|A new 'Seeing the Forest for the Trees' Vanguard editorial is up at Stratics, looking at hybrid classes:|
This week’s column is going to take a look at hybrid classes in MMORPGs. All MMORPGs have archetypes that their classes fit into. In traditional fantasy games, you tend to see archetypes like Tank, Healer, Buffer, Magic Damage, and so on. A hybrid class is a class that crosses into multiple archetypes. Hybrids are your Rangers, your Druids, your Fixers, and so forth. Most of my gaming career has been spent playing hybrids… I just enjoy the versatility of potentially fitting into more than one role in a group. And most of my gaming career has been spent dealing with one underlying problem when it comes to hybrid classes: Most developers don’t know how to balance them. Many times, hybrids are either grossly underpowered (3rd edition AD&D Rangers) or horribly overpowered (Anarchy Online Metaphysicists). So this week, I want to talk a little bit about what’s necessary for a hybrid class to succeed, and why many hybrid classes end up overbalanced.