Monday, 1 November 2010

Forsaken World: The Vampire and the Bard

Two hybrid classes, much maligned for being too much in the middle and not specialised enough, have been taken for a test drive by myself over the past few days since Phase 1 of closed beta started. I thought I would do a brief writeup of how the classes handle themselves and fit in thus far.

The Vampire:

A rather mixed bag of skills if the Talent Tree and translation of Chinese FW are to go by, picking up mainly damage skills early on and then grabbing heals/debuffs later in their development. Early on the Vampire seems to be average to above average with their damage dealing abilities but feel a bit squishier than your average character.


Whilst PvP is not my thing I have heard that in early duels the Vampire is quite powerful, the majority of their damage dealing skills coming in to play very early on and they can win 1v1 against most opponents. Reports from the Chinese open beta suggest that the Vampires are poor solo PvP'ers due to the game mechanics focusing on 'stunning'. The Vampire does not seem to have many skills with which to stun other players and if they get stunned, they do not seem to possess many means with which to break this stun either, leaving them vulnerable to pretty much anything that can stun often enough.

Up until now I have not explored the talent tree in much detail and thus not spent precious talent points. As this is a beta and we're all testing like crazy, I have decided to put off my talent spending until at least level 29 when I have more of a feel for the character and when I am not trying out multiple things to bring you the inside story.

The Bard:

The Bard, some call him a poet, others a minstrel... but most call him a rather out of place hybrid. The Bard class in the eyes of most is a weak healer, poor damage dealer, rather squishy and has no appreciable benefit over most other classes in a Raid/Instance environment.

I wish I could disagree with them.... but so far I cannot...



Their damage dealing surpasses the mighty Priest by some distance early on but that is nothing to write home about, the Priests damage dealing abilities are pathetic at best. The Bard's main skills are performed via music and generating Chords which appear on your 'Scoresheet'. Chaining these chords in a certain manner will perform some type of skill or buff depending on the skills unlocked. This rather unique combo system is hampered by the fact that some tooltips have the incorrect chord combos, reducing Bards to confusion and relative weakness overall.

In these early stages of the game the Bard seems to be underpowered and their usefulness restricted in group activities. Their solo game is nothing to shout about either, being relatively weak on the damage scales and squishier than the average character. I find myself relying on my Ram pet quite a bit to squeeze the enjoyment out of the class when soloing. I really hope they pick up later on.


Conclusion:

Overall, these hybrid classes seem to be rather weak and underpowered in their early game which is a shame. The Vampire has some very unique abilities but when it comes down to it, they seem to fail at excelling in any aspect and are given a cold shoulder. The Bard's score sheet is a very fun tool when you learn how to master it, requiring a lot of work to keep your short lived buffs alive and getting meagre bonuses to show for it.

But... before all of you Vampire and Bard fans get depressed, this is only phase 1 of the beta test. With full release not scheduled for another 5-6 months, there is plenty of time for both of these classes to be modified and who is to say they won't be a highly sought after class when we hit the higher levels?

Check out my other Forsaken World previews and guides.