4/5 playable characters. Would you like to customize them with classes all at once or unlock more?

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by atoms, Feb 25, 2019.

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Available classes all at beginning, or unlock later on?

  1. I want all classes available at the beginning.

    53.3%
  2. I want to unlock more classes once later in the game.

    20.0%
  3. I want to unlock more classes twice later in the game.

    20.0%
  4. I want to unlock more classes three times later in the game.

    6.7%
  5. I want to unlock more classes four or more times later in the game.

    13.3%
  6. I would rather have one simple and different class per 4/5 playable characters in the game.

    20.0%
  7. Other (Please specify/explain in discussion below).

    26.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. atoms

    atoms Veteran Veteran

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    Second question. How would you handle the mechanics with what you voted for? Optional question. Can read my setup below too, also optional.

    How would you go about doing this yourself? This second question is optional for those who just want to vote and not discuss, but I still encourage discussion, so we can discuss our different ideas and see what is said.

    Note. I will leave my general mechanic setup ideas below, for some guidance. If you think of different mechanics when voting, you can share them, even mechanics that change the type of game and/or number of playable characters different from this setup below.

    Since this is a Game Mechanic Design question, I would like people to be free to say how they would handle or go about doing this different from a specific setup, but at the same time for people who are happy with any setup, to see my ideas below as well.

    Skills per class, I think can be any amount from 5, 7, 10, 20, even 25. It depends if they fit the game style. You can discuss this in this thread with what you vote for as well, if you want too. It's optional.

    What are your thoughts? You can choose more than one option, and change your vote/mind later.

    My Setup Below, don't have to read if you have your own ideas with what you vote for. This is here for ideas and guidance on a general possible setup, as well as my own vote and response.

    I'm thinking of a game where the mechanics give you 4/5 playable characters at the beginning that you can customize them and change there classes freely. Roaming a world map type of RPG. Both Adventure/Exploring and Dungeon focused.

    I'm also thinking of featuring a Subclass system too, but depending on how many other classes there are, it could become more limited so the final powerful classes can't be used by a Subclass.

    Would you prefer to have all the classes unlocked to choose from, from the beginning. Or would you like to unlock more powerful classes and skills through those classes later?

    If I had to pick how many skills per class in the game with unlocking classes once, I'd have about 10 to 15 combat skills with each class at the start and the same amount of 10 to 15 combat skills with the extra classes but make sure the extra classes act like good upgrades. Some classes may have a full 15 skills and others 10. But I'd keep the range around the same and give a good amount of combat skills to freely switch and customize between.

    If I picked unlocking classes twice, then I'd have about 5 or 7 combat skills with the beginning classes then increase them to 10 to 15 combat skills with the extra unlockable classes later, and 10 to 15 combat skills with the final extra classes nearer the end of the game. Each time upgrading them, too. Near the same amount with the second and third unlockable classes.

    If all classes are unlocked at the beginning, then there will be more classes available at the beginning. With 4 playable characters there could be 8 to 10 in total. With 5 playable characters there could be 10 to 12 in total. Each one would probably have at least 10 combat skills.

    If they are unlocked once, then I would probably keep the same setup and add an additional 4 somehow upgraded classes later that can't be Subclassed for 4 playable characters, otherwise 5 upgraded somehow classes that can't be Subclassed for 5 playable characters.

    If they are unlocked twice or more, then it would be reduced to 7 as a maximum of classes in the beginning, then an extra 1 or 2 per class that can be Subclassed once at the 2/5th of the game, then an extra 4 final classes to choose from during the 4/5th of the game, nearer the end. Possibly 5 final classes if there are 5 playable characters instead of 4.

    If 1 extra class each, then they would probably upgrade the default classes and have all 7 classes upgrade during the 3/5th of the game and get the extra 4/5 classes at the start of the 5/5th of the game.

    If 2 extra classes each, then the game suddenly has a huge amount of classes about 14 or more during the 3/5th of the game as well as the extra 4 nearer the start of the end of the game, I.e. 5/5th part of the game.

    My Vote.

    I would vote for the first three options. I just wouldn't want to increase classes more than two times if I went about doing a game with this setup, but I probably would want to upgrade the classes once with two different options per class, and then have 4 to 5 extra final classes a second time nearer the end of the game. I'm undecided for certain if the final classes could be subclasses or not, I'd probably wouldn't allow it.

    I also know games like this would normally be dungeon crawlers, but I purposely choice a setup different from what's normally done. I just like the idea of still having an explorable adventure type of game, just with heavier focus on dungeons/battles too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
    #1
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  2. lianderson

    lianderson Veteran Veteran

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    I voted for all at the start. This is so I can have the team I want from the get go.

    But honestly, I prefer a classless system that allows everyone to equip/learn everything. It's what I personally do, and it creates some interesting results.

    Edit: of course, if you got story reasons for a character being a specific class or what not, that's completely exempt from anything I've said.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
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  3. Rhaeami

    Rhaeami The Sleepy-Eyed One Veteran

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    The way you're describing the skill setup, it sounds more like a Maple Story class system than a Final Fantasy class system - i.e., when you say "unlock", do you mean your Warrior can now hot-swap to White Mage, Juggler, Truck Driver, etc., or do you mean that they "upgrade" to, say, either Paladin or Dark Knight?

    If the former, my advice would be to limit the need to freshly grind new classes, since that can lead to a paradoxical choice where the player knows that they'll be statistically stronger just sticking with their first class instead of switching - but, that said, rolling them out slowly over many unlocks is best. If the latter, well, I always viewed those systems as "single class characters" in disguise, so I'd say the fewer permutations the better since every branch means more skills you'd never see in a given playthrough.
     
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  4. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

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    I prefer to have things unlocked from the start. If I unlock them later on, they'd have to be stronger than the ones I currently have for me to want to switch over, because I'm already familiar with my current setup. Having them from the start lets me pick the ones that look coolest right away.

    For unlockable classes, it'd be cool if you could like promote the starter classes into new advanced classes later on in the game, but have them branch out so you get to choose (Fire Emblem has something like this). Like, a starter warrior could choose to become a knight or a berserker. A starter mage class could choose to become an elementalist or a summoner.
     
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  5. atoms

    atoms Veteran Veteran

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    @lianderson I'm a fan of something between the two. I prefer further customization then just single classes, which is why I'd like to add a subclass feature, and to easily switch between chosen classes once you have them. So I don't mind the characters being able to have any skill, just not able to equip every single skill as once and a setup where it's worth a few of the characters having different skills instead of picking the same ones. But I prefer a class system.

    Still what you prefer sounds good too. Out of further curiosity, would you handle that with limiting each skill, or could 4 playable characters all use the same skill at the same time?

    @Rhaeami To me it means gain more powerful classes. So my setup would be an extra class that is unlocked. I'd also have the unlocked/extra classes have higher stats and improved skills that can be learned. I'd do the latter, upgrade a Trickster to a Gambler or Pirate as an example. Or your example, upgrade something similar to Paladin or Dark Knight.

    @Milennin If I had unlockable classes, I'd like to handle them that exact same way as well. Where the upgrade branches out and becomes more powerful like that type of setup.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
    #5
  6. Yougotsomechocolate

    Yougotsomechocolate Random Chest Veteran

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    I think it would be a good idea to have "Base" classes at the start that you can change freely, but have a class tree that unlocks classes as you go.
    Sorta like fire emblem, but have separate EXP progress for each, and each might have different skill sets, but DON'T Lock out players from the other trees if you want it to be open.

    So let's say that A's Default class is archer, you could change his base class, or level up him in the current class.
    A could also get slightly different stat boosts/negates from the different class type. And lets say B was an archer too.
    You could change B to something else to get skills in both weapon types. Or change A to something else to not conflict with B. (Or vise versa)
    That's just an thought for the main classes/jobs
     
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  7. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    For me it really depends on how good the class system is and how it ties the game experience. It should also be balanced such that there is no obviously OP class for the characters..

    I've played a lot of games where you have available classes right off the bat which you can freely change into when you like, with/without some unlockables later on. I've also played games with a class-tree progression. TBH both and those in between are good, as long as it ties to the whole experience.

    The only problem I really have with them is that normally there's at least one class that stands out the most, making most players want to get it. Then there's also the case where some enemies/puzzles cannot be defeated unless you are using a certain class which is kinda a bummer especially if it takes long to power up each class. Some games to battle this end up on the other side, which is making the game too easy that the class composition of the party becomes not important. You gotta find the balance in between, where the class composition should make sense for it to work but no class is deemed as "required".

    Anyway, for a game with 4/5 characters I would prefer a game with a class-tree system. I tend to prefer a more free class change system for games with a lot of characters.
     
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  8. Yougotsomechocolate

    Yougotsomechocolate Random Chest Veteran

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    I would agree with the Class tree system in a similar way to FE. You have 2 upgrade classes to choose from and both have it's own skills, advantages,ETC. But don't make too many class upgrades, I'd recommend 3 tiers max, but 2 is fine as well.
     
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  9. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    Yes, make sure the amount of classes also make sense with the length of your game..
     
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  10. Yougotsomechocolate

    Yougotsomechocolate Random Chest Veteran

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    And don't put 20 (Not exactly a real amount) Class upgrades for a 5 hour game when only doing base quests, and balance them out as far as progression.
     
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  11. kirbwarrior

    kirbwarrior Veteran Veteran

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    Well, first, I want more than 80% of a character. That sounds terrible for an rpg ;)

    I've seen good games for every option and in multiple ways of doing that option. I guess a large part is if the classes are part of the story or or not. Games like FFV are getting classes as part of the plot and it's a huge focus of the game, but then another game I played unlocking classes was done with certain sidequests and wasn't even obvious about it.

    A very important consideration is "How many people can be the same class?". There's also things like Octopath's base class locked with subclass add-on to consider. Or how some games require using one class enough to unlock later ones. There's also the question of if classes are personal to each character, and if they are upgrades or sidegrades. Or even downgrades! Oh, what about how they learn skills? Is it from leveling, JP, equipping certain gear long enough to learn, etc.? How do you switch classes? Is it easy with a menu prompt or is it costly like in Fire Emblem Fates?

    ...there's too many variables to consider. But for purposes of replaying a game, I'd want most (all, but some classes make sense not to start with) classes possible to get right away. It's fine if you don't start with them all, but if I can get the 4-5 classes I want before pushing the plot forward then that's close enough. New Game+ but only classes also works well for this. Final Fantasy Tactics is pretty nice about this (from what I've learn about doing Straight Character Challenges... which I only just now realized is terribly misnamed :L).
     
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