Skill Regression

TronkinTronkin REGISTERED Posts: 15 Seed
edited May 2016 in Suggestions & Feedback
Here's a thought. What if skills in TUG degraded with disuse? Perhaps not only would you build a skill the longer/more you used it, but the longer you did not use a skill, the more it deteriorated.

Long and Short-Term Skills
I imagine skill deterioration could get really complex really fast, but basically what I'm thinking is having two levels of skill growth for each skill. One we'll call long-term skill and the other short-term skill. Long-term skill never goes away, but progresses more slowly than short-term skill. Short-term skill allows the player to access all the benefits of a skill level, but doesn't provide protection against deterioration. You would gain long and short-term skills the same way (that is, performing the work the skill requires), but they would have different rates at which they increased. The following is one way they could progress:

Assuming a level cap of 100, the first 10 levels of a long and short-term skills progress at the same rate. Once a player reaches level ten, the next 50 levels (until level 60), the long-term skill increases every 2 short-term skill increases, such that when a player reaches level 60 short-term, the long-term skill is at level 35. For the next 40 short-term levels, the long term level increases every 4 short-term levels such that when the player reaches the short-term level 100 for a skill, it's long-term level is 45.

Deterioration and Rebuilding
Deterioration kicks in when players do not increase a skill's short-term level within a certain period of time. It could be set across all levels or adapt as a player's long-term level increases. For example, there is no deterioration the first ten levels, but for the next 50 levels, if you do not increase your short-term level at least every 48hrs (in game time, not real time), you lose 1 short term level. Once you get to level 60, it takes 4 days before you lose a short-term level. This would be to compensate for the amount of experience and time it takes to increase to a higher level.

After deterioration, building up a skill could go two ways. On the one hand, the max amount of long-term skill could be set so that once you reach the max short-term skill, you've also reached the max long-term skill. On the other hand, the game could remember the “lifetime” short-term skill level so that even after you've lost several short-term levels, your long-term progress picks up where you left off. Thus, if you're at level 15 short-term, but don't level up the skill for a week, when you next reach level 13 in game, your long-term skill also reaches level 13. Furthermore, you could build long-term skill even after you've reached the short-term cap I think I prefer this latter mode so that you can build long-term skill faster than having to start over each time you regress.

So, how would this look in TUG? Let's say you start out crafting a lot of gear, getting a general crafting level (short term) to 21 (long-term 15). You then decide you're ready to go out on an adventure and decide to hunt the elusive wolffalo. It takes you about a week of tracking, fighting with the beast, skinning, gorging, and sleeping before you find your way back to your main camp. In that time, you've only lost 3 short-term levels of crafting, so you're at level 18 short-term but still 15 long-term. You can now want to fashion a beautiful wolffalo rug for your hovel and, in doing so, you increase your short-term crafting up to 19 and your long-term crafting increases to 16.

Or, imagine being an alchemist, but needing a specific work table to craft some new recipes. Your carpentry skill isn't all that high, so instead of grinding to boost your skills, you work out a deal with someone (NPC or another player) to build you the table for some potions now and later. Now, the carpenter can't do it all on her own and needs some intrepid adventurer to find a rare type of wood or an enchanter to make a particular element of the table. The carpenter then has to hire someone else to help with the project.

Hunters may need to buy or trade with blacksmiths to get high-tiered weapons and armor, artisans would rely on each other to upgrade equipment, and people would be able to be proficient in 2 or 3 skills, but would need others to reach the highest levels of their specialization.

Post Script

Already as I wrote this, I realized that the system would need extensive balancing and fine tuning. Still, I think it would be a neat way to promote specialization and diversification. It would prevent people from becoming an expert in every skill by delaying progress, but would also allow people to reach higher levels if they are reaching a specific goal; they just might not stay there long-term.

Skills and skill progression could be enhanced in a number of ways too. You could perhaps buy a skill boost from an alchemist, but it might only boost your short-term skill, and might pause or have no effect on your long-term skill. Injuries, poisons, and the like could damage your short r long-term skill. Perhaps as you age there are particular times when it's easier to learn skills in general or where skills degrade more quickly. Perhaps near the end of a seed's life, all skills degrade no matter what. There are probably endless ways to make this more complicated and interesting.


  • WingidonWingidon REGISTERED Posts: 1,128 Seed
    Now that's an interesting mechanic. Naturally, we're not going to remain a god of stylishly making a chair if we haven't made chairs for an eternity.
  • TronkinTronkin REGISTERED Posts: 15 Seed
    Right! You might be able to make a sweet looking chair if you work really hard, but if you don't keep it up, what's to say you'll be able to repeat that? If you do keep it up, maybe you'll be able to customize your chair a whole lot more though, carving in different designs or changing bits and pieces of it.
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