ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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 Post subject: Class Evolution System
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:59 pm
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So, since the class evolution for Archmage came out recently, I've been mulling the idea over a bit and thought about this a bit...

Archmage by lore is supposed to be one of the most powerful Sorcerers, right? Yet we unlock it via a simple task of giving an apprentice an artifact... why not have it as a class evolution of an apprentice mage class, maybe even take it a step further and have a middle tier between the two called Sorcerer? Now hear me out... Apprentice Mages would have multiple class evolution routes, locking others as they are chosen... want a necromancer? Start an Apprentice Mage, unlock a class evolution of Neophyte(name used for apprentice necromancers as well as apprentices in clergy, thus a branch option for a healer type mage as well), then progress to Necromancer instead of just simply doing a lore hunt through playthroughs and then killing miss meh...(I always end up killing her too easily, mostly just her "pets" that provide a challenge in that fight...) I know that this would require a bit of a rewrite, but the class evolution system would make more sense to have it like this instead of the current way it's going... Technomancer would be an offshoot of the Apprentice as well, though it would need either a mid-tier or a later version at dev's discretion... but as it stands, it doesn't really make too much sense not to take this route. I can think of several routes Apprentice could go instead of being a generalist mage like current Archmage, such as actually going Cryomancer(instead of only hearing about/seeing Cryomancers in the world) route through evolution with new spells instead of the current ones that are honestly meh at best...(Wyrmic has better cold talents... both in terms of power and utility.)

This idea wouldn't just be limited to that particular group either... the Tinkers could easily have class evolutions... for instance, why do they only use guns and not say.... repeater crossbows(either 1 handed like gunslinger, or 2 handed) anyone? maybe a blunderbuss? Sawbutcher could have a specialist line for 2 handed saws instead of the generic 1 in each hand route for those that want to go wild... Bulwark could have a higher defense priority line and maybe even an abandons defense for offense route using class evolution(probably pointless to abandon defense on a bulwark, but it's just a random thought)...


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:45 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:42 pm
Posts: 10
The counter-argument to that (aside from it being a lot of work for little payoff) is that people probably want to play a necromancer or archmage from the beginning an not really an apprentice mage. Plus I think some of these concepts are already covered by tree unlocks. Want to be a cryomancer? Go unlock the ice tree, put a lot of points in water and ice trees and you are a cryomancer. You don't always have to formalize roles as classes or class evolutions when you already have the option to make that character through skill/tree choices.

With that said, I like the concept of class evolutions and I think they have some potential to add some interesting new choices to the game. Specifically they make the most sense to use when a tree would add a new energy source to a class or significantly change the way the class is played. Specifically I think with some improvements the undead drake and scourge drake wyrmic trees are candidates to be class evolutions, but nothing else currently stands out to me as falling in that category.

I think class evolutions should first target the least flexible classes in terms of playstyle and unique options. Which to me means having class evolutions for summoner and skirmisher first. An evolved summoner could add to the concept of blighted summoner to access vim directly and start modifying or summoning horrors from that. Skirmisher could add steamtech and maybe stealth to their repertoire. Right now they come off as more limited archers, and hardly even justify being in the rogue metaclass.

Speaking of archers, I'd like to see an class evolution for arcane archers even if archers are OK where they are now.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:12 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:07 am
Posts: 161
CrazyJ wrote:
I think class evolutions should first target the least flexible classes in terms of playstyle and unique options. Which to me means having class evolutions for summoner and skirmisher first


Agree with what you say.

Apart from that I think there could be some experiment on how class evolution works. There are 35 classes in ToME right now, if we create class evolution for all classes in the same manner, it means we would need to create 35*3 = 105 trees and 35*3*4 = 420 talents, and that's assuming we only have a single evolution route for each class. It would not be manageable.

An alternative that I could think off is that we make class evolution to be applied on a meta-class level instead of class level. That means all sub-classes under a single meta-class would share the same set of class evolution options. Probably less interesting than a by-class evolution but it probably involve less development resource


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:06 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:07 pm
Posts: 72
I really love the idea of evolutions for meta classes, right now some classes have no category overlap with other classes in their meta, which thematically I really don't like. Having something like evolutions tying them together would be very fun, although probably a lot harder to balance than evolutions for individual classes


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:44 am 
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Wayist

Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:39 pm
Posts: 16
The idea is an interesting one, though there are downsides to it.
The most important one is that you would require a basic framework for a specific group of classes so that this group of classes that each of these evolutions would build up on.

This does not work well for every class, though. Say we have necromancer, archmage and arcane blade. The common skill here is just the conveyance skill. While you could still argue that arcane blade and archmage develop similarly(similar basic skills etc.) Necromancer does not.

This approach just sadly would not work with a lot of classes. In addition to this this(probably free) change to a class would have to be fairly early, probably around level 10.

Going into what classes this could work with:
Warrior starting with 2h assault, shielded combat, combat techniques, Vitality, Combat Training. Could develop into Bulwark and Berserker.
Archer and Brawler would be seperate. Arcane Blade would be a different category altogether.

Rogue starting with dual techniques, Duelist, Dirty Fighting, Combat Training, Mobility and Survival would work out.
Skirmisher would have to be seperate.

Mage would start out with Fire, Earth and Air, Conveyance, Aegis and would develop into Arcane Blade and Archmage.
Both Necromancer and Alchemist would be seperate.

However this is where the usefulness of your approach ends and you need to do more and more alterations to your base framework. Sun Paladin and Wyrmic are among the easier ones here, since you'd just need to exchange vitality by something else. Corruptors already have varying frameworks and this gets worse as you go through categories. Oftentimes the only thing that resembles a base framework are the generic categories. I like your idea and it might actually be fun to have a basewarrior transition into a bulwark, berserker, Sun Paladin or Wyrmic. Same for apprentice mage or Rogue... but i cannot see this as a generally good idea, since over half of the classes just would not work well with this. Also you would need a point reset, but i don't think that is too problematic.

So the question is actually not if implementing this as a general pattern would be good, the question is whether we should implement this for specific classes only or not at all, since it is not possible to apply this framework to all classes anyway.


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