Rework/Revamp of the Skill System

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Rework/Revamp of the Skill System

Postby Rykka_Stormheart » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:40 pm

I'd like to suggest that we look at reworking and/or revamping the skill system to either matter entirely, or strip it out.

I'd like to hear ideas for alternative skill systems, or ways to mechanically handle skills. Things like "If you're not trained on how to use a gun, you might miss your target more often, or reload it much slower", etc.

Sorry if the main post doesn't have much 'substance', but this is more to get discussion started than anything else.
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Re: Rework/Revamp of the Skill System

Postby Heroman3003 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:43 pm

I am all for skill system being remade to better represent what skills actually exists/matter in the game for better character creation purposes.


However, those skills having absolutely any mechanical relevance? Hard against it in pretty much any shape or form. It's a measure to enforce 'HRP', but in reality it only enables more powergaming and disables fun RP opportunities, while not fixing people's ability to powergame. The underlying issue should be solved with tightened moderation, not changes to mechanics, imo.
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Re: Rework/Revamp of the Skill System

Postby Scree » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:06 pm

mechanical skills would be a nightmare and need to tie into a whole lot of things, plus I'd rather not lock people's ability to perform on the station behind how well they minmaxed their character sheet by dumping their cooking skill for maximum robustitude.

The rules we have are just not to steal anyone else's job and honestly that's all I really want to enforce, dropping the no-fun-allowed hammer on someone going to fight shit in the wilderness as a cargotech or whatever is kinda meh. Bay has skills tied to whatever job you are, but bay doesn't have continuity and it'd be immersion-breaking for someone to forget how to be an engineer because they signed on to mine today - and there's nothing stopping people using multiple slots or adjusting their skills between shifts to let them play every job as a single character anyway.

If we want to limit people joining as too broad a skillbase on one character, bearing in mind that we already have rules about stealing other people's jobs, personally I'd rather throw our existing (useless) skill system in the bin and go with a "career" system instead that just limits what priorities you can set a job to. There's no point trying to stop people joining as other things as they might like to change their mind later and they can just redo character setup anyway, just... put a soft-barrier in the way so people know what they're supposed to be able to do.

With that in mind, I've been toying with an idea something like this:

Replace the "skills" tab on character setup with a "career" tab. On this, you pick a "primary" and two "secondary" jobs, from the existing list of job titles. Only your primary may be a department head (HoS, CMO, RD, CE - the heads of the four main departments)
Now you go to the existing occupation tab, and the priority you can set a given job to is governed by your career choice as follows:

All three career jobs (primary and secondary) can be set at any priority up to HIGH.
If your primary is not a head, then the head of your primary job may be set up to MEDIUM.
Any non-head job in the same department as your primary job may also be set up to MEDIUM.
Any non-head job in the same department as your secondaries may be set at LOW.
Finally, all service department jobs and non-department heads (HoP and CD) may be set at LOW.

Silicon and offmap roles would not be subject to any restrictions.
People would still be able to latejoin with the "show hidden roles" button and so on.
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Re: Rework/Revamp of the Skill System

Postby Killian » Mon Jul 13, 2020 6:01 pm

I'm with Scree on this, to be honest. At the end of the day, mechanical skills touches too much and is probably going to require Polaris' consent/assistance to implement or else potentially cause significant codebase divergence.

My concerns besides that largely boil down to;
1) Certain jobs require a lot broader experience than others, even within the same departments. You may even be required to break character and perform tasks that your character would not normally know simply because you're the only person with access and it's weird hours.
2) Character ages can vary wildly; custom species characters are allowed to be between 18 and 220. How do you reconcile age and skills? How do you reconcile the malleability of someone who is willing to learn with someone who never changes careers? Do you just say "fuck you, no more over x-ties"? Do you require everyone with a character age above a certain value to file a special application just due to age? Do you add a stat system as well, so that characters who are old have mad skills but garbage stats, even if they have perfectly good reasons why those stats *wouldn't* decay with age?

At most, I'd support some "light" stuff, like reducing surgery failure chances if you're a Medical job, or increasing your accuracy with weapons if you're in Security/Exploration. But then it gets a bit weird because do you change bonuses when someone goes off-duty and then switches back on-duty as another job?

I'm not sure it's worth the headaches, really.

Also, fun fact: the piloting consoles for overmap shuttles do actually check your Heavy Machinery Operation/Piloting skill datum in a couple of the procs. Mostly meteor/hazard avoidance, I think.
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Re: Rework/Revamp of the Skill System

Postby Wickedtemp » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:15 pm

IIRC Polaris had ideas for making a more thorough, mechanics-effecting skill system, but from the looks of things its either never going to be completed, or its going to probably suck and will be extremely limiting even though they claim it won't be, and will include lovely little bits such as "oh you didn't have the Mech Piloting perk so now your Mech goes in random directions if you try to move" and stuff.

Now, there are a few ways that something like this could be implemented, also from Polaris' skill system rework rough-draft concept... They said it'd allow someone to do 'the bare minimum' in up to three different depeartments, but it'd reward specialization into a single department by allowing people who went more or less all-in for one department to gain access to bonus perks. These perks could be anything from faster surgery-steps, increased accuracy with firearms, increased ore yield from mining, etc.

I think that'd be neat. We don't really do a good job of policing the whole "dont steal jobs" -- Science goes mining and does doctoring and such frequently enough for it to be a bit of a meme, not sure if that's gotten any better or not as of recent though -- but putting in restrictions would 100% lead to examples of "I don't know how to cut bread because I didn't take any perks in Food and Drink" and other equally as stupid scenarios. But, bonuses for actually just picking a single department and sticking to it, I'd buy that for a dollar.
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Re: Rework/Revamp of the Skill System

Postby Scree » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:31 am

Aronai had ideas for having skills that could be shuffled within departments only but the default "didn't touch the skills page" values would be no better or worse than what we have now.

And by "within departments", it was to avoid situations like a sec main dumping all their bartending points to get more combat skills, and assistants being able to get a combat advantage because the sec officers had to waste points on forensics and so on. So you'd become less effective at one service job in exchange for a bonus at another, and so on.

A huge problem with the current skill system is that many of the "skills" like space law are purely roleplay.
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Re: Rework/Revamp of the Skill System

Postby Wickedtemp » Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:30 pm

There are also some mechanics that are involved in every department.

Mechs/heavy machinery, as an example.

Engineering operates machinery. Science has machinery and mechs. Cargo, same. Security has mechs, exploration uses mechs, medical has the Ody and Serenity -- this is expanded even further if you count Hardsuits under this category.

I do wish there was some manner of incentive for people to not play as HoS, CMO, Field Medic, Pathfinder, Security Officer and Medical Doctor and Overseer all on the same character, ideally as a reward of some kind for specializing as one department, but implementing something like this in a way that achieves its goal without hindering others, it'd be a bit complicated. It may even need to be done on a whitelist basis, which fixes some problems but brings other ones to the table.
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Re: Rework/Revamp of the Skill System

Postby Scree » Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:42 pm

Yeah, the last thing we'd want out of a skill system is making a particular skill mandatory to nearly every department. If something is that essential to merely having a job on the station, then it should be part of the default basic "everyone can do this" package.
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