Salem Skills, Proficiencies and Learning Ability Guide



Salem Skills, Proficiencies and Learning Ability Guide by Sevenless

Skills and Proficiencies

In Salem, there are two main aspects to character “skills”. There are the skills themselves, such as “Childish Things” which was purchased during the tutorial. These provide static benefits such as the ability to make curiosities in the case of the tutorial skill. Other skills will unlock building, abilities and food recipes, as well as give static bonuses to your ability to perform various tasks. Several skills help you forage and see specific plants/minerals more easily as well. Naturally speaking, acquiring these skills will be your goal, but getting access to these skills requires more than just unlocking pre-requisites.

The second element of skills is your Proficiencies. When you hit Ctrl+T you see your study window and a long list of numbers. Starting characters start with lvl 5 in all proficiencies, meaning the proficiency skillbar has room for 500 points. Consuming inspirations will add points to different bars, depending on the inspiration of course. Once a bar is full, it will turn green. Clicking on the bar will level you up in that proficiency, but all proficiency points will be burned. Leveling Arts and Crafts will still use any points you have in Frontiers and Wilderness for example. The same goes for skill purchases. But back on topic, to unlock a skill for purchase, your bars have to be sufficiently leveled in order to have enough proficiency points to buy it.

Proficiencies also have/will have smaller but helpful side effects on game activities. Levels in Stocks and Cultivars increases the potential plenty bonus you can give when planting fields. Frontiers and Wilderness gives what seems to be roughly a 7% reduction in fishing tackle/rod wear for going from 10->20 points in the proficiency level. None of these effects are crucial to gameplay, but they make life easier in the long run. More proficiency uses will be added in the future we’ve been promised.

But back to skills: Usually the first skill requiring leveled proficiencies for a new character is Lore of the Lumberwoods, which requires lvl 8 Frontiers and Wilderness, lvl 6 Law and Lore and lvl 6 Sparks and Embers. Overall, you’ll need to advance 5 levels to get these requirements, then fill up the bars again in order to purchase the skill. At this point you’ll probably be noticing that each inspirational consumed isn’t giving as much as the previous one. This is because of your “Learning Ability”, found in the bottom left corner of the skills screen.

Learning Ability Explained

Learning ability starts at 100%, and is refreshed back to 100% whenever you level a proficiency, buy a skill, or hit the reset button. When you consume a new curiosity that you have not yet consumed this learning “session”, the curiosity will give 100% of the proficiency points that it can. You should see your learning ability drop to 70% when this happens. If you consume a type of curiosity you have already used this session, you will get 70% of the learning points and your learning ability will drop to 50%. After 14 curiosities of the same type, your LA drops to 0% and you cannot gain any further points without using a new curiosity.

Consuming a new curiosity will cause *that* curiosity to give 100% of its proficiencies, and reset your LA. However, since you already used the curiosity on the reset, your LA for the next not-new curiosity to be 70%. Lets see some examples to help you work this out.

Example One: I accidentally my Learning Ability

Study Chestnut 1 – LA 100%
Study Chestnut 2 – LA 70%
Study Chestnut 3 – LA 50%
Study Chestnut 4 – LA 35%
Study Chestnut 5 – LA 25%
Study Chestnut 6 – LA 17%
Study Chestnut 7 – LA 12%
Study Chestnut 8 – LA 8%
Study Chestnut 9 – LA 6%
Study Chestnut 10 – LA 4%
Study Chestnut 11 – LA 3%
Study Chestnut 12 – LA 2%
Study Chestnut 13 – LA 1%
Study Chestnut 14 – LA 1%
Study Chestnut 15 – LA 0% – Not quite 0, but close enough that you still shouldn’t study it

As you can see here, the 15th chestnut we studied would have given literally 0 proficiency points. The total amount that you can grind out of a curiosity this way is 3.34x the base value of the curiosity at 100%. And that is of course only the theoretical amount, some is lost due to rounding in game. The reset button is there for cases where you’re trying to level something but have completely destroyed your LA in this manner and have no variety curiosities left. Try not to click it, it doesn’t give a confirmation option at all, but I have used it myself (for example, when studying wood chips to get these numbers).

Example Two: I Love Variety!

Study Chestnut 1 – LA 100%
Study Lumberwood Figurine 1 – LA 100%
Study Simple Crucifix 1 – LA 100%

Because each inspirational we’re using is being used for the first time, we get the full proficiency points out of each. Where possible, this is the least wasteful way to level skills. However, the difficulty to create/get each curiosity can be quite different. For someone living in a pine forest with not a single maple tree to be seen, making Lumberiwood Figurines is not a cheap investment time wise.

Example Three: The Long Grind

Study Singing Old Log 1 – LA 100%
Study Singing Old Log 2 – LA 70%
Study Singing Old Log 3 – LA 50%

Study Chestnut 1 – LA 100% – Variety bonus!

Study Singing Old Log 4 – LA 70%
Study Singing Old Log 5 – LA 50%

Study Devil Wort 1 – LA 100% – Variety bonus!

Study Singing Old Log 6 – LA 70%
Study Singing Old Log 7 – LA 50%

Here we see an example of what end game skill grinding looks like. Obviously for such a small example, variety curiosities would probably be cheaper to acquire than the extra singing old logs. Your level in any proficiency is only limited by the number of different variety curiosities you can get, and the highest value curiosity you can find for the proficiency you are trying to grind. When variety stops being cheap (having to use a lovers locket as a variety item is brutal because that would mean a wasted iron bar essentially), you can move down the line and start using 2, 3, or 4 of your main grinding curiosity.

Now, if we were looking to level Stocks and Cultivars in this example, assuming 1.00p for all items, we would have earned 1500 S/C x 4.6 points from the Singing Old Logs alone, or exactly 6900 points. This means we could get to lvl 69 of S/C without needing to use more than 7 singing old logs per level. That last sentence turned out hilarious completely unintentionally, I actually wish I could have planned that.

Example Four: Remember which Variety Curios you use

Study Singing Old Log 1 – LA 100%
Study Singing Old Log 2 – LA 70%
Study Singing Old Log 3 – LA 50%

Study Chestnut 1 – LA 100% – Variety bonus!

Study Singing Old Log 4 – LA 70%
Study Singing Old Log 5 – LA 50%

Study Devil Wort 1 – LA 100% – Variety bonus!

Study Singing Old Log 6 – LA 70%
Study Singing Old Log 7 – LA 50%

Study Chestnut 2 – LA 35% – Oops!

Study Singing Old Log 8 – LA 25% – Remember to watch your LA when studying like this!

Study Smooth Stone – LA 100% Variety bonus!

Study Singing Old Log 9 – LA 70%

The only harm in forgetting your variety curio upfront is a wasted variety curio. But if you don’t check your LA, you could start wasting your main grind curio as well. When grinding for high skill levels, just remember to watch your LA while doing it.

Other Salem Articles

Leave a Reply