Star Wars: The Old Republic developer dispatches and blogs always make for interesting updates, and today’s dev blog “Designing the Advanced Classes System” is no exception, especially since so much confusion surrounds the subject.
That being said, I’m still left with many questions, particularly revolving around how players will be investing into their skill-sets, though I’m going to assume a type of “point” system as seen in many other MMOs. As it is, what the level cap is has yet to be confirmed, so subsequently I can’t even begin to speculate how many points we would have accrued by that stage. Admittedly, all this is reminiscent of the talent trees in World of Warcraft, but before I’m accused of calling SWTOR a WoW clone, let me just say I’d expect that even if there are enough similarities to make things sound familiar, I doubt the end result will be remotely the same.
As it’s shaping up now, we should probably start considering the game as having 16 total classes instead of 8, since each one will split into two advanced classes at an early point in the game, which players will have to choose. Accordingly, after going down one path, there’s no going back, ever. If I remember correctly, Aion utilized a similar class system.
What impressed me though, at least with the example of the Smuggler, was the depth of each advanced class’s projected direction. I think once we’ve chosen an AC, we’re going to get a decent number of skill-sets to tinker around with, allowing for many different types of play-styles. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not unhappy with the implementation of the MMO trinity, but even so, I would rest easier if I knew it didn’t mean we would be pigeonholed into rigid and static roles, i.e. having to go through every single fight expected to do only one thing.
The information they gave about the Smuggler went a long way in allaying some of my concerns, if for no other reason than to see the words “stealth healer” described in the article. I have no idea what such a role would entail, but it does suggest some interesting takes on classic roles and a degree of flexibility within each class. Not to mention I bet it will make for some interesting encounters.