This is a fluff post. Nothing to do with game design but I was just reminiscing about my different character classes over the years and which ones stood out. It is in chronological order, not ranked by preference.
1. Magician – EQ
Check out those hot 3D graphics. Fisdib (yay name generators) was my first ever MMO character. This character introduced me to the pet mechanic, and boyo did we have fun together. Me and him, and him and me. As much as I enjoyed playing a caster plus pet, the odd thing is I didn’t ever play a squishy after that. Subconscious love, perhaps?
Nostalgia: I remember farming for Mino Axes for hours on end, getting a full backpack of them and then taking the (what seems to have been) 2 hour trek to Queynos to sell them. Mino axes were, at the outset of the game, one of the best lower level weapons available. We used to make a killing selling those things (and by “we”, I mean Gnomes. We would farm all day, and send one sacrifice to make the trek – which just happened to be me, because back then there was exploration in MMO’s which I enjoyed).
2. Shadowblade – DAOC
My first introduction to a stealth character. The Shadowblade had the distinction that it was best for a SB to use a 2 handed weapon. That’s right, sneak from the shadows with a 6′ sword. It was beautiful. Back in those days as well, there was a percentage chance that if you killed someone using your stealth opener (in this case, Perforate Artery – which makes perfect sense for such a precision strike with a 2H weapon!) you wouldn’t break stealth. I am not kidding. So, we would comb the battlefield for the sick and the wounded, find someone low on health, kill the poor unsuspecting fool and still stealth away while his group of friends frantically popped random PBAOE to try to uncover us. Yes it was nerfed. Of course.
Nostalgia: Camping the Emain Macha milegate with 3 Shadowblades, I once killed 3 people in a row without breaking stealth. The icing on the cake was the last standing healer about to rezz, after she and her realm mates had killed the other two Shadowblades.
3. Shaman – WoW
Playing on the Alliance side, I didn’t get to be a Shaman – and when I did it was for only a short time. My first main was a Hunter (see #1 pet mechanic) and once I realized I was doomed to solo I switched to a Druid. I really enjoyed my Druid for a long time, until Lifebloom became the hot spell of the year. Raid healing as a Druid you would have 4 rolling 3 stacks of LB up at all times. It was not fun to heal that way. Our raid team was short on Shaman, so I broke the EULA and reactivated a friend’s account who had a Shaman (for PVP). Respecced, and boy did I love healing with that class. The key to the enjoyability of the Shaman class for me was the totems. As a Druid for years, we had one real buff – (Mark of the Wild) – so multiple Druids just meant you got to split up who was responsible for the one buff on whom. Now, with the Shaman, you could tailor your buffs not only on who was in in your group at that time, but also for the exact situation. Drop a Windfury totem to help the melee DPS team, and then drop a fire resist totem when the boss was doing an AOE attack. It was a different level of management instead of just LB, LB, LB, LB, LB, and I had a ton of fun with it. My friend came back to the game and of course I gave him back his account, but I miss that Shaman. If the thought of levelling my 6th WoW character to max level didn’t make me puke, I’d be doing one right now.
Nostalgia: After a raid team progression stall, after switching up to the Shaman as my main raider we downed 7 new Raid bosses in one month. Total coincidence, of course, but that is one of my better WoW memories.
4. Warden – LOTRO
Here’s the kicker – I only played a Warden for 10 days in the Mines of Moira expansion, but I loved the class. Unfortunately I didn’t love the game. The Warden had an interesting mechanic called “Gambit”, which was combining different attacks that built up to a larger attack. Depending on what your first two attacks were determined the outcome of the big one – so there was an opportunity to mix and match different abilities to get different results. While I only played this class briefly I could completely envision what Gambit combos awaited me at higher levels. Besides the Gambit I just loved tanking with a spear and shield – it is such a great combo that I hadn’t realized the style in any other MMO’s I had tried.
Nostalgia: The movie 300. I really liked that flick and playing as a Warden had the look and feel of a Spartan that seems seldom captured.
I just realized none of those characters are even close to one another in terms of style and playstyle. Interestingly enough I notice a lot of my friends that, for example, played a Wizard in EQ now play Mages in WoW. I suppose I like to mix it up a bit. I am curious if other people pick one style of character throughout their titles or switch it up like me? Also curious what sort of characters you may have played that stood out to you as a great fit.