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The End of "Classes"?

MeliezaMelieza trabuco canyon, CAPosts: 269Member

Back in 2009, I started playing Champions Online.  This game amazed me with its 'classless' skills and unmatched character creation.

I played CO from release up until a few months ago (my main char has over 365 days of played time).

Now, I've started playing TSW.  Again, I have the freedom of skills and outfit (although not to CO level) along with overall better gameplay and story.

People start talking about other MMOs and what 'class they are playing' and I admit I've seemed to have gotten conceited.  I laugh and ask them how they can play a game that uses something as old school as classes.  I honestly can't see myself ever playing a game with classes again, it's just SO LIMITING.

I've come to expect being able to use whatever weapon or skills I want and wear whatever clothing I want.

Does anyone else feel this way?  Do you think games of the future will stop using classes? 

I always considered myself a "themepark gamer", I've actually never played a game deemed a "sandbox", but I know sandboxes tend to always offer these types of systems.  Am I unconciously driving myself toward sandboxes?

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Comments

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,919Member Uncommon

    I like a flex-class system like in Morrowind and Oblivion.  One can play a structured class if they want, or custom-build with a large amount of freedom.

     

    Yeah, I guess you might be a closet sandboxer :-)  To me (and few agree on this) freedom is THE defining factor in sandbox gameplay.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 3,752Member Uncommon

         I'm probably in the minority, but I enjoy playing classes and especially alts.....It extends my gameplay by quite a bit if I have multiple characters to play rather than one who can do everything.

  • MeliezaMelieza trabuco canyon, CAPosts: 269Member
    Originally posted by Theocritus

         I'm probably in the minority, but I enjoy playing classes and especially alts.....It extends my gameplay by quite a bit if I have multiple characters to play rather than one who can do everything.

    This is actually why some people in CO had 40+ max level characters.  You design your own character with whatever look and skills you want, and then when you're done, you make another.

    I had a punk winged chick that punched everything, an elegant duel sword woman, and a tribal red-skinned archer as my highest level chars.

    I also made a techno minotaur with plasma guns, a ice werewolf, a 2 handed sword wielding aligator, and a insect robot.

    I really can't understand how people are ok with "thief that uses daggers and wears leather!" "warrior that uses swords and wears plate!"  "mage that uses staves and wears robes!"

  • AerowynAerowyn BUZZARDS BAY, MAPosts: 7,928Member

    I like classes if they are interesting and have various ways to play the class. When you restrict them and give them basically a single way to play with only very minor variations it gets boring for me after awhile.

    I angered the clerk in a clothing shop today. She asked me what size I was and I said actual, because I am not to scale. I like vending machines 'cause snacks are better when they fall. If I buy a candy bar at a store, oftentimes, I will drop it... so that it achieves its maximum flavor potential. --Mitch Hedberg

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,744Member Uncommon

    CO's advancement was massively broken and boring as a result of being so freeform.

    TSW seems in better shape, and I'm liking it so far.  But there's murmurs of CO's failures in the sense that your character can feel like it stagnates a little fast.  Still, there are plenty of toys left to earn and try out and I'm happy for now.

    Personally I have nothing against classes.  When well-designed they're each a game unto themselves and plenty of fun.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • MaroxadMaroxad SölvesborgPosts: 28Member

    Class systems are fine when they serve as archetypes. But the problem I see with too many class systems is that they are too restrictive on how you make your character. Too many class systems tell you to use a specific weapon and a specific armor type. But a lot would need to be done to make thins more interesting. How about intelligent warriors, and strong wizards each with their own benefits and disadvantages.

    Here are 4 examples

    Warrior 1: Wears platemail, uses a big axe, prioritizes strength and vitality above other attributes.

    Warrior 2: Wears leather, dual wields swords, prioritizes strength and dexterity above the other attributes.

    Warrior 3: Wears cloth, uses a single scimitar, prioritizes intelligence and to a lesser extent dexterity above all other stats.

    Warrior 4: Wears platemail, uses a spear and shield, focuses on vitality and intellience. 

    MMO devs should make each attribute worthwhile for each class, they should allow characters to use multiple armor types each with their own strengths and disadvantages, they should add perks which allow for a lot more flavor as opposed to obvious "pick me"s. A warrior could have multiple different tank builds each with their own strengtsh and weaknesses.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Theocritus

         I'm probably in the minority, but I enjoy playing classes and especially alts.....It extends my gameplay by quite a bit if I have multiple characters to play rather than one who can do everything.

    You can still do the same in most skill-based systems as you did in your class based system. 

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    In Champions Online, your primary super stat is kind of your "class" for a freeform character.  And that's ignoring archetypes.

    Obviously, that's not nearly as rigid as saying that you're a warrior in WoW.  But there's a continuum of sorts here.  For example, Rift and Guild Wars both have classes, but they're vastly more flexible than the traditional class structure.

  • Poison_AdelePoison_Adele Seattle, WAPosts: 287Member

    More options doesn't necessarily mean more actual options. If you get 100 "choices" and only 5 of them are viable, you're more limited than in a system where you get 50 choices and half of them are viable.

    Freedom and choice go a lot deeper than "lol no classes". I can feel just as if not more confined in a game without classes than one within. Three questions to ask yourself, are:

    • Do the classes complement or work with my playstyle, rather than defining how I play?
    • Does the "no class" system end up locking me into a specific playstyle anyway?
    • Is it more fun?
    Personally I find that games can be great if they are class-based or not. It really doesn't come down to the classes so much as what they do with it.
     
    Frankly, the snobbishness is a bit silly. If people enjoy it, you're not better for not enjoying it--you just have different taste.

    image

  • DisdenaDisdena Troy, NYPosts: 1,093Member
    Originally posted by Poison_Adele

    More options doesn't necessarily mean more actual options. If you get 100 "choices" and only 5 of them are viable, you're more limited than in a system where you get 50 choices and half of them are viable.

    Freedom and choice go a lot deeper than "lol no classes". I can feel just as if not more confined in a game without classes than one within. Three questions to ask yourself, are:

    • Do the classes complement or work with my playstyle, rather than defining how I play?
    • Does the "no class" system end up locking me into a specific playstyle anyway?
    • Is it more fun?
    Personally I find that games can be great if they are class-based or not. It really doesn't come down to the classes so much as what they do with it.
     
    Frankly, the snobbishness is a bit silly. If people enjoy it, you're not better for not enjoying it--you just have different taste.

     

    That's my feeling as well. Classless systems can make you feel like you have fewer options rather than more options; it's all in how the game is designed and what the purpose of the character builds are. I have fun playing both class-based and classless systems; being a snob about class-baased vs. classless only restricts the kind of games you'll play and enjoy.

    Also, I don't think that classes have anything to do with themepark vs. sandbox, but then again does anyone agree on what those terms mean?

    image
  • helthroshelthros Miami, FLPosts: 1,449Member

    What I don't like about classless games is that the power gamers will inevitably break down "must-have" skills etc.

     

    You could do it the way GW/GW2 does it by making certain load-outs necessary for certain encounters, but even that is just another type of pidgeon hole.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Poison_Adele

    More options doesn't necessarily mean more actual options. If you get 100 "choices" and only 5 of them are viable, you're more limited than in a system where you get 50 choices and half of them are viable.

    Do you have examples of some of the skill-based MMOs that are like that? I'm currently playing EVE Online, Free Realms and UO, and I've played quite a few other skill-based MMOs, but in the past ten years or so I haven't see the issue you describe. 

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • QuenchsterQuenchster Monroe, MIPosts: 450Member
    Originally posted by Melieza

    Back in 2009, I started playing Champions Online.  This game amazed me with its 'classless' skills and unmatched character creation.

    I played CO from release up until a few months ago (my main char has over 365 days of played time).

    Now, I've started playing TSW.  Again, I have the freedom of skills and outfit (although not to CO level) along with overall better gameplay and story.

    People start talking about other MMOs and what 'class they are playing' and I admit I've seemed to have gotten conceited.  I laugh and ask them how they can play a game that uses something as old school as classes.  I honestly can't see myself ever playing a game with classes again, it's just SO LIMITING.

    I've come to expect being able to use whatever weapon or skills I want and wear whatever clothing I want.

    Does anyone else feel this way?  Do you think games of the future will stop using classes? 

    I always considered myself a "themepark gamer", I've actually never played a game deemed a "sandbox", but I know sandboxes tend to always offer these types of systems.  Am I unconciously driving myself toward sandboxes?

    Class systems seem to support the MMO part of MMORPGs with the convience of player knowledge, while skill based classless sytems seem to support the RPG part of MMORPGs by offering less rules. Because of this I think class systems will still be dominate in the future. Being able to know a class lets people know each other to some extent without needing to know them personally. That is important in games with hundreds of people, especially if you play a support role and need to know what people need.

    One detail that would turn this all around though is the weapon based classless system. If players know that swords can only use a certain set of skills and that everybody with a sword has those skills then it becomes much easier to work with that 100th person with a sword you met that day. We might see more weapon based systems in the future.

  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon

    No not the end at all..

    Different games will do different things and you know what im actually glad about that.. otherwise everything would end up being the same hehe..

    So yes same games will try and run a class system others wont... others will run a mix of both or whatever..

     

     

  • TrionicusTrionicus Fort Lauderdale, FLPosts: 497Member Uncommon

    While I prefer the classless system, I have found games like Neverwinter Nights, Knights of The Old Republic and The first Mass Effect game to have systems that I also agree with.

     

    If I have to be stuck with a class then make it cool and give me a bunch of options, just a little leeway goes a long way

  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,919Member Uncommon

    Some great answers!

     

    One comment is that class based systems do have some advantages over skill based or flex-classing.

     

    First, in assembling a group for trinity style grouped gameplay, the group leader knows the other team members builds based on class and spec.  Sure there are some variations, but not many.  In a skill based customization environment this isn't so easy.  The more ways to create a build the more work the team leader will need to do in order to determine if the group member is sufficiently character-skilled and geared for a given role.

     

    Second, from a player perspective it's very difficult to mess up a build in a standard-ish class system.  Simply stated, cookie cutter buids are easiest to do when there are very few choices.


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,453Member Uncommon

    Well sticking to the two main arguments here,is a good one becuase it relates to all gaming in general.

    What i have seen is a whole lot of hit and miss in EVERY game,soem ideas are done well and some are poor or missing completely.

    Using CO as an example,the character creation/depth is IMO ALL the game has to offer.Yes it is a good place to start but the rest of the game is low budget game design.

    TSW on the other hand has some good cinematics/movies/lore/story,already notice a difference?

    Now before you think i am a TSW fanbois or something,i am a fanbois of NO game,i simply look for good effort and support that developer.It has become evident that i may never again find a game that goes into the depth of one other game i played ,so i have to find enough good out of a game.

    Although CO did try to cover the area most dear to my heart and that is trying to create some depth into the character design,it fails everywhere else.Now part of the obvious reason is that CO did not or pretend to be an MMORPG,however what it did do was an easy task to pull off in a pvp type game.

    IMO TSW offers more in the over all game design than CO could imagine,but if you are one into just some quick pvp fun i could see CO offering enjoyment for some.

    AS to the end of classes,this seems to be a trend not becuase it is needed but Developers see an easier lazier option to game design.

     

     


    Samoan Diamond

  • TrionicusTrionicus Fort Lauderdale, FLPosts: 497Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by XAPGames

    Some great answers!

     

    One comment is that class based systems do have some advantages over skill based or flex-classing.

     

    First, in assembling a group for trinity style grouped gameplay, the group leader knows the other team members builds based on class and spec.  Sure there are some variations, but not many.  In a skill based customization environment this isn't so easy.  The more ways to create a build the more work the team leader will need to do in order to determine if the group member is sufficiently character-skilled and geared for a given role.

     

    Second, from a player perspective it's very difficult to mess up a build in a standard-ish class system.  Simply stated, cookie cutter buids are easiest to do when there are very few choices.

    If a player takes any kind of interest in their character they shouldn't be able to mess it up so badly that they can't use it. Though I've heard of it happening in Asheron's Call.

     

    I think finding a group for trinity style play could be an issue like you said, but the game should have tools that allow people to see eachothers specs in a quick and efficient way. Even in WOW I STILL had to check raid members specs if I was pugging.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Poison_Adele

    More options doesn't necessarily mean more actual options. If you get 100 "choices" and only 5 of them are viable, you're more limited than in a system where you get 50 choices and half of them are viable.

    Do you have examples of some of the skill-based MMOs that are like that? I'm currently playing EVE Online, Free Realms and UO, and I've played quite a few other skill-based MMOs, but in the past ten years or so I haven't see the issue you describe. 

    Oh its quite possible to see it in every game. Consider for example the tackler-role in Eve and the good, better, best ships for that role. And then the good, better, best fittings for said ships. Eve, like many other games have choices that are outright worse than others reducing the amount of actual viable options for the player.

    I can't offer an example from UO since my experience from it is minimal.

    To my experience classless games don't really offer any more viable options than games with classes. Sure, there's the joy of separating the good builds from the bad, but thats not too hard for me so I focus on the end result.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • someforumguysomeforumguy HomePosts: 3,540Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Poison_Adele

    More options doesn't necessarily mean more actual options. If you get 100 "choices" and only 5 of them are viable, you're more limited than in a system where you get 50 choices and half of them are viable.

    Do you have examples of some of the skill-based MMOs that are like that? I'm currently playing EVE Online, Free Realms and UO, and I've played quite a few other skill-based MMOs, but in the past ten years or so I haven't see the issue you describe. 

    Oh its quite possible to see it in every game. Consider for example the tackler-role in Eve and the good, better, best ships for that role. And then the good, better, best fittings for said ships. Eve, like many other games have choices that are outright worse than others reducing the amount of actual viable options for the player.

    I can't offer an example from UO since my experience from it is minimal.

    To my experience classless games don't really offer any more viable options than games with classes. Sure, there's the joy of separating the good builds from the bad, but thats not too hard for me so I focus on the end result.

    That's is not what the difference is about between class based or skill based games. Of course if you want to be good at fishing, you have to chose a fishing skill. Which could be described as that you are taking on the 'fisherman role'. But that is not the point. The point is that when you roll your toon, there is no class that restricts you in the skills you are going to chose later on. That is the key difference.

    That one skill is better for certain activities is kind of obvious. Why else call them a 'skill' ?

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Poison_Adele

    More options doesn't necessarily mean more actual options. If you get 100 "choices" and only 5 of them are viable, you're more limited than in a system where you get 50 choices and half of them are viable.

    Do you have examples of some of the skill-based MMOs that are like that? I'm currently playing EVE Online, Free Realms and UO, and I've played quite a few other skill-based MMOs, but in the past ten years or so I haven't see the issue you describe. 

    Oh its quite possible to see it in every game. Consider for example the tackler-role in Eve and the good, better, best ships for that role. And then the good, better, best fittings for said ships. Eve, like many other games have choices that are outright worse than others reducing the amount of actual viable options for the player.

    I can't offer an example from UO since my experience from it is minimal.

    To my experience classless games don't really offer any more viable options than games with classes. Sure, there's the joy of separating the good builds from the bad, but thats not too hard for me so I focus on the end result.

    If you look at only the most simplistic and single-focused role of a game, yes you will find little variance, which is why you use tackler  as your one example whenever this topic comes up. However, to be realistic, under the umbrella of small ship combat, or simply  frigate combat or even Minmatar frigate combat you'll find players train and fit thousands of different viable ways. 

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Quirhid
     

    If you look at only the most simplistic and single-focused role of a game, yes you will find little variance, which is why you use tackler  as your one example whenever this topic comes up. However, to be realistic, under the umbrella of small ship combat, or simply  frigate combat or even Minmatar frigate combat you'll find players train and fit thousands of different viable ways. 

    Fair enough, but why is null-sec largely dominated by Minmatar and Angel Cartel ships? Or why is Leviathan the most unpopular titan in the game? Is there a sensible counter against the whorenado fleet yet? And nobody flies a Navy Osprey. There are tons of ships and fittings that are just no good and tons of ships that are too good.

    The concepts of "viable build" or "sensible counter" really escape some Eve players - atleast in my corp. It is impossible to talk with them about game balance.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • rounnerrounner CanberraPosts: 603Member Uncommon

    There are plenty of examples:

    DFO and MO for unbalanced weapon specs.

    Fallen Earth was also like this at release. It is better balanced now between pistol, rifle and melee. Still you cant use mutations as a magic attack, you cant mix and match eg gun one hand sword the other or you dont have enough points to spend. So this is a classless game with only 3 combat classes.

    Class games like Rift that try to give more variety were min maxed to only several builds per class, so 30 odd classes is really only around 10 viable ones (cant remember exact numbers).

    Fore non mmo's, skyrim is another example, I've played as a conjurer only, or no casting at all only for something different but thats deliberate gimping. You either smash n bash, stealth archer or self gimp.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by rounner

    There are plenty of examples:

    DFO and MO for unbalanced weapon specs.

    Fallen Earth was also like this at release. It is better balanced now between pistol, rifle and melee. Still you cant use mutations as a magic attack, you cant mix and match eg gun one hand sword the other or you dont have enough points to spend. So this is a classless game with only 3 combat classes.

    I can confirm that. When I played in beta I immediately identified only 3 different combat roles. Not only that but the mechanics discouraged mixing them. I wasn't aware they stuck with that tho. I would've thought they'd change it for release. Still, shows how a classless game can have roles as strict as a game with classes.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • ShariestShariest VarkausPosts: 44Member

    I don't really wan't to see MMO's turn this Black/White in the setting...

    We aren't dealing with "The End of "Classes" " We're in the middle of more flexing system emerging (In My Opinion).

    Players wan't to change the experience, and new is better. But i hope that people don't start to pick games purely based on the "Holy Trinity" or the "No-Classes" advertisements.

    Games are more in depth, was it a poorly made flash game, or Elder Scrolls Online, classes are just that tiny part that affects how you experience  the game. The story and the enviroment, the general feeling of the game itself is 9999 times more important than if i get to spend hours making my own class, or do i have to choose from preset. (Again IMO :) )

    After sidetracking i say, this isn't an end. Its just a beginning of new experiences!

    (Lengthy post, most likely BS, not a native speaker... So grammatical errors likely to be included :) )

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