Thoughts on idea to obtain skills/ abilities

PhxFire

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I wanted to get some feedback on a possible game mechanic I'm thinking about implementing... So basically you learn new skills and gain new abilities by speaking to NPCs that have mastered that specific art thoughout the game... The main skills will be a sort of checkpoint before the player can move on to the next section of the story. There will also be optional skills/ abilities that you can find hidden throughout the game that aren't mandatory to complete the game. For example, if you find the hoarders house, your character receives an ability that gives a 5% increase to gold received.

Thoughts? any improvements or feedback?
 

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Sounds good to me.
 

bgillisp

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Sounds like how Might and Magic 4 - 8 did skills. In those you either got them as quest rewards or had to find and pay someone to train you.

6 - 8 added a new twist too in that they added Expert and Master versions of skills. There were always a few who could train you to Expert, but only one Master existed in the entire game, and you had to find them and either do a quest for them or pay them to train you.

Might be worth checking them out if you wish to see how another game handled this. They are usually pretty cheap on gog.
 

PhxFire

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@bgillisp Thanks! That sounds like a great idea, might have to go look at them!
 

kairi_key

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I think it's okay. lol.

You might have to watch out for the player's experience of the game. At the earlier stage of your game, there will not be many things that player can do to interact with the enemies due to limited skills and the next new skill that they can use will be the next checkpoint in-game rather than something they can actually accumulate themselves like Points to working toward to. You may have to think about how to pace the enemies on how much variety is about right with how many skills player will have (which, of course, would be easy to plan for since you make skill acquisition a story checkpoint).
In short, you just need to pace it well, since you don't wanna bore the player out for how much content they can do but how little the change in their skillsets become, especially in an early point of the game.
 

standardplayer

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Sounds like a decent idea, it doesn't remind me too specifically of any one thing. The ability you gave as an example, though, +5% gold, that sounds more like a 'perk', if you will. Any plans to split up 'skills' and 'perks', or any sort of categorization in mind? Perks always remind me of things that you either 'have to pick one of' or otherwise 'aren't always essential to completing the game.
Skills/Abilities both remind me of techniques or moves the player can use inside or outside of battle. I imagine those are more like the ones you'd need to progress the main story?
 

Aesica

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Seems fine to me. The optional hidden skills thing kind of reminds me how Breath of Fire 2 would sometimes present you with NPCs who would let you teach certain skills to a party member of your choice. I always thought it was kind of a fun idea, even if I haven't really implemented it in anything of mine to date. At least not yet.
 

atoms

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Sounds like a decent idea, it doesn't remind me too specifically of any one thing. The ability you gave as an example, though, +5% gold, that sounds more like a 'perk', if you will. Any plans to split up 'skills' and 'perks', or any sort of categorization in mind? Perks always remind me of things that you either 'have to pick one of' or otherwise 'aren't always essential to completing the game.
Skills/Abilities both remind me of techniques or moves the player can use inside or outside of battle. I imagine those are more like the ones you'd need to progress the main story?

It depends how it's handled, +5% gold can also be considered a passive skill and thus a Skill, or I would say a Skill/Ability, but, as well as that, it could be handled with being equipment based, and then added as a Skill/Ability when Equipped, rather than a skillset immediate based.

From the sound of it it'll be added into one of the party member skillsets, in which case @PhxFire if this is the case, then I'd recommend having at least a passive skills category skill types as well as main skill category skill types.

Unless the +5% Gold is a Skill you use in battle itself to gain that passive effect.

You can, of course, call any of your skill types what you want.

Just another thought to keep in mind, if you do have only a single skill type and many many skills then it won't be as easy to scroll through all those skills and it may feel a bit messy or complex or both to the player, of course though if you plan to limited with what skills you bring in battle that may not be a problem then. Otherwise, as said above, you can separate them into differer skill types or if it's equipment based, limit the amount of slots the player has to equip something.

It all depends how many skills there are, but it sounds like a game that will eventually give many many skills.

But, what you said here all sounds fine!
 

Wavelength

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I wanted to get some feedback on a possible game mechanic I'm thinking about implementing... So basically you learn new skills and gain new abilities by speaking to NPCs that have mastered that specific art thoughout the game... The main skills will be a sort of checkpoint before the player can move on to the next section of the story.

I'm a little concerned about the fact that (if I understand correctly) you need to learn every main skill in order to move onto the next section of the story. This essentially makes the skill learning into a "plot flag" mechanic which is just a differently-dressed "talk to X, Y, and Z NPCs in order to move the story along". A lot of RPG's do use plot flags like this, so what you're describing isn't a dealbreaker. But it doesn't sound enticing to me, either.

I think the best form of this setup would be that you not only need to learn the skill, but also need to figure out how to use the skill. Pokemon does a good job of this with a very small number of skills - for example, there's a row of shrubs blocking your path, so you need to speak to the NPC that teaches your Pokemon the "Cut" move to cut through bushes. Then, there are a few puzzles or dungeons that require you to make clever use of the Cut move to find your next destination. Cut is still something of a plot flag, but it ends up feeling like more than that - a useful tool that the player can use to overcome challenges rather than just to proceed.

Alternatively, instead of requiring the player to find and talk to each NPC, you could make all of the skills theoretically optional. Learning skills gives the player more power and ability to do things, and the player simply needs to find as many as they personally require to overcome the obstacles in their way. Any single skill can be missed and the player could find a way to proceed, but if the player is missing too many skills, they probably won't be strong enough (or versatile enough) to overcome every obstacle.
 

PhxFire

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@Wavelength I suppose I explained it a little poorly, it's less of "find this person to pass" and more like the main skills that need to be learned are written into the story, so you'll meet the required masters just by progressing through the story, however there will be lots of other ones that you will need to search for in order to find the extra skills/ abilities.

The game is written more like an adventure then a "overcome this obstacle to go to the next city", everything required by the story will be evented when the player arrives at the specified location, but the player will have lot's of side stories and quests that are completely optional throughout the adventure they can decide to find and do or pass over them.

I do quite like the idea of having skills necessary to solve extra dungeons/ or enter somewhere, that's a nice way to reward people who explore and put in the extra time.
 
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Kes

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@PhxFire Please remember that Game Mechanics Design is not for getting feedback just on one game, but is meant to be at a more conceptual level so that many Members can benefit from the discussion. This means that if someone makes a suggestion that doesn't quite fit your requirements, you can ignore it rather than try to move the discussion back to your needs.
 

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