Arbitrary Skill Restrictions


    Hello devs. I just had my first session in alpha and I am loving what I see so far. The game feels smooth and crafting is enjoyable. I like the informative tooltips and hope all aspects of the stats get more love. One thing I love about Torchlight is the tooltips show exactly what affects the skill and the final number given all the stats.

    One thing I hope changes though are the arbitrary skill restrictions. By this I mean each skill can be locked away just because of armor type. I get some attacks should require a certain weapon, but even those should be as free as possible.

    As it stands now, it feels like there are essential three classes in a class-less system; light armor, medium armor, and heavy armor. This makes me feel like I can't really make unique characters. I get a choice of one of the three armor classes, and then have to pick synergies from a restricted list.

    What I would like to see are trade-offs for using skills that are currently locked by armor. Such as stealth skill requires light armor. If I put one heavy armor piece on, like a helm, bam no more stealth. Instead, what about modifying your stealth stat based on armor. If I have 100 stealth, putting on a helm could reduce it to 95. Putting on fullplate chest would reduce it to 50. This would make it much easier for me to be spotted, but it would be my choice.

    For casting spells, instead of saying no, there could be other trade-offs. Casting a spell in full heavy armor could increase the mana cost and/or increase the cooldown.

    Again, I love what I am seeing so far. I just hope we get more freedom with skills in the future.


    Agree. Too many resctrictions reducing personalization a lot. In many cases those resctrictions don't work. I think it's ok to limitate skills by weapons but not armors, armors should give buff-debuff indipendently by which skill used (heavier, move slower, lower mana regen and stamina regen but more def, maybe even healing slower). It could be funny see an archer in plate using a heavy crossbow to be a standing tower or an archer in light armor to be swift diver and harasser with light bow


    Instead of outright restrictions I think they should add penalization. If a spell is intended for a mage in light armor then I think you should still be able to use it in heavier armor, but it should come at some sort of trade-off. Either per ability like increased spell cost, longer CD, etc. However I personally prefer the idea of just give a flat stat or cost/Cooldown penalty based upon the weight of the armor worn and not only for skills but for player movement as well. This should be implemented in a way where once you reach a threshold it just becomes unrealistic/dumb to use a skill unless it's meant for a very niche situation. The current system is still a class system, just in a slightly different skin. Instead of a class name you click during character creation it's based upon what weapon/armor type you're using.

    The armor weight system above would also help make each character build feel unique not just by their equipped skills/gear but also how that gear affects how they choose to interact with the world and with PVP. Archers and rogues should be fast, wily, and annoying to fight against. Mages should be able to keep their distance from a big, heavy melee character fully ironclad without the need for CC. Melee characters with lighter armor should be rewarded for doing so with increased movement and/or attack speed. The current system massively limits build diversity and actively discourages players from experimentation.


    Nice feedback.
    I love the idea with skipping the restriction of armor and skills.
    I would also like to see, that there wouldn't be any restriction in wearing stuff, but have a penalty to skills.
    They even can go up to 100%, like if you wear a special material armor, that is consuming all your magical affinity, if you wear it.

  • TF#5 - LEGATE

    Agreed, and IMO medium/heavy armor should have general penalties. At the moment heavily armored characters don't have movement speed or attack speed penalties, don't have evasion penalties, any penalties, actually.

    At the moment it looks like locking them out of most abilities is the way to balance lack of those penalties, but that's not very immersive, and it restricts people from creating some conceptually fun builds like blight knight, battle mage, heavy archer and the like. If you prefer wearing heavy armor, you're pretty much forced into the warfare abilities.

    And removing all restrictions would make heavy armor the only option, so armor penalties is the best option it seems.


    I was just thinking, trade-offs I listed are penalties. Instead, what about bonuses for different armor types to add flare instead of negatives. This could be based on the skill and not just in general.

    Magic Missile
    Heavy Armor - Chance to finish spell even if interrupted.
    Medium Armor - Higher chance to crit
    Light Armor - Channel speed increased

    Heavy Armor - Cannot be crit while stealthed
    Medium - Perception is higher while stealth (stealth hunters)
    Light Armor - Increased movement while stealthed


    Good idea I totally agree


    Honestly right now both melee and ranged toons have an hard time between choosing between light and medium armor, so the skill restriction system IMO is working well and creating a lot of different builds.

    Heavy armors are an exception since they are not really part of the everyday game. They are more like items farmed by a city as a collective effort to give one of your players a significant protection, but it is not something that you wear regularly. If things stay like they are, "heavy armor builds" are a weird concept.

    By the way, we also have spell classes that can be used with every armor and spells allowed in medium armor. We just need to expand on those classes and there will be many more options and choices for mages too.
    I would also like to see a class of spells restricted to light armors but allowed with any weapon.

  • TF#5 - LEGATE

    That's true I guess, since I don't know how hard is it to obtain heavy armor economy wise, and even tho I believe that with established economy they won't be as rare as it might seem (how it always happened in every single MMO that had a mistake of underestimating it's players), I take your word for granted.

    Still, it's conceptually imperfect, because such approach removes possibilities instead of adding them. As stated before, heavily armored caster with limited mobility would be an interesting character, as well as heavy archer - basically a walking turret.

    Even more, it's not limited to only armor restrictions. For example, conjuration spells can't be casted with any weapon but mage weapon, which could be avoided by swapping weapons right now, but still it prevents many possible builds by locking certain abilities only to certain weapons. I'm not against locking SOME abilities for certain weapon types, but locking the whole ability branch seems a bit too much.

    And even more than that, say, conjuration and invocation abilitied are locked behind high int, since their usage with low int is useless at the moment. Instead, they could have some secondary effects. Like ice shards (or whatever that spell is called) could deal damage based on int, freeze(stun) people based on charisma and slow them based on dexterity. So for low int characters damage won't even appear, for low charisma characters - stun wouldn't happen, etc.

    Next, I might be mistaken since the test was pretty short and I didn't manage to remember everything, but it seems like archers can't use crippling strike, which would be a perfect ability for them, and IMO there is no reason to restrict them out of it. An example of a better approach is poisoning strike, that works for bows and melee weapons alike, could be used to provide damage, or to create additional wound on a character, etc., so the ability is less restricted and has multiple purposes that leads to it possibly being used in more different builds.


    @spoletta Is it creating a lot of different builds though? I know there will be many more skills come launch time, so we don't have the full picture, but as it is the variety in builds feels extremely limited without even considering heavy armor atm and the more limitations we have the less chance there is for meta to shift and offmeta to shine. Obviously there's a line that needs to exist, but when judging it based on what's there right now it's is too overbearing. I'd like to think the devs have all of this in mind already, but I'd still rather have people share their ideas and feedback. Because at this stage there's plenty of time and room for improvements.


    Ressource Question: is it possible to repair stuff? and what did it cost?

    I startet yesterday and spend a few hours in PvE, Battle Axe wrecked, fistfighting do save my ass and a stone mace helped me for the remaining day, armor is now at 76%, if evrythink get wrecked that fast leather armore will be the new normal and platearmor get expencive af, even while there is an "permanent" demand on weapons and armor,
    eco raids on trade routes will become a normal thread

    and there was something with entchanting, dam i startet to late playing this game -.-


    @KingQuantum There is no repair. Which is why I was saying that heavy armors are kind of a special case. It takes the full output of 6 days of mines (considering both ore and coal) to crate an heavy set for a warrior, and it is gone in around 3.

    In the last alpha there was an overabundance of iron ore, since everyone founded city with mines, there was no pvp and the players to mines rate was higly unbalanced. If around 3k players are playing on that island, I expect an iron ore to cost around 3x- 3.5x of what we valued it in the last test. This means that even if you are highly efficient, a warrior with a plate will destroy it before farming back a quarter of its value.

    @LtKrunch These 4 days saw truly a lot of different builds. Only the heavy armor builds were limited. I'm more of the idea of keeping the current system, and increasing the amount of crossclass skills (Acid arrows, Shocking thouch, Power Words...). These are the ones that will create more build freedom in the end.

    @DCCCXIX The pure archer class is lacking in skills for now. In one of my feedbacks I too asked for more skills to be applicable to archers, especially to longbows. By the way, I'm not concerned by players overgearing in this case, since contrarily to other games, here you can't farm. The amount of materials to craft those armors is fixed and is a steady stream of resources coming from the mines. No matter what you do, you can't have more armors than the ones craftable with the materials available day per day.


    okay thats cool, so large guilds / city could gather heavy armors for siege and it makes more sense for trading and even well enchanted armors are only used in special cases, more skills towars heavy armore is devinitiv a plus in feeding PvP for ressources and it becomes an "privilege" to gather iron or coal

    think twice about who buys your armor, he could use it against you,

    to take control of the worlds iron nodes make this game kindna feudal

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