Not A Blog Redux VI

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Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby travisbaldree » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:09 pm

Hey everybody. Not a blog time!

Quick update for the week -

I'm done with my Skill pass! Hooray! All classes have been gone through and skills touched up, or reworked where lacking. That means that tomorrow, I move over to Act 3 to work with Marsh on getting it wrapped. As per usual, everybody is working like crazy to get this ready for ship.

QA and went through and did a bug purge this week, and the number of bugs we are left with is surprisingly low. Again, hooray!

Now, last week I promised I'd talk a bit about skills, skill 'trees', and tier bonuses, so I'm going to do that now. I've been knee deep in them for days, so this is as good a time as any.

You'll have to forgive some rough-and-ready dev screenshots - these aren't set up for the prettiest backgrounds or best equipped characters.

Firstly, here's a quick look at what a skill pane looks like -

Image

So, as previously, each class has three panes.
Each pane contains 7 active skills and 3 passive skills, for a total of 30 skills per class. Each skill is unique to the class, and there are no shared abilities.

By contrast, in Torchlight 1, each class had around 30-31 skills - 16 of those were shared skills that everyone had, and each pane had only 5 active skills apart from those. There were only 15 unique skills per class. Things are much different now, and the skills have all had significantly more effort expended on them.
The red skills up top are all actives - the blue skills down below are passives.

Skills unlock for investment in reading order - from top to bottom. You still need to spend skill points to purchase them, just as before, but it's a cleaner layout and makes it more straightforward for us to make them available at the level we want them. Now that the passives are separate, they are unlocked at a different (faster) rate, so that they don't have to be tied down based on where actives are in the advancement series.

You can also see on this pane a representation of the 'Tiers' for each skill. Every skill can have 15 points invested in it. After every 5th point invested, the skill will receive an additional 'Tier Bonus' that adds to its basic functionality in a hopefully more interesting way. Passive skills do NOT receive Tier Bonuses.
Beneath each of the red skills you can see a progress bar - this shows your overall investment in the skill. The I, II, and III show that filling that section of the bar will result in a Tier Bonus ( At which point the numeral will light up )


Tier Bonuses are pretty varied between skills - some will be more interesting than others, depending on the skill and what it is used for. The Tier Bonus for a party buff may not be particularly visually spectacular, but we have tried to add new effects or improved utility wherever possible to make it more enticing to put more than one point into certain skills.

Here's a specific example of a skill and the Tier Bonuses that go along with it that you won't have seen before, as we didn't feature it in the Beta or at any public showing.

Image

At the bottom, you can see the Tier bonuses you will receive ( you can also see these separately by mousing over the progress bar on the skill pane ).

Bramble Wall is an Outlander skill that creates an arc of impassable thorns in front of you, which monsters cannot pass, but you can shoot over. The tier bonuses here provide additional abilities to Bramble Wall. After the first 5 points, and enemies within range of the wall when it rises will be damaged ( you can see that damage being applied up in the rank description, as I have unlocked Tier 1 ). At 10 points, the length of the Bramble arc is increased, and at full investment, the Brambles emit poison clouds which will continously damage enemies that draw near the brambles to pass around them.

You can seem examples of the tiers for Bramble wall below.
Image

We try where possible to have visual alterations to skills to reflect what is going on with the bonuses. Some skills may only get a range or angle increase on their tier bonuses. Eviscerate is an example - but Eviscerate at max investment looks a lot different from Level 1 Eviscerate.

Image

Hopefully this gives you a good idea of how our alterations to the Skill system function. See you next week! I'm looking forward to digging into Act 3 (although I'm not planning to talk about the content there - it's all going to stay under wraps until launch).

Thanks, everybody!

--

Previous Not A Blog posts:

Not A Blog Redux V
Not A Blog Redux IV
Not A Blog Redux III
Not A Blog Redux II
Not A Blog Redux
Last edited by BrianW on Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Added links to previous Not A Blog posts...
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby Valisk » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:12 pm

Wow! Those skill panels look waaaaay better! I'm glad you gave them a good once-over because, honestly, that part of the UI was a bit lacking in the beta - especially with the ghostly image of your character class randomly in the background. Such a great improvement, though and I can't wait to try out those tiers!

Thanks for the post. :lol:
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby DarkTails » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:13 pm

I like the Coors Light logo as one of the Berzerker's skill tree icons :lol:

Also, holy crap, 3000 poison damage at rank 6 :?
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby Rusty » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:15 pm

Wow that is a major change on the look in the skills tabs! Crazy!

I like the work you have done (and redone), and give the team a high five for almost being done!
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby travisbaldree » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:16 pm

I like the Coors Light logo as one of the Berzerker's skill tree icons


You should see the Engineer's 'Cake' tree.
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby Bulwarkcoco » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:19 pm

YAY
Image

travisbaldree wrote:I love you Bulwarkcoco. Passionately.
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby Jackthemaniac » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:19 pm

Thanks for the update. I suppose release is coming soon and this system looks quite interesting. I'm glad Bramble Wall is Outlander, I will glady pick it up!

This new skill system is interesting but I have this question about unlocking.

Do skills automatically unlock at set levels, or you need to put X amount of points in one to unlock the next, then put Y amount to unlock the next, etc...?


Or a completly different way altogether?
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby darknais » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:20 pm

So we're not going to see more not a blog redux till the launch?
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby Ramboondiea » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:21 pm

so what your basically saying is that its going to be even harder to decide what class to start with? haha
can't bloody wait! :mrgreen:
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby tnoyce » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:23 pm

Nice update.

I like what you've done, and hope that Act 3 goes quickly for all of you.
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby drepanaspis » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:25 pm

This looks again, very nice. Hopefully the game is done before the end of summer ;)

By the way, did you remove any of the existing skills? Because the new hunter tree has 7 actives and 3 passives, but the hunter tree in the beta had 10 actives and 3 passives, 4 of the beta skills were still locked though, but I wonder why you didn't go with the original skill interface from the beta. The tiers have nothing to do with this question though and are a great addition for sure.
Last edited by drepanaspis on Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby eVilocity » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:26 pm

Asked this before but didn't get an answer. As the look of the skill panes has changed, did the look of the UI in general change as well? I found it to be pretty boring atr wise.

Other than that great read.
There's a gameshow called 5 vs 1 - no it got nothing to do with pron!
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby cgozun » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:32 pm

awesome sneak peek, worth the wait
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby travisbaldree » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:33 pm

Do skills automatically unlock at set levels, or you need to put X amount of points in one to unlock the next, then put Y amount to unlock the next, etc...?

They automatically unlock at set levels. There are no skill dependencies or unlocks due to tree investment.
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby travisbaldree » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:33 pm

Asked this before but didn't get an answer. As the look of the skill panes has changed, did the look of the UI in general change as well? I found it to be pretty boring atr wise.


Sorry to disappoint you on on that one, but not really.
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby travisbaldree » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:34 pm

By the way, did you remove any of the existing skills? Because the new hunter tree has 7 actives and 3 passives, but the hunter tree in the beta had 10 actives and 3 passives, 4 of the beta skills were still locked though, but I wonder why you didn't go with the original skill interface from the beta. The tiers have nothing to do with this question though and are a great addition for sure.


No skills were removed ( well, some were replaced ). The blank slots in the beta tree were just there because they were symmetrical and were where skills would potentially be slotted visually - our target has always been 30 skills per class.
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby travisbaldree » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:35 pm

So we're not going to see more not a blog redux till the launch?

No, I'll do an update. But I just won't get into any particulars of Act 3 content.
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby DarkTails » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:38 pm

With the amount of skulls present in that particular Berzerker skill tree, I hope we get some kind of Predator armor with a skull necklace :lol:
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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby Vortaka » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:40 pm

Thanks for the update! I didn't think I'd like them as much as I actually do now! Really cool!

A "Not a blog" update once a week keeps the enemy at bay! (That until it's release... Then the enemy we will slay!)

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Re: Not A Blog Redux VI

Postby Glass » Fri Aug 17, 2012 3:42 pm

DarkTails wrote:I like the Coors Light logo as one of the Berzerker's skill tree icons :lol:

[...]


I like The Witcher logo more.
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that I must bow so low?
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