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Lailokken

Character Class Systems

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In a skill based MMOG, and given a choice, which character class system would you prefer? (please share your reasons for choosing one over the other) Or, if you have a system you would like to see implemented in games, feel free to include a description of it.

((and by skill based, I mean characters learn individual skills. e.g. two-handed edge skill, skinning skill, hiding skill, etc. The skill increases as you use the item or perform the action successfully)

1. Defined character class -- each class is predefined and specific as to what abilities it can perform and what skills it can learn. e.g. Only a Thief could steal, or learn the stealing skill.

2. Cross Classing -- classes are still predefined, but share certain abilities/skills with other classes.

3. Customized Classes -- classes exist, each with one inherent ability, but the majority of abilities are chosen from a list by the player.

4. No Classes -- characters are free to learn any skill they wish, with the individual skill levels determining what abilities and features are available.

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Sounds like your game is similar to the Elder Scroll Series type of game.

It would depend on what you like, setting up specific classes with a set number of class-unique skills would be much easier to balance then your pure customizable class, so I would go with option 3.

I feel there will be more flavor if you give a class X amount of class-unique skills, and have customizable skills that they can buy/train/obtain. Or you can bundle them into a category similar to Guild War (major and minor). This should give players more flexibility yet give you a smaller combination to balance out.

IMO having a class based game is better than not having one (option 4), because it gives newer players a better feel for what they want their characters to do. Having a base Warrior class is better than letting them build from scratch, because if they were new, what skills would they get?

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Quote:
Original post by Hoywolf
... because it gives newer players


Beg pardon and I do apologize, I did forget to mention this game is for experienced players. I'm not sure that would change your opinions, but I did want to mention it.

Thank you kindly for your thoughts.

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In co-op multiplayer, I find #1 and #2 are easier to understand and actually more fun when forming up a party. In other words, I'm a healer/tank/mage/thief and so I (and everyone else) knows my role in co-op play.

The challenge with options 1 and 2 is that people want to try different classes ... and so you need to allow them to develop multiple characters so today I can play the healer, but next week I may decide I want to start building my tank character.

In single player or in multiplayer where co-op isn't a focus, then I would prefer #3.

And I agree that classes are always more interesting than no classes. Seriously, even if you do almost nothing with them ... they still help to set the stage and mood.

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I would go with 4 and class bonuses. You have access to everything, but your class determines what kind of bonus you get on skills. A healer class may get +25% to healing spells, a mage +25% to damage spells, and so on. That allows you to know the general role of the other party members at a glance while still allowing complete flexibility.

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IMHO classes are a relic of the past paper-based RPGs. Most, if not all popular paper-based RPGs now allow some sort of specialization thuru skills and when this is not possible, new classes are often added.

By contrast, the GURPS(ystem) is generally skill centric, with most GURPS-based games I've tried appling only some sort of "cosmetic" differences to classes (some went more heavily with classes). GURPS is generally regarded as incredibly complex for most players due to the intricacies of cross-skilling and skill point management. Truth to be told, I've found that pure GURPS based, almost classless games generally deliver much more variety than their class-based counterparts.

Now, what does it mean for game design? I like the generality of skill based systems. With a proper UI managing the information for you and presenting them in a coherent manner, I truly believe that skill-based systems are the way to go for computer games.
Just to be bold on the concept, I think that even the notion of XPs should be ditched completely. There's no reason nowadays to not say, for (admittedly stupid) example that every sword blow adds 1/1000th to your strength or stamina.

However, classes are easy to understand by players. They will ask their friends and they want to have easy answers as "I'm a rogue", "I'm a barbarian" etc. I would say, maybe with some subjectivity that layering classes over skills (skill point multiplier, higher starting stats) sounds way easier than vice-versa, yet allowing PRO customization.

So my vote goes with 4: no classes and I'd say that I share the rationales by Tiblanc's message.

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My vote (given that it's a skill-based MMO - I don't have a problem with classes generally) is to have no classes, but to have quick-select buttons that pick a selection of skills that corresponds to a well-known class. Class templates, if you like. That way, if you want to play as an archer with a bit of magic, you click the 'archer' button, dump a couple of skills you don't want, and add in a couple of the magic skills that you do want.

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I agree with the other, in that classes should be build templates but then give the player the ability to fully customize their character. So if each character can have 3 skill trees if I select the thief template which comes with blades, stealth, and archery as its standard skills. I can then swap archery for poison and call myself an assassin.

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i'm agree w/ Krohm, i prefer a gurps or even basic style game system than class system.

So i vote for 4 too.

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