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Skills anyone?

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:02 pm
by NikitaTheTanner
It's fairly obvious that sooner or later we'll have to come up with some new skill system. Honestly, having a ton of language skills is fun, but fairly useless... I know that it's a bit early to implement new skills, as the old skills are not fully functional yet, like magic skills, for example, but we'll need to have some ideas ready when time comes.

I want to hear what everyone thinks first, as I usually tend to come up with large interconnected systems in my head, which are quite rigid and each piece depends on one another. That's why I sometimes might not agree even with good suggestions, if they break whole system I had in mind. Which is pretty selfish, I know. So I want to hear what everyone thinks prior to making any suggestions to the actual skills myself. I might give my ideas one at a time, as I have way too many in my head :lol:

Which skills do you think we should keep and which ones get rid off? Which ones can be combined into one skill and how will they work? Give your ideas here and we can discuss here what we actually need and what we don't. You can think of any new mechanics connected to the skills as well - new crafting items, new spells, new armors/weapons, enchantment mechanics, traps, secrets, perks, minigames, etc. Whatever comes to your mind.

Ideas about Attributes are also welcome, if you have any. I feel like these can be streamlined a bit, to be a bit more straightforward and useful.

Give it all, but don't be surprised that many of these ideas will not make it into the game. Here I want to have some sort of brainstorm, so when somebody finally comes to implementing these ideas into the game, they'll have this topic to draw inspiration from. But unless it's going to be you who implements these ideas, there is no guarantee that any of them will get into the game. That includes my ideas as well, I am not exempt from this and not going to judge anyone's ideas, even if I might not agree with everyone. That's just a friendly reminder not to get too excited ;)

Re: Skills anyone?

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:09 am
by Jay_H
I always thought it was quite excessive to try to dedicate a 100-point skill to a single enemy when you're going to level out of them. Daedric I can understand, but what're you going to do with Giantish or Spriggan when you're level 15? You might not even see any of them anymore, making it impossible to level it up further.

Language skills could be grouped and expanded. Giantish, Spriggan, Dragonish, Centaurian, and Nymph could be combined into a Nature Language skill. Bats, rats, spiders, scorpions, bears, and tigers could be grouped into a new Beast skill. Impish, Harpy and Daedric could be combined into an Arcane Language skill. Orcs could be turned over to a regular charisma check, same as human opponents. This would allow some synergy among these skills, providing more frequent and meaningful skill-ups, and permit some characters to move through entire dungeons of a certain kind while relying on a single language skill.

One of the problems Daggerfall suffers from is that it requires you to set too many skills compared to what it actually offers. Morrowind did better in that you're quite likely to have some overlap among your skills, like a thief who knows Armorer, a warrior who uses Security, or a mage who uses Sneak. So few of Daggerfall's skills are actually useful, you'll generally use the same six for any major character path, and then fill your Minor Skills with whatever junk is left over.

Alchemy could be implemented as a character skill. Potionmaker NPCs would create potions at a standard 65 or 75 skill, whereas the character's potion efficiency would vary depending on skill level. Either some menu button or item could be implemented that, with the Use option in the inventory, would pop-up the character's potionmaker window, somewhat similar to how the Identification spell works in vanilla. Potions could show six tiers of quality in their "Info" window; potions made with 1-20 skills would be deficient, 21-40 skill would be feeble, 41-60 would be standard, 61-80 would be expert (as would potions sold by merchants), 81-99 would be outstanding, and 100+ would be extraordinary. These would alter the magnitude and duration of the effects cast by the spell.

The Critical Strike skill could be eliminated and its effects implemented in the rise of each individual weapon skill. I don't prefer this right now since Daggerfall is already rather short on useful skills, but it would make for more streamlined gameplay.

In addition to the language merging and critical strike merging previously mentioned, other skills could be grouped to streamline gameplay. Running, Jumping, and Climbing could all be put together into one; no one spends hours practicing Climbing to get better at it (the alternative is to practice in dungeons, when failing at it means you plummeting several stories to your death), and Jumping is just an experience well for easy leveling. Swimming could be eliminated entirely, its factors integrated directly from Endurance and Running. Streetwise and Etiquette could be combined or reformed in some way so they would still be relevant during court; perhaps derive their skill from the guilds the character belongs to? (Knights, Temples, and Mages would boost Debate, and Dark Brotherhood, Thieves, and Fighters could boost Lie.) These bonuses could carry over into Daggerfall's Polite and Blunt conversation mechanics as well. Short Blade, Long Blade, and Axe could be combined into "Bladed Weapon."

All melee weapon skills could be merged into either One-Handed or Two-Handed types, similar to TESV. Hand-to-Hand and Archery would retain their own skills.

It may also be good to only set Primary and Major skills and omit Minor skills entirely (renaming them instead to Major and Minor skills).

A Blocking skill could let any character wielding a shield to automatically reduce physical damage. Percent reduced and blocking frequency increase with skill gain.

A new skill could be created for armor, an analogue to Dodging. After all damage calculations are made, a net reduction could be applied based on Armor skill when an armored slot of the character is attacked, with trigger chance and damage reduction improving as skill rises.

Pickpocketing and lockpicking could certainly be merged, and perhaps Stealth as well.

Enchanting could be an additional skill, like in TES3-5.

Maybe a Poisoning skill. This would allow the PC to use ordinary ingredients and put a poisoning effect on the wielded weapon. More powerful ingredients would have a minimum skill requirement. Higher skill means greater poison length and success rate.

Maybe a Survival skill, which would save the character from life-threatening strikes such as poisons, deadly diseases, and critical strikes when at low health. It wouldn't trigger all the time, but would increase with skill.

If we implement spell tomes, Necromancy could be a new spell school. No one would sell their spells, but you could occasionally find spell tomes that teach them to you. Raise Skeleton, Bind Ghost, Pacify Undead, Invisible to Undead, and so on.

Re: Skills anyone?

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:31 am
by Al-Khwarizmi
I think it would be nice to make language skills useful rather than removing them. I always found them to be a nice original touch, as other games don't make you worry about languages at all and it's something that can have quite a lot of relevance in the real world.

A way of making them useful would be to implement optional quest lines for the factions that have their own language (giants, etc.) that would provide relevant benefits (e.g. artifacts?) and you wouldn't be able to do well without speaking the language.

Re: Skills anyone?

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:42 am
by NikitaTheTanner
I think it would be nice to make language skills useful rather than removing them.

Unfortunately, there is no viable path to make them useful. Even if we add a ton of quests for each language skill, they would still suck for many reasons. They are just too specific and there are not enough creatures of these types to be of any use. Best way to handle languages can be through Perks in my opinion, if we ever implement them. And perhaps some skill combinations can work as Jay_H proposed.

Alchemy could be implemented as a character skill.

Certainly! And quite close to what I was thinking! Each Potion will have a few levels, so to speak. Depending on your skill, you'll be able to create a certain grade potion. I am also thinking that in the future poisons/weapon oils can be added, as well as bombs potentially, in the same Alchemy skill. Potionmakers levels can vary depending on the quality of shop, as well as their prices.

The Critical Strike skill could be eliminated and its effects implemented in the rise of each individual weapon skill.

Yeah, critical strike can be part of Weapon Skill + Luck, I don't see a real need for a skill like that.

Running, Jumping, and Climbing could all be put together into one;

I am actually thinking of Athletics for Running and Swimming, as well as Acrobatics for Jumping, Climbing and potentially Dodging, though I personally don't like dice rolls at all :lol: But it should be an option. These skills can go well along with Stamina meter, where instead of increasing Speed, they would actually reduce Stamina consumption instead, while Speed will be handled with the Attribute. Acrobatics should still increase jump height, though.

Streetwise and Etiquette

Well, they can be either kept or replaced with Speech and once again, Perks might grant even more variety in what direction you take your character. Perhaps, even Mercantile can be merged into one to create a Super Social skill, while different perks will allow you to take character in different directions. But maybe not, there is at least some value to these skills, even if it's not huge.

All melee weapon skills could be merged into either One-Handed or Two-Handed types, similar to TESV. Hand-to-Hand and Archery would retain their own skills.

Yep, that's good idea and what I was thinking. Perhaps, Polearms might be added at some point. Archery can renamed to Marksmanship and include other weapons as well - Crossbows, Throwing Knifes, etc.

A new skill could be created for armor, an analogue to Dodging. After all damage calculations are made, a net reduction could be applied based on Armor skill when an armored slot of the character is attacked, with trigger chance and damage reduction improving as skill rises.

This is probably one thing I am opposed to, and I thought about this for awhile. At first, I thought it was a good idea, but after consideration, it makes no sense that Leather armor would protect you better than Plate, even if you are highly skilled. And that's how it worked in later TES games. There is not much use for Armor skills, at least I don't really see them.

Armor should certainly affect your Speed and style of gameplay, perhaps add some Perks for it as well, but my idea is to tie Armor to Equipment Weight and it will determine how quickly you move in it. Equipment weight will rise with Strength, so high Strength characters will move faster in heavier armors. And a few specialization Perks can take away any real need for Armor skills.

Pickpocketing and lockpicking could certainly be merged, and perhaps Stealth as well.

Yep, especially if we add locked chests to dungeons, it might be a good idea. Warriors will break locks, Mages unlock them with spells, thiefs will use their skill. Potentially traps and possibility to disarm them as well. These three can be either two skills or even just one.

Enchanting could be an additional skill, like in TES3-5.

Most certainly, and there can be many interesting mechanics with it. Perhaps you'll need to break enchanted items to learn enchantments, but you'll not need to identify items which enchantments you know already.

Maybe a Survival skill, which would save the character from life-threatening strikes such as poisons, deadly diseases, and critical strikes when at low health. It wouldn't trigger all the time, but would increase with skill.

Survival is an interesting idea and can be used in variety of ways. It can determine rate of random encounters when travelling recklessly, speed of regeneration when camping, maybe even some other things, like cooking. A lot can go into this one!

If we implement spell tomes, Necromancy could be a new spell school. No one would sell their spells, but you could occasionally find spell tomes that teach them to you. Raise Skeleton, Bind Ghost, Pacify Undead, Invisible to Undead, and so on.

We can probably rebalance existing schools, without creating new one, but I certainly wouldn't mind the new spells and magical specializations in the future.

Great suggestions overall, thank you, Jay_H!

Re: Skills anyone?

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:31 am
by Jay_H
NikitaTheTanner wrote:
Enchanting could be an additional skill, like in TES3-5.

Most certainly, and there can be many interesting mechanics with it. Perhaps you'll need to break enchanted items to learn enchantments, but you'll not need to identify items which enchantments you know already.
One thing I might suggest is a revamp of how enchanting works. In Morrowind one of the most maddening things was to have an Enchant skill of 400+ and to fail routinely on making powerful enchantments. Instead of governing success rate, enchanting could have a 100% success rate, and your skill would instead determine how powerful the enchantment could be. Some effects could be blocked off entirely until you're at a high enough skill level, and others would simply scale depending on how high your skill is.

Re: Skills anyone?

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:11 am
by NikitaTheTanner
Yeah, I agree on enchanting. And overall, my philosophy for skills is that they should all be useful, offer some versatility, be fun to use and add more depth to the character. So, ideally, each skill will provide certain value and would be useful in variety of situations, but specific use will depend on the character.

Overall, many skills can be merged in my opinion, while adding some completely new ones. Crafting skills will play a big role in such a huge open world game such as Daggerfall - Alchemy, Enchanting, Smithing, potentially Survival.

Thinking about magic schools, I've had these ideas about vanilla schools, though I did swap Destruction with Elementalism, mainly to spread attack spells a little:

1) Alteration - neutral utility spells such as unlock, light, waterwalk, slowfall, levitation, magical protection, force push/pull, etc. Also has pure magical attacks. These are more expensive than elemental attacks and provide no bonus effect, but fewer enemies are resistant to pure magical damage.

2) Elementalism - primarily attack spells, fire, frost and shock, also elemental protection. Would go well with specilization Perks. Fire will have a chance to set enemy on fire draining Health, frost will slow down and drain Stamina, shock will stagger and drain Magicka. If Perks are implemented, specialization will make characters better with one of the elements, but less effective with others, also giving extra protection against chosen element.

3) Illusion - covert mind spells, such as invisibility, calm, charms, paralysis, fear, night eye. Best for sneaky/manipulative characters.

4) Mysticism - guidance spells, including mark&recall, evacuation, divine intervention, clairvoyance(general direction of quest target), detect danger/door/treasure, read target(get info about NPC/creature). This school makes player's life easier by providing variety of teleportation options and even guidance in quests, though it's not absolute.

5) Restoration - divine blessings, include healing, cure, regeneration, fortitude, holy damage(only effective against undead and daedra, but deals higher damage than other options). Perfect for clerics and paladins, but also quite useful for any other adventurer.

6) Thaumaturgy - dark spells, including soul trap, absorb damage, reflect spells, silence, bound weapons/armor, but also spells dealing dark damage and leeching health. Dark damage is similar to magic damage, but undead and daedra are resistant to it, making it extra effective against other enemies, like men, orcs, animals, creatures. Leeching health is much more expensive and less powerfull spell, but allows to heal while damaging the opponent.

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These are some of my ideas about magic schools. Share yours as well, guys! Or offer some criticism, that's also good! I know, there is still no magic system in place, but I think that we can mod an awesome magic system later on! On top of Interkarma's work, of course. If only enemy fighting was possible, it would be great to include conjuration and necromancy spells as well.

P.S. I think Clairvoyance, spell that shows direction towards quest objective, can be really useful in Daggerfall and will make Mysticism a very viable school. Not to make it too OP, it will require quite a bit of Magicka and a certain level of Mysticm, let's say 50, only showing direction for a second on the screen. It will still be very useful and characters with low Mysticism skill should still be able to use it, if they find or purchase a scroll.

Re: Skills anyone?

Posted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:02 pm
by Narf the Mouse
The different languages are a good place to replace them with a perk system. Each language could be a perk; adding more points would represent greater fluency. Also, languages would need to have greater effect than "maybe they stop attacking you for a bit."

If NPCs encountered in dungeons/the wilderness are not automatically hostile, language perks could be a great way to negotiate and gain advantage. For example: hiring mercenaries/gaining companions; playing one faction off another; trading with random Orcs/Imps/Daedra/etc; and so on.

I'd agree with merging Etiquette and Streetwise into Speechcraft, and making them perks. And make them a major part of influence with nobles/the underworld. One reason Etiquette and Streetwise are rather useless is, there doesn't seem to be any way to know who to use which on.

Running/Climbing/Jumping/Swimming are four skills that handle far less than what one (two?) magic skill(s) do; although they don't cost magicka, and only cost a little fatigue. That being said, "Athletics" and "Acrobatics" works for me; move extra proficiency in these into perks, I think. Also, allow people to jump up and catch on a wall to climb it at high acrobatics. That would open up previously magic-only (even if levitation item) dungeons, such as Scourge Barrow.

The weapon skills again do only one thing, "Hit with weapon", as opposed to magic (which is broken because it costs waay too much magicka at low levels, and waay too little at high levels).

Having given this a bunch of thought, there's basically only a few weapon types:

1) Swords (One- and Two-handed can be handled by, yep, you guessed it, perks)
2) Impact (Axes, hammers, maces. From watching Youtubers like Scholagladatoria, these are all used in basically the same ways, albeit that with maces, you don't have to worry about edge alignment. And, of course, differences = perks)
2) Pole (staves (staffs?), spears, halberds, glaives, pollaxes, etc. You stab with them, you swing the end at things, and basically any use of a polearm is basically Staff Training + extras. I think you can guess how I think that should be handled. ;) )
3) Daggers (Including the shorter short swords. These are all used in a distinct way, different from swords. As a perk, some of them could be thrown)
4) Spun weapons (flails, stuff on the end of a chain, bolas, whips, slings, etc. Maybe split into melee and ranged)
5) Marksman (Both bows and crossbows use strength, perception, and a steady hand more than anything else. The rest is details, and details = Perks)
6) Thrown (Axes, hammers, maces, spears, rocks, and also daggers as well)
7) Unarmed (Including katars and patas)

The perk system, however, should have more meat on it than "You get 10% more damage".

Edit: Also, magicka costs for spellcasting should start at a reasonable level and reduce in a linear fashion, and magicka should regenerate, albeit slowly.

Re: Skills anyone?

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:52 pm
by Gaggerballz
Hello to the DFU community, I just joined the forums today, although I have been lurking and following the project for a few months now, and this is my first post. I'm an old-school fan, I played Daggerfall endlessly when it first came out and to this day DF and Morrowind are two of my favorite games of all time. I also consider them to be the absolute unarguable pinnacle of the TES series and in my jaded cantankerous opinion the later games are barely competent disgraces to the Elder Scrolls name. Anyway, I was originally going to ask a question about the potential inclusion of armor skills, as to me this is one of the most glaring omissions of DF's otherwise exceptional skills system, when I came across this thread and figured this was the place to leave my two cents, for what its worth.

For me personally, I would be VERY hesitant to remove, ahem "streamline"cough cough any skills from the game, Bethesda and Todd Howard have seen to that plenty over the ensuing 20 years since DF was published and I would be sick at the thought of the dark course of modern AAA games being brought to DFU. Even the more conceptually cool but practically useless skills like the languages I would much rather see somehow tweaked to have some meaningful in-game purpose rather than outright nixed. A few of the skill combinations from MW such as combining running/swimming into athletics and climbing/jumping into acrobatics would work fine and makes some sense. However the Skyrim travesty of reducing weapons skills to one-handed/two-handed has no place in DF or TES (or any well designed CRPG for that matter), Oblivion was bad enough lumping in axe with blunt weapon. Ditto for pickpocketing/lockpicking and the speech skills, as combining them together mechanically reduces roleplay options and potential.

As I mentioned earlier, a couple skills I feel that should be added if possible would be armor skills. These were an almost necessary addition that MW got right IMO. In fact, after years of not playing DF I recently did another playthrough and was shocked when I realized the game didn't have armor skills, they seem like such a logical and natural integration to the game. In fact, as I believe has been discussed further in the armors thread, the entire armor system in DF is a bit wonky to say the least, which MW later improved (while adding a ton of its own new wonkiness :D ), and could stand some polishing.

An enchanting skill for the player similar to MW, while not nearly as necessary IMO as adding in armor skills, could be a cool addition as well, as long as some semblance of game balance( :lol: ) was maintained. Ditto for alchemy, if such is missing in DF (I personally never mess with alchemy in TES games, so I can't remember if it's in DF or not).

Finally with regards to perks and attributes, to me the classic TES attributes are fine, were well-balanced and implemented, and a big part of what distinguished and gave the TES games their unique feeling and depth was the interplay between attributes and skills. Their arbitrary removal in Skyrim (along with the class system) was disgraceful, even more so when one considers the ridiculously shallow perk system which replaced them. IMO as an old-school fan, perks have no place in DF or TES. The only change I would like to see to these existing systems if any would be to make starting attributes/skills lower and advancement more difficult, as it is a tad too easy in vanilla DF/MW to not only become a "jack of all trades" but a master, although nowhere near to the level of later games. Likewise, some way to balance/improve stealth and magic to make them more viable as alternative play styles would be welcome.

Anyway, these are just my thoughts on the matter, for what they're worth. IMO some small changes and additions could be made, but with changes to the game mechanics its the same slippery slope as changes to the art style, go too far and all of a sudden its not DF anymore. Having said that, I'm by no means a "purist" and am amazed and excited by the work that has already been undertaken and accomplished by this small but dedicated community. In particular, the 3d models and improved textures are AMAZING and it is wonderful to see the love for this epic game being channeled into making DF realize the potential it always had, so I'd like to end this post with a heartfelt kudos to everyone making it happen for all their hard work!

Re: Skills anyone?

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:16 pm
by Feralwarlord
Gaggerballz wrote:Finally with regards to perks and attributes, to me the classic TES attributes are fine, were well-balanced and implemented, and a big part of what distinguished and gave the TES games their unique feeling and depth was the interplay between attributes and skills. Their arbitrary removal in Skyrim (along with the class system) was disgraceful, even more so when one considers the ridiculously shallow perk system which replaced them. IMO as an old-school fan, perks have no place in DF or TES. The only change I would like to see to these existing systems if any would be to make starting attributes/skills lower and advancement more difficult, as it is a tad too easy in vanilla DF/MW to not only become a "jack of all trades" but a master, although nowhere near to the level of later games. Likewise, some way to balance/improve stealth and magic to make them more viable as alternative play styles would be welcome.


I'm fine with adding perks as long as they are inspired by and follow fallout 1/2s example and not Bethesdas watered down, terrible version of a perk system

also welcome to the forum

Re: Skills anyone?

Posted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:21 am
by Gaggerballz
Feralwarlord wrote:
Gaggerballz wrote:Finally with regards to perks and attributes, to me the classic TES attributes are fine, were well-balanced and implemented, and a big part of what distinguished and gave the TES games their unique feeling and depth was the interplay between attributes and skills. Their arbitrary removal in Skyrim (along with the class system) was disgraceful, even more so when one considers the ridiculously shallow perk system which replaced them. IMO as an old-school fan, perks have no place in DF or TES. The only change I would like to see to these existing systems if any would be to make starting attributes/skills lower and advancement more difficult, as it is a tad too easy in vanilla DF/MW to not only become a "jack of all trades" but a master, although nowhere near to the level of later games. Likewise, some way to balance/improve stealth and magic to make them more viable as alternative play styles would be welcome.


I'm fine with adding perks as long as they are inspired by and follow fallout 1/2s example and not Bethesdas watered down, terrible version of a perk system

also welcome to the forum



Thanks, I certainly wasn't expecting anyone to notice my rambling so quickly! :D Personally I've never played any of the Fallout games (although FO 1/2 are on my bucket list) so I'm not familiar with their perk systems, although I've heard nothing but good things about them so I assume their perk systems are well designed from a classic CRPG perspective, which I would have no issue with. I just generally object to the more modern perk systems from games like Skyrim, which basically are a lame attempt to pass off action games as having some "rpg" elements and depth of character development. Even the perks in Oblivion seemed like a tacked-on gimmick at best, and while they are far less objectionable than Skyrim's system, IMO Daggerfall's combat and gameplay just isn't player-skill action oriented enough to warrant their inclusion. Daggerfall at heart is a classic RPG in the sense that everything is based on hidden dice rolls as opposed to player reflexes, and while it's possible a perk system could be crafted to benefit this and increase gameplay depth, such a system would need to be designed with a completely different approach than that taken in later TES titles and modern games.