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Shadow
09-10-2009, 01:42 PM
Change is becoming a common theme, and now it's time for the class system. In our upcoming dungeon crawl, we will have 6 main, fully fledged classes with 3 specialties, each offering 10 skills for a total of 30 unique skills for every class. So far this is similar to how our first game, Depths of Peril, worked. The major difference is that instead of picking a full class, you can choose a hybrid class!

The advantage and disadvantage of hybrid classes are one and the same- you choose any 2 specialties you want from the 6 main classes. You have a lot of freedom to choose any combination, however, you end up with less skills than a full class has (20 instead of 30). It's the penalty of pursuing two completely different specialties at the same time.

Each specialty has 10 unique skills and/or spells, and also has a number of basic armor and weapon skills (these don't count against the 10 skills). So picking your specialties is a decision about what armor, weapons, and skills you want to be able to use.

Do you want to play a plate mail wearing mage type of character? You can do that. Do you want to have healing spells and be able to pick locks? You can! Do you want to summon fantastical creatures, but still stand toe to toe with monsters in a fight? You should be able to do that too.

Yes I am being a bit vague on the classes. I think I have settled on what the 6 classes and 18 specialties are going to be, but the skills are still very much in flux.

As an aside, with our hybrid classes, I just made what should be an easy interview question much harder. Often we get questions like "How many classes will your game have?" With Depths of Peril this is an easy answer-4. In Kivi's Underworld this question got harder. There are 22 classes total, but they aren't full classes. They each have 2 unique skills and work a bit more like a gauntlet character (they aren't meant to be full fledged character classes). In the dungeon crawl, the full answer is we have 6 main classes, 18 specialty classes, and a possibility of 141 different class combinations (6 full classes and 135 hybrid combinations that make sense).

As usual comments are welcome.

Delilah Rehm
09-10-2009, 03:17 PM
I'm really excited about the possibilities!

I already know the first combo I'm going to try- priest/warrior. Those were my two faves from Depths of Peril days. Of course that doesn't take into account the new classes.

I suspect I'm going to have several 'main' characters I'll play regularly. :D

Shadow
09-10-2009, 03:53 PM
Because of how it works there are actually 6 priest/warrior combos. So there's even a lot of options when you narrow it down to 2 main classes.

Guenwhyever
09-11-2009, 11:12 AM
Priest was my favorite in DoP, just because of the survivability.
In my eyes, character development is one of the key aspects in an RPG.
All these choices are going to drive me insane :P

I believe this codebase started with Kivi, but the game is going to resemble DoP much more.... and with this post being on classes, I find this a suiting place for my question =]

From a modding perspective, will the classes be soft (IE: Kivi) or hard (IE: DoP)?

Shadow
09-11-2009, 11:38 AM
I believe this codebase started with Kivi, but the game is going to resemble DoP much more.... and with this post being on classes, I find this a suiting place for my question =]

From a modding perspective, will the classes be soft (IE: Kivi) or hard (IE: DoP)?

All 3 games use the same engine. It just gets upgraded for each game.

I'm not sure what you mean exactly by soft or hard. The classes will be full classes with lots of skills and choices like DoP is, but they will be much more moddable like Kivi is.

Delilah Rehm
09-11-2009, 02:17 PM
I think what Guenwhyever might have been wondering is will the player be able to mod their own classes?

Shadow
09-11-2009, 02:27 PM
That was the 2nd half of my answer. Classes will be very modifiable and you should be able to add new classes fairly easily similar to Kivi.

Delilah Rehm
09-11-2009, 02:52 PM
Oh, right! For some reason when I saw mod, I didn't think make. I think people will really enjoy making their own classes! :)

SharpCarlos
09-11-2009, 10:08 PM
Interesting. Sounds like a nice compromise, where we've still got plenty of freedom (141 class combinations), but AREN'T just facing a big messy soup of skills (where we can pick anything from anywhere). And I like the cost/benefit in the choice of single class vs. multiclass. Should be a fun choice to make.

Do different specialties within a class have different armor/weapon skills? If so, how will that work if I pick a "pure" class and get access to all three specialties? Do I get access to all the different armor and weapons? Or are those skills I have to "buy" with skill points (or whatever), and so I'll probably end up specializing anyway?

Or should I just shut up and wait 'till you post more details? :)

Ooh, hey, I just noticed "summon fantastical creatures" in your examples. Sweet. I've always loved summoning classes.

Shadow
09-11-2009, 10:44 PM
Do different specialties within a class have different armor/weapon skills? If so, how will that work if I pick a "pure" class and get access to all three specialties? Do I get access to all the different armor and weapons? Or are those skills I have to "buy" with skill points (or whatever), and so I'll probably end up specializing anyway?

Yes, different specialties within the same class do have different armor and weapon skills. Most of these skills are just basic skills that you automatically get, can't put any skill points into, and allows you to equip that type of item.

This doesn't really effect the pure classes much, they simply get access to all the armor/weapon basic skills from all 3 specialties. This impacts hybrids more. Let's use a priest/warrior type hybrid like Delilah wants to play as an example. If you pick the weaponmaster warrior specialty, you get access to lots of weapon types. However, if you pick the defender warrior specialty, you get less weapon access, but more armor access.

There are a couple armor skills that you can use skill points on though and a bunch of weapon mastery skills. So there are ways for some of the classes/specialties to focus on one weapon type if they want to.

SharpCarlos
09-12-2009, 12:37 AM
Okay, cool. That clarifies the sort of things you're going for with the specializations, and REALLY emphasizes the dual-class vs pure-class choice. A pure warrior can probably use the best weapons AND the best armor. Whereas a dual-class character who's half warrior has to pick one or the other. Well, depending on the details of the other (non-warrior) specialization, I suppose. I can see where all this will lead to some agonizing (in a good way) choices, and that great feeling of "I'm enjoying this character, but I can't wait to try this other combination of classes, or maybe I'll try this OTHER combo instead..."

Sounds terrific.

scragar
09-12-2009, 02:13 AM
Just want to issue a warning here to shadow to be careful with balancing issues, sometimes the weakest moves can add up to near invunrability(I'm reminded of the invis status combined with the blind spell from FF6, which would give you immunity to magic and a 1/6 chance of being hit with any physical attacks, on top of your normal evade chance(Which could be further boosted), both spells on their own were useless, since almost all enemies knew magic and invis is dispelled with physical attacks, making both wasted turns if used alone...).
Erm, that turned into quite a large side comment, sorry.

Shadow
09-12-2009, 10:05 AM
I know this is going to be painful to balance. :)

Kruztee
09-12-2009, 09:31 PM
No no no, I don't think it's important to put much effort into balancing them at all. I mean, if the game is not going to be a player vs player competitive experience anyway (and I for one direly hope that it isn't) then there's no need for all the class combos to be as equally as effective. Kind of like rolling a troll mage in ADoM or similar styled game, it would provide a means for good players to test their resourcefulness and skill by playing a percieved "weak" class. Of course, many a troll mage has gone on to win ADoM since players are probably more aware of their character's limitations and are playing much more thoughfully than what they normally might. The need for a percieved balance in RPG's is only required in games like World of Warcraft and other mainly online games where player characters compete either directly (PvP) or indirectly side-by-side(PvE). A good offline RPG has no need for balance between classes, and actually gains benefit in terms of gameplay value (in my opinion) by not being balanced at all.

I'd rather see a lot more class combos to experiment with than a few that have an identical (perceived) effect on the difficulty of the gameplay. Also a random option so that the player is assigned a class or muliti-class combo to adhere to - kind of like a birthright, would be a cool way to force players out of their comfort zone.

Class specific weapons would be awesome too! A system similar to that in DoP might work just as well, where the mage class, for example starts off with the staff and wand skills but cannot wield a polearm (unless he's a hybrid character or perhaps pays for training). What about a questline that provides as a reward access to a random skill from another class? That might be fun too! Perhaps for helping out the town rogue and killing a pack of warewolves that have been after him, he could teach you how to avoid traps or use poison on your weapon!

Shadow
09-13-2009, 10:30 AM
No no no, I don't think it's important to put much effort into balancing them at all. I mean, if the game is not going to be a player vs player competitive experience anyway (and I for one direly hope that it isn't) then there's no need for all the class combos to be as equally as effective. Kind of like rolling a troll mage in ADoM or similar styled game, it would provide a means for good players to test their resourcefulness and skill by playing a percieved "weak" class. Of course, many a troll mage has gone on to win ADoM since players are probably more aware of their character's limitations and are playing much more thoughfully than what they normally might. The need for a percieved balance in RPG's is only required in games like World of Warcraft and other mainly online games where player characters compete either directly (PvP) or indirectly side-by-side(PvE). A good offline RPG has no need for balance between classes, and actually gains benefit in terms of gameplay value (in my opinion) by not being balanced at all.

Don't worry I actually agree with this. I would like to make sure nothing is too out of whack though. I don't want to get into the situation where all strategy comments are just go play a X/Y hybrid. But yeah, without pvp I don't have to worry about certain hybrids dominating everyone else and without mmo type combat I don't have to worry too much about all parties thinking they must have certain classes in their group problem either.

I'd rather see a lot more class combos to experiment with than a few that have an identical (perceived) effect on the difficulty of the gameplay. Also a random option so that the player is assigned a class or muliti-class combo to adhere to - kind of like a birthright, would be a cool way to force players out of their comfort zone.

I am planning a random hybrid button. This should be interesting. You can select random name, random class, and get thrown into a random world. I have a feeling I'm going to test this way a lot.

Class specific weapons would be awesome too! A system similar to that in DoP might work just as well, where the mage class, for example starts off with the staff and wand skills but cannot wield a polearm (unless he's a hybrid character or perhaps pays for training).

We are doing this. That's the armor and weapon basic skills you get. A mage type specialty will be limited to something like cloth armor and staves. However, if you combine it with one of the warrior specialties you will get access to more armor and weapon types.

What about a questline that provides as a reward access to a random skill from another class? That might be fun too! Perhaps for helping out the town rogue and killing a pack of warewolves that have been after him, he could teach you how to avoid traps or use poison on your weapon!

We are kind of doing some of this type of things with item spell procs.

pnutz
09-16-2009, 01:00 PM
Wait, I thought this game was going to have co-op, using Kivi's co-op system and master server that you worked so long on? Did I just pull that idea out of my <optimism>?

Shadow
09-16-2009, 01:18 PM
Don't worry the plan is still to have co-op. Balancing for a co-op game and for MMO groups is a very different thing though.

Dlover
01-08-2010, 03:07 AM
It may not be a good idea, but I just thought that it could be possible to gain more specialties for your character in-game.

Say, if you meet someone in the dungeon that gives a difficult quest, and you finish, they could train you, adding a third specialty to your character.

You wouldn't have one of these people for each specialty in every game, but the game may randomly choose 1-3 of them.

Maybe you would also have to be a certain level before the character will train you too.

Delilah Rehm
01-08-2010, 11:19 AM
Oh, Dlover, I like that idea!

scragar
01-08-2010, 01:52 PM
I think having that would either lead to cases where the third speciality is swapped around repeatedly to keep it upgraded, or allowed any number of specialities and you wind up with players who have all the specialities and no weaknesses.

I do like the idea though, just can't get my head around the balancing issues.

Delilah Rehm
01-08-2010, 03:06 PM
Apparently, it would be a lot to implement at this point, programming-wise... so I don't think it's likely. :(

Dlover
01-08-2010, 05:05 PM
Yes, I don't expect much from this company yet, but in time they could become quite popular and sucsessful. I haven't seen many games that give you as many options as Din's Curse, and I haven't seen ANY companies asking people for their ideas and actually implementing them in the game.

Kruztee
01-09-2010, 12:20 PM
Yes, I don't expect much from this company yet, but in time they could become quite popular and sucsessful.

Crikey, that's a bit harsh! If you've never played Depths of Peril then seriously, you need to take a look. Without hesitation I would recommend it as my favourite indie game ever.
In a world where indie developers sales are measured in hundreds of copies (rather than hundreds of thousands of copies), I think it's safe to say that Soldak are both popular and successful already.
Of course that's just my opinion - feel free to disagree:)

Dlover
01-09-2010, 04:37 PM
Soldak is part of Indie? or... are you comparing them?

I didn't mean what I said in a bad way, but I meant, I'm not expecting them to have Crysis graphics, or gameplay, though that doesn't mean the game is any less fun.

I generally play diablo just for the "pinata fest" on some levels with heaps of demons. This game could finally mean I play a different dungeon crawler.

scragar
01-09-2010, 04:57 PM
Soldak is part of Indie? or... are you comparing them?

I didn't mean what I said in a bad way, but I meant, I'm not expecting them to have Crysis graphics, or gameplay, though that doesn't mean the game is any less fun.

I generally play diablo just for the "pinata fest" on some levels with heaps of demons. This game could finally mean I play a different dungeon crawler.

indie as in independent producer.

Crysis graphics are overrated anyway, once you get playing the game you don't notice the bad graphics unless there is a significant shift, and Soldak is incredibly good at keeping things equal quality and avoiding breaks like that.
What's the comment, "brilliant graphics are all well and good for selling your game, but it would be played a hundred times more if half that budget actually went into making the game worth playing."

Dlover
01-09-2010, 09:14 PM
hmm. Maybe so. If I ever get to play one of their games, I'll probably agree with you.

Wantonius
01-11-2010, 01:40 PM
Also there is a HUGE gulf between indie and mainstream game developers when it comes to resources. Most indie developers are small firms between 1-10 people doing all the work. A game like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 had a budget in excess of 40 million dollars (and has made an absolute fortune). Those people can basically have one person just drawing friggin' eyebrows.

To put it simply, indie developers need to be clever and find a niche. For my money Soldaks games are the best this niche has to offer in terms of quality/price. Playing a game (DoP) that costs less than my hourly wage for more than hundred hours is something that doesn't happen often.

Delilah Rehm
01-11-2010, 02:16 PM
Din's Curse will be similar. Low price, many hours of play.

Wantonius
01-11-2010, 03:18 PM
Din's Curse will be similar. Low price, many hours of play.

Thus the statement "not often". I guess without Din's Curse it would be "extremely rarely". :D

Dlover
01-11-2010, 04:08 PM
ok then. I'm really looking forward to din's curse being released, but I'm not sure if I can buy it anyway. It would depend on what countries it's being sold in, and if it's sold in store or over the internet.

Shadow
01-11-2010, 07:05 PM
It will be sold over the internet, so usually different countries are not a problem.

Dlover
01-11-2010, 07:19 PM
but then there's extra packaging fees, postal etc. I don't think I'd be able to pay all that.

Shadow
01-11-2010, 08:00 PM
Sorry I was unclear. What I meant was that we will sell it directly through our site and it will be a digital download. So no need to send a physical package half way around the world. :)

Dlover
01-11-2010, 09:25 PM
That's great! I'm definitely looking forward to the release.