Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Returning to WAR: Careers

With a lot of players returning to Warhammer Online, I often see questions about how class X is doing or should they re-roll class Y.  It's a fair question to ask, so in this series I will go over some of the important changes WAR has seen. 

Class balance is a tricky area since so much of it is influenced by the players perception and it is constantly changing.  In this post, I hope to give a general feel of how each class is doing.  In my opinion, you should play what class you find fun rather than which ever happens to performing well due to balance changes.

If you're interested in trying out WAR check out the Endless trial and free client.  Returning players can reactivate their character for 10 free days as well!  The dates are a bit off, but the deal should still be going on. 

Bright Wizard and Sorcerer.  They are still the best classes when it comes to ranged DPS.  Even with nerfs they still put out the big numbers.

Slayer and Choppa.  Introduced in Bitter Rivals, these classes are currently the best melee DPS.  It doesn't come without a cost, the more angry they get, the higher the damage they take.  You will die a lot, but you will also put a hurtin' on your enemies.

Knight of the Blazing Sun and Chosen.  The KotBS and Chosen are considered the top tanks, especially in RvR.  Their powerful AoE auras make them valuable to any team.  They are also quite good in PvE too.  You will see many a Chosen or Knight solo farming in the Land of the Dead.

Ironbreaker and Blackguard.  The IB is considered to be an excellent tank, both in RvR and PvE.  You  can do good damage when wielding a 2 hand weapon or a shield.   With your Oathfriend mechanic and morales, you are a good addition to groups as well.

The Blackguard is not a very popular class.  The lack some of the utility of their mirror but are still an effective PvE and RvR tank.  In fact, I have played against some seemingly invincible BG's so it is possible to do well.

Swordmaster and Black Orc.  You don't hear too much about these classes when players complain about balance.  Part of their lack of popularity is due to the class mechanic.  The staged abilities end up giving the player less options than a Chosen or Knight.  They are still good tanks, but when compared to their peers there is a feeling of inferiority.

Engineer and Magus.  I'm biased as I really like my Engineer and find him a blast to play.  Both classes do have some issues though.  When compared to a BW or Sorc our damage is considerably less and our utility is not much greater.  We do have some fun tools and there are several ways to play.

While the Magus and Engineer are similar, the former has a few disadvantages.  First, their auto-attack is melee.  Second, they lack some of the nice Engineer morale abilities like Unshakable Focus and Cannon Smash.

Rune Priest and Zealot.  Both healers generally considered to be under-performing when compared to its peers.  In 1.3.5 they will be receiving some buffs, so that may change.  The RP and Zealot are very good mobile healers.  As you probably know, mobility is a very important part of staying alive in PvP.

Shadow Warrior and Marauder.  One common complaint with the SW/Mara is their stance career mechanic.  Certain abilities are only available when in a certain stance/mutation.  This has the effect of limiting their toolset.  The Shadow Warrior is rather unpopular right now due to low utility.  They can do some very nice spike damage (upwards of 4k) but it requires a bunch of cooldowns.

Marauders are doing pretty well since the 1.3.2 patch which fixed Action Point issues.  They have several tools that let them drain/deny their enemy of AP.  They also have a nice pull, Terrible Embrace, which can be very useful for RvR.  

Warrior Priest and Disciple of Khaine.  Both of these classes are very popular due to their hybrid nature.  They can heal very well and do decent damage.  You will find them in a lot of groups for PvP and PvP. They have very high survivability as well.

Archmage and Shaman.  A few patches ago, these classes received some attention.  While they may not have the survivability as a WP and DoK, they can be spec'd as excellent healers or DPS. 

White Lion and Squiq Herder.  The White Lion has waned in popularity recently.  This is partly due to Action Point issues and lack of survivability.  They are generally considered to be on the lower tier of melee dps in RvR.  They do excel in PvE as pet classes usually do.  They did receive some improvements in 1.3.4 that have helped WL's compete.

The Squig Herder is a potent ranged DPS class.  They may not do as much damage as BW's and Sorcs, but they cannot be ignored.  They have nice tools like Unshakable Focus and a ranged healing debuff.  Their pets are mobile and can harass casters quite a bit.  The SH is also a master kiter.

Witch Hunter and Witch Elf.  The WH is considered to be in good shape as a melee DPS.  They can put out a lot of damage with their finishers like Burn Away Lies (some consider this to be too high at this time).  the fact they have some ranged abilities makes them even more dangerous.

The Witch Elf has had a rough time lately.  For much of the games beginning, they were extremely powerful.  In recent patches, they have been brought down quite a bit.  They can still put out quite a bit of damage, but it seems to be less than the WH.  Lack of survivability is also a common concern of WE players.