Polishing the training mechanics.

It’s been bothering me for a while, and now since I’ve actually registered it’s time to spill it.
Training mechanics in this game need fixing.
I’m not going to go into details about the actual caps being uneven. I am still stating that this part needs to be dealt with, it’s just not the oversight I’m talking about here. And no, the study doesn’t make it all right. Your study doesn’t zail the zee with you, and your officers don’t require you to hunt for items, or to get rid of items.

What I’m nagging here about is the relation between the current stats, the base stats and the caps.
You (Yes, you! Not not you, the other you!) ever noticed how the stat raising feedback, more often then not, is displaying a different number than the one used in cap checking? That’s because it’s showing your BASE stat value. The one YOU have as a captain. What bothers me is that the cap checking itself isn’t using that same value.

The results are unpleasantly exploitable. You can go above the cap if you downgrade a stat (for example with a bridge equipment or a ship type), and you get penalised for having stat bonuses that are hard to remove before training your captain to that stat’s cap. (Primarily it’s upgrading ship without maxing iron). That’s just wrong. It degrades the gameplay and it has no realism behind it either.

&quotSorry captain, I can’t train you further. Your ship is too good. You need smaller ship so that we could wrestle properly.&quot
&quotSorry captain, I can’t train you further. Your navigator is too good. And he’s looking at me funny. Now if you would let him just hang around the cabin for an hour that’d be a different matter.&quot
&quotSorry captain, I can’t train you further. Your ship’s light is too bright. Waddaya mean we’re in London away from the ship and the light hasn’t been turned on for weeks? Who cares? It’s still too bright! Why don’t you go all the way back to the ship to stuff that light into the cargo hold so that we could continue?&quot
&quotHey! Don’t do that! I need that turned-off light on the bridge, to teach the captain how to sneak around London properly.&quot

Has my crew gone insane while I wasn’t looking?

Anyway, if you would code a way for the game to check for the BASE stat while raising it, all those bonuses and penalties would actually become a lot more meaningful, not to mention the fact that the game is a lot more comfortable for a lot of us to play when our compulsions aren’t making us second-guess every ship upgrade.

Those bonuses are meant to be the factors that are there from circumstances, NOT related to your captains abilities. If a ship is giving you a bonus to your iron it’s supposed to keep giving it to you after you’ve reached the limits of your training, not stop you from getting the training.
Same goes for the equipment and the crew, they aren’t part of who you are and what YOU can do, they are supposed to work ON TOP of that without any ridiculous swapping or without letting you squeeze in just a bit more hearts because some mechanic is looking scary AND he is currently appointed as a mechanic.

You can get a good reasoning behind SOME of these actions (for example a big ship CAN serve as a good source of practice when it comes to sneaking) but most of the time it’s just unrealistic nonsense that is getting both in the way of &quotimmersion&quot and in the way of &quotgame enjoyment&quot.

Noooo, muh insanely high Veils ;_;

But yeah, it probably should be checking the base stat.

Hah! I was just mentioning the insanity of how the stats work between the total pool and the base and how this leads to a lot of logic wonkyness over here.

I was looking at it from the other angle of the total lack of logic in stories when, say, your brawl in the streets Gaider’s Mourn is somehow affected by your dreadnought’s iron bonus even though none of the participants are even near the ship because they’re on land, or how when making a heart’s check to personally convince someone through empathy on something your cook’s morale boost in hearts somehow comes into play . Also how weird it is that your on ship lamp is draining your ability to scramble over rocks in a story because it lowers veils.

And it just bugs me that there is no damn way to ever check my base stats. Seriously, you have to unequip all crew and armament and theoretically then switch to the starter ship if you’re long past it for your listed stats at the top to reflect your base stats. It’s really annoying. I never remember what my base stat is when I’m looking to train and so have to do a bunch of math deducting my officer’s bonuses, my ship bonus, my equipment bonuses . . . it’s a chore when it should just be a number I can track down somewhere in the journal.

But you bring up ANOTHER valid point about the wonkyness of the current system: training, and especially limits on it and overtraining because I happen to have equipped the Montaigne Projector or are sailing in a Dreadnought.

I think having the game use Base stats for a lot of specific things - like training and certain story options - would be great, especially if there were more notifiers on when you could use other options that included your ship (and all its equipment) and/or your officers and crew to enhance a roll check. The Pigmote isle story comes to mind especially, where you can choose to lead an attack, and when you succeed you use your ship, and when you fail you tried to attack by land, which makes it seem like the player should be able to choose between these two options at different potential costs in exchange for increased benefits on the check.

At least it would lead to far fewer fridge logic moments.

Well, you can’t make it all 100% reasonable.

Take your Iron for example. One gunner increases it by wrestling with you, the other by gunnery. How the heck are those two things supposed to be related?

How does my wrestling practice help me throw rocks?
How does my gunning accuracy help me shake a tree?
Let’s just say it’s my aggressive attitude that counts here.

At some point you need to stop perusing realism, or this can shake the game to the roots. Logic and common sense advise that it’d be a point that’s convenient for game enjoyment. Personally I don’t mind that a dreadnought is helping me and my crew to fight on land but is making it hard for us to hide. At the very least I can write it off as a &quotmentality issue&quot. A crew on a big and strong vessel should be more used to fighting and less used to hiding.

And a good cook means a better dinner discussion, good mood, and maybe the tongue &quotuntangled&quot just to the right degree.

Now how the heck do you tie mechanic to sneaking? … Smoothly running silent engines make for difficult sneaking so my crew and I are well trained? Yeah, right…
edited by Red-XIII on 2/25/2015

I think you should worry less about what the stats mean. It’s a game. It’s really ok for there to be a disconnect as long as there’s internal consistency. And there is. If it’s physical or damage related, iron. Sneaky? Veils. Etc.

Now. For the base check to learn. Yes. I agree. But, with all due respect, because this is an excellent point you make, you also need to put a tldr/summary up at the top there (because right now, you just launch into a rant and take a while to get to the point) and maybe change the poll name from &quotI am right, vote for me&quot to &quotshould base stats be used for skill upgrade checks&quot or something.
edited by SporksAreGoodForYou on 2/25/2015

[quote=SporksAreGoodForYou]I think you should worry less about what the stats mean. It’s a game. It’s really ok for there to be a disconnect as long as there’s internal consistency. And there is. If it’s physical or damage related, iron. Sneaky? Veils. Etc.

Now. For the base check to learn. Yes. I agree. But you also need to put a tldr/summary up at the top there (because right now, you just launch into a rant and take a while to get to the point) and change the poll name from &quotI am right, vote for me&quot to &quotshould base stats be used for skill upgrade checks&quot or something.
edited by SporksAreGoodForYou on 2/25/2015[/quote]

I wasn’t trying to rant as much as trying to &quotdrive the point in&quot. I personally care more about the gameplay impact, but that’s not the only way to look at the game, and thus it’s not the only position worth considering.

I didn’t put a short version on purpose (I never do, not long and short both, unless long is getting excessively complex and may thus confuse the people who didn’t need an explanation in the first place), and I formulated a question in a way that requires the reading of the post for that same purpose. If the person can’t be bothered to get into details, than maybe he shouldn’t bother with the results either. To put it in other words - if they don’t care about what I have to say, I don’t care about their input either. But that’s a long topic, and it’s unrelated to the subject of this discussion, isn’t it? It’s more complex than that, but &quotbasically&quot, in most cases, the amount of time a person is willing to spend is a direct indication of their willingness and their ability to positively affect whatever they are spending it on, discussion included.

I’ve probably failed to formulate it well enough, and it probably could have been shorter and better organised, but I’m not at the top of my mental capacity today (sleepy), so that’s as good as I could manage.
edited by Red-XIII on 2/25/2015
edited by Red-XIII on 2/25/2015

To keep things straightforward and internally consistent, I believe training should always work based on the character’s base stats, and stat checks should use the modified value, the one which takes into account ship, fittings, crew, etc.

It’s not ideal, as there’s broad uses for each stat, fluff-wise. But then it’s not ideal either to have ships and companions increase personal stats which are essentially analogues to traditional attributes such as Strength, Dexterity and Perception.

The main reason why they are broad is that they aren’t exactly personal stats with easy analogy.

For example if “pages” is intelligence than you could be the dumbest captain in the underzee but still somehow manage to persuade difficult people, which isn’t exactly realistic.

And how do you define a personal attribute that affects both your ability to stomach food and to inspire people?

They are broad collective directions that represent an idea, a mindset, an outlook more than any other personal characteristic (or that’s how I see them anyway), and ideas are contagious. If, for example, your captain is known for trickery or brute force it’s not unreasonable to assume that he would attract like-minded individuals, spread the knowledge and experience, and generally move his crew towards similar mindset. Same way (but to a smaller degree) an attitude of your specialists could spread to your crew and you (they are after all only offering a fraction of what a persons stats could be), and in the same way it can be affected by your working conditions.

It shouldn’t have a deep enough effect to play a role on one’s personal qualities (which are supposed to be the things constituting your base stats), but other than that the degree to which the environment can affect you is more or less well represented by the game’s current stat bonus/penalty system.

Items that reduce your stats are actually very useful. That’s intended and what sets Fallen London/Sunless Sea apart from other games. Is it logical, for example, that having a Dreadnaught raises your Iron by 25 points even for checks that have nothing to do with sea battles? No. It is, however, useful if you, say, want to raise your Iron stat 25 points higher to access a particular storylet, or sell it to reduce your Iron for the same reason.

Also that moment when you realize the possibilities of the Eyeless Skull: priceless

That’s the whole point - you can’t increase or reduce YOUR aspects by equipping or selling something. Some things that are logically meant to depend on your aspecs and your aspects alone (such as training or propositions) should not be influenced by who among the strange bunch of creatures is called the current mascot on your ship, or what ship you are sailing.

In the end the only reason why those bonuses or penalties are represented by the same stat as your own stats is just gameplay convenience. It’s just like glasses (or any other optics really), they don’t improve your eyesight they just let you see things you weren’t able to see on your own.