Developer quotes about Classes[]

No, there are not any non-combat classes in the game, whilst prestige classes will offer non-combat activities, Age of Conan is an action game, and as such there aren't any fully non-combat classes.

Forums, 7th April 2006 (Silirrion)

As I replied to Stiler earlier weapon specializations only mean what weapons skills the class is geared for defacto, that does not mean you cannot train your character in the use of additional weapons or that you will necessarily be "gimp" by making an alternate choice. Of course you we wont be able to balance these things to evaluate the options until later in beta.

Forums, 7th April 2006 (Athelan)

Based on the current designs, there aren't that many cross-classing branches in the game. Really, it's more "hybrid" classes that could logically come from two archetypes, so both options are allowed as a base. This isn't terribly common though. I feel that the class layout is complex and diverse enough as it is, and should offer plenty of options for players.

Forums, 7th February 2006 (Jayde)

It's simpler and cleaner from a design perspective to restrict which classes can use/wear equipment. If we want a mage to perform badly when wearing plate armor, we have to create a special system that does just that. Extrapolate to all classes and all equipment and we end up with a large complex system that basically does the same thing as a class restriction.

We have some flexibility in the restrictions, IE a mage can use Claymores or Sledgehammers, but they will be quite bad at it and it will take feat points from their casting abilities.

Forums, 21st December 2005 (DaveDread)

We have spent a great deal of time giving every class a unique identity and feel, a cohesive one from planning not just their armor looks but also animations including walks and idles and special moves. I think I requested something like 10ish special attack (as in resulting from a combo) animations per base weapon type. Daggers, 1h Swords, 1h Maces, Dual Daggers, Dual Swords, Polearms, 2h Swords, 2hMaces, etc etc in addition to I think around 25 per specialized class. Now maybe I am shooting for the moon but we are definately putting some effort into making them all feel cool.

Forums, 12th December 2005 (Athelan)

We are trying to think outside the normal mentality of the "Stealth+Backstab==Rogue" setup here, which is why they contain some variations... (Also, Rangers have the option of branching from Rogue as well.)

On the other side of the spectrum, we have some interesting stuff planned for Warriors as well--they will have some unique properties that set them apart from the "typical" Warrior as well, just in a different way.

Forums, 11th December 2005 (Jayde)

Warriors are not going to be the only ones focused on head-to-head melee combat. There will be at least two end branches of the Rogue tree that are very much head-to-head fighters. Barbarian is one of them--I don't think the other has been annouced yet so I can't say much.

Forums, 11th December 2005 (Jayde)

Perhaps a player will go with the full shield+sword Warrior build, or perhaps they will go with a slightly reduced tanking setup to dish more damage. That said, Warriors as a "term" in Conan refer to those who can take more damage than the other guys around them, and perhaps manage aggro a bit better for the betterment of the team.

To the end of Rogues, I would say that calling it a "Thief" is to sell short the endgame options of that archetype. Not all the branches of the Rogue class are based around thievery (in fact, a minority in the current design), and the class is actually quite flexible in many ways. Some Rogues will be built around an evasion/light armor while others are built around something in-between with access to light (hide, studded leather, etc.) armor. Some Rogues will be focused on ranged combat, others won't. I could mention other differences, but I think those will become apparent eventually.

To put it simply: The "Warrior", "Rogue", "Mage", and "Priest" archetypes are only the most basic forms of the endgame classes available... players should find a lot of variety within the later branches of the classes, and us on the design team have spent many hours in meetings about each class's identity to try to make each end result feel unique and see that it satisfies a distinct style of play.

In regard to your final comment, I must point to that alluded to in your own post... the game should not be defined by other games. Perhaps people will initially think of Rogues or Mages as they were defined in some other other game... but just because another game does it that way doesn't mean Conan will. I think most will find out after a short time that the nature of gameplay in Conan combined with what the various classes will offer will forge a different picture of what each Archetype represents. (This will also become clearer when the whole tree is revealed.)

Forums, 10th December 2005 (Jayde)

Well, personally, I don't find this to be too much of a "lore" issue.. semnatical naming conventions of archetypes are really a minor detail in the grand scheme of things. I would rather focus on capturing the "feel" and atmosphere of the types of play than worry too much about what branch they are in.

Anyway, the thing to remember is that there are a number of "branches" off the main Rogue and Warrior classes, which means that there is a decent variety of playstyles available. Not all of the Warrior classes will be Sword+Shield--but they will have similar base abilities and have heavy armor available to them. Not all of the Rogue classes will be focused around thievery--although they have similar base skills and lighter armor/dex type builds.

I'm fairly confident that most fans of melee classes will be able to find a class among the tree that suits the playstyle they're looking for.

Forums, 9th December 2005 (Jayde)

As has been mentioned (and I think Dave addressed it before), I think that perhaps some are getting too hung up on the "warrior" term and not simply looking at the available options and figuring out which class will best suit one's playstyle.

< I'd imagine that, given that this is Conan after all, that many people will want to play Barbarians. However, in our branch structure, Barbarians are Rogues, not Warriors.

The Warrior branch will have some concepts that I think (and hope) people will find very interesting, regardless of if the name "Warrior" doesn't match with what some associate with the term. I don't think I can give too many details about the specific sub-classes at the moment though, that will have to wait until our class tree is revealed totally. Getting hung up too much on semantics is something I would discourage, though.

Forums, 9th December 2005 (Jayde)

Well, in reading Dave's quote I don't think he specified that all Warriors will be tanks, just that the Warrior branch is the "tank" branch. There will be Warrior classes that have more offensive or support capabilities than the "main" Warrior end-class--which is only one of the options available.

However, more to his point, the Warriors in the game are more of the "heavy armor" mentality as a general rule, whereas the rogue branches are more of the "light armor" way of things. In theory, a Warrior could go for a light armor type build, but I don't think it would very much suit the skillset of the class too well. That said, I'm not the main class balance guy and those issues are still subject to change.

I think once you see the "theme" of the classes in action, it will be more clear which route would be most fitting to your playstyle...and kinda what we were envisioning for the "Warrior" route vs. the "Rogue" route.

Forums, 9th December 2005 (Jayde)

At level 60, you choose your specialized class. Each main class has two specialized ones to choose from. A rogue at level 5, for instance, becomes an Assassin at level 20 and Lotus Master at 60. At level 80, the final level, you gain access to the so-called elder feats. These are specialized powers that boost your character in various ways.

IGN, 21st November 2005 (Gaute Godager)

We are doing a lot to make boss fights need tactics and the players can learn these tactics over time but not necessarily know exactly what to expect. I don't want phase 1 at x percent hp and phase 2 at y. In the books people are very rarely injured, they are dead or bumped around a bit. Conan himself should have been gravely injured many times but the descriptions are always about what would have happened to a normal man in the same situation.

While I agree that it is good to see more varied gameplay and a shift from the baseline requirement of certain archetypes in a party, I do believe that having roles adds to the experience and a feeling of individuality. I'm not really concerned about the healing bit and honestly if I was I would be making a big deal of it. It's all about the overall gameplay for me and empowering the character. We are doing a lot of things to be much more realistic than previous endeavors but if it game down to choosing realism or fun, Ill always go with fun

Forums, 26th October 2005 (Athelan)

To put it bluntly there is a reason why most of the core characters in the books are melee oriented and I feel if we were to completely remove the healing aspect from these classes they would just end up weak versions of the "pure" fighter types. I have always favored support/survivable characters. So for me the priest in Conan actually sounds very interesting, I can help people and myself, I can fight and I am not super squishy.

Forums, 26th October 2005 (Athelan)

I think you need to view these as layers on top of the already progressive class structure.

I could be a barbarian commander or a priest of set master, or a priest of set commander, its my choice. To me this is a cool additional level of customization. Who wouldn't like to have an infinite amount of additional depth in customization and class? Don't think anyone can argue with that but we do need to finish what we have and make Conan a great game, and while I think the ideas presented in this thread are interesting I do not think it would be something worth the amount of implementation time to do now. But, that is just my personal opinion

P.S. You can still advance in these professions you just won't "change" professions

Forums, 25th October 2005 (Athelan)

We won't nerf anything just because people whine.. but we will probably make changes if we find things unbalanced. We have very good people both in the dev team and in PQA who will help us balance the classes etc. But hopefully, most of the balancing will happen before we launch.

Forums, 14th October 2005 (Mjoellnir)

Pure skill based systems very commonly lead to a special combination of defensive and offensive capabilities that outperform everything else, and a lot of players will use that. Tank Mages in UO as an example. So, a strict "you can't do this" system has to be in place for balancing reasons and then you're pretty much back at where you started.

We will try to handle this by having a reasonably wide selection of options available for the classes. We enforce defensive capabilities strictly, no mages in full plate. Ever. A mage can choose to pick up a sword and fight with it, but he will never get close to the sword skill of a warrior, and since he's not really supposed to wave a sword around he'll have to sacrifice other skills to wield the sword. The warrior in return will never get the capability to cast mage spells, etc.

Forums, 3rd October 2005, (DaveDread)

I think we devs use the word Warrior with a different meaning then you fine folks. We use the "Warrior" as the main tank class, IE high defence, low damage... while I think you use it as a good offensive class. It's just nomenclatura, named differently. I think I know exactly what class you'll want to play, but I won't give out names hehe. It is a "subclass" of the Warrior tho.

Forums, 3rd October 2005, (DaveDread)

Well, currently most classes can pick up a sword. (All classes actually, but that will likely change.) Not that every class would be able to swing it with any expertise however, one could even say that a lot of classes will flail about rather haplessly if they wielded a sword, and they would have to make sacrifices to do so.

Forums, 30th September 2005, (DaveDread)

There are four base classes in the game, the normal Thief, Fighter, Priest and Mage. Which base classes are available to you depend on what race you choose. There are three races featured in the game at launch: Stygian, Cimmerian and Aquilonian. Only Stygians are able to become the dreaded Conan Mages, for instance. The arch-type classes are selected at level 5. Then you select your base class at level 20. Here each arch-type branch into 2-3 choices and then these base classes branch again at level 60. This leaves the player with more than 40 class branch choices through the game, towards the current level cap at level 80.

In addition to this, we have the so-called prestige or social classes picked at level 40. This is a set of four different classes focusing on social activities, and can freely be picked by any class. They generally allow the player to build villages, do crafting or other things.

PC.Gamezone, 22nd September 2005 (Gaute Godager)

Classes will be restricted to armor/weapon access feats based on the nature and balance of the class. I doubt you'll see rogues using Full Plate, or Mages be using Bows. We simply can't let certain classes use/wear whatever they want, otherwise it would be a horribly balanced game.

Forums, 19th August 2005 (Jayde)

I believe one of the biggest mistakes to be made in class balance is to look at two classes, compared them side by side, then try to extract balance changes from that comparison. Class balance is something that comes from the analysis of the game landscape as a whole.

For instance, a classical example is: Rogue jumps Cloth users, Rogue kills Cloth-users quickly, Cloth-user crys "nerf Rogues."

Now, does this mean Rogues are overpowered? Perhaps...perhaps not. It could be that Rogues get killed easily by Barbarians or the like. Or, it could just be that the Rogue in question used special skills designed to provide an advantage in that situation--and if the other person had seen him coming, they would have won the fight.

Obviously, we will strive to make the classes as globally balanced as possible, but all classes will have both strengths and weaknesses. Oftentimes, players of a class view balance as trying to remove all of the classes weaknesses--when, in reality, those weaknesses are there to preserve global class balance. A class with no weakness is typically the true "overpowered" class in a game.

Also, as has been touched on already, balance is more than "who can kill X, Y, Z." Other skills, especially those valuable in other situations than a straight head-to-head fight, are also very important in figuring out the value of any given class.

Forums, 15th August 2005 (Jayde)

We have very skilled designers and system designes working on the big task of balancing the different classes and subclasses. So we hope it will work out fine. And as someone mentioned.. balanced does not mean that every class is equal.

Forums, 14th August 2005 (Mjoellnir)

And, I might add, we aim to give priests a decent capability to dish out damage themselves. While the different classes will be, uh, different... none will be teethless.

Forums, 12th August 2005, (DaveDread)

Add to this the guild classes that you choose at level 40. There are four different guild classes accessible to you, regardless of what your main class is. The guild classes are like an overlay class, with mostly social functions. Among these are a path of manufacture specialty (although everyone can do some item creation), tactical expertise (increasing the size of teams, accessing advanced formations), strategic expertise (creating and using siege engines, creating main halls in the guild village), and lordship (getting a permanent follower with unique artificial intelligence).

Gamespot, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

The archetype classes are warrior, mage, priest, and rogue. You get to choose a class at level five, as you arrive at Tortage, the freebooter town on the Baracha Isles. You begin your life without a class, and all you need to choose is your looks and race. At level 20, you get to choose between three or four branching classes, and this becomes your main class. You keep your main class all the way to level 60, when you chose your specialization. There are two specializations for your base class. In total, there are around 40 different class choices available for the player.

Gamespot, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

The priest classes also behave differently, as they are aligned to different gods. Shamans from Cimmeria (the cold, northern reaches; the homeland of Conan himself) are granted their power from Crom, while the high priests of Aquilonia (the gentle Roman-like area where Conan now rules) receive their powers from Mitra. Finally, the snake priests of Stygia (the southern, Egyptian-like area that is home to many vile enemies of Conan) obey the snake god, Set.

Gamespot, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

In addition, when choosing guild class, at level 40 you can choose the "Commander" class. This will enable you to increase the size of your party. When two commanders team up, the party can become the size of 10 people!

IGN, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

We naturally offer also the traditional class interdependencies, where you are unique. With players having around 40 classes to chose from, each with individual, distinct, powers - you are always needed in a team.

IGN, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

The choice of archetype class will be done at level 5, when arriving in the city of Tortage. Then, when you finally reach level 20, you can choose from 3-4 main classes per archetype.

IGN, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)

The choices are as follows: You start out with race: Aquilonian, Cimmerian or Stygian. They can not all have all archetype classes. Aquilonian and Cimmerian can later choose among Rogue, Priest or Warrior. Stygian can chose among Rogue, Priest or Mage. This is set to be in character with the universe.

IGN, 11th May 2005 (Gaute Godager)