Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

Race Specific Spells and Abilities

    • 260 posts
    September 17, 2016 4:21 PM PDT

    In a recent theorycraft post of mine titled "The Origin of Classes in Pantheon" I suggested the possibility of races having independently evolved classes while on their homeworlds prior to being deposited on Terminus. The effects of living in the shared environment of Terminus effectively densified and redefined the classes in a "melting pot" sort of manner, resulting in the classses we have today. Coupling my theorycraft with the fact that we know that the development team is implementing the Living Codex system, where powerful spells obtained from Prime Scrolls are obtainable throughout Terminus, leads me to a fun speculation.

    What if some of the Prime Scrolls found on Terminus were otherworldy, ancient reminants containing spells developed from the ancestors of specific races?

    I think it would be awesome if there were race/class specific spells that tied directly to the lore of each class. Gnome wizards could have exclusive access to the spell Elos Flare while Halfling Druids could be the only ones able to cast Kiren's Flame. This would be a really neat way to tie in the lore of the classes to magic and give an extra significance to the already important choice of your race/class combination. Depending on it's impact, it could also act as a way of creating an even more focused group interdependency where maybe specific race/class combos are necessary for particular dungeons. More importantly, this could also serve as a means to dissuade players solely focusing on the phenomenon of min/maxing. "Well sure, you are a Ogre Shaman that is innately more stun resistant, but as a Skar Shaman I eventually can cast Aza'gn Might which makes my whole group stun resistant!" 

    We already have innate racial abilities based on physique, racial armors and weapons based on culture, why not racial spells and abilities based on lore?

    What do you guys think?


    This post was edited by Syntro at September 17, 2016 5:21 PM PDT
    • 110 posts
    September 17, 2016 7:26 PM PDT

    I like the idea but would think that the spells available to each race should be different flavours of the same thing.

    In terms of balance you don't want one race/class combo being far superiour to a different race/class combo due to a racial spell. We don't want every shaman to be an Ogre because they have the best racial spell or have no Gnome warriors because their racial spell sucks.

    • 466 posts
    September 18, 2016 2:41 AM PDT

    I really like the idea as well but I've not spent too much time considering it in part because I think it can become a developers nightmare in terms of striking a clear balance between all race/class combinations. Give each race/class more than one unique ability and I don't even want to start thinking how to figure out balance.

    Also, as Garper mentions, creating a dependency where a certain race/class combination outweighs others will create inequality amongst the player base. I don't see that flying well with the player-base of other race/class types.

    • 260 posts
    September 18, 2016 7:48 AM PDT

    Right, just like everything else, it would definitely need to be balanced. As Garper suggested they would be different flavors spells in the cases where the race/classes are already balanced.

    However, there were already some pretty obvious inequalities in EverQuest with race/class selection. For example, a Gnome/Cleric in EQ was far less effective than any other race because of his initial stats which resulted in not many people playing them. In these instances, adding a *balancing* race/class specific spell might be a nice way to alleviate this kind of situation.

    • 1016 posts
    September 18, 2016 6:02 PM PDT

    Syntro said:

    Right, just like everything else, it would definitely need to be balanced. As Garper suggested they would be different flavors spells in the cases where the race/classes are already balanced.

    However, there were already some pretty obvious inequalities in EverQuest with race/class selection. For example, a Gnome/Cleric in EQ was far less effective than any other race because of his initial stats which resulted in not many people playing them. In these instances, adding a *balancing* race/class specific spell might be a nice way to alleviate this kind of situation.

    Gnomes did have the ability to use Tinkering that was gnome specific and was grossly under-utilized.  Instead of a race specific spell that would need to be balanced, I would have liked skills like Tinkering to be better used.  A Gnomish Mind Amplifier - a helmet that causes your mind to amplify with power boosting your heals

    • 260 posts
    September 18, 2016 6:18 PM PDT

    Raidan said:

    Gnomes did have the ability to use Tinkering that was gnome specific and was grossly under-utilized.  Instead of a race specific spell that would need to be balanced, I would have liked skills like Tinkering to be better used.  A Gnomish Mind Amplifier - a helmet that causes your mind to amplify with power boosting your heals



    Right. Keep in mind literally anything that could be added that is race or class specific needs balancing, this includes race specific skills like Tinkering if you only allow Gnomes to use tinkered items. I'm merely suggesting a new lore derived avenue to include combat specific differences to distinguish between race/class combos, for example a Gnome Cleric and a Dwarf Cleric, so that when people consider which race to make their class, having access to a balanced race/class exclusive spell would come into consideration. Also, if the innate physical, initial stats, or skill differences end up not being balancing enough and we see that 90% of all Ogres are Dire Lords, these spells and abilities could act as balancers.


    This post was edited by Syntro at September 18, 2016 6:20 PM PDT
    • 1359 posts
    September 18, 2016 6:43 PM PDT

    It's worth taking a look at what's current in a long term MMO: http://eq2.zam.com/wiki/Racial_Traditions_(EQ2) , http://eq2.wikia.com/wiki/Traditions , http://eq2.wikia.com/wiki/Character_Attributes_by_Race , http://eq2.wikia.com/wiki/Character_Resistances_by_Race

    versus what it used to be, originally... http://web.archive.org/web/20041213204216/http://www.eq2arcanum.com/info/RacialTraditions.php

    Quite a large change in power over 10 years.  The current traditions would be considered, I think, wildly overpowered by many people.  Yet, there they are.

    Given the universe didn't implode when EQ2 seriously amped up racial abilities, I'm not particularly concerned even if some of them have the perception of imbalance, if something similar is implemented in Pantheon.
    About the only thing that will affect my race selection is: what class I'm going to play, and if that race can play that class.  Obviously, some race(s) are going to have the most INT, or WIS, or STR, or DEX to start out with, and if gear is so rare that those can't be compensated for?  I think we're in for big trouble, so it seems unlikely that will be the case.  I am a fan of racial abilities, but more passives rather than actives.  Active abilities tend to draw out the envy & jealousy pretty quickly.  "Why is their racial ability castable every 5 minutes?  Mine is only once per hour!?" etc.

    One thing that did bother me about eq1 race choices were things like.. There was much speculation, originally, about whether dex or str affected proc rates, melee damage, or ability damage like backstab for rogues.  As it turns out, barbarians, due to their high innate strength, made the best combat rogues.  Being large didn't affect hide & sneak at all.  That was a bit of a let-down.  As long as we have all the information necessary, after persistence, to make an informed decision PRIOR to race selection, then I'm content to live with my choice.

    If such core mechanics were to change, post-persistence, and it significantly affected the role of a class, I think a free race change ability would be a friendly option.  Under those specific conditions, I can understand why a player might want to change their race, if they were a min/max'er.

    • 109 posts
    September 21, 2016 12:06 PM PDT

    I have mixed feelings on this.  It could make class balance harder.

     

     


    This post was edited by Greattaste at September 21, 2016 12:57 PM PDT
    • 466 posts
    September 21, 2016 2:04 PM PDT

    Syntro said:

    Right, just like everything else, it would definitely need to be balanced. As Garper suggested they would be different flavors spells in the cases where the race/classes are already balanced.

    However, there were already some pretty obvious inequalities in EverQuest with race/class selection. For example, a Gnome/Cleric in EQ was far less effective than any other race because of his initial stats which resulted in not many people playing them. In these instances, adding a *balancing* race/class specific spell might be a nice way to alleviate this kind of situation.

    So do you mean having the same spell and just calling it something different? How would you define 'flavor of spell'?

    • 10 posts
    September 21, 2016 2:18 PM PDT

    I have no problem with minor to moderate racial inequalities. Gnome Clerics were the coolest just because they were disadvantaged and not many were willing to play them. Uniqueness has its on value and by having unbalanced races(within reason) it seems to create an interesting variety.

    A max level, geared out gnome warrior, is quiet amusing.  I think EQ struck a good formula with this


    This post was edited by bert at September 21, 2016 2:19 PM PDT
    • 110 posts
    September 23, 2016 7:20 AM PDT

    OakKnower said:

    Syntro said:

    Right, just like everything else, it would definitely need to be balanced. As Garper suggested they would be different flavors spells in the cases where the race/classes are already balanced.

    However, there were already some pretty obvious inequalities in EverQuest with race/class selection. For example, a Gnome/Cleric in EQ was far less effective than any other race because of his initial stats which resulted in not many people playing them. In these instances, adding a *balancing* race/class specific spell might be a nice way to alleviate this kind of situation.

    So do you mean having the same spell and just calling it something different? How would you define 'flavor of spell'?

    I was thinking along the lines of if you have spells that are specific to a certain class, make the names and animations etc. different for each race. That way each race feels unique but the spell is the same or so marginally different that it does not really matter. You obviously couldn't do this with actual racial abilities that are specific to a race no matter what the class, this but you would hope they would be of a nature that does not affect your class choice...


    This post was edited by Kipling at September 23, 2016 7:21 AM PDT
    • 260 posts
    September 23, 2016 9:04 PM PDT

    Hmmm. Along with different animations, I think I also meant different, but balanced nuanced effects. Let's say Halfing/Druids and Elf/Druids are already balanced. Their race/class distinguising spell might be something along the lines of:

    Halfing/Druid: Kiren Flame - 200 DD + 20damage/second DoT for 10s.
    Elf/Druid: Aellos Pyre - 200 DD + 8s stun.

    Where as if a human/druid needed some damage fluffing:
    Human/Druid: Ossiri's Wrath: 400 DD.

    Something along those lines. These examples are dry and not well thought out, but hopefully you get the point.

    • 1610 posts
    September 24, 2016 6:06 AM PDT

    bert said:

    I have no problem with minor to moderate racial inequalities. Gnome Clerics were the coolest just because they were disadvantaged and not many were willing to play them. Uniqueness has its on value and by having unbalanced races(within reason) it seems to create an interesting variety.

    A max level, geared out gnome warrior, is quiet amusing.  I think EQ struck a good formula with this

    And this also has the potential to allow the player to make the game challenging. I knew someone who chose to play a Troll Shadowknight because of the Racial/Class difficulty + hybrid penalty on exp gain + exp penalty on goods grouping with evils. I was always impressed that he chose that combination precicely for its difficulty.

    To Raidans point: tinkering for gnomes was cool, I somewhat envied it because my particular race had no unique skill and the poor barbarian fisherman finally got a break when gnomes could tinker up rebreathers. 

    The fact that halflings could hide was cute and made sense to me, the fact that Elf Wizards could hide I felt was overpowering.

    Likewise the intentional un-use of a ability could present more role play possibilities, "whaddaya mean you don't tinker, you're a GNOME!" or "How can you be hungry, aren't you a Dark Myr? catch something...WHAT?!" Maybe they wanted to be dentists.

    I agree balance is the key, and I dont think it should be that one race is inately good at fishing, and another is inately good at kicking, but rather should be one of a type of skill/ability per each race. For instance: combat related, kick, bash, disarm...etc, one boost for each race; or non-combat related, Bind wound, fishing, begging...etc. one boost for each race. But in a way that makes sense to the class / race. 

    • 466 posts
    September 24, 2016 7:26 AM PDT

    Garper said:

    OakKnower said:

    Syntro said:

    Right, just like everything else, it would definitely need to be balanced. As Garper suggested they would be different flavors spells in the cases where the race/classes are already balanced.

    However, there were already some pretty obvious inequalities in EverQuest with race/class selection. For example, a Gnome/Cleric in EQ was far less effective than any other race because of his initial stats which resulted in not many people playing them. In these instances, adding a *balancing* race/class specific spell might be a nice way to alleviate this kind of situation.

    So do you mean having the same spell and just calling it something different? How would you define 'flavor of spell'?

    I was thinking along the lines of if you have spells that are specific to a certain class, make the names and animations etc. different for each race. That way each race feels unique but the spell is the same or so marginally different that it does not really matter. You obviously couldn't do this with actual racial abilities that are specific to a race no matter what the class, this but you would hope they would be of a nature that does not affect your class choice...

    I see. Obvious concern would be working out any balance issues. Other than that, I'm not against adding racial distinctions to spells or abilities. Kinda like the idea of making the various races as unique as possible tbh.

    • 2 posts
    September 24, 2016 1:49 PM PDT
    There is a lot of talk about balance. In the early days of EQ classes were unique. Each class had its strengths and weaknesses. The warrior was meant to be the best tank at the expense of dps, the wizard was the best burst damage at the expense of vulnerability.

    Nowadays every class is as good as another.

    I don't understand why classes should be balanced in a non-pvp setting. Classes are unique. Each class having a same spell or ability that does the same thing is boring to me. If you want that ability, create a char of that class.

    As for pvp, I'm not a great fan (though I did play archeage for a while) but again classes need to be unique. There just needs to be a way that each class can take advantage of the other class' weaknesses.

    Deo
    • 466 posts
    September 24, 2016 3:15 PM PDT

    I quess by balance I would say that the Dire Lord shouldn't struggle unnecessarily where a Warrior would breeze through their role. Likewise, a Shaman or a Druid should not be innept healers compared to Clerics. There should be some measure of comparability.

    All classes should have uniqueness to their own but that uniqueness shouldn't render a similar class with dismally ineffective operation compared to others of the same class type.

    Obviously I wouldn't want my Druid outtanking a Crusader (for the sake of balance) nor should they out DPS a Wizard using spells. That much does not make sense.

    • 187 posts
    September 25, 2016 6:33 PM PDT

    Personally, I like some race differences, but not just "different name/visual effect for the same spell" type of stuff.  To me, there's no point even having the ability in that case.  "Flame of the Halfling" vs "Fire of the Gnomes" that have the same stats may as well just be "Flame of Ages" and everyone get the same one.  Less dev time and it doesn't bring anything to the game to have a different effect and name for the same thing.

    On the other hand, I'm not a min-maxer and I actually think IMbalance is good for imersion - as some have said, an EQ Gnome Cleric being the quintessential "I play what I want to play" example of people using something that wasn't a min-max choice, but rather a player preference choice.  I also think it takes some from the game to have less of that.  In WoW, Priests used to have racial specific abilities.  Not a lot, just one or two, which went with the flavor of their race.  But at some point, they took half of them out and made the other half baseline to all Priests.

    I'm sure the argument was balance - the same argument responsible for the homogenization of healers and the "pruning" of class flavor abilities that were "never used" or "unbalanced" (like Paladin Divine Intervention or Mage Amplify/Dampen Magic spells) - and all it ever does is reduce character and flavor of the stories and classes and world.  Makes it more...boring.  Less immersion, and more of a min-max spreadsheet game.

    • 564 posts
    November 29, 2016 6:15 PM PST

    First and formost, fun as min max is, this would need to have lots of balance. I dont want everyone saying the current raid requires you to deal fire damage so make gnomes for the unique elios fire spell line. 

    That said, using it as a way to tweak characters (lots of devs for lots of games only beleive in adding new features, rather than nerfing, to balance their games) is a fantastic idea. It also does help create uniqueness in character.

    "LF Gnome wizard atleast lvl 40 PST"

    It would certainly be interesting. Also one of the biggest complaints in games made for everyone like WoW are that the characters all become the same by role...DPS is the same and your skills and survivability are the same whether you are a mage or rogue. Adding even more differences between the races would make it that much harder for Pantheon to hit its inevitable peak of all classes getting so many things that they are the same.


    This post was edited by BeaverBiscuit at November 29, 2016 6:16 PM PST
    • 6 posts
    December 2, 2016 6:01 AM PST

    what i think could be in the game is "race+ biome" and "class+ biome" combo rather than the common "race+class" combo.

    that way, each class or race would have a biome where they are good and would be average in other biome.

    so, if you have to cross different biome filled with hostile to get to a specific dungeon you would want to form a party that is balanced all the way long.

     

    player would still have the possibility to decide to stack both combo but would then be superpowerful only in a specific biome.

    that could in the " large view" balance all races while still allowing all race to be superior to other in specific situation.

     

    a few example:

     

    a rogue could have a bonus when fighting in settlement (town, dungeon, ...)

    a ranger could have bonus in natural biome (forest, swamp, ...)

    dwarves could have bonus in underground biome (underground city, cavern, ...)

    elves could have bonus in forest biome.

     

    let start with a rogue dwarf.

    a rogue dwarf would be really good in an underground city dungeon

    a rogue dwarf would be good in a cavern dungeon

    a rogue dwarf would be good in a forest settlement. (like some surface ruins)

    a rogue dwarf would be average in a forest biome.

     

    now same biome but an elf ranger.

    an elf ranger would be average in an underground city dungeon

    an elf ranger would be average in a cavern dungeon

    an elf rangerwould be good in a forest settlement. (like some surface ruins)

    an elf ranger would be really good in a forest biome.

     

     

    • 29 posts
    December 2, 2016 9:03 AM PST

    Athenir said:

    what i think could be in the game is "race+ biome" and "class+ biome" combo rather than the common "race+class" combo.

    that way, each class or race would have a biome where they are good and would be average in other biome.

    so, if you have to cross different biome filled with hostile to get to a specific dungeon you would want to form a party that is balanced all the way long.

    This is extrememly remniscient of the Colored Mana System.

    Your ideas here are cool, but VR is implementing systems that will challenge everyone. The weather, environmental, perception, and colored mana systems may affect different classes/races in different ways and at different times as it is. I know, and like, that you are taking it one step further here, but I feel that what is already conceptualized will cover most of what you seek.

    Say a Skar naturally has +10 to Fire Resistance and he is in a group that goes to the desert. He will will be slightly less affected by the atmosphere while his companions may have to wear certain boots/gear to counter it. Vice versa in cold climates.

     

    As for the OP: I think if these abilities are passive and small, they will work much better than an actual ability. If they are abilities they would almost have to be non-combat related to keep min/maxers from tilting race/class combo censuses too much. AKA ogre shaman with frontal stun immunity caused 80% of EQ1 shaman to be ogres. 


    This post was edited by Kilaen at December 2, 2016 9:07 AM PST
    • 994 posts
    December 2, 2016 11:45 AM PST

    I've a fan of using a "sphere" type system where if you are a priest you are part of the healing sphere, any priest will have the same heals. The class distinction comes as spells on top of that sphere. So a cleric and druid may have the same healing spells but the rest of the spells are different.


    This post was edited by bigdogchris at December 2, 2016 11:46 AM PST
    • 790 posts
    December 2, 2016 12:35 PM PST

    Awesome idea, having more involved race spells or abilities.

    I know we had some in other games, as well as abilities. To have lets say a , warrrior Slam, kick, bash, taunt % more etc... would make perfect sense.

    But to have a Wizard that could cast AC buff on the warrior that only that race can cast would be ideal.

    No other class can cast it except for that special class race. Over years, it improves.

    It also is stackable, longterm or short term doesnt matter. AC buff that may have attk rating higher. Casted every 30 minutes, and lasts for 15 minutes type thing.

    Lots of ideas, i know we had race, totems in some games, that helped improve things.

     

    Or a DarkElven can hide like a rogue using stealth. but much faster speed then the rogue.

    Anything is possible.


    This post was edited by Crazzie at December 2, 2016 12:36 PM PST
    • 528 posts
    December 2, 2016 2:09 PM PST

    As long as Gnomes are still puntable, and the game balanced where the average distance a Gnome can be punted is fairly well distributed among the races, I'm all for it. :P

    • 564 posts
    December 2, 2016 2:27 PM PST

    Athenir said:

    what i think could be in the game is "race+ biome" and "class+ biome" combo rather than the common "race+class" combo.

    that way, each class or race would have a biome where they are good and would be average in other biome.

    so, if you have to cross different biome filled with hostile to get to a specific dungeon you would want to form a party that is balanced all the way long.

     

    player would still have the possibility to decide to stack both combo but would then be superpowerful only in a specific biome.

    that could in the " large view" balance all races while still allowing all race to be superior to other in specific situation.

     

    a few example:

     

    a rogue could have a bonus when fighting in settlement (town, dungeon, ...)

    a ranger could have bonus in natural biome (forest, swamp, ...)

    dwarves could have bonus in underground biome (underground city, cavern, ...)

    elves could have bonus in forest biome.

     

    let start with a rogue dwarf.

    a rogue dwarf would be really good in an underground city dungeon

    a rogue dwarf would be good in a cavern dungeon

    a rogue dwarf would be good in a forest settlement. (like some surface ruins)

    a rogue dwarf would be average in a forest biome.

     

    now same biome but an elf ranger.

    an elf ranger would be average in an underground city dungeon

    an elf ranger would be average in a cavern dungeon

    an elf rangerwould be good in a forest settlement. (like some surface ruins)

    an elf ranger would be really good in a forest biome.

     

     

    The trouble with all this is min-maxxers. Being told I couldn't group with a bunch of elves because they are friends or because they like to RP and my skar isn't someone they would want to group with in an RP setting is bothersome but nothing I would mind too much. Being told I couldn't group with a bunch of elves beceause we are in a forest and I'm a dwarf (and lack the skills necesary to be as effective as they are in a forest) would just be plain annoying.

    • 4419 posts
    December 2, 2016 2:51 PM PST

    BeaverBiscuit said:

    Athenir said:

    what i think could be in the game is "race+ biome" and "class+ biome" combo rather than the common "race+class" combo.

    that way, each class or race would have a biome where they are good and would be average in other biome.

    so, if you have to cross different biome filled with hostile to get to a specific dungeon you would want to form a party that is balanced all the way long.

     

    player would still have the possibility to decide to stack both combo but would then be superpowerful only in a specific biome.

    that could in the " large view" balance all races while still allowing all race to be superior to other in specific situation.

     

    a few example:

     

    a rogue could have a bonus when fighting in settlement (town, dungeon, ...)

    a ranger could have bonus in natural biome (forest, swamp, ...)

    dwarves could have bonus in underground biome (underground city, cavern, ...)

    elves could have bonus in forest biome.

     

    let start with a rogue dwarf.

    a rogue dwarf would be really good in an underground city dungeon

    a rogue dwarf would be good in a cavern dungeon

    a rogue dwarf would be good in a forest settlement. (like some surface ruins)

    a rogue dwarf would be average in a forest biome.

     

    now same biome but an elf ranger.

    an elf ranger would be average in an underground city dungeon

    an elf ranger would be average in a cavern dungeon

    an elf rangerwould be good in a forest settlement. (like some surface ruins)

    an elf ranger would be really good in a forest biome.

     

     

    The trouble with all this is min-maxxers. Being told I couldn't group with a bunch of elves because they are friends or because they like to RP and my skar isn't someone they would want to group with in an RP setting is bothersome but nothing I would mind too much. Being told I couldn't group with a bunch of elves beceause we are in a forest and I'm a dwarf (and lack the skills necesary to be as effective as they are in a forest) would just be plain annoying.

    It really would just be a matter of making sure the bonuses aren't so powerful that this becomes a practical strategy. In your example, we can also assume that Elves are not going to have access to a tanking class. Any decent group is gonna need a tank and therefore bring in another race. The racial bonus is not going to be worth the drawback that goes with it in that case. And if they still insist on being purely Elves, well you can just sit back and laugh at their stupidity as they wipe cause at the end of the day they're still just a bunch of squishy Elves.

    I do see what you're saying though. As a very basic example, let's say that group is looking for a DPS instead of a tank. And let's also say Elves get +10 damage while in forests. If you come along as a Dwarf Rogue, its conceivable that they would turn you down because they'd rather have an Elf Rogue. That would kinda suck, but I personally think each group reserves the right to be as picky as they want, depending on how long they're willing to wait. I don't think everything should have to be so perfectly fair. And even still, I highly doubt the devs would allow that sort of min/maxing to be viable.

    All that said, I think the idea is pretty cool. I'm supportive of unique ways to make your Racial choice much more than just a cosmetic thing. Each Race can bring something different to the table just like the Classes.