Learning Paths in the Unclassed MMORPG

While I was playing Glitch last night, I was thinking about the class system that started showing up when the DNA story did. So far, we’ve had skills, but no clear direction on what to learn past self-motivated interest.

If we were learning skills for our class, tough, we’d need a specific skill set. Glitch let us run around unchecked, so the skills we currently have (and I have more than I’m supposed to have) may not slot nicely into whatever class scheme Glitch may be cooking up. (Right now, there’s only clear evidence of a wizard class brewing.)

Looking over my skills for the hundredth time (realizing there’s really nothing else I want to learn at the moment), I got to thinking about the skills I have and the possibilities open to me. My Glitchan can grow and harvest really well — useful if I need to grow components for my herbology practice. My Glitchan never passes up a mining opportunity, and has the skills to grid into alchemical components and smelt into materials. I’ve actually had a lot of fun creating new tools over the last couple of days. It was nice to make myself a tool rather than have to hunt down the right vendor.

Other people have taken the gardening skills on their way to the cooking skills. I’m sure some people have taken the mining skills on their way to the engineering skills.

The point is, there are base skills that open doors to a variety of skills. People interested in different paths would take the same base because they need it. D&D always seemed to understand that. It wasn’t unusual for a low-level plant-based spell to show up on potential spell lists for wizards, priests, and rangers.

Education should be viewed this way, too. There are broad skills that benefit a wide group of students, potentially leading them to finding their life work. It also shows them how their work relates to others’ work, promoting cooperation and potential collaboration.