Tag Archives: Red Mage

Specialization in Role Playing Games

This is a post idea I’ve had for a long time. My initial thought is this: lately I feel like there has been an increasing move towards specialization in characters in role playing games (RPGs). Meaning that before you often had characters who needed to be able to handle a multitude of situations, need to be able to heal and do damage and take a hit – all in one character, or all in each character.

However, that has been decreasing of late. Instead, we see the rise of roles like Tanking, Healer, and DPS. You see it in party-based online situations especially, and with the rise of MMORPGs, there’s a lot of this going on online and in big-name games people are putting a lot of time into. However, a further place you see this happening was in Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, which was built to in many ways play like an MMO.

So I will look a bit at both of those – MMOs and D&D 4th Edition – but what really has me thinking about this is that I now have an even better case study. the Final Fantasy games. In Final Fantasy XIII, they hit the most specialized that they ever have; however, in breaking away from that in Lightning Returns, they are moving back to a place where you have far more control over customizing your character. So have we hit the far extent of the trend? Are we moving back away from specialization? That’s the question I will close with!

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Lightning Returns in Another Light

So, as I have been seeing aspects of Lightning Returns, my brain has been turning to mashups of different plots with this, comparisons to other Final Fantasy games, and other things.

Helping my case, they seem to have dived right in to other games, with outfits and schema (the job system) based on other SquareEnix games – mostly other Final Fantasy games, but also Tomb Raider. So, thank you for helping my case.

And then, just to help a bit more, they built in screenshot-sharing functionality, through Twitter and/or Facebook. Is this going to be dangerous? Indubitably.  But it also makes these screenshots easy to find and share with others. So I took a few, found a few on their site, and many more from around Twitter, and thought I would share. My comparisons are perhaps tongue-in-cheek, but the screenshots show a game that is going to fascinating to experience once it arrives.

You can tell the screenshots in this post from social media because they have the copyright information embedded in them.

You can tell the screenshots in this post from social media because they have the copyright information embedded in them.

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10 Best Spells

Magic is a great part of fantasy. As much as I am a Science Fiction guy, and the definition I work off of does not allow for magic (check out the definition here), the escapism of Fantasy (check out the definition here) can be a lot of fun. Fantasy and that level of escapism better lend themselves to gaming, because in gaming you can work outside of the bounds of reality, outside of our normal physics.

A fun sort of thought experiment, here I have a list of the ten best spells – with the thought being that you’re coming up with a spellbook and using them all together. Many spells or spell effects are duplicated, in various ways and various manners, in all sorts of books, video games, and tabletop games. So many of these have a variety of analogs, and are a good bet in most of these circumstances.

There are some spells, of course, that are a bit much. Are almost too powerful for regular sorts of use. The king of these spells is the Wish spell, from D&D – basically, it does what all these spells do, and just about anything else. It’s a plot-changer, game-breaker, and is a bit too much. So maybe it’s better to say, these are the tops of spell types, the best for use, for your gaming wizard or fictional mage of choice! Continue reading