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Skill Customization and Skill Gem (revisit)

skills skill gem skill customization end game character progression

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#1 actionjack


    Vigil Crusader

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 06:39 PM

As I am nearing toward the end game, something got me thinking. I have tones of unused skill points. What can be done to use them, and to also add sense of progression near end game. This got me thinking of the old idea of skill customization and skill gems, so here will make a newer version/variation upon that.

Skill Customization and Skill Gem

After you reach pass level 80 (could also set it lower, to like 60), you get the ability to mod and customize your skill. This applies to both Weapon Skills and Utility Skills. It is not adding new skills, but rather give you chance to change up some of the skill’s property, namely Effect, Damage, Recharge, and additional property on chance (much like some of Runes or Sigil’s effect). This, however, come at the some cost.

Skill Slots
First you need to unlock the Skill Mod/Gem Slots. You can unlock up to 3 slots on any kills. However, the cost is progressive, so unlock first slot might cost you 10 skill point, the next one 20 skill points, and last one 30 skill points. (note, this is done per skill, and not to all skills. So in example above, unlocking 2 skills to full 3 slot will cost total of 120 skill points). Unlock sill allow you to put in Skill Gems into the slot.

Skill Gmes
Skill gems come in few varities, but are not exclusive to skills, but to class. It also come in grades of Lesser, Greater, Superior. It would be name something like “Warrior Gem of Lesser Power”, or “Thief Gem of Superior Quickness”. The Major type of the gem will match the main property of the skill, namely Damage, Recharge, Range, Duration, Area, Effect. Also there sub of those, which might have other effect depend on conditions.

Each skill’s skill slot that you unlock have a restriction on what type of gem you could put in there. Since it would be useless to put range enhance gem into a melee attack skill, or one a duration on one that doesn’t cause conditions. Also this allow devs better control of balance.

Now here is where it gets a bit complicated. I don’t want to see a straight increase in skill by the skill gems, since that would mean just adding more mouse wheel leveling into the game. Rather, I see it as slight increase, at the cost of trade-offs. This means usually when you increase something, you decrease something else, but overally, still gain a slight increase. Example would be where a gem would boost up your power, but increase the recharge time, but at a number value where overall, it would be at about 2% increase of the effectiveness on that skill. This add/subtract will be different depend on the skill and the gem you put in. Also you gain a greater increase with higher grade of gems.
So could see something where a Lesser Gem adds +2%, Greater Gem adds +3%, Superior Gem adds +5%. (and at skills where you can put all 3 superior gem, it net you +15% better of that skill). It is not much, but could improve better when compound with your build and other stats increase.
Skill gems are a drop item that can be traded. The whole process can be done at the profession trainer. You could override the gem you set in, but not get a refund for the skill points you spend. Also likely that the bonus gain from skill gems might be taken off or reduce down, in WvW or PvP, to provide a fair battle.

End Goal
The end goal of this is not to make your character overly powerful. It is a slow process that doesn’t yield all that much. This is for the purpose so that player don’t exclude one another (especially in dungeon LFG) by the need of having it as a restriction. (its not like it will make you able to one shot a dungeon mob or anything).
But this allow player to further and better customize their build. Providing an end-game progression and goal to gain more gold and exp.

And frankly, while the entire part about Skill Gems could be taken out, and just keep it menu-base, instead do need of a consumable item, I still like it better as a item-base. I feel it would encourage economy and loot finding, which are important rewards (or carrots) to get player to keep on playing.

That’s pretty much it. Hopefully I cover most of grounds, but could also add/change/modified rules as see fit.
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#2 Dominique de Lombre

Dominique de Lombre

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 07:32 PM

Idk how I feel about the idea (although it's a very good one), but the game no doubt needs more customization when it comes to builds. As builds are now, after awhile they start to feel a bit stale since your traits can't be changed without paying and your weapon skills constantly remain your only 5 weapon skills.
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