Skill Revamp just on the Horizon

The new 2023 Roadmap has come out and there are plans for a new skill revamp.

In this skill forum, I hope to draw inspiration from the games I love to play.

I invite others to share game skill ideas in the comments below. Share what you think was interesting about the skill system and how it was successful.

I DO NOT want to focus on the individual skills and how they can be changed.
I DO want to look at the overall skill system and how skill progression is made.

What I hope to achieve is to inspire the development of a skill system different than what is currently in the game.

GZ Skill Changes

At this point in the game’s development, there is a good chance that the development team has already decided on what they want to change the skills to. Hopefully, they have already drawn great inspiration from existing forums like these:

Current GZ Skill System

As of now, the Generation Zero skill system has skills put in single stacked columns where low-tier skills must be acquired first before reaching high-tier skills (Specializations).

Skill Trees

The act of requiring low-tier skills to be acquired first before gaining access to more powerful high-tier skills is a common practice. I would dare to say it is the bread and butter of all skill trees.

A skill tree will have high-tier skills that each drive a specific type of gameplay and set a focus on a certain type of playstyle in the game. Each high-their skill in a game provides a focus on strengths and advantages for the Player to acquire while exposing or neglecting other areas of weakness.

Enough sets of high-tier skills accompanied by low-tier skills that clearly define distinct gameplay options are required to make a balanced and interesting Skill Tree.

Having a tier skill system is one thing Generation Zero has got right.

Skill Branches

Tier skill systems work in such a way that low-tier skills are generic enough that all skill trees can benefit to some degree from low-tier skills, and not be overly affected by them. Whereas high-tier skills should benefit the most from low-tier skills that are directly correlated with them. The close correlation between a cluster of low-tier skills that give access to high-tier skill(s) is what is called a skill branch.

It is very important for each skill in a skill branch to carry a common theme and support each other’s focus on target gameplay. When a skill that is too high in a skill branch does not support the branch’s focused target gameplay it will become too expensive to acquire for any character build to use.

Having balanced skill branches is an area Generation Zero struggles in.

Skill Coupling and Synergization

There is a common request among players to have more skill points added to the game. I would have to disagree with this request. My reasoning is that this would dilute the skill system.

If players were allowed to acquire every skill in the skill tree then this would leave no room for character-building and growing a character to explore unique playstyles. The game will essentially become boring as the character gets closer to the skill cap.

A Skill Tree should consider following these guidelines:

  • You only want enough skill points to specialize in 2 or 3 skill branches but never enough to acquire more than 1/3 of the total number of available skills.
  • You also should have at least 5, and preferably more available skill branches to specialize in.
  • You shouldn’t have to require a Player to invest in every skill in the branch to specialize in a branch.
  • Every branch should have the same number of skill tiers and an equal number of skills.
  • Each branch should contribute value to the Player and give enough of an edge in the game to be considered useful over other skill branches and game features that exist outside of the skill tree.

The key to skill tree synergy is that a Player should be able to pick any combination of 2 or 3 branches to come up with different combinations of character builds by synergizing playstyles between the branches.

Skill Growth

I believe having a Character Level that Caps at 10,000 leaves a lot of room for Skill growth.
I don’t believe Generation Zero plans to add 10,000 skills to its Skill Tree, but I do believe that skills can grow in strength as the Player character grows in level.

Generation Zero should know the average max character level among the player base and the average velocity of character level growth. This should allow Generation Zero to gauge the range in which they can scale the power of given skills based on the level of a character.

Old School Multi-Tier Skill Tree

The simplest Skill Tree Generation Zero can create is a Multi-Tier Skill Tree where each tier level consists of a group of skills to choose from and the player has to choose a number of skills in each tier or lower tiers in order to advance to the next tier above it.

This game allows you to choose 3 branches among a possible give or take 10 branches. Yet for a game like Generation Zero, all branches can be available to the Player like we currently have in the game.

Constellation Skill Tree

This Skill Tree was based on a system of Constellations where the player starts in the center and will complete star constellations. For each completed Constellation a group of Affinities is rewarded which opens up other star constellations with higher-tier values. Each star in a constellation grants a passive buff or stat to the Player’s character.

I know this is a very different approach to skill progression than what Generation Zero has but it is a good example of a different approach to the skill tree system.

I like this game’s use of this Constellation skill tree because instead of giving skill points to the Player every time they level up their character, they hide beacons through the game’s map and set up a mini-fight at each beacon location. After taking out a beacon a point for the constellation was rewarded. (Hint, Hint :wink:)


Skill Mutation

This game is built as a system based on mutating a set of base skills so that the player can bend the skills they acquire to fit the theme of the character build they wish to play. Notice there are multiple paths to end nodes and a fixed number of node-level requirements to advance from one node to the next.


Interesting thoughts… It’s hard to say how elaborate the new skill system will be. I’m pretty happy with rather simple skill trees as they are now, but there are certainly many other options available. :sunglasses:

Yes, I have a feeling we will not get something advanced as the bottom two entries in this year’s Skill Revamp.

But I do think the first entry might be a possible option.

We can truely think about how it will be, but I don’t think we can suggest anything anymore and expect to see it finally.
We don’t know what and how exactly will be changed.

The effort you took is great. Great thoughts.

But now it’s time to wait and see.

I’m excited to see wether they change the whole system or just some of the skills (types, order, effects).

I completely agree with you, these skill tree examples will not be something we should expect developers to do overnight. Yet I have faith that perhaps there is a chance for inspiration for future changes, and my suggestions can give inspiration and ideas to follow.

After all, if everyone thought that anything we post is not going to influence change we wouldn’t have these forum posts.


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Personally hoping that the trees get expanded and the current skill points cap is raised to meet the trees needs. The space is there on lvl cap for them to do almost anything so I’m hoping to see a neat change. Really, really hoping it’s similar to the last one the OP posted. I mean 10k lvl cap kinda leans more towards a massive skill tree rather than a small simple one. Cheers to what the surprise may hold.

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The lvl cap once was at 31.
It was raises during an update because of many requests for more lvls.

I’m aware, I’ve been playing since 31 was the cap. Point being the cap is 10k now which opens up massive opportunity to expand to skill trees. Problem comes down to balancing. Too easy or short and you have nothing to work towards(which is where I’ve been since 31 was the cap) Make it too much and players would give up and call it unobtainable. I mean if it takes all 10k lvls to get one of them only the hacker/cheating community will ever use it. I’d say at present we already have the too easy covered.

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I play a lot of public co-op and very seldom do I see players in the 3 digit skill levels, most are just a little over the 31 level or still working towards it.

To justify more and or better skills, needs to be a reason other than just get more. The machines need to be more aggressive for the higher-level players that have learned how to deal with the machines we have.
Reading the comments in the forums, the novice players feel the machines are to hard to battle and the seasoned players think the machines are to easy and the weapons/ammo to strong.

Maybe the seasoned, higher level players get skills sets that they can use to adjust the behavior of the machines and map. But that would also mean fixing the matchmaker program that keeps the novice players out of the seasoned player’s map.

Half true. They unlocked the ability to continue leveling, but they didn’t do anything that goes along with that ability. Instead, they give you some uranium every 5 levels so you can respec, and still only give you a handful of skill points so you have to get creative with your builds to be as well rounded as you can without being able to do all the things you might want.


This may be an old suggestion in this discussion, but I would really like a way to save different skill tree specs. Let’s say I mostly use “Marksman” but sometimes want to use “Hacker”. As of now I have to reset the whole tree and start from scratch which is tedious and has the risk of choosing wrong skills.

It would be nice if I could build different skill trees and save those so when I want to change specialization I just choose the one I want and pay the five uranium.

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Sounds good.
On the one hand you can just use different characters for different specialisations, but that’s a lot of work for each player.
It would also be cool if you were able to just deselect single skills to get a free skill point for another skill. This could be locked, if there are following skills used and the skill you want to deselect is a prerequisite for it.

Yes, you can reset them all to change just one skill, but it’s more time consuming.

It would be a good service and there is no reason against that.

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You can already have up to 4 specialists. Before the ability to reset and keep all 30 skill points, you had to delete your character and play to regain each skill point, that was tedious! It is better and faster now to change your selection of each specialist by using the 5 uranium for a reset. There is also guides that show you the best, per the player that put the guides together, group of skills for each specialist. You still have to get each of the 4 characters to level 31 to pay the uranium and change selection. Some of us did that with all our characters before you could use the reset feature. And if we selected poorly had to delete that character and start over.

Of course I know this. But I’m talking about saving skill the tree builds so you can switch between them for the same character (after paying uranium). Having to build the skill tree every time is just dumb.

I have one main character and the others are mules that are carrying so much that they can’t move an inch. So switching character to quickly change specialization is not an option for me.

That’s what revamps are for. Hence suggestions from players to improve the system.

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My skill tree idea.

Mutation circle with branching tree inside. Where you can jump from certain point to other skill tree.
Maybe allowing go any direction, or only up in branches
Combat and survival are on purpose opposite sides for obvious reason. Other is dealing damage, other is taking damage.
Then left or right you can branch out if you want give little tweak and personality to your character.

White circle are skill, and lines between them the paths you unlock them.


That is on you. Why use 3 characters that are so overweight they can’t move and you have to remember what each one is holding? Move all your supplies to just one mule and free up the other two. Easier to scroll through your inventory that way too.

Well…that’s the way I like it. But this thread is about revamping the skill system, and I don’t really know how the use of characters is relevant to the discussion.

Because some of us use all 4 characters as specialists and they are custom built for our personal style, even the mule character. Not just use uranium for a default build. But your idea does give me an idea! (will start a new topic on it). But a skill revamp has to do with all specialists that we use skill points to build. I would like to see the specialists be more specialized so they could be used more often for more than just extra storage. Not trying to step on your toes about your idea but trying to point out there are other ways of doing the same thing.