[quote]This thread serves as an update to [url=http://www.bungie.net/en-us/Groups/Post?id=59905278&groupId=19148]my earlier thread[/url] which speculated about Class Customization. This thread is largely based off predictions and assumptions made in the original thread, so it might be a good idea to read it in its entirety. For new readers, I'll try to sum things up in under six pages.[/quote]So it occurred to me while reading through the comments to my thread that I could have done a better job at showing how everything came together at the end by giving the reader an example of the many different gameplay styles you could create by customizing a class in different ways. I'm making up for that today by showing the reader some ways you could build a Hunter in an attempt to demonstrate just how interesting and deep Destiny's Class System might become.
Here are some assumptions I'm making; read my original thread for details:[quote][b][u]1) Each Guardian has four different statistics:[/u][/b]
[b]A) Energy -[/b] A measure of how fast your Class Abillities Recharge and/or how slowly your Class Abillities deplete. More on Class Abillities later.
[b]B) Shields -[/b] A measure of how strong your shields are.
[b]C) Agility -[/b] A measure of how fast your character can move.
[b]D) Discipline -[/b] A measure of how well you control your weapons; A higher Discipline means more accuracy with higher caliber weapons like Snipers.
[b]>)[/b] Different Classes have different base statistics; a Titan might start with higher shields than the Warlock, but with less Energy, ect.
[b][u]2) Each class chooses one of several variants of a Class Abillity.[/u][/b]
[b]>)[/b] Essentially they function like Armor Abillities from Halo Reach, but with the potential to balance out the power of an abillity with the base stats of the class that it's paired with, and with the distinctive visual identity of each class serving to cut down on second guessing with regards to what abillity your opponent is using, it will function so much more smoothly than Armor Abillities did with Reach. I'm assuming the Hunter class abillity will be some form of Active Camoflage with several variants for players to choose from.
[b][u]3) A Class's base statistics can be modified by equipping Modules.[/u][/b]
[b]>)[/b] Each Module would either straight up put points into certain stats or it would take points out of some stats so that more points can be added to other stats (for example, a module that gives you -2 Agility, +5 Discipline).
[b]>)[/b] I'm not sure what form these "Modules" would take. I could either see them as just little nodes that are equipped in a menu that have no aesthetic value, or I could see them taking the form of Armor Permutations. There are pros and cons to either approach, but in both implementations you would only be able to equip a couple of modules at a single point in time.[/quote]My vision for the Module System probably requires some elaboration because I didn't flesh it out very well in the original thread. My vision for how it works is largely inspired by the Buster Part System from [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mega_Man_Legends_(video_game)]Megaman Legends[/url]. In Legends, Megaman's Buster has four statistics: Attack, Energy, Range, and Rapid. Instead of finding completely new Busters as the game progresses, players find these [url=http://shrines.rpgclassics.com/psx/mml2/parts.shtml#arms]Buster Parts[/url] which they'll use to upgrade their original Buster. You can only equip three Buster Parts at a time, and different battles are better fought with different combinations of stats.
Like the Buster Parts, Destiny's Modules would be found by the player while adventuring and would be equipped to boost and lower different stats to create the type of character that you want to play. The Modules differ from the Buster Parts in that whereas all the Buster Parts provided strict upgrades to statistics, Destiny's Modules would be able to downgrade some stats to upgrade others, which allows for more diversity and better flavor. Also, whereas Buster Parts could be equipped in the middle of combat, Destiny's Modules would only be changeable between missions. But hopefully like the Buster Parts, Destiny's Modules would create an elegant and interesting gameplay dynamic.
To illustrate this, let's look at four possible Hunter builds that we could create in Destiny, each of which will be an extreme example where we max one of the four stats to the exclusion of the others. I imagine that configuring your modules to increase a single stat would ultimately be a sub-optimal strategy, but for the purpose of discussion it should serve to give the reader an idea of the different directions in which you could build your hunter.
[quote][b]The Energy Hunter[/b][/quote]An Energy Hunter is a build that focuses your Modules towards improving the power and effectiveness of the Hunter's Cloak abillity. You've itemized for energy over shields, agility, and discipline, so you aren't particularly durable, fast, and you aren't very accurate at medium to long range. However, you are like a wraith on the battlefield, slowly drifting from target to target, positioning yourself with a shotgun for very sudden, but very deadly kills. You are a master of deceptive close range dueling, singling out targets, executing them, and then fading back into the shadows to select a new victim.
[quote][b]The Shield Hunter[/b][/quote]A Shield Hunter is a build that focuses your Modules towards improving the Hunter's durabillity and survivabillity in combat. You've itemized for shields over energy, agility, and discipline, so you aren't particularly stealthy, fast, and you aren't very accurate at medium to long range. However, you are like a mini-titan on the battlefield, your armor allows you to survive through most engagements, but unlike the Titan, your higher default agillity makes you more mobile in combat. You are a stalwart warrior, arriving to the skirmish before your slower units do, holding the line until they arrive to back you up.
[quote][b]The Agility Hunter[/b][/quote]An Agillity Hunter is a build that focuses your Modules towards improving the Hunter's speed and mobillity on the battlefield. You've itemized for agillity over energy, shields, and discipline, so you aren't particularly stealthy, durable, and you aren't very accurate at medium to long range. However, you are the quintessential scout for your squad, running ahead to locate enemy placements, and maneuvering in to flank and distract them while your team mates get into position. You are a fast responder, controlling the map's objectives with your velocity-fueled map presence, quickly discovering and taking out threats before they can react.
[quote][b]The Discipline Hunter[/b][/quote]A Discipline Hunter is a build that focuses your Modules towards improving the accuracy and precision of the Hunter's marksmanship. You've itemized for discipline over energy, shield, and agility, so you aren't particularly stealthy, durable, and fast. However, you are the strongest Sniper on Destiny's battlefields, taking your opponent out long before they have a chance to spot you. You are an embodiment of death and fear, you slowly but methodically move closer to your enemy, rock by rock, vantage point by vantage point, until you can line them up in your crosshairs and take them out with a single shot to the head.
Establishing these four corners for the reader should hopefully allow them to infer a world of possibillities that exists between the pillars. It certainetly does seem like we can create quite a bit of variation within a single class simply by modifying four stats am I right? This is what excites me the most about Destiny's Potential Class system.
I should probably mention that for some classes, the way you build your stats are going to be pretty straight forward. For example, it seems like a tremendous waste if you build the Warlock Class without some amount of Energy, as presumably the Warlock Class will have some form of interesting offensive spell whose cooldown should be minimized. And as the reader might have already guessed, not every stat is probably worth investing in depending on the class.
This has been a rather longwinded for an update, so as usual, I am thankful for those of you who have taken the time to read through this thread or my previous one. If there's anything you feel I've gotten wrong, or if there's anything you would like me to clarify, please speak up! My sense of design and communication will only improve through confrontation. Remember that this is entirely speculation, I simply want to come up with a vision for how the game might turn out based on what little we know so I can compare my sense of design with Bungie's sense of design and perhaps figure out why they did some things the way they did.
As DeeJ has been hinting in the mailsack, the next salvo of information will be coming soon, and we'll hopefully be able to speculate a little more specifically based on that. Until then, keep the discussion going!