Skill level overhaul

I know this is not a new topic, and a myriad of ſolutions has already been propoſed, but here is my beſt ſuggeſtion for fixing a few iſſues with the current skill level ſyſtem.
Here are my axiöms:

  1. When a harder skill level is applied to a given miſſion, the miſſion ſhould be more difficult.
  2. The difference between two adjacent skill levels ſhould be ſuch that a max-difficulty miſſion on the lower skill feels like a mediüm-high-difficulty miſſion on the higher one.
  3. All players ſhould be accommodated; the worſt players ſhould ſtill be able to complete the eaſieſt miſſions, and the beſt of the beſt ſhould ſtruggle to finiſh the hardeſt miſſions.
  4. There ſhould not be an economic benefit to flyïng miſſions for which the player is wholly untrained.
  5. There ſhall not be a high “barriër of entry” to harder miſſions; the main iſſue muſt be the exceſſive difficulty, and acceſſing a higher skill level ſhould not require grinding.

Here are the main iſſues that I ſee in the current ſyſtem:

  1. There is currently a very ſmall difference (baſically unnoticeable) between skill levels.
  2. The hardeſt miſſions are not hard enough.
  3. The biggeſt factor in miſſion difficulty is the choice of miſſion, not choice of skill.
  4. There is currently an economic benefit to flyïng on the hardeſt difficulty even if one is not up to the task, as evidenced by variöus forum poſts.

In my propoſed ſolution, I cannot give preciſe deſcription of the changes I’d like to ſee, in part becauſe of this:

Therefore, I ſhall explain the fundamentals of my propoſed overhaul, and then liſt ſome further improvements at the end. I will not diſcuſs changes to Touriſt level, as I do not feel qualified to do ſo.

To ſolve iſſue #1, we ſhould change the range of miſſion difficulties per skill level thus:
Rookie: 0-100
Seaſoned: 30-130
Veteran: 60-160
Virtuoſo: 90-190
SSH: 120-220

Basically the lower bounds are juſt adders to the nominal difficulty of the miſſion, juſt as it works now. Theſe are calibrated in line with axiom #2; for example, a 100% difficulty miſſion on Rookie would feel like a 60% difficulty miſſion on Seaſoned.

In addition, in order to make the higher skills more…memorable, there’s my “rogue wave” concept, which now that I think about it is ſomewhat ſimilar to a bug in the firſt verſions of the game. During miſſion generation, for each wave a random number between 0 and 1 is generated. The wave difficulty then gets a difficulty booſt given by this formula:
[n^2] / [2(1.1-x)]
Where x is the random number, and n is an integer correſponding to the skill level:
Rookie = 0, SSH = 4

Note that on Rookie, rogue waves aren’t a thing becauſe the formula always outputs 0.

Here are ſome values of the function for the other difficulties

Here are a few more notes: rogue waves have a much greater effect on harder skill levels, but regardleſs of skill level moſt waves are pretty cloſe to the nominal difficulty. The idea is juſt to have the occaſional wave that makes the player go “oh, wow” when the chickens ſhow up. I know a few people will complain about beïng “ſcrewed over by RNG”, but 1) the rogue waves are barely noticeable on anything below Veteran, and 2) the RNG is per miſſion, not per flight. If you fly the miſſion again, the waves won’t be any different.

With theſe changes iſſues #1, 2, and 3 will have been ſolved. I expect that iſſue #4 will alſo be fixed indirectly; at any rate that can hardly be addreſſed now. On a more perſonal level, my complaints about lack of epic waves will alſo be voided as I expect the rogue wave concept will add them in very nicely. The exact values may need tweaking, though.


Just random notes for now:


Some people will undoubtedly think so, but who are these people? What percentage of the players do they represent? Perhaps a poll would be in order.

This is by design. It was intended for players to roam the galaxy and only play missions of appropriate/desirable difficulty.

Maybe. As you say, it’s hard to address this now.

Rogue waves:

Note to self:

The main issue I see with this is that in hard skills, the variation in difficulty from wave to wave (e.g. In SSH you can get variations of up to 80%) will completely overpower the mission’s natural easier->harder wave progression, enough so to make each wave’s difficulty effectively random.

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On the other hand, in moſt caſes the difference is ſmall enough that it won’t be that big an iſſue.

A good way to make theſe better behaved would be to change the value of the coëfficient in the denominator, e.g. by putting 3 there inſtead of 2.

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