Can we improve preexisting skills?
Will skills have ranks and levels?
If so, what determines when a skill can increase in level? It was mentioned before that some guildleves will be skill-up quests, but will there be another way?
Will skills raise ranks or levels by 'experience points'? What will determine how we earn points?
Will there be something else we need to raise a skill? AP?
Anyway, since we know that there is no auto-attack function and that our weapon choice and subsequent skills play a major role in character growth, I think it's safe to say that the skills we learn are going to play a huge role in how we all play the game.
So, aside from what we already know, how do you think skills will be handled in FFXIV? How would you want them to be?
To answer my own question, I am imagining that skills are going to have ranks and we'll have to level up those ranks for them to get stronger. Furthermore, I think (and it may have been confirmed) that learning new skills will also give us stat/attribute bonuses. However, SE has said they want to do away with experience points, so I don't think we're going to get exp to rank up our skills.
The system that this most reminds me of is Mabinogi's (an F2P Korean MMORPG that I doubt many on here have played).
In Mabinogi skills are learned by completing a quest, getting training, reading a book, or equipping an item. Different skills are also raised different ways.
Some are raised by using the skill, some are raised by reading different books, some are raised by quests. Many are a combination of these things.
Anyway, I would like to reference Mabinogi's most popular rank-up skill system, which involves meeting various criteria in order to rank up that skill.
As an example, I'll use the Windmill skill, which allows the player to spin in a circle and hit all enemies within their radius at the expensive of 10% of their total HP (Even if your HP is negative, it will still decrease).
You learn the skill by doing a quest, but afterwards you need to meet several criteria to rank up the skill from Novice to rank F.
Method Exp. Count Total Attack any monster. 1.00 20 20.00 Kill any monster. 3.00 10 30.00 Counter using Windmill after being knocked back.10.00 2 20.00 Attack multiple monsters simultaneously. 30.00 1 30.00 Kill multiple monsters simultaneously. 50.00 1 50.00 Plus, these attributes are gained when ranking up: Strength +1, Will +3 100% damage, 10% HP Reduction (when using the skill)
(EXP is the amount of experience you earn by completing that criteria, but it can be ignored in this case.)
So in order to rank up this skill, you would have to attack a monster 20 times using the skill, kill a monster 10 times using the skill, etc.
By multiple monsters they mean 4 or more at a single time. Also by any monster, they mean any monster that it considered at least "strong", otherwise it won't count.
So it seems pretty easy to raise the skill to rank F, but what about from rank 1 to Master?
Method Exp. Count Total Kill a strong monster. 0.005 4800 24.00 Kill an awful monster. 0.005 4800 24.00 Kill a boss monster. 0.025 2000 50.00 Attack multiple strong monsters simultaneously. 0.25 48 12.00 Kill multiple strong monsters simultaneously. 0.75 40 30.00 Plus, you gain these bonuses when ranking up: Strength +3, Will +4 250% damage (when using this skill), 10% HP Reduction, Increased Range
That's a lot more.
Also, oftentimes some of the criteria are "??????" until you happen to meet one of them (which I found really annoying).
So to raise the skill you have to use it for what it was intended for, against difficult enemies (so you can't do this on rats all day), and in several different ways. When ranking up the skill it becomes stronger and you gain a boost in attributes.
Another thing I want to mention is that this system also applies to many crafting skills.
For example, to raise the enchanting skill you have to enchant a lot of things and also extract enchants from many items. But finding enchants and enchanted items is very difficult. So how do quickly rank up?
Many people choose to offer their services to others, for free, to quickly rank up.
I can see this being very useful in terms of item repair. Repairers would be more likely to offer their services for free because both parties gain something. The person with the worn down equipment gets it fixed, and the crafter meets more criteria to improve his skill.
In Mabinogi, crafters would advertise their services and people would gather around to get free crafting if they brought the materials.
I know this may not sit well with a lot of people, since many use crafting to earn money, but it doesn't mean that all crafting will always be free. Once you've raised your rank high enough you can make your own items with your own mats and sell them for a huge profit, but it's also a good idea to do it for others for free.
So what is your take on how the skill system will work, or how would you like to see it work?
What do you think of this criteria based system?
Edited for grammar and spelling.
Windmill skill information retrieved from http://wiki.mabinogiworld.com/index.php?title=Windmill
Edited, Sep 16th 2009 6:19pm by Finaa