History Main / UselessUsefulNonCombatAbilities

28th Dec '17 7:55:07 AM Cryoclaste
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* ''{{Pokemon}}'':

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* ''{{Pokemon}}'': ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
23rd Dec '17 9:22:23 PM Antronach
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** The Illuminate ability raises the random encounter rate, and does nothing in battle. In most cases, you ''really'' don't want the wild encounter rate to be any higher than it already is, and when you want to find Pokemon the base encounter rate is usually fine.

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** The Illuminate ability raises the random encounter rate, and does while the Stench ability lowers it. Unfortunately they did nothing in battle. In most cases, you ''really'' don't want the wild encounter rate to be any higher than it already is, and battle when you want to find Pokemon they were introduced, were ultimately outclassed by Sweet Scent's out of battle ability and Repels respectively, and in ''Emerald'' were outclassed by other abilities having extra effects that mimicked the base encounter rate is usually fine.two abilities while having actual in battle uses. Fortunately Stench got upgraded later on to do the same thing as a King's Rock, but Illuminate has had no such luck.
21st Dec '17 8:37:18 PM MinimumRage
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* The old RPG ''VideoGame/{{Wasteland}}'' had a few of these. Some skills were useful, like Rifle, Energy Weapon, Perception, and Brawling. Some had limited use, like Demolitions, Swim, and Gambling. And then there were Metallurgy (two uses: to identify free money in a mine, to diagnose a car's issue--and an NPC you could recruit could just fix it himself), Cryptography (one use, though it's to get a lot of good stuff), and Bureaucracy (that one makes sense actually).

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* The old RPG ''VideoGame/{{Wasteland}}'' had a few of these. Some skills were useful, like Rifle, Energy Weapon, Perception, and Brawling. Some had limited use, like Demolitions, Swim, and Gambling. And then there were Metallurgy (two uses: to identify free money in a mine, to diagnose a car's issue--and an NPC you could recruit could just fix it himself), Cryptography (one use, though it's to get a lot of good stuff), and Bureaucracy (that one makes sense actually). The ultimate example: the IBM DOS port has a Combat Shooting skill, which can only be bought at character creation. No one--not even Brian Fargo, the man who ''created'' the game--can figure out what it does; hackers and others have come to the conclusion is does absolutely, positively ''nothing''.
18th Dec '17 5:21:14 AM BigKlingy
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* ''{{Pokemon}}'': The Run Away ability, which ensures you can always flee from wild Pokemon. Most Pokemon with the ability tend to already be fast, so the inability to flee is rarely a concern. As a result, Run Away is situational at best, and is made even more useless by the existence of the Smoke Ball hold item, which provides the exact same effect for its user. Run Away's uselessness is occasionally acknowledged in a meta sort of way, as it's often a filler Ability on [[MagikarpPower Pokemon that gain a far more useful ability upon evolution]].

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* ''{{Pokemon}}'': ''{{Pokemon}}'':
**
The Run Away ability, which ensures you can always flee from wild Pokemon. Most Pokemon with the ability tend to already be fast, so the inability to flee is rarely a concern. As a result, Run Away is situational at best, and is made even more useless by the existence of the Smoke Ball hold item, which provides the exact same effect for its user. Run Away's uselessness is occasionally acknowledged in a meta sort of way, as it's often a filler Ability on [[MagikarpPower Pokemon that gain a far more useful ability upon evolution]].evolution]].
** The Illuminate ability raises the random encounter rate, and does nothing in battle. In most cases, you ''really'' don't want the wild encounter rate to be any higher than it already is, and when you want to find Pokemon the base encounter rate is usually fine.
** Some Pokemon have the Honey Gather ability, which does nothing in battle and just causes the Pokemon randomly find Sweet Honey after battle. In most games Sweet Honey is pretty useless, and in the few games where it isn't, it's easily obtainable without needing an ability.
7th Oct '17 3:18:54 PM thatother1dude
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*** You find more money in containers with Fortune Finder. The problem is that you could instead put the points you use on it into the Scrounger perk, which increases the amount of ammunition you find in containers. Ammunition is worth money. Since Scrounger allows you to find rare and expensive ammo like .50 caliber rounds, plasma charges, and even mininukes, it's ''much'' more valuable than Fortune Finder even if all you're doing is selling the extra ammo you find.
7th Oct '17 3:16:57 PM thatother1dude
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** What ''Fallout'' player has ''ever'' found much of a use for Traps[[note]]None of the traps you encounter are very damaging, so running past them and taking damage is better than wasting skill points[[/note]], Throwing[[note]]While very effective at the beginning of ''Fallout 2'', when you don't have a decent gun for a while, there are ''very'' few throwing weapons beyond the (sharpened) spear that you can use more than once, and grenades aren't nearly as powerful as rocket launchers, plasma guns, or high-level bullet guns, all of which use different skills[[/note]], or Outdoorsman[[note]] This skill increases the rate at which you find favorable random encounters, and decreases the rate at which you find bad random encounters. It literally has no other effect, not even narrative skill checks, in either game[[/note]]? The viability of investing points into some skills, such as Science, Repair, and (in the sequel) Unarmed is undermined by the many books and teachers in the games that make it easy to boost a skill to 100% without investing a point into it. Many of the Perks are also infamous as pretty useless.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' at least averts some of the negative aspects of this trope: A successful Speech check instead of killing a foe or using a computer to shut down a turret instead of blowing the turret up will net you the same amount of XP, if not more, than if you tried fighting. Barter is an aversion because it means you'll get better prices and better deals from merchants, something you'll need if you have low Strength.
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' adds to this by giving you different, often more fun ways to complete quests by using your Speech skill, as well as frequent, often useful bonuses. Also, if you work with Yes Man and have 100 Speech [[spoiler: you can literally [[Awesome/FalloutNewVegas ''talk'' two armies into backing down]]]]. ''New Vegas'''s Survival skill may appear at first to duplicate the little-used Outdoorsman skill, but the ubiquity of food versus stimpaks and the utility of several of the campfire recipes makes it quite useful in normal mode and positively essential in hardcore mode, where the Courier must eat and sleep regularly and medicines are not as immediately effective.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}},'' as part of its heavy reworking of progression, has a couple:
*** First, it substantially modifies the Animal Friend perk while adding similar ones for abominations/mutated creatures and humanoids. Now pointing your gun at an enemy has a chance to pacify them, and at higher levels, they'll even fight on your side and take orders from you... as long as you pass a charisma check, and don't do anything ''but'' point your gun or else they might turn hostile again, and if that happens (or if you fail a later pacification check) you can't pacify anyone else until exiting and re-entering combat. On top of all that, a large chunk of the game's quests (including several mandatory ones) ''require'' killing all the enemies in an area to proceed, so a true PacifistRun is basically impossible without exploits.
*** Second, the V.A.N.S. ('''V'''ault-Tec '''A'''ssisted '''N'''avigational '''S'''ystem) perk, which allows you to see a path to the nearest tagged objective in VATS. The problems with this: 1) you only get one perk per level up, and there's almost always an option that's more useful in terms of actual '''gameplay''', and 2) the player can always check nearby objectives on their Pip-Boy map, so V.A.N.S. is only even conceivably useful in particularly difficult to navigate areas. V.A.N.S 2 sounds much more useful, giving you plus 2 to Perception, two whole levels for free! Except for three "teeny-tiny" things: 1) you have to waste a level up on V.A.N.S. just to get the chance of it, 2) you need to be level 36 minimum, 3) you need the ''Nuka-World'' DLC to get it (which has much better things than a second level in a useless perk). It's just best spending two levels in Perception if you're really hurting for it or even better invest in the perks that reduce the damage you take or increase the damage you give.
*** Third, the Fortune Finder perk. You find more money in containers with it. The problem is that you could instead put the points you use on it into the Scrounger perk, which increases the amount of ammunition you find in containers. Ammunition is worth money. Since Scrounger allows you to find rare and expensive ammo like .50 caliber rounds, plasma charges, and even mininukes, it's ''much'' more valuable than Fortune Finder even if all you're doing is selling the extra ammo you find.

to:

** What ''Fallout'' player has ''ever'' found much of a use for Traps[[note]]None of the traps you encounter are very damaging, so running past them and taking damage is better than wasting skill points[[/note]], Throwing[[note]]While very effective at the beginning of ''Fallout 2'', when you don't have a decent gun for a while, there are ''very'' few throwing weapons beyond the (sharpened) spear that you can use more than once, and grenades aren't nearly as powerful as rocket launchers, plasma guns, or high-level bullet guns, all of which use different skills[[/note]], points[[/note]] or Outdoorsman[[note]] This skill increases the rate at which you find favorable random encounters, and decreases the rate at which you find bad random encounters. It literally has no other effect, not even narrative skill checks, in either game[[/note]]? The viability of investing points into some skills, such as Science, Repair, and (in the sequel) Unarmed is undermined by the many books and teachers in the games that make it easy to boost a skill to 100% without investing a point into it. Many of the Perks are also infamous as pretty useless.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' at least averts some of the negative aspects of this trope: A successful Speech check instead of killing a foe or using a computer to shut down a turret instead of blowing the turret up will net you the same amount of XP, if not more, than if you tried fighting. Barter is an aversion because it means you'll get better prices and better deals from merchants, something you'll need if you have low Strength.
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' adds to this by giving you different, often more fun ways to complete quests by using your Speech skill, as well as frequent, often useful bonuses. Also, if you work with Yes Man and have 100 Speech [[spoiler: you can literally [[Awesome/FalloutNewVegas ''talk'' two armies into backing down]]]]. ''New Vegas'''s Survival skill may appear at first to duplicate the little-used Outdoorsman skill, but the ubiquity of food versus stimpaks and the utility of several of the campfire recipes makes it quite useful in normal mode and positively essential in hardcore mode, where the Courier must eat and sleep regularly and medicines are not as immediately effective.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}},'' as part of its heavy reworking of progression, has a couple:
''VideoGame/Fallout4'':
*** First, it substantially modifies the Animal Friend perk while adding similar ones is significantly modified and there are now separate perks for abominations/mutated creatures and humanoids. Now pointing your gun at an enemy has a chance to pacify them, and at higher levels, they'll even fight on your side and take orders from you... as long as you pass a charisma check, and don't do anything ''but'' point your gun or else they might turn hostile again, and if that happens (or if you fail a later pacification check) you can't pacify anyone else until exiting and re-entering combat. On top of all that, a large chunk of the game's quests (including several mandatory ones) ''require'' killing all the enemies in an area to proceed, so a true PacifistRun is basically impossible without exploits.
*** Second, the The V.A.N.S. ('''V'''ault-Tec '''A'''ssisted '''N'''avigational '''S'''ystem) perk, which perk allows you to see a path to the nearest tagged objective in VATS. The problems with this: 1) you only get one perk per level up, and there's almost always an option that's more useful in terms of actual '''gameplay''', and 2) the player can always check nearby objectives on their Pip-Boy map, so V.A.N.S. is only even conceivably useful in particularly difficult to navigate areas. V.A.N.S 2 sounds much more useful, giving you plus 2 to Perception, two whole levels for free! Except for three "teeny-tiny" things: 1) you have to waste a level up on V.A.N.S. just to get the chance of it, 2) you need to be level 36 minimum, 3) you need the ''Nuka-World'' DLC to get it (which has much better things than a second level in a useless perk). It's just best spending two levels in Perception if you're really hurting for it or even better invest in the perks that reduce the damage you take or increase the damage you give.\n
*** Third, the Fortune Finder perk. You find more money in containers with it.Fortune Finder. The problem is that you could instead put the points you use on it into the Scrounger perk, which increases the amount of ammunition you find in containers. Ammunition is worth money. Since Scrounger allows you to find rare and expensive ammo like .50 caliber rounds, plasma charges, and even mininukes, it's ''much'' more valuable than Fortune Finder even if all you're doing is selling the extra ammo you find.
1st Oct '17 8:43:05 PM DastardlyDemolition
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*** Second, the V.A.N.S. ('''V'''ault-Tec '''A'''ssisted '''N'''avigational '''S'''ystem) perk, which allows you to see a path to the nearest tagged objective in VATS. The problems with this: 1) you only get one perk per level up, and there's almost always an option that's more useful in terms of actual '''gameplay''', and 2) the player can always check nearby objectives on their Pip-Boy map, so V.A.N.S. is only even conceivably useful in particularly difficult to navigate areas. V.A.N.S 2 sounds much more useful, giving you plus 2 to Perception, two whole levels for free! Except for three "teeny-tiny" things: 1) you have to waste a level up on V.A.N.S. just to get the chance of it, 2) you need to be level 36 minimum, 3) you need the ''Nuka-World'' DLC to get it (which has much better things than a second level in a useless perk). It's just best spending two levels in Perception if you're really hurting for it or even better invest in reduction or increase your damage.

to:

*** Second, the V.A.N.S. ('''V'''ault-Tec '''A'''ssisted '''N'''avigational '''S'''ystem) perk, which allows you to see a path to the nearest tagged objective in VATS. The problems with this: 1) you only get one perk per level up, and there's almost always an option that's more useful in terms of actual '''gameplay''', and 2) the player can always check nearby objectives on their Pip-Boy map, so V.A.N.S. is only even conceivably useful in particularly difficult to navigate areas. V.A.N.S 2 sounds much more useful, giving you plus 2 to Perception, two whole levels for free! Except for three "teeny-tiny" things: 1) you have to waste a level up on V.A.N.S. just to get the chance of it, 2) you need to be level 36 minimum, 3) you need the ''Nuka-World'' DLC to get it (which has much better things than a second level in a useless perk). It's just best spending two levels in Perception if you're really hurting for it or even better invest in reduction the perks that reduce the damage you take or increase your damage.the damage you give.
1st Oct '17 8:41:05 PM DastardlyDemolition
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*** Second, the V.A.N.S. perk, which allows you to see a path to the nearest tagged objective in VATS. The problems with this: 1) you only get one perk per level up, and there's almost always an option that's more useful in terms of actual '''gameplay''', and 2) the player can always check nearby objectives on their Pip-Boy map, so V.A.N.S. is only even conceivably useful in particularly difficult to navigate areas.

to:

*** Second, the V.A.N.S. ('''V'''ault-Tec '''A'''ssisted '''N'''avigational '''S'''ystem) perk, which allows you to see a path to the nearest tagged objective in VATS. The problems with this: 1) you only get one perk per level up, and there's almost always an option that's more useful in terms of actual '''gameplay''', and 2) the player can always check nearby objectives on their Pip-Boy map, so V.A.N.S. is only even conceivably useful in particularly difficult to navigate areas. V.A.N.S 2 sounds much more useful, giving you plus 2 to Perception, two whole levels for free! Except for three "teeny-tiny" things: 1) you have to waste a level up on V.A.N.S. just to get the chance of it, 2) you need to be level 36 minimum, 3) you need the ''Nuka-World'' DLC to get it (which has much better things than a second level in a useless perk). It's just best spending two levels in Perception if you're really hurting for it or even better invest in reduction or increase your damage.
15th Sep '17 2:33:28 PM nombretomado
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* Early versions of the {{Mac}} {{Shareware}} RPG ''VideoGame/{{Realmz}}'' had a large number of skills like Break Bars/Gate/Door, Climb Wall, Hear Noise, Hide In Shadows, Move Silently and Pick Pocket that were practically never used, as well as heaps of oddball spells such as Dig, Hold Portal, Locate Object, Ventriloquism and Wizard Eye, and items like iron spikes, mirrors and wine. Most of these were removed in later versions, long before the ''Divinity'' [[LevelEditor scenario editor]] was released.

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* Early versions of the {{Mac}} UsefulNotes/{{Mac}} {{Shareware}} RPG ''VideoGame/{{Realmz}}'' had a large number of skills like Break Bars/Gate/Door, Climb Wall, Hear Noise, Hide In Shadows, Move Silently and Pick Pocket that were practically never used, as well as heaps of oddball spells such as Dig, Hold Portal, Locate Object, Ventriloquism and Wizard Eye, and items like iron spikes, mirrors and wine. Most of these were removed in later versions, long before the ''Divinity'' [[LevelEditor scenario editor]] was released.
28th Aug '17 12:45:39 AM Korodzik
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If the game involves you distributing points among various character skills, particularly useless abilities will typically become a DumpStat.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.UselessUsefulNonCombatAbilities