05 September 2010
An Overview of Class Systems and Patches
First of my patching troubles is no longer a problem, now I only have to deal with the actual patching. Several hours after the progress bar siting just at 98.xx percent, it finishes and the built-in audio output begins to play as my elation rises.
Until I look at the window again. The first part of the update, the initial updates, was in three parts. The first two went by very quickly once the date started flowing, hardly even noticed parts one and two, though this wasn't the case with three. Like I said in the first paragraph, it stalled around 98% of the download, and promptly decided to stay at that mark until several more hours passed. Thank god for television and free-to-play games.
The second set of updates, the part I'm currently on, is composed of nine separate parts, of which I'm currently on four. During the writing of this, I have actually experienced another network failure. The game play looks like it could work, and from what I've seen of the options, this game looks like it will be a very nice, refreshing experience to contrast with other MMOs. If you played it's predecessor, I think you'll be in for a familiar treat as the game supports gamepads by defaults and features a similar and, possibly, an even more robust class system.
In Final Fantasy XI, the first of the MMOs, you were able to have character gain levels in several classes independently. Though, your 'character level' was considered to be the current class you had selected. Meaning, if you started out as a thief, and played until you were level 14, then you'd be considered a level 14 thief. If you switched over to, say, Black Mage, then you'd be considered a level 1 Black Mage and your levels in Thief would have no effect on your character, with an exception. You could also choose a second class to compliment your 'main', or current class, called a 'sub-class'. The sub-class had a single restriction in terms of raw power, it's level could never exceed half of your main classes level. So if you're current main class was Thief, you could increase your level as a Black Mage until it was level 7. For a further increase, you would have to make Black Mage your main class or pick a different main class that would have a high level cap for your sub-class (say, if you had warrior at level 20, then Black Mage could go up to 10.)
On the other end of the spectrum, let's look at multiclass systems. In essence, they work like this: You pick two classes, and have access to both of their features. A warrior can wear heavy armor and larger weapons. A priest can heal wounds and rejuvenate allies. So you could become very similar to a paladin, with a few ways to heal and keep your allies safe. But it is not nearly as effective.
One other thing that Paladins get in World of Warcraft are called 'Seals'. These are basically a way to enhance your basic attack. The first Seal you get access to is called Seal of Light, it adds a small amount of damage to your own attacks. The true way to make use of these, however, are spells called 'Judgement'. Judgement of Light, for example, puts a debuff on the target. This doesn't actually impede the target's ability to act in anyway, what it does is it gives every hit the enemy receives to heal the attacker for a small amount.
The only real way to fix it would be to create specific abilities that you could access only with a combination of specific classes, which kind of defeats the point of a multiclass system, which is why the system World of Warcraft uses works. You lose options in a closed class system, but you gain power. Because a paladin can only do a specific role at once, they gain tools to do that role very well, such as the Seals and Judgements. One ability to fill a role and a half, against two abilities to fill one role.
A few paragraphs ago, the updater for the game I'm supposed to be writing about finished updating, so I'll break off here to go play it so I can, you know, write about it. Hope you enjoyed the little filler post, though looking back at it, it didn't turn out to be too little..