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[Column] EverQuest Next: No Class Race Restriction is a Good Thing

BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing EditorBerea, OHPosts: 2,369MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

The EverQuest Next team announced earlier this week that there would be no race-based class restrictions, something that a plurality of players voted in favor of in one of the "round table" polls on the official site. We take a look at that decision and why we think it was the right one. Find out why and then join the conversation in the comments.

This week's kerfuffle, however, came after EQN developers released a video that directly opposes what the plurality (not majority, as that would require 50%+) of players voted for in answer to the question: "Should all races have access to play all classes?" While the exact number of votes is not revealed, the votes clearly came down on the side of class restrictions.

Read more of Suzie Ford's EverQuest Next: No Class Race Restriction is a Good Thing.

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Comments

  • ChaaKChaaK hehePosts: 39Member
    Makes perfect sense, though how come they didn't realise that BEFORE asking the community?
  • RictisRictis UnknownPosts: 1,231Member Uncommon
    That was a great article and I agree with it 100%, I do however think that if that was the case they should have never released a poll for it. Having said that, I feel that we are entitled to a 9th class as a starter class, called the "Joker". And we can give him the same 4 skills from Shaco in League of Legends, ooooo the flamewar that would ensue.
  • RazeeksterRazeekster Solon, MEPosts: 2,201Member Uncommon
    Why am I unable to get myself excited for this game? It seems to be the the huge sandbox game that I and lots of other people have been wanting. Just something about it I guess... I'm more excited for the Repopulation.

    Smile

  • evilastroevilastro EdinburghPosts: 4,270Member

    It was obvious that their game wasn't designed with those kinds of restrictions in mind, so they shouldn't have asked the question. I think they were somehow expecting the community to agree with them about restrictions and were caught off guard. Hopefully they learnt from the experience and wont ask anymore questions they aren't willing to be flexible on.

    Its not a deal breaker for me, but I think racial flavoured classes add a lot of flair to games. I would at least like to see a few re-skinned classes unique to each race, even if they have equivalent skills to another generic class.

     

  • matixzunmatixzun RANCAGUAPosts: 24Member

    I actually think that class/race restrictions are bad for roleplaying, Because, What if my ogre or my troll or whatever race my character is are special cases, what if they were raised by humans, or if they were exiled because they thinked different, and become wizards, or bards, or even both (Even though unliterate cultures tend to develop oral traditions more deeply than literate ones, and as such it makes more sense for such cultures to have bards, but, you know, details).

    As such race/class restrictions actually hurt roleplaying, And they are representative of the fantasy racial stereotypes so ingrained in fantasy, humans aren't all the same, why can't there be different dwarves, with their own subcultures, or different orcs, or different any race, instead of the same stereotypes for all the race

  • pmcubedpmcubed Portland, ORPosts: 289Member

    I was surprised by the poll results.  In a game that bases it's longevity on the release of new classes, a race/class restriction would suck.

    Realistically, even with a fantastic art/dev/sprite team, you can't hope to release more than say, 1 new class every 2-4 weeks. (see LOL/Dota hero release calendar's)

    People will eat through the content faster than it can be produced.  Having race restrictions will mean my Rat-guy will miss the next release of "proposed class x"

    Maybe I don't feel like rolling an alt solely for the purpose of trying out the newly released class. No thanks to that.

  • s4ndm4n2006s4ndm4n2006 Baltimore, MDPosts: 54Member
    Originally posted by Razeekster
    Why am I unable to get myself excited for this game? It seems to be the the huge sandbox game that I and lots of other people have been wanting. Just something about it I guess... I'm more excited for the Repopulation.

    I'm with you.  I think it has to do with the lack of promotion of it... I mean everything I read I think "this sounds like it's going to be awesome" then somehow I end up not really thinking about it after.. Seems like news on this is few and far between.

  • MendelMendel Marietta, GAPosts: 925Member Uncommon

    Are we really surprised that SOE chooses to allow all races to play all classes, even when their own poll seems to indicate that customers would prefer some kind of restrictions?   That decision totally undermines the purpose of their Round Table' polls and discussions, because it goes with an option that directly corresponds to 17% of the voters in their own poll.

    And is it any surprise that MMORPG.com supports this decision by SOE to ignore the customer's desires?   This site is clearly pandering to the advertising dollars of SOE.  So, we get a long discussion rationalizing why SOE might have chosen for this decision.

    To answer the articles question, I disagree with the premise and conclusions of the article, and SOE's decision to once again forget the promises they have made.

    Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member

    I find it hard to take the RPG in MMORPG seriously if race is just going to be cosmetic.  Essentially every avatar is human, with a permanent illusion spell on them to make them look like dwarves, elves, ogre's, and such.

     

    It removes complexity and depth and I don't see much value for this, even as a sandbox hybrid style game.  In a good sandbox, players have the tools to create their own content to be shared by others .. through imagination or through game objects.  Removing race just seems to water the game down a bit more.  It may make PVP easier to homogenize, but it also makes PVE quite drab and uninteresting.

     

    Poor decision, IMO.

     

     

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Karteli

    I find it hard to take the RPG in MMORPG seriously if race is just going to be cosmetic.  Essentially every avatar is human, with a permanent illusion spell on them to make them look like dwarves, elves, ogre's, and such.

     

    It removes complexity and depth and I don't see much value for this, even as a sandbox hybrid style game.  In a good sandbox, players have the tools to create their own content to be shared by others .. through imagination or through game objects.  Removing race just seems to water the game down a bit more.  It may make PVP easier to homogenize, but it also makes PVE quite drab and uninteresting.

     

    Poor decision, IMO.

     

     

    i agree that each race MUST be unique with racial traits, race based gear (like TES), race based storylines and maps, etc.

    With that said, class restrictions based on race should never exist in rpgs.  Any race is more than capable to learn how to wield any weapons and armor types. However, it has to be done in a way that makes sense. Perhaps a dark elf has an affinity for magic so it would have a small magic bonus or resistance? something like that.

     

    I am totally in favor of non class / race restrictions but each race needs to have unique traits that maybe impact certain classes.

    image
  • FlawSGIFlawSGI Woodstock, GAPosts: 1,379Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Karteli

    I find it hard to take the RPG in MMORPG seriously if race is just going to be cosmetic.  Essentially every avatar is human, with a permanent illusion spell on them to make them look like dwarves, elves, ogre's, and such.

     

    It removes complexity and depth and I don't see much value for this, even as a sandbox hybrid style game.  In a good sandbox, players have the tools to create their own content to be shared by others .. through imagination or through game objects.  Removing race just seems to water the game down a bit more.  It may make PVP easier to homogenize, but it also makes PVE quite drab and uninteresting.

     

    Poor decision, IMO.

     

     

    I can see your point but I think it is a little too black and white and I think you are sensationalizing a little to much.

    I agree with the decision to lift race restrictions from classes because of the design they have in place where your character can learn every class. Rerolling for the sake of a few missed classes would suck for some. I just don't see how lifting race restrictions instantly makes race cosmetic. We do not know if the race choices will have other complexities and depth as you state. Hopefully they will implement other ways for race to matter but I will hold my opinion on whether or not the games race choices are meaningless until there is more information. I will speak my opinion on what is known and that is that I agree with the decision to not class lock races based on the way the class system is being designed.

    RIP Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan and Paul Gray.

  • VoqarVoqar Phoenix, AZPosts: 498Member

    I've never really seen any good reason to limit classes based on race going back to D&D.  All it does is restrict players arbitrarily.  You can come up with nearly any reason to justify any race/class combo within the bounds or RPG and role playing, so why put limits in?

     

    "EverQuest Next is not aiming to be a niche title. It is not trying to be a modernized version of either of its forebears, EverQuest or EverQuest 2"

     

    Not happening unless the game is completely group-oriented with structured grouping - since that's where the genre originated and EverQuest was a big part of it.  Classic MMORPGs like EverQuest were about grouping, challenge, strong community (due to bonds created from grouping so much and enduring challenges together so much) - stuff that you just will never find in solo heavy easy mode.

     

    I don't see how 8 skills up works for that, really.  It's possible that with the boatloads of 4 skill classes they're putting in that you might be able to create a weak healer or tank, I suppose.

     

    I'm guessing EQN ends up being more of a single player pseudo MMO like GW2 with public quest style content that isn't really grouping and weakly implemented roles that don't quite hit trinity and end up being more like GW2's lame groups of 5 soloists.  Throw in more arcade/console-like combat and feel and you will ultimately have nothing remotely like EQ or EQ2.

     

     

    Premium MMORPGs do not feature built-in cheating via cash for gold pay 2 win. PLAY to win or don't play.

  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    Happy - but how does if at all this mess with lore?
  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member
    Originally posted by Rockniss
    Happy - but how does if at all this mess with lore?

    EQN is more of a reboot so... not at all or totally depending on how anal you are for the old lore.

    image
  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    Originally posted by rojo6934
    Originally posted by Karteli

    I find it hard to take the RPG in MMORPG seriously if race is just going to be cosmetic.  Essentially every avatar is human, with a permanent illusion spell on them to make them look like dwarves, elves, ogre's, and such.

     

    It removes complexity and depth and I don't see much value for this, even as a sandbox hybrid style game.  In a good sandbox, players have the tools to create their own content to be shared by others .. through imagination or through game objects.  Removing race just seems to water the game down a bit more.  It may make PVP easier to homogenize, but it also makes PVE quite drab and uninteresting.

     

    Poor decision, IMO.

     

     

    i agree that each race MUST be unique with racial traits, race based gear (like TES), race based storylines and maps, etc.

    With that said, class restrictions based on race should never exist in rpgs.  Any race is more than capable to learn how to wield any weapons and armor types. However, it has to be done in a way that makes sense. Perhaps a dark elf has an affinity for magic so it would have a small magic bonus or resistance? something like that.

     

    I am totally in favor of non class / race restrictions but each race needs to have unique traits that maybe impact certain classes.

    Bonus's can also be seen as penalties for other races though, depending how you look at it.  Given SOE's target audience, I don't see them going into the realm of making certain race / class combo's more powerful, from what was said (or from what I understand the situation to be).  Hence why I mentioned it would be cosmetic.

     

    I saw race / class restrictions as a way to prevent gamers from making certain combinations that will gimp a player.  Slightly similar to how BioWare / EA prevented killing companions, since it would have an everlasting effect of crippling their gathering / crafting options.

     

    I'm with you, in favor of those bonus's / penalties too, to at least enhance gameplay options.  Although I don't think it's going to turn out that way.

     

    What might be interesting is if those penalties could be eventually overcome through much skill & patience, making certain race / class choices very difficult to normalize with their counterparts.  This would allow some combinations to be very rare and prestigious, although unfortunately for looks only.

     

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • Yyrkoon_PoMYyrkoon_PoM Reseda, CAPosts: 150Member

    Are the paths to the remaining classes the same for each race? That would be the million dollar question. If they were to make the acquisition of the non-starter classes vary based on race/current class then it would make things "fit" in seamlessly and allow for greater gameplay.

    I would have loved for there to be race/class restrictions and I voted for it on the roundtable.  However, personal choice aside, the decision to go with a more  open race/class system is the better choice. It is hard to make a more open game world where the very first thing a player does is make a restrictive decision.  I don't think the decision to ask the gamers what they prefer was a bad idea, and the way they phrased their response showed that they were greatly interested in hearing what we had to say.  In the end the went down a path that was not what the majority of voters preferred, but taking the path least traveled is not always a bad thing.

  • xanthmetisxanthmetis Racine, WIPosts: 135Member
    I do like their decision to go with no race class restrictions.  It will cause me to have only two characters one "good" and one "evil".  I believe I will be more vested in both of them, than I would having several alts. 

    image
  • funconfuncon Key West, FLPosts: 258Member
    Anyone know if there will be factions to choose like how WoW has Ally and Horde?
  • rygard49rygard49 Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 975Member

    I'm torn on the issue. The old school RPGer in me embraces class/race restrictions as a critical component to what it means to be a role playing game.

     

    However my inner child with the boundless imagination is thinking of all the great origin stories that can be created to explain exactly why an Ogre Warrior became devoted to Mithaniel Marr and somehow convinced the order to ordain him as a Paladin of Good, or how an Wood Elven Monk fell to Necromancy after the loss of his dearest friend.

     

    I'd be fine however they wanted to implement it, but it seems like more role play opportunities will arise with an open system.

  • LanessarLanessar PALM HARBOR, FLPosts: 87Member

    They're making a sandbox-y game. It doesn't make sense to log into a sandbox-y game and immediately be told "oh, you can't do this".

     

    Besides, some of the most popular characters from DnD fiction were in total violation of the DnD game rules. Drizzt Do'Urden was not possible as a character under 1ED rules (the rules being used at the time the book was released).

     

    Same with Raistlin Majere (they made a whole campaign setting to allow him to be legal), Elminster (even within 2ED, no rules existed to cover that character's abilities), and the list goes on.

     

    So, if famous/awesome characters were made by not having any rules, why keep the archaic and fairly retarded restrictions in place? Most of them were made by failed writers who ended up writing rulebooks instead.

     

    "Dwarves cannot be wizards or use magic, because they are magic resistant".

    (Two years later) "These evil elves are insanely magic-resistant, but primarily use magic".

    Explanation? Underground "magical gamma radiation".

    But wait, dwarves are underground, too...

    "Oh, but this is DEEPER underground."

    It's like the game designers were just pulling this stuff out of their... yeah. Why continue using these standards?

     

    EDIT: And just to clarify, I started with the Chainmail ruleset, and the first campaign I played was the Kingdom of Blackmoor.

     
  • ghorgosghorgos NirgendwoPosts: 190Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by rygard49

    However my inner child with the boundless imagination is thinking of all the great origin stories that can be created to explain exactly why an Ogre Warrior became devoted to Mithaniel Marr and somehow convinced the order to ordain him as a Paladin of Good, or how an Wood Elven Monk fell to Necromancy after the loss of his dearest friend.

    Your examples are a good reason against restrictions and i realy like to see such ways being possible. MMy own concers are thoose combinations that are less alignment based but more about actual abilities. Its absurd to think a gnome could become a great warrior. There is no question that it might be possible for a gnome to become a warrior but its physically impossible for him to become a great one. Similar for races like Ogres, Trolls, Barbarians and higher magic. It could be resolved without restrictions but heavy penalties for the classes but my interpretation of soe ist that they don't even wan't thoose penalties and thats a problem for me.

     

    A quick comment to the possibility of special cases. Well there is always the chance for a mutation or devine favour that enhances the ability of a speciman but that would apply to all races. It can't be used to justify a Wizard Ogre if you deny the magic-boost for races like elves.

  • DavisFlightDavisFlight Talahasee, FLPosts: 2,556Member
    So what they're saying is... playing choice won't have consequence. Good to know, the chance for risk vs reward or an actual death penalty is probably out the window too.
  • NadiaNadia Canonsburg, PAPosts: 11,866Member Common

    EQ2 did not have class race restrictions

    any restriction could be eliminated by doing the betrayal quest

     

    in EQ2,  any race can be any class

  • OSF8759OSF8759 Riverside, CAPosts: 284Member

    "Because roleplaying" is a very nihilistic argument. It can be used to justify removing any mechanic from the game. This must be a game first and foremost, and if there is no structure (structure = limitations) then there is no game.

     

    And I agree with DavisFlight above. This signifies player choices bear no consequences in this game. This is a  very bad thing.

     

    Is EverQuest Next going to be a game (structured play with goals, rewards and punishments) or a play set (unstructured play with playing pieces to provide the visuals/sounds)? I understand roleplayers ultimately want a play set, but the vast majority want a game.

     
  • TygranirTygranir Colordo Springs, COPosts: 741Member
    Originally posted by OSF8759

    "Because roleplaying" is a very nihilistic argument. It can be used to justify removing any mechanic from the game. This must be a game first and foremost, and if there is no structure (structure = limitations) then there is no game.

     

    And I agree with DavisFlight above. This signifies player choices bear no consequences in this game. This is a  very bad thing.

     

    Is EverQuest Next going to be a game (structured play with goals, rewards and punishments) or a play set (unstructured play with playing pieces to provide the visuals/sounds)? I understand roleplayers ultimately want a play set, but the vast majority want a game.

     

    It's a sandbox. Think back to your parents telling you to go outside and play. Your choices of what to do to occupy your time were entirely up to you.

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