– Classes –
I agree that silly interdependences are counterproductive. But I will defend the need for players to make choices. In the real world there are few people who can do everything themselves, despite Heinlein’s “specialization is for insects.” Communities rely, in large part, on synergy between different specialties.
I don’t criticize the need or promotion of the specialization. I criticize the fact that you choose to specialize strictly roleplay possibilities. You aren’t specializing a player toward different styles to combat. You are specializing him about *possibilities*. Possibilities outside the mechanics.
The design doesn’t work, imho, because you created a *gameplay* class from a roleplay possibility that has a completely different nature and now you need to denaturalize that class to give it an excuse to be a “gameplay” class.
Roleplay is something that needs to be accessible to everyone. It shouldn’t define specific classes because it should be a *pervasive* non-gameplay “mood”. Defining a specific role for something that should be everywhere is not a good idea.
I also don’t believe that enforcing a ruleset makes the players play in a different way. I don’t think that you should even care about having a “second-class citzen”. There’s nothing to teach, imho. If the players don’t choose to play in another way it’s simply because the game doesn’t offer enough possibilities to do so. Tradeskills are not important and a “second-class citzen” just because they have an horrible implementation in many games.
You cannot “teach a lesson” if you still have nothing new to offer. SWG has, and I think that having strict non-combat professions hasn’t really helped toward their “success”. On the contrary, offering them as an alternative just brings a lot more players to appreciate an important and original part of the game. Making it more satisfying.
In SWG, the original conception of the RP profs was to recognize and reward some of the crucial roles that people play in these games that the games traditionally ignore in the code.
This could still be done without enforcing this approach as “exclusive”. These possibilities should still be open to everyone. I don’t criticize at all the rewards, I criticize just the specialization applied to this element.
The interdependence was intended in part to teach a lesson on the importance of the RPers and social glue to the game as a whole.
Yes, but you also shattered the exact same purpose. You have denaturalized a playstyle and you have also made it an exclusive choice that surely doesn’t promote the need for RP.
I strongly believe that these games need a presence of non-combat possibilities. I think that nearly nothing has been done till now on this aspect but I also think that this section shouldn’t be exclusive and specialized.
The very potential of these possibilities is ruined if you denaturalize them. Forcing them to have a strict gameplay role (so not anymore an RP value) is about a denaturalization. I don’t think that forcing this is really adding an RP depth to the game. Actually I think that this is actively ruining the RP potential since it’s only accessible after a selective approach.
Instead of assimilating the “RP flavor” you are segregating it AND forcing it to integrate through a denaturalization.
I understand your choices, I just hope it’s more understandable what I criticize.
1- The roleplay should be pervasive in the whole game and open to everyone. By creating a specific and specialized role for it you aren’t promoting it. On the contrary, you damage it and denaturalize it. With the side effect of needing excuses to justify its presence IN the gameplay (since a “class” has a sense and is justified in the concrete gameplay you can or cannot offer).
2- Classes should be defined as *consequences* of an observation of the possibilities you have in the game. SWG does the exact contrary. You continuously need excuses to justify the presence of the class. Here you are just experiencing an inner flaw produced by the denaturalization.
The problems are just consequences of previous errors.
EQ2 is doing this with its tradeskills. But I would suggest to you that if one of the two sides does not have comparable investment in content
This sounds like if you trying to justify the work on these parts of the game toward the “producers” or the players or both. Well, if this is the case it’s not a design problem. It’s a managment problem. If your choice is a compromise for this situation, so this is just another demonstration that this compromise is now producing bad consequences.