Class advice - Serpent or Occultist

First of all, a bit of background - I've played Achaea for a few weeks about ten years ago. From what I remember, I used to play as a druid and I got to level 35-40, I can't really remember. About three weeks ago I've made a come back, but I'm having a hard time deciding on a class.

Here are some things that I'm looking for:
- since I'm still pretty much a newbie, I'm looking for a class that will help me explore the game - decent travelling skills and good escape skills; a glass canon class may not be very wise from this point of view
- casual play - I may not be able to log in every day, nor will I be able to play for long sessions (e.g. more than 2-3 hours)
- I prefer to be houseless - I know it's a bit hard to learn the game in this way, but I don't mind this
- I don't plan to buy credits
- I prefer versatile classes, with plenty of utility skills to keep me occupied - I tend to get bored easily and I'm always looking for something new
- I don't mind complexity - actually, it would probably be a bonus since there's more to learn
- Versatility usually comes at a price - I don't mind if the class I'm playing is not the best in specific field
- PVP is not really a focus for now; I may become interested in it as I learn the game, but it will probably be in a group context
- from a PVP point of view, good defence or escape skills are a bonus
- I would like to avoid classes which limit the social interactions - from a role playing point of view, I would like to play a neutral character

I've tried a few alts - priest, druid, serpent, alchemist, monk and occultist. Out of these, serpent and occultist are my top candidates, but I'm having a hard time deciding on one of them.

Which one would fit my criteria better? Occutlist seems more complex, but I'm a bit worried about karma and being houseless. Is this really an issue? Serpent has some nice utility skills, but I'm having a hard time role playing this class - I just can't imagine biting people and garrote seems a bit too violent for my taste.



  • Serpent
    Tvistor: If that was a troll, it was masterful.
    I take my hat off to you.
  • edited October 2013
    Both classes really meet your criteria well, but I find Occultist to be much more tankier than Serpent. Especially with the changes to Serpent stats. You'll have travel, healing, free mounts, flying, and few damage reducers, although Occultist will struggle a bit in socialising, There are only two cities and houses that accept them. The Occultist house is likely to quickly enemy and kill you for being rogue, Targossas will enemy you without question, and Cyrene will put strict limits on what you can do with in the city.

    Serpents like I said are not so tanky at all... However, they have superior travel, a "craft" skill, and everyone takes them. You will have some trouble when dealing with elitist Houses, but no instant enemy status, and free reign in most cities. You also get Phase, gotta love Phase.

    Both classes are strong in combat, both use afflictions to get their win. I would say Serpent is the more difficult class to PvP as, and I -think- their hunting is not as good as Occultist. Faster, but lower damage per hit.
  • Serpent is only not tanky if you're trying to optimize for combat. Garrote is only dependent on Subterfuge and whip stats.

    Occultist has superior running away skills, in that they have at least one escape mechanism in every skillset.

    However, not buying credits will gimp your Occultist skills, while a Serpent can forgo Venom and Hypnosis entirely and still be useful.

    On the RP side of the house, neutrality is boring. Pick a side and go with it. You'll have more fun that way.

  • I wouldn't recommend speccing dex to any serpent who is new to the class anyways. Having a lightning fast dstab is pointless if you don't know how to make optimal use of it. A con-specced serpent has good defences, both against damage (scales, evade) and afflictions (shrugging, evade), and is most definitely not a glass cannon, whereas occultists often need to actively hinder for their defence (hangedman is quite good for that though). Escape-wise, both classes have good options, and depending on the exact circumstance one or the other may be better. Both also have good utility and a nice variety of interesting abilities.

    Occultists, as has been mentioned, aren't as easy to play "neutrally". They also have much higher upkeep costs than serpents. Both can be complex if you want to, or simple, if you stick to simple things.
  • Arrows get expensive too.

    Also, if you do end up giving in and buying credits, Occultists don't get a Lupine's for only 1000 credits.

  • edited October 2013
    Tarot gets expensive and is largely useless unless you sink the credits into it (supercharge is trans still somehow). Occultist is -heavily- resource dependent (cards, pacts, karma) and if you burst, you're down an entire skillset (domination). With the revamp of domination, not having ents really limits you 1v1 and is less detrimental in groups, but still irritating.

  • At the same time, between astralform, universe, hermit, pathfinder, allies with empress, and earrings, Occultists all get Transcendent "DIE ALREADY UGH HATE YOU" for free.

  • Too bad earrings aren't a part of a class skillset.

  • edited October 2013
    oops off topic. Pick serpent!

     i'm a rebel

  • If you enjoy the idea of playing a sneaky backstabbing assassin, or a mysterious Lovecraftian scholar of forbidden truths, then let that preference make the choice for you. It will be a big factor in whether or not you enjoy your character and the House they join. If you don't enjoy and click with your character, it'll probably be less than a week before you're making a new one to try out another class that catches your fancy.


    Serpent is a very fun class. They have a lot of really fun abilities at all ranks of Subterfuge, like illusions, evade, dashing, wormholes, and phase.

    Occultist is a resource-intensive class, requiring you buy and prepare Tarot cards, in addition to the other supplies every class requires like armour and curatives. All the upkeep can be quite expensive.

    Both classes are very versatile with plenty of utility. If you get into PVP, both are very complex to play. Both have several ways to escape sticky situations.

    Occultists are not a neutral class. They're deeply connected to Chaos, which (nutshell summary) is the primordial force outside of reality which threatens to engulf the universe. Ashtan is the city associated with Chaos. Targossas mega-hates Chaos. Cyrene doesn't particularly like Chaos but has trouble taking a stand about anything. Mhaldor, Hashan, and Eleusis also have varying opinions of their own. As an occultist you'll only be able to join Ashtan or Hashan, or else be a cityless rogue. Playing an occultist will not necessarily limit your social interaction, but it will certainly strongly influence it in interesting ways.

    Serpents are a neutral class, but may have somewhat of a reputation for being devious untrustworthy sorts. There are serpents in every city.
  • edited October 2013
    Both classes have upkeep, but occultist is worse.

    Both have tons of utility, and are good at escaping.

    Serpent would be my personal favorite for 'wandering rogue', but occultist could play the 'outcast' solidly.

    Not sure if you've considered it, but blademaster works well for rogue too. Very little upkeep, can bash and fight (a little) with only one trans skill, and you can learn to trans from a denizen. Not as much utility as occie/serp though.
    Current scripts: GoldTracker 1.2, mData 1.1
    Latest update: 9/26/2015 better character name handling in GoldTracker, separation of script and settings, addition of gold report and gold distribute aliases.
  • Thank you all for the very helpful comments and comparisions. At the moment, I would tend to favor Serpent more. Perhaps I should try to build a background story, which doesn't directly imply the "sneaky backstabbing assassin". 

    Are there any other classes that might fit the profile that I'm looking for? Utility and versatility are the primary characteristics, followed by some sort of neutrality. I know that neutrality is boring in the long run, but at the moment I prefer to learn things a bit, before taking a side. 

    I've also considered:
    - Priests - they seemed nice, but I find the alignment a bit of a burden
    - Druids - they used to be my favorite ten years ago, but since they are accepted only in Eleusis, I find them quite limited. Eleusis seems like a nice place, but it doesn't seem to be very friendly with houseless characters
    - Alchemist - for some reasons I found them quite boring, but I'm not sure exactly why (I've only played until level 20). How are they on the long run?
    - Monk - I like the concept of being self sufficient, but they seem to be focused too much on combat / bashing.

    Runewarden also got my attention, but I'm not too sure about their utility. And after searching the forums for a bit, they also seem to be quite expensive. Are there any other suggestions?
  • I think the most non combat utility will be found in the skills: Metamorphosis, Groves, Tarot, and Healing. Concoctions and Transmutation do provide some nice incentives, allowing you to be almost entirely self sufficient too. You can always get past an unfriendly front in a city... It's all about how you present yourself.
  • Runewarden doesn't have a ton of utility, but Raido is nice. Falcons are also fun as hell, being able to send them to people, send items to people, and so on. They're also built to fight/hunt/move around on mounts, so you essentially get dash once you train up in riding, and the RP value is nice.

    Once you can make fullplate, you don't need further armor. If you don't want the best of the best, you can forge decent swords relatively cheap. You can now mill inks, so that is a time sink or a gold sink, as you choose.

    If you want a rogue forestal, I'd recommend sentinel over druid, personally. Suits the wandering type more.

    Bard may be another option - someone else would have to give advice on it though, I don't know much about bards.

    Current scripts: GoldTracker 1.2, mData 1.1
    Latest update: 9/26/2015 better character name handling in GoldTracker, separation of script and settings, addition of gold report and gold distribute aliases.
  • StrataStrata United States of Derp
    Rogue serpent is fun. I'm not completely rogue, but cityless. It's more exciting when your enemies hate you for reasons YOU machinated instead of "Well... they enemied me because I'm part of this or that house or city."
  • From the graph measuring the learning curve, am I understanding this as "as you gain more and more artefacts, the difficulty of fighting as occultist actually spikes into Lunatic-Mode territory"?

  • It really sounds like you are describing a druid or sentinel to me.

    They are decently tanky. They can fly, AND track to specific people for social purposes, as well as normal travel. They have prismatic barriers for defense in combat or while exploring. They can reach virtually every location with ease. they have a marketable skill set that also increases they're sipping, and allows them to make their own curatives. Druids have passive curing, and a ton of utility in groves ranging from rezzes to honey that recovers your endurance and willpower, as well as possibly giving you extra lessons in a random skill.

  • edited October 2013
    I agree with @Aktillum, so much that I am making this a separate post in addition to hitting the agree button. 

    You should like you are describing jester.   
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  • FitzFitz Fire and Spice
    Daeir said:
    Just play a goddamn Occultist. You're going to have trouble houseless though since some people want to perpetuate this whole YOU CAN'T LEARN HOUSE SKILLS ANYWHERE ELSE BUT HERE thing which is kind of stupid, so you're essentially relegated to either joining the Spirit Walkers or the Occultists. That or pray you find a tri-trans Occultist who's actually willing to teach you.

    I think you fail to understand the reason behind why it is this way, or don't care anything about the history of the Class, but just scream in your modern-give-me-whatever-I-want-with-no-regard-to-anything-but-my-own-desires mindset that it's UNFAIR because there is a rich roleplayed history for why the Occultists are as they are. Nor do you appreciate the strides that the players take to keep it that way when there is no hardcoded mechanic to prevent anyone from being one like Devotionists and Necromancers have. 

    tl:dr So I guess you're just mad cause you can't into teh rpz.

  • You're still assuming that no one will teach a rogue Occultist. I can think of six off the top of my head, and I'm sure there are several more that can be coerced into teaching you... In fact I can think of 3 Ashtani that would likely teach a rogue if they're still active. 

    You should stop generalizing. I tritransed Occultist before joining a House, and then I engaged in well thought out "rpz" with a House that hates me. You won't trans your skills right away, but the class is secretive by nature. It's going to take a bit of work, you shouldn't expect things to be handed to you on a silver platter. That work is part of what makes the class fulfilling, but it's possible to get your mechanics covered while completely independent.
  • Eld said:
    The serpent houses know class skills past Trans? :O
    You don't?  Damn, what are they even doing in Hashan?
  • @Daeir: You're being defeatist, and forgetting the thing about Achaea that actually makes it amazing - with enough time and effort, and that time and effort may certainly be substantial even for the player behind the character, you can accomplish just about anything*!

    Joining a house might be the easy path to being an occultist. If you're not interested in taking a more difficult path, maybe you should either just stick to that or try a different class, but that difficult path always exists. If you tried hard enough, you might even make, for example, a Cyrenese occultist work!

    People will totally tell you it's impossible, but what they actually mean is just that other people will actively resist your efforts - but Achaea is a conflict game, and conflict, at its heart, is about having and pursuing goals that conflict with others!

    *Except being an urban forestal or a nature alchemist, or apparently ascending to Godhood in an IC manner. The latter is sort of understandable (although I wish it wasn't a definite no but more of just a thing that requires effort beyond even what Penwize throws out), and I always thought the former was really dumb and should be enforced via soft limitations rather than hard limits - especially now that curatives are eventually being moved out of being class skills anyway!

  • Penwize said:
    Eld said:
    The serpent houses know class skills past Trans? :O
    You don't?  Damn, what are they even doing in Hashan?
    Hanging my head in shame, as usual. :((
  • Thank you all for the valuable inputs.

    Jesters seem interesting as well - they have good utility and are neutral. I've had a look around, but I can barely see any Jesters online. How hard would it be to trans the Jester skills as a rogue?

    Do they share the reluctancy of Occultists, or are Jesters more open towards rogues?

  • Brethil said:
    Thank you all for the valuable inputs.

    Jesters seem interesting as well - they have good utility and are neutral. I've had a look around, but I can barely see any Jesters online. How hard would it be to trans the Jester skills as a rogue?

    Do they share the reluctancy of Occultists, or are Jesters more open towards rogues?

    Jesters are very open, and the CIJ is actually a rogue house (in that they do not have a city at all), and I'd highly suggest trying them out before going full rogue if you want it.
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