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Do we need skills at all in a game? In theory crafting could be done using just blueprints and raw materials, and fighting just using the weapon stats. So what are the motivations for complicating the game engine by including sklills? And what constraints do skills need to follow, to be a successfull element of the game?

Motivations for skills:

  • Skills allows specialization of characters, making each character different. Specialization enables trade, you sell what you are good at and buy what others are good at.

Constraints on skills:

  • In order to differentiate characters and enable meaningful trade, a character should not be able to be good at everything.
  • Playing time should not make a huge difference in the skill level - we don't want to create unsurmountable power differences between players depending on how long they have played. This also means that skills are not very suitable for giving players a sense of advancement in the game - various awards and organization rankings can be used for that instead.

Some possible implementation scenarios, taking into account the above forces:

  • Each character gets a number of skill points. The skill points are divided onto different skills at character creation time. Skill cost is linear. During game, skill points may be moved from one skill to another at a relatively slow rate, for example one per day. No new skill points can be gained though.
  • Players can divide a fixed number of skill points to skills during character creation like above. During game, the amount of time spent using/training each skill will help raise that skill (with a different amount depending on how effective the training is (e.g. a good teacher)). Skills that are not used will decline, with a rate proportional to how many more total skill points the character has compared to the default number of skill points a character gets at the start. The total skill points of a character would thus have a maximum value (if the character is training all the time, using the best possible training equipment, he will relatively soon reach a level where skill forgetting balances skill learning, and he can not improve any more). This way you can use training to gain an edge over opponents that don't train as much, but that edge will not be overwhelmingly huge. This is a bit more realistic implementation than the above one.


  • Is there any motivation for skills to increase during gameplay when a skill is used, like they do in most other games (and many real life skills)?
  • Is there any motivation for using an exponential skill cost that increases with the skill level, instead of a linear skill cost that is the same regardless of the current skill level?


To be done.

Sorry, I couldn't wait(these are just my ideas): All stats should go from 0-100(for humans) and have racial modifiers for others

  • Intelligence: Determines your max skill points and influences your interaction with others.
  • Strength: Determines how much you can lift, how much damage you do, etc.
  • Physical Beauty: Influences interaction with others.
  • Flexibility/Dexterity: Determines if you can use both hands, climb walls, squeeze through windows, climb, etc.
  • Structural Damage Capacity/Hit Points: A measure of how much damage you can take.(you respawn at 0 or die forever at -20 if permadeath is enabled)
  • Size/Height: Adds a modifier to strength and Hit Points. A human is size 50, a mountain is 100, an ant is 1.
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Weight
  • Supernatural Ability: Determines max spells, types of spells, other magic related stuff.

See also