Powerful the dark side is…
Yesterday we took a look at the somewhat confusing and arguably needed class structure that BioWare have employed for the imminent Star Wars: The Old Republic. Today we delve a little deeper and take a look at a couple of stalwarts of the Sith Empire and Republic.
Sith Warrior & Jedi Knight
These guys are the main melee classes of TOR, backbones of their respective factions. The two classes are, of course, mechanically identical, but they are also similar with respect to story. They are both at the forefront of their factions embodying everything that the Empire and Republic stand for, and will do anything to ensure their ideals are upheld.
From level 1-10 both play out as a basic melee class with a number of offensive abilities supplemented with the odd defensive one. Early on the class can take the role of both tank and damage dealer, which is ideal because the advanced class options strongly reflect these styles of play. For the most part they both play out like your typical medium to heavy armour melee class, but a few select force abilities are included to make these brawlers feel that little bit more special, and makes this MMO archetype feel at home in the Star Wars universe.
The resource mechanic fueling the Knight or Warrior’s abilities is completely familiar, and comes in the form of Focus or Rage. For all intents and purposes, these mechanics are identical and are only differentiated by name to remain within the confines of the lore, or completely confuse us. Focus or Rage is simply generated by whacking an opponent with basic attacks, and can then be used to unleash bigger attacks. Whilst almost all Knight or Warrior abilities consume rage, there are other abilities and scenarios that generate the resource to keep the ebb and flow of combat somewhat consistent.
Advanced class options at level ten come in the form of the Sith Marauder or Jedi Sentinel and the Sith Juggernaut or Jedi Guardian. The advanced class choice is a very important one as it will dictate your character’s style of play for the rest of the game. It is also a choice that (as far as we know from our beta experience) you cannot go back on past level 15.
Dual wield damage dealers
The Marauder or Sentinel can be compared to the Fury Warrior in World of Warcraft with respect to the fact that they share a similar resource mechanic and dual wield blades. However, in this case we’re talking lightsabers, and it’s safe to say they look awesome! The Marauder or Sentinel are a pure damage class, which is to say they are not a hybrid class as they have no tanking or healing options. Lack of utility is not a bad thing though, as BioWare have explained that pure damage classes will be able to put out roughly 5% more damage than a hybrid damage dealer, which could be important in the tougher end of game flashpoints.
Guardians and Juggernauts
Guardians and Juggernauts are wearers of heavy armour, and are considered somewhat of a hybrid class as they can provide the role of both damage dealer and tank. As a hybrid they tend to output a little less damage, but two contrasting styles of play are available to players that choose this path. If comparing to World of Warcraft, both the Guardian and Juggernaut are a little similar to Death Knights with respect to the fact that they tank with no physical shield, instead choosing to parry attacks and create defensive barriers which are conjured from the Force. In regards to their damage soaking abilities, the Guardian and Juggernaut are said to be best when confronting a single foe which makes them ideal boss tanks.