Every MMO has character classes. Every single one. You might rail against this by pointing out that there are several games out there with open skill systems, and this is undeniably true, but it’s the rare MMORPG that allows you to really mix and match from totally opposite ends of the skill spectrum. You might have plenty of freedom in building your character, but in most MMOs, you’re not wielding Ranged Spell of Doom alongside the Great Armor and Smashy Hammer of Destiny.
Unless you’re playing Darkfall, at least, and then everyone is playing “teleporting death wizard” anyhow, so who cares?
The point is that there are certain character types that show up again and again in almost every game, no matter how far off the beaten path its advancement system might be. Skill-based, class-based, whatever – if you’ve got combat, you’ve got some familiar character types. And you probably have some types that you play over and over again, which says something about you, in the same way that always ordering the same thing at Starbucks but debating over it for half an hour every time says something about you.
1. Sneaky Backstabby Type
You’ve heard of the concept of a fair fight but wish to have no interaction with it whatsoever. If you have to get involved in some sort of combat in the game, you’d prefer to approach it with as little risk as possible, and if you can end the battle without ever having to actually interact with mechanics or counters or whatever, so much the better. As far as you’re concerned, a win is a win, and it doesn’t matter if the dead player is unaware you exist until you slide a knife into various vital organs, it still means you won.
…Until someone else does it to you, at which point you care about fair fights for as long as it takes you to get back into stealth.
2. Fireball Casty Type
Gandalf shows up as a major character in four books, and he spends more time swording people up and talking things out than casting spells. Despite that, you think that’s nothing cooler than going into combat unarmored and unarmed and then just destroying people with the sheer power of your mind. There’s just something that gets you going about using the destructive force of your mind alone, and if you’re going to whisper, “Who’s last-pick on the volleyball team now?” to yourself while you do so, who are we to judge?
Have you ever noticed that this guy is always the Warrior? It’s always called Warrior, and it’s always a dude with heavy armor and big weapons, and that’s his whole thing. That’s straightforward. You like it. You know what makes sense in battle? Going into battle. Why would you not want the biggest weapons and the heaviest armor when you do that? It’s all well and good in and of itself, but you do tend to think that this entitles you to be Conan the Barbarian and The Bride at the same time, leading to irritation when you can’t simply crush your enemies by merely standing near them.
4. Pet Class
When you started playing, someone said that having a pet class was the easiest way to play, and it was. Why wouldn’t you play that? You like easy. Easy is nice. Having a pet right there to take the burden off you is a blessing, and you’re perfectly content to sort of coast along. You have better things to do than smash your head against a wall for an extended period of time. It’s quite possible that you have a new MMO on your play rotation every month because you start losing interest once you get into the parts that require more commitment.
5. Healy McHealface
Your eyes are forever fixed on the middle distance, unfocused on the person talking to you, because you have seen some stuff. You like being in groups, but you also realize that your lot in life is to do well in groups and be ignored or do poorly and be blamed – or sometimes do well and be blamed just the same. Your patience is worn down to a thin nub. Relying upon others to get things done is both your strength and your weakness, and when it gets to be too much, you’ll probably just go play a pet class.
6. Dark/Death/Dread/Unhappy Knight
You hate when people assume that you’re just a teenager who wants to seem dark and edgy. You are a teenager who wants to seem dark and edgy, but you hate when people assume it.
7. Weird Hybrid Magic Class
Dad jokes are something you find genuinely amusing, and you will indulge in them endlessly. You like weird stuff, intentionally weird stuff. When you’re told that a given class is crap, your first instinct is to take a look. It’s never really a question to you of what character options make your character the best; it’s which ones are the most interesting to your personal aesthetic. You’ve made the option to know a lot about the game to make something work, which is a bit like becoming an engineer just so you can make a pedal-powered car. (Which probably sounds pretty cool to you.)
You hate when people assume that you’re just a horny teenager. You are a horny teenager, but you hate when people assume it.
9. Invisible Support/Control
Subtlety is fun. It’s fun to know that the team you’re working with relies upon you to be just a little bit stronger, a little bit faster, a little bit more capable. It’s neat that you can quietly tweak everything and make the team run better. It’s great fun to have an impact on a battle without having to make a big deal out of it.
The part where no one else realizes that you have an impact and gets annoyed that you aren’t doing more is less fun, though. And the part where you do the math and realize that they’re right is even less fun. Maybe you should try something else. Healing sounds close enough, right?
10. Flavor of the Month
If you want to be the best, you should be doing the stuff that makes you the best, right? So why not just do that? Find the best healer, DPS, or tank, and just play that. That means that everyone will want you in groups and you’ll have the easiest possible time mastering the class, and we all know that these things never change or receive any sort of backlash. Nope, you’ve made the best pick, and it’ll be that way forever and ever.
The fact that you have been repeating that fact monthly is probably not lost upon you. But the first few hundred times were flukes; this one’s the real deal. You’ve got a good feeling about it.