Discussion on Class System


Obviously, classes are a big deal in Stonehearth, since the balance between the types of villagers determines how well you will be able to survive and what you will be able to do. But, I am wondering how the conversion between classes will carry out. The devs say that the rough idea will be like “worker ‘Joe Average’ picks up saw and turns into a carpenter”. After thinking for a while I realized that this would be a bad idea later in the game, due to the fact that if you have the right items you can change Joe the worker into an end class character like a magma smith in half a minuet by picking up upgrades in rapid succession, that just feels wrong to me. So I would like to propose a few ideas.

  1. Each villager should have a level attached to his profession e.g.(Joe - worker lv. 4), and as the villager continues in that profession, his/her level rises and they become more proficient at their job e.g.(workers build faster, craftsmen build better items, swordsmen fight more skillfully). The villager can continue down that carrier path as long as they choose and become more skilled; But if you so desire you can take a skilled enough worker and change it into a lv. 1 basic class like carpenter, farmer, or hunter by grabbing a class oriented item like a wooden mallet, hoe, or bow (since it would be useless to change classes if there were no items available for them to use). Whenever that villager becomes skilled enough in that class you can progress them further down the class system via the same method.

  2. The method for leveling would be pretty previous, as worker works he slowly becomes a more skilled worker. But there should be other methods that player can take to speed up the process to be better prepared in the game. Also, since some classes are not constantly doing a job. The most obvious being the soldier, since he would only gain experience when fighting enemies. Villagers should be able to increase their skills most quickly by carrying out their job, but could alternatively do training like tasks, our soldier could practice on training dummies or spar with another soldier. A villager skilled at their profession could also apprentice less skilled villagers, like master swordsman instructing a recent recruit.

  3. We now come to the special classes a.k.a. the characters like magma smith, elementalist, engineer and what ever crazy things the devs come up with. According to the description of these classes, just having one seems to add an entire mechanic to the game, thus I feel there should be special rules on how they are obtained. I like to call the method “Hero quests”. These quests would be a module that requires the participation of an extremely skilled [insert class here], and at its completion one of the rewards would be the upgrade of the participating villager(s) into the special class associated with the quest. This also adds a little variety to the game play since you wont’t know what special classes you will be able to get in the game since it is associated with a randomly selected quest.

That’s my little rant, let me know what you think, and feel free to post your own opinions.

My Suggestions -

I think the class progression system will more than likely work very much in the same way as you have described, I really don’t think you should have any fears about this sort of thing.

Just judging by this picture:

It’s obvious (unless they decide they don’t want it) that there will be a levelling element. Hunter -> Big Game hunter, Shepherd -> Rancher etc.

The devs are clear about what games this one draws from, and they are aware of the other games out there that offer partially similar experiences; judging from what we’ve seen from them so far, it’s safe to say that they are fully aware of what is expected and the systems that should be in place, especially in regards to the class system which could be seen as an integral part of the game. I mean, they confess that Final Fantasy Tactics has heavily inspired the class system in this, levels etc would seemingly be impossible to ignore.

I like your idea of apprenticing etc. to gain experience for a skill. I think it would work very well across the board - perhaps a certain level would be required for a unit to tutor, and a certain level cap for the tutee’s

As for classes like the geomancer/ magma smith, I doubt it’s going to be a class that is very easily obtainable, I get the impression that the devs want this to be extremely balanced, and as such will do what is necessary to make it so - if for some reason it isn’t and it is a real issue, I’m sure the community will voice that issue.

Please don’t take what I’ve said as just brushing your concerns aside or ignoring them, it’s good to get your questions and concerns out there, and I hope I’ve reassured or answered some of those.


I’m pretty sure they have said they won’t have levels because it can hinder the game sometimes. I think if the carpenter wants to upgrade to the next class, he must make the tool needed himself or be involved in it somehow, and I think it should take a long time. That way you don’t have to micromanage levels, worrying about having your best farmer on a certain crop or whatever but you can’t level up rapidly like you said.


Oh really? I must have missed that, do you know where they said it?

Edit: [urlhttp://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1590639245/stonehearth/comments?cursor=3069846#comment-3069846]Found this in one of their comments on the Kickstarter:[/url]

“Then we layer RPG type elements on top of that. Each citizens has an RPG like class and gains levels”.


i have definitely heard the devs referring to changing professions by assigning them tools… but (as @Geoffers747 quote points out) , surely we’ll have levels for a given class/profession, etc. how else would advancement and improvement be determined? hmm…


It will depend on how they decide to implement it: within a class or a skill. Method I like is kinda both. Need certain lvls to get high class jobs, like need a lvl 50 blacksmith to pick up the magma smith hammer. But then also have advancements in skills were they become proficient, the blacksmith gains crafting points in say weapon making or armor making to get better within his job. This allows for some flexibility early on but rewards plp that stick with one profession.

I do wonder what type of stats system they are planning since it will have RPG elements too. I like the way Disgaea did it with the class lvl and a total lvl that was outside the class lvl that mostly determined the stats of the character.


The class system will involve both levels and tools. Lots of class transitions will require a tool to upgrade a unit to that class: saw for a carpenter, chisel for a mason, bow for an archer, etc. We like this system because crafting is a major part of the game, so it just makes sense that upgrading most units involves crafting too.

That said, levels will be a part of the system too. Some units will gain new abilities when they reach higher levels, and there may be level requirements when upgrading one class to another (like the brewer to the brewmaster)

Like everything else, this is just our thinking at the moment and everything is subject to change. =)

Depth of Tech Tree

@Tom Are you thinking of tying abilities to certain tools, like the archer gets a special attack with bows, like a cold arrow attack, but if the archer switches to a crossbow then he has to learn to use that tool to get new abilities? Or would picking up a crossbow as an archer change the job?


@Tom thanks for the clarification, and i really like this approach to the way professions and leveling will be implemented… using the crafting system to help drive the class system is a really nice approach…


@Geoffers747 Thanks for the input, I saw the class tree earlier, there just wasn’t enough info for me to draw on. I originally thought that the devs just had not figured out what items would advance the class, and just left them out. Most of the stuff we know about the game is w.i.p. and is subject to change.

@Tom It feels soo good to get the attention of a dev (im probably overly excieted :stuck_out_tongue: ). I just had another thought on leveling. Whenever a villager reaches a certain level, maybe there could be an aesthetic change as well, so you could differentiate between the more and less skilled villagers. It could be as simple to making the clothes of the more skilled villager have more detail. Anyway, that’s just a random thought from my head.


A few weeks ago I wistfully drew a non-combat class tree, comprised of conjecture on top of what Tom and Tony have told us. Folks thought up an scout/adventurer profession, too.


@wigjump that thing is crazy!


Classes may include heroes? for glorious military campaigns and adventures?

By heroes I mean basic archetypes, magicians, warriors, thief … oriented exploration of the world and support troops.

Greetings from Spain.


Bah, I don’t care for your assumption that the Magmasmith won’t be able to upgrade into a Super Magmasmith.


@wigjump I agree with tom, that is crazy, although I definitely think you’ve got something going.

@Elthagrim Not quite sure what you said, so forgive me if I say something irrelevant. When ever I think “hero” in Stonehearth, I think of the special end classes. They will more than likely be able to play roles in combat support as well as boost the towns productivity. I also assume that there will be classes oriented to scouting and surveying the world, but I doubt it will be a hero. I’m thinking it will be more of a exploration party type thing.

@Pendryn Did I imply that? I don’t think I did, but while I have the opportunity I will give my thoughts the topic. I don’t think that there should be another upgrade past the special classes (so no super magma-smith), but the special classes should have a list of obtainable items that enhance their powers (like a magma-smith with an upgraded power-glove).


On the classes, there should be one type of class a person can go into, say like a career. You don’t just randomly drop it to go to another. Make the classes so that the only way to change is to simply upgrade to the next tier. When someone is available to level up there should be a notification. Also there should be a sort of notification type tab thingy.


I was thinking about this earlier. Would you want there to be a penalty for learning a new class? (e.g. D&D’s new classes gain experience half as quickly.) Or were you thinking that a villager should never be allowed to change his class?

I disagree with the second option. In real life, I’ve trained for one career, but there is no penalty to me should I choose to go out and learn a new trade. Think of how many people there are that quit their job to follow their dream of doing X. (Tom and Tony are prime examples, though game design may not be a complete switch from what their careers were.)


I don’t think that the villagers should be able to change their class, at the very least he should have to go backwards in the carrier tree to advance up a new route. So that a villager looses experience in total if you choose poorly in the job allocation.


Another thought:

The “beastmaster” looks like basically there is no difference if you go the “hunter” or the “shephard” route and biggest “plus” would be to have a 2in1 profession (completely based on assumptions on the small skill tree released).

Sounds quite good in a city-management game with limited population. Makes just sense to have multiple professions for single units to help balancing queued up jobs etc.

However i would have some concern in regards of the RPG element. I would at least consider on top of that another split up into high-end class/profession that is not “simply” a 2in1 class but has on-top of that a unique flair/speciality.

So basically after “beastmaster” you can chose either a 2in1 class focused on shephard tree (something like “dragon tamer”) or a 2in1 class focused on the hunter aspect (i.e. “dragon hunter”) - this way you still have the benefits of the 2in1 for the city management and some unique flair for the rpg layer.


@Geoffers747 First of all, did yea miss me? I’ve been out on vacation but I’ve been keeping up with the forums through my smart phone!

Anyways, I agree with everything you said. I wouldn’t be too concerned about the classes and the balancing. I think it’s in very good hands and the devs know what they’re doing. I’d expand on why I think that, but you already said it all so it’s a moot point.


Now that coop is established, I hope you plan on playing with me Geoffers. I’m looking forward to it!

Is there any word on how many players can be on a single server?