Sweet, a Developer for Rift: Planes of Telara, spoke up about class design and what kind of philosophy they follow internally.
Just want to give you a little bit of insight into what our general philosophy is regarding class design and the system itself. For starters this isn’t something like Aion or the original EQII system where you choose an archetype and then specialize out from there. For us a Calling defines what classes you have access to thier most basic mechanics e.g. do I use energy, do I use mana, do I use some kind of point? It does not grant any kind of default abilities that all classes of that Calling share. It also doesn’t prevent us from adding additional mechanics if we think it’ll make the class feel and play better.
Classes for us have to all be exciting and unique in their own right, you’re not going to see every warrior running around with the same 10 base abilities. Will there be some overlap? Yes, a tank for example probably has a taunt but not every tank is going to have a shield throw, a charge or a pet. It’s also worth noting that not every warrior is a tank e.g. the Champion is all about bringing the hurt. Each class should give you something new to play with and possibly a new way to play the game. Trying to play a Paladin the same way you play a Reaver is not going to work well for you. Similarly playing a Reaver/Champion combination (a Reapion perhaps? ) is going to give you access to different playstyles than that of a pure Reaver. We’ve created a system where having different and specialized classes is the name of the game and we intend to take full advantage of it.
So talking about this is all well and good but you can also start to see it in action with the classes we’ve released so far. Lets look at the rogues, they all have access to the same weapons, armor and use the same core mechanics yet they’re all very different. Standard disclaimer, we’re still in development and all things are subject to change
The Nightblade, can launch attacks from stealth and hurl flaming blades at their enemies.
The Blade Dancer, builds up a tempo in their combat alternating between left and right handed attacks before unleashing powerful moves that can leave them temporarily exhausted.
The Ranger, attacks from afar with their bow and is aided by an ever faithful animal companion.
Each of those classes plays completely differently and they allow me to create even more like the following. Please note these are names I made up in about 10 seconds and aren’t actually in-game so go nice, and/or come up with better ones
The Sniper (Nightblade/Ranger), a stealth archer launching deadly surprise attacks with their bow before disappearing back into the shadows.
The Pathfinder (Blade Dancer/Ranger), a melee combatant who attacks in tandem with their animal companion to overwhelm a single foe or take on multiple enemies.
In conclusion, each Calling has it’s own class mechanics that all the souls share. Sweet, however, wanted to stress that they all will play completely different as far as strategy. Many people seem to be confused on the Official Forums on how the class system will work as debate rage about souls, classes and callings. Hopefully this will allow people to understand what Trion is doing.