We all heard that question growing up. What are you going to do when you grow up and go to college? And it’s asked from ages 8 to 20. Since it is such a heavy part of the preteen and teenage experience, we decided to modify a common MMORPG element to suit. (Or is it old Final Fantasy? This was a Ginny thing, my knowledge of the source is vague.) That’s right, we’ve got professions.
The player has eight professions to pick from to start with, and the way I look at them is sort of like base Dungeons and Dragons sub-classes. While the player can use stats and gear to identify as the main character (MC)’s main class, a.k.a. what kind of rider they are and where the player put the skill focuses like a fighter picking strength and fighter feats and a rogue focusing on dexterity and ways to be sneaky, a profession lets the player add an additional level of flavor (and lets them do something with all those reputation points they are hopefully earning), like being a specific type of rogue like a shadow walker or being a teamwork oriented fighter.
So what professions do we offer? Well, let’s do a short little breakdown…
Now, jockey is a bit of a catch-all term here. What this is really meant is someone who wants to compete with horses professionally. This could be dressage, show jumping, endurance, barrel racing, pole bending… All that matters is a competitive spirit and a horse is involved. If the player takes this profession, they will always be on the look out for the best gear, the best horses, and the next race. The mentor the MC will want to seek out is Lottie in Morganite, since…she’s pretty much the only one with experience in both English and Western disciplines for more than a year except Var, and unless you share Var’s culture, that’s a no go (and Lottie has a surprising competitive streak if someone can bring it out).
Again, this one is a catch-all term, but the idea is this profession is for anyone who is interested in the entertainment/performance arts. From dancers and singers to actors and instrumentalists, it covers all the bases. There are opportunities to hone the MC’s dancing, singing, and other skills throughout Astranar, as long as the player seeks them out. As seems obvious, the Diamond Media Complex and all of its various agents and principals are the folks to seek reputation with, but there are smaller theaters and venues too, and the MC’s own mentors (whether Light or Shadow) have a camp idol group that they can help. For all of this, the person the player will want to seek out is Viva in Citrine, who knows all about the hard work to break into the business and will be ready to offer that advice, plus she might have some cool tricks to work into dance routines from her rhythmic gymnastic days.
Whether its working with plants or animals (or both!), the farmers are interested in taking care of the land. Their customizable farm and stable is their dream come true to help collect different farm animals and types of crops. The local farmers are more than happy to offer tips and tricks to find rare plants or animals, and there are grannies, bakers, craftsmen (and women) and smiths with recipes or skills to help market the MC’s goods depending on the player’s fancy. There are even rare plants and animals to be found in the Mirror World, giving the player a wild new world to explore! Regardless of the focus, Len is the girl to seek out in Emerald if this floats the player’s fancy. She’s always interested in a cause for the environment, and she even has a bonsai tree that she’ll show if the MC promises to be careful.
With avatars this customizable, we all know someone is going to want to be a makeover queen. Well, do we have the profession for them. Spa owners take the hair, nails, and other physical customizing to a whole new level. If the player loves playing with hair and make-up, they are going to be on the hunt of Fashion Week for what is the new cutting edge. Besides playing around with every hair and character base in the game, the spa owner is going to want to get the favor of certain members of the Style Secret Service who deal with hair and make-up, such as Eden in the employ of Rose Neptuna or his brother Cain. The mentor is (oddly) also going to be Len for this profession, she is really big on green and vegan products being used in spas, but she knows her stuff about what’s good for different skins and bodies.
If the player prefers decorating the rooms, whelp, we have that covered too. This profession is for the collectors of every type of wallpaper and rug we come up with, trying every combination to see what works, regardless of personal preference or style. (And there’s a lot to go around.) There are various shop owners, artists, craftspeople, and others to find, not to mention the MC could always learn how to make custom furniture and dye the rug the specific shade of blue to go with the tin ceiling. There are also public decorating events that could definitely use the player’s careful eye! The mentor for this careful work is Izzy in Amethyst, whose level of matching and theme thrills the Style Secret Service and while she’s odd about her personal colors, she is always sure that her designs match people’s personalities.
While spa owners may have dibs on hair and make-up, the fashionista is all about the clothes and the gear. From mixing and matching patterns and colors to perfectly working with people’s skin tones, they are all about the whole look. It doesn’t matter if they want to wear the clothes, make the clothes, or take pictures of people in the clothes, they are interested in some element of it. They also work closely with the Style Secret Service, with many designers keeping Astranar’s Fashion Week afloat–and you can imagine that Fashion Week is this profession’s Christmas! Some noted designers and stylists to meet up with are Arabella Threadsnip, Capucine, and even hip-hop artist Hi-Fidelity (supposedly). Head over to Ruby and ask for Ves if the player wants her advice on fashion, whether its her own punk or any of the others in Astranar–after being dorm mates with Lottie, she can handle anything.
This is definitely the hardest of the professions, and for those who are really invested in the lore and world building, so be warned! Archaeologists go everywhere and anywhere to help solve the mysteries of the world. While the player is always going to find the answers they seek to Astranar’s current problems, archaeologists are interested in the past ones and what they did to shape the current Astranar. (A.k.a. this is where Ginny and I get to hide all the Easter eggs, mwuahahah.) There are several explorers throughout Astranar who share this passion for history and exploration, including Trader Trouble who keeps getting himself stuck into odd problems, though at least when he gets really stuck, he pays well for help getting out of it! Sharing this love of history and exploring is Minnie in Sapphire. While the MC may have to deal with everything ending up on her vlog, she’s full of great places to start adventures.
Last but certainly not least is those who are drawn to the culinary arts. From cooks to fine dining to patisseries to bakers, the world needs more people who are willing to cook! Astranar has cuisines from all over the world and secret recipes in both the normal and Mirror World for some seriously good treats. Whatever the player wants to specialize in, there’s bound to be someone who can offer advice. Some of Astranar’s top chefs include Edith Yeast, a slightly-mad food scientist, and Helen Highfoam, who helps everyone learn how to cook. The mentor of cooking is Kitty, because unlike some people *cough*Lottie*cough*Len*cough*Izzy*cough* she remembers to pack her lunch, and she knows all about nutrition and the industry from her grandparents who run a traditional inn back in Japan.
These professions just scratch the surface of the things someone can do (and we have plans for that, but remember, these are the core sub-classes, we can go into prestige classes later), but we hope can help girls realize some of their potential. Some of these professions in reality, like fashion and entertainers and chefs, are very male oriented and its hard to make it in those businesses. But by introducing some of the basic concepts of those professions, the groundwork that goes into following them, we hope we can prepare girls to succeed no matter what direction or obstacles might happen.