If you are like me, you watched the revealing of EQ Next and immediately felt disappointing because they were introducing a multi-class system. You probably went online and complained on every facebook page and every forum out there.
Then like me, you watch the Class Panel video where they describe in more detail about how it works. You might still be upset but then you watch it again, let it soak in, and really think about it… and you fall in love.
This isn’t going to be a system that allows for Ogre Wizards wearing Plate and shooting Bows… That is not how it works so CALM DOWN, RELAX… and keep reading.
Class Skills – Armor & Weapon Sets
Every class has set types of armor and weapons they can use. If you are a wizard, you can’t shoot bows or swing 2h swords. You are still restricted to wizardly type of armor and weapons.
Every class has 4 weapon skill slots and 4 character skill slots. Depending on the weapon set you have, you have different weapon skills to choose from. So a wizard might have 4 skills for wands, 4 skills for staff, 4 skills for magical daggers, 4 skills for orbs… you get the picture now? You can’t be a Wizard but put on a 2h sword and have 2h sword skills. It restricts that from happening.
So what about the other 4 character skill slots?
You have I believe 8 classes to choose from at the start, but there are over 40 total to choose from. You collect them in various ways within the world. Unlocking a new class unlocks new skills to choose from within those 4 character skill slots. This is where your skill customization comes into play. A warrior might unlock a shadow knight class and then be able to choose shadow knight class abilities to replace his warrior class abilities.
There are 4 types of character skills – Offensive, Defensive, Movement & Utility.
Each class has a different variety of these. A wizard needs to move around the battlefield so they might have 2 movement, 1 offense and 1 defense. A rogue might have 2 offense, 1 movement, 1 utility. A warrior has 1 of each. They are all slightly different.
You can’t simply put 4 offensive abilities in your class skill slots. You can only change to the same type of skill, but from another collected class. Movement for Movement, Utility for Utility.
Class Progression – Requires Dedication
So 8 months down the road, you FINALLY collect that class you have been trying to get. Do you simply “switch specs” and immediately become powerful? No! EverQuest Next uses a Tiered Progression system, completely different from “leveling up”.
Levels are gone. The system in place is a Tiered system. The example they used for example, was in order to become a T4 warrior, you had to collect a full set of T3 warrior gear, have spent enough points into warrior skills and so forth. They described it as a form of AA, just not exactly AA.
So I assume 8 months down the road, you finally collect that class, switch to it, and begin to build it up. I assume you go out and have to collect more points to level the skills, collect more gear and other things before it would become a T2 class, T3 class, T4 class and so on.
Customization Through Skills & Equipment
So beyond the 4 class skills you can swap around, the rest of the customization comes from Equipment and hard work. They mentioned that Equipment will not have +Attribute points such as STR, INT, CON. Those will be very hard to increase your “base stats” and require a lot of dedication.
The real class customization will come through equipment. Equipment will have Skill type modifiers on it. It might reduce teleport cost, or make teleport bust with damage, or place a shield on you when you teleport. Having skill modifiers on your gear really forces you to seek out the absolute best gear that best benefits your class choice and play style.
The perfect example used on the class panel was building a Warrior into a Caster Killer. He swapped leap for a type of teleport. He swapped out his offensive move for a Mana Burn. His Defensive skill was swapped to a Spell Reflect and his utility spell swapped for something equally powerful vs. casters.
But the teleport and mana burn cost a lot of “mana” or whatever system will be in place, so now he needs to find gear that reduces the cost of those two skills which can allow them to be used together, or decrease their cooldown, or increase the amount of Mana it burns, or how much spell is reflected back.
Now you really see just how sweet the Multi-Classing will be. A warrior will always be a warrior, just more customized into more of a caster killer, or more of a highly defensive Character, or more purely offensive.