Skill Trees, Part I

All the concept work has paid off, and we have here a skill tree. This is the one for the ‘Slashing Weapons’ skill (swords, scimitars, etc) which is a skill (and a type of weapon) found in the Medieval Era.

Each colour/letter combo denotes something different:

Red ‘D’ = Damage Upgrade.
Green ‘A’ = Accuracy Upgrade.
Pale ‘X’ = Unlock a Special Attack.
Yellow ‘O’ = Increased chance to spot openings in combat.
Blue ‘S’ = Increase a stat (Str/End/Dex/Int/Wil).
Light Blue ‘U’ = Upgrade weapon abilities (e.g. ability to sever limbs, for slashing weapons).
White ‘+’ = Start of the skill tree.
Orange ‘T’, Brown ‘P’, Purple ‘F’, Silver ‘C’, Olive ‘V’ (not shown) = ??

The double-lines around the D on the right denote that the cursor is currently resting on that skill. Soon there will be a little box which will follow your cursor around and tell you what each skill would do if you unlocked it. The blank squares have a cost like any other (see below), but do not give you anything; they are a larger investment for the significant upgrades like raising a stat or unlocking a special attack. Each skill tree will look totally different, though there is some commonality between some skill trees in some eras (for instance, the Medieval weapon trees – Slashing, Long, Short and Heavy Weapons, are roughly comparable).

As for progressing through this thing – you can unlock all of a skill tree. The challenge of choosing your path comes from prioritizing certain areas of the skill tree to collect early before the price goes up, but if committed to a particular skill tree, you can unlock the entire thing. The cost of each section of each skill tree goes up rapidly, but the overall skill cost does not. That is to say, if you have 100 XP to spend, you could either unlock ten starting points on ten skill trees, or – on a skill tree you’ve already purchased nine parts of – make a single purchase for the full 100 XP (these are not actual values, obviously). I think  the rising costs for each skill tree offer an interesting way to make you choose decisions whilst still allowing for specialization.

A few other conceptual decisions have also been made.

1) I’m going to remove the quotes from the loading screens: I will leave them on screens about political/social/cultural choices and the ‘strategy’ element, but for the normal gameplay segments, they will be removed and replaced with more detail instead.

2) World Generation and player generation will be split. A lot of people have said this, and I’ll make it happen. This might be 0.2.0, but will definitely be 0.3.0 if not.

3) As has been hinted above, URR is no longer just medieval. I have three eras planned, but I intend to keep #2 and #3 closely guarded until there is a reasonable amount of content for them. We’re looking at 1.0.0, or more likely, 1.1.0 for that (so the first half of next year).

Lastly, I hope this entry was worth the fortnight wait and lays out much of the planning for 0.2.0 in terms of skills. The next entry will focus on the changes to combat, some of which – openings and special attacks – have been hinted at here. That will also likely be in a fortnight. I’ve not entirely switched to fortnightly entries, but fortnightly entries are generally going to be a lot larger. After that entry, I’ll probably switch back to weekly as development on 0.2.0 really gets moving. So, let me know what you think about the skill trees, and the options for how you advance along them

Unrelated final note. Some people commented on the description of the ‘Swimming’ skill before I removed the old skills, and seemed to think it was a reflection of me as a developer (i.e. apparently a colossal anorak). So, allow me to set the record straight for those of you who read it: it was a joke.