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Combat - Coursework/Skill - Damage-type specialization

Set up skills to specialize in certain damage types, so that damage level would be enhanced depending upon which type and how skilled you are with it...
Make the classes numerous so that most players would find it necessary to center on one type, while a player who diversifies and goes for all of them would still fare better than those who do not take the classes.
You already do this for weapon and armor types, but the coursework does not push players toward specialization.
In campaigns, that player would also most likely gravitate toward targets whose armor is more open to piercing damage.
For example, player A would specialize in piercing damage and almost exclusively use blade weapons to maximize the benefits.
Player B would specialize in impact damage and thus would tend to use impact weapons for the advantage.
Player C would specialize in energy damage and would most often use energy weapons.
The above players would do significantly more of the damage type in which they specialize and would decimate the unprepared.
Meanwhile, Player D would diversify and go for impact and piercing damage, thus doing more damage with those two types than today's normal player, but still a lot less of each than what A or B with their single-focus would gain.
Player E would opt to take all types and do somewhat more damage with each of them but not as much of impact and/or energy as player D.
[ To illustrate, if Player A were to use a Heat Scimitar, the weapon-type would make it easier to hit the enemy and might even enhance the damage, but the piercing specialization would make the piercing component of the Scimitar's damage much higher. If Player C were to use the same Heat Scimitar, he would do a lot more heat damage but not more piercing damage. Player B would probably not use a Heat Scimitar because his specialization does not help him with it. Player D would tend toward weapons that are better in piercing AND impact damage, as they make more use of his skill. Player E doesn't care, because a weapon is a weapon, and he will do better with anything than today's normal player]
Specialization could be further encouraged by raising the coursework cost and duration according to the maximum skill level the player holds in ANY of the damage types.
[For example, player A would be wasting a lot of time at skill level 6 in piercing to take skill level 2 classes in energy damage, and his interests would be furthered more by working on level 7 in piercing instead.
Meanwhile Player E would take each type up one level at a time. This would take a lot more time, but there might be a slight advantage to carrying a bonus with each weapon type.]
I think this would diversify gameplay, and perhaps it would make things more interesting.
If you know that player A is a specialist in piercing (you would have to figure it out the hard way, by getting hit), you might tend to use armor that protects from piercing damage if you plan to attack him. Otherwise he might slice through your armor and cut you down.
You get the picture.


  1. Added to Trello.