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  1. Since there's an influx of new posters on the forum after the Backer website going live and this is (ironically) the forum that receives the least information, I have updated my class primer that I posted a few months ago. I was going to do a longer one with the general mechanics as there's some stuff in here that doesn't make sense without the context - such as Melee Engagement. This information is up to date as of 14/12/13. There have been some changes to the Fighter, Chanter and Barbarian classes and some new information about Rangers, Rogues and Druids. Information on class abilities can be found on the wiki. This is a summary of the class roles, mechanics and default playstyle. All classes will be able to be built differently to described here through attribute, skill and talent selection. Fighter The Fighter is Eternity's primary Tank class. They are a melee focused character that will make up the front lines of your party's combat setup. They gain a bonus to Melee accuracy and they have a modal ability called Defensive Mode that sacrifices this bonus for melee defense, it also allows them to engage up to three opponents in melee combat and this is their primary method of protecting your other party members from melee characters. Fighters have a high deflection score and many defensive abilities that make them very hard to take down. They are the only class that gains passive stamina regeneration in combat which can be augmented by an active ability called Surge that increases their stamina regeneration rate for a short amount of time. Fighters are not very good ranged characters, because most of their abilities are melee-oriented. You could sacrifice your alternate weapon slot and open up fights with a ranged weapon such as a pistol or a blunderbuss and then switch to a melee weapon and wade into combat. Rogue Unlike their pre-4E D&D counterparts, Rogues are not a skill-monkey character. They are the primary damage dealing class in Pillars of Eternity. Rogues have the highest single-hit damage potential of all of the classes and they have a lot of ways to qualify for Sneak Attacks which are a passively applied large percentage-based damage bonus. There are no creature type restrictions on Sneak Attack and it's automatically triggered by a lot of different conditions on the target. Additionally, rogues gain more and more ways to cause those conditions. Rogues can be played as a melee character or a short-ranged ranged character (as most of their abilities require them to be close to the target). They are one of the most effective classes with firearms (second to the Ranger). Rogues are fairly paper, but have a high reflex defense and a couple of abilities that help them escape melee engagement. Priest Priests are primarily a ranged caster class. They are closer range casters than Wizards. Unlike wizards, priests have access to their full spell list though it is less extensive than the wizard's. Priests have the only non-self Stamina regen spell(s) so far that we know and they are the go-to class for support style spells though they also have a few crowd-control and single-target strike spells. The party benefits from priests being in close proximity to allies to give them their Sacred Circle passive accuracy bonus, but if there are no allies in range they get it themselves. Priests have a high Psyche(Will) defense that makes them harder to hit with Mental attacks such as charm and confusion. Wizard Wizards are primarily a ranged caster class. They are the go-to class for dealing ranged AoE damage. Wizards cast spells through the use of a Grimoire, which is a heavy tome that they carry in their off-hand in combat. Wizards can only cast spells from their currently equipped Grimoire. Grimoires currently hold four spells per spell-level. Wizards can swap Grimoires in combat, but have to wait until they align themselves to the new one before they can cast spells from it (essentially a short-medium cooldown). Wizards gain an accuracy bonus from using implements (rods and wands) which are long-range, low-damage weapons. Wizards wand/rod attacks do damage in a small AoE around the target. Wizards gain access to a small list of spells upon level up and find the rest in the world. Like the Priest they also have a high Psyche(Will) defense. Monk Monks are Eternity's other Tank class. The mechanic that makes Monks a tank and sets them apart from other characters is they have a mana-like resource called "Wounds" that can only be filled by taking damage in combat. A portion of that damage fills up the Wounds resource that powers their class abilities which are primarily status-effect based. Monks have to spend Wounds to prevent the damage that they initially resisted, otherwise it is applied as a ticking DoT effect. While under DoT effects Monks gain a passive fire-damage bonus to their attacks. Monks benefit from being unarmed and unarmored. They deal special unarmed damage and need to take damage to power their abilities. Being unarmored means they take damage faster and attack faster. However like all characters, monks can wear armor and all of their status effects are applied to all weapons, so they can be built to wear armor and wield any melee weapon. The Monk, like the fighter is not really a ranged class, since they need to take damage to fuel their abilities and some of their attacks do not work with ranged weapons. There is a class update on monks . Cipher Ciphers are similar to the Soulblade class in D&D. They have a resource that is the inverse of the Monk's, and is generated by dealing damage using the Soul Whip modal ability which deals reduced damage but lowers the Psyche(Will) defense of the target. Ciphers can use both melee and ranged weapons to generate power. They spend their power on Powers (essentially spells) that include range of status effects, telekinesis, mind-influencing effects and temporary ability draining powers. Ciphers are the third highest damage dealing class by nature (behind the Rogue and Ranger) and have a high natural Psyche(Will) defense. There is a class update on ciphers. Paladin Paladins are a support character that are used most efficiently when positioned near allies as their primary mechanic revolves around the use of passive short-range modal auras that give different benefits (such as bonus to accuracy, or attack speed) to party members in close proximity. Paladins have naturally high defenses, powerful single-target buffs and an ability similar to Smite. Paladins can also revive a downed party member in combat and give them a temporary stamina boost through the use of Reviving Exhortation. Theoretically, Paladins are a useful melee or ranged character as long as they are positioned near the bulk of your party members. There is a class update on paladins. Ranger (There is not much information available on this class at present) Unsurprisingly, Rangers are the most effective ranged weapon users in the game. They are a high damage dealing class that can mark a favored enemy once per encounter to receive a damage bonus (and maybe an accuracy bonus?) vs. that opponent for the duration of the encounter. Rangers have an animal companion that shares the Health and Stamina pool of the Ranger. Animal Companions are very durable and have a variety of uses such as engaging opponents that try to slip to the back to attack the Ranger. The bond between the Ranger and the Animal Companion is terminal and they will both be knocked unconscious if they lose all their stamina and suffer the same fate of being maimed or dying if they lose all their health. Druid (There is not much information available on this class at present) Druids are primarily a ranged caster class. Their spellcasting takes the same form as the Priest and they are the best class for AoE crowd-control. The main class feature of the Druid is the ability to shapechange into anthropomorphic animal forms, more like lycanthropes in appearance. This is a limited use ability that gives them special powers and gnarly claw attacks based on the creature type. They can cast spells while in this form, but not use weapons. Druids are likely best played using a ranged weapon such as a Longbow, staying at the back flinging spells. Their Beast form and their Firebrand spell (flaming sword that attacks Reflex) gives them some limited-use melee power. Though they will probably have Talents to augment their shapeshifting and melee capability. Barbarian (There is not much information on this class at present) Barbarians are melee-based AoE damage dealers. They have a passive ability that gives small AoE damage to their melee attacks. Barbarians take less Health damage than other classes and are more durable across the adventuring day. They have a Wild Sprint ability that allows them to charge across the battlefield ignoring impediments and an attack that targets Fortitude instead of Deflection. Recent information on them is conflicting. Past statements say they are good at dealing with creeps/scrubs but have bad Deflection and will suffer vs stronger enemies. The most recent statement says they have good personal defense. It is possible that the Barbarian concept is developing over time as previously they sounded like a weak class. Look forward to a class update on them in the future. Chanter (There is not much information available on this class at present) Chanters are supposed to be pretty versatile, they can be melee or ranged, have good accuracy, average defenses and they chant while fighting to give buffs to the party or debuffs to enemies. These chants are made up of 'phrases'. Chanters learn phrases on level up and can learn more in the game world. Chants have a large aura range compared to the Paladin. After a Chant reaches a certain amount of 'ticks', Chanters can unleash an 'invocation' which is a powerful spell. Invocations cannot be used at the start of a fight. Disclaimer: Some of this information is assumed, some of it is based on old information. If there are any discrepancies I'm sure the developers will chime in to correct me.
  2. I originally posted this over at the RPGCodex for a few of the newcomers to the P:E mega-thread over there, but I've noticed a lot of class related questions around the place, so here's a quick primer based on the current information: (Some of this may be wrong/out of date, but I'm sure if it is, I will be corrected) Every class will be good in combat. Josh Sawyer wants to remove as many traps in character creation as he can because he hates it when players stop playing games because they made a bad choice. He also wants as many builds and party combinations to be viable as possible. The classes are being designed as role-ready, which appears a little bit pigeonholed on paper compared to D&D 3E, but we'll have to see how we go. If you play characters out of role, they will be more inefficient filling a role that another class is best at (75% - 90% efficacy roughly) and depending on the game difficulty level you may run into trouble, but it should be viable to do it at least some of the time. From the way Josh Sawyer has been describing it, classes have natural counter-classes as well. Rogues and Rangers are the damage dealing classes. Rogues have the best single target single-hit damage of all of the classes, Rangers have very high DPS (particularly against their per-encounter favored enemy). These characters will probably not hold up well to being beat on though, a Fighter's sticky abilities counter a Rogue. The Ranger shares health pool with it's animal companion. We do not know if you get bonus health/stamina from this link, but a Ranger also has to be careful that their animal companion doesn't get trapped ... kind of like Lone Druid in DotA 2 except a lot more terminal. Barbarians will be good at dealing with trash mobs and squishies. Barbarians will be tough as well and can take a lot of hits from average enemies, but they will probably suffer if targeted by high DPS characters because their deflection sucks and they are 'peaky' characters. Fighters and Monks are the characters you want out in the front being the tanks, soaking up the DPS. Fighters have high Deflection and can hold people to them with their class abilities, Monks want to take damage to power their status effects which you can use to hold people back from your squishies. The original Fighter description in the very first class update read that "And while fighters are often thought of as being primarily melee-based, they can specialize in a variety of weapons, including bows, crossbows, and even firearms.". In a recent statement Sawyer said that using a Fighter as a ranged character is playing against type because most of their abilities are melee based. You could still probably specialize in a Ranged weapon but you'd never get the chance to use half the class abilities. You can probably build a Fighter as a non-tank and play one like a Ranger or a Rogue, but you'll be doing it at 70-80% efficiency compared to the class that fills that role. Wizards are designed to be versatile spell casters. Their spells will probably let them do everything, but their Grimoire limits the array of spells they have access to per encounter, so rather than having a spell for everything available in an encounter you have to pick your spells correctly. Sawyer has also said that while Wizards are versatile their spells will never be as effective as another classes ability if they are similar. Paladins are good when positioned near allies. They will never be able to 1v1 a high DPS class and win, but if you stick them in melee near your Fighters/Monks etc their short range auras will benefit them, and likewise if you set them up with a Bow or an Arquebus and stick them near the Rangers and Wizards, and use the short range auras to buff their attack speed or accuracy etc. Chanters are supposed to be pretty versatile, they can be melee or ranged, have good accuracy and average defenses and they chant while fighting to give status effects to the party and/or themselves. The Chants have a large aura range compared to the Paladin. After a certain amount of ticks, the Chanter can unleash a (usually offensive) roar, which probably has to be close range to either damage/stun/slow etc a group of enemies. Chanters look like they'll be one of those classes that can 'fill' any role with a varying degree of efficacy loss. For example: You could tank with a Chanter, it would be less efficient than using a Fighter or a Monk, but better than using a Rogue, Ranger, Cipher or Wizard. They might have an aura that makes them more 'tanky' and they might have a Roar that does an AoE cone stun, but they will never be as good as a Fighter or a Monk and if you use a Chanter as the tank they will run out of Health over an adventuring day faster than a Fighter or a Monk would and they wouldn't be able to last as long in an Encounter if being beat on by tough guys. You know about Ciphers from the latest update. Priests and Druids are primarily spell caster classes and have access to all of their spells rather than relying on a Grimoire, but their spell list is not as extensive as the Wizard. One could assume that you can build a melee or ranged Cleric or Druid but according to recent information they might be most optimally played as a ranged/reserve melee character. Druids have the limited ability shapechange into "anthropomorphic animal forms, more like lycanthropes in appearance". You can cast spells while in your animorph form but you can't hold weapons. You could have a Longbow Druid, shapechange into a Man-Bear and then wade into melee with Claws. Priests have the only non-self Stamina regen spell(s) so far that we know. Priests also benefit from being in close proximity to allies to give them their Sacred Circle passive accuracy bonus, but if they aren't they get it themselves. Josh Sawyer stated today that "(PE) priests have shifted away from the original concept of them being melee/caster hybrids. They are closer-range casters than wizards, but they aren't particularly strong in melee (paladins take on the role of close-combat support). Their spells are designed to be on par with wizards' in overall power, but they have a different flavor and trend differently. E.g., wizards have some nice personal buffs but virtually no area buffs. Priests have a few personal buffs, but have a lot of huge AoE buffs." The class 'role' design overall sounds pretty robust, it just plays against a few of the traditional archetypes that some of us are used to. For me the Paladin and the Barbarian are in the frey, toe to toe with the biggest monsters just as much as the Fighter is. Wizards are also nerfed quite a bit. Ciphers are more "Soulblade" oriented than the well known "Psion" class.
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