#Xan’s Class/Spec Guide!
Hello and welcome to my class and specialization guide!
This guide is intended to help new players decide on a class based on elaborate breakdowns of all of their choices and a list of the most typically viable meta (and slightly off-meta) builds.
That being prefaced, I would like to very clearly state not every build will be listed in this guide. This guide will most definitely miss some viable off-meta builds and truthfully not every meta build is even all that great; I’ll elaborate on that later on.
Also if I do forget some builds from this list you feel should be on here please do leave the build as a reply to this guide and list a few comprehensive reasons why you believe it should make the list and I will review it and add it if I find it to be reasonable.
This guide will also offer you information on when it is and isn’t a good idea to follow the meta (ie. When not to take Peltasta or Cleric2, despite both of them typically being preferred by many players).
Lets get to it shall we!?
I do intend to be as objective based as possible and remove all bias from my class and build analysis for the sake of this guide. That being said, some preference and bias may apply to the information below.
###2. Choosing A Class
###3. The Meta; When To & When Not To
Hello and thanks for your interest in yet another one of my fancy posts!
I don’t normally get personal in my posts or guides but when posting something as major as this I do feel I need to give some background and preface a little, so you guys get an idea of who you’re taking advice from.
Warning! The following may come off as bragging or shenanigans. There’s a good chance most of you don’t care for an “about the author” but for any who might, like I said, I just want to give a bit of background.
I’m 25 years old, and have been playing competitive online video games for over half of my life. I was leading a 40 man raiding guild in WoW and obtaining world rank boss kills when I was 15 years old. Since then I have played countless games, topping charts, leading high ranked guilds, etc. I was also a small time professional gamer for a few years around age 18. I got into the theory and number crunching behind video games around age 20. I enjoy figuring out how to be the absolute best I can be.
Alright! Now for the “Disclaimer” bit.
I realize not everyone is a super try-hard like myself. That’s why this guide is going to try to cover all bases for all types of players. It will go into quite a bit of math and theory at times but will also provide clear reasons why X is better than Y that anyone can understand and agree with.
Another point I would like to give a little disclaimer to is the fact that I realize playstyle and preference do come into play occasionally. At least once or twice during this guide I’m going to say something like “Spirit is useless.” where as that’s true for everyone except some select Cleric builds, someone is bound to get upset at that statement. I realize you like your big pool and your sp regen, but it’s not a mathematically sound decision.
I do not intend to tell anyone how to play. This guide is here for your benefit, use it or not, please don’t bash it, instead give constructive feedback!
#2. Choosing A Class
Choosing what class is right for you can either be the easiest or most difficult part of the game depending on you, the player!
A lot of people tend to gravitate towards one or two classes based on personal preference and playstyle. With there only being four basic choices; Swordsman, for the melee player. Archer, for the ranged player. Wizard, for the Harrys and Hermoines. And Cleric, for the girlfriends. (JK my girlfriend plays a mean Swordsman)
Typically of those four choices people already have a general idea of what they wish to play.
That being said I’m here to offer a little bit more insight on each class.
Now, for specific information on each class you’re going to want to refer to each class section of this guide. This section is primarily for new players.
The Swordsman Class is extremely strong in the beginning of the game, from roughly level 1 to approximately level 100, regardless of gear and spec, at first glance, they feel like the strongest class to a new player.
Despite that, those levels do not last very long and once out of them Swordsman begins to be arguably the most gear-dependant class in the game.
It is believed by a disturbing amount of the population that the Swordsman class is currently not a competitive damage dealing class for lategame content. It is believed they cannot compete whatsoever with the Archer and Wizard class.
Where as I understand where these arguments are coming from, since the Swordsman class has equal parts DPS, Duelist, and Tank trees, it has less options for DPS builds. However, I actually believe Swordsmans are easily capable of competing with Archers and Wizards as long as they’ve got the build and gear to do so.
It is also able to be build extremely well in PvP, due to it’s naturally large health pool, unique utility/control and ability to deal burst damage, whether you go full CON build or none, you’ll still have a relatively large health pool.
The Archer Class is a powerful well-balanced ranged attacker capable of massive single target and AoE damage, some times even in the same build due to the versatility of it’s rank choices.
Similarly to Swordsman the difficulty of the game in general changes greatly based on your gear. Granted I do realize this can be said about all classes, I do believe the physical damage dealers such as Archer and Swordsman do have it the worst as they have 3 stats (Str/Dex/Con) to balance rather than two like Cleric and Wizard.
The Archer Class is currently capable of being the strongest single target damage class in the game. Meanwhile they’re also capable of competing with Swordsman and Wizard classes at potential AoE damage.
Archers have several options when it comes to survivability stats. They have the highest passive Evasion rate of all classes and tend to wear leather, giving them a relatively large edge against incoming physical damage. A well-rounded archer can dodge upwards of 80-85% of incoming physical attacks. Archers also don’t have a hard time acquiring a decent sized health pool. While their base health and CON scaling are significantly lower than the Swordsman class, between putting a minimum of 10-20% of their stats into CON and/or picking one of the mounted classes for the defensive stat bonuses, they can easily obtain an acceptable amount of health.
This being said, archers are naturally weak to incoming magic damage and there’s very litte you can do to counter this. Most archer builds simply approach magic users with a “Kill him before he kills me.” strategy.
The Wizard Class is your standard glass cannon class. While it’s single target damage isn’t typically as strong as an Archer’s, it does have the potential to be nearly as high and tends to destroy most Archer and Swordsman builds in AoE damage, though as mentioned above, is not necessarily always the case.
Wizards are much less gear dependant than Archers and Swordsmen. While they still scale linearly to magic attack and they have a large amount of multi-hit abilities that make great use of high MAtk, not having to balance Attack and Crit, since magic cannot crit, allows them to hit their damage cieling much more easily than the Archer and Swordsman classes.
Due to Wizards natural low health and the relatively poor scaling on the INT stat, as it only gives a single MAtk point, Wizards are faced with the difficult task of balancing INT and CON. Where as yes, INT truly is a bad scaling stat in general, as mentioned above most Wizard specs have a large amount of multi-hit abilities, which benefit a good amount from every single MAtk point you can manage to pick up. However if you do not spend typically 20-50% of your points in CON you will most definitely have survivability issues.
Wizards have the lowest base survivability in the game. They have a minor edge versus magic damage from wearing cloth and a slight MDef increase class passive, they cannot reliable dodge or block or essentially evade damage as reliably as any of the other classes. Wizards absolutely need to balance their offensive and defensive stats or their damage will suffer one way or the other.
On top of competitive single target and AoE damage, Wizards are capable of extremely powerful control and buff/debuff builds that are vital in almost any group.
The Cleric Class is your (fairly) standard healer class. Although some very strong Cleric damage builds are available, and Clerics make one of the absolute best duelist (1v1/2v2 PvP) classes, they are typically always viewed as healers and expected to do the role of healing unless explained or agreed upon prior to joining a group.
Clerics tend to struggle with early levels, some builds more than others, assuming you’re building a Cleric for the sole purpose of healing and supporting groups, the first 100-200 levels may tend to be fairly difficult.
They are also the hardest class to actually define their gear requirements. A full support Cleric tends to be the absolute easiest class to gear and scales very poorly to every stat except SPR and/or CON. Where as other builds actually do hybrid INT and SPR stats to make their build flourish, which does require a good amount of gear and min/maxing. However, to put it simply, gearing a Cleric tends to be very easy and they tend to be the least gear-dependant class in the game.
That being prefaced, Clerics are capable of extreme strength in all senses of the word. They are able to become unkillable tank machines (for the purpose of PvP, they cannot taunt or hold threat), deal great amounts of damage (relative, they’ll likely never be as strong as the other classes can be but make amazing hybrids), and obviously, can dish out insane amounts of healing and give invaluable buffs.
Clerics are a necessity when it comes to PvP and truthfully it feels like you can never have too many of them. Granted yes, without appropriate ranged damage and a bit of a front line you will lose, Clerics are a phenomonal PvP class that is often difficult to counter.
I hope these brief descriptions have helped you in some way on deciding which class appeals to you. Remember, these are somewhat vague descriptions compared to the detail we’ll go into below so I do recommend reading further into the class(es) which interest you.
#3. The Meta; When To & When Not To
So this section could refer to a lot of things. There are a lot of well-known meta builds rolling around that are good for all intents and purposes, however, are not always necessarily the right choice depending on what exactly you hope to do with your character.
For example, Archer2/Quarrel Shooter3/Scout/Musketeer is considered one of the best Archer small-scale-PvP (1v1/2v2/5v5) builds. However, it is just as viable to replace Quarrel Shooter3 with either Ranger3, for Steady Aim for guarenteeing those massive crits, or Hunter3, for the utility and control to stun a player or drag them out of their Safety Zone and pin them there before bursting them down with your Musketeer skills.
Another different type of example would be that Swordsmen are typically expected (by a disturbingly large amount of people, honestly) to have Peltasta1 for the convenience of taunt in leveling groups. Similarly, Clerics are expected to go Cleric2 for the increase of heal tiles in order to heal in groups.
While both of these examples do have some merit to them, not all Swordsmen builds should have Peltasta and not all Cleric builds should have Cleric2. If you’re making a Doppelsouldner for Earth Tower and/or PvP, you may likely decide to not go Peltasta. Similarly a lot of Corsair builds do not take Peltasta either in hopes of future buffs to Gung Ho and/or Concentrate.
Similarly to Swordsmen, not all Cleric builds take Cleric2. If you are making a Hybrid Cleric to be the SECOND cleric in your ET group, or if you’d rather be a front-line Monk, or a single-target Krivis/Sadhu/Druid, you may decide against Cleric2.
Despite this, metas are metas for a reason. Most Cleric builds should have Cleric2. Any Swordsman build does better with Peltasta FOR LEVELING (The obvious problem with this statement being that the game isn’t necessarily about leveling, even though it feels like it some times).
However when it comes to PvP builds, theorycrafting/testing, or simply playing what you think you’ll enjoy, nobody can or should tell you what class(es) to play.
PvP is so broad that almost any spec is good at something so long as the build has some sort of synergy with itself.
If you want to go X build but the public says Y build is better, unless they can give a solid argument as to why it’s better for what you want the character to do, play what you want to play.
Disclaimer: If you wish to make a competitive PvE character (Earth Tower, World Boss, etc.) it is important to make sure your build is built to maximize your dps, or finding a group may be very difficult, however you should still free to play the PvE spec you enjoy most.
*Disclaimer Example: While Fletchers are typically considered the best World Boss spec, you could potentially make a Quarrel Shooter World Boss spec if you enjoy it more, but you still need to ensure your build is somewhat cookie cutter for PvE DPS purposes.
Specific class guides below! Enjoy!