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Has an MMO ever had class based progression? That is to say: has an MMO ever taken what talents and skills you use in your class and applied it to the storyline you are following in the game?
We've all played race specific progression for the first 1-10 levels of most fantasy games, but what about class?!
For example, the mage archetype will start off very generic, with a generic story, and slowly move into this or that play-style and talent tree, which also has it's own story. (ie fire and earth mages having their own story arch, compared with mages who choose to be healers and support). Or the mage could travel the world fighting avatars to learn new summons. The warrior archetype would have the same thing, with eastern sword forms taking the warrior to the far east, and axe forms taking him to the woods with the savages, etc. etc.
The characters, constantly traversing the world on their own stories, criss crossing the continent, will be a great chance for grouping and levelling (this implies few instances).
Each MMO has a few class-specific quests. FFXI even had whole story arcs for each class at level 50-60. But what about a class based story as the entire game!?
What do you all think of this?
EDIT to differentiate: SWTOR had class based story, but it was too generic, all the talent trees of an operative had the same story, and even shared them with the sniper. I'm talking about each talent tree having a story! Each talent point it's own quest! Each talent block its own quest to unlock!
To answer Badspock and Maplestone and others: A system would have to be developed where there is a maximum number of active skill/talent points active at a time, but you can combine and crisscross into any tree as long as you've unlocked those skills/talents.
For example: 100 points max at any one time, each "tree" has only only 50-60 points you could spend before you get the mega-ability. The questline would then have a few more climactic quests and story-arcs for you to use the mega-ability (would also require groups to down the boss) and reward you with something...Then you could (and should) start questing for another tree to max out.
In order for this to work, each character would need to be able to play and unlock every talent tree in the game. This way, you can truly mix and match things. Allowing for assassins with huge + damage from the warrior tree, allowing every mage class to use healing spells, etc. etc. The community (as always) will sort out the most optimal builds. Character X could be a skillevel 60 fire mage, skillevel 24 support, skillevel 45 sword warrior. "Builds" can be saved a large amount of times to promote experimenting and diversity and people playing as more than one class.
The nature of the end-tree talent quests would promote group play through difficulty as well as necessity. (ie. we should all help the holy cleric get his final ability!) Content itself getting hard quickly would also promote group play.
Also, overworld story arcs would also be in game. So if each talent tree had 60+5 quests, and there are 25 talent trees + a couple hundred overworld story arc quests... should be a good amount of stuff to do (keeping kill x number of things/gather y number of things to a minimum, or atleeast disguise them well enough... )