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Aion Class Preview: The Gladiator

Updated Sat, Dec 05, 2009 by Martuk

You may think one of those finger wiggling casters with the ability to wield strange magic capable of smiting enemies into a smoldering pile of ash is scary, but you haven’t experienced real terror until you see a plate armor wearing gladiator swoop down from the sky, his razor sharp polearm in tow, and in one swift motion he empties the contents of his opponents head onto the surrounding landscape. Ok, they don’t actually show that in Aion like they do in Age of Conan, but the gladiator is still a vicious looking and formidable foe on the battlefield.

Few sights are as intimidating as a polearm wielding Gladiator on the battlefield.

Strengths

  • Gladiators have excellent melee fighting skills and chains.
  • Chain abilities can knock enemies down and stagger them.
  • Gain a race specific DP ability (DP Explosion – Elyos) and (Explosion of Rage – Asmodian)
  • Can use shields, polearms, and plate armor.


Weaknesses

  • Is less defensively inclined than the Templar.
  • Movement impairing effects are problematic.


Gladiators gain access to more offensive enhancing abilities and attacks such as “Boost Physical Attack” early, where their counterpart, the templar, gain access to more defensive enhancing abilities like “Boost Shield Defense”. If you want a tank that is more offensive in nature, the gladiator is right up your alley.

The Gladiator's DP ability is both devastating and fun to watch.

Unique Ability and Divine Power
Gladiators gain a key race-specific “Divine Power” ability when they ascend. The Elyos gain an ability known as “DP Explosion” and the Asmodians get “Explosion of Rage”. Each skill costs a certain amount of DP to use. DP is gained through killing mobs. As you gain regular experience from kills you will also gain increases in your DP experience. However, dying and logging off will cause you to lose your DP, so be careful. These attacks can be a saving grace in a battle that has gone badly, or they can be the attack that can kick the everlasting crap out of an enemy before they have a chance to even mount an opening offensive. These skills are rare and take a lot of DP to use, so make sure you use it wisely. 

  • Explosion of Rage: Inflicts X level-based physical damage on the target and puts it in the Stumbled state.
  • DP Explosion: Inflicts X level-based physical damage on the target and puts it in the Stumbled state.


Nothing quite beats the sight of seeing a gladiator use this skill with a polearm. The polearm gets jammed right in the gut of the enemy and the gladiator lifts his foe over his head just before he drives it into the earth with an ungodly crunch. It is truly a valuable and amusing skill.

Combat
If you want to tackle the world alone as a gladiator the first thing you should do is get one of those nice shiny polearms. This is one weapon perk that the gladiator has you don’t want to overlook and they have skills to compliment it. Next, grab yourself some plate armor. Gladiators don’t have the same defensive abilities as the templar, but that plate armor comes in handy when you’re using those crazy higher damage skills and combos.

Combos are one thing you need to master to ensure victory.

The gladiator is a vicious fighter in solo combat, but they still have their weaknesses. Enemies that are a bit harder con can put you in a hurt lock pretty quick. Given the fact that you’ll be relying more on your damage skills than your ability to defend, you could quickly find yourself outmatched, so always stock up on healing potions. They are pretty cheap and the cooldown isn’t very long.

From levels 10-13 you’ll have to fight with your basic warrior combos, but at level 13 that all changes. You’ll get a new combo that will have the possibility to knock your enemy down, and this happened quite a bit for me during combat. That combo comes with the level 13 skill of "Wrathful Strike" which gives you the combo: Ferocious Strike – Robust Blow – Wrathful Strike. This will be your most used attack line for a good while and it’s very useful. You’ll also get another useful skill at 13 called “Attack Preparation I”. This is an active skill and will boost your physical attack power by 10%. This will be your primary attack method until level 16 and then you gain another combo with "Rupture".

Gladiators likely won’t be the chosen class to play main tank when the game goes live, but they are certainly capable of carrying out the role. Gladiators can use shields just like the templar, however, in my opinion, they are much better with a polearm and they can boost their parry ability through mana stones to help compensate for the loss of the shield. This class will likely be used more as a DPS tank or backup tank and maybe in the absence of a templar as main tank, but the Gladiator is certainly no pushover and they have a nice assortment of skills to bash things over the head with.

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