Expansion of skill trees

Discussion in 'NOTD Discussion' started by Kith, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    We've touched on this topic before, but I'm fairly sure we haven't had a serious discussion about it.

    To get to the point, NOTD's classes are stagnating. Even with the inclusion of the Pathfinder and the Chemical Expert and the upcoming rework of the Subtlety Commando, the fact remains that the rest of the classes have nothing new. They are still effective, so they don't particularly require a rework, but they need something, otherwise NOTD is going to continue its downward spiral. To that end, I propose the following:

    All classes gain a third skill tree that is unlocked for use at 20k experience.

    The aim of this proposal is to expand the possibilities for veteran use of the lower tier classes, and also to encourage players to go back to the other classes after they have ranked up instead of sticking to the higher tier classes.

    This would not require significant effort in designing new abilities. Many new classes and trees have been proposed in the past, all it would take is a bit of a menu overhaul (potentially a new menu for each class to hold the "officer abilities") and picking and choosing from past proposals to apply what would be appropriate.

    My suggestion on choosing the skill trees (assuming we do decide to do this) would be to make the "officer trees" almost completely different in utility from what the class's standard trees are. For instance, the Rifleman's third tree would be a squad leader of some kind, the Assault's third tree to be a caster (disposable rockets come to mind), and the Recon's third tree to be a close combat expert (thinking of the Trench Runner). The idea is that the tree will be so far removed from what the class is usually doing that playing it will be a completely fresh experience. New strategies will emerge as a result, along with new playstyles and builds.
  2. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Well the idea has me all fired up. And certainly enough there's been a shitton of somewhat viable ideas out there that could probably be refined into useable concepts. I'm not going to throw out ideas quite yet. Lets see what people think and if this idea has some momentum to it.

    But yeah, all intents and purposes, this is something I'd like to see.
  3. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    I think this is an interesting suggestion, but I am not sure whether this would unbalance pub runs.
    It couldn't be tied to NM given that nm is typed after story selection. It could be tied to vet I guess (all over 500 xp)
  4. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Well, my view is the 20k trees don't need to be Strictly Better. So any problem with normal or newbie mode games shouldn't really exist.

    So Rather than having it stacked up like this:

    [align=center]Superior Tree: 20k Unlock
    ^^^^
    Inferior Trees: Base Class
    [/align]
    You have it so it goes like this:

    [align=center]Base Class Tree = Base Class Tree = New Class Tree[/align]

    So that you don't power creep but go for something that is unique. So simply put the third Commando Tree, for example, wouldn't be "OpsComm, with MOAR DAKKA". But go with having the One Man DPS show tree, the Disable Tree, and the Support Tree.

    Just how I'd like to see it implemented. I think concepts and numbers can be crunched to ensure that you don't end up with say, Riflemen who have no reason to go anything BUT their 20k tree.
  5. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    True, but from prior experience, almost any new classes/trees ended up being better than their old variants in some shape or form.
  6. Peerawatz
    • Development Team

    Peerawatz NOTD Staff: Sound Mixer and NOTD Troll Chieftain

    because the new classes are designed for a story that is generally harder than the standard EC, and therefore has to be generally geared towards it.
  7. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Arc has the right idea. The "expansion" trees won't be any stronger than the ones available now, just different.
  8. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Maybe. Partially because the new stuff is balanced for the game as it exists at the moment. And there's less focus on referencing certain things or making an effect just for the sake of having that effect. Least so it seems. So it's not so much of an inherent flaw in creating new content as I see it, so much as it's a case of things that haven't aged well as the game has grown.

    To draw an example.... waaaaaaaay back in the early days of Magic: The Gathering. Alpha/Beta days I'm talking about. A card called "The Hive", which was a 5 mana artifact which spent 5 mana to make some 1/1 flyers that died if The Hive left play was considered to be a massive powerhouse card. Meanwhile a card like Tropical Island was viewed as "neat" but not really powerful. As the game currently exists those stances are completely reversed. No one would ever play with The Hive or consider it a good card at all. Not only are there a lot more efficient cards which do similar things now, the gamers themselves recognize the value of certain simple effects over complex ones with weak points.

    Sure, it's not NOTD. But I think there's a valid point in there. New stuff seems overpowered or strictly better because either it accommodates a more enlightened playerbase, or because it is a simple ability without obvious flaws, or it is rebuffing an obvious hole in a skill that isn't needed. Not only that NOTD itself is much more difficult than it was when I started playing. Skills that were "Adequate" back in the day, or Tactics, are now viewed as "Doesn't scale/worthless". Game gets tougher, marines don't. However as new stuff is designed it's often designed for "The game as it exists now". I admit when I design concept stuff, like when I did the Ranger class, I designed it for Alpha Company, as it currently existed, with little regard for making it equal to what the other marines in Alpha Company already had necessarily. Though I did consider synergy with other Marines.

    If we go into the design though with the concept of Not Overshadowing the Base Trees, I think it'll be okay. It seems most stuff lately has been designed for the challenge as it existed. And that's why it's OP. I know Kith at one point said ModTech was designed purely to stuff Hades's tentacles up his own ass. Then Hades was nerfed a bit so he became really OP.

    Eh. I'm probably rambling.
  9. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    Another thought I was just pondering is whether it might be worthwhile expanding existing skill trees slightly, such as an additional T1 and T2 per tree.
    Something that has bothered me quite a bit thus far is that you always had to put points in a skill you didn't necessarily want/need to reach the T3 talent.
    Having more skills to choose from would 1. reduce that problem and 2. give each class/tree more variety 3. Let people having exponentially more build options.

    That's short of making people choose talent loadouts at the start to skill and would fit well in the current Tier system.
  10. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    Honestly, I think it needs to be an entirely new tree. Adding on to existing trees can lead to major disruption of the balance we have now. Some trees are absolutely awesome in their own right and don't need anything else added to them. A fine example of this is the Assault: Both trees fulfill one role completely, and any more skills being put into those trees will lead to issues. As it stands, completing one tree just leads to leveling the next, which doesn't make the original tree any more powerful. Critical Strike is nice to have on a tank wielding the crowbar and armored plating is useful for shrugging off a spare hit or two, but imagine, if you would, if the Arms Assault finished his tree and just kept getting more and more powerful. Say we give him a skill that decreases reload time for his third T1 and an ability that increases critical strike damage for his T2. He'd become an absolute monster. Another good example of this would be the Combat Engineer. He's already stupidly powerful, but the overwhelming offensive capability caps off once you max out the right tree. If there were more skills to level, Combat Engineers wouldn't be picking up probes, they'd be picking up more damage and steamrolling, something that is exacerbated by their already ludicrous leveling speed.
  11. Arturia

    Arturia Well-Known Member

    Combat Rolf's already have fun with Weapons Proficiency. Just Imagine what else could happen if there were more "similar" tree's in rifleman boosting his Damage Out-put.
  12. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    SC2 has a cap of 32 abilities per unit. Most NOTD classes currently use 29-30 ability slots (depending on their innate talents). We need 1-2 more ability slots for some future work. I don't feel very keen on a 3rd talent tree as well. All games also need to come to an eventual end-state and close - more isn't always more. Maybe we can work on an NOTD 2 one day. For NOTD, we want at least 12 months of practically no new content during the closing phase to polish all details and balance everything.

    Rifleman Example
    1. Move
    2. Attack
    3. Sprint
    4. Talents Ability (required for button)
    5. Learn Ability (required mechanic)
    6. Reload
    7. Drop Magazine
    8. Inventory (ability required)
    9. Grenade Launcher
    10. Augmented Legs
    11. Bloodlust
    12. Critical Strike
    13. Rapid Fire
    14. Saline IV
    15. Weapons Proficiency
    16. Repulse
    17. Focused Fire
    18. Precision Shot
    19. Sonic Trap
    20. Combat Knife
    21. Hold Fire
    22. Weapons Free
    23. Bandage
    24. Team Location
    25. L3 Grenade Launcher Launch (required for targeting ground mechanic)
    26. Pull (Gravity Gun)
    27. Throw (Gravity Gun)
    28. Cancel (Gravity Gun)
    29. Shiva (required for targeting ground mechanic)
    30. -blank-
    31. -blank-
    32. -blank-
  13. Arturia

    Arturia Well-Known Member

    Improved Focus Fire replaced Augmented Legs, didn't it?
  14. Nicarco
    • Warden
    • Donator

    Nicarco Warden

    I can't believe you're talking about mtg alpha/beta days without referring to the power nine cards in some shape or form. Now those were really op cards (and still are).

    As for the third tree idea. I was wondering if you could kind of compromise with a "customizable" tree given to people with high xp. Use all the skills from the class and give the player the ability to pick the skills he wants in the tree. Tier skills have to be in the same or higher tier and certain op skills cannot be used with other skills. Maybe add a few more skills as well. Just an idea.
  15. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    I want an Assault/Pathfinder.
  16. Nicarco
    • Warden
    • Donator

    Nicarco Warden

    I mean, it's just an idea so that notd can be "different" while remaining within the limit of 32 skills per character. Perhaps it could also be limited so that you can only pick class skills while within the tree.
  17. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Bah, damned griefer gun hogging up about 10% of the abilities. Hate that thing.
  18. Kage

    Kage Member

    Perhaps we could remake talents trees such that for each storyline,the classes remian the same but their talents are slightly different.

    Classes remain the same,but their talent trees are different.This is effectively a third/fourth talent tree but only two will be available at any time.

    Coding-wise,I would assume with the limit on abilities would require to code another class into the game.
  19. Lyanden

    Lyanden Well-Known Member

    +1
    For the same reason.

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