MERGE classes & races: a big ol' post

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Echo
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MERGE classes & races: a big ol' post

Postby Echo » Jun 21 2021, 16:51

Hey!
So I've been looking at the merge today and I saw what conundrum the class/race system provides there. I'm sure it's solved in an efficient way, but I remember I've always thought it'd be great if there was a way to give players the MM7 freedom in building their team. Want a loreful Elven Archer? Here you go. Want to play a story of rebel Goblin Wizard team that doesn't bend to societal expectations? There you go. Might be suboptimal, but you can have it. I think freedom in games like these is just grand and would love to see merge allow it (from what I saw, it doesn't at the moment, even with the Community Branch there are still severe limitations and races and classes mix together creating a soup :-D [EDIT: I found the unlocker and stuff, looks like you can have most of those things, in one way or another, but not fully. And the promotions etc would still be missing so this whole thing here could still be a kind of an alternative 'system' :creative: ]).

I seem to recall someone say they don't like the idea of non-lore friendliness of this - for instance Dark Elves appearing in MM6 - but I see the community branch already allows it. Thinking about it, I see there's a whole bunch of issues to solve though if it was to fully work.

So I sat down and gave it a proper thought. For fun - I can't really make this happen because I have neither the time nor skill to. But maybe I will get both in the future and have this handy, or someone else will like the idea and make it a patch or some such.



DETAILS:

So what I think would need to happen - and help massively - would be unifying classes and races across all 3 games. I separated them very cleanly between RACE and CLASS, with the single exception of DRAGON which is so different from others, it's both a race and a class, and a Dragon character can only be a Dragon class.

For the others, I connected all races and classes from the three games into coherent amalgamations, with racial boosts inspired by the Merge's own. This is the result:



AVAILABLE RACES:
Human --- X --- (with boost to LEARNING skill)
Elf --- +Agi -End --- (with boost to BOW skill)
Dwarf --- +End -Agi --- (with boost to AXE skill, allowing use regardless of chosen class)
Goblin --- +Might -Int --- (with boost to BODYBUILDING skill, allowing use regardless of chosen class)
Dark Elf --- +Agi -End --- (with access to GM DARK ELF skill)
Vampire --- X --- (with access to GM VAMPIRE skill & M REGENERATION skill)
Troll --- +End -Pers --- (with access to GM REGENERATION skill)
Minotaur --- +Might -Agi --- (with boost to AXE skill, allowing use regardless of chosen class)
Dragon --- X --- (can only be a dragon class)



AVAILABLE CLASSES:
Sorcerer (based on: Sorcerer, Sorcerer, Necromancer)
Cleric (based on: Cleric, Cleric, Cleric)
Druid (based on: Druid, Druid, ---)
Archer (based on: Archer, Archer, Dark Elf)
Knight (based on: Knight, Knight, Knight)
Paladin (based on: Paladin, Paladin, Minotaur)
Thief (based on: ---, Thief, Vampire)
Monk (based on: ---, Monk, ---)
Ranger (based on: ---, Ranger, Troll)

Perhaps doing it this way could also make it easier to introduce new races in the future, and I've seen some folks talk about it every now and then :P



PROMOTIONS:
I suppose this is the trickiest part, because of how differently they work in all 3 games. To have unified classes that work the same in all continents, some promotions would have to be added/changed slightly. This is an idea of how this could possibly be handled without actually adding much content at all. Still, I don't know how these would work coding-wise though, if there'd be an option to simply tag more than 1 quest with some "promote to X" and then when the player completes say Sorcerer Promotion #1 on a second continent once they already have their Sorc promoted, they will just get rewarded as for a normal quest.

Issue 1 - MM8 has only 1 promotion quest vs MM7/MM6 which have two. I see some solutions here:

Option 1: [the plausible] Getting promoted in MM8 promotes to the final class
Option 2: [the convoluted] to acquire 2nd promotion need to travel to a different continent
Option 3: [the ambitious] MM8 would need an option for a second promotion for all classes

Possible promotion "migration" from race to class related quests for MM8:
Necromancer -> Sorcerer
Priest of Light -> Cleric
Dark Elf -> Archer
Vampire -> Thief
Knight -> Knight
Minotaur -> Paladin
Druid || Doesn't exist. Circle of Stones circlet quest item could be used as a quest for Druid promotion.
Monk || Doesn't exist. Recover the Shield Eclipse could be used as a quest for Monk promotion.
Ranger || Doesn't exist. Kill all Ogres in Alvar canyon area could be used as a quest for Ranger promotion.


Issue 2 - MM6 has 3 classes less than MM7. The simplest solution I see is "attaching" a promotion for those classes to existing MM6 quests. Rewriting the text for them would be piss easy since these are very short "dialogues" anyway. I might just do it for the **** and giggles in reply post here sometime later. Possibile quests:

Thief || 1st: Get rid of thieves on the Northern Misty Islands 2nd: Find the Lost Artifact Mordred
Monk || 1st: Destroy the Evil Crystal in the Temple of the Fist, 2nd: Destroy the Werewolf's altat in the Lair of the Wolf
Ranger || 1st: Rescure Sherell from the Cannibals 2nd: Free the Fire Lord

I think in this case MM7 promotions varying by alignment should be just cosmetic - no difference in skill between Spy/Assassin and Ninja/Master. The one biggest question is Sorcerer's promotion and Lichdom. I don't know what the best way to handle this would be atm. The best would be to add an option to become a Lich in MM6, and an option to promote to Archmage in MM8, but I have no idea how complicated that would be. Alternatively, have to travel to another continent to get the promotion you want, but that's also tricky and counter-intuitive.


LIGHT & DARK MAGIC:
Light & Dark magic are treated differently between the games, but neither MM6 nor MM8 is meant to play without them until some late promotion. With unified classes, it could be solved like this:

MM6: Sorcerer and Cleric can learn light/dark magic on low level from the get-go, get higher levels upon leveling up, as in MM8.
MM8: Both Sorcerer and Priest can learn Dark and Light magic both.
MM7:
Option 1: cannot learn light/dark before the judge is chosen, and to access the 2nd magic (not aligned) needs to travel to MM6/MM8 to visit a friendly light/dark guild
Option 2: allow learning of both skills in both guilds once judge is chosen, despite one area being hostile


SKILL TEACHERS:
Skill teachers are the biggest issue in MM6 since they only had experts and masters. To make this feel actually organic, NPCs would need to be added in. In the case of MM6, Current Masters of the given skills could be teaching GM level of them, with Masters being added elsewhere - either replacing existing "do nothing" NPCs, or being added into the houses.

MM6 has a lot of nooks and crannies where the teachers could be placed - from empty buildings, to some caves and whatnots. I don't know the game well enough to know them all, but I'm sure these guys could be shoved here and there.

Armsmaster teacher could be placed together with Light/Dark in Paradise Valley village, or in some lonely building somewhere.
Vampire teachers would easily fit in the Mire of the Damned, or even one in the Sewers
Dark Elf teachers feel like they could lurk wherever, but GM might cuddle with druids in the Silver Cove or some such
Dragon teachers could reside in the NWC building cause they're both busted and fit together well ;)

For MM7, there would be a need for Vampire/Dragon/Dark Elf teachers, who could surely find their homes here and there.

REVAMPED CLASS BALANCE

And while at it, I've also taken a look at the classes and did a little bonus rebalancing to make them each have a bit more of a reason to exist/fit better in a team composition. Differences between Spy/Assassin, Ninja/Master etc are gone, due to the nature of promotions varying between regions. A quick look here (and a table with more details here https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dAHOOn ... sp=sharing):

ZE GIST OF THINGS: I want to make team comps more flexible. More classes have access to GM in magics, choosing Sorcerer/Cleric is for Light/Dark magic now (nobody else can touch these now), not mandatory to have proper Lloyd's Beacon or Protection from Magic. You can roll with Druid (both), Archer (elem), Paladin (self) instead if you don't want Light/Dark. Thief has its niche as a utility class, their magic is only Basic level (so you can have a short torchlight or feather fall - utility!). Ranger is more capable in magic (Master level) and combat (GM spear as an option).


SORCERER (light/dark)

Pick Sorcerer if you want to have full access to LIGHT, DARK and ELEMENTAL magic.
(GM utility: ID item)

CLERIC (light/dark)

Pick Cleric if you want to have full access to LIGHT, DARK and SELF magic.
(GM utility: Merchant)

DRUID (largest mana pool)

Pick Druid if you want to have full access to ELEMENTAL and SELF magic with the most MANA POINTS.
(GM utility: Alchemy)

ARCHER (combat caster)

Pick Archer if you want to have full access ELEMENTAL caster with mastery of RANGED COMBAT.
(GM utility: Perception)

PALADIN (combat caster)

Pick Paladin if you want to have an full access SELF caster who can TANK.
(GM utility: Repair)

KNIGHT (tank and physical damage)

Pick Knight if you want to have a TANK with the great MELEE COMBAT skills.
(GM utility: Repair)

THIEF (utility and physical damage)

Pick Thief if you want to have a lot of UTILITY and great MELEE COMBAT skills.
(GM utility: Disarm, Perception, Alchemy, Merchant, Stealing, Repair)

MONK (physical damage and support)

Pick Monk if you want to have a good SELF caster with a great MELEE COMBAT skills.
(GM utility: Disarm)

RANGER (physical damage and support)

Pick Ranger if you like to have a good SELF and ELEMENTAL caster with solid COMBAT skills.
(GM utility: ID Monster)

DRAGON (the only race-and-class combined)

Pick Dragon if you want to be OP.
(GM utility: ID Item, ID Monster)

EDIT: coloring things cause I have to get to work and I don't wanna...
Last edited by Echo on Jul 3 2021, 23:14, edited 9 times in total.

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Re: MERGE classes & races: a big ol' post

Postby cthscr » Jun 23 2021, 19:48

Echo wrote:I seem to recall someone say they don't like the idea of non-lore friendliness of this - for instance Dark Elves appearing in MM6 - but I see the community branch already allows it.

I'd suggest to use "but I see the Base Merge already allows minotaurs everywhere" line.
Echo wrote:Thinking about it, I see there's a whole bunch of issues to solve though if it was to fully work.

Several of these issues are present already in, cough, issue tracker [see my signature] (where you can search by labels or keywords). Like https://gitlab.com/templayer/mmmerge/-/issues/584 or https://gitlab.com/templayer/mmmerge/-/issues/425
Echo wrote:AVAILABLE RACES:

There are also Undead and Zombie races in Base Merge and race families in Comm Merge. Vampires are also race family in Comm Merge. (So you can consider them as race "modifiers": Vampire Elf, Undead Human, etc.) They might be not starting races by default but anyone can make them available from the start.
Item, I see 4 [implemented] parameters (or groups of them) differentiating races that should be tweaked together: starting stat modifiers; racial skills/skill modifiers (including autolearned skills); resistances; HP and SP modifiers (base and per-level [see MM3 - MM5]). (There are corresponding tables in Data/Tables/ for each in Comm Merge.)
Echo wrote:AVAILABLE CLASSES:

My thoughts on class relations are at https://gitlab.com/cthscr/mmmerge/-/wikis/Revamp/Main
Some work on Troll and Minotaur: https://gitlab.com/templayer/mmmerge/-/issues/56 and https://gitlab.com/templayer/mmmerge/-/issues/52 (there are tables with skills comparison for classes). To sum it up Troll is closer to Monk than anyone else in MM7 but deserve their own class for legacy reason. And Minotaur is closer to Ranger than Paladin by a small margin.
Echo wrote:Perhaps doing it this way could also make it easier to introduce new races in the future

Races and classes are independent in this matter technically.
Echo wrote:Issue 1 - MM8 has only 1 promotion quest vs MM7/MM6 which have two. I see some solutions here:

Option 1: [the plausible] Getting promoted in MM8 promotes to the final class
Option 2: [the convoluted] to acquire 2nd promotion need to travel to a different continent
Option 3: [the ambitious] MM8 would need an option for a second promotion for all classes

Thing is MM8 starting classes are tier1 while MM6/MM7 - tier0. (That's already written in Merge class system [and I mean Base Merge here].) MM8 classes have similar names with different tier of MM7 and that can mislead you. MM8 Cleric is on par with MM7 Priest, Necromancer - with Wizard, Knight should be considered a Cavalier. MM8 lacks first promotion, not the second one.
So option 1 is implemented from the start. Several MM8 promotions allow to promote both tier0 and tier1 classes to tier2.
Implementing first promotion quests in Jadame seems like the best of possible options to me.
Echo wrote:LIGHT & DARK MAGIC:
Light & Dark magic are treated differently between the games, but neither MM6 nor MM8 is meant to play without them until some late promotion. With unified classes, it could be solved like this:

MM6: Sorcerer and Cleric can learn light/dark magic on low level from the get-go, get higher levels upon leveling up, as in MM8.
MM8: Both Sorcerer and Priest can learn Dark and Light magic both.
MM7:
Option 1: cannot learn light/dark before the judge is chosen, and to access the 2nd magic (not aligned) needs to travel to MM6/MM8 to visit a friendly light/dark guild
Option 2: allow learning of both skills in both guilds once judge is chosen, despite one area being hostile

Option 3 (implemented in Revamp): create additional classes in Cleric/Sorcerer kinds that are allowed to use Light OR Dark magic from the start. This is expanding MM8 Cleric and Necromancer (and their counterparts) actually.
For MM6 Sorcerer promotion it looks like this:
ImageImageImage
Here we have few things added/modified: promotion quest is separated from promotion itself; promotion is done on per-character basis, not for everyone in the party at once; Data/Tables/Promotions.txt determines possible promotions for classes; options "MM6MagePromo" and "MM6NecromancerPromo" of Data/Tables/ModSettings.txt enables promotions to Mage and Necromancer together with promotion to Wizard.
Current promotion lines [in Revamp] (might require visiting another continent): Sorcerer - Wizard - Master Wizard/Arch Mage/Master Necromancer [Lich]; Apprentice Mage - Mage - Arch Mage/Master Wizard; Dark Adept - Necromancer - Master Necromancer [Lich]/Master Wizard.
Descriptions/dialog texts sucks aren't good obviously.
Echo wrote:In the case of MM6, Current Masters of the given skills could be teaching GM level of them

It's already done in Base Merge. With the exception of MM8 racial skills only IIRC.
Echo wrote:Pick Dragon if you want to be OP.

I have nerfed their damage to be Fire (or Dark for Undead/Ghost dragons). :D

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Re: MERGE classes & races: a big ol' post

Postby Echo » Jun 23 2021, 22:26

Yeeee, I've written this post before I found my way to the depths of the system for the merge :D It's looking very complicated in the community branch with a bajillion "subclasses" to some classes. Once I saw that Wizard promotion, I understood why that may be needed. My solution was much simpler, but certainly less interesting :D

I was glad to find that additional file that applies racial GM abilities to actual races. I just ignore the rest of the shebang (like picking a Vampire Vampire which makes... little sense :D) during party creation and it's all good.

First promotion quests in Jadame would streamline stuff for sure, but I guess if the races-as-classes are kept, it would kinda require racial promotions to be present in mm6-mm7 as well as missing class promotion quests in mm6 and mm8. That's... a lot of quests. Mm7 class ones could be pinned to existing MM6 quests as I mused, but the racial ones would need new content, and that's going far.

I only ponder this because - unless I've missed something again :D - you can really only play through MM7 with an MM6-like party. Picking a Monk in MM6 or MM8 will leave them without a way to be promoted, right?

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Re: MERGE classes & races: a big ol' post

Postby raekuul » Jun 24 2021, 10:43

In theory you're hitting all three continents at some point during the Merge, the starting continent just affects which races/classes you're allowed to start with, so certain promotions being exclusive to one continent or another shouldn't be a problem (worst case scenario, you just recruit Cauri Blackthorn for your initial TP out of Jadame)

In practice I start in Jadame and then heigh over to Enroth once I've got Dyson Leland in the party, and then work the continents in order from there (since you kinda need M Water to cross continents on your own and basically need GM Water to leave Jadame)
Last edited by raekuul on Jun 24 2021, 10:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MERGE classes & races: a big ol' post

Postby Echo » Jun 24 2021, 17:36

It certainly can be worked around, but I'm always in the "give freedom" camp, where I think it'd be neat to allow players to access all promotions in every continent in case they wanted to do some different types of playthroughs/challenge runs ;) But it's alright, obviously, it'd probably be a lot of work and chaos in the code, it's understandable!

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Re: MERGE classes & races: a big ol' post

Postby cthscr » Jun 25 2021, 11:59

Echo wrote:it'd probably be a lot of work

Sure.
Echo wrote:and chaos in the code

Not at all even with optional disabling changes by some setting. Actually, coding side is usually easiest part if we do that kind of things that were already implemented.

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Re: MERGE classes & races: a big ol' post

Postby Echo » Jun 25 2021, 13:21

cthscr wrote:
Echo wrote:it'd probably be a lot of work

Sure.
Echo wrote:and chaos in the code

Not at all even with optional disabling changes by some setting. Actually, coding side is usually easiest part if we do that kind of things that were already implemented.


What's the biggest roadblock then?

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Re: MERGE classes & races: a big ol' post

Postby cthscr » Jun 25 2021, 16:08

Echo wrote:
cthscr wrote:
Echo wrote:it'd probably be a lot of work

Sure.
Echo wrote:and chaos in the code

Not at all even with optional disabling changes by some setting. Actually, coding side is usually easiest part if we do that kind of things that were already implemented.


What's the biggest roadblock then?

Most probably, screenplay for balanced, interesting and fun quest.
Additional constraint is that adding new NPC will break savegame compatibility for Base Merge, i. e. you'll have to restart from the beginning. I once made a test with adding NPC in Comm Merge, resetting its values to default ones from NPCData.txt in SavegameConverter.lua but still not sure it won't break anything though the test seemed to be successful.
Though I think we can break savegame compatibility once and do all the breaking changes that have to be done. Not sure about others. :)

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Re: MERGE classes & races: a big ol' post

Postby Echo » Jun 25 2021, 16:20

Break it before I play :D

How about simply making a "Futuristic" branch or something where the save-breaking stuff is put in so that people with ongoing games can not use it? Is that problematic?


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