SOE Live 2013: Class Panel Takeaways

  • Revealed classes are Warrior, Wizard, Blademaster, Rogue, and Tempest (this one may be a multi-class build; not certain)
  • Each class has an identity; needs to be functional and evoke an emotion to connect to the player (ex: Warrior is destructive and violent, feel like a non-delicate brute)
  • Used “iconic characters” such as the Juggernaut or the Hulk as inspiration
  • Every class should be fun! Fun to play and look at (abilities evoking a WOW factor)
  • Animated to show personalities
  • The class you pick determines your armor, weapons (including abilities) and character abilities
  • Multi-classing is very important!
  • Collect classes to: advance them all individually (advancement is in “tiers”), swap between them outside of combat, open up new gameplay
  • Progression can be applied to any character class you possess
  • Play however you want, whenever you want.. EQ Next does not require the use of dedicated tanks and healers
  • Action-oriented combat
  • Build your character how you want by collecting classes and use abilities to create different class builds that match your playstyle
  • The core of your character is formed by the armor, items, and weapon abilities from your class (ex: Warrior with heavy armor, hammer and shield, then weapon abilities like Forceful Blow)
  • Character abilities can be adjusted (more below)
  • Abilities and items combined enhance your customized class build

Abilities

  • Can choose character abilities from different classes to make your character customized
  • Some “iconic” abilities with new functionality
  • Warrior abilities: Leap (weapon), Whirlwind, Shield Bash
  • Four character abilities
  • Character abilities are non-weapon skills. They can be movement, offensive, defensive, or utility (examples given were a desummon spell, invisibility spell, or cloning)
  • Each character class has a semi-unique set of these abilities
  • Some classes may be more diverse, with one each of the character abilities, while others may not be (example: Rogue gets two offensive and two utility; Wizard gets two movement, one defensive, one offensive)
  • Character abilities can be customized for your class: level up other classes to unlock abilities to customize builds on your class of choice (these were called “character ability loadouts” during the panel)
  • Save custom loadouts and call it what you want (ex: Warrior – Magebane)

Weapons and Items

  • Four weapon abilities (varies by weapon and class)
  • Abilities match the class’s identity
  • They are a defining characteristic of the class and should evoke feeling
  • You can tell what class something is through how they are animated (holding or using weapons differently, “visual language”)
  • Items can modify your abilities (ex: a ring that makes teleport abilities cost less energy)

Q&A
Q: Combos?
A: Elaborate system that allows you to do things one after another with your abilities

Q: Target locking?
A: A lot of these abilities do not require a target.. but you may hit everyTHING around you.

Q: How will you prevent min/maxxing?
A: Mechanisms put in that narrow down exploits; not just for flavor but also for balance. Always an on-going process.
A: “Exploiting and min/maxxing are not the same..”… they want and encourage people to collect what they can to augment their builds.

Q: Will there be an issue balancing environment and movement with end-game raiding?
A: “It would be arrogant for us to assume…” that they can completely prevent any imbalance; there’s a lot of developer experience on the team, balance is an on-going process.

Q: Will pets be for one fight or…?
A: Pets aren’t dumbfire pets; the AI is smart…
Q: Permanent pet or one fight though?
A: All variations of pets.

Q: Is four weapon/char abilities the limit?
A: Plan to add more, but not necessarily more slots. Will add many more classes and such in the future.
A: More to this system than being talked about currently.

Q: Are there too many particle effects?
A: We were showing off amazing things for demos… average person won’t be able to do that. Game will be balanced around the idea of more people being present.

Q: Is this true multi-classing or is it being stuck with class-only abilities?
A: Character abilities are true multi-classing.
A: There’s more to come as well from customization.
A: Character abilities come from what you have unlocked.

Q: Roleless dynamic where everyone does their own DPS and avoid damage in group/raid settings or do some lean more toward one role?
A: Some classes have abilities that fit more in-line with healer, but you can still play the way you want and it won’t be the only type of play.
A: NPCs aren’t stupid enough to attack the same person over and over… they will figure out who is hurting them and try to stop them.
A: Players can play defensively or support… you don’t have to rely on any one person.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of classes any one person can obtain?
A: No limit…
A: There may be something like faction limitations (hypothetical currently)
A: In the round table we’ll talk to the community. Expect “way more classes than we originally launched with” as time goes on.

Q: How will you counteract the possibility of a collapse of teamwork/strategy?
A: AI will make you need to form strategies; they are not predictable and will react based on your and other’s actions.
A: We have a very detailed and intricate plan for strategies and tactics. No specific role is integral to a certain strategy. We want people to play the game to have fun; guilds should not fall apart because one person wants to change their gameplay or leave.

Q: Will the game recognize the contribution of support characters?
A: Yes.

Q: How will we manage inventory (a lot of items)?
A: Systems in place to allow you to organize easily.

Q: Will the classes and abilities work the same in PvP as they do in PvE?
A: Not talking about PvP much at this time. More later.
A: NPCs designed to be similar to players.

Q: Tanks aren’t important in games like Neverwinter Nights; how will they be here?
A: All classes are useful and functional to a group or raid.

Q: What classes are available at character creation versus finding them?
A: Roughly eight at creation; typical starting classes.
A: Multi-classing is your choice; if you enjoy the one you start with, you can do that, too. Multi-classing is just a bonus.
A: The term “starter classes” does not mean they are any different than other classes you find in the game.

Q: Secret World has a similar ability system, guilds force people to use certain builds, how will you avoid that?
A: That’s a good question.
A:  It’s possible that social restrictions could be placed in that way. It’s also an issue a game balance; we have experienced people to try and avoid these situations.
A: Working with the community is important to understanding these issues.

Q: Possible for someone to advance without doing damage?
A: You need to be involved… no click-to-heal type gameplay.

Q: How many configurations can you save?
A: Working on the details.. some number you can swap between but don’t want to limit.

Q: Rows of action bars?
A: That’s what the class builds are; eight abilities.

Q: Dual wielding… how does that work with abilities?
A: “I wield a hammer and shield: that’s a weapon. I wield two swords: that’s a weapon.”
A: We call them weapon sets.

Q: Can we not wear weapons/armor?
A: Classes are designed with specific flavor in mind.. if there was a class designed that way then it’s possible.
Q: … but if you removed your weapon as a Warrior?
A: No, you must wear your things in that situation.

Q: How do we collect the classes? Like scrolls, mob drops, or stuff like that?
A: “You just explained several ways that it could work!”

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