It's that time again. I'm knee-deep in upheaval, and this time, my target is the talent system. I mentioned this was almost certainly going to be something I did, probably sooner than later, and I was right. While I won't be done this week, I thought it would be best to give you a heads up what I'm working on and give you information as I finish work on this. Then, just like last time, we can move onto an independent beta test before finally pushing it to the live servers. So let's get right down to it.
Q. What is the Great Reckoning, Part 2?
A. This is the second edition of a series of overhauls to SL2, specifically to the talent system. Part 1 was the stat system, which left a lot of holes in the talent system, so it only made sense to approach it next.
Q. What's wrong with the current talent system?
A. The current talent system is rather shallow and simplistic. Some talents are mandatory, like expertise for your main weapon, while some are borderline useless, like Scout. Secondly, talents currently give a wide range of benefits that directly scale with your talent rank, meaning if you're going to put a point in them, it's often best to just max them out. Other times, it's your only option, if you want a specific benefit the talent gives, even if you don't want anything else.
Compounding this problem is the number of talents available. There's 26, which is a decent number, but probably not for the number of talent points you receive (60), and the interface as is doesn't give me much room to expand and add more easily, because it's full up. This means certain obvious deficiencies like some elements not having -mancy talents are harder to address. Another thing to consider is that talents currently don't help deepen your character. Part of this problem is that everyone can get almost every relevant talent, and part of it is that there just aren't enough existing areas to branch out to; which is to say, some character concepts aren't properly supported in the current talent system. If I'm a medic character, what are my options in the current talent system? 3 points in alchemy?
In short, the talent system isn't particularly bad, but it's shallow and could be so much better if it were expanded and offered more choices.
Q. My attention span is waning, please give me an image to re-focus me to what you are typing.
A. This is the new talent interface. As I said last time, I would be using the character box for most of the other interfaces, which I am. It works the same way the old one did, in a sense, in that it lets you shift between the different 'pages' such as character info and talents rather easily.
Q. How does the new talent system work?
A. It works similarly to the old one but also differently. There are still talents, but each talent is broke into several subpaths. For example, in the image:
1.5 SP per Rank
- Balance - Reduces the Battle Weight of Sword and Dagger weapons by up to SR * 1.5
- Adaptation - Allows you to equip any Sword weapon with a Rarity equal to or less than SR*2.
- Reliability - For Sword and Dagger weapons: increases Hit by SR * 1.5, reduces Durability consumption by SR * 5%.
Blade Expertise is the main talent, while Balance, Adapation, and Reliability are all sub-talents, or sub-paths. A main talent has a rank, just like it currently does, represented by the green circle, and every rank you put into the main talent gives you a number of Subpoints (which varies from talent to talent). These subpoints can be spent in the subpaths to increase their effects; this is referred to in the subpath's description as 'SR' (or sub-rank).
For example, if I put two points into Balance, its SR is 2, meaning the Battle Weight of my swords/daggers gets reduced by 2 * 1.5 = 3. The maximum subrank is shown by the number of orbs that appear; it's unique to each sub-path; in the existing ones, they go from any number between 1 and 10, but are usually around 5 or less.
The number of subpoints you can distribute is equal to the rank of the main talent * the number of SP it gives per Rank, rounded down. So, at Rank 2, my Blade Expertise gives me 3 SP to distribute. Again, this is unique to each talent; some give more, some give less. Also, the maximum rank of a main talent is now 10, instead of 3 or 5. Increasing the rank of a main talent still takes 1 Talent Point, and you still get 1 Talent Point per level.
Q. I have questions.
A. I know. If it's about specific talents, I will likely address them later. I'm still currently in the process of programming the effects of the talents, and some of them are a bit more ambitious than others, so I'd rather talk about them after I have finished the work. I will, most likely, make individual posts for each category (Weaponry, War, etc) as I finish them, detailing the talents, talking about them a little bit, and so on.
I also do not guarantee to go in order, since some categories have more... complex talents than others.
Q. Are you going to ruin even more things with this new system?