Continuing our series on the classes of
Ten Ton Hammer has another great interview for our readers. Check out
the burst damage scout known as the Assassin!
This lethal attacker combines stealth and speed to deliver
deadly blows in a short span of time. The Assassin class must carefully
balance the damage it deals with skills that divert the enemy's
attention or the entire group can be in jeopardy. We asked Associate Producer Lani Blazier a number of questions to help us understand more about this intense class.
Assassins are one of the two
Scout subclasses in Aion (the other being the href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/68599" target="_blank">Ranger).
How are these two classes different and what kind of player is going to
enjoy the Assassin over the Ranger?
Assassin deals severe damage..
The Assassin is a melee DPS class with abilities focused on inflicting
severe damage on the enemy within a short amount of time. Players who
like to play melee DPS characters will like them. The biggest
difference between the Assassin and the Ranger is the way they kill. The
Ranger specializes in long-range attacks and can set traps. The
Assassin is quick, sneaky, and stealthy. Assassins can cloak (a sort of
invisibility) and quietly approach their enemies, aiming for vital
spots to inflict maximum damage instantly. This stealthy cloak is the
fundamental Assassin combat skill. Some Daevas criticize Assassins for
ambushing defenseless enemies, but the Assassin fulfills a necessary
function in a Daeva Legion. It fills the role of the silent
infiltrator, causing distraction and taking out specific targets
quickly and efficiently.
What is the Assassins role
in a group or raid? Will Assassins be full-on DPS, or will they have
usefulness beyond damage output?
style="font-style: italic;">In a group, the
Assassin acts as the partys exceptional melee damage dealer. However,
when inflicting damage on the enemy, Assassins needs to be sure that
they arent pulling aggro. To take advantage of their strongest
tactical skills, they also want to attack from an enemys rear. When a
party has no Ranger or other archer, the Assassin can also switch to
using a bow and pull monsters.
Assassins can devastate opponents when they use the right
skill for a tactical situation. They also have many skills that cause
an opponent to fall unconscious temporarily. When party members are in
danger, Assassins can use these skills effectively to block monsters.
Some of the important skill chain progressions of Assassins
enhance damage against a monster at the expense of generating a lot of
threat. It is important to use skills such as Whisper of Pacification
to lower an Assassins threat. Players will need to carefully
manage their attacks so that they dont pull focus off the tank. If an
Asassin generates too much threat, a monster will aggro on it, and it
will need to be healed hard (no matter how high an Assassins evasion
may be, it isnt enough to withstand a focused attack.). If that
happens, the healer healing the Assassin will generate a lot of healing
threat, and then the healer may become its next victim.
From what weve seen of
Assassins, they often seem to dual wield blades. What other weapons and
weapon combinations are available to this class, and will there be a
benefit to using one type of weapon over another?
The Assassin is exceptionally skilled with the sword, dagger, and bow.
It has numerous attack skills for each specific weapon.
Assassin is skilled with daggers, swords and bows.
Its harder to hit with the dagger, but the dagger has a high
attack speed, and it crits often. The sword is just the opposite.
At low character levels, it is difficult to raise
the Assassin's critical hit rate, so Assassins often use the sword while
soloing. As an Assassins level increases and its critical hit rate
rises, the daggers average damage exceeds the sword's, so many
Assassins then switch over to using dagger.
One weapon selection variation is to equip a sword and a
dagger at the same time to increase the number of attacks that hit. In
the end, though, most Assassins will use the best gear they have, and
thats what dictates their weapon use.
Are the Scout subclasses
limited to leather armor? Will having the disadvantage of lighter armor
than the Warriors make them more difficult to play solo, and will they
be reliant upon playing with a meat shield in order to survive in PvE
and PvP combat?
As the melee DPS with the highest evasion, the Assassin has fewer armor
choices when compared to the Warrior subclasses. That does make soloing
more challenging, especially if an Assassin has to engage with groups
of opponents rather than one on one. The defense of the kinds of armor
that an Assassin can equip is relatively low, so it is crucial for an
Assassin to defeat an enemy as quickly as possible. That is why the
Assassin skill progression focuses on strengthening the ability to land
an attack rather than increasing evasion or defense.
Its also a good idea to use manastones to increase evasion to
minimize damage, but an Assassin should focus as much as possible on
raising its ability to hit with an attack and its critical hit rate so
that it can defeat an opponent quickly.
Assassins can be scantily clad or covered more by their armor.
Looking at screenshots of
the Scouts, it seems that the female characters armor is a bit
skimpier than the males armor. Aesthetically, this makes sense, but
will female characters have the option of adorning themselves in the
Aesthetically, this makes sense. That makes me chuckle. That issue is
something that has always bothered me in many games Ive played. The
short answer is that a player does have the ability to equip bulkier
armor on female characters. Aion offers a variety of armor choices for
the player. We want characters to look like the way that players want
their characters to look like, not be driven by game statistics. The
game allows you to take two pieces of armor and combine the game
statistics of a piece with the look of another piece of armor you want.
This way you can achieve a look unique to your character.
There are some constraints, though. The amount of bulk that a
piece of armor has is driven by the armor type. Cloth is lighter, while
plate gets more bulky and gives more defense.
Assassins are thought of as
being the dark, stealthy, and dangerous sort of class that uses shadows
and mystery to take advantage of his opponents. What
abilities and tricks does the Aion Assassin have that make this class
one you want to look over your shoulder for?
Id want to stay as far away as possible from their poisoned dagger
tips, myself. Seriously, though, the classs greatest strengths are in
its skills that cause brief unconsciousness, Pattern Engraving, and
cloaking. In particular, Pattern Engraving is an Assassins trademark
skill. The more patterns an Assassin can engrave on an enemy, the
better ability the Assassin has to land blows and the more hurt it can
Does the Assassin have the
ability to maintain some sort of stealth while in flight or is this an
ability that they may only use while grounded?
Assassins can maintain stealth while they are flying. This can be
incredibly helpful when infiltrating different enemy areas and hard to
reach zones, however players will have to keep a close eye on their
stats as stealth flying burns up a lot of flight fuel. Bottom
line? When youre cloaked in the air, attacks need to be
timed extremely well.
What special abilities will
the Assassin have for aerial combat?
In the Abyss, Assassins are built for speed and freezing their
opponents in place. They learn skills that increase their critical hits
and their flying speed, power, and accuracy. They also have a ranged
skill that immobilizes a target in mid-air. This is a good class to
play if you're interested in aerial combat.
style="font-style: italic;">The best
way to take down an Assassin is to beat him with numbers.
What are the Assassins
weaknesses that other classes will be able to exploit in order to
succeed? Will there be other classes that have a distinct advantage
against the Scouts?
An Assassins defense is relatively low, but it possesses exceptional
evasion skills, and it uses cloaking to engage the enemy from behind.
Assassins dont have any skills to heal themselves, so during solo play
they have to rely on bandages and potions to heal. Assassins don't have
efficient range attacks, and since their defense is low, they can get
into trouble when attacked from both sides. So if your character is a
healer, wear an Assassin down. If your character is a tank or highly
armored Warrior, dont let an Assassin get behind your character. If
your character is a Ranger or other ranged DPS, attack from range. If
you really want to take down an Assassin for sureattack in a small
Not all players enjoy PvP.
With the Assassin and other classes, will PvP be a pivotal part of
character progression or are PvE players able to gear up and compete
without having to participate in PvP?
PvPvE allows players to compete in both PvE and PvP and not be funneled
to choosing one over the other in order to succeed. We like to think of
it as a reward-based system, not a punishment-based system. I believe
players will find PvPvE incredibly engaging, and not what they would
normally expect when they hear the word PvP. When characters play in
the Abyss, Abyss Points are collected from both PvE and PvP. Players
can use them to purchase high-end gear and items that are useful in
world PvP and in PvE raids.
We want to allow players to play Aion in a game style that
they find fun and engaging, and PvPvE is a big part of it.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Aion Game Page.