Posts Tagged ‘Skill Points’

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Elder Scrolls Online Impressions: Characters

February 26, 2014

Inspired by some of the comments on my last Elder Scrolls Online post, I’ve decided to talk about my experiences with different classes in the game. I think I’ve mentioned before how I wasn’t initially that impressed by the game in this regard, though that definitely changed as I progressed through beta and leveled more characters.

The gameplay was by far the biggest surprise, I think. I liked being able to make my own class the way I liked, so that it fit my playstyle. It wasn’t like that at the beginning, when admittedly I was still stuck in the mindset that my Nightblade had to be more of a traditional-style dual wield rogue, or that my Templar had to be a heavy armored sword-and-board tanky type character. That was my mistake.

It turns out the classes are a lot more flexible than I could have ever imagined. What I discovered is that there is a lot more customization with classes, as well as weapons, armor, enchantments, and of course skill points and talents. There’s really no set-in-stone way to play your character. I learned that I could go in and make my class the way I wanted and play the way I most prefer.  And the moment I started to branch away from convention I started being able to dominate more fights, being able to survive better. More importantly, I started having more fun.

Now as promised, here’s a showcase of some of my characters from the different weekend betas and the test server beta, and the way they looked:

ESO1

ESO2

ESO4

ESO3

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TSW Monday: Elite Night

November 26, 2013

boss

You guys, I think I’m over my fear of The Ankh! Now I can focus my energies on working on getting over my fears of The Slaughterhouse! Yeaaaah.

The theme for The Secret World Monday this week was clearly “Elite Night”. Our group knocked out two more dungeons for the folks who needed them, first rampaging through Darkness War for Rowanblaze and then hopping into The Ankh (in which Doctor Klein still gave us the most trouble, as pesky mad scientists are wont to do) for Ocho before finishing off the night with Scenarios on Duo Elite difficulty to farm the cookie tokens. I’m filling out my tank deck meanwhile also trying to build a decent DPS deck so anything I can get helps.

As always, the AP keeps pouring in while we’re doing these scenarios, but while everyone seems to be putting their points into augments already, I’m somehow still fixated on completing my Templar decks. Seriously, what’s wrong with me? It’s my obsessive compulsiveness coming through again perhaps, but it’s like I can’t rest until I get them all.

There was also some discussion on the “stunningly ridiculous” grind that came with last patch, but it was agreed that Funcom probably made it this way so that they won’t have to worry about players complaining about having nothing to do with their AP/SP again for a good long while. Which probably means I won’t have to concern myself too much with not getting into the augmentation system yet, as it looks like it’s going to be quite the time sink for everyone across the board.

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SWTOR: Staying Classy

April 8, 2011

Today’s Friday Update for Star Wars: The Old Republic is a developer blog detailing Advanced Classes, along with some unexpected extras thrown in. Among my favorite kinds of updates are always the dev dispatch video and blog updates, because it’s fascinating to see what goes into creating a game like SWTOR. Still, the level of detail in today’s update surprised even me, with its brief but informative “behind-the-scenes” look at the testing process on top of covering a lot of the questions that have been asked about ACs lately.

I thought Mr. Zoeller provided a very straightforward and in depth explanation on the mechanics behind skill trees, but what really piqued my interest were the new tweaks in the class roles. Some of the changes I already knew about, such as a healing role added to the Mercenary Bounty Hunter AC, but others were a surprise. Like, Jedi Consulars and Sith Inquisitors can become tanks now? Wow.

Yet, that makes a lot of sense. Something had been plaguing the back of my mind ever since watching and playing the Taral V flashpoint encounter. It just didn’t add up for me before — instance groups of only four players, but at the same time here you’ve got an encounter that will require two tanks to prevent a sure wipe and perhaps back-up healing to boot? What the heck, can you say, a LFG nightmare? This update, however, made it all come together. If I’ve got the count right, that’s three ACs capable of healing and three ACs capable of tanking for each faction, which sounds more like it.

On top of that, I’ve noticed before how the classes in SWTOR seem well-equipped to take on many different situations, by being able to incorporate more than one role within the same build. There’s definitely a degree of flexibility afforded to the player. In BioWare’s own words, some flashpoints are paced in a way that healers can switch into damage roles while engaged in an encounter, and tanks can get away with being a little bit more “reckless”.

Having more choices is always better. These tweaks would seem to be in keeping with that, based on the commentary about the Jedi Guardian AC. Previously, the Guardian’s only available role was a tank, but now they are also capable of doing close-ranged damage dealing. Indeed, I seem to remember being rather adept at both (at the same time!) in the flashpoint demo I played. If this is the direction class and skill point mechanics will continue to go, I think I will be quite happy with the end product.

The inclusions of 3D and movement heat maps and other metrics data was also nice surprise. It may not be direct information about gameplay, but it’s details on the game’s progress and development status which I think is a subject many players (including myself) won’t mind knowing more about.

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Finding Balance on my STO Away Team

March 11, 2010

I had no idea how awesome this screencap would turn out when I hit "Prnt Scrn".

Ground combat has gotten a lot more interesting to me since I made Captain in Star Trek Online. And it’s a giant celebration on my ship every time I gain a new rank, because it means everyone else also gets promoted. At the moment, I’m struggling to work out my ground abilities for my away team as more skill slots have opened up.

I’m always curious as to what other captains have done with their away team set up. Thus far, I’ve been been using  a good mix of BOs, designating “roles” to them which has served me quite well. There are some abilities that I just can’t do without, like Medical Tricorder, and I personally love Chroniton Mine Barrier (yay for cute little Roomba thingies that move around with you and explode!) My current combination is far from perfect though. Despite the mines, my engineering BO currently feels a little useless, and makes me wonder if that slot would be better off filled by another tactical officer. Other abilities feel a little lackluster (Motion Accelerator? I don’t even think I’ve ever seen it used!) and I wonder if I’m missing out on some good ones…or maybe, I’m just overthinking this entirely.

My current away team consists of:

Myself  as a Tactical Officer – Fire Team kit (Ambush, Plasma Grenade, Suppressing Fire, Focus Fire)
Tactical Officer #2 – melee and grenades (Photon Grenade, Plasma Grenade, Leg Sweep, Motion Accelerator)
Science Officer #1 – crowd control and buffs (Neural Neutralizer, Tricorder Scan, Gravimetric Shift, Anesthizine Gas)
Science Officer #2 – heals and cleanses (Vascular Regenerator, Medical Tricorder, Hypospray – Masiform D, Hyperonic Radiation)
Engineering Officer – shields and defense (Medical Generator Fabrication, Phaser Turret Fabrication, Chroniton Mine Barrier, Cover Shield)

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Cryptic Drama

January 27, 2010

Massively recently reported on a decision made by The Star Trek Online dev team last week to impose a skill cap on endgame, causing the game community to explode with drama.

A few months ago was when I first read about how this game would be designed without a skill point cap, but it never occurred to me just how big the repercussions would be. Now that I think about it, I do agree it’s a change that had to be made, for all the sound reasons given in StormShade’s post. If the devs think that it would cause problems for adding and balancing future content, they’re probably right. However, I doubt that it’s simply the change itself that has people upset. Instead, I think it has more to do with the way Cryptic dropped this potentially game-changing bombshell on their fans.

While all this doesn’t change my opinion of STO as a game, it does somewhat change my view on Cryptic as a company and how they manage their PR. The realization that something as integral as your skill point system can break your endgame balance should have come a lot sooner than one week before the end of open beta, and certainly before you start selling your lifetime subscriptions…especially since the no-skill-point-cap was a feature you had been marketing for months. It’s stuff like this that makes people wonder if game developers actually even take the time to play their own games.