Know Your Role: Part 2
Offensive Fighters, or light tanks, are generally melee fighters
who wear lighter armor than Defensive Fighters like Warriors and Paladins.
They usually inflict more damage, with a variety of attacks, but do not have
the defense of a heavy tank. When it comes to melee, light tanks are more
adept at producing damage and the heavy tanks are more adept at taking a beating.
Much of my comparison for Offensive Fighters in Vanguard is
drawn from another popular MMORPG called Everquest. If you are unsure why
Everquest is my comparison, or why its classes are relevant to my discussion
of class roles, then it may interest you to know that Brad
"Aradune Mithara" McQuaid CEO of Sigil Games Online, and many
members of the Vanguard: Saga of Heroes development team, played a significant
role in creating Everquest. They helped to make it a successful MMORPG, and
in doing so put the MMO market on the map. Everquest has its share of Offensive
Fighters., and while some of those very classes will be in Vanguard: Saga
of Heroes, maybe a few new ones will be introduced as well.
The first thing to know about the Offensive Fighters is that,
at times, they play the role of a back-up tank. If something should happen
in a group where the main tank (usually a Defensive Fighter) dies, or goes
link dead, then the Offensive Fighter's job is to step in and do what he/she
can to take over. Their role, at this point, becomes the same as a Defensive
Fighter: protect the group, and try to keep aggro.
Vanguard's combat system is said to be more complex and strategic
than the system employed in Everquest. The basic role of the Offensive Fighter,
from what the developers have told us, remains the same. However, Offensive
Fighters will also have a variety of skills to counter attack, they will start
or advance combat chains known as sympathetics, and, if needed, they can rescue
arcane casters and healers with various other skills, should these more vulnerable
classes come under attack. Ultimately, the job of the Offensive Fighter is
to dish out damage, and to protect lighter-armored group members, such as
arcane casters and healers.
Vanguard will have a variety of Offensive Fighters for players
to choose from. Some of these classes have been announced, but, like most
things during the beta phase of any game, could change at the developers'
discretion. The Offensive Fighter classes that have been announced include:
Bards, Berserkers, Monks, Rangers, and Rogues. These classes all have roots
in Everquest, but their Vanguard counterparts could be very different.
Bard- The Bard in Everquest was a light fighter
who used songs that could bestow beneficial effects on an ally or detrimental
effects on an enemy, or group of enemies. The Bard used songs, such as Selo's
Accelerando, to increase movement speed. How Vanguard's Bard class will compare
to these traditional Bards is anyone's guess, but you can pretty much bet
that they will use music to subdue enemies and to charm friends. The musical
maestro of the MMO world will feature in Vanguard, but we will have to wait
and see which musical powers the Bard will employ. The developers at Sigil
have managed to keep things intriguing as we read about classes: implementation
of the Bard class is among the many mysteries we will wait to see revealed.
Berserker- The Berserker is another of Vanguard's
Offensive Fighters. Berserkers are usually known for their ferocity in battle.
While similar to warriors, Berserkers tend to deal more damage at the sacrifice
of defense. Not a great deal is known as to what form Berserkers will take
in Vanguard, but it is likely that they will follow in their traditional role
of a light damage-dealing tank. It is anyone's guess what twists the developers
Monk- The Monks in Everquest were light tanks
who specialized in martial arts type fighting skills. With the mend skill
they could heal their own wounds or the wounds of an ally in combat. These
Monks made great pullers in EQ. They could enter a room and draw out their
target, but if the pull went badly, the Monk would fall to the ground and
play dead, using a skill known as Feign Death. This caused the creatures to
believe the monk had been killed, and they went along their merry way.
Feign Death may or may not make it into Vanguard with the new
Monks. Only time will tell. Brad "Aradune Mithara" McQuaid CEO of
Sigil Games Online has stated that Monks may have a Feign Death-type skill,
but that it will not be the same as that of their Everquest counterpart. The
Monks of Vanguard will be Psionic. This may allow them to use Psionic energy
to perform various feats.
The Rogue- Rogues in Everquest were the pickpocketing
scourge of Norrath. Sneaking up behind their enemies and dishing out massive
damage with their Backstab attacks, they were a feared opponent in any battle.
A good rogue was not to be found far from a poisoned dagger and someone's
back to stick it in.
The Rogues of Vanguard will make use of stealth to sneak up
on their opponents and execute attacks of great damage. It is said that the
longer the rogue is hidden and (stalking) his opponent, the greater the damage
will be when he unleashes his attack from the shadows. You may want to keep
an eye on the Rogues should you see them at the local tavern in Vanguard.
With their quick hands and stealthy moves, you may find that your coin purse
Ranger- The Rangers of Everquest were a hybrid
of a druid and a light tank. They made use of powers of nature, but, at the
same time, could wield weapons and excelled in the use of a bow. Rangers could
track their enemies, and lead their group to the enemy's location. Using ranger-
specific skills like Weaponshield and Trueshot, they became valued classes
on raids and in groups.
The Vanguard Ranger will not be a hybrid druid/fighter. The
Rangers of Vanguard are said to be similar to the traditional Ranger class,
but their skills will be implemented in a new way. Word has it that they will
be deadly with a bow, and have great ranged attacks. The Rangers will not
commune with nature as a Druid, but they will learn to use their surroundings
to track their enemies, and to aid their allies.
The role of the light tank, through many traditional MMOs, has
remained the same. Their role in the group is to provide offensive damage,
and, in times of crisis, to step up and tank. Offensive Fighters in Vanguard,
it seems, will focus on the dishing out of damage, and protection of the arcane
and healing classes. With skills such as the rescue line to protect the finger
wigglers, offensive fighters will need to be on their guard.
When Vanguard launches sometime this year, and all the Offensive
Fighters pour into Telon, remember the basics of your class, and always make
it a priority to Know Your Role.
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