Updated Tue, Jun 30, 2009 by Savanja
While working on the Aion class interviews, I did some research on each of the classes so I had a lot of time to get to know them before even stepping in game. I tend to play DPS fighters in MMOGs so I was still very up in the air about whether I would go full DPS and utility with the scout or stick with my typical play style and roll up a fighter. I think I made level two with my fighter before starting my scout, and I never went back!
Players who enjoy being active in melee combat, exceptionally useful in groups, and completely viable as a solo player, will enjoy the flexibility and versatility of a scout. As with any class in any game, there are pros and cons to playing a scout, most of which I will try cover straight away.
You are playing a scout, so the first thing that'll you will notice is fights are fairly quick. Even starting out, you do a nice bit of damage. Just don't compare yourself to the early mage, because they gave me a little bit of damage envy.
You have the skills to carry a sword or a dagger, and it is your choice which you decide to equip. I'll get into the differences between these two weapons a little later on. You also get the dual wield skill as a scout, which made me all sorts of happy.
In the first 10 levels you are granted a hide skill that is very handy, a buff that boosts your evasion, and another buff that boosts your attack. The buffs saved my rear repeatedly and you will want to use them often.
Positional attacks are a mainstay of the scout and Aion has them! My favorite thing about these is that they aren't position conditional. Meaning, you can use a positional attack from the "wrong" position and still do damage, but you get a bonus if you do it correctly. After playing EverQuest II for many years, I can tell you it is nice to not see a positional error notice when attacking!
There really wasn't much I didn't like about this class but as expected, the leather wearing scout is a bit delicate. While definitely not as bad as the mage for survivability in melee combat, that health bar will get a little too low for comfort's sake quite often. I hear this gets better later on after you’ve chosen to specialize as a Ranger or Assassin.
You also don't get ranged attacks right off the bat. Half the appeal of playing a scout is being able to do some damage at ranged, but this is something else they have saved for the specialization levels.
After making your character and popping into the world, you'll find yourself equipped with a few basic items and skills. You get a dagger, minimal armor, a slash skill, an avoidance buff, and a bandage skill.
You'll find that you will really rely on your bandages. I like to make the most of my gaming in the short free time I have so I'm not terribly big on combat downtime and the scout ends up with plenty of it. Since you will end fights generally on the low end of the health bar, using your bandaging skill will get you up and moving far quicker than waiting for it to tick up on its own. As you progress, you'll definitely want to make use of edibles for health regeneration and potions for those in combat "oh crap" moments.
While you are bandaging you will probably notice fighters blowing by you and taking mob after mob without even breathing in between. It's okay. You are better looking than they are, and someday I promise they will bow before your superior DPS… just not today.
At level 3 you will get a positional attack that will make your heart melt the first time you use that baby. Luckily enemies at this point are non-aggro so you can easily position yourself behind the mob and whack away. You don't have the ability to stun and re-position for a flank attack so it needs to be your opening skill but you'll be very happy for the additional damage it provides.