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=Dev and Balance= Stay Classy, Lore!

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6/12/2010 22:33:48   
Lord Barrius

It's been a while since we had a post in here, huh? This is as good of a time as any, though, I have good news! But first, a public service announcement.

There's been rumors recently that one of our sister games has been having some trouble with a evil ficus. We wish to assure our players that there are no problems with trees in AQ, and that the trees pose no threat to the populace at this time. The multiplication of trees witnessed in the "Go Fly a Kite!" event are not representative of the current status of tree population control, and there is nothing to worry about.

Now then, today's topic is also about a tree.

....wait, where are you going? It's got nothing to do with an evil ficus, I swear! No, this tree proved itself far more sinister. A much more challenging adversary. This tree took nearly three months of work to finally defeat. I am, of course, speaking about AQ's class tree.

What's a class tree, you may ask? Simply put, the class tree is a physical drawing of every single class we plan to release in AQ, all together in one document. The class tree allows us to visually map out the pre-requisites of each class. It allows us to see which classes need to be prioritized in order to release higher tier classes. A simple example goes like this: suppose we've got two classes, Class A (a tier 2 class which requires that the player have trained Fighter) and Class B (a tier 3 which requires that the player have trained Class A). Obviously, we can't release B until A's released. This would seem quite obvious, but with so many planned classes, it can get harder and harder to keep track of which classes have been released, which ones need to be released, and which ones are still far in the distant future.

Fortunately, over the past few months, a workable model has been churned out. And I just spent a good portion of Friday night making order of it all, as well as drawing out the class tree (and as anyone who knows me can tell you, I'm a brilliant artist, so that took no time at all!). And I'm happy to say that I think it's a very nice little tree. It certainly isn't pretty or easy to read, but it should help us keep more organized with class work now. Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to reveal the full class tree, as it would reveal quite a few classes that you aren't aware of, which would be breaking the rules.

I will, however, provide an image of the Released Classes class tree as it is right now, so that you are all aware of where things stand. I'll also include a couple of our unreleased classes, 'cuz I'm such a swell kitty! Shhhh, don't tell on me!

Whew! Pretty complicated, isn't it? Don't fret about it too much, I just wanted to give you an idea what the tree looks like if we include only the classes that have been released (and Archmage too, since everyone knows about it). I wasn't sure if I'd be allowed to spoil the name of the "?" class so I didn't name it. I'll edit later on if I obtain permission to give away any other classes, so check back over the next few days or so just in case!

Now that you've seen what we already have, I'll vaguely discuss what you aren't allowed to see.

Several classes from the previously designed class tree were removed from our new tree. Most of them were removed for the same reason: they didn't really have any special concept or theme to bring to the game that would make them stand out as unique and interesting. But we also added a few new ones that weren't on the tree before, and I'm pretty sure you'll like the additions. We spent a lot of time trying to come up with some themes for many of the classes we'd like to have someday. I think, overall, that we've got a much improved class tree now, and my hope is that you'll like some of the many classes we have in store for you.

I'd also like to mention that we've noticed a lot of players asking for "Deathknight" or "Doomknight" or "Dark Paladin", both in AQ Suggestions and the AQGD class discussion thread. And while we appreciate that input, we feel it's important for AQ to do its own thing rather than copy concepts from our sister games. We've always strived on self-innovation. However, it's also important to take the views and considerations of our players into account. Which is why I'd like to say that, in light of your voiced opinions, we will not be having a "Deathknight" or a "Doomknight" or a "Dark Paladin"....we will instead have a class that has none of those names! It has been a personal project of mine for some time, but it's had a few adjustments since then. But that's all I'd better say on the subject for now, as it's not due out for quite some time and it wouldn't do to get you over-hyped about something that is years from release. Just thought it was worth noting that we DO have plans along those lines, and I appreciate your input in helping us improve the class tree. And before you ask, no, it's not on the tree above. That's on purpose. :p

So now I suppose I should answer the question you've all been waiting to ask....which classes are next, and where does Archmage fit into this? Right now our priority class is Wizard so that we can move to working on Archmage as soon as Wizard is completed. We want to get Archmage released just as badly as you do, but we also want it to be the ultimate magic experience. So try to remain patient with us, and I think you won't regret it. As for other planned classes beyond Archmage, I think it's better if I don't say names just yet. I'll give up this much: you might recognize one of the upcoming class trainers.

I know, I'm practically teasing you and not giving you much to go off of. There's a lot of classes I did not include on that tree....a LOT. I'd love to tell you all about the work I put into this class tree, and about some of the many amazing classes we have planned in the coming years. But there's just so much I can't reveal to you right now. So instead, I'm just going to tell you that I'm very excited about the results of this class tree revision, and I look forward to seeing your reactions when the concepts become reality!

DISCLAIMER: Just because a class is listed on the above tree does not mean it's slotted to be released soon! It may well be that other non-named classes are released before those listed on this tree. The only reason they were added to the tree is because we've either admitted to having them planned or because players have specifically asked about them.

< Message edited by Lord Barrius -- 6/12/2010 23:28:53 >
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