Aions fourth beta event weekend was a whole lot of fun this week! The chat box was alive with chatter and players were happily roaming everywhere. I spent three blissful days playing a gorgeous Elyos Assassin enjoying another fun Aion weekend.
I previously highlighted the Ranger class which is your other option as a scout going through ascension. While the Ranger and the Assassin do have some similarities, the first thing I figured out was that they each play very differently. Which of the scout classes will appeal to you? Read my preview on the Assassin class to find out!
I love melee combat and the Assassin has plenty of it. Unlike the Ranger who focuses on ranged skills, the Assassin is all about getting up in the face and cutting the heck out of anything stupid enough to get too close.
As a damage class, the Assassin has the huge benefit of quick battles. Combine this with the resting ability, bandaging, and potions and an Assassin can blow through content at amazing speed. I spent a roughly equal amount of time on my Assassin as I did my Ranger, and yet I got much further with the Assassin.
The Assassin has quit a few buffing abilities which goes a long way in making up for the lacking base defense. They generally dont last very long, but it is enough to get you through a tough encounter mostly unscathed.
While Assassins can carry a bow they really have no use for it beyond using it for mob pulling. Lack of ranged skills, even minor ones, really kills the whole scout feeling but it does give a clear difference between the scout classes.
Im a pretty big fan of positional attacks and I expected the assassin to have great need for the Hide skill and hoped for a nice arsenal of stealthed backstabs. This is, after all, a class that is meant to shroud in darkness and attack from nowhere! It seems that the Assassin only has a standard positional attack that gets upgrades occasionally, which was a bit of a letdown, but youll find out later on why this one minor thing really just frees up time to think about other great features.
My favorite thing about the Assassin is its total ability to kick massive ass. Starting out, you are given a couple of very nice damage skills and temporary battle buffs that jump start your evasion and attack stats. If you are Elyos, you get an ability called Divine Strike that does a sick amount of damage if you happen to have the DP available for it.
Following the same advice as the Ranger, go dual wield and keep a bow handy for pulling mobs from tight spots. The combination of using a dagger in the main hand and a short sword in the offhand works well for the Assassin and youll be rewarded with decent auto-attack damage if you use dual wield.
The Assassin and the Ranger start out with the same basic melee skills. Soon after you choose the Assassin path, youll pick up the skills called Follow-up Strike I. This skill boosts the physical attack of the immediately following skill by 50% and adds 500 points to your accuracy. If you combine this skill with a hard hitting attack like Swift Edge II, you can take a nice chunk out of the health of your adversary.
Most of your melee skills will be upgrades from the originals but the Assassin does have a unique feature that adds another level to melee combat called signets.
Signets: Adding, Stacking, and Bursting
The signet system is an interesting additional aspect to playing the Assassin that will greatly benefit each player if you learn what it is all about and use it in every battle.
Some skills that the Assassin uses will add or have a possibility of adding an engraved signet on an enemy. The Assassin also has some skills that can burst a signet. Applying a signet, then bursting it, will add additional effects such as additional damage or stuns to the mob you are fighting. The skills that the Assassin uses will specify in their tooltip what the signet effect will be.
These signets can stack and build in intensity the more you apply them so the more you stack signets, the greater the effect will be! You can see the signets being applied under your enemies health bar so it is something to keep an eye out for when you roll up your Assassin.
Poisons, the True Mark of the Assassin
An Assassin would not be an Assassin without the ability to deviously poison your foes. Thank goodness Aion knew this and made them a part of the class lineup!
Starting at level 16, when you get your first Apply Poison, you will have the nifty skill of spreading poison on your weapons and enjoying a chance at extra damage every time you stab the bad guy. Apply Poison gives a 20% chance of poisoning the target and lasts a whopping 2 minutes so you can enjoy its benefits through an entire battle or two before re-applying.
To sum up the Assassin, Id say that this class is definitely an all out, down and dirty, DPS class. If you are looking for hands on melee gameplay that doesnt have the worry of being the meat shield, the Assassin will surely wow you!