In the past, the question of skill gain in Project Brains has been one of “how fast or slow should it be”. This misses several points, so we’re going to change a few things.

Like most games, Ultima Online works on a system of “do x, you will gradually gain skill in doing x”. This works perfectly in normal UO, or any competetive environment where you want to reward the player who puts in the the most time.

However, several issues are raised when you try to apply this directly to Europa roleplayers.

Powergaming throws off the balance of power.

One person is playing a hardened soldier, and another is playing an elderly farmer. If the farmer has an extra few hours to grind skills in the evening, he can easily become much tougher, even if it makes no sense in character.

Most people on the server are UO veterans.

They’ve already trained 100 characters, and are largely tired of the grind. They’re used to playing their favourite characters amongst other people playing their favourite characters, all with maxed out skills. This leads onto the next problem…

People view max skill as the bare minimum.

I include myself in this. After years of playing with a max skill character, playing with anything else seems… a bit naff. And after you make a new character, you’re inclined to grind the skill up as quickly as possible at the expense of interacting with other players. This is expensive in time and resources.

Time to try something new

To avoid these problems with traditional skill gain, we’ve taken a big step. Skill gain, as we know it, has been removed.

Instead, a character starts with 0 in everything, and 10 scrolls. The scrolls will give you a starting amount in any skill, in the following quantities:

  • 3x 70.0
  • 4x 50.0
  • 3x 30.0

No, they don’t stack. No, you can’t shuffle them between characters.

Every 24 hours you get another scroll. You get the scroll whether you’re online or not, so you don’t need to worry about being overtaken. When you pick a skill to be increased by the scroll, it’ll raise by a certain amount, depending on your current level in that skill.

Bracket Increase
0 - 50 +10.0
50 - 70 +5.0
70-90 +2.0
90+ +1.0

This system should allow you to spend your time and resources on actually playing the game, rather than grinding skill. It forces people to choose their skill more wisely, as they can’t grind up multiple skills in one day. Crafters will have to focus on crafting to stay competetive. Fighters will have to focus on fighting, and rely more strongly on crafters. In theory, everyone wins.