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Summoner Discussions/Concepts

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The purpose of this thread is to discuss and share the communities' thoughts and ideas about what a "Summoner" means to them. Keep in mind that anyone sharing their thoughts should not be viewed as wrong as this is their own opinion on the subject.

I'll start off by saying, I've been playing MMORPGs for more than 15 years and I've experienced probably 30 (if not more) different MMORPGs. I've experienced the good and the bad. My obsession with MMORPGs first started when my older brother let me use his Ultima Online account for the first time back in 1997. I was 8 years old. Since those moments, I fell in love with the fantasy aspects of character building, storytelling, PVP, etc.

Over the years, since those good ol'days, I've definitely noticed a sense of polarizing or warping sense of what makes a "good" MMORPG game instead of focusing on what works, but I digress.

Summoners to me, mean that this class type might be summoning something of some sort. (say that ten times fast).
If we break down the word, "summoner", we will get things like a Warlock, Elementalist, Conjurer, Ritualist, etc. Any words associated with summoning an object would fit here as well.

When we talk about a summoning type class in general, we tend to lend more towards having some sort of pet inside the game world that we would control at our will. This would be the industry norm when you look at the other games featuring a summoning type class similar to controlling some sort of demon, monster, creature, "a pet" used in combat situations.

A summoner to me just typically means I get to summon something to use, in-game, on how I see fit within the actual game environment. Whether beneficial in nature or something purely cosmetic.

When I compare summoners to other games, I am essentially looking at making an adventurous impact in the game world using an assisted variable in-game element that would essentially split my character's utility feature set into a  higher variability manner. A Summon is only as good as the AI code for the pet. If the AI code wasn't executed properly, you'll see a drop off in summoner class type viability. This makes a summoner type class more complex and also a potential liability.

Whatever the devs decide to do with a summoner type class, here are some things I'd like to see at least looked at or kept in mind.

Summoner Key Notes

  • In my opinion, the summoner needs to have a central focus on the thing that it is summoned. This means shifting more focus on what is actually summoned rather than what the character is able to summon. Vanity does not improve the class design.
  • The entity being summoned needs to be centered around the in-game world situation. This means as the player navigates the world, I need to make a decision on what entity I need to use in order to achieve my goal and, most importantly, should have only 1 viable option for that particular situation. Companion utility is everything.
  • Class identity is also everything. The player needs to know what the summoner can and can not do while utilizing a companion in the mix.
  • Player agency needs to also be focused and also met with harsh in-game environment choices. If I summon the wrong pet, in order to achieve my goal, the game environment should punish me for that incorrect choice of action.
  • Unique companion feature sets. The entity summoned needs to feel valued in every aspect of the class' lifespan.

Summoner Arch Types

A summoner class identity is only as deep as the class' design. From experience, summons tend to be more focused on a linear path of progression in most of the games I've played featuring a summon class type. They tend to have only a few entities that are summonable that follow or identify in a particular path of the class' progression.

Non-Linear Progression

Allowing the player to choose different types of tailored progression paths will be a "good thing" situation in the summoner class design department, in my opinion. For example, allowing the player to choose a progression choice such as a themed Warlock, Elementalist, Ritualist, etc. types, all on one class, will breed more situations where the player can more accurately identify with the summoner class instead of coping with a class design system he/she doesn't really care for. This also opens up the potential for tailored questing content for these paths of progression.

Edited by bohica89
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