The skill system in Ultimate ADOM is one of the areas that will be very different from what you know from ADOM. Why? For me there are many reasons:

  • The skill ratings in ADOM are overly fiddly with the 0-100 scale.
  • The meaning of skill increases in many cases is not very obvious (how much better is 49 healing really compared to 54?).
  • There is a lot of fiddly randomness involved that many players do not even seem to understand (during actual tests we found a surprising number of people that don’t even know what 3d4 means).
  • There usefulness of available skills has a high variance (e.g. Concentration or Healing versus Bridge Building).
  • Some skills are insanely hard to utilize well (e.g. Bridge Building).

All this will result in a very different skill system in Ultimate ADOM. Our goals are:

  • Every skill should be useful.
  • It should be painful to decide in favor of one skill (and against others).
  • Each skill increase should have meaningful and noticeable consequences.
  • Skills should not be fiddly.

Thus our preliminary design for the new skill (it’s currently under development but not yet implemented in a workable state) includes the following decisions:

  • There only will be six levels per skill (untrained, apprentice, journeyman, master, grandmaster, legend).
  • Whenever you advance one experience level, you will be able to increase one skill by one level.
  • Each increase will have noticeable (and explicitly described) benefits.
  • Skills will be more general and less specialized (e.g. no more Bridge Building but general Woodcrafting).
  • Skill levels will be very noticeable (e.g. the Observation skill might expose more and more information about the game, e.g. monster statistics or item data).

In this way we hope to make the skill system a lot more interesting and helpful in order to make a difference for your character. They should allow to create truly different builds even for the same base class due to the deep specialization they allow.

In addition to the skill system we will have a new talent system. The goals of the new talent system are pretty similar to the goals connected with the new skill system: Talents really should allow to create highly customized builds. Generally for the skill system we are more thinking about something close to what Path of Exile does than what ADOM did (e.g. clearer progression paths allowing more and more specializations in a graph of options with the starting classes and factions offering various entry points into the talent system).

Thus you e.g. could imagine that wizards have pretty immediate access to talents allowing to specialize certain styles of magic (e.g. fire magic, ice magic, elemental magic, divination magic, necromancy) or forms (combat magic, defensive magic, …) while a fighter trying to learn magic first will have to navigate her way through the talent graph. The idea of having a connected graph is also highly valuable in connection with factions because factions thus become a powerful modifier to your character build (e.g. being a follower of Brannalbin probably will put you into an interesting starting area for highly exciting magical talents while being an adherent of Rolf, last emperor of the dwarves, might be very interesting if you are interested in crafting).

Our underlying entity component system is perfectly suited to doing a very distinctive and powerful talent and skill system and it actually will be a lot of fun to build the basic system and then expand it based on your ideas and requests for enhancement because as always: The ADOM community truly rules here by having been an endless source of wonderful inspiration!