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Inconsistent behavior with additional skill points from gear

When you put on a piece of gear that adds skill points (for example, +3 to level of Devouring Orb), and then remove that piece, you lose points that you gained from that gear.

However which points you lose seems to be inconsistent across items.

There was a heated discussion in general chat earlier, with some people reporting that they always lost exact same points that they skilled when getting extra points from gear, while other people reported that they always lost random points.

For purposes of testing, i used my void knight character who had level 20 devouring orb, and a +3 devouring orb helmet. I equipped helmet, assigned 3 points, then unequipped it. I noted that the points i lost were exactly the points i assigned after equipping it. I repeated this 19 more times (For 20 total trials), and in all 20 cases, i lost the exact points that i assigned when equipping the helmet.

However a few other people in chat reported that they did exact same steps (someone mentioned using a +1 warpath relic), and every time they un- and re-equipped it, the point they lost was completely random.

So either their characters are bugged (and they should be losing same point every time), my character is bugged (and should be losing random points every time), or gear is bugged (and behaving inconsistently across different gear slots or skills).

(Also as a side note, the sticky in Feedback and Suggestions forum that links to bug reports has a broken link that leads to nowhere)

Hey there.

The intention of the devs wrt to +skill points from gear is that removing gear with these affixes should randomnly remove the appropriate number of skill points from the skill in question. This was done specifically to prevent people cheesing skills to change a skill, for example, from clearing multiple target focus to a single target nuke just before doing a Boss map. Devs do not want people to respec builds based on single maps or respec for specific bosses. This is in line with the games requirement that you have to re-earn XP for skill nodes if your respec them. You may think that this isnt worth worrying about or would have minimal impact, but there are ways to get +5 skill points or more from gear that can be significant in respecing a skill / skill focus or power.

in practise tho, the game can only remove skill points from “end” nodes or nodes where the removal of a point doesnt invalidate a subsequent node on a branch. This means that in certain situations, the game cannot do anything but remove the same node points… and with situations with limited possible node choices, even randomnly removing 3 or more points for example, may end up removing the same nodes relatively frequently - purely because the game has less choice of where to remove so many skill points without messing up the skill tree. For example if there were only 4 points that could be removed, and the game had to remove 3, then its pretty possible that the same three points would be removed over and over. If there were only 3 points possible to remove, well, then its going to be the same 3 every time.

Thats said, in a small sample of 20, I would still expect some randomness to exist - provided that the skill tree you tested would actually allow for a lot of possible options for the RNG to actually work.

Please can you provide specific details of the testing you did - i.e. the exact process and nodes you used and what the skill tree actually was before you started the testing.

It may very well be that you found a specific loophole/bug in the RNG node removal code and if it can be replicated then the devs can look into “fixing” it if it is actually a bug and not just RNG being RNG.

It’s not inconsistent, the game uses an algorithm to determine which points to remove. It can’t invalidate a tree (so it won’t remove points that are required for nodes further down the tree) and it doesn’t always remove the points you put in when you equipped the item with + skulls (otherwise that would be too easy to swap between single target and clear, it would also give rise to issues if you applied points subsequently from level ups). It’s not bugged.

Here is a screenshot

The top image shows my skill point allocation with no helmet equipped. Red circles indicate skills to pay attention to.

Middle image shows me equipping +3 helmet. Red circles indicate skills i put these 3 extra points into.

Bottom image shows me unequipping the helmet. Red circles indicate skills i lose points in (same points i put in during middle step). Green circles indicate where the game could have possibly taken points out of if (or more points out of) it was truly random (while preserving the tree flow).

In my testing, which was 15 (about a week ago) + 30 (yesterday) + 20 (for making this post) +5 (today) attempts, coming to a total of 70 attempts, the game ALWAYS removed the 3 points that i assigned to the red circled skills. It was always exact same points, in exact same amount, from exact same skills. Chances of that happening randomly are statistically improbable.

If the game was doing “random but preserving tree flow”, then there should have been at least one attempt where the game maybe took more points out of Sightless Star at the bottom (which is not connected to anything), or more points out of Void Adept (which is also not connected to anything), or the 1 point out of Soul Eater (not connected), or 3 points out of World Rot (not connected), or any points out of Abyssal Expanse (not connected) etc etc. There are many choices. And yet it always took points from 2 same skills, and always in exact same ratio. If i assign 2 points to Sightless Star and 1 to Void Adept, it will remove 2 from star and 1 from adept. If i assign 2 to void adept and 1 to star, it will remove 2 from adept and 1 from star. Every time without exception.

I suggest you re-read my post again

I did. The only reason the nodes that get points removed from appears inconsistent is because we don’t have access to the algorithm that the game uses to decide.

If the inputs to an equation are the same, I’d expect the output to be the same (quantum mechanical weirdness notwithstanding). If you’d varied which nodes you put the points in before removing the helm & it still always removed the same points, that would be a bit weird, but you didn’t mention that in your OP.

It’s not random, we just don’t know the full parameters that the game uses to make the which is why it appears random & inconsistent.

The devs have said this before & they do know how the game makes it’s choices. They’re just not going to tell us so we can’t figure out how to game the system.

I get why you posted it as a bug & I’m honestly not having a go at you.

I did vary them. Putting 2 into Star and 1 to void adept removes 2 from star and 1 from adept.

Putting 2 into void adept and 1 into star removes 2 from adept and 1 from star.

Putting 2 into void adept and 1 into soul eater, for example, removes 2 from void adept and 1 from soul eater.

I didnt list all these things because i thought i was being clear in my post. No matter where i put three points, it always removes those exact points.

Ok. I have tested this myself and from what I can tell, its not randomn (as I previously assumed) and as @Llama8 mentioned, it does seem to be working on some sort of algorithm that is somewhat predicatable/deterministic - I did not do NEARLY enough testing to even begin to guess at it - I expect that may require a lot of work way beyond my personal ability (or inclination) to reverse engineer.

However, from my testing, the game doesnt always remove the last assigned points and I come to this conclusion from testing & some logical deduction:

I have tested with your example and it removes the same nodes, but IF you assign different nodes (ie. not void adept and sightless star) as the +3, it doesnt always remove those when you remove the helm. I.e. its not taking the last nodes you have assigned - it just seems like it is because its not RNG and its following some sort of internal rules that is removing the same - i.e. same input, same output as LLama8 explained.

Thinking about this more, and checking in the savegame file to confirm. The game has NO record (at least that I can find) that stores WHAT the last assigned node in a skill tree was. There is nothing in the saves beyond the nodes that have points and how many points in the node - no sequence of last assigned node (tested this in a new savegame to check). Logically this would mean that there is no way that the game is actually using whatever you chose as a last node for any algorithm or even RNG code to figure out what nodes to deduct skill points from. It simply doesnt have the info. Perhaps I havent looked hard enough but I dont think it does.

So. Imho, the game is consistant in how its handling the removal of skill points assigned via gear, but its consistant based on an unknown algorithm with criteria we cannot deduce currently. In certain instances (like what you found) there is a consistancy of the same nodes being refunded on removal of the + skill point gear but this seems to be very specific to the nodes on individual skill trees.


So basically it is consistent in being inconsistent, as weird as it sounds.

So the closest approximation to an answer would be “Its random, not really, but might as well be random”?

Pretty much.

I looks like its random, until you do it over and over in the same way - then you realise it cannot be - which can only mean its following some sort of rule/algo. An algorithm we dont know so for all intensive purposes its pretty much random to all but those that realise its not actually. (Like me before doing this test and reading Llama8s response :crazy_face: )

Edit: I now also understand why the devs dont want to let this info / algo become public knowledge.

It doesn’t.

No, the closest approximation is that the game has an algorithm that it uses to determine which nodes to remove but because we don’t have access to that and the devs have no desire to share, it may appear random or inconsistent to those who have not had it explained.

your version is full version. An approximation is what i said. Not sure why you’re trying to grab words when we’ve more or less established whats going on already.

Lol… “grab words” heh heh… dont worry about old @Llama8, he just has a fetish for being 100% correct/specific/exact. He is an accountant. :crazy_face: He was born that way and while he is usually always right, the rest of us have learnt to ignore him most times.

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