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Thread: The Soul Tree - Advancement system

  1. #1
    Soulwalker
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    Default The Soul Tree - Advancement system

    One of the things I have always enjoyed in other mmos, is the ability to develop and individualise your character through advanced abilities, soul trees, or whatever they are called in the different games. I remember having more than 700 different options back in EQ1, and that was awesome

    What concerns me about the Soul Tree system in Rift is that is seems very linear, especially the root advancement part, in which you must take one ability to open the next, following a predetermined line of order. The same seems to apply slightly less to the branch advancement part, but it is still there. This linear system inevitably means that you will have to take some abilities that you do not really want, in order to get access to the ones you do want.

    I would love to see a less linear system in Rift. A system where all abilities would be "wanted", but you can't "afford" them all, so that you would need to make some hard choices when you pick build. Some can be more "expensive" than others, and some may be linked (so you need 1 to get the 2nd). But they should otherwise be independent of each other.

    Anybody else share my thoughts on this?

    ~ Lolth

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    Rift Chaser Slacka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lolth View Post
    One of the things I have always enjoyed in other mmos, is the ability to develop and individualise your character through advanced abilities, soul trees, or whatever they are called in the different games. I remember having more than 700 different options back in EQ1, and that was awesome

    What concerns me about the Soul Tree system in Rift is that is seems very linear, especially the root advancement part, in which you must take one ability to open the next, following a predetermined line of order. The same seems to apply slightly less to the branch advancement part, but it is still there. This linear system inevitably means that you will have to take some abilities that you do not really want, in order to get access to the ones you do want.

    I would love to see a less linear system in Rift. A system where all abilities would be "wanted", but you can't "afford" them all, so that you would need to make some hard choices when you pick build. Some can be more "expensive" than others, and some may be linked (so you need 1 to get the 2nd). But they should otherwise be independent of each other.

    Anybody else share my thoughts on this?

    ~ Lolth
    Absolutely, i had also been thinking about the fact that there is the linear progression required in the upper tree, and that you need to spend X amount of points in each "tier" to buy skills from the next which does remove some o the "freeform" aspect of the souls system.

    In an ideal sitation it would be nice to be able to pick any skills from the upper area, with no pre req's and choose your build to suit you with no points "wasted" on less desired skills in the lower lines, Whilst you would still have the linear aspect that holds the class together via the root skills, but i guess it all comes down to balancing, especially in lower levels as invariably the best skills will all be at the top of the trees.

  3. #3
    Plane Touched kartys's Avatar
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    From what we know, the rift system is VERY much like this. By max level you will have 51 soul points. You can spend those all in one tree, or divide them between two or three trees. You really have to look at each ability and really decide if it is worth it to have a powerful ranged attack from the Ranger tree or is it better to mix in some blade dance for some melee.

  4. #4
    Rift Chaser Slacka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kartys View Post
    From what we know, the rift system is VERY much like this. By max level you will have 51 soul points. You can spend those all in one tree, or divide them between two or three trees. You really have to look at each ability and really decide if it is worth it to have a powerful ranged attack from the Ranger tree or is it better to mix in some blade dance for some melee.
    The point is though that to put points in a skill halfway up the tree, you need to have bought skills below it, wether you want them or not, as from screenshots and videos shown so far they have "10 points spent in previous level" type requirements to place points further up the tree. (as an example check out this rather nice explaination courtesy of the awesome Telarapedia clicky) Take particular note of the picture on the left that shows where points can and cannot be spent depending on points invested in the tree.

    What i was trying to say is i would rather keep the root linear for the class progression, and have the upper part where you actually spend your points as completely free, so you are able to stick points anywhere in the upper area, without needing to put points in the skills below it meaning you can truely feel that no single point went to waste on unlocking the skill you really wanted.
    Last edited by Slacka; 08-09-2010 at 12:19 PM.

  5. #5
    Rift Master charlionfire's Avatar
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    Good concern.

    First, let's acknowledge that you do not need to "check" every sinlge point in the upper tree to progress in the lower. It seems like 5 points per tier in the upper tree allows you to start chosing from the upper tiers. I think you got this, but I'm not sure everone is clear about that yet.

    Second, the reason you can't chose e.g. the last skill in the roots of a tree unless you spend 50 points, is that the skill itself is too powerful. You would definately pick all 3 bottom root skills from each soul first if you could.

    Now, you argue that you could "pay" for this skill - so to say invest alot of points to get it. Well, that is exactly what happens in the system, since you must put in 50 points in the tree to access the lowest skill. Just consider it as you get a bunch of other spells for free for doing this ;)

    As the system is looking right now, with the possibility of mixing 1-3 trees at will, I'm absolutely hyped about it.

  6. #6
    Rift Chaser Slacka's Avatar
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    Indeed, dont take this the wrong way, i think the system will be great, after all the game has got me posting on a forum months before release which no other MMO has managed before (previously i have always waited until beta/release when i actually had something first hand to talk about), so i am definately looking forward to it.

    As i mentioned in my first post i absolutely understand why it works this way, and that upper skills are likely far more powerful and therefore its about the balance. My point was just that i would love to see a system that did away with that, for example in Rift you could put those super powerful skills in the end of the root if needs be so there is still the points spent requirement, as that would then allow peple to pick and choose exactly what they want with no pre requisites required in the upper areas of a soul.

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    Rift Master charlionfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slacka View Post
    Indeed, dont take this the wrong way, i think the system will be great, after all the game has got me posting on a forum months before release which no other MMO has managed before (previously i have always waited until beta/release when i actually had something first hand to talk about), so i am definately looking forward to it.

    As i mentioned in my first post i absolutely understand why it works this way, and that upper skills are likely far more powerful and therefore its about the balance. My point was just that i would love to see a system that did away with that, for example in Rift you could put those super powerful skills in the end of the root if needs be so there is still the points spent requirement, as that would then allow peple to pick and choose exactly what they want with no pre requisites required in the upper areas of a soul.
    I'm all for that, as long as each talent is somewhat equally powerful. Otherwise noone will chose certain talents. But indeed, ideally you could chose from all the talents to mix and match.

  8. #8
    Soulwalker
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    I can see what you are looking for here but I think Rift is focusing more on the option to combine multiple souls to build the unique character that is fashioned just for you. I do like the sound of what you would like to see. To me it sounds more like a character build entirely of an AA point system for skills. Something interesting yes but I do not think we would see it here.

  9. #9
    Soulwalker
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    From the replies here, and a bit of further investigation, I realise that I misunderstood part of the system. I thought you had to "choose" abilities from both the upper and the lower part of the three, but that is not the case. The root abilities are granted authomitically as you advance in the upper tree, they are "core" abilities so to speak.

    The real choices are therefore in the upper part, and with regards to those, I still would like to see more freedom of choice. Soome argue that certain abilities will be more desireable than others, and therefore all would go straight for them unless they had to spend points in other abilities first, in order to access the desired ones. I guess what I would like to see is a system where ALL abilities are more or less equally desirable. So, when you choose 10 (or whatever number) great ones, you also write off a similar number of equally great ones, because you just can't have them all.

    But yeah, maybe it is too much to ask. I still think it would be great though

    ~ Lolth

  10. #10
    Telaran
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    I have no problems with a tree system as we will see in Rift but would like to add to it. If say 5 of the 51 points were free points that did not need to follow the branchlines then you would see far more variety in characters. Call them gold points if you want. This allows you to do things like pick off 1 or 2 very high level warlock skills while spending the bulk of your points in something like melee. Your opponent in PvP would not be expecting that combination and surprise can be a wonderful thing in PvP.

    This would add to the fun factor which is the most important part of any MMO.

  11. #11
    Plane Touched Paks's Avatar
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    Remember - you'll be able to Multi-Class in here - taking stuff from 2-3 different classes other than the one you're currently in. Also - there will be quest stuff involved in getting certain souls to open up certain features. There will be 70% of all classes basically being the same - but - i believe there will be a good 30% of people going for a variety in their class on stuff that they prefer or like for roleplaying or playing style versus the "optimal Grind" or "optimal Quest" or "optimal Raid" setup.
    Veteran MMORPG Player for 10 years. Played almost all of them at one point. Played variety of races and classes and am good at most of them also.

  12. #12
    Shadowlander Chronus's Avatar
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    The way I understand the roots and branches system is that it works much like warcraft's talent tree system and core abilities system, except that when you level up you dont visit a trainer to get your core abilities. The core abilities are granted to you by just spending X number of points into that soul. Really this is no different than most MMOs that have a level req on you buying abilities from trainers except that its measured in talent points instead of levels.
    Many people dislike the ideal of evolution because they realize that if it were working properly, they would likely be dead.

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    Sword of Telara Xanax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chronus View Post
    The way I understand the roots and branches system is that it works much like warcraft's talent tree system and core abilities system, except that when you level up you dont visit a trainer to get your core abilities. The core abilities are granted to you by just spending X number of points into that soul. Really this is no different than most MMOs that have a level req on you buying abilities from trainers except that its measured in talent points instead of levels.
    This is my understanding as well. I look forward to the way they are going to change it up a little. The talent tree presentation looked and again, to my understanding, appeared to be what was said above.

    As per the description for the Rogue class that kills in close quarters, you have a hard time stopping enemies who run away, so you'll want to add to the Ranger tree as well. (just an IE)

  14. #14
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    I like the way Rift is doing it. It forces you to sacrifices to get some abilities. It also forces people to take an ability they think sucks and use it thus coming up with new ideas on how to use it. I can't count how many times I have seem people say an ability sucks only to later have someone combined it with another skill and make it great.

    Case in point Bards in EQ1. Everyone said their Charm skill was to short to be useful and then someone learned charm kite mods. It quickly became one of the most powerful skills in the game.

  15. #15
    Prophet of Telara moirae's Avatar
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    How exactly do you find it linear? I don't. There are lots of options to choose which direction you can take.
    Last edited by moirae; 08-15-2010 at 08:04 AM.

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