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  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Good Multi-Classing

    I've been playing Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning recently, and it's ability system really caters to multi-classing (though it definitely rewards specialization). This got me thinking: what other games do this really well?

    Off the top of my head:

    Skyrim (sort of; it's classless, but you can mix/match traditionally opposing skills, such as Destruction and Two-Handed)
    Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions
    Titan Quest
    Neverwinter Nights 1&2 (a little anal about it, but it's robust)

    What games can you think of that do this well? And by 'well,' I mean that they are systems that are reasonably balanced and not necessarily mandatory for success in the game.

  2. #2
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    Almost all D&D games.
    Even better? Wizard's Crown/The Eternal Dagger.
    The best? Wizardry.
    Last edited by Wizardry; 23-02-2012 at 06:38 PM.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Voon's Avatar
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    Bastion (like Skyrim, classless but you can mix/match weapons)
    Torchlight (but that's sub-classes. Also, mix/matching weapons)
    Alpha Protocol (you can roll a Commando with max stealth)
    Wizardry (Wiz confirmed it)
    Dragon Quest IX (all your class-specific abilities can be learned and used even after a class-change)
    Final Fantasy V (ditto)


    Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Squiz's Avatar
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    I'm being a fanboy here, but: Guild Wars.

  5. #5
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    Almost all D&D games.
    Even better? Wizard's Crown/The Eternal Dagger.
    The best? Wizardry.
    Obviously subjective, but my experience leads me to say that Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions is the best, in terms of versatility, ease-of-use, balance (very subjective), and reward. How does Wizardry's system work?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    Obviously subjective, but my experience leads me to say that Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions is the best, in terms of versatility, ease-of-use, balance (very subjective), and reward. How does Wizardry's system work?
    Final Fantasy Tactics is no where near as good because Wizardry allows you to go from any class to any other class whenever you like, as long as you have qualifying statistics. You can basically hop between classes to get exactly what you want out of your characters. You can start off with a bunch of fighters, level them up a few levels and then switch them all to different classes. You can also decide not to switch classes at all and still be able to beat the games.

  7. #7
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    Guild Wars 2 lets you take any two classes.

  8. #8
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    Final Fantasy Tactics is no where near as good because Wizardry allows you to go from any class to any other class whenever you like, as long as you have qualifying statistics. You can basically hop between classes to get exactly what you want out of your characters. You can start off with a bunch of fighters, level them up a few levels and then switch them all to different classes. You can also decide not to switch classes at all and still be able to beat the games.
    That sounds almost exactly like Final Fantasy Tactics. The difference is that Tactics allows you to equip skills into special slots, with the only limitation being that the number of each type of skill allowed is limited to one. For example, a knight could equip the Monk's counter move (a reaction skill) but not the Samurai's preempt skill (another reaction skill) simultaneously. You can mix-and-match skills with classes to compensate for weaknesses, enhance strengths, or create interesting hybrids. Each class also has innate characteristics--especially regarding usable equipment, but also some passive abilities--and a character's current class effects current statistics and base statistical growth.

    EDIT: I'll admit it's difficult--but not impossible!--to succeed in FFT without changing classes, if only to the first tier above Squire & Chemist. However, from that basic point you can do pretty well. I've always favored Monks and Black Mages, and they're pretty basic classes.
    Last edited by Drinking with Skeletons; 23-02-2012 at 07:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    That sounds almost exactly like Final Fantasy Tactics. The difference is that Tactics allows you to equip skills into special slots, with the only limitation being that the number of each type of skill allowed is limited to one. For example, a knight could equip the Monk's counter move (a reaction skill) but not the Samurai's preempt skill (another reaction skill) simultaneously. You can mix-and-match skills with classes to compensate for weaknesses, enhance strengths, or create interesting hybrids. Each class also has innate characteristics--especially regarding usable equipment, but also some passive abilities--and a character's current class effects current statistics and base statistical growth.
    So, what you're saying is that Wizardry is a JRPG?

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R-F View Post
    So, what you're saying is that Wizardry is a JRPG?
    I would say that Final Fantasy Tactics (at least the first one, which is the only one I have experience with) is a very odd duck compared with other JRPGs, and other games from the same team--Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy XII, and Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together--all show a similar mix of Eastern and Western RPG concepts.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    That sounds almost exactly like Final Fantasy Tactics. The difference is that Tactics allows you to equip skills into special slots, with the only limitation being that the number of each type of skill allowed is limited to one. For example, a knight could equip the Monk's counter move (a reaction skill) but not the Samurai's preempt skill (another reaction skill) simultaneously. You can mix-and-match skills with classes to compensate for weaknesses, enhance strengths, or create interesting hybrids. Each class also has innate characteristics--especially regarding usable equipment, but also some passive abilities--and a character's current class effects current statistics and base statistical growth.
    It's not really the same because in Final Fantasy Tactics the classes are arranged in a tree, which limits your progression through the classes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    EDIT: I'll admit it's difficult--but not impossible!--to succeed in FFT without changing classes, if only to the first tier above Squire & Chemist. However, from that basic point you can do pretty well. I've always favored Monks and Black Mages, and they're pretty basic classes.
    That's the thing. Switching classes in Final Fantasy tactics is a big chunk of the character progression system. In Wizardry it complements it instead. Same with the D&D games in that respect.

    Quote Originally Posted by R-F View Post
    So, what you're saying is that Wizardry is a JRPG?
    Your trolling has gotten particularly bad as of late.

  12. #12
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    It's not really the same because in Final Fantasy Tactics the classes are arranged in a tree, which limits your progression through the classes.


    That's the thing. Switching classes in Final Fantasy tactics is a big chunk of the character progression system. In Wizardry it complements it instead. Same with the D&D games in that respect.
    I'll give you the tree arrangement; having to slog through classes you don't want (or which are kind of crummy outside of specific uses, like the Mediator or Thief) to get some of the ones you do want isn't great.

    As for it being a huge chunk of the system: definitely, and I suppose that's where our personal tastes diverge. I like fiddling around with the skills in that way, and I think I may prefer it over more organic, long-term systems (maybe just because it's rather rare to encounter, with respec options being the closest comparison point).

    However, I'm not sure I agree that D&D multi-classing complements the leveling system. I mean, sure, when it works it makes perfect sense and is wonderful. But it also makes it really easy to combine classes that really don't function well together and ultimately gimp a character. The prestige class system--often a mess in its own right--seemed designed to nudge players towards viable builds or make weak combinations into something that worked within the system.
    Last edited by Drinking with Skeletons; 23-02-2012 at 08:28 PM.

  13. #13
    Activated Node KilgoreTrout_XL's Avatar
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    I thought the Witcher 2's Swordsmanship and Signs (magic) skill trees complimented each other really well. I don't really know how you can get through a couple of the fights later on in the game without knowing both. I had plenty of points in both by the end, and none in the alchemy tree, on account of the alchemy tree being useless.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KilgoreTrout_XL View Post
    I thought the Witcher 2's Swordsmanship and Signs (magic) skill trees complimented each other really well. I don't really know how you can get through a couple of the fights later on in the game without knowing both. I had plenty of points in both by the end, and none in the alchemy tree, on account of the alchemy tree being useless.
    I wouldn't really call that multi-classing, as those are all "witcher" abilities.

    Also, Alchemy is very powerful. Investing solely in Alchemy will allow you to make a Geralt who is capable of buffing himself up so much that the lack of points in the other skills doesn't matter. Admittedly, it's a poor choice for a first playthrough, but there's only one place in the game where they actually screw you out of the opportunity to use potions before a tough fight: the boss fight at the end of Act II. You can still use blade oils and bombs, though.

    EDIT: Although the more I think about it, the less-certain I am that this example isn't multi-classing. I mean, if the game doesn't feature a distinct class system but does offer very distinct skill sets, should it count? What denotes "true" multi-classing?
    Last edited by Drinking with Skeletons; 23-02-2012 at 08:39 PM.

  15. #15
    Activated Node KilgoreTrout_XL's Avatar
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    Glad I waited for the edit. My thought is that a hybrid melee/caster build is definitely multi-classing. I think the only difference in the Witcher is that the protagonist is already chosen for you, so you know that signs/swords are "witcher" abilities.

    Also, I was joking re: alchemy. I'm sure it was useful, but I got tired of watching my potion timers all the time. And I would drink them right before I realized that I had to meditate for six hours.

    I played on hard, and thought it the game was generally balanced well. But the Act II Boss was the only time I thought the game was a little cheap. I think the Yrden (trap) sign is the only way to beat him, and even then it's kind of a luck of the draw thing.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    Almost all D&D games.
    Those based on 2nd edition I'd agree, but I didn't really like the 3rd edition system all that much. You were either gimping yourself by taking more than one class, or just cherry picking the best bonuses from other classes (for example cleric domain powers). Even prestige classes mostly felt like specialisations of your existing class rather than a new class. On the other hand, some high level multi classes tended to be quite overpowered, like cleric/mage or thief/mage were in Baldur's Gate 2.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subatomic View Post
    Those based on 2nd edition I'd agree, but I didn't really like the 3rd edition system all that much. You were either gimping yourself by taking more than one class, or just cherry picking the best bonuses from other classes (for example cleric domain powers). Even prestige classes mostly felt like specialisations of your existing class rather than a new class. On the other hand, some high level multi classes tended to be quite overpowered, like cleric/mage or thief/mage were in Baldur's Gate 2.
    Yeah, I agree. I was writing a similar post to this before the football started. AD&D was good because it had two multi-classing systems: dual-classing for humans and multi-classing for non-humans. It added more whole lot of depth to character creation. Even the act of choosing between a multi-class cleric/ranger or a dual-class ranger/cleric requires a hell of a lot of thought.

    Third edition is kind of cool in that it's probably more balanced, especially compared to some of the absurdly powerful dual-class builds you can have in AD&D. But I never liked the idea of prestige classes, I have to say.

    And on the topic of The Witcher 2, I don't think single character games should count here. Most single character RPGs these days tend to not bother with a rigid class system. I don't really see what value they bring to the discussion on multi-classing systems, which are mainly good for party-based RPGs.
    Last edited by Wizardry; 23-02-2012 at 10:49 PM.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Casimir Effect's Avatar
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    Can't forget the original Fable. That game allowed you to be a warrior/mage quite easily, although the archery was pretty useless except in certain situations.

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    Rift's class/spec system is pretty good. Four basic classes, but each one has a wide selection of talent trees that you can mix and match. You could be a stealth-and-poisons rogue who also had a summoned pet, f'rexample.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    Fable 2 & 3 allow for this also. It's very similar to Amalur in a lot of ways.

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