Author Topic: Class restrictions  (Read 39422 times)

Aukustus

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • The Temple of Torment
Class restrictions
« on: January 13, 2014, 03:53:44 PM »
What are your opinions on class restrictions? I mean like should sorcerer be able to use two-handed sword and plate mail or fighter be able to cast spells?

I'm designing three classes, fighter, rogue and sorcerer in my project and I'm not sure about how I would decide restrictions. My main influences are Diablo 1 and AD&D games and those two handle class restrictions opposite ways. I have strength, dexterity and intelligence as attributes. Strength adds 1 point to melee damage, dexterity adds 1 point to ranged damage and intelligence adds 1 point to spell damage.

I have three scenarios in my mind regarding class restrictions and their pros and cons:

1. No restrictions: Spells, armors and weapons are free for all. Spell casting classes would have more mana.

-Pros: More playing styles for classes
-Cons: For example fighter would be imbalanced while specialised in melee and laying destruction from far away with spells and then killing everything in melee that survived.

2. Some restrictions: Weapons, spells and armors have attribute requirements

-Pros: Same as 1. but more balanced, fighter specialising in intelligence would be less good in melee because of the missing points in strength.
-Cons: None came to mind.

3. Full restrictions: Fighter can use all weapons and armors, no spells. Rogue unable to use heaviest armors and weapons, no spells. Sorcerer unable to wear armor and weapons other than staff, all spells.

-Pros: makes each class wholly unique.
-Cons: less diverse playing styles for classes.



guest509

  • Guest
Re: Class restrictions
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2014, 09:04:37 PM »
Well there are a million ways to do it. It seems the highly restrictive class methods are harder to balance the game, but then you can just tell people that, for example, playing the Rogue is hard mode and the Wizard is easy, etc...

I've always been interested in a system where the character classes have no special skills, but are differentiated entirely by what items they can use. All can drink potions but only the fighter can use heavy weapons and armor, only the wizard can read scrolls, only the cleric can use holy relics, the Rogue can use the lock picks, cloaks and daggers, etc...

But then you run into the issue of junk items. If you are building a game where grinding gear is part of it then use restricted classes end up with lots of junk gear. In Diablo you can sell the gear. So that's one solution to that issue.

If you end up using classes that give only small bonuses for certain things then you risk ending up with 'samey' type classes. Having classes is supposed to increase variety and replay value. To combat this you'd have to make the bonuses pretty hefty. For example every class can use daggers, but the Thief does double damage. The wizard reads scrolls at 2x proficiency, the fighter adds 2x his strength to his armor class when using a shield, etc...

Rickton

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 215
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Weirdfellows
Re: Class restrictions
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2014, 12:25:46 PM »
If you end up using classes that give only small bonuses for certain things then you risk ending up with 'samey' type classes. Having classes is supposed to increase variety and replay value. To combat this you'd have to make the bonuses pretty hefty. For example every class can use daggers, but the Thief does double damage. The wizard reads scrolls at 2x proficiency, the fighter adds 2x his strength to his armor class when using a shield, etc...
That's an interesting way of doing it. Every class can use any tactic, but they get innate bonuses for certain things and will always be better at them than other classes will. I guess the problem with that would be making sure it was balanced, but that one would get my vote.
Creator of the 7DRL Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions
And its sequel, simply titled Possession

Vanguard

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 1112
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Class restrictions
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 12:37:32 PM »
Classes are just tool designers use to achieve certain goals.  There isn't one right way to handle them so much as there are different methods that are better for different designs.

Think about why you're using classes in the first place.  What purpose they are they supposed to serve?  Once you have a clear goal in mind, the rest shouldn't be too hard.

guest509

  • Guest
Re: Class restrictions
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 12:44:21 PM »
Well TY Rickton. Your game Possession blows my skirt up from a design standpoint so I appreciate your comment.

Aukustus

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • The Temple of Torment
Re: Class restrictions
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 02:35:43 PM »
Each of my classes has 3 unique skills. I like the idea of every class being unique with restrictions but I was thinking about replayability. But if I had stat requirements there's this problem that melee rogue wouldn't differ much from melee fighter nor ranged fighter wouldn't differ from ranged rogue.

I guess the best way would be AD&D 2nd edition style. That's what I really like most. I updated today my shop system to allow selling items so junk items won't be problem.

Quendus

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 447
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • $@ \in \{1,W\} \times \{1,H\}$
    • View Profile
    • Klein Roguelikes
Re: Class restrictions
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 03:07:10 PM »
Junk can be a big problem when there's too much of it, and being able to sell junk can make the problem worse. Do you want players to use the items they find, or run a transport service for stranded items?

Vanguard

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 1112
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Class restrictions
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 03:58:41 PM »
If the main goal behind your class system is replayability, you should do everything you can to emphasize that.  Every class needs to approach their problems differently.  If a wizards are about casting flame touch for 2d5 damage and fighters are about bumping monsters for 1d10 damage, you have failed.  If rogues, wizards, and fighters are all good in tight hallways but bad in open rooms, you have failed.  Be bold!  Don't be bound by convention!

Also, letting shops buy from the player is a bad move.  In well-designed systems the most fun ways to play are the most effective and the most rewarding activities are the riskiest.  You break both of those rules when you give out cash for dragging junk around.  Make every item useful for every class.   Or don't spawn items the player's class can't use.  Or just accept that useless items will exist.  Anything's better than playing dungeon janitor.

Aukustus

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • The Temple of Torment
Re: Class restrictions
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 04:38:18 PM »
Well that's one thing I didn't take into account. However the only merchant I have at the moment sells only food rations, scrolls of recall, healing potions, mana potions, cure poison potions and light source. I guess I won't implement any equipment vendors then to address this issue. I'm not sure if janitoring the dungeon and exchanging junk for money for food is too big issue. Just need to balance prices so that I won't meet end boss with tens of potions. However taking the risk of going deeper into the dungeon in search of food can be rewarding. I'm not sure how to balance things since I wish to have shop system with money changing hands both ways.


Krice

  • (Banned)
  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 2316
  • Karma: +0/-2
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Class restrictions
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 09:36:11 PM »
You break both of those rules when you give out cash for dragging junk around.

This can be balanced as well. The shopkeeper can buy only items of real value and/or give back only fraction of money (like in real life!). Also, you can limit the size of inventory, because it's a part of the problem clearly. Being able to carry items like a tank makes it much easier to get everything and sell it in shops.

Class restrictions itself are ok if you plan the game to be class based in the first place. It's one way to handle it, but there are others. Still, I think it's useless to think bad features of a class based system if you are going to use one! Just go with it bravely.

Xecutor

  • 7DRL Reviewer
  • Rogueliker
  • *
  • Posts: 263
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Class restrictions
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2014, 04:34:52 AM »
There is option 4:
  scale equipment/spells/skills effect with main attribute of class to which this item/spell/skill belongs.

Heavy weapon should deal damage based on str, light weapon based on dex, spells based on int.
Heavy armor protects better if you are strong, in light armor more dexterious are more evasive, robes might improve spelcasting.

As for junk... In Wizard's Quest there are altars of recycling. You put all the junk on altar, activate it and get some potions in return. Quality of potions depends on quality of items :)

Gr3yling

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 168
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Class restrictions
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2014, 06:39:41 AM »
Also, letting shops buy from the player is a bad move.

I think this depends on how abstract your game world is going to be too, though.  It would probably seem like kind of an arbitrary restriction in ADOM if you couldn't sell (or sacrifice, for that matter) items that you didn't want.

Sometimes it is okay to include things in your game just because players might expect them or like them.  Letting people sell items isn't going to wreck the game.

You break both of those rules when you give out cash for dragging junk around.  Make every item useful for every class.

What about just having a somewhat realistic carrying capacity?  It seems like making the player choose between carrying an item that is intrinsically useful to them and one that is beneficial only because it can be sold does still involve management of risk versus reward.

If they don't have a fairly limited carrying capacity, players will still carry a ton of stuff around, whether they can sell it or not.  So, I think what we are getting into here is fundamentally an issue of prioritization, whether you can pawn your items or not.  By limiting inventory, you bring that type of prioritization to the forefront.

Or don't spawn items the player's class can't use. 

How would you determine this?  If you had a really flexible system, wizards might be able to use swords and warriors might be able to do some spellcasting.  How do you know that the items you are choosing not to spawn aren't things the player might want or need?

It's easier to balance a game where the player has a lot of restrictions on how they can play their character, I agree, but I like the idea of giving the player options.

Vanguard

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 1112
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Class restrictions
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2014, 08:41:41 AM »
If you have a small carrying capacity then it just means you have to make more trips to get everything.  It's pretty harmless if you can't backtrack or if the payout is trivial, but there isn't really any benefit either.

Why bother with realistic elements that work to the game's mechanical detriment when there are so many ways realism can lead to genuinely better games?  Like Brogue's fire and gas systems that behave very intuitively and add depth to the game.  Push for that kind of thing instead.

Anyway it isn't implausible at all to think that a shopkeeper might not want your excess murderloot for a number of reasons.

How would you determine this?  If you had a really flexible system, wizards might be able to use swords and warriors might be able to do some spellcasting.

They might!  And if they do then you'd better spawn swords and spellbooks for everyone.  But they also might not in which case nothing of value is lost by hiding swords from wizards.  Honestly I don't think this is a big problem.  As long as you don't have Angband quantities of trash to sift through, who cares if there's a little bit of junk lying around?

Aukustus

  • Rogueliker
  • ***
  • Posts: 440
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • The Temple of Torment
Re: Class restrictions
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2014, 10:07:56 AM »
I think I'll go with the most restrictive way and maybe add some classes later, for example spellsword which could use heavier equipment than rogue and use sorcerer equipment while being worse in melee than fighter and worse in magic than sorcerer.

With armor progression 'leather armor' -> 'studded leather armor' -> 'chainmail' -> 'splint mail' -> 'plate mail' the rogue cannot wear heavier armor than studded leather so spellsword could maybe use upto chainmail and then couldn't cast the best spells the sorcerer can.

At this point a short sword sells for 7gp and one scroll of recall costs 80gp. With a maximum of 26 inventory slots of which about a maximum of 7 goes to worn equipment. So there's 19 slots for other stuff. Potions and other necessary general stuff take about 5 slots. So 14 slots of junk doesn't give much money at this point. Sometimes there might be only a few items per level.

guest509

  • Guest
Re: Class restrictions
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2014, 04:35:31 PM »
Cardinal Quest allows you to either equip or take the gold value for an item immediately. It's very 'gamey' and not that simulationist but it saves on the running back and forth.

Also depending on how gamey you are making it, you can sell stuff in between levels, sort of have an interim screen like Pacman did (Pacman's interim screens were about story, but there's no reason that can't be a "sell your stuff" screen).

Super Mario Brothers II had an interim screen where you played the slots.