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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  The Gaming Graveyard  |  Game Design/Development  |  Topic: Content-based Classes 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Author Topic: Content-based Classes  (Read 2875 times)
tazelbain
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tazelbain


on: August 17, 2009, 02:34:35 PM

MMO have become about delivering content.  But mixing content types causes huge amount of problems.  Taking basic PvP vs PvE, if you allow someone to advance through one, it makes the other one obsolete.  Developers hate wasting effort on something redundant.  So they end up making a choice one content type to determent of the others.  Lotro's Monster play definitely rides on the back of the bus.   Or they go schizophrenic trying (and failing) to merge them.  WAR's Ward system is completely off it's meds.

So my idea is to not only let players switch classes freely like Free Realms, but also make the classes restricted and customized for their content type.  PvP classes are balanced to other PvP classes and other PvP content.  Advancement in PvP classes is only tied to PvP content.  Advancement PvE wouldn't be effected at all because PvP classes would be remaindered moot with debuffs outside of PvP.  The same would true of all content classes with the exception of the crafting classes which fills the niche of being able to craft for all classes.  One added benefit is that you could have different mechanics in the content classes.  PvE could have holy trinty and stealth while PvP doesn't but has twitch-based combos.

PvP vs PvE need not be the content break down.  It could be solo vs group vs raid content. Or whatever.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2009, 09:59:07 PM by tazelbain »

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Lantyssa
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Reply #1 on: August 17, 2009, 02:54:43 PM

If your design calls for classes, then I think any system which lets you change them up is a good idea.  Restricting them based on content certainly helps balance towards that purpose, however it does run in to some problems.

The first is advancement.  If you have separate advancement tracks, then people may not want to bother.  On the other hand, if you have something like PvP classes where it is not level or gear based, an alternet advancement path could provide goodies without impacting PvP play.  It's a matter of whether it's required to have fun or not.  Any system that allows switching within the same content types though has to worry about players who want to do something different but are now at a differing power level with their friends.

Then you have to worry about how they fit into the game.  Is the content so different that it does not matter if they play differently?  Fine for Free Realms.  Or are you taking a PvE warrior and converting it into a PvP warrior where none of the moves are the same?  (A rogue which relies heavily on stealth suddenly finds they no longer have it in the new content.)  You have to balance player expectations, too.

Hahahaha!  I'm really good at this!
tazelbain
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tazelbain


Reply #2 on: August 17, 2009, 04:00:49 PM

Any system that allows switching within the same content types though has to worry about players who want to do something different but are now at a differing power level with their friends.
This problem exists in current class systems. At least not have to start over on blank character is a good start.  I wouldn't make the treadmill as steep as even WoW because players would be encouraged to many paths independent paths of development.
Quote
Then you have to worry about how they fit into the game.  Is the content so different that it does not matter if they play differently?  Fine for Free Realms.  Or are you taking a PvE warrior and converting it into a PvP warrior where none of the moves are the same?  (A rogue which relies heavily on stealth suddenly finds they no longer have it in the new content.)  You have to balance player expectations, too.
Yes, player expectation must be handled.  First you have to make the content types and which classes belong to which content types crystal clear. Second, the classes have to be different.  Warriors and Paladins are both melee dudes.  Warriors are melee dps/interupters built for PvP content.  Paladins are self healing tanks built for PvE content.  If there is overlap than it should be highlighted.  PvP Assassins and PvE Thieves both use the dagger skill set and switching between the two classes converse advantage because a master thief already knows how to use daggers on his path to be a master assassin.  But there would still be lots on things he still needed to learn.

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DLRiley
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Reply #3 on: August 17, 2009, 04:49:48 PM

PvP and PvE characters in Guild Wars. I'm afraid you might want to look that up so you can have a proper understanding of the implications of the system. For example the current language your using makes it sound like you have to grind twice to be effective in pve and pvp. That is formula for failure.
tazelbain
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tazelbain


Reply #4 on: August 17, 2009, 05:42:26 PM

GW is my favorite MMOG of all time.

Every character can be every class at once and choose any class to be the active one at any one point.  Players decide which type of content they wish to play and play the classes needed.  When they are a PvP class, they would be advancing solely on PvP content from the start to finish.  Arenas, battlegrounds, frontiers, cities, tounaments or whatever you design as a part that content.  There is no need or ability to do other content types.  So a character should be effective at some part of the PvP content from the get go.  

The same goes for PvE classes and PvE content.  There would be no reason or way compare PvP to PvE classes because they don't compete with each other.  They probably don't even follow all of the same rules.  PvP classes could have a small power differential between levels while PvE has a more Diku-like differential.  
« Last Edit: August 17, 2009, 05:44:20 PM by tazelbain »

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Kail
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Reply #5 on: August 17, 2009, 06:54:58 PM

Why would these be the same game, though?  Sounds like you're basically stapling a lot of game systems together with maybe some kind of loosely consistent avatar data or something as it's only coherent point.  What would the PvP player share with the PvE player that would cause them to chose this game over one which specializes in only one or the other?
Slyfeind
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Reply #6 on: August 18, 2009, 12:51:23 PM

I would freaking love a game that had class-specific quest lines. You know, like the two or three quests in WoW where "You are a mage so go to a mage tower at level 50 and be all mage-like." Yeah, more of that shit. And race-based too. And trade skills.

Why would these be the same game, though?  Sounds like you're basically stapling a lot of game systems together with maybe some kind of loosely consistent avatar data or something as it's only coherent point.  What would the PvP player share with the PvE player that would cause them to chose this game over one which specializes in only one or the other?

UO did it. I think it worked pretty well.

"Role playing in an MMO is more like an open orchestra with no conductor, anyone of any skill level can walk in at any time, and everyone brings their own instrument and plays whatever song they want.  Then toss PvP into the mix and things REALLY get ugly!" -Count Nerfedalot
tazelbain
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tazelbain


Reply #7 on: August 18, 2009, 06:11:08 PM

I would freaking love a game that had class-specific quest lines.
I am not sure you understand what I was going for althought this a worthy subject in itself.

Why would these be the same game, though?  Sounds like you're basically stapling a lot of game systems together with maybe some kind of loosely consistent avatar data or something as it's only coherent point.  What would the PvP player share with the PvE player that would cause them to chose this game over one which specializes in only one or the other?
Stratification of content is already happening.  Solo mobs vs group mobs.  Raid vs group instances.  Mechanics that are excluded because they unbalance PvP even though they work great in PvE. Stats that only work in PvP. The examples are endless.  All this idea is formally recognizing that this happening with the class and content layout; making clear for the players and content designers what the stratification are. Easy to run multiple content teams with stepping on each other's toes.  Players don't have to worry about being forced to PvE to get set up for PvP.

As to why it should be one game, I like having lots of choices of how to play.  Also supporting a broad spectrum of play styles is key MMO marketsize.  It would be awesome if they didn't clobber each other.

EDIT: maybe this more clear?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2009, 02:07:15 PM by tazelbain »

"Me am play gods"
Slyfeind
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Reply #8 on: August 19, 2009, 01:33:10 PM

I agree this sounds cool and I want this. Or were you replying to Kail?

"Role playing in an MMO is more like an open orchestra with no conductor, anyone of any skill level can walk in at any time, and everyone brings their own instrument and plays whatever song they want.  Then toss PvP into the mix and things REALLY get ugly!" -Count Nerfedalot
Sheepherder
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Reply #9 on: August 20, 2009, 09:19:32 AM

How do you handle players who like the way their class plays in pve but not pvp?  What do you do with the others easily daunted by the huge variety of builds and playstyles that result?  What do you do with the playstyles that just don't fare well in one aspect, make it's (other game type) counterpart significantly different?
tazelbain
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tazelbain


Reply #10 on: August 20, 2009, 12:36:21 PM

How do you handle players who like the way their class plays in pve but not pvp?  The classes are segregated.  PvE classes can't PvP. What do you do with the others easily daunted by the huge variety of builds and playstyles that result?  Classes have to be clearly marked which content-type they are for. What do you do with the playstyles that just don't fare well in one aspect, make it's (other game type) counterpart significantly different?  There are no counter parts.  The classes a player can chooses for PvE would be completely independent of the classes they choose PvP or Raids.

I was thinking of the cool things you do like have a shadowbane remake with no levels and full looting inhabiting the same world as a super Diku grindfest.  Like 0.0 verse Empire in EvE, play the content you want when you feel like it.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2009, 09:57:49 PM by tazelbain »

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Slyfeind
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Reply #11 on: August 20, 2009, 03:40:54 PM

Interesting, yeah that makes more sense. Would raid classes be able to start raiding at level 1? Could you take a PvE character into PvP just for kicks? I was thinking more options, like if you take the Thief class then all you do is thieving and you have entire quest lines and specific gameplay, and there are seperate advancement options just for that class. Versus say a Warrior who would be all about the warrioring, or a Guildmaster who would get all kinds of tools for guildmastering, etc etc. It sounds like your system is more workable though.  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

"Role playing in an MMO is more like an open orchestra with no conductor, anyone of any skill level can walk in at any time, and everyone brings their own instrument and plays whatever song they want.  Then toss PvP into the mix and things REALLY get ugly!" -Count Nerfedalot
tazelbain
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tazelbain


Reply #12 on: August 20, 2009, 05:13:38 PM

Interesting, yeah that makes more sense. Would raid classes be able to start raiding at level 1? Could you take a PvE character into PvP just for kicks? I was thinking more options, like if you take the Thief class then all you do is thieving and you have entire quest lines and specific gameplay, and there are seperate advancement options just for that class. Versus say a Warrior who would be all about the warrioring, or a Guildmaster who would get all kinds of tools for guildmastering, etc etc. It sounds like your system is more workable though.  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?
My goal is not to suggest how developers should divide their content-types.  IF they made a raid content-type, then from start to finish the raid classes will be using raid content.  All the classes, zones, times, game mechanics in that content-type would be balanced toward raids.  It sounds strange, but I personally would find raiding more fun if you removed all the people who don't want to raid but are doing so because the game forces them with a bait and switch.  

All player characters are PvP and PvE characters.  They just have switch to a class in content-type they wish to play.   In Free Realms, if you go to a combat instance while you are a non-combat class it automatically switches you to the last combat class you were last and gives you option switch to a different combat class.  I would never allow a class from content-type to do another content-type.  If you allow it, players would expect balance.  Clear, well-defined boundaries are needed. As Lantyssa pointed out, managing player expectation would be key.  Purely social areas could be the exception.

Your idea work the same as single class content types, but I suspect you want Warriors to able to interact non-warriors.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2009, 09:57:11 PM by tazelbain »

"Me am play gods"
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