Science and magic are as a lot opposites to one another as weapons and swords. So why do not we see as many playable scientists, medics, and engineers as we do playable mages and clerics?
Plus, not that many up to date and sci-fi RPGs use character courses in a lot of the identical approach as your normal medieval fantasy RPG, like Dungeons & Dragons, Closing Fantasy, and Dragon Quest. And even then, as a result of science is the other of magic in a lot of the identical approach weapons are to swords, we may have had scientists, medics, and engineers as potential courses to decide on between, just like troopers and scout-snipers.
So why do not we see as many playable scientists, engineers, and medics in sci-fi video games, the identical approach we do playable mages and clerics in medieval fantasy video games?
Comments ( 14 )
I think the easy explanation is it’s more fun to throw fireballs or shoot rifles as opposed to running around being the responsible one curing or building crap.
Science isn’t the opposite of magic. Also, swords aren’t the opposite of guns. You’re using that word incorrectly.
But regardless of that, typically those types of classes are support classes and most people don’t find those as exciting so they aren’t as prevalent in gaming.
I would say it is just because it wouldn’t play as good as their counterparts in a game. Because the classes you mention are realistic, as in they exist in real life, the gameplay would have to be kind of close to reality and reality isn’t as interesting as fantasy.
First, faulty premise. Science is an ALTERNATIVE to magic, not its opposite.
There are a great many works in gaming that combine science and magic. You often find “mechs” or “robots” or “steampunk” factions in collective fantasy games out there, particularly real-time strat, and most of those have a healer or pet/companion/minion builder troop.
(Also, rifle bayonets are a swordgun.)
But the answer is because a lot of us game to ESCAPE our mundane current-world lives, and cram a lot of fun into that escape time. Magic and elite sword-fighting dudes that we can roleplay allow us to escape FURTHER and FASTER than being an engineer planning a bridge that takes two years to construct, or being a doctor looking after someone’s gout. They’re simply not as visually or interactively “thrilling”.
For those that either don’t want that gaming experience or don’t want it right now, and there’s a lot of us, there’s Civilization or city builders or turn-based/RTS games where YOU’RE the engineer. But we’re definitely outnumbered by those who want to be Gandalf or Luke Skywalker or Geralt.
I think due redudancy clerics are threated as a medic of sorts as they usually are in charge of healing people from wounds and ailments, the scientist role is usually filled by an alchemist who uses medicine (potions) instead of magic and in several at least engineers in the world are usually mage students because it makes sense that if we could enhance machines via magic we would do so.
So such realistic jobs wouldn’t be developed on a fantasy world were magic exists and could do the same things but better, pretty sure I have played at least one RPG set in modern times with little to no magic and you do get at least medics as a class.
> why don’t we see as many playable scientists, engineers, and medics in sci-fi games
Do you have examples of this? Pretty much any scifi rpg with robots or machines has a class of character that works with them, plenty have a character specializing in medicine and crafting medicine/useful tools, and there’s always a hacker or other computer specialist. No idea what you’re on about
“Why do fantasy games have fantasy characters?”
…. is this really the question we’re asking today? Because there are plenty of games where real jobs exist, it’s just not going to be the majority of games in the genre you’ve outlined.
Hell, some of the most famous characters in gaming have just been regular dudes who got caught up in some shit and now they have to save somebody, or the entire world even.
Mario is a plumber.
And a doctor occasionally I guess.
Gordon Freeman was a scientist.
The Engineer from Team Fortress 2 is… well… an engineer.
Jake Higgins from Green Hell is a writer/random dude who wanted to explore The Amazon.
Alan Wake is a writer.
I’m sure I could go on all day if I started really thinking about it.
I think maybe you’re looking in all the wrong places?
I actually think the gun and sword comparison is accurate but not for the reasons you described. Different tools for different situations, and you can be good at both. That’s ideally how magic and science partner in a world they share.
> why don’t we see as many playable scientists, engineers, and medics
I believe I can answer that one with a quick role play.
“Oh god, Jimmy is down – there’s some alien goo attached to his leg and it’s burning him!”
Scenario A, we take the realistic roles.
Scientist: give me a grant, a lab and 2 years and I’ll analyse the goop.
Medic: once the goop is off, just 3 weeks of replacing gauze and some skin grafts, then we’ll see how the infection is going
Engineer: I’d build a better exosuit but I can’t find any of the properties of that goop in the textbooks – hey, scientist, get on with it! Then I just need a full machine shop, access to some design software, a couple of dozen rounds of prototyping…
Scenario B: Poorly-explained techno-priest class.
Techno-priest: *waves hands arcanely* goop disintegrates and Jimmy is back on his feet ready to continue the mission.
One of these flows better and is significantly more fun to play…
Medics in war videogames are a thing y’know.
Also, don’t forget about alchemists.
There tend to be tech focused options often enough, they are just a bit more obscure, as in worlds where Magic exists, technology is heavily influenced by it as well…
DnD/DDO: Artificer exists, as it’s an arcano-technician.
Guild Wars 2: Engineer.
Aion: Technist -> Aethertech/Gunslinger.
PoE: Trap/Turret Builds.
Dude has never heard of an artificer before.
The one thing I don’t think anyone’s mentioned is that science tends to happen way ahead of time. A ton of science goes into creating your laser rifle and plasma grenade, but it’s years of engineers working in a lab, and then the end product is something intended for anyone to be able to pick up and use without a ton of training.
A mage can throw a fireball, and he needs to be on the spot to conjure the fireball right then, but engineers spent years developing an incendiary bomb and now they’ve churned tons of em out in a factory and you don’t need to be a special engineer class to push the button and throw it at the enemies.
WoW as an example:
Rogue: Circus Performer
Mage: Back End Programmer
Warlock: Front End Programmer
The guy in the guild making excel spreadsheets: Scientist