Thursday, February 26, 2004

SWG: Higher Education

I dreamed up a new profession some time back that I'd like to bring out of mothballs. Namely, I'd like to see a Higher Education profession.

It never has made much sense to me that the Artisan profession is the required starting point for both theoretical and hands-on advanced professions. Some people naturally prefer Thinking, and some prefer Doing. Both are valuable ways of dealing with the world, but these approaches require very different kinds of education. How does it make any sense that both Chefs and Droid Engineers are based on the Artisan profession?

The Artisan profession is mostly a hands-on profession concerned with Doing things. So let's be consistent about that -- let the Artisan profession teach the basic skills needed to do the relatively simple hands-on crafts from which extend the more advanced (but still similarly hands-on) professions of Chef and Tailor.

The problem is the Engineering discipline. This doesn't belong in the Artisan profession! What we need is a new Thinking-specific profession that includes an Engineering discipline (and three other disciplines).

The first step is to replace the existing Engineering discipline in Artisan with something like a Machining discipline. The skills of this discipline would allow you to increase your maximum number of Action points or decrease all Action point costs (to simulate an Artisan's improvements in manual dexterity). Another possibility would be a Mechanic discipline. Not only would this allow for a much more enjoyable crafting experience for vehicles (not to mention some great extra features for vehicles!), it's a more appropriate starting discipline for the Shipwright profession.

The next step is to create a counterpart to the hands-on Artisan profession, which would be would be the more theory-oriented Higher Education profession. This new starting profession would provide basic research and application skills that act as foundation skills for the advanced/elite professions requiring more education such as Droid Engineer. Other disciplines within the Higher Education profession would support other existing professions such as Architect and Doctor, as well as new professions such as Industrialist and Scientist.

The Higher Education disciplines that make the most sense to me are Engineering, Social Sciences, Life Sciences, and Arts. Starting with those disciplines, some of the existing and new advanced and elite professions might break down like this:

Engineer *Engineering [Higher Ed]
ArchitectEngineering [Higher Ed] + Arts [Higher Ed]
Miner *Engineering [Higher Ed] + Surveying [Artisan]
Droid EngineerEngineering [Higher Ed] + Machining [Artisan]
Weaponsmith, ArmorsmithMachining [Artisan]
MerchantBusiness [Artisan]
Chef, TailorDomestic Arts [Artisan]
Journalist *Social Sciences [Higher Ed]
Industrialist *Social Sciences [Higher Ed] + [Artisan]
Scientist *Life Sciences [Higher Ed] + Social Sciences [Higher Ed]
DoctorLife Sciences [Higher Ed] + [Medic]
Bio-EngineerLife Sciences [Higher Ed] + Hunting [Scout]
MusicianArts [Higher Ed] + Musicianship [Entertainer]
DancerArts [Higher Ed] + Dancing [Entertainer]

* = possible new profession

A sample skill tree for the Higher Education profession might look like this:

  • PH.D. (10 additional skill points)
  • ENGINEERING (Master of Engineering)
    • Physics (improves effectiveness of armor and weapons)
    • Computer Science (improves effectiveness of droid components)
    • Mechanics (improves effectiveness of harvesters)
    • Mathematics (improves effectiveness of crafted components)
  • LIFE SCIENCES (Master of Life Sciences)
    • Medicine (improves healing effectiveness)
    • Zoology (improves creature identification skills)
    • Botany (enhances food creation stats)
    • Chemistry (improves effectiveness of engineered tissues)
  • SOCIAL SCIENCES (Master of Social Sciences)
    • Military Science (10% bonus to all damage done when grouped)
    • Economics (allows access to Bazaar sales statistics)
    • Political Science (reduces city maintenance costs and taxes paid by 20%)
    • Linguistics (10% bonus to all interactions with factional NPCs)
  • ARTS (Master of Arts)
    • Architecture (allows customization of buildings)
    • Sculpture (additional image customizations)
    • Music (improves effectiveness of music)
    • Performing Arts (improves effectiveness of dancing)
  • NOVICE STUDENT (reduces cost of skills training by NPCs by 5%)

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