Many Aion fans are probably following the upcoming release of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Classes or – in their final, specialized versions – Jobs are probably one of most interesting parts of any new MMORPG. In name, they jobs of FFXIV v2.0 aren’t any different from v1.0. In gameplay though, things might look very different. After all, a lot of the renewed trust in the franchise to deliver a convincing MMO is based on them successfully overhauling the gameplay of the 14th installation of Final Fantasy. Early reports from the ongoing beta seem to paint a positive picture of the changes.
With the introduction of the Elder Scrolls Online in 2013, MMORPG players are keep their two eyes closely on the launch of the game. It is said that ESO have the most outstanding class system that no other online games cannot compare including Aion. Aparting from gorgeous name of classes like the Dragon Knight, the Templar, the Nightblade, or etc, the Elder Scrolls Online class do not bind each class with very limited amount of armour choice.
Sorcerer do not have to wear an unprotective vest or light armour no more, but it is able to equip a massive armor with thorn around its chest or a helmet made of dragon skull. On the other hand, the Elder Scrolls Dragon Knight can suit a magical-increase rope if they would like to enhance themselves with magical protection. With this unlimited choices of gears, the Elder Scrolls Online becomes a game that have the most unique class system ever.
I collected some personal experience with different Aion classes below. They work quite different from classes in other games like FFXIV. Please note that these are just some notes I jotted down for myself. If you are actually looking for a real strategy guide, I can recommend this Aion Guide from Killer Guides – I used it extensively in the past while I leveled up multiple characters.
This article is meant to provide an Aion class guide, giving players more information about the different classes in the game. I hope you find this information useful in choosing the best class for your personal playstyle. Please note that class balance and other factors constantly change, so what holds true today, might be significantly different tomorrow already.
The classes system in Aion allows players to first pick a general direction, before having to decide on the final details. This means from level 1 to 10 Aion players can pick between playing a warrior, scout, mage or priest. As a routined MMORPG players you’ll immediately recognize the concept of tank, melee dps, range dps and healing.
At level 10, you’ll then get to decide on your final Aion class. Every direction offers two choices. As a warrior you’ll have to decide whether you’ll be playing a templar or a gladiator. Scouts pick between Assassins and Rangers. For Mages the options are Spiritmaster and Sorcerer, while priests get to choose between Priest and Chanter.
In general the class roles seem somewhat similar to what you would find in one of SOE’s MMORPGs: The specialization after playing a base class for several levels, the distinction between the different options a base class has – even down to the equipment they usually wear.
Starting with the Warrior characters, I’ll take a look at the different Aion classes, allowing new players to make a beter choice:
- Templars are defensive tanks. If you’re looking to tank in raids, this is the class you want to play. Capable of carrying a shield they offer the highest defensive value, making it a great fit for the traditional meatshield role.
- Gladiators are more offensive fighters, think fury-specced warriors in WoW. What they lack in defense, they make up in offense. If you’re looking for a tank that also can dish out some damage, you’ll probably be happy with this choice.
- Assassins are your typical rogue class. Coming from an EQ world, they are rogues, only capable of wearing leather, specializing in daggers and of course counting stealth as their major bonus.
- Rangers are the other option for scouts. They trade off the element of surprise – stealth – for better armor and more versatility when it comes to using weapons.
- Spiritmasters can probably be compared the most to Magicians in EQ and Warlocks in WoW. They send their summoned creatures to fight for them and stand back during the action. Only being able to wear cloth armor they are dependent on their summoned creatures and other players to protect them from melee attacks.
- Sorcerers are your run-of-the-mill, average nukers. Pure range DPS these glass cannons live up to their expectations. Being one of two cloth classes in Aion, they are your main choice for magical range DPS. Like their Spiritmaster counterparts, you have to count on others to protect you from melee attacks.
- Chanters use their mantras to give strength to their friends. Basically a buff/debuffing class that seeks its equal in lack of popularity. Justifying your place in a group will be a regular occurance since you neither contribute pure DPS nor are able to heal or take damage directly.
- Clerics are the class that of course everyone picks first in an MMORPG. Not. (Unless you follow a proper guide on which class to choose – tl;dr: being in demand is great). Of course being the only class that can provide any decent heals at all, you are well of having one of them in your group at all times.
In general, Aion classes are feeling more similar to what you see in EQ than in other games. This isn’t a big surprise, given that NCSoft‘s history and huge successes (e.g. Lineage 2), share common roots with other early MMORPGs. For players new to the genre this won’t make much of a difference. Others might need to go through the base classes first before deciding on their final class, less they end up playing one that turns out quite different than what they expected at higher levels.
A very early video of Aion Classes shows you what the developers originally had in mind. Please note that this dates back to 2007 when Aion was still in its infancy and there wasn’t even that much speculation around what the game would be like.
Since then a lot of things have happened and especially the Assassin and Ranger classes have been revised significantly during the Chinese beta. While every game goes through different development phases, the classes in Aion were indeed throughly tested in the beta, thus resulting in some less popular changes. Eventually things settled down as players adapted to new playstyles. In the end, NCSoft found the new class balance to be quite well received.
I hope this gave some good points to to consider. After you decided on your class (and went through the extensive character creation process), I recommend you pick up one of the guides from killerguides.com – it saves you a ton of time. Actually quite a bit of the content can be found in forums and other websites, though I would consider having all the neat stuff complete together was definitely worth the purchase.