Updated Fri, Aug 09, 2013 by Shayalyn
We’ve distilled the available information about EQN classes down to 10 essential things you need to know about how this unique multi-classing system works.
The Warrior and Wizard were shown in the EQN reveal. It’s possible there are two classes from each familiar archetype: warrior, healer, rogue, and mage. (That is, of course, only speculation at this point.) More starting classes will be revealed over time. Other classes SOE has mentioned include the Rogue, Blademaster, and Tempest, but we’re not certain which are starting classes, or among the additional classes available through multi-classing. Which leads us to...
There are about 40 classes out in Norrath for you to find, and the game features unlimited multi-classing. In an interview with Ten Ton Hammer’s Sardu, Creative Director Jeff Butler said that players should look at EQNext’s class advancement system “more from a collectible standpoint” than the EQ franchise’s previous class advancement system, where you played a static class and customized it with Alternate Advancement. You can save multiple build loadouts and name them whatever you’d like. There’s no limit to the number of classes you can collect, but Lead Game Designer Darrin McPherson has revealed that some of your choices as a character may affect your access to classes. (For instance, you have to be a good person to be a paladin.)
According to Darrin McPherson during the class panel at SOE Live, “Every class is advanced individually, so you might have a tier 4 warrior, a tier 2 wizard, and a tier 1 rogue. You can choose who you play at any time, swapping between them out of combat.” While there are no levels in EQ Next, there do appear to be tiers of some sort. We’re still waiting for more information on this system.
In the same class panel, McPherson said: “Any progression you earn while playing, let’s say, your warrior, can be applied to any class you possess. You don’t have to just be your warrior to advance your warrior--this isn’t a skill-based game.” This means that if one of the classes in your repertoire fits better into your group’s dynamic at any given time, but you want to advance a different class, you can do that while still playing the class best suited for your group situation.
Each class can wield two weapons, and their play style changes up depending on the weapon they’re wielding. This has put some fans in mind of Guild Wars 2, but SOE has consistently said that their system is different, and we’ll just have to see it in action to understand how different. Weapons can also be modified with items, but SOE hasn’t spilled many details on this yet. [UPDATE: Darrin McPherson has clarified for us that each class has two weapon sets, and only two sets. "This allows personalized animation and effects and focus on gameplay," he said.]
Even so, Jeff Butler mentioned during the class panel that the look of your armor can be changed. Want your female warrior to be wearing heavy plate with full coverage? That’s doable. Would you prefer a more sexy appearance? You can do that, too. Again, we don’t have many details on how this works just yet.
The holy trinity of Tank/Healer/DPS has been done away with in EQN. “Our combat mechanics don’t support the use of dedicated healers and focused tanks,” said Darrin McPherson. “It just doesn’t work.” SOE doesn’t want groups to feel stuck and unable to play because the group happens to be missing a necessary ingredient such as a tank or healer.
Each class will have a certain identity that other players can recognize. The warrior should come across as a bull-in-a-China-shop wrecking ball. His animations and poses will differ from other plate-wearing classes wielding the same weapons, giving him a unique “visual silhouette.” These identifying characteristics will help players recognize NPC classes, as well.
Your class will have 4 weapon abilities (per weapon, for a total of 8) and 4 character abilities. Weapon abilities are iconic, class-defining abilities. Character abilities come in four types: movement, offensive, defensive and utility. Multi-classing comes into play with the character abilities--they’re the ones you can switch out to change up your build for the specific class. You might, for instance, make a warrior who can also do magical damage and has great defense against casters.
Your items plus your abilities equals your class build. We’ve learned that itemization plays a big role in EverQuest Next, but further details on the mechanics of this system have yet to be revealed.
This is what we know so far, and there's certainly plenty more to be revealed. For more details on all things EverQuest Next, be sure to visit EQHammer.com!