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My MMO Game Design Blog

Mission : To create a new mmo system and world lore for a new mmorpg. Each of my posts will be continually updated with more details / implemented suggestions from comments posted as well.. I am heading in the direction of an evolution type game.

Author: Artermis

A new skill system

Posted by Artermis Thursday July 12 2007 at 5:51AM
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Ive touched on this briefly in another post but i had a bright idea on how to put two ideas into 1! Lets see, im not too keen on current skill, levelling, class systems, i came up with this idea. This system could easily replace a typical class system mmo.


Skills are on a ladder system, the lowest rung contains the low skill and as you move up you can pick up new skills. Maybe depending on what skills you take determines the 'offshoot' skills you can head for. Top of the ladder being the best skills obviously. Possibly depending on the skills you head for gives you 'class names' or something like that with other benefits. Sketchy on that part really at the moment.


Say you wanted to learn basic ranged weapon skill, you would have to find a trainer (or player) who has the skill. Id like to think that players are the main source of learning other players skills and have to actually spend time to train them in the basics at least. Obviously they wouldnt do this for nothing and are maybe paid. Possibly npc trainers would just give the basic skills and the players train other players the higher skills as they learn them (sketchy on this but i hope you can see the potential).


How about, to actually learn the skill you have to complete some 'ingame' games which maybe gradually skill you up until you hit the new skill you were after! For example, for the basic ranged weapon skill you have to purchase the weapon and then throw or fire the item/ammo at a target scoring points based on your accuracy. Maybe you have to run down  a street and target dummies appear at random locations you have to shoot? A player could learn basic paddle boating by travelling down rapids trying to navigate through points. The list could be endless.....obviously these games need making but a great potential for developement here, could also get players to suggest skills/games..

 Id think you can probably still 'skillup' by using the skill as normal but the actually learning of new skills would be the ingame game :) The more i think about this, the more i love about it. Sorry for stroking my own epeen lol but current skill systems in games are just so boring and nothing to them at all.

It's got good potential i think? Would make skilling up interesting and fun.



vajuras writes:

yeah Crackdown did some of the skillup like you suggested. Sounds like you also have a talent tree whereas the lower skill unlocks the higher branches. World Of Warcraft employs talent trees. anyway in Crackdown you can increase jumping by grabbing jump orbs

Mon Jul 16 2007 11:58PM Report
vajuras writes:

btw good ideas yo. was thinking i should clear up what I said. in WoW, when you level you earn a talent point you can put into your tree. some talents give ya a new power. what you speak is not really the same thing.

Tue Jul 17 2007 12:20AM Report
Artermis writes:

Thanks for the comments.

If you have ever played the warhammer fantasy roleplay then you will see what kind of 'tree' system i want to use. Basically you pick a feat like basic daggers, and once learned to a specifc skill you can move onto another feat (basic daggers would give you perhaps 5 choices of skills you could advance to, each one having its own list of advancement.

for instance :


basic daggers ----> expert daggers, or throwing daggers


expert daggers -----> lunge skill


throwing daggers ------> accurate throw


Hope that makes sense :)

Tue Jul 17 2007 4:50AM Report
vajuras writes:

Ah yes reminds me a little of Rappelz. When you gain a level you could branch out to specializations. It was pretty fun. Final Fantasy 12 (single player RPG) also does something akin to this it can work sure. Rappelz called it the Job/Class system. this is a good system because it wont overwhlem newbies with too many choices. It will just show them some basic, generic skills. It can be very exciting system

Tue Jul 17 2007 6:04PM Report
WSIMike writes:

Asherons' Call 2 had something very similar to this. You start off as a generic character and, with each level, are allotted points to distribute into different skill trees.

You start with a generic set of skills, categorized as Missle, Melee, Magic, etc. Each had a set of very basic skills that anyone could use, without specializing. From there you'd have a more specialized set of skills you could "unlock" which were categorized under a "name", like "Feral Intendant" or "Hive Keeper" or "Ranger". Unlike a class system, the name defined the skillset, not a predfined "Class", since you were not limited to only selecting from that branch of skills.

So, in a sense, it was like what you describe... you could work toward a "class" depending on how you distributed your points, but there was nothing stopping you from generalizing more, picking some skills in magic, some in melee, etc... And you could untrain skills and re-distribute the points into other skills if you decided you wanted to try something new.

Personally I loved AC2's setup and wish I could find something like it in another MMO... at least in one that I like :).

Class-based games are too restrictive, imo. I think someone in a thread on here put it best... Classes feel more like you're unlocking the class the developers created, more than creating the character you want to play.

Tue Aug 14 2007 9:55AM Report
johnross2007 writes:

Sorry to talk about SWG but it was great game that incorporated much of what you speak of (notice the past tense).

In SWG, if you wanted to raise your skill in shooting a rifle, you must use that rifle to kill stuff, or a carbine to raise carbine skill, pistol, etc.

The same goes for crafting, where you craft stuff to get the skills you want. Eventually you must specialize what type of thing you craft (weapons, armor, buildings) to become a weaponsmith, etc.

You could "master" two and a half professions. So you could find things that meshed, or not even master a profession, and get many skills from many different professions. This type of leveling allowed RPers amazing choices for their characters.

Tue Aug 14 2007 10:12AM Report
Optumystic writes:

Ryzom also has a skill system like this.  You start out with just four basic skills and as each develops, it opens both new skills to develop and new enhancements to your skills.

Tue Aug 14 2007 5:30PM Report
fansede writes:

Yes, several games use this system already.  A skill tree that opens up as you progress.

Wed Aug 15 2007 7:23AM Report
Vapiant writes:

I think a fun skill/class system would be if you had a thousand different skills. Cuz I hate when evrybody are the same, meeting someone with some skills you havent seen before is cool. In FFXI theres like 20 jobs O.O that you have to unlock... meeting many different charecters is nice, not like "ohh you an warrior, like me xD" and that really kills the partying, when there are few jobs there wont be much partying, only soloing, see Flyff.

I would like a game based on the Manga "Naruto" cuz they are all ninjas but still totally different battle styles, a game where you could or had to find your own style would be fun.

Thu May 08 2008 4:56AM Report writes:
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