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Heliwer117
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  Skills Academy
January 14, 2016 11:44:04 AM    View the profile of Heliwer117 
Something I was thinking about while waiting for class to start up was about the skills that some of us have. Back three years ago there were skills that troopers (and maybe navy people too) could "train" in, writing a thousand word or greater post about going through the training in the Academy, someone in the Academy would look at it, and through magic (aka some sort of determination that I don't know about) they would either say you passed and got the skill, or you needed to try again and give some tips on what needed doing. It's probably not important (and not something that needs dealing with right away), but as I have one of those skills (Close Quarters Combat, A5), I wondered if:

1: Would those of us with those skills get to keep them or would we have to get rid of them?

2: If we had to get rid of them, would we then have to do the training all over again to get the skill?

3: Will we get rid of skills all together?

Personally doing the Academy and skills at the least provided something for me to do when not on missions or when waiting on something to happen, and it allowed me to continue to write so I wouldn't get rusty. It was interesting to have to write the training, and when you did get it, it felt good because you worked at it and achieved something for it. It was something I looked forward to doing and could lead to more interesting things in missions. Going forward it would be able to provide something for newcommers to hone their writing skills, but that's probably up to the brass.
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Skarr
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  RE: Skills Academy
January 14, 2016 12:16:02 AM    View the profile of Skarr 
Personally, I always felt the specialization system was garbage. It's nice that it gave some people something to do, but personally, it was just more work. And if I'm being honest, it was a dumb way to give skills to our characters that we just give to them in our stories anyway. Not to mention how often do we use some of the particular skills.
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Aeos
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  RE: Skills Academy
January 14, 2016 1:23:16 PM    View the profile of Aeos 
Nothing has been decided yet. And as Skarr says, people tended to godmod their way in anycase through stories with additional stuff.

Personally, I'd like to see a form of the skill acquirement system returning and already have a few ideas that I've discussed with Havock. As the Army CoT, this will most likely fall under my heading I assume in terms of the STC-based skills.  We are still waiting to see what is happening with the VE going forward before we can formalize things.

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[This message has been edited by Aeos (edited January 14, 2016 1:24:43 PM)]
Tetrarch
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  RE: Skills Academy
January 15, 2016 8:40:02 AM    View the profile of Tetrarch 
Would some sort of ranking system be better? Like a reflection of someone's competency at a skill?

I like the idea of specialities because it gives everybody a chance to shine. Think of it like a D&D group, they all have their niche. With us it's based around the squad, the scout gets their opportunity to show off when tracking, stealthing. The heavy weapons specialist is the go to for any serious firepower. The assault/pointman comes in when there's a chance to do some doorkicking. Everyone gets their moment in the spotlight and it should encourage teamwork. No one is Superman.

No one's saying that your medic or normal trooper can't use the heavy weapons if needs be and you have to in the story, everyone's done basic training. It's just that the designated heavy weapons specialist will be better than you. Same way that the combat engineer can go hand to hand with someone, just not as well as a designated assaulter or someone special forces trained. Or that anyone can try to dress a wound.

I do think it's a bit ridiculous if characters are a bit overpowered and masters of everything. Of course there are the veterans, there are the special forces operators who might appear damn near godlike to the grunts but they're the exception rather than the rule.

Just what I think, it makes everyone a bit more interesting and grounded.
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  RE: Skills Academy
January 15, 2016 9:27:51 AM    View the profile of Drac 
I fall somewhere in the middle on this topic. As we've seen, some folks like skills systems and enjoy doing the writing for them while others have little use for them. What that indicates to me is that the best course may be to have one available in each division, but leave it pretty much unconnected to earning promotions. That way it's purely optional and anyone that doesn't enjoy it need not bother with it. It might not be a bad idea to have a scale that says you can only have X number of skills at a given rank, just so folks don't go overboard, but that's probably the only connection to rank (IC or OOC) that it ought to have.

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Raziel
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  RE: Skills Academy
January 15, 2016 6:00:15 PM    View the profile of Raziel 
Trust the writers to act responsibly. Have a word if they don't.

The skills systems have always been more trouble than they're worth.

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Avalar
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  RE: Skills Academy
January 15, 2016 6:15:23 PM    View the profile of Avalar 
I follow the words of my master.

But seriously what Raz said. Give people the freedom to do what they choose and if it's a huge problem deal with that particular case.
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Sniping101
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  RE: Skills Academy
January 15, 2016 7:43:55 PM    View the profile of Sniping101 
I wrote something long, several paragraphs, last night that I was going to read in the morning and then post. Sadly my computer decided it just had to update, so I lost it. That said, it was basically three paragraphs of what Raz said.
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Havock
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  RE: Skills Academy
January 16, 2016 4:10:26 PM    View the profile of Havock 
I like the idea of having a spec, I like that in order to "prove" you can legitimately write about being awesome at Heavy Weapons you have to "practice" by writing spec specific short vignettes. I'd like a simpler system than what we had before, along the lines of my compatriots Raz and Snipes have suggested though. I'd like people to have a reward for doing the work of developing a spec for their character. These are all things I will work with Aeos on and we definitely like the input of everyone so that we can maximize the fun of it all.
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Sniping101
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  RE: Skills Academy
January 17, 2016 1:03:14 AM    View the profile of Sniping101 
I think one of my major annoyances with spec stories in general was that they didn't tend to be very good, or very complete, stories. They were too often just people trying to do something clever without any kind of arc tying the whole thing together. That works fine for flash fiction, sometimes, but flash fiction really becomes short fiction at around the 700 word mark, at which point it needs to be more than description of a clever thing.

Giving a character new skills without growing them through the experience of the acquiring just seems like an essentially empty venture. When we read a book or a story, we need to see, not know, what a character can and, more importantly, can't do. As long as that's consistent, in that they're written consistently, the writer can get away with a lot in the grey areas. Limitations are always more interesting than abilities, and I think the specialty systems tend to reverse that emphasis.
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Havock
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  RE: Skills Academy
January 17, 2016 10:47:28 AM    View the profile of Havock 
Fair point and well said Snipes
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Aeos
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  RE: Skills Academy
January 18, 2016 3:59:41 AM    View the profile of Aeos 
The ideas I've been toying with tries to address those issues Snipes. I also want to try and eliminate the isolation of spec stories, and bring it together in threads by members following the same choices.

But as I said, I'm still waiting to see what happens with the site changes and etc before I draw up an official discussion thread for it

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Drac
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  RE: Skills Academy
January 18, 2016 1:54:15 PM    View the profile of Drac 
I don't disagree with that reasoning itself, Snipes, but I think it may be setting the bar too high (for lack of a better metaphor).

Folks write differently just as they think differently, communicate differently, etc. One of the big appeals of this site has long been the emphasis on a bit more structured environment than your average online RP site, and that's drawn a lot of people to us over the years that otherwise tend to not thrive in freeform writing groups.

It takes an amateur writer of at least moderate skill, or of a personality type suited to it, to really flesh out stories as you describe. Most beginners, frankly, can't do that reliably. And most of the folks that join us tend to be either complete beginners or not all that far from it. They tend to want, or even flat-out need, a defined scope and goal and generally aren't yet good at filling a story out to meet its full potential.

And, almost invariably, it's been those newer members who are the more active ones on the various spec/skill systems we've had over the years. So I personally don't really mind or care that those stories aren't generally all that good. They're practice. And they're a place where new folks can develop their characters within an environment that helps them do that while only being loosely tied to club canon (and therefore minimally damaging when things get silly). That also makes them a perfect vehicle for Trainers and other veteran members to give feedback and advice without the added confusion of it being part of a larger story.

We do need a place, beyond just the initial training, where folks can practice and develop their skills and it doesn't matter if the story is or isn't what it could be. Frankly, specs/skills are a perfect fit for that. There probably are some other ways we could do that as well, but we'd probably have to build both the OOC and IC motivations from scratch.

Sorry to get wordy- it just sticks out in my mind that one of the big missteps with the EE was that new folks felt the bar was set too high and were demotivated to write. I think we ought to be very intentional about avoiding that problem by providing some places where stories can be bad, relatively speaking, and used for coaching folks up.

-Drac
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[This message has been edited by Drac (edited January 18, 2016 1:55:48 PM)]
Avalar
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  RE: Skills Academy
January 18, 2016 3:25:06 PM    View the profile of Avalar 
If we do implement one, I would like it loosely tied because more likely I will not be using it. But that is speaking to my own personal opinion. I can see the validity based on the comments here.

What might also be a good idea is to have just a general place for writing critique (this would be in addition to specs). The DJO itself is a place where critique happens with advanced writers in a small setting, but for those who are newer and/or don't want to be part of that group it might be nice to have a place where they ask for comments on posts, biographies, outside writing material, etc.

But that's just me thinking as I type.
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Sharp
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  RE: Skills Academy
February 28, 2016 8:45:30 PM    View the profile of Sharp 
I was wondering, I've read over this thread a few times, but i never understood if those of us that did finish the spec program get to keep those freedoms or not.

So are we able to take advantage of the specializations we already have completed?
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