[MUD-Dev] Re: skill system

Jon A. Lambert jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com
Tue Jun 2 23:36:32 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On  2 Jun 98, J C Lawrence wrote:
>   b) What skill set do I need to likely accomplish XXX?
>   Question: Is this level of skill web inter-connect valuable in a
> game?
> #B additionally allows a more insidious form of predictive play than
> #A.  A player can now pre-determine his character-path in terms of
> goals, find out what each goal requires in terms of skills, and from
> there chart a mechanical course to wend the game to the various
> inflection points of the requisite skill levels.

Exactly.  Take Sid Meir's Civilization for instance.  The knowledge
advancement tree is virtually identical to a skill tree.  It even 
includes the unit/building capabilties upon achieve an advancement. I 
populated an MS-Project worksheet with the data and was easily able 
to compute the shortest possible paths to Gunpowder, to Nuclear 
weapons, to victory in the Space Game, etc.   

I think exposing a skill tree along with the requirements to achieve 
certain goals is generally a bad idea.  Of course I do prefer fuzzy
goals or goals that dynamically change.  Generally I think the only
player-types who would be upset by this are your game-only 
players.  Perhaps this is the source of the discontent with the 
hardwired class/skill systems, "I don't want to pick class A because 
I will not be able to do Y, yet if I pick class B, I can't do Z." or
more typically, "If I had known class A couldn't do X around 1000
hours or 50 levels ago, I wouldn't have picked class A".

--/*\ Jon A. Lambert - TychoMUD     Internet:jlsysinc at ix.netcom.com /*\--
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