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Introduction:

 

The "tier" classification is from DnD Min/Max forums.

 

Most classes are great after level 5 and gear choices from Defiance Bay, which also happens to coincide with much of Act 1.  Which I think gives the first part of the game an inflated difficulty if you're not sure what you are facing or similar.

 

Due to this, I ranked the classes for Act 1 (Hard difficulty) in the following manner.

 

Tier 1:  These classes can deal with all kinds of threats, not care about resources, or the resources they do have are game changers.

 

Cipher, Wizard, Priest.

 

Cipher (Use a spell every encounter, even for trash mobs and have a 40% dmg increase is amazing)

-Even with reduced focus, their powers (spells) are great.  They can deal decent damage with weapons when focus is out, but the start of combat where setup is key, options like Tenuous Grasp and Mental Binding give them a very effective way to turn the tide of battle.

 

Wizard (Arcane assault spam and spells that game change)

-Arcane Assault deals RAW damage which bypasses Damage Reduction completely.  In Act 1, its all about the alpha strike or set up as gear choices are bad.  This means among other things they have the best weapon via the 1st lvl Parasitic Staff and a max MIG wizard will deal crazy/chunky/fast damage with it from the 2nd row safely.  Additionally, hitting Arcane Veil in tough fights means monsters will drop their agro right away from them due to how they target the "lowest" deflection, or they'll start to miss more.

-They can also cast game changing spells like Slicken, Chill fog, and Bewildering Spectacle.  They also get more synergy as they're added on.  Not many monsters survive 4x (6x, or 8x) arcane assault spam done in roughly 3 seconds from proper wizards assuming you go for 2+ of them.  Not to mention, the Slicken + Chill fog setup is really easy to do then.

 


Priest (Lower end of Tier 1, they have support spells that do game change for the group but not as much damage)

-I debated putting them in Tier 2 as a lot of their spells are great for setup, and buffs are always welcome.  They have a nice per encounter +accuracy or even better, a per encounter weaken effect which is a super strong debuff.  The only thing is, they don't get multiplicative benefits like the Cipher or Wizard above as only the highest debuff applies.

 


 

Tier 2:  While not as versatile as Tier 1, they do their job really well and have some cool spamming abilities or similar that can turn the tide in your favor.

 

Moon Godlike Monk, Moon Godlike Darcozzi Paladini, Rogue, Druid.

 


Moon Godlike Darcozzi Paladini with Fires Talent at lvl 2 (they get retaliation ridiculously early and target REFLEX with it so the act 1 shades are easy with them.).  

-You can get 3 to 4 ranks of your Faith/Conviction (make this your main PC to get these) during Act 1 easy enough, which equates to +8 saves.  Additionally, they can use Outworn buckler which gives themselves and the party another +5.  Self healing, tanky, and having retaliation that actually matters via Vulnerable attack talent means they are much stronger than any of their lvl 5 or less counterparts....  Sadly, this doesn't hold true after act 1 as other classes get better gear, or abilities.  [WARNING:  This class goes to Tier 3 or 4 easily unless you count solo play due to almost every other class bringing more later on].


 

Moon Godlike Monk (Torment's reach with Moon God-like means free healing and wounds to power them.)

-People like the other races, and I won't say they're wrong but Moon felt good in the early game and as always, let's you dump CON for more points elsewhere.  Triple synergy as they take damage = wounds = healing for the group = more damage they deal via Torment's reach.  

 

Rogue (alpha strike is still handy to take down one mob.  They can enable their own sneak attacks if needed via crippling to take down another or two.)

-Killing or whittling down a monster quickly is a good thing.  Rogues do it consistently from ranged and much riskier/better in melee. 

 

Druid (spiritshift, despite the accuracy issues is a decent resource and they can game change via spells)  

-Still a caster, and without access to the +uses of spells later available to the wizards/priests via rings, they have spiritshift to rely on.  The most annoying thing though?  Melee is dangerous, and kinda clunky, which is why they're not in Tier 1 despite all the goodies they provide.

 

 

Tier 3:  They're good at their task, and though don't have game changing mechanics like the Tier 1 or Tier 2 classes, they're 'good' enough.

 

Barbarian, Ranger, Fighter, Chanter

 

Barbarian (Frenzy is amazing along with Carnage, they just take a little bit to mature and Fire God-like + retaliation isn't available early).

-Fire Godlike synergy isn't really viable until 5+ because of 2 things.  1) The retaliation damage is piddling 2) Carnage accuracy is still pretty bad.  Not to mention the usual gear choices.  Its why the moon monk is so much better in the early game because they can provide healing, but a moon barbarian lacks that synergy from wounds to wanna tank.

 

Ranger (They could be Tier 2 if not for the bugs, ranger's grief, and similar issues plaguing them.  The bear tank does provide a great off tank for a single or 2 targets with resilient companion though, so I view them as versatile, just not 'great' until they get all their talents they want as build choices force them behind a rogue until 5+).

-I'll also add that frighten available as a per encounter is pretty handy via Lion, and the increased run speed it has an animal companion can be useful for a pull/setup/tank/spank strategy.  This said, with a proper front line it only prolonged battles which is a shame because on paper having a Frighten, 3 to 4 engagement slots due to pet having 2, and ranger have 1 to 2 via talents was cool...But again, engagement isn't that important in this game as some have noticed, and its more about positioning or choke points.

[WARNING:  This class will go to Tier 4 easily without pet micro due to the grief mechanics.]

 

Fighter (Limited experience maining this one, from what I saw of Eder they could last forever but didn't have game changing mechanics).

-While its easiest to have 1 main tank, and 1 off tank, and then 4 dps, I always debated how useful Eder was as a tank.  Typically for hard fights, food or potions were available, and dps/CC was more the name of the game.  The tough fights involved teleporters like shades or bad setups like being surrounded.  This said, fighters just self healing when beat on is also mimicked by the Moon race, so my bias was always there that I could go 2 moon tanks of different classes and be fine.

 

Chanter (Only placed down here due to their slow ramp up, overall, they are effective once the 18+ seconds are up.)

-Sometimes, battles drag out because you're not sure of what you're doing in Act 1.  Chanters are good when that happens.  Of course, they're bad when you finish every fight within 21 seconds or less as 18 seconds + 2 second cast time + 1 second to actually use something/hits on screen made it kinda iffy.  All this goes out the window if you use multiple chanters with Come Come Swift though as tanks...  They just melt through with multiple stacking Damage unaffected by might.... though again, slow play.

 

Tier 4:  The job they have, they can be okay at with extreme optimization but most classes do it better or easier.  In a bigger meta sense, why take them over the other classes?

 

All others not mentioned.  Paladins are weird, have stacking bugs, etc, so outside of the early retaliation, its hard to recommend them for me.  Similarly, a non-moon Monk tends to go down a tier during the early game, but will get to the 2nd tier in the late game due to reactive healing not being as necessary (either your priest does it or you have draining items).

 

Races and Tiers:

 

Some races will give a tier modifier to certain classes.  Wood elf is good for a ranged character of any sort.  While Island Aumua is great for the quick switch ranger using guns for example in very specific builds.  Moon Godlike let's you dump CON on just about any class.  Pale elf is also good for the +Freeze DR vs Shade attacks, letting them tank without Bulwark or Fires as well.

 

That said no race will bump a class up a tier in Act 1 easily, though wood elf/moon godlike comes pretty close, and Island Aumua is build specific and needs Act 2+ items.

 

PotD and Tiers:

 

There's actually not too much adjustment to me for PotD as things are more about previous knowledge, and where to go to get "good" for a class I noticed (or bypassing fights via stealth).  Some people like the prolonged nature of the fights and inflated stats to actually need to wear armor, use food, traps, etc, but it usually became some weird corner game for tough fights so I guess its more like everyone should be a tank and make at least 3 tanks in a group or similar as effects don't land nearly as well, and fights take longer.  

 

Fighter and Chanter go up a tier because longer fights = better for them.  Fighter in particularly is very handy due to constant recovery, and chanter loves the longer fights.

 

Cipher borderlines Tier 2.  They do need to drink potions and eat food like everyone else, but they do have 5 more accuracy for their spell effects landing which is nice, but CC and spell effects in general are harder to use due to duration issues I noticed, and focus gain being much tougher.

 

Wizard doesn't fall too far behind because the Parastic staff is a +8 accuracy weapon and hits like a truck with the speed of a truck (so its like they have 28 acc vs 34 of even the best fighters with fine weapons) and lasts for a minute plus.  And they still can target weak saves if needed, mostly reflex, and need to prep via potions or food just like everyone else.

 

Priest provides nice synergy for accuracy issues as well as defense ones as usual.  They can even use the seal traps with better accuracy via mechanics so don't move a tier.  In fact they probably provide the most reliable CC at the beginning parts of the game due to this, but need prep and previous game knowledge to keep this status.

 

Rangers go up a tier oddly.  The bear pet is decent enough in the early game with good micro, as PotD is all about micro I noticed so can provide a good off-offtank in corridors or similar.  They also have decent deflection and high accuracy via Vicious aim which is key. 

 

Rogue goes down a tier.  They have to deal with deflection all the time, and despite reckless assault I just have a tough time managing them with everything else going on, or just annoyed they miss still.  Again, they're effective, not game changing for Act 1.

 

Everyone else remains the same, assuming they get a bit tankier, and similar stuff.

 

Conclusion:

 

After level 5 all classes get more powerful, or their game changing skills, or resources via potions and similar are readily available to anyone.  Basically, the game becomes easier for any class or party setup.  Finally, this is all my opinion after having played most of the classes through Act 1 without rushing through to get Defiance Bay/Dyr, etc items, so YMMV if you have previous knowledge of the game or didn't play a certain way.

 

Hope you had a good read, and appreciate any feedback, comments or similar below.

Edited by MoxyWoo
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What's the standard for distributing x to a given tier? Survivability? Damage? Simply the ability to deal with all threats? 

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Fight changing mechanics.  

 

While most of the Tier 2/3 are "good" at their jobs.  Tier 1 have effects that game change heavily for your party's favor.  Tier 2 has a "gimmick" about as strong as Tier 1, but lack versatility.  Tier 3+ are "effective" at their jobs, but may either need extreme optimization, more gear to get going, or similar requirements that place them in this Tier during Act 1.

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Fighter is kinda low tier... in a full party fighter is defo tier 1 because of ability to tank everything at once .

 

hell even eder can maintank POTD without much thought put into that and he becomes unkillable towards the end 

Edited by Atchod

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Fighter is kinda low tier... in a full party fighter is defo tier 1 because of ability to tank everything at once .

 

hell even eder can maintank POTD without much thought put into that and he becomes unkillable towards the end 

 

I debated putting them further up, but the bonuses from Defender > Wary Defender is roughly the same as a PC Darcozzi paladin + Outworn buckler with everything else being equal, and they don't have retaliate like that build does and possibly always on 3 DR from their aura.  Moon Monk has triple synergy for wounds and extreme dps spam the fighter can't bring out in prolonged fights.

 

Basically, since those 2 tank types are "better" they're up a tier during Act 1.  Though once again, the racial is making up ground for the Constant Recovery, a fighter has.

 

Edit to add:  For act 1, it tends to be about choke points for bad fights and teleporting shade mobs don't care about the engagement.

Edited by MoxyWoo

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Well........... i kinda agree to what you are saying BUT neither of those can have 4-5 mobs engaged and in POTD where encounters are all about big groups mobs running towards you fighters is just better simply because it holds frontline so much better than paladin or a monk . Defenses doesnt matter as long as your tank doesnt die and fighters are good at surviving

Edited by Atchod

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Hey you said something about how Torment's Reach has no recovery so you can spam it. Is that for a monk wearing no armour only? Because my main tank monk takes ages in between torment's reaches. Probably several seconds because of his heavy armour. (also he has low Dex)

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Hey you said something about how Torment's Reach has no recovery so you can spam it. Is that for a monk wearing no armour only? Because my main tank monk takes ages in between torment's reaches. Probably several seconds because of his heavy armour. (also he has low Dex)

 

Huh, just loaded up my save with my monk again, and there is a recovery time, though I think I got about a second.  Good catch, guess I'm getting old and didn't notice the little bar when I set up the spam and just let them go wild before.  Went for max dex on the monk though  Dex > Mig > Res > Per > Int > Con

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Yeah, this is party time...  I have limited experience playing solo as I found it tedious and maddening to try and balance out damage/defense.  I have sent a few of them solo on the 'tougher' stuff like shades and think wizard was fine due to bulwark, same for the Darcozzi paladini and monk.  Cipher was okay too, due to Antipathetic field, but they didn't have near the ease of the other 3 to me.  By "solo" I mean away from the group and just fighting alone for an encounter.

 

That said, might be getting old and more props to the people who can do it solo.   ;(

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I mostly agree with your Tier 1 rankings, although only for Hard and PotD.  Also, it's kind of strange that you don't have Fighter up there, since the game is a whole hell of a lot easier with a tank; more specifically, a Fighter tank.

 

I also disagree about teleporters.  Sure, they won't all stay on the tank, but you can force it so that the majority does, and that only one ever really teleports out of the group.

Edited by Sanctuary
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Good catch Sanctuary, I forgot that most people don't play on Hard+ where the Tier 1 classes shine.

 

I might be a little bias on fighters because my first play through was with a paladin who didn't have +engage at all, and face tanked the lighthouse with 6 shades/phantoms + Lilith while Eder was running around like a chicken with his head cut off to try and gather anyone when I thought 'engage' meant something else as my backline was being overwhelmed.  Eventually, it just boiled down to the fact you have 4 characters spam like fan of flames at the swarm coming for me in that fight, which again, was a caster trick than a melee one.

 

YMMV but then I figured out it was more about the choke points or similar for the Eothas temple on the second play through testing other builds and +engage was unnecessary yet again.

 

The only fight I thought maybe he could be good was for hard hitters like forest lurkers as the Moon and dump Con strategy didn't work as well as those would get one-shotted at the very beginning when you face them naturally.  Otherwise, I just started to put everyone in heavier armor and the increased DR would save them enough to keep going for most fights until act 2 because they did bring extra CC, damage, and still tanked as well.

 

Edit to add:

 

Tier 3 doesn't mean they don't do their job well, they just don't have the "game changers" IMO, or have to be ranked lower to specific builds like the Darcozzi or Monk above for the tough fights.  Anyway, fighters are definitely cool, I just always had a weird relationship with them where I thought another X class could be okay for them.

Edited by MoxyWoo

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It's kind of sad you had to make a ranking for Act 1 only.

 

 

But I suppose a ranking of classes for the whole game would be moot, seeing as they all have their own uses.

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It's kind of sad you had to make a ranking for Act 1 only.

 

 

But I suppose a ranking of classes for the whole game would be moot, seeing as they all have their own uses.

 

Yeah, after Act 1 I think every class is viable for sure, or more importantly 5+ is a big level for most classes along with gear becoming available.

 

Style did matter though, I made a group that relied just on passives/auto attacks to get through so I would never "pause" for example, though I still spammed some abilities later due to boredom.  But I noticed my style of play usually involves trying to minimize actions (hence why I like the moon race as its a passive+reactive heal) with some strategy off 2 to 3 characters.  This way, I wasn't constantly switching to everyone to perfectly micro, and the micro was all "planned" out from their build selection or similar.

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Mmm druid should definitely be higher though, they get some pretty potent spells, in fact at low levels they tend to get better spells than a wizard even with the upcoming nerfs. It's only really at later levels that wizard possibly pulls ahead. Also spirit shifting is ridiculously overpowered in the beginning.

 

Edit: oops chanters with their phantom pet also belong in the top tier.

Edited by rheingold

"Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, 'He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love.' So, to reply to your statement, they do not call themselves gods. Everyone else does, though, everyone who beholds them."
"So they play that on their fascist banjos, eh?"
"You choose the wrong adjective."
"You've already used up all the others.”

 

Lord of Light

 

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Druid is definitely strong. Guess I disliked their spirit shift as melee always felt too crowded. Spells being equal in utility to a wizard and lacking a raw encounter spam put them lower than the other casters.

 

I will revisit them... but I totally spammed blizzard during act 1 so with nerfs.. meh.

 

But it's the same reason fighter is lower than the specific moon monk. It's not bad by any means just not as versatile or behind the other class that does the same job in act 1.

 

Chanter have a weird spot due to how they get god tier after 21 seconds from phantom... sadly taking on more tier 1 or 2 classes will make this situation come up less. That said I agree phantom is pretty awesome.

Edited by MoxyWoo

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Try winter storm - at least I think it's winter storm - the first level aoe Druid spell. If anything needs to be nerfed it's that. Oops, again, hope that Sawyer is walking around with the nerf bat and listening....


"Those who look upon gods then say, without even knowing their names, 'He is Fire. She is Dance. He is Destruction. She is Love.' So, to reply to your statement, they do not call themselves gods. Everyone else does, though, everyone who beholds them."
"So they play that on their fascist banjos, eh?"
"You choose the wrong adjective."
"You've already used up all the others.”

 

Lord of Light

 

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Alrighty, going into a little more depth for druid.

 

Druid has over the other Tier 1 casters, front loaded damage, spirit shift, and a really long duration blind.

 

Most of their spells are specific or redone by other classes in Tier 1 except for one combo where the wizard needs an additional Bulwark spell:

 

+DR 8 (10 with Bear) on a naked caster is very strong for Act 1.  Specifically, the shade encounters can be done a lot easier if you back yourself into a corner, or take the front lead with a nuke for the oncoming initial swarm of them.  They also have best in house fire damage now which those spirits are weak too due to the fan of flames being lowered and provide blind status at a much longer duration which is good. 

+Wolf form helps with positioning and provides the above.  The rare times you want your caster to get to X spot faster, the druid does it best and doesn't need a talent spent on fleet foot this way.

-The forms are all beefy beatsticks for melee damage.

 

Additionally, I think without a wizard x2, and they are more self contained this way..

 

+Sunbeam is a great opener, and provides a very long blind effect.  This middle ground of CC and higher ground of damage makes them as good as a wizard with slicken/chill fog, though enemies can still attack.

+Winter wind does half the damage roughly of chill fog in one cast, hence the front loading alpha.  Handy for openers.

-Talon's reach has interrupt and a fast cast vs deflection.

 

Buff wise priests still win out, Woodskin gives good DR but not for the things you worry about in Act 1... Plus druid is much more damage heavy than the priest/wizard at these levels so it seems like a waste to use them on anything else.

 

Even with those advantages, my issues still stand for the druid not breaking into Tier 1.  The game changer they have over wizards and ciphers is only sunbeam where as the resource spam of arcane assault x2, or cipher focus based powers will continue to be handy for every fight, now if they could cast just as many as those two classes, then druid would be tier 1, but sadly, spiritshift has issues for their "encounter" mechanic to me.

 

Melee is still crowded, assuming you go 1 main tank (because you wanna avoid the crowding), and with the small duration of the spirit shift its hard to recommend the druid as your "offtank" without either a) sacrificing their casting speed in heavier armor once it runs out or b) losing deflection so much due to shield loss that they critted more often.  or c) the bigger shield gives -acc penalties when you want their spells to land.   They also don't have the near instant "drop agro" the wizard has via arcane veil for the rare emergencies, so spirit shift is good for a specific party where you load up druid(s) or other casters with cones in the front and nuke away... But then it becomes an issue of the nukes, because a wizard/cipher has more resource than them or the fact we dropped a true offtank for the druid to shine.

 

This said, I guess I wouldn't take a druid "tank" who could switch to spell mode in the front line, because it also seems like a lot of work when a monk who gets nuked by AoE gets more wounds, or a fighter recovers through it, or similar.

 

Again, Tier 2 means they have a "gimmick" as strong as the Tier 1 classes (Spiritshift + casting sunbeam) but they don't have the resource spam as much, or their resource isn't nearly as good.  And since priest has one of the better debuffs per encounter, and possible support spells/better setup than the druid, they won't be knocking them over.  Of course, resting itself is an illusion of time... but it is annoying to do X amount of load screens to have a class reach its full potential via spell spam, and then its again... a nod to cipher or wizard or priest.

 

Thanks for reading, hope that explains why they don't quite get into the Tier 1.

Edited by MoxyWoo

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The only thing is, they don't get multiplicative benefits like the Cipher or Wizard above as only the highest debuff applies.

Since we're talking about pre-level 5 characters... what about Repulsing Seal?

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Since we're talking about pre-level 5 characters... what about Repulsing Seal?

Not sure what you mean?  The usefulness of it?  Its very useful and noted for PotD stuff via mechanics bumping accuracy.

 

That said, for really tough fights, and due to limited slots, sometimes its better to save the 2nd lvl slots for Consecrated ground and keeping a tight formation so everyone benefits vs the swarm like nature of the upper difficulties.

Edited by MoxyWoo

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Since we're talking about pre-level 5 characters... what about Repulsing Seal?

Not sure what you mean?  The usefulness of it?  Its very useful and noted for PotD stuff via mechanics bumping accuracy.

No I meant in response to their limited debuffing ability. Might be a playstyle difference though. For swarms if possible, I just bottleneck them with a tank and cast Withdraw on him. If bottlenecking isn't an option however then I just have the tank gather them in place, use Repulsing Seal to knock them down, cast Withdraw on the tank and then have every AoE in existence aimed directly at him. Having an off-tank repeat the procedure should they somehow survive and lose engagement due to Withdraw.

 

... Probably overkill. I tend to be trigger happy when it comes to using spells in general honestly. Ironically though, usually my tanks need rest before my casters. Definitely not from stray AoEs though, honest!

Edited by Wolken3156
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Ah... was mainly saying how there's not too many multiplicative benefits.

 

1 priest in the above is sufficient right?  Where as adding more wizards, druids, or ciphers helps the aoe spam.

 

Most of the priest's "debuffs" don't stack up like RAW damage of wizard spamming at low levels.

Edited by MoxyWoo

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