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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Class





Alright, today is the conclusion of my discussion of Scott's Producer's Letter. I am going to focus on the proposed changes to the Archetype system.

The original Archetype system was a good idea in concept. A player comes to an island as a mage. As she learns about her power, she decides she is more in tune with the elements and likes dealing damage so she naturally follows the path of the sorcerer. Upon learning the arts of the sorcerer, she finds she enjoys blasting many enemies at once, leading her to grow into a warlock.

Again, a great idea, in concept. And I certainly don't blame the people who came up with it. I likely would have suggested something similar.

But in a practical sense, it just doesn't work. When I was leveling up my Mage I had not the slightest clue of what playing a Necromancer would be like. On my fighter alt, I don't have the foggiest idea of how it feels to play a Paladin or a Bruiser. And doing that quick quest in which you "feel out" each class certainly didn't shed any real light on it.

You don't know what it's like to be an Illusionist until you're actually out there mezzing a bunch of mobs. And some five minute quest is not going to change that.

What's more, when I rolled up an alt, I really wanted to play a Coercer. But I said to myself, "Do I really want to go through the same levels I just went through again?" No way. I ended up going with a Scout just because I wanted variety.

Most players know what they want their final class to be when they start their character. I'd say it is the vast majority. And you want to play that character, not a generic fighter or mage. It's so much more fun. I know there must be a few who don't know what final class they want to play and I'm not saying that's a bad thing. But even for them the new system works because they can get a much clearer feel of how each class plays under the new system. If you're going to get bored with mezzing, better find out at level 5 then level 25.

I fully support the new system because I feel it will not only greatly improve the replayability of EQII but be a better introduction for new players.

But even better, there's a bonus. It sounds like the changes will also include a ton of new content with different islands for good and evil along with "all new population, rewards, quests, and goals." Scott also mentions a "lot more involvement with your racial background through quests and lore," something I feel is extremely lacking in the current game. There is absolutely nothing in the game to make me feel like a High Elf or a Troll other than the visual look and a few NPC's in the starter towns. Anything rectifying this would be fantastic. A quick comment: Don't stop there. Why not add racially specific quests at the higher levels?

I can't wait to roll an alt under this new system. Heck, I'll roll a bunch and actually get a feel for every class without having to go through hundreds of levels.

The betrayal quest will remain in existence as outlined here.

As you can tell from yesterday's post and today's, I'm quite excited about what we have to look forward to in EQII (but don't worry, I haven't lost my critical edge - I have a few negative posts waiting in the wings).

One final note. For both the PvP and the new Class system, I strongly urge that SOE not roll these out at the same time as the expansion. For one, I hated the way the combat changes and DoF were lumped together. Also, I feel these new changes will give players a lot of new stuff to do which is perfect for the lulls between expansions. At the risk of repeating myself, I would also prefer to wait for the PvP until it is very well balanced, rather than have it sooner.

But on the other hand, I can't wait to see this stuff. And I haven't felt that way about EQII in a while.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Grouchy Gnome said...

I'm waiting until this goes out to roll up a new Bruiser type and probably a Wizard or Warlock. I've played just about every class up to ~15-20, and don't have any motivation to play those levels over again right now.

With the combination of starting as your final class and all the newbie changes in general, I'm getting all hot and bothered.

12:33 AM  
Blogger warm_machine said...

I agree with you on not having these changes and any expansion roll out at the same time. The combo of DoF (woot) and LU13 (groan) rolling out at the same time was a big kick to the codpiece.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, i would enjoy playing different classes, but getting to 20 is no easy feat, and I'm glad they are going to remedy this.

4:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm psyched! PvP, class restructure, new newbie experiences, and an expansion. The future's so bright...

8:30 AM  
Blogger Krystalea said...

I can't wait for the new newbie island experience. I just hope they throw us a couple extra character slots, so I can it out =)

It sounds exciting.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Bandito said...

I guess I must be the only one that currently enjoyed the class system. The class quests are quite enjoyable. The Qeynos Fighter/Brawler/Monk series and Mage/Enchanter/Illusionist series come to mind. Hopefully they can retain some of these unique quests. However, I will not actually complain until I see the system they have rolled out....I am sure they have something cool in store.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Quylein said...

I personnaly think the systems is great and works as intended. Getting to 20 is a joke and can be done in a un-interupted weekend of play time.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Zygwen said...

The other day, a fellow swashbuckler was confused by the eq2players website because it didn't list all the swashbuckler combat arts on one page. I had to explain that some combat arts are more generic and found under Rogue and Scout combat arts instead of Swashbuckler. In a way, by removing the Scout and Rogue archetype and classes it simplifies things.

I don't think archetypes and classes added much flavor to your eventual subclass. It also retricts them in some ways. Before, it would be difficult to add new classes. Now it will be much easier. I wonder when they will add the much hated Beastlords back to the game. :P

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly, Aggro! Ok idea in principle but it sucked in real time.

I think the whole archetype system was a bust. As you say, the vast majority does know what it wants to play going in. There's no need to teach them and besides, there was really no insightful teaching going on anyway.

At this point, I think they should just scrap the whole '500 years into the future theme' and package a box called "Everquest - The Continuing Saga" or something like that, which focuses on the gods(where the hell are the gods!?), having found favor with their subjects, decided to help the world take on new dimensions. And then the fight between Antonia Bayle and Lucan could really ensue over who gets what to change.

See, if you put the EQ2 graphics out with the EQ1 design of classes and cleaned up the boring camping, grinding and necessity to group, you'd make money because it pleases players to be entertained while realizing they made progress.

They need to bring back the familiar zones and sense of nostalgia that only Kelethin, Felwithe, Butcherblock, Neriak, et al, can bring.

That art team is amazing! They have the best of the best already. But telling them that they have to focus on creating stupid, pointless and unrecognizable zones loses any appeal for the Everquest search.

I'd just scrap the whole '500 years into the future' thing, start over and box it up again.

I cancelled EQ2. It's not Everquest. I want Everquest and not something that's only playable in an antiquated collector's edition. I want something to show for this $400 NVidia card and $100 P/S to support it, not to mention the 4GHZ machine and 2G Ram system they talked me into buying!

If they won't give me that, I'll have to settle for Blizzard's version of what Sony should have done to begin with! After that, there's always hope in Vanguard - that better not have me camping 24/7 or I disappear from there too!

That's my 2 cents worth. The only change I got after spending thousands of dollars to play something I was sorely disappointed in!

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