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Wisdom of Nym: Speculating on the healer skills Final Fantasy XIV could delete

Tomorrow, we're getting the end of the Heavensward story quests in Final Fantasy XIV, which means I need to start looking at Heavensward as a whole. For now, however, we can look forward to Stormblood and ask ourselves what we're not going to be using any longer as healers. And this wrapped up just before the final story patch, so I feel rather satisfied about how that timing worked out.

I'd say "all according to plan" if I remembered actually planning it this way.

As with previous installments, I'd advise you to take a look back through past articles in this series; the first one has tanks and the general philosophy, while the second column tackles melee damage and the third tackles ranged damage of all flavors. Today, we're finishing things off with healers. That's kind of a tangled mess with every option other than White Mage, but we'll plot a course.

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The Daily Grind: Do you roll multiple MMO characters of the same class?

I'm closing in on "done" -- my own peculiar version of done, anyway -- on my ninth character in Guild Wars 2. I've rolled one of each class and put off actually leveling and learning my least favorite classes to the very end. As I've been playing my unloved Thief and Revenant upward, I can't help but think about characters and classes I prefer and wonder whether my time wouldn't be better spent on them... or maybe even on another version of the same class with a different race.

I seldom do this in MMORPGs, but in Guild Wars 2, leveling is easy and options are many, so why not? I'm apparently not alone in considering this; here's one thread from a few years ago where people are admitting to rolling dozens of characters -- some for different regions, some for cultural armor, some for different builds and armor setups, some for roleplaying, and some just because they love the leveling process. Plus: Buying a new character slot is the most efficient way to expand an account's storage.

Do you roll multiple MMO characters of the same class in the same game?

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The Daily Grind: Should MMOs ever retire classes?

Last week, I asked the Massively OP readers whether World of Warcraft needed another class (I want the Bard, obviously). But one Facebook fan proposed something different entirely: Why not "retire a few classes" to "keep it fresh?"

I suspect that nearly everyone reading is recoiling in horror at the thought of deleting classes from MMOs, which is exactly why I wanted to stare the concept full in the face to sort out why. MMO developers seem to have few qualms about retooling classes -- your characters -- to be almost unrecognizable from their original versions, applying band-aid after band-aid to make them functional and keep them around. Would it really be so bad to nuke them entirely and start from scratch with something built from the ground up?

Yes, say thousands of Star Wars Galaxies Bio-Engineers and Creature Handlers. I hear you. But what if they'd done it more gracefully and replaced them more immediately with something, as the commenter put it, "fresh," as opposed to nuking them overnight and replacing them with nothing?

Should MMOs ever retire classes? Can you think of acceptable circumstances for such a thing?

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Diablo III shows some of the Necromancer's moves

No, the Necromancer isn't coming to Diablo III any time in the near future, but Blizzard did want to show off some of the class' skills and give a brief update on the progress of the ARPG's newest class.

The Necromancer will use both melee and dark magic attacks as she decimates the battlefield. Some of the skills (shown as animated GIFs) include Grim Scythe, Blood Nova, Devour, Raise Golem, and Leech. The team is also putting the final touches on the female Necromancer model.

To answer the most pressing questions for any Diablo III fan, no, Blizzard isn't quite ready to announce the price point of the class pack or a specific release date (although the studio said that it's aiming for the second half of the year). Prior to that release, the Necromancer will be put through her paces on a special public test realm.

Source: Diablo III

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Wisdom of Nym: Abilitiy revisions for Final Fantasy XIV: Melee edition

I had really hoped for something a touch more substantial about Stormblood from this weekend's event, but we got what we got. Thus we are still, to some extent, in the dark about ability revisions in Final Fantasy XIV, which does mean I get to speculate about stuff that's being removed or changed a bit longer, since last week I managed to get through the tanks and nothing else.

Look, the jobs in the game are rather extensive. And numerous.

If you didn't catch last week's column, I go over the general philosophy behind what abilities seem most likely to be turned into traits or outright removed right there, so that should be relevant. Worth noting before we go too far into it, of course, is that on pretty much every single job I'm trying to list more stuff than what will likely be changed. If you think that I've got an awful lot of candidates for removal in place, you're right! That's literally the point because some of them will no doubt remain unchanged.

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Vote on the name for the next TERA class (from a list of options)

The next class coming to TERA is named the Paragon... or perhaps it isn't. There's no clear way to translate the name that sounds as good in English as it does in Korean, see, and thus the localization team picked "Paragon" as the best option. (The literal translation is "Moonlight Warrior.") But some members of the community disliked the name, and thus the community team is turning it over to the community as a whole with a simple question: What do you want to see it named?

It's extremely important to note here that the choices are between Paragon, Moondancer, Glaivedancer, Valkyrie, and Sentinel, so there are no write-in options. That means you can't suggest that the class be named an epithet, a racial slur, Harambe (you're not funny), Glaivey McGlaiveface (you're still funny), or anything else that might spring to mind. Still, if you think "Paragon" sounds bad, you do get a chance to offer a different suggestion. Democracy works, on occasion.

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Crowfall introduces the winged Fae Assassin

The next archetype hitting Crowfall should be familiar to anyone who traditionally enjoys sneaking up behind enemies and backstabbing their heads off, regardless of the improbably physics involved. It's the Fae Assassin, and she has everything you'd expect from a stealth archetype: the ability to vanish from sight, high mobility, lethal daggers, and big wings to glide around upon. Also to facilitate double-jumps. That one might seem a bit surplus to requirements, but it's certainly novel, at least.

Introducing the Fae Assassin also means introducing proper positional abilities to the game, attacks that care as much about where you're hitting the target from as what body part you're hitting. Of course, due to the game's mechanics, you won't be stuck in a situation where you can't use powers if you're not behind the target; you just won't hit as hard when you're not attacking from the target's blind side. There are elements of the assassin that may seem superficially similar to other archetypes, but she really does seem to be in a (winged) class of her own.

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TERA offers players the chance to reserve a Paragon name

The Paragon class is on its way to TERA, which is a good thing; it's another class to play. But how do you know there will be any names left when the class finally goes live? You could come up with a name that other people are unlikely to use, either due to originality or being an unpronounceable mess that looks like dolphin sounds, or you could take part in the game's name reservation even running all through March.

All you need to do to reserve a name is to log in to the game, start creating a new character, and then follow the prompts from there. An extra character slot will be added to the game when the Paragon launches, but if you already have the maximum number of characters on a server, you will have to delete one to reserve your name. The name is also coming with a built-in expiration, as it remains reserved on the server for one month after the Paragon goes live. Still, at least this way you won't be resorting to the dolphin sound approach.

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Black Desert brings out the Dark Knight on March 1st

Good news, fans of knights with requisite darkness! Black Desert is bringing the Dark Knight to local shores on March 1st, allowing everyone in the world to be as dark as they like. But you won't have to wait until March 1st to actually make your own Dark Knight, as the game is allowing players access to the character creator for the class with today's patch. That means you can make and customize your forbidden warrior of Kamasylvia today, if you'd like.

This does come with a slight downside, as the developers had been planning on giving everyone an extra character slot to include the Dark Knight, but there are currently some technical issues cropping up due for a hotfix tomorrow.

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Elder Scrolls Online: Deep-diving Morrowind's new Warden class

Along with a new expansive 30-hour long story, Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind will introduce us to the game's first new class called the Warden, a class I previewed at last week's press event at ZeniMax HQ. And although it is called a "class" because that's the term that gamers understand, Game Director Matt Firor likes to call it a "theme," and the theme of the Warden is nature.

By now, I hope you've seen the Blur Studio trailer for the Morrowind chapter. The Redguard with the giant bear in that trailer represents the Warden. He shows off many of the abilities that are specific to the Warden, including the bear pet. But of course, there's much more to the class than a fuzzy friend, so when I spoke to Game Director Matt Firor and Creative Director Richard Lambert in person, I asked them all about our new class and the role it plays in the expansion.

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Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival XIV Europe: Samurai, Doma, and theme songs

If you're a fan of Final Fantasy XIV, the European fan festival is something you've been waiting for more or less since December's Japanese fan festival. We've been eagerly anticipating the reveal of the remaining new jobs for the expansion, more mechanical details, and whatever else can be teased out about the game's second expansion. At long last, the keynote finally happened, and as expected... well, things were revealed. Many things.

So what's coming next in Stormblood? We're getting Red Mage, we're getting swimming, we're getting Ala Mhigo, but what else is right around the corner? Oh, tons of other things. For one thing, the new job is actually Spider-man. Yeah, we were all taking that t-shirt bit far too figuratively.

All right, no, that's not true. The actual revelations were even better, and if you weren't up at an unusual hour to catch them all on the livestream, we've got them right here.

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Dofus introduces the Ouginak class

Whatever else you might think about Dofus, you have to admit that the game is resistant to pigeonholing. The game's most recent update rolls out its 18th class, the Ouginak, and if you're left wondering what the heck it's supposed to be, that's sort of the point. The answer is that it's sort of a barbarian warrior with canine features... but the game's classes are resistant to being pigeonholed in mechanical terms, too.

Ouginaks have a variety of useful skills, but each of those skills can increase the characters' Rage level; once Rage tops out, the Ouginak loses a bunch of abilities and reverts to a feral wolf-monster state with nasty melee attacks and little else. You can do your best to transform intentionally, of course, or you can use various healing and support abilities to calm yourself... or you can apply buffs and shields to your fellow combatants, with the risk of enraging (and transforming) if certain conditions are met by your allies. Check out a trailer for the class just below.

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Crowfall demonstrates the animations of the Templar

Crowfall's Templar is going to smash in your face if you cross her. She's got divine power, she's got a two-handed sword, and she's not about to allow anyone to stop her. But why take our word for it? You can see her abilities in action in a video just below, and she looks... well, pretty much exactly like you would expect based on that description.

Players can experiment with the Templar starting with the next testing session on February 10th, so it may well prove to be as practical as fun to see what she's capable of on the battlefield. You can also get a peek behind the scenes with a video about creating the Templar's visual effects, if your day doesn't have enough redheaded women dealing death with a two-handed weapon and holy power.

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