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Classes? Not Really
Most MMOs feature a strict class system. You pick exactly one class, and you gain only the abilities and character of that class. You can't combine the fighting style of a barbarian with the healing abilities of a cleric, for example.
DC Universe Online classes are different. The character customization is extremely flexible, and you don't ever choose a specific class. Instead you pick a Power and a Weapon. There are six Power choices, divided up into three main roles.There are also ten Weapon choices. Let's take a look at the powers first, and then the weapons.
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These are divided into three roles, so let's talk about each role one-by-one.
First we have Fire and Ice, which are Defensive powers. These powers are the ones to pick if you want to tank in DC Universe Online. Fire gains a number of self-heal and AOE damage abilities. Ice has many armor enhancements as well as more AOE abilities and one or two self heals.
Next up are Gadgets and Mental, which are Control powers. Controllers have two jobs in a group. One is to provide crowd control, disabling opponents when their numbers are too many. The second is vitalization, which is the name for power regeneration in DCUO. Without a controller providing vitalization, other players will have difficulty using the best powers more than a few times in any given fight.
Finally there is Nature and Sorcery, which are Healing powers. As you'd expect, players in these roles need to keep the group healed up, and they also usually have buffs and defensive powers that can reduce the damage taken from opponents.
Now, you might be wondering - where is the DPS option? In DCUO, all classes have the Damage role. The role of the power you choose will be just one of two options you'll have available, and you can shift from one role to another at any time. Being in the damage role increases all damage output.
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While your Power determines your role and the abilities you'll have access to as you level up, you also need to choose a Weapon. Your Weapon determines your fighting style, and each Weapon has its own unique skill tree. It is possible to train in more than one Weapon later in the game, but when you start out you'll only have access to the choice you made at character creation.
Here are the Weapons, and a brief summary of their style.
- Bow: A powerful, somewhat slow ranged style. Offers significant bonuses to defense, toughness, and critical heal chance.
- Brawling: A powerful, slow melee style. Offers significant bonuses to dominance, health and critical attack damage.
- Dual Pistol: A fast ranged style. Offers significant bonuses to might, restoration, vitalization and critical attack damage.
- Dual Wield: A fast melee style. Offers significant bonuses to dominance, might, restoration and critical attack damage.
- Hand Blaster: A fast ranged and melee style. Offers significant bonuses to dominance, health, might and critical healing chance.
- Martial Arts: A medium melee style. Offers significant bonuses to might, restoration, critical attack damage and stealth.
- One-Handed: A medium melee style. Offers significant bonuses to might, vitalization and critical healing chance.
- Rifle: A medium ranged style. Offers significant bonuses to health, vitalization.
- Staff: A fast melee style. Offers significant bonuses to defense, toughness, dominance and critical healing chance.
- Two-Handed: A slow melee style. Offers significant bonuses to health, vitalization.
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You can pick any Power and Weapon combination you want. However, at this early stage in the games life there seems to be some Power and Weapon combos that work particularly well.
Controller Role: Brawling, Dual Wield, Hand Blaster and Staff have dominance bonuses which improve CC. Rifle, Dual Pistol, One-Handed and Two-Handed have vitalization bonuses that improve power regen.
Healer Role: Dual-Wield, Dual-Pistol and Martial Arts have nice restoration bonuses. One-Handed, Staff and Hand Blaster increase the chance of a critical heal occurring.
Tank Role: Brawling, Rifle, Hand Blaster and Two-Handed provide health bonuses. Bow and Staff have defense bonuses.
Damage Role: Any Weapon with a nice might or critical attack damage bonus will work well.
Image Credits: Sony Online Entertainment