Thursday, July 19, 2007

(News)- Breakfast Topic: How new would a new class have to be?

I can't stop thinking about new classes these days for some reason. Perhaps it's Blizzcon and the hope that Blizzard will announce a new expansion with new classes in it. In any case, I'm thrilled by the challenge of how to design a new class (or even new class abilities).

And I'm not the only one. Lots of intelligent writers out there have been thinking about this for a long time. One of them, Tobold, recently changed his mind, and I was struck by something in this change. At first he said that Blizzard should not add new classes because there couldn't possibly be anything fundamentally new in this new class, but later he said that maybe it isn't such a bad idea to have new classes that are pretty similar to what we have already. "People who liked one character class and are starting an alt because they don't enjoy the end-game often are looking for something not so different from what they already played.... Adding more content to a game is never wrong."

So I got to wondering, how new would a new class have to be in order for players to accept it? Is it true that people would just cry "Bah! Another kind of rogue!" or "Humbug! another kind of warlock?" Or would these sorts of initial criticisms just die down gradually as people got used to the new rogue and warlock and whatever else that did basically the same thing in just a different way. After all, if you can reduce all class abilities down to a simple few (damage, crowd control, and healing) then maybe you can expand all these abilities out in a myriad of interesting hybridizations too. Perhaps, with this perspective, the potential for class differentiation is limitless.

What's your opinion?

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