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Faction and Class Distinction and Customization in Soul Master

One of the things that has interested me most while working on Soul Master is getting a chance to see how the emerging MMORTS genre is progressing in the industry, and how the variation and customization available to character classes, buildings and units, and stat modification choices for each of the factions affects the depth of overall strategy, and subsequently game play balance.


As in many classic Real Time Strategy games there are 3 factions, or "races", in Soul Master Gold that determine the basic types of units and buildings you have available to create and control. As there are currently two character classes per faction, with additional factions and classes to come, this means that there are very distinct ways to play with each of the "races" that completely alters the strategy involved in a normal Player versus Player match depending on which of the various classes for each faction you're playing with or against.


More so than the "Hero" or "General" units found in a number of RTS games, the player's main character in Soul Master, a "Soul Linker", is directly controlled like the character avatar in an action RPG. Instead of being simply ordered around the field as the most powerful unit under your command, you're manually directing the character's every movement via WASD, using class skills or abilities via non-targeted directional attacks, and all while at the same time controlling your RTS units and creating production or defensive structures around the map. Despite drawing from the same pool of available units and structures, the two different classes within the same faction have wildly different play styles that can be further adjusted by adding various stat modifications that can affect not only your character and their abilities, but also those of their units and buildings as well.


Each faction's structures and units are balanced against one another in the tried and true "Rock-Paper-Scissors" fashion, with specific units being more effective against certain targets. Take for example the Holy Empire faction in Soul Master Gold, where their long range siege unit known as the Odin is far more capable of destroying a defensive tower than say the same Holy Empire's crowd control, melee fighting unit known as the Medusa; which is better served in anti-character combat.


While both units are able to be created by either of the classes that currently make up the Holy Empire faction, the Chrisnian and the Priest, each class is more inclined to use the selection of units available to them with a far different emphasis to shore up their own character's weaknesses and focus on their strengths.



[Source:mmofisher] [Author:mmofisher] [Date:11-09-18] [Hot:]
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