More realistic proficiency model

So currently the game counts how many times you’ve used your weapon for stats and memorial UI, as showed on the picture below.

So why not used this to create more realistic proficiency system?

Currently you click and you have flat proficiency that gives you some aim modifier and perks with damage as well.

I propose that we used this memorial counter as a base of our new proficiency system. So bonus to aim would actually go up if a soldier would use their weapon more. And be more linear rather than static currently. Now you just click it and you have it for the rest of the game.

Maybe do class flat proficiency that would be lower than now and then the more you use given equipment the more proficiency bonuses you get.

It would need to be properly balanced to not make game more difficult at the beginning.

Maybe make classes activating those proficiency bonuses being accrued. Plus some bonuses.

Some additonal thoughts:

  • more intuitive and more flexible. Opens up new ways of moving forward than just giving you perks to click-on.
  • it would give additional incentives to use different weapons in combat, not just to kill, but to train
  • it’s more realistic and fits the free aim idea
  • gives more flexibilty in building soldier progression. A players alone decide if they have more pistol bonuses, better granedas, more improved grenade launchers - or even specific type weapons / items, because what they’re doing on battlefield is influencing it. So more various types of soldiers would be created and each of them could be more unique instead of some pre-defined bonuses only
  • allows in-battle action infuencing soldiers directly (e.g. - hit a head with sniper rifle 3x in a row without miss at minimum 30 tile range → +1 proficiency, kill 3 enemies in one turn with grenades → + 1 some grenades modifier) so not only how many times, but also would be possible to make some weird requirements for people to trying achieve on battlefield which would add something new and challanging player can do (but not by upping numbers of enemies) -sort of in-battle achievements

What are your thoughts? It could be even done with skills. The game counts how many times you used them anyway. So why not make use of it?

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Have a good day y’all.

Shooting a wall? Weapons do damage walls.

Artificially lengthening missions, shooting the armored/shield-users with low/0-dmg weapons to grind proficiency?

I don’t think what the game needs is even longer missions… more tactical, sure, but tying proficiency to usage just begs for grinding it.

Maybe do that in a way that if you shoot a wall you get shooting wall proficiency :slight_smile: that would be hilarious achievement.

It’s funny when I pointed out that people are teleporting to skim the economy I was told, nobody is doing that, it’s too tedious. And now when I’m proposing sth the argument is: “we can’t do that because people will shoot the wall endlessly”.

But good point. Thanks for pointing it out.

Do you think it’s possible to do in a way that would minimize the shooting wall problem and not incentivize longer missions?

There were discussions about this a few years ago (not sure anymore if on this or the old forums), I would say perks and class as “efficiency for weapons” is the design PP chose instead for similar reasons.

(I still hate all the “+x damage” proficiency, less time/more accurate usage is something I would love on more perks, but those are either too strong or not noticeable changes.)

When a game is not “hard enough” (so more than one solution is possible), there are multiple “optimal” ways to clear it, some prioritizing ingame resources/score/etc., others “Real Life” (amount of time/clicks/annoying stuff), which in itself is not bad, just makes balancing somewhat harder, 'cos the mechanic on a spreadsheet might be fine, but a clunky UI or too long “real time” spent on it means it’ll not get used that way.

When you make your characters stronger by spending time with them, it’s kind of easy to make it feel either “too grindy” or “pointless” (you don’t have meaningful choices from the mechanic, it just happens), for which PP chose the mission (and dmg/usage, to some extent) based progression giving rewards in chunks (you have to spend the points on perks/stats). Which imo can be okay as abstraction for getting more familiar with “your tools”, just the perks don’t feel like that for most, as they are “magical spells”.
(On the other hand, snipers shooting for less AP is just that, shooter getting comfortable with the weapon and combat situations enough to shoot faster with some concentration {willpower}, but makes balancing harder with only 4 AP {for weapon-usage, anyway}.)

So I would rather reduce the number of “magical abilities” and make them feel more like “getting proficient” (with combat and/or weapons), but at this point that’s more of an overhaul mod (if not another game) than something PP design is going for. (I personally loved the “equipment gives abilities, class gives training for equipments” idea around Fig-campaign-times, too bad it was changed later.)

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So they rejected it because it would be grindy and pointless? I get the idea when you do that in a way where you shoot once and get 1 point or sth. Because it leads to the shooting wall problem.

But it doesn’t have to be that complex. Like if a player made specific action on the battlefield it could be just some percentage chance to give this to a character no matter how many actions were made. This is not some super grindy system, isn’t? I can’t imagine anyone doing wall shooting when done like this. Because A - it wouldn’t be guaranteed B - it would be so incremental that it wouldn’t be worth the time. C - you would be in the same position shooting actual enemy instead of walls. D - you would need to consider cost of ammo and items as well. E - when shooting walls you would need to not get wrecked by some siren reinforcment.

Like now you get the skills / perks that give you 20% by one clicking it. It’s so huge, that you rush this as fast as possible. You wouldn’t rush 0,25%. People are making this grindy moves because it’s so worth it. You wouldn’t risk your soldier or waste ammo for practically nothing.

Like current ammo system. If you have ammo people actually preserve it. If you have XCOM unlimited ammo people don’t care. Incentives matter. They make people do moves in the game.

And this is not to say that it would be better. Because I’m only throwing offhand ideas. But rejecting them without thinking how we can make them work, means we’re not going forward.

And introducing at least some elements of this “growing-by-doing” system could be a good thing and improve areas where game is lacking.

If you limiting yourself to this perk/skill one click system you still have problems. They’re not shooting wall problems only clicking perks problems. Like characters are blobs that are the same and not unique. Like creating system that is very hard too balance because it’s static. No matter what you do you end up with the same bonuses and the same optimal builds to do sth every time.

A realistic system would be to send soldier to a bootcamp for the duration of the campaign, to teach him how to use weapons. Or at least the aim should get worse if soldier miss - doing things wrong, afterall, won’t necessary lead to better outcomes.

I am not a fan of “get better as you use skills” systems. I haven’t seen them work well. The issue is that it encourages unenjoyable gameplay styles. Think of Elder Scrolls games and how you hop all the time to max out athletics skills. Or in games with slower progression, it discourages using more weapons, as being mediocare in many is worse, then being very accurate with one.

Personally, I don’t quite get proficiency in Phoenix Point - perhaps more experience players understand the reason for it existrance. I don’t mind it being there, but I also don’t see what benefit it brings - with dualclassing and occasional additional perks it feels to be there to satisfy some need for class identity.

I understand this, that’s why I’ve never argued to introduce full such system, only some elements from it.

Valid concern. You could do that by gettting flat proficiency from weapon skills / class and additional profficiency from actions but not every action. Just, if something is done you have a chance to get it no matter how many times you do that in a mission. (e.g - You would not jump with heavy every turn to get more jumping tiles ability.) Only once would do and at end mission screen you would get what weapon item profficiency your soldiers get, but it would be a chance, not guaranteed. Do some 25% ,33% or 50% roll , depending on difficulty level.

It this way you could actually build heavy that specialized in different items than only are in your current perk / skills build. Not making strict classes that are mostly one-way trick. Give more customization to player.

And progression wouldn’t be linear, which would introduce more variaty / replayability in the game. The same with building your soldiers. Now you just need x ammout of mission to click sth. The only thing that’s different is those 3 additional perks.

And the problem with rookies in the late game you could actually resolve by generating these unique soldiers for recruitment. So one heavy could jump 10 tiles other 25 depending how their are versed in jumping suit. Maybe if they fly farther they crash or sth, that’s why they can’t do it as far as the other heavy.

Another argument agaist: “You could not change and use different weapons items etc.” It exists already you can’t use with sniper heavy weapons. You need X ammount of missions to do that with proficiency. And missions should be doable even without proficiency only harder. But not impossible to do.

Is it ideal? No, But if we are making RPG then let’s make better RPG. I would love more strategy. But we can improve what we have if we can’t have more strategy.

Can’t know what was the reason Snapshot dev designed the systems as they did, it was always just fans discussing what they think about different approaches, with hopes that Snapshot will notice and consider the ideas.

Which comes back to the “no real choice from the mechanic”, you use the stuff, you get something from it, you didn’t use the tool to get better at it, you used it for the tool’s effect, and you will discard the tool the minute you need something else. (And you still have to balance the progression to not make rookies unusable while max-levels gods, making the change too small to care about usually {or too overpowered, when that’s wanted from max-levels, and we’re back to grinding}).

The thing is, while it can work, it needs a game supporting that idea, with most other mechanic being designed with that in mind, and a full redesign of PP is not realistic at this point for me.

You can make soldiers unique with “perks”, if the perks are unique enough, and are not straight buffs but choices (or forced upon the player, see Darkest Dungeon with its positive/negative “random perks”).

Right now, perks are not really interesting, the only choice you make is “what to level first” (unless playing on highest difficulty or so), and rarely “what to take and what to discard”. Soldiers are similar blobs 'cos the overpowered combinations means you don’t actually have to build them to their quirky strength but just use the same regardless, it works and is strong enough.

But that doesn’t have to be the case with perks, that’s just how PP is (atm). You can have dynamic perks (remember the “your soldier might get infected and you have to cure them” idea from Snapshot?), you can have interesting choices, it just didn’t happen in PP.

I see it as a relic of PP’s past, when equipment was more important than soldiers (and their abilities), when classes “only” (more or less) gave proficiency for weapons instead of magic.

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Yeah it would need whole overhaul if you’d want to go full on this.
But do we? If we want some bonuses to alredy existing mechanics, even based on in-battle actions, we can do that without any massive coding really.

How hard is to get +1 proficiency if you hit 3-4 times the head in a row without a miss at 30 tiles range. Sort of in-battle achievements. Yeah this stuff needs some new variables probably but it’s not as hard as making behemmots. This is 1 day job. More time takes to put it down and rethink.

1 day job of how many people? Needs designers (to balance it), graphic designers (to make it visual for the player), coders to actually implement it, QA to not have the usual bugs, go back a few steps 'cos it did have bugs…

And I disagree with the basic idea that proficiency through in-battle achievements would make the game more interesting or tactical or even strategical, first economy and diplomacy should be tackled, combat needs more balance than redesign (and recent redesign is even questionable with stationary enemies during free-aim making auto-aim less of a choice).

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I agree mostly but some ideas are more easy to implement than others. And changes can be gradual. Core issue is what final product do you want.

This is easier to balance than you might think.

Proficiency XP can be based on final damage Vs live target.

So hitting armour would be less XP due to damage reduction

Should enemy armor influece xp received by soldier? “I’m learning less, because enemy had that good armor, sir!”

That would lead to usage of sniper rifles, heavy cannons and melee weapons, as they mainly omit enemy armor. :slight_smile:

Which means useful, needed soldiers who don’t do “final damage vs live target” will not level up (unless specifically grinding for that).

Armor-shredder specialist? Nah, they don’t need xp.
Decoy-scouting support unit? Nah, they don’t need xp.

We only need finishers, who kill the prepared target, that’s where the xp should go to.

The whole premise of idea was making profieciencies more dependent on actions not only skill clicks. Whatever route you take to achieve it, is really secondary. Although not unimportant.

Goal of this is to introduce some variaty. If you construct a model where everything is always the same, you get static model. Static systems are good for some software equipement for day-to-day items to service. But not good for making simulations and creating interesting environments like deep and long games.

Of course you need a balance between complete randomness and player actions. Otherwise you get in to whole other kind of trouble.

And the game currently imo has too many static elements across the board. This can be easily addressed within already existing in-game mechanics and graphics. I’m throwing ideas all over the place to show how you could achieve that. You can’t do long campaign with so many static elements. It will worsen the expierience. Either keep long campaign and reshuffle everything to introduce more variaty or campaign needs to be much more condensed. Yes you find people who like current project. But if we’re talking about making “the best” possible out of this and attracting as many players as possible, then it’s good to address those issues in one form or another. This game has so much potential. Looking at steam chart, it’s not achieved right now. And it’s possible it never will be, if some actions won’t be taken.

And yes it will need some code working. But that’s how our business work. You code stuff if you want to make it better. It just doesn’t magically fall from the skies. If someone made a mistake and coded sth at the beginning in a way that made it rigid to change and game suffers then you need to own up to those mistakes. Otherwise you’re not correcting mistakes and repeating them over and over in next projects also.

How do support units like priest and tech fit in?

You mean profficiency? Like this is not supper thought-out stuff. Only the idea or direction. If it’s good then it can be analized and bulletproofed to find implemantation.
Both technician and priest have profficiencies already so…
And abilities could have multiple levels…

Like you use your weapon more, you gain some level of familiarity. How it feels, how it shoots. This is realistic. Fits free aim model really well. Free aim is one of main distinctions from XCOM. And the idea that you have more realistic weapon balistic shooting model. So why not go full on this.

In XCOM you get aim from SPs, weapons and items. In Phoenix Pont you get from clicking the class button and clicking some additional perks This is again too static. So instead of making aim like XCOM introduce realistic proficiency model where you gain aim the more you use sth. And leave some flat level for class clicks. In that way you will get more weapon flexibilites.

This model fits very well PP weapon design. You have no superior weapons in PP unlike XCOM. Aim is also weapon based in PP instead of character based Xcom model. So realistic model again fits very well in PP. Make profficiencies for models as well as types. It would blend really well and could open up some unique plays.