What do you look for in a job/class system what games come the closest?

#1AmenonuhokoPosted 2/12/2013 2:28:16 PM
I'm actually looking for new RPGs and job/class systems are pretty important to me this time.
I would like to be able to at least pick and even switch classes but am very open to suggestion if anybody has examples of well-managed class systems.

Here are a few examples of what I've liked in the past:

I love Final Fantasy V but personally I believe there are way too many classes and most only exist to throw new abilities in the mix. I do, however, like the option to add new abilities to existing classes.

Personally, I really like Diablo II LoD's class system. Five base classes with different skill trees dividing each one's abilities. It would be nice if there were a way to mesh classes but hey, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

I've always been a fan of Wizardry's class system. I think it is best executed in Tale of the Forsaken Land where you have stat restrictions and, unlike other Wizardry games, there is no way to roll the more advanced classes because of level restrictions. It does get a little tiresome to switch between classes to learn certain spells and up HP gains for a few levels for the spellcasters.

Classes may seem a little archaic and indeed there are many games that work very well without them. Skyrim is a good example of this. Earlier Elder Scrolls games worked the same way but used classes as a way to "quick pick' which abilities you wanted to focus on so I don't really count that as a "traditional" class system.

Any examples of games that have handled class/job systems well in your opinion?
Non-traditional classes would be even better(Like in Mass Effect or Shadowrun).
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#2SilentSerphPosted 2/12/2013 3:42:55 PM
My only requirement for class systems is that they require you to exchange strengths for weaknesses and put a variety of classes into the party. FFV does do that well and so does FFXIII.

Disgaea is another game I think does a good job with it, and DQ7 except that it takes way too long to get access to them.

I don't think too many classes is a problem, but making it too easy to have every strength and no weaknesses is.
#3CarbunkleFluxPosted 2/12/2013 3:58:59 PM(edited)
Titan Quest, yo.

You get 7 disciplines, each with their own separate skill trees, stat affinities and abilities. Pick two of them. There's your class ^_^.

FFT is probably the best version of the job system and what I wish more games would actually emulate to its level of fun and variety. Because that's all I really look for in any job system. I want each playthrough to feel different from the last, both skillset-wise and otherwise. Diablo 3 probably has the worst 'class' system, in part because it has so few classes, all niche classes no less, and you get abilities in exactly the same way every playthrough with no stat customization to make up for it.

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#4MegidolaonPosted 2/12/2013 4:24:02 PM
Amalur does an amazing job at classes and skill trees, allowing you great builds that incorporate skills from all 3 trees (arguably the best trees use a combination from 3 trees instead of only 1 or even 2).
Also you can easily re-skill for little money and any bonus points are not wasted either.
Too bad Amalur starts amazing but gets tedious and repetitive after 20ish hours and the story and characters are bland as can be.

FFXIII / XIII-2 have one hell of an awesome job system.
Sadly it takes until chapter 4 or 5 until FFXIII makes any real use of it and FFXIII-2 also takes some time and is more limited (but still great) but once it gets properly used, it's hella fun.
You switch roles in battle in customizable combinations of classes according to the situation and the role abilities are extremely limited.
For example medic has cure and esuna and raise, nothing else. The only role with normal attack is commando and the only role for defense is sentinel.
At first FFXIII is boring as f**** cause you almost never have to switch paradigms (role combinations) in a battle and it's straight forward button tapping for pure ai battle with a terribad ai.
But then battles become challenging (later some regular battles in FFXIII are tougher than optional bosses in other rpgs) and autobattle is mandatory cause manal command input is far too slow and you need to swap paradigms every few seconds, with battles becoming extremely fast paced.

It uses ATB but at such a high battle speed that it rivals action rpg speed.

Blue Dragon has a fun classic job system (similar to classic FF I believe), you get stats and abilities from every job and some are usable only for your currently active job but some carry over like extra accessory slots.

Disgaea has an interesting take, you cannot change a character's class per se, but you can reincarnate him/her/it to lvl 1, retaining skills.
So you can make an Alraune to get all the buffing spells and then reincarnate into an Archer for range/damage.

DA2 has an awesome job system (there is a cheat for the pc version to al,low even more freedom iirc) where you can choose between fighter, mage and rogue for the mc but then got tons of subclasses with their own skilltrees.
Same goes for all other party members. Plus you can freely choose stats for everyone.

PSO has a nice class system as well.
While separated into 3 main classes, the subs classes are pretty different from each other.
For example Fomarl has pretty low damage output but is amazing at support while Fonewearl is focused on single target damage spells and Fonewm is a walking nuke.
Or Hucast has a huge amount of atp for massive damage but relatively low accuracy opposed to Hucaseal with lower damage/hp but far higher accuracy and unique attack animations.

DDS has a great skilltree system where you buy skill packs for money.
DDS1 is more rigid cause there is usually only a single way to get a certain skill but DDS2 has a grid instead of a tree and there are several ways to get a certain skill (having the right skills makes or breaks your party).
#5rsniper59Posted 2/12/2013 5:08:27 PM
I mainly look for a system that offers a lot of customization and skill growth. Another important thing is that there should be many useful combinations/builds and not just one that you have to use to succeed.

I think Final Fantasy Tactics comes the closest to a perfect system for me. Every character can branch out into their own classes, learn unique abilities, and combine abilities between different classes. There are also countless viable party combinations that allow for success. Some classes are clearly better than others (Ninja is broken and god-like), but overall there's nothing stopping players from going with any kind of composition.
#6DavzzPosted 2/12/2013 6:28:14 PM
FFT, I guess. Wild Arms XF also comes close to being very similar to FFT.

As a related but opposite side note, I'm not a big fan of Skill Point/Tree systems anymore. It seems impossible to build good characters in those unless you read an FAQ.

Either that or the game will have to be tuned super easy because the possible permutations involved is just too much for the average player who don't look up build guides.
"Don't blame me, blame yourself or the RNG."
#7AkazoraPosted 2/12/2013 6:49:59 PM(edited)
Every class should be able to do everything, but also feel distinctly different. Basically, the Blizzard method, or GW2 method. Its tricky to do - Path of the Exile has the former, but not the latter.

The problem with overly specialized classes is you end up in a situation where those said classes are useless except for the specific circumstance that calls for them.

In a ton of PS1/PS2 era RPGs, you would end up just having your white mage sit there defending all the time because their attack is harmless. The thief would be a sub-par fighter, that ranged from being terrible to just a little worse than a real melee.

Disgaea 1 thief - You'd still want to keep one around because of how important stealing is, but they were just dreadfully bad.
#8DavzzPosted 2/12/2013 6:56:30 PM
Akazora posted...
Every class should be able to do everything, but also feel distinctly different. Basically, the Blizzard method, or GW2 method. Its tricky to do - Path of the Exile has the former, but not the latter.

Honestly, I don't agree with this, because I think team-based gameplay involves characters with distinct strength and weaknesses trying to cover each other. 5 generalists is a lot less interesting to me.

The problem with overly specialized classes is you end up in a situation where those said classes are useless except for the specific circumstance that calls for them.

...white mage... thief...

Those were terrible class designs sure and definitely overly specialized, but I think the key word here is "overly."

You could fix Thief and still be thematic by giving the class like... good debuffs and status effects but I still think if a Thief-type class can AOE, tank, heal, buff, use magic and etc it would be problematic.
"Don't blame me, blame yourself or the RNG."
#9k debonairPosted 2/12/2013 7:09:58 PM
FFT probably had the best class system I've seen.

beginning of the game: knight
end game: teleporting ninja with Holy Sword skills.
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#10alt_realityPosted 2/12/2013 7:37:41 PM
Do you have a smartphone? If so, you should look into Final Fantasy Dimensions.
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