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MMO quest/exploration based class advancement

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I've been thinking about how MMO's implement classes and advancements lately; and how they incorporate them in different ways, instead of the common players pick base class -> reach x level -> quest pop up -> advancement.

Since I find that, its linear and somewhat not rewarding? in a way where, Oh I've done this – but everyone else has and can? Or to put it more simple, whenever you level up to a certain advancement requirement after doing tons of quest to get there, you're prompt with

I wanted to know the opinion of reddit or any hardcore MMO player on the said topic and suggestions if they were ever implemented into an MMO? would it be fun? I've also written some of the things that I think would be a draw back below.


Below are the MMO's that I've played and learned from the available class system. It isn't much so I'm not quite familiar with other MMO's like Rift, WoW, and other major MMO's to comment on them.


  • Base class selection.
  • Awakening quest on lvl 65.
  • Customize on glyph only.
  • Sub skills (Smithing, Etching).

Runescape old school / 3

  • No base class.
  • Skills based on skill level and equipment type. (runescape 3).
  • Unique skills available on certain equipment. (runescape old school).
  • Basic repeatable skill actions. (runescape old school).
  • Customize on armor and weapon types.

Tree of saviors

  • Base class selection.
  • Class advancements quest are given at the max rank of current class and guided even hidden classes.
  • Class combination affects availability of hidden classes.
  • Customizable on skill points, class combination, stats and certain equipment.

Adventure Quest Worlds

  • Base class selection.
  • Able to gain multiple classes from switching out armor.
  • Class skills are available through
  • Certain extra/hidden classes are available through quest, reputation or certain require class combinations. (Ex. Paladin is a combination of Warrior and Healer).

The Idea

The ideas that I present are devoid of character stats and character level. Since, character stats and level would affect other aspects.

Key points

Runescape gives you the feeling that you're completely in control of your character and how it plays; mixing equipment and play style – where there is not class system but a skill system, you could be a battle mage, or a warrior mage, a ranger – Its refreshing and the quests that require a certain skill to be leveled feels rewarding when you finish it finally – since the quest lines are long.

Adventure Quest Worlds is fun for the plethora of hidden classes and classes, some requiring a previous class to be leveled before proceeding. Some requiring you to finish quest, which would sometimes without you knowing lead to new classes when not reading guides

A class system where you are a no class in the beginning and are only left with your customized character and basic sub skills. Then in order for you to get a specified profession or class, you can interact with the NPCs around – which could encourage world building and adventuring.

An example would be;

Blade TrainerNo ClassBasic blade skills
Pole-arm TrainerNo ClassBasic pole-arm skills
Archer TrainerNo ClassBasic bow skills
Magic TrainerNo ClassBasic magic skills
Mending TrainerNo ClassBasic mending skills
Smithing TrainerNo ClassBasic smithing skills
LumberjackNo ClassBasic lumber skills


This would serve as a base foundation on what to build on or sort of a tutorial, as progression is made. Allowing, the base character to equip a multitude of different equipment and adapting to different play styles, without being specialized yet.

Specialized Classes

Afterwards, players could get specialized classes after tracking a quest through, speaking to NPCs about rumors or just speaking to obvious specialized NPCs.

Some examples of a base combination table.

Base specialized combination table

NPC specializationBasic BladeBasic Pole-armBasic BowBasic MagicBasic MendingBasic Smithing
Blades man
Magi Blade

Then, upon ranking the base specialized max level – which should be relatively low single digit; players are able to combine the base specialized to an intermediate through the same means – which is either rumour questing, or obvious specialized NPCs.

Some very few examples; that I could think of:

Intermediate specialized combination table

NPC specializationBlades manClericMagicianBlacksmithArcherRangerMagi blade

Hidden specialized classes

These classes are for the avid, hardcore adventurers and explorer to find – which require specific criteria and conditions to be accomplished like a quest chains, or behavioral points?

Jack of all trades, master of none

At the end of the day, the choices would be up to the players – they could even skip all the base skills, or classes entirely and just roam around as a No Class.

Cluster of class skills

Okay, I know what you're thinking – the amount of class skills would be too huge. Well, here's how to avoid that – removing, adding, enhancing.

Remove previous irrelevant class skills, or enhance them on the intermediate specialization – while adding new skills.

Removing?!?! what! No!

Well, an example would a brute class – where they use a hammers or a mace? where do those specialized sword skills go?? Well, it could be explained through the quest – before proceeding that, a brute has forsaken the way of the swords for a more brutal way of killing. Or a cleric who has forsaken their beliefs, and switched to a more darker craft.

This removal of sword skills only affect specialized skills and not the base skills, which can be slot in but quite unusable with the equipment.


Seems quite, straight forward and adds new skills relevant to the class specialization. An example would be knight – since they would specialize in attack, defense and minor range – shield skills would be added.


Enhance skills from previous specialized combinations. An example would be a priest where your cleric healing would be enhanced with holy attributes and higher healing modifier.


  1. Massive systems and learning curve – may be highly confusing in the beginning.
  2. Once specialized and accepted, the decisions would be rendered irreversible and re-spec to previous skills would need to be redone. A fix to this could be a class storage that would just store the previous progressed classes and allow easy changes.


I think that implemented right, it would be a fun immersive experience and quite the adventure in class searching and exploration. Half way through writing I ran out of ideas, will edit more on the same thread – once I get my brain rested.

Hope to hear from your replies in the morning!

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