JM 343 Released

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I hate strict classes in video games. Another major issue in MMOs, besides the really shitty crafting, is that there are always a limited amount of classes, each of which has what is most likely a linear progression system that is very similar to every other class’ progression system.

I’m fine with my character being a “warrior,” but why is that the only class they have to have until they can become a paladin or a warlord or whatever?: I know it’s an older simplification, but even many of the things that MMOs are based off of have long moved past the concept of singular classes. The obsession that we have with them is absurd, especially since it is strictly not more difficult to make smaller classes that can be mixed and matched.

I don’t particularly mind if a smaller RPG experience only allows one of my characters to have a single class for lore reasons, or because each of my units is supposed to have a distinct purpose, but I absolutely fucking detest it in larger experiences meant to provide more replayability than a piece of trash like final fantasy.

14 thoughts on “JM 343 Released

  1. Yeah if they would do away with basic classes the early game experience would be alot more enjoyable. The problem with many online rpgs these days is that devs tend to focus more on endgame content, rather than improving early player experience.

    This is why level boosters are a thing in older mmorpgs, because they can’t be bothered to make the early game more fun so they just give you something to skip to the newest expansion.

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  2. There is a fairly decent reason for not going for point builds and stick to fixed classes.
    I have played a few of the point build ones. And they all run into the same problem. There is only one correct way to build your character.
    You don’t want to go full point build but have certain skill sets/abilities grouped together and people can mix and match a limited amount of groups? Only one correct way to build your character.

    So you might dislike fixed classes but until someone figures out how to avoid that trap fixed classes give more diversity then not having fixed classes

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    1. Only one correct way in the META, which changes constantly. You can play the game for fun you know, not just to be top tier in the game. Even in a fixed class rpg theres a “correct” way to add skill points and stats.

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    2. arent only one correct way only for point based builds that are about pvp/lategame optimal content, like some ultra hard raids or something ?
      from what i remember, rangarok online had a very fun point based system, that allowed you to build different builds that are wildly different from each other. cant remember any other game having anything close to resembling that honestly

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    3. Yeah, point builds are even worse than classes imo. Too easy to optimize. With that said, specific sets of abilities does not necessarily mean that optimization is easy – or even possible if done correctly.

      Nobody does it correctly.

      The solution is actually very simple. You have such wide birth and number of possible ways to build a character that there exist an inordinate number of equally efficient builds. Another factor that makes this even more successful is removing the stupid idea that every dev atm has of linear or even continuous progression. That is, build the expectation that players are to adapt their builds for different types of content.

      Another way to make it difficult for players to optimize is through volume and the constant introduction of new classes as one of the major forms of content delivery. Assuming that one does not perform the mistakes the koreans make in their MMOs and highly customize each one to only work in a very specific way to interact with different parts of different kits. The amount of effort it takes to author a class isn’t actually all that high, especially if each is a relatively small package.

      This is actually seen to some effectiveness in mobas, if you think about it.

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      1. Taking the criticism of the others who replied to me into account I might have a recommendation. Champions Online, super hero MMO 10 years or so old by now free to play.

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  3. You can wait for PSO2 NGS then. In there you can actually use a big ass sword and cast ‘spells’ (techniques) without giving up any damage. The system is actually kinda simple, you have a main class and a sub class, the sub class provide some skills and all of its usable weapons, so you can mix and mash to your heart’s content.

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      1. I mean, if you really want a well-crafted class system, just go play any Larian Studios’ game like Divinity: Original Sin 2.
        I suggest PSO2 NGS since is the closest to what you want at mix ‘n mash classes in an MMO.

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  4. Personally i prefer skills that i can switch around.
    But people are butthurt over either it being too complicated, or it being unbalanced.
    Thus working method is there.
    If you dont hold player by hand he will screw up his build and have to play more to fix it, or progress slower. Not an issue for some, big issue for others.

    Good examples of over complicated systems would be PSO2, TSW.
    That said i still miss uo, swg.
    Though in those one had to sacrifice his skills to learn new ones.
    Some sort of switch system is better, but it needs to be easy to learn

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  5. Can’t help but agree with your points and everyone else’s. Especially the focus on the end game when MMOs are supposed to be about the journey to it. First impressions and all that, early and midgame really needs some love. Yet find myself just fine with FF14, ESO, EvE, WoW, and GW2, PSO2, SWTOR, and many more. I know what I’m saying is essentially making me complacent to these things. Unless it’s a really glaring problem, I won’t notice. I’m having a blast even tho I know it could be better.

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  6. Simple classes are made for MMOs because the player needs to know at a glance what their role is as well as what role other players have because player interactions are a major part of an MMO (it’s literally the MM). The more complex a class system becomes, the more people need to look up to figure out what to play. The further this spiral goes, the less people there’ll be to play the game as the ones that have less patience for bookwork go back to the simpler ones. From there it’s simple math: less people play = less money = not enough to run an MMO server.

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    1. The very simple solution to that is to limit the number of choices that the player has at any given point in time. Even if a system is to have, for example, 50 classes, there’s no reason to make more than 3 of them available to the player initially, nor any need to fast track them through progression unless your game is designed around end game only, which makes it a steaming piece of crap to begin with. A best case scenario likely involves making 30 of the classes hidden and obtainable with only very specific conditions. Of course, this does not mean that I suggest locking players out of possibilities. The whole idea of upwards only progression is silly.

      The need for players to know what their classes are capable of stems from poor class design in the first place. The fun in large scale games like MMOs comes from exploration and discovery. The holy trinity design in which each class has a role as opposed to a niche that has more or less taken over the entire industry is frankly shit and only supports poor game design choices.

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