President of Lightbox Interactive, Dylan Jobe, speaks out on the current skill and ranking system for Starhawk.
The Skill System:
The Skill System is not a tree system that many players are familiar with. Instead, it will be a flat system. This means that players will be able to purchase almost any skills right away. All skills have the exact same point values and can be purchased by using 3 skill points. Skill points are earned by leveling up. So, one level equals one point. The reason why they went with this route was to increase the game’s life and play time for players.
However, there are certain skills that do require a prerequisite. In theory, this is meant to help players discover what kind of role they want to be playing in Starhawk. For example, the Engineer Skill allows you to spawn with a repair tool. The prerequisite to unlock this skill is to repair any ten ally structures.
Here are two more skills, although the chances of them making it in the final game is unlikely:
- Toughness: This skill adds more health to the player. The reason why this won’t be in the final game is due to the fact that players may become to attached to this skills. The team decided that they didn’t want any of the skills in the game to be necessary to always have in every match. They don’t want the game to play out like Uncharted 3 or Call of Duty where everyone is using the exact same perks. Also players would become conditioned to a weapon in the game. They would figure out exactly how much damage a weapon does. This skill makes the game feel “muddy”, since it would knock players off.
- Squad leader Skill: Though there are currently no plans to have Mobile Spawn Points, one of the skills that is currently in Prototype is the Squad Leader Skill. Anyone who has this skill equipped will be able to have squad mates spawn on that person’s location. It was something that the developers thought was fun, but they found that it could potentially wreck the game. It’s not known whether we will see this skill in the final game. However, if the game was based on a tree system then it would definitely be one of the last unlocks in the game.
During the beta, the skill system will be continuously monitored for community feedback, according to StarHawk radio, available through iTunes.
Rather then having your normal military ranking system, Starhawk will be using the classic numeric rankings. This is because the military ranking doesn’t really apply to the two factions (Rifters and Outcasts). They did consider the idea of having ranks that do fit with each faction, but that would leave them with two different sets of ranks, which isn’t something they want to do.
There will be a title system though it’s not linked to your current ranking. These will be based on your team/clan, meaning that Clan Leaders will be able to hand out specific titles to other members of the group.