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Why must class-based MMORPGs with a lot of classes be terrible games?

QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,250
I'd like to be clear on what I mean by "class-based".  I mean that when you create the character (or possibly shortly thereafter), you pick a class for the character that does not subsequently change.  Your class choice has an enormous impact on what your character can do, such as due to different classes having disjoint (or nearly so) skills or other abilities.

This excludes more free-form games like Champions Online that don't have a clear notion of a character class.  It also excludes games like Uncharted Waters Online or Final Fantasy XIV, where you do have a character class, but can and likely do switch classes often.

On paper, I like the class-based design.  I like playing through content as various classes and comparing how they did.  I like being able to see how changing to a different class affects the game.  And in principle, offering more classes gives the opportunity to do more of that.

The problem is that MMORPGs that have a lot of classes seem to invariably be awful games.  And their awfulness doesn't seem to be caused by having a lot of classes, as they'd still be bad if the game deleted most of the classes.

There have been a lot of class-based MMORPGs that I've liked, or at least thought were decent games.  The most classes that any of them had was Elsword, which had 10 when I started the game and 11 when I quit.

I've played a lot of MMORPGs with more classes than that:  Anarchy Online, EverQuest II, Vanguard, Aion, Vindictus, Wakfu, Aura Kingdom, Black Desert, and possibly others that don't come to mind.  Awful games, all of them, at least at the time that I played them.

Which doesn't necessarily mean that they were bad games at some other point in time.  Vindictus, in particular, felt like I was picking through the charred remains of a game that used to be good before the developers burned it down for no apparent reason in particular.  I don't know if it was good several years ago or not, but some comments on Reddit made it sound like there was some particular patch where the developers decided to make everything except for the endgame completely trivial, so that new players would have a long slog of doing a bunch of stupid stuff before they could get to the "real" game and find out if they like it.

Or take World of Warcraft as an example.  I never liked it that much in Vanilla, but it wasn't a bad game then.  And since then, it has made a lot of changes that I would regard as improvements.  The problem is that scaling mobs to your level only sounds good on paper until you realize that they mean scaling mobs to far below your level so that everything will be trivial.  People tell me that mythic+ dungeons aren't trivial, and I believe them.  But if nearly an entire game is so trivial as to be stupid and boring, and you have to slog your way through that to get to the endgame to find out that you probably won't like it, either, but for different reasons, then the game is bad, period.

A friend told me that over the last several expansions, WoW has been built toward the people who had played it for many years and come back at each expansion.  It's really not intended to be accessible to new players trying the game for the first time anymore.  I read somewhere that Blizzard was considering greatly shortening the leveling experience.  But that doesn't fix the problem.  If almost the entire game is awful, then it doesn't matter whether you play through it quickly or slowly.  The optimal solution is to not play through it at all.

What seems to happen is that games add more classes as years go by, and also add more content.  That could lead to games with a lot of classes tending to be older games.  Having a ton of content added over the course of a decade ought to be a good thing.  But developers seem to have decided that it isn't, and so they make the old content trivial and stupid to try to get players through it faster so that they can get to the latest endgame content.  That is to say, they knowingly and intentionally destroy nearly their entire game, so that new players can get to the endgame faster, even if it will surely be a miserable journey along the way.  Some of the games that I listed above show evidence of that, though others didn't show any evidence of having been any good in the first place.

I think that some of it is due to monetization.  A "free to play" game with a pay to win endgame wants people to get to the endgame so that they'll feel the pressure to pay.  New players enjoying themselves for several months in lower level content is a problem, as that doesn't pressure them to pay or quit.  Some games go so far as to let players pay money to have a character jump to the level cap or near it, threatening that you'll have to spend a lot of time trudging through some intentionally awful content if you don't pay up.  But that's less an incentive to pay than it is to quit the game entirely.

When I played Elsword, I could actually see the game falling apart as I played it.  Each new character was stronger than the previous, to try to get people to play it.  By the time the game got to ten characters (after starting with three), the last character, Lu/Ciel, was something like twice as strong as the oldest characters.  So the game went through all the old characters and revamped them to be on par with the newest one.  Which is to say, they made all of the characters systematically a lot stronger than what most of the game's content was built for.  In Elsword, I could at least set dungeons to 4-man difficulty and then solo them to get back something like the original challenge.  A lot of games don't have that as an option.

I think that it's ultimately a case of developers not knowing how to add new content without wrecking the old content.  Uncharted Waters Online is the only MMORPG that comes to mind as having clearly and unambiguously solved that problem, and it's a very weird game whose approaches can't readily be transferred to other MMORPGs.  Guild Wars 1 did a pretty good job of it, at least until the mess that was the PVE-only skills of Eye of the North.  Though at least you could just refuse to use those skills and refuse to group with people who did, even if that meant it was much more of a solo game.
MendelGdemamiAlBQuirkyAdamantineScotelockeHariken
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Comments

  • MendelMendel Member EpicPosts: 3,415
    Interesting problem, @Quizzical.  And some really good insights into UWO.  I'm only a wet-footed newb there, you're a master.

    I think the problem of multiple classes is really a very crude attempt to make some characters strong at some aspects and weak at others.  In other words, tailoring the Tank-Mage syndrome to keep some semblance of equality between classes, and preventing the successful jack-of-all-trades.  The class imbalances attempt to force interaction, as no class stands alone.

    Or no class stands alone until the MUDflation starts.  Then it splinters into a solo fest, and away from the strengths of the MMORPG format -- having (and requiring) other characters to succeed.  Initially, people beat the 'need' to group by multi-boxing.  The game changed to become more solo friendly for all classes, and people simply ran solo instead of hassling with social interaction, like group formation.

    Most classes in games really should be the best at a single, necessary group skill such that each character contributes something unique to a group's success.  The problem is that most games only define 3 or 4 necessary group skills, and these overlap wildly.  Really, what's the difference between melee DPS, ranged DPS and magic DPS?  These distinctions aren't unique, at least not distinct enough in game terms to favor one over the other.

    Games like UWO, Ryzom, and others that allow class switching attempt to circumvent the class restrictions, allowing a player's character to do everything, just not all at once.  I definitely agree with your observations about UWO having been able to add content without breaking or diminishing older content.  But there's only so many real world ports and commodities in the world, so there is some finite limit to expansion.



    AlBQuirky

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

  • JakdstripperJakdstripper Member RarePosts: 2,401
    edited December 3
    because usually you have to choose between quality and quantity. if you make a game with only a few classes it's easy to make it all work and make it balance. the pve aspect and the pvp aspect. the more classes you implement, the harder it gets to balance everything, to make content for all of them, gear for all of them, skill progression, etc etc. 

    i personally like games that give you a set amount of skill points that you can spend on whatever skills you like. much like PoE. i also like games that force you to make hard choices between range/mobility, or dps/defense, magic/melee, healing/damage and so on. 
    AlBQuirky
  • kitaradkitarad Member EpicPosts: 5,255
    I may be wrong since it is way passed my bedtime but i don't see you explaining why those games were awful or why the fact they are class based is the reason for it. Seems the content got trivial is the reason and over expansions things got easier for the classes but that does not actually pinpoint the problem being the classes as such.
    MMOExposedAlBQuirkyelockevandal5627Hariken

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,250
    kitarad said:
    I may be wrong since it is way passed my bedtime but i don't see you explaining why those games were awful or why the fact they are class based is the reason for it. Seems the content got trivial is the reason and over expansions things got easier for the classes but that does not actually pinpoint the problem being the classes as such.
    I'm not arguing that having a lot of classes causes games to be bad.  MOBAs in particular seem to be able to manage that fine.  Correlation doesn't imply causation, but I thought the correlation was strong enough to be remarkable.  And so I remarked on it.
    GdemamielockeIselinvandal5627Hariken
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,250
    Mendel said:
    Interesting problem, @Quizzical.  And some really good insights into UWO.  I'm only a wet-footed newb there, you're a master.

    I think the problem of multiple classes is really a very crude attempt to make some characters strong at some aspects and weak at others.  In other words, tailoring the Tank-Mage syndrome to keep some semblance of equality between classes, and preventing the successful jack-of-all-trades.  The class imbalances attempt to force interaction, as no class stands alone.

    Or no class stands alone until the MUDflation starts.  Then it splinters into a solo fest, and away from the strengths of the MMORPG format -- having (and requiring) other characters to succeed.  Initially, people beat the 'need' to group by multi-boxing.  The game changed to become more solo friendly for all classes, and people simply ran solo instead of hassling with social interaction, like group formation.

    Most classes in games really should be the best at a single, necessary group skill such that each character contributes something unique to a group's success.  The problem is that most games only define 3 or 4 necessary group skills, and these overlap wildly.  Really, what's the difference between melee DPS, ranged DPS and magic DPS?  These distinctions aren't unique, at least not distinct enough in game terms to favor one over the other.

    Games like UWO, Ryzom, and others that allow class switching attempt to circumvent the class restrictions, allowing a player's character to do everything, just not all at once.  I definitely agree with your observations about UWO having been able to add content without breaking or diminishing older content.  But there's only so many real world ports and commodities in the world, so there is some finite limit to expansion.
    I would argue that games trivializing content actually pushes the game toward soloing, and breaks the game entirely if all classes aren't solo-friendly.  As I mentioned above, the way to recover a challenge in Elsword was to try to solo dungeons at 4-man difficulty.  Some games don't have that as an option, but I could do something like play Vindictus, and if I drop below 90% health or some other arbitrary threshold, regard that as a failure and abort the mission.  But you just can't do that in a party.

    Having a lot of content also makes it difficult to get a group for any of it.  If there are 100 players online on your server looking for a group right now, and only six things that they could possibly group for, then it might well be possible to form a group for all of them.  If there are 500 things that they could group for, it's going to be hard to find four others to do the one that you want.

    What commonly happens is that people figure out that this group content gives better rewards than that group content, so no one wants to do the latter.  Even if all of the content is still available, you simply can't get a group for most of it because other people just won't do it.  That isn't a problem if it's solo content, as you can just go decide to do it on your own and don't have to convince anyone else.

    A lot of MMORPGs make this a lot worse than it ought to be due to a badly designed server architecture.  If there are ten thousand people who want to get a group for something, and a hundred things that they could group for, it's likely possible to fill a group for most of them.  If 98% of those people are on other servers and not allowed to group with you, that makes filling a group much harder.  A bad server architecture can make even the most popular of games feel like a dying niche game when it comes time to assemble a group.
    AlBQuirky
  • BruceYeeBruceYee Member RarePosts: 1,686
    I distinctly remember not so long ago OP you were really into Tree of Savior and you even came at me for bringing up some game performance issues I was experiencing. Does Tree of Savior not count as MMO with a lot of classes? Why did you leave that game off your list? I consider that a good MMO with a lot of classes along with Eq2 and Vanguard on your list.

    Personally I think games in general are strapped for what is a finite resource in the gaming industry and that is ---> vision. Also other back end variables impact outcomes that eventually carries over to the public. A good example of this happening I think is retail WoW. In the meetings they tried to find new ways to get people to "buy stuff" years ago and now that's all that game is...one big cash shop with the "game" being secondary. Want that cool mount or pet in-game? You gotta buy a Blizz-con ticket...

    A huge reason for the MMO slump is bureaucrat developers entrenched in their positions that do not allow new ideas or new people to rise because they have done so much to secure their lucrative jobs. A good example of this was SOE before they sold and more recently AGS who hasn't released a single game and most likely never will. I'm sure the same power play that leads to eventual failure occurred/occurs at Trion, Gazillion, EA, etc... no new blood no new ideas no innovation, just rehash of the same "safe" template over and over. The Crowdfunding titles were supposed to put a stop to that but that has morphed into something else entirely in some cases. Indie games though many visually unappealing are right now probably the only hope for the MMO genre in its original form.
    AlBQuirkyelocke
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,250
    BruceYee said:
    I distinctly remember not so long ago OP you were really into Tree of Savior and you even came at me for bringing up some game performance issues I was experiencing. Does Tree of Savior not count as MMO with a lot of classes? Why did you leave that game off your list? I consider that a good MMO with a lot of classes along with Eq2 and Vanguard on your list.

    Personally I think games in general are strapped for what is a finite resource in the gaming industry and that is ---> vision. Also other back end variables impact outcomes that eventually carries over to the public. A good example of this happening I think is retail WoW. In the meetings they tried to find new ways to get people to "buy stuff" years ago and now that's all that game is...one big cash shop with the "game" being secondary. Want that cool mount or pet in-game? You gotta buy a Blizz-con ticket...

    A huge reason for the MMO slump is bureaucrat developers entrenched in their positions that do not allow new ideas or new people to rise because they have done so much to secure their lucrative jobs. A good example of this was SOE before they sold and more recently AGS who hasn't released a single game and most likely never will. I'm sure the same power play that leads to eventual failure occurred/occurs at Trion, Gazillion, EA, etc... no new blood no new ideas no innovation, just rehash of the same "safe" template over and over. The Crowdfunding titles were supposed to put a stop to that but that has morphed into something else entirely in some cases. Indie games though many visually unappealing are right now probably the only hope for the MMO genre in its original form.
    Tree of Savior has you pick one of four base classes, and you're stuck with that choice out of four.  What the game calls "classes" is something that you'll sometimes switch between, not a hard choice made at character creation or shortly thereafter.  So either the number of classes that the game has as defined by this thread is four or else it's not rigidly class-based at all.

    But Tree of Savior is another example of a game ruined by developers trying to rush people to the endgame.  When I played it several months after launch, you could play through content at the appropriate level just fine.  Today, whatever content you pick, you'll have leveled way past it by the time you finish it.  That's completely stupid.

    As for EverQuest II and Vanguard, I'm not claiming that they have always been terrible games.  I'm only claiming that they sure were when I played them.  Vanguard seemed to have a much broader vision than the developers could deliver, and far too few players to make what they could deliver functional.  When I went to get a group, there were only five players on the entire server within five levels (in either direction) of the dungeon.  Good luck getting a group that way.  Vanguard also had some pretty severe performance problems, as it pretty much had to be installed on an SSD (which barely existed back then) or ramdisk (very expensive and awkward) to run decently.  Is that a problem of having too many classes?  Of course not.

    I don't remember exactly when I played EverQuest II.  It was at some point within the last few years, not at all near launch.  The character animations were so weirdly uncorrelated with what was actually happening in the game that I'm skeptical that it was ever much good.  I've read that the crafting in EQ2 used to be good, but at some point SOE simplified it to just a bunch of stupid grinding, so it was awful when I tried it.  Again, that's not a problem of having too many classes.  But the title of the thread is only observing a correlation, not claiming that there is causation.
    AlBQuirky
  • NycteliosNyctelios Member EpicPosts: 3,557
    Ragnarok is a good game.

    Also Tree of Savior. The issue with the second are the devs pushing the monetization really hard instead of fixing broken skills and bugs.
    AlBQuirky
    Steam ID Discord ID: Night # 6102 - GoG ID - 

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear." Izaro Phrecius, Holy Emperor of the Eternal Empire, Last of Royal Phrecius Family.
  • iixviiiixiixviiiix Member RarePosts: 2,013
    Normally with lots of classes , you need to design them with unique/specialist in mind . But then short sighted developer only love few classes and abandon the rest

    i conside any game with large number classes that have over 6 skills each class is a bad design .



    AlBQuirky
  • AAAMEOWAAAMEOW Member RarePosts: 1,153
    I can play through 50 hours of single player content to get to endgame where I do group content.  

    I can't imagine doing a few hundred hours of single player content to finally start doing group content...  I think that is the reason why developer try to make leveling shorter.


  • Veiled_lightVeiled_light Member UncommonPosts: 802
    Why must MMORPGs be terrible? 
  • AmarantharAmaranthar Member RarePosts: 3,540
    Why must MMORPGs be terrible? 
    A - For the money. They can make a lot more vs. their costs with cash shops, so good game content (costs a lot more to produce, and it's soon completed by the players anyways) takes a back seat to quick and easy Cash Shops. 

    B - Because players want their big Power Gaps. Cheap thrills of feeling like a god to the content they don't get anything out of anymore, anyways. Lunacy, I tells ya! 
    And this goes back to 'A'. That new content doesn't last, is a lot more expensive to make, and the monetary gain is smaller because of it. 

    Give up your cheap thrills based on useless Power Gaps and then the games can ADJUST content, add a few new things, and turn old content into a new experiences. 

    And long term, world wide events of import can be a big part of your game play. Which I think would be much more fun than rehashing the same ol' known content and game play. 
    Gdemamielocke

    Once upon a time....

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 16,598
    Seemed to forget the fact that you can still play through that exact same content as ANY class in a "formless"design.So not sure why the mention of liking to play content through as a class,the only difference being you are locked into one class with no further ability to create a versatile character but instead limited to that one class choice of options.

    Many games go one step further in making their game even worse by limiting choice within that one class design and forcing you to change or pick from choices within or even utilize points which is a design forcing you to min/max.

    FFXi is the current leader in class design and seeing how dumb developers have been since,i do not see that game being dethroned any time soon.

    RPG design has turned into nothing more than BOSS encounters or loot encounters pretty much removing the simple idea of a ROLE within a group.Why i detest shallow games like MHW or games that force you into instances to chase loot/Boss,it is like most producers are grade school game designers.
    AlBQuirky

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • AAAMEOWAAAMEOW Member RarePosts: 1,153
    Wizardry said:
    Seemed to forget the fact that you can still play through that exact same content as ANY class in a "formless"design.So not sure why the mention of liking to play content through as a class,the only difference being you are locked into one class with no further ability to create a versatile character but instead limited to that one class choice of options.

    Many games go one step further in making their game even worse by limiting choice within that one class design and forcing you to change or pick from choices within or even utilize points which is a design forcing you to min/max.

    FFXi is the current leader in class design and seeing how dumb developers have been since,i do not see that game being dethroned any time soon.

    RPG design has turned into nothing more than BOSS encounters or loot encounters pretty much removing the simple idea of a ROLE within a group.Why i detest shallow games like MHW or games that force you into instances to chase loot/Boss,it is like most producers are grade school game designers.
    What's the difference between that and just make a new alt character.  

    Games give you a few character slot for a reason.
    AlBQuirky
  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,793
    edited December 3
    Quizzical said:
    This excludes more free-form games like Champions Online that don't have a clear notion of a character class. 
    I'm a theory crafter, love CO's FF (and loved TSW too until FC killed it off), so on paper I'd be fully on your side, but... I just feel "must be terrible games" is a too strong statement. And not just because of not everyone's into character building, etc.

    Class-based or classless design doesn't have a make-or-break impact on a game's quality imo (same goes for payment model btw). Sure, it has its weight, but not a decisive one.
    As games with fully "locked" classes and minimal wiggle-room can be fun (PS2 comes to mind), just as more open games can be... let's say average, I don't like to throw around the term terrible too much :)  and in those cases you still can find your theory crafting fun.
    (Rift comes to mind, not a big fan of the game as a whole, but I really like the souls system)


    Tastes differ too, like from your "awful games" list I'd only put BDO, Aion and Vindictus onto the list, and none of them due to the class design (way too boring grind;  too much pvp focus;  brainless action game - in respective order).

    Wakfu and AK i'd list as mediocre, which some might still list as awful, but AK had a fairly interesting pet system, and Wakfu has a great story, not to mention one of the very few MMORPGs with turn-based combat, and I just love turn-based.

    AO, EQ II and Vanguard, personally I'd list those under the good games category. None of them were among my "main games", but I've played them quite a while, and loved doing so.
    AlBQuirkyelocke
  • cameltosiscameltosis Member EpicPosts: 2,228
    Classes are a sub-set of ROLES, and that is where the problem lies.

    When you add a new class to a game, that class should have a clear purpose. It will be a member of a role. If that role already exists, then your new class really has to do something different, otherwise it's just bloat.

    I think that is the problem with games that add too many classes. The roles already exist, so new classes are just bloat. Bloat is bad, it's a waste of resources that only compounds over time as each new update/xpac, you are forced to waste even more resources on that bloat.


    Similarly with class-less games - despite being classless, the way you can build your character is generally restricted to just a few roles. There may be 300 variations on melee dps, but it's the same role and so doesnt really add much to the way the game actually plays.


    Finally, the role of content is extremely important. You may have created a system which has 6 roles (tank, healer, dps, buffer, debuffer, cc), and each role has 2 classes, but if the content is poorly designed then you may never have a reason for playing that role. For example, SWTOR had a ton of CC built into practically every class. It could have had a CC role in the game if it wanted, you could certainly spec to improve CC. However, the instant you set foot into a raid, most mobs were immune to CC and enrage timers meant you didn't have time to CC anyway. So, the content itself invalidated many possible ways to play the game.

    That is something I see a lot of. Well designed class and role systems, made almost worthless by poorly designed content.
    KyleranGdemamiAmarantharPo_ggAlBQuirky
  • AmarantharAmaranthar Member RarePosts: 3,540
    Classes are a sub-set of ROLES, and that is where the problem lies.

    When you add a new class to a game, that class should have a clear purpose. It will be a member of a role. If that role already exists, then your new class really has to do something different, otherwise it's just bloat.

    I think that is the problem with games that add too many classes. The roles already exist, so new classes are just bloat. Bloat is bad, it's a waste of resources that only compounds over time as each new update/xpac, you are forced to waste even more resources on that bloat.


    Similarly with class-less games - despite being classless, the way you can build your character is generally restricted to just a few roles. There may be 300 variations on melee dps, but it's the same role and so doesnt really add much to the way the game actually plays.


    Finally, the role of content is extremely important. You may have created a system which has 6 roles (tank, healer, dps, buffer, debuffer, cc), and each role has 2 classes, but if the content is poorly designed then you may never have a reason for playing that role. For example, SWTOR had a ton of CC built into practically every class. It could have had a CC role in the game if it wanted, you could certainly spec to improve CC. However, the instant you set foot into a raid, most mobs were immune to CC and enrage timers meant you didn't have time to CC anyway. So, the content itself invalidated many possible ways to play the game.

    That is something I see a lot of. Well designed class and role systems, made almost worthless by poorly designed content.
    Fine post! 
    I do have a comment related to this part:
    "Similarly with class-less games - despite being classless, the way you can build your character is generally restricted to just a few roles. There may be 300 variations on melee dps, but it's the same role and so doesnt really add much to the way the game actually plays."

    I have to say, I haven't played many MMORPGs and I don't know what systems you are talking about here.
    I played UO for many years and I thought they had a tremendous system. 
    What would be considered Classes were broken down into various Skills that were the defined PARTS of a Class. That meant that a player could build any sort of Character. 
    And done right, there were many options where as you gave up "optimum" in one area, you could add it back by combining Skills from various Class type Skills in some specific ways, plus gain new Abilities that make for a great Jack-of-all-Trades type Character. 
    For example, Swords that is less that optimum can be equal to Optimum by adding Poison. 
    There were a lot of ways to make a less than optimum skill compared to a clear Class type equal by combining Skills otherwise set apart by Class Systems. 
    And best of all, it allowed for a wide variety of Character developments. 

    I always found that most players didn't understand how to combine skills, leaving mostly "Uber Skill Sets" that missed the bigger picture. And some of us had some very unique Characters that were as viable as any "Uber". 

    Po_ggAlBQuirky

    Once upon a time....

  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,793
    edited December 4
    Classes are a sub-set of ROLES, and that is where the problem lies.

    When you add a new class to a game, that class should have a clear purpose. It will be a member of a role. If that role already exists, then your new class really has to do something different, otherwise it's just bloat. [...] 
    Now roles, that's a different topic alltogether, and in that matter I could see myself in a similar strong opinion as the thread title: MMORPGs without roles, just dps and brainless zerging, are terrible games - for me, at least. It's up to personal tastes as well.

    So, on one hand I agree, and it was a really good point to make.
    On the other, just like Amaranthar above, I can't side with the bloat part... any role can be approached by a ton of different ways, and that's how the more interesting classes (or builds/decks in classless games) born. You say
    There may be 300 variations on melee dps, but it's the same role and so doesnt really add much to the way the game actually plays.
    it's only the same role from the distance, stripped down to the bones: they do damage, from close, so melee dps, end of story.
    But it can add huge differences "to the way the game actually plays." Even within one game, let's say AoC: barbarian is a melee dps (with some CC too, but just focus now on the damage part).
    Assassin is a melee dps too, but play is entirely different compared to the barb, that's where the fun is.
    HoX is a melee dps as well, and it's a frikkin spellcaster, in cloth armour, doing melee distance combat... (plus demon form, but details aside now). If you've ever heard "wizard = glass cannon", try to drag that cannon right into the middle of the brawl :)
    They all bring different gameplays to the table, give different extra contributions to the group, since roles are really wide categories actually.


    Don't get me wrong, the bloat can exists, but it ain't the fault of roles, it's bad design, in bad games. If they make a classless game where roles are unimportant, or a class based game where everything is just dps anyway, with the same gameplay, that's a design fault, and not because of "that role's already covered, make an another".
    AlBQuirkyKyleran
  • KnightFalzKnightFalz Member RarePosts: 838
    edited December 4
    Why must MMORPGs be terrible? 
    Perhaps a better question is why are many now perceived so by so many, with one of those being an uncontested giant of the genre for many years.
  • AdamantineAdamantine Member RarePosts: 4,319
    I hate RPGs without classes.

    They always suck, and its not hard to explain why they suck either.

    Of course theres games who have poorly designed classes, too. But thats not the fault of the idea, only the implementation.

    In classless systems:


    - Their replayability is far lower because the core mechanisms of gameplay never change.

    As a very simple example, in Vanguard, if you played Sorcerer, you could fully ignore the whole weakness and exploit system because you couldnt exploit any weaknesses anyway. While on other classes it was important to look out for weaknesses one could exploit for an even greater amount of efficiency.

    In a classless system, all classes would have to take this into consideration, assuming the mechanics exist in the first place.

    It was even more drastic on certain classes such as Monk and Blood Mage who had complex point systems that didnt exist in this form on other classes at all.


    - Their strategic component is lower because there are no clear tasks for characters.

    In Vanguard, every class was either tank, healer, or utility.

    And in Vanguard Paladin, Warrior and Dread Knight have been balanced in such a way that each of these classes have been a good and valid choice for tank. Likewise all healers have been carefully balanced against each other in this regard.

    Having classes with clear strengths and weaknesses adds a strategic component thats not there in classless systems.

    AlBQuirkyelocke
    Please set a sig so I can read your posting even if somebody "agreed" etc with it. Thanks.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,250
    Po_gg said:

    Tastes differ too, like from your "awful games" list I'd only put BDO, Aion and Vindictus onto the list, and none of them due to the class design (way too boring grind;  too much pvp focus;  brainless action game - in respective order).

    Wakfu and AK i'd list as mediocre, which some might still list as awful, but AK had a fairly interesting pet system, and Wakfu has a great story, not to mention one of the very few MMORPGs with turn-based combat, and I just love turn-based.

    AO, EQ II and Vanguard, personally I'd list those under the good games category. None of them were among my "main games", but I've played them quite a while, and loved doing so.
    Certainly, tastes differ.  And in exactly none of the games that I listed would I say that class design was the main problem, or even a major problem.  But in all of the games I listed as "bad", I ran into some pretty severe problems early on that made me ask, how could anyone conceivably like this game as it was when I played it?

    To take Aura Kingdom as an example, I tried the game recently, and didn't get that far into the game, but did get far enough to complete more than 50 quests.  Up to that point, the game consisted almost entirely of clicking on a broken quest sidebar to run from one spot to another and talking to NPCs.  To the extent that you actually fought anything, it was almost entirely mobs that would die in 2-3 hits and essentially not even fight back.  I'd regard that as awful whether the game had one class or a hundred, and it makes whatever nifty mechanics the game might have had not even matter.  Maybe the pet system is good or maybe it isn't, but if game mechanics make it so that it doesn't even matter if you have an eidolon summoned, then it doesn't matter if the system is good or not.

    My real question is, why does garbage like combat consisting of fighting against mobs that only nominally even fight back seem to be so strongly correlated with games having a huge number of classes?  Even if the game eventually gets to a point where it's interesting, why do you have to slog through many hours of doing nonsense that no one could conceivably like to get there?  If you play a game for hours and then realize that the most interesting thing you've done is to fail to notice that some world boss had several other mobs linked to it who were also damaging you, is the most sensible approach really to assume that the game will surely get better if you play it more?
    AlBQuirky
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,250
    I hate RPGs without classes.

    They always suck, and its not hard to explain why they suck either.

    Of course theres games who have poorly designed classes, too. But thats not the fault of the idea, only the implementation.

    In classless systems:


    - Their replayability is far lower because the core mechanisms of gameplay never change.

    As a very simple example, in Vanguard, if you played Sorcerer, you could fully ignore the whole weakness and exploit system because you couldnt exploit any weaknesses anyway. While on other classes it was important to look out for weaknesses one could exploit for an even greater amount of efficiency.

    In a classless system, all classes would have to take this into consideration, assuming the mechanics exist in the first place.

    It was even more drastic on certain classes such as Monk and Blood Mage who had complex point systems that didnt exist in this form on other classes at all.


    - Their strategic component is lower because there are no clear tasks for characters.

    In Vanguard, every class was either tank, healer, or utility.

    And in Vanguard Paladin, Warrior and Dread Knight have been balanced in such a way that each of these classes have been a good and valid choice for tank. Likewise all healers have been carefully balanced against each other in this regard.

    Having classes with clear strengths and weaknesses adds a strategic component thats not there in classless systems.
    Let's assume for the sake of argument that Vanguard had really well done group combat with excellent class design and well designed group roles for every class.  When I played it (probably in March 2009), the game also made that all not matter because there was no one to group with outside of the intro area.  If there are literally only five players on the entire server (including you!) within five levels of you, then good luck filling a group for anything.  And if the game is going to be like that all the way to the level cap in a slow leveling game, do you really want to grind through that all the way just to have a chance to find out if there's anything good at the level cap?

    My real question behind this thread is, why has every game with a lot of classes that I've found had something like that (and the details vary by game) to completely wreck the game?  Or put another way, why do all of the class-based games that don't find some ridiculous way to wreck the game happen to not have that many classes?  It seems like quite a strong correlation even if it's implausible that it could be a causal relationship.
    AlBQuirky
  • rounnerrounner Member UncommonPosts: 699
    This is about trinity more than classes really.

    Classes can be all the same with different effects and emotes. Shoot a bow or cast a spell, still ranged dps etc.

    If they are role based they can have a profound effect on 1v1 pvp and solo-ability which leads to the slide towards nerfdom.
    iixviiiix
  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,793
    edited December 4
    Quizzical said:
    Certainly, tastes differ.  [...]

    My real question is, why does garbage like combat consisting of fighting against mobs that only nominally even fight back seem to be so strongly correlated with games having a huge number of classes?
    That's exactly what I meant by subjective. I believe it depends heavily on each player's own preferences and set parameters according by they judge their games.

    In my case, subjectively, that correlation doesn't exist (or at least I haven't noticed), simply because my own list of bad games doesn't have that in common. Neither my good list.
    Each player has an own set of list on good/bad/terrible games, and since the list varies, so does the one key parameter linking the games on the lists - and eventually it defines the preferences of the given player.

    Even the example is subjective, for me "garbage like combat" is something like Vindictus or Tera (no offense to the action crowd :) ), while the same time I've had a decent amount of guilty pleasure fun in RaiderZ which was basically the f2p Tera (or cheap man's Tera) at that time. The reason? RaiderZ had a fairly fluid class building, with a fair amount of theory crafting options.

    Tastes differ, while I can step over garbage combat if there are other systems to sink my teeth in and find my fun, other players might not. There's a set turn-off point for all of us, but it's different hence our disliked games are different too.

    For me that point is pvp. There are games on my "bad list" without it (like the aforementioned Tera), but there are no games on my "good list" with it. If I can't fully ignore pvp, I don't play that game. How is that correlate with the number of classes? It doesn't - in my case. Since it's all subjective.
    AlBQuirky
  • AmarantharAmaranthar Member RarePosts: 3,540
    Quizzical said:
    Po_gg said:

    Tastes differ too, like from your "awful games" list I'd only put BDO, Aion and Vindictus onto the list, and none of them due to the class design (way too boring grind;  too much pvp focus;  brainless action game - in respective order).

    Wakfu and AK i'd list as mediocre, which some might still list as awful, but AK had a fairly interesting pet system, and Wakfu has a great story, not to mention one of the very few MMORPGs with turn-based combat, and I just love turn-based.

    AO, EQ II and Vanguard, personally I'd list those under the good games category. None of them were among my "main games", but I've played them quite a while, and loved doing so.
    Certainly, tastes differ.  And in exactly none of the games that I listed would I say that class design was the main problem, or even a major problem.  But in all of the games I listed as "bad", I ran into some pretty severe problems early on that made me ask, how could anyone conceivably like this game as it was when I played it?

    To take Aura Kingdom as an example, I tried the game recently, and didn't get that far into the game, but did get far enough to complete more than 50 quests.  Up to that point, the game consisted almost entirely of clicking on a broken quest sidebar to run from one spot to another and talking to NPCs.  To the extent that you actually fought anything, it was almost entirely mobs that would die in 2-3 hits and essentially not even fight back.  I'd regard that as awful whether the game had one class or a hundred, and it makes whatever nifty mechanics the game might have had not even matter.  Maybe the pet system is good or maybe it isn't, but if game mechanics make it so that it doesn't even matter if you have an eidolon summoned, then it doesn't matter if the system is good or not.

    My real question is, why does garbage like combat consisting of fighting against mobs that only nominally even fight back seem to be so strongly correlated with games having a huge number of classes?  Even if the game eventually gets to a point where it's interesting, why do you have to slog through many hours of doing nonsense that no one could conceivably like to get there?  If you play a game for hours and then realize that the most interesting thing you've done is to fail to notice that some world boss had several other mobs linked to it who were also damaging you, is the most sensible approach really to assume that the game will surely get better if you play it more?
    Well, garbage is garbage, and just poor game design. In a game with garbage, easy to beat content, there's not much that can be done to fix that. This brings to mind "lowest common denominator" game design. Best to just leave that for gamers who want that, as not all games are made for gamers who want their guaranteed wins to seem that easy. 
    You do know that they actually make these games for players to "win", right? 

    So I have a couple of questions.
    1 - Is there room for content that isn't designed for certain "win"? I mean throughout the game play, not just at the "end of game." 
    2 - Isn't it time now for games to have a lot of other content, important content, that's not simply Hack And Slash? 
    And just for the heck of it, lets ask one more;
    3 - Is it ok to lose? 
    AlBQuirkyKyleranQuizzical

    Once upon a time....

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