In last week’s List, we discussed our favorite MMO roles, so this week we’ll narrow it down a bit more to discuss our favorite classes. This list is by no means exhaustive, of course. There are far too many awesome MMO classes to pick from, but these are some of my favorites.
Dragoon - FFXIV
The Dragoon has always been my favorite Final Fantasy class (or Job, if you like). If a FF game lets me play one, you can be sure that’s what I’ll be doing. I even fielded an entire team of Chocobo-mounted Lancers in Final Fantasy Tactics one playthrough.
The Dragoon in FFXIV is pretty much complete wish fulfillment. The Job features a surprisingly deep storyline and is featured heavily in the game’s first expansion, Heavensward. The armor and weapons you get to equip (my favorite being the Holy Lance) truly make you feel like a Dragoon, which is why I’m continually glamouring my Artifact armor. But most of all, the Job plays the way you’d expect. The game’s flashy animations look great, the abilities have a nice flow with long combo chains, and you even get a variety of jumps at your disposal. You don’t get to hang in the air and be invincible for a while, but leaping up and coming down spear first onto an enemy and then back flipping away never gets old for me in FFXIV.
Mastermind – CoV
As far as I’m concerned, the Mastermind in City of Villains is the best representation of a pet class in an MMO, full stop. Most games let you control a single pet or a small selection of pets, but for the Mastermind, you practically had an army at your disposal (or literally, if you were a Mercenary Mastermind). The pets represented most of your damage and could be upgraded with additional abilities. These upgrades also made them look more visually impressive. Pet controls were fairly standard, but you could also have your pets execute all sorts of commands, including emotes.
The Mastermind also had a couple of attacks of its own and an entire secondary powerset which made for some fun combinations. Variety was huge for the Mastermind. You could choose to be in command of anything from an army of thugs, to demons, to gigantic robots. AI was always a bit suspect, but when isn’t it when it comes to pets?
White Lion – WAR
Warhammer Online’s White Lion is my favorite version of a single pet class that I’ve played in an MMO. From what I understand, the class isn’t true to lore, but I loved the bond between lion and elf and the different ways you could play the class. If you wanted to fight alongside your lion as an equal, you could do that. Want the lion to tank for you. That was an option, too. Of course, you could also have the lion do all the damage for you while you distract the enemy. I tended to go back and forth between the latter two specs.
One thing I really enjoyed about the class, and it’s a little thing, is how your lion would mature over the progression of your character. At the beginning of your journey, your lion is a juvenile, but by the time you’ve reached the level cap, the lion is a massive, muscular beast with murder mittens and a full set of armor.
Also, everyone hated the White Lion in RvR. I bet most of you Destruction players reading this are cursing under your breath thinking about all the times you got snatched off of the battlements behind LoS by some asshole White Lion’s pet. Yeah, that was me. Deal with it.
Bounty Hunter –SWTOR
This was a tough pick for me. I considered the Jedi Knight, which truly does feel and play like a Jedi Knight in SWTOR, but I’m factoring in story here and I enjoyed the Bounty Hunter more. I realize that’s an unpopular opinion, most people loved the Jedi Knight story, but aside from the events of Chapter 3, I found it fairly uninteresting.
On the flip side, the Bounty Hunter doesn’t have as much of a story, but that’s also what makes it interesting. Chapter 1 plays out like any other SWTOR story, but once you get to Chapter 2, the feel is unique. You’re your own boss. The game does a good job at making you feel like an independent hunter in charge of his or her own destiny.
The class is just plain cool, too. Maybe not so much the Mercenary, but the Powertech, like the Dragoon in FFXIV, is almost complete wish fulfillment. You have a huge array of gadgets at your disposal, ranging from flame throwers, to wrist lasers, to shoulder mounted rocket launchers and much more. And you can pair it all with high tech Mandalorian gear to really live that Jango/Boba Fett fantasy. And you can be sure as hell that I do.
It’s simply a joy to play and I often log on just to do heroics with my BH simply for the amazing feel of the class.
Pilot – SWG
Out of all the classes I could pick in SWG, this is the one I picked? Weird, I know. But I loved Jump to Lightspeed. It was basically a marriage of X-Wing Alliance with RPG elements. The higher you moved up in the story and its respective pilot class (Alliance, Freelancer, or Imperial) the more certifications, abilities, and power management options you’d unlock.
Ships had tons of interesting loot options to hunt for and the limitations on your ship ensured you had realistic constraints to consider to keep things balanced. You could load your ship with heavy armor and ordnance, but you probably wouldn’t have room to fit it with more powerful engines and the like if you did so. It was a min/maxers dream.
I remember how disappointed I was that SWG didn’t launch with space, but Jump to Lightspeed completely blew me away.
Dominator – CoV
I went into this a bit last week, but we’ll go through it again. I love control classes and the Dominator offered a perfect mix of control and damage, making it one of my favorite classes ever. City of Heroes had the Controller, which had more consistent crowd control power, but its secondary powerset was entirely support, which just wasn’t fun to me, especially solo.
The Dominator’s Domination mechanic gave it really cool “hero moments” to look forward to and its secondary offense powersets made solo play less painful. I was also just a huge fan of the archetype’s offense powersets since they offered a healthy mix of melee and ranged options in each set. Typically you’re picking things like Energy Blast or Energy Melee in City of Heroes/Villains, but the Dominator mixed both. The result was feeling like a well-rounded character who could do a bit of everything.
What are some of your favorite MMO classes? Share ‘em with us in the comments below!