Tons of Classes

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Allinardo, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. Allinardo

    Allinardo Dungeon Crawler Veteran

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    So a while back I stumbled upon this image by...I believe his name is Carl Graves? Correct me if I'm wrong on that one.


    But this image got me thinking. Would anyone actually be interested in playing an RPG with that many class options in it? I know people love choices, but what would be too many choices?


    Either way I was wondering how all these classes would fit into a game. Choosing them at the start during character creation would be a nightmare since I believe there are around 150 of them, so what if they were subclasses? Let's say there were 10 base classes and 15 subclasses for each? Or 15 base classes, and 10 subclasses for each?

    Or would it work better if you started with around 10-20 classes and you unlocked more classes for New Game+?


    Or...is this just a bad idea altogether? I, for one, am quite fond of the 15 classes/10 subclasses idea, but that's just me. I want to know the opinion of everyone else, as I'm considering implementing something like this into my next project.
     
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  2. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I can see many problems, I'll just list a couple here:


    1: Implementing and balancing all of those classes would be a nightmare. I imagine you'll end up easily with some classes that are way too powerful and some that are way too weak. If not, then you'll probably run into...


    2: If you do manage to balance the classes, how are you going to make them unique enough that the player even cares about all the choices? Chances are if they are balanced well, you will have a lot of duplication of skills and such over the classes, which will make the choice not matter that much.


    And that's just the issues I see right away.


    Now what you suggest with 15 classes/10 subclasses might work, as that is 15 * 10 = 150 combinations you can play with. Still will be a lot though to balance around though, I ended up with 11 classes in my game, and I was constantly balancing/rebalancing them for about 14 months before things fell into place for them (Note that was not 14 months at once. What would happen is I would put the base idea in, make the game, go back and spend 2 weeks tweaking, test the tweaks, add more to the game, repeat. I probably spent 2 - 3 months in the end directly on the classes though).
     
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  3. Allinardo

    Allinardo Dungeon Crawler Veteran

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    That was another issue that popped into my mind, which is why I'm struggling to decide on whether or not a class system of this scale would really be a good idea. To address both points you made...


    1. Balancing wouldn't be an issue if they were made unlockable, with only about 15-20 being immediately unlocked, and them getting progressively stronger as you continued beating the game over and over. It'd make the game take a long time to 100%, which could pose an inviting challenge for hardcore completion, or just piss them off because there's so much to do to get that many classes. So maybe they'd be unlocked in bulk. New game +1 would unlock 15, +2 15 more, and so on and so forth.


    2. Uniqueness would likely be entirely in the skills and abilities they learn through leveling up, because there are only so many possible combinations of HP/MP/ATK/DEF/MAG/MDF/AGI/LUK. And clearly making a character with 1000 AGI and 100 ATK wouldn't be even remotely balanced. So...that would mean I'd need to create well over 100 different types of skills, perhaps well over 300. Is it doable? Of course. Look at some MMO's. Admittedly they aren't all balanced, but they still provide lots of options.

    The question I am posing however...is if there were 150 class or subclasses implemented into a game, ALL were balanced, ALL were unique, would you be interested in playing? If they were unlockable would you be interested in unlocking all of them(assuming the game is fun), or is that too tedious? And last but not least, would it add a level of replayability or would it just make the game too long?
     
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  4. Wavelength

    Wavelength Pre-Merge Boot Moderator

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    I'm guessing (and correct me if you have more info that implies I'm wrong) that the point of that graphic was to inspire ideas for classes and subclasses at different levels - to help you pick out, say, 15 or 20 classes if you're having "creative block", not to suggest that you should actually use ~75 different classes like the graphic.  It's unlikely that your game will have more than two out of the set of [[spellsinger, minstrel, dancer, temptress]], for example.


    I think the number of classes a game will comfortably support is higher than most people think - up to 30-40 if well designed.  You could even manage 75 if, for example, there are 10-12 characters who each have one base class, two Tier 1s and four Tier 2s with no overlap between characters.


    The important thing (besides balance of course) is to make sure that the classes actually feel different and to deliver on the "dream" of being that class.  A thief's "backstab" damage with a high crit chance and a spellsword's "fiery stab" with a fire element and a berserker's "heavy hit" with some extra damage don't end up feeling much different from each other - but a thief who can stealth to avoid taking damage at all for a short time and a spellsword who can mix and match states which buff his basic attacks and a berserker's "rage" bar which gives him extreme offensive power once he's taken enough damage will all feel unique and sell the dream of being that class.  Passive bonuses, interplay with your battle system's unique mechanics, and sets of conditional or otherwise situational skills are really good for differentiating classes.


    BTW - There's no chance I'd try out all 150 classes if your game had that many.  But I might appreciate the large quantity being available, because it means I can pick the ones that sound fun to me and delve into them.  If there were only 15 classes, there would be a large number that I'd end up having to use that I don't enjoy very much.  Now, whether this is worth the large amount of time you'd need to invest to create them, make them unique and balance them... that's for you to figure out.
     
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  5. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I think it can work IF you make it clear that some classes are more powerful than others. In that case, then balance isn't as big a deal. I actually was toying with upgraded versions of my classes with better stats and some new skills, but scrapped it for now as my current game is very story heavy and wanted to put the focus more on that. Maybe for game #2.


    On some of the others, more on #2 of my points:


    The problem is when it comes to skills, if you are not careful, you really end up with the same skill with a different coat of paint. Sure, the name might be different and maybe it draws on different stats, but its really the same thing in the end. So saying 300 skills is meaningless, unless the 300 skills are also unique enough that they really feel different to the player, and the player cares about whether they have the skill Fireball instead of the skill Thunderstorm.


    Now, there is a case for SOME overlap. After all, some spells are so important that every party needs them or they are going to really struggle. After all, it is really hard to succeed in a game with little to no healing spells, so healing spells will overlap between the classes some more than likely.
     
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  6. Allinardo

    Allinardo Dungeon Crawler Veteran

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    That's not entirely true. It was created as a spiritual successor to a game he made in which you mixed classes together to make new classes, and solved quiz...ish things and guessed which two classes were mixed together. I believe he just wanted to see how many classes he could draw before he ran out of ideas, or so that's what I remember. I could be wrong.


    But yeah I agree with you whole-heartedly. I was thinking something like this...
    A warrior would be a base class with 10 subclasses. A warrior has a sort of rage meter, which none of the other 15 base classes have. And each subclass utilizes this rage meter in a different way. A barbarian can unleash one super powerful attack, a felsworn gets a number of attack boost spells, a berserker gets a "berserk" mode which allows them to double their attack even higher than a felsworn's buffs, but you lose control of said character during this time and they can damage themselves as well...etc etc.

    A thief, as you said, I imagined to be able to stealth, but passively rather than via a skill. This means they can enter an encounter while hidden, and the opponent's accuracy will drop until the thief attacks directly, making themselves known. A trapper could set traps, attack the enemies, then the enemies walk into the traps, an assassin has reduced damage but can attack twice while still hidden, and return to being hidden DURING the battle, etc.

    Mages would be the easiest to make diverse, and knights I thought could perhaps work via some sort of honor system, each subclass utilizing very specific perks provided to them by whatever order or higher power they follow(permanent buffs/debuffs that work together at the same time).

    Though from there on out it all becomes a bit trickier...Perhaps all archers use different types of bows/arrows with different advantages, but what about a cleric or a fighter? The further in I go the more complex it becomes.

    So...during this discussion I thought of mixing the two ideas. Rather than getting a new class during New Game+ to avoid unbalanced classes, how about starting with one of the 10-15 base classes, then as you level up you choose a subclass, and some subclasses have subclasses? That'd make the 150 number much less daunting.
     
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  7. Frozen_Phoenix

    Frozen_Phoenix Veteran Veteran

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    What bgillisp said and...

    You shouldn't add them just for the huge amount of choices, quality should come first. Do the amount of classes that you're capable of making unique & balanced. Of course perfect balance is impossible. With choices you will always have the best one, the thing is how much the best one is better than the others and how perceivable it is to the player.

    For uniqueness, let's say you have 2 mage classes... If both are just damage dealers, the player will just pick the one that deals the most damage. It's a simple example, it's easy to make 2 mages different and balanced in a rpg, but with your number as high as 150 it may be impossible.

    Now let's say you manage to make 150 unique and balanced classes... Will the player be able to play them all? Or they will end up being dead content? If you have 10 characters, the player will have to play the entire game 15 times just to test them all, unless the game is somewhat different on every play (besides the classes), it will be really boring.

     
     
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  8. bgillisp

    bgillisp Global Moderators Global Mod

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    Your idea in your last paragraph sounds like it could work. Though, it sounds a lot like a class promotion, which FF1 did. Still, it could work, and if you had say 2 - 3 different choices at each promotion step you could easily go from even just 4 starting classes to many, many, more very quickly.
     
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  9. Allinardo

    Allinardo Dungeon Crawler Veteran

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    Another thing I'm worried about if I do attempt this. Is there any game unique enough every time through that'd you'd be willing to do it 15 times? If so, what sort of qualities make it that replayable? I'd love to know, not just for you specifically, but for anyone. What makes a game replayable?

    That is very similar to what I was thinking yes, something like Final Fantasy or even Elsword. I think the easiest way to go about that would be...10 base classes. Each of those 10 classes has the potential to evolve/change/promote to one of 5 newer classes. Then each of those 5 classes has 3 "final stages" they could become. That way...to someone just playing the game there is no big "150" hanging over their head at any given time. They are given 10 choices, later 5, then later 3. Easier to think about as a developer, and probably an easier choice to make as a player.
     
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  10. Frozen_Phoenix

    Frozen_Phoenix Veteran Veteran

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    Branching classes may be the best way to go, as the player can be overwhelmed if he has to pick between 150 classes at the start of the game.

    For replayability: Each playthrough should offer an unique experience.

    Class variety will help with that, but may not be enough. You can combine class variety with randomly generated content (dungeons, chest loots, enemy drops etc) and a branching plot based on the player's choices... though it will be a lot of work, as you will be making several games into one.
     
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  11. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    @Frozen_Phoenix Please do not quote whole posts to indicate who you are replying to, it makes scrolling down the page slow. If you want to make it clear who you are answering use the @username convention as I have done with this post. 


    Thanks 
     
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  12. TheZage

    TheZage Villager Member

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    Bad idea altogether. Ask yourself. Do you want to play a game with 150 classes or a game with considerably less classes, but with an equal amount of time spent on them? Like seriously, even reading through them all as the player would take a lot of effort on their part...
     
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  13. Arithmetician

    Arithmetician Veteran Veteran

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    Even 20 classes is a lot, as may be common in games with extensive job systems. Past that it gets increasingly hard making them sufficiently different from each other and of course each needs to be play tested individually.


    What this is mainly useful as is, as others have said, inspiration.  Looking at it gives me ideas for classes that can be a little bit different than those in a standard Final Fantasy game, or that may be thematically relevant to characters.  Though the eight or so base classes there could themselves be a good basis for a simple class system (on the level of complexity of something like Demon Gaze).
     
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  14. Allinardo

    Allinardo Dungeon Crawler Veteran

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    I think I thought of a possible route to go thanks to your input everyone.
    As I'm sure we all know, most RPGs, your characters generally have 6 main stats(or at least there are 6 stat types that reoccur in most RPGs) that have a significant effect on combat within that game.
    Max HP - As it says, the maximum number of hit points for that character
    Max MP/Mana - Maximum number of mana points/magic points
    Attack/Strength/etc - Put into a damage formula when using a weapon and/or dealing physical damage(offensive)
    Defense/Endurance - Put into a damage formula when defending and/or being attacked(defensive)
    Magic Attack/Special Attack - Put into a damage formula when using a spell and/or dealing magical damage(offensive)


    Magic Defense/Special Defence- Put into a damage formula when defending and/or being attacked with magic(defensive)


    And another very common one is speed/agility, but in most RPGs, especially turn-based, agility isn't the biggest deal. And with RPG Maker there's also luck but that hardly affects combat in any way.


    Let's say you wanted to have a class proficient with each stat, decent at others, and bad at one, good with two bad with two and decent with the rest, etc. Just so things are kept balanced, yeah?

    Let's say there's 10 base classes with 10 unique stat combinations, each balancing each other out(offensive character not good at defending, magical character not good with physical stuff, etc), and all of the BASE skills essentially behaving in the same way, just relying on different stats.Skills won't be learned through leveling up though so at the beginning of the game the player will actually have to put in a little bit of thought when gaining skills. "Oh this one relies on attack but my character is a mage, let's do something different". Simple, very simple stuff so far.

    Then later passive abilities come in at around...let's say between level 15 and 30. 20 or 25 seem like good numbers. You can choose to go down a certain path of your choosing by changing your class completely. If you started as a warrior, you could become a barbarian, berserker, or some other strong class. Then you can start learning class-specific abilities. All the base skills could be learned by any class, but now you can learn skills through leveling up AND by finding class specific spellbooks or tomes or something throughout the world, but you can only keep a certain number of spells active at a time, or spells will cost skill points to use...something to make it so you can't just have 10 billion skills/spells all at once. As far as passive abilities go...refer to my earlier post. Every one of the 5 NEW classes you chose will have a wholey unique passive ability that none of the other classes get, even if the two had the same base class to start with.


    Finally let's say between level 50 and 75 you can choose a final stage. One of three more classes, with the same passive abilities as their parent class. The main difference with the FINAL classes will no longer be ability based, but stat based. Let's say you got a spellsword after leveling up to 25, and while playing as that spellsword you got a bunch of skills that rely more on magic than attack. So when you reach level...60-ish, you can choose a final class that has higher magic attack than the other two, while the others might offer more attack or more MP. And rather than being an entirely new class like we got around level 25, they'll be more like an advanced version of the previous class. Like a magic proficient spellsword, a beefy spellsword, etc.

    How does all this sound? In the end, there will only be 60 classes overall, 50 of which having unique more powerful variations. And of course I'll have to get creative with the classes throughout, coming up with 50 passive abilities and over 500 skills will take some time...but it's definitely not impossible. Again, look at some MMO's out there. The first example coming to mind is Elsword. While not the same type of game in principle, I still think their approach with classes works very well.
     
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  15. Allinardo

    Allinardo Dungeon Crawler Veteran

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    ///internet bugged out and double posted
     
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  16. IamGilgamesh

    IamGilgamesh Game Developer - Rapper Veteran

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    Ways To Make Large Numbers of Classes Work For a Game:



    1.) Plot alteration fitting classes present.


    Like having a priest oriented class going through quest that are related to the culture of his class. Maybe an exorcism. Thieves, but are you solo or run with a crew? What warrior would ever be taking on Bard quests? Bards performing? Music career? 


    2.) Giving them distinctive game play aspects outside of combat


    Rangers can hunt. Warriors spar, or could be a blacksmith that builds custom weapons? Thieving skills, charisma skills, crafting. 
    3.) Limit access to class related gameplay to related classes


    If they don't take on a blacksmith sub-class, don't let'em craft armor or weapons. Thieves or Necromancers probably won't get good treatment in a church. No more mages picking locks.
     
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  17. LuLingqi1

    LuLingqi1 A Spellthief With A Bone To Pick Veteran

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    You want 150? Jeez. Right now, my main game has about 30 main classes, with 9 of the 12 characters have 3, 2 having 2, and 1 having just 1. There are also subclasses, maxing at about, I would say, perhaps, 6 per character, give or take a few numbers. That's about 72 sub-classes, with like 30 main classes. So overall there are like 102 classes in my game. I will tell you right now, it's fricking brutal for the main story mode. 


    I'll tell you a bit about how I'm working on having so many classes. It'll be in a spoiler haha.

    What will be the division between a sub-class and a main class? 


    For me, a sub-class is just as significant as a main class for a character build, but the benefits are quite different from those of the main class. When you max that main class level, you have powerful skills to show for it, amazing stats, and probably god-like items. That's the same for all main classes. Sub-classes however, are unique. Some Subs can't be leveled and give you access to perhaps five battle skills, and a few Map skills. (Map skills are always usable once you unlock said sub-class, battle skills however can only be used when it's equipped) One exception I have to this is a sub-class that once leveled to max gives the character 1 ability from every class in the game.


    Then of course, what are the differences between your main classes?


    For me, my best example is the Caster versus Sorceress class. The Caster class revolves around fire, where as the Sorceress class uses most of the elements. That sounds like so little a difference and makes it seem like even the Sorceress class is the better choices. It's unlockable late game, it must be better! But it's not. It's not weaker. The caster class has abilities that regen mana, as well as passive mana regen and light defensive skills. The Sorceress class has no defensive abilities and no sustain and more wind-up. A caster can be in a party without a support-oriented class, and could manage properly. A Sorceress would have to hope she could deal her damage first because she would die much easier.


    Can classes be changed at will?



    For me, there's no job system, you just level up and unlock a new class since classes are specific to each character. I wanted my game to feel unique in that, even though each character has pre-designed roles, you could build them to suit a special play-style. I don't have class changing in battle, cause that would be ridiculous. It can be done at will outside of battle though. This also helps my unlockable classes with leveling as the have bonus EXP % gains. 


    Is it worth it to stick to one class?


    I think it is, but unlocking other classes and leveling them offers great incentives as they unlock the sub-classes.


    Will the player be kept in the dark about what a class has to offer?


    For me, right now, the help descriptions only offer so much. I intend on creating some sort of game manual that gives tons of details about each class and other aspects of the game, without spoiling too much.



    So much typinggg. But yeah, that's my whole take on having tons of classes haha. If you can do it, and it works, do it.
     
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  18. XIIIthHarbinger

    XIIIthHarbinger Part Time Super Villain Veteran

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    I think that many classes can work but only if do so correctly, namely give due consideration to the level of control you give to the player, & the level of impact of those choices on the gameplay. 


    Now say your main is the leader of mercenary band, so he/she has at their disposal at any given time knights, archers, hedge mages, clerics, etcetera, etcetera, ad infinitum; each that develops their own skills & attributes over time. So at any given time your main as the mercenary leader, he/she says "Hey you with the green hair, you're going in, let's go kill some goblins". Well obviously making those characters seem unique on the battlefield or away from isn't going to work so well. & you're going to end up with some Kens & Ryus, along with a few Dans to mix the metaphor a bit. 


    So let's flip the script a bit, say your main isn't the one running the show, he/she is a squad leader; & the leader of the mercenary band says, "Hey go pick three blokes & go over to there, & smash some goblins", & those you don't pick go on other missions. Whole new ball game now. Suddenly it doesn't matter that a character is practically just a palette swap of different character, because the other character isn't their. Choice, & impact of the choice.


    But maybe you don't want to script that many potential interactions, with that many potential characters, & personally I don't blame you. So lets tier it up into multiple classes & subclasses, that you can assign to your squad of four, with them becoming progressively unlocked, by different actions undertaken by the player. Now are you still going to have some sheep classes & some nasty classes, of course; no matter how much effort you place into balancing some classes are simply going to perform better than others. However, you've also provided your player with the potential to craft their own party, & the enjoyment of trying to experiment with what they think the best party is. Personally there are few things that I enjoy more, than plotting out builds, experimenting to see what works, reworking & refining them, until they are just so.


    Simply put, don't underestimate the value of minor differences to the player, if the player is one who is getting to chose said differences for themselves. If the choice is their own, & the impact of the choice is observable to them, they'll take it & run with it. 
     
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