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proposal: merge a few skills

Discussion in 'UHall' started by imperterritus, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. UO has LOTS of skills, several of which have become close to, if not outright, useless. Several of them could be merged. I ask the devs to consider merging the following skills:

    Cooking and Taste Id -- Except for being able to detect whether food is poisoned, the Taste Identification skill has no purpose any more. It used to be able to determine the level of poison in bottle or keg, but that is no longer necessary. Cooks should naturally be able to tell if something is wrong with food.

    Arms Lore and Item Identification -- Arms Lore was made a useful crafting skill a few years back, but Item Id had been useless for a very long time, until the Styggian Abyss expansion let it show what an item could be unraveled into. That's still not very useful, because we're either going to unravel something or we're not; the resultant components will be what they are. The classic purpose of Arms Lore is gone, and the resultant success message now if used directly on an item is:

    * "You study the item in an attempt to learn more about its craftsmanship and use."

    That's really a meaningless stub. Merge the two skills, and have the Arms Lore direct-use message adopt the Item Id message.

    Camping and Herding -- These skills are rare in the game, but are a natural fit for each other. Clicking your shepherd's crook would do the herding action, and clicking kindling would do the camping action.

    Forensics and Tracking -- These two underused skills would mutually benefit by becoming one skill. Who knows, the Detective could actually become a template people find useful.

    Detecting Hidden and Remove Trap -- One of the tightest useful templates is that of Treasure Hunter. It's so tight that mages were given Telekinesis, a low level spell, to pretty much replace the need for Remove Trap, even at GM level. Using the combined skill would remove the trap on first use (or provide message that the trap is still armed, absent, or indeterminate). Once trap was detected, a subsequent use of the skill would remove it.

    Not part of this proposal, but something I've always thought would be natural, is that use of Telekinesis to remove a trap from chest would result in one or more items being destroyed. The higher the level of magery, the fewer the items destroyed. At least one would always be destroyed, though. (At random, not necessarily something valuable. If reagents or jewels were destroyed, all reagents or jewels wold be gone.)

    Not merged, but allowed to work together -- Musicianship and Begging -- Using the Begging skill within 5 seconds after successfully playing an instrument would become an act of busking, not begging. There would be no karma loss, and the number of gold pieces earned would be double what a plain, successful, begging attempt would have returned (2 to 40 instead of 1 to 20). I was happy to see the Fire Horn added a fourth ability to bards. Adoption of this idea would add a fifth.

    - - - - - - - - - - -
    If a character had both of a merged pair, he would retain the higher of the two sets of skill points. The points from the lesser skill would become free to use as desired.
  2. Endrik

    Endrik Sage
    Stratics Veteran

    Feb 20, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Ummm... ya, I like it. Probably another post that will get a bunch of "/singed" responses and then be forgotten and never implimented.... But good ideas, well laid out and backed up with solid reasoning.

  3. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
    Stratics Veteran

    May 24, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Id go so far as to merge camping with tracking and forensics. Call it wilderness skills or something.
  4. Sturdy

    Sturdy Guest

    Excellent ideas! /signed
  5. Schuyler Bain

    Schuyler Bain Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran

    May 19, 2008
    Likes Received:
    /signed (had to do it)

    I think you have well thought out and to the point suggestions here. I am sure someone will find a fault or two, but I can't find any and would be inclined to use the merged skills if it were to happen.
  6. Jhym

    Jhym Guest

    Honestly? No.

    I don't think skills should ever be merged, but instead improved and modified to be useful.

    Taste id -- add more tasting functionality. Perhaps have it help out alchemy and cooking by improving the exceptional chances and increasing potion output (maybe GM marked potions give 20% more damage/healing, for instance.) Give a bonus to resisting poisons, perhaps 10 poison resist per 10 points over 50.

    Armslore/Itemid -- (btw:that's the stygian abyss expansion not the seige perilous) arms lore is used for increasing your DI and armor resists. I think that's a good use, though it could be improved to give you better control over where the resists go. Itemid -- it gives you npc gold value for an item, and the new unravelling info. It probably should be expanded to give you a better chance to imbue/unravel, perhaps +1% per 10 points. I think both skills should give you a % increase in how much npcs will pay for items you sell them.

    Camping -- it is actually useful to be able to log out anywhere with a bedroll, you know. However, I could see new additions to the skill to make it worth keeping: more resources from animals, perhaps a bump on lumberjacking (+10% for resources/special woods) Or even better, use camping to examine a tree to see what type of wood it will generate. Herding -- can be fun and useful if you want it to be, but I'd like GM herders to be able to herd pretty much anything in the game. Also, it would be great to be able to "create" a herd that links the creatures so they move as one when you herd the lead creature (it can be a pain to herd a dozen things.) It should give a bonus to animal resources and tracking.

    Forensics -- just needs to be expanded to give us more things to look into. For instance, find out who made an item; who placed a trap; how long an item has been sitting there, etc. Tracking -- I'd like it to be tougher, but give you more info at the top end making GM worth having. Perhaps allow you to pop up the tamer animal info on any creature at GM tracking.

    detect hidden/remove trap --- detect hidden is fine, though I would love to be able to unhide in the trammel ruleset. Remove trap -- truthfully I'd like the telekinesis spell to just not work at all on anything above a level 2 chest; my rogue sees those folks as pure amateurs. However, it is quite fun to do remove trap on chests and then run up and pick up things while mage boy is casting TK and wondering why nothing is happening.

    Combining skills to me is wrong -- you reduce the flexibility and the diversity of skillsets and don't really gain anything. But in any case, they generally don't change skills at the fundamental level because the code is too entrenched in the system. They'd rather add new skills or modify current ones to make them useful, rather than reduce them.
  7. sablestorm

    sablestorm Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran

    Aug 23, 2008
    Likes Received:
    So what happens to those of us who have sought to create GMs in every skill? I'd rather see skills get a boost in functionality. They did it with Spirit Speak which was once useless but now has become an important skill for several reasons. I've actually suggested improvements for the various useless skills, but no luck thus far. Maybe I'll try posting them in the ask a dev forum. :)
  8. DarkVoid

    DarkVoid Guest

    Actually, Arms Lore is more than that now. If you have GM Arms Lore crafted items get a percent bonus to damage increase and resists. I don't recall offhand what the bonus amounts to, but it makes crafting items with runic kits better off than without the added Arms Lore bonus. The information is on stratics somewhere, go look it up and learn more.

    As for the rest of your suggestions, I would vote no, because the Devs are finding ways to improve skills when they're not too busy fixing bugs. While I understand you may view some of these skills as useless, the people who have already taken the time to get them to GM probably don't share this view.
  9. Thanks for the feedback, folks. I'm still interested in other opinions.

    Jhymm wrote:
    Sablestorm wrote:
    I agree there are a lot of skills that could be improved. However, obvious single purpose templates shouldn't be so constricted as to force self nerfing. Take a faction or non-pvp thief, whose natural skills might include:

    * Theft, Snooping, Detect Hidden (DH), Remove Trap (RT), Lockpicking, Hiding, Stealth

    .. seven skills, and he still has no means of defense or healing. I don't see how any of those skills cold be enhanced to help what's missing. Combine DH and RT, and all of a sudden he gains some flexibility while still being a thorough thief.

    I know there are people who have spent countless hours building both DH and RT. If my proposal were adopted, they'd just have to live with having better characters overall. ;)

    DarkVoid wrote:
    Heh, I have GM craftsmen with GM Arms Lore. When I said, "Arms Lore was made a useful crafting skill a few years back", I knew exactly what benefits it offers in the making of weapons and armor. I did learn it at Stratics, but a long, long time ago. :)

    You and I will just have to agree to disagree. I feel there are too many skills, and you don't. That doesn't mean they should never add new skills. The three skills added with the Styggian Abyss expansion were great examples of extending what we have -- a second sort of ranged warrior, another type of magic user, and a really great extension to crafting.
  10. Assia Penryn

    Assia Penryn The Sleeping Dragon
    Stratics Veteran Alumni

    May 20, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I think the skills need to be improved rather than combined. I have GMs in most of those skills and I know others do as well. Templates aren't meant to be perfect. Sometimes to have the skills you need for a particular activity such as sigil stealing... you have to sacrifice skill in other aspects. Its balance, in my opinion.
  11. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Jul 15, 2005
    Likes Received:
    I like this proposal :lol:
  12. Corrected the brain short-circuited reference to Siege Perilous to become Styggian Abyss. I swear, sometimes I think my mind has a mind of its own...
  13. Landicine

    Landicine Seasoned Veteran
    Stratics Veteran

    May 23, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I think this proposal since it doesn't seem like anything is being done for these skills. Since people have complained about these skills since before AoS, Samurai Empires, Mondain's Legacy, Stygian Abyss...and whatever expansion adds new, actually useful skills.

    I have some remove trap, but when it seems to fail most of the time on even low level treasure chests (not town or dungeon chests), why should I risk death and use 100 skill points for something that I can do cheaply with telekinesis?
  14. altarego

    altarego Guest

    The problem with simply modifying/enhancing skills is that you'd have to make *enough* changes so that folks would put in at least a modicum skill apoints mount to make it worthy, say 40. Certainly at least that, considering JoaT.

    I'm not sure of some of those individual skills can be enhanced with enough unique abilities characteristics without completely making a nightmare of game balance.

    By merging skills, you add *existing* functionality to *existing* skills. That may tip the scales in favor of one skill or another. However, I think balancing the game after that would be a much easier process. Plus, players wouldn't about having to worry about necessarily losing points in any one skill, so we don't have to worry about people whining for an increase in the skill cap.

    For one, I almost completely agree with the OP.
  15. Fink

    Fink Guest

    I concur.

    I can't see the point to merging skills. It doesn't save space, streamline code, or reduce lag.. why go to all that trouble? Either improve the skills (even as far as an inticement/discord) or leave them be until they can do them justice. Messing with them in a half-hearted fashion is only going to annoy the people who use these skills who are already marginalised.