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Classes and what went wrong (failure in game design)

By Shiracharm - MEMBER - April 20, 2017, 18:59:39

Spell deck before moon island:

  • Tried to make all spells/class spells/and passives effective. It did this for a lot of classes (except water xelor/earth osa). But for a lot of class spells and passives spell deck really made a lot of them useful.
  • Dungeons like spore and divine dimensions were fun for all of these classes all of a sudden. No strict roles, everyone had a place in a group.

Spell deck after moon island:
  • Then the content changed. Monsters/bosses that hit for a lot so you needed the best healer/tank/damage.
  • Moon island and now zinit made the work they did in spell deck irrelevant because the purpose of spell deck revamp wasn't to add roles, it was to make every spell/passive effective. It gave you the illusion that you could be a tank (Dy7: Earth sadida can be a tank at moon dungeon!). Basically an illusion of being able to change spells/passives to become any role.
  • With the role requirements in moon island/zinit they they basically need to do what they do with sacrier for all classes. Bring all classes to the level of the class that does the role best.

Iop is a tank? Revamp iop to be at the level of tanking of sacrier or they will never be used as a tank
Xelor is a positioner? Revamp xelor to be on the level of panda or they will never be used as the one positioner/only in emergencies.

The point is, ankama has bad management and has to again revamp at least half of the classes to bring them up to the level of the role requirements that started with moon and going into zinit now.

Point is, we didn't ask for roles when they were revamping classes with spell deck revamp nor did they ask us to focus on roles. Now that they want to focus on roles all of a sudden all/a alot classes need a revamp again.

I might be wrong but I wanted to make people realize why wakfu is in the state it's in. Bad design and vision means they have to revamp classes every year/every other year.

I'm not even wrong, they started the year with asking us about classes that need a revamp (again)
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I have to agree on everything you said. When I reached level 171 I was forced to change class to adapt to the new meta. As a melee Ecaflip I was pretty much useless in Moon Dungeons. Like all melee DD. (I know some of you will disagree. IMO melee classes are not that useful in Moon Dungeon *coff* kanniball *coff*)

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I fail to see the point that you're trying to make. Why is this Moon Islands fault? Or are you saying that new content should get easier? 
Classes aren't restricted to only one role. An iop can't tank like a sacrier because he has other tools too, which a sacrier doesn't have. Buffing xelor to position like pandas will favor them over pandas, because they are ranged, and better dd. 

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Roles aren't really the problem. Unbalanced classes and lack of diverse content are the problem.

If you have a game with 17 classes then presumably you want them to play differently (if they play the same then you only really have 1 class, just with 17 different cosmetic variations). If you have 17 class that play differently then they will inevitably have their own strengths and weakness, and roles are really just a way to categorize classes by their strengths.

The problems come because some classes were clearly better at performing a given role (to the extent that other classes were uncompetitive) and because content seemed to consistently favour the same classes over and over.

Kanniball dungeon favouring range DDs is okay. Kanniball, Croc, Kannivore, Sham Moon all favouring range DDs is a systematic problem, especially when the main exception to the rule is still relatively friendly to range classes rather than being a completely melee centric dungeon.

Feca being the best tank for one dungeon is fine, Feca being the best tank for all content (often by a wide margin) is a problem.

And the problem wasn't that sub-optimal classes were useless or non-viable, it's that sub-optimal classes were sub-optimal at EVERYTHING so it felt kind of pointless to use them. Being weak at some content would be fine if they were strong at other content but that wasn't really the case. So you say things were unbalanced because you needed the best tank to tank, the best healer to heal and the best DD to damage... but I don't think that's true and I don't think there should be a best tank or a best healer or a best DD in the first place. For a class to be competitive in a given role I think it has to have at least one scenario where it outperforms it rivals (this type of idealogy kind of forces dungeon/enemy design to be done hand in hand with class balancing and class design, but I think that should be the case anyway) so I think there should be situational "best classes" but not broad spectrum "best classes".

This is something I think they might be improving though. Feca is much less dominant at tanking than it was before, and Sacrier is much more viable both as a tank and as DD. The Zinit 2 content looks like it calls for a different set of tools than were required at moon island so there may be demand for classes that were previously disfavoured (hard to fully judge yet though). And they seem responsive about doing more frequent small rebalances to classes.

I do agree though that a lot of classes could use some touch ups and that moon island did not feel like an even playing field for every class.

I also really think they should have some dedicated 3-man content rather than everything being designed for 6-man parties. Partial group content encourages players to multi-role and discourages the extreme specialization you sometimes see in dungeon runs, so I think it almost inherently promotes different play styles and favours different classes. (Yes you can fight mobs in small groups, but "grind mobs as fast as possible" doesn't exactly lend itself to unique and special experiences.)

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I agree, it's why I've said that they either need to design dungeons differently (be more creative) or revamp all classes again so they can be really good at something since that's what this new dungeon design requires.

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@Greenemerald

Look at WolfSte's post to understand what you fail to understand.

Spell deck revamp meant that they didn't revamped all classes to be effective with how they were designing dungeons.

Moon island and zinit changed that so they need to revamp all/almost all classes again.
I'm pointing out why wakfu is in the state is in. They keep changing how they design content dramatically so it means they always have to revamp classes. It never ends.

Good designers on the other hand would stick to one formula so they wouldn't have to revamp classes every year like wakfu does.

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WolfSte's problem isn't because of the spell deck revamp, but more fail dungeon design. Having to hit a totem on the other side of the room in Kannibal dungeon plus a semi-ranged boss hitting anything that it can reach is just disaster for any melee DD. No revamp will fix this unless everyone gets the same range as Cras.

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You don't need to do full revamps for classes, you just need to make them competitive.
Say you want to make eca a viable tank. Change the armor they can generate to x1.5/x2 via some passive at the cost of dmg, tweak the +lock and +res mechanics they have a bit, maybe give them some self stabilization effect on some active or skill, and you're done, that's really all it takes.

As I said in another thread, the problem with Ankama is that they spend a month doing a revamp and then never look at the class again, they should be making adjustments to all classes every month based on analytics and what they want the game to be like.

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Every characters have at least one super condition build. But the truth is, one's super status cannot even match up with others' middle condition status. You cannot deny that there are pretty OP classes which can care all situation with slight changes of passives while weak classes even cannot imagine to change passives because of practical matter: they have to reset all gears with totally different stats. It is matter that some classes even cannot get a single serious opportunity for being better with changing passives. Actually, some of them have no choice for CHOOSING passives, since other passives in their hands are trash ones.(If you see one weak char main user, who does even worse performance than you imagine... hell yes, the one probably made problem worse with trash passives.)

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Agreed, seen any iop who did NOT use Iop super punch or whatitisnamed?

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It is not so much the classes, but the monster that are utterly mis-designed.

If you have monster who can one-shot a not perfectly equipped FECA in one turn (Moon-bosses, Steelbeak) or even a whole team (Sham Moon), then it is no wonder that people get frustrated and loose interest with the game.

More damage does NOT equal "harder", Ankama.... NEITHER do stupid invulnerable mechanics.

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Steelbeak can one shot a feca? Moon bosses can one shot a feca? My panda has 80 resist flat and isn't getting one shotted by anything. 

Sounds like an exaggeration. The badly designed part of mobs are different things like 12 ap mobs that have nothing but 0 ap spells. That's shit design. It's also every mob in the game.

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Gimonfu| - MEMBER - Today - 11:56:51
It is not so much the classes, but the monster that are utterly mis-designed.

If you have monster who can one-shot a not perfectly equipped FECA in one turn (Moon-bosses, Steelbeak) or even a whole team (Sham Moon), then it is no wonder that people get frustrated and loose interest with the game.

More damage does NOT equal "harder", Ankama.... NEITHER do stupid invulnerable mechanics.


Exactly, it's why I keep calling out zerous (the dev that designs monsters). There's an amazing disconnect between the devs that handle classes and the ones that handle monsters/bosses.

I know they want to copy dofus in every way


But devs....dofus and wakfu fights are 100% different

Dofus = strategy (you can go 200 turns in dofus and still be fine because strategy actually mattes here)
Wakfu = place a tank in front of something and use the highest damage classes in the fewest turns possible.

Zinit 2 will just end up as bad as moon island was. Making emptier servers/guilds

Here is where the wakfu devs should stop trying to copy dofus.
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Are these posts actually serious or do you think these guys are the real experts in game design?

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I am pretty sure we played enough games to recognize a bad design.

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You know what went wrong?
Spells in wakfu were designed for a system where you can use all of them, some with more dmg, some with just utility, but generally you could use them all togather.
However with the introduction of reconnect system, the bug appeared that caused players to get level 0 spells if they disconnected and reconnected to combat.
Unable to prevent the bug from appearing ever again, desperate Ankama decided to change the spell system, and by doing so get rid of the bug togather with the whole spell code.
This is how we got introduced into deck system.
However, to give us the illusion of "getting something better", Ankama tricked us (the same way they call "free" on something that you need to pay to get) by telling "we will be able to use all spells at maxed level" and "no more the need to level up spells". All that sound fine and dandy except that there is the catch:
"You will be limited to the amount of spells you can bring to combat".
Yeah that part sucks! It basically means you will have the same amount of elemental spells of max level with you as you had before the spell changes (due to the need of active spells that ALSO are limited to how many you can bring! Just why?) BUT with overall less spells available at the same time.
This is nothing else then straight up nerf. And that under the curtain of "sparkly shiny fresh new system".
And this is basically what went wrong.

Now if Ankama would really care to keep the players who fell in love with the wakfu the way it was then they would design this deck system with all spells available within the deck (passives can be limited, that was always the case). Heck some spells could have been unlocked after "class-exlusive-quest", that would be interesting. Stat distribution (and especially resist decision, wich ones you want to have higher and wich lower to be within the build, not within the equipments) could also use some rework.

You see wakfu could have been better. But it went wrong way.
And thats without involving multi-boxing that killed huge chunk of social aspect of this "mmo", but that also went wrong.

I only wonder if Dofus 3 will repeat the same mistakes.

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Though i gotta say, if i had all 20+ spells in combat, i would run out of time way more often between finishing. Especially if i am not REALLY proficient with every shortcut...

But you are right, the restrictions are kinda bad. Like this, they are even further restricting the ways you can play a class.  3-Element class?? Hurhurhur, good luck building a good one of that....

One of these days, I would really love to hear a dev telling us, how HE envisioned us playing/using some of the stuff in this game..... just to look incomprehensively and in total bewilderment at him

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Final Fantasy Tactics doesn't limit which black magic spells you can bring into a fight. Once you master something it's yours for life. Not sure why Wakfu had to go the route it did; I'm sure if the players and devs were able to work hand-in-hand with what would actually make the game a better experience instead of us trying to influence them to not ruin what we like about the game, Wakfu would be wildly more succesful.

I was against the spell deck system from the start, and it's still one of the things I hate the most about this game. Not being able to do something genius mid-fight because you didn't foresee the need to use a very gimmicky strategy and wasting time/having your character die due to it just takes the fun out of the game for me.

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I like the first purpose of spell deck which is to make every spell effective.
But to make them all effective they didn't need to limit us to a few spells...

I mean what's the difference between having all water spells in spell deck and without spell deck?
The only difference is one doesn't let us use all the class spell at the same time and one does. But really, the only thing that should limit us is AP/WP/MP

Nothing more

The second purpose of spell deck is to supposedly let us switch roles.......but that doesn't happen at all. The only thing that lets us switch roles is equips. You can't be a really good healer without heal equips or switch to damage without damage equips.

So spell deck doesn't fill any real need.

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Your first point needs some proofreading. 

Second point doesn't make that much sense. You can apply it to all classes with multiple roles. Tanks also need tank gear, like they did before the spelldeck revamp. The fact that I can switch roles and swap gear with one click is very useful. Remember that people had to buy restats every time they wanted to switch roles before, which made it very hard for tanks and healers to level.

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GreenEmerald| - MEMBER - Today - 01:48:33
Your first point needs some proofreading. 

Second point doesn't make that much sense. You can apply it to all classes with multiple roles. Tanks also need tank gear, like they always did. The fact that I can switch roles and swap gear with one click is very useful.

We both agree equips is what changes your role and not spell deck. The only thing spell deck is doing at the moment is limiting us.

It isn't really defining you as a tank/damage/healer
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No, I don't agree and I never said so. You also need the proper passives and the proper stats. My healing role has max +healing, which is something that I can finally invest in since I don't get penalized for switching to other roles. I define this build as my "healing role".

The spell deck system severely limits combo classes, like Iops and Xelors, which rely on a set of spells to perform well. But, it might be beneficial for other classes which have multiple roles. They can finally get buffed to be on par with other specialists without being too strong because they can't fit all the roles as they could before.

I know that class balance is still as rediculous as ever, but this spell deck revamp is a step in the right direction. I should not be able to perform all my roles at the same time, and expect to excel in them all. It would be unfair for those that only fit one role. But I should also be somewhat effective if I give up my other roles to specialize in something.

Try to ask yourself WHY the spell deck is limiting you. Has the sadida class ever been effective in anything other than summoning totem and shielding allies? The spell deck revamp buffed healing sadidas to actually be viable in groups.

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Decks did include Passives though. So you hate half of it. Which is now different.
Also Passives enhance spells occasionally. Which are only as strong as they are because of deck system. As I said before. Spells are only as powerful as they are because the Deck system our spells didn't do as many things w/o the deck system. I find that the deck system made the game more interesting in the sense. Needing Eni in every party before was very boring. Now I'm clearing everything w/o one(My average team is Eca,Hupper,Sadida,Panda. Last two are exchangable.

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Earth Iop, is definitely a tank. 
You just don't see any of them in Nox. Ask Dragon Pig about tank Iop and he'll tell you it is both Viable and possible. There are lots of tank Iops in remington. 

You did not bring up Masqueraider, which is severely underpowered in the new dungeons. 
They are close combat classes, that do not benefit from their ability to get in close. They are literally the Kamakazes of this game. They cannot survive in moon dungeons at all, I'm forced to make an entirely different team to be able to actually get gear for my Masqueraider. Because he's useless on his own, and nobody wants to party with a masqueraider. 

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Yeah, I'm indifferent about them. I used to have one on my main team. It did the most damage on my team. But it was weird but it found itself idling in most moon fights, I feel like replacing it even with an Iop would've given better results even. It's definitely a strong class, but there's something about it that just doesn't work. I think it's the over-arching amount of mobility.

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@SBBKewkky2 i 100% agree with what you have said. The only good thing that decks brought was the ability to change passives to different ones (though it can be questionable wether its good that people can change builds without restating or not), but that could have been introduced with any other system.

And @Miichaelle, there actually would be a reason to be dual elemental. I mean, what would a dual elemental be? Just somone with equips that have 2 elemental dmg instead of tri elemental. And those equips could simply give better stats to make 2 elemental builds stronger, sturdier, faster or easier to acomplish high AP builds.

@Heartyace, the ability to use all of your spells in combat is what makes it more tactical, because you have more options.

@Gelgy i think your worries are not needed. Since sacrier was the first-new-class-to-be-revamped, other classes should be revamped on equal level. And i get the feeling that sacrier was designed with all spells available in mind but the point is we can't use them all, so we are not experiencing full potential of sacrier. Just think of a sacriers NOT having the ability to use "Sacrifice" (their theme spell) or eliotrope not having portals. The decks makes it so people need to make decisions they don't want to make and then they won't have the spell their allies would expect them to have. SSBKewkky explained this very well with the Ecaflip not having Roll Again scenario.

I also want to add that ALS is what makes it possible to swap builds well (it allowed to change stats and equipement too, quickly and without the need to use restat scrolls).

Is it too late to turn back? To the previous system... yeah it is. BUT how about we IMPROVE current system, by allowing players to have all spells and actives in deck? Passives would still be limited the way they are, and perhaps dual elemental equips would gain some buff?
The only problem i see with this idea is the concept of "adding more active spells through quests". With the limit to amount of spells within one combat one player might have, the Ankama made it easy for them to add new active spells without the need to adjust the UI to more spells. Because of that they also got the lazy/easy way of designing different classes with different amount of active spells (and some even have poor passives, just look at osa and compare to sacrier).

IMO, the Ankama need to settle for all classes to have equal amount of active spells (and passives too, i know you can do it, Ankama team). After that, they need to decide on amount of potential new actives added in the future and design the UI for spells that would fit all of them.

Before deck system people could use all of the numerical buttons on keyboard (from 1 to 0) combined even with alt, ctrl and shift to have a total of 40 slots for potential spells available. There's also 4 bars of spells for out-of-combat shortcuts (i use them for emotes).
Now i do belive using just alt and ctrl to access 2nd and 3rd bar would be enough and give ankama decent amount of "extra active spells to be introduced". People had no problem before with the amount of spells used. People have problem now with lack of spells in combat.
 

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The spells could look like this:

Before you ask, the 2 extra passive slots are for "general passives only" while the first 6 are for "class exlusive passives only". I think this would be nice improvement that would allow people to use 6 of their class spells and modify their stats by adding extra initiative from Inhalation, extra dodge, lock etc you get the idea.

Of course there still exist issue with Huppermages having more spells then other classes. That would need to be further improved by either giving every class 4 elements to use (to get the same amount of spells as huppermages) or revamping huppermage to have less spells, and make them change to light mode that will modify their spells and make them all light elemental (in similar way enutrof earth spells change in drhellzerker form).

I belive Ankama didnt do that in the first place BECAUSE it would be a lot of work, and they were in a rush to implement deck system. BUT NOW they got time, they revamping classes anyway, SO there is my hope that we will see better future.
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Miichaelle| - MEMBER - Yesterday - 23:25:10
The current spell decks makes sure that if  a person who went for 2 elements will have an upperhand in terms of practical spells than the one who went for all 3 elements. 
 

No, not really. If you're a dd having the optimal damage generally means going 3 ele. A few classes have many nice skills too and going 2 ele is what actually gimps them. Similarly some classes have "garbage branches" that are so marginally usefull you can ignore them without losing much. I don't think many classes have more than 2/3 "essential" skills per branch either. The reason many people go 2 ele instead of 3 is having simpler/more gear choices, as well as class related, not because it outperforms 3 ele or brings a noticeable amount of more useful spells.
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people act like it needs to be spell deck OR the old system and i dont know why.. take the useful parts from each and make a better system. aka giving the classes far more spells to work with than just 12 per deck.

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I'm certain there are improvements to be made to the system. The "grass is greener" attitude making it out like the pre spell-decks system was flawless bugs me though.

I think the new Sacrier revamp sets a very reasonable standard though. The class has a wealth of potent, but reasonably balanced builds available for PVE. None of its options feel like an awkward "slot tax," except arguably the Mobility passive being tied to the class's only push spell (which is excusable since the passive also massively amps up air builds). Sac decks post-revamp are like Ecaflip decks: it's not "ok what crap adds together to reasonable competency" but more "ok, what cool tools can I use to make this work?"

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it was all cool until they changed how damage done works and suddenly sram is no longer a viable class xD

used to be meta now its just another burden to take into a dungeon

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Yeah, Sram needs a buff to its finishers, or all bosses need a pass to make them vulnerable to poisons until the end of their turn, and make sure indirect damage doesn't proc "not in-line" or range based punishments biggrin)

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