classes

Discuss the sequel to Planet Stronghold here
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jack1974
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classes

Post by jack1974 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:00 pm

Image
we (Anima and I) are trying to come up with the classes now. Since the RPG framework/combat is going to be very different from the first, there will also be some differences between the new and old classes. I wanted to keep them similar initially but I've realized that would have been a bad move since in the first game they weren't balanced really well. Also the skills have changed a lot as well, so makes sense to think something new.
In the image above the current summary of features of each class, of course it's all work in progress and is more like a "checklist" to remind myself what each class can do. As we wrote in other thread, the fact that the psionic has an x on all type of psionic abilities only mean that has a wide range of abilities but the Guardian and the Scout both will have more powerful abilities as tradeoff for less variety.

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Re: classes

Post by Seloun » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:57 am

I kind of feel like psionics should have a special psionic category of its own (that no one else gets) but I'm not sure what would be the most appropriate. I'm inclined to suggest offensive (assuming this means mostly direct-damage oriented) since the other classes mostly cover that with weapons, but the psionics categories seem a bit too unclear in terms of design niche.

Grenades seems out of place from the list; it kind of feel like there should be a separate category of 'items', unless you want to think about recategorizing by niche instead (I'm assuming 'grenade' means 'AE damage/maybe effects' as a niche), in which case it might be worth thinking about it differently from the top down. Something like 'how does class X accomplish task Y?':

Defensive Strategy (what does this class do not to die personally) - Damage reduction based, evasion based, health based, active, directed
Soft target strategy (how does this class kill low armor targets quickly) - Rapid firing weapons, dual wielding, burst fire bonuses, armor-sensitive psionics
Hard target strategy (how does this class kill high armor targets) - Crit damage, high damage weapons, aimed mode bonuses, armor-ignore psionics
AE strategy (what does this class have that scales with number of enemies) - item based (limited by charges), psionics based (limited by PP), weapon based (unlimited but probably talent restricted), enemy-action triggered based
CC strategy (what does this class have to prevent enemies from acting) - aggro management/control enemy targeting, enemy action removal, enemy attack removal, enemy special ability removal, slower enemy actions, faster party actions
Offensive strategy (quicker killing for party) - accuracy bonus, damage bonus, increased shots bonus, deny enemy healing?
Defensive strategy (slower party death) - evasion bonus, resistance bonus, reduced shots bonus, party healing, party PP restore

etc.

Of course, within each subcategory there are still possibility of further refinement as to exactly how it's done (accuracy bonus could be a passive party accuracy bonus, an evasion debuff automatically attached to aimed shots, single target short duration accuracy buff, or a grenade that reduces all enemy's evasion - which could also double as the AE strategy). I also don't claim that the major categories are the right ones, either; that's completely dependent on the overall design for the nature of the game/class divisions. However, it can be helpful to think about the possible niches first and then how to slot the classes into them.

It's also not important that each category (however you define them) get equal presence for each class, especially since (unlike, say, WoW) one player controls the whole party. Guardians would probably be overrepresented in the defensive category and scouts probably in the hard target one (?maybe?).

The reason I got off on this tangent is actually due to the question 'what is the purpose of light/medium/heavy armor'? That is, what is their distinguishing characteristic? I'm not sure if those categories are the right names (for design anyway; you can always relabel them for the purposes of the player later if it makes sense). Evasive or Damage Reduction based are two natural categories (but it's not clear light is evasive, or that e.g. psionics should get access to it if that is the case). If it's supposed to be bad/alright/good, then it's not clear why Guardians don't get access to light (i.e. the highest category should imply access to the lower categories, unless for flavor, since mechanically it doesn't really fit in that case).

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Lonestar51
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Re: classes

Post by Lonestar51 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:38 am

Jack, I keep wondering what you have in store for my favourite class in PS1: The guardian.

It seems as if the guardian has become to be a soldier with heavy armor and access to defencsive psionics. In other words: The guardian is now the tank, not the heavy hitter. Which is not a bad thing in itself, I just wanted to ask: Is this what you intend for the class?

Of course, for the soldier the question is: Why should I take a soldier in my party, except for Michelles nice smile? :) What is the advantage of having a soldier vs a guardian?

Oh, and by the way: I hope there will be some kind of medium/heavy armor early on, better wo in case I decide to make the PC guardian and take Tom as well as a guardian.

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jack1974
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Re: classes

Post by jack1974 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:28 am

Seloun wrote:I kind of feel like psionics should have a special psionic category of its own (that no one else gets) but I'm not sure what would be the most appropriate. I'm inclined to suggest offensive (assuming this means mostly direct-damage oriented) since the other classes mostly cover that with weapons, but the psionics categories seem a bit too unclear in terms of design niche.
I want the Psionic to have a lot of variety of abilities. Some of them could be available to Scouts/Guardians as well but in those cases more powerful (since they have only a few). Or they could be simply different. But Psionic will have a wide range of abilities from resurrect, offense, buff, debuffs and so on. They just won't have any "big psionic skill", but a variety and also they can use more because have more PP than any other classes.
Seloun wrote:Grenades seems out of place from the list; it kind of feel like there should be a separate category of 'items', unless you want to think about recategorizing by niche instead (I'm assuming 'grenade' means 'AE damage/maybe effects' as a niche), in which case it might be worth thinking about it differently from the top down. Something like 'how does class X accomplish task Y?':
Yes for now I put grenades because I know that category needs to be added, there could be others. Grenades are the only way to have AOE damage with non-psionic abilities so are very different from all the other weapons.

As for what is the role, Anima and I are exactly trying to define that, but is really not easy :) Also because Anima wants to have different statuses in combat.
Quoting his email, where I thought the Guardian as a Paladin (and so I answer also Lonestar question):
Well basically the Guardians job is to make sure that the others are able to do theirs. That's why they are the class that will be in the open most of the time. (I'm planning a few things that would make it really unpleasant to have all members in cover.)
Drawing aggro is a way to handle that mission as well, hence the toughness requirement. Other ways would be to specifically guard someone, to hold down the enemy with cover fire or to interrupt enemies.
In addition Guardians should end up with medikits and the ability to end status effects. So your Paladin comparison was pretty much on the point already.
So yes, CURRENTLY (because I want to stress that we're still designing everything, and the final test to see if everything works will be "on the battlefield") the idea is that the Guardian is the tank and protect the allies. Anima is the one that knows better the new Framework so I'm waiting for him to finish designing the other classes to discuss with him :)
Seloun wrote:The reason I got off on this tangent is actually due to the question 'what is the purpose of light/medium/heavy armor'? That is, what is their distinguishing characteristic? I'm not sure if those categories are the right names (for design anyway; you can always relabel them for the purposes of the player later if it makes sense). Evasive or Damage Reduction based are two natural categories (but it's not clear light is evasive, or that e.g. psionics should get access to it if that is the case). If it's supposed to be bad/alright/good, then it's not clear why Guardians don't get access to light (i.e. the highest category should imply access to the lower categories, unless for flavor, since mechanically it doesn't really fit in that case).
Like in AD&D some classes cannot wear cloth/leather armor (I think, maybe they have changed it recently, not sure) it's more a flavor thing. But also we'll try to make sense. The heavy armors resist damage more. So, for certain abilities the Guardians must be "in the open", so not in cover. Being in the open means they'll be surely hit often, so evasion doesn't matter that much. In this case, the actual armor resistance has much more importance than evasion bonus. While in "cover stance", evasion might be much more important, and that's why Scout/Psionic would wear light armor since they'll never go in the open (unless they want to suicide :lol:).

In practice what we're trying to accomplish is to give the player the illusion that they're not playing in a 2d game with just one single front line, using various statuses/abilities like Cover, Suppression fire, etc. Easier to do when you have a map like in XCOM of course :wink:
Lonestar51 wrote: Of course, for the soldier the question is: Why should I take a soldier in my party, except for Michelles nice smile? :) What is the advantage of having a soldier vs a guardian?
Yeah, that's what we need to differentiate more. Soldiers don't guard/protect allies though, and have no Psionic, so they're different. We need to think about some unique/positive abilities for them now :lol:

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Re: classes

Post by SpectralTime » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:38 pm

...Not gonna lie, soldier looks LAAAAAME. It's like, anything they can do, the Guardian can do better, and do other things besides.

I mean, fair enough: I only played Soldier at all in the last game to fill the otherwise-gaping holes in the party that not picking Soldier or Guardian would have made, but...

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jack1974
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Re: classes

Post by jack1974 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:48 pm

Well they look lame now, but they'll grow up and learn to do many interesting things :mrgreen:
Probably shouldn't have posted that before we finished to design the classes, since doesn't make much sense to post a work in progress like that (even if I still got some suggestions).

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Anima_
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Re: classes

Post by Anima_ » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:46 pm

We are actually doing quite a bit more then this table indicates to define the classes.
My theme write up for the soldier is already a page long, and it's really just to get the theme done. Though it's so far the only class with a full theme. I have a pretty good idea already for the rest of the classes. Simply didn't got to write them up yet.

Soldier will be the class to go if you like blowing things up. They are the main damage dealers on your team and can take down foes a Guardian simply isn't able to deal with. That's why that table will change quite a bit.
Regarding the Guardian, I'm responsible for the changes. Naming an offensive class Guardian is just a tad on the wrong side of odd. (And it's still a mystery how Jack ended up on that naming scheme, we still have no idea. If you are able to shed some light on the mystery by all means feel free to speculate. :lol: )

Though I can assure you all that a Guardian will not simply be a Soldier with heavier armour. We will certainly provide you with a proper excuse for including Michelle in your party. Hopefully it will be something like: "Because she rocks!" At least that is my personal design goal. :wink:

Sorry that I'm kind of vague, but I'm just not done with the class design. So there isn't that much to tell. The same goes for the armour and weapon design, the table at the moment still goes with the classification from the first Planet Stronghold. Since we have some extensive changes to the system already you can expect quite a few changes there as well.

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Re: classes

Post by Seloun » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:35 am

jack1974 wrote: Like in AD&D some classes cannot wear cloth/leather armor (I think, maybe they have changed it recently, not sure) it's more a flavor thing. But also we'll try to make sense. The heavy armors resist damage more. So, for certain abilities the Guardians must be "in the open", so not in cover. Being in the open means they'll be surely hit often, so evasion doesn't matter that much. In this case, the actual armor resistance has much more importance than evasion bonus. While in "cover stance", evasion might be much more important, and that's why Scout/Psionic would wear light armor since they'll never go in the open (unless they want to suicide :lol:).
Well, that was kind of the question (though a perfectly reasonable answer is that it's still in development): is there a reason to wear light armor if you wear medium or heavy armor? If heavy armors are just better in general, it seemed weird that Guardians would specifically be unable to wear light armor (why would they choose to even if they could?) which seemed to imply that in some cases light armor might be more useful. The categories simply being stand-ins for quality is perfectly reasonable, I was just wondering why Guardians would specifically be limited.

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jack1974
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Re: classes

Post by jack1974 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:37 am

Yes indeed probably Guardians shouldn't even bother with light armors :wink: a reason could be the weight/space occupied. We're planning a sort of "weight system" so that you can't just carry 50 bazookas with you, but each item will occupy some space (again an idea taken from XCOM) so maybe if you wear a heavy armor you can't also carry 10 grenades but only 5. Another reason would be a speed penalty, heavy armor = more encumbering and so reduces the speed/initiative (or even accuracy but need to think about it).
Haha I realize now how many aspects there are to consider. Please be kind with us if we'll "forget something" along the road :mrgreen: personally I'll be already happy to have a combat like Loren, not perfect but well balanced and interesting enough. I'm quite modest and I know my limits. The interesting thing is that this RPG framework will be the "base" and we should be able to improve it game by game, for example we're planning to reuse this one for Loren 2 and maybe for "that other unannounced RPG game" :wink:

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Elmsdor
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Re: classes

Post by Elmsdor » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:32 am

Muhahaha, I live.

Firstly, does PS still use the point system in choosing which skills to learn or enhance?

If it does, I don't feel any soldier or other classes should be restricted from psionics, but scaling costs vs prohibitions. So perhaps a Soldier might have to pay 2-3 more pts per skill over a guardian? etc

And Psionics should be able to learn everything. But if you want each class to have a unique class psionic skill, maybe?

From PS1, I always believed the Hero was a Super Soldier class, able to do almost anything but need a few friends to take care of Specialist Issue. How would anyone feel about a Super Soldier, or Hero Class? Sure, you may lack that option to pick 1 of the 4 at the start, and instead, have a bevy of skills to work and customise.

Cheers

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