We haven't had one of these in a while, and new player questions inevitably circle back to "What profession is best?" The help files are old, many players avoid the forums, and many threads are rather contentious. As a new player to any game, the first thing I do is check forums/wikis to get a feel for the various character options before creating a character, and a reasonably updated class discussion thread communicates this clearly.So...what profession is "The Best"?
(One squid's opinion after six months of play, both PvE and PvP. Designed for newcomers with questions. Skip below for actual class discussion)
DISCLAIMER: Some classes are rather strong right now, others aren't, and a smallish player base means not every class is represented consistently. IRE also includes a system of "Artifacts" that inflate and confuse balance, as artifacts are items/gear that provide bonuses across the board as well as unique, class-specific abilities. Two level 101 characters of the same class may have WILDLY different power levels due to artifacts...and not just because of skill, but because of pure raw mechanical advantage.
Artifacts are gained via credits, which are earned by playing the game, completing events, selling promo items, or via direct purchase. Yes, it's "Pay 2 Win", but play long enough and you'll catch up.
For example, a "Flail of Ravening Hunger" (level 3 artifact flail) provides a +20% damage bonus, and "Gauntlets of Avaysu" (level 3 strength artifact) provides +3 strength, which is about 18ish damage. So "Bob the level 101 Fighter" with no artifacts might do 100 damage, while "Billy the level 101 Fighter" with ALL the artifacts might do 140 damage.
Also, Imperian heavily benefits from coding/scripting ability. To many of us, this is a good thing, as we jumped into Imperian to teach ourselves basic coding/scripting in a live, entertaining environment. While not required, scripting/coding will save your hands from carpal tunnel and react far faster than a human can in-game. For example, in group combat someone may script "Ryse enters the room! Kill Ryse", then four other people script "Target: Ryse" on that message...and suddenly Ryse the Squid is focus-fired instantly by everyone. This is far more efficient than staring at a screen, waiting for a small "Ryse walks into the room" message, manually typing "Set Target Ryse", and "Fire Laser at Ryse".
So if someone encounters X class/player and is instantly destroyed...it may not be the class, but the player's amount of artifacts, skill in coding, experience playing, or a combination. There are several players who use "mechanically subpar" classes and succeed due to coding/scripting ability and artifact ownership.
Also, classes change and evolve via the CLASSLEAD system. When you see "CLASSLEAD", think "SUGGESTIONS/NERFS/IMPROVEMENTS on Classes from the Playerbase".
I have personal experience with two classes - Diabolist and Defiler. I currently main Defiler, so I'll start there.
- "I'm Captain Planet, Bi$ch!"
Summary: Defiler is an excellent class. An "Evil Druid", the Defiler wears medium-heavy armor, uses a shield, wields a flail, and simultaneously clubs people in the head while hurting their self-esteem via various "torment" abilities while its evil tree buddy screams at people. I'm not kidding, the powers are usually psychic damage and are flavored as "Whispers horrible things" and "Makes blood run from your eyes". It's edgy, emo, quite silly, and generally a "derp class" that can be setup quickly and contribute to group combat easily. It probably needs a few tweaks for balance, as it currently can do a bit TOO much...
...but for some reason, NO ONE PLAYS DEFILER! Probably because, to be frank, it's pretty straight forward and boring. Defiler is the "Max Strength Full Plate Greatsword" of Demonic (yes, more than Deathknight)...hit people, build up "entropy" (a Defiler resource), then use "entropy" for stuff. Tanky, high damage, but once you learn to survive the big damage burst...that's it. Defiler is also a terrible, horrible, cry into your treant awful PvE class. Your treant can't attack mobs, you can't yell at mobs...all you have is a slow, medium damage flail hit that registers as a single-line. Ryse is level 108 with an artifact value of 4000, and it still takes me about 20 minutes to clear Redwood Cottons of weevils.
+ Good defensive potential (lots of shadowbinding defenses)
+ High burst damage (bellow ALL THE THINGS)
+ Utility (you can project past walls, entangle, rain area toxins)
+ Excellent in PvP with minimal required complication (spam ravage/entropy then bellow at 100% - there, I created your offense for you)
- Horrible PvE. I wouldn't recommend a Defiler until you have a scepter (an artifact hunting stick)
- Uses weapon attacks, so you'll need to figure out rebounding/shields (a non-issue with more caster-y classes)
- Kinda boring. Straight-forward. Not terribly complicated.
- Slow hits
- "I'm like really into tattoos and demons and darkness"
(Disclaimer - I was a terrible Diabolist, and it was my first class. YMMV)
Summary: Diabolist is in a weird place right now. An "Evil Priest", the Diabolist is a dexterity based utility caster with a lot of fun bells and whistles but a very slow build-up. They are light-medium armored clergy-types that ride a giant snake demon, summon complicated ghost-pets, and carve rituals to cast ticking time-bombs on enemies. They just OOZE flavor, their utility is amazing (they can teleport, wall, obscure, track, spy, fly), and they have VERY impressive damage after a slow build-up. They fight by combining two different ritual "sketches" every 2s, triggering wraith abilities off-bal when conditions are met, and detonating rituals into big, repeating damage over time bursts. They are also AMAZING in PvE...built right, they attack twice every 2s with high-crit while inflicting burning and shivering while self-healing health/mana and passively aff-curing. I bashed to aspect on Diabolist.
...but, as mentioned before, Diabolist is in a weird place. It's relatively squishy, but has a very slow melee build up to do it's thing...so you often die while trying to do your "shtick". There's no real escape abilities, making it difficult to maximize the "hit and run" design of a slow build squishy class. Their insta-kill is reliant on low mana, but there's no ability to actually damage or drain mana. While Diabolist can inflict some affs, the affs aren't terribly disabling/hindering and high burst classes can power through them.
I can hear the complaints now..."But @Mathiaus
uses Diabolist and he kills me all the time!". Refer back to my previous disclaimer statement - Mat has played for over a decade, is a professional programmer, and has tons of artifacts. His skill is less "because of Diabolist" and more "in spite of Diabolist". He also likes to play complex, underdog classes.
+ Complex, rich, and satisfying when you pull off the BIG BOOM of a Sun Moon Repetition.
+ Great utility. Everyone loves having a Diabolist in a group. Teleport, heals, buffs...they can even cure out of paralysis, and have passive aff curing.
+ AMAZING PvE. Very fun, very satisfying, with a lot of abilities usable against mobs.
+ So much flavor. The king of Flavor-Town.
- Fairly squishy for a melee only class
- Slow buildup
- Lack of evasions
- No synergy with abilities and instakill
Those are the only two classes I have any experience with, so I'd like to hear additional breakdowns from other players. In addition, this information could be useful for new or transitioning players as well.