The Triviality of "Character Customization" in MMOS today

Greetings AoC fans,

I am of the opinion that the choices you make in building your character should be permanent.  That there should  be no "re-speccing". An unpopular opinion on all fronts, but hear me out.

When players can change their talents, spec, etc. on the fly, it allows them to min-max every conceivable scenario.  Dungeon A has lots of trash mobs- take the AoE talent. Dungeon B has a long boss fight- switch to the single target talent.  Talents 1 and 2 get nerfed by 5%- everyone hops onto Talent 3.

It gets to the  point that your "build" becomes a matter of convenience and efficiency, rather than your "character identity".  The thing is, choices don't mean anything unless they're set in stone.

The same problem applies to your sub-class. So your group needs a tank? Switch your sub-class to Tank.  Short on healers? Have someone switch to Cleric.  If you want to be a Rogue-Ranger, but Rogue-Mage is better for leveling... well, might as well play that and just re-spec once you hit max level.

How boring! Your sub-class loses its role-playing value when it can be switched in and out of. Being a Rogue-Ranger doesn't make you special  when any other Rogue can re-spec Ranger whenever they feel like it. At the end of the day, "64" different classes is actually just 8.

I am aware of the eminent counterargument to permanent character builds. "But, what if you pick a Talent that doesn't end up being viable?  But, but, what if your build isn't viable next patch, and your character is completely useless?"

Make your decisions carefully. It isn't that hard.  If balancing isn't a train wreck, every spec and build will always have a niche.

What do you all think?

Comments

  • BeolupusBeolupus Member ✭✭
    Somewhat agree. I think you should not be able to change build on the fly such that your dungeon scenario becomes a thing. However, I do prefer some sort of long/difficult path to respeccing (not a pay wall for the love of god) such that its possible but can't be done at will. I like that this forces you to balance your build or be a weak link in either PvE or PvP depending on what you choose, but at the same time, doesn't screw you if you mess something up along the way.
  • ArgentdawnArgentdawn Member alpha-stress-tester
    edited September 13
    If I remember right and please don't quote me on this.. they still haven't decided on if they want you to be able to freely switch your secondary or if they are going the quest route. early on (again don't quote me) I believe they even considered having your secondary be static as well though I think they moved away from that ideology.

    As far as specing goes situational adjustments could or should probably be allowed in towns. Seeing as there is no/limited quick travel it would make sense to pick your most beneficial spec for the current activity and be locked into until you return to a city/freehold. 

  • NefeliaNefelia Member ✭✭✭
    Absolutely 100% disagree.

    Swapping secondary classes allows one to:
    - explore various builds without running 7 goddamned alts per primary class.
    - tailor your toolkit to your activity before setting out on your adventure.
    - experience a change of pace to stave off the boredom of playing the same sub-spec day after day.

    I would absolutely hate to be stuck in a specific spec. I would also hate to have to go on a lengthy quest every time I wanted to switch out. If I wanted old-school (and quite frankly unnecessary) limitations and restrictions, I'd be following Pantheon, not AoC.

    From what I have heard so far, there are no plans to allow the swapping of secondary classes from any location. Perhaps one needs to have a certain building in a freehold to allow it (shrine for a cleric, for instance), and perhaps and NPC at lvl 3+ nodes could enable the swap for a fee (in-game currency, of course).

    Actually, I like the idea of swapping at Freeholds quite a bit. It would be an interesting addition to the player-run economy, where Freehold owners could allow the use of secondary-swapping buildings for a fee.  :)

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  • ZastroZastro Member ✭✭✭✭
    They have stated that they don't want switching subclasses to be an "on the fly" thing. It will require some sort of time sink as they do want it to have weight.

  • ArgentdawnArgentdawn Member alpha-stress-tester
    Update cause i had outdated info.


    "When players choose their primary class, it’s not just dictating how the next several hundred hours of gameplay will go. The secondary class choice, which comes after some time getting used to the world of Verra, will be more fluid. If you choose the Fighter and the Rogue to make a Shadowblade, but eventually want to try your hand at Summoning to make a Bladecaller, you’ll be able to do so. It’s only the primary class that cannot be changed. And hey, that’s what alts are for!"

    straight off of https://www.ashesofcreation.com/class-list/

    While it doesn't clarify the means of changing our secondary it does confirm it.

  • NefeliaNefelia Member ✭✭✭
    Zastro said:
    They have stated that they don't want switching subclasses to be an "on the fly" thing. It will require some sort of time sink as they do want it to have weight.
    They want the choice of primary class to have weight, while the secondary class provides flexibility. Of course, they did mention that secondary class can not be changed on the fly... but I heard absolutely nothing about a time sink being involved.
    I very much hope that they do not stick a needless time sink for the mere privilege of changing one's secondary class. That would be an unnecessary element that would add nothing to the game. It is enough that one would need to meet a certain requirement (a certain location, Freehold building, NPC, etc) to change subclasses.

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  • gb1990gaminggb1990gaming Member ✭✭
    I agree 100% with the OP.

    In my fav mmorpg experience a class could not change it's stats.
    A gladiator would usually have
     5k HP
    1200 ATK
    750 atk speed. (An example of some stats)

    If you wanted to change the stats you had to spend a considerable amount of gold or devote 2-3 days farming materials.
    After putting in tge effort to change my stats I ended up with
    7k HP
    1000 ATK
    550 atk speed 
    and that's how I kept it for 2-3 years.

    There should not be many options to change stats. A class should gave a distinct identity.

    I believe that gear sets should be the only source of stat changes.
    You want more HP? Use a HP sword.
    You want more dps? Use a critical % sword.
    You want more speed? Use a leather armor.
    You want more stun resistance? Use a heavy armor.
  • c0ug4rc0ug4r Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 14
    How boring!
    Having to stay with one spec forever vs. being able to switch it - I know what certainly sounds more boring. The very abstract benefit of giving your choice of secondary spec a(n RP) meaning does by no means outweigh the many real drawbacks. What you describe as problems most players will see as possibilities. Even your argumentation against spec switching could be read as a supporting one.

    How meaningful the choice of secondary class will be, comes down to how easy and how frequently we will be able to switch and how far secondary class will really augment your skills/class. For example, to my understanding switching your secondary to tank or heal will not make your character a (full) tank or healer.

    Of what @Nefelia already quoted, the possibility to adjust your character to your upcoming tasks certainly bears some meaning in itself and sounds just like how Steven would want us to play the game. After all Verra is a world of change so it would just seem necessary and logical being able to adapt to that change.
  • SaintJSaintJ Member ✭✭✭
    Switching your secondary class should take some time, it should be realistic you dont learn healing in a day, or magic in a day after being a ranger/rogue for a good amount of time.

    It should atleast cost a high amount of gold, maybe even a special item you have to collect a holy chalice for a cleric sub, a blue flame for mage sub, and a good long questline that takes you about a week. 

    After that you can change your sub-class  >:)
     

  • Rune_RelicRune_Relic Member ✭✭✭✭
    1. You wont be wearing the 'best' gear for a specific boss or dungeon because the Bosses adapt and change. No limited preset scripted mechanics for you. No dungeon on farm for you.

    2. You dont get how the class system works.
    Mage/Cleric is not a Cleric Mage etc...
    Mage ~ Mage/Cleric  ~ Cleric/Mage ~ Cleric
    ....will all be individual playstyles that arent interchangable.
    You can move towards an archetype....not become it.

    3. Secondary are not new skills. They add a different flavour to your archetype skills. They are augments only.

    4. Even if you forbid people from swapping secondaries, they will simply create alts and do the same thing anyway. You arent stopping anything, just changing the way its done.
  • BeolupusBeolupus Member ✭✭
    1. You wont be wearing the 'best' gear for a specific boss or dungeon because the Bosses adapt and change. No limited preset scripted mechanics for you. No dungeon on farm for you.

    2. You dont get how the class system works.
    Mage/Cleric is not a Cleric Mage etc...
    Mage ~ Mage/Cleric  ~ Cleric/Mage ~ Cleric
    ....will all be individual playstyles that arent interchangable.
    You can move towards an archetype....not become it.

    3. Secondary are not new skills. They add a different flavour to your archetype skills. They are augments only.

    4. Even if you forbid people from swapping secondaries, they will simply create alts and do the same thing anyway. You arent stopping anything, just changing the way its done.
    1. How does this mean we can't gear towards a particular boss? In theory, one could just carry multiple sets and gear themselves upon the encounter itself. ("Oh its a dragon, guess I'll equip my fire resistance set")

    2/3: I think we all understand how the class system works.. and it doesn't render the arguments void. Yes, the mage - cleric won't heal nearly as well as the cleric - mage, but that doesn't mean he couldn't fill in with the right group. The ability to change rolls may still be there as we don't really know how significant the augments will be.

    4: Naw, it would stop most people. Most people arn't going to re-level a char to play the same class and a diff subclass.
  • NefeliaNefelia Member ✭✭✭
    SaintJ said:
    Switching your secondary class should take some time, it should be realistic you dont learn healing in a day, or magic in a day after being a ranger/rogue for a good amount of time.
    Christ, how much of the game would be spent just switching up your sub-class. I rank this idea about as 'fun' as the idea of stamina in Diablo II: an unneeded mechanic that impairs the player for no substantial reason.
    Honestly, why would IS condemn players to a time-sink (a.k.a waste of time) every time the player wants to play a different flavour of his class?
    I vehemently oppose this, as I feel that you are effectively agitating for the sabotage what I see as one of the best features of of AoC.

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  • SaintJSaintJ Member ✭✭✭
    edited September 14
    Nefelia said:
    SaintJ said:
    Switching your secondary class should take some time, it should be realistic you dont learn healing in a day, or magic in a day after being a ranger/rogue for a good amount of time.
    Christ, how much of the game would be spent just switching up your sub-class. I rank this idea about as 'fun' as the idea of stamina in Diablo II: an unneeded mechanic that impairs the player for no substantial reason.
    Honestly, why would IS condemn players to a time-sink (a.k.a waste of time) every time the player wants to play a different flavour of his class?
    I vehemently oppose this, as I feel that you are effectively agitating for the sabotage what I see as one of the best features of of AoC.
    So it’s not fun just cause you have to put some work into learning a new set of skills. 

    Wat is fun about being able to just change your secondary class, as if any of the skills you atain have no weight to them. 

    I would rather have quest chains, that go along the line of teaching me new skills, magic or a fighting style. 

    And maybe after all of that having switched from a Rogue/Mage to a Rogue/Cleric, and having done the questline where you are taught the art of healing magic. 

    They can allow you to change it easier. 

    P.S I would rather not have them changed at all, want a Highpriest And a Oracle create a alt. But thats me 🤪
     

  • AtamaAtama Member ✭✭✭
    I recall reading that you’ll talk to an NPC and pay some cost (gold and/or XP maybe) to swap secondary classes.  I wish I could remember where I read it.



  • NefeliaNefelia Member ✭✭✭
    SaintJ said:

    So it’s not fun just cause you have to put some work into learning a new set of skills. 

    Wat is fun about being able to just change your secondary class, as if any of the skills you atain have no weight to them. 

    I would rather have quest chains, that go along the line of teaching me new skills, magic or a fighting style. 

    And maybe after all of that having switched from a Rogue/Mage to a Rogue/Cleric, and having done the questline where you are taught the art of healing magic. 

    They can allow you to change it easier. 

    P.S I would rather not have them changed at all, want a Highpriest And a Oracle create a alt. But thats me 🤪
    I certainly would not object to undertaking quests in order to adopt a secondary class for the first time, so long as I could subsequently switch between my previously-acquired secondary classes without having to undergo yet another series of quests.
    Perhaps that is what you were stating and I misunderstood?
    Regardless, I very much enjoy experimenting with class and ability combinations in order to create custom builds. That would be extremely difficult to accomplish with a burdensome sub-class swapping mechanic.

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  • Rune_RelicRune_Relic Member ✭✭✭✭
    Beolupus said:
    1. You wont be wearing the 'best' gear for a specific boss or dungeon because the Bosses adapt and change. No limited preset scripted mechanics for you. No dungeon on farm for you.

    2. You dont get how the class system works.
    Mage/Cleric is not a Cleric Mage etc...
    Mage ~ Mage/Cleric  ~ Cleric/Mage ~ Cleric
    ....will all be individual playstyles that arent interchangable.
    You can move towards an archetype....not become it.

    3. Secondary are not new skills. They add a different flavour to your archetype skills. They are augments only.

    4. Even if you forbid people from swapping secondaries, they will simply create alts and do the same thing anyway. You arent stopping anything, just changing the way its done.
    1. How does this mean we can't gear towards a particular boss? In theory, one could just carry multiple sets and gear themselves upon the encounter itself. ("Oh its a dragon, guess I'll equip my fire resistance set")

    2/3: I think we all understand how the class system works.. and it doesn't render the arguments void. Yes, the mage - cleric won't heal nearly as well as the cleric - mage, but that doesn't mean he couldn't fill in with the right group. The ability to change rolls may still be there as we don't really know how significant the augments will be.

    4: Naw, it would stop most people. Most people arn't going to re-level a char to play the same class and a diff subclass.
    1. Because the boss adapts and will use a varied skill set. You cant plan for what you cant foresee.

    2/3. To fulfill an archetypal role, requires the use of AoE versions of a skill, so that players dont have to have 'all' skills for all situations, you 'distribute' the work to 'specialist' so you dont have to do it. AkA healers AoE heal, DD can do AoE damage. Whats makes you think augments will give you access to AoE skills of a different class ?

    4. Granted it makes it more difficult. But making it more difficult wasnt the intent.
  • I could handle locked subclass. I wouldn't like it too much. 

    From what I can tell you will take a quest to unlock your subclass. Choosing which one, unlocking it and having it go active. I would like to then go to another Quest guy who would give a quest that would unlock a different sub. I could choose to change right then and there or leave it. It's unlocked. Available to any time I want. Now here's the clincher. I want to change subs. It can easily be done. Just talk to the guy and forget everything I learned on my first sub. There, starting all over on the sub levels. .... I don't like it. Going back and then having to start my original sub at level 1.

    UNLESS

    When I unlocked the new subclass I had already farmed a special book. Taking that book they record everything you know into it and give it back. It can only be recorded into once. Then I run and switch, blah blah, I go back to my original subclass. I want to go back, "Well you will be starting over." Nope, I have my book! Allright then, hand me the book. Shazam!! Subclass returned with all the stuff I had unlocked, Book is no longer usable.

    So you can switch freely but if you don't want to lose everything you learned, you need a book to save that stuff. 

    So it would be easy, but added difficulty for those who don't want to start from scratch if they go back to a previous subclass they liked better.
  • BeolupusBeolupus Member ✭✭

    1. Because the boss adapts and will use a varied skill set. You cant plan for what you cant foresee.

    2/3. To fulfill an archetypal role, requires the use of AoE versions of a skill, so that players dont have to have 'all' skills for all situations, you 'distribute' the work to 'specialist' so you dont have to do it. AkA healers AoE heal, DD can do AoE damage. Whats makes you think augments will give you access to AoE skills of a different class ?

    4. Granted it makes it more difficult. But making it more difficult wasnt the intent.
    1. I mean.. every boss of most MMO's have a varied skill set, or do you mean the straight up attacks and mechanics of the same boss will completely change between encounters? If that's true, that's really cool but would make PvE content extremely difficult.

    2/3. ehhh what? Since when is an archetype defined by AoE.. you kinda just pulled this one out of nowhere. The rogue/assassin archetype really only does single target damage so I guess he's useless... In all seriousness, we are talking about switching roles to fill in for small scale content. In which case, I think if a mage or ranger could subclass cleric on the fly, then they could potentially suffice as single target heals depending on the rest of the party.

    4. Maybe I'm confused on what the intent was behind your point. "You arent stopping anything, just changing the way its done." I inferred this to mean that locking the subclass or making it difficult to change won't stop anyone from still achieving that other class, but.. obviously it would stop most people? I must be missing something here. 
  • gb1990gaminggb1990gaming Member ✭✭
    edited September 16
    I cant believe people want to change from Archmage to Battlemage at the click of a button.

    Is that how much more value you place making things easier for YOU  than having a game with distinct character/class?
    After all the mmorpg junk we have in which every class can perform any task?



  • SoulkeySoulkey Member
    I believe that Alts fill the purpose of fixing a group that needs a tank or healer etc..

    But not having a system in place that doesn’t allow you to more freely play all 64 classes isn’t a good thing. Especially if you have to spin up entire new toons to try a class that seems interesting. 

    I agree that that not being able to switch on the fly is okay, but not having the option to change your subclass would be harsh.
  • XontianXontian Member ✭✭
    Peronally i would like a small quest anytime you learn a new subclass. Once you have learned that subclass i would think a small fee from that point on should be the price for switching subclasses.
  • Rune_RelicRune_Relic Member ✭✭✭✭
    Beolupus said:

    1. Because the boss adapts and will use a varied skill set. You cant plan for what you cant foresee.

    2/3. To fulfill an archetypal role, requires the use of AoE versions of a skill, so that players dont have to have 'all' skills for all situations, you 'distribute' the work to 'specialist' so you dont have to do it. AkA healers AoE heal, DD can do AoE damage. Whats makes you think augments will give you access to AoE skills of a different class ?

    4. Granted it makes it more difficult. But making it more difficult wasnt the intent.
    1. I mean.. every boss of most MMO's have a varied skill set, or do you mean the straight up attacks and mechanics of the same boss will completely change between encounters? If that's true, that's really cool but would make PvE content extremely difficult.

    2/3. ehhh what? Since when is an archetype defined by AoE.. you kinda just pulled this one out of nowhere. The rogue/assassin archetype really only does single target damage so I guess he's useless... In all seriousness, we are talking about switching roles to fill in for small scale content. In which case, I think if a mage or ranger could subclass cleric on the fly, then they could potentially suffice as single target heals depending on the rest of the party.

    4. Maybe I'm confused on what the intent was behind your point. "You arent stopping anything, just changing the way its done." I inferred this to mean that locking the subclass or making it difficult to change won't stop anyone from still achieving that other class, but.. obviously it would stop most people? I must be missing something here. 
    1. Yes the AI is more advanced and has been stated as such. And yes, PvE content will be difficult. No AFK dungeons on farm here. Also stated in stream.

    2/3. Mate seriously, you have heard of the trinity right ? One does damage, one soaks up damage, one repairs damage. The healer does not tank and damage, the tank does not damage and heal, the DD does not tank and heal. Considering there are three people that sacrificed two of their abilites to specialise in the other.....who the hell do you think is making up for 2/3 of the loss in healing/damage/mitigation for each of them ? If they didnt make up for the loss, it would be more beneficial to use three hybrids every single time. The whole point of one healer hitting 1x3 people at the same time is so that those 3 dont have to use single targets on themselves 3x1. What is the point of classes unless they are specialists at tasks ? What is the point of specialists unless they allow you to offload specific skill sets to allow efficient team work ?

    4. It wont stop people. Going from stopping people to making it difficult is changing your argument. If there is no respeccing through no secondaries, it would be permanent was your argument.  People would use alts to create alternate builds and respec. Vis a Vis, you cant stop people respeccing. What difference does it make if I switch secondary on the fly or switch to an alt on the fly ?
  • BeolupusBeolupus Member ✭✭
    edited September 16


    1. Yes the AI is more advanced and has been stated as such. And yes, PvE content will be difficult. No AFK dungeons on farm here. Also stated in stream.

    2/3. Mate seriously, you have heard of the trinity right ? One does damage, one soaks up damage, one repairs damage. The healer does not tank and damage, the tank does not damage and heal, the DD does not tank and heal. Considering there are three people that sacrificed two of their abilites to specialise in the other.....who the hell do you think is making up for 2/3 of the loss in healing/damage/mitigation for each of them ? If they didnt make up for the loss, it would be more beneficial to use three hybrids every single time. The whole point of one healer hitting 1x3 people at the same time is so that those 3 dont have to use single targets on themselves 3x1. What is the point of classes unless they are specialists at tasks ? What is the point of specialists unless they allow you to offload specific skill sets to allow efficient team work ?

    4. It wont stop people. Going from stopping people to making it difficult is changing your argument. If there is no respeccing through no secondaries, it would be permanent was your argument.  People would use alts to create alternate builds and respec. Vis a Vis, you cant stop people respeccing. What difference does it make if I switch secondary on the fly or switch to an alt on the fly ?
    I think you're over thinking things here if you believe the AI will be so advanced that there can be no prior preparation in the form of a gear load out. And you're suggesting that somehow there is a link to boss prep and tank n' spank (afk farming) which is just silly. Please don't try to skew the discussion to act as if I'm a proponent of that.

    Now your just kinda arguing against yourself. Yes all classes should be specialized, and have one thing that no other class can do as well. The fact that you have this specialization is what defines your character's identity and is the soul reason you should not be able to change subclasses on the fly. But you seem to not understand the idea of a temporary fill in for small scale content which was the example the OP was using. Will a augmented healer be just as good as a primary cleric? No, obviously. But that doesn't mean it wouldn't work in a pinch. We really have no idea how well it would work until we know more about the augmentations.

    Lastly, just no dude. I never made the argument for permanent subclass, only that it shouldn't be changed on the fly. Yes, people can change to alts to play different roles which is... THE POINT OF ALTS
  • NefeliaNefelia Member ✭✭✭
    I cant believe people want to change from Archmage to Battlemage at the click of a button.

    Is that how much more value you place making things easier for YOU  than having a game with distinct character/class?
    After all the mmorpg junk we have in which every class can perform any task?
    I think you misunderstand the purpose of a secondary class. The secondary class may augment the abilities of a certain class, but they do not (as far as we know) grant you the ability to perform the unique abilities of another role.
    But even if it did, I would be absolutely fine with that. The issue is not about making things 'easier' for the player, it is about making the game more fun and engaging for the player.
    If you do not want to change your secondary class, so be it. However, I would very much enjoy the option of switching up my play style from time to time, either to better tackle a certain challenge or just for the refreshing change of pace.

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