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Rethinking the skill points systemFollow

#1 Nov 18 2010 at 5:08 AM Rating: Decent
40 posts
Hello ZAM community once again!

I'm not sure if this has been brought up before, but I think I may have figured where SE was trying to go with regards to earning skill points.

Let's refer to FFXI for awhile. In FFXI, the experience point system is such that when we level up, it affects both physical attributes (HP/MP/STR/DEX/INT/etc.) as well as enabling us to become more powerful in that job by allowing access to new and stronger spells at specific levels. EXP gains are pretty much fixed in that when we kill a mob of a certain difficulty, we will definitely be rewarded with the relevant amount of EXP.

This has not changed much in FFXIV, as physical EXP are awarded specifically based on a mob's level of difficulty. The only issue right now, is that our classes level up not based on experience point gains, but instead based on this new separate system called "skill points". At first look, it seems to be a strange new way of leveling due to the fact that we are earning one set of points to gain physical levels to improve physical attributes, and another set to gain class levels to access abilities and spells, and coupled with the random distribution of SP, it is proving to be entirely frustrating.

But is this system really that new at all? Going back to FFXI, I'm sure we can remember very well that there is a skill point system in that game as well, one that allows us to gain combat/magic/crafting skill-ups when we partake in combat or crafts. The skill point system as implemented in FFXI is also based on a random distribution of points, although one could argue that the system is more effective such that we get more skill points or at a faster rate the further away we are from cap, or when we kill tougher mobs. Yet, the system is largely similar, in that we do not always get awarded points with every swing we make, and sometimes we do not even get any skill points for one fight or craft.

That brings me to my point that perhaps, SE is not doing things very much differently in FFXIV. The only difference is that they have combined the skill point system together with our class ranks, such that we can only unlock more powerful spells and weapon skills when we have attained a certain rank, as compared to how job spells and abilities used to be tied with EXP while weapon skills to SP in FFXI. I suppose SE could make it friendlier to healers though, to allow more frequent skill ups even when we cast healing or defensive spells, taking into account how FFXI allows skill-ups for using such magic too. But I'm sure we also remember how frustrating it was to be 0.1 or 0.2 points away from unlocking some new powerful weapon skill, and when we did we felt so thrilled by that achievement? I am thus very much convinced that the same is being done here in FFXIV, only packaged differently.

Edited, Nov 18th 2010 6:26am by Raithlion
#2 Nov 18 2010 at 6:57 AM Rating: Good
805 posts
The system in FFXIV is not that different than in FFXI as you point out. In FFXI, your ability skill is the most important stat in determining damage and accuracy in both physical and magic abilities. It is also what triggers learning of new weapon skills.

The major difference is in the visibility of your skill rating and tying skill rank to equipment level. If FFXIV, your skill level determines your rank and your rank is the visible expression of your character's progress. Therefore, people get more concerned about it in their rush to "level up".

Contrast this to FFXI. With the new Abyssea zones, people got all hyped up about getting to level 85 as fast as possible. I'd guess that most L85 jobs are not actually skilled up to that level, but because this is not visible, it doesn't get the same attention.

Edited, Nov 18th 2010 7:58am by Lokithor
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#3 Nov 18 2010 at 7:24 AM Rating: Excellent
676 posts
While skill in ffxi definitely had a major impact on your ability, it was not the defining characteristic of your job. In ffxiv weapon skills, spells and abilities all rely on your rank. Enemy strength is based off it, as your stat caps are affected by it. While they are similar, there is good reason for rank to be considered most important.
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#4 Nov 18 2010 at 10:06 AM Rating: Default
518 posts
in FFXI if my PLD was level 75 but only had lets say 200 skill in sword I could still equip all my 75 gear and level sword on my own time.

in FXIV if my charecter is 50 but my GLD is only 15 I can't equip rank 50 gear and get all the stats.

Your argument isn't valid since FXI your equipment was based off of level not skill points, and in FXIV your armor is based off of skill points not level. Basically It'd be like in XI you not being able to equip a 75 weapon because your skill wasn't capped @ for job yet.

The SP system is stupid, but we have to deal with it. They need to get rid of the random crap. I should get the same amount of SP per mob, no matter what. This game punishes "optimal"
#5 Nov 18 2010 at 6:08 PM Rating: Decent
41 posts
Although I agree that the randomness of SP attribution is a problem to be solved, there's also one other thing to consider: I think we are putting more emphasis on the rate of progression of SP and rank because we have so little compelling content available per rank.

At this point in FFXI, a lot of the skill you receive for your weapons is simply a bi-product of questing and all other activities you can undertake at any level. It takes away from the drudgery of skilling up and makes it feel more seamless. Getting skill then becomes a "nice surprise" while doing something else that's actually fun. You still have to join the occasional skill-up party, but at least you have other options.

*Disclaimer*: I know that SP is much more important in FFXIV than Weapon skill points are in FFXI, but the main idea still holds true.

Since aside for grinding, there's not much else you can do to skill up, it makes it that much more painful. I think taking out the randomness of SP you receive may be all that's needed instead of overhauling the rate of progress. Perhaps getting more content over time will take care of the rest?

Edited, Nov 18th 2010 7:13pm by Trellmichel

Edited, Nov 18th 2010 7:14pm by Trellmichel
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