Over the last few years, the implementation of time-based advancement
has become more than just a novelty. The success of style="font-style: italic;"> href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/" target="_blank">EVE
occurred, in no small part, thanks to their reliance on time-based
skill training. Now the developers working on href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1841"
to take a crack at time-based advancement. Along with the interview we
recently did with them a few weeks ago, Ten Ton Hammer has nabbed a
number of exclusive class interviews, so sit back and enjoy our
exclusive discussion with Lead Data Designer Hue Henry on style="font-style: italic;">Alganon's Soldier!
Ten Ton Hammer: Where
does the Soldier fit into the lore of your game world? Do they
represent little more than the armored troops in style="font-style: italic;">Alganon? Or are
they something more?
Hue Henry: In
the world of Alganon,
the term Soldier is used for one who has trained to become an expert in
physical combat. Anyone who is trained to be an expert in all of the
weapons and armors of Alganon is technically a soldier. However, when
you choose to be a soldier in Alganon, you are not just a common
soldier. You are an Asheroth or a Kujix.
The Asheroth and Kujix are the chosen of the deities, born with powers
well beyond those of the common people. While there may be powerful
soldiers that are neither Asheroth or Kujix, there are none that can
match your potential strength and prowess.
Ten Ton Hammer: In your
official description of the Soldier, players only have two traits to
choose from, while your other classes often have three. Are Soldiers
just that powerful that they only need two traits?
Actually, there is an unspoken third trait that we decided didn't need
to be mentioned explicitly. Soldiers are the only class available at
launch that are capable of wearing heavy armor and using all of the
available weapons. This provides them with opportunities to better
customize their gear to match their chosen combat roles. This is a
large enough advantage that we took it into account when balancing the
classes, but didn't feel it necessary to point out in the descriptions.
Ten Ton Hammer: Again
looking at the description, it seems like the Soldier has a lot in
common with the tank class from many other MMOs, especially the Warrior
from WoW. How do you believe this class differs from tank classes in
core role of a Soldier in Alganon
is exactly that - a tank. They are designed to fight via melee
weaponry, be able to take survive large amounts of damage from their
enemies, and manipulate the enemy in order to keep the attention on
themselves and away from those they are charged with protecting. When
we designed the classes, we designed them with these roles in mind.
We believe that much of the fun of MMO combat lies in cooperation and
interdependence. It is fun to enter a combat encounter, choose which
role you want to take, and then perform that role with precision and
expertise, sticking to the strategy, but adjusting your tactics as the
battle ebbs and flows.
It's no fun to enter an encounter and find that you are weak at the
role you've chosen, so we've designed our classes to be strong at their
roles. We've designed our Soldiers to be extremely good tanks.
This, of course, means that they will have the ability to mitigate
damage done to them. They will be able to control the enemy AI and make
themselves the primary target. They will be able to defend their group,
absorbing damage that would otherwise hit the weaker party members. For
the most part, rather than designing the core of the solder class to be
a "different" tank, we've designed our core soldiers to be a "better"
tank. If you've played a tank in another game, there are actions you
were glad you had - our Soldiers have those. There are also actions you
wished you had - our Soldiers have those, too.
However, the one area where our Soldiers are very different from tanks
in other games is in the Tactics specialization. Soldiers who
specialize in Tactics abilities will have the ability to join a group,
not as a tank or melee damage dealer, but as a support class - one that
boosts the abilities of the group, rather than focusing on his own
Ten Ton Hammer: There are
four different "specialization" branches listed on the website. Are
players going to choose various abilities in these branches to become
"Core Soldiers" or "Tactic Soldiers" or does this signify something
is a major part of the fun of MMO combat, so we've designed our classes
to be strong at their primary roles. But, we also know that it's not
fun to be locked into a single role. That's why we designed our Dual
Role system. Every class has a "core" role that they advance
automatically, but they also get a set of ability points they can spend
towards a secondary role. Should they choose to place all their points
in a single secondary role, they will be able to compete in that role
at the same expert level as their core role.
Since nearly every enemy has a melee attack, it makes sense that the
enemy will approach its target and fight in melee range. This means
that any damage bonuses a tank has will also help a melee-range damage
dealer. It was easy for us to decide that one of the secondary roles of
a Soldier would be a single-target melee damage dealer. A Soldier that
specializes in Weaponry will be able to target a single enemy and "burn
them down" quickly and efficiently.
Fighting a single foe is very different than fighting a room full of
enemies; it takes a specially trained Soldier to be able to handle both
situations effectively. That is where the Protection specialization
comes into play. While every Soldier, Protection or not, can handle the
one-on-one boss encounter, it will take a Soldier specializing in
protection to effectively keep a room full of enemies from overrunning
Some Soldiers, however, prefer to take a leadership role. Rather than
spending anger on damaging an enemy or drawing attention to themselves,
a Tactics Soldier will spend their anger on buffing and enhancing their
party. Rather than always standing toe-to-toe with the enemy, they will
find themselves zipping around the battlefield, shouting orders,
providing bonuses, even reducing the threat generated by their allies,
before charging back to the front lines to build anger and repeat the
These specializations all come without losing their core abilities.
Whether they choose to specialize in Weaponry, Protection, or Tactics,
a Soldier will always be able to switch to defensive stance, take up a
sword and shield, and join your group as a tank.
Ten Ton Hammer: Finally,
what kind of skills and abilities will Soldiers commonly have? What can
players expect to be doing when they're in combat?
will vary depending on what role they are taking in combat. If they use
their core combat role and enter the fray as a tank, they can expect to
stand toe-to-toe with a single enemy, building Anger with each strike
given or received. They can expect to spend this Anger on actions that
will increase their threat generation, and keep the enemies attention.
Should they be solo, or grouped with a group that is able to control
their own threat levels, they can afford to spend a bit of their extra
Anger on higher damage attacks. If they find the enemy is stronger than
they anticipated, they have a few actions that providing them a
temporary boost in their defenses, so as to out-survive their opponent.
Knowing when to use these actions and when to save them is a crucial
part of tanking as a Soldier. They will need to keep an eye on the
enemy and be prepared to react to and even manipulate the enemy's
A Soldier that specializes in Weaponry will also find themselves
toe-to-toe with the enemy, only this time they will be focused on
dealing large bursts of damage. A Weaponry Soldier will generally find
themselves wielding a two-handed weapon and spending their anger on
high-damage actions as fast as they can build it. While a Soldier in a
tank role is likely to find themselves deciding whether to "use it now
or save it for later", a Weaponry Soldier in a DPS role will spend
their time deciding which high-damage action will maximize their damage
in each situation. They will need to analyze the enemies defenses and
determine what can be done to maximize their damage output.
If a Soldier chooses to specialize in tactics and enter combat as a
support class, the combat experience will be very different. A Tactics
Soldier will start combat by engaging the enemy directly, but rather
than use their anger to attack or defend. They will build a pool of
anger and then rush to their allies, where they can spend their anger
to enhance the abilities of their party members, reduce threat
generation, and otherwise allow their teammates to be even better at
their own roles. They will be looking at their teammates and deciding,
"Who needs my support most? Is it the tank in the front? The healer in
the back? The DPS? Or should I stay and build more anger, so I can help
them even more?"
Ten Ton Hammer: Thanks
for your time, Hue! We can't wait to talk with you again about the
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Alganon Game Page.