Skill Trees

Thought it was much needed to have a thread for this discussion.

These are the skills we currently have listed, based on Colony’s research:

In the following days, I’ll try to dig deeper into fields of knowledge/professional paths one can venture into over the internet, using MOOCs and other open resources

This will need to be formed/designed into paths/skill trees.
Maybe sidescrolling to different paths, maybe have a “tree root” looking system where the player is the trunk in the middle, literally a tree growing out of the skills that his roots reach.

Either way, a lot of information to gather, a lot of design thinking to do etc.

If you have knowledge in any specific skill tree, feel free to flesh it out.
Here’s something for inspiration: To get good, go after the metagame

Let’s do this shit.


maybe have a “tree root” looking system where the player is the trunk in the middle,

This sounds like a pretty cool idea! I wonder if something like this could be auto-generated from a form a user fills out about their skill set. The thickness of the tree trunk could be a proxy for something (e.g. total years of relevant experience in relevant skills), main branches would be skill groups (e.g. Product Development), and each sub-branch could be a specific skill (User research, Product Marketing), with a relative amount of “flowering” based on how confident the user believes she/he is and/or interested in contributing using that skill. At a zoomed out level the tree would represent all the different skill groups/areas that a user does have without necessarily spending space to show things they don’t have.


Honestly, I think it would make sense to get this to the community rather than building by yourself.
For example, you can have me build the path for managers – because that’s what I kinda do.
And someone, who knows the path of design can build that.
There can be separate path of painting, for example with branches like ‘watercolour’, ‘acrylic’, etc.
And I’m sure you’ll miss out on something sooner or later – crowdsourcing this as we have more people seems like a more valid structure.

I would propose to organise one example branch in what you’re doing best – let’s say community management, and for other paths – just give the template :slight_smile:

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Yes, please!
I’m just trying to start a fire :slight_smile:

Have fun setting this tree on fire! :fire: I had fun laying out the tree to this one: :balance_scale: patent law :balance_scale:. Pretty sure I’m missing something. Will probably try to visualize it with Sketch at some point. So here goes:

Resources used: Fallout 4, The Skill Tree Principle: An Innovative Way to Grow your Skills Efficiently

  1. Area of Focus
    • Description - root of the tree
    • Level up requirement - did you pick an area of focus? yes / no
    • Example - patent law
  2. Relevant Statutes (Intellegence)
    • Description - tree trunk
    • Level up mechanism - how well do you understand the relevant law? scale 0 - 10
    • Example - 35 U.S. Code § 101, 102, 103
  3. Practical Exercise (Strength)
    • Description - adventitious bud
    • Level up mechanism - how well can you define the scope of a patent? scale 0 - 10
    • Example - claim chart (a claim chart is where you map the claims of a patent to prior inventions or to an infringing product)
  4. Research Skill (Perception)
    • Description - adventitious bud
    • Level up mechanism - how well do you know your research tools to define the scope of a patent? scale 0 - 10
    • Example - associated disclosure in a patent, Google Patents, Public Pair
  5. Creativity / Luck
    • Description - adventitious bud
    • Level up mechanism - how well can you think outside the box? scale 0 - 10
    • Example - identifying prior art (fancy term for prior disclosure)
  6. Charisma
    • Description - terminal bud
    • Level up mechanism - can you level up someone else? scale 0 - 10
    • Example - can you teach any of the adventitious buds?
  7. Endurance
    • Description - terminal bud
    • Level up mechanism - how easily fatigued are you when working on a patent? scale 0 - 10
    • Example - :thinking:
  8. Tech-savvy (Agility)
    • Description - terminal bud
    • Level up mechanism - how well do you understand the subject matter of a patent? scale 0 - 10
    • Example - telecommunication, organic chemistry, medical devices

Reflection #1:
One cannot build a complete picture of the skill tree for another, one can only show another the broad basics to the tree, you need to do work (identify relevant skills you hope to learn, identify where you are in leveling up for a given skill, etc.) to grow your tree.


What are your thoughts on skill-specific cred/how did you plan on implementing that @decentralion?

My simple solution would be to just build out these skill trees then let people assign points to their skill trees themselves. Eg. 10XP = 1SP (skill-point)

Sure, people can lie and pump the skills they weren’t working on,
but in the beginning they’d be disincentivized to do it because others would see,
and later they’d be disicentivized because taking up a work contract on the market might require staking.

this skill tree is like an online school then and by learning you complete quests? you always get a quest for what you next want to learn so that you can teach yourself a new skill while doing a quest if you want to learn a new skill. The accomplished quest are the proof of your skills.

i like this analogy. like 1 ring for one year experience. the trunk represent the total years of experience of all your skills together and each skill branch has its own thickness based on the sub-branches.

the more flower the more quest s/he did on this skill. so if a branch has no flowers you see s/he did no quest. lots of flowers lots of quests.

The roots of the tree are missing. in nature they get resources from the soil and shrooms. perhaps the roots show the connections to other users/projects. so the more quest you did for a project the more roots/connections you have to this project. projects are represented by other trees (project trees = needle trees & user trees = leaf trees) and Mykorrhiza (shromms) connect all trees. The big Mykorrhiza = MetaGame

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this skill tree is like an online school then and by learning you complete quests? you always get a quest for what you next want to learn so that you can teach yourself a new skill while doing a quest if you want to learn a new skill. The accomplished quest are the proof of your skills.

In the long term, hopefully, yeah.
I wanted to start it really minimalistically, by simply mapping out different branches of knowledge one can get competent in without going to university, add snippets of advice & linking the knowledge nodes to external courses, books & other resources.
Then, with time, we may build our own resources, organize workshops & learning sessions, have other organizations tag work that they need done directly to those knowledge nodes & boost them etc.

We’ve thought about it, yeah. Basically you could think of it as “colored cred”, where there are different kinds of cred flowing through the graph: documentation cred, implementation cred, research cred, etc. This isn’t something that’s moved far beyond the daydreaming stage, though: there are some open research problems we’d need to solve, and it would be a really big change overall.

My 2c: If you want the skill tree to be meaningful you need some regulatory mechanism that audits or verifies peoples’ skills. Going on self reported skills or on weak metrics can easily lead to the skill levels becoming meaningless:

  • ppl who are actually very skilled (and obviously so) will not bother putting much effort into pumping their stated skill level, they already have validation from themselves and their peers
  • ppl who are mediocre (or dunning-kreugered) will try a lot harder to get high skill levels, will want the validation more

Once you’re in that situation, ppl will get burned a few times by players with high skill levels but a shortage of actual talent, and then ppl will learn to ignore the stated skill levels.

I think you need some kind of social regulatory process (maybe adversarial). Some examples of real world processes that achieve this:

  • You get a PhD after successfully defending your thesis (note |he adversarial framing) from other people who have already been proven by this system
  • in Google, you get promo’d by a committee of people that are at the level you’re trying to get promoted to (or higher)

If we wanted to do it with existing XP/SEED mechanics, we could maybe do something with boosting where to get promoted to a higher skill level, you need to collect enough seed power in boosting that supports your candidacy, and then it gets approved or rejected by a review group of people who are already at that skill level. The boosters would earn XP if they boosted a successful candidate (but lose their SEEDs with no recourse if they boosted a faker). So they would actually be incentivized to talent scout people with high skills. Just a very back of the envelope idea, I think we could expand it into something interesting. cc @METADREAMER

I thought about this a lot, because I thought it was important that the people with high skill that want to join don’t have to go through all the hoops of verifying skills which wouldn’t be exactly cheap for us either.

My conclusion was:

  • You are free to claim your skill level to be as high as you want (which unlocks you access to higher skilled work)
  • BUT! If you try to take a high skill contract, you’re going to have to stake to collateralize your rep or lack of thereof.
  • If there’s disputes about you being incompetent, you get slashed (and a bad review on your skill tree)

Will self-asserted skill correlate with actual skill?

  • Dunning Kreuger effect says: systematically, no. People with low skill will overestimate (they don’t know any real experts, don’t know how much they don’t know), people with moderate-to-high skill will underestimate (they know enough to see that they know far less than the masters)
  • People who have less to lose reputationally (e.g. new to the community or short-lived accounts) will be willing to gamble on inflated skill claims

Will slashing reliably correlate with being low-skill?

  • Many people are naturally conflict avoidant and will not slash in questionable situations
  • People who are good at playing politics / reading social situations less likely to get slashed

A system where people need to post collateral to claim contracts is discouraging – what if I have a lot of skill, but not a lot of money to risk on the possibility that the person posting the contract is an asshole? Or the contract poster may have unrealistic expectations and zero experience with product management, and will blame all those failures on me.

Overall, I think this system will see a lot of highly inflated skill scores, but fear on both sides:

  • Contract poster worried that the skill claim is inflated. Doesn’t want to risk investing energy and resources on giving the contract to someone based on that flimsy metric–even if it’s possible to slash, that may not make up for the lost time and energy
  • Contract taker worried that they may get blamed/slashed when they are actually doing a good job, but the person posting the contract had unrealistic expectations or other problems

Basically, I think you’ll get a market for lemons.

I’m familiar with Dunning Kreuger effect, but things like that can be overcome simply teaching people how to self-assess and later improve it with other signals. :man_shrugging:

Sure, but if you’re trusted enough, you’ll be able to have other people or agencies stake for you.
And it goes without saying, the person on the buying side =/= the arbitrator.

I think it depends on how much social cohesion/community policing you expect on this system.
If it’s a small-world network (most ppl know each other, community around the size of Dunbar’s number) then I think background social feedback could keep the system in check.

Once it scales to >1000 people though, I think there needs to be a more robust framework for assessing skill levels.

I think having “guilds” that assign skill badges could be interesting. Different guilds can experiment with different mechanisms for ensuring the scores are meaningful, and guilds can compete with each other to do a good job of providing useful signal.

Yea, RaidGuild has been talking a lot about an apprentice > journeyman > master progression system.

I’m not a fan of self selection either, don’t think it will scale or have a lot of weight in practice. Might be worthwhile to make the first version super simple, something like LinkedIn does where people can select skills on another persons profile for things they are good at. Just simple votes, but can also weight them based on the reputation of the people giving those votes.

The only thing I think could be self selected in a reasonably objective way would be “years of experience” in each domain. That sort of anchors things to an objective metric: time. Of course years of experience is not a perfect representation of skill level, but its still a pretty good metric and probably the only one that could hold some sort of weight. Of course people can lie about it, but its still less prone to dunning-kruger IMO. Use that as a basis, and then have the voting mechanism on top.

Honestly the best way is just for people to fill out their bio properly to just talk about stuff they did, and then people can judge for themselves based on their work and portfolio how good they are.

It actually scales a lot more easily than vetting & does have weight if there’s slashing :man_shrugging:

I like this idea too, guilds will probably be the best way of filtering talent.

I started structuring it into a tree:

On another note, Path of Exile has hands down the most insane skill “tree” I have ever seen.

Check & interact with the full tree here


Thats nice. I like it a lot. It looks like a city/brainmap very organic, but at the same time very chaotic. Then you can activate filters like “show my skills” or you can click on a branch and see all the possible path from this skill or you can click “show next possilbe skills” and you see all the skills you can learn next.

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It is an insane tree (but only in terms of layout) because the underlying attack/def can be derived from simpler rules and segmentation of classes. I’m reminded of the old quote

some things that count can’t be measured, and not everything measurable counts

Back to your skill tree … your vertical ovals represent knowledge domains … and horizontal the current state of expressive language. Accounting has their own language and so do lawyers with their shorthand jargon … it’s all to speed up communicating high-level constructs / patterns that are observed externally. Communications is underrated as you need to either translate, bridge or laconise the key points otherwise you risk putting audience to sleep or trying to cram TLDR by starting from fundamentals.

The other interest observation is that people that rise to the top tend to have A-shape or T-shaped skills with legs in two or more knowledge domains (eg me in HPCC and IP law). Others might be T-shaped in rising through technical ranks, then after a certain point forced to go sideways to get to C-level. What we should be looking for in cryptoeconomics is people with H-shaped, a leg in one of engineering+biz/econ, and now want to cross-over before rebuilding again.

From my perspective, what is hard to do is get cross-functional teams that mesh well, either because of

  • values conflicts (never ask accountants for opinions on research budgets),
  • lack of common framework, or
  • simply just culture clashes (eg intergenerational).

The metagame can attempt to bridge some of this by amplifying some traits … eg the skills in internal support ops need some refactoring before being turned into external outreach conceptualised in going from necromancer (using RaidGuild term) to water mage (customer data analytics).

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I’m interested in learning more about this project.
Given how little I know about MetaGame. I figured this task was the best place to start.

Given my current understanding of the project.
Perhaps it’s best for me to get caught up to speed on how to design my own maps etc.

For example, the layout you provided @peth I would like to structure into a more cleaner, easier to read layout.

On the Gitcoin bounty I also asked a couple questions about getting started as well too.

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This is what will get people up and running the easiest:

digitalproductivity [dot] coach/

I know the guys behind it:

twitter [dot] com/uberstuber
twitter [dot] com/tasshinfogleman

It’s a paid product now, but I have the prototype version available for us to play with:

notion [dot] so/operationautarch/Digital-Productivity-Coach-Beta-6c3484f9ed0a42cf96d15d9088e93966

Can’t put links in my posts yet…

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