills' secondary effects. I usually like to combine it with a base amount as well. So for example:

Mirror Skin - Increases MDF by 50%+(MAT÷10)% for 4 turns.
Fireball - Deals (MAT×3) Fire dmg and has a 25%+(MAT÷20)% chance to Burn the target.

Most skills in my game also benefit from passives you can learn as well. So while they aren't directly upgraded, they do get better in various ways, along with other skills in the same tree. I'm not saying every game should do this, it's just one way out of many.

I also do use the <Hide if Learned Skill: x> note tag to hide the obsolete umbrella tier skills (which are just passives).

I use the replace method to prevent bloat because I have skills that are used to upgrade certain functions that can't be handled with any skill mastery plugins I've seen.
What kind of functions do you mean?
 

HumanNinjaToo

The Cheerful Pessimist
Veteran
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
1,226
Reaction score
601
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Specifically, handling turn delay with a battle system plugin. But generally some plugins would need a new skill just because they weren’t made to work in conjunction with whatever skill mastery plugin you might use
 

Tai_MT

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
5,438
Reaction score
4,785
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I kind of half agree with this because the points you make are valid. However, sometimes players will make poor choices due to not having the best understanding of the battle mechanics or how some skills interact with one another. If that player can't respec they may decide to just stop playing. I'll admit this is probably very niche. However, if the game is using a lot of skill trees with a lot of skills then I think respec should be an option. Sometimes a player may use a certain build for the first part of the game, then when higher tier spells are available later they may want to change the build up based on the newly possible builds available. For an example, tactical games like DoS2 come to mind. In a game like that, with such a large tool kit at your disposal, and only a max of 4 characters per playthrough, I cannot imaging playing that game (at least in the beginning before all the build guides came out) without being able to respec. I prefer to not look at build guides and walkthroughs unitl after I've beaten the game once, and some games can be difficult if you make poor choices when building your characters toolkit.
You just described the exact reason I don't allow for Respec.

If all your skills are made useful no matter what your player chooses, then you don't need to "Respec" at all. Respec is only necessary when you've got massive bloat and 70% of your skills don't synergize or are absolutely useless without synergy.

I don't design skills like that. Much as I love giant skill trees, when most of what's in them is useless... it becomes difficult to care (at all) what is in those skill trees as a player. It becomes a case of "Guide-Dang-It!". Which, is fairly typical "bad design".

Typically, I offer two choices and tell the player exactly what those choices will do. In my current project, each skill just has two branches at each stage.

With "Fire" as the example, they are asked, "Do you want the skill to be more powerful or the burn inflicted to be more potent?"

The text box under the choice then says exactly what they're getting. Now, the "exact damage output" doesn't really get told to the player, but it is meant to be understood that choosing "more powerful" maximizes damage output.

The description of the baseline Fire skill reads:

"Minor Fire Damage. 50% chance to inflict Burn L1."

When you can make the first upgrade, here's how the choice reads:

Potency - Minor Fire Damage. 6 PP Cost. 60% chance to inflict Burn L2.
Power - Moderate Fire Damage. 6 PP Cost. 60% chance to inflict Burn L1.

Burn L1 reduces Defense by 3% and does 3% HP damage each tick. It lasts 3-5 Turns.
Burn L2 reduces Defense by 5% and does 5% HP damage each tick. It lasts 3-6 Turns.

So, the choices the player is making here are "Do you want to be effective against weak enemies you could one-shot or do you want to be effective against stronger enemies you might have issues one-shotting?". The choice is also asking if a player wants to "Synergize" with other party members or be a powerhouse all on their own. Enemies losing defense allows everyone to hit them harder and do more damage. But, the weaker power output of the skill itself means that it might not wipe out as many enemies every hit, so that enemy has a chance to act or you have to waste another action to put it down. However, the higher damage output of the other choice allows you to blow through many weaker enemies quickly and optimize actions while at the same time dropping overall DPS of tougher enemies that would take more than one hit to kill (like bosses).

Later upgrades of these two skills have "overlap" with both sides. The chart I use to determine the outcome of each choice is a pyramid. Two choices per each option with 10 versions of the same skill at the end.

1 (base skill)
2 3 (first upgrade)
4 5 6 (second upgrade)
7 8 9 10 (final upgrade)

(1 can upgrade into either 2 or 3. 2 can upgrade into either 4 or 5 while 3 can upgrade into either 5 or 6. 4 can upgrade into either 7 or 8, 5 can upgrade into either 8 or 9, and 6 can upgrade into either 9 or 10.)

So, if you choose "power" as the first choice and then decide you want to also improve effectiveness of your state, you'll end up at 5. You also end up at 5 if you improve effectiveness of the state first and then decide you need more power. The "middle options" aren't as "specialized" as going fully one way or the other, but the middle options make the skills "more versatile" instead of "specialized". Meaning, you may not do either job very well, but you'd be able to handle both jobs decently.

But, that's how I handle "skill upgrades". Each choice is equally powerful, but powerful in different ways. That way, I don't have a lot of useless skills that would require I have a "Respec" option just to make sure players aren't picking worthless options. Each option is useful and the player should know how they want to play their characters from the beginning. Synergy exists across most characters regardless of what you pick, it's just a matter of finding it.

A small example that also includes my equipment: You can use "Wands" for the Elementalist who casts "Fire" in order to produce "Fire Weakness" on an enemy which doubles Fire Damage. You can then cast the weakest version of Fire on that same enemy and score a "Burn L4" on the enemy while pushing the output of that baseline skill even higher. Then, if you've got the "Magic Knight" in your party and they use their Flame Strike skill, the power output on that is higher as well, and it might have a chance to also inflict a state. It could inflict a different level of Burn so they stack. Or, it could inflict "Weakness to Slashing" which also jacks up the damage output of the Flame Strike.

If you go the other way with Fire and just maximize damage output, you could still use the Wand to increase damage output for the Flame Strike move since the bonus damage it inflicts on either end of the pyramid is exactly the same. But, if Flame Strike leans more towards inflicting states, it can still inflict L4 Burn, even if your Fire spell can't.

Basically, I ensure the player is overpowered no matter what choices they make. There are no "wrong choices". There are only "bad ways to use what you have". And that's on the player.

I try not to design with Respec in mind because it would hurt the overall design of most of my games and render so much of the combat and skills created absolutely worthless.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Latest Threads

Latest Profile Posts

TMW the air quality is so bad, your hair changes color every time you wash it. :LZYyuck:
Finished two animations today. :kaojoy:
Sigony wrote on Ksi's profile.
Just wanna say that I love your videos.
When are you fighting Floyd Mayweather?
A game is a lot like pasta.
Pasta is technically edible after a few minutes of boiling, if a bit chewy, not very nice.
If you cook it with patience, perhaps with some oil, at a rolling boil in salted water, drain it and add a nice sauce with some roasted vegetables, and present it on a beautiful plate, with beautiful cutlery on a beautiful table in a beautiful restaurant with beautiful sounds and scents; VERY NICE.

Forum statistics

Threads
102,998
Messages
996,607
Members
134,473
Latest member
mmiller9280
Top