What I love most about swtor is the story. There’s a lot of other things I love about it but that’s the subject of another post. Swtor has eight classes, four for each faction. Each class has two advanced classes and then within those advanced classes there are three specs. For warcraft players specs are a familiar concept as each class in warcraft also has three specs. Like in swtor these specs can be changed for a fee but that’s where the similarity ends.
As I stated at the beginning the big draw of swtor are the class quests. These give purpose from moving from planet to planet, are really engaging and again a topic in their own right. It’s the clash between the brilliance of the class quests and the advanced classes that makes me believe that the advanced classes were a mistake. Like in warcraft the advanced class and spec are chosen early, somewhere around level 10-12. The advanced class choice is permanent which means that in practicality there are 16 classes in swtor not eight.
However, these advanced classes, while different enough to have an impact on gameplay share fundamental basic class style and abilities. Also, far more importantly, they share the class storyline. When you’re asked to choose an advanced class you’re given a brief description of the difference and that’s it. I got to that stage a couple of days after release and I picked what sounded cool. It wasn’t until later, when I wondered what was popular and what wasn’t and more of the technical differences. I googled, and found places that are probably hoping to be swtor’s Elitist Jerks, and found that I was correct in my feeling. The advanced class that I’d chosen was underpowered and had a number of other issues compared to the other option. At this point I was already half way to level cap, invested a significant amount of time and was also rather attached. Starting over again was not an option that I wanted to consider.
Therefore I think that advanced classes are a mistake. Each advanced class already has three specs. How many variations on one class can there be? Or indeed is practical for there to be? I appreciate that swtor wanted to do something different and I’m not complaining that we have to make choices that are permanent. I just believe that before a permanent choice is made there should be more information given. If you start playing a class and just flat out dislike it you can reroll, you get a completely different story to play through to make up for any time lost playing a different class.
Advanced classes are unlikely to go anywhere therefore I think that what needs to happen is to allow a player to make a more informed choice. Swtor have all those wonderful instanced areas for class quests already, simply make a couple more, and let the player experience the difference between each advanced class before they make their choice. No-one could complain then that they didn’t know what they were getting into.
Happier players are good for the game as a whole so this gets my recommendation.