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Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by LaZeR, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. LaZeR

    LaZeR IncGamers Member

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    Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    Well, after some success in the Geomancer department I thought it's high time we try to think of another interesting potential (expansion) char.
    And I've seen some people talking about an EXTREME Shape-Shifter (SS) char.
    What are your thoughts about that?

    Can SS really hold a whole char?
    Should SS be only SOME of the char (like D2 Druid)?
    Should it be organized so you'd have 3 forms, 1 for each Tree?
    How many Shapes can you Shift too?
    And what about Semi- SS (only head/hands/tail etc)?


    It's been a while since we had an interesting discussion (excpet for the racial one going on right now), so I've just been wondering...
     
  2. commonhumans

    commonhumans IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    I am skeptical of a shape shifter class... i am skeptical because Shape Shifter classes (at least in the past) have been highly hybrid focused -- You take a certain form to do a certain task... making you able to do TONS of stuff, but not really great at anything.

    I dunno. If there was a shape shifting class I would like to see each tree be a certain animal/creature and the skill built off of/around that.

    This is def worth exploring, though in my gut i am fairly positive a SS class wouldn't show up in core d3... but in a d3 exp, it's totally beyond plausible.
     
  3. Technomancer

    Technomancer IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    I don't really think shapeshifting could make an entire character. I personally have a hard time seeing it as even the primary skill, but that's just me. I'm not gung-ho about SS, but I'd give a whirl or two.

    If you were gonna go all in, you could have a master form for each tree in tier 1, then the rest of the tree would be augmentations and abilities that can only be used in that form. I think it would be a lot better if someone COULD be a shapeshifter within the class instead of REQUIRING it, which is what that approach would do. You could maybe devote 2 trees to 2 different forms and have a 3rd with non-SS based skills.

    The semi-SS idea is pretty good. You could go 1, 2, or 3 trees with that and it not be too constraining. You could optionally have a tier 4 skill that would be a full transformation, but then you would be stuck with semi-SS skills in that tree, otherwise you could mix and match.

    One thing I've seen around that I think would be a bad idea is having a dozen or more forms. That would be overkill and I don't think any one form could be done justice. You obviously need at least 2 forms, but 3-6 could be managable. More than that would be too diluted and none of them could really be all that great or convey any real character.

    [EDIT]: Another thing is that the forms don't HAVE to be animal forms. They could be elemental forms (as I've mentioned elsewhere), angelic, demonic, and/or spirit forms, or mythical creatures, even mythical creatures that are complete inventions within the D2 universe.
     
  4. theeliminator

    theeliminator Well-Known Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    Personally I like the idea of a SS. Let me run some ideas by you guys

    Like I posted on the Geomancer, you could have a tree devoted to Simi- SS. You could have his arms change into different weapons or even monster body parts. (like a snake for an arm)

    I have another idea for a tree, it would just be a tree with mostly passive skills. (like the Amazon passive and magic tree in D2) The first skill in this tree could be Copy. A spell in which you take the shape of whomever you cast the spell on. Now I know what you’re thinking "how will you know who you are in a mob” it’s really not hard to make your "copy" stand out from the others with color or highlights.

    Lastly you could have a Tree that’s about 2 forms (much like how the Druids was)
     
  5. LaZeR

    LaZeR IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    Well, let's see:

    1. I hope SS will show up in D3 Core. It's just too awesome.
    2. The problem with Semi-SS is graphic. Will you have a Bear head sitting on a WD body? Not to mention you run out of Semi stuff pretty quickly- You have head, tail, hands and?
    3. The problem with 1 form for each Tree is repetitive skills. I mean, what kind of skills can you have in an Animal form? Fast attacks, some kind of AeO punch and some kind of Shout skills. And ofc, as Techno said, the fact that you don't have any Non-SS skills.
    4. Angelic/Demonic/Mythical Shapes are interesting... Any Shapes suggestions?
    5. Making the SS skill in Tier 4 is problematic, since, as you said, you'll be left with a pretty weak, un-focused SS which can hardly be called SS focused char.

    I think the 2 Shapes for 2 Trees and 1 Non-SS Tree is the way to go.
    Any skills/shapes ideas?
     
  6. paperkut

    paperkut IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    One idea for the demonic shape could be something similar to the vampire-werewolf hybrid from the Underworld movies (Michael was his name I believe).

    Speed, strength, claws, and vampire-like abilities.
     
  7. NASE

    NASE IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    Sure. In theory, it's possible. I just wonder how one should implement this? If you want to make one whole class about shape shifting, you want to cover the whole aspect. You want ranged, mele and magic fighting. For me, this means you need a humanoid shaft, resulting in problems.
    Both demonic and angelic are out of the question. Human are going to be neutral in the battle (it's almost certain). Other option would be to created some sort of other humanoid yet this doesn't seem interesting to many.
    And note that you simply create the shift as a character instead of making it a shift.
    This is assuming you can only have one form per class. You could have more yet they will be mutually exclusive. (and yes, I know many don't agree)

    I believe this to be the easiest way. Combine an unique way of mele fighting with some simply magic with totally different aspects of the game. Much easier then a full shape shifter and more interesting too if you ask me.

    I believe it's best to have one or two forms, which both have the same function. Kind of like how the druid did things in DII. Both forms are mele yet are different in the way they function (or that's how it should be, in DII, it's more about what skill they have rather then how they play).

    I believe people will always focus in one shifts, so eventhough they could shift into more forms, I don't really see point in having them. It's good to offer some choice, yet more then 2 or 3 largely using the same skills just doesn't work.

    Seem like a forced way to have some shape shifting.
    I really don't like the idea and don't see the need for this.



     
  8. Pyrohemia

    Pyrohemia IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    To me a shapeshifter would have many different forms. One skill tree would have solely skills that give you different forms. You could have a variety of different sizes and shapes of animals to change into and each has different benefits. Each form would have completely different attack animations. For example, a turtle versus a tiger versus a bat. I am not sure what the other two skill trees would provide. Maybe one could be special melee skills that can be used in your shapeshifted form and the other spells to cast in shapeshifted form.

    --------------------------

    I have a better idea. Each skill tree is a blend of shapes and attacks and spells to use while in those shapes. The different skill trees would be distinguished by flying shapes versus ground animals versus partially humanoid (ie. walks on two legs like a Diablo 2 werewolf/werebear). Flying forms would be more about casting spells from the air compared to melee fighting. Humanoid forms would be able to swing with normal weapons and wear normal armor but with enhanced speed or strength. This would be Bears wearing armor and carrying axes etc. The ground animal forms would be about biting and clawing and the special form would encompass the armor and weapons; disguising them like a Diablo 2 werewolf or werebear.
     
  9. LaZeR

    LaZeR IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    The only problem I see with the "2 Shapes+ focus on non SS skills" build that it's not a distingtive char- Exactly like the Druid was in D2. Without his SS skills he was a mix between the Necro and the Sorc. Cute, but..boring, may I say? This made him a nice expansion char, but with no real attraction.

    A full extreme SS char would be the exact opposite, introducing us with a very new and exciting aspect, rather than a mix of classes with 1/3 creativity.


     
  10. sirroman

    sirroman IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    I really don't like to make propaganda, but I believe Shapeshifters "have" to be hybrids and I kind of made a SS class ().

    Why it have to be "hybrid"? First of all, what you would call a FULL extreme SS? a character which have only different forms?

    The problem is: it would be like a paladin with only "self-only auras" (different shapes). Or a Barbarian with only offensive skills (no, no spells! Just attacks! Warcries are spells! Zip!).

    And yet, we need a class that you CAN spread the skill points and not "choose one tree and stick with it".

    And yet, we need a class that we can create not-so-common builds with it, like the necromancer, which had the golems (yeah, they were weak but what counts is the idea) and the poison spells (only three!). The barbarian had the dual-wield "mini-tree" (three-four skills, if I remember). And even the sorcerer had the enchant skill, letting people create melee sorcerers!

    You know, in D2 people stick with "one or two" skills and the rest are just to special times, but... they are there and you can cast them instantly! If the SS have to "change back" and then change the form again, it just kills the fun.

    So, the best "extreme" SS would be one that give you freedom to wander around the skills, playing with different "forms" even if you have one "preferred" and yet, the "single use skills" (Like the WW Barb that sometimes changed to berserk to kill PI) also have the "shape-shifting feel".

    That's why I defend that the SS should change only partially and if there're "werewolf" forms (full-body) you can't have 30 different skills that are for JUST THAT FORM! It would be a waste.

    So, mostly the SS skills should single use, or 2~4 different forms with a lot of passives, IMO.

    So... If you are asking why I said I didn't like to make propaganda, click: here to see my shapeshifting class. Just take a look and say if you agree or not.
     
  11. Phidias

    Phidias IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    I was thinking that the Shapeshifter could have a tree for common skills (or just random skills scattered throughout the tree) that the Shapeshifter could use even when in his/her human form, but get modified to do something else when he/she is in a certain form.

    Take for example "Generic Attack Skill"
    Generic Attack Skill deals your base attack damage +150%, making it a solid attack skill for your untransformed shapeshifter.
    But when he transforms using "Bag of Rocks" your shapeshifter turns into a bag of rocks! When he uses Generic Attack Skill as a bag of rocks, Generic attack skill changes to have a chance for crushing blow/stun/knockback (something like that, I'm just throwing ideas out there, balance be damned).
    So then let's say the Shapeshifter transforms into a Vampire, Generic Attack Skill now does it's basic damage bonus, but it also has a good chunk of life steal tacked onto it.
    So then we can look at this another way, form-specific skills that have a bigger bonus when used as a Form X, but still have a unique function when you're Form Y.
    I think having non SS skills like this, so that they're intertwined with the SS would give enough variety to the Shapeshifter to not be overwhelming, but still feel like you had some choice (As opposed to being a vampire, so you HAVE to max your SS skill, Vampire Bite, and [Other exclusively vampire-ey skill here])

    As far as partial Shapeshifting, I think it would be sort of lame to be putting points into one skill for legs, one skill for arms, one skill for a head, things like that. It could be nice for customization and making the shapeshifter feel like he/she is a Shapeshifting class, and not just an amalgam of others with some quirky spells thrown in.
    But i'd be afraid that it would constrict the player by forcing him/her to max out whatever would end up being the most useful endgame semi-SS skills. So points in a single skill would only help that one body part.
    Though, that depends on how everything's lain out with skill trees and all.

    What I'm going to say about Semi-SS is mainly that I feel that they shouldn't be treated as being parts of a grand whole, (IE:maxing out the "Demon tree" So you end up with beefed up pitlord arms, diablo head, Duriel legs, and whatever else)
    Because then that pressures the player into shoving all his/her points into this whole "Suit of Parts" so they've no freedom beyond it.
    I think it'd be more fun overall if Semi-SS would just function as a momentary buff (perhaps one that synergizes [not necessarily actual synergy, but you know what I mean] with actual shapeshifting spells) that could work as a situational thing "Look at that army of monsters , I'mma pop on Arms of Explodifying"
    Hmm I'm actually not so sure about semi-SS at all, really just trying to dispense some thoughts I had about it.


    What about skill runes? Could they possibly work with shapeshifting skills? IE: Hydra rune in the "Lizardman transform" skill would make the player turn into a...hydra?

    Anyway, to cap off this rambling text I'll toss out some possible Shape-shifting forms:
    -Elemental
    -Vampire
    -Centaur
    -Tikbalang(from Filipino folklore, basically a reverse of a centaur, man's body with a horse's head, but it also has obscenely long arms and some other weird crap)
    -Lizardmen/Nagas
    -Birdmen, not like Harvey, but basically just giant birds with human limbs--screw talons.
    -Some kind of Abyssal, enigmatic summoner fellow (Grim reaper maybe?) But not like necromantic summoning, he just calls forth beings of shadow and gloom from the Netherworld or something else that sounds cool, but the summoning could just be some passive aura associated with him or be a part of his regular attack (but said shadow beings would either have to be quite weak or have a pitifully short life span for this to be balanced)
     
  12. Technomancer

    Technomancer IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    Hmm, something else I thought of that could go well with a SS style class would be unarmed combat. Traditionally people think of a Monk type class when it comes to not using weapons, but a SS would be perfect too. Full or semi-SS characters could easily have their own "weapons" instead of just doing a graphics trick where you're still attacking with a sword, etc., you just don't see it. I'm not sure on the exact mechanics, but it'd be a good opportunity to try new ideas. There could also be class specific weapons, like talons, that only work when shape-shifted. Obviously, using traditional weapons should be allowed too, just give an additional option.

    I had thought that having a flying character wouldn't be doable, but now I think it actually could. There could be a wealth of active and passive skills utilizing it. The main problem is being able to freely fly over obstacles, but that could just be stopped and only give the range of movement that land-based characters would have. It wouldn't be perfect, but I've seen it done that way in a variety of games.

    That Tikbalang sounds cool! I've never heard of that! I guess it would be similar too horse-head from Zelda, but would be cooler and creepier.
     
  13. sirroman

    sirroman IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    When I say "hybrid SS" i'm not defending the arm/legs/head/torso approach (that's bad and wouldn't work like it "should", IMO) . I'm defending the exact approach you said, the "momentary buff" and the "use this skill in ANY form you are".

    But I REALLY liked your "this skills is slightly different with that form". Imagine the customization when you add that and the rune system! HOLY S*** THAT WOULD BE AWESOME! =DDD

    Oh! And 'bout tikbalang: FLASH BOMBA!!! (I still believe eat-man is the most awesome superheroe ever created in the universe, ever!).

    @ technomancer: I don't like the unarmed approach and if the "new-SS" is unarmed it would be lame, IMO.

    Well... it *could* work, but then Blizzard would create a class that would be detached from half of the economy! And what 'bout drops? "DA**! I got this kick a** sword... but I'm 'new-SS'!"...

    Instead of putting a flying skill on my SS-bard, I instead when with the "jumping" approach because I also thought that flying capabilities would be too difficult to implement in a good way: why make everything "not-perfect" if you can be "perfect" without just one thing?


     
  14. theeliminator

    theeliminator Well-Known Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    This isn't really that big of a deal, all they would have to do is put in a special type of weapon for that class. Bracers would work fine, or heck if they didn't want to do that they could just say your spell even transforms the gear you wear and you still get the bonus from that gear.


     
  15. lunarleif

    lunarleif IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    I have another idea for a tree, it would just be a tree with mostly passive skills.
    A tree with passive skills sounds absolutely lame. I'm not even going to waste my time going into reasons.
    I think it would be neat to partially transform into different creatures and mix and match. Give yourself a basic armor profile, two hands, feet, legs, arms, main body structure, and head. Then be able to modify your genetics and change yourself. Problem = That's what prototype did. Solution = Transform those parts into those of animals, mythic creatures, etc.
     
  16. kavlor

    kavlor IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    You could have a shapeshift that works like Frenzy whereby you gradually change and build up powers of speed and damage or even a build up of elemental type damage as you attack.Actually if you had the shapeshift initiated by attack it would allow you to get right into the action instead of having to step back and shapeshift,kinda streamlining it.
     
  17. lunarleif

    lunarleif IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    Almost like a morph attack kavlor? You attack then morph? Come to think of it, it would be cool to shift forms when you attack to explain the attack, increase damage, etc. Passives would add on to what you morphed adding on attacks.
     
  18. Technomancer

    Technomancer IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    Kavlor, I think that's the best SS idea I've heard yet! What I think would be better is if the shifting worked more like the Barbs new Fury (Furry? lol!), where when attacking, the shifting becomes more and more complete. I guess it's just a semantic difference, I'm not really suggesting a new energy type, but that's not out of the question (Bloodlust?). You could either have a particular SS skill active which is what you would turn into when attacking, or you could have certain skills tied to a specific form, and when you use any of them, you gradually transform into that form.

    You might need a new energy form actually. When you attack, the bulbs fill up and each bulb that fills completely is a new, more complete stage of transformation. You could stay in that form until your "Bloodlust" bulbs drained completely down from not attacking. If you switched to skills that don't match that form, you would revert to human form and would need to re-morph through attacking. I guess skills would use Bloodlust too, but that could interfere with shape-shifting. You could also call it Lycanthropy instead of Bloodlust.
     
  19. sirroman

    sirroman IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    I like de D2's Druid approach, "merging" the gear.

    Creating one type of weapon just for that class wouldn't solve the problem. And IIRC Blizz won't make any class-specific gear in D3.

    @lunarleif: it would be half of the approach of the Druidic Bard, when you use the skill you grow momentarily claws, horns, whatever, and attack, and then they fade.

    @ kavlor & technomancer: For Background reasons this system would work better if you were, like, stealing something from the enemy (if there were a vampire class, for example) or if you were entering a special "state", i.e. "furious".

    And if you are changing by attacking you aren't using a new "energy type", just... changing with each attack, you are "building up your form" and D2 had "something like that" with the orbs on some skills (werebear just pops in my head, can't recall the name of the attack though), it would be just a new artistic direction. That could actually work!

    Or you are thinking 'bout building the energy and then using the skill to shapeshift slightly? That I didn't like. =/

    WAIT! WAIT! NOW I GOT IT! =DDD

    I just had this idea to use for a "shapeshifting energy". It's the idea you guys had, but with a twist. Read on, please.

    There're some "balls" that fill with each attack, like the barbarian fury. But differently from the Fury, when you fill one ball you automatically change part of your character. When you fill everything, you are in a "full animal form".

    Then there're some skills that use this shapeshifting energy (like the barbarian fury) BUT when you use "one ball" you automatically change partially back.

    It's like you used your shapeshifting power to make a "massive burst" that tires you so much that you can't keep up with a "full animal form". You must then charge up your energy again.

    Lore-wise it would be a SS-class that shapeshift only "when she needs" because her "alternative form" take time to happen and makes her exhausted.

    You could also have a "alternative cost" where you pay some health OR some huge amount of mana to get into your "full animal form" or to use any "massive burst" SS-skill.

    What do you guys think? It's slightly different from yours idea, right?


     
  20. Technomancer

    Technomancer IncGamers Member

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    Re: Brainstorming: Shape-Shifter Class

    That's exactly what Bloodlust would be.

    Nope.

    Swap "change one part at a time" with "change everything a little at a time", and that's basically what I just said.

    That occurred to me too at the end, but I wasn't sure if that would be a plus or minus. I think it makes sense though now that I think about it more. That could work pretty well.

    My natural inclination would be that the shifting can only take place when in a certain state, like a more dynamic "Incredible Hulk". "Don't make me angry, you won't like me when I'm angry..." :steam::yes:

    Not much, just additional ideas.


     

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