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Make Skillsofts benefit skill investment
Either point or UE-spent boost

The idea here is that people that invest heavily in certain skills gain no benefit from a skillsoft, while people that do not invest in skills HUGELY benefit from softs, as they have more UE to spent on their stats.

I believe there is a way to approach this that addresses the meta of just softing technical skills, and that is by making Skillsofts grant either a 'spent UE' bonus, that augments the amount of UE you have spent in a skill, or a plat 'point bonus' that adds to the number of points you have invested in a skill. In this way, even high skill characters can benefit from a soft, to get that last little edge, while at the same time, characters that have not invested at all in a skill, aren't able to compete defacto without any investment at all.

I agree that Skillsofts are way too powerful. There would need to be some balancing math involved but I agree their functionality needs to be adjusted so they are not an instant zero to capable. Another thought would be if the benefit scaled based on the investment already put in.
What if the investment scaled to the underlying stats? So if your character is not built for the activity, you don't get much benefit or as much benefit as someone who is built for it.

I don't think that the output of the skillsofts should be improved though, I really don't know how high they take you currently, but I wouldn't enjoy something that took you into a C-B-A territory with just financial investment, especially for technical skills that you might use in a relatively consequence free circumstance behind locked doors, et cetera.

There should be a risk to reward.

It already does essentially what you're asking for here. I keep saying this everytime it comes up, but skillsofts -do not- make people that are actually skilled in a field irrelevant. It only provides a somewhat inferior alternative.
I can say for certain, the investment would never take someone that high if it was UE based, the scaling gets to be pretty intense, but I like the idea of the gain being based on investment.
There are some fields that it does in fact give enough of a bonus to make any investment pointless, you will be able to do a professional job just fine with a platinum soft.
Skillsofts are a LOT of money. That in itself is cause to get mugged/killed for. Not to mention the socket, if you have a ripper handy. Still, it would be nice if what it did was provide a bonus, rather than a set level, so that it actually improves your skill if your skill is already good.
I thought that was how softs worked, but it's been awhile. I've always imagined them as having diminished returns. If I suck at something, having never done it, I get a decent boost, relative to the quality of the soft. If I'm great at something I get a small boost relative to the soft, up to a point. If I'm godlike at whatever, the softs are going to do shit really.
I'd take a tech with hard-skills over a skillboy any day. Anyone using their skillsofts is a walking pinata. If you're doing any kind of risky op and get nabbed you're out big time. Having relied on skillsofts in the past, it is a constant flop-sweat game mechanic. That tech can get it done for a five kay clone sleeve.

Besides that, it does take considerable investment into stats to even be able to use the softs in a reasonable way.

I was under the impression that skillsofts don't augment existing skills because you can't know the same thing twice. Using a chip gives you the knowledge you already have plus more if it is able to lift your skill level at all. Or at least that's how I look at it.

I agree with veleth on the mug/kill/rip strategy. If somebody is edging in on your skillset and you can take it away? Then take it away. Make that baka's life hell until what's theirs is yours.

Trying to not give stuff away, but as most people have said softs can be powerful, somewhat expensive as an investment (but this is subjective) and definitely have the risk of being easily taken away for balance reasons.

If they were even more powerful or you lost the ability to lose them easily, then they would bring some serious balancing issues to the game IMO. Basically what you are asking for would be kind of like nanos for skills but better.

Agreed, RatchetEffect. I thought of that too, that it sort of just gives you knowledge you're not supposed to have if you bother to get the skillsoft. So if you already got that knowledge, it wouldn't teach you crap. But at the same time, I get what the poster means when they say it's useless if you're a pro.
If it's useless if you're a pro then you don't have to spend a ton of money as people have suggested. Seems like a win condition to me.
Maybe a pro wants to be a master. :^)

But fair enough.

To clarify what I meant:

I figure if you know how to build a desk, good deal, but jack in a soft, now you're slightly more proficient. You know what tools work -best-, compared to previously just knowing what tools worked.

Or driving. Say you're a mediocre driver, slot in a bronze, well you're a bit better. Before you were able to get from point a to point b without crashing, but now you understand the concept of parallel parking. Slot in a gold and suddenly you're familiar with drifting and drafting. Slot in a plat, shit, now you can hang with the Stig for a bit.

Regardless, if it doesn't work that way, then it's a moot point. Just always envisioned it that way. Not too much experience with them. Loving the conversation though!

Right so there are three likely ways it works. I don't know which, but I suppose there might be other ways to make this work.

Personally, I see a few problems with Skillsofts. The first is that they are a way around UE caps. It allows specialist characters to be amazing at what they do, and then get to good enough at support skills. For me... this should be discouraged as much as possible because it's an automated solution that discourages RP. I need to have a TV installed... I can hire someone (possibly shady) to do it, or I put in a high enough chip and just do it myself. It doesn't matter if they're not as good as another installer as long as the soft is good enough to get the job done.

So here are the ways that I can conceive of Skill Softs working, speculation only and trying to cover ways to give ideas if I'm right on any of them.

Flat Increase:

This just gives you a letter in a skill. The better the soft, the better the skill.

Pro: Max capability is capped.

Con: Highly skilled users have no real use for it.

Con: Allows people with no investment into a skill to be good enough to not need characters for many tasks.

Point Increase:

Adds a number of points to a skill. The better the soft, the more points added.

Pro: Everyone gets a benefit.

Pro: No one can get amazing without some investment in a skill

Con: The higher your skill the more you benefit as you are bypassing the curve.

Con: Allows people to encroach on specialists with having to invest massive UE.

UE Increase:

Adds a number of fake UE to a skill. The better the soft the more points added.

Pro: Everyone gets a benefit.

Pro: No one can get amazing without some benefit with the skill

Pro: Low to mid tier characters get more benefit than pros because of the curve.

Summary

For me. The last option works the best. You don't encroach on people who invested while giving a very low level ability to people with no investment. It benefits mid tier characters more. You can't be great or even professional at a skill without having some investment into it already. So basically it becomes a chrome version of a catchup mechanism but even people who are way into the curve might see a little benefit for still using it without pushing them over the top compared to everyone else.

Skillsofts are the way they are for a reason.

A lot of the guesses you folks are making here are things you are supposed to find out IC, or likely to not be discussed at all. We keep a close eye on how things are balanced.

There are downsides that most of you don't seem to be aware of. And I would like if mechanical guessing was kept out of the thread.

As long as the chip you use provides a higher skillboost than your natural ability, that's exactly what it does (as a flat boost, not scaling with your own skill). That's kind of the cool thing about them in my opinion. Say you're striving to be a decker, but this baka over here with a silver soft is getting all the work you want. Get yourself a gold or better chip to match or beat their quality of work, but don't stop developing your natural skill. Eventually you'll outstrip that poser, and their investment drops in value, or you can shoulder them out of the biz entirely. It isn't always a matter of changing what's going on behind the game (though sometimes it is), sometimes it's just a matter of turning an obstacle into a boon with a little brainstorming. After all, you have the potential to access the exact same resources as Joe Baka.
If I crossed IC lines, I apologize. Gonna step out of the thread to avoid it at this point.
I think that if skillsofts were changed to function in the way being described, the top dogs would be even more insurmountable. That Ace decker would be even more ace, and you'd not be able to overtake.

As it is, the softs allow players to expirement with new skills before committing to them, which I think is really cool. Also they're themely as fuck.

They aren't as strong as they seem (in my opinion) and have some severe downsides. I also agree that there is a lot of bogus info flying around in this thread and if I've overstepped on ic info welcome edits.