I’m still up in the air with class/career choices, I think I just have to make a shortlist and try them when I get the chance. But unlike Arbitrary, my priorities don’t hinge around different roles — I’ve happily played casters, melee, tanks, and healers in the past.
For me, I like classes that are quite complex to master. I’m not interested in sitting at the back and pressing a single button. But like I say, not too concerned about what role it fills. I also like social classes, ones that are in demand for grouping. Soloing ability isn’t a major issue for me as long as it isn’t diabolically bad.
The popularity of MMOs is based on them providing lots of options for players, no matter what playing style or preferences in game. Providing classes of differing complexities is important. For every player like me who enjoys constantly making decisions and reassessing priorities, there is someone else who wants to kick back and kill some orcs to chill out after work, or someone who just wants to hang out online with their mates without being stressed to press the right button every half second. No one likes to feel disadvantaged in the game so designers need to find ways for classes of differing complexity to be somehow on par with each other.
However much players whine about wanting skill to be the only factor involved, it’s not really what we want. Most of us would prefer skill being a major part of things but not the only one. If skill is the only factor, then you are severely cutting down the number of people you might want to play with to those who are of similar skill. Some people may want that, but a lot of others have friends they want to hang out with. It’s not fun to be continually told ‘sorry, can’t play with you because you’re not fast enough to react’. I don’t want to be mown down every time I go into PvP by someone younger with faster reactions, there’s nothing fun about that. But I would be happy if my superior tactical skills (hey, I’m good at Scrabble 😛 ) could come into play also. Skill can also involve picking a class that suits your playing style and preferences.
So far in WAR, the only class I’ve heard described as simple is the Swordmaster. It was mentioned as being ‘suitable for beginners’. That’s good information and we need to know it. (I’m not sure how I feel about advising beginners to take a tanking class but hey, we’ll see how it works out.) There needs to be something that is beginner/ casual friendly and players need to know which class it is.
I’m not sure which the more complex classes will be yet. It looks as though the melee and caster healers will be switching between dps and healing based on the situation. But a dps or tanking class with lots of situational tricks might also fit the bill.