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Skill Point Reset

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In many video games (mainly RPGs), you can arbitrarily add points to your character's skill and attribute scores with each Level Up. Some of them additionally provide you with an item or character that resets your Player Character's scores and lets you redistribute them from scratch. The idea behind such Skill Point Reset is to let you optimize your build, better adapt it to the current level, and revert any character building decisions you came to regret.

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Naturally, this is an Acceptable Break from Reality, since in Real Life anything like this would allow you to completely forget everything you ever learned about your current job and instantly learn everything there is to know about another one.

Skill reset functions are almost universally Revenue-Enhancing Devices in Free-to-Play MMORPGs. The standard practice is to make them unavailable for purchase with in-game money or auction-able for vast amounts of it while being one of the cheapest perks in the cash shop.

The common term for this is "Respec", a shorthand version of "re-specialization".

See Discard and Draw for when this happens involuntarily (and not limited to video games) but you get your skill points back, and Bag of Spilling for when you don't. Compare Re-Power. Not to be confused with Power Nullifier.

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Examples:

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    RPG — Action 
  • In the Diablo series:
    • Diablo II added a Skill Point Reset with a patch: given as a Quest Reward for completing The Den of Evil, for each difficulty. There's also the Token of Absolution which is transmuted from an Essence of Hatred, Terror, and Destruction which are rarely dropped from the respective Prime Evils on Hell difficulty
    • Diablo III allows players to reset their entire skill point allocation whenever they want and there are several encounters built around having the proper skill selections.
  • X-Men Legends II allowed you to redistribute skill points for a price. The price increases by a couple orders of magnitude for a second reset.
  • Played very differently in Marvel Ultimate Alliance, which allows the player to freely redistribute skill points at any Save Point, with the caveat that a skill can never be completely unlearned (must still have 1 point in it).
  • Torchlight:
    • In the first game, the developers released a mod that added a purchasable respec potion at the same time as the mod tools as an example.
    • Torchlight II lets you reset the last three skill points you've spent at any time. Various mods also enable this ranging from a respec potion like the above to full skill and stat respecs.
      • There's also RapidRespec, a third-party tool that lets you freely respec characters and change aesthetic aspects (pet, name, looks, etc.). While it is a character editor, you can't modify things like levels or inventory and you can choose to keep the character legitimate like never being allowed to go below the attribute floors and obeying skill level restrictions. While a third-party tool is usually frowned upon, mod characters could have access to these abilities anyway.
  • In Path of Exile, Orbs of Regret are tradable items that grants exactly one passive skill point refund per use. Some quests give books that grants 2 skill point refunds. Ascendancy class passives require 5 points to refund, however. Orbs of Unmaking are used to refund Atlas passive skills but are significantly rarer.
  • Dark Souls:
  • Elden Ring: After defeating Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon (the end boss of the Raya Lucaria Academy), you can visit her again and offer a consumable item named Larval Tear to reset and immediately redistribute all attribute points you have gained from leveling up to that point (the initial stats you started the game with cannot be modified this way).
  • In Dragon Ball Xenoverse, the player can use the Dragon Balls to wish for "a second chance at life", which refunds all their skill points and allows them to re-spec.
  • In Titan Quest, the player can visit a Mystic, designated by the a blue sphere over the NPC's head, to remove points invested into skills. Each skill point requires an increasing amount of money to remove, until it caps out at 45,000 gold.
  • In Grim Dawn, a spirit guide can reset your skills and devotion points for a price. There's also potions in the expansion pack that can fulfill the same role.
  • In Dragon: Marked for Death, you can reset your skill points gained from leveling up and change your "Dragon Contract" between the five elements that each give unique properties at the Astral Dragon shrine by using Dragonite. The level-up skill points and the "Dragon Contract" changes are separate processes, so if you intend to change both at the same time you need to spend two Dragonite pieces. The total amount of Dragonite in your possession is shared across all your playable characters, and is mainly obtained from completing certain in-game missions given by townsfolk or having it drop from a boss chest.

    RPG — Eastern 
  • Stat Maxing in Final Fantasy X is largely based on erasing spheres already present on the sphere grid with a special kind of sphere, and replacing them with more stat-benficial ones. Here, somewhat an oddball example as instead of this being a method of quick restructuring of a character's build, it's a rather tedious process of Min-Maxing.
    • Final Fantasy VII Remake has a more traditional example in Chadley, who you can pay to remove all of the upgrades on any one weapon and recover the SP previously spent on them.
  • Pokémon has the Move Deleter, which allows you to delete a Pokemon's move and is the only way to remove certain techniques. Some games also have berries that allow you to remove Effort Points from one stat, so you can build another one. There is also the "move relearner" which allows Pokemon to re-learn any move from a previous level-up. But while the Move Deleter performs his service for free, the relearner typically charges a Heart Scale, a hard-to-find item.
  • Skies of Arcadia had "Chams" which you fed to your Attack Animal. It also had "Choms" which caused it to reset and release all the Chams it ate, solely so that you could use them again in a different order which may be more efficient if an Abarik Cham is used at the best time. (This was changed in the Gamecube version.)
  • In many ways, it's more of an upgrade, but most Nippon Ichi games have some form of "rebirth" for the characters which drops them to Level 1, but with some percentage of their stats (and all of their equipment) intact, making the grinding much less painful.
  • In Etrian Odyssey, Resting a character at the Guild resets their skill points, along with losing a few levels. Since you only get one skill point for each level, this can be a good way to reshuffle that member's skills to something better suited to the challenge at hand.
    • Retiring somebody works similarly: that character leaves the Guild and is replaced by an 'apprentice' who starts at Level 1 (or, in later games, at half the original character's level or Level 30, whichever is lowest), but gains extra skill points to invest and retains any stat boosts the original character gained from single-use items.
  • Fantasy Life lets the player do this for a fee once the main story is over. The game gives two skill points per level normally and 3 every 10 levels and has a Job System. It's good alternative to Level Grinding for those changing jobs before the level cap in reached. The DLC available for the game has an item that lets the player do this for free.
  • In Dragon Quest XI, the player is given the option to "Rectify" their skill point investments at any church. Skill points are rectified one branch at a time, at a cost of 20G per point. (Since some Skill Tree branches are only unlocked by investing in another branch, the player can exploit this by unlocking the skills needed to open said branch, then Rectifying that branch and investing in more useful skills.)

    RPG — MMO 
  • Any trainer for your class in World of Warcraft can reset your Talents so you can re-arrange them. However, this process costs money and becomes more expensive each time it's used. When the developers make major changes to a class' skill tree they also reset it for free.
    • They then introduced dual skill trees, enabling players to switch between two skill trees by concentrating briefly.
    • And now in Mists of Pandaria, with the extremely simplified skill set, you can reset individual skills with an easily availble item at a whim, as long as you're not in combat.
  • Don't know about the official version, but on private Ragnarok Online servers there is usually an NPC where you can reset your stats and/or your skill points for a price.
  • Champions Online lets you "Retcon" your hero, either with in-game money or using a Retcon token from the cash shop.
  • Guild Wars at release had "reset points" that built up with experience and allowed characters to change skills. Shortly after release, they switched to allowing free respecs at any outpost.
  • City of Heroes has "Respecs", which allow you to re-choose your powers and re-distribute the enhancement slots of those powers. They can be earned through completing Respec Trials, among other ways, and sometimes the developers give all characters free respecs when an update makes major changes to multiple powers. The limitations are that you cannot change your archetype (character class) or primary and secondary power trees (only re-choose the abilities within them) but the player can drop and choose from all tertiary power pools.
  • Dungeons & Dragons Online has a justified version of this, a mindflayer is willing to reset your skills for a fee—effectively eating up your memory of those skills but not the physical experience you have.
  • There are two unique NPCs (in the respective capital and fleet) for each faction (Republic and Empire) in Star Wars: The Old Republic who can reset your Prestige Class Skill Tree, refunding all points—this is free for paying players, but costs in-game currency for F 2 P. You cannot unlearn any powers and abilities you purchase from regular trainers, however.
  • Elsword has two Skill Reset Medals available for purchase: one that only resets a single skill, and one that resets an entire skill page (a full setup). Complete reset items are awarded when a character undergoes a class change, or when they reach the level cap, and some events provide selective reset items.
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    RPG — Western 
  • In the Dragon Age series:
    • Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening had the Manuals of Focus, consumable items that reset everything about the character (stats, skills, specializations, etc.). You got a similar for free in each extra DLC campaign where you could import your Origins character.
    • Dragon Age II has a potion called Maker's Sigh, available from The Black Emporium, which functions the same way as the Manual of Focus in Awakening.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition continues the tradition with the Tactician's Renewal amulet, which resets your skill points when equipped but is immediately destroyed afterwards. The first one is available for 1 gold at the Haven's smithy, but additional ones carry a hefty price tag.
  • In the Mass Effect series:
    • Mass Effect 2 allows you to retrain Shepard's powers for 2500 units of Element Zero after the Horizon mission. You can do the same for squad members using Advanced Training at the Shadow Broker Base (DLC-only), for 1000 Element Zero per use per character. (Not to be confused with Advanced Training on the Normandy, which allows the player to select Shepard's bonus skill.)
    • Mass Effect 3 offers it for Shepard and any squadmate in the medbay of the Normandy, with gradually increasing costs for multiple resets.
  • You can buy "Re-spec" in Borderlands after a certain level.
  • Skyrim's 1.9 patch allows you to give 'Legendary' status to any maxed-out skill, resetting it to 15 (from 100) and refunding any perks you put into it. This allows you to level-up indefinitely by re-training the skill over and over again. Completing the Dragonborn DLC campaign gives you access to a special location where you can reset all perks (but not levels) in any skill for one dragon soul per skill. The reset perks are fully refunded and can be spent freely right away.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning allows resetting of skill and ability points at a fateweaver for a fee which increases based on character level and the number of times it's been done previously.
  • Divinity series:
    • Upgrade your Homestead enough in Divinity: Original Sin and you'll eventually gain access to a demon named Moloch that will allow you to trade your Source Hunters' unused stat points in one area for use in another area (e.g. trade some Ability Points to gain an Attribute Point). Alternatively, he can just give you a full refund on all of your currently earned points to allow you to completely re-spec your character. However, the latter isn't as awesome as it sounds, because resetting your Ability Points to zero also means you lose all of your Skills.note 
    • In Divinity: Original Sin II, after leaving the first area of the game, you can use a mirror on the Lady Vengeance to re-spec your characters at any time for free, no questions asked.
  • Battle Chasers: Nightwar: Perk points can be re-allocated any time outside of battle.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 originally let you buy the consumable chip "Tabula Rasa" at every ripperdoc for 100,000 eurobucks, which reset and refunded every perk point you have spent so far. This was eventually patched out, however, and replaced with the ability to reset all perks directly from the stats menu for €$2,000 plus 100 per perk point refunded at any time. There has never been an option of resetting the attribute points, however.
  • Your Bizarre Adventure (a JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Fan Game):
    • The Rokakaka Fruit resets your character's Stand, fighting style, and skill points (the latter of which are refunded instead of being completely eradicated). There's also a much rarer "pure" variant that only affects the skill tree.
    • Paying one NPC $5,000 and three diamonds will reset the player's fighting style.
  • GreedFall has Memory Crystals, which drop from three specific bosses in the game (including the very first one) and let you reset and refund everything about your character, including attributes, skills, and talents. The only caveat is that you cannot tinker with the first three perks unlocked by your choice of "class" template, though you are able to select a different "class" each time you use a Memory Crystal.

    Idle Games 
  • Antimatter Dimensions: There's a button that ensures all Time Studies are reset on Eternity and Time Theorems can be spent differently.
  • The Communitree: You can reset all upgrades in Upgrade tree at the cost of component points, which is necessary sometimes as they increase the cost of all other upgrades in the same row.
  • CompactO: You can push a button to reset all XP upgrades for a plane to get points spent on them back while also resetting squares.
  • The Compact Tree: You can reset upgrades in the Compactors tab, which helps as dust upgrades make the cost of the other ones rise and compactors are a limited resource.
  • Distance Incremental: You can reset Infinity Upgrades while performing an infinity reset, but you gain nothing back.
  • The Dynas Tree: You can respec wisdom discovers, but that causes a wisdom reset.
  • Exponential Idle: You can respec Stars and Graduation upgrades, receiving all of their respective currency back.
  • FE000000: You can respec studies while performing an eternity reset. It's useful since theorems are a limited resource and every one of them bought adds 2 to the price of studies in the other two rows and may need to be re-applied when you unlock the fourth row anyway.
  • The Game Dev Tree: You can press a button to reset endpoint and good will upgrades, which is helpful since both are limited resources and not spending the latter may be more beneficial due to its boost to fame and fan effects.
  • The Gaokao Tree: You can push a button to reset all degrees. Annoyingly, it's treated by the game as a purchasable upgrade, so the ungraduate layer's button will always have a red outline.
  • Idle Brain Quest: You can unlearn a skill to decrease its level, which can often be used to decrease costs of other skills to possibly make them better. You don't get spent books or Knowledge Crystals back, though.
  • Incremenergy: You can respec all Hyper Upgrades since each one of them decreases the Hyper-Energy exponent by 0.08, but that performs a Hyper reset.
  • The Incrementali Tree: You can respec runes to get quarks back at any time which can be incredibly useful since quarks are a limited resource. You can also respec incrementali galaxy upgrades, but it has little use.
  • Plague Tree: You can reset infections, which is often necessary if you need different paths or need to build up infectious diseases since they get multiplied by those you haven't spent. Coronas can also be reset, but that's only needed at the beginning if you need to gain CorVids. A similar thing is done much later with Anti-Vaxxed Vaxxers, though there it's only done to select a different path.
  • Prestige Tree: You can reset Space Buildings so you can buy different ones, but that performs a space reset as well.
  • Prestige Tree Dimensions: You can reset Hyperspace buildings since they're a limited resource.
  • The Prestreestuck:
    • You can respec Hope upgrades, which can be useful as upgrades in one row make other ones in the same row more expensive, but you don't get spent Hope Power back.
    • You can respec Overflow and Eternity upgrades, which can be useful as Overflow and Eternity are limited resources, with no strings attached (though it still does a reset).
  • Rapture 30: You can respec Rapture Upgrades and World Boosts, which comes in handy as they use limited resources.
  • The Stardust Tree: You can reset Nebulae (since some Nebulae make progression tougher) and crystal upgrades (since shards are limited by crystals).
  • Sword Fight: There are several ways to reset skill points, including those spent on Fighting Skills, Mastery Skills, and Lineage. Only the third one is initially available and can be done once every 24 hours, the first two require specific Lineage.
  • Universal Paperclips: The "Xavier Re-initialization" upgrade that can be taken in Stage 1 or Stage 2, by having over 100000 creativity points. Doing so resets your Trust/Swarm Gifts points so they can be reallocated.
  • Universe Shrinker: You can reset all the Theta Energy upgrades bought, though that forces you to do a Heat Death reset without getting the resource used for them. This is needed to beat the game, as one has to respec theta upgrades in an optimal fashion in order to gain Theta quickly.

    Other Games 
  • While stats in roguelike Dungeon Crawl are permanent, advanced magic-users can use the Scrolls of Amnesia to forget certain spells to make room for better ones. Additionally, having a lot of favor with Ashenzari (god of knowledge) allows one to move XP from one skill to another at a slight loss.
  • Dead Space 2 allows you to reset all the upgrades you've applied to a specific weapon or piece of equipment for 5000 credits, allowing you to move them to something else instead.
  • In Warcraft III, you can find/buy a Tome of Retraining on some maps, which allows you to reset your skill points (and strengthen/weaken your abilities accordingly) as you see fit.
  • There's a unique item in Ge Ne Sis, the Divine Breath, that does this for one character. Usually very essential, since it's dangerously easy to make your characters' builds into complete messes.
  • The Nanofield Reboot ability, from Iji, lets Iji reset her skills and recover all the applicable nanos. This also kills her shields and sets her HP to a critically low level, so it's best to do so only when there's an absolute obstacle that has to be cleared up, and/or next to upgrade stations and health boxes. A reset of this kind in the right place is often the only way to get through a Pacifist Run.
  • Bite-sized indie action-adventure game Ruins Of Mitriom uses this as its core gameplay mechanic. As you expolore the island, you come across crystals that allow you to change your skills on the fly. Putting your skill points into various categories is necessary to progress, allowing you to control the speed of your caravan and make other adjustments depending on the situation at hand.
  • In Distorted Travesty, a NPC will do this to you for a small amount of money.
  • You can do this for free in GemCraft.
  • In PAYDAY 2, you can reset individual skill trees at will, getting back all the skill points and a portion of the money you spent to buy individual skills.
  • Dawn of War 2: Chaos Rising allows you to reset all of the returning characters skill points if you imported a save game, but the option is only available before starting the second mission.
  • Ruiner allows the player to redistribute all skill points and change their special abilities between and even during missions (when not in a fight). This becomes mighty convenient if the player runs into trouble where a build just isn't working out for the situation and keeps having to reload at the checkpoint before a tough battle over and over.
  • In My Time at Portia, Phyllis can reset your skill points at the hospital. She does so via acupuncture, which she swears won't hurt a bit.
  • Kick Buttowski: Loco Launcho: You can reset all upgrades and get all spent WOW points back.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • Red Mage of 8-Bit Theater can edit his character sheet (or at least, he thinks to do so) to achieve this effect.
  • A variation on this is "retraining" in Dungeons & Dragons's fourth edition. Essentially, each time your character goes up a level, you can replace one choice you've made before (e.g. a trained skill, feat, power) with another of the same type as long as the change doesn't result in an illegal character (say, one with a feat whose prerequisite is suddenly no longer there). In addition, even without ever retraining characters of all classes will eventually hit some levels (starting at 13th) at which they are instructed to replace an old power with a new one; they could in principle just choose the old power all over again, but a 13th-level encounter attack power is apt to have a bit more "oomph" than the (likely) first-level one you're giving up for it.
    • One of 4e's organized play campaigns, Living Forgotten Realms, permits free chances to characters (other then the character's name, race, and class.) 5e only gives such a benefit for low level characters, but allows freely changing non-mechanical aspects of the character.
    • 3.5 Edition had a minor, somewhat prototypical version of this with spontaneous caster classes like the Sorcerer and Bard, allowing them to swap out a known spell for a new one every few levels. The new spell couldn't be any higher in level than the old spell, but it did allow a caster to diversify their lower-level spell selection when higher-level spells stole the same niche - for example, a Sorcerer reaching 4th level decides to learn Summon Monster II, so he also forgets Summon Monster I in exchange for a spell with more utility since the old spell has been overtaken in power.
  • In Mage: The Awakening, masters of Time magic can temporarily reallocate their skill points, effectively using Retconjuration to create a past in which they developed different proficiencies.

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