Class advice?

ShiraCheshire

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I'm looking for advice on classes!
(And just to be clear: I'm looking for advice on the classes themselves, not the process of eventing and the database and how to create a status effect and whatnot.)

I'm a complete newbie when it comes to them, and I'd really like to learn how they work. Should I be touching the stat or exp curves at all? What kind of classes and abilities would you guys recommend? Roughly what level do you think the players should be at at the end of the average game, and how many skills would you consider normal? How many equip items should be between "rusty knife" and "supergolden legendary whatever knife of infinity slaying"? Are there any pre-built classes around that are free to use/tweak? Any good resources or tutorial pages/videos for learning more about this stuff?

So basically, any advice on classes would be welcome!
 

BlackRoseMii

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I'm no expert on it either, but I think researching how other games handle classes would be a good idea.
I think the most important thing about classes is how they differ from each other. A cleric wouldn't be able to deal as much damage as a knight. But a knight wouldn't be able to have the same healing skills like the cleric. So you'll have to have not only the stats but also the skills and usable weapon types in mind. With some creativity, you could come up with pretty funny and unique classes.

About the levels and weapons: I also have a problem with that. I left the level max open and put a new weapon/armor in each new town. I doubt that's a good idea though ^^°

The engine has default classes btw. You can use them as they are or tweak them. Or even ignore them completely.
 

ShiraCheshire

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@BlackRoseMii
I noticed the maker has default classes, but they all seem to have identical stat curves? Do most people leave those as default? Or are there more settings at work there than I'm realizing? The only difference seems to be equip types and skills. Is that how it should be done, or do people usually change that?

The weapon thing is good advice... unfortunately, my game won't have any towns, haha. It's going to have a central hub you can go back and forth from where most town-type stuff can be done, but the rest of the game will be townless. Most items will be discoverable only by exploring the world, it's all "I found this on the ground in that dungeon" type stuff.
 

BlackRoseMii

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I'm not sure about MV, but Ace has different stats for different classes. If you're just starting out, you shouldn't try to make them from scratch. Experiment with them a little. Try to think about how the classes would be in a real fight. Like I said about the knight and cleric.
The default classes are very basic, but they are good for learning. After a while you can try and think outside the box.
 

TheoAllen

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This is the more reason why you should start to make a small project. This question is too broad. Everyone has a different design philosophy and we can talk about it 24/7 and people gonna argue left and right, and in the end, we would just agree to disagree.

That said, try a simple game to test it. One dungeon, one boss (or two), and you can evaluate the growth rate that suits your design philosophy. Is the damage formula fit with your mini project? How about a character role? Do you need a dedicated healer? why this character feels useless? All of these questions can be answered once you actually have a project to evaluate.
 

ShiraCheshire

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@TheoAllen Thank you for the advice! You're right, I should absolutely do that. I can't believe I didn't think of it, honestly. I did make a test game that covered most mechanics I want to use, but none of it included combat (other than a super quick eventing test) at all. So I for sure need to start with some tests to get an idea of things.

It's all very overwhelming! I should have paid more attention to the mechanical stuff when playing my favorite RPGs, haha. It's just hard to know where to start with learning.
 

ultrament2

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Clearly defined roles always are nice. Some classes can dip into what another class does but it shouldn't define them.
i.e. a White Mage and a Black Mage might both know Fire, but the Black Mage might know Fire III and the White Mage would know Cure.
 

gstv87

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classes determine each character's base parameters (HP, MP, ATK, DEF, MAT, MDF, AGI and LUK) across levels, the equipment they can use, the skills they can learn, and whatever extended parameters they can have (such as resistance to damage types, sealing of specific skills across the spectrum, bonuses to base parameters outside the base values, etc)

and then *extended parameters* can be added to actors themselves, which work in tandem with bonuses taken from classes.

whatever you *name* a class, is up to you.
a *class* is just a set of parameters.
 

Kes

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At the moment this is rather a broad topic, rather than the design of a specific aspect.

I am, therefore, moving this to General Discussion.


Though please note that this is also, like Game Mechanics Design, not the section for discussing implementation.
 

Tai_MT

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I use a few general rules when creating a "class".

1. No overlap of skills. If one class can burn enemies with a skill, no other class can do that. If one class can do Holy damage, no other class can do that.
2. Very little overlap of weapons with a good overlap of armor. Classes can share a few of the same weapon types, but most classes should have a weapon type that is unique to that class. Armor should be overlapped frequently, however, as it'll cut down on the amount of it you'll need to give out and let your players experiment with equipment.
3. Each class has a theme. By theme, I mean, what they are meant to be used as. I have a class that uses purely TP to use any of their skills and most of their skills are built around raising TP faster or expending massive amounts of it for insane amounts of damage. Their theme is basically "using TP to do massive damage". I have another class that revolves entirely around defense. He buffs defense, uses defense as an attacking stat for one of his skills, protects other party members, etcetera. You can see the point. Every class has a "theme" to adhere to.
---
With that being said... XP curves only matter if you have characters that are meant to be "too powerful". Essentially, the XP curve is meant to "even out" the power of each character. If your dragon has 50% more in every single stat than any other character (assuming you have a dragon character), then it should level 50% slower in order to keep its stats in line with everyone else. Or, at the very least... level a bit slower than everyone else, so grinding doesn't make it super overpowered.

Also, it doesn't really matter all that much what the "stat spread" turns out to be, unless you want to hyper specialize your classes. By the end of the game, most characters are getting 90% of their final stat points from the equipment they're wearing anyway, and their actual stats don't matter all that much. Or, at least, that's how it works in most RPG's.

Finally... everything else is subjective and unique to your project. 1 Attack Point in my game is going to mean something far different from 1 Attack point in someone else's game. 1 XP and 1 Level are going to mean something far different in my game than they would mean in your game.

There are questions you need to answer. "How powerful do I want players to be?", "How fast do I want players to level up?", "How difficult do I want monsters to be?", "What sort of power do I want Skills to have in the game?"

I'll use a fun example. "Balance" in Warframe is you being able to one-shot large groups of enemies. If you can't do that, you don't have enough stats attached to whatever you're using in order to do it. The game is designed around a player being insanely powerful. The skill involved in the game is figuring out how to keep being this powerful far into the most difficult content the game has to offer.

This is in stark contrast to most games where the dev has a set amount of hits every enemy should require before they go down, so that the player at least loses some HP and has to use consumables or has to spend time healing, because the skill in the game is measured around how well a player manages their finite resources.

Big difference.

You need to nail down what your game is before you work on much of the content of that game.
 

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