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Skills - Unspecialized Skill Points

This is a bit of an odd one I reckon, but as a player who 9 times out of 10 goes for creating “thematic builds” as opposed to using standard/general/meta builds, it’s an idea that to me made sense.

What do I mean by “thematic builds”?
It’s probably easy to guess but to clarify, I grew up with a lot of roleplaying. So when I create a new character, I have a tendency to give said character an identity and somewhat of a backstory which I then use as a guideline for how I want to build that character’s kit.

As an example, I’d make a Primalist whose backstory goes along the lines of:

“Abandoned in the wilderness at a younger age, he learnt to survive on his own and after a bountiful hunt, he put to use the excess food in a successful attempt at befriending a local pack of wolves with whom he shared his hunting grounds with.
He now hunts those grounds and beyond with a new family—a pack wolves at his back.”

Thus, I’d make a build specifically around wolves, which, thematically could include the following skills:

  1. Summon Wolf
  2. Swipe
  3. Warcry

This leaves me with 3/5 skills specialised and of course, I could simply just throw in a couple of random skills, Fury Leap for mobility, Healing Wind or Eterra’s Blessing for survivability…

However, they do not fit the character I had in mind:

  1. Fury Leap - He is no superhero capable of launching himself several metres forward.
  2. Healing Wind - He has no training with magic so the character himself could not conjure healing magic.
  3. Eterra’s Blessing - Same as the above, plus the fact that he is not religious, he grew up without the presence of Eterra’s devotees guiding him to beseech the blessing of Eterra.

Of course, this is entirely my choice, as silly as it may be.

I am fully aware that I am making it harder for myself by limiting myself in ways like these, which honestly is fun in itself. Limiting myself on what I can and cannot use can actually be a really fun and interesting way of playing through certain games, and this is one of them.

Anyway, that’s enough rambling about how dumb I can be sometimes.

Moving onto what the idea of this topic is:

If you do happen to not specialise in 5 skills and instead only 3/5 as in the example above, you start getting so called “Unspecialized skill points” from the 2 unspecialised nodes, at what pace? Not sure. Which can then be used on whatever specialised skill you please.

I’m thinking 5 points per unspecialised node is probably as high as it should go for this reason:

Specialising in only 1 skill out of 5 results in you doubling the amount of skill points you can invest into a single skill. In some cases this can be very useful and/or powerful and in some cases… really dumb because some skill trees are designed with nodes that do not play well together and that is a good thing.

So getting 20 additional points for each unspecialised skill would be pretty absurd as 40 points total (opposed to 100) is still within the limits of many, if not all skill trees, Serpent Strike has 87 for example.

More power and specialisation comes at the cost of… power and specialisation, who knew.

At least this way, silly people like me could feel less silly for leaving 2 specialisation slots unused by putting those additional (albeit reduced) points into taking better care of my wolves because they deserve it, they’ve been very good.

That brings me to my fears:

  • How much extra balancing would this require?
    • Sadly I do not know, hopefully little to none (doubtful) as I’m not sure whether a single skill is powerful enough to benefit too much from this, you are after all sacrificing a good deal of power for it in the first place.
  • How would this affect the meta?
    • Again, not sure. I used to go for meta builds in games but then I got tired of that and decided I wanted to have fun of my own and since that day I’ve almost exclusively made my own builds, whether they’re absolutely trash or surprisingly powerful, it comes down to how much fun I have. In the end, fun in subjective, I respect those who find meta builds fun, I’m sure there are plenty I’d enjoy myself if I took a look.

Apologies for the long read if you managed to endure it.

Roleplayer wants to specialise in 3 skills out of 5 for silly reasons and thinks it would be fun to get 10 additional “Unspecialized skill points” to spend on the 3 specialised skills to further improve them.

Each unspecialised skill gives 5 additional points (not 20 like it would normally have), to a max of 20 additional points at 1/5 skills specialised, to spend on whatever specialised skill(s) you have.

  • 1 Skill Specialised = 20 additional points (40 total on 1 skill)
  • 2 Skills Specialised = 15 additional points (55 total across 2 skills)
  • 3 Skills Specialised = 10 additional points (70 total across 3 skills)
  • 4 Skills Specialised = 5 additional points (85 total across 4 skills)
  • 5 Skills Specialised = 0 additional points (100 total across 5 skills)

Thought of a somewhat plausible pacing for how these “unspecialized skill points” could be gained:

If you reach level 20 with a specialised skill and you have at least one unspecialised skill slot, then skill experience will start to go into any empty slot(s) at the same rate you would normally level a skill.

However, these empty slots will be levelled from 1-5 at the same rate you level a skill from 1-20, giving you an unspecialised skill point to spend in any specialised skill(s) you have.

So if you at one point decide to use one of the unspecialised skill slots, the ability you assign will be given the “Minimum specialized level” plus whatever level the unspecialised slot is.

E.g. specialising a skill into an empty, level 5 slot with a minimum specialised level of 10 will result in the newly specialised skill being level 15.