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Star Wars: The Old Republic: Mirrored Classes

MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community ManagerQueens, NYPosts: 5,717Administrator Uncommon

Recently we took a look at five not-so-great things about Star Wars: The Old Republic, but we may have left out one glaring omisssion: mirrored classes. This week's Star Wars: The Old Republic column examines the mirrored class design found in the game and how it impacts the overall experience.

Having mirrored classes generally implies that each class has a counterpart on the opposing faction, but in Star Wars: The Old Republic this idea is taken quite literally. SWTOR’s class mirrors are actually not just extremely similar, but identical. For example, if you’ve played a Smuggler, you’ve played an Imperial Agent, and if you’ve played a Bounty Hunter, you’ve played a Trooper. Sure, they use different looking gear, their animations are flavored and styled to be class appropriate, but otherwise every skill and every talent is completely identical.

Read more of Michael Bitton's Star Wars: The Old Republic: Mirrored Classes.


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Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

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Comments

  • Paragus1Paragus1 Philadelphia, PAPosts: 1,739Member Uncommon

    I agree with you.   It completely hurts the prospect of giving each side a distinctive feel and feels like they opted to cut corners either out of laziness or for the sake of balancing.   Just another in a long line of examples of how they are trying to dumb everything down to the lowest common denominator.

  • OgreRaperOgreRaper Detroit, MIPosts: 376Member

    As I had just talked about in another thread... mirrored classes and all races the same (no racial skills), is unacceptable to me. I won't buy an MMO that takes such a bland an uninteresting approach to game design.

    Claiming it's done in the name of balance is a cop-out and means the devs are just lazy.

  • KellerKeller UtrechtPosts: 254Member

    Trooper versus Bounty Hunter.

    Maybe the skills may be the same, the weapons used are different. Trooper has a rifle plus with a built in grenade launcher. The Bounter Hunter uses Blasters plus a rocket launcher. I do not really see it a big problem the skills are mirrored. The visuals are quite similiar and either the Trooper or the Bounty Hunter will be an alt. So you would only play them for the story.

    Ofc I would have wished Bioware would use a system similar to UO or The Secret World. Flavor of the month would be cancelled by intelligent builds. Or maybe have some more Rock / Paper / Scissor / Spock classes. This mirrored thing is a good choice for a starting mmo-company. Allows them to focus on performance, stability and more content and features.  Expansions are a good way to add non-mirrored classes (and races).

  • MavekMavek Voorhees, NJPosts: 138Member

    This is one thing that turned me off right away and kind of hurts me for the upcoming game Prime (Formerly Prime: Battle for Dominus).  All it does in my opinion is show laziness on the dev side.  I understand balancing can bring about nightmares but isn't that what mmo's are about, nothing being exactly the same because of different playstyles?

  • VyethVyeth Fayetteville, NCPosts: 1,459Member

    I was a little dissapointed that the classes are just re-animated re-named versions of each other COMPLETELY.. I mean, I understand the cry for balance and how dry things have to be in the name of 1-1=0, BUT they could not even manage to balance at least ONE unique skill for each class?

    Why did they not use the top skill in one of the unique 2 trees of a class and given them UNIQUE skills? They could have been counters to each other rather than complete mirrors.. Why should a Sniper (using a normal sniper rifle) get a "Rapid Fire" perk as an ultimate perk? I understand a dual pistol wielding Gunslinger, but why didn't the Sniper's look more like "Fire a shot that silences your enemy for X", that would in essence counter the ultimate perk of the Gunslinger and would have been a unique touch that only a sniper could bring to the fight..

    I dunno, I understand the reasons for doing it, but it sure did take away from some of the "Ahh" factor once I seen the trees are EXACTLY identical and just renamed and re-animated..

    Lets take it a step ahead.. Are the weapons mirrored too? Does that Sniper Rifle do the same damage (as in weapon base stats) as dual pistols?

    What about a slower firing Rifle over a single pistol?

    How could they make sense of that?

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  • Khaine007Khaine007 Kansas City, MOPosts: 35Member

    I'd rather the classes weren't mirrored completely as far as skills go, but I imagine most people will be playing the classes they choose more for the flavor of the armor, weapons and story.  So while one play experience in one class may be "similar" to it's mirror, it really won't be that similar at all.  Because once again, you'll have different weapons, armor graphics, and entirely different stories.

    Yes, I wish there were some differences, and yes, it's completely due to developer laziness, but you just gotta keep on keeping on.

  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,205Member Uncommon

    Totally agree.  Balance be damned, I want variety more than I want "balance".  Show me one MMORPG that has gotten balance right, ever.  Since I haven't seen one, don't be lazy as developers.  Give us TONS of class variety and choices/options.

     I look at Vanguard:Saga of Heroes as a good example of being able to make 1 of every class and have a totally different experience with each.  this makes replayability from a class perspective hands above 90% of MMOs out there.  

    This is one of the reasons I think SWTOR isn't going to do well with longevity, at least with keeping players around.   Maybe they will add something else that will, but it sure won't be class variety.



     

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  • DeserttFoxxDeserttFoxx North York, ONPosts: 2,360Member Uncommon

    Those of you who are against mirriored classes, are the minority, plain and simple.  Mirrored classes,e specailly from the pvp side is a good thing, it means people can choose to play waht they want to play.

    So every class is unique, i guess i can only play one faction,  i hope my friends are playing that faction, i hope my guild wants to play that faction.

    I dont get all this sudden hate on mirriored classes, since when is it a bad thing? Name one mmo, just one, that doesnt have mirrored classes.

    Quotations Those Who make peaceful resolutions impossible, make violent resolutions inevitable. John F. Kennedy

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  • Z3R01Z3R01 NYC, NYPosts: 2,426Member

    Mirrored classes suck.

    If you have to do this in a mmo atleast take a queue from WAR. 

    THey were mirrored but at the same time each class had its own unique feel.

    Playing:

    Waiting on:

  • needalife214needalife214 Moorpark, CAPosts: 1,128Member

    Originally posted by Khealler

    Trooper versus Bounty Hunter.

    Maybe the skills may be the same, the weapons used are different. Trooper has a rifle plus with a built in grenade launcher. The Bounter Hunter uses Blasters plus a rocket launcher. I do not really see it a big problem the skills are mirrored. The visuals are quite similiar and either the Trooper or the Bounty Hunter will be an alt. So you would only play them for the story.

    Ofc I would have wished Bioware would use a system similar to UO or The Secret World. Flavor of the month would be cancelled by intelligent builds. Or maybe have some more Rock / Paper / Scissor / Spock classes. This mirrored thing is a good choice for a starting mmo-company. Allows them to focus on performance, stability and more content and features.  Expansions are a good way to add non-mirrored classes (and races).

    if they added a non mirror class to each side then blanace becomes an issue...im not in anyway defending mirrors as it is easily a cop out , but you dont want to add huge balance issues once the game is already released.

     

    BIoware claims the game will be for Alt plays and the stories lines are so distinct that the replayablitity will be high. NOT with mirriored classes, returning to the same planets over and over, planets that are on rails because aside from datacons there is no reason to go anywhere besides a quest hub and quest area, and the oddly large amount of side quests that drive you away from your main story and break immersion.

     

    personallly i would rather have the game have 20 epic, planet long quests that move you through-out the world and are completly unique to your class then how the game currently works now.

     

     

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  • DrakxiiDrakxii Waxahachie, TXPosts: 594Member

     
    I get why they did for jedi and sith, they use the weapons and fight similar to each other. But who knew stormtroopers fought like the fetts. Personally I think they should have made BHs, Troopers, smugglers and agents unique classes on BOTH sides, but no now you will never to play a sith trooper or republican agent.

    I will not play a game with a cash shop ever again. A dev job should be to make the game better not make me pay so it sucks less.

  • VyethVyeth Fayetteville, NCPosts: 1,459Member

    Originally posted by Z3R01

    Mirrored classes suck.

    If you have to do this in a mmo atleast take a queue from WAR. 

    THey were mirrored but at the same time each class had its own unique feel.

    (pushes "Like" button)

    They each had slightly "different" play mechanics which made them different, even if the skills did around the same damage.. To the guy above you, I don't think we are disagreeing with you about balance and PvPees.. But the game is more than just for PvP'ers as was Rift, however that game launched with racials that made things unique and was drowned out by constant crying..

    I guess that is the sad future of MMO's.. Lose the uniqueness is favor of the fairest fight.. Not even League of Legends follows the "mirror" script and THAT game is all about PvPee's..

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  • ClocksimusClocksimus Barrie, ONPosts: 354Member

    For Bioware having no MMO title before and have yet to truly dive into the raging flame pits of hell that is class balancing in MMO's, they made the right choice by  going mirrored classes with different animation and fluff.

    Is it dirty and somewhat dishonest? Of course.  Players that don't look into it will make an alt on the other faction hoping for a new experience but only to find out they are playing the exact same class wtih a different story.

    This however should not be all too shocking as Bioware's mean selling point for SWTOR has always and remains to be the story.  Simply put... If you want a great story you can't have great variety or at least that is what Bioware decided.  

    With how classes are currently setup  there's plenty of room for full class reworks in the future making classes more unique to their counterparts.  Bioware has put down a foundation for  16 classes but only really have 8.

    I'm sure they would have made them more unique given they had more development time but cutting corners is common practice in almost all  things  involving humans.

  • GormokGormok memphis, TNPosts: 379Member

    I dont have a problem with it, at least we won't have the problems that WoW had/has. Were one class is dominate over all others. If look we look at WoW when they first implemented BGs, Shamans wrecked everything in sight, their counterclass Pallys weren't good for anything but bubbling and healing. If we look at when arenas came about lock/spriest/rogue could steamroll any and everybody.

    Look at the balance and headaches that Rift is currently facing with all the classes they have to balance for the sake of variety. I think the mirror is a good thing it cuts down on FotM classes and it easier to look back over classes when the issues of OPness araises.

    Whether there are mirrored classes or not people are going to always complain about class balance, the mirror just makes it easier to go back and look to see if the complaints warrant a balance. At least we won't have to deal with class being completely overhauled like in WoW.

  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,205Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by DeserttFoxx

    Those of you who are against mirriored classes, are the minority, plain and simple.  Mirrored classes,e specailly from the pvp side is a good thing, it means people can choose to play waht they want to play.

    So every class is unique, i guess i can only play one faction,  i hope my friends are playing that faction, i hope my guild wants to play that faction.

    I dont get all this sudden hate on mirriored classes, since when is it a bad thing? Name one mmo, just one, that doesnt have mirrored classes.

    Vanguard

    Lotro

    WoW

    I'm sure there are others but these 3 stand out to me as having diverse classes.

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  • timtracktimtrack StockholmPosts: 414Member Uncommon

    Wait, this is a game-breaker? Isn't every MMO like this? Except they don't have "mirrored" classes, they have the SAME classes for each faction.

  • gaugemewgaugemew Madison, WIPosts: 158Member

    Originally posted by Paragus1

     Just another in a long line of examples of how they are trying to dumb everything down to the lowest common denominator.

    I'm still shocked they are not on the other side of the bell curve yet....  At some point they have to be right?

  • ClocksimusClocksimus Barrie, ONPosts: 354Member

    Originally posted by timtrack

    Wait, this is a game-breaker? Isn't every MMO like this? Except they don't have "mirrored" classes, they have the SAME classes for each faction.




     

    Not WAR, however,  what WAR tried to do ended up to bequite difficult and in the end they  failed.  Bioware  with a similiar design (2 factions with different base/advance classes) had the option to try and succeed where Mythic failed.  They did not and instead made near carbon copies of  their  8  classes for both factions.  You are correct about most MMO's having the same classes on bother  sides but most MMO's call a  them the same name.  A hunter wil be a hunter regardless of faction.  A  jedi sage is a sith sorcerer and while the names would imply they are different they are actually not.

  • ElethonElethon San Diego, CAPosts: 122Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by timtrack

    Wait, this is a game-breaker? Isn't every MMO like this? Except they don't have "mirrored" classes, they have the SAME classes for each faction.




     

    ^This

  • gimmekeygimmekey Montreal, QCPosts: 117Member

    There were moments when I instinctually thought that there was cross faction balancing going on in PvP instances. A closer look at the gear and player, and I would of course realize my error.

    I can't argue against the lack of ingenuity/imagination, but I have witnessed what poor balancing can do to games (WAR).

    It's just one of the few shortcomings I'm willing to put aside.

  • TaiyohTaiyoh EnschedePosts: 48Member

    So, what about this is so different from other MMO's then? Many MMO's with factions have the same classes. At least in SWTOR the 'mirrored classes' at least have a different look, different animations, different storyline, and different style overall. Sure, the Bounty Hunter is similiar to Trooper, but who cares? It's just so one side doesn't have a significant advantage over the other in terms of class choice. At least we don't have Republic Trooper VS Imperial Trooper or anything. And even with the similiar playstyles, I'd still play all of them eventually just for the Storylines.

  • GrizzkhitGrizzkhit LørenskogPosts: 12Member Uncommon

    Seems the author forgot that you choose an advanced class in Swtor at level 10, so you basically just have to choose another path on your mirror class to get a completely different playstyle.

  • pmilespmiles Federal Way, WAPosts: 383Member

    I think if there was absolutely no PVP in the game, you could have differing classes because it wouldn't affect faction balance.  You can sort of see the impact with races in WoW, but even Blizzard made sure both sides got a new race... imagine if Worgen were the only new race in Cata... how many more Alliance there would have been compared to Horde.  Simple proof in the pudding would be to deny say the Alliance the Panda race and deny the Horde the Monk class.  Watch as faction imbalances appear just because they want to be a Panda or a Monk.  Faction imbalance kills PVP incredibly fast... and the usual culprit is the lack of a "mirrored" race or class on both sides.  You always have to have a counter class or you might as well say, play this class or lose.

  • Narcin1Narcin1 birmingham, ALPosts: 145Member

    I cast my support of mirrored classes. For this excuse, which you mentioned: balance.  I played a jedi knight, and then a sith warrior. Yes their moves are basically the same, but at least they had different animations and a different storyline. That is enough uniqueness for me. 

    Issue with balance that this author did not seem to address (or I may have missed, being an illiterate child) is faction balance, which is what mirrored classes hope to accomplish.  Class balance should be expected to be off at all times, but I do not believe there should ever be an issue between faction balance.  I do not like the author's "so what?" comment about this balance, because for me, someone who likes engaging in PvP on a regular basis, that is a huge issue.  I do not want to be victim to that weaker faction, and get my butt handed to me every time I am in a background because my faction's classes got nerfed and the opposing got buffed.  That whole problem is excused by introducing the mirrored classes.

    But I do not see why this is such a major gripe.  Check this out:

    Still 8 main specs

    Still 8 different storylines

    AND most importantly, by making a little effort with mirrored classes, creating new looks, skins, gear, and abilities (even if containing same functions as mirrored class skills)...the old republic team has gone to make essentially two completely unique factions in term of style.

     

    I know I will get called a fanboy by TOR hatemonger crowd for this post, but I really do not care. I have supplied my reasons, and I do not want imbalanced factions. Also, I may have changed my mind if I weren't intrested in PvP...but I am. Unbalanced factions is just a concept I cannot accept in an MMORPG. I want to play huttball fairly.

    Argh

  • tawesstawess LkpgPosts: 2,534Member Uncommon

    I have to ask.... Have we had ANY AAA game in recent memory that had two or more factions and no mirroring...?

     

    Just being curious

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