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Skill SystemWarhammer 40K Feedback
Now, I doknow that we are already very far within the roadmap and that thissuggestion and feedback may be utterly useless. Nevertheless I feltas if I had to clear this of my mind by posting it.
To put itout - I am no fan of the “skills-linked-to-weapons” system. Why?Because imho it overrides what should make the weapons unique.Because they are to fundamental for a build to be fixed. Because theyare restrictive on how they allow us to play. Weapons as of now donot live by their own characteristics but by the quality of theirskill-set. So far the best skill-set has to be the one of the bolter.It has pretty much anything for any situation. That is nice. Yet italso shows that other weapons do not have such a set. That otherweapons, with 4 skills, will mostly use one skill by me. To increasethe problem: Many weapons roll certain attributes that increase onlycertain skills. Thus making a skill that already outperformed itsequivalents even MORE overshadowing. Another problem is that peoplecome to warhammer because they know warhammer. They have an Idea ofwho they want to be and what they want to play. This clashes quitehard with discovering that your chosen weapon has a bad set of skillsthat makes an otherwise infamous weapon of the fluff rather...awkward to play. This is an important crossroad I think: Do we wantpeople to pick weapons because they are good or do we want people topick a weapon because they like that weapon and then make it workwith a good build?
Well, thiswould kinda require a revamp but to be honest, for someone that canhardly enjoy the current system hat is the only solution I came upwith. At this stage I hold very little hope for it though.
Ultimatelyit boils down to two major aspects. First of - a “classic” skilltree for active skills that allows us to select and improve those.Maybe I want the “Rapid Fire” Skill AND the “Retreat” skillon a weapon. Because that is my play style. “Rapid Fire” wouldgive some high RoF yet sacrifice accruacy for that. Pretty much likethose skills already work on certain guns. Yet you have the FREEDOMto pick those and customize your loadout. You can improve thoseskills and specialise. Same with the “Retreat” skill. Now everyranged weapon may have some backwards moving.
What aboutthe weapons now? Think of a tool box. We picked 4 skills now,improved them over the career of our inquisitor and selected themfor our gun. Think we just got half of the traits skills do have now.The other half comes from the weapon we pick.
PlasmaWeapons or Power Weapons would have an innate “Armor Break”.Swords may have an innate Combo. Chain Weapons and Shotguns may havean innate “Fleshbane”.
This wayeach weapon would have its own character and actually stay true tothat character without loosing certain key aspects on skills whilethis also allows the freedom to adjust your skills to your playstyle.Weapons would also have certain “key” stats. Meaning a Plasma Gunwould naturally have a lower rate of fire than some autogun yet bothwould be boosted 50% by the “Rapid Fire” skill. Some weapons mayhave an inherently better accuracy so you could in theory pick skillsthat reduce accuracy without noticing much etc. That way certainweapons would tend to have good synergies with certain skills. Like asniper rifle that front-loads damage with actually sniper skills thatincrease the damage of a single attack and so on.
Also you may include certain modifiers to skills that may either beunlocked or depending on the weapon. Bolt weapons for example may getthe Modifier “Bolter Drill” when they are combined with the“Rapid Fire” skill, greatly increasing accuracy or being somewhatunique for every second hit on an enemy is guaranteed to hit the headand cause some extra damage - like some minor version of snipe andreplicating the MozambiqueDrill for example. One into the center, one into the head.
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I like the system as it is now, because I can build my skills around the weapons I am going to use (usually one overheating heavy weapon and one ammo-using rifle).
Well Chainswords are written to tear through armor because they can. It just takes way more effort. Bolters in the crunch dont have any AP capability to write home about either yet they also get the job done.
Think of the Chainswords as actually being able to keep up with the armor technology in 40k rather than being a dedicated answer to that armor technology. In that case we would need power weapons.
They get the job done, just not very well while they truly shine when it is about mutilating some flesh.
If the IoM had the manufactoring capacity they would exchange every single chainsword with a power sword.
But we already had that discussion about the actually power level of certain items in the fluff.^^
As for the Mozambique drill aka bolter drill it would boil down to how many shots it would take to trigger the bonus effect. Some extra damage on the third hit may be a bit late though to be usefull for many enemies. As for armor that is certainly true yet this technique is also used to bring down physically bolstered unarmed personal (i. e. drugs) or if you missed vital organs. Pretty much both account for roughly ANY mutated nurgle cultist.
As for the sniper rifles, Imho a Rapid Fire skill would still make sense. Keep in mind that they naturally would have a lover rate of fire anyway yet sustained fire for some DMRs (Which most of the current sniper rifles fall in) makes sense in certain situations. In fact the true sniper rifles are actually kinda rare in 40k and most would work quite well as DMRs for that is how most snipers are deployed anyway. Even the Exitus Rifle, aside of its specialist ammo, is supposed to keep a steady rate of fire if that vindicare might have to kill an entire room of high value targets.
I'm not sure that the solution is to, necessarily, bin the system as it is. I'd love to have a couple active skills, but as it stands I like the freedom to choose to fill a role (which is why I generally carry two weapon sets that fill different roles). As discussed prior, the plasma weapons are the go-to MEQ killers (in this case, elitebane). The bolter is a jack of all trades, master of none. You'll notice it doesn't have the sheer balls out aimed shot damage of the better sniper rifles, nor does it have the autofire saturation of the heavy bolter. It is a generalist weapon that does a lil bit of this and a lil bit of that.
As it stands, some of the weapon skills need to be shifted around and looked at, you are right. Full auto on a sniper rifle, for example. Lolwtfbbq? Or Eviscerate, which acts like a secondary skill, being the primary chain weapon skill instead of a cleave. Shield block, which has a five second cooldown (which is high even for an MMO active cooldown mitigation). Once more, full auto on a sniper rifle... We could stand to have a pool of active skills, yes. But I personally like the concept (I'm a bit biased as I pitched that very concept a few years ago elsewhere) and in practice it goes rather well outside of the obvious "early build growing pains".
Personally it feels like divorcing from the D&D 3e Syndrome, wherein a game is built around optimal active abilities chosen from a pool full of newbie traps, with far too little focus on the character itself and far too much focus on the kinds of gear made for your class. And that's a good thing, because 3/3.5e D&D was god awful and raised an entire generation of gamers (both digital and tabletop) that answer "what kind of character do you play" with "a barbarian with +5 Demonbane axes wearing mythril chainmail". There's no character to those characters, just the numbers. That killed MMOs, where once upon a time they were active roleplaying games and then through the era of WoW became roll-playing games where your stats were what mattered. From a designer's standpoint, that's appalling. You can't call something a roleplaying game if there's no role to play--that's just blasphemy. And then, grognards started to yank things away from that trap (a little too far with 5e, IMO) so that the character was again the focus. And that was a good thing.
I think, in general, that some focus should be put into making some of the passive skills more balanced with each other--in a few levels I added something like +25% DoT damage to the already steep DoT damage I had, but my +DR tree gave me a total of +9% for almost twice the skill point cost; and it's far harder to get good +DR/+Deflect gear than +DoT damage/+DoT duration gear. That, coupled with the aforementioned rethinking of the skills applied to weapons, may actually prove more beneficial in the long run while keeping in line with the current stated intention that they want players to think things out (including what they launch into a mission with).
As vaguely related input... I'd like to note that I find the shift to Fleshbane for the chainsword to be weird, to me. The fluff always was up front about those teeth being there to chew through armor and flesh equally well, so the shift to them being "bad" against armor in crunch struck me as weird--that was where the low-tech melee weapons were, then chainswords to be okay against both, then power weapons to be the "pinnacle" of your anti-armor melee.
Unrelated: Mozambique drill is two to three rounds center of mass in the heart region and one shot in the T (where the eyes represent the horizontal line and the nose the vertical), not one and one, and it's more of a method to bypass body armor (the third shot being a just in case) than to "stack extra damage". Placement is key, because the forehead is dense enough that it's actually damn hard for pistol caliber shots to penetrate it. There's a very high chance it'll deflect and while any lead hitting something hurts, it's a follow up to disrupt brain activity totally.
Rapid fire and full auto are two different things though, as you see from the wide cone you're not actually aiming really, you're just loosing a flurry of ammunition to keep heads down. A far cry from the measured bang bang bang of a rapid acquire-and-engage drill.
I'd have to admit it's splitting hairs, but a DMR =/= a sniper rifle. Most DMRs are chambered in intermediate cartridges, and have lower range but lower recoil. A proper sniper rifle is tuned a lot more, and is generally not built for that sustained rate of fire--you need cold bore shots for the distances sniper rifles are built to engage at, and rapid fire cranks that bore temp up fast (very fast). Currently most platforms are bolt action for issue sniper rifles, generally because we're expected to chamber military/LEO in .338 LPM or .300 WM (there are some, like the Omen, that eat the latter and are repeaters, but .300 WM heats that bore up fast)--up until relatively recently you could only get the kind of consistent lockup out of a boltgun, not a semi-auto. That would lead into a much longer and more technical word vomit, so for the sake of not derailing too hard I'll leave this point at that and move on.
As for the Mozzie drill, I wasn't so much saying that it's not something to consider as a mechanic, but pointing out that it's multiple taps before the final bang. With some of the fluff that's been written, operatives do in fact still hold onto engagement methods created in modern times (in fact though it's not called such IIRC one of the stories actually has a Throne agent using a Mozambique drill), so I wouldn't be surprised by (or against) the use.
I think I mentioned previously that I can get a bit pedantic over things in that field because it's my realm of specialization; so a lot of what I'm writing has no bearing on the fluff whatsoever (Brits writing guns!), it's just clearing up things that get under my skin because they're never properly represented or researched.
I won't even begin on shotguns, because the amount of rage gaming has caused with those has looped the complete circuit and returned me to "don't even care anymore".
Some interesting ideas.
- Balancing issues aside, because clearly there is still much work to be done -
I think it was one of the early 2016 interviews where they discussed why they wanted to have purely weapon bound abilities rather than character bound. From my recollection it was because they felt it was a better fit into the lore etc. Although obviously you can also make the argument that inquisitors still learn skills and the rule books even allow for such things.
The points you put forward probably would be a fair system to use in place of the current. There is certainly something to be said for customization and the current system does tend to limit the usable skills rather than encourage diversity. Got some ideas of my own - based on making the best of the current system.
Won't ramble into too much detail because i'll be able to make the points a little clearer verbally in the weekend's vid on the state of gameplay - But in brief I think there is work to be done with the weapon skill system by shifting away from giving weapons abilities that are single purpose and spammable. Instead moving toward having at least the basics of a rotation system with a narrower focus of specialty (Bolter is just too versatile for eg, it's not jack of all trades, it's master of all trades!)
As a somewhat basic eg. Ability X lowering armor and ability Y doing bonus damage to enemies under the effect of ability X. While simple it's something that's been used for years to encourages abilities to be used and not sit there idle on the toolbar. Of course you still need to save some space for the odd situational for eg. Heck even MOBA's have basic rotataions you do if you don't want to fail miserably.
For me at least this would be a vast improvement over the 3 spammable abilities which end up as turning to 1 after skills and gear are factored in. There would of course be a bit of a downside though, it would mean that if Weapon X makes Weapon Y do more damage, builds will literally always focus on Weapon Y - reducing diversity.. One of the very few advantages to the current system is that you can at least choose which of a weapons abilities you want to "bump" via skills and gear. Not that it does much for the gameplay though.
Maybe it's just been my choice of weapons (though I think the only thing I haven't used much of so far are 2h assassin melee and the needler/Exitus, really), but I can always find a use for almost all of my weapon abilities on all of my characters--especially in a group.
Skills I might normally forego to do something else, suddenly become useful as I use my enhanced mobility to hop about and drop debuffs or area denial (depending on loadout). The knockdown/stun barrage from the heavy bolter becomes quite useful in a party, and I'd imagine that, were I to resume carrying my AGL, I'd get as much or more use out of the stun munitions than I do as is.
Set this current order state as My default.