[Blog] Talent Trees and Builds

One thing I’ve been working on recently has been talent tree and abilities/spells for each spec. Deciding what skills should be available to the player and how they work is both fun and frustrating. My experience playing other games sometimes clouds my judgement and that makes it hard to be creative sometimes. It’s a natural thing, I suppose, but knowing when a spell or ability won’t work in the context of Skullforge is something I’ve had to struggle with a little bit.

In Skullforge: The Hunt, the player will be able to choose between three trees:

  • Elementalist: Specializes in hard hitting magic spells.
  • Astral Knight: A master of both light and dark magic.
  • Spellbinder: Conjuror of spirit beasts and debuffs.

As the player levels up, they will be awarded with talent points that can then be used in whatever spec tree they choose. It is impossible to fill out every tree, and spending points in multiple trees means that the player won’t be able to get some of the high end abilities at the bottom of a tree.

The goal is to give the player a lot of spec variety and make multiple play-throughs. I also want to give players something to discuss as to what builds are fun to play. I feel like a game that gives players interesting choices creates it’s own longevity, as people will return again and again to try out new things in the game. Of course, too many choices and players will often times feel overwhelmed. I hope that we have struck a good balance while making abilities interesting.

Even though most abilities will be gained through the talent trees, a few will also be gained by simply leveling up. I felt as if the natural progression of leveling up should provide the player with skills and abilities, too. Every five levels will grant the player a new ability or passive enhancement. For example, the first ability gained is “Eye of the Tiger” which is a passive that increases crit damage by 10%. Not overly exciting, but gives the player a bit of power going forward.

The player begins collecting talent points at level 5. With the level cap being 30, this will give the player 26 talent points to distribute. I haven’t decided what the respec situation will be like, but I do know it will be limited at best. Decisions made are basically permanent, but I do think that sometimes we make choices without knowing what we’re getting into. This can be especially true when going after combat moves. Maybe a move looks great in the videos, but when you actually use it, it’s not really your style, or doesn’t fit your timing. So I may have a way for at least one respec later in the game. This is something we’ll be looking at closely during the testing phase of the game.

It’ll be nice to see what players come up with as far as build goes, so I’m looking forward to getting the final game in your hands. Feel free to let us know what you think. At some point in the nearish future, I will be putting together some videos of various aspects of the game as I feel like that will better explain things and visual things are just more fun. So until next time, have a good evening.