All 24 base classes on Interbellum will have semi-unique gameplay loops. There will be no mirroring or quasi-mirroring like existed in Mythic’s version. A gameplay loop is shorthand for a class mechanic and how the abilities/tactics/passives interact with it. Each of our base classes will have 3 “hard specializations” which provide a different way to interact with their gameplay loop. Essentially you will have 72 different ways to play the game.
All of your mastery points have to be spent in the specialization you select. There are currently 225% more choices than points to spend in every single specialization. You will be able to respec inside of a hard specialization for free in any safe zone to allow people to constantly adjust their build to find out what they prefer or for the situation(s) they expect to be in. Changing between hard specializations will have some type of cost, but we haven’t determined what that will be.
As I mentioned in the Q&A, we will be utilizing a “star point” balancing paradigm. So each specialization will fall loosely under tank, defensive support, healer, offensive support, or dps and that will be communicated to the player. Each base class will have a minimum of 2 different available roles. Overall, this means with the same character/gear you can function in different roles while still using a very similar gameplay loop.
I was asked to use Bright Wizard as my example for this post. Bright Wizards use the primary mechanic of Combustion and the sub mechanics of Explosion and Blast. Combustion works similarly to how you all know. You spend abilities that cost AP and you gain combustion based on the value listed on the ability. Where this differs from what you do know is that you will only take Explosion damage whenever you gain Combustion over 100 (at a 100% proc rate), and that there are abilities that will consume Combustion. Explosion damage is now a mitigatable amount of elemental damage. So your offensive stats make you do more explosion damage to yourself, and your defensive stats makes you take less explosion damage from yourself. Blast is a new base mechanic, even to our previous testers, which is stored up on yourself and enemies you hit refreshing its duration. It explodes for stored damage whenever it expires.
So Bright Wizard has 3 specializations: Pyromancer, Arsonist, and Battle Wizard. Each of these 3 use Combustion, Explosion, and Blast as their gameplay loop. But they play a bit different from each other and fill different roles. In general, our specializations are pulled as much from lore as possible and adapted into viable gameplay.
Pyromancers are bright wizards that you know. They use staves, they are dps, they attack from range, and they combo effects into timestamps. Their mobility is tied into spending combustion while their damage is tied into being at precariously high levels of it. As a DPS you can expect this specialization of bright wizard to be dealing a significant amount of damage, but in general lacking defensive skills and support functions.
Arsonists are bright wizards that fight in medium range and in literal melee. They use swords and are a second dps role for the bright wizard. They lose pretty much all of their ranged direct damage; but retain the ranged DoT effects to assist with combustion generation. They spend their combustion on potent melee attacks and escaping back out to range when the supply is exhausted to resupply, which they have tools to do so. Alternatively, they can force self-explosions off the GCD to generate combustion and thus stay in melee for longer at the cost of choosing to blow themselves up (unsustainably for long periods). Arsonists make great use of Blast given their in-out combat flow.
Battle Wizards are offensive supports. This means that they play similar to a DPS but have lower personal damage in favor of supporting the overall offensive capabilities of your party. They also currently use staves, but this is likely to change with new art available. Battle Wizards spend their combustion to burn away enemy defenses; they allow all of their allies to stack blast on enemies; they have dispels; and can even restore some AP to the party. These effects are often triggered off their explosions and blasts.