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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » The End of "Classes"?

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38 posts found
  Melieza

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/11/09
Posts: 271

 
OP  7/09/12 6:32:28 PM#1

Back in 2009, I started playing Champions Online.  This game amazed me with its 'classless' skills and unmatched character creation.

I played CO from release up until a few months ago (my main char has over 365 days of played time).

Now, I've started playing TSW.  Again, I have the freedom of skills and outfit (although not to CO level) along with overall better gameplay and story.

People start talking about other MMOs and what 'class they are playing' and I admit I've seemed to have gotten conceited.  I laugh and ask them how they can play a game that uses something as old school as classes.  I honestly can't see myself ever playing a game with classes again, it's just SO LIMITING.

I've come to expect being able to use whatever weapon or skills I want and wear whatever clothing I want.

Does anyone else feel this way?  Do you think games of the future will stop using classes? 

I always considered myself a "themepark gamer", I've actually never played a game deemed a "sandbox", but I know sandboxes tend to always offer these types of systems.  Am I unconciously driving myself toward sandboxes?

  User Deleted
7/09/12 6:37:12 PM#2

I like a flex-class system like in Morrowind and Oblivion.  One can play a structured class if they want, or custom-build with a large amount of freedom.

 

Yeah, I guess you might be a closet sandboxer :-)  To me (and few agree on this) freedom is THE defining factor in sandbox gameplay.

  Theocritus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 3613

7/09/12 6:43:06 PM#3

     I'm probably in the minority, but I enjoy playing classes and especially alts.....It extends my gameplay by quite a bit if I have multiple characters to play rather than one who can do everything.

  Melieza

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/11/09
Posts: 271

 
OP  7/09/12 7:01:13 PM#4
Originally posted by Theocritus

     I'm probably in the minority, but I enjoy playing classes and especially alts.....It extends my gameplay by quite a bit if I have multiple characters to play rather than one who can do everything.

This is actually why some people in CO had 40+ max level characters.  You design your own character with whatever look and skills you want, and then when you're done, you make another.

I had a punk winged chick that punched everything, an elegant duel sword woman, and a tribal red-skinned archer as my highest level chars.

I also made a techno minotaur with plasma guns, a ice werewolf, a 2 handed sword wielding aligator, and a insect robot.

I really can't understand how people are ok with "thief that uses daggers and wears leather!" "warrior that uses swords and wears plate!"  "mage that uses staves and wears robes!"

  Aerowyn

Novice Member

Joined: 2/20/12
Posts: 7969

7/09/12 7:03:03 PM#5

I like classes if they are interesting and have various ways to play the class. When you restrict them and give them basically a single way to play with only very minor variations it gets boring for me after awhile.

I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

7/09/12 8:18:17 PM#6

CO's advancement was massively broken and boring as a result of being so freeform.

TSW seems in better shape, and I'm liking it so far.  But there's murmurs of CO's failures in the sense that your character can feel like it stagnates a little fast.  Still, there are plenty of toys left to earn and try out and I'm happy for now.

Personally I have nothing against classes.  When well-designed they're each a game unto themselves and plenty of fun.

  Maroxad

Novice Member

Joined: 3/20/12
Posts: 27

7/09/12 8:31:56 PM#7

Class systems are fine when they serve as archetypes. But the problem I see with too many class systems is that they are too restrictive on how you make your character. Too many class systems tell you to use a specific weapon and a specific armor type. But a lot would need to be done to make thins more interesting. How about intelligent warriors, and strong wizards each with their own benefits and disadvantages.

Here are 4 examples

Warrior 1: Wears platemail, uses a big axe, prioritizes strength and vitality above other attributes.

Warrior 2: Wears leather, dual wields swords, prioritizes strength and dexterity above the other attributes.

Warrior 3: Wears cloth, uses a single scimitar, prioritizes intelligence and to a lesser extent dexterity above all other stats.

Warrior 4: Wears platemail, uses a spear and shield, focuses on vitality and intellience. 

MMO devs should make each attribute worthwhile for each class, they should allow characters to use multiple armor types each with their own strengths and disadvantages, they should add perks which allow for a lot more flavor as opposed to obvious "pick me"s. A warrior could have multiple different tank builds each with their own strengtsh and weaknesses.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12108

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

7/09/12 8:36:12 PM#8
Originally posted by Theocritus

     I'm probably in the minority, but I enjoy playing classes and especially alts.....It extends my gameplay by quite a bit if I have multiple characters to play rather than one who can do everything.

You can still do the same in most skill-based systems as you did in your class based system. 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fovoroth

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13284

7/09/12 8:43:44 PM#9

In Champions Online, your primary super stat is kind of your "class" for a freeform character.  And that's ignoring archetypes.

Obviously, that's not nearly as rigid as saying that you're a warrior in WoW.  But there's a continuum of sorts here.  For example, Rift and Guild Wars both have classes, but they're vastly more flexible than the traditional class structure.

  Poison_Adele

Novice Member

Joined: 9/01/08
Posts: 293

7/09/12 8:51:33 PM#10

More options doesn't necessarily mean more actual options. If you get 100 "choices" and only 5 of them are viable, you're more limited than in a system where you get 50 choices and half of them are viable.

Freedom and choice go a lot deeper than "lol no classes". I can feel just as if not more confined in a game without classes than one within. Three questions to ask yourself, are:

  • Do the classes complement or work with my playstyle, rather than defining how I play?
  • Does the "no class" system end up locking me into a specific playstyle anyway?
  • Is it more fun?
Personally I find that games can be great if they are class-based or not. It really doesn't come down to the classes so much as what they do with it.
 
Frankly, the snobbishness is a bit silly. If people enjoy it, you're not better for not enjoying it--you just have different taste.

  Disdena

Novice Member

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 1098

7/09/12 10:11:14 PM#11
Originally posted by Poison_Adele

More options doesn't necessarily mean more actual options. If you get 100 "choices" and only 5 of them are viable, you're more limited than in a system where you get 50 choices and half of them are viable.

Freedom and choice go a lot deeper than "lol no classes". I can feel just as if not more confined in a game without classes than one within. Three questions to ask yourself, are:

  • Do the classes complement or work with my playstyle, rather than defining how I play?
  • Does the "no class" system end up locking me into a specific playstyle anyway?
  • Is it more fun?
Personally I find that games can be great if they are class-based or not. It really doesn't come down to the classes so much as what they do with it.
 
Frankly, the snobbishness is a bit silly. If people enjoy it, you're not better for not enjoying it--you just have different taste.

 

That's my feeling as well. Classless systems can make you feel like you have fewer options rather than more options; it's all in how the game is designed and what the purpose of the character builds are. I have fun playing both class-based and classless systems; being a snob about class-baased vs. classless only restricts the kind of games you'll play and enjoy.

Also, I don't think that classes have anything to do with themepark vs. sandbox, but then again does anyone agree on what those terms mean?

  helthros

Novice Member

Joined: 10/24/09
Posts: 1477

7/09/12 10:54:42 PM#12

What I don't like about classless games is that the power gamers will inevitably break down "must-have" skills etc.

 

You could do it the way GW/GW2 does it by making certain load-outs necessary for certain encounters, but even that is just another type of pidgeon hole.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12108

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

7/10/12 12:15:51 AM#13
Originally posted by Poison_Adele

More options doesn't necessarily mean more actual options. If you get 100 "choices" and only 5 of them are viable, you're more limited than in a system where you get 50 choices and half of them are viable.

Do you have examples of some of the skill-based MMOs that are like that? I'm currently playing EVE Online, Free Realms and UO, and I've played quite a few other skill-based MMOs, but in the past ten years or so I haven't see the issue you describe. 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fovoroth

  Quenchster

Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/12
Posts: 452

7/10/12 2:44:31 AM#14
Originally posted by Melieza

Back in 2009, I started playing Champions Online.  This game amazed me with its 'classless' skills and unmatched character creation.

I played CO from release up until a few months ago (my main char has over 365 days of played time).

Now, I've started playing TSW.  Again, I have the freedom of skills and outfit (although not to CO level) along with overall better gameplay and story.

People start talking about other MMOs and what 'class they are playing' and I admit I've seemed to have gotten conceited.  I laugh and ask them how they can play a game that uses something as old school as classes.  I honestly can't see myself ever playing a game with classes again, it's just SO LIMITING.

I've come to expect being able to use whatever weapon or skills I want and wear whatever clothing I want.

Does anyone else feel this way?  Do you think games of the future will stop using classes? 

I always considered myself a "themepark gamer", I've actually never played a game deemed a "sandbox", but I know sandboxes tend to always offer these types of systems.  Am I unconciously driving myself toward sandboxes?

Class systems seem to support the MMO part of MMORPGs with the convience of player knowledge, while skill based classless sytems seem to support the RPG part of MMORPGs by offering less rules. Because of this I think class systems will still be dominate in the future. Being able to know a class lets people know each other to some extent without needing to know them personally. That is important in games with hundreds of people, especially if you play a support role and need to know what people need.

One detail that would turn this all around though is the weapon based classless system. If players know that swords can only use a certain set of skills and that everybody with a sword has those skills then it becomes much easier to work with that 100th person with a sword you met that day. We might see more weapon based systems in the future.

  Caldrin

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/02/04
Posts: 4111

7/10/12 2:47:39 AM#15

No not the end at all..

Different games will do different things and you know what im actually glad about that.. otherwise everything would end up being the same hehe..

So yes same games will try and run a class system others wont... others will run a mix of both or whatever..

 

 

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  Trionicus

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/12
Posts: 488

7/10/12 2:57:28 AM#16

While I prefer the classless system, I have found games like Neverwinter Nights, Knights of The Old Republic and The first Mass Effect game to have systems that I also agree with.

 

If I have to be stuck with a class then make it cool and give me a bunch of options, just a little leeway goes a long way

  User Deleted
7/10/12 2:58:21 AM#17

Some great answers!

 

One comment is that class based systems do have some advantages over skill based or flex-classing.

 

First, in assembling a group for trinity style grouped gameplay, the group leader knows the other team members builds based on class and spec.  Sure there are some variations, but not many.  In a skill based customization environment this isn't so easy.  The more ways to create a build the more work the team leader will need to do in order to determine if the group member is sufficiently character-skilled and geared for a given role.

 

Second, from a player perspective it's very difficult to mess up a build in a standard-ish class system.  Simply stated, cookie cutter buids are easiest to do when there are very few choices.

  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6663

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

7/10/12 3:08:26 AM#18

Well sticking to the two main arguments here,is a good one becuase it relates to all gaming in general.

What i have seen is a whole lot of hit and miss in EVERY game,soem ideas are done well and some are poor or missing completely.

Using CO as an example,the character creation/depth is IMO ALL the game has to offer.Yes it is a good place to start but the rest of the game is low budget game design.

TSW on the other hand has some good cinematics/movies/lore/story,already notice a difference?

Now before you think i am a TSW fanbois or something,i am a fanbois of NO game,i simply look for good effort and support that developer.It has become evident that i may never again find a game that goes into the depth of one other game i played ,so i have to find enough good out of a game.

Although CO did try to cover the area most dear to my heart and that is trying to create some depth into the character design,it fails everywhere else.Now part of the obvious reason is that CO did not or pretend to be an MMORPG,however what it did do was an easy task to pull off in a pvp type game.

IMO TSW offers more in the over all game design than CO could imagine,but if you are one into just some quick pvp fun i could see CO offering enjoyment for some.

AS to the end of classes,this seems to be a trend not becuase it is needed but Developers see an easier lazier option to game design.

 

 

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  Trionicus

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/12
Posts: 488

7/10/12 3:08:55 AM#19
Originally posted by XAPGames

Some great answers!

 

One comment is that class based systems do have some advantages over skill based or flex-classing.

 

First, in assembling a group for trinity style grouped gameplay, the group leader knows the other team members builds based on class and spec.  Sure there are some variations, but not many.  In a skill based customization environment this isn't so easy.  The more ways to create a build the more work the team leader will need to do in order to determine if the group member is sufficiently character-skilled and geared for a given role.

 

Second, from a player perspective it's very difficult to mess up a build in a standard-ish class system.  Simply stated, cookie cutter buids are easiest to do when there are very few choices.

If a player takes any kind of interest in their character they shouldn't be able to mess it up so badly that they can't use it. Though I've heard of it happening in Asheron's Call.

 

I think finding a group for trinity style play could be an issue like you said, but the game should have tools that allow people to see eachothers specs in a quick and efficient way. Even in WOW I STILL had to check raid members specs if I was pugging.

  Quirhid

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5506

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

7/10/12 3:23:19 AM#20
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Poison_Adele

More options doesn't necessarily mean more actual options. If you get 100 "choices" and only 5 of them are viable, you're more limited than in a system where you get 50 choices and half of them are viable.

Do you have examples of some of the skill-based MMOs that are like that? I'm currently playing EVE Online, Free Realms and UO, and I've played quite a few other skill-based MMOs, but in the past ten years or so I haven't see the issue you describe. 

Oh its quite possible to see it in every game. Consider for example the tackler-role in Eve and the good, better, best ships for that role. And then the good, better, best fittings for said ships. Eve, like many other games have choices that are outright worse than others reducing the amount of actual viable options for the player.

I can't offer an example from UO since my experience from it is minimal.

To my experience classless games don't really offer any more viable options than games with classes. Sure, there's the joy of separating the good builds from the bad, but thats not too hard for me so I focus on the end result.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

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