Posted Fri, Jan 01, 2010 by Savanja
If you are looking for a versatile melee class, look no further than Aion’s glorious Gladiator. Whether you choose to play as a tank that packs an extra punch or prefer to be a plate wearing damage dealer, the Gladiator can fill both roles equally as well or even switch back and forth between roles with ease.
While Aion’s other tank class, the Templar, excels with the use of a traditional sword and shield, the Gladiator’s skills make using greatswords and polearms far more beneficial and add to their raw carnage during battle.
This guide will cover the basics of the Gladiator class that will serve as a valuable tool for potential players as well as those who have chosen to play this mighty warrior. If you have any questions that we haven’t covered, I encourage you to visit our forums to ask!
Ooh. Your Polearm is so Big!
The Gladiator has the ability to switch up roles to fit whatever the player wishes it to. This versatility is great but then it also opens up a wide range of options in the realm of gearing up.
Early on you may not be able to afford plate armor, or even have it available to you. If this is the case, you can always get by with chain pieces, but upgrade as soon as you can afford and save your pennies because plate armor tends to be very expensive across all levels. Some actually choose to wear chain over plate, but I don’t recommend this. Gladiators are meant to resist physical damage, so let your team mates worry about magic damage!
Gladiators excel in wide and brutal damage.
Gladiators can use swords, greatswords, polearms, and bows all reasonably well but not all of these will result in optimal damage. Using a sword and shield isn’t very productive because the Gladiator just doesn’t have any skills that utilize this combo like it does for the Templar. Early on, your choices should always be between the greatsword and the polearm with a clear favoring towards the polearm. If you have access to a great quality greatsword, there is no reason why you can’t use it, but if you have the option to upgrade to an equal or better polearm, take it.
At higher levels other weapon options come into play. You’ll gain the option to use a bow and dual wield, both being useful. The bow is something that every Gladiator should have, if only for the ability to cleanly pull from a distance. Dual wielding has some good arguments for it but really it will come down to whether or not your playstyle will utilize the quicker damage. Polearms allow for big, slow burst damage. If you chain your skills constantly you may only actually see a few auto-attacks during a typical battle. How much damage do you want to do during that auto-attack and do you enjoy the stuns and area attack skills that you only get with two-handed weapons? I think that going two-handed is better for the PvE player and in the end you gain more from the side benefits of a two-handed weapon than you do from the quick damage of the dual swords.
As melee class, the Gladiator will want to use the same manastones that most melee players will use; Attack and Physical Critical Hit. Adding to Attack will raise your consistent damage overall while the Physical Critical Hit will raise your damage in unpredictable bursts. The best advice here is to raise Crit first then to your Attack when you approach the Crit soft cap.
Rock Those Skills
Now that you are geared up and ready to go, you need to know which buttons to mash, right? The Gladiator has some great skill chains that can keep him rolling out the damage without pausing to take a breath and these are what you will want to focus on. Ferocious Strike sets off a couple of different chains that can easily be alternated with other skills and used regularly. Stagger the chains between your direct damage skills, stuns, and area of effect skills. If you are playing solo, watch your space around you for your AoEs if you don’t want adds. Your AoEs do nice damage but too many mobs can still be a problem.
If you can't hit it with a polearm, you're doing it wrong!
To attack, either use your bow to pull your mob or go in fighting. Open with your first chain, damage, chain, auto-attack and repeat. The auto-attack will let your skill reuse timers refresh and will also take advantage of your physical crit and mad weapon damage that you’ll have to play with. The Gladiator also has a couple of short term buffs to use, Rage being one of them. Use them at the onset of battle or as they refresh for a little extra defense.
Leading the Pack
In a group the Gladiator works either as a main tank, off tank, or as a bit of extra DPS. If you’re playing DPS in a group the only real point of note is watching your AoEs. AoEs tend to be bad in most group circumstances because they will break mezzes and draw agro. In a small casual group, ask your tank if they mind you using them but in structured dungeon runs, leave them alone.
Gladiators make great off tanks. DPS your heart out but when the tank gets into trouble, but be ready to step in to save the day! You can equip your DPS weapon of choice while you play, just keep a sword and shield handy and a hotbar shortcut to quickly switch out your weapons. Also remember to keep a hotbar with your more tank-like skills available for when you need them.
Gladiators may not always make better tanks than Templars, but knowing how to tank well is something every Gladiator should know how to do.
Even though it may be tempting to stick with the damage focus that is the nature of this class, it is better to switch to a sword and shield for tanking. Why would one want to diffuse a warrior’s grand damage? Well, because someone has to heal you and they probably would do so better if you had a higher defense. As a tank it is your job to be the barrier between the mobs and your group, damage is a something you do to keep an enemies attention and should not be your primary goal. Even though most of the Gladiator skills focus on two-handed weapon damage, you do have taunts and Shield Counter that will assist you. Always open with your taunt and use it as it refreshes. Your Shield Counter does some damage as well as smacks down a nice stun and while it may not be as impressive as a fat polearm strike, it does its job quite nicely.
Remember to properly position your target for your group companions and keep a close eye on your surroundings and you may find that good tanking skill will overcome any shortfalls that a Gladiator may have as a tanking class.