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5 Years Later... Still No Year 2?


The13thRonin
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Zoe's notes give out +2 SS to a skill of choice along with +2 study level, so you can have her teach you Research as well. She completely replaces the Venalicium, if you get her early enough, although working around the fact that she doesn't teach two skill steps separately will take some planning if you don't want to waste any step.

And that's a problem with her ability - study levels can be maxed, and +2 SS to one skill is rarely useful (only on skills like Concentration IIRC) once you have 6 in all stats.

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True, but time saved is time saved. And I don't intend to use her ability past the point where I've maxed out my study levels. +2 SS is indeed often wasteful, and by itself pretty useless, but I find opportunities to use it anyway. I'm not sure if it'll still be the case if I manage to mod the game as I intend to, though. On one side it'll mean significantly lower attributes overall, on the other side I won't be doing things like rushing Temperance and Playfulness early to get emotions from them.

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And that's a problem with her ability - study levels can be maxed, and +2 SS to one skill is rarely useful (only on skills like Concentration IIRC) once you have 6 in all stats.

 

True enough, but for me that's well past mid-terms, when I can afford to buff up skills like danger sense that never drop to 1 ss. Since I usually get Zoe in week 2 she is generally responsible for almost all my study levels. In the early game her skills are also very useful on adventures, plus, she's kinda cute and I like her.

 

At the end game frankly there is no student who helps much, once you get all abilities to 6 and have cleanse and remake you should be able to get the adventure ability points rolling in, so I would always see clique as an early-mid game buffer, with the late game clique being collecting interesting friends rather than collecting skill buffs.

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This. I hit up Community Service to unlock Teaching Barnyard Animals then blow some of my stress buffer on unlocking the Library of Longshades and skip the Venalicium entirely.A study rank and 1 skill step isn't terribly competitive with my other options, particularly since newer adventures routinely hand out 3 steps or more per action taken. Adventures have seen considerable power creep compared to the original friendship quests.

I mean obviously if you spread out study levels over a long period of time Zoe is better. It takes 10 * 6 = 60 actions to max study skills. So Zoe technically saves you 30 actions but it takes 30 weeks or 7.5 months if you do it that way. Its not really feasible as far as midterms go.

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True enough, but for me that's well past mid-terms, when I can afford to buff up skills like danger sense that never drop to 1 ss. Since I usually get Zoe in week 2 she is generally responsible for almost all my study levels. In the early game her skills are also very useful on adventures, plus, she's kinda cute and I like her.

 

At the end game frankly there is no student who helps much, once you get all abilities to 6 and have cleanse and remake you should be able to get the adventure ability points rolling in, so I would always see clique as an early-mid game buffer, with the late game clique being collecting interesting friends rather than collecting skill buffs.

Wait, do skill step boosts not roll over? Are you saying getting +2 SS on a 1 step raise skill doesn't raise it 2 points? That's something they better fix because its ridiculously dumb.

 

Although now I kinda want to get Zoe because of Danger Sense. You want to raise it early for the attribute bonus but it is a pain.

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You can get 12 uses of Zoe if you befriend her ASAP, which will get you Study Level 4 across the board, which is enough to get by midterms. Not comfortably, especially if you care about achieving academic dominance, but it's a way to get by. The real loss is, of course, the study Mastery bonuses. Especially the PA (if you don't have +attribute classes). Rest assured, +30 PA over a six month period is not an insignificant amount of money. Of course my planned Hedi character is a Black Sheep, so no PA for her at all, and I've yammered on enough about modding plans. So yeah.

 

And yes, if you get +2 skill steps to a skill that needs only 1 skill step to get to the next skill level, you effectively waste a skill step. It's why the Mantle of Stars is the death of everyone with OCD, and why visiting Chauranglaith Path: Cave is supremely overkill. And useless. And no, it's not something that can be fixed, because engine shenanigans. I...actually don't know if Y2 still has it, come to think of it. I don't remember.

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Wait, do skill step boosts not roll over? Are you saying getting +2 SS on a 1 step raise skill doesn't raise it 2 points? That's something they better fix because its ridiculously dumb.

 

Although now I kinda want to get Zoe because of Danger Sense. You want to raise it early for the attribute bonus but it is a pain.

It was always that way and also intended to work like this that the extra just help to get this single level increase. That's why I personal don't like the Mantle of Stars Library and made some changes to it in my mini mods. But there places that give multiple skill level increases (i.e. high level favor rewards).
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Oh and just to add, if you have a skill at 1/2 skill steps for a skill level increase and get an attribute increase that reduces that down to 1/1 skill step needed, the skill level won't go up right then. The game only checks whether you have enough when you gain a skill step (or skill level, I suppose), so you need to increase that count to 2/1 skill steps to get +1 skill level, effectively "wasting" that skill step (at least by the looks of it).

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It was always that way and also intended to work like this that the extra just help to get this single level increase. That's why I personal don't like the Mantle of Stars Library and made some changes to it in my mini mods. But there places that give multiple skill level increases (i.e. high level favor rewards).

 

Oh and just to add, if you have a skill at 1/2 skill steps for a skill level increase and get an attribute increase that reduces that down to 1/1 skill step needed, the skill level won't go up right then. The game only checks whether you have enough when you gain a skill step (or skill level, I suppose), so you need to increase that count to 2/1 skill steps to get +1 skill level, effectively "wasting" that skill step (at least by the looks of it).

 

That is a terrible system. Its a massive newbie trap for one. Both the idea that you should raise a skill that needs more than one step and the completely un-intuitive result that getting +2SS doesn't roll over.

 

Also it makes no sense as an engine limitation.

 

It also makes Zoe Mellis wildly more situational. On the upside Venalicium is not as garbage as previously. I'd be motivated to get Zoe now in order to level danger sense slowly while also using Venalicium so I could max out my study levels earlier for max midterms.

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Who designed this engine? You'd almost have to intentionally design stuff that way...

 

In any case I have just been having fun experimenting in Astrology. Holy crap. Does anyone know what determines when you lose a constellation? With some minimal save scumming it seems like I can boost some attributes 3 or 4 points and most of them at least 1 or 2. Astrology seems wildly overpowered. Perhaps 10+ attribute points are possible to gain with the right combination and you also gain random other benefits as well. Also it should only take 3 or 4 actions to get the optimal bonuses which is like 2-4 attribute points per action.

 

I assume that because this is so broken that these bonuses are temporary short term stuff? Some of the non-attribute bonuses are super powerful, too. Removing chance of being discovered in illicit actions, extra rolls on stats with the better remaining, various moods and skill boosts, the gaining of at 1 one rare and one uncommon random pheme. Some other crap I didn't bother to keep track of in the whirlwind of bonuses.

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It's a custom designed engine by the Team itself, IIRC. As for why quirks like those exist I have no idea. I never even got to the point of actually studying code way back when.

 

Astrology is an odd duck, I've honestly never played with it myself that much. But yes, the vast majority of it's bonuses are temporary (at least all the really good ones are), and there's also no way to influence which constellations are in effect in any given game - it's decided effectively before Juvenalia, and until Y2 and beyond the only way you can check which constellations are active is trial and error. Try starting a new game and seeing what you get that time, you might get something entirely different (and potentially less than wonderful).

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Well aside from the chained queen I mostly got amazing stuff. And if you are a prankster and shady type the chained queen is amazing with her anti detection bonus.

 

Are you sure its custom designed by the team itself? Cause I can assure you its trivially simple to change stuff like skill steps if you have the source code.

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I suppose I can't confirm that it was designed by the Team specifically, but all things considered, I assume so. Likewise how I assume that the skill step thing is an engine limitation of some sort. I've seen weirder.

Well if you have source access its literally like 2 lines of code in a well designed codebase.

 

Presumably they have:

 

raiseLevel(Character *character, int skillStepInc, id skill) {

if (character->getSkill(id)->getSkillStep() + skillStepInc > character->getSkillI(id)->getSkillStepLimit) {

character->getSkill(id)->incSkill();

}

}

 

incSkill() {

setSkillStep(0);

skillLevel + 1;

}

 

and the change would be:

 

incSkill(int skillStepInc) {

while(skillStepInc) {

++skillStep;

if (skillStep == limit) {

++skillLevel;

skillStep = 0;

}

--skillStepInc;

}

}

 

I mean that's pseudo C++, not sure what language they used, but its pretty language agnostic as far as the data goes. Mostly just incrementing integers.

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To think that one day I was set to study programming in C++. Now my eyes just glaze over as my brain goes "nope". Regardless, I don't know if it's an engine limitation or intentional design...for some reason. You'll have to ask the Legate for confirmation in both cases. And please do, because if it's not an engine limitation I'd like to know why it's designed that way. Though I'll admit I can guess...

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Well if I get the right combo I can get a buff of 7 points total across 4 of my attributes with the current combination of constellations. I am now going to stop using astrology and wait to see if stuff times out on its own. Having a super high astrology skill level seems to have little effect on whether I get negative or positive consequences, though.

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Yeah, Astrology doesn't work mechanically as it should fluff-wise, at least in Y1. What happens mechanically is that you roll Luck/Astrology, and you get effects based off of whatever thresholds you've managed to pass of whatever constellations are active. All of which is completely pre-determined, the only thing that isn't is which constellations are active in any given game at any given time (although that, too, follows a system, just one that isn't known). The game also has no regard for whether those effects are positive or negative, you just get everything so long as you have a high enough roll.

 

It's not how it's supposed to work, fluff wise, and it'll work differently in Y2.

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But checking for negativity is so easy...

 

Anyways, Astrology seems to be worthless in any case. Although you can score some wicked buffs it seems to wear off a couple days after you use it. Having +1 - +4 in an attribute for a couple days is mostly pointless compared to scoring permanent buffs which any smart player should focus on. The only thing Astrology does that I am curious about is skill changes and phemes. It says it increases or decreases steps in random skills a lot. Presumably the game can't track that so in fact those changes are permanent. I would also assume the knowledge you gain of Phemes is permanent. You can get quite a few decent ones from the various constellations.

 

Personally I feel like Astrology bonuses should be permanent unless you use the action again to change them. Otherwise its basically like casting a random spell where most of the results aren't very useful, excepting phemes of course.

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It also makes Zoe Mellis wildly more situational. On the upside Venalicium is not as garbage as previously. I'd be motivated to get Zoe now in order to level danger sense slowly while also using Venalicium so I could max out my study levels earlier for max midterms.

I wouldn't say wildly, since even if you're wasting a skill step she's still a reasonably efficient use of your time if you consider study levels a necessary evil. Also, there's some crazy good gear and buffs in Academagia and midterms only affect 20% of your final grades, typically less. Crushing your classmates underfoot en route to top honors is thus pretty easy even if your raw study levels come midterms are pretty low in some classes. For example, my last character had Astrology, Music and Negation as three of his classes. The first two are very easy to buff so it practically takes effort to do so poorly that you'll end up in detention while Negation has a final exam weight of 99%. That gave me plenty of wiggle room to study other classes first and still leave midterms with tidy scores and a clean shot at top honors for the year.

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