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Zwackus

Locations make Dialectic EASY!

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It seems as if the passive abilities of several locations along the C. Trail make it incredibly, incredibly easy to get very VERY high levels of Dialectic with little effort. The Lone Pine is particularly bad in this regard - I can set every study or train action to take place there, and watch my Dialectic ability soar!

 

I kind of thing that passive skill-expansion abilities might need to be dealt with in some way in a future patch, because they really are a fast way of building rather improbable skill levels in fairly difficult-seeming topics with no effort or risk. This is especially the case with the C. Path locations, as there isn't even a risk of detection there! However, the Puzzle Block and its boost to puzzles, and the Ballos News Stand are also suspect in this regard. Maybe reduce it to a 50% chance of skill gain, with multiple points awarded for exceptionally lucky rolls? This would give a bonus to those who chose Lucky . . .

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Hey now, you want to make it even harder? ;)

 

I don't know that I can agree with that!

 

You know there aren't even any beginning ways to have any dialectic skills unless you choose it for one of your classes. Getting that key 'question surroundings' skill isn't a piece of cake!

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You know there aren't even any beginning ways to have any dialectic skills unless you choose it for one of your classes. Getting that key 'question surroundings' skill isn't a piece of cake!

 

Yeah, I suppose I took an odd class routine with my characters - with the thought that I'd build a solid foundation for future study, I chose Grammar, Rhetoric, and Dialectic! I like that Dialectic comes with all of these kick-*** locations, but they seem a little too good.

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Yeah, I suppose I took an odd class routine with my characters - with the thought that I'd build a solid foundation for future study, I chose Grammar, Rhetoric, and Dialectic! I like that Dialectic comes with all of these kick-*** locations, but they seem a little too good.

 

Honestly, while sleuthing is a good skill, I only chose dialectic for 'question surroundings' to open up other skills, and because there's absolutely no other way to get it, unless you get a random chance through joy de vivre, or explore sufficiently I suppose. And a lot of exploration doesn't work out even with a 10 in it.

 

Otherwise I'd choose 'enchant' for a course since I like my characters to focus on magic skills as their main courses -- opposite method than yours! ;) Someday I'll do the opposite for variety.

 

Maximizing teacher relationships, choosing multiple skill raising courses, by the end of year one.. you can still only maximize a couple areas, and that's ignoring doing a lot of other stuff, and playing hard for it.

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I'm not so sure that places like The Lone Pine are atypical of our game at all or even slightly unbalanced or out of place.

 

I'm going to draw out a hypothetical example to show why this maybe isn't a 'problem' at all.

 

The home page says there are 100s of skills. I haven't actually tried to find every skill yet or even count every skill I've found with every character I've played, but I believe across all the characters I have played that I've run into about 160 subskills One of my characters has 141 subskills, across 49 main skills and with very few of the non-class skills expanded past 1 or 2 subskills (and we know each has at least 3), so I'll guess that there are about 240 subskills. I'm probably wrong and on the low side, I think, but for this, I'm going to say I guessed to many.

 

Lets say there's only 200 sub skills. 200x 10 levels each is 2000 individual subskill levels to work through for 'mastery of all skills' (Some subskills go to 11. I've had a skill at 12. Lets say they all stop at 10 though). Lets say a player found a location with 0 discovery risk which guaranteed raising 2 subskill step levels a visit, and had an action to raise 2 additional subskills a step each use as well, so for each action a player made, that player could count on gaining 4 subskills. The game doesn't appear to work like this, but lets say it did. Lets also say that this skill never failed to give the levels (I've failed at skills sometimes). Lets also say that each of these four subskills gained will be for a unique, not already learned level, and that this skill can 'open up' every new, undiscovered skill as well - even the unknown number of forbidden/rare/very secret ones. So a character could use only this skill in this location and 'master everything', if only they did it often enough.

 

 

2000 subskills / 4 subskill levels an action is 500 actions to master it all. Err, that is, if everything takes 1 step to gain 1 level. That's actually not the case, even with a 5 intelligence certain of the higher intelligence based skill levels need more than one step, and it's a rare player character indeed who has a five or higher in every one of their stats, but lets say that this character does, and that it actually does need just one step to gain a level in every skill.

 

Given this, all we need is a chance to use 500 actions. So lets take a look at the school calendar. If you count up all the weekends and holidays, and the one free session after the attend class sessions, you have 455 actions possible. So... you're going to have to cut some classes, and make sure you don't land detention. But that's alright, because you have 36 weeks. There's 10 class sessions a week, and you only need to skip 45 of them to get the 500 actions you need. Adds up to 1 or 2 skips a week, you can probably safely do that.

 

Oh, but if you don't study, you're going to flunk out. That would be a problem, so... lets add in another cannot-fail action that will allow you to randomly gain two unique, not-already-gained study levels. Great! But you'll still have to use it 30 times, if you want to gain mastery of all your study levels. So now you'll be skipping 75 classes, out of 360 total classes - This means you must skip between 2 and 3 classes a week - and there are only 10 classes a week to begin with. Probably walking the edge of detention, but lets say you manage it - the whole year completed without detention and thus every subskill and study level mastered.

 

 

But you've barely touched the depth of the game. You never cast a spell. Never interacted with your familiar or another student. Never went on an adventure, never dueled. Never shopped, never scrounged an item. Never wrote a poem or made a friend or called in a favor. Never... dare I say, really played a character going through their freshman year in an interesting, challenging, and entertaining environment that you explored - arguably never really played the 'game' at all, just one tiny part of it. And don't forget, the conditions I outlined for the hypothetical example above are 'better-than-within-the-game conditions'... I dare anyone to show me a saved game file that actually achieves this 'complete mastery' within a single game year ;)

 

 

 

Thus, I'm perfectly happy to totally trust our game's makers on this side of things. We're not in any danger of running out of stuff to do in this game, even when we find 'shortcuts'. Use the shortcut or not... you're still going to finish the year with about 60-90% of your possible experiences (the ones you control, not including the ones that randomly happen or not) untouched. Therein lies the replay value, and some of the source of my deep affection and respect for the designers of our complex game.

 

That said, I also totally trust them to review away, to plan and tinker and -change- stuff, especially as we 'start to figure the shortcuts out'. Keeping the challenge alive, (providing another source for my affection and respect) is something they seem to take as their joyous duty, and I rate them as quite skilled at it!

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Thus, I'm perfectly happy to totally trust our game's makers on this side of things. We're not in any danger of running out of stuff to do in this game, even when we find 'shortcuts'. Use the shortcut or not... you're still going to finish the year with about 60-90% of your possible experiences (the ones you control, not including the ones that randomly happen or not) untouched. Therein lies the replay value, and some of the source of my deep affection and respect for the designers of our complex game.

 

That said, I also totally trust them to review away, to plan and tinker and -change- stuff, especially as we 'start to figure the shortcuts out'. Keeping the challenge alive, (providing another source for my affection and respect) is something they seem to take as their joyous duty, and I rate them as quite skilled at it!

 

Yes, seen from that perspective, (which is not all that uncommon amongst gamers), shortcuts here and there do make quite a bit of sense.

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It's worth remembering as well that there are so many Dialectic locations, and... not as many others.

 

(All being expansions...)

Philosopher's Walk: Olepia's Plaque - +1 Dialect Subskill, +1 Reason

Olepia's Orange Grove - +1 Dialectic Subskill, +2 Befriend Subskill

Chauranglaith Path: The Lone Pine - +1 Dialectic Subskill, +1 Endurance

Professor Violante de Canapiedra's Desk - +1 Dialectic Subskill

 

The for non-passive, you can try...

Chauranglaith Path: Cave for +7 Dialectic Subskill

Chauranglaith Path: Natural Spring for +2 Dialectic Subskill

Chauranglaith Path: The Stone Bench for +2 Dialectic Subskill

(Along with various other goodies.)

 

 

Which, I mean, woo, great! But, uh... where do I go to get some Grammar steps? :) Even non-passively!

 

(Honestly, though, I think the Orange Grove would be the only one I would consider 'overpowered', and that's nothing compared to Block Puzzles or the Illumination Crucible and so on. +1 and +1 Steps at a passive doesn't seem to bad. +3 Steps, particularly if it involves +2 Steps to something useful (Befriend!), is a bit more of a 'hm'.)

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It's worth remembering as well that there are so many Dialectic locations, and... not as many others.

 

(All being expansions...)

Philosopher's Walk: Olepia's Plaque - +1 Dialect Subskill, +1 Reason

Olepia's Orange Grove - +1 Dialectic Subskill, +2 Befriend Subskill

Chauranglaith Path: The Lone Pine - +1 Dialectic Subskill, +1 Endurance

Professor Violante de Canapiedra's Desk - +1 Dialectic Subskill

 

The for non-passive, you can try...

Chauranglaith Path: Cave for +7 Dialectic Subskill

Chauranglaith Path: Natural Spring for +2 Dialectic Subskill

Chauranglaith Path: The Stone Bench for +2 Dialectic Subskill

(Along with various other goodies.)

 

 

Which, I mean, woo, great! But, uh... where do I go to get some Grammar steps? ;) Even non-passively!

 

(Honestly, though, I think the Orange Grove would be the only one I would consider 'overpowered', and that's nothing compared to Block Puzzles or the Illumination Crucible and so on. +1 and +1 Steps at a passive doesn't seem to bad. +3 Steps, particularly if it involves +2 Steps to something useful (Befriend!), is a bit more of a 'hm'.)

 

I must seriously train my characters more than others... but getting 10's in 4 skills before midterms isn't so hard and ending with 10-15 maxed... and even with 12's in skills the final steps to adventures can be impossible... Certain spots are key to maximizing skill growth though, train itself is underpowered... Maybe if it could 'grow' to let you develop more than one skill at a time...? Then again I spend no time on non-random events or even befriending people until after midterms in my games... I hate failing all the randoms, so I work until I can reasonably pass most of them... Most 'helper' locations give at best +2 subskill steps and especially in skills your base stats don't work well with higher levels can easily be 5-6 steps. Also those locations have risks... I've had one character end up having detention every day of the week due to skill training in the libraries... x.x

 

dialetic, forging, and enchantment have the best increase spots and can be done once a day.... where as the spot that gives a skill step randomly, and a skill step in concentration, plus one step in the subskill of your choice is weekly... with enough of these spots though the worst I'd suggest is making them once a week places you can visit. But I've found it just about perfect for a single year using them myself...

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