Runes of Magic: Second Class Citizens, Part Two
MMORPG.com Runes of Magic Correspondent Robert Sollazzo writes this look at secondary classes in Runes of Magic this time looking at the Rogue, the Scout and the Warrior
So many choices, so many levels. In Runes of Magic, one of the most important choices you'll make is that of your second class. Last week in Second Class Citizen, we looked at the Priest, Mage and Knight. This week we'll finish up with the Rogue, Scout and Warrior; What works, what doesn't and some theory behind the class interaction.
Normally the PvP class of choice, rogue classes, hold the highest populations among MMOs, and for good reason... Who doesn't like to stealth-gank their opponents in PvP and be a DPS class of choice in PvE? As a secondary class, the rogue does one thing and one thing only: melee DPS. The first thing to remember when choosing a rogue secondary is that you cannot stealth as a secondary skill. Which is fine by us, frankly, since it would break the game.
Even so, the DPS a Rogue secondary brings to the table is not insignificant by any means, and any class looking to augment its own melee damage would do well to consider one... Within reason, of course. For example, A Priest/Rogue doesn't receive quite the benefit as a Rogue/Priest, though since Runes effectively allow both to be interchangeable, most players happily overlook the fact. Mages come out with roughly the same deal but in either case, you're still a squishy character looking to engage melee skills which may cause others to question your sanity. Still, one can easily make the argument that cloth stat'd with dexterity and strength is easily available and can also be socketed such.
The knight probably benefits the most from a Rogue secondary class, whereas the warrior comes up short. No, put the AD&D books and dice away. I know everything good and logical says that a Warrior/Rogue should work seamlessly, but it doesn't. This is mainly due to the disparity in weapons skills involved and the crux of the matter lies in the fact that warrior skills center around two handed axe weapons whereas Rogues rely on daggers. It's that simple. Trying to make either work will gimp the DPS of the other since there is little middle ground to work with. Sure, you'll get a dual wield warrior as part of the package and it can work, but trust me... it's not as good as you think. If you insist on going that route, you at least get the most range closing abilities available to any class and your rage generation is better hitting with two weapons instead of one.
This class is the Mage's primary competition in the long range combat category. As a secondary class, it is probably best paired with mana users looking to extend their ranged DPS abilities without putting their mana pools into conflict. Of course, there's no reason a melee class can't opt for a Scout secondary as well to round out their abilities in and outside of melee.
As we've already mentioned, Mage/Scouts are ranged powerhouses while Priest/Scouts benefit in much the same way they would as Priest/Mages. On that note, it's really a toss up as to using using a Scout or Mage with a Priest. Mages come with caster specific buffs and use the same base stats (and thus equipment) while Scouts don't share a common mana pool and can detect through stealth. Both have class specific DoTs to augment the Scout's own, allowing either to kite targets easily. Both are decent choices, in my opinion.
In terms of melee, the Scout's role is obvious, though the most benefit would go to the Rogue who stands to gain stealth sniping abilities and dexterity/crit bonuses while being able to maintain the same armor sets. Again, one must weight the pros and cons here since- like a melee/mage secondary -the classes you are pairing together merge two distinctly different combat styles, necessitating a tactical mentality that may not fit everybody. In reality, all the melee classes share this disparity as well, so take a moment before rolling up a melee/scout combination. We've heard some really satisfied customers and those that wish their combination to the depths of hell.
The warrior of RoM doesn't fill the role you're likely expecting, straddling the middle ground between off-tank and armored DPS. It's also this indecisive nature that regulates it to second string when it comes to choosing it as a secondary and why you really don't see it as an ideal candidate in any of the above scenarios. In our findings thus far, there are few roles for a warrior secondary that can't be filled better by another class, the main competition being Rogues and Knights. Both classes represent the extreme ends of their respective spectrum and when it comes to a secondary class, why choose the middle ground?
The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that so many Warrior skills revolve around axes and to a lesser extent, two handed weapons. Likewise, rage buildup tends to be anemic when combined with the regular 20-25 point rages skills, making a decisive build up of rage a lethargic affair. This is not to say the Warrior is impossible to play, though it is tougher to pair with another class. Knight-Warriors tend to get along well, further hardening both classes and giving the Knight a needed bump in DPS. Being a secondary class to a priest shouldn't even bare mentioning at this point, though again, you'll want it Warrior-Priest, not the other way around. Finally, magical attacks do not build up rage so keep that in mind when attempting to pair the warrior up with mana users.
Unfortunately, Warriors share an uneasy place among the class hierarchy because of the middle ground they straddle, and one can't help but to question their implementation. In our opinion, any decision concerning one as a secondary class (or even primary) should be made with caution; at least until their place is further defined in RoM. This isn't to say they are unplayable, just that the blend will not likely be what your are expecting given their intermediate role.
Note: A recent patch seems to have bumped up warrior rage, increasing its generation marginally. While the tweak is appreciated, executing your nominal skills still runs 20-25 rage on average, so we feel that the change is a band aid solution at best for the moment.
When it's all said an done, rolling a successful dual class character in Runes of Magic comes down to these general guidelines and a few simple rules. Sure, we could have gone with a complex table with rankings and color codes, but it's just not that difficult. Just remember, the basic things to watch out for are classes that use the same energy source, classes that in combination don't play to their innate strengths and that a priest/anything is golden.