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Moondrake

New Skills System Doesn't Make Sense

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Moondrake    15

While I get the idea behind the changes to the jobs/skills system, the recent change in the test branch doesn't make any sense and doesn't give you proper control over what your dupes spend their time doing. The jobs system made sense... to improve your skill in something you had to do it. Collecting points for doing everything and then spending them on specifics is completely illogical. How can my dupe learn how to research by digging and picking up stuff?

As for controlling what they do, how about making the hats affect what they prioritize? As it stands, all my dupes are doing everything and I have no way of controlling what they do aside from setting their priorities manually... and ALL my dupes seem to prioritize doing research over everything else. 

If the idea is to give some RPG flavor to the game, you've missed something important. The collection of points that you then spend as you wish works in RPGs because characters are already predisposed to a particular set of skills. That isn't true with dupes. Now, if you were to make dupes so that they were actually good at some skills and bad at others then the current changes might make some sense.

Addendum: After considerable playing, I've uncovered a couple of problems with the Skills System.

First, dupes keep collecting skill points after they've reached a point where they can't really use them anymore. How about letting us spend the points on improving attributes, so if you specialize a dupe for digging you can spend points on the digging attribute to make them even better at digging?

Second, the decreased moral expense of improving skills the dupe is interested in means it is pretty silly to EVER take a dupe that doesn't have three interests. I suppose you could make it an option to offer dupes with less than three interests to increase the difficulty, but getting a constant parade of dupes with less than three interests just makes it hard to recruit decent dupes. It is already hard enough to get decent dupes with all the crappy traits they can get. Avoiding dupes with crappy traits AND those with less than three interests makes it too damned hard to recruit, and that simply ISN'T fun.

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jlarner    12

The release said that one of their design goals is that you specialise your dupes, so you have a rancher who ranches, a farmer who farms, a digger who digs, and (importantly) a researcher who researches.

They have also designed the game with high-level skills which depend on having other skills, so astronaut requires researching, mechatronics engineering requires tinkering, exosuit engineer requires supply, and rancher requires farming. The previous system didn't mesh well with these pre-requisites, because if I e.g. want to train up a rancher, I have to stop my farmer from farming so my rancher can do it instead.  If you're trying to train 3-4 astronauts, it's really annoying because you're constantly hot-swapping who's doing your research, and you can't really have a research specialised dupe at all.  Exosuit Engineer is a really key skill for later in the game, and trying to make sure that only dupes without that job finished do your supply jobs is a logistical nightmare (ironic given that you're training dupes in logistics....)

Of course, in practice, under the previous system most players just stuck their dupes in supply jobs without necessarily using them for supply, in order to get to exosuit engineer with passive job xp, so that system also had issues with do X and actually end up with Y skill, it was just a bit more subtle.

Basically, you cannot achieve the following 3 goals simultaneously:

  • A system which favours specialising dupes
  • A system which gives dupes skills in the activities they are actually doing
  • A system with desirable high level skills which depend on multiple or distinct lower level skills

The old system mostly went for objectives 2 and 3 (though passive xp meant it could cheat a little).  The new system prioritises 1 and 3.  I agree it would be nice to have all 3, but given that you can only have 2, I think 1 and 3 is fine.  As you note, we play plenty of games where 'leveling up' suddenly gives us ability to do things we've never done before.

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ArchRylen    10

You can get goal 2 by requiring the dupe have some experience in the skill before the next rank becomes available. It slows them down a bit and would leave a question of having them improving in multiple areas vs stockpiling points to always be ready to move up. I think would be a fun concern.

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SharraShimada    369

In the old system a dupe dont had to do the job to get better at all. The skill leveled no matter what he´s doing. If you locked a miner in the base, let him doing everything but mining, hes mining skill increased regardless. 

And in another way, the new system wont make a difference too. A dupe with the skill miner could mine granite for example, while leveling this skill. Now the skill is set fixed, without need to gain XP in it, and the dupe can mine as before. The dupe will gain general XP, you can spend on what you want, instead of gaining XP in a fixed skill. Thats the only difference. It gives us a bit more flexibility, because we can change our mind, if we want a miner to be a rancher next.

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