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Class, Identity, and CommunityFollow

#1 Nov 22 2010 at 5:56 PM Rating: Decent
9 posts
Hi all,

I am extremely pumped for the release of this game. I really hope it provides the genre with a breath of fresh air. Though it borrows elements from games of which we are familiar, I understand that games build upon games build upon games...and so on. There are many features of Rift that have piqued my interest, but one has particularly stood out in front of me, and that is the Calling/Soul system. I am interested in what anybody has to say about it. My MMO background includes EQ classic (around 2000), Guild Wars, WoW, and most recently Aion, so my opinions about Rift are compared to these games.

I find the character development in this game to be intricate (not in a bad way) and liberating. 32 classes, and the limitless combinations within, can seem a bit daunting, so who knows which ones will be effective. It's better than having static classes (EQ, Guild Wars) and a twist on WoW's Talent System. I can see that as time goes on, people will discover "optimal" combinations for particular roles. Do you think that "carbon copy" templates will prevail in the long run? Or will there be multiple paths to a particular role, that are on equal footing but with different play styles? When I say "role", I mean DPS, tank, heals, utility, etc. For example, will there be that "one" optimal hybrid soul combo that will allow one to heal and melee, or will there be alternative soul combos?

I find that in MMOs that one's identity is determined by both class played and server reputation. I envision that Rift's flexible character development system makes it possible for the idea of "class" to be less important, and the emphasis is more on play style, ability, and reputation. These characteristics are what build a solid foundation for the server's community. I really hope that the game takes this direction, as I find community to be the most important part of an MMO. What do you think?


#2 Nov 22 2010 at 6:27 PM Rating: Decent
2 posts
Do you think that "carbon copy" templates will prevail in the long run?

Yes, atleast in PvP - but as balance patches go through this will change in time so I don't see a problem with it. In PvE, I don't think it applies as much as encounters will be different enough (I presume) that many combinations will come in play in different situations. Developers even stated that there will be some "useless" builds :)

When it comes to identity I think ultimately it comes down to class either way as it is the way to define your character -> that is how you identify and relate to others (atleast on the other faction), i.e. by name and class. I don't know if you are right in your speculation/hopes, but I personally like the fact that you are identified with your class. I don't think the fact that the soul system is set up the way it is causes these issues you bring up as much the ability to swap souls at will. In other games you could specc differently but you where still tied to your class, in Rift you are tied to your archetype which essentially means there are only 4 classes in the "classical" sense.

#3 Nov 22 2010 at 6:58 PM Rating: Decent
7 posts
I think carbon copies of a good player will seem like a good choice and many people will play them but they are really only limiting themselves to someone else's play style. There will always be a few setups that will be better in certain situations but anyone that just clones the flavor of the month class it's their loss in terms of experiencing the game and possibly finding a much better setup to their play style.
#4 Nov 22 2010 at 7:09 PM Rating: Decent
4 posts
The calling/soul system is probably one of the best designs I've seen in an MMO. EQ, WoW, DAoC, and Warhammer all featured specific paths. My Warcraft shaman only had so many routes that I could go and there were clearly superior specs for whatever I wanted to accomplish.

With Rift we see the advent of true multiclassing and hybrid builds by introducing multiple trees into the same toon with multiple paths to follow. It gives a much closer feel to D&D engines which offer a greater individual diversity and the ability to fill multiple roles without having to constantly reroll, respec, redo.

By allowing a player to gain such a multiclassing ability, you open multiple play-styles and get away from the rote sort of character generation that other MMOs, by their very nature, demand.
#5 Nov 22 2010 at 7:15 PM Rating: Decent
26 posts
Qualabar wrote:
Do you think that "carbon copy" templates will prevail in the long run?

sadly they will, thats not a bad thing because what you will see is a mass of the fotm soul mixs, then you will have those people that come up with some odd combination that will give them a advantage, i really think and hope that the game will be dynamic and every changing, i know for myself i will be changing my souls often to fit the need of the guild and the task at hand.

on a side note, i hope they have it so people cant see what soul mix you are, i wanna dominate people and keep them guessing as to what soul mix i have that day, and i really dont wanna be able to look on a website and see what my opposition is, to me that takes away from the fun
#6 Nov 22 2010 at 7:19 PM Rating: Decent
3 posts
Some times too many classes can be an issue, especially with pvp balancing, and if they are balancing pvp that could also affect pve which usually ****** the pve'ers off. Cookie cutters will always be there, even with sooo many different options people will theory craft all day long to find out what is best for each option, and then there will be the people who say if you aren't doing this then you are bad. Which is sad, and I hope there are a lot of viable options for people to use.

I like the way the tree skills are setup look pretty cool and should be pretty interesting. I also want to see what cool things they can do with the rifts.

Also, I hope they release the game when it is ready to be released, I got burned on FFXIV along with many others...
#7 Nov 22 2010 at 7:20 PM Rating: Decent
3 posts
I'm hoping the vast amount of different choices make the cookie cutter class obsolete. I've always played what I wanted to and let the nerf bat do its thing to level the playing field.
#8 Nov 22 2010 at 7:22 PM Rating: Decent
4 posts
I'm not really worried about the class system at all... Just look at WoW, you could dual spec, and it worked great. A lot of people feel that their "identity" as a class will be lost, however, it's your chars identity and how you play that will make a difference, not the class in itself.
#9 Nov 22 2010 at 7:36 PM Rating: Decent
26 posts
loyrl wrote:

Also, I hope they release the game when it is ready to be released, I got burned on FFXIV along with many others...

from what im told the game is already more polished then ffx1v hehe, we will find out soon
#10 Nov 22 2010 at 7:41 PM Rating: Decent
3 posts
Yeah we will find out soon! Also with the respecs a lot of people hated the idea of it for some reason... but it turned out fine imo. Not sure what people were scared of. It lets people play differently quickly and with rift and the different souls it should keep me away from alts... urg
#11 Nov 22 2010 at 7:50 PM Rating: Decent
26 posts
your still need alts for the other archtypes
#12 Nov 22 2010 at 7:58 PM Rating: Decent
118 posts
zonjinn wrote:
your still need alts for the other archtypes

Yep and that makes me happy. I will only have to have 4 Max level characters to cover every possible archetype. I may have to make more characters to see the other faction if I decide to be a purest to my respective faction, but I'm not sure if I'll do that, or if that will even be forced on me.
#13 Nov 22 2010 at 8:06 PM Rating: Decent
I agree with the OP in some ways and disagree in others. While I am a WoW addict, and part of me feels secure in the "spec into this with these to do this" kind of set up, that Rift gives a bit of a different spin on things that reminds me quite a bit of EQ2, but without the grueling Alternate Advancement leveling issue. The theory-crafting side of me cries out in agony when I think of all the various things that would come into play when trying to create a fully-optimized build for x role (tank, dps, healer, utility, or whatever) but the rest of me wants to see how this will blossom and if, just maybe, the freedom given to poke around and try new things instead of being put into a "cookie cutter" might just be a really interesting and fun thing to try!

While the idea of the "base classes" and "branched specialties" seems a little bit like it was borrowed from Aion's gameplay, it definitely seems like the soul-inheriting idea will not only cause those who seek to optimize themselves plenty of numbers to crunch before ever reaching a conclusion, but also puts an extra branch of freedom to the idea. Although I'm curious as to if you'll be able to cross base classes or if it's rooted into crossing the "specializations" if you will. Although, from what I've read/heard/seen, it seems like the later is true considering the complications of the former (crossing armor classes, etc).

I'm looking forward to this game to come out, and would love to get a beta key (admittedly, that's what brought me here to post, as I'm sure many of us are guilty of), but I guess good things come to those who wait, right? Another fiasco like the FF14 open beta wouldn't be wonderful...

(Please ignore my very much outdated signature >.> Hoping for a fix on the signature-editing page soon!)

Edited, Nov 22nd 2010 9:16pm by Suikun
Dranei Holy Priest, lvl 12 -- Suikun
#14 Nov 22 2010 at 8:25 PM Rating: Decent
155 posts
Hmm I think we will actually get a mix of carbon copies and original designs.
With all the classes and combos allowed to us it more than possible to see a lot of carbon copies. Some on puts out a good build say pvp vs this particular build and people will copy it. 1 to see if it truly works and 2 because they want to play it too.

BUT then the there are people with originality who will create things like the dps bard, or tank healer who is able to solo and provide dam.

I think we will be seeing a lot of carbon copies and the same characters for the first few months as everyone figures out the game and what works with what. Give it six months and there should be a lot more originality out there mixing with the hordes of CCs
Hikaru Najumi - Paragon Reaver ?

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