The Daily Grind: Should more MMOs include advanced classes?

    
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One of the very first RPGs that I played was Final Fantasy for the NES. I remember pouring over the manual at my friend’s house and becoming fixated on the concept of how characters would transition from their starting class to an advanced one when they “grew up” in the game a bit.

Classes that evolve or change into entirely new ones is something that MMOs have dabbled in from time to time, including the old version of EverQuest II and the upcoming Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. It seems a tricky line to walk with established characters, because while a new build can be refreshing, it can also disrupt the satisfaction and stability that the class used to deliver.

Do you like the idea of advanced classes? Should more MMOs add them?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Bonnenuit
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Bonnenuit

SWTOR used advanced classes pretty effectively — you played the generic base class for the VERY early portion of the game, and quickly transitioned into your chosen advanced class, which only added to your character. Effectively, this meant not losing out on anything, which makes everyone happy.

I would love to see this applied closer to endgame, though, and getting to choose a specialty. Let all the previous functionality of the class remain, and let players choose to layer a specialized set of abilities on TOP of that. 

Once I hit max level/endgame/whatever applies, let me choose whether my medium armor melee DPS toon wants to specialize in extra ways to do positional attacks, or have a very limited stealth to break out of combat, or gain a ranged ability or two, or enjoy extra mobility, or be able to handle itself (defensively) like a heavy-armor wearer for a brief time. Without changing anything else I loved about my class.

I know a lot of gamers love the “do-anything-with-any-toon” mentality that Rift has taken, and that ESO espoused from the beginning, and that’s great. I hope those games continue to be made, and give those options. I personally am tired of it, however — I want my class to have real character, and I want to be able to easily identify who and what I’m fighting out there (see Warhammer: Age of Reckoning). Within the confines of a class “identity”, however, I want to have meaningful choice. It’s a balancing act, to be sure, but it’s still possible. And many of us are still waiting…

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

tobascodagama I found it quite demanding. (Full account +1-2 bought character slots of max level toons). I dunno if you ever did the champ troll or whatever it is down in the bottom right corner of the frozen zone (40+?), but two hits from that and you were down and out. I killed that thing like 3 times alone because nobody else was around and I enjoyed the challenge of dodging it’s attacks. (What’s disturbing is, that if someone is fighting that…others can run in and loot his chest. I saw that happen a time or two.) Also, the champion giant in the town northeast of the Charr main city could one hit people. (That was one of the few I never even soloed..and only took down like 2 times with other people’s help.)

There was another champ up in a cave south of the centaur guy’s(Forget their name also) main city that could whomp people. I did that with my banner/toughness warrior with self heal sig on, and another person’s help, and we were dodging (I was picking them back up as they got hit and were struggling for life multiple times.) and still having troubles with it.

I honestly can’t speak on the dungeon aspect, as I literally never did any…I just ran around open world/crafted…and never even hit a map above level 65 or so. (You hit max level if you completion all of the lower zones/participate in minor events all over…and craft.)

That’s not even counting the bigger map events I attended with the zone boss guys…in open world…which tended to require a full zerg compliment to finish.

So, in short, that’s just your opinion, yo. ;)

tobascodagama
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tobascodagama

dirtyklingon Livefyre *really* needs an ignore/mute/block option, right?

tobascodagama
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tobascodagama

MilitiaMasterV tobascodagama Sorry, to be clear I was referring to the dungeon/fractal high-efficiency meta. Open World Mesmer is fine, but open world content in general isn’t that demanding.

vinicitur
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vinicitur

MilitiaMasterV tobascodagama I think you are talking about the champion devourer in Fields of Ruin. North of Ebonhawke if I recall.

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Estranged Why can’t we just do away with the whole system, and create inter-dependencies between the skills themselves?

Why try and fit into someone else’ idea? Are we just using these base template main x4 character types as a way for people to envision what they want in their head?

I mean, I can see keeping the whole ‘racial’ bit…as that could fit into different IP’s out there…but why do we then have to pick the basics, then spec it in? Why can’t we just build a character’s race, and like I stated earlier pick our idea of fun…and have the skills we decide to pick up generate our ‘role’? (Forced interdependency I was referring to)

I think a lot of this does come down to like you say, they don’t want to give people ‘freedom’ because then they would lose out on guaranteed cash flow. Which also explains why most of them avoid allowing you to do all crafting on one…if you force people to make alts/have friends around, then you get more influx…

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Estranged To build upon your idea, I’d love to just go back to a single base character type, that you can build however you want (Heavy/Medium/Light armors) and then spec it down whatever trees you want (If I understand Tree of Savior’s translations, they are actually letting you do something similar…but maybe that’s just hopefulness glowing in my heart…)…for things like classes/roles.
I think the devs are trying to shove people into their ideas of how character types should work in many games, and it bothers me. I long for the days where we could just start on an adventure…pick up a sword/staff/shield/(What YOU enjoy)/etc…and start our own story, and focus on what you like to do in a game…

Some of the more recent MMO’s/RPG’s I’ve played have left me feeling like I was shoved into some other person’s idea of ‘fun’…which is why I went ‘backwards’ and started playing Wurm Online (Even though the combat system is atrocious…and the game is practically ready to be shelved graphics-wise.)…which has the old MUD style gameplay…and kinda lets you do whatever you want. (Sandboxes.)

I’d love to have that freedom in games that I remember from some earlier iterations. I don’t get why we’ve lost that…

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Depends. Rift is doing a really good job of basically letting you grow whatever type of character you want with the trees…but they are going overboard and allowing way TOO many options IMO.

WoW’s talent trees were quite useful to let you specialize/grow up….but I hear they removed them or something. (I quit after WotLK)

Allowing you to choose what you want out of a stock ‘type’, and then taking it wherever you want to go is kind of something I want some games to do more of, but not with the poor institution of it…

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

tobascodagama You never saw me playing my Mesmer. ;)
I solo’ed champions with that thing. I dunno what you’re on about with your ‘Mesmer base class has very little to offer’ comment.

I wish I could’ve streamed my over 3 hour battle with the uber-life double tailed scorpion champ that I took on that uses the AoE attacks…(forget the name of it, since I moved on to other games…but it’s in the zone through the portal on the east side of Divinity Reach and up north of the town on the other side.)

Loyheta
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Loyheta

More horizontally expanding games!!! Sure advanced classes are more vertical but adding more of them would be horizontal. More options = more options to have fun. (I know double post  shame shame)