In this second update I cover the Stalker, Engineer and Warrior and round up some of the issues or “Hot Topics” facing the classes. Please be aware that as always throughout any Beta, skill balancing is constantly under way for all classes so I’ll not go into too greater depth per each skill.
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Unsurprisingly the Stalker arguments rage back and forth between players as to how good the class performs as a tank. Many players consider it powerful and more than capable at not only damage mitigation but holding aggro, where as others find Warrior or Engineer a much more viable long term alternative. The good news however (despite some naysayers) is the fact that the consensus overall agrees the Stalker is more than capable of being an excellent tank, though its rotation somewhat repetitive. The biggest discussions surrounding the Stalker at present all revolve around PvP and the difficulties that it faces. I’m sure many people expected a telegraph heavy game to be a challenge for a stealth class and in Scenario settings, it’s a challenge to stay stealthed. However the biggest problem (or no problem to some) is that the Stalker is less of an Assassin type class and instead a sort-of-berserker. It’s scrappy in its nature, remains exposed often and like every other class since the last few patches has an elongated time to kill. In a PvE environment you’re more than capable of killing enemies in one hit and yet against other players (and certainly as a Medic) Stalkers are laughable if they miss their opener because even when not specialised for healing, I can outlast them all day long. Without question their opener is strong but over a sustained period the class still falls far short of the Medic or Engineer. Other issues facing a Stalker:
- Male Drakken have a glitchy stealth animation (though this is due to be fixed soon!)
- Tanking becomes much easier post level 25
- A lack of deflection while stunned or attacked from behind
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The Engineer is a pretty popular class in the Beta. I regularly see many on my travels and in scenarios and for the most part, they do pretty well. There’s mixed feedback in regards to their potential and damage output with a variety of players stating its far too low and others stating they’re the kings of PvP. From my own anecdotal evidence, only a handful of Engineers I’ve encountered are troublesome and actually deal decent damage, though this is primarily linked to the fact that during the early levels, their damage potential is limited. Post 20’s things become much better but they then still have to contend with issues of reduced movement while firing (this is a sore subject for many) and micromanagement of pets. Both of these issues (reduced movement speed and bots) are, similarly to the argument on the Engineers damage potential, littered with differing opinions. Some people like the reduced speed as a trade off for higher survivability, some despise it. The biggest argument against removing this self snare through firing is the fact that the Engineer is never really capable of making the most of their range and has to move. I’m assuming the logic behind the snare is to reduce the Engineers armor from heavy to medium or light (by them inevitably taking damage while running and gunning) but for the most part, it just feels hugely disadvantageous.
When it comes to bots, once again there’s a real back and forth between the player base here. Some people hate them, some find them and their utility skills more than functional. I’m a little in between but that’s because I’ve been ruined by the horrendous pets from Guild Wars 2. In some respects I feel players need to realise bots aren’t the source of all your damage but a utility, damage over time skill. For the most part, I found them relatively hardy considering all the AOE in the game. Other issues facing the Engineer:
- No ability to rename your bots (*sob*)
- Bots have trouble under water
- Too few ways to spend your Volatility
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In all my years of playing MMOG’s I’ve never enjoyed Warriors, so having dragged myself to the class recently I found it surprisingly enjoyable. There are a couple of issues surrounding its ability in PvE to progressive between packs of mobs due to a lack of regeneration, but depending on the food you bring or whom you partner with (take a healer!) this is a pretty negligible issue. Interestingly, one of the biggest discussions surrounding a Warrior is the fact that there’s little justification (if you’re skilled) to leave Assault Stance. Considering Assault Stance provides a significant DPS buff and most Warriors use it by default, to switch to the more defensive stance because of the huge DPS loss. With clever healers and skill in avoiding telegraphs, the class is more than capable of remaining in Assault stance and that is perhaps a little backwards. Many players currently feel that Support tanks simply isn’t a viable options, with Assault tanks the only way to go and with Stalkers and Engineers far more capable of holding aggro in a 20 man raid scenario. Lastly, the biggest discussion revolves around a Warriors utility within a PvP environment, though this once again feeds into the fact they’re Assault Stance only. Other issues facing the Warrior are:
- A lack of modifications to the Arm Cannon
- The changes to leap transform the Warrior into a projectile
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