Looking back at M&M games (7-8) and their classes

The role-playing games (I-X) that started it all and the various spin-offs (including Dark Messiah).

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Looking back at M&M games (7-8) and their classes

Postby mysticc » Nov 1 2011, 10:59

I just installed my old copies of M&M games for the heck of it. Took awhile to figure out how to get them to work, but they still work ;)

I'm a little disappointed in the classes and the general design. I remember it to be a lot more varied than it actually is. I guess 10 years will do that (either in knowledge gained, or more games to compare it with, or just the game showing it's age).

For example, I remember taking a Troll in MM8, just because you get the recruit a Knight right away... and you can get a Dark Elf very early and Blazen Stormlance around level 30-35ish.

But the troll is a very bad class when compared to the Knight... that you might as well just take a Knight. I don't think I realized just how powerful GM Armsmaster was compared to only Master.

Because the Troll can't use a shield, and there aren't any 2-handed maces for the Troll to use that I can tell, the Knight is going to have 50-75% more armor class automatically, just because sword and spear give a lot of AC, and because you can use a shield too if you want. I'm even using an item that subtracts 20 or 40 from my AC, and he STILL has more than the Troll. The Knight is also going to do 50% more damage too.

The only things the troll has going for it are the GM Mace and the Body Building... but by the time you get the Troll Promotion, you already have Blazen Stormlance with 700 HP. Yes, the Troll will have about 800 at a lower level, but does it really matter? And more importantly, does this HP even make up for the loss of Armor class? Regeneration doesn't seem to be worth it either. I can almost never see it working.

So the only real benefit the Troll has is the ability to Stun/Paralyze targets. That's a nice perk, but does it really add up to all of the benefits the Knight gets? Nah.

The problem with 7 & 8 is that all of the mixed classes are too weak to bother using. If it's not a Knight/Cleric/Sorceror, it's not worth using. So with all the class options available, the game is actually really narrow. If the game didn't impose someone on your team to disarm traps, it would even be more narrow still.

Having said all of this, I can't think of many games today that do the first-person party-based RPG better M&M did. The last one to do it well was Wizardry 8, or the Etrian Odyssey games (which are a mix between M&M and Final Fantasy).

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Postby DaveO » Nov 1 2011, 21:46

For the most part, you are correct in regards to mixed classes. However, Dark Elf/Minotaur is very useful for the many chests and in my opinion the Vampire has more to offer in terms of offense versus the Cleric. In MM8, the Cleric promotion is very simple to get and they get fairly useful items(Eclipse shield IIRC). Both Vampire and Cleric can cast Protection from Magic so it's really negligible on which one you pick.
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Postby mysticc » Nov 1 2011, 22:14

Well, I wouldn't say the Dark Elf is a mixed class. In MM8, Knight/Dark Elf/Necromancer/Cleric form the basic classes, while all the others are auxiliary. Dark Elf is the natural support class, and it's the best in the game for that role.

In fact, Dark Elf is sort of broken in that it gets to master and grand-master so many abilities. It's melee combat effectiveness is still better than a Cleric too. It's range combat is the best, but I found ranged combat to be fairly weak in MM8 compared to spells or hitting with the Knight... so the dark elf's biggest advantages are really all those amazing support skills.

Considering in past games, you had to take multiple classes to get merchant, disarm trap, perception, etc., the fact that you can get them all on a Dark Elf and get GM Chain and GM Bow AND have a lot more HP than a necromancer AND get Necromancer/Sorcerer spells AND get the amazing Dark Fire ability all on a single character made this class a staple. I guess if one sees this class as a mix, it's the rare exception to the rule. It's an amazing class. It's like someone at NWC decided that being a Thief or an Archer wasn't enough... so they decided to combine both classes and give the character Merchant abilities and GM Chain on top of it.

I have not played the Minotaur, and I suspect that it's better than the troll - if the only reason that it can wear plate and take care of the perception role, which is more useful than what the troll brings. I don't see any of the characters that provide Expert-level spells to be a bonus though. I think they give up too much for that small magic ability. Why would anyone want to use a Expert-level bless when your main cleric can cast it at Grand Master level? This goes for all the spells in the game.

In a lot of ways, the Minotaur is even worse than the Ranger from MM7.

I agree that the Vampire's combat abilities are not terrible and that she's going to be a lot better than a Cleric - GM Dagger, M Leather and even M Shield. NWC did seem to tone down the Cleric's combat/defensive abilities, as they were definitely stronger in MM7. HOWEVER, the game is designed for a Cleric for many reasons. First, Clerics get the ever-powerful Light magic. Also, GM Body Magic finally makes your healing spells work correctly - Master level is not enough. Thirdly, the game gives you a Shield called Eclipse which is AMAZING for a cleric. Because you'll want to use this shield, it basically renders her Dagger skill moot.

The one thing I like about the Vampire is her unique spells - Levitate can't be replicated. But that's not enough reason to take one though.

I loved that MM8 tried to make some classes that were really interesting. I remember hearing about the various classes and was so pumped. I think the idea of the classes is more fascinating than the execution, because in the end, who would use them?

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Postby ShadowLiberal » Nov 1 2011, 22:49

I agree with you that a lot of the classes are just too weak from their bad skill selections. I've soloed through M&M7 multiple times, and there's really only a few classes that have the long term power.

-Knights (Eventually the knight can deal over 125 damage a hit, as well as having the minimum recovery time of 30, and take only half damage from physical attacks. Knights also get tons of HP with grandmaster bodybuilding, which with an expert healer can make them even deadlier)

-Monks (Eventually can deal over 100 damage a hit, can reach the minimum recovery time of 30 fairly quick with the right +Armsmaster skill equipment. Eventually they get a chance to dodge most physical attacks equal to their unarmed skill, which should give them over 50% chance of dodging towards the end. They have a heck of a lot of HP with Grandmaster bodybuilding, and can cast healing magic. Put 10 points in body magic, find a safe place, and you can fully heal yourself within a minute if you have enough mana. Your attack and rate of dodging can get boosted by +unarmed and +dodging skill items as well)

-Sorcerers (Grandmaster elemental magic and Light/Dark magic makes you insanely powerful when you get 20+ skill points in your magic skills. Lack of grandmaster meditation isn't much of a loss either since you can teleport back to a temple to heal and then right back to the dungeon)

All 3 of the above classes rock at soloing. Now take the other 6 classes.

-Thief (You may get a 10% chance to deal triple damage, and attack faster then a knight early and mid game, but long term your potential is limited. There are no bonus dagger skill items, you rely on equipment, yet have only basic repair, and there is no 1 NPC that can repair everything for you if you hire them. You only have expert bodybuilding, and grandmaster leather isn't too great compared to grandmaster chain or plate or dodging. Chain and Plate reduce physical damage. Dodging lets you wear leather eventually, greatly pushing your AC higher than what GM leather can do. The resistance bonus for GM leather isn't really worth it unless you pour the leather skill higher than 10)

-Cleric (Basically a weaker and slower Monk with healing magic until you hit Light or Dark magic)

-Paladin (Basically a nerfed Knight with healing magic and a few Light/Dark spells later)

-Archer (Basically a nerfed sorcerer with mediocre physical abilities)

-Druid (Basically a nerfed sorcerer that can heal)

-Ranger (Basically with a nerfed fighter with magic skills so weak and late in the game that they aren't worth it outside of healing and wizard eye/torch light. Plus there's almost zero skills they can master or grandmaster. By far the worst class in the game in my opinion)

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Postby Arret » Nov 1 2011, 23:04

I pretty much agree with Shadow. The main problem is that in terms of damage, everything is balanced around a left hand sword. This makes paladins not terrible, especially in MM7 Light with Paralyze and Destroy Undead, but the strength of master sword destroys just about every other class. Mace stun is just icing on top.

If they had GM armsmaster they would be best in game late, but since they don't, they don't scale as well as they should from a fighting point of view. Getting master healing and basic L/D isn't a terrible trade off though.
Last edited by Arret on Nov 1 2011, 23:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Arret » Nov 1 2011, 23:06

I disagree with you on monks though. Monks felt like nerfed knights with no decent armor until way too late. I tried playing a bunch of combos to come up with the worst 4 person party, and absolutely despised an all ninja team because of lack of hammerhands.

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Postby mysticc » Nov 2 2011, 0:21

The Monk seems like it's going to be one of the most interesting classes, and in theory, all of the GM skills look really sexy. But then you gotta wonder why you are putting up with a character that doesn't use weapons and doesn't use armor for so long until you finally get the most out of them. A Knight is basically good right from the start and better than a Monk at the beginning of the game - and for some time afterwards. The Knight is probably on par (at worst) with the Monk in the end-game, but I suspect he's going to be better regardless of how you twink the Monk. So why even bother with the Monk?

It's a shame really... they put all of these interesting archetypes in the games... like Monk, Minotaur, Ranger, Troll, Thief, Vampire, etc... ones you might want to use for role-playing reasons... but they all end up sucking or at least are not efficient so you end up with the basic Knight anyway.

Like I said, GM Armsmaster is the killer skill, and none of the bonuses you get from the other classes seem to compensate for this one skill, just because the difference between Master to Grand Master is so huge.
Last edited by mysticc on Nov 2 2011, 0:27, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby ShadowLiberal » Nov 2 2011, 0:21

Arret wrote:I disagree with you on monks though. Monks felt like nerfed knights with no decent armor until way too late. I tried playing a bunch of combos to come up with the worst 4 person party, and absolutely despised an all ninja team because of lack of hammerhands.
Hammerhands isn't really worth it, it adds a very pitiful amount of damage to your fist attacks (chances are no more than 10 points of damage), and it adds body damage, which can't hurt the oozes that are immune to physical. There's quite a few other units immune to body damage as well.

Also I found the monks to have MUCH higher AC than the knights thanks to +22 dodge items such as hands of the master and a +12 dodge ring. 32 points of dodge gives you 96 AC right there, more than you can ever find on a suit of plate armor, and you can wear leather armor at master level on top of that.

The chance to dodge with unarmed helps a lot more then you think to. Running through the tunnels of Eofol the medusas barely could put a dent on me because 50% chance of dodging from unarmed, plus only a 40% or so chance of hitting you because of your AC, that gives them only a 20% chance of landing a blow on you. The less blows you receive the less penalties you get to your recovery time to, which means the more hits you can deliver.

Edit: mysticc, the one big problem with a Knight early on is rate of attack, it'll probably be right around or above 100 thanks to your plate armor. That only lets you get in like one swing every 2 seconds, or maybe 2 swings every 3 seconds. You also suffer smaller penalties to your rate of recovery (up to 20) for each blow you receive (though that penalty is for all classes), which makes it harder to fight back with a slower recovery time.

The one thing that rocks about a Knight solo over a Monk solo is rushing up to Master Plate armor however, to cut the physical damage you receive in half.

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Postby Arret » Nov 2 2011, 0:54

ShadowLiberal wrote:Hammerhands isn't really worth it, it adds a very pitiful amount of damage to your fist attacks (chances are no more than 10 points of damage), and it adds body damage, which can't hurt the oozes that are immune to physical. There's quite a few other units immune to body damage as well.


Free damage is free. I usually have my healers sitting at lvl 20 and a ring so that's a decent amount of damage.

ShadowLiberal wrote:Also I found the monks to have MUCH higher AC than the knights thanks to +22 dodge items such as hands of the master and a +12 dodge ring. 32 points of dodge gives you 96 AC right there, more than you can ever find on a suit of plate armor, and you can wear leather armor at master level on top of that.


The problem with this is my standard problem with monks, they are so weak for so long (no healing until first promotion and negligible rest of game, and almost no weapon/armor skills until 2nd promotion with GM staff and dodge), and even then, it is almost a requirement to get hands of the master to get them where they should be. Knights deal a ton of damage very early with swords, and then switch to spear and sword and deal more than any other class until very late. Due to the nature of GM armsmaster they continue to scale all the way through the game very well. Both have GM body building so hp is never an issue.

ShadowLiberal wrote:The chance to dodge with unarmed helps a lot more then you think to. Running through the tunnels of Eofol the medusas barely could put a dent on me because 50% chance of dodging from unarmed, plus only a 40% or so chance of hitting you because of your AC, that gives them only a 20% chance of landing a blow on you. The less blows you receive the less penalties you get to your recovery time to, which means the more hits you can deliver.


Same problem. Monks are so far behind to start and really aren't much if any better once they hit GM. If we are only talking about late game OP stuff only, then I'd take an archer with lvl 60 bow and hire a fallen wizard.

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Postby ShadowLiberal » Nov 2 2011, 2:03

Arret wrote:
ShadowLiberal wrote:Also I found the monks to have MUCH higher AC than the knights thanks to +22 dodge items such as hands of the master and a +12 dodge ring. 32 points of dodge gives you 96 AC right there, more than you can ever find on a suit of plate armor, and you can wear leather armor at master level on top of that.


The problem with this is my standard problem with monks, they are so weak for so long (no healing until first promotion and negligible rest of game, and almost no weapon/armor skills until 2nd promotion with GM staff and dodge), and even then, it is almost a requirement to get hands of the master to get them where they should be. Knights deal a ton of damage very early with swords, and then switch to spear and sword and deal more than any other class until very late. Due to the nature of GM armsmaster they continue to scale all the way through the game very well. Both have GM body building so hp is never an issue.
You're better off without using a staff despite Monks being able to get it at GM level. The staff has the highest base recovery time of 100, which makes you attack far slower for a pitiful attack bonus, and I believe that grandmaster staff is bugged so it doesn't work properly with armsmaster.

The big boost to a monk's power isn't the first promotion, it's getting Master unarmed and dodging to double their attack bonuses from unarmed and triple the base dodge bonuses. And monks can deal a very decent amount of damage if you buy a decent +X unarmed item from a store.

Arret wrote:
ShadowLiberal wrote:The chance to dodge with unarmed helps a lot more then you think to. Running through the tunnels of Eofol the medusas barely could put a dent on me because 50% chance of dodging from unarmed, plus only a 40% or so chance of hitting you because of your AC, that gives them only a 20% chance of landing a blow on you. The less blows you receive the less penalties you get to your recovery time to, which means the more hits you can deliver.


Same problem. Monks are so far behind to start and really aren't much if any better once they hit GM. If we are only talking about late game OP stuff only, then I'd take an archer with lvl 60 bow and hire a fallen wizard.
But there are no items that add to your Bow skill, and armsmaster doesn't effect bow weapons, so you have to spend a lot more skill points to get the bow to a point where it can deal more damage.

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Postby Arret » Nov 2 2011, 2:38

You must be playing differently than I did, because my monks never hit for anything until I hit master level, at which point they were hitting for about the same as a halberd would (at which point a knight could have halberd/sword as well due to Master Unarmed/Dodge being on Evermorn Island) even after factoring recovery time in.

When I talk about OP stuff late, I'm making the assumption that the fountain in LotG has been abused so ridiculous levels are possible. Until I get to that point, I couldn't ever make my monks do even comparable damage without hands of the master, and there is only 1 of those anyway.

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Postby Macros the Black » Nov 5 2011, 12:28

ShadowLiberal wrote:
Arret wrote:If we are only talking about late game OP stuff only, then I'd take an archer with lvl 60 bow and hire a fallen wizard.
But there are no items that add to your Bow skill, and armsmaster doesn't effect bow weapons, so you have to spend a lot more skill points to get the bow to a point where it can deal more damage.

Well if we're talking solo game, then the Archer can easily get bow skill to 5 recovery time with all the extra skill points you get from playing solo (0 without Grayface's patch). At this point, shooting twice and doing more damage than blasters at the same speed, they absolute rock any other class until the enemies get within melee range - but here's the thing, unless the enemy's are made to start off right next to you at the start of a dungeon (example, Thunderfist Mountain tunnels when you first arrive), they never will get into melee range because shooting that many arrows in such a short amount of time totally locks them into their recovery animation, making them unable to even act while they're dropping like flies. Archer is easily the most OP at end game for this reason.

- Also, a word on the Ranger class -

I almost feel like the class is designed for playing solo.Sure, they miss out on GM bow skill, but even without it, lategame they are still better off using bows rather than blasters and switching between Two-handed axe and one-handed with shield (depending on the enemiess you're facing) for close quarters. Hacking the enemy's armor in half (courtesy of GM axe skill) makes your comparibly low melee damage not really matter. Scrolls of paralyze make those fights that would be a trouble a breeze as well, and can basically carry you through the game (there are plenty available).

Getting both elemental and self magic isn't bad either, and the fact that they don't get access to it until their first promotion is completely a moot point because of how easy/fast you can get that promotion (first thing you should go for after getting on the mainland). In short, playing them solo will see all those seemingly useless skills they've got to suddenly be very useful, and them being one of the two classes that have a better use for bows than blasters is a very nice bonus for breezing through late-game.

Sure, you'll need to rely on alot of scrolls and wands to get through certain parts of the game but other parts are a breeze with this class in solo game.

Difficult parts are mainly any place with swordmasters early on or dungeons where you're forced to fight in close quarters. Places with insta-kill enemies are troublesome of course (The Pit and The Lincoln in particular - the Pit may not have insta-kill but with the insane amount of damage the enemies do they might as well have it - divide and conquer is key). Minotaurs are annoying when they get in melee range because they have comparibly more hit points and less armor class - hence, GM axe doesn't help much. Plus they can insta-kill you if they get the chance. Hydra's in outside Nighon area are annoying because they run everywhere and with all of them firing you get too much stunlock to actually stunlock thém. Everything else was easy. The Titan's Stronghold wasn't a problem because if you stay at the right range you can just shoot them without them noticing you.

I'm not saying the Ranger is the best class for solo gameplay, but the class is ALOT better when played solo than in a team.
Last edited by Macros the Black on Nov 6 2011, 23:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Tress » Nov 6 2011, 18:48

In mm7, yes hybrids are sort of lacking, - inabilty for paladin to wear plate at GM kill's class, and ranger apart from solo use is sort of useless. Archer is quite good still.
So the only real benefit the Troll has is the ability to Stun/Paralyze targets. That's a nice perk, but does it really add up to all of the benefits the Knight gets? Nah.

On first glance so, but consider that at 20 skill points it means that each fifth hit is paralysis(that is pretty much good as dead). Same is true for mm7 pala(if not for plate that breaks him)

If we check Dark elf that is sort of mage/fighter hybrid then I would say it's nearly best class in game due to it's sword/bow / darkfire skill.
Vampire, while not as impressive, still do insane damage via daggers and extra healign aint bad either.
Yes minotaur is extremely lacking but that it only one that's really bad design in mm8.

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Postby Arret » Nov 8 2011, 2:43

On paladins, I don't think the GM plate is as much of a huge issue as you do, it just brings the mace recovery time in line with a halberd. Mace stun is wonderful though, especially since you get the paralyze spell as well.

I liked trolls as well because of the stun, body building, and regen. They just don't die if you bring a cleric for regen + prot magic. The only problem is that the recovery time will stay high all game, and they have no magic to assist.

I never saw the attraction of dark elves other than merchant, at least late game. This is the class that had the most potential, but just fails to scale as well as I would hope. The trading triangles destroy one of the defining abilities of the class. They don't have nearly enough hp to keep up with a heavy melee group, and they only get to master in any melee weapon. Everything else scales so much better, and bow is near worthless unless you stack elves or run solo. Darkfire is really nice, but you have to dump points into an otherwise worthless skill and you run out of mana fast if that is your default attack method.

I felt vampires were poor as long as you knew how to wall climb to avoid fire (lava) damage, making levitate worthless (this is a major failing of the game). Mistform is the only really nice utility, but that means they are stuck in either a healing role without power cure, a very weak vamp ability, or mashing spirit lash/psychic shock. I never liked daggers because a knight does so much better with weapons that hit for a lot more.

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Postby Tress » Nov 8 2011, 7:00

I never saw the attraction of dark elves other than merchant, at least late game. This is the class that had the most potential, but just fails to scale as well as I would hope.

Just keep dumping points in DE ability and dark fire will be one of most powerful direct nukes in game.

they only get to master in any melee weapon.

Quite frankly difference between M sword vs GM sword is couple tens of armor class. There is no offensive value in GM sword.

Everything else scales so much better, and bow is near worthless unless you stack elves or run solo

1) early game they are very vital, 2) If I remember correctly unlike melee, bows don't have recovery rate cap, that makes way for some absurd damage potential.

I felt vampires were poor as long as you knew how to wall climb to avoid fire (lava) damage,


1) Wall climbing is sort of exploiting 2) It allows get to some parts that's impossible to get without flight or wallclimb (ironsand desert islands) and if we compare extra utility vs slight damage increase I chose first. You underestimate daggers - first they are much faster than swords, second high skill in master crit rater and GM extra damage closes gap between large weapons and daggers rapidly. Still they dont have armaster that is mayor drawback.

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Postby Arret » Nov 9 2011, 1:44

tress wrote:Just keep dumping points in DE ability and dark fire will be one of most powerful direct nukes in game.


I played with them a couple times. Darkfire does a lot late, but there is nothing to reduce recovery time of the spell (which is why I didn't feel it scaled well), and it drains mana too quickly for a class that can't just set a Lloyd's Beacon, TP mid combat, heal/mana up at a temple, and then beacon back. As a support to a lich that can do the above, a min recovery knight works a lot better (although I could see it for things like the Nightmares inside the Crystal so shrapmetal doesn't have to be spammed).

Quite frankly difference between M sword vs GM sword is couple tens of armor class. There is no offensive value in GM sword.

You are correct on this. I was more referring to a bonus effect like mace or a +dmg attribute.

1) early game they are very vital, 2) If I remember correctly unlike melee, bows don't have recovery rate cap, that makes way for some absurd damage potential.


1) Bow skill is just about useless until master and those points should be dumped into water anyway for TP/poison spray.
2) That takes such an insane amount of skill points that unless you are specifically aiming for it, it never happens. If you are dumping that many points in bow, you aren't putting them in darkfire, crippling the class once the enemy gets to melee.


1) Wall climbing is sort of exploiting 2) It allows get to some parts that's impossible to get without flight or wallclimb (ironsand desert islands) and if we compare extra utility vs slight damage increase I chose first.


1) Yes, but then again I file this under a fairly obvious bug that should have been tested in the first place. Climbing steeper walls in MM7 (such as getting the real golem head) I can let pass because you have to be pretty stubborn to figure it out.
2) If you take the direct route, you take maybe a total of 4 ticks of burning if you walk over the lava from the cave to the portal. A better question is why wouldn't you have Fly at this point?

You underestimate daggers - first they are much faster than swords, second high skill in master crit rater and GM extra damage closes gap between large weapons and daggers rapidly. Still they dont have armaster that is mayor drawback.


They start scaling very very late in the game, as in GM is on Regna and their promotion is one of the hardest in game. Isn't the recovery time for a dagger 60 with no way to reduce? It's not like you are getting 2 for 1 against swords, and yes not having armsmaster always hurts.


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