Skills

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Characters are able to learn a variety of skills. Some similar skills can be grouped together, and in these cases a character with a specific skill in a group will be able to perform the other skills in the group at a reduced proficiency (approximately 50%).

Each character will be better at improving in some skills than others, and not necessarily in the best skill they started out with.

Weapons Skills

Used for shooting small and medium size weapons.

Used for large and heavy weapons.

Pedestrian weapons are weapons the characters carry and can equip when on foot.

Driving Skills

Used for piloting small to medium sized vehicles.

Note that the driving skill is one of the slowest skills to improve. Improvement is based on the number of driving turns that occurred in combat as well as the 'wildness' of the driving maneuvers.

Used for piloting larger trucks (anything with a bulk capacity over 500).

Will be used for piloting smaller 2-3 wheeled bikes. Not implemented, but can be trained.

Psionic Skills

  • Mind Control: A number of useful effects can be achieved by this specialism which affects characters other than the Psi themselves:
    • Psionic Mask - Convince enemy that your gang isn’t who they think it is in combat (so you don’t lose any faction rep. for injuring them)
    • Terror – adds stress to nearby enemies (works better if you’re out of a car)
    • Tranquility – reduces stress in nearby friends (again, a tin can around you reduces effectiveness)
  • Telekinesis: The psionic ability to push and throw objects from a distance:
    • Mutant Mind-Push – lets you apply a force to a vehicle, ped or creature (works better if they’re close)
    • Whirlwind – blows up a brief cloud of dust which operates like a smokescreen; works better on dusty ground
  • Pyrokinesis: The psionic ability to set cars, pedestrians and animals on fire. Nuff said. Note that peds and creatures can now also catch fire when hit by flaming weapons.
  • Electromagnetic Pulse: Sends out an EMP which affects electronically-controlled weapons and V8/V12 engines within range, causing them to malfunction. Since it works by focusing solar radiation, it is stronger in the summer and especially when there is a strong green aurora.
  • Defensive Energy: Psionically-constructed `hard air` barriers can protect the individual or their vehicle (operates as two separate skills, the vehicular one is harder to succeed with).

Any effects that can operate at a distance do so at reduced effect the further the target is from the Psi character.

Misc. Skills

Ability to lead others to battle and bolster their morale.

High courage characters less likely to surrender in events.

Used for artillery weapons. Not grouped with other weapon skills[1]

Used for repairing and salvaging vehicles.

Used for helping with the immediate effects of injuries. Reduces chances of characters bleeding to death if they're bleeding heavily at the end of combat.

Helps evade the most dangerous pirates when traveling and shifts the odds a bit more to your favour when scouts.

Not yet implemented

Even though these skills may show up on your characters it's not possible to use them yet.

Will be used for piloting smaller 2-3 wheeled bikes.


Removed Skills

Ability to fight in unarmed melee combat, was removed in favour of the scouting skill

Training

Characters train a small amount in the skill of your choosing every week. This ranges from zero to two points generally. If the skill is a specialty of the town it can go up to 3 points. For example Badlands has no training center, but large guns still train better than other skills. Using a training centre can raise the limit per week to five points. Using the training centres located in Somerset and Elmsfield for specific skills vastly improves the amount of skill they gain. For example, a driver in Somerset can train up to eight points in a week. The training centre in Somerset is especially adept at teaching Driving and Cycling, while Elmsfield is more focused on First Aid. Texan and Sarsfield are proficient in Mechanic.

Training
Maximums
NO Training
Center
Training
Center
Not Specialty 2 5
Specialty 3 8
Training Locations Training
Center?
Specialties
Somerset Y Driving
Cycling
Elmsfield Y First Aid
Gateway Truckstop N Gunnery
Badlands Truckstop N Large Guns
Firelight N Psionics
Shantyville N Driving
Texan Y Mechanic
Sarsfield Y Mechanic

All characters are able to learn all skills to some extent, for the skill to show up in their character sheet they need to have at least 10 points in it.

Training occurs weekly at 04:00 GMT Friday mornings.

When Training Hits

Characters do not have to be in a town with a Training Centre to benefit from weekly training, so long has they have registered at a Training Centre. The amount of benefit a character receives from the Training Centre is based in part on how much time he/she has spent traveling; the more time traveling, the less time training.

Characters receive training based on the last town they were in, so if they are traveling from Gateway to Somerset when the week changes, they get training as if they were in Gateway.

How much time a character has spent traveling can be seen in his or her Character Detail Sheet.

Training Form

Training effectiveness is also affected by a character's current training form. This condition fluctuates over a period of several weeks or even months, and represents a character's ability to absorb and retain the training materials. A character who appears to be training poorly may not do so indefinitely; a character might get stuck in a rut, but that doesn't mean he/she won't start training well again[2]. This condition is not visible to the gang owner.

The Math

Training Form is a multiplier in the range of 0.4 to 2.0. The weekly training of each character is multiplied by the Training Form value to determine how much skill they learn.

Each character's Training Form is randomly modified every week by +/- 0.3. There is also a -0.02 modifier that slowly degrades training over time. The Form will never go above 2 or fall below 0.4.

Each rank of Motivator gives a 0.05 bonus to Training Form for characters in the same town as the Motivator. For example, a level 5 Motivator provides a 0.25 point bonus to every character in town with him.

Leveling Through Use

Characters can level skills while on wilderness encounters, and the more dangerous the region the more effective field training is. Also, the lower the character's skill, the more effective field training is. Therefore, low skilled characters generally level faster (even in Somerset) and higher skilled characters should move to more dangerous regions to keep their field training going well. All field training skills are affected: weapons, driving, trucker, courage, first aid, mechanic, leadership.

All skills also level when used in events, however, not all characters will use their skills. Obviously, if a character is firing a weapon, the chance their skill with that weapon will increase is high.

Mechanics and scouts are a little different. The highest level Mechanic and Scout present in the event will receive the most training, however, the highest Mechanic and Scout of each gang will also receive some training as well.

First Aid is a bit different in that if the scout is successful (ends in a Looting Phase) the character with the highest skill in the entire squad may level his First Aid skill. If the scout is unsuccessful (the players' cars escape), then the character with the highest First Aid in each car may level his First Aid skill. This simulates the behavior that when escaping, cars will scatter and regroup later, in which case the best medic immediately available is pressed into service.

For more active players this should usually amount to more than what they gain through weekly training.

TODO: Exact requirements of leveling through use.

Floating Point Notice

The skill levels on the character sheet are only approximations rounded to their nearest integer value (So 49.5 becomes 50) for example.

It's the source of some confusion as you're not able to nickname or buy specialisms for characters who are close enough to show up as having 40 or 50 skill but aren't actually eligible.

This is no longer the case as skills are now rounded down. This is causing some confusion of its own because players are seeing an apparent 'skill loss'.

Skill Maximums

TODO: Explain skill maximums more.

The average natural skill cap is supposed to be around 150 on the average, but characters that skilled are uncommon. Many large veteran gangs have only 2-4 people capped over 300, out of their 60+ gang members. Skill caps above 400 may happen once (if at all) for the life of the whole gang.

If you pay money to hire a character there is a slightly greater chance you will hire someone with a lower skill potential than if you used your leader to get a free hire[3]. In other words, the free gang member each week has a slightly better chance to cap higher than bought gang members.

A character's skill cap applies to all of that character's skills. So, if a character hits his maximum in Gunnery at 94, he will hit that same maximum in any other skills he trains in. A ganger may get another point in a skill once they hit the cap, due to rounding of the hidden 'cap' value.

Leadership is not affected by the character's skill cap.

Talents

TODO: Explain talented characters better

Talented characters learn the skill(s?) they are talented in faster and don't reach their maximum skill cap nearly as fast as normal characters would.

Talented characters could be able to level their chosen skill up to 300+

Characters who are recruited with >20 skill from taverns are very likely talented in that skill.

Skill Related Bonuses

Besides being able to perform much better in their chosen skill highly skilled characters also enjoy a few interesting perks:

  • at 30 skill can yield bounties when killed if a bounty has been put on their gang, and their obituary will appear in the Darkwind Gazette should they perish.
  • at 40 skill they can be given a nickname.
  • for every 50 skill points they can learn a specialism specific to that skill.
  • at 100 skill their name will show up in the Darkwind Hall Of Fame should they die.

Notes

  1. http://dark-wind.com/forums2/index.php?a=topic&t=1562
  2. http://www.dark-wind.com/forums2/index.php?a=topic&t=2830
  3. http://www.dark-wind.com/forums2/index.php?a=topic&t=5595 Forum Discussion - see page 2