Aug 27, 2011

Posted by in Blue Milk & Cereal | 12 Comments

Blue Milk & Cereal: Do You View Advanced Classes As Full Classes?

No day would be complete without the breakfast of Jedi: Blue Milk & Cereal.  Every morning, the team at Ask A Jedi will get Force-induced thoughts coursing through your head with delicious issues from around the galaxy! Join in the discussion below to make your voice heard!

One of the longest-running discussions within the TOR community has been the difference between classes, advanced classes and specializations. Most “outsiders” are unaware that TOR’s advanced classes aren’t mere talent specs or minor cosmetic differences. Even during the show floor presentations yesterday at PAX, Lead End-game Designer Gabe Amatangelo described them very clearly: “advanced classes ARE the classes” he said. After introducing this concept to players new to the community,  typically they agree that the advanced classes essentially are separate classes sharing primarily a story, and beyond that just a few basic mechanics.

Still, there are holdouts that can’t seem to accept this idea. In all fairness, it’s not their fault either. BioWare dug a bit of its own whole here by labeling your character choice as a “class” during character creation, not to mention their wavering on the topic of wether or not you’d be able to “switch” your advanced class after you pick it at around level 10 in the game. Last we knew, you will be able to.

Personally, I view the advanced classes as truly separate classes. For example, let’s take the Jedi Consular class and examine the two potential options – Shadow and Sage. In terms of gameplay, Sage could be played as dedicated healer whereas Shadow could be played like a traditional rogue in other MMOs. The same versatility goes for other classes on both the Empire and the Republic sides. As you might expect from BioWare, they’ve defined their classes by their story. And it’s the advanced class system where the combat class really comes into focus.

So we want to know what do you think. Does TOR have 16 or 8 classes in total? What are you factoring into your decision? Let us know below!

Do you view advanced classes as full classes?

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  1. ScytheNoire says:

    I feel so, since they can be so drastically different.
    Take the Consular/Inquisitor. If you go down one side, it’s going to be a ranged dps or healer. If you go down the other side, it’s going to be melee dps or tank. Those are drastically different paths.
    So while the class will have a similar look on the outside and share the story, the skill sets will be drastically different.
    I just hope for multi-roles, allowing you to change quickly between different specs as in WoW & Rift, so you aren’t always stuck as a tank, healer, or dps.

  2. BioWare really should revisit the naming convention here before the game launches. Even after all this time it proven to be to much of a paradigm shift in thinking of Classes>Advanced classes, when the MMO would is already used to the Archetypes>Classes mentality.

  3. At character creation instead of pick a class it should read, “Pick your storyline, your combat class is chosen at level 10. “

    • Micksterzone says:

      But it isn’t just storyline, that’s the pr0oblem. It’s the combat as well, they have at least a good 10-15 abilities before level 10.

  4. I never really thought about it until now. I think I see it as the same class, but a different role within the class.

  5. I think from a developer perspective they will be balancing and tweaking things around the advanced classes.

    Given that the republic and imperial classes are mirrors of one another, the developers only have to balance around eight advanced classes (four base classes with two advanced classes each).

  6. Personally I still can’t see them as fully separate classes. Blame my years of playing WoW but I see them merely as Archtypes/specializations.

  7. Playing a Druid for the last 4 years in wow with the ability to tank heal or dps melee or ranged makes me think it’s a bit of a gimp and not up to bioware to make me have to reroll another 200 hrs of gameplay just to play the other side of my class at endgame. Especially not with dualspec so prevalent and a welcome addition to wow. I can tank or heal at the drop of a dime. It wasn’t gonna be an issue in for as we were supposed to be companioned up but now that’s gone so it feels a bit like I’m forced to play a certain way. $150 for ce plus ?/mo should allow me to play one class how I want and for me not bioware to decide how I fight. Especially since the story is the same.

    • If you are a Bounty Hunter: Mercenary, you can Spec into Healing, or into Ranged DPS, or both – and you can re-spec between those. If you are a Bounty Hunter: PowerTech you can Spec into Tanking or into Melee DPS, or both – and you can re-spec between those. So how is not allowing you to change between a Mercenary and a PowerTech “gimping” you in any way? You still have Speccing within your Advanced Class. You still have your own set of builds to choose from. The only restriction is that you can’t Melee DPS, Ranged DPS, Tank AND Heal all at once – or switch between any of those roles at will.

      Sure, Druids in WoW could Tank in Bear Form, Heal in Tree Form, Melee DPS in Cat Form and Ranged DPS in Owl Form – but this ISN’T WoW! And not only that, but just how many other classes in WoW had that versatility? Could Warriors heal? Could Priests Tank? Druids were one of a select few Aberrations in WoW.

      These are 16 distinct Classes – two of each which share the same Story Line. You will have plenty of time to check out the base mechanics and story through levels 1-10 to decide if you like how the basic gameplay works, or if a different style fits you better. Then you will have several levels as your Advanced Class to decide if that was the best choice for you. If you haven’t figured out whether you should be playing a PowerTech or a Mercenary by level 20…you might as well ask that your Species be able to be switched at level 50 as well. After all…you might decide that you really wanted to be a Chiss, and not a Human after all.

  8. Joey Faketeeth says:

    @Fellis

    spoken like one who has read from the book of omens!

  9. I see them as full classes for one simple reason, the developers have said they are full classes. This is not some historical document open to interpretation, the devs are the ones making the game and we should follow their lead on how it is being designed. Arguing beyond that is silly, because our arguments don’t change the way the game has been designed.

    I think we as a community can make this easier by referring to classes by their AC name rather than both. So instead of saying “Sith Inquisitor Assassin,” referring to them as “Sith Assassin” or “Jedi Guardian” or “Scoundrel” or “Powertech.” The ACs really determine playstyle not the class.

    The more we do this as a community, the clearer it will become for new or incoming players. They will get used to seeing things this way and thinking of the classes in this way. So in game we shouldn’t see “Sith Warrior tank lfg” but instead “Sith Jugg tank lfg.”

  10. I see them as separate classes, it’s really nothing else than what the industry has been doing for over a decade already. For example Ragnarok Online had you start out as novice, after which you would undergo a first class switch to e.g. mage after which you would switch to a second class e.g. wizard. And that was already back in the year 2000.

    Advanced classes are separate classes, have always been and denying it makes as much sense as proclaiming pigs able to fly. There is nothing left to decide on industry standard.

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