Dev Diary #16 – Classes

November 9th, 2011 at 10:15 am

This week I’d like to return to the topic of deck building and, in particular, explore an aspect of it that we’ve touched upon but not explained in detail and that is – character classes.

So, what is a class in Card Hunter? What makes a Warrior different from a Wizard from a Priest? Well, one obvious thing is the figure that we use to represent them on the board.

A tough dwarven priest.


OK, so that’s pretty dumb, but it is important. It’s important to be able to recognise what class (and race) a character is when you see it in the game. So, you’ll want to know that the character above is a Dwarf Priest when you see it because Dwarf Priests are different to every other class/race combination.

The main thing a class determines in Card Hunter is what kind of slots that character has. Remember, you build a deck by putting items into slots on your character. Each character has a fixed number of slots of a certain type. So a warrior has a number of weapon slots, a heavy armor slot, a helmet slot and so on. A priest has a divine weapon slot as well as armor, helmet, boots and so on.

This means that there is a certain amount of overlap between classes but also very distinct differences. Wizards don’t have any weapon slots, for example, so they just can’t use swords, axes or spears. And that means they can’t get the really powerful melee attack cards into their decks. On the other hand, they have arcane item slots and a staff slot. Those are the items that, naturally enough, put most of the spell cards into your deck.

A sprightly elven wizard.


OK, so class determines what kinds of slots your character has and therefore what kinds of cards can go into their deck. It also determines how much health that character has. Naturally enough, warriors have more health than priests who have more health than wizards. And what about race? What’s the difference between a dwarf and an elf and a human?

Well, race also determines what slots your character gets, but much less so than class. Each character gets a certain number of skill slots. Skills are a lot like equipment, but at least some of them are race specific. So dwarves gets skills that only dwarves can use and so on. We use these skills to make dwarves good at certain things, elves good at others and so on.

Race also determines another couple of important things. One is that it plays into health along with class choice, so dwarven fighters have the most of all and elven wizards the least. The other is that race determines your default move card. So race is pretty important, but probably not as important as class.

The end result of this is that each class/race combination creates a unique set of possible decks for you to build. We have nine possible combinations at the moment. If we can get the Rogue in for our initial launch, that will make twelve. When you start mixing them up in different party combinations, like a party consisting of two dwarf warriors and an elven priest or two elven wizards and a human warrior or whatever, you get a lot of different possible party builds.

A brave human warrior.


I hope you can also see how, in the future, we can use this system to create some pretty interesting hybrid classes. For example, the eldritch warrior who uses arcane items AND weapons, the juggernaut who just carries a lot of weapons without any armor or shields and so on. Those are for the future though…

9 Responses to “Dev Diary #16 – Classes”

  1. Very good, I’m liking the game more and more with each dev-diary!

    So can choose race and class… but what about gender? Does every Elf Wizard have te same “miniature”? Do we get to choose figure for the heroes on character creation?

    I liked the part where you talked about the Rogue… specially when you mentioned “launch”. When is that again? 😉

  2. Have you given any thought into how many classes you ultimately want?

    How much of a concern is class balance? In World of Warcraft, for example, there are 10 classes, and they’re adding an 11th with the next expansion. The first time they added a class after launch, it turned out to be a nightmare with respect to balancing things.

    I imagine that keeping classes balanced against each other isn’t quite as much as a concern in this game, since it sounds like the focus is on building a party, not a single character.

  3. @erf_beta: you can choose your figure when you get a character and we’re trying to make sure we have male and female variants of every class and race combination.

  4. @Asmor: good question! We have thought about it and we don’t have a final answer yet. Although creating interesting cross-classes sounds like it has potential, we do have to be careful with our equivalent of “color bleed”, that is, blurring the lines between the classes by creating hybrids.

  5. Yay! We CAN have multiples of class/race in a single party. But can we get multiples of items so that our identical human warriors are identically decked out?

  6. Ahh, answered in the forums. Yes we can have multiple copies of items, so we can have characters that are identical to each other in the same party.

  7. My ongoing disregard for how a person of my gender should behave is showing, but I really hope there’ll be some provision for playing a “pretty” character at some point. With a little cleverness, you should be able to incorporate this without disrupting the feel you’re going for; Battle for Wesnoth has a fairly similar feel and their Elvish Shydes and Elvish Sylphs fit in just fine.

  8. Very cool. Can’t wait for the beta

  9. Another interesting race would be a fairy, pixie, sprite type of race. I’ve never seen in any game where you can play as one of those winged creatures, but I’m assuming playing as one of those winged creatures would bring a different type of element to the game.

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