If you have come here from the HELP button in the character creation screen, then please note that the DEFAULT party has a composition that is best placed to learn the game mechanics. If you build your own party and it is your first time playing, I recommend including one rogue and one cleric, as without their lock pick, perception and heal abilities the game can get a fair bit harder. Something people try out for fun later, not something you may want to try too early.
And a bit of creative context: I am fully aware below may occasionally highlight some imbalances, contradictions to other fantasy universes or to historical information. I am fine with that, hope you are, too.
Each class gets rotational extra bonuses on level-up. Basically you get the same bonus at the same level, there is no randomness in how these are given, it just rotates through the list on each level-up. This is kindof a spoiler for those that rather just experience the game as it flows, it is not a requirement to know all of this.
Fighters are versatile, they can proficiently use any weapon type, even ranged. They are easy to play, as most of their power initially comes from attacks, buffs like shoulder and shield bash and ‘harden up’. All these are used by auto tactics as well so he is your primary example of a player you can just have on auto. The choices you will make for him are: 1h+shield vs. 2h melee vs. ranged. And the choice of skill progression. Later, a fighter is the most versatile in terms of career path: you can stay a fighter (lower XP needed to level up), become a warrior, or a knight, or a samurai. They do get the ‘military training’ skill which boosts melee damage, and do NOT get the ‘marksmanship’ skill that archers are experts in, which boosts ranged.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “str”,”hp”,”acc +3″,”dex”,”armor +5″,”tp +2″,”evade +2″.
They benefit from both dex and str depending how you set their focus and equipment.
They prefer brutal melee weapons, so no ranged attacks. And their skills are like their minds: single focus really. All they can think about is to RAGE and bash. Other skills that they happen to get good at are the same buffs as the fighters. They really start to shine when they advance to the berserker class, but can also take a less specialised path to warrior.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “str”,”hp”,”armor +8″,”str”,”resist elem +3″,”str”,”hp”.
They do well with high strength, as it amplifies melee damage and cranks up the STUN effect from blunt weapons.
He is has a mixture of blade and bow proficiency, and a varied set of skills, a ranger always has something to contribute. He starts with almost exclusive, and certainly far advanced, skill proficiency in WEAPON SWAP. Which he can use to replace his bow with his sword, or swap between two of each. Bit worse in melee weapons than a fighter, but better with ranged. He is much better equipped to withstand damage than an archer. He also has very good with monster lore and perception skills, uses sprint and determination to provide tactical advantage in combat. He can stay a ranger, or become a warrior, or become a marksman. He only slowly gains proficiency in the ‘marksmanship’ skill which boosts ranged damage, so is not as good with a bow as an archer.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “dex”,”acc +3″,”tp +2″,”resist elem +3”,”str”,”hp”
An archer thinks ranged weapons are the BOMB! And he literally can use the FLAME ARROWS skill to temporarily throw fire damage enhanced ammunition (arrow, slingshots, bolts: anything ranged). He does try to use the determination skill to become even more deadly, however his true destiny is to try to become a marksman. There is quite a strength requirement inherent in some bows, which is often underestimated. once you have a decent strength though, dexterity becomes an important factor to crank up accuracy and crit hit chance. He benefits fully and quickly from the ‘marksmanship skill which progresses with each level and boosts ranged damage.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “dex”,”acc +4″,”str”,”dex”,”acc +4″,”speed +2″,”crit +2″
A rogue can have many skills that other classes are just not going to be good at or ever have. None of them are critical, but overall he makes the party more versatile. He can open doors and chests, deal critical hits where it counts and some can even teleport through shadows. Most find it very desirable to try and join the assassin’s guild later in their life, which greatly increases their potency. I have it on my long term plan to give rogue and monks a skill to counter-hit when being hit, something that resembles their agility in combat tactics. His skills are unique and versatile: backstab flanked enemies, place a decoy, or poison your weapon.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “evade +4″,”crit +1″,”speed +3″,”tp +2″,”dex”,”crit +1″
Monks are also versatile, being able to develop feasible attack builds (but not to the extent you can survive a fist fight with an ogre. literally), but also being able to do some rudimentary healing and undead banishing. They have a slow but intrinsic ability to develop extra undead damage over their life, and become quicker and more evasive, and holy chant and exorcism skill at low levels is possible. The ‘true’ form of a combat monk is of course the unarmed one. A monk can become a samurai or a priest. I have it on my long term plan to give rogue and monks a skill to counter-hit when being hit, something that resembles their agility in combat tactics.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “dex”,”evade +3″,”vs undead +05″,”tp +2″,”speed +4″
Clerics are devoted to healing, supporting other party members with ‘resist evil’ or holy chant, and occasionally to drive a mace-to-the-face themselves if they dare. But they are NOT designed to take much damage, so best to keep them out of the firing line (unlike clerics in other RPGs, these are squishy folks wearing a robe). It is usually just a first career step to then either become a powerful priest, or follow the confrontational path of the exorcist. With the right staff and a few levels and the ‘righteousness’ feat he can have +300% vs undead and these variants are tempting to be used to get rid of ghost and spectres, as long as you can heal the occasional hit they will suffer.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “vs undead +10″,”sp”,”tp +2″
The mage is very much a straight forward class, you can expect him to be very bad at close combat, unable to use ranged weapons, but very versatile at specialising in various spells. His magic lore skill will allow him to increase spells beyond the level the other starter classes can. He is very focussed on acquiring equipment that boosts his mana further, or insignia that give him access to spells he did not know before. His career path is mostly that of a wizard, although old stories exist about warlocks who also engage in direct combat.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “tp +2″,”sp”
The druid is a bit of everything: no stranger to magic of course, in fact when it comes to elemental spells he is in fact the expert within the start classes. But he can also get quite resistant to elemental damage, wear some armor, and wield melee weapons or a sling. He is not as good as a mage when it comes to the ‘formal’ magic lore approach to advancing spells, he is more the hands on person that learns by doing. He is happy remaining a druid for all his life, but some yearn to become a geomancer, a more aggressive specialist in combat magic.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “tp +2″,”sp”,”resist elem +4″,”tp +2″,”sp”,”tp +1″,”sp”
Those were the starter classes. If you want to make your party as powerful as it can possibly be, then a mix is the best option as these talents compliment each other well and cover your back when you face rare odd monsters with unique abilities. having 3 barbarians and 3 archers sounds like a powerful party until you lack the healing to deal with the odd hit, or face undead. Also don’t underestimate equipment. The benefits a fighter gets from having every item slot accessible is significant. A mage however won’t find a useful hat or armor for much later in the game. Monk is even worse, most helms and belts and armor is not befitting of a monk.
Versatile is what warriors are. Any weapon will do, keeping all stats at a good level is their goal. Unlike knights they may develop strategies to avoid being in a direct melee confrontation. They may find a formidable exotic weapon late in their career and only then decide to specialise on it. Like a fighter before him, his wide access to all types of equipments is a clear advantage, so he should get armor and resistance bonuses from every item slot, which he can also more easily adjust to boost ‘resit fire’ items when fighting dragons, or ‘resist cold’ when tracking down ice demons. He is designed for versatility.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “str”,”hp”,”acc +3″,”dex”,”armor +5″,”tp +3″,”evade +2″
Taking one for the team is pretty much what knights are meant to do, and they are the most proficient when it comes to maximising armor rating and defensive skills, so they are your tank option. But they are not shy to use their strength to swing a mighty 2h weapon around and slay anyone that dares threaten their chosen order. They do favor 2h swords, or 1h sword and a shield, and unlike warriors will not use ranged weapons and dislike axes and hammers.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “tp +2″,”hp”,”armor +5″,”str”
Samurai are very rare, foreign and mysterious. Most are depicted with their superior katana sword, but it should be noted that samurai are actually also masters of the bow. Versatile and devoted, samurai can become a very powerful and specialised warrior type, and have great abilities in unarmed combat as well. But they are rarely found anywhere these days. Their disadvantages are: they don’t use clumsy 2h swords, won’t obey if you try to make them flee from combat, and have some other restrictions on items that they see as too evil or dishonourable.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “hp”,”evade +3″,”speed +3″,”tp +2″,”dex”
Straight forward. That sums up everything a berserker wants to be. Aggressive, sturdy, damage-dealing. Preferably 2h axe or 2h blunt of course. But some also work with 2h sword, or any 1h+shield. Strength in favour of dexterity, strength to boost the damage dealt, strength to allow for greater weapon use. Berserker’s have a special skill that allows them to ignore STUN effects, which comes in handy when confronting minotaurs, golems, dragons and the like. If you want to fist fight and head butt an ogre, try a berserker with 2h hammer and strength of 40.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “str”,”hp”,”armor +8″,”str”,”resist elem +3″,”str”,”hp”
A marksman is as straight forward as a berserker, but almost the opposite direction: a marksman wants to keep his distance. He is a master in ranged weapons and shows unrivalled accuracy, ability to land critical hits and use his determination to make money shots when it counts. Not versatile, just plain and simply deadly from a distance. Every archer wants to become a marksman eventually. The only people that are said to sometimes come close to their ranged proficiency are samurai, but these are rarely seen these days. But a marksman is much faster at getting high proficiency in the ‘marksmanship’ skill which boosts ranged damage.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “dex”,”acc +6″,”str”,”dex”,”acc +6″,”speed +2″
An assassin takes the bit of a rogue that you like (evasive, deadly, no lock can stop him…) and drops the rest. He becomes a master at what the rogue was only moderately good at: shadow shift, nimble, no escape, crit hits, evasion… but he also has special skills like POISON BOOST. A daily skill where he applies a deadly substance. Only lasting a few rounds before it crystalises, but it gives a few attacks the right ‘oomph’ to bring down your enemy.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “evade +5″,”crit +2″,”speed +4″,”tp +2″,”crit +1″,”dex”,”evade +5″,”crit +2″,”speed +4″,”tp +2″,”crit +1″,”hp”
While a cleric can have mixed devotions and ambitions, a priest has reached the conclusion that the best way to serve mankind is via healing and protection. A priest is able to resurrect, and at higher levels even without significant XP penalties. HEAL is his second nature, and HEALING AURA a very powerful area effect version. He can master the latter so well later that the negative dizzy effect is also far less severe. Priests also gain significant vs.undead bonus over time and learn a resurrect spell (for out of combat) that offers a mobile and low XP loss option compared to other means of revival. Priest have the highest proficiency in “divine empowerment’ which is a factor of the deity’s power bestowed upon you, and impacts the healing power.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “vs undead +10″,”sp”,”tp +2″,”sp”
Not all men of faith can sit idle and just watch their friends being attacked by evil and undead creatures. Those that directly fight back, with divine power, spells but also the occasional mace-to-the-face, are following the path of an exorcist. They have decent weapon abilities but most importantly really master the skills and spells needed to kick some undead butt. They are still able to use healing powers so make a formidable companion for any party.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “vs undead +20″,”sp”,”tp +3″,”hp”
A more advanced version of a druid you could say. The druids in the druid cove explain the importance of either, but for those seeking adventure and purpose in a mixed party, becoming a geomancer is really where you want to end up as a druid. More powerful elemental spells is their strength, and they can pack some punch in combat with those. Once you have a geomancer, a pack of rats or ants just disintegrates with a single ‘ball of lightning’ spell.
Level-up rotational bonuses: sp”,”tp +3″
Wizards are studying spells and magic lore to slowly but surely be superior in all things magic. their main strength is the vast amounts of talent points they get to drive those studies. every second level they get an extra 4 (level-up rotational bonuses: “sp”,”tp +4″). They are otherwise not that different to mages, although like any advanced class they take more XP to level than starting classes.
Warlocks feel unhappy with the focus and strict and law-abiding philosophy of wizards or geomancers. They follow a more individual approach that can lead them to study similar spells as them, or a few darker spells others won’t be allowed to use. A warlock gets more health than a wizard, but cannot become an archmage like a wizard can. (level-up rotational bonuses: “sp”,”tp +4″,”hp”,”sp”,”tp +4″). They are still magic users that need to watch their back, but are a bit more capable in combat than the others.
Archmages are the masters of magic. Highest class cap for most (but not all!) spells, as long as those are not priest or geomancer specific. They earn huge amounts of talent points and are avoiding physical combat. (level-up rotational bonuses: “sp”,”tp +5″). They are otherwise not that different to wizards, but they take even more XP to level than other advanced classes.
Which leaves me to my closing comment: there are reasons why you may choose to NOT change a player to an advanced class, main one being the starting classes level up a bit faster.
A bard is a very versatile character. He is not great at anything besides bard specific skills and instrument song powers, however he does retain the skills and spells from his life before the class change. So all the starter classes and their possible focus on certain feats and abilities make for a myriad of possible bard combos. Spellcasting bards, backstabbing bards, ranged weapon bards, druid bards … all possible and worth exploring.
As to the bard itself, he only gains 1 talent point per level so he is no longer interested in training anything much. He does have a very rounded out level up bonus rotation. But most importantly, he can use instruments, who possess mystical powers in the form of songs. There are 16 songs in the game which will appear in the skills section, and instruments usually only grant access to 1-3, maybe 4 at a time. So choose wisely before a fight what songs you want to have. Apart from the basic bard skills, bards CANNOT access mystical songs other than those on the instrument they have equipped.
Another feature of bards is that they perform songs MUCH better when drunk, and they have a skill to get instantly drunk that should be made good use of. However, fighting and casting spells suffers as soon as / while in the drunk state.
Level-up rotational bonuses: “hp”,”speed +2″, “str”,”dex”,”tp +2″,”evade +3″, “sp”
*** Previously stated here, when the AVATAR class was still a theoretical placeholder: ***
You may see the class name AVATAR when you look at what classes can equip an item. There is not avatar class in the game at the moment. I am still playing with the idea behind a virtue-based avatar concept, but it is not currently part of the game and is much more likely to come to life in a sequel.
And here is a graphical overview of the choices: