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Aspiringly average, or mediocrely amateur?
Wat.

Could we have a scale generated that shows the progression of skill levels?

I get confused sometimes as to how far I've progressed with one skill, or which one is greater due to descriptions that have very similar connotation; which I totally understand why, I think.

But anyway, is this doable or worthwhile?

There's no official list intentionally, they're meant to abstract the numeric value of stats and provide just a vague notion of how good you are.

Not that it stops anyone from actually writing down the list themselves as they progress, but posting said list has always been verboten.

Anyone who does work them out, bear in mind the order of the words is open to interpretation, there needed to be a lot of them so progression was visible and obviously there's no dictionary definition of which words mean more than others, so I did the best I could with the ordering.

If I were redoing the system today I'd actually semi-randomise the word order for each stat in char-gen to further abstract the values so you'd never know exactly where you were in the scale.

As Rastus said, it's kept vauge on purpose.  I implemented a system on another MOO that would color code your stats / skills based on the vauge notion of how good you were.  So it would look like this:

Legend:

Dark Red - Horrendus / No skill
Red - Bad
yellow - Average
green - Good
blue - Uber

And then your stats / skills would appear in the colors on @stats.  This gives you an at a glance idea of where you stand in the over all scheme.

It's something that could be implemented on SD.. if Johnny was interested.

Easy solution.

Go into the menu where you spend UE. Look at the cost to raise that skill/stat.

The higher it is, the higher the skill/stat is.

*chuckles*

You know you're an oldbie if Murphys post made sense.

What? You mean Sindome players don't hang around in ICQ talking about their curves anymore?

I don't think anyone hangs out on ICQ anymore, hah, but no you are probably not far off the mark, however, what I meant was that if you get to the point where your stats -have- a curve, you probably wouldn't be asking how good you are.  

I am assuming that the person who posed the question hasn't raised a bunch of stats / skills to the curve yet, therefor doesn't know how to estimate where they are based on the stat / skill names alone, because it's all 1ue or (.5 for skills) a raise.

This idea needs pruning, but how about...

@stats
"strength: you reckon you could swing a cow."
"agility: you think you could win in a race against time."
"charisma: you can't understand why nobody loves you."

Or something like that, with semi-serious and/or relevant examples rather than mildly amusing nonsense. Gives an arbitrary scale based on the player's own experiences, similar to that which we use for ourselves in real life.

Heck, the descriptions could even be WRONG. Maybe if you've never touched a gun in your life but have a massive ego you reckon you'd be a brilliant sharpshooter, whereas if it actually came down to it you could shoot yourself in the elbow with a blowgun. Accidentally.

Quote: from Murphy on 11:33 pm on June 22, 2009[br]Easy solution.

Go into the menu where you spend UE. Look at the cost to raise that skill/stat.

The higher it is, the higher the skill/stat is.

/end thread

Quote: from Biohazard on 10:05 am on June 23, 2009[br]/end thread

Nay! Everything from "unskilled" (0 UE invested) to "able" (above average) costs 0.5 UE, and I suspect this is also the case with higher skill levels than I can currently access.

Slither's point stands. *bangs gavel*

(Edited by darKPete at 10:12 am on June 23, 2009)

Or you could just do shit and see how it plays, kinda like real life huh?


I believe that's the point of not color-codeing and posting a progressive list of skill/stat standings.

Plus if you're still at 0.5 on a skill chances are you probably suck at it anyways. When you hit curves is when you start getting good. Common sense. And it's not like the curve is a new mysterious feature on SD and it's not like it takes forever to get to. I pumped a skill for two weeks making roughly 1-2 ue a day and got it past the curve. You can make 3 a day and do it even quicker.

Well first you say you should just do shit and see how it goes, which won't work because this the UE system is more OOC than IC, and then you say we should gauge it by whether the number beside a skill has hit a curve or not, which basically equates to having two stati: crap and decent. If you've hit the curve you're probably decent, otherwise you're probably crap.

With every single stat at 0.5, that doesn't give me any sense of how far each one has progressed.

I'll use me as an example: I play guitar. I have a fair idea of how okay I am at guitar, because I have played the guitar. I did not gain this sense of my own skill by attempting to play live and seeing how it went, because that would make no fucking sense.

Apologies, my temper is shorter than my face.

*throws gavel and stomps off*

Quote: from darKPete on 10:32 am on June 23, 2009[br]ed.

I'll use me as an example: I play guitar. I have a fair idea of how okay I am at guitar, because I have played the guitar.

Quote: from Biohazard on 10:23 am on June 23, 2009[br]Or you could just do shit and see how it plays, kinda like real life huh?

The context is the issue. Doing shit and seeing how it goes is different from HAVING DONE the shit and KNOWING how it goes. Hence the issue of skill descriptions, and the importance of them being clear.

If I don't know how good I am at baking the last thing I'm gonna do is wade in there and try to bake a cake. Instead I will check my brain for information, find that I am"unskilled" and go read up on it or something. Later, once I can check my brain and find that I know the first thing about baking, I will try for a lovely cake. THAT is common sense.

(Edited by darKPete at 11:20 am on June 23, 2009)

Quote: from darKPete on 2:17 pm on June 23, 2009[br]The context is the issue. Doing shit and seeing how it goes is different from HAVING DONE the shit and KNOWING how it goes. Hence the issue of skill descriptions, and the importance of them being clear.

If I don't know how good I am at baking the last thing I'm gonna do is wade in there and try to bake a cake. Instead I will look up the @stats in my brain, see "unskilled" and go read up on it or something. Then once I can look at my @stats and find that I know the first thing about it, I will try for a lovely cake. THAT is common sense.


You cannot have done shit if you don't actually do it. Having done shit is the past tense of doing shit.  You must do shit to have done shit.

And you can read up on something as much as you like, you will really have no idea how good at it you are.

Trite sayings exist for a reason.

"You never know until you try."
"It's easier than it looks."
"It's harder than it looks."

On the subject of playing guitar, for instance. Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song looks easy to play. The progressions are nothing even remotely intimidating, neither is the main rhythm part. Until you realise that the picking pattern is pretty much designed to fuck you up.


Also, curve takes no time at all to reach unless you toss your UE around willy nilly.

If your never willing to jump in there and bake that cake then you will never truly know how good you can bake regardless of how many books you've read no? � �Allso, regardless of how many books you've read, your not going to get better at baking cake unless you...... bake cakes. �(theres a parallel there) � �What's the worst that will happen?

Upon consideration I have 2 things to add:

1  Ya, so say you have a newer character like mine for instance.   If within the first few months of existance you have more than like 2 or 3 skills.    Your probably wasting UE.     If you get 10 ue, and you spread them out between like 4 skills.   Your definately wasting your ue.    Well not wasting, but not making progress in any of them.

2-  Newer players please don't  be easily angered by the Bubblegum Bitch Board.   People argue here all the time.   Pretty heatedly sometimes.    Also older chars, hey noone knows everything.    I was a noob once.   And acted accordingly.  heh

(Edited by Jotun at 11:34 am on June 23, 2009)

Well if there's one thing the Sims has taught me, it's that baking a cake without knowing if you're any good will get you killed.

I agree about the past tense thing, but I don't think it applies here. If you've not done shit, you know that you will be shit at shit. So you try the shit, KNOWING that you will do shit shittily. You then know that in the future, the shit that you do will be done slightly less shittily than before. At no point in this progression are you likely to have no idea how good you are, and find yourself having to resort to putting your life at risk in, say, a knife fight just to get access to information about your own ability.

I realise that knife fights are an important part of learning how to knife fight, but I mean... I don't know if I'm any good at knife fights. I suspect I'm not, but who can say. Perhaps I should get out there and slice someone up so I find out. Oh wait, I just checked my brain, and it says I would probably die.

Which is a pity, because if I hadn't known that for sure, I might have started a career in trying to teach people how to knife fight.

Christ, I'm awful at explaining things.

I'll have to agree with the "try until you get it right" approach.  We never learn anything save through trial and error. Since @stats is really just a quick ooc cheat sheet to see what skills and at what skill levels our chars are at, why bother changing it?  Honestly, the only way I've ever figured out whether or not my char could do something was by trying it.  Hell, that's how I learned not to fuck with rats as a newbie, lol.  The best way to perceive differing levels in stats and skills is as a rough gauge of what a char -thinks- they can do. Not what they know they can do.  They've been hitting the books, going to the gym, reading that self-help manual so they don't smell so bad when they hit on the ladies, but until they take action and get into that bar fight, try to not toast that security camera, and finally hit it with that fat chick that works in clerical, they won't really know how far along they've progressed.  Just like eating is considered a background process, character development is a sort of behind the scenes thing.  Just because we're ticking UE into stats and skills doesn't mean there's not IC shit going on that's causing those changes to be made.  And that's really what this comes down to.  We're talking about an OOC process that's pushing IC character development.  What a character can and can't do is based on what they can and can't do, not what they think they can do. Personally, I'd love to see the skill and stat demarcations removed in favor of a blank screen, so we never know how good or bad we are at actions until we try :-P

2 chyen,

Grim

Hrm. See, the problem I have with that kind of idea is that it would give your character cause to do totally unrealistic things. If we had no idea of our skills and abilities, well that's exactly what got you killed fucking with that rat I guess, although the lack of any sense of how murderously powerful rats can be doesn't help.

If we had no stats and my character was a painter or something, he'd have no reason not to go around the city picking fights, trying to break into stuff, hacking into the grid etc (the tools for which would cost like 50k at least, altogether) before he could finally discern that, after all, it turns out that during his life's progression he had become decent at painting instead of piloting large aircraft. This isn't something you should have to go find out, this is something you know in the same way as you know your history.

Thanks to Jotun for his flame-dousing consideration. His first point made me think, I reckon I've been doing what he describes. I base my UE investments on what I've been doing IC though, and I do a bunch of different things, with no specific skill/stat being the best for me. I think if there was a better sense of where I was in the skill progression I would also have a sense of how much a UE is worth, and then I'd avoid "wasting" it by mistake.

This is all complicated, so many IC and OOC reasonings to consider.

A cunning thought just occured to me, so I'll spout it: if someone asks me how good I am at something I can just tell them, I don't say, "Well, there's only one way to find out!" I think you're all correct that the current system basically works and stuff, but I don't understand why you'd want to hold back information that should be in your character's brain anyway.

...new thought... the UE system doesn't really make sense in the first place. My arguments are only really valid if we assume the character in question is putting UE into the stuff he's actually been doing IC, in which case he'd have good reason to know how good he is at it. Otherwise, yes, someone would have no idea how good they are at a skill, even after 100UE spent in it.

My MOO, if I'm allowed to mention it, uses a skill system that just raises your skills automatically based on what you've been doing. My arguments would work with that, but with UE the OOC and IC aspects of the system are seperate, which causes complications because the OOC player has to decide his character's worth arbitrarily and so ends up without a real sense of their IC character's skills.

If the player didn't have to actually choose where their UE goes, there would be no issue about how much they've progressed. I still approve of a @stats screen that reminds you how good you are, but I think the root issue here is, "I've just raised knitting from terrible to useless... what difference have I made?"

Edit: and another thing! When one assigns UE, there's a sudden, visible change to the character's stats. An automated system is more flowing and as a result you obviously don't sense any immediate change. When people see their strength going from "okay" to "average" or whatever, they wonder if that means they can lift trucks now. In a more subtle system that question wouldn't even arise in the mind; they'd just find themselves able to lift trucks one day, not too long after they'd gained the ability to lift menhirs.

(Edited by darKPete at 12:09 pm on June 23, 2009)

Quote: from darKPete on 3:02 pm on June 23, 2009[br] a sense of how much a UE is worth, and then I'd avoid "wasting" it by mistake.

How much a UE is worth is incredibly variable. It depends where you spend it and how far along that stat/skill is.

You will get a sense for it as you play the game, like everyone else. You'll learn what's worth raising, what isn't and you'll "waste" hundreds of UE before you figure it out.

Unless the game has changed horribly radically, then it isn't about your stats and skills anyway. I managed to cause plenty of shit before I even had a single UE spent in Dodge.

Wait til you reach curve and you'll have a better sense of what you're doing. Just like when you started playing guitar, you're not sure what's easy to play and what isn't. Some songs sound complex which are easy, and some sound easy which are complex, and until you develop your ear you don't know your ass from your elbow.

Eventually you will become well acquainted with both your weenis and your anus, so give it time.

I think that if theres something you want to be really good at.  Spend all of your ue in it.   When your comfortable with the fact that you have some sort of skill in it test yourself.  

Yes that will end up in you getting stabbed and maybe loosing that knife fight.

Yes you will fail, often hopefully because from our biggest failures come the most learning.  

Now I know your going to say.. I should be able to flip this switch in my brain and be able to tell wether I'm good/bad/indiffferent in said skill.     The bottom line is you wont, you can't...... justfucking don't.    

If you want to learn to be a good fighter then you have to loose.  you have to be beaten sensless many, many times.   If you want to be a good thief then you have to be caught.  failure is a huge part of learning, you must learn to accept it.

The key is.  When you know you can't fight well.  Test your skills on that wild dog, or that scrawny cracked out ganger, not the guy packing more heat than a volcano.   If you know your not much for a car thief, then you try you luck on the piece of shit car in a back alley, not the VT XS in a parking garage next to the hall of justice.  

I realise failing is an intrinsic part of it, I didn't mean to imply that I expect to be great at something by the time I try my hand at it. I'm just pointing out the potential char-progression issues caused by an invisible stats system.

And Murphy, I know it'll take me ages before I figure out how the damn experience system works. That, I believe, was the problem.

I had this same quam years ago as a noob so I feel you on this issue.   After time tho I realized that the way it works is great.  

I also forgot I want to reinforce Murphy's point as far as the stats not being important.   Tho you need a certain amount of stats if you want to accomplish certain goals, For instance if you want to wax that one ganger that gave you the finger the other day, you have to be a better fighter then him.  BUT.  If you want to fuck that dude up you can tell other gang members he's a trator, or put a contract on his head, or pick his pocket, or pay someone to rob him, or pay a rival gang member to walk up with you and teach him not to fuck with you anymore.  

So you see, even tho stats are important in some very direct issues, in the big picture of things they are quite less important than I bet you now realize.

I've had characters that are basic noobs but because of their position and the way they talk and carry themselves, are precieved as badasses by other characters.  Without having to flex muscle or really be a badass, but getting big shit done, and posturing a bit goes a looong way.

There is nothing wrong with this system.

I quote Chuck Norris when I say If It isn't broke, don't fix it nooblet!

You forgot the noob emotocon Bio!

I know, I know. My character does not rely on stats at all. It's a totally different type of character. Oh for christ's sake, now someone else has posted.

Right, thanks for calling me nooblet.

What the fuck was I saying. Ah yes, this is not about me wanting my character to be uber, or me having trouble with my character's stats, or me not knowing what's going on. The UE system has worked perfectly for me so far. What I am doing here is explaining the issues of the original poster because I understand the design flaws he/she's on about.

I know the game isn't about stats, but the fact that new guys THINK it is because the UE system makes them choose their own stat increases in an obscure and confusing way IS STILL A PROBLEM. That is what I am getting at. My character is fine.

"broke" and "fix" are the wrong terms here. Maybe "if the system is confusing, don't bother improving it" is more accurate.

Edit: and I don't understand why you keep calling me a noob, I've been playing this since five fucking years ago.

(Edited by darKPete at 1:09 pm on June 23, 2009)

Quote: from darKPete on 3:49 pm on June 23, 2009[br]
And Murphy, I know it'll take me ages before I figure out how the damn experience system works. That, I believe, was the problem.


It isn't a problem, it's intentional.

You just don't like it, which is the problem. These are two totally different things.

Skill levels are meant to be a mystery, so people RP instead of obsessing over their stats. Eventually, with a bit of deductive reasoning, you "get it". Or, you don't. Nevertheless, the main focus of the game remains unperturbed and the bean counters stick to MMORPGs.

Quote: from darKPete on 1:07 pm on June 23, 2009[br]I know, I know. My character does not rely on stats at all. It's a totally different type of character. Oh for christ's sake, now someone else has posted.

Right, thanks for calling me nooblet.

What the fuck was I saying. Ah yes, this is not about me wanting my character to be uber, or me having trouble with my character's stats, or me not knowing what's going on. The UE system has worked perfectly for me so far. What I am doing here is explaining the issues of the original poster because I understand the design flaws he/she's on about.

I know the game isn't about stats, but the fact that new guys THINK it is because the UE system makes them choose their own stat increases in an obscure and confusing way IS STILL A PROBLEM. That is what I am getting at. My character is fine.

"broke" and "fix" are the wrong terms here. Maybe "if the system is confusing, don't bother improving it" is more accurate.

Well the problem is not that the system is confusing, the problem is that noobs need to stop being noobs and they will get it after fucking around with it for a few days.  


Next thing you know you guys will be saying death is confusing and the halocaust never happened.

This is fucking enraging. I'll assume Murphy never had time to read my last post and I'll assume Bio somehow missed the confused guy who made the original post.

Quote: from darKPete on 1:12 pm on June 23, 2009[br]This is fucking enraging. I'll assume Murphy never had time to read my last post and I'll assume Bio somehow missed the confused guy who made the original post.


Dude go crack open a harry potter book and chill it's the internet

I hate Harry fucking Potter.

If you want me to chill, stop insulting me or something.

Quote: from darKPete on 1:15 pm on June 23, 2009[br]I hate Harry fucking Potter.

If you want me to chill, stop insulting me or something.


I don't get how I'm insulting you. You were the one who began getting all  offensive about an idea thread on the internet about a text based game when shit was being explained to you in a orderly fashion.


...
..
..
.noob.

Okay, okay. We were all noob's once. We don't need to get heated over this. It's an idea thread right? Anyway, our stat system has been the same for a long, long, LONG time, and probably won't change for the foreseeable future. To be honest DarKPete, yes, it's confusing, because stats and skills are obfuscated by seemingly arbitrary word associations, but once you've played your current character for a while, or gone through a few characters, the system becomes pretty obvious. And here's one kicker. If you are sinking points into a skill or stat, shouldn't it be obvious that some sort of increase is going on? Unless you somehow are overcome with some sort of stat negating effects (encumbrance, ebola, severe injury, chems, clone death without a recent update) your char stats should never decrease.

And here's one more thing. If skills are such a big deal: Skillsofts baby!

2CH,

Grim

Urgh.

Right, Bio first. It's not you specifically. "Noob", "nooblet", "go back to mmorpgs", "go read harry potter", this all pisses me off an awful lot.

On reflection, the reason I'm going apeshit is that I have to explain every tiny detail about this, then explain a bunch of stuff and how I play because you all decide I love stats and count beans in MMORPGs (which I cannot stand) and that I've just appeared in Sindome World etc etc, none of which are true. You seem to have decided this is the case because I don't like the UE system. Now I have to repeat it all because you've apparently decided not to accept it. Never insulted anyone by the way, I've made some pretty long and thoughtful posts here.

Now, listen. I realise the system is not particularly important in this game. As I have already said, the UE system is not something I have a specific problem with. I am not suggesting we change it. For the game's purposes it technically works fucking fine. That is what I think. Please grasp that.

With that in mind, consider that the system that is in place, while not confusing or a problem for me personally, is designed in such a way as to be confusing for other people. This is my point. It is not game-shattering. It's just a system with simple issues that you do eventually learn to ignore.

Finally I shall point out again that I'm not on a crusade to get it all changed to suit my whims. I am simply discussing the system... based on the point made by the original poster... with my opinions... in the forum.

If you can find it in your hearts to hold back the compulsive noob-saying simply because I like intuitive systems that work well and felt like discussing one that isn't (in and of itself), that would lower my blood pressure significantly. I despise that condescending oldbie attitude. "Ohh, look at the widdle guy, he's tryin' to opine."

Quote: from darKPete on 4:44 pm on June 23, 2009[br]

With that in mind, consider that the system that is in place, while not confusing or a problem for me personally, is designed in such a way as to be confusing for other people.


So it's not confusing to you.

Alright. If you aren't confused by it, what's your frame of reference for deciding the system is confusing?

"Aspiringly average, or mediocrely amateur?"

Quote: from darKPete on 5:05 pm on June 23, 2009[br]"Aspiringly average, or mediocrely amateur?"

The difference between average and amateur is clear to you, since you aren't confused.

Yes, you have the idea.

Quote: from darKPete on 5:17 pm on June 23, 2009[br]Yes, you have the idea.

Good. Now that we have that established, I repeat myself:

If you aren't confused by it, what's your frame of reference for deciding the system is confusing?

Oh for god's sake. I'm sick of this.

1. The confusion caused by this unclear system is the entire basis for this thread.

2. It was designed to be unclear. The design is what I've been talking about.

3. I played this game for a number of months five years ago, spent a few years coding my own MOO, designed and built my own experience system, came back. I have used this system from various viewpoints over a long time period and have considered the concept and design of various systems of its kind in great depth.

Does that qualify me enough for you to make any comment you may have on any of my points, rather than just calling me a noob and telling me to shut up and accept the issues caused by the system despite their being the subject of this entire thread? Telling us it doesn't matter because we'll get over its in-game effects is irrelevant. I'm discussing its design principles, not complaining that I don't get it. I can't believe I've spent the last hour explaining this.

Quote: from darKPete on 2:31 pm on June 23, 2009[br]Oh for god's sake. I'm sick of this.

1. The confusion caused by this unclear system is the entire basis for this thread.

2. It was designed to be unclear. The design is what I've been talking about.

3. I played this game for a number of months five years ago, spent a few years coding my own MOO, designed and built my own experience system, came back. I have used this system from various viewpoints over a long time period and have considered the concept and design of various systems of its kind in great depth.

Does that qualify me enough for you to make any comment you may have on any of my points, rather than just calling me a noob and telling me to shut up and accept the issues caused by the system despite their being the subject of this entire thread? Telling us it doesn't matter because we'll get over its in-game effects is irrelevant. I'm discussing its design principles, not complaining that I don't get it. I can't believe I've spent the last hour explaining this.


I don't get it.

Seriously, fuck the words, I should tell you how stat checks actually work then we'd see the shit hit the fan. :lol:

Considering the skill progression system has been like this for... hrm, nearly a decade, and practically no-one has ever kicked up a fuss about it I think it's reasonable to say it's not all that confusing unless you decided to go on a crusade about how confusing it is.

Ultimately, SD always aimed to be RP heavy, stat light. Stats serve a necessary purpose, but the numbers are intentionally obfuscated to suit the type of game SD is.

Incidentally, what issues?

I see a lot of noise but no actual real quantifiable problems caused by the system. Even if you knew the exact numeric value of your skill it'd serve no purpose unless you also knew the exact numeric value you're checking against (difficulty, opponent skill check, whatever).

Quote: from darKPete on 5:31 pm on June 23, 2009[br]I can't believe I've spent the last hour explaining this.


I can't believe that you spent all this time discussing this when there's a simple solution already built in to give you an idea how far along you are.


Also, what Rastus said.

That's more like it, thanks.

I have indeed gone mental about how confusing it is, because I'm obsessive about design and stuff.

The only issues are really those of obfuscation from a personal IC viewpoint, meaning you don't have even as much as a potentially incorrect sense of how skilled you are at anything; you're given a one-word description that only bestows a sense of meaning when compared to another one-word description from, say, four levels of skill above or below it.

I think I've probably given a lot of people the wrong idea here. I don't consider this a serious issue, I've just been on about the practicality of its design and the nuances thereof from an arbitrary viewpoint. I just love designing systems, I don't mean that I think this is how Sindome should be.

I have constant communication issues and stuff, people always misunderstand what I mean and vice-versa, and then I end up getting incredibly frustrated by the ensuing fuckupage. So sorry if I've inadvertently caused bombs to go off over misunderstandings.

Edit: of course I was taking it seriously for a while, but that's because I was furious over being goaded and ridiculed.

(Edited by darKPete at 2:59 pm on June 23, 2009)

Heh, I thought it was actually a very entertaining thread, especially considering there's been more discussion today than there has been in months!

Yay for discussion.

Quote: from darKPete on 5:57 pm on June 23, 2009[br]
The only issues are really those of obfuscation from a personal IC viewpoint, meaning you don't have even as much as a potentially incorrect sense of how skilled you are at anything; you're given a one-word description that only bestows a sense of meaning when compared to another one-word description from, say, four levels of skill above or below it.

When you consider that most skills are used in opposition to another person's skills, whatever amount you have and whatever knowledge you have of your spot in the curve is completely useless without knowing what your opponent has.

The real use the words have, besides obfuscating the numbers (their primary purpose) is to tell you at a glance how good one skill is compared to another.

If my "dodge" is at ace and my "short_blades" is at amateur, then I know my character is better at one than the other.

For waving your ePeen, there's curve. You go on ICQ and talk to Gerik and you're like "Oh yeah? Well my Dodge needs 15 UE for one raise" and Gerik (Bob) is like "WTF NO WAY" and then he throws a boomerang or shits on a wallabe or something.

Raising your skills and stats is a game of strategy and patience. Mostly patience.

darkPete, the problem with discussing the design really is that I can't say too much about it without revealing details about how the system works, which defeats the intentional obscurity.

I'd argue that most of the words, taken on face value, give you a vague idea where you stand. Assuming stats were on a scale of 1-100 (they're not, but for example), the words are spaced equally along the scale, so the number of raises from one step to the next is always the same, although the amount of UE needed to make those steps increases dramatically as you advance into the curve. Average would fall bang in the middle if I remember rightly, or in that ball park.

Originally the system used 7 words between top and bottom, this caused a lot of problems as people constantly reported bugs saying their stats weren't changing in char-gen or their UE wasn't raising their stats because it took a LOT of points to reach the next step.

So, I spent a few days with a thesaurus and drew up a big list of words (I forget exactly how many), sorted them into a rough working order and reset the step progression.

Then SD suffered a critical HD failure, we rolled back a few weeks and lost a TON of work. I note this because I had no hardcopy of my stat work, so I had to get the thesaurus out again, gather the list again and sort them into order again. I know for a fact that I ended up with slightly different words and a different order. From day one I've said the order isn't critical, we simply didn't want people obsessing about stats or comparing stats and theorycrafting the combat system into an exact science.

Anyhow, upshot of it is, the words as they stand now are there purely because people weren't seeing progress. The original system only had 7 divisions, you knew if you were terrible, bad, below average, average, above average, good or amazing (or words to that effect). I'd argue you can determine where you fall in that scale based on the current word list but now you have slightly finer graining to allow for visual progress.

(Standard disclaimer: I'm pretty sure none of this has changed since I did it, but it is outdated information so I can't guarantee things haven't changed slightly or my memory of exact details is entirely accurate. But it's near as damnit correct.)

Hopefully I've kept that vague enough to not get a slap for disseminating SD voodoo. ;)

Quote: from Rastus2 on 6:28 pm on June 23, 2009[br]Average would fall bang in the middle if I remember rightly, or in that ball park.


Are you sure about that, Ras? Cause IIRC "average" was pre-curve. I don't think you actually hit curve til one or two levels below "skilled".

Incidentally, we did experiment with "power bar" stats for a while. They looked cool but fell into the same trap as having numeric values in an RP oriented game.

STR [||||||||||[].....]

etc, with a bit of ANSI flair. Same as the fuel gauges and Enforcer ammo bar.

I wrote out an entire long post earlier but then the site went down for a few minutes and my post was lost.  I will try to re-hash it.

The biggest thing that I miss from just being a player is the mystery of the game.  The not knowing.  It's really the best part.  Not knowing where you stand and having to figure it out through IC means.

As to the skill names, if I said I was average at something and you said you were amateur at something and someone else said they were aspiring at something, would we know right off the bat who was better?  Perhaps not.  But think of it like this.. as you are putting UE into your character you're also, as days pass, putting metaphorical UE into yourself and your knowledge of the game.  As time goes by you get a better understanding of the way the game works and where you stand.

That's part of the mystery, and part of the fun.  I wouldn't want to change that as I think it would remove some of the mystery and excitement from the game.  Wondering if this next raise is going to get your from competent to whatever comes after.. thats a lot of fun.

Quote: from Murphy on 3:33 pm on June 23, 2009[br]
Are you sure about that, Ras? Cause IIRC "average" was pre-curve. I don't think you actually hit curve til one or two levels below "skilled".

Average is indeed pre-curve, as is the level above it.

I think, if I was doing it, I'd do something ridiculous like having the character's best successful action that has to do with each stat recorded, and write the memory of that event into the stat description. That way they'd have a definite idea of where they stand to the best of their own knowledge, while still not being sure of their potential without testing themselves. I'd also automate the stat increases based on actual activity so that nobody is involved with any kind of sliding-scale proficiency gauge, and yet they can see on their @stats or whatever that they are capable of swinging a cow, having successfully swung cows in the past.

I have caused quite enough death and disease for one day so I shall spare your MORTAL SOULS and go shoot some zombies.
Enjoy your MORTAL SOULS.

Quote: from Murphy on 3:33 pm on June 23, 2009[br]Are you sure about that, Ras? Cause IIRC "average" was pre-curve. I don't think you actually hit curve til one or two levels below "skilled".

Eh, ball-park, old fuddy memory, etc. Plus I never actually played through the system like you guys have so you probably have a far better idea how it works in practice. I'm pretty sure the curve doesn't start until past half way through the stat range, so that probably fits what you're saying anyway.

Also, what Slither said. Once you've been behind the curtain you lose the mystery and it kills the playing experience. I lurk as an outcast $J because I simply can't enjoy playing the game, trapped between two worlds. Damn you, Johneus, convincing me to take the red pill then telling me I'm not The One. :D

I know quite a few people who desperately wanted to be GM's, didn't like it when they were and couldn't go back to playing afterwards. Getting admin-side can be a kiss of death for some players.

I still enjoy playing the game, and I would enjoy playing it as a player, if I took a few months off being a GM before coming back as a fulltime player.  Mainly to let the existing plots who's information I was privy to play out before my return.

But, there would still be something lacking.. the mystery of not knowing and the burden of knowing to much.

Quote: from darKPete on 3:50 pm on June 23, 2009[br]I'd also automate the stat increases based on actual activity so that nobody is involved with any kind of sliding-scale proficiency gauge, and yet they can see on their @stats or whatever that they are capable of swinging a cow, having successfully swung cows in the past.

Assuming I've read that right, it's actually a really bad idea unless you're going for an all out stat-fest hack'n'slash. I believe Cybersphere had something like this before SD existed and it was abused to all hell.

People just sparred endlessly to max out all their stats and skills. It's a great idea in theory but it's wide open to abuse and you're fighting a losing battle if you try to control it.

What I wanted to do, which borrows from that idea, was to keep a running tally of skill usage to increase your floating potential skill. If you didn't use skill, your potential would drop although your actual skill would remain unchanged. So, potential and actual skill would be two completely separate values.

When it came to spending UE, you could only increase a skill up to a cap of your current potential. If your potential was below your current skill you couldn't raise it.

I don't have experience of how the Cybersphere-esque system actually works in practice, but I'd initially try capping the learning potential of any given day in the same way that UE is capped. Make sure that there's a bit of randomisation or other influential factors that prevent the learning process from being predictable or taking a specific set length of time, and make sure players hear as little about it in-game as possible. Hopefully this would create an atmosphere wherein players feel that they're progressing stat-wise all the time in the background, but it's not something they can calculate or stat-grind effectively. Simultaneously the cow-swinging thing would ensure that they know roughly where their potential currently lies.

Knowing me I'd emulate real life to the greatest extent even remotely practical, and give them a penalty to what they've learned for the day if they overdo it and all this other stuff. And then not tell them about it. Kekekeke.

@Rastus, @Slither

Good points you two made about the other side of the curtain.  That's why I'm a full time player these days, rather than a GM.

Haha, jesus. I don't know whether I should post more often, or run away and hide! ;)

lol.. thanks for the lively discussion on the topic, guys. I uh.. I -think- I get why the current system is the way it is.

Ultimately, I agree that the mystery is exciting. It -is- fun to see what that next step is going to be and after that and so forth and then testing that out in the real world to see exactly what "amateur" means or how it stacks up to being "mediocre" or whatever.

thecraftydragon