Stats, skills and perks system

  • Last Post 02 November 2017
kompan posted this 19 September 2017

Level ups, skills, perks and soldier stats' progression (the discussion has started in "world scaling" thread)


In my opinion, one of the most fun elements of any game is progressing to gain new cool skills and use them. It represents change, improvement, adaptability and a mean to beat increased difficulty the game throws at us. Of course different games handle this in a different way:

Xenonauts (in the spirit of the original X-COM, I believe) improves soldiers' stats a little, so as they gain experience they become stronger and faster. All soldiers can use the same weapons and equipment but they can become overloaded with heavy stuff - which limits mobility. 

Modern XCOM converts soldier XP gained from missions into promotions (level up) and then you can choose skills specific for each rank and class. You can use learned abilities but some skills and weapons are exclusive to selected class and cannot be used by another soldiers. Stats like will and aim are also improved a bit.

XCOM2 as far as I know, introduces training and re-training soldiers to learn new skills or redistribute them again in selected skill tree. In addition there are some hidden perks that may be discovered for given soldier.

Role-playing usually involves completing quests and killing monsters to gain XP, then the character levels up and may distribute some amount of points to improve stats like strength, agility or constitution. Some of the weapons and equipment can be used only with high enough skill - bows with dexterity, greatswords with strength - or character class (thief's dagger and mage's staff). Sometimes you can dual-class or redistribute stat points again for a different build.

But we all already know that

So what's the expected skill system in Phoenix Point? We already know there will be class system, but what about the special abilities?

I think that modern XCOM's system is simple and easy to understand but quite unrealistic. For example, we have soldier that takes part in missions but he (or she) can learn how to carry two grenades instead of one only after being promoted to corporal. And learn how to move and then shoot only as a seargant. Sounds a bit silly

What I would like to see in PP is a more RPG-approach: 

Every soldier has some random starting stats - constitution/strength, initiative/aim, dexterity/mobility, morale/will etc. Gaining XP on missions (or in-base duties) would allow them to level up - not neccessary in the "soldier promotion/rank up" meaning, but as a stat increasing event. 

On level up you can distribute some points to improve soldier stats according to your planned build: make him (her) slow but tanky, squishy but fast, or just put all in the aim.

Then you can train your soldier at the base to learn every desired skill - but he (she) needs to have some required basic stats. Because you can't make a stealthy scout from a low dexterity rookie, or have an expert sniper without high enough aim, or train an assault that is weak and can't carry a heavy machine gun!

So in general, you could build your characters with any selected skill in the tree without class limit, only with the condition of stats at given value - that can be improved over time. You can focus on improving your soldier stats in a specific way that allows you to learn desired skills in the future. Hopefully without the need of "first you need to learn two crappy perks in order to unlock one good perk".

Looks more realistic to me and doesn't restrict soldier evolution to one skill tree (kind of XCOM's Not Created Equally and Training Roulette options combined). Some additional random hidden abilities would be welcome too.

What are your thougths on the subject?

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Comes Moesia posted this 21 September 2017

So, fast heavies and tanky snipers with bazookas are unrestricted? Not my cup of tea. Restriction should be minimal, and stat system is good thing, but free for all will be immersion and balance breaking, such as aforementioned rocket launcher sniping, run & gun snipers could be done with absolute perk freedom. I already put forward my idea to make some equipment class restricted and some perks equipment restricted, so with some sacrifice to freedom, you don't break the game. Kinda like Grenade Launcher in Xcom 2. Anyone can use grenades, but only grenadier can use them to full efficiency, by sending them furtherer and have larger blast radius thanks to mid-air detonation (at least I hope thats why). If you want full freedom, than be done with perks and throw them out, so you at least keep unbroken game. The reason Not Created Equally and Training Roulette are not always on is because they break game in every way possible, like Bullet Swarm/Double Tap combo for easiness, or ultra useless perks like pistol ones on assault and grenades on sniper. And it still had classes to stop total chaos.

kompan posted this 21 September 2017

Fast heavies and bazooka snipers would be extreme examples, only if you could pump up your mobility, condition and aim high enough at the same time for one character

But yes, I'm aware that there will be an issue of game balancing anyway and with open skill tree you may end up with some overpowered or useless combinations - the grenades on sniper is a good example.

However Phoenix Point is going to have enemies that will react to your tactic, equipment and skills with different mutations, improved units and new weapons or abilities. Therefore I'm suggesting that more freedom on the player side would be good for allowing different builds and to compensate the alien adaptation system.

You're probably right that absolute freedom in picking skills may be too chaotic and some class restrictions should apply. I'm just not very fond of the oversimplified way of picking only skill A or skill B on level up for every soldier of the same class, I think there should be more variety to it.

Comes Moesia posted this 21 September 2017

Then we agree. Bazooka sniper refers to squardsight skill from Xcom, although you could not do it in Xcom, thankfully. I am for freedom on some perks, like fast reload or more mobility, but long-range sniping is for snipers, and suppression fire is for heavies, etc. Extreme examples aren't that unthinkable as I just come up with that on run, but people would create worse abominations.

Spolokh posted this 02 November 2017

On my side I will say that following LW mode of XCOM2 made a game less boring:

- Created not equal - mode that randomized starter soldier skil

- Forgot the name - that made level skill progress more random


Soldiers should be different even they are of same class