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Reader Comments (74)

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 11:08AM aillas said

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@Meagen
Agreed! Classless systems sounds great, but in practice they are only good *if* properly balanced, and that is very hard to do. I played Asheron's Call, and a few skills were essentially critical to have so character development wasn't as free as it sounded. I also played EVE and the issue there was more about having money to buy skill books to train, so I didn't get to select from the full menu of skills; certain ones I had trouble getting (i.e. Cloaking) gated a lot of other stuff.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 9:28AM Sorithal said

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Class based is fun if you can avoid horribly homogenizing the classes *cough*likeinWoWnow*cough* and can't get a good balance via a classless system.

Classless, or having a mix of class + a good variety of choice (where all options are viable) is what I like more though. Mainly because if it's done right, that gives a whole new layer of depth/fun to the game. Though LotRO's class system, for example, is fun still since they've made each class unique, and don't try to go the way Blizzard did by basically making every class similar to one another, but adding in annoying gimmicks now to "differentiate" them.

Can't wait to try out RIFT and see how its more free-form soul system works.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 9:30AM (Unverified) said

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A tiered classless system might work to avoid gimpiness.

Combat tier of skills, i.e. melee, ranged, magic.
Noncombat tier of skills, i.e. lock picking ,diplomacy, stealth
Crafting tier of skills, mining, basket weaving, tailoring and so on.

You get points or skillups to each area.

I seem to recall Asheron's doing something like that

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 9:31AM clik said

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I dig both but if I had to choose I'd say classless. I like the freedom to build a character the way I want or experiment. I do like class based sometimes, well usually in single player games but not so much in my MMOs.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 9:34AM Mynsc said

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Definitely sandbox / classless system.

EVE Online I think has absolutely the best method out there: huge amount of skills, RL time based learning and most importantly... the "crafting" skills are combined with the combat ones. This makes the game universe a lot more immersive and makes the professions a lot more relevant.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 9:38AM Ohhlaawd said

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My rose-colored glasses say classless, heh.

All these UO references on Massively lately have me craving a romp in the sandbox.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 9:46AM wagonfactor said

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classless systems can work but id much rather "be" something. i wanna be a lvl50 whatever. not a... uhhh i have 12 points in archery, 22 points in sword, i picked up a fireball spell ... uhhh. i wanna be a goddamn lvl90 juicecrafter

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 2:51PM wagonfactor said

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@Tempes Magus looks like youve been on a rampage on this thread. you dont have to agree with me. you dont have to agree with anyone. if theres an "unwanted" class, its on the devs to provide incentive for the players to play it. yes, ALOT of people roll flavor of the month classes and then get pissed when they get nerfed. but in most mmorpgs, theres something for everyone. pick what YOU want to play, not what produces the highest numbers. the only time ive ever been a FOTM class is if its what i happened to pick. i never pursue it. in DAoC my main was a cabalist, and at the time, no one wanted one in their group. but join a guild with people you enjoy playing with and it doesnt matter. my other "main" was a minstrel which could pretty much get a group at any time. each mmo i usually play a pet class and some type of support class. in rift, my main is going to be a bard. will it become FOTM? who knows, but it fits my playstyle and i thoroughly enjoyed it during beta. i also intend to play a necromancer. will it become FOTM? does it really matter? for me personally, i like "classes". i enjoy the names of the classes. i enjoy the feel of the different classes. honestly, a classless system sounds extremely boring. but thats just me
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 6:10PM oxlar said

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@wagonfactor

I'd like to see more bards in rifts. But the necro is definitely a FOTM class, especially for mages since it makes most other mage souls look like a hash of leftover scraps. And the devs seem to have a hard on for necros.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 9:47AM sleepr said

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I prefer systems that are effective and fun to play.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 9:49AM Yellowdancer said

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I'm fine with an open system as long as real effort is put into the design and you're not just answering QQs.

CO's open system is lazy and unbalanced. A year later and F2P and they are still "tweaking" powers. I feel more restricted in CO b/c of the screwy character progression. Rift is less open but much more balanced. If you can't do an open system right, then don't do it. Customization is nothing without a good game behind it.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 5:07PM pixelmonkey said

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@Yellowdancer

Raging that CO's open power system is bad/lazy because the Devs are still tweeking powers is kind of ignorant... WoW doesn't offer very deep freeforming but they have been tweeking their classes / powers since launch. I wouldn't say Blizzard is lazy for doing this... or do you think Blizzard is lazy too?
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 9:49AM Ohhlaawd said

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UO got around this by giving you a title at certain intervals. Hit 70 cooking and you're an Expert Chef. Hit 100 Evaluate Intelligence and you're a Grandmaster Scholar.

Might not be the same, but I liked it.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 9:50AM Ohhlaawd said

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@Ohhlaawd

Oops wanted to reply to wagonfactor.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 10:07AM Quarlo said

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Not sure if this qualifies, but the SWG PreNGE class system was kinda cool. After much trial and error I settled on a Carbineer/Creature Handler (two classes that vanished with the NGE).

Tho this system did lead to specific builds that exploited flaws in the combat mechanics, I enjoyed the freedom of picking and choosing what skills my toons had.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 10:24AM nevin said

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My mind says classless but my heart wants class based.

In a classless system, I agonise way to much over point distribution worried I'll gimp myself.
I typically don't have the time/energy to try all possible combos to get the perfect min/max for my style so I just end up copying a cookie cutter build anyway.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 10:38AM Nucleon said

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A combination. The problem with classless like Eve and Darkfall is that one character can do everything *at the same time* so that vets will always dominate newbies because they simply will have more and better skills. Also it's nearly impossible from a design perspective to make battles challenging when all of the player games will have the same skills.

Thus, I think some differentiation is necessary with the giant caveat that you should be able to change your "class" or "spec" at anytime.

Some people might hate this but I think MMOs should only allow you to have *one* character, but provide mechanisms to change the skills, abilities of that character on the fly much like FFXI. Imagine WoW but instead of having 10 characters for the 10 classes you would have one character for them all and the classes were like jobs in FFXI. So if you've leveled paladin to 50, and switch to priest, the priest will start at level 1, but you can switch back at anytime and you'll be a 50 paladin again.

Why? Alts ruin immersion, they reduce your connection to your character. Most importantly they kill communities because people hide behind their alts and act like total jerks on forums, raids and such like that. If you only get 1 character, total, then people treat each other *a lot* better.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 1:04PM JC Smith said

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@Tempes Magus

There are ways around skills allowing you to do everything, even if you don't use a total skills cap. If you make certain weapon or skills require a certain equipped item then you force players to play a certain role so long as the skills and weapons vary properly. Then even if you max all of your skills they only give you marginally more power, instead they give you more options and the ability to play different roles.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2011 10:44AM Chef Kiyo said

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For MMOs, I'd consider either a very simplistic class system, or a non-holy trinity class system. By very simplistic, I mean something like Rogue, Mage, and Warrior as the only three class types, maybe Cleric for four. The non-holy trinity class system is something done in say Guild Wars or Wakfu, and the semi-MMO related Diablo series, where you have really big fighters, but they aren't specifically designed to follow a set role.

Posted: Feb 10th 2011 10:50AM Jeromai said

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I like the systems that allow for variety of gameplay style and team role/function. Preferably without tremendous expense (in money or time) to switch it up every now and then.

One can have classless systems that still end up following a cookie cutter skill build path. Or with only a few really viable optimal playstyles. One can have utterly rigid class systems that lock you into set roles. While there's a certain purity in those, it also gets very boring in terms of being predictable and knowing what to expect all the time.

One can also have variants on classed systems that allow for respecs, multiple builds, and role flexibility. And the same can happen with classless systems too.

I'm just an inveterate explorer / experimenter. I need to switch things up every now and then, and sample variant playstyles until I find niches I like to play. Often hybrid ones. And when I get bored, it's time for a change.


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