Many MMORPGs make use of classes that are tried and true like mages, warriors, and paladins. While there’s nothing wrong with going with the usual archetypes considering how deep build-crafting can be in a lot of MMOs, some games stand out with their unique classes that offer a fresh gameplay experience. Here are our picks for the ten most unique classes in MMORPGs.
10. Gunbreaker - Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV's Gunbreakers are able to wield both guns and magic and the class is capable of dealing decent amounts of damage while also having access to support capabilities in a party. Inspired by Squall from Final Fantasy VIII, t is a tank job featuring Aetherically-charged guns that can project a defensive barrier. If you want to dish out damage, you need to charge up some cartridges by using combos and you will be able to cast some powerful abilities with massive damage. It’s a unique take on a tank class that plays like no other out there.
9. Mesmer - Guild Wars 2
Mesmers in Guild Wars 2 are designed to mesmerize enemies through illusions and gain an advantage in battle. If you love having control over the battlefield, Mesmers can be a fun way to play the game. It feels like you are playing a summoner-style class but with direct crowd-control spells that can turn the tides of battle. Speaking of summons, Mesmers can call upon mirror images while also being able to shut down enemy healing and energy gains. The class is heaps of fun and if you ever try out Guild Wars 2, you check out the Mesmer class.
8. Death Knight - World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft's Death Knights are melee fighters who can wield dark magic. They are very strong at close-range combat and are able to make use of unholy power to manipulate the battle. You get to make use of runes to control the tides of battle and you also have a lot of defensive abilities. There are blood, frost, and unholy death knights who all have their unique characteristics. While blood death knights are designed to be tanks, the other two specializations allow you to play as a melee DPS with tons of tricks up your sleeve.
7. Sith Inquisitor - Star Wars: The Old Republic
Sith Inquisitors from SWTOR specialize in using the Force energies and can draw upon the life essence from others or within themselves. There are advanced classes that allow you to transition to a Sith Sorcerer or a Sith Assassin. Sorcerers are capable of damage and healing while Assassins are focused on damage and defense. Double-bladed lightsabers make Sith Inquisitors a blast to play with and unlike a lot of other assassin classes in MMORPGs, they can be deceptively defensive and hold their own in a duel.
6. Virtuoso - Guild Wars 2
Virtuosos branch out from the necromancer class and were introduced with the End of Dragons expansion. The class combines the use of magic, alchemy, and the use of Dragonjade. You do not get to protect yourself using your life force. Instead, you have to rely on your increased mobility and long-range attacks. You get to reduce your vitality to increase your damage and you have to avoid taking damage and putting yourself at risk if you truly want to maximize your damage. The class is not all about damage though as you get a lot of support capabilities for your party.
5. Dancer - Final Fantasy XIV
Dancers were introduced to FFXIV in the Shadowbringers expansion and it is one of the three ranged DPS classes in the game. There are games that utilize the Dancer class as a supportive one but Final Fantasy chooses to go the damage route instead. You have access to throwable weapons that except in both single-target and AoE damage. You have to manage your combos and rotate your skills properly if you truly want to maximize your damage and utility. You even get to have a dance partner who will constantly get buffs that increase their damage output.
4. Warden - EverQuest II
Wardens in EverQuest II are capable of tapping into nature to heal their allies. It feels like the perfect mix of druids and traditional healer classes. With disease and poison being major combat elements in the game, Wardens are potent at cleansing them from allies and you also get to invoke protective skills to prevent damage. It is very difficult to make healers interesting in games the Warden class is arguably one of the more interesting iterations of a support class we have seen in MMORPGs.
3. Captain - Lord of the Rings Online
Want to feel like you’re in charge? The Lord of the Rings Online's Captain is the best option for anyone who likes to play in both solo and group environments. The entire combat loop revolves around a “pet” who carries a banner and offers various buffs. It is quite possibly one of the most versatile classes I have seen in an MMORPG with melee damage, ranged damage, buffs, single target damage, healing, and more. You get to self-sustain your character when playing solo and offer your entire party some solid buffs in team environments. It’s a fascinating class to play, and it’s one every Fellowship needs to think twice about not having in a raid party.
2. Smuggler - Star Wars: The Old Republic
Smugglers in Star Wars: The Old Republic are similar to rogues and rely on the element of surprise. You have access to abilities that let you be stealthy and catch enemies off guard. With a host of skills that stun or incapacitate enemies. You have to make use of cover to truly maximize your damage. You have access to Heroic Movement, which constantly regenerates your health once activated and it can help you flank enemies and make risky plays without being put under too much pressure.
1. Red Mage - Final Fantasy XIV
Red Mages were introduced in the Stormblood expansion and they do not have a base class. You get to use a melee rapier with unique weapon skills and offensive magic. The whole class revolves around building up your Black and White mana gauges and spending that mana to unleash powerful combos and finisher spells. The Dualcast trait that allows you to cast every other spell is one of the things that makes Red Mags so fluid to play. It is a class that anyone can pick up fairly easily but it is slightly team reliant to output optimal damage.
These were our picks for the top 10 unique classes in MMORPGs. Guild Wars 2’s Necromancer, Final Fantasy 14’s Dragoon, and many other classes are also equally deserving of your attention. While some of the ones we listed might not be as potent in combat, their gameplay design is definitely appealing to players who want a fresh experience. Is there a class you think was deserving of being included on this list? Let us know in the comments.