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What does class change mean? Can the job advancement in Maplestory for e.g. be called a class change?

Going from bowman to hunter for e.g. can that be called a class change?

What exactly can be called a class change?

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closed as not a real question by LessPop_MoreFizz, deutschZuid, kotekzot, fredley, Steve V. Aug 15 '12 at 2:16

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Your example might be more considered a class advancement. –  SaintWacko Aug 8 '12 at 15:20

3 Answers 3

This is a very broad question that is very much going to be down to each individual game's definition of "class".

For example, in World of Warcraft, a class change would be changing from (for example) a hunter to a mage. This is not possible through any of the value added services provided by Blizzard and would involve creating a new character of the new class.

The majority of RPGs follow a class model similar to that used in World of Warcraft, so for example;

  • in the Mass Effect series of games, the classes are Infiltrator, Soldier, etc - changing class requires creating a new character
  • in Neocron the classes are Spy, Monk, Tank, Private Eye - changing class requires creating a new character
  • in Rift, classes are called 'callings', and if you want to change callings you must start over

In a game like The Secret World, which is inherently 'class-less' in design there is still a 'class' concept in the form of suggested decks - a class change in The Secret World from Necromancer to Mercenary can be accomplished within the abilities screen, simply by changing which abilities you're using from each ability school.

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Would you consider it to be wrong to call a class change when you 'evolve' from a swordsman to a knight, keeping all your previous skills? –  Andrei Cristian Prodan Aug 9 '12 at 8:46
    
Also what you're saying is that, in all your examples, in conclusion, class change is not possible! Am I right? –  Andrei Cristian Prodan Aug 9 '12 at 8:48
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I cant say that no games allow it - many games with a solid class structure don't though. However I would call your example of swordsman to knight 'class progression' rather than a class change –  kalina Aug 9 '12 at 8:55
    
I have a problem with this "The majority of RPGs follow a class model similar to World of Warcraft". RPG games don't follow an MMO. Classes in RPG games have been a defining factor since the genres inception. –  DavidYell Aug 10 '12 at 8:02
    
I at no point indicated it was original in World of Warcraft, in fact - when I drew the comparison I wasn't talking about the concept of the class system at all, merely how it was implemented, and as WoW is one of the biggest examples in the genre it's easy to relate with. I have made a minor amendment to my wording to clarify this. –  kalina Aug 10 '12 at 8:04

To go along with your Maplestory example, the character classes allow players to progress through the game using different game mechanics.

A class change in Maplestory would then be

  1. changing from one of the general classes to another general class, or

  2. changing from one of the subclasses to another subclass.

For example,

  • General Class change: Rogue -> Magician

  • Subclass change: Hunter -> Crossbowman

Unfortunately, class changes are NOT allowed in Maplestory


Progressing from Hunter -> Ranger is a Job Advancement. Job advancement does open up new skills for the player, but your previous skills are carried through. A job advancement occurs in the same general class or subclass.


EDIT: To address Andrei's comment, "could [you] edit your answer and tell what a class change is, in your own opinion, in mmorpgs"

(Disclaimer: The following is pure opinion.)

My personal opinion aligns with the class system in Maplestory and Diablo. Different classes should provide different gameplay experiences to reach the same goals. If an option changes my character enough to provide a different gameplay experience from the other choices, especially if my previous mechanics are no longer available, then I would classify that as a class change.

For example,

Class Changes:

  • tanks damage for the team -> deals damage for the team -> heals teammates

  • deals melee damage -> deals ranged damage

  • attacks deal mostly AOE damage -> attacks deal mostly single-target damage

In the class change examples, the gameplay experience would become significantly different after each change. In many cases, the game mechanics that I had be previously playing with would no longer be available and new strategies may need to be developed to progress in the game.

NOT Class Changes:

  • deals ranged damage -> more skills that do longer-ranged damage

  • heals teammates -> heals and revives teammates

In the NOT class change examples, the gameplay experience would remain mostly the same. There are new skills, but the old skills and strategies are still effective.

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Wow Maplestory's changed in the 6 years since I last played it haha –  Atav32 Aug 10 '12 at 4:22
    
I would love it if you could edit your answer and tell what a class change is, in your own opinion, in mmorpgs. And thanks for the answer by the way. –  Andrei Cristian Prodan Aug 10 '12 at 12:37
    
I believe the expectations on Arqade are to provide objective answers whenever possible. In the case of Maplestory, an objective answer is possible. But when we look at all MMORPGs, I think the field is too broad and the gameplay mechanics too diverse for an opinionated answer to be useful to future readers. We would like to give examples of different class implementations from all prominent RPGs, but then we would have to continually update the answer forever with new interpretations of class changes. –  Atav32 Aug 10 '12 at 14:57
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(Disclaimer: I don't play many RPGs) My personal opinion aligns with the class system in Maplestory and Diablo. Different classes should provide different gameplay experiences to reach the same goals. If an option changes my character enough to provide a different gameplay experience from the other choices, especially if my previous mechanics are no longer available, then I would classify that as a class change. (If this is more the answer you're looking for, then I'll add it to my answer.) –  Atav32 Aug 10 '12 at 15:04
    
Yes, I would like to hear your full opinion, move this to an answer and elaborate, please. –  Andrei Cristian Prodan Aug 10 '12 at 15:31

The question is a little more complicated than that. Most game nowadays have a class tree, a form of advancement if you will. While in MS it's called job, in some games like Lineage 2, the term class remains. Class advancement doesn't sound right, so in that game it's used class change instead. Warrior, Mage remain as BASE class. Almost no game offer the possibility of true class change(from warrior to mage, not even if you pay) so the term isn't usually used for that but more commonly used as a substitute for job advancement/job change or other terms. If you can change the base class it's usually called dual class, or subclass since the main remains and is usually more important.

If i come from a game like lineage 2,and i ask if class change exists in MS i would expect an yes answer, maybe pointing at the fact it's called a job and not a class as i wouldn't know that. Until know i always thought class change meant advancement because dozens of games i played online(mostly asian games) refer them as such.

In case of MS you could use the term job change,since you advance/change jobs. But if you change from a class_1/job_1 to class_2/job_2 that will also be called job change.

As a result Job/class advancement is more correct but because class change doesn't happen or are called something else(in this case you keep original) class change is used more often as a term for advancement/progression

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Having it called job, you do a job change, not a class change. In lineage 2, you don't keep your skills, that's why you CHANGE your class. –  Andrei Cristian Prodan Aug 10 '12 at 13:44

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