Post-Build Triage, Bug Fixes, Skill/Trait Review
Yesterday's new test build seems to be fairly stable, if forums are any indication. Few bugs have surfaced. As long as that remains the case, we should have a new default build soon!
Taking advantage of this relative quiet, I decided to do another triage of remaining issues. Looking through my old top-100 list, I was able to close about 30 of them as "fixed," "cannot repro after 5 months," or "won't fix." There are still almost 70 remaining, but a lot of the more major ones were solved, which is good.
While going through that list, I also managed to fix a few more bugs. They were mostly easy fixes, so I figured I'd nab them while I was looking into it.
One of these was to make the melonhead reinforcement move have a cooldown. Many players have expressed some frustration (and breaking of immersion) when melonheads just materialize out of thin air endlessly. This new cooldown means they cannot use it turn-after-turn. And what's more, newly-spawned melonheads also have the cooldown, so we shouldn't see as much cascading in the future.
I also fixed a bug which caused strapped compound bows to un-craft into small parts and string, instead of a bow and medium string. There was a typo here and there, and a weight mistake on the copper beads item. I also fixed a dead-end in the DMC interrogation sequence, for some characters. And I fixed an issue that allowed running on the map when using carts.
Finally, I started doing a review of the skill and trait system, to see if I could further balance it. I've long talked about changing their relative values once the game's content was stable, and now's a good time to look into that. Not all skills are equal, so I'm considering making some larger or smaller accordingly. And since some traits are better or worse, they will accommodate corresponding amounts of skills.
So far, this list shows the relative values I had in mind for each skill:
- 6 = Strong
- 4 = Melee
- 4 = Medical
- 4 = Tough
- 4 = Trapping
- 3 = Tracking
- 3 = Athletic
- 3 = Hiding
- 3 = Mechanic
- 3 = Botany
- 2 = Hacking
- 2 = Metabolism
- 2 = Eagle Eye
- 2 = Lockpicking
- 2 = Ranged
- 1 = Electrician
These numbers are based on how many uses each skill has, including scavenging, encounters, combat, active abilities, passive bonuses, and crafting. There are also some fudge factors in there for things which can be obtained via items/implants.
Similarly, I did a list of traits that looks like this:
- 5 = Feeble
- 5 = Metabolism
- 5 = Fragile
- 4 = Enervated
- 1 = Insomniac
- 1 = Myopia
Again, these are relative scores based on number of penalties, plus fudge factors if items/implants can counter them, or if the drawback is partially beneficial (e.g. insomnia).
One thing I could do is to make each skill use as many spaces as the score above, and make each trait have a space equal to its score. That was the original intent, after all. And most of these traits would "buy" a reasonable number of skills.
One major issue with the above is "Strong," which has no corresponding trait that could fit it. However, the above scores don't include the "Basic Human" freebies. What would those freebies offer as space? And how could that help a player "buy" the "Strong" skill?
One such approach would be to make several different "Basic Human" traits, each with a different size:
- 6 = Basic Human
- 4 = Basic Human
- 3 = Basic Human
- 2 = Basic Human
This way, players have enough room to take any skill at first, but remaining space dwindles fast if major skills are taken.
So far, I think this idea might work, and these numbers seem like a good place to start. What do you think?