Underworld Ascendant brought to you by Zombie Looking Glass


It may be a single page…it may not. Since we are ‘classless’ I’m hesitant about having tabs. I think that railroads people into a play style.
Currently it looks more like AS:Origins than anything else…but it is a bit cramped. There are a few more things I want to play around with before making a call…scrolling, exc. I just don’t think our game is served well by separating the skills.


I was just giggling about your dislike of the game. You picked the a silly fight. I gave you a silly response.

Also, don’t look under your bed. . .

“Defensive”. Lol.

Really Stusser. You must learn to govern your passions. They will be your undoing.

Well it’s nothing like the current skill tree. Granted, the current tree’s improvements won’t be immediately evident to anyone not familiar with the game, and the tree is uninviting to the initiate. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that you don’t understand the mechanics at all . I mean, it was never “complexity for complexity’s sake”, and that’s a problematic critique (I get what you are going for, but it’s entirely without substance). I. . .

Hey why are we even talking about this in the Ultima Underworld thread. We could just go talk about it in the POE thread instead. I’ll even be defensive for you if it makes you feel better.


Tabs didn’t do that in D2, by which I mean that yeah sure “you’re a sorceror” but there was still considerable build variety outside of that. As long as things are grouped logically I’m sure whatever you chose will work great. The system sounds really interesting. Dunno if you are trying to avoid grouping by a somewhat “standard” mechanism like “here’s movement stuff, here’s ranged stuff, here’s mystical stuff” etc.


How are skills gated? With prereqs, level? If the former then you could make a web and maybe allow some fringe skills to be pathed to from other trees, for example if the mage tree has an invisibility spell allow it to be linked to the rogue tree, etc.

Salt & Sanctuary did something like that and it works pretty well.


I was thinking about grouping it more along what it is than ‘its a fighter skill’, and more like what you are saying…motion skills, ranged skills. Everything that is in the tree is not a % but usable tangible skill, and I still have this wheel-barrel full that I need to fit in a breadbox. :)
Skill gating- there are some that are pre-req but most are just gated by cost.
I thought about the linking between skill trees too…ie invisibility.
Guys this has been very helpful, keep your opinions coming please.


Very difficult to provide better feedback with seeing the skills and UI, but a couple points:

  1. Don’t make pistols. Think of the pistol in DOOM. It’s weak, you only use it when you don’t have anything better, and it’s unsatisfying to use. As soon as you get a shotgun you toss it in the rubbish heap. It feels bad to be forced to invest a skillpoint in pistols to unlock shotguns.

  2. Every skill should be useful and not obsoleted by another skill or emergent actions. For example, imagine you have a lockpicking skill, which you probably do. But then players just open all the chests by bashing them open, or setting them on fire, or casting an unlock spell (which doesn’t break lockpicks), or crafting skeleton keys. You want that emergent gameplay, it’s kind of the point, so is a lockpick skill really a good idea?

  1. As a corollary to #2, you can’t fix unsexy skills by adding passives, or little bonuses. Imagine you have a lockpicking skill, but you reward the player for investing in it by saying bashing/burning/magicking chests open can destroy some of the loot inside, and lockpicking doesn’t. Internally of course you just have a % chance to spawn an extra shiney when the player lockpicks. That’s a nice perk in isolation, but ultimately it won’t fly.
    Or perhaps you say lockpicking is silent, and all the others break stealth-- then you’re increasing the required investment to be stealthy, when a combat or conversation character could get that loot by spending less skillpoints. If you inflate the investment required to be an effective combat, magic, or charisma character that could work, but you need to keep that in mind throughout.
  1. Encourage experimentation by offering easy/cheap respecs. Maybe the player starts out stealth but 90 minutes in gets tired of sneaking around and just wants to get past the lizardmen already, ideally knee-deep in green blood. Note that respeccing shouldn’t be so cheap that players do it tactically to get past a single obstacle then spec back to what they really enjoy; it should be a big decision, but one that players can afford to do multiple times without hurting too badly.

  2. Encourage experimentation with pervasive synergies. Magic is easy, buffs that help melee/ranged combat, sneaking, and charisma. Perhaps investing X points in stealth skills also gives a silent casting perk, or X points in combat unlocks a powerful “heroic stature” charisma perk that the player can choose to invest in. Etc.


Those multipurpose glue balls look like they’ll be very helpful.


Yeah, I can’t believe people are defending that PoE UI trainwreck. It’s bad, like 1st time designing bad.

Looks, everyone good does this. Skyrim did it. Wildlands did it. Even Far Cry 5 has things grouped by section/path. It’s great to have a bunch of unrelated skills but some things can be grouped. I’ve seen before a “core” skills group and then ancilliary groups that branch. Or at least different colors and columns for related sections. You also want to understand how the skills relate to each other without a big messy web, perhaps hiding and expanding sections or skill groups. Even RTS games have divisions and branches and groups, like Supreme Commander.

This game looks great, looking forward to it.


Hey, they addressed lockpicking exactly as I had anticipated, many different ways to open a door but lockpicking is quieter. And that’s fine, and makes sense, but does it justify an entire skill? Maybe, if skills are cheap and you can invest in a ton of them. But not if they’re supposed to be exclusive impactful decisions.


I don’t have a problem with one off, slightly helpful skills like that. It encourages a variety of gameplay without having you dump all those hard earned skill points into things. It also depends a lot on level design, etc. In Fallout the lock picking and computer skills are optional but give you access to better loot, shortcuts, turret and robo allies, etc. If this game is more like a dungeon crawl you’d have to design the levels around the skills, but if it’s more open ended it’s probably better to have useful skill areas peppered around.


I haven’t lock picked once. I ‘Here’s Johnny!’ every door.


Right, discussion was whether it was a good idea to have a separate lockpicking skill when there are so many emergent alternatives. I lean towards no.


I know, right? Clearly those of us with a lot of firsthand knowledge of the game and understanding of how and why the web is the way it is should really just acknowledge that you know better. From looking at a partial screenshot, by the sound of it.


Bad UI is bad UI is bad UI. It doesn’t matter that the game is.


I’d challenge you to come up with a “good UI” that accomplishes what the web (which is the central core of the game) does. That’s best taken to the PoE thread, though I don’t really want to derail this one further.


Well, if it’s grouped like that - “discipline” if you will - I think you don’t need to worry about discovery across tabs. Although I’m probably the wrong person to ask (as is anyone on a forum like this, really). But I would naturally look at that stuff if I saw it grouped like that and start imagining how to combine things and whatnot.


Presumably this approach doesn’t work for every door, otherwise why bother with doors? At least, ones that aren’t made out of metal!


Exactly. And there is some net negatives to smashing though doors…its pretty loud.


Does the game have placed enemies, or is there some spawning / respawning going on? I can see it would make a difference to approaching situations (if breaking a door alerts a group of nearby enemies, then dealing with them first solves that problem, but if there’s a chance of respawned enemies appearing when you break a door then that might make me think twice!)


Some of both. you can’t memorize an area. Sometimes there are…visitors.
Respawn…no…well, unless there is a mechanic behind the respawn like creating skeletons.

Doors-- in every sense a door is about slowing the player down, or blocking content. Since we don’t really like the second one- we don’t care if you wander into the scary place - doors pretty much are there to slow the player down.
Now there are other things that we have to obscure areas or ‘doors’ that work differently like portcullises and secret doors…but standard wooden door…yea meet my axe.
The best is we have seen people get used to mucking with doors with fire and force they forget to test if they are just…unlocked.