RPG Games Fundamental Classes

bjjornnn

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Hi all,
I'm Bjorn, this is one of my first post on this forum (I didn't seem to find this kind of question in any other topic), I hope this post became an interesting discussion to all people interested in it.

I've always liked rpg games, especially multiplayer one, by force of things I have always found myself experimenting with a lot of different characters and their different classes.
The point of this topic is right here, in almost all games there are some univoque classes (mage, archer, swordman, ...), in your opinion which kind of classes are the fundamental for an rpg genre game?

Thank you for all those who will participate.
 

TinyRecorder

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Gotta have that clergy member healer!
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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While the names change from game to game, I believe that there are four primary archetypes that serve as the fundamental basis of any RPG:

- Physical DPS (Fighter, Swordsman, etc.)
- Tank (Knight, Sentinel, etc.)
- Magical DPS (Mage, Warlock, etc.)
- Healer (Cleric, Devout, etc.)

From there, you just branch out into other types of classes. That's my opinion, at any rate.
 

lianderson

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Welcome to the forums! Praise be to the new devs!

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm....... Mage, Warrior, and Archer come to mind.... but down with the traditional classes! They have been done too many times. Too many!

We demands new classes, like lawyer, knife, and refrigerator. Or revisit the old classes with a new lens. Power to the lens!
 

Animebryan

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Different classes exist because they specialize in different stats & abilities. So here's a breakdown of classic classes & what their stereotypical stats & abilities are;

Warrior/Knight: High HP, Minimal or No MP, High ATK/DEF, Low AGL/MATK/MDEF.
Abilities: Sword Strikes that either inflict status effects/debuffs or multi-hit.

Cleric/White Mage/Healer: Low HP, High MP, Low ATK/DEF, High AGL/MATK/MDEF.
Abilities: Healing HP & removing Ailments, buffs for DEF/MDEF/EVA.

Black Mage/Wizard/Sorcerer: Low HP, High MP, Low ATK/DEF, High AGL/MATK/MDEF.
Abilities: Offensive magic using various elements, ATK/MATK buffs & various debuffs/statuses.

Rogue/Thief: Medium HP, Low-Mid MP, Low ATK/DEF, Very High AGL/HIT/EVA, Low MATK/MDEF.
Abilities: Stealing items & gold, higher item drops, detecting treasure & traps, higher Crit Rate.

Blue Mage/Mime: Stats ???
Abilities: Copy/Mimic abilities of either enemies or allies.

Sage/Red Mage: Low-Mid HP, Very High MP, Low-Mid ATK/DEF, high AGL, very high MATK/MDEF.
Abilities: A White & Black Mage Hybrid, possesses nearly all the spells including exclusive/most powerful spells.

White Knight/Paladin: High HP, Medium MP, High ATK/DEF, Mid-High AGL/MATK/MDEF.
Abilities: A hybrid of a Knight & a White Mage, self sufficient in physical offense & healing, removing ailments & various buffs.

Black Knight/SpellBlade: High HP/MP, High ATK/MATK/DEF/MDEF, Low-Mid AGL/HIT/EVA.
Abilities: Hybrid of Knight & Black Mage, efficient in both physical & magical offense, can infuse elements into weapon/attacks, siphon MP from enemies while attacking, induce statuses with attacks.

Those are all the ones I can think of for now, but the first 4 are the basic foundation for forming a RPG team.
 

Nolonar

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Hello Bjorn,

To be honest, I think this is less about classes and more about roles.

RPGs have 4 fundamental roles:
  • Tank: A character with high DEF (defense) and HP (Health Points) and some way to make the enemy target them more often. The Tank's role is to protect the more fragile members of the party, so the party doesn't collapse. They're basically the "armor" of the party

    Traditional classes that fill the role include:
    • Warrior
    • Paladin
    • Knight
    • Swordsman
    • Crusader

  • Healer: A character with recovery skills. The Healer's role is to improve the party's survivability, by healing any damage done and/or removing negative status conditions (poison, paralysis, etc.). Usually, the Healer also acts as a Supporter. In fact, a Healer is technically a Supporter specialized in recovery skills/buffs.

    Traditional classes that fill the role include:
    • Priest
    • Monk
    • Acolyte

  • Supporter: A character who supports the party in one way or another. The Supporter can either use buffs to improve the party's performance (like increasing their defense or granting them immunity to some element), or use debuffs against the enemy (like poison, paralysis, etc.).

    Traditional classes that fill the role include:
    • Bard
    • Dancer
    • Hunter
    • Thief
    • Assassin

  • Damage Dealer: A character who specializes in damage. The Damage Dealer's role is to finish the fight quickly. In some games, this role is handled by the Tank. However, there are enough games with dedicated Damage Dealers for it to be a fundamental role.

    Traditional classes that fill the role include:
    • Mage
    • Wizard
    • Sorcerer
    • Rogue
    • Thief
    • Assassin
    • Monk
    • Archer
    • Hunter

Keep in mind that classes do not necessarily have to conform to any one role. Depending on your game and your needs, you can have any class fill in for any role, and even have classes that fill multiple roles.

For example, you could have a Mage fill any role (Barrier spell for the Tank role, Heal spell for the Healer role, Weather Manipulation spell for the Supporter role, METEOR STORM!!! for the Damage Dealer role).
 

Iron_Brew

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Hello Bjorn,

To be honest, I think this is less about classes and more about roles.

RPGs have 4 fundamental roles:
  • Tank: A character with high DEF (defense) and HP (Health Points) and some way to make the enemy target them more often. The Tank's role is to protect the more fragile members of the party, so the party doesn't collapse. They're basically the "armor" of the party

    Traditional classes that fill the role include:
    • Warrior
    • Paladin
    • Knight
    • Swordsman
    • Crusader
  • Healer: A character with recovery skills. The Healer's role is to improve the party's survivability, by healing any damage done and/or removing negative status conditions (poison, paralysis, etc.). Usually, the Healer also acts as a Supporter. In fact, a Healer is technically a Supporter specialized in recovery skills/buffs.

    Traditional classes that fill the role include:
    • Priest
    • Monk
    • Acolyte
  • Supporter: A character who supports the party in one way or another. The Supporter can either use buffs to improve the party's performance (like increasing their defense or granting them immunity to some element), or use debuffs against the enemy (like poison, paralysis, etc.).

    Traditional classes that fill the role include:
    • Bard
    • Dancer
    • Hunter
    • Thief
    • Assassin
  • Damage Dealer: A character who specializes in damage. The Damage Dealer's role is to finish the fight quickly. In some games, this role is handled by the Tank. However, there are enough games with dedicated Damage Dealers for it to be a fundamental role.

    Traditional classes that fill the role include:
    • Mage
    • Wizard
    • Sorcerer
    • Rogue
    • Thief
    • Assassin
    • Monk
    • Archer
    • Hunter

Keep in mind that classes do not necessarily have to conform to any one role. Depending on your game and your needs, you can have any class fill in for any role, and even have classes that fill multiple roles.

For example, you could have a Mage fill any role (Barrier spell for the Tank role, Heal spell for the Healer role, Weather Manipulation spell for the Supporter role, METEOR STORM!!! for the Damage Dealer role).
This is an excellent post! I really wish there was some way to break the trinity of DPS/TANK/HEALER (plus GIMMICK, if there are gimmick classes with only certain utility, like thieves etc). I can't help but feel like MMOs have made the class economy of RPGs sadly homogenous - I'd love to see some innovation in this area :D
 

VegaKotes

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The reliance on the trinity of classes is more of a limitation of combat systems I think. Warcraft especially. If enemies are going to be able to charge you down and hit you easily you need someone to focus that heat on, thus the tank.

A Tank can't be immortal though so you need either more tanks or a healer to keep your tank alive.

Technically a dps isn't needed at all as long as the healer and tank can deal damage as they survive. But most raid/boss enemies will kill you if you try to whittle away at them. Which is usually why we have a dps, to kill the boss before the boss kills the tank.

A more active and free roaming battle system might help cut down the need for the trinity. If players can use their skills to dodge attacks you've already removed the need for tanks and healers. Which means every class is free to do damage in their own unique ways.

Monster Hunter is a real good example of this. While there are technically tanky classes or support classes none of them are required for hunting. Players can make use of their skills and their weapon's unique fighting style instead of relying on strict class mechanics.
 

Aoi Ninami

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The thing is, so long as the player has any degree of control over how the characters develop, they are going to concentrate on developing each character's strong point. The character with the strongest physical attack will become a physical damage-dealing specialist; the character who is best at healing will become the dedicated healer.

(There may or may not be a dedicated "tank", because the role doesn't translate that well to a turn-based system where everyone has to do something active every turn. Sure, if the system provides options like one party member covering their allies or provoking the enemies to target them, you can get a specialised tank, but not every game has this. An alternative, if the game has options for how characters build up their stats, is for the healer to double as tank -- after all, keeping the healer in play benefits the party the most, and they are often the best equipped to restore knocked-out members.)
 

Milennin

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It's already covered by previous posters, but just to post my own take: there are no fundamental classes (since a class is nothing but a title, and you can name them whatever you want), but there are fundamental roles. You're not going to escape from the traditional deal damage, absorb damage and heal damage roles, as well as a variety of different utility roles. There are a lot of things you can do to make characters feel unique still, with your approach to skill design, special combat rules/mechanics, or mixing and matching of roles.
 

alice_gristle

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Ya, from a storytelling point of view, I got mebbe four? Like, warrior, priest, wizard, and rogue?

Like, most RPG stories got battles, right? And they usually the steak of the story, too? So we gonna make the hero a warrior, so they can do excitin' stuff like swing swords and wrassle with the dark lord on top of battlements, wid arrows singing by and stuff. :biggrin:

Then, RPG stories tend to have like, I dunno, gooooods? You gotta at least battle a dark god at the end, when the dark lord is possessed by his patron and, uuuuh, mutates. :kaoswt: So the priest person can interpret all the godly stuff, and heal errybody after them ubiquitous fights!

Then there's also magic, because every RPG is a fantasy and every fantasy has magic, and so there's this person who did their A-levels in magic, they's the wizard. They break the ever-present ancient magic seal in fronta the last boss room.

Aaand then there's the rogue. We got excitin' fights, lofty religious stuff, mysterious magic, AND LASTLY SOME CLOAK 'N' DAGGER FUN TO SPICE IT ALL UP! So there yo rogue, to sneak up on guards, 'cuz it boring for the warrior to always cut them poor blokes up. :kaocry:

So there's yo erryday high fantasy story, it's got flashing swords, ancient gods, mysterious magic, shadows and mystery, and four stalwart pros to handle it all! :biggrin::biggrin::kaoluv:
 

eomereolsson

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I had recently seen a pretty good analysis why this class trinity formed and why it is so hard to break away from. The core point was that every part of the trinity corresponds to one possible axis of interaction:
- DPS: players -> enemies
- TANK: enemies -> players
- HEALER: player -> player

To really meaningfully break out of the trinity design pattern you would need to invent another axis of interaction.
 

Frostorm

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An alternative, if the game has options for how characters build up their stats, is for the healer to double as tank -- after all, keeping the healer in play benefits the party the most, and they are often the best equipped to restore knocked-out members.)
That's why Paladins are often viewed as overpowered, lol.
 

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