Last time I wrote about the Cryomancer, all we had was an image to go off of. Today, however, the Skyforge team has released a video showing off skills of the Cryomancer, which they say is one of the first classes we'll be able to get our hands on. It's one of the starting classes in Skyforge, which really interests me. Not a ton is known about classes in Skyforge yet, but from what I've been reading, there will be fifteen in total, you can collect them, and you can swap between them while out of combat. Disclaimer: the game is in alpha currently and this could change before it goes live.
One thing about the Cryomancer that looks amazing is that they have a large amount of crowd control abilities. While there is a camp comprised of people who feel tab targeting is outdated, the school of AoE everything is only fun to a certain degree for me. Controlling enemies by whatever means takes skill and practice. I have a feeling that these aspects of the Cryomancer will be where you can see the truly talented players. Crowd control not your thing? That's cool, just work on improving and focusing on damage abilities.
In the Ascension Atlas, you'll find new abilities (and even classes) available to you as you progress your character. Using the atlas, you'll be able to design your character to be unique and built just for you. Whether or not this design will make players want to focus on one character rather than alts is a whole other thing. It's pretty neat that you'll be able to swap between these characters as you please, letting you or others assume different roles as needed through group adventures, dungeon crawls and whatever else you find yourself in. This, however, ignores one big issue.
I've been playing MMOs for fifteen years, and there are people who just prefer (or even excel) at different archetypes. I heal. I love healing. I find it exhilarating when the difference between winning a fight boils down to whether or not a teammate was a pretty corpse or was able to contribute to the entire fight. I also enjoy tanking, because being a good tank can be pretty difficult to master. There's a lot controlling to do in a fight and I do enjoy that challenge. Breaking out of the mold of the trinity, I love crowd controlling and pulling. My first character to max level in EverQuest for several expansions was a bard, so I got to do both. Oh and prance tank.
You might have noticed that there's one glaring omission in what I like doing in groups. DPS. It's just not my thing. I've played plenty of them. I have a preference for melee over caster, although non-ranged DPS seems to run into so many issues in a ton of games, which gets old fast. I don't imagine I'll have too many issues in Skyforge running through groups, since DPS is generally a more preferred role over tanking and healing, so I'll have that on my side. What worries me, is being in a group of myself and a whole lot of people who prefer DPS, who are stuck swapping to another role they just don't like doing. I've encountered this so many times, and it never ends well.
Skyforge could be on to something with tying stats to the Ascension Atlas, so you might not have that issue of the warrior saying not to worry, that he can swap specs, only to find out his spec change doesn't also come with a gear change. It's too early to see if this will be an issue with Skyforge, and if they manage to come up with a creative solution to classing that doesn't fall prey to these issues, then they'll definitely have a very creative approach to what's become the norm.
Still, it's nice to see companies working on breaking out of the standard mode of character classes and progression. There is a lot of really cool concepts coming out now, or are at least on the horizon. I look forward to seeing what else they're waiting to announce to the public and learn more about classing. I'm extremely excited for crowd control.
What role will you take on as a Cryomancer? Will you go glass canon, mesmerizer extraordinaire, or will you work on a balance of the two? What game has a classing system you're most interested in currently?