Last night during Neverwinter’s press event we had the chance to do a first run through on the game. It was great to play with the devs and really get a feel for the design behind the scenes. When starting our characters Suzie chose the Guardian Warrior, Bill the Cleric, and I got the Trickster Rogue. I was excited to try the class and see how much it matched up to the true D&D rogues of my past. After two hours of game play I was thoroughly impressed with the Trickster Rogue, and here is why.
I started the character and blazed through the tutorial so I could catch up to Bill who was already playing. I chose the dwarf race by the way just because I thought it looked cool. The tutorial was great fun and gave you a sense of combat. However, it also gave me a false sense of security with my rogue. I was able to stand toe to toe with skeletons and monsters in the tutorial which gave me some confidence before we started our official dungeon run.
Once we entered the tower dungeon and began fighting, I quickly learned that the Trickster is very much a positional fighter. The class uses dual wielding daggers as its tools. It brought me back to my DAOC roots of playing a Berserker who always had to attack from the sides or front to get max damage. The Trickster plays the same way. Using the Stealth skill I was able to disappear for a few seconds and get the right position in every fight. Once I was able to begin my string of backstabs the damage level rose drastically. This is the core aspect of the Trickster Rogue. Leave the stand up fighting to the Guardians, your job is to shiv everything and you are great at it.
The game has an extremely smooth flow to it. Everything from UI to combat moves quickly and works very well. The rogue falls into this flow very easily. I was able stealth and move around the fights to get in the best spots for damage. If you like this style of game play, the speed and disappearing act of the rogue will be your bread and butter. I foresee this class being an absolute demon in PvP.
My top skill was Stealth by far. It is mapped to the Tab key and falls into the Class Feature category. It allows you to run unseen for about five seconds, plenty of time to move around in a fight. It also had a quick refresh on it so you can use it a lot during a single fight against a boss or loads of adds.
Dazing Strike is your main attack or top Encounter ability in which you the leap into the air and drop down on your foes. You also BAMF! Like Nightcrawler while using this skill which is a cool effect. The dazing strike can be deadly and after getting used to the class on the dungeon run I found myself using it as an opening attack and a finishing move.
Bait and Switch is your savior. Tricksters get clones as an Encounter ability. I flat out love this skill. It allowed me to jump out of the way of the giant orc boss fight several times and it saved my ass, while your shadow clone takes the guff.
Shadow Strike is your short range attack which not only stuns your opponent, but also gives you a refill on your Stealth skill. This one is great to use when you are getting into a rough spot in combat.
Bloodbath was the daily power I used the most. These powers are the real aces in your deck. You can pull them out when things are going well or when you are fighting a large group. Bloodbath had me jumping all over the fight in a quick succession of attacks which hit every one of the NPCs.
Whirlwind of Blades is an AOE attack which throws a spray of daggers around you. I did use this skill a lot when I soloed later at night. I did find Bloodbath to be more roguish and in character for the type of Trickster I wanted to play.
Speed and stealth in any fight are great. If you like Rogues in other MMOs, you will love the Trickster. The class is active and rewards you for using your skills properly. You are not just a DPS monkey. You have to move and think in every fight. Find the weak points and exploit them. With so many fights being against groups and lots of adds, you need to really find the right places to strike quickly and get out of there. The Stealth skill gives you freedom to do your job, just do not stand in front of bosses and expect to survive.
I was doomed without my trusty Cleric Bill. It could have just been getting used to the game, but I needed healing a lot. Luckily you can carry a lot of potions which helped me a ton. Sometimes you do get caught in a scrum of adds and you cannot get out quick enough. That was when having a solid healer definitely helped. You have to stay on the edge of every fight and move quickly. This is good to keep you active, but if you stop for two seconds, you are done.
Would I play a Trickster Rogue?
Abso-freaking-lutely. I loved the speed and skill level it took to not only stay alive, but also dish out massive amounts of damage. Being on the edge of the fight gave me time to think a little and pick my targets. The combat in Neverwinter is extremely active and the Trickster Rogue embodies the speed and fun that the game has to offer players. I loved playing this class.