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Smoothballer

Classes vs Characters...

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Ok real quick: I'm reading about Team Fortress 2 on Wikipedia, and it refers to the game as 'class-based' several times. Why? How are they not just characters? Why do they call them classes? What's the difference between classes and characters anyway? I mean, you would never describe a fighting game, like Smash Bros or something, as class-based.

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In this type of game Character refers to my instance "kktksbye" instead of your instance "MadDogKilla". we can both be the same class (i.e. heavy gunner) but we are different characters.

Beyond that class just means designed for a specific purpose: heavy gunner, sniper, asassin, etc. i.e. if you want fast movement but weaker guns you go asassin, but if you want bigass nukes but slow movement you go heavy gunner.

In a fighting game you can also have classes. i.e. sometimes there are characters that specialize in judo/wrestling moves while others will be ninjas. you could cluster the fighting game characters into classes as well, it's just not really meaningful to the game to do so.

Class also just comes from Dungeons & Dragons: i.e. wizard, rogue, warrior, etc are all classes. Your character was your own special version of the class template.

-me

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A 'Class' is something a character can be. Some games make the line more than little fuzzy.

Team Fortress has 'classes' and more than one character can be the same class as another character. If you look at old school Pen and Paper RPGs, you can easily see why these terms are usually used the way they are. We can both be a Fighter class, we can even both have all the exact same skills and stats and race, yet our Characters can be highly different, and becomes how we play our character.

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But it doesn't look like there can be different characters among these "classes" in TF2. Can there? It looks like if you play as the heavy guy, then you're gonna play as the same heavy guy that everybody else is playing as. How is one heavy guy different from the next heavy guy? I mean, if they're the very same, they're just characters right?

It's not like it matters, it just sorta bothers me...

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Quote:
Original post by Smoothballer
But it doesn't look like there can be different characters among these "classes" in TF2. Can there? It looks like if you play as the heavy guy, then you're gonna play as the same heavy guy that everybody else is playing as. How is one heavy guy different from the next heavy guy? I mean, if they're the very same, they're just characters right?

It's not like it matters, it just sorta bothers me...


The fact that the heavy weapons guys all have the same model is due to lazy/efficient artists, not some plot requirement.

If I play a heavy weapons guy, and I kickass and someone else is also a heavy weapons guy and they suck isn't that difference enough in the 'character' of the player? Since you can also change classes, it's more accurate to describe me as the character since I'll tend to have the same general skill and playstyle regardless of my loadout.

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Quote:
Original post by Telastyn
Quote:
Original post by Smoothballer
But it doesn't look like there can be different characters among these "classes" in TF2. Can there? It looks like if you play as the heavy guy, then you're gonna play as the same heavy guy that everybody else is playing as. How is one heavy guy different from the next heavy guy? I mean, if they're the very same, they're just characters right?

It's not like it matters, it just sorta bothers me...


The fact that the heavy weapons guys all have the same model is due to lazy/efficient artists, not some plot requirement.

If I play a heavy weapons guy, and I kickass and someone else is also a heavy weapons guy and they suck isn't that difference enough in the 'character' of the player? Since you can also change classes, it's more accurate to describe me as the character since I'll tend to have the same general skill and playstyle regardless of my loadout.


But according to your description, every fighting game would be "class-based". I mean, as far as characters go, TF2 is no different from any fighting game.

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There's no absolute dividing line. 'Class-based' merely means that your game characters can be classified along broad behavioural lines, often archetypical, each performing slightly differently. Fighting games could be considered class-based, but making such a point would be irrelevant, since each named character is pretty much in a class of its own. With FPS games, there may be multiple characters with different names but who share a class, and as such fight in similar ways.

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Classes are generic, characters are specific.

When I play as Luigi in Super Smash Brothers, I'm *the* Luigi (though there might be two of them, but w/e). I have a back story. I am a character. I have a name. When I play as a sniper, I am just *a* sniper. Some generic sniper. No history, no back story. No name. I (can) fill in the details of the class, but the details are already filled in with character. A subtle difference, and not really worth defining precisely. Whichever feels right, is right.

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Characters in fighting games have names. (Seung Mina, Ryu, Kage)
Classes in TF2 have descriptions. (Sniper, Heavy Weapons Guy, Soldier)

For that matter, characters in fighting games also to have (weak) storylines. Classes in TF2 don't. The Pyro doesn't hope to save his long-lost brother, and the scout demo guy isn't scheming for world domination. They're just descriptions, of guys with a flamethrowers, and guys with lots of explosives.

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