Friday, January 19, 2007

On Subskills

It's very mighty fine that you just got one more point in your Fishing skill, but what does it do, exactly?

Of course, increasing any skill increases your efficiency when using that skill, so you'll be able to catch bigger fishes with less efforts, use better lures and all those whatnots. But, more importantly, it gives you access to some subskills. Subskills are special talents you can learn that are related to their respective skill. To buy those skills, you must expend the skill points you earned earlier (Don't worry, your total skill won't go down) and, in some cases, seek training from a master or other sources of information. So with a few points in fishing, you could learn to throw your line further, or maybe how to set up the lure better. You could opt to learn a line trick to make the lure look more alive, or you could take the skill you unlocked after taking that other skill a moment ago.

There are lots of possibilities; but, as you progress, you'll realize that some of the skills become redundant. Perhaps the magery Lightning Bolt spell is similar to the elementalist Lightning Strike, or the nature magic Summon Lightning. Maybe you're not too enthusiastic about learning a hundredth way of healing someone. What's the point of mastering every skill, then?

The truth is, there might not be a point. As you progress in different skills, you will notice that there are many ways to obtain the same result, which is good for character diversification, but bad for specialists who have mastered much of their skill and don't want to start learning new ones. The thing is, however, that learning enough of every skill that anything new would become redundant would take an enormous amount of time; forget about mastering the game in a month, it will take years to be good at everything, and by then you will realize that it was a big waste of time, since you only need to excel at your own profession to succeed. But at least you don't need to share the loot, right?

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