In Skyforge you can be many different classes all within the same person, much like games like Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn and FPS type games like FireFall, except it's kind of a bit different. Jumping straight into the explanation, you can change your class between any of your unlocked classes on the drop of a dime anytime you're out of combat. So you can go through an entire map as any different class and you can be any different kind of role on demand. There are some interesting catches, but we'll discuss those in detail here.
Class changing is the de facto trait of Skyforge and is one of its most important mechanics. Thankfully, it's rather simple and easy to understand, even if the in-game tutorial can be a tad confusing.
When you first start the game, assuming you haven't purchased any form of advanced unlock (through a founder's pack or other means), you'll only have access to one tank, one DPS, and one healing class. As of launch, they are the Paladin, Cryomancer, and Lightbinder. At launch, founder's could also receive the Beserker and Gunner class, depending on which tier they bought in at.
All classes are available to all players, but require time to unlock. For all intents and purposes, you could easily enjoy the entire game with just the three basic classes, but there is plenty of reason to unlock the others (for fun, profit, and min/maxing).
Class Switching / Changing / Swapping
You can switch your class at any time you're not in combat by pausing and going to the menu and selecting change class. There will be about a five second casting animation and you'll switch to the other class. Your pestige will change a small amount and what you do and don't keep depends on both your global and your class specific Ascension Atlas. Any stat you gain anywhere on the atlas in any of the atlas tiers will remain with you, what will not is the other class's active skills. So your stats, minus equipment, will stay the same. In addition, it's important to note that on the Ascension Atlas, you'll have to unlock EVERY skill for each class to advance, even though there is similarities, you'll still need to do the unlocking yourself.
The class you switch to will be weaker, due to a variety of factors (primarily lack of skill choice), however, you can feel confident that you won't have to start the game all over to farm. Additionally, sparks farmed on any class work for all classes.
To unlock additional classes, you'll need to reach the "unlock upper atlas" for your class. This will take a little while. Class ascension atlas skills are the "lower tier" and the "upper tier" is the global atlas. Here you'll unlock global things for your character and can work on unlocking other classes. To unlock a new class, just spend your sparks on the global atlas until you reach the node that has the class you want, and voila.
It's important to note that all players will have to make a serious decision to either remain with their class or begin unlocking a new class.
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