Post news RSS Class changing in the armies of Seylia

From the start, the vision for Seylia has always involved small groups of heroic units doing battle on a grid. In the next version, we'll take one more step in that direction, with an improved class and ability system, including the power to learn abilities, and to unlock and change classes.

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Today I thought I'd share a bit of the design philosophy behind Land of Seylia. In the current version, units are very simple, having a static class that completely determines their abilities. Quite simply, this has to change -- Seylia is not meant to be a wargame. Rather, my vision for it has always been a game about battles between small bands of heroic units - equal parts RPG and turn-based strategy. Of course, I later had the idea to add an overworld that has elements of empire management, but that doesn't diminish the importance of having heroic units.

As part of this vision, the next update will have a number of improvements to the class and ability system. First of all, units are now able to change classes between battles. Each unit starts with access to the basic Soldier and Herbalist classes, which form the basis of the physical and magical branches of the class tree, respectively. All other classes must be unlocked by that unit, by gaining a certain number of ability points (AP) in one or more already-unlocked classes. For instance, in the current build, the Archer requires 200 AP in the Soldier class in order to unlock, and the Mage class requires 200 AP in Herbalist. As of right now, you only need to have acquired that much AP, although I'm considering making it so that you actually spend AP to unlock new classes.

Currently planned classes include the Mage, an offensive magic user; the Healer, a healing/protective magic user; the Knight, a melee combatant; the Archer, a ranged combatant; and a collection of more advanced or specialized classes that are still in development.

In addition to the class system, the next update will also have improved class abilities. Right now, a character automatically gains all the abilities of its class, which removes one of the most common methods of advancement. In the future, however, characters will have to learn their abilities, with the aid of the aforementioned Ability Points (AP), which are allocated per-class. For example, instead of innately having First Aid and Poison, an Herbalist in future versions will have to spend some of their Herbalist AP on those abilities - say, 50 AP for First Aid, or something similar. This will be in addition to a more traditional experience and level system, which determines stat growth. Unlike games such as Diablo, some roguelikes (e.g. ToME 4) and a number of MMORPGs, each ability will cost a different amount of AP, depending on its perceived strength. It will therefore be necessary during the early phases of a character's development in a new class to decide between a few powerful abilities, or many weak abilities.

That's all I have for now - I'll be sure to keep you posted on things as development progresses!

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