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Skill System Overview

Dying Light Walkthrough and Guide by CMBF
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Skill System Overview

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One of the major claims to fame that Dying Light has over other games in the genre is its focus on a more realistic game play experience. That said though, there is NO way to do a game like this without also having a Skills System and an XP Scheme. Sorry but that is the way it is.

When you have a Skills System and an XP Scheme, the game cannot, by definition, retain any real claim to a realistic portrayal of zombie-based survival-horror. Again, that is just the way that it is, so suck it up, Buttercup!

On the plus side though, even while this is all true, a game - this game - can come pretty damn close - and it does!

Here is a chance for you to use your skills to rescue a man so obnoxious and moronic that Rais' men locked him in the back of a van rather than kill him outright in the hopes that his slow and agonizing death would at least start to balance the Karmic Injustice that he perpetrates on the world simply by breathing!

So while we are on that subject let us take a look at the Skills System shall we?

Skills and XP / Skill Points
The first major element worth study is the relationship between Skills Sets and the XP / SP that is used to increase and unlock them. You obtain points for doing a large variety of actions, and we thought we would list off the major actions here to get your head in the right place in terms of being able to Grok how this all works...

  • Capturing Safe Houses = Survivor Points
  • Side-Quests = Experience Points
  • Night Activities = Survivor Points

Another point that needs emphasis is that failing to maintain at least some sense of parity between the three main skillsets is the quickest way to screw yourself. Sure your Parkour skill is high, but if you boosted that at the expense of your Melee Skill when the time comes where you really NEED your Melee Skill and you don't have it? Well you can only blame yourself.

With that in mind you should try to level all three as closely as you can.

Unlocking the Preferential Skills
The game has a whole host of different skills you can unlock and level - but among those there are some you are going to find make your life way better and way safer - so with that in mind please consider our advice to focus on unlocking the following as soon as you can:

Agility Skills
While there are a variety of Agility Skills the following should be on your list to unlock early - as early as you can manage - for obvious reasons:

  • Health Regen / Health Regen II: Increases the maximum level of automatic health recovery without using medkits.
  • Escape / Instant Escape: Getting free from bad situations is a skill you are going to want to be able to use as early as you can manage - and the Escape / Instant Escape Skills make that possible.
  • Light Drop: Decreases damage acquired from falling.
  • Tic-Tac: No, not the bloody candy! This skill adds wall-running to your Parkour skills set - and wall-running can often mean the difference between being forced into mass combat and not...
  • Vault: A skill that allows you to literally leap over zombies who are in your way - which you have to admit is a very useful skill for navigating past vrowds of zombies screaming “Brains! Brains!” Just saying...

Power Skills
A mostly obvious Skills Section, Power means just what it sounds like. And while there are plenty of options here, the ones that you will find the most useful from the beginning are:

  • All Sturdiness levels: The Sturdiness Levels for each ability are the basic foundation for power for each - and increasing those also increases your maximum health, which is totally to your benefit. While that that does not kill us makes us stronger, that which we can survive without getting killed by makes us not dead.
  • Conserve Weapons: This is not what it sounds like - unless it sounds to you like the ability to use your weapons while causing as little damage to them that you can in the process, then yeah it is precisely what it sounds like... This skill basically improves on weapon durability by allowing you to use the weapons while causing less damage TO the weapons.
  • Kick Stun: First you should know that kicking is a great way to drive up your XP from an encounter - so hey, kick a lot! You should also know that the Kick-Stun Ability gives you a chance to immobilize your foe with just a kick. A kick. And stunned. Kick-Stun. Get it?
  • Stomp: Any bloke that has found themselves in a barney behind a pub in Sydney knows this move instinctively... Boosting your Stomp Skill and Ability will allow you to make it much easier to kill any infected you have already knocked down - the idea being to kerb them as soon as you can. Just saying...

Survivor Skills
One of my grandfather's favorite expressions was: “Never underestimate the power of human stupidity or the willingness of the average bloke to make a self-destructive decision.” He was talking about judgment of the enemy in melee combat - it was my grandfather who taught us all how to fight when we were kids.

He obtained his mad melee skills back when he was a digger - he was in the 3rd Division from the beginning when it was re-formed in December 1941, when his militia unit was among the many that were “absorbed” into the 3rd Division. He served in every major and most of the minor events on New Guinea, and later Bougainville, and was one of the diggers assigned to probe the enemy defenses at the start of the battle at Slater's Knoll.

Wounded during the Salamaua–Lae Campaign, and again at the Knoll, his honorable injuries nearly got him the Victoria Cross - but during the after-action the officer in charge of writing up the recommendations favored officers over the lower ranks, and blokes like my gramps had their recognition downgraded to lesser awards.

The point though is that my gramps was something of an expert in hand-to-hand melee-based combat, and he taught his kids and later their kids some of the best tricks he knew.

One of the most significant skills that he taught us was how to decide when to fight and when not to. That last skill certainly saved me from a lot of grief, and it could help you too -- by reminding you that a confrontation with the infected does not necessarily mean you have to fight... Food for thought.

Anyway, among the Skills in the Survivor Set that you should unlock as soon as you can manage it are the following:

  • Backpacker: The skill that increases the amount of stuff you can carry in your pack.
  • Camouflage: This skill allows you to pass by most zombies without being detected and attacked - though it is not a magic power or anything, which is to say it is not always going to work...
  • Grappling Hook: The key to success in Dying Light is found in the combination of melee combat and freerunning - the latter being what most Yanks call Parkour. This skill basically allows you to change the relative challenge that a wall presents to you. Heh.
  • Lucky Repair: Stuff wears out, kit breaks. Because of that you have the limited ability to repair your weapons and kit. In most cases you want to delay any repair until you absolutely have to do it because you can only repair objects a certain number of times before they have to be written off. This skill allows for the chance to fix a weapon without using a repair tick - so even if it only works one-in-eight tries, it is still totally worth the effort of unlocking it!
  • Master Backpacker: The next stage of the Backpacker Skill, Master Backpacker lets you carry even more stuff - and you should not need it to be explained why that is a good thing!
  • Nimble Hands: Looting the bodies of the infected you dispatch - and any good and dead bodies you encounter - is someting you will be doing a lot. A LOT. So any skill that allows you to speed up that process is a skill worth having - and this one basically speeds up that process while at the same time making for a small chance that whatever loot you find will be improved and made better - so it is what? Yup, a skill worth having!

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