Forums » General Pantheon Discussion

Community Debate - Classic vs Hybrid Classes

    • Moderator
    • 9079 posts
    June 10, 2021 3:39 AM PDT

    Community Debate - Classic vs Hybrid Classes - What are you more drawn to, a classic Tank, Healer, DPS, CC class set-up or a more hybrid version that may blend a few classes together and why? #MMORPG#CommunityMatters

    • 47 posts
    June 10, 2021 4:41 AM PDT

    I don't see these two things as mutually exclusive. Tank, Healer, DPS, CC, Fisher, Buffer, De-Buffer, ect are all just roles. I prefer any game that gives me well made classes with options allowing me to invest time and design my own build to perform a role, or several roles, for my party.

    If you are asking me if i prefer a hard lined one role classes to multi-fuctional classes, I would whole-heartedly prefer the latter. But I don't think you can stop me from fulfilling multiple roles no matter what the intent of the original of the design is. And that is probably why I prefer at least some leeway when dealing with what roles each class can fulfill. Inevitably in a rigid class system where each class is only expected to perform one basic role without any wiggle room, some overachiever will find a way to perform an unintended role(s) with said class. When that happens it becomes a "sky is falling" scenario complete with the distabling nerf waves that always throw game balance into perpetual seesaw. The most balanced system, in my opinion, is one that has intended roles and sub-roles with a little flex. This allows for creative approaches to role representation and varied party compositons without stepping on the toes of the best in role class.


    This post was edited by Gottbeard at June 10, 2021 5:39 AM PDT
    • 23 posts
    June 10, 2021 5:32 AM PDT

    TBH, I'm pulled towards the class fantasy they have more than the actual mechanics. It's why I love the classic WoW Warlock but not the one from MoP and on, it stopped feeling like a Warlock and more like a mage that did shadow damage and used DoTs. The Everquest Necromancer has just infinitely more flavor to it than the EQ2 despite being more limited mechanically. There's something just special when you pick a class and you're told how it intertwines with the world and feel the power of being a wielder of dark, forbidden magics that must be kept secretive. Qeynos Sewers really helped instill that idea that yes, this is something the world fears and we must keep our power secret. The spells and quests themselves reinforcing this idea makes it even better.

    All that said, Big Dammo. Big big dammo. Nuking every enemy I see. If i'm on my paladin I'm all for helping heal and protect, but otherwise its fear the enemy and throw as much hellfire or shadow at them as possible.

    • 39 posts
    June 10, 2021 6:36 AM PDT

    Kilsin said:

    Community Debate - Classic vs Hybrid Classes - What are you more drawn to, a classic Tank, Healer, DPS, CC class set-up or a more hybrid version that may blend a few classes together and why? #MMORPG#CommunityMatters

    I'm generally a hybrid, usually a Paladin. I find that the flexiblity, utility, and skill cap with hybrids is usually higher and more difficult to reach. I find a lot of enjoyment in adapting quickly to a situation and pulling out a save that wouldn't have been possible if I was a straight Tank/DPS/healer.

    • 1661 posts
    June 10, 2021 6:54 AM PDT

    IMO:

    If a public design goal for Pantheon is that some classes will truly be multi-role, then I will likely play a multi-role class.
    To myself and those in my guild, multi-role means you can completely fulfill all those role(s) in a group.

    However, if this isn't a public design goal, and it's based on situational ability use, that changes over time with the inevitable nerf/buff cycles, I won't play a multi-role class.
    In fact, I wouldn't even put those temporary-cross-role abilities on my 8 active slots, so I don't get used to them.  They would fall into the category of gimmick.

    The change from multi-role class descriptions on Sep 1, 2020, indicated (to us) that Visionary Realms changed their public design goals in this context, and we've adjusted our expectations accordingly.


    This post was edited by vjek at June 10, 2021 6:55 AM PDT
    • 2184 posts
    June 10, 2021 7:03 AM PDT

    Kilsin said:

    Community Debate - Classic vs Hybrid Classes - What are you more drawn to, a classic Tank, Healer, DPS, CC class set-up or a more hybrid version that may blend a few classes together and why? #MMORPG#CommunityMatters

    You left out Utility class.  Those that aren't Tank, Healer, DPS or CC yet aren't a blend of other classes.  EQ1 Shaman and Bard come to mind.  Sure, the Shaman could heal (somewhat) and the Bard could CC (somewhat), but they were much more about utility and support.  I prefer to play classes that are force multipliers, ones that make allies better and enemies weaker.

    I'd love it it the Pantheon shaman were taken out of the Priest archetype and a support/utility archetype were created and it placed there.

    That said, pure classes are less likely to experience the broad waxing and waning of power that Hybrids always suffer.  It's far better to be really good at one thing than to be half-a**ed at two things like most Hybrids because developers fail to build them properly.

    Pantheon would be best served avoiding hybrids. So far that seems to hold true except for the Paladin.  The Direlord isn't Warrior+something but the Paladin is Cleric+Warrior(ish).  It remains to be seen if the Ranger is Druid+Rogue.  I dont' see any other hybrids, so far, in Pantheon.

     


    This post was edited by Vandraad at June 10, 2021 7:07 AM PDT
    • 161 posts
    June 10, 2021 7:03 AM PDT

    Providing avenues within class archetypes is where I'm most comfortable.  The best VR stream by far for me was when Joppa was I believe after the Cohh Deviare stream when he discussed the potency of stats.  He revealed that yes, intelligence may be useful for a wizard, but if you build him out with STR instead, this other aspect of his abilities is accentuated. Not only does this help grey the lines of meta but it also allows players to hone their characters to what they think is the coolest.

    It boils down to if you want each class to be cookie cutter or not and I think that's what most non min/maxers are looking for.  I want to feel special, and I think you can get that effect without mixing archetypes.

    • 3060 posts
    June 10, 2021 7:54 AM PDT

    I prefer a more flexible class - but my preference like that of others commenting above is clearly tied to what the game allows, or even requires, a character to do. 

    Thus - current MMOs focus a lot more on solo play than Pantheon is expected to. So a class that can do many things is very playable. Soloing with a pure tank or healer, for example, can be an exercise in frustration. Soloing with a pure DPS may not lead to a long life expectancy in difficult content but it tends to work far better in easier content. A hybrid is likely to have enough DPS to be quite playable.

    If 95% of the content was for a group to handle this changes the dynamic and not just by a little. Assuming a pure tank is better at tanking and a pure healer is better at healing and a pure DPS does more damage than any hybrid - hybrids might be able to get groups for easier content but any group facing challenges is likely to prefer the best tank it can get and the best healer it can get and the best DPS it can get. 

    So to avoid spending my days unsuccessfully looking for groups I may find it preferable to create min-max characters for each specialty. For the sake of simplicity ignoring crowd control and avoiding any characters tasked with harvesting where movement speed, stealth or both may be major factors.


    This post was edited by dorotea at June 10, 2021 7:55 AM PDT
    • 437 posts
    June 10, 2021 8:43 AM PDT
    I don't like overly rigid roles but I also don't like hybrids that are as effective in multiple roles as the specialists themselves are. My ideal is to have a primary role but to have enough in a secondary role to allow us to back-up the primary or fill-in when needed. It's quite fun to surprise a team by jumping into a secondary role, especially when it saves the group from wiping.

    In City of Heroes, I loved playing Controllers (the CC class).CoH has a primary and secondary class set-up, and the secondary for all Controllers is Defender (healer class). I really enjoyed being able to assist with the secondary role and I would sometimes find myself filling both roles by myself in a team of 8. That was an extra challenge but great fun. Of course, CoH was designed differently, but it's a good example.
    • 23 posts
    June 10, 2021 9:16 AM PDT

    Benonai said:

    He revealed that yes, intelligence may be useful for a wizard, but if you build him out with STR instead, this other aspect of his abilities is accentuated. Not only does this help grey the lines of meta but it also allows players to hone their characters to what they think is the coolest.

    • 1812 posts
    June 10, 2021 11:46 AM PDT

    Only because my intuition is wrong, I think hybrid classes are slightly harder to play than classic classes. So, me, being full of pride, lean towards hybrid classes for a small challenge. I understand I cant handle a full challenge, like being dark side in SWoTR, but I think hybrid is the next step up.

    Of course my hubris is quickly shot down when I see expert players playing "classes" expertly whilst I limp along in my hybridness that I realize I dont completely understand. Especially when the "class" asks me "why did you use that spell?" and I respond from a more role play reason based on spell descripotion and my intepretation as to what it might do than what it actually does. Only to hear the class then respond : oh, yeah I played a hybrid once and uised that spell for X. and I am humbly put in my place upon finally realizing what the spell is for and it had nothing to do with the spell description.

    • 378 posts
    June 10, 2021 12:27 PM PDT

    Specifically when it comes to MMO's it is impossible to balance Hybrid classes with specialized classes.

     

    Scenario 1: The Hybrid Paladin is just as good at healing as the specialized healer or just as good at tanking as the specialized tank. The Paladin is then a better choice to take in nearly all grouping situations because they can fill the roll of healer or tank depending on how LFG works out. You would take them over a specailized Tank/Healer.

     

    Scenario 2: The Hybrid Paladin is 90% as good at healing as the specialized healer or 90% as good at tanking as the specialized tank. The group will always prefer a speacilized Tank or Healer over the Hybrid.

     

    Often times Hybrid's end up forming Hyrbid groups because the "speaclizied" classes are able to form up and create the most effecient group possible. Can Hybrids work? Sure but they will always be unbalanced. Now if you PREFER playing a Hybrid or you're friends take the "person over the class" that isn't what this is about. This is specific to pug groups. 

    • 23 posts
    June 10, 2021 12:48 PM PDT

    I always feel like the crazy person for never caring how optimally a class was able to tank or heal, just that they were able to do it enough that it was an advertised feature (See Paladin and Shaman and Bear Druid in WoW Classic or Brutes and Scrappers in City of Heroes).

    • 18 posts
    June 10, 2021 3:07 PM PDT

     

    People will most likely find ways to hybridize a classic role regardless. Content > hybrids. Hybrids lead to nerfs. I hate nerfs.


    This post was edited by Thunderleg at June 10, 2021 3:08 PM PDT
    • 3 posts
    June 10, 2021 4:38 PM PDT

    True hybrids are worthless in hard content unless they are balanced to be OP. A weak healer or tank does nothing for a group.

    They can normally solo better and farm easy content faster.

    I am getting the feeling Pantheon is more a 5 role game now with tank/healer/dps/CC/support. I have no problems with this because it leads to less true hybrids. 

     

    • 257 posts
    June 10, 2021 5:43 PM PDT

    A hybrid type.

    Problems faced were one can formulate a solution.  The solution to a challenge can be difficult or easy.  

    For efficient use of time players are to be grouping up.  

    But with enough will and perseverance I enjoy if most obstructions can be overcome.

    • 47 posts
    June 11, 2021 3:27 AM PDT

    EppE said:

    Specifically when it comes to MMO's it is impossible to balance Hybrid classes with specialized classes.

     

    Scenario 1: The Hybrid Paladin is just as good at healing as the specialized healer or just as good at tanking as the specialized tank. The Paladin is then a better choice to take in nearly all grouping situations because they can fill the roll of healer or tank depending on how LFG works out. You would take them over a specailized Tank/Healer.

     

    Scenario 2: The Hybrid Paladin is 90% as good at healing as the specialized healer or 90% as good at tanking as the specialized tank. The group will always prefer a speacilized Tank or Healer over the Hybrid.

     

    Often times Hybrid's end up forming Hyrbid groups because the "speaclizied" classes are able to form up and create the most effecient group possible. Can Hybrids work? Sure but they will always be unbalanced. Now if you PREFER playing a Hybrid or you're friends take the "person over the class" that isn't what this is about. This is specific to pug groups. 

    This is a common but unfair assessment of this particular situation. Balance does not happen in a vacuum and there a few things being overlooked here. Firstly, success in a role is not a binary pass/fail. The advantage of a specialized class is the increased difficulty of critically failing in a role and the advanced likelihood of over-succeding in that role. This leaves a large void of acceptable performance parameters for hybrid classes without stepping on the specialized classes toes. Secondly, there is no consideration for the operator. There are ace barnyard burners that have outflown young fighter pilots in mock dog fights using a bomber instead of a fighter plane. By your logic the bomber to fighter pilot balance is out of whack and bombers need a good nerfing. Winning a drag race in a jalopy doesn't make jalopy's the new meta for the speedway. It just means that driver can do more with less.


    This post was edited by Gottbeard at June 11, 2021 3:28 AM PDT
    • 3060 posts
    June 11, 2021 6:27 AM PDT

    Gottbeard - most of what you say is that a good player with a hybrid is better than a poor player with a pure class. In this you are generally correct. A good player can overcome many handicaps.

    But I think EppE has the right of it in describing the aforementioned handicaps.

    From a game design perspective a hybrid *must* be weaker than a pure class at its primary role for otherwise there would be no balance. Unless the pure class is given enough extra abilities to compensate without making it another hybrid.

    Many of us will still play hybrids. They can be more fun - which is the goal after all. But those that want to focus on the most difficult content and especially those focusing on guilds doing the most difficult content will have a strong bias towards pure classes *unless* VR comes up with a way to make a hybrid as good at its primary role as a pure class.

    Note I refer to difficult content not raids. I hope that in this group-oriented game the most difficult single group content or even small group content will provide the best rewards and raids. like solo play, will be done for fun but will not be considered the be-all and end-all as in many current MMOs.

    • 378 posts
    June 11, 2021 8:05 AM PDT

    Gottbeard said:

    This is a common but unfair assessment of this particular situation. Balance does not happen in a vacuum and there a few things being overlooked here. Firstly, success in a role is not a binary pass/fail. The advantage of a specialized class is the increased difficulty of critically failing in a role and the advanced likelihood of over-succeding in that role. This leaves a large void of acceptable performance parameters for hybrid classes without stepping on the specialized classes toes. Secondly, there is no consideration for the operator. There are ace barnyard burners that have outflown young fighter pilots in mock dog fights using a bomber instead of a fighter plane. By your logic the bomber to fighter pilot balance is out of whack and bombers need a good nerfing. Winning a drag race in a jalopy doesn't make jalopy's the new meta for the speedway. It just means that driver can do more with less.

     

    In a pug, not guildmates or friends, I don't know the person playing the class so I'm going to take the better optimized class over the chance that a weaker class is played by a better person. This was how EQ pugs often worked. Rangers, SKs, and Paladins could "tank" but everyone opted for Warriors at higher level groups because often times they ended up being a better fit. Clerics were preferred over Druids as Healers because they often times were simply better at the job.

     

    Hybrids very rarely work in a MMO because of the size of the community. If you only ever play with friends none of that matters.

    • 2894 posts
    June 11, 2021 10:56 AM PDT

    dorotea said:

    But those that want to focus on the most difficult content and especially those focusing on guilds doing the most difficult content will have a strong bias towards pure classes *unless* VR comes up with a way to make a hybrid as good at its primary role as a pure class.

    Well we are in luck because there are no hybrids in Pantheon. 

    • 3 posts
    June 11, 2021 11:22 AM PDT

    Iksar said:

    dorotea said:

    But those that want to focus on the most difficult content and especially those focusing on guilds doing the most difficult content will have a strong bias towards pure classes *unless* VR comes up with a way to make a hybrid as good at its primary role as a pure class.

    Well we are in luck because there are no hybrids in Pantheon. 

    They are in the middle of class design, so how do we know there is no hybrids? Is the Pally not a warrior/cleric hybrid??  I feel the shaman is in a hybrid role right now and needs some changes to make them a real healer or switch them to a true support class.

    • 1180 posts
    June 11, 2021 12:19 PM PDT

    MFR1 said: They are in the middle of class design, so how do we know there is no hybrids? Is the Pally not a warrior/cleric hybrid??  I feel the shaman is in a hybrid role right now and needs some changes to make them a real healer or switch them to a true support class.

    You can certainly call any class a hybrid if by hybrid you mean they have some abilities of classes that perform a different role in the group. If by hybrid you mean a class that can - with the right choices of gear and build - meaningfully and consistently fulfill a group role other than the one they are intended for, then we know VR is not designing any classes with that intention because they have said so more than once over the years. Which doesn't mean that a clever player might not be able to make their character successful in certain off-role situations, but that will be a result of player creativity and not VR's deliberate plans.

    The Paladin's healing abilities we know about won't suffice as the only healer for a group in anything more than very easy content (or maybe a group made entirely of self-healing classes)

    • 63 posts
    June 11, 2021 1:52 PM PDT

    Kilsin said:

    Community Debate - Classic vs Hybrid Classes - What are you more drawn to, a classic Tank, Healer, DPS, CC class set-up or a more hybrid version that may blend a few classes together and why? #MMORPG#CommunityMatters

     

    In games where there is a strong class identity and I don't know what the group makeup will be 95% of the time, I usually prefer classic. In games where I know the group makeup I will choose whatever rounds out the group (DND group for example).  I've seen in the past where hybrids go through cycles of being OP or nerfed because their abilities are too close to the role that does that exclusively. The inverse of this situation is where the hybrid's abilities are completely irrelevant because the other role is being filled by someone playing a classic role. Finding the balance, especially in a raid setting, seems to be very difficult and something I generally prefer to just avoid.

    For the games where class identity is non-existent, then this question is basically pointless. I've seen a few times recently where people use the term hybrid to do define a character who performs two roles equally or almost as equally well as a character whose entire identity is one role. To me this loses class identity, I don't want to see "DPS Cleric LFG!" or "Ench Tank LFG!". This is different from the ability to truly "flex" where a character can perform a role (albeit not as well as a dedicated character) at the substantial cost of another part of their role. Hybrids absolutely should be able to flex.

    • 3060 posts
    June 12, 2021 7:20 AM PDT

    Hybrid is not one of those terms that has a clearly established and almost universally accepted definition.

    My own interpretation is that a hybrid is a class that can do two or three things well. In a well designed game this means it can do none of them *as* well as at least one other class but not all games are well designed. Hopefully, Pantheon will be.

    Hybrids often shine at solo play being able to survive longer than a pure DPS class and kill faster than a pure tank or healer. How this plays out in Pantheon will partly depend on what solo play is made available. Almost surely there will not be a lot of solo quests after e.g. level 5 or 10. But there may be many camps of soloable mobs for those that want to play solo that day or even for those that usually want to play solo but enjoy features of Pantheon other than its group focus.

    • 479 posts
    June 12, 2021 11:38 AM PDT

    Being as the EQ Ranger is still my favorite class ever, Hybrid is my choice. I loved the flexibility of the class. I could do a little bit of everything well enough to get by. I may not have been the best dps, the best tank, the best healer, the best cc..... but the amount of utility and some of the rescues I could pull off was incredible. I loved saving my entire group from a wipe by being prepared for nearly anything.

    Only a hybrid could bring a little bit of everything to the mix.