The Daily Grind: How do you go about choosing your class in an MMO?


Friends, years ago I used to be the kind of MMO player who pored over every class description and skill layout. I’d wiggle into betas and test everything to find exactly the right class for me. I’d been burned by enough bad class choices that I didn’t want to invest any time into the “wrong” one.

Time has been kind to me, as MMOs have gotten better about not launching entirely broken classes (ahem, Squad Leader anyone?) and reducing grinds such that picking the “wrong” class is a much less costly mistake. I don’t think I’d noticed how much that’s changed my play strategies until I started up in Albion Online last month and in spite of all the admonitions about “your gear determines your playstyle,” I pretty much just made a bow and started shooting without putting any thought into it. I’m a bow user now; let’s just do this.

How do you go about choosing your class in an MMO? Do you agonize over your choice and research it to absurdity, or do you just pick something pretty and roll with it?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

No posts to display


Please Login to comment
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Clark Webster

I’ve always leaned towards hybrid classes, with the thinking that I’m getting 2 characters for the price of one… doesn’t always work out like that, so I also like to have some kind of backstory for my toon, or delve into some sort of character creation that is purposeful and makes me “want to play that character”.
A great example of this was my Skald from DAoC. A pretty versatile class, useful in groups but just as much fun solo. I needed something different to stand out from every other Skald. Not a build, a weapon set or specific armor. It needed “character”!! This is why I chose a dwarf as the race and pushed the character modeler to the smallest dwarf Skald I could make. Running around with trolls and humans on Midgard and a love for Led Zeppelin is what fueled this creation and as such, Trammpel Underfoot was born and became one of my favorite characters in any MMO I have played. The comments and in game messages I got in a constant basis, solidified everything that went into that creation process.


I gravitate towards the most versatile class and the closer it is to FFXI’s Red Mage, the better. If such a class doesn’t exist and they are more of the basic Ranger, Warriors, Mage, etc type classes I go for the Tank or Healer first.

From there and at some point that won’t take too long to get too I’ll create characters for every class and play them to some degree but will almost always stick to my first choice unless some Expansion classes peak my interest.

Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor

Simple : “try everything”

Well, at least many things. I found out that what I like to play in terms of “ranged vs. melee” or “squishy vs. tanky” totally depends on the game itself, so I need to test. A lot.

Liam O'Farrell

I’ve always played Mage-type characters, so they’re first off the rank when trialling new classes. If that doesn’t work out, finding the closest thing to a Paladin and going from there (Pally seems to be a common thread in these comments…)


As a general list of priorities:

1) Melee – I just like getting stuck in, so melee is usually first up on my choices.

2) Heavy Armour – I love plate mail!

3) Halberds / Spears – Can be hard to find this sometimes

4) Depth – I want the class to be engaging for a long time, so I look for some real depth in the gameplay of the class

5) Rarity – I like playing in groups so it makes sense to play a rare class.

In the usual trinity system, this means I usually end up playing a tank.


Honestly it first comes down to weapons as I like to use unique ones then it is really most of the time now tanks, then magic. I have this odd love of either meat shield or glass cannon not much in between.

Kickstarter Donor

I don’t really.. because I play one of everything, thereby avoiding they choice entirely :)

Kickstarter Donor

Is it a paladin? Is it like a paladin? Is it a tank/healer? Is it a novelty class? If yes, then I’ll probably give it a spin.

Andrew Ross
Andrew Ross

Just as an example, here’s what happened with Crowfall:

Man, there are some cool racials here.
Oh damn, Half-Giants get two gathering skills!
Oh, but all Guineapigs get stealth? Maybe I’ll do an alt.
Hmm, let’s look at the skill trees.
OK, these ones have some good CC, but nothing’s standing out. Let’s check tanks.
…none of these tanks sound interesting. Let’s check that healer CC.
OK, let’s try the talent builder.
These seem neat. Just down to 6 options! I’ll play this first.
[2 weeks later]
This doesn’t feel right.
[1 week later]
I can boost any character to 25!? Time to try those builds out!
[1 week later]
OK, I’ve made my choice.

Bryan Correll

I have to admit that any decision I made in race choice for Crowfall would begin and end with the concept of anthropomorphic guinea pigs.

Stormsong Minstrel
Stormsong Minstrel

Ranged damage dealer. And I mean damage, not so cosmetic scratching. Lotro’s Minstrel was perfect. Minstrel got nerfed, now Hunter is almost perfect. And yeah, self-heals are always a must.
Side note: trashable characters would always be blond females with as little clothing as possible. Why? because they are not for serious play.