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技能与剧情点数 (2019-07-08)


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发表于 2019-7-23 13:06:52 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

Skills and Story Points


Posted July 08, 2019 by Alex in Development

Translated at July 19 by Jn_xyp



I’ve wanted to update the skill system for a while, but that’s part of the challenge with early-access style development – if you update something too early, you might have to update it again, when yet more things change and make that part not-quite-fit once more. With how many parts of the game the skill systems has tendrils into, it wasn’t something I wanted to do more than once.

升级技能系统的想法已经出现了一段时间,但是对于这种抢鲜体验式的开发来说,这无疑是一种挑战 —— 如果你过早地升级了某些内容,随着游戏的改变,早先升级的内容可能又会变得不合适,使你不得不再次修改它们。考虑到技能系统与游戏其余部分间紧密的联系,我希望能避免这种情况的发生。

Now, finally, the game is in a place where I can do that – I’ve got a good overview of what I actually want from the skill system, the number of unknowns is low, and most of the unknowns are probably known.

而现在,游戏的开发已经进行到了合适的阶段 —— 我已经理清了我对于技能系统的期望,只剩下了很少一部分不明确的点,而且其中很大一部分很可能也是已知的

(Please note – some of the graphics and text in the screenshots to follow are placeholders.)


So, what are the goals of the skill overhaul? First and foremost, the skill system should increase the replay value of the game – that is, depending on what skills are picked, the player should be able to explore new ways to play the game.

Previously, I’d thought of it in terms of offering the player choices – and we still want that – but it makes sense to look at why we’re offering these choices so that they can be crafted with that goal in mind.



The second goal is to make the system more approachable. Currently, you can pick any skill you want – imagine, as a new player, being presented with some 30-odd choices of what skill to get, while you’re still figuring out how to play the game. This isn’t just a new-player-oriented feature, however. I think reducing the number of options at any given point will also make for more impactful and considered choices for players of any skill level.


Finally, updating a system is a great time to simplify it, so that’s a goal as well.


New System Overview 新系统概览

There are 4 “aptitudes” – Combat, Leadership, Technology, and Industry; same as before. Now, however, these are just a way to organize skills, and you don’t put points into them directly.


Each aptitude has 10 skills, arranged in 5 tiers of 2 skills each. At each tier, you can pick one – and only one – of the two skills; this costs a skill point and unlocks the next tier. Once you’ve reached the fifth tier, you can wrap around and pick up the other skills in the aptitude, if you really want to dedicate the majority of your points this way.


Skills don’t have levels – you unlock all of the skill’s effects with the point you spend. Combat skills – that is, skills that improve the ship you’re piloting – are an exception to this. In addition to the base effects, each combat skill also has an “elite” effect, which is unlocked by spending a “story point”. More on those in a bit!

技能没有等级 —— 使用技能点解锁技能后,即可得到完整加成。但是战斗类(旗舰增强类)技能是一个例外 —— 在基础的技能加成之上,你可以通过消耗一个“剧情点数”来解锁这个技能的高级加成。我会在稍后详细解释这一点。

Skills can be reassigned at any time (again, at the cost of a story point). A few skills are permanent and can’t be reassigned; these are ones with effects that would either leave the game in an invalid state if the player had the skill and subsequently didn’t, or just ones that make it optimal to get the skill, use it, and then refund it.

The maximum level is 15, with 1 skill point per level – enough to get to the top tier in 3 of the 4 aptitudes, though that’s not necessarily how one might want to spend them.


游戏中的最大等级为15级,每升一级获得1个技能点 —— 足够把四种技能倾向中的三种点满,虽然你不一定要这么选。

This setup helps with making the system more approachable – instead of 40 choices at the start, we’ve got two for each aptitude, for a total of 8 possible places the first skill point can go. That’s still a lot, but even a new player might have some idea of what kind of character they want to build, which would nudge them towards a specific aptitude – and its pair of tier 1 choices.

Now, what about adding replay value?

以上这些设定有助于降低游戏的上手难度 —— 相较于开局就有四十个选项,玩家现在只需要面对八种可能的选择,每个倾向两种技能。虽然八种选项也不算少,但是即使是萌新也可以根据他们想玩的套路,选择某个特定的技能倾向,并从第一层技能中二选一。


Specialization 专业化

Previously, I’ve been hesitant to have skills with effects that are content-specific in what they do – for example, improving a specific ship type, or a specific weapon type. The reasoning was that it feels bad to have points in a specialized skill that you’ve since drifted away from using. Being able to refund and reassign skills largely takes care of this concern.


Thus: most skill tiers offer a choice between a generic skill and a specialized one. We always want to offer a “generically good” choice – if both are specializations, with only two options, neither might be one the player cares to specialize in. The generic choice is always weaker than the specialized one – otherwise, there’s no reason to specialize.

正因如此,每一组技能中都会包含一个较为通用的和较为特化的技能。我们希望(在每次选择中)确保提供一个“万金油”类的技能 —— 如果两个技能都是特化技能,也许它们都会不和玩家的心意。而为了彰显特化技能的价值,通用技能总是比特化技能稍弱一些。

Despite being weaker on paper, the generic choice is often desirable anyway – it’s a way to boost your other specializations. If you just picked specializations, you’d end up with a bunch of skills that don’t work together well. For example, if you get bonuses to carriers and phase ships – there aren’t any ships that are both.


Specialization is what increases replay value, by either opening up entirely new playstyles or just by making some options powerful enough to lean on them during a playthrough, changing one’s experience from the “normal” one.

通过创造全新的游玩风格,抑或是通过某些决定性的技能来打破玩家传统的游戏体验, 技能特化无疑提高了游戏的重玩价值。

For example, at tier 4 in Combat, the player has a choice between Shield Modulation (which improves shields; these are ubiquitous enough for it to be a generally-good option) and Phase Mastery (which improves phase ships, with an elite bonus that makes them move twice as quickly while phased).


Tier 1 Leadership offers a choice between Weapon Drills (an across-the-board bonus to damage dealt) and Auxiliary Support (which lets the player make a limited number of civilian ships very combat-effective). Tier 4 offers a choice between increasing overall combat readiness (“Crew Training”) and greatly increasing the fighter replacement rate on a few carriers (“Carrier Group”).


That brings up another point – just how can we limit the bonuses to “a few” carriers, rather than all the carriers in the fleet? This is critically important; if specialization leads to mono-fleets, that’s a problem – instead of encouraging variety, it’s doing the opposite. Fleetwide specializations should be “use some of this in your fleet” rather “use only this in your fleet from now on, because it’s got stat bonuses now and it’s better than anything else”. We also want the bonuses from specializations to be large enough to be fun and exciting, so it’s all the more necessary to limit them effectively.

这些技能的出现带来了新的问题 —— 就是我们应当如何将加成的效果限制在“少数几艘”航母上,而不是将其泛泛地应用于整个舰队的航母上?特化技能存在的目的是鼓励舰队多样化;而为了避免其产生相反的效果,使舰队组成千篇一律,这种限制是极其重要的。理想状态下的舰队特化应当是“在舰队中适当地选用某类舰船”,而不是“从现在开始,最强的舰队就只能用某几个船,从数据上来讲只有这样是无敌的,吊打其他所有组合”。同时考虑到特化技能所必需的强大吸引力,这种取舍必不可少。

Effect Scaling 技能效果调节

The solution is to scale the effects of all fleetwide skills based on the ships they affect. For the Carrier Group skill, for example, the effect scales based on the number of fighter bays in your fleet. More than 6 and sure, there’s still a bonus – but you’re being less efficient overall, with each carrier you field being weaker than it would be if there were less of them total.


Other skills generally scale based on the number of ordnance points on ships they affect. For example, the effect of Weapon Drills depends on the total number of ordnance points on combat ships in your fleet.


A few fleetwide skills, instead of scaling, only apply to ships with officers in command.

The fleet screen shows whatever fleetwide totals are relevant for the skills you’ve picked – the total number of fighter bays, combat phase ship ordnance points, and so on.



Overall, this approach lets us have sizeable specialization bonuses that encourage fleet variety instead of doing the opposite. Since non-specialization skills also scale their effects (albeit at much higher point values), it also rewards smaller fleets by making them more efficient.


Encouraging the Use of Smaller Ships 鼓励使用小型舰船

This is a bit of a minor point – in the game as it currently is, the use of smaller ships, and especially frigates, drops off as the game goes on and larger ships take over. Some specialist frigates remain useful, but overall frigates become very limited. While this isn’t a huge problem – I think this generally makes sense – it would still be nice to encourage the use of smaller ships to extend their usefulness.

一个小问题:在当前游戏版本中,小型舰船,尤其是护卫舰,在游戏后期完全被更大尺寸的舰船所取代。某些特殊用途的护卫舰也许还能派上用场,但是总体来说护卫舰的用途极其受限。虽然这不是一个特别严重的问题 —— 我认为这样做也无可厚非 —— 但是提高护卫舰的实用性,并推广其(后期)使用仍然有利无害。

This takes several forms. The “Wolfpack Tactics” skill just directly increases the combat power – and endurance – of frigates. Several other skills make deployed frigates grant bonuses to all of the deployed ships, in effect making all frigates specialists and carving out more of a niche for them in larger fleets. For example, Gunnery Implants on frigates (and destroyers) grants a bonus to the fleet’s Electronic Warfare rating. Presumably there’s some spare processing capacity to dedicate to this when the officer with the implants is on a smaller ship.


Coordinated Maneuvers makes frigates and destroyers – with officers only – increase the nav rating of the fleet, granting all the ships increased speed. There are also a few other skills with effects that tilt them to slightly favor smaller ships.

In addition, that base number of officers is now 8 (up from 4), meaning you’ve got a lot more to spare as far as using them in smaller ships, where they generally make less of an impact. The maximum number of officers (that is, after taking the Leadership skill that increases it) is still 10, as before.



Automated Ships (回收)无人舰

An interesting example where everything comes together is the Automated Ships skill – the tier 5 Technology specialization that allows you to recover and use (mild spoilers) Derelict and Remnant droneships found in various star systems outside the core worlds.

In the player’s fleet, these have a hefty penalty of -100% to combat readiness, making them entirely useless by default. If you deploy a ship like that, it’ll heavily damage itself just from the strain.

However, the Automated Ships skill can counter this penalty entirely – or less than entirely – depending on how many automated ships the player decides to have in their fleet. One battleship, with moderate combat readiness? A couple of cruises? A pack of frigates? All viable options.

一个有趣的例子是自动化舰船技能 —— 科技向的五级技能,(剧透警告)允许玩家从核心世界外回收,并使用遗弃、停机的无人舰。

默认情况下,自动化舰船在玩家舰队中将会获得 -100% 整备度的致命惩罚,使它们完全一无是处。如果在战场上部署了这样一艘破船,光靠其自身的故障就能把自己搞得半死不活。


The player can’t use these as their flagship – the ships are designed to be a bit more powerful and flexible than usual, and would be slightly broken in player hands. But, ships without officers are weak – and if you could assign an officer, the explanation for why it couldn’t be the player would be strained.

So, naturally, AI cores are the answer there – you can assign them to command automated ships for you. You can’t level them up like officers – they come with a fixed number of skills – but to really differentiate them, you can freely reassign their skills at any time…. and their skills are all elite, to boot.

玩家并不能使用无人舰作为自己的旗舰 —— 无人舰设计的比普通舰船更加强大和灵活,并不适合给玩家使用。没有军官的舰船是很菜的,但如果能给无人舰分配人类军官,那又无法解释为何玩家不能驾驶。

所以自然地,AI核心就成为了最好的选择 ——你可以让AI核心为你驾驶无人舰。虽然AI核心的等级和技能数量无法改变,但是为了使它们各有所长,你可以随意切换它们已有的技能。而且,他们出厂自带技能的高级加成。

Story Points 剧情点数

When first thinking about the skill changes, a maximum level of 15 made sense – 15 points, 3 aptitudes taken to tier 5, it all lines up. But that’s a low level just as far as the number goes, and there are two scenarios. Either the player reaches it very quickly – and from that point on, there’s no progression. Or, it takes a long time to reach it – and the interval between gaining points feels like too long.

当我们刚开始考虑技能系统的重制时,15个等级看起来非常合理 —— 15个技能点,可以点满3个技能倾向。但是这本身其实就和这些数字一样低级;即,有两种可能的情况:要么玩家迅速地达到满级,然后从此开始无所事事;要么玩家需要花费很长的时间升级,获得下一个技能点显得遥遥无期。

Then there were the elite skills – the idea for those being to give the player something that makes them special, bonuses that are more easily available to the player than they are to either allies or enemies. If you get the “elite” bonus simply for being the player and investing the skill point, it feels a bit off – and it also doesn’t feel like the elite status is really earned.


So: story points are “do something cool” points. They let the player do things that would be overpowered or game-breaking if the player could just do them whenever, or even at a regular resource cost.


I’ve been kicking the idea around for a long time. Ultimately its roots are in the “destiny” dice from an old Star Wars pen and paper RPG – but it never quite fit into Starsector. That is, it would’ve been an external thing tacked onto the design instead of being an integral part of it.


(“Destiny dice” were something you’d get at the start of each session, the number of them being dependent on your class, and you could add them to any roll you really wanted to succeed – even after making the roll. Making sure the story stayed on track, basically, by not failing anything that’s absolutely critical. … or wasting them on winning an arm-wrestling match at a cantina, not that I’d ever do something like that.)



Coming back to Starsector – now, instead of being a solution in search of a problem, story points solve the design problems we’ve got, and open up a lot of design doors besides.

You get 4 story points per level. Or maybe 2. Point being, you get more of them than you get skill points, so they keep things flowing between level-ups. You also keep gaining story points after reaching the maximum level, so there’s progression beyond that.

What exactly are they used for, then? If you’ve been keeping track, making skills elite and reassigning skills are two uses I’ve mentioned so far.

回到游戏本身上来 —— 我们已经找到了问题的解决方案:剧情点数的设计不仅化解了目前设计上的矛盾,而且打开了一扇扇新的游戏设计之门。



The key use – against which all other uses are measured and balanced – is making hullmods on a ship permanent, at a cost of one story point per hullmod (and, currently, a maximum of 2 of these per ship).

Other uses – that are already implemented – include:

  • Mentoring an officer, granting them increased experience gain, more skill choices on every level-up, and potentially affecting their personality slightly
  • Making one of an officer’s skills elite
  • Fully integrating an AI core into a ship, making it unremovable and granting it an additional skill



  • 指导一名下属军官,提高他们的经验收益,增加升级时的技能选项,并可能轻微影响他们的个性。
  • 解锁一名下属军官的技能高级加成。
  • 将一颗AI核心完全地集成到一艘舰船中,核心不可拆卸但可以获得一项额外的技能。

In addition (and I’ve got a bit of a list to go through), uses would include taking all sorts of actions in the campaign that you would not normally be able to. For example, executing “special maneuvers” to disengage from a fight you don’t want, making a derelict ship recoverable when it otherwise wouldn’t be, or just avoiding a cargo scan while carrying contraband.

The general idea here is that “story” options in the campaign would either smooth out the flow of the game, letting you avoid a situation that would result in reloading a save – or grant you some long-term benefit.



Bonus Experience 经验加成机制

So, why wouldn’t players just hoard all their story points for exclusively the “best” uses? Wasting a free hullmod on a ship by instead getting away from a battle you didn’t want could in itself be a reason for reloading the game. And even within making hullmods free and permanent, wouldn’t putting them on smaller ships be a waste of story points that could improve more powerful ships instead?


The answer here is bonus experience – the less long-term-impactful the use of a story point, the more bonus experience it grants. Bonus experience doubles the rate of your experience gain until it’s used up. So, for example, installing a permanent hullmod on a frigate grants 75% bonus experience – which means “enough to earn 75% of a story point” – meaning that in the long term, it only costs a quarter of a story point.

解决这一问题的方法是经验加成机制 —— 即,剧情点数使用带来的长期利益越少,使用带来的经验加成就越多。在经验加成生效期间,玩家的经验值增长速度将会翻倍。举例而言,在一艘护卫舰上,使用剧情点安装一个永久船插,将会获得 75% 的经验加成,这意味着获得的经验加成相当于获得一个剧情点所需的 75%;从长期来看,达到同样的效果只需要1/4个剧情点。

A more “frivolous” option – such as disengaging from a fight for free – would grant 100% bonus experience, making it entirely free in the long term – so it wouldn’t feel like a permanent hit. Other actions – such as making skils elite, reassigning skills, or building hullmods into capital ships – grant no bonus experience and are in that sense story point “sinks”.

对于更加“短视”的选项,例如从一场接战中脱离,将会给予 100% 的经验加成(足够再获得一个剧情点),使其从长期来看是消耗为零,不会让人觉得是一种永久性的损失。而对于解锁技能高级加成、重新分配技能点、以及给主力舰安装永久船插之类的操作,则不会给予经验加成,因为这些剧情点完全转化为了更加长远的利益。

Impact 影响

Story points are perhaps the biggest mechanical addition of the skill overhaul. One of the things I like is that they can encourage the player to think about the game in terms of creating their own story by selecting the “exceptional” things they do.

It’s not even something where the range of story-point choices is wide enough to tell the player’s story through that alone – rather, it’s more of an aid in getting into that mindset, where you’re telling yourself a story about what your character is doing in-game. I think that’s particularly important for a sandbox game, where you have a lot of freedom.



The other aspect of it that I’m extremely excited about is all the design options it opens up. Imagine if “build a permanent mod into a hull” didn’t use story points – fair enough, we could probably make it work somehow – but it would probably involve some custom-made mechanics to limit it in some way. With story points, the limiting mechanic is in place, and can be used for just about anything, making these kinds of things so much easier to add.

For example, being able to “mentor” an officer, or to “fully integrate” an AI core into a ship – both were things that just occurred to me, in a “wouldn’t it be cool if you could do this” way. And it took something like an hour to add, in each case! As much as story points let the player do cool things, they let me do cool things, too.



啊,终于翻完了,原计划7月19号就把它翻完来着,谁知道论坛给坏了... /(ㄒoㄒ)/~~


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Like a kangaroo!


发表于 2019-7-23 13:15:16 | 显示全部楼层

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【Access to RDS Establishing...】

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所以很遗憾,不能手操,只能加进舰队里当队友。  详情 回复 发表于 2019-7-24 22:08

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 楼主| 发表于 2019-7-24 22:08:28 | 显示全部楼层
刻天之痕 发表于 2019-7-24 21:42



那也不错了,眼馋辉煌很久了  详情 回复 发表于 2019-7-25 20:10

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jn_xyp 发表于 2019-7-24 22:08


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