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Paribus
10-02-2010, 08:30 AM
It looks like the number of sub-classes is going to be much larger than expected. Pretty exciting announcement.
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Designing the Advanced Classes System <!-- Article --> We recently announced the Advanced Classes (http://www.swtor.com/info/systems/advanced-classes) system in Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, and I’d like to take the time to fill you in on what the team has been up to, provide some details about the game mechanics surrounding Advanced Classes, and answer some of the questions that the community has voiced on our forums (yes, we do read those... daily).
Why Advanced Classes?

As you know, a core feature of Star Wars: The Old Republic is that we are shipping the game with eight classes – each with an epic story, full voiceover, quests and cinematics. This creates a very unique game experience for each of them, something never done in an MMO before.
Furthermore, we wanted to ensure that we had the flexibility to support several play-styles within each of these eight classes. So we built Advanced Classes into the game from the ground up to provide us with the ability to create and support different gameplay and roles inside each class.
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<embed src="http://cdn-www.swtor.com/sites/all/themes/swtor/en/assets/mediaPlayerInterior.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="title=undefined&description=undefined&source=http://cdn-www.swtor.com//sites/all/files/en/classes/sith-warrior/images/advclass/ss1_580x325.jpg&fullscreen_source=http://cdn-www.swtor.com//sites/all/files/en/classes/sith-warrior/images/advclass/ss1_1600x900.jpg&comment_url=/media/screens/sith-warrior-marauder#comments&download_1=header|Sith Warrior,thumb|null,filesize|439K,resolution|1600x9 00,url|http://cdn-www.swtor.com//sites/all/files/en/classes/sith-warrior/images/advclass/ss1_1600x900.jpg&lang=EN&age_gate=0" width="535" height="300"></object> Designing Advanced Classes

We currently have four dedicated class designers, each one of them responsible for one class from each faction. For each class, the team began by looking at what players would expect from a class as a fan of the Star Wars™ movies and/or as a fan of the MMORPG genre. We then worked on how we would integrate those expectations into the game via Advanced Classes.
In some cases, this led to integrating ‘traditional’ MMO roles into our existing class structures: The play style generally associated with the ‘healer’ role in MMOs is very popular with many players and we wanted to make sure that we offered that role in our game for our audience. In fact, we are offering two classes that can develop into fully capable healers for each faction via one of their Advanced Classes.
In other cases, we identified roles for our game that are unique to the Star Wars experience: While the idea of a ‘ranged tank’ is hard to realize in most MMO environments due to the prevalence of melee combat, the ‘Vanguard’ Advanced Class for the Trooper (http://www.swtor.com/info/holonet/classes/trooper) is perfectly viable in the Star Wars setting where blaster fire and ranged combat dominate the majority of engagements.
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<embed src="http://cdn-www.swtor.com/sites/all/themes/swtor/en/assets/mediaPlayerInterior.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="title=undefined&description=undefined&source=http://cdn-www.swtor.com//sites/all/files/en/ss/SS_20100319_Trooper01_580x325.jpg&fullscreen_source=http://cdn-www.swtor.com//sites/all/files/en/ss/SS_20100319_Trooper01_full.jpg&comment_url=/media/screens/trooper-7#comments&download_1=header|Trooper,thumb|null,filesize|856K ,resolution|1600x900,url|http://cdn-www.swtor.com//sites/all/files/en/ss/SS_20100319_Trooper01_full.jpg&lang=EN&age_gate=0" width="535" height="300"></object> As we have already revealed (http://www.swtor.com/info/systems/advanced-classes), the biggest impact of choosing an Advanced Class is the access to two unique skill sets offering active and passive special abilities that significantly alter a character’s combat capabilities. Additionally, a third set of skills is shared among all members of the same class.
But you knew that already, so let’s get talk about how this is actually implemented in our game with an example:
Example: The Smuggler

Han Solo, Lando, Talon Karrde… There are plenty of different Smuggler personalities to be found in the Star Wars universe to choose from and this is reflected in the versatility of their available Advanced Classes:
http://cdn-www.swtor.com/sites/all/files/en/db/devblog_20101001-advclass.jpg The Scoundrel

The Scoundrel is not afraid of getting his hands dirty, as the ‘Scrapper’ skill-set has an off-hand Scatter Gun, a number of powerful (but not necessarily fair) melee moves and access to a Stealth Field Generator with various possible upgrades for a dramatic entrance … or exit.
The ‘Sawbones’ skill-set on the other hand offers ways to dramatically improve the Smuggler’s healing and support-related abilities, including access to the powerful Emergency Medpack.
And, if all else fails, the Scoundrel seems to have the uncanny ability to Shoot First, a very useful skill to have for sure.
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<embed src="http://cdn-www.swtor.com/sites/all/themes/swtor/en/assets/mediaPlayerInterior.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="title=undefined&description=undefined&source=http://cdn-www.swtor.com//sites/all/files/en/classes/smuggler/images/21advclass/ss2_580x325.jpg&fullscreen_source=http://cdn-www.swtor.com//sites/all/files/en/classes/smuggler/images/21advclass/ss2_1600x900.jpg&comment_url=/media/screens/scoundrel#comments&download_1=header|Scoundrel,thumb|null,filesize|95 9K,resolution|1600x900,url|http://cdn-www.swtor.com//sites/all/files/en/classes/smuggler/images/21advclass/ss2_1600x900.jpg&lang=EN&age_gate=0" width="535" height="300"></object> The Gunslinger

Gunslingers are trained in a broad array of blaster-oriented abilities against both single and multiple targets and excel at dealing large amounts of damage from a safe distance. Their access to Illegal Weapon Mods may well give them the edge over an opponent insisting on a fair fight.
Their ‘Sharpshooter’ skill-set includes many abilities geared at improving their personal damage, improving the performance of their groups, and gaining additional benefits from cover.
Whether lobbing Shrapnel Bombs on nearby enemies or dealing increased damage for enemies Shot In The Back, the ‘Dirty Fighting’ skill-set is all about getting an edge over people who prefer a straight fight and helps to ensure that the Gunslinger delivers sustained damage to more than just one opponent.
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<embed src="http://cdn-www.swtor.com/sites/all/themes/swtor/en/assets/mediaPlayerInterior.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="title=undefined&description=undefined&source=http://cdn-www.swtor.com//sites/all/files/en/classes/smuggler/images/21advclass/ss3_580x325.jpg&fullscreen_source=http://cdn-www.swtor.com//sites/all/files/en/classes/smuggler/images/21advclass/ss3_1600x900.jpg&comment_url=/media/screens/gunslinger#comments&download_1=header|Gunslinger,thumb|null,filesize|6 79K,resolution|1600x900,url|http://cdn-www.swtor.com//sites/all/files/en/classes/smuggler/images/21advclass/ss3_1600x900.jpg&lang=EN&age_gate=0" width="535" height="300"></object> The Shared Skill Set

Shared by both Advanced Classes, the ‘Luck’ skill-set focuses on improving many of the Smuggler’s base class abilities such as increasing energy regeneration in Cover or delivering some Very Critical Hits when using Dirty Kick.
As you can see from the small set of skills mentioned above, players will be able to customize their personal Smuggler experience dramatically by distributing skill points across the three available skill-sets, defining their character’s role as Smuggler as they see fit: Within the Scoundrel Advanced Class, a player preferring the traditional MMO healer role may spend the majority of their skill points training in the Sawbones skill-set with additional improvements to their core abilities from the Luck skill tree, or they could decide that a ‘Stealth Healer’ role with points distributed between the Scrapper and Sawbones trees might be the role they want to play in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
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<embed src="http://cdn-www.swtor.com/sites/all/themes/swtor/en/assets/mediaPlayerInterior.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="title=undefined&description=undefined&source=http://cdn-www.swtor.com/sites/all/files/en/classes/smuggler/images/ss1_580x325.jpg&fullscreen_source=http://cdn-www.swtor.com/sites/all/files/en/classes/smuggler/images/ss1_1920x1080.jpg&comment_url=/media/screens/smuggler-3#comments&download_1=header|Smuggler,thumb|null,filesize|998 K,resolution|1920x1080,url|http://cdn-www.swtor.com/sites/all/files/en/classes/smuggler/images/ss1_1920x1080.jpg&lang=EN&age_gate=0" width="535" height="300"></object> Beyond Skill Sets

Access to exclusive skill sets is only one facet of an Advanced Class: Access to specialized equipment such as special Lightsaber types, heavy weapons, gadgets and armor is unlocked via Advanced Class selections, creating a unique visual signature for your character on the battlefield. Players will instantly know whether they are facing a Jedi Guardian or Sentinel (http://www.swtor.com/info/holonet/classes/jedi-knight) by appearance alone – even before their opponents showcase their powerful special abilities.
Choosing Your Advanced Class

The team wanted players to be comfortable with the core game-play of their class before introducing them to more complex game mechanics, so you will not have immediate access to Advanced Classes at character creation. Instead, the choice will be given upon locating the Advanced Class trainer on your faction’s capital world. This is a mandatory choice; not picking an Advanced Class is not an option.
And finally….
Star Wars: The Old Republic is a game in development and in active testing (http://www.swtor.com/tester). Any feature, ability or even class name mentioned above (or anywhere else on the website) is subject to review and testing, and may change between now and the game's launch. The BioWare team believes in making fully-polished, quality games. We are listening to your feedback, and will continue to make improvements.
Thank you, and May the Force be with you!
Georg Zoeller
Principal Lead Systems Designer

Aramane
10-02-2010, 03:15 PM
fking awesome. I need to read the entire thing, but that tree makes me giddy.

Aloss
10-02-2010, 03:30 PM
Great post. Cant wait!

Kilth
10-02-2010, 05:41 PM
all i got to say is, stealth healer


awesomesauce

Scuba
10-03-2010, 01:46 AM
aaggh man i wanna do that gunslinger shit yo

Gummy_Bear
10-07-2010, 10:21 AM
does anyone know if our classes and adv classes are permanent or can we swap them out like in SWG?

I'm getting excited for this!!! w0eowo0w

Narvise
10-07-2010, 08:33 PM
does anyone know if our classes and adv classes are permanent or can we swap them out like in SWG?

I'm getting excited for this!!! w0eowo0w

you're not allowed to play.

Gummy_Bear
10-07-2010, 09:28 PM
you're not allowed to play.

go brush your teef

Deecee
03-26-2011, 05:07 PM
Love the gunslinger hat :alien: