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Old 09-12-2006, 03:57 PM   #21
Lanthum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (KaVir @ Sep. 12 2006,03:36)
In my opinion, the objective should be to make every race and class combination equally viable.  Perhaps the orc fighter is able to dish out the most damage, the dwarven fighter can withstand the most damage, the elven fighter is the fastest and the halfling fighter is the best at dodging - but they should all be equally viable.
I agree with you - and that's basically what I was trying to say before:

Unless you are making a strict RP-style mud (which I know little about since I have played very few), if the game is based around combat to any extent - the power gamers will find the best combo of race/class for any particular situation no matter what. I don't think there is anything wrong with it, let's face it - that's what power gamers do. While we, the designers, might think that every combo is viable (IE: fun to play and equally useful), to power gamers viable does not (necessarily) equal playable.

I wasn't advocating coding your game such that there was only one combo for each race/class. Quite the opposite. All I was meaning was that even if you do make in-depth, intricate changes to races (and classes), that the scenario of X race for Y class might (and probably will) eventually occur. What I was suggesting is that designers need to think about balancing races (and classes) such that they don't create a situation of only one choice, but instead create MORE choices.

But to answer the original poster's question, much like the others, yes I think original races are good and important. But most designers put too much importance on "new" or "original" races without spending enough (or any) time on fleshing them out. Personally, what I was planning on doing is offering 1 or 2 original races at the onset, and then "revealing" new ones later on.


BTW KaVir - nice idea on the background system you proposed. It seems akin to the idea I had of "traits" that I am going to use for my upcoming game - but you put it into words better than I did and you gave me a few more ideas! Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2006, 04:17 PM   #22
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But please be careful, KaVir, to follow your own advice.
Well I don't have races, but as far as classes go I most certainly do follow my own advice - I am very careful to make sure that each class is as equally viable as possible, and playable in a wide variety of ways (there are many ways to play each class, and it's common to see several experienced players of the same class who have completely different characters and playing styles).

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I was disappointed when I played GW2 when I made a wizard, saw all the totally sweet powers wizards get, then realized the other three classes get basically identical powers under different names.  Just four different names for teleport, four different names for enchanting equipment, etc...
When you break down powers to their core functionality, you end up with only a small number of possibilities - I would tend to categorise them as follows (although even here there is some crossover):

* Shapechanging (wolf, cloud of bats, etc).
* Summon pet (elementals, a mount, etc).
* Craft item (enchant weapon, create magical armour, etc).
* Bless bonuses (rage, giant strength, etc).
* Curse penalties (fear, fever, etc).
* Invisibility (conceal yourself from others).
* Detect invisibility (see those who are concealed).
* Teleport (rapid travel).
* Tracking (locate other creatures).
* Regeneration (recover damage over time).
* Offensive (fireball, lightning bolt, etc).
* Defensive (forcefield, resist energy, etc).

If you only want one class to have access to any sort of teleportation power, and one to have access to item crafting, etc, then you're only going to up with about three powers per class - and some of these powers are pretty critical.  If your class doesn't have access to any sort of 'detect invisibility' power, then how're you going to fight someone who's invisible?

Yes, every class has the ability to 'teleport' - but they do so through different means, for example:

1) Vampire:

* Can transform into a cloud of bats using the Bat Form power.  This form is highly resilient to physical damage, and has very strong attacks, but it cannot wear equipment and is highly vulnerable to fire.  While in this form, the player can swoop up into the air and 'teleport' to other locations.

* Can purchase the House NightWing talent which, among other things, grants the character a pair of batlike wings.  These wings can be used to 'teleport' to other locations.

* Can place the Chiroptera rune on your chest, using the Blood Runes power.  This grants the character a pair of batlike wings while in human form, and modifies their Wolf Form power so that instead of turning into a wolf, they transforms into a giant bat.  Both give access to the ability to 'teleport' between locations.

* Can purchase the House ShadowSworn talent which unlocks various spells, including the standard teleport spell.

2) Werewolf:

* The Lesser Totem Spirit power allows the character to summon an owl spirit, which functions as a form of 'teleport'.

* Can purchase the Spirit Wolfkin talent which unlocks various spells, including the standard teleport spell.

3) Mage:

* Automatically has access to the basic spells, including the standard teleport spell.

* Can raise the Air Magic power to learn the portal spell, which creates a pair of connected portals which players can travel through in either direction.

4) Demon:

* The Warbeast power at rank 10 unlocks the Demonology power, which allows the character to summon a winged warbeast mount, allowing the rider to 'teleport' to other locations.

* The Wings of the Abyss power provides a powerful wing attack and the ability to 'teleport'.

* The Demon Form power allows the player to shapechange into a customised demonic form which usually has some sort of wings (although they can be traded for something else, such as a shell or a cloud of flies).

* Can purchase the Witch Spawn talent which unlocks various spells, including the standard teleport spell.

Now obviously these aren't all described as teleporting in a puff of smoke - the werewolf sees the owl swoop down and pick him up, the demon's wings beat, the mage makes the appropriate magical gestures, and so on.  Equally, the teleportation is only one aspect of each of the powers - Bat Form is also a combat and scouting form, the teleport spell is only one of many different spells, the owl spirit is one of 4 possible spirits granted by the Lesser Totem Spirit power, Chiroptera is only one of 10 runes (and only gives wings when placed on the chest, doing something completely different if placed on the hands, feet or cheeks), and so on.

But from a pure functionality perspective, yes, all classes have the ability to rapidly travel from X to Y.  It's a necessary ability due to the nature of the game.

The same is the case with crafting - each class has between 2 and 4 crafting powers, yet no two powers are the same.  Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, its own unique spin.  Item customisation plays an important part of the game, making it a necessary ability.
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Old 09-12-2006, 09:06 PM   #23
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I essentially stuck with well known "races" for my MUD on purpose, to give players something to relate to. However I've reinvented a lot of them away from typical stereotypes, to give them their own uniqueness. That with a few newer races added to it, will hopefully give players something to work with.

I IMMed on a MUD for a time that had about 21 races, several of those being duplicates of one race (drow, wood-elf, etc). The problem I found was that they just took the well-known races and named them something new. Which is another pet-peeve because I think it may also deter players away.

Though the worst scenario is trying to create all new races with names that are impossible to pronounce and not very well described.
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Old 09-12-2006, 11:41 PM   #24
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I believe making sure races and classes are creative, playable. and diverse is important. Wether or not they are unique or stockbased. If there is no gameplay, then that defeats the porpuse of having classes, and if there is no diveristy than that defeats the porpuse of having races, and if there is no creative, defeats the porpuse of having either.
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Old 09-13-2006, 07:58 PM   #25
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Just read KaVirs post on mudlab. Nice.

I was just thinking that it'd be nice if instead of being able to make all those choices at character creation they were actually inbedded into the game in a role play way.

Sorry it's late, bear with me.

What I mean is you can chose to be human, elven, half blood, dark elf, dwarf etc. Perhaps even some of the 'talents'. Then by exploring the world you can discover opportunities for your character to take on those 'talents' etc.

I'm a human, male. I choose to be a warrior. I go out into the world and find a band of warriors who agree to take me in for six months and train me. If I accept their offer I go in with basic warrior skills and come out with a few extras, perhaps there is even quests that need to be completed for the warriors before you can complete your training.

Same for a mage.

I'm a character that gets myself into a hoplessly dangerous situation and I'm given then opportunity to beg the gods for assistance. Depending on your recent alignment (good/bad deeds) either a 'good' or 'bad' god appears to you and offers to assist you in return for devotion. You then become permanently aligned to that god. It gives you new skills but also limits you by forcing you to choose to go down one path or another.

There would be a never ending array of possibilities for skills, plots, traits, rp that could come from this sort of character advancement.
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