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Concerning: Class UniquenessFollow

#1 Feb 21 2011 at 9:53 AM Rating: Decent
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A lot of discussion about this topic is scattered among several threads, so
I'd like to ask a simple question: What does "class uniqueness" mean to you?



Edited, Feb 21st 2011 11:04am by Rinsui
#2 Feb 21 2011 at 10:06 AM Rating: Decent
unique
–adjective
1.
existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics
2.
having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable
3.
limited in occurrence to a given class, situation, or area
4.
limited to a single outcome or result; without alternative possibilities
5.
not typical; unusual
–noun
6.
the embodiment of unique characteristics; the only specimen of a given kind

This is the textbook definition of unique.

The bolded parts are what I feel should apply to a class, assuming it is meant to be unique.

I do not want unique classes. I do however want more than a grey fuzzy line separating them from one-another.

Edited, Feb 21st 2011 11:06am by StateAlchemist2
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#3 Feb 21 2011 at 10:06 AM Rating: Good
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For me I'll have to use FFXI as my example because it the only other MMO I have played. In FFXI PLD had high DEF lower ATK, DRK was the opposite, SAM was a WS and TP machine, DRG had a wyvern and Jump moves, NIN blink tank and duel wield. The point I'm making is every class had something special about them.

In FFXIV I just don't feel like their is anything special about any of the classes that really set them apart from the others. Yes there are differences but they don't feel as special to me.

I feel that they have tried to make the classes so balanced in FFXIV that now they just all seem the same and there isn't a lot that separates them from one another.
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#4 Feb 21 2011 at 10:06 AM Rating: Good
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It might seem "Elitist" but to me I know a class is unique when instead of looking for a DD to fill a party I specifically look for a MNK, WAR or a BLM.

To my understanding in FFXIV you look for a healer , maybe a tank and DDs, thats it...
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#5 Feb 21 2011 at 10:10 AM Rating: Good
Hugus wrote:
It might seem "Elitist" but to me I know a class is unique when instead of looking for a DD to fill a party I specifically look for a MNK, WAR or a BLM.

To my understanding in FFXIV you look for a healer , maybe a tank and DDs, thats it...


Exactly. And that is assuming you even need to look for anyone at all. Which really you can't. All you can do is shout or ask LS people to help.
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#6 Feb 21 2011 at 10:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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I want classes to have unique themes, to have a slightly different play experience. I want to see tradeoffs. I can only comment about FFXI's early years (pre CoP), but it felt like Drg's did pretty good swing damage, and relatively low WS compared to other class. THF on the other hand felt like it did low swing damage, and very high weapon skills.

Its easier to explain what I don't like, regarding FFXIV, is that classes feel like they have different versions of the same abilities. Pugs have an ability to dodge the next attack, Marauders can parry the next attack. Every class has a weaponskill with a debuff, every class has some kind of multiple target WS. Every class seems to have a strong attack that triggers off a miss/block/evade.
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#7 Feb 21 2011 at 10:48 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
For me I'll have to use FFXI as my example because it the only other MMO I have played. In FFXI PLD had high DEF lower ATK, DRK was the opposite, SAM was a WS and TP machine, DRG had a wyvern and Jump moves, NIN blink tank and dual wield. The point I'm making is every class had something special about them.


Ah, yes. That kind of uniqueness.

I remember that in one of the first screenshots "Lancer" was portrayed as a
class that could keep enemies at bay with its lance, and use its range as an
advantage. A very interesting idea (that's fully implemented in TERA, btw.)
This element of positional advantage seems to have gotten completely scrapped.

(No wonder; I have yet to discover an enemy whose ranged attack actually does
LESS damage than its melee attack, so positional advantage becomes moot squared.
Every goat is equipped with a nuclear-powered water-cannon, and tiny squirrels
carry around MOUNTAINS of razor-sharp acorns.)

So while you want many options to fill the party spot of a "general archetype"
(e.g.: Healer, Tank), you want the different options to have a very distinct
"feel" to them, although the result of what they do could be very similar (and
thus make it possible to switch one class for another of the same "archetype").

Am I reading this right?
#8 Feb 21 2011 at 10:54 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
So while you want many options to fill the party spot of a "general archetype"
(e.g.: Healer, Tank), you want the different options to have a very distinct
"feel" to them, although the result of what they do could be very similar (and
thus make it possible to switch one class for another of the same "archetype").


There really isn't any better ways to do this. XI had a million and one DD jobs (and most of them could tank later on as well) but they all felt different enough. The problem here is not that everyone can DD, it's that they don't have any unique theme to them other than in the lore that is not very well supported at this point in time. In addition, the lack of difficulty makes it unnecessary to specialize within an encounter to any specific role.
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#9 Feb 21 2011 at 10:56 AM Rating: Good
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THM's are the best debuffer
Cons are the best nukers - both heal well (thank god, cause does anyone want to wait three hours to find a healer anymore?)
PUGs have the best evasion and do steady damage
MRD is the best at tanking multiple smaller enemies (off tanking, crowd control)
LNC speeds up TP generation for the party and inhibits mobs with good damage over time,
GLA is the best full on tank (does crappy damage) and ARC is hands down the best damage dealer in shorter battles

I mean no matter how you switch around skills - these things remain tied to class.

I think a few more skills that are unswappable would be fine, but if "class uniqueness" means that half the classes won't be able to solo anymore or will only have a narrow (and/or unwanted) role in a party... no thanks.
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#10 Feb 21 2011 at 11:37 AM Rating: Excellent
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I mean no matter how you switch around skills - these things remain tied to class.

Being the best at something still isn't a unique experience, though, It would be nice if each job had a couple of things that only it could do. You can give a job something unique without making it required. In FFXI, only a NIN could blink, only a THF could move hate around, only a DRG could AoE heal, only a SMN could spontaneously produce a giant glowing ferret, only a DRK could suck out a target's TP, and so on. That's a random list, and not meant to convey a uniform level of uniqueness or power, but you see my point. None of those things was required (well, blinking...), but they all had specific, strategic uses that could be applied cleverly to allow specific strategies in specific circumstances.

Now, it's important to remember that FFXI started out with only six jobs, and most of them had pretty limited abilities to set them apart (although even then, THF was there). However, the MMO landscape isn't the same now, and SE has had the better part of a decade to see what works and what doesn't. It's reasonable, I think, to expect them to have learned enough from XI to introduce a new game with at least some of the nuances that the old one had for years.

So, to answer the Op, class uniqueness, to me, means that the presence of a given class opens up new gameplay options or strategies.
#11 Feb 21 2011 at 11:40 AM Rating: Good
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Olorinus the Vile wrote:
If "class uniqueness" means that half the classes won't be able to solo anymore or will only have a narrow (and/or unwanted) role in a party... no thanks.


I think the recent polls, both on this site and conducted by SE, have shown you to be pretty far in the minority on this.
#12 Feb 21 2011 at 11:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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Rinsui wrote:
(No wonder; I have yet to discover an enemy whose ranged attack actually does
LESS damage than its melee attack, so positional advantage becomes moot squared.
Every goat is equipped with a nuclear-powered water-cannon, and tiny squirrels
carry around MOUNTAINS of razor-sharp acorns.)


Off-topic, but I want to respond to this. I can't tell you how annoying I find it that every last enemy has some form of ranged attack. And some of them ... just, come on. Antelopes/doe that sneeze you to death? At least Chupon/Typhon was big, mean, nasty, and had the sense of its elemental strengths to explain why he sneezed you off the airship in Final Fantasy VI.

But fluffy, prancing antelopes that can kill you with sneezing? I almost get this feeling (total theory here, not saying I am right by any stretch of the imagination) that they wanted to ensure you couldn't cherry tap an enemy to death, especially if you're a distance attacker (mages, ranger). And they were just so desperate to do that they made it so no matter how ridiculous, everything has a ranged attack.

Doesn't exactly cultivate the adventuring spirit, either, when whole areas you want to curiously explore (I'm looking at you, western Coerthas) are roadblocked by two dozen beasts that can ranged OHKO you (and will do so without fail unless you pull off some sort of miracle before they lock on you).

Edited, Feb 21st 2011 12:56pm by Satisiun
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#13 Feb 21 2011 at 12:07 PM Rating: Good
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Like others have already stated, open cross classing makes "weapon styles" hard to be unique.

To be truly unique you have to bring something more than trivial class skills to the table. I'm thnking Something similar to Job abilities in FFXI.

Devs should take a good long hard look at FFXI and implement something similar to each class.

for instance:
Glad only abilities:
Shield Bash Delivers an attack that can stun the target. Shield required.
Sentinel Reduces physical damage taken and increases enmity.
Cover Divert attacks to a party member to yourself.
Rampart Grants a Magic Shield effect and enhances defense for party members within area of effect.
Chivalry Converts TP to MP.
Fealty Grants a powerful resistance to enfeebling magic.
Defender Increases defensive power at the cost of attack power.

MRD only abilites:
Mighty Strikes Forces all landed attacks to become critical hits.
Berserk Increases attack power at the cost of defensive power.
Warcry Increases all party members attack within a radius of the user.
Aggressor Increases accuracy at the cost of evasion.
Warrior's Charge Forces next attack to be a double attack.
Restraint Enhances your weapon skill power with each normal attack you land.

CON:
Penury Reduces the MP cost of your next White Magic spell by 50%.
Celerity Reduces the casting time and recast time of your next White Magic spell by 50%.
Rapture Enhances the potency of the next White Magic spell cast.
Altruism Increases the accuracy of your next white magic spell.
Tranquility Your next white magic spell will generate less enmity.

Things like that. Those abilities you can't cross class, so when you're actually doing something that takes strategy you'll look for certain classes for your particular tactic.

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#14 Feb 21 2011 at 12:16 PM Rating: Decent
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A lot of these abilities you mentioned are already in game.
Marauder has defender
Gladiator has rampart and cover
Marauder has a move similar to mighty strikes
and the mages have almost all of those abilities already.

Making existing abilities class specific really defeats what FFXIV was trying to accomplish.
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#15 Feb 21 2011 at 12:30 PM Rating: Good
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Eadieni wrote:
A lot of these abilities you mentioned are already in game.
Marauder has defender
Gladiator has rampart and cover
Marauder has a move similar to mighty strikes
and the mages have almost all of those abilities already.

Making existing abilities class specific really defeats what FFXIV was trying to accomplish.


and I think what some people are getting at, is that they feel that what SE tried to accomplish with this game leads to boring classes that don't feel all that different from each other.
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#16 Feb 21 2011 at 12:48 PM Rating: Decent
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I still see everyone as a Blue Mage with a few unique abilities, with not all of them being important abilities. The jobs are not unique...but the players can create a unique job...thus making it a crap shoot when trying to form a party. SE built this little monster from thinking the avg player wanted to go solo...while mixing in a little bit of party play. When building a party, you really have no idea what you are getting with each player since so much gear and abilities are interchangeable. Too much freedom is a problem. Whether we like it or not...we do need more guidelines and our path better lit so we know where to go.

85% is the number to remember.

Class system will change...hopefully sooner than later, just depends on where it is on the list of things to do.

I'll wait...no biggie. There's always something else to play in the meantime.

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#17 Feb 21 2011 at 12:49 PM Rating: Good
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Hmm. So we all agree there should be some defining, unique differences between classes
(something which can not, or can not effectively be copied on another class). The point
that really seperates people seems to be whether those differences should actually, well,
"make a difference"?

A tough nut to crack.
#18 Feb 21 2011 at 1:04 PM Rating: Good
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Eadieni wrote:
Making existing abilities class specific really defeats what FFXIV was trying to accomplish.

I think it's safe to say at this point that FFXIV failed at what it was trying to accomplish. It might seem like being able to equip any ability from any job at any time gives the player a unique identity & unlimited choices, but in reality all it does is make everyone virtually indistinguishable. In the end, the guy hitting things with a sword can do almost everything the guy hitting things with an axe can do. The only real choice we have is what weapon we prefer looking at.
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#19 Feb 21 2011 at 1:30 PM Rating: Good
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Hugus wrote:
It might seem "Elitist" but to me I know a class is unique when instead of looking for a DD to fill a party I specifically look for a MNK, WAR or a BLM.

To my understanding in FFXIV you look for a healer , maybe a tank and DDs, thats it...



yep. and whats weird about this game is unless we are fighting a NM are a tough R50 faction, we don't even care if we have a tank or healer really. You can throw a bunch of DD in there and be just fine. things die fast and all the DD need to keep themselves up is the basic melee heals like Second wind/Blood Bath, and set cure/sacrifice.

I liked how in XI(pre TP burn), you looked for melee that worked well together, melee who could create the best skill chains for magic burst available on that mob and so on. If you had a nin tank, you may want a thf or another class to sub thf to help pin hate. Each class brought something different to the party and had defined roles. Heck, Lancer even has Collusion(trick attack) and I don't even think people other then Lancers know about it. But really, there isn't much reason to use it.

Something like AF gear that has stats helpfull to the class would be a good start at getting the classes a little more unique, if at least just in looks. But oddly... in this game, any class would be able to wear your AF anyways lol.

Edited, Feb 21st 2011 2:31pm by Scape13
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#20 Feb 21 2011 at 1:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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I don't want to be a unique mix and match of abilities which will make every player seem like a gray mass.

I want my JOB to be unique so that I have a clear role in big battles and SE can use that to design longer more interesting battles.

I also want to see what job I am by just looking at my character.

Also I want to see BLMs out there.

Ideally I'd like my actions in battle to enhance my stats like a constant healer would gain healing + stats and so forth. That kind of uniqueness is good but doesn't make the classes messy.

I really want to look at Pugilist as a MAR and think "I want to level that class to 50 as the gameplay is probably completely different to this class."
#21 Feb 21 2011 at 3:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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I wanna add to what someone was saying earlier about Lancer is supposedly good at attacking from a safe distance. Its weird because there is no safe distance. Even at max range for Lancer, they are still in AOE range. And also, even though you can attack at a little bit longer distance with the lunges, after a couple attacks your Lancer stays in close instead of back stepping back out to distance, so you have to constantly back up. Not like it matters though, as I said, you are still in AOE range anyways. Maybe acc/att is better at a distance I don't know.

On the other side of things though, even though the classes are not as unique as in FFXI. You have to think that in XI, most classes didn't blossom or come into their own until the 50-60 range. Was the same with sub jobs too, it wasn't til 60 for most til you became more defined with your sub job as well. 50-60, That's when classes got their AF and defining abilities and weapon skills. Most classes besides MNK(Raging Fists) and THF(Shark Bite) had pretty much crappy weapon skills until late 50s/60 range. I think when they raise the cap is their best opportunity to make each class shine. It's at least how it was in XI to a point. I can only hope.

I think AF type gear would be a huge leap in this direction, even though its just cosmetically. It really adds a lot to the feel and uniqueness of a class when you can easily see what they are just by looking at their armor. I remember in XI, first time I saw a DRK in full AF while I was waiting on the boat to Selbina, I thought to myself "That's what I want to be and look like!"

Since in XIV any class can wear any gear, I'm not sure if AF would have the same feel though. It would at least be a step in the right direction if the AF had stats that improve the abilities that only that particular class can use and can't be crossed to another.
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