Class Characteristics Overview

edited August 2021 in North of Thera

I put this together with some inputs from a handful of people. Most of the scores did not come from me personally - other than nudging a couple of scores where needed on classes that I know very well. Big thanks to Atalkez for providing scores for every single class.

The purpose of this is to provide a good guide for new players who are choosing their first class, or for intermediate players who are looking to swap class or multi-class, to get a baseline comparison of all of their options. If you want, you can send them a link to this thread to check it out. I didn't bother doing a "coolness" score because of course Serpent would be a 4 and everything else would a 0 😉, but of course coolness and character roleplay should be a big part of that decision too! The purpose is not a commentary on class balance (even though the shitshow that is Paladin is pretty apparent).

The first graphic shows general class characteristics, while the second shows combat characteristics (outside of large groups). You may observe that there is no overall "good at 1v1" or "good at PVP" score as that is 1) super subjective and 2) relies a lot more on player skill and class matchup than can be expressed here. You can get a sense of it by the total score on the send graphic, though.

For all characteristics, a 4 means outstanding, 1 means dismal, 2 is around normal, and 3 is above average.


PvE - In general, how quickly can they gather exp/gold, all factors included.

Utility - Non-combat related utility abilities that are useful either to you or your orgs.

Mobility - Ability to control location of a fight, as well as get around the map.

Raid - Overall value of the class in raids. This is a generalization, of course, as there are many types of raids.

Simplicity - self-explanatory. A "4" here means you could learn it very rapidly, a "1" means it might take a very long time and/or may require scripting to get good performance.

(combat definitions below)

Affordability - Classes are balanced around having all available combat artefacts, so in sense, every artefact you don't have at full level is a handicap. High score here indicates that you'll have fewer of these handicaps without artefacts, or you'll have to spend far less to be competitively balanced against top-tier PvPers playing other classes.

Hard to Kill - Self-explanatory. Good score means some combination of easy escapes, full reset abilities, strong active/passive curing, and/or self-rezzes, etc. This is of course generalized, as individual class matchups may differ wildly.

Momentum & Prep - How much does the class rely on momentum and prep, respectively, to win - and also, how good are they at these things.

TTK - High score here means the class can typically kill very rapidly

Skirmishing - How well does the class lend itself to synergy in small group fights (2v2, 3v3, etc).

Mv. Hindrance - Primarily a measure of the ability to "gank" people - this measures classes' ability to prevent people from escaping.

Obscurity - This is (IMO!) one of the most important characteristics of any class, for PVP! Obscurity means "How well, in general, are people I'm fighting going to know how to defend against me". This comes from a combination of population/rarity and complexity. Pariah is a great example of super-high Obscurity as it's a new class with a high learning curve, there are very few active Pariahs, and it's fairly complex to defend against. The result is that most people don't have a great deal of experience / theory knowledge / scripted counters to Pariah, which makes combat easier for Pariah even when it theoretically shouldn't.

This is just something I did for fun, and I did try to keep my own personal takes out of it except for providing one set of scores (that were averaged) on a handful of classes that I main. That said, I'd be very happy to hear any feedback or answer any questions.


  • I'm surprised Alchemist is rated so low on Hard to Kill when it has an active cure it can use with only very minimal momentum loss and some of the highest overall damage mitigation possible in the game (and moreso again in some Sublimation specs). Is it the lack of innate mobility? I suppose if you're classifying it based on that then yeah, but otherwise the class being both con spec optimal and all of the defensive buffs it gets turns it into a bit of a beast against damage routes.

    Airlord is another interesting choice - I'm not sure I'd call it obscure. High pressure bad. You leave the room when pressure is high or you die to one of three routes. They also have only mild hinder in tension, tornado and tailwind. Very one dimensional. Earthlord's another weird one in terms of raid utility too.

    You should put this up as a form somehow then get like thirty or forty responses and see where the general community perception lies. Maybe ask for a few details as well so you can stratify it between cities and combat experience, could be interesting to see.

  • Hi @Eurice - every class is hard to kill. Some are harder than others. This is a relative scale, as every class has some defensive abilities.

    As I mentioned this isn't a critical analysis, and it definitely is not a poll. I'd probably get more accuracy from a d20 than from an opinion poll.

  • The Knight specializations are a bit iffy, and I wonder what the thought process was behind some of these ratings.

    For example, you've got 2h Runewarden rated at 4 for Raid, and it is arguably the WORST class/spec in the game when it comes to raiding. Leaving runelore aside (which all the specs get), it brings absolutely nothing special to the table. It is too darn slow, and other than battlefury distract (which almost never comes up), it doesn't have one single unique ability to offer the group. The extreme crumminess of two hander DSB forces most to spec strength, which puts it on the low end hit point wise. You have DWC rated exactly the same, and it is far faster and works much more smoothly in conjunction with other classes in large group situations. DWC can make kills frequently during raids. 2h only makes a kill if you get that one lucky hit right at the end, and one or two hits is usually all you get due to slow speed. It is never skill when it happens, and your best move is generally impale, which again is not unique.

    Conversely, the "hard to kill rating" of 2 seems oddly low considering just how tanky Knights can end up being, and just how much raw damage this spec can dish out. For fast/defensive foes like bards, depthswalkers and pariah, I agree. For squishy stuff, like magi, alchemists, blademasters etc, I'd say 3-4 thanks to continuation and discipline. This particular category is the most subjective since it is based on what the class is pitted against, and is also heavily influenced by the arties you've got. It is so profoundly situational that it probably shouldn't even be on the matrix at all.

  • Of course these scores assumed an even playing field when it comes to arties.

  • edited August 2021

    So many of these scores are... questionable. Also sensing a LOT of bias in a number of them.

    Kinda feels like for some of them, simplicity got confused with usability. In other cases, it feels like simplicity got confused with, "How badly did I die to this class?"

    This looks very, very highly opinionated at best. And... Misleading to the point of being detrimental, at worst.

    Disappearing from Achaea for now. See you, space cowboy.

    smileyface#8048 if you wanna chat.

  • edited August 2021

    Yeah good point, I should have asked someone else to post it for me so I wouldn't get responses like that.

    I'll reiterate. My own take on this probably constitutes about 5-10% of the input here. I asked a good number of people across various aisles to try to minimize bias or experience differences.

    If you have any actual constructive feedback, feel free to share. It's already on the 4th version based on Discord feedback.

  • edited August 2021

    I'm half asleep, but here's some things that stick out like a sore thumb to me.

    "Simplicity" for Shaman/Jester. They're both even at best. Jester has much more complexity when you look at everything the class can do, though. It's close, but Jester definitely wins out. Shaman is definitely easier to "get into" at a baseline, for sure.

    Sentinel. Before the last round of classleads I might have agreed. Now, though, the class actually takes work to kill competent people. The fact it was given a max in "simplicity" is quite strange. It's also a very mobile class, and a very good ganking class.

    Paladin, is the one I was more pointing to when it comes to "usability" vs "simplicity" - 2h/dwb/dwc definitely shit, no disagreements there, but they're far from complex. They should all be 4, the same as Runewarden/Infernal, using the supplied definition of the category. SnB "simplicity" depends on a lot of things. Infernal has a lot of tricks they can do with SnB now, but all of SnB is pretty non-complex at a base level.

    Bard. Not sure why its mobility is 1. It's crazy hard to pin down. The rest I'd say is roughly accurate.

    For your "hard to kill" category, it doesn't feel like you consistently stuck with the definition you used for, for some of them. If you included "killing through their offence" as well, it would probably be more uniform and matching the scores given. Tbh I don't think it's a good category in general; far too many variables, which are too wildly different between classes.

    Occultist. I think its simplicity should be bumped up (as in, made easier than it's portrayed as), as should its affordability. Realistically it only needs a diadem, and half of its "kill routes" were DoA.

    Will post more when I wake up, if others haven't by then.

    Disappearing from Achaea for now. See you, space cowboy.

    smileyface#8048 if you wanna chat.

  • So, this is basically the same as any other "Here's my opinion on which class is best" thread, but it is guised in "math" and charts to attempt to give it a little more credibility?

  • @Thaisen you didn't read anything I wrote so I don't see why I should read anything beyond "Here's my opinion" in yours.

  • edited August 2021

    @Saonji all good points, I think most of these are fair reasons to make some changes to the charts unless some of the other folks I got these inputs from have counterarguments.

  • Now let's get a chart for each class, but with handaxes.

  • How do people feel about this in general? Does this visualize the general consensus for the power-level of the classes? I understand there will be debate over specific choices in ranking and how powerful things are, and the second chart is far more subjective, but if someone was wondering what class to pick would pointing them to this be helpful?

    From what I can see, the first chart at least is fairly consistent with my expectations for the classes I have experience with.

  • who was your fire elemental consultant, because they need to be fired

    PvE: Flamewhip hits like a truck, being on fire saves mending salves -and- heals you, you have built in good resistances (cutting/fire/magic), and you can spend momentum on your balanceless active cure. Put it up there next to Blademaster.

    Mobility: Line-of-sight lunge, instant outdoor travel not stopped by monolith, three separate raido runes, and hearth all apparently count for the lowest mobility score in the game. Okay.

    Movement Hinderance: Leap/dash/gallop ignore Fire's movement hinder entirely, and no amount of classleads will give the class a proper way to keep someone in the room. Giving the class higher than a negative score here is malpractice.

  • edited August 2021

    Fire lord is not in the same level as BM for bashing. It’s good, but not that high.

    You’re also not giving Blister near enough credit. Those will bypass it, but you take damaged based on how many rooms you moved. If you dash with blister, you’re asking to get Nova’d in a hurry.

    Penwize has cowardly forfeited the challenge to mortal combat issued by Atalkez.
  • edited August 2021

    Alright, as promised I'll do a more thorough evaluation going off of what I said above. Especially now that I'm understanding the 'obscurity' definition better (my half asleep state was reading it back to front :| )

    Alchemist: A bit of a tough one since we're apparently combining Sublimation and Formulation despite the Knight specs being evaluated separately. But anyway... Its "hard to kill" factor should definitely be at (if not close to) maximum. If has tools for literally everything, not to mention a lot of their tools can be combo'd with their attacks.

    Apostate: Simplicity, not sure I agree there. Maybe lower it a point; there's a bunch of things that I've only ever seen Mizik do. At its core it's just an ordinary double aff class, but there's a fair bit of complexity necessary to beat competent people. Hard to kill, probably lower that a point as well. Unless we're counting what I said in the above post.

    Bard: Mostly spot on, tbh, aside from what I already said. It'd probably nudge its obscurity up; it can be a very difficult class to survive if they're using Bard's entire kit.

    Blademaster: Fairly accurate, for the most part.

    Depthswalker: Probably bring its obscurity mark back a point; it's not really that tough to survive, nor does it require anything complex TO survive.

    Druid: TTK and Raid scores should be brought back a notch, Skirmishing as well probably. It's about midling in terms of prep class TTKs, and it doesn't really bring anything overly unique to groups. I'd rather have a Sentinel in pretty much every instance. Reclamation as a skill was DoA you can't change my mind.

    Knights: Could make an entire post about these, I'll just stick with what I said above. Infernal isn't as simple as it is in the diagrams, nor is it as easy to survive. Paladin there's definite bias there (it's bad if not SnB, but that's not what simplicity or obscurity is). Raid/Skirmishing/Utility/Mobility they should all basically have the same (or close to the same) score.

    Jester: Already touched on it above, the rest is mostly accurate.

    Magi: Fairly affordable at a baseline. Much like Occultist, only REALLY needs a diadem, everything else is just luxury. Utility should be a 3.

    Monk: I honestly don't feel like arguing; I'm trying to be constructive. Suffice it to say I don't agree on much of the scores given to either spec, though. We'll just leave it at that.

    Occultist: Already touched on.

    Pariah: See Monk.

    Priest: Probably about right. Would maybe increase its "Hard to kill" number, and its movement hinderance. (though it's not a great ganking class, I'll agree there)

    Psion: I'd increase its mobility score, and lower its simplicity score a notch. If you're just one-tricking blast it's easy, but that doesn't work against top tier fighters. (not the cookie cutter blast, at least, that 95% of Psions do).

    Sentinel: Did this one already.

    Serpent: Affordability is a grey area for Serpent imo. Lots of factors when it comes to Serpent and affordability. I'd put its Hard to Kill score at 4, though, otherwise it's pretty okay.

    Shaman: I think I mostly touched on already. Maybe put its Prep to 4 as well; it's as much a prep class as it is a momentum class, much like Shikudo.

    Dragon: I'd MAYBE bring its simplicity back to 3; there are some nifty tricks you can do with it, especially with a handaxe (I'm not flaming for once when I say this). It also gets harder to survive if they have an arti axe.

    Elementals: I don't consider anyone who mains any of the elementals to be a serious fighter. All of them are pretty braindead, Earth is hardest to survive, they're all affordable. Agree with Gallida re: Fire Lord. Whatever to the rest.

    Disappearing from Achaea for now. See you, space cowboy.

    smileyface#8048 if you wanna chat.

  • I've got two more full writeups coming later today, and will incorporate those inputs along with all of the above points.

    In addition to the graphics themselves hopefully these comments will also be good for people trying to make a decision.

  • edited August 2021

    1. Consider nerfing Pariah further in your rankings since the newly added Virulence change just dumpstered it. I'm sure Amranu and Shirszae made someone in ACC unreasonably mad by daring to use the class.

    2. The only way Blister is a threat is if someone dashes from NoNT to Cheska. If you're running on Latency (which you should unless you're a Serpent/Bard/Sublimation alchemist and can thus outmomentum/win through lol true damage), there's no danger of being put into Nova range ever. Once you get out of line-of-sight, you win.

    3. If your metric for Hunting is "assume fully artied/talismaned/legenddeck cards", then sure, Fire's not top-tier, but neither is anything but Serpent at that point. For the majority of players, Fire is the best possible bashing until Dragon, and it's available ~40 levels earlier if you have a carry.

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