I am making this suggestion based on the assumption that the MOO has CPU cycles to spare on more complex skill checks. If that is not the case, ignore this.
I am working on the assumption that staff has access to analytics which will allow them to assess the impact of these changes.
I am putting this out there as a general suggestion to staff. I don't "know" what I am talking about with the examples I am going to provide. I am offering them to facilitate discussion around one way to enrich the game.
CPUs continue to get faster every year. Fundamentally CPUs and computers are there to do math.
At its core, the Sindome "game engine" is about math. It pulls together a bunch of variables from Character A, pulls a bunch of variables from Character B, compares them and computes a result.
On one of the recent threads about bleeding, someone mentioned that the 'meta' would shift to more combat characters spending UE on medical skills. That was presented as a negative. eg "Combat characters will have less UE to spend on other (non-medical) skills and therefore there will be less diversity." Let's not rehash that discussion. I bring it up for context.
What if "medical skills" were incorporated into the "variables" that the game engine uses when doing combat computations?
One obvious answer is that the UE investment in medical skills would be a positive, not a negative.
To take that out a level, what if "every" skill had the potential to be a variable in the use of every other skill? (Probably unrealistic given the computation power required for that kind of cross checking.) The classic example is a 'warrior' who practices 'art' because the steady hand and focus that comes from doing art re-enforces the steady hand and focused mind that is useful in combat.
(Let's not go into specific examples. Let's not talk about game mechanics. I'm just putting out this example for discussion's sake.)
For all we know, medical skills and the implied knowledge of anatomy are already factored in combat computations.
What if combat computations are currently limited to 1 or 2 "additional variables" because that was all the game could handle (CPU or otherwise) when those computations were originally coded?
Can the game engine / CPU enable more computations?
Is using those spare CPU cycles for this use case on the staff's radar? (No need to answer publicly. This is just to encourage discussion at the staff level if it's not already happening.)
Think beyond combat. Maybe Stealth can compliment Disguise and vice versa. Maybe Trading plays into either or both in a tertiary way because all of them involve deceiving people for an advantage.
(I "know" nothing about game engine computations. This thread is not to talk about specifics or go down the game mechanics rabbit hole.)
I think that adding more variety and variables to the various game engine computations could allow staff to:
Subtly adjust the 'meta'
Encourage wider adoption of skills and attributes
Encourage late game / max UE characters to continue adjusting and fine tuning themselves (via forgetting skills, using skillsofts, etc.)
Start small. Pick something non-combat and non-combat adjacent like auto-tech. Tweak one variable. Let it run for a few months. See if there is any notable uptick on the "success rate". See if there is any notable impact on CPU utilization.
It would be a cool project to update the player base on during Town Halls. The updates can be vague. "Staff tweaked 1 group of skill computations in the last 6 months. Based on that, we are planning to tweak 2 more groups of skill computations in the next 6 months."
What do the rest of you think? Is this a good way to keep the game fresh and encourage diversified character builds?