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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(Some of this may be wrong/out of date, but I'm sure if it is, I will be corrected)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.

Edited by Sensuki
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I have to wonder whether rogues are a better damage dealing class than fighters. The high damage from rogues sounds like it is based on special attacks, rather than being relatively consistent like a fighter. On average then, fighters may be the better overall damage dealing class, whereas rogues may be better in brief encounters such as an ambush. It's hard to tell though until we actually get the game.

Edited by rjshae

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Surely there will be different ways to play your classes? If that's the only way I can effectively play my favourite class I'm not sure if I'm interested.

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Useful list, thanks, though as I've said before, 'all classes all roles' and preventing failure trouble me greatly.

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I thought I'd read that monks aren't tanks per se, even though they power their abilities with wounds.

You want your Monk to be out the front taking hits. As they take hits, they only take a portion of damage immediately while the rest is converted to the Wounds resource. This enables them to use their class abilities - Trancendent Suffering is automatically turned on when Wounds is active and applies fire damage to the Monk's fists.

 

That's what makes a Monk tanky - in that they can shrug off a portion of incoming damage to power their abilities, but if Wounds are not spent then it will turn into damage.

 

If you aren't taking damage as a Monk you won't have any Wounds to use your special abilitites.

 

I have to wonder whether rogues are a better damage dealing class than fighters.

According to Josh Sawyer they are. Most of the anecdotes are over at Something Awful though, but Gamebanshee's Project Eternity social round-ups catches some of the quotes usually.

 

Rogues and Rangers were higher DPS classes than the Fighter in 4th edition as well.

 

Surely there will be different ways to play your classes? If that's the only way I can effectively play my favourite class I'm not sure if I'm interested.

Sure. This guide here only displays the 'optimal' way they are played based on textual information. Players will uncover new ways to usefully play classes through playing the game, and as Josh Sawyer has said, you can play classes out of their 'role' but with an efficacy loss of between 10-25%. On lower difficulties, this will not matter too much but on higher difficulties (Hard, Hardest, Path of the Damned) you may need to play your party 'optimally' to beat encounters.

 

What is your favourite class?

Edited by Sensuki
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Rogue, and I want to use her as a stun-lock debuffer. Not as a ****ing DPS.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Rogue, and I want to use her as a stun-lock debuffer. Not as a ****ing DPS.

I'm sure you'll be able to do that, you'll just have to buy talents to augment it probably.

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I'm giving my Rogue daggers, my Paladin the largest shield I can find, my Fighter a god damn 2-hander, and all my casters robes and wizard hats.

 

Gotta stereotype  :geek:

Edited by mstark
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Great summary, mate :w00t:

 

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.

 

Again, use of monks in fantasy makes me chuckle. I know that there was an update about them already, but still - come on! Monk-tank! Seriously? How was that even brought upon consideration? What, are they gonna pray their foes to death? Maybe teach them a lesson of kung-phooee?

 

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Edited by Messier-31

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It's the same as barbarian as a class. A lot of this stuff has been talked about already. It comes down to the fact that players don't like too much change from the original recipe and that the creators of D&D didn't know what the hell they were doing.

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I'm a bit concerned about the Barbarian's role. Being good at AOEing trash mobs from melee seems like quite the underwhelming niche, considering we'll have spells which will arguably be more efficient at that job coming from long range and fired earlier in the encounter. Not to mention, there will probably be fights that don't have ample trash and trash mobs in general are scrubs and most likely won't even be a true threat to a prepared party.

 

From what I've read, Monks will be the toughest class to run from (according Jsawyer) and do more damage from taking damage which sounds like it should be a Barb feature. Fighters will be the quintessential tank while Rogues/Rangers will have much better single target DPS. The Barb just sounds a bit underwhelming from what we know and I'm not quite sure what real advantage they will bring to table to justify taking them over another class when building a party (besides roleplaying).  

Edited by PIP-Clownboy
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I'm a bit concerned about the Barbarian's role. Being good at AOEing trash mobs from melee seems like quite the underwhelming niche, considering we'll have spells which will arguably be more efficient at that job coming from long range and fired earlier in the encounter. Not to mention, there will probably be fights that don't have ample trash and trash mobs in general are scrubs and most likely won't even be a true threat to a prepared party.

 

...The Barb just sounds a bit underwhelming from what we know and I'm not quite sure what real advantage they will bring to table to justify taking them over another class when building a party (besides roleplaying).

Yeah I was a bit surprised about this distinction as well.

 

The Barbarian still seems like a good tanky class, but will require a moderate amount of micro-management. They'll want to avoid getting hit by the high damage classes like Rogues and Rangers or creatures as much as possible. If you aim or angle your attacks correctly (I'm not exactly sure how Carnage works, whether it is a cone or arc or whatever) you can apply a moderate damage hit to one creature and several lower damage hits to nearby creatures. Theoretically, using the Barbarian's burstiness and fast weapon(s) you could provide 6 full hits to one character and the equivalent of 1 or 2 full hits to nearby characters. So you are still providing a strong total damage output, just not to the same unit.

 

Another possible use I can see for Barbarians is to drop casters. You'd have to be careful of Fighters and Traps (don't want to get snagged by a Disengagement attack) but you could use a Barbarian's wild sprint to rush through the frey to a caster at the back, turn on their Frenzy ability and start whacking away.

 

Here is some older Barbarian info from Sawyer

 

April 27 2013

Several barbarian abilities are effective for a certain amount of time rather than a certain number of attacks, which encourages faster attacks -- both from the choice of weapon and from a lower armor speed penalty.

 

July 2 2013

Both the fighter and barbarian have good long-term Health potential. The fighter's comes from high Deflection and his/her Defender mode. The barbarian has poor Deflection but Thick-Skinned (better Health conversion) and his/her Frenzy can bump Stamina.

The Barbarian concept in January 2013:

PE, like IWD2, will often feature encounters that do not have numerical parity between party members and enemies, and melee enemies may often mob on a single target. In such circumstances, a theoretical 30% speed advantage (between heaviest armor and no armor) will likely not outweigh the increase in damage received. PE paladins have class abilities that are oriented toward dealing melee damage to small groups at close range but they are the exception. The barbarian in light/no armor is best suited to going toe-to-toe against individual enemies with high health and high hit damage. Once enemy damage gets high enough, the damage reduction afforded by armor becomes a small percentage (as it often was by deathclaws in F:NV).

 

By May 2013 this had changed:

We switched our initial concepts of the paladin and barbarian a bit. Barbarians are really great against groups of enemies because their passive Carnage ability gives them automatic, lower-damage attacks against enemies near their primary target. They also have abilities that give them short-duration bonuses when they down an enemy, so it's better for them to pound mobs into the dust than to try to stand their ground against a single, powerful foe.

 

Barbarians focus on damage to groups (essentially melee AoE), monks convert incoming damage into status effects, and fighters are defenders/line-holders (kind of like 4E earthstrength wardens). None of those classes have the single-target damage potential of rogues or rangers, but they're all better at dealing with groups and they can all take hits better and for longer.

Edited by Sensuki
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It's the same as barbarian as a class. A lot of this stuff has been talked about already. It comes down to the fact that players don't like too much change from the original recipe and that the creators of D&D didn't know what the hell they were doing.

Well, it's OE's phault to a point. They could have changed the classes completely like Cipher and chanter, not naming them after D&D. **** Rogue, call him Assassin. Knight or warrior intead of Fighter. Shaman  instead of Druid etc.

If they wanted to change the mechanics to resemle something of a MOBA, they should have shred the D&D conection entirely. D&D was quasi-simulationist, and that is people assosiate with these names. Sawyer's philoshophy doesn't agree with that.

 

Long post short, the classes are the problem and not their design.

Edited by Malekith
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Knight and Warrior I wouldn't use for Eternity's Fighter, they both speak of being skilled with weapons and warfare as Knights and Warriors were, whereas the Fighters preferred role is to soak up damage and hold. Personally i'd use Shieldbearer, Guardian or Defender for the meatshield.

 

Assassin sounds perfect, or perhaps swordmaster/blademaster?

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Knight and Warrior I wouldn't use for Eternity's Fighter, they both speak of being skilled with weapons and warfare as Knights and Warriors were, whereas the Fighters preferred role is to soak up damage and hold. Personally i'd use Shieldbearer, Guardian or Defender for the meatshield.

 

Assassin sounds perfect, or perhaps swordmaster/blademaster?

Well, knights generally were the ones that were heavily armored with shields, and the peasands with pitchforks couldn't penetrate them. It describes PE fighters to a T. Guardian is also a good one. The point is classes should have names that describe their role in combat. As it is some names are nonsensical, like rogue for example. Plus, they come with heavy baggage from D&D use. No one would complain if the assassin or blademaster class was dps class, yet everyone was sceptical with rogue being the same.

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I agree totally, the terminology is the problem, though I would say Knights were just as famous for breaking lines and performing as shock troops rather than holding the line. I suppose Soldier or Legionnary would also be a good description of the Fighter.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I have to wonder whether rogues are a better damage dealing class than fighters.

According to Josh Sawyer they are. Most of the anecdotes are over at Something Awful though, but Gamebanshee's Project Eternity social round-ups catches some of the quotes usually.

 

What I've read from Josh says rogues are better at "spike damage". High level rogues in D&D were better too, assuming they got a backstab.

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What I've read from Josh says rogues are better at "spike damage". High level rogues in D&D were better too, assuming they got a backstab.

 

 

There's some confusion WRT the rogue's "spike damage." What does this mean exactly? Some think you mean burst damage as opposed to spike damage. Can you please clarify for the noobs?

I think in close to all cases where I've written "spike damage", I've used it as a verb. A rogue can spike his or her damage output, i.e. dramatically increase it for a short duration. Rogues have a few Abilities for doing this, the most notable of which does increasingly more damage based on how low the target's current Stamina is.

 

PE rogues work best when they are using melee or missile weapons at close range, but they can use any "style". No matter what weapons they use, they do a lot of damage, crit more than other characters given the same Accuracy, and have Abilities to immediately spike damage if the circumstances are right. If you really want to do a ton of damage in one hit, a two-handed weapon like a pollaxe, estoc, or morning star is the way to go. If you want to do a bit more damage over time and have a more regular damage output, dual-wielding is the way to do it. If you find yourself in a situation where you're getting subjected to a lot of melee attacks, by all means, equip a shield.

The use of rogues is encouraged because against any target with a moderate or low Deflection, rogues make heads get flown (highest single-target, single-hit damage and bonuses to crit). Fighters and monks should be good counters to rogues. Fighters are a good counter because their Deflection tends to be high, they auto-regenerate Stamina, and they have built-in defenses against crits. Monks are a good counter because they use Wounds to power their special abilities and a lot of their special abilities pump out status effects that can sucker punch a rogue's weaker defenses (like Psyche). Monks also have an increased movement rate, so if a rogue uses Escape to hop away, a determined monk can catch up quickly.

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