Experience and Skill Increase

A topic of discussion that has been thrown around a lot is what would the best way to increase skills be. There’s a lot of good arguments to be made about several systems, from over-time UE gathering, failure-based skill increases and quest-based experience gains.

I am however partial towards the failure-based systems since they make it so that in order to improve, you need to continue chasing harder challenges in whatever you’re doing.

The one issue with those is the skill timers. These feel very game-y and make it so that the optimal thing to do is for me to disengage my crafting until the timer reset to not lose out on potential skill gains.

What I propose is for the implementation of a new type of resource called ‘Insight’. In this system, a character would have their skill level (SL) and their insight level (IL).

Getting a fail would cause you to gain IL, which accumulates with diminishing returns. Meaning, your first failure would grant you 1 IL, next one would be something like 0.8 IL, then 0.6 and so forth.

IL gets converted over into SL over time. This eliminates the problem of timers. You still can’t grind a skill to max quickly, since your are limited by how quickly your IL ticks over into SL, but you aren’t restricted from putting in a lot of work and feeling like you wasted time/materials. The reason it’s diminishing in its returns is to keeps someone from stacking too much of it while their SL is low.

You can then even implement methods for IL to tick over faster into SL. Such as watching a player show, watching television, being tutored, etc.

An example:

I found a copper ore vein. I start mining it. By the time I have as much copper ore as I can carry, I accumulated about 3.1 IL. I then head back into the colony and unload my stuff. My IL ticks down at specific intervals as my character contemplates on what they’ve done wrong and how to do it better.

I then attend a show held by the local singer, and due to the quality of it, it ticks 0.8 off my IL in every skill. This gives a mechanical reason to attend shows and makes entertainers more valuable.

There are caveats to this system, of course, but I feel like it bridges the gap between timers (I can keep failing and accumulate IL) and allows people to feel like time spent roleplaying, or going into other skills, isn’t wasted (My IL will tick down into SL win my downtime).


I don’t think I’ve ever played a MUD that does the whole timer thing and it lets you know how long you have left to be able to skill-up again. That solution seems so half-baked and stupid, that I would probably avoid such a place out of spite.

As to this one, yeah, I can see the merit in it. It kind of loosely ties into systems I’ve seen before. Personally, I’m for a simpler model that just gives you a better than even chance at a skill-up when you fail plus a modifier for higher than average intellect.

I know thought has to be put into stopping people from endlessly grinding, and that play styles vary, but as for myself, I do what I feel I’ll enjoy regardless of how it affects the pulse rate of my skills / experience.