Created By: ccoa on May 31, 2012 Last Edited By: lu127 on January 7, 2013
Troped

Class Change Level Reset

Changing your class/job in a video game causes your level to drop back to 1

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Per this TRS thread, Restart at Level One is being merged with Overrated And Underleveled, and the various misuses of Restart at Level One are being spun off into new tropes.


Class change in Role-Playing Games and games with RPG Elements are almost as old as the genres themselves. In general, changing classes does not affect your character's level - they just gain new abilities in their new class as they go.

In some cases, however, the act of changing classes will cause your character's level to be reset to one. He or she will still keep all the abilities from their previous class, but they'll have to start over in their new class otherwise.

For general events that reset a character's level, see Level Drain.


Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Eastern RPG]]
  • Dragon Quest:
    • This applies when you had your characters change their class in Dragon Quest III.
    • Dragon Quest IX had a job retrainer. Every time a character changes professions, they start back at level 1, including hit points. Skill points are kept if the skills overlap. The character could also retrain to their old job and not have lost any progress.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy IV, Cecil's level returns to 1 after he changes from a Dark Knight to a Paladin.
    • Played with in Final Fantasy XI where each class is leveled independently. So if you have a level 40 Warrior and never level any other class, then changing that class later would drop back to one.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Massively Multiplayer Online Games]]
  • Fly FF does this differently with the Hero job classes. To obtain a Hero job class, one must obtain the corresponding Master class and be at level 120 while in that job class. To obtain the Master class, one must be at level 120 while in its corresponding second job class, and your level will be reset to 60-Master, which requires 3x the normal EXP to get to level 120-Master and become a level 120-Hero. This is the only way a character can break the level 120 and 120-M caps.
  • In Mabinogi, your character can "rebirth" at any time, starting over anywhere between age 10 and 17 and reverting to level 1. As you level, you earn AP, which you can spend to increase skill ranks, which in turn get you stat bonuses. While rebirth loses you all the stat points you gained from experience levels themselves, you keep your skill ranks and the bonuses, as well as your inventory. Then you get to take advantage of the fast level gain for a starting character to earn more AP.
  • Ragnarok Online does this with its Rebirth Classes. To obtain the rebirth class, one must get to level 99 and become a High Novice (thus the level reset to 1) and pick the same first and second job classes as the pre-Rebirth one. The second rebirth class has more powerful abilities and skills than the non-rebirth one. Thus, getting 3x the EXP needed than normal to obtain the rebirth classes is recommended to get the best skills for the very powerful third job classes.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Strategy RPG]]
  • This is a staple of the Disgaea series. The Reincarnation ability allows you to change any unit to any other type of unit, keeping some of their abilities, but they always start over at level 1.
  • In Shining Force, once characters reach a certain level, they can be promoted. Doing so upgrades their class--for example, a Knight becomes a Paladin, and a Warrior becomes a Gladiator--at the cost of sending them back to level 1. However, some of their stats are preserved, and the Level Cap that affects unpromoted characters is removed.
  • The method of promotion in the Fire Emblem series. After a character reaches a high enough level in their base class and uses a special class changing item (in the Tellius games, one only need to gain a level after reaching level 20), that character's level reverts to 1. However, their stats, stat caps, and abilities sharply increase in the process. The exception being Fire Emblem 4: Genealogy of the Holy War, where you don't reset to level 1 and have a 30 level cap instead of traditional 20.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
  • In early editions of Dungeons & Dragons, humans (and only humans) could "dual-class", losing most of the abilities of their first class and leveling up in the second. Once they reached the same level in the second class, they got the abilities of the first class back.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western RPG]]
  • In Baldur's Gate, when a human character chooses to dual class they start all the way back at level one for their new class and don't receive any of the abilities of their old class until they achieve one level higher than they were before switching classes.
  • Planescape: Torment: The hero could become a warrior, wizard or thief. He starts as a warrior, and when he changes classes, he resets. Progression in the other classes are frozen until he changes back to them, though.
  • Partly true of the Wizardry series, as explained here. When changing classes, your level and stats were reset to zero or the class/race minimum but you kept the skills and spells you had at your old class/level.
[[/folder]]


Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • May 31, 2012
    Linhasxoc
    "In general, changing classes does not effect your character's level"

    Don't you mean "affect"?
  • May 31, 2012
    judasmartel
    • Ragnarok Online does this with its Rebirth Classes. To obtain the rebirth class, one must get to level 99 and become a High Novice (thus the level reset to 1) and pick the same first and second job classes as the pre-Rebirth one. The second rebirth class has more powerful abilities and skills than the non-rebirth one. Thus, getting 3x the EXP needed than normal to obtain the rebirth classes is recommended to get the best skills for the very powerful third job classes.
    • Fly For Fun does this differently with the Hero job classes. To obtain a Hero job class, one must obtain the corresponding Master class and be at level 120 while in that job class. To obtain the Master class, one must be at level 120 while in its corresponding second job class, and your level will be reset to 60-Master, which requires 3x the normal EXP to get to level 120-Master and become a level 120-Hero. This is the only way a character can break the level 120 and 120-M caps.
  • May 31, 2012
    troacctid
    • In Shining Force, once characters reach a certain level, they can be promoted. Doing so upgrades their class--for example, a Knight becomes a Paladin, and a Warrior becomes a Gladiator--at the cost of sending them back to level 1. However, some of their stats are preserved, and the Level Cap that affects unpromoted characters is removed.
  • June 1, 2012
    ccoa
    ^^^ Oh, look, a wild Grammar Nazi!
  • June 1, 2012
    Rognik
    • Planescape Torment: The hero could become a warrior, wizard or thief. He starts as a warrior, and when he changes classes, he resets. Progression in the other classes are frozen until he changes back to them, though.
    • Dragon Quest IX had a job retrainer. Every time a character changes professions, they start back at level 1, including hit points. Skill points are kept if the skills overlap. The character could also retrain to their old job and not have lost any progress.
  • June 1, 2012
    DarkConfidant
    The method of promotion in the Fire Emblem series. After a character reaches a high enough level in their base class and uses a special class changing item (in the Tellius games, one only need to gain a level after reaching level 20), that character's level reverts to 1. However, their stats, stat caps, and abilities sharply increase in the process.
  • June 1, 2012
    sgamer82
    • This applies when you had your characters change their class in Dragon Quest III
    • Played with in Final Fantasy XI where each class is leveled independently. So if you have a level 40 Warrior and never level any other class, then changing that class later would drop back to one.
  • June 1, 2012
    nameheregrrer
    In early editions of Dn D, humans (and only humans) could "dual-class", losing most of the abilities of their first class and leveling up in the second. Once they reached the same level in the second class, they got the abilities of the first class back.
  • June 3, 2012
    Shinr
    ^^^ The exception being Fire Emblem 4: Genealogy of the Holy War, where you don't reset to level 1 and have a 30 level cap instead of traditional 20.
  • June 19, 2012
    ccoa
    Bumping for hats and examples.
  • July 9, 2012
    polarbear2217
    Sacred Seasons and Sacred Seasons 2 had this, although you could change at any time except during combat. You have a pay a certain amount of gold to unlock a new class. then you can switch to that class for free. You keep your current inventory, quests, etc.
  • July 10, 2012
    TBeholder
    Needs a name.
  • July 10, 2012
    Koveras
    • Partly true of the Wizardry series, as explained here. When changing classes, your level and stats were reset to zero or the class/race minimum but you kept the skills and spells you had at your old class/level.
  • July 11, 2012
    ccoa
    ^^ Do you have a suggestion? Or at least a reason why this one won't work?
  • July 16, 2012
    Xtifr
    I think the name is fine, but the spelling correction in the first post should be applied. "Effect" is normally what you want for the noun; "affect" the verb. Both have both noun and verb forms, but the other meaning is not usually what you have in mind. I keep them straight by remembering SFX = "special effects" = noun.
  • August 9, 2012
    ccoa
    ...It's already been applied.
  • August 21, 2012
    HonestGent
    How about Job Swap Level Drop? This can be justified in the games as levels are typically gained through experience. When a character swaps jobs, there may not have experience in that field, hence restarting at level one.
  • August 21, 2012
    HonestGent
    • They may not have experience in that field. Trust me to make the typo when a grammar nazi's on the loose.
  • December 30, 2012
    Kernigh
    Bump. I added a fourth hat.

    I noticed that the Wizardry example from Koveras (a few replies up) has not been added to the YKTTW text.
  • December 31, 2012
    henke37
    Team Fortress 2: Mann Vs Machine keeps the bought upgrades on the class you used when you switch class. No refunds if you switch classes, but you keep the upgrades if you switch back.
  • January 2, 2013
    lu127
    I'll adopt this for now.

    I think I recall the DS version of Final Fantasy III did this, but it's been a while since I played. Is anyone's memory fresher?
  • January 4, 2013
    margibso
    In Baldur's Gate when a human character chooses to dual class they start all the way back a level one for their new class and don't recieve any of the abilities of their old class until they achieve one level higher than they were before switching classes. I believe that this is true for most 2nd edition D and D games like Icewind Dale and Neverwinter Nights but I haven't played those games.
  • January 6, 2013
    lu127
    Any other examples of this?
  • January 7, 2013
    lu127
    Ok, launching this.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=cpwci48vcqkienfutoqfpww5&trope=ClassChangeLevelReset