Forums » Pantheon Classes

The Hybrid Slippery Slope

    • 28 posts
    November 28, 2018 3:55 AM PST

    I recall a time in WoW when priests who tried to do shadow damage were laughed at, paladins who tried to tank or dps were asked politely instead to heal, and druids who wanted to innervate themselves were told to cast it on a useful healing class instead, assuming of course they weren't planning on stealing a rogue's gear for "meowlee dps"!  

    The whining was ever present, hybrids who wanted to excel at all corners of the trinity, competing with pure classes for loot and raid spots, all the while maintaining their 'solo faceroll' ability.  Scoffing at nearby pure classes that would have liked to group, the hybrid felt their ego surge as they demonstrated that they did not need to group, let alone support other players.  No way, "I'm a hybrid" they thought.  

    The truth is, in a game that is balanced properly, a group made up of hybrid classes will always be defficient in some way when compared to a group made up of the pure classes.  This is directly due to the hybrid being the jack of all trades, which on the flip side, gives them quality of life advantages in other corners of the game, while rightfully detracting from their group synergy potential.    

    So when the devs start to hear the whining of the hybrids:  "Why would anyone want to group with me?" or, "Why does the cleric always get a spot over the druid?" or, "It isn't fair how hard this boss hits, it's like you can't complete content without a Warrior tank!"    They need to hold true, and ignore the cries of the god-complex hybrid.  Keep the (quaternity?) balanced, and the game will be resilient and long-lived.  Give in to the demands of the shameless, and watch the foundation of the game become unstable on the slippery-slope towards "everyone is a god" type gameplay.

    Choose your classes wisely ;)

    • 620 posts
    November 28, 2018 7:01 AM PST

    Good post.  Fortunately, I think the devs are trying to avoid "hybrid" classes (in the sense of ranger being a melee with low level druid spells) with the exception of the Paladin that is likely going to be a very capable tank and only a "hybrid" by description of being a former cleric gone more melee oriented and not in literal skills/spells or even healing ability.  But your point about people complaining about unfairness will likely still apply and I agree that the devs need to stick to their guns instead of pulling out the nurf bats and buff cannons.

    • 2379 posts
    November 28, 2018 12:22 PM PST

    That shouldn't be a problem because this game has no hybrids: all classes will have a primary role and all within each role are going to be balanced to have parity at performing that role. No classes will be split half and half or otherwise be able to perform a secondary role at/near the same effectiveness of a class that mains that role. 

    • 45 posts
    November 28, 2018 8:03 PM PST

    I'd prefer a paradigm where all classes are "hybrids" in a sense of being able to contribute to groups in multiple ways - (even though each may have a main role).  I'm not saying every class should be able to be a main healer, but I do think every class should have at least some limited form of crowd control or damage mitigation, for instsnce. 

    • 99 posts
    December 1, 2018 12:21 PM PST

    Iksar said:

    That shouldn't be a problem because this game has no hybrids: all classes will have a primary role and all within each role are going to be balanced to have parity at performing that role. No classes will be split half and half or otherwise be able to perform a secondary role at/near the same effectiveness of a class that mains that role. 

     

    Which in itself has the potential to be very problematic.  Who is going to want to bring class a if class b can do the job just as well but has cool extra stuff like teleports while class a doesn't?  The "everyone who can do x does it equally well" idea has just as much potential to result in sidelining classes as the old "hybrid" idea...

    • 1039 posts
    January 28, 2019 6:50 AM PST

    Hybrid, the jack of all trades, master of none... that is... until people demanded they have all the flexability of a hybrid, but still be competitive with more singular talent classes. Honestly, I hated this as it was often people who lacked understanding of what a hybrid was and their purpose. Instead of seeing utility as a strength to support and enhance the group, they looked at it as some lacking aspect. I remember when EQ was released hearing rangers and paladins complain about how they were useless (there were some legitimate issues with them, but not to the extent they were "fixed"). When you pressed them, they would admit they had all of these extra spells and abilities and they admitted they were useful in the scope of thier design, but then would complain about their effectiveness when applied outside of that scope. The point is, they wanted a class that could do it all, but then didn't want the trade off of being less than ideal in them. So began the movement of hemogenization. 


    This post was edited by Tanix at January 28, 2019 6:50 AM PST
    • 1039 posts
    January 28, 2019 6:56 AM PST

    Iksar said:

    That shouldn't be a problem because this game has no hybrids: all classes will have a primary role and all within each role are going to be balanced to have parity at performing that role. No classes will be split half and half or otherwise be able to perform a secondary role at/near the same effectiveness of a class that mains that role. 

    This is why it will be a huge problem. They will then have to be extremely careful that no class competes with the primary role of another. Add in DPS as a role and that balance becomes insanely difficult as now all classes will have to be carefully rated to a level of damage ability that does not exceed a DPS roles ability. Not only raw damage will be an issue, but then you will have to consider the effect spells and other abiltiies will have in conjunction with doing damage which would make the class superior. Add in the fact that many classes now have varying abilties (CC, healing, etc..) even though they are not "primary" to such and you have a nightmare of balancing to do in order to keep things within the scope of their pre-defined "roles". Add in human nature to the mix and what you get? WoW class wars. Be prepared for the mighty nerf hammer to swing constantly.

    • 90 posts
    January 28, 2019 7:42 AM PST
    There is a simple fix to all of these problems, and it always stems from the same source - the player base.
    All the devs need to do is ignore all the whining and remain true to their vision. It's only when the devs start listening to demands and making changes based on those demands that it goes haywire.

    The team has a vision. Do you support that vision? Then play and have fun. If you don't support that vision, or don't like/agree with it, there are plenty of other games that will.

    VR needs to stay true the their vision and not succumb to the demands of the player base. That has been the trouble since day one in every MMO.
    • 1039 posts
    January 28, 2019 8:07 AM PST

    Ghool said: There is a simple fix to all of these problems, and it always stems from the same source - the player base. All the devs need to do is ignore all the whining and remain true to their vision. It's only when the devs start listening to demands and making changes based on those demands that it goes haywire. The team has a vision. Do you support that vision? Then play and have fun. If you don't support that vision, or don't like/agree with it, there are plenty of other games that will. VR needs to stay true the their vision and not succumb to the demands of the player base. That has been the trouble since day one in every MMO.

     

     

    Naturally, but... also not creating the problem from the begining can help reduce this issue as well. 

    In early EQ, "roles" were not defined outside of basic ability. The concept of forcing a class to a very specific limited role was later produced by the community when players started arguing over and rating who was supposed to be in that role. Once that became common, people would then begin the "requirements" as to who could do what in any given group. You had people refusing to join a group if there wasn't the "approved" roles and classes designated for them present. In this case it is easy as the developer to say "Look, we didn't force a class to a role, we gave various abilities to classes to which they may at various levels excel at and it is up to the players to decide how to apply them!". With that approach, it takes the wind out of their sails and the complainers then seem petty. Add in "official" roles though and now you have established what is and what is not to which if you do not meet such, then as a developer you are failing your own claimed design, which legitimizes the complaints. If you take the "if you don't like it, bugger off!" approach in that scenario, it will make you look unreasonable and lacking in your endeavor. 

     

     

     


    This post was edited by Tanix at January 28, 2019 8:08 AM PST
    • 90 posts
    January 28, 2019 8:38 AM PST

    The point I'm trying to emphasize here is that;

    1. complaining that a game or class doesn't suit ones personal desires is not a reason to alter their vision.

    2. If the devs allow complainers to shape the future of the game, it's is no longer the developers vision for what the game should be. It becomes dictated by the players.

    Whenever a game/company/whatever starts heeding the direct demands of complainers, then it's no longer about making a satisfying game/product which fits within a certain vision. It becomes a thing which is used to placate the complainers. I'd rather not see that, no matter how vocal that group is.

    The entire selling point here is synergy and dynamic grouping. Nothing is supposed to be perfectly fair or even. That's why everyone needs to group and to me that's the selling point of the game. Despite the devs saying there are certain roles, like EQ, you can probably do just fine with a ragtag non-optimal group. Fact is, classes are supposed to be different, and have strengths and weaknesses that are different from one another. People will complain no matter what. I hope VR has enough backbone to ignore it.


    This post was edited by Ghool at January 28, 2019 9:01 AM PST
    • 1039 posts
    January 28, 2019 9:01 AM PST

    Ghool said: The point I'm trying to emphasize here is that; 1. complaining that a game or class doesn't suit ones personal desires is not a reason to alter their vision. 2. The devs need to stay true to their vision of the game, not succumb to the whiners trying to change the game to suit their desires. 3. If the devs allow complaints to shape the future of the game, theregardless is no longer a developers vision for what the game should be. It becomes dictated by the players. Whenever a game/company/whatever starts heeding the direct demands of complainers, then it's no longer about making a satisfying game/product which fits within a certain vision. It becomes a thing which is used to placate the complainers. I'd rather not see that, no matter how vocal that group is. The entire selling point here is synergy and dynamic grouping. Nothing is supposed to be perfectly fair or even. That's why everyone needs to group and to me that's the selling point of the game. Despite the devs saying there are certain roles, like RQ, you can probably do just fine with a ragtag non-optimal group. Fact is, classes are supposed to be different, and have strengths and weaknesses that are different from one another. People will complain no matter what. I hope VR has enough backbone to ignore it.

    Agreed, my only point is that if you smother yourself with honey and then expect bears not to come, well.. you are being delusional. By the very design of a "role" they are telling players what they are supposed to be. If a player finds that such does not live up to what they were told, they will complain, and will be valid in their complaint. 

    A company that dismisses valid complaints finds itself in trouble very quickly.

     

    So while I completely agree a company should establish a vision, hold it and then let people decide if they want it or not, this is more of an issue of a conflict in the design which will specifically create a valid objection to the situation. How do you tell someone to beat sand who is complaining about a problem you created? 


    This post was edited by Tanix at January 28, 2019 9:01 AM PST
    • 8 posts
    January 28, 2019 10:48 AM PST

    Hybrid classes are the devil momma says!

    • 8 posts
    January 28, 2019 10:50 AM PST

    Double Post


    This post was edited by akowalchyk at January 28, 2019 10:51 AM PST
    • 37 posts
    March 17, 2019 8:32 AM PDT

    I don't get the hate for hybrid classes.  If you choose to have a ton of abilities, then you are going to be weaker in other areas.  Honestly that is kind of why I prefer a skill based system where you assign points to skills or magic schools rather than just having a standard level increase with set advances.  Yeah, I don't see anything like this in Pantheon, but I think having flexibility in how you develop your character was an improvement over EQ (Archage, original WOW, etc.).

    Mal

    • 228 posts
    March 17, 2019 9:00 AM PDT

    It certainly seems (fortunately) that Pantheon is going to avoid hybrids in the sense of the WoW Druid or Pally, which each had a full spec for tanking, healing, and dps. But I think it's very cool that some classes can cross the lines just a bit. The Pantheon Druid, for instance, has some dps spells, though surely they would not be as strong as a Wizard's. The Paladin can do some light healing, but their heals would surely not be as strong as a true healer's. This makes for some very interesting options when it comes to group make-up. If you already have a main tank and healer, for instance, you might want to bring a Pally along as an offtank/offhealer. Or you might want a Druid as an offhealer/extra dps. This, to me, is what hybridization should be about: giving a class abilities that allow for just enough crossover to create interesting group dynamics, but not trying to make a single class able to fill all roles completely.

    • 20 posts
    March 25, 2019 12:08 PM PDT

    The shaman class has been the epitome of this problem since I’ve played MMOs, and will occur in this game to a degree. MMOs usually resolve in groups establishing controlled damage to the main/off-tanks requiring a primary healer, so the shaman’s role focuses on back up healing (with HoTs and small heals) and de-buffing mobs.

    Slowing powerful mobs in EQ was almost critical to success and hopefully will hold true in Pantheon as well. This helped to make this class feel valuable, but was only situational so it was common to not be on top of class picks when trying to find a random group. I stick with shamans though because I love the class style, but I’m always mentally prepared for being the outcast when finding randoms.

    -craggy

    • 1567 posts
    March 27, 2019 12:53 PM PDT

    Pantheon has no hybrid classes. They have archetypes and within each archetype each class performs the primary function of that archetype equally well but via different spells, skills and abilities.  So if you need a healer, you pick a Priest class...any Priest class be in Cleric, Shaman or Druid.  None of those three are hybrids.  Same for the tank archetype, pick any of the three and each will do the job equally well.  The paladin is not a priest/tank hybrid just as the Direlord is not a Tank/DPS hybrid.

    • 3086 posts
    March 27, 2019 6:36 PM PDT

    Nevermind.


    This post was edited by oneADseven at March 27, 2019 7:17 PM PDT
    • 264 posts
    April 1, 2019 2:07 PM PDT

    Vandraad said:

    Pantheon has no hybrid classes. They have archetypes and within each archetype each class performs the primary function of that archetype equally well but via different spells, skills and abilities.  So if you need a healer, you pick a Priest class...any Priest class be in Cleric, Shaman or Druid.  None of those three are hybrids.  Same for the tank archetype, pick any of the three and each will do the job equally well.  The paladin is not a priest/tank hybrid just as the Direlord is not a Tank/DPS hybrid.

    I agree with you but I would not say 'equally', simply because the abilities between classes will be different. It will be very close and there are going to be minor differences. A class may have a slighty easier time at performing a task compare to another class but overall, all classes withing an archetype will be able to perform their primary role. That is the beauty of game design if done well.

    Let's take for example, the Druid Verdanfire Seed and Hirode's Chrysalis, and the Shaman Agewalker's Gift, Gate of Forgotten Eras, all of those abilities are very different from each other and all of them are fantastic abilities, all extremely usefull for any group. Will it feel the same for the group? I hope not, but I believe all classes withing the same archetype will be able to perform their role the same way with more or less ease depending of the encounters (npc resistances, number of ennemies, type of damage, ...) 

    Even more importantly, I belive that all classes abilities will not be more important than the player skill. A skilled and experienced player will be able to do things that an average player might struggle with. I hope there is a learning curve for each class! 

    Also, Hybrid class meaning is confusing, it depends a lot about the definition and the game. Do hybrid classes mean having a primary and secondary role? Perhaps all classes in Pantheon are hybrid or none of them are...

    I do not care either way. I want to feel uniqueness when I play different classes and I want group to feel different depending of the composition of the group! That is critical and very difficult to do. That is why most games get it wrong, balancing numbers instead of designing abilities in a clever way.

     

     

     

    • 229 posts
    April 3, 2019 7:57 AM PDT

    Wyvernspur said:

    I'd prefer a paradigm where all classes are "hybrids" in a sense of being able to contribute to groups in multiple ways - (even though each may have a main role).  I'm not saying every class should be able to be a main healer, but I do think every class should have at least some limited form of crowd control or damage mitigation, for instsnce. 

    It looks like this might be what we're getting. Lots of classes have some form of at least limited cc. Take tanking, for example. If you have a situation where raw mitigation is needed, warrior will be the way to go. Fighting undead all night? The paladin is your tank for that. If you're up against casters, dire lord will be the way to go. All do the job of a tank, they just do it differently because of their unique skills and mechanics.

    I understand the concern, but really don't see the jack of all trades classes taking over (don't see that type of class at all in what's been revealed). I think players who want to do it all and do it best will be very disappointed with Pantheon.


    This post was edited by Percipiens at April 3, 2019 7:59 AM PDT
    • 58 posts
    April 17, 2019 11:53 PM PDT
    I agree that Pantheon seems to have full class archetypes. In the evolution of hybrids they they should fulfill a niche of their own without encroaching on other classes. I have always enjoyed being able play with variety without being pigeonholed as a true class into only one function.
    • 620 posts
    April 18, 2019 7:44 AM PDT

    There will be no hybrids and there will be no "class balancing issues with PRotF".  The "class balancing issues" will be with the players, not PRotF.  This is NOT WoW and is therefore not a game with the "primary focus" of PvP.  PvP is what drives a game's development to be focused on "class balancing" for fairness.  This is a PvE game, and therefore class balancing won't be an issue with THE GAME mechanics, but people will obviously complain that they chose an inferior class because as the devs have expressed, NOT ALL CLASSES WILL BE EQUAL.  Although there will be no "hybrid" just because a class role says "CC" "healer" or "tank" doesn't mean they won't be able to deal damage.  Don't expect a PvE game to scale back a partiluar class' damage so that another class feels special... if a class gets scaled in any direction it will be for the purpose of PvE balancing, not players complaining that the class they chose doesn't do as much damage, tank as well or heal as efficiently as another class.  Those mechanics are already being addressed.  

    There is no slippery slope of FotM class rotation in a PvE game unless the devs see a large disparity in class population i.e. nobody is playing DL- Do not compare the class balancing to PvP games like WoW. 

    The PvP servers will likely be a nightmare for a few years.  I'll wait for them to start losing population and VR allows transfer before I PvP in this game because of the reasons I mentioned above.  (DL will likely blow compared to some of the other classes in PvE for a few years but be an absolute powerhouse in PvP right out of the gate).

    • 99 posts
    April 23, 2019 1:09 PM PDT

    Darch said:

    There will be no hybrids and there will be no "class balancing issues with PRotF".  The "class balancing issues" will be with the players, not PRotF.  This is NOT WoW and is therefore not a game with the "primary focus" of PvP.  PvP is what drives a game's development to be focused on "class balancing" for fairness.  This is a PvE game, and therefore class balancing won't be an issue with THE GAME mechanics, but people will obviously complain that they chose an inferior class because as the devs have expressed, NOT ALL CLASSES WILL BE EQUAL.  Although there will be no "hybrid" just because a class role says "CC" "healer" or "tank" doesn't mean they won't be able to deal damage.  Don't expect a PvE game to scale back a partiluar class' damage so that another class feels special... if a class gets scaled in any direction it will be for the purpose of PvE balancing, not players complaining that the class they chose doesn't do as much damage, tank as well or heal as efficiently as another class.  Those mechanics are already being addressed.  

    There is no slippery slope of FotM class rotation in a PvE game unless the devs see a large disparity in class population i.e. nobody is playing DL- Do not compare the class balancing to PvP games like WoW. 

    The PvP servers will likely be a nightmare for a few years.  I'll wait for them to start losing population and VR allows transfer before I PvP in this game because of the reasons I mentioned above.  (DL will likely blow compared to some of the other classes in PvE for a few years but be an absolute powerhouse in PvP right out of the gate).

     

    Since when is WoW a PvP game?  And no, class balance is just as important in a PvE environment as PvP, perhaps moreso, since in PvP tricky use of niche abilities and superior play can level the playing field while in PvE no amount of skillful gameplay will boost the damage/healing/tanking ability of your damage dealing/healing/tanking class above the inherent class ceiling.  It is zero fun and an absolutely guaranteed way to lose players to have them grind out 50 levels in a reasonably slow-paced game just to find out that no one wants them in their group because their class is inferior at its role.

    • 620 posts
    April 23, 2019 7:10 PM PDT

    Zyellinia said:

    Darch said:

    ...

     

    Since when is WoW a PvP game?  And no, class balance is just as important in a PvE environment as PvP, perhaps moreso, since in PvP tricky use of niche abilities and superior play can level the playing field while in PvE no amount of skillful gameplay will boost the damage/healing/tanking ability of your damage dealing/healing/tanking class above the inherent class ceiling.  It is zero fun and an absolutely guaranteed way to lose players to have them grind out 50 levels in a reasonably slow-paced game just to find out that no one wants them in their group because their class is inferior at its role.

    In the offchance that you are not being sarcastic in asking about WoW being a PvP game... PvP stands for Player vs Player.  WoW is literally designed to be Alliance vs Horde "Player versus Player" then there's Arenas and Battle Grounds...  And balancing PvP is completely different in a PvE game... (They usually just make some spells not usable in PvP).  Take the wizard for example in a PvE game like EQ2 that has spells at lvl 110 that literally hit for two BILLION damage, and barely touch the HP of a boss while the rogues can backstab for 800 MILLION... guess how many players survive hits like that on the pvp servers?  Now take WoW (a PvP game...) no player can do a million times the amount of damage than another player has health because it is balanced for PvP... you can't even communicate with the opposite faction or create characters of both factions on the same server - the game did a great job in making players want to PvP... apparently without even letting some players know it was a PvP game.

    Add:  To comment on "It is zero fun and an absolutely guaranteed way to lose players to have them grind out 50 levels in a reasonably slow-paced game just to find out that no one wants them in their group because their class is inferior at its role."  This actually happens in a lot of games, to include EQ1 to a few classes (hybrid classes) until several expansions later.


    This post was edited by Darch at April 23, 2019 7:15 PM PDT