What Sort of Character Should I Make?

Whenever I log on to an MMORPG to find a healing class rushing ahead of the rest of the team, I immediately recognize that player as being mismatched. Rather than taking the time to carefully consider what sort of role he would like to play, he read how the game advertized his class. Many players read what each class does (many even choose based on how the character looks) and play it because of how strong it sounds. The class is only strong when each player plays it according to how it is intended to be played. Bearing that in mind, there are several things that the player must consider in choosing their class.

What do I envision from my character?

This is the very first step in designing your character. Before you even hit the creation button, a person needs to formulate in their minds how they envision playing. Do they want to be in the midst of combat? Or perhaps do you see yourself standing at a distance? Do you plan on using a bow and arrow? Or perhaps disintegrating your enemies with a powerful spell? Do you intend to be hit often? All of these are valid questions to ask before creating your character.

The problem with skipping this step is that your character will be made on a passing whim. Though many of my successful characters have been made on such a whim, I’ve had more characters thrown out and deleted halfway through gameplay because I simply got bored with the character. To avoid making that happen, it is important to plan your character long-term. This way you know exactly what to play when that passing whim returns, rather than starting over with yet another half-hearted effort.

Combat or Magic?

Some players envision themselves rushing forward ahead of the time, swords and axes swinging away. Others envision their character roasting their enemies with a well-directed fireball from a distance, or mending their allies’ wounds through clerical healing abilities. Which is the right form for you?

Combat (melee) characters I would recommend for players who would like to feel more involved in battles. Playing the role of a character who is engaging an enemy toe-to-toe makes the player simply feel like they are facing the challenge head on. Magic users I would recommend for players who are taken with the thought of power and domination. To stand from a distance and wield such power allows a player to feel powerful, playing a necessary, seemingly irreplaceable role.

Combat: Defense or Offense?

A defensive combatant’s main role is to take damage. This is a very essential role in a team. Without one main character in place to take the punishment from the enemies, everybody in the team will be taking damage, even though they aren’t built to take damage. The spellcasters are going to be struggling to cast each spell, slowing down heals and a large portion of damage per second (commonly known as dps). This crucial role is reserved for players who are less concerned with dealing damage and more interested in feeling “invincible”, meaning no amount of enemies are going to take down the character. These players are given abilities designed to increase defense and attract enemy attention.

An offensive combatant can’t take as much damage, but can certainly dish it out. Often, these are the warrior-type classes, or the stealth-type classes. The warrior-type classes can take some damage, but aren’t designed for it. These classes deal damage more slowly, but in larger amounts (for example, dealing 18 points of damage to an enemy every 8 seconds as opposed to 8 points of damage every 3 seconds). The stealth-type classes aren’t designed for getting hit, but can deal damage more quickly than warrior-type classes (8 points of damage every 3 seconds rather than 18 points of damage every 8 seconds).  This damage adds up quickly, and both warrior- and stealth-type combatants are often given abilities to disable enemies from attacks. The warrior-type class I would recommend for players who like to see large chunks of the enemy’s health taken out at a time, while I would recommend stealth-type classes for players who want to see the enemy’s health taken out quickly at a steady rate.

Combat: Ranged or Melee?

For offensive combatants, this is a very straightforward question. Do you want to be right in the midst of the action? Or would you rather be dealing damage from a distance? For fantasy games, this is the difference between using a sword and a bow. For Sci-Fi games, this is the difference between using a chainsword and a plasma gun. Players who want to be able to engage an enemy face-to-face should use melee combat, while players who are more interested in running their enemies in circles before taking them down (a tactic known as “kiting”) should opt to play the ranged combantant.

Magic: Defense, Offense, Healing, or Crowd Control?

Of all the different sorts of characters to play, magic users are definitely the most dynamic and most unique. All games have very unique types of spellcasters that differ from other games in some sense. However, from most games offer any combination of four types of spellcasters: defense, offense, healing, and crowd control.

Defense

The defensive spellcasters are focused primarily on adding beneficial effects to teammates, such as damage shields which harm enemies and increase defense, or haste effects which increases attack rates. The defensive spellcasters also boost player stats, making each person more powerful. This type of spellcaster is recommended for players who enjoy supporting others around them.

Offense

The offensive spellcaster is the powerful mage most people envision in their mind: calling forth lightning from the sky, throwing fireballs, drowning their enemies in oceans of water. In essence, the offensive spellcaster is designed to deal damage in large amounts. This is the type of spellcaster I would recommend for the power hungry players who want to compete for the most damage being dealt. Beware, however. If you deal damage too quickly, you could draw attention from the tank.

Healing

The healer, without a doubt, is the most crucial role of the team. Without the healer, each player will eventually succumb to their woulds. The healer’s primary job is to keep everybody alive. This person needs to be able to concentrate on the entire team at one time, and must know how to manage their resources to effectively keep everybody alive. This is the most demanding role of the team, but also takes the most blame out of any other character. This role is recommended for players who can handle pressure and concentrate on multiple objects at once.

Crowd Control

Finally, crowd control is the most overlooked class. In fact, most games aren’t even making crowd control classes anymore. But for gamers who play those games that offer it, crowd control is designed to remove effects from enemies (debuffing), putting negative effects on them, and rendering certain enemies unable to attack. Players who enjoy controlling their opponents and managing their effectiveness would greatly enjoy crowd control.

Summary

There are many different roles to play in a team. Most people fail to consider their own play styles and interests, and therefore become mismatched, creating character after character. When selecting what sort of character to play, the player must choose carefully a role they feel comfortable playing which they will enjoy. Next, we will discuss how to play each specific type of character.

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One Response to “What Sort of Character Should I Make?”

  1. […] he has been around the block and has some expertise to share there.  After reading his post about creating characters and how to choose what to be in a game, I can say that I’m one that will be a regular reader […]

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