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Hawkins8

Asymmetric Class Tree

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I never like nowaday's symmetric class trees. Take Lineage II as an example, each race has like 2 classes branches out at level 20 then later on further branch out with each into 2 other classes. In my idea, an asymmetric class tree is like this, human - paladin, warrior, mage, druid, rogue, healer, crafter orc - warrior, shaman high elf - archer, warrior, paladin, mage dark elf - rogue, warrior, paladin, mage, archer dwarf - paladin, warrior, crafter pixie - mage fighter, healer gargoyle - paladin, warrior, mage So that a human paladin starts the same as a dwarf paladin, but when they branch out at level 20, they start to acquire some race-specific paladin skills, something like that. The whole idea is that this seems to be more realistic, and moreover a hybrid skill/class system can be introduced where you can't choose to be a dwarf druid, or an orc rogue nonsense, but with both the class tree maintained and players can have some flexibility in choosing both the race-independent common skills and race-dependent skills. What do you think?

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I think this is a really good idea. It has always bugged me in games how races/classes are a different character model with the exact same features. This not only gives a unique variety to the players, it adds a more thoughtful choice when picking your race, since each one will end up with different skills for the same class.

Good idea.

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Original post by FartherThanLife
I think this is a really good idea. It has always bugged me in games how races/classes are a different character model with the exact same features. This not only gives a unique variety to the players, it adds a more thoughtful choice when picking your race, since each one will end up with different skills for the same class.

Good idea.


The downside to this, and probably why everyone keeps differences small, is that players will "know" that you have to be race X for class Y. Heck if we are going this far then why aren't there male / female differences? Well ok the male / female aspect would likely lead to a lawsuit over being sexist (whether its the truth or not) but still. Any differences need to benign or you restrict the player's ability to actually pick a race AND a class. If done poorly they get to pick one and then be satisfied with whatever is left.

So lets say the orc warrior gets a skill that boosts his armor and health significantly for 3 minutes and its reusable every 5 minutes. If the other warrior classes have nothing as useful then everyone will know that to be a good warrior you have to be an orc. Or maybe the orc's skills for the shaman suck so now everyone knows to be an orc you have to be a warrior. Yes there are people who will intentionally play a gimp race however that doesn't change the underlying problem.

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Original post by Andruil
The downside to this, and probably why everyone keeps differences small, is that players will "know" that you have to be race X for class Y. Heck if we are going this far then why aren't there male / female differences? Well ok the male / female aspect would likely lead to a lawsuit over being sexist (whether its the truth or not) but still. Any differences need to benign or you restrict the player's ability to actually pick a race AND a class. If done poorly they get to pick one and then be satisfied with whatever is left.

So lets say the orc warrior gets a skill that boosts his armor and health significantly for 3 minutes and its reusable every 5 minutes. If the other warrior classes have nothing as useful then everyone will know that to be a good warrior you have to be an orc. Or maybe the orc's skills for the shaman suck so now everyone knows to be an orc you have to be a warrior. Yes there are people who will intentionally play a gimp race however that doesn't change the underlying problem.


The problem you mentioned is not a problem specific to this design, it exists in symmetric class design as well. You are talking about how the Dark elf archers complained about the light elf archers in Lineage II.

You are actually talking about how races are balanced instead of how the class tree is designed. While class balance problem always exists in today's MMOs adapting the symmetric type design. It exists in almost every MMORPG, such as how Paladin is overpowered in WoW and etc.

Actually, I found that symmetric class tree is more prone to this problem, as more meaningless classes will have to exist to make the tree symmetric. Take Lineage II again for an example, there are always dummy and useless classes in tree which serve no purpose than just to make the tree symmetric. Say, the dark elf will branch to 2 other classes, all other races will also branch out into 2 more classes, yet it's extremely (if possible at all) hard to make all the branched classes equally meaningful.

As a result, along the tree branches in a symmetric design, one will always find meaningless and dummy classes. The downside of this is, player minority accidentially chooses these dummy classes will whine about how useless the class is, the worst is there's no turning back, it's a one way ticket in certain games such as Lineage II. That is, if by mistake you wrongly choose a dummy class to grow your toon, you'll regret.

In a asymmetric design however, the dummy classes for only symmetrical purpose can be removed. All the classes available will be meaningful, all you need to do is to focus on these all-useful classes for there balance.

The math is rather simple, in a symmetric class tree design, all races will have the same number of available classes, say, if human has overall 10 classes, dwarf will 10 classes too. So will the orc and the light elf. If you have totally 7 races, you will have 70 classes. Inevitably, some of them will be dummy classes or dummy paths, it's hard to make them all equally and evenly among all races.

On the other hand, an asymmetric class design is an attempt to remove the dummy and meanningless classes from the symmetric tree. Such that all the classes will be meaningful as they don't need to be bounded by the symmetric constrain.

[Edited by - Hawkins8 on June 16, 2008 8:20:52 PM]

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