Class Revamp — 20 Skills

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

There are quite a few folks worried about the “20 skills” idea that has come up regarding the class revamps. Yesterday in the Dev Chat Transcripts thread, systems dev RockX addressed the worry:

So, the “20 skills” issue is something I’d like to address.

First, it is referring to skills which actively impact gameplay. Things such as teleports, pets, stances, and fluff skills (and probably another category which I’m not thinking of off the top of my head) will not count against that amount.

Second, the “20 skills” is not a hard and fast number, but more of a general guideline. You may end up with more or less, depending on your specialization.

Third, each class has a pool of general skills (skills we feel are important to all three specialization lines) and more specific skills. How you choose to invest your traits will have an impact on what skills are available to you. I’ll use the Burglar as an example. Please bear in mind some of the specific skills I’m mentioning are new, and we’ll discuss their impact at a later time.

Some general skills every single Burglar will eventually have access to include (but are not limited to): Riddle, Subtle Stab, Double-edged Strike, Reveal Weakness and Hide in Plain Sight. Now, if I choose to specialize as a Gambler, I’ll immediately gain access to Lucky Strike and Hedge Your Bet. From here, I could completely fill in the Gambler tree, picking up skills such as Gambler’s Advantage, Trip and All In. Or, I could choose to not invest all of my points in Gambler to pick up Stun Dust from the Quiet Knife line and Trick: Dust in the Eyes from the Mischief-maker line.

The exact number of skills you have will vary, based on how you choose to specialize your character and spend your trait points.

Hopefully that is enough to ease most people’s minds a bit. I will hold any judgement until I see the system but at this point I see no reason for me to fret about it too much.

 

Update: to add more clarification to the issue, from the chat itself:

Q21: @ForgotMyGambits Hunters currently have a lot of skills. Will there be skill consolidation? #LOTRO
A21: JinJaah Yes. There is some skill consolidation to reduce the overall skill count to around 20.
A21a: Per specialization. Travel skills won’t count towards that number. #LOTRO

I read that as 20 skills per tree, or approx. 60 skills you will have access to choose to use in addition to the general pool of skills that will be available.

18 comments

  1. I’m assuming that you can switch ‘builds’ on the fly. If this is the case, then switching builds is really akin to switching stances today. You’ll have access to different skills depending on the ‘build’ or ‘stance’ you are in. So, in reality we will probably have access to more than 20 skills, it’s just going to require a switching of builds.

    • That is how I understand it yes. The pain about it is I also understand it to be like switching traits on a Warsteed. I guess it works OK but could be better.

    • Kaleigh Starshine /

      Well, it is not so simple as that, I believe. In Guild Wars, there were many, many skills, maybe 50 or more, for each class, but they were dependent on which weapon or weapons one held. And, since you could only hold two sets of weapons, even swapping between the two sets still only allowed for 15 skills available.

      The same will be true here, but bound by builds, since we cannot switch them in combat, I believe. So there will still only be ~20 skills available at any given time for playability purposes.

      • ~20 some skills per tree in addition to the general skill pool each tree can use.

        Yes, some skills will be dependent on the tree you choose but in the end this will likely be a much more robust system, even if somewhat simplified.

  2. Kaleigh Starshine /

    I cannot place my reply in the correct spot, it seems, but:

    ~20 some skills per tree in addition to the general skill pool each tree can use.

    That does not seem to be the case according to:

    Q15: Laire: Using all of their points, on average ***how many active skills does a 85 toon have?*** #LOTRO
    A15: Jinjaah: Our goal, and it isn’t the same across the board, is for all classes to have ***around 20 skills after spending all their points***.

    It looks like the 20 is entire total, assuming he did not misspeak (mistype, really)

    • Kaleigh I think the answer was either mispoken or did not contain enough information to clearly explain what will be happening.

      Later in the chat:

      Q21: @ForgotMyGambits Hunters currently have a lot of skills. Will there be skill consolidation? #LOTRO
      A21: JinJaah Yes. There is some skill consolidation to reduce the overall skill count to around 20.
      A21a: Per specialization. Travel skills won’t count towards that number. #LOTRO

      So that leads me to figure that approx. 20 skills per spec x 3 specs = 60 possible skills in addition to travel, fluff, etc AND the general pool each class gets regardless of spec tree.

      Will some people have to adjust how they play and manage their bars? most likely so… but I don’t think it’s going to be near as bad as it initially sounds.

      • Kaleigh Starshine /

        I guess we need more clarification. It is striking how easily things can be confused and obfuscated unintentionally. Language should be an implement, rather than an impediment, toward understanding! 🙂

        But I have to say, that from this quote (how do you make those nice grey boxes, by the way?):

        Quote Originally Posted by RockX

        So, the “20 skills” issue is something I’d like to address.

        First, it is referring to skills which actively impact gameplay. Things such as teleports, pets, stances, and fluff skills (and probably another category which I’m not thinking of off the top of my head) will not count against that amount.

        Second, the “20 skills” is not a hard and fast number, but more of a general guideline. You may end up with more or less, depending on your specialization.

        Third, each class has a pool of general skills (skills we feel are important to all three specialization lines) and more specific skills. How you choose to invest your traits will have an impact on what skills are available to you. I’ll use the Burglar as an example. Please bear in mind some of the specific skills I’m mentioning are new, and we’ll discuss their impact at a later time.

        Some general skills every single Burglar will eventually have access to include (but are not limited to): Riddle, Subtle Stab, Double-edged Strike, Reveal Weakness and Hide in Plain Sight. Now, if I choose to specialize as a Gambler, I’ll immediately gain access to Lucky Strike and Hedge Your Bet. From here, I could completely fill in the Gambler tree, picking up skills such as Gambler’s Advantage, Trip and All In. Or, I could choose to not invest all of my points in Gambler to pick up Stun Dust from the Quiet Knife line and Trick: Dust in the Eyes from the Mischief-maker line.

        The exact number of skills you have will vary, based on how you choose to specialize your character and spend your trait points.

        …it seems *very* clear to me that the ‘general’ pool of skills, which all of that class will always have access to, count toward the ’20’ number.

        Why?

        Because the only intent of the developer in this reply is to *address the concerns people were having over the small number of skills mentioned in the Q&A*. That is his expressed intent.

        He is very clear to say that travel skills, pets, stances and fluff skills do not count toward that number.

        He is very clear to say that 20 is not a hard and fast number, but depends on how points are spent.

        But he does *not*, in any way, clarify that the general skills do not count toward the ’20’ number at all.

        He goes on to explain that the more you spend in one tree will give you more skills from that tree, but then you will have less skills from the other trees and so on.

        But considering that the entire intent of his post was to alleviate the concerns that characters will only have 20ish combat skills at most, his decision to not clarify that the general pool does not count toward that number, when he did so well to clarify everything else, simply cannot be taken as anything but intentional, in my opinion.

        Either that, or they need to have people who can more articulately express themselves respond to these things. That sounds pretty harsh, I know, and I do not mean it to be. I just do not see how anyone could take the time to address the issue and make an oversight like that, especially when they are trying to correct one to begin with.

        If you do see specific clarification to this, please let us know, though! I am hoping and wishing you are right!

      • MsMave /

        Frankly I’m amazed that people genuinely concerned that we will only have a broad pool of 20. I think they’ve made it quite clear that once someone has spent all their points on a tree, they will have around 20 combat skills available on their bars. Because the skills are accessed via spending points in a particular tree, and there are 3 trees per class, it’s clear that there will be a lot of skills “greyed out” because the user didn’t chose to spend skill points to access them. In other words, a lot more than the 20 they have in-combat access to at any given time based on their build.

        As for the issue of the skills each class has access to regardless of their specialization, I’m not sure it matters exactly how many of those count to the 20-ish number or not. The issue isn’t the number of skills, but their effect and power. I don’t care if I have a dozen skills as long as they’re ones that give me the gameplay experience that I want.

        I’m not going to get worked up about it either way until I actually get to play it. In any case I do trust that the devs are not idiots, and will come up with something that’s sensible, powerful and fun.

  3. Flosiin /

    They said it’s the same as our war-steed: two free trait config setups save. Pay to have additional

  4. I see the number 20 in two different places. 1. The number of total (non-fluff) skills available to you per build. 2. The number of possible skills (they did NOT qualify this one as non-fluff) per tree (or specialization, which is the word they consistently used to refer to the trees throughout the chat.

    See my original post (What We Know) to cross-reference this with what documented in the chat notes.

    In other words, I agree with Sig’s interpretation on this one. Although I still have questions about that number (like, how quickly will we get to 20? Surly it won’t take 95 levels…will some skills in the tree replace others in order to maintain that 20ish goal? Etc.)

    • Kaleigh Starshine /

      I hope you both are right!

      I just finished skimming through the thread, looking for any posts dealing with the 20 number. I think everyone but maybe one post is still using ’20’ as the total number of combat skills in their posts, while saying repeatedly that fluff/travel etc. skills do not count toward it, with no mention of the general class combat skills not being counted.

      And there have been more developer posts since, but nothing to clarify the ’20’ issue further, which makes me think it is what it is. We will see, though!

      I have to say, I think more weight should be given to Rockx’s response, made under no time-pressure and specifically meant to clarify the issue, than to the answers given ‘off the cuff’ by the developers in the time-sensitive chat.

      • The glaring problem with twitter based dev chats is they are limited to 140 characters at a time. I think this leads to a TON of confusion when they *could* just do it in a chat room instead and the devs would be able to give full, not truncated answers.

        This whole “issue” probably could have been better explained and never been a big deal, that way.

      • Andang /

        First of all, great job Sig on creating such a thought provoking article on an important issue.

        Secondly, it is still a LONG way until this system is released and Turbine has plenty of time to completely change it. It sounds like the number 20 is still up in the air for what it is exactly referring to and the Devs are even confused on the matter.

        Thirdly I love the idea of fewer skills! Why? It gives Turbine plenty of room to add new ones later. Keep in mind that we only got 1 new skill with Rohan and 2 upgrades. They need to reduce the number of skills as much as possible so that we can get plenty of new ones in the future. That being said, I don’t want Turbine to take away the fun and so there should still be around 20 to keep the feel of the class.

  5. Kaleigh Starshine /

    So, I was speaking with a friend about this, and I had her look over our discussion here. She had an insight that is pretty definitive, I feel.

    Remember that the stated goal of the developers is Skill Consolidation and to lessen the numbers of skills, yes?

    If the ’20’ number was per skill specialization or skill tree, and does not include the general pool of skills for each class, that would have to mean that each class will have 60 skills alone, just from the three trees, or specializations.

    And we know that the skills from each specialization are not a part of the general pool, from many sources, including Rockx’s post above.

    This would mean that each class would have available to it around 70 combat skills or so.

    Now, the Scout is one of the classes that has the most, 40 skills or so. To go to 70 would mean an increase of 75% to the number of combat skills Scouts currently have.

    For classes with fewer skills, it would be more like a 200% increase to the number of skills.

    Considering the stated goal of this endeavor is Skill Consolidation, and to have fewer skills, there is just no way this can be true, that they did development time to increase the number of skills in game by over 100%.

    So, with this new insight, I think it is pretty clear that -20 will be the number of skills we will have to put to use at any given time. I really hope this is reconsidered.

    • I hope I didn’t give the impression that we would be able to use 70 skills at once. That’s not what I was trying to say. I think the 60 you mention in the trees probably *do* include the fluff skills. So, let’s say they give you 5 base skills without traiting any trees at all. That would leave 15 available non-fluff skills that you could trait for, or potentially 15 active, non-fluff per tree, but only the ability to get enough points to acquire around 15 active, non-fluff skills across all three trees. In other words, if you put all of your points into the red tree, you would have 15 non-fluff skills unlocked in that tree, but still 30 unavailable (unlocked) in the other two trees. You’d still only have 20 total playable skills, even though there are many more available that you can’t unlock because you won’t have enough points to unlock them all.

      The remaining 5 skills per tree would be the fluff skills, or possibly passive skills.

      So, that’s 5 base skills + 15 active tree skills (out of an available 45) + however many fluff/passive skills from the remaining 15 in the trees. Still only 20 active, playable skills.

      Using these numbers make the 20ish goal still seem pretty attainable, in my mind.

      • Correction: 30 unavailable (*locked*) in the other two trees.

      • Kaleigh Starshine /

        Oh, no I did not think that. There are so many comments, I think more than one discussion is going on!

        As far as I can tell, the ’20’ number has only ever been stated in regards to combat skills. From above:

        ‘First, it is referring to skills which actively impact gameplay. Things such as teleports, pets, stances, and fluff skills (and probably another category which I’m not thinking of off the top of my head) will not count against that amount.’

        So, the number of total skills in each tree is left ambiguous entirely. It may be anything for all we know.

        I think some are thinking that there will 20 active combat skills from the trees that one can have, and then additionally have the general pool as well, but it seems the two of us agree that the ’20’ applies to the total number of combat skills we can have available at one time.

        The point I was trying to make is that it is very doubtful they created enough extra skills to fill all three trees of each class to make 20 of those in each tree, especially when their goal was skill reduction and consolidation.

        What it is looking like to me is:

        1. There will likely be between 6-10 general combat skills, that everyone will have access to, no matter what. Rockx listed 5 general skills for Scouts and said that is not the entire list of them.

        2. The remaining 10-14 will come from how you allocate your skill points.

        3. It is almost a certainty that you will want to spend all, or nearly all, your points in one tree:

        Q8: Schinderhannes: Will the update allow us to use 4 legendary traits at the same time? #LOTRO
        A8: HoarseDev: No, but the ones you have will be more potent. #LOTRO
        A8a: Deviled_Egg: Legendary traits are now a part of each trait tree, and are available for purchase at the end of the tree. #LOTRO
        A8b: There is also a Legendary Passive bonus that depends on your specialization.#LOTRO
        A8c: This will be unlocked when you spend a certain number of points overall. #LOTRO

        So, to me, the number of overall skills is largely irrelevant, since you are basically going to be either a full user of Tree #1, Tree #2, or Tree #3 in order to get the ‘more potent than before Legendary Traits that are purchased at the end of the three’.

        So, the only question left is, will there be extra points to spend in the other two trees. If so, how many, and how much customization can you do with them. Not much is my guess, due to:

        “From here, I could completely fill in the Gambler tree, picking up skills such as Gambler’s Advantage, Trip and All In. Or, I could choose to not invest ***all*** of my points in Gambler to pick up Stun Dust from the Quiet Knife line and Trick: Dust in the Eyes from the Mischief-maker line.”

        This basically says that you will need to spend all your points in one tree to completely fill the tree and get the Legendary traits, which are things not to miss, it seems.

        So, basically, it sounds like there will be three very distinct and rather immutable roles for each class, with 20 active combat skills to use at one time.

  6. MsMave /

    I think anyone who wants a sense of how the skill trees will likely work should roll up a character in Everquest II. It’s F2P. Because the gameplay of both games are astonishingly similar, I think the skill trees EQ2 uses are going to be more or less similar to the ones we get in LotRO.

    In EQ2 you spend points up to a certain amount to access the more uber skills. You do not have to have spent all of your points in one tree to access those skills, and there are varying levels. For example, once you’ve invested 20 points in a particular tree, that opens up the ability to spend on some of the higher level skills in that tree. Once you’ve spent 60, you get access to the even higher level skills. In other words, you always have more points to spend in other trees.

    Think of it more like set bonuses for armor, for example. If you have 2 pieces of the Erebor set, you get a set bonus. If you have 4 you get a second bonus. etc. etc.

    If you’re really wondering how something like that might work, and how a more limited but more specialized skill pool might look, try out EQ2. It’s actually a fun game and plays a lot like LotRO. But hybridizing is definitely one of the fun aspects of that game, and I think will be one of the fun aspects of the revamped LotRO, too. So I’m not worried at all.

Leave a Reply