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Arsicas
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Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby Arsicas » Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:24 pm

So... I'm curious what other players think about the rate of skill improvement. I tend to think it's rather slow, but I'm not sure if part of it has to do with the fact that I'm trying to improve skills in a lot of different areas. I've heard that having a broad range of skills can slow things down compared to someone who just focuses on one thing, like combat, for instance. That said, I've also noticed that some skills improve rather quickly and some others just don't. For instance, two of the font skills are extremely stubborn. And I've been told that learning magic is even more difficult.

So, I'm curious how the Scribe/Mage path compares to other paths. It seems that making a competent fighter or a cleric is not that difficult. Which could explain why many more people go that direction. It is a bit frustrating, as my goal with Arsicas all along was to learn magic, and RL years later, he still has yet to learn any. Clerics, on the other hand, get miracles right off. I can't say how difficult it is to get good at those miracles, but they still seem to have an advantage.

One thing I have noticed is that in comparison to the other layman guilds, Scribes have it harder, and they don't really get any advantages for it. I think there are only 2 skills that need to be at a certain level in order to be promoted in the Skalds. And I think there are only 2-3 for Alchemists too. For the Scribes, there are... 10. And again, I've been struggling with 2 of them forever. And until a Scribe reaches the level of Master, they don't learn any magic at all. Skalds and Alchemists at least get some form of low magic to begin with. The main advantage of Scribes is learning all the languages and having access to a library full of information and learnbooks.

I know I don't play as often as some people, and I've taken a few long breaks, but I've had this character since 2011, and that many RL years seems like a long time to have to wait to learn magic. It means you have to be dedicated, I guess, but there's a point when it turns to frustration at not accomplishing anything. I've only had a glimpse of the magic system so far, but it seems that there are so many possibilities that both my character and I are excited about. And it's a shame that so many of the Mages have stopped playing, as we don't get to see those possibilities. I don't know if the difficulty of advancing played a part in their decision or if RL just got too busy, but I think decreasing the difficulty of this path might encourage more to go this route--and would give more opportunities, as more Mages would mean they could take on more apprentices. And it would add another element to rp, as this group of Mages with various gods and various affiliations might draw others' attention as they grow more powerful.
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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby luminier » Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:53 am

ive had the best luck on every character ive played when i stay in a specific area of skill type.

type "skills type" and youll get a list of the different types of skills. if you want a fighter character, obviously learn exclusively fighter skills (ie, no magic, language, general, etc)

If you focus in one area like this it is very easy to get skill improves. once you've learned all you want to learn from that "type" move on to something else.

Takes a lot of patience either way, but this is the most efficient way. IMO.

mages take too long to learn everything IMO, but then i think arcisas needs to give something up... you can't have every skill and expect to function reasonably well. i mean you can fight, do alchemy, do magic, do book stuff, who knows what else. thats an insane amount of skills. if you really want to be a mage, drop everything else and be a mage... but i wouldn't do that on arcisas... id start again. probably would be much faster if you can get someone to take you on as an apprentice that is.

as for your comments on clerics, clerics are just the best "class" in the game definitively. being a cleric is pretty much the most vanilla and easiest thing to do in terms of RP, or PVP, or anything in between. you get to have natural allies, see pretty much every part of the game and be very powerful without much effort. comparing a cleric to a mage is comparing easy mode to hard mode.
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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby Allurana » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:30 pm

If you try to learn a little of everything, you're going to have a bad time, pretty much.

Without getting into too much detail with the skill system, the more you try to know, the harder you'll have trying to learn even more knowledge. As such, it's much easier to specialize in one or two areas and ignore others.

To offer an example, I know players that specialize exclusively in combat skills and ignore other skill sets, that can reach, say, 60 elbow within a week or two. On the flipside, I know players that try to learn everything, that have taken up to multiple years of regularly using the elbow skill before reaching 60 in it. The difference can be that drastic.

The best advice I can offer is to decide which skill-sets you want your character to master, and focus on those skills. As for skills outside of those sets, ask yourself if they're skills you really need. For instance, a scribe/magician probably doesn't really need a wide array of combat skills, and if they do want some sort of offensive edge, something like archery will probably require much fewer skills to be proficient in than melee combat.

Alternatively, you can try to go down the hard road of being good at everything and great at nothing, but from my personal experience, it's quite a struggle because skill improves will come only once in a blue moon, and skill decay will be probably an hourly occurrence.

IMO, part of the difficulty is that combat plays such a prevalent role in GEAS that fighter-type characters (including clerics) can find a pretty easy time mastering battle without ever having to worry about the more intellectual sides of life, while ordinarily non-combat type characters (scribes, magicians, druids, so on) will generally have to choose between being being good at their craft but rather helpless at survival (thus limiting a lot of what they can do in the game), or learn how to defend themselves (thus opening more options), but have a significantly harder time mastering their craft. Then again, maybe it's for the better that not everyone can be both educated and battle-hardened (at least not without a lifetime of effort).

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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby Delia » Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:12 am

Learning magic requires heavy grinding to get the required skills. Going the scribe path is rough because of the language and font skills required for masterscribe rank but those skills give some stats required to be a mage. Plain stubborness and time is key here.

Aiming to be a mage requires heavy investment into mental skills. INT is primary, I advice good WIS too and DIS helps with...stuff. Epic level INT is a newbie mage. You will have to aim to have ultimate INT eventually. You should not completely neglect your physical stats though. Mages have uses for those too even if you did not plan to fight all the time. I think you can skip DEX for the most parts unless that is your thing.

You should put some skill groups on hold and focus on two sets. Your primary mage-to-be skills and secondary skills you train when not grinding your primaries which complement your primary skills and your goal somehow. Do this for a while and review your skills after a while and deal with skill loss as you see fit. Forgetting skills which are kinda cool, but rarely used can be let go.

Might sound a bit dull, but I know it is rough.
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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby anglachel » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:37 am

Yes, it is intended that becoming a mage is a long hard way.

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Arsicas
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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby Arsicas » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:46 pm

Yes, I did probably try to train in too many different areas with Arsicas. I wanted to be at least somewhat decent in combat, and I'm probably at that level now, so it's something I haven't really been focusing on lately. I'll try to keep in mind what skills I really need/want and only work on those.

I have noticed that some skills, like the fonts, are particularly difficult to improve though. Although old glyphs seems to improve rather quickly. It's nearly reached the level of my two stubborn font skills, and I've only had the skill since the trainer was implemented, compared to my other fonts, which I have had since joining the Scribes.

I've also wondered if Scribes could get some other form of low magic or some precursor to learning scrolls once getting their first promotion. Maybe they could learn scrolls, but only a set list of spells. But something to set them on the path of magic.
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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby anglachel » Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:59 am

It is wanted that is wanted no one can be a superior fighter and and superior mages and the same time. To be poor fighter and a poor mage is possible and no worthwhile goal.
The normal scribes should be able to use scroll, then a master create it for them.

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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby Allurana » Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:00 pm

Arsicas wrote:I've also wondered if Scribes could get some other form of low magic or some precursor to learning scrolls once getting their first promotion. Maybe they could learn scrolls, but only a set list of spells. But something to set them on the path of magic.


I think that's similar to what's in place for the Masterscribes already.

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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby Delia » Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:51 am

Yes, masterscribes get some minor magic and at their peak they theoretically could use it in team PvP.

Everyone who knows the language and the font can try to use scrolls.
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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby Delia » Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:03 am

I'll return to combat skills a bit as mages are kinda rough in the sense that your primary skills are hard to learn and there are many of them BUT you will also need a lot of skills that are not part of that skill group.

Given how Geas works, going "full mage" is not a viable option even if it is a good RP choice but the reality of the code is that even if all of your magic skills were maxed you could not do a thing in combat unless you can make it absolutely sure nobody can attack you. Pecularities of all the penalties mages face in combat are already listed elsewhere but needless to say, if you cannot physically protect yourself in combat you cannot cast and you will die.

Also, being creatures of 'deflect' any bit of AGI and STR will help a great deal. Also STR will help with encumbrance which gives casting penalties. Some CON is good as non-mastered spells will make you tired

So it is a compromise between fighter-lite and magic skills with any additional other stuff that either helps with fighting or magic or crafts.

Choosing how you fight is important as you really will not have the luxury of additional options. You will want to invest in staves atleast. Staff specials you might want to let go unless you have room for them.
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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby fernao » Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:13 pm

At my current state I must say I wish I never started with staff magic.
Waste of time and skill.
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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby Aturshus » Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:03 am

From an 'easy mode' player who's thrown literally hundreds of days of playtime into his character, I can confirm what's being said about difficulty maintaining multiple skill sets. Skill decay is a fact of life for me, and maintaining the 30-some decaying skills is just not possible. I have to maintain the ones that are more important, and let the others go for longer before I refresh them. My character is more than adept in a stupidly wide array of things, between close quarters and ranged combat, alchemy, reading + a few languages, clerical skills, and the usual miscellany, it's just impossible to keep everything up all the time. I do find, strangely, that some skill sets never go down while others go down regularly.

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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby anglachel » Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:31 am

At my current state I must say I wish I never started with staff magic.
Waste of time and skill.

Is the benefit to small for you?

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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby anglachel » Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:43 am

I do find, strangely, that some skill sets never go down while others go down regularly

Some skills are used automatically, then you walk around. Then is is unavoidable that the skill test is triggered from time to time. So your char is always in 'training' besides you stay alone in backroom of a pub. To keep up skills, that are only used by a special chat actions is much harder. But these skills drop not quick like the other type.
Skill dropping is a long story. At some point are complaint that they drop too quick and some weeks later they drop too slow, without a change with the skill dropping in this period.The second point happen, mostly in the case the player want to get rid from from these skills.

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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby Delia » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:33 am

I do not know the full of it but magic makes for weaker priests atleast. Or atleast there is a very tricky balancing act involved. Shaos have some trouble too.

For others magic is a so and so investment which is available to light armour characters unless you pass through the hoops for full mage.

There were some ideas for magic that lesser mages use but most of that went with the wiki. Can't remember much but it was directed towards making it more useful.

As for skill decrease, I think it is more or less fine as it is. Of course it is annoying when it happens but it is a good signal to review your character and what you are doing.
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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby fernao » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:45 am

anglachel wrote:
At my current state I must say I wish I never started with staff magic.
Waste of time and skill.

Is the benefit to small for you?

Compared to the time invested, most definately yes.
As alchemist I managed to reach 35 in staff magic, a total of 40 points in element skills, distributed between 3 and 16, and a total of 30 in the aspect skills, distributed between 6 and 11. Took me a bit over 1000 branches to work on, a quarter of which ended up as wands.
Of all of the wands available at my current level in magic, senior student, only a single one has a little use, the rest are more or less totally useless to me. And the amount of time required to even keep the skills are their currently low level far exceeds the amount of time required to uphold other non-magic skills. Same goes for working dropped skills up to par again. The magic ones require a lot more time and effort to regain than any of the other skills I have.
One thing that I really dislike is that some of the wands provide magic that an alchemist has access to via potions already. Granted, the wands one can simply create while the recipes need to be discovered, traded or simply "bought".
In its current state I would tell any alchemist that is not bound to become a mage to simply ignore staff magic. The language and font are nice to have, but thats about it. Wands can either be used, dropped or destroyed. You cannot sell them, so you cannot even make a coin with them. Unless you have a player that wants to buy them, but then again, without the staff magic skill, successful use of a wand is quite unlikely. I used some wands before I was high enough ranked with the alchemists to start staff magic myself, and before I had any skill in it, success rates were around 20 to 25%, which mean many wands got used up without producing the desired effect even once for the user.
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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby anglachel » Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:57 am

The alchemist guild (same for the scribes) can try to create a new public formula. So that they get a usefully wand. (or scroll in the case of scribes)
There no rules for this. But the nest way would be a IC-way like to ask a mage to create/resrearch a formula with with wanted affect (of course after consulting the responsible wizard) and then the effect can be added to the pool.
General formulas can be exchanged if they does not fit to the guild.
With a mana push the chance of success should be rise. I will prove if it works correct with wands, too. That means that the a part if the mana is not used for the effect, but to rise the chance of success.

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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby anglachel » Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:13 pm

The mana push will now work correct for wands. Be sure to use the right wood and feather core for your wand.

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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby Aslak » Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:48 am

As scribes and alchemists are only minor guilds, I would also like to add that the "usefullness" should be matched between the three minor guilds.
I honestly do not know much about the scribes guild, but alchemists currently are already rather easy to level and get plenty of usefull abilities from it.
The wands itself might be too much work to skill, but their base of business, is rather easy and already useful.
Before adding more things to already popular guild, rather look at those terribly unpopular at the moment.

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Re: Skill improvement + Scribes/Mages

Postby anglachel » Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:46 pm

All layman guild have their advantages and features. All guilds get mot very often but from time to time something new. I do not have an impression the one is more popular as the others.


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