Kithrixx's Pride and Prejudice in Apollo: A guide to creating classes

Discussion in 'Class Discussion' started by Blaqk, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Blaqk
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    Blaqk NOTD Staff: Operations and Web

    NOTE! I did not create this guide. I only recovered it from my colossal cache on my desktop. The original, named poster deserves all of the credit.

    Pride and Prejudice in Apollo
    A guide to creating classes

    So you want to create a class. Good for you! Community interaction and involvement is encouraged, and suggestions to improve the quality of the game are always welcome. However, ideas are shot down all the time because they haven't been thought out enough or they simply don't fit. I've decided to write up some ground rules to help people interested in contributing their ideas get their points across without getting their work shot down immediately.

    Do not create a class based off of a Protoss or Zerg model.
    NOTD is about Marines. Aliens have no place in it. Protoss mechanical units, like the Scout, can be workable and passed off as experimental, but nothing openly showing physiology that is not human.

    Do not create a class that undermines a gameplay mechanic that is already in place.
    Mechanical units immune to ailments, classes that start with powerful weapons as default, classes that do not use the inventory system. These are all very large no-nos because they are difficult to properly balance and often result in being overpowered.

    Do not create a class that is automatically equipped with a high tier or rare weapon.
    It doesn't matter what balances it out, it's a bad idea. If the class is stuck with that weapon, then you just undermined the Inventory system. If they're not, then it's going to be taken from them by the resident DPS. If it's the only thing that makes the class worth having on a team, then it's a bad class.

    Do not create a class that is equipped with a weapon that nobody else can use.
    A lot of strategy in this game lies in knowing who to equip with what. Not only would it undermine that strategy, but also potentially break the game because unique items would have to be as good or better than standard armaments. If they're as good as everything else, there's no reason to make the item in the first place, and if they're better, that's a potential balance issue.

    Do not create a class that has abilities that can easily be described as “like [class]'s [ability] but with [difference].”
    You're going to have a very difficult time pitching abilities that are basically the same as another class's.

    Do not create a class that has abilities that ARE described as “like [class]'s [ability] but with [difference].”
    This will get you shot down almost immediately. Saying a class has “a slow movespeed like the Assault” or “can cloak like the Recon” will immediately make people think that you're either too lazy to look up the proper numbers or just stupid and unoriginal.

    Do not create Mary Sues.
    If your class is the result of a secret government project, it'll probably be shot down. We've already got the Psi Ops and Black Ops, we don't need any more shadowy elite fighters showing up.

    Do not create a class that is halfway infested but still a good guy.
    On top of the idea being inherently flawed lorewise, we already have one of those. His name is Bob.

    Do not create a class that completely outshines the classes currently in existence.
    One of the pivotal things about NOTD is balance. Each class has a role to play, and if your class fills more than one with a single tree, then it's way too powerful and you need to go back and do it again.

    Take your time.
    Coming up with a class idea and balancing it isn't something that you shouldn't do quickly or carelessly. NOTD is about balancing roles throughout the team, and a single broken class, either by being too good or too bad, can break that balance very easily.

    Remember to polish your presentation.
    One of the biggest factors in getting people to like an idea is the first impression. If you make a poor presentation and a poor first impression, then people will be less likely to like your idea at all, even if you change it to please them. There will always be that original idea stuck in their minds, and it will be a difficult hurdle to overcome.

    Consider the ideas and suggestions of others.
    They may fit better than your own because others have thought of something that you haven't.

    If your class requires a unique weapon to be created with it, make sure that the weapon is balanced for the other classes.
    For instance, if you wanted a Void Ray style gun to be created along with your class, that's perfectly okay. But first consider the horrible consequences of if, say, a Commando got ahold of it and used Adrenaline to increase his attack speed and therefore increase the charge rate of the weapon exponentially and then using Surgical Strike to make the damage of the fully charged laser skyrocket. Other horrifying results could be achieved if the laser was in the hands of the Combat Engineer, the Arms Assault, or the Sub Marksman.

    Make the skill trees mutually exclusive.
    Each class deals with the trials in NOTD in its own way, and as a result, each class has its own unique feel with each tree. Try to make sure that the class has two trees that fill two different roles, or, if they fill the same role, fill it entirely differently (a good example is the Commando, who can kill things with bullets or abilities).

    Make sure the suggestion is worth putting forth the effort of replacing one of the 8 classes available in a campaign.
    If you have a particularly compelling class idea, you're going to have to figure out what class it replaces and why replacing that class with your class is a good idea. For example, the Assault's replacements are fine because they all fill the same role: they're either Tanks or DPSes. If you're going to replace, say, the Designated Marksman, make sure that the skill trees fill the same roles that the Designated Marksman fulfills with his trees, just in a mechanically different way so they are not too similar.

    More appropriate do's and don'ts will be added as suggested.

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