Monday, January 19, 2009

SWG Idea: Advanced Professions/Basic Skillsets

So hypothetically speaking... let's just say we lock down all nine professions from being available at toon creation time. They are now considered "advanced" professions. All players as of that moment are "grandfathered" in. We'll deal with them later.

Now, new toons must start off with one of the following skill sets...
  • Tanker - ability to resist damage
  • Support - buff others
  • AOE - area effect abilities
  • Crowd Control - manipulate PvE opponents
  • Pets - allies
  • DPS - offensive, low defense
  • Melee - skilled with close-fighting
  • Ranged- skilled with distance-fighting
  • Pilot - using starships
  • Designer - inventor or creator
As the toon progresses, he or she can mix-and-match the skill sets above. Once a toon has acquired six skill sets, he or she can then move on to one of the advanced professions.

Skill Set Summary
The skill sets should be relatively weak in "power" then the advanced professions. But they should make an impact. For instance, a DPS Commando will do more damage then a Tanker Commando; who, in turn, will be able to resist more harmful effects.

Players who wanted to focus purely on crafting could be Designer Crafters, or maybe they'd prefer to have some Ranged abilities to offset the crafters lack of any offense. Such a skillset would never surpass even the weakest combat class in an even fight.

Existing Players
The players who are currently active at the time of the "lock" will be able to pick and choose their six skillsets. Boring? Probably. But read on...

After Achieving Advanced Level
Players should still be able to mix-and-match their basic skillsets. This may lead to a Flavor of the Month mess, but that isn't entirely bad since it allows the players to achieve a level of balance between the professions while SOE performs the necessary tweaks.

There should be no credit cost for moving around basic skills. These should be in the form of spendable XP or even quests.

So from this, players are able to tailor their playstyle to one of thier choosing. Jedi are no longer available as a starting profession (but we do not go so far as to make them unlockable, which runs counter to SOE's design). Other professions are also not available as starting jobs. For example, it's rather unbelievable to think that Officers, Smugglers, and Bounty Hunters are able to be gainfully employed without one day of experience on the job.

The idea here is to allow sandbox-type templates at the lower stages of a toons development, and then move then into a specific area of expertise. Thus, we do not lose the individual professions nor do we have to rewrite their profession wheels. The basic skillsets offer customization to allow players to experiment and tinker with the system - a feature that the current game (and may others on the market) lacks.

Sure, it's nothing we haven't heard before. And yeah, yeah... it's rather unoriginal all-in-all, but I hope that it presents a slightly new take on the persistent concepts that evoke memories of the old skill-point system; a take that might fit with the existing set-up without causing significant disruptions that upset many players.

Any thoughts on the idea are welcome, even if it's to say that it's brutally poor.

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