classes

Cloud Pirates explains how best to play the Heavy Reinforced Galleon

If your goal in Cloud Pirates is to pilot the most specialized ship possible, you probably aren’t going to enjoy the Heavy Reinforced Galleon. The ship is quite explicitly not meant as the most focused ship of the line, being solidly middle-of-the-road and versatile. Of course, while that makes it not specialized, it also means that it can be kitted out for almost any situation and it means that a skilled player can have an answer for almost any situation. A new guide on the official site explains how the Heavy Reinforced Galleon can be used to deliver impressive results while retaining its high flexibility.

Players who reach tier 4 with the galleon will be able to shut down ship technology and increase the vulnerability of other ships in the area, a valuable tool for any confrontation. Players can also kit out these ships in more defensive or offensive roles while retaining the overall versatility of the class, allowing you to shut down or dampen enemy damage and firing while healing your own ship. If you’d prefer to be behind a diverse arsenal, you could do worse than working the skies in a heavy reinforced galleon.

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The Daily Grind: How much does optimization affect your MMO play?

When I feel like lying to myself, I tell myself that I don’t care about optimizing my characters in MMOs. I even sometimes convince myself that it was true for a while; I did play a Retribution Paladin in World of Warcraft back before Crusader Strike was even in the game. But the reality is that even then, when I happily shot myself in the foot to avoid raid utility, I still worked overtime to optimize my character. I will gladly walk into an awful build with eyes open, but I will then do everything in my power to make that awful build work.

I have a Red Mage build on Final Fantasy XI that comes as close to being a functional melee attacker as any I’ve seen. I made a DPS Gladiator in version 1.0 of Final Fantasy XIV. The list goes on. But I know there are people out there who will only play with optimized builds, like a friend of mine from City of Heroes who had seven Shield scrappers to optimize AoE farming. And then there are people who hate any hint of utility and choose character builds solely for aesthetics. What about you, dear reader? How much does optimization affect your playing of MMOs? Do you play to optimize your build, do you avoid it, or do you enjoy making terrible builds the best they can be?

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Diablo III’s Necromancer beta is back from the dead

The Necromancer beta for Diablo III was around for a short time, then swiftly died off and went quiet as Blizzard tinkered with various aspects of the class behind the scenes. The good news is that it’s back again with the results of that tinkering on full display, although the bad news is that you can take part in the beta only if you’re invited. Reanimating the fallen is a special art and not everyone is prepared for it, you see.

Those of you who were already bored by testing the class will be happy to know that the latest beta build has redesigned and altered several Necromancer skills along with introducing Legendary items for the class. There are also set bonuses to play around with, various bug fixes, and of course the simple joy of summoning skeletons to do your dirty work. Let’s see if the beta lasts a wee bit longer this time around.

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Pantheon unveils the second part of its early Monk preview

Harsh environments, energetic punches, and the ever-present specter of death, all of this can be found within the archive of the most recent Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen livestream event. You can watch that whole thing just below if you want, although we should warn you that it’s an hour and a half long. Don’t do so five minutes before you’re supposed to leave for work or a class, that’s what we’re saying here.

If you need the same information in a more digestible format, a Reddit user has helpfully assembled a summary of the two-part stream going over the game’s Acclimation system, the early Monk abilities on display, death, and so forth. Sure, you miss out on gameplay footage, but it includes interesting information about how the combat will get more dynamic through varied NPC dispositions and how enemies will have different tactics and routines based on the situations. Some enemies will be afraid of fire, some will force you to knock them out of cover while they lay down a swarm of arrows, and so forth. Check out the stream just below, or read up on the summary if you just need the details now.

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Rend’s mix-and-match class system is deeper than it appears

Start small, grow wide: This is the class philosophy in the upcoming survival sandbox Rend. While there are only four classes in the game, players will be able to quickly differentiate themselves from others as they level up and make important decisions about how to develop their characters.

In today’s dev blog, the team outlines how the class system will work. Players will choose a mix-and-match pairing between a primary and secondary class, with each combo offering a different experience and set of tools than the others. Then players can earn and spend talent points to flesh out those roles.

“One of our main goals when designing these classes was to give an actual choice to the player. Each class has a benefit and a drawback, sometimes in the same talent tier,” Frostkeep said.

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Diablo III brings the Necromancer closed beta to life

It’s time to start dredging up corpses and making them do what you want in Diablo III, because the Necromancer closed beta has arrived. Of course, it is a closed beta, so if you haven’t been invited to test the new class you’ll have to just watch other people testing it. Still, you can look through the full list of Necromancer abilities to get an idea of what it’ll be capable of once you do get to play it in the future. It’s necromantic stuff, you know.

You can also test the rest of the patch as well; it might not contain any more corpse-animating weirdos, but it does contain new Challenge Rifts, new Adventure Zone maps, and various quality-of-life improvements and fixes. Obviously, those aren’t the things that will draw the most attention, but they’re all still there. And who doesn’t want more adventure zones to explore with the eventual and inevitable Necromancer? No one.

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TERA launches its Valkyrie patch Honorbound today [Update: It’s live now!]

At first it was called the Paragon. Then, players revolted, and it was renamed to the Valkyrie. But whatever you call the newest class in TERA, it still spins around with a sharp bit of metal on the end of a stick and slashes the heck out of things. What else could you want? Hands-on experience? We have that. A video guide on how the class plays? Sure, why not, you can check that out down below so you know exactly what you’re getting into with the biggest feature of the game’s latest patch.

The patch also rebalances lower level dungeons while allowing the ability to mount within. Monsters in the open world have also been made a bit tougher, so you’ll really need to put your Valkyrie through her paces; you have an extra character slot with this patch, to boot, so you’ll be able to make one. Check out the full set of patch notes and get ready to start stabbing with a glaive.

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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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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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Dungeon Fighter Online brings out male mages for its second anniversary

Believe it or not, one of the most popular MMORPGs in the world right now is actually Dungeon Fighter Online. The anime title boasts a strong following on Reddit and has been high up in the charts for monthly digital sales. You may not be playing it, but chances are that someone you know is.

DFO is also a relatively young game, having just hit its second anniversary in its current incarnation. The devs and community are celebrating the birthday as new male mages join the game’s playable lineup.

Players seem pretty psyched about DFO’s birthday, sending in congratulatory videos to the dev team about this occasion. Check out how the community is celebrating after the break!

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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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