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Ideas for next-gen games

In this blog, I'm trying to give some of my ideas to make the next generation of games innovating and fun.

Author: Drolletje

Creating your own class

Posted by Drolletje Saturday December 15 2007 at 5:13AM
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I'm writing this as  a response to a poll on the forums 'Skill based or level based in YOUR dream MMO'. I was (apparently) the only one to vote for a level-class based system. So I'm going to explain my choice here. Why would one rather have fixed classes than a freeform skill-based system?

The first reason is because it gives the player a clear role in group PvE and in PvP. I think grouping is generally less chaotic and more fun when everyone has a role. These roles can be very diverse and different in each situation, not necessary the holy trinity of tank-healer-dps. In PvP a class-system is good because you have to think of a different strategy against every class.

The next thing is that developers are much more free to add unique and powerful abilities to one class, without having to fear that everyone will have this ability within a week. Classes tend to be generally more unique gameplay-wise than what is possible with a skill-based system.

The next point is something that is important mainly from a roleplaying perspective, but that I find also imprtant even if i'm not a RPer. In a skill-based system, it is very difficult to make a character that has a clear style, like for example a priest or a thief, if you also want your character to be competitive. Let me give an example: you're roleplaying a priest in a skill-based game but for soloing, it would be great to have a fireball spell. That is however very un-priest-ish. So you have a dilemma: RP or being competitive? No such problems in a class-based system.

However, I agree with you if you say it is very dull to stick with a pre-made class for your entire career in a game. That's why I've worked out an idea, a sort of combination between class and skill. Call it 'create your own class'. When you first create your character, you would only choose a combat style for your character: things like 'priest of the light', 'frozen mage', 'wolfbrother', 'blademaster', ... spring in mind. There would have to be a lot of choices here. Based on your choice, you will be given a few basic skills. These skills shouldn't be very different from each other, apart from the grafical effect. When you reach a certain point in the game, you would be given the choice for your primary combat role. These are things like tank, healer, ranged damage, melee damage, support, ... Maybe some choices shouldn't be allowed for some combat styles, but everyone should have a lot of choice here also. Everyone who chooses the same combat role, will recieve very similar abilities, regardless of combat style. However, they would have different names and grafical effects. Then, later on, you would also choose two or three secondary combat roles. These could be things like pets, buffs, dispels, first aid, ... Both primary and secondary roles can be changed by paying an amount of experience. So what would the result be? You have a self-made class, yet all abilities are tied together by a combat style.

While writing this up, I realised this is a lot like the character creation in CoH/V, which I liked a lot, but the rest of the game was nothing for my taste.

Thank you all for reading this, and please let me know what you think about it.

wolfmann writes:

A class based game is still a classbased game.

One of your reasons for wanting classes were:

"The first reason is because it gives the player a clear role in group PvE and in PvP"

Yet your idea about "building your own class" is borderline building your own character and your own playstyle role.

Tho despite this, I see your idea just as limited (almost) as a class based game with NO options other than putting points in STR/WIS/AG when you level up.


At least the priest in my game, became so by choice, and are not just a priest.

Makes PvP much better imho.. You never know what you face... The priest might have been very hung up on the bow and arrow as a kid, and thus instead of going up against a sealclubbin priest, you find yourself turned into a pincushion before you even get near him.

Rather have PvP where you don't know what you're facing than PvP where you almost can sit down what a calculator and calculate your win..

"Fighter lvl 33 vs priest lvl 33.. Best weapon he can have at this level does XXXX dps, the armor he wears is XXX AC..He can heal XXX DPS at his level.. I can do XXX dps, my AC is XXX.. Oi! my DPS outnumber his heal DPS with XXX, CHAAAAAAAAAAAAARGE!!"

Sat Dec 15 2007 5:59AM Report
LackeyZero writes:

That's worst imagination...

no knowledge = no thinking

some knowledge = thinking

Sat Dec 15 2007 9:16AM Report
Meltdown writes:

Meh, people are so limited when it comes to class-based systems. DnD has how many classes? Oh yea an infinite amount basically with multi-classing. I personally like class-based, but all the recent games are so limited, DnD (PnP) was SO much more open. I could be a gnomish illusionist/rogue getting my enemies to pay attention to my illusions while sneaking up and backstabbing them.

I could be a melee ranger or a ranged hunter. I could choose to specialize in X-Bows, Long Bows, or Short Bows.

I could be a healing priest or a destructive one.

Mage wasn't just for tossing bombs. They had powerful buffs for their allies, and had 8 schools of specialization... most games now have 1 or 2 "mage-types".

It's just class systems have been implemented poorly, not that the idea in general is bad.

Sat Dec 15 2007 12:37PM Report
Cathalaode writes:

I think that a class and skill hybrid, in which you choose a with class  specific primary, secondary, and 'leftover' skills/feats, which increase at different rates, and are more effective than one another, based on whether they are Primary, Secondary, or 'Leftovers', would probably be the best option. This is because, with a Skill based system, everyone turns out relatively the same an have to limit to what they can become, making combat become dull, because everyone has magic, swords, bows, and stealth. But in a class based skills system, they still have it, but to varying degrees. E.G. A rouge type would be better at stealth than a warrior type, but weaker when it comes to actual combat. It would play out just like a skill-based system , with the exception that it guides you into general roles. Class based puts you into a roll, in which you have not customization, and skill based puts nothing into the game to keep combat exciting in any way, because just about everyone turns out the same way. This puts a balance into both accounts, more customization than a class based system, and more guiding than a skill based system.

Sat Dec 15 2007 2:59PM Report writes:
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