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Class Design Challenge - Sage

EronakisEronakis Member UncommonPosts: 2,135
I wanted to piggy back this thread idea off @SirAgravaine's threads about various design challenges. I wanted to focus on specific class design and wanted other posters to follow a more concise rule set for their design. - A Sage is a class that is typically not used for gameplay, but rather used for NPC's to express in game wisdom or provide purchasable spells/skills.

As a class designer, I do find this very intriguing and a fun thread. I hope to garner some creative folks to take this seriously. It's always interesting to see what other people can come up with. Below will feature a Class Template I'd like you to follow, you're welcomed to be as detailed as you wish.

I am also expecting others to be realistic and create a caster class for the Sage, but it is open for melee if people can fathom a design for it that makes sense. The best way to go about design, is to consider what sort of theme your Sage class will play out? Mechanically, story wise. Imagine it like you're playing it and the fluidity that comes with the gameplay of the class. 

*Note: The Sage Class Design I am posting is coming straight from my Design Doc. and very happy with what I have created thus far*


*Account for PVE Gameplay*
This is a very simple template


CLASS ROLE(S) - PURE (1 ROLE) OR HYBRID (2+ ROLES) Define what they are for the Sage.
*Note: Roles can be defined as tank, dps, healer, buffer, de-buffer, cc, jack of all trades, ect*

CLASS LORE: What Makes this class unique in a lore perspective? How does the world interact with this Class? Origins of class?

This is the core of the class, what nearly most abilities revolve around and/or predominantly how the class functions. A thematic core class mechanic typically isn't a set of abilities but it's the rule set and functions that allow their abilities to work a certain way. (IE: Consider Void Form for the New Shadow Priest in WoW, or Arcane Charges for an Arcane Mage in WoW). Thematic Core Class Mechanic can be that simple or provide more substance and depth. Your choice. To solidify your design, you can provide placeholder numbers to provide an example of weight of power for the mechanics. 

Consider the types of different abilities they will have access to and then categorize them. Don't have to go in much detail of what each ability is, but list the different categories they would have access to. Think of the role the Sage provides. Then consider what type of abilities they would have access to to compliment their role as well as other utility like abilities. (IE: Direct Damage, Damage over Time, Direct Heal, Heal over Time, Crowd Control, De-buffs, Self/Group Buffs, ect.)

HIGHLIGHT A SAGE ABILITY: Here, come up with 1-3 cool abilities that would make your Sage Class Unique. You're welcome to provide a simple Ability Description as well as placeholder numbers to show the weight of power.

WHY IS YOUR SAGE CLASS INVITED TO GROUPS/RAIDS?: Provide a short synopses of what makes your class stand out in a group and/or raid setting. This should be easy because it simply is determined by class role.

WHY IS YOUR CLASS FUN TO PLAY?: Provide 1-3 sentences to sell your Sage class of why others should play it! 

*My post below will have my own Idea for the Sage. Would love your thoughts and feedback*


  • EronakisEronakis Member UncommonPosts: 2,135
    edited October 2017
    ***THE SAGE***


    CLASS ROLE(S): Sages are considered a support class that has crowd control capabilities to complement their vast array of spell defense. Think of Sages of being a Caster Tank.

    CLASS LORE: (You don't have to be as detailed as mine). Knowledge is a mere whisper to wisdom,” is inscribed on every binding of every scroll the Sages have possession off. They live it and they breathe it. Sages dwell in the Great Library of Magic located in the heart of Koehaith inside the Tower of Knowledge that rest at the pinnacle of the Magister’s Terrace. These learned men and women spend their days seeking all facets of knowledge of the world. 

    When the residue of creation started to rise from the roots of Mahdran, Sages were the first to study it and they called it Magic. They learned that you can be naturally attuned or you had to devout your life to study it in hopes to cast and manipulate it. With care, Sages studied all aspects of Magic. They respected its power and its source until a Sage by the name of Eltas Ashtar had a curious mind to see if Magic can be used for destructive purposes. Eltas’ unorthodox approach divided Sages into two camps. 

    As Eltas ascended higher in the ranks of the Sage Guild he forced his teaching of destructive magic. During arduous training, Eltas pushed his adepts too far. As they could not manipulate Magic as Eltas could, his impatience and rage were focused and caused harmful damage to one of his adepts. The High Sage banished Eltas and his followers to never return. Thus, rendering the Great Schism of Magic. Eltas found refuge in Felthine and created the Veneficium Order or Wizards. 

    As an unhealthy competition between Wizard and Sage guilds grow stronger, the Sages had to expand their spell library. Wizards were heavily focused on offensive magic called Evocation, whereas Sages were perfecting defensive magic called Abjuration. The animosity between the factions amplified when a band of Sages perished at the hands of Wizard Adepts. Defensive Magic wasn’t enough to withstand the power of Wizards. During careful examination of how to increase magic vigor of the use of Evocation spells, the Sages Great Library started to have break in occurrences. Sages would battle these trespassers called Mage Rogues as they were seeking hidden information about an ancient relic called the Castus Poculum. These Mage Rogues could spell steal the casted and turn it back on to the caster. The Sages were hopeless and many fell during these night skirmishes. 

    The Mage Rogues began to break in other smaller Sage Libraries to find what they were seeking. Fortunately, during the break in at Taldeum a Wizard was passing by traveling to Felthine, he heard the commotion and blasted his way through a handful of Mage Rogues, leaving one severely wounded to interrogate him. A high-ranking Sage survived and praised the Wizard for his valiant effort for saving his life. They both agreed that the captive must be taken for interrogation at Felthine. On their travels, northward the Wizard decided that the rivalry between both guilds was meaningless and taught the Sage how to use destructive magic. However, their captive had passed in the night and they buried his body along the road. 

    A fortnight later, the Sage returned to the Great Library with vital information of how to use Evocation at a high frequency without getting as exhausted. Sages used their new teaching and blended it with an ancient teaching of balance called the Incanters Flow which allowed the Sage to teeter their balance between Abjuration (Spell Defense/Support/CC) and Evocation (Damage/CC) spells.

    THEMATIC CORE CLASS MECHANIC: Incanters Flow is the primary means of how the Sage functions. The Sage must find an Equilibrium between both spectrums of Evocation and Abjuration. When the Sage reached Equilibrium they can be effective at both spell schools. However, the more the Sage uses Evocation spells they go further in the Evocation spectrum which buffs those spells by 30% when reaching the end of that spectrum. However, Abjuration spells will be reduced by 30% if the Sage is at the end of the Evocation spectrum. This also applies for the Abjuration Spectrum, if they’re at the end there they gain a 30% buff to all Abjuration spells and a 30% de-buff to all Evocation spells. It takes seven casts of Evocation or seven casts of Abjuration to reach the end of the spectrum to garner a buff. 

    DEFINE THEIR ABILITY LIBRARY: Sages delve into five distinct books for their battle library. The Volume of Evocation provides the Sages access to arcane, poison and fire based direct and damage over time spells. The Enchanting Codex provides the Sage access to a vast array of Spell Defense that includes silence, interrupts, magic shields, and dispels that omit buffs, heals or binds and crowd control. The Tome of Shadows provides the Sage darker evocation spells for damage as well as Spellstealing. The Codex of Illusions provides the Sage to manipulate their being for more spell defense which includes, Mirror Skin to repel spell damage, Blur to phase the Sage for spell mitigation and crowd control by summoning an illusion to distract an enemy. The Lexicon of Abjuration is a sacred book to the Sages and they only pull from what they need which includes powerful buffs.

    HIGHLIGHT A SAGE ABILITY: Abjuration Spell: Blur: The Sage pulls from the Codex of Illusions and Blur’s their body for 5 seconds and mitigates physical and spell damage. 

    Evocation Spell: Prismatic Spray: The Sage pulls from the Evocation Codex to channel pristine crystalized arcane magic over 5 seconds. Cooldown: 15 seconds

    Evocation Spell: Spellsteal - Evocation: The Sage pulls from the Tome of Shadows to steal the targets casted damage spell. Must be used when target is casting. The stolen damage spell will replace Spellsteal – Evocation on Hot Bar for 30 seconds. 

    Abjuration Spell: Detect Vulnerability: The Sage pulls from the Volume of Abjuration to detect one targets weaknesses and exposing their weakness of damage type to the party. Cooldown: 45 seconds

    Abjuration Spell: Mesmerize: The Sage pulls from the Enchanting Codex to mesmerize the target in place for 30 seconds. Can only be applied to one target and 2 charges before cooldown. Cooldown: 90 seconds

    Evocation Spell: Volatile Magic: The Sage pulls from the Codex of Evocation to cast unstable magic unto the target dealing damage every second for 5 seconds with a 20% chance to critical every other second. Coodown: 30 seconds

    Abjuration Spell: Temporal Barrier: The Sage pulls from the Enchanting Codex that transfers 10% incoming spell damage to become a 10% heal for the Sage. 2 Charges before cooldown. Cooldown: 60 seconds

    Abjuration Spell: Dispel Buff: The Sage pulls from the Enchanting Codex to omit one beneficial buff from their target. Cooldown: 15 seconds

    WHY IS YOUR SAGE CLASS INVITED TO GROUPS/RAIDS?: Sages are invited to groups because they can lock down elite casters and mitigate their damage as well as provide crowd control with support damage. 

    I think it would be an interesting dynamic for players to teeter between Evocation and Abjuration spectrum's to find a balance of damage and spell defense.

    Post edited by Eronakis on
  • CryomatrixCryomatrix Member UncommonPosts: 1,256

    CLASS ARCHETYPE (MELEE OR CASTER): Hybrid of Melee and Caster

    CLASS ROLE(S) - Hybrid: Support + mild DPS

    Don't have much lore, other than, i'd create this type of character in a game

    As usual, I love shields. So the class will have a shield and a wand or magic item in the other hand. 

    Ability Library will be binary:
    - Block and reflect melee and ranged attacks
    - Block and reflect caster attacks
    - Damage negating link

    Melee Shield block: The character needs to stand in front of a melee attack and will block the melee attack and return a certain % of damage + a stun duration. 

    Cast projectile Shield block: The character needs to intercept a casted projectile. Which then can be aimed back at any target at 50% the damage for a duration of 10 seconds (single use)

    AOE shield block: The character reduces damage in AOE area by 25% to all characters within the range of the shield block

    Damage negating link: it will negate 100% of all damage to one person linked to it. It lasts 5 seconds, has 25 second cooldown. Then the char has a 10 second chance to release all the built up energy in a cone of damage. 

    Shield Bash: The character can charge and melee attack with the shield. It knocks one enemy back. 

    Smite: Repeatedly smash your shield into someone's face (like diablo 2)

    Shield Copy: The character places a copy of his shield down and it mitigates up to 1000 dmg to any character behind it. Max of 2 placed. Disappears when damage is taken. 

    Shield Smash: Character can smash their shield in the ground to create a cone like AOE. 5 second cooldown

    Passive Defense aura: For characters that are in a range behind the char, they have an increase to dodge and evade damage by 10%

    Turtle Defense: 60 second cooldown, put shield down in front of you and take cover in it. You are invulnerable to damage for 5 seconds to every mob in front of you in a 180 degree arc. 

    The character can provide improved defenses with a slight bonus to DPS and will be able to skillfully mitigate damage based on the mechanics of the boss or the enemy. I also wanted a defense class that wasn't all passive and had to work for the defense, so you have to follow the boss and jump in front when it targets people. 

    Also if you look at damage negating link, it offers up a chance to link with a target, absorb the energy and then fire 50% of it back, giving you a huge DPS spike. 

  • EldurianEldurian Member EpicPosts: 1,944
    edited October 2017
    While my personal ideas for an MMO do not work on a class based system I'm going to take a specific build that would be possible in my MMO and pretend it's a class.




    This is highly utility focused class. It's DPS, Healing, and Tanking would be poor to moderate depending on how you build it. CC and support abilities would be fairly good. 

    CLASS LORE: What Makes this class unique in a lore perspective? How does the world interact with this Class? Origins of class?

    Sages can be any highly trained scholar who prides themselves on knowing many things from many school of knowledge. Generally themed as bookworms some may be shamanistic type characters who are simply the keepers of knowledge in a society where it is mainly passed on through oral tradition.

    Many factions would be known for training sages to serve the greater needs of their faction but you might also just be a hermit who likes to read a lot. The player is free to take their roleplay in many directions as a sage.


    The primary focus of the class is extensive use of knowledge skills which have a vast array of combat and non-combat applications.

    Combat Knowledge - Unlike most MMOs not all NPCs of the same type have the same abilities. There will be some variance in stats as well as a chance to have hidden templates based on RNG. So if your group is facing down 10 goblins or even a specific boss type the wiki isn't going to tell you everything about it. A good sage can study the target and give you a much more exact read on it's stats and what types of templates it may have. Doing so also gives a party wide bonus to bypassing it's damage resistances, increased critical rate against it, and increased resistance to it's attack.

    Gathering Knowledge - A sage can study resource gathering points such as a loggable tree or skinnable corpse. Doing so grants a bonus to extraction speed and increased chance to find rare materials to those who then extract from it. While most high level gatherers get Gathering Knowledge in their own profession at higher levels sage's get this ability to all gathering professions and even when assisting a higher level gatherer they grant them a small chance to find rares related to other professions they couldn't normally find, making a sage a great asset to party gathering resources.

    Knowledge Challenges - In certain dungeons having character with high knowledges can enable certain actions that might otherwise not be available. Did you know those scorpions crawling around the dungeon that look like scenery are highly poisonous but not usually aggressive unless they smell a particular scent the sage knows how to manufacture as a throwable weapon? The sage knows.


    Melee Abilities - A sage generally has some kind of melee setup be that a 2h staff, club and shield etc. Most of these abilities are focused on keeping the sage alive. While there is no hard CC in the game sage melee abilities often apply knockbacks or debuffs to the target or defensive abilities to the sage.

    Cleanses/Poison/Disease - While not a primary healer sages are well versed in poison and disease and know many remedies that can be used to cleanse them, or for a sage who is taken to the darker arts, apply them.

    Command Elements - Sage's deep knowledge of the natural world grants them some level of mastery over them. Their command tends to not be quite as extreme as someone who focuses in arcane or divine manipulation but through clever usage of the weaker powers they command they can have great effects.

    Entangle - Roots spring forth from the earth in the targeted area granting a major speed debuff to any who pass through it. For the cost of increased casting time the roots can be made thorny to damage targets as they pass through or poisonous to grant a damage over time that does less damage than the thorns but persists for 5 seconds after the target leaves the affected area. 

    Cleanse - While it has a longer casting time than cleanses used by dedicated healers this ability consumes only a single skill-slot and can be used against any form or poison or disease. If the sage is equipped with an arcane staff, this sage can leverage their arcane knowledge to make this ability work against curses as well.


    Study Target- 3 second channeled ability. The target does not know it is being studied unless it can perceive the sage and a member of it's party makes a successful sense motive against the sage. Brings up details of the targets stats. Grants all party members increased critical chance and armor/resistance penetration against the target. Grants all party members greater armor/resistance against the target's attacks. Buffs are invisible outside party unless a successful sense motive was made.

    WHY IS YOUR SAGE CLASS INVITED TO GROUPS/RAIDS?: Buffing and crowd control. Ability to grant the party success in most knowledge related challenges in dungeons. As a lot of the challenges in dungeons will be randomly generated you never know when you might need a sage.

    WHY IS YOUR CLASS FUN TO PLAY?: The sage is a class for people who like to contribute to their party in a very non-typical fashion. Their abilities are useful in many, many, scenarios and with a variety of directions to take their abilities and spell casting the customization options are high.

    Post edited by Eldurian on
  • MyrdynnMyrdynn Member RarePosts: 2,044
    I am not really good at going into depth, but my Idea of the Sage is basically the Archon, which I absolutely loved in RIFT 1.0
  • EronakisEronakis Member UncommonPosts: 2,135
    I hope everyone realizes this is for "Sage Class Design" lol
  • anemoanemo Member UncommonPosts: 1,290

    Tinkering Caster.

    CLASS ROLE(S) - PURE (1 ROLE) OR HYBRID (2+ ROLES) Define what they are for the Sage.

    Support guaranteed,  secondary unique mix of spells.


    These are people who have wandered the world, gaining wisdom from things/concepts as grand as the tallest mountain or the simplest pebble in the commonest town.


    The consistent abilities between sages are used outside of combat.   Where they can grant any number of buffs on allies,  though the more buffs they do cast on an allies the shorter they last after combat starts.

    After that they can gain any number of combat abilities by contemplating in a spot to earn that ability,  however the more combat abilities they do bring the greater the drain on their stats.   Meaning that if they only bring 2 or 3 abilities to a battle they will have a young and spry body,  while if they try to bring 7 or 8 abilities they will end up with the body of an elder (and the reduced stats to go with it).  

    (Yes this is a blue mage that rather than learning randomly from a monster, it learns by exploring and reaching a spot in the world)


    buffs:   allies start with:   Bonus stats, defence, health, regeneration, reflect damage, and similar.   Normal length is 5 mins after entering combat,  with the length become half for each additional buff on ally.

    Abilities are designed to interact a target,  then provide a bonus/interaction that is based on one of the sages stats, and equipping an ability also drains one of the sages stats.

    Abilities that would not have fit into other classes.


    Spell eater:   Ends an AOE that is affecting the sage,  then heals allies based on your willpower.   (Costs 20% max strength to equip).

    Reversal:  The next time your target avoids damage (in the form of a shield/block/dodge), they are instead stunned for X time based on your defence stats  (costs 40% max intelligence to equip).

    Shared Wealth:   the next time your target heals (enemy or ally),  your allies are additionally healed for X% of that healing based on your intelligence (costs 30% defense stats).


    One of the most consistent and low cost ways to provide any type of stat buff, though less usefully for boss fights.     Everyone likes seeing bigger numbers.

    Provides niche abilities that don't fit into other classes, but the developers wanted in the game.


    because it's about tinkering with your build constantly, getting that extra bit of min-max, and seeing all of the abilities that the devs made but couldn't fit into other classes.

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

    "At one point technology meant making tech that could get to the moon, now it means making tech that could get you a taxi."

  • EldurianEldurian Member EpicPosts: 1,944
    Eronakis said:
    I hope everyone realizes this is for "Sage Class Design" lol
    I figured if you were piggybacking Sir Agravaine's posts it was about how you would design this feature in your own MMO. My own MMO is classless but specific gear setups can mimic class like setups.

    In particular, a sage the way I define it in my game is a character who chooses to forgo a lot of other equipment in favor of carrying a lot of books and other knowledge items. The rest of the build is based on using knowledges to augment what combat items you can still carry.

    It's not really a class per-say but it's I figured you might find my ideas on making knowledges useful to combat and dungeons interesting.
  • EronakisEronakis Member UncommonPosts: 2,135
    Eldurian said:
    Eronakis said:
    I hope everyone realizes this is for "Sage Class Design" lol
    I figured if you were piggybacking Sir Agravaine's posts it was about how you would design this feature in your own MMO. My own MMO is classless but specific gear setups can mimic class like setups.

    In particular, a sage the way I define it in my game is a character who chooses to forgo a lot of other equipment in favor of carrying a lot of books and other knowledge items. The rest of the build is based on using knowledges to augment what combat items you can still carry.

    It's not really a class per-say but it's I figured you might find my ideas on making knowledges useful to combat and dungeons interesting.
    I was piggy backing his threads as a general idea. I guess I wasn't as clear. I was just hoping to see what others would come up with for the Sage, if it were a class in their 'mmorpg design'. Since, I wasn't as clear it's welcomed to come up with whatever class. 

    Thoughts on my Sage concept?
  • MendelMendel Member RarePosts: 1,977
    Sage.  A basic non-combatant.

    The sage would generally avoid direct combat, but their accumulated knowledge would allow them to increase their group's abilities within the sound of their voice.   They could encourage others to forget pain, or help improve other's abilities.  They would be adept with locks that might keep them away from tidbits of knowledge.  A sage could always jump on an enemy and use their knowledge of locks, throws and holds to prevent that enemy from fighting or escaping.  Grappling does significantly cut the range of their buff effect.  Sages are masters of interrogating a defeated enemy, but have a tendency for offering clemency and humane treatment to the vilest of enemies in exchange for secrets.  Languages, both written and spoken, along with a trained eye are tools of the Sage in their hunt for information.

    Just an idea for something non-traditional.  I'd envision this class as similar to EQ1's bard, invoking short-duration effects (Improved Slash, Ignore Pain, Flanking Bonus) in response to changing combat conditions, but without the weapons and armor.

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

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