Classes: I have no idea how to make them good help

BeanCanDev

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I'm having trouble having ideas for the classes for my game. Not sure why but I am, so some help would be great.

I'm still in prototype phase of the game, but I'm probably use a CTB battle system as it has both the stuff I like about a standard turn based system and an ATB system.

All characters use MP for skills, with a little twist, some characters (like mages and clerics) have regenerating MP, while other classes (like warriors and thief's) don't.

I know what classes I want for my game and a basic idea on what I want them to do, but I'm not sure how to make them interesting.

This what I have relating to my classes:

  • Starts out as a Warrior, but gains Rune skills to do magic stuff as the game goes on
  • Mage that uses both offensive and defensive magic to deal elemental damage to foes and reduce damage done to themselves and allies.
  • A thief class that is a speedy glass cannon that's hard hitting and hard to hit, but when they do it's bad. Can also debuff foes to set up combos for themselves and allies.
  • An axe using battle cleric. I know their going to use healing magic and buffs, but I'm not sure if they should use light magic or if I should leave that to the champion class I'm going to add later. Also will have some sort of dragon based skills (story related, still working it all out)
And that's about all I've been able to figure out for the past few months. (Gameplay wise at least, I've have ideas for the story)

Sorry for the wall of text, but I'm out of ideas and I want to do this project justice. I'm aware that some stuff I might need to go back and change later, but I just need some ideas to help me get back on track.
 

Kenen

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An axe using battle cleric.

You can do a lot of cool things with clerics (or healers and divine spellcasters in general) if you are willing to break out of the healbot framework, which it sounds like you are.

General ideas:
  1. Check out the Warpriest archetype from Pathfinder for some cool ability ideas.
  2. Consider weapon buff spells, like those from the Souls series, that scale with your cleric's spellcasting attribute.
  3. Try abilities that bundle healing with dealing damage to reinforce the battle cleric theme. Some examples include Atonement (WoW) and Kardia (FFXIV).
  4. Think about implementing classic cleric spells like Divine Favor (DnD) or Yaulp (EverQuest) that augment your cleric's melee capabilities. These are battle cleric staples.
 

LordOfPotatos

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can you elaborate on how classes are implemented? it kind of matters if you can create a character and/or multiclass.

at a very basic level you can design classes by giving each one certain roles.

for example, I use physical attacker, magic attacker, physical tank, magical tank, buffer/support, debuffer/control and healing.

and I combine 2 or 3 of those roles to make a class. I try not to give anyone more than 3 for balance's sake.

for example, warrior would be physical attacker + physical tank. with abilities that let him deal and resist physical damage.
a thief would be physical attacker + debuff, can deal physical damage and inflict statuses.
mage would be magical attacker + debuff, that covers all black magic.
paladin would be physical tank + magical tank + healing.
dragoon could be physical attack + magical attack + buffer.
etc.
 

MarxMayhem

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"Wall of text"? That was hardly a fence! /jk

Jokes aside, I think you may want go back to the basics of class design to make sure you're doing this right. As for my personal advice:
  1. I'm seeing that not everyone has synergy with others. Consider giving them dualtechs or even tripletechs that are unique to specific character combinations.
  2. Feel free to deviate from RPG cliches. From what I gather, your game has 4 characters, with their own jobs, and nothing else. Sure there is class progression, but the path is static for all of them. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you try to remain in the constants of RPG tropes, you will find yourself limited.
    1. Instead of just Light magic, also give your Cleric Dark magic, and make your Mage an Elementalist.
    2. Alternatively, give Light magic to the Cleric, Dark Magic to the mage, and then split the remaining Elemental magic between them. Final Fantasy did this, so if need permission from someone, there you go.
    3. Give your Thief some magic too. Space-time manipulation, even if minor, is a good place to start.
 

BeanCanDev

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I was thinking about all the ideas listed in this thread, and I think I have some new ideas now!

Give your Thief some magic too. Space-time manipulation, even if minor, is a good place to start.
I thought about this comment for a bit and had an idea. I've decided to not have a Thief class, but instead a Thief Alchemist! (I'm not sure how I went from space magic to potion person, but whatever) Their role is going to remain largely the same, a glass cannon that can apply debuffs to foes. But now, their going to use flasks of dubious nature to do this!

I'm seeing that not everyone has synergy with others. Consider giving them dualtechs or even tripletechs that are unique to specific character combinations.
I'll need to see if there's a dualtech plugin compatible with my other plugins, I'll definitely need to keep this in mind! I also thought about class synergy, and I had the idea that some skills will deal more damage if the target has a specific state.
I'm planning on some classes being able to apply states that other classes can use for their skills, just so players can set up combo's!

Feel free to deviate from RPG cliches. From what I gather, your game has 4 characters, with their own jobs, and nothing else. Sure there is class progression, but the path is static for all of them. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you try to remain in the constants of RPG tropes, you will find yourself limited.
  1. Instead of just Light magic, also give your Cleric Dark magic, and make your Mage an Elementalist.
  2. Alternatively, give Light magic to the Cleric, Dark Magic to the mage, and then split the remaining Elemental magic between them. Final Fantasy did this, so if need permission from someone, there you go.
I've decided to give my Cleric weaker Light magic spells, with more powerful options that needs AP (Adrenaline Points) to be spent to use. I'm planning on AP to be a scarce resource, so having a skill require it is going to be saved for big power moves. (It's basically BP for Octopath)
When it comes to elements, I'm planning on spreading them out between different classes who can use 2-3 elements. I'm now ok if some classes use the same elements, as I don't want to lock players into having to use a certain character to pull off a combo.

General ideas:
  1. Check out the Warpriest archetype from Pathfinder for some cool ability ideas.
  2. Consider weapon buff spells, like those from the Souls series, that scale with your cleric's spellcasting attribute.
  3. Try abilities that bundle healing with dealing damage to reinforce the battle cleric theme. Some examples include Atonement (WoW) and Kardia (FFXIV).
  4. Think about implementing classic cleric spells like Divine Favor (DnD) or Yaulp (EverQuest) that augment your cleric's melee capabilities. These are battle cleric staples.
for example, I use physical attacker, magic attacker, physical tank, magical tank, buffer/support, debuffer/control and healing.
Thank you for the ideas! Sorry I didn't have as much to say compared to the other comment, I still appreciate these just as much!
 

Milennin

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To make a class good, they need to fulfil a primary role first (damage, tank, healer, support/other).

Each class needs a varied skill set that so they can deal with different kinds of situations, which also helps to make them more fun to play.

Have classes synergise with other classes. For example, give a tank an ability to take aggro for a turn, while a damage dealer could have a skill that requires a turn to focus without taking a hit. Or make a class that requires a lot of MP to cast powerful spells, while another class could specialise in refilling allies' MP.

Any time you find yourself never or rarely using a skill in battle, ask yourself why you aren't using it. And then decide whether you want to make it stronger, add additional effects to it, make the conditions easier to meet, or replace it entirely with something different. While I think it's OK to have a few skills that may be only situationally useful, if you find yourself using mostly only a select few skills out of a character's complete skill set, then it's time to look into what you can do to make the other skills more appealing to use.
 

kairi_key

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One fun thing you can think about is how each class interact with the CTB system itself. Let's look at CTB's famous example: FFX.

FFX has character like Tidus who can manipulate turn orders, directly insert influence upon CTB itself. The heavy hitters like Lulu the mage and Auron the samurai often get thrown back in their turn orders once their burst damage skill is used. Rikku on the other hand has high enough agility to have multiple turns, but most damaging capability use consumables. Those are some example that took advantage of how almost free-form the turn orders in CTB is.

And as others have said, thinking about class synergies is important. How would each class play off of each other mechanically. Maybe the Cleric can boost morale for the Thief to deal even higher damage while the Mage can use the barrier to keep the Thief alive long enough to finish their combo set. Or maybe the Warrior is the damage dealer where you need Thief's debuff to set the attack up immensely. And all of this will reflect upon how you design your enemies too. What kind of enemies combination would make each class shine or would give a certain class a challenge to shake things up?

Usually in a CTB where speed determine a lot of things, the heavy hitter, burst-damage dealer is the slower character, because if faster character can already hit hard, then they will be quite overpowered and the slower character will fall out of use. Faster character is better as an interuptor of-sort to open ways for slower heavy hitters. Or maybe, faster character might dealer lower damage but higher dps overall because of how frequent they gets their turn. This latter route would make a slower and more utility-based class somewhat fun to juggle and see how they can keep the glass cannon alive long enough for their dps to shine through. It's something fun to think about and would add some depth to how you arrange your party.

Keep the ideas coming, but have these ideas connected more with each other and you'll have a fun time thinking about classes. Maybe you might stumble upon a weird unique class simply because you need someone to bolster the weakness of your current party.
 

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