The 1.2.9 update for the Starhawk Public BETA was deployed during the regularly scheduled server maintenance today, February 10 at 2pm Central time and included the following change:
- Added the Skills-System.
This kind of system is often referred to as "perks" by players and by other first-person shooters. However, the team here at LightBox Interactive is very aware of how "perk" systems can adversely impact the overall balance of a game and we've developed our system to avoid those problems as much as possible while still providing players with some really great incentives and unlockable goals. And to achieve this difficult balance, we've made a few very significant changes to the skills in Starhawk that set it apart from the skill-systems found in other games.
THERE ARE NO SKILLS THAT GIVE YOU MORE HEALTH, OR ACCURACY OR MORE DAMAGE!
You can only have a single skill active at any time and you can only change your skill if you are waiting to respawn. You can changes skills while you are alive however the change will not take effect until you respawn.
There is no "skill-tree". Players never have to unlock skills in order to unlock "higher-level" skills. In Starhawk, we provide players with a flat list of skills. We want players to be able to customize their character to suit their play-style without having to wade through a bunch of skills that they don't care about.
We are working very diligently to make sure that no one skill is significantly better than another. We want them all to be as equal as possible so that the Starhawk skill-system is more about focusing on personal play-style rather than grinding through incremental stages of better and better "buffs".
Unlocking skills in Starhawk still requires, well.... some skill! To unlock a skill you need 2 things: The required number of skill-points, and the required prerequisite.
Skill points are awarded to the player every time they level-up. Currently in the BETA we have each skill requiring 2 skill-points. This means that you get a skill ever two levels. You can see your skills and how many skill-points you have by selecting the "Skills" screen from your Uplink. The number of skill points you have available is displayed in the upper right corner of the screen.
Why skill points? Well, flexibility really. We wanted to be able to adjust as needed and while we very much want to make sure all skills are as equal as possible and require the same number of skill-points to unlock them, we are just trying to plan ahead just in case we want to try unlocking skill every level, or a skill every 3 levels or experiment with skills that cost different amounts.
These are like trophies or achievements. Things you have to do in-game to prove your skill. For example, the pre-req for the Scavenger skill is "Get a kill with every troop weapon in a single game".
When you activate your Skills screen in the Uplink, you will see a list of all your locked skills and then on the right side of the screen, you will see the prerequisites listed for each one. Initially, they will all be displayed in RED because you have yet to perform the required actions. Once you have however, the prerequisite will be displayed in GREEN informing you that the skill is now available for unlock -- given you have enough skill-points, of course!
Are some skills too powerful or are some simply not worth unlocking? Are the prerequisites too hard to get or too easy? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or the Forums!
We're really looking forward to hearing the feedback!