A Beginner's Guide to Choosing a Class in Everquest

Discussion in 'The Newbie Zone' started by silku, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. silku Augur

    One of the most common questions asked in the beginner's forum is: What class should I play? That's a question that differs from person to person. What I am going to attempt to do here is talk about the standard way that most groups play in Everquest. That is, most groups are built around a Tank, a Healer, and DPS. There are a couple of other roles we will talk about later, but for now these are the key roles to consider when choosing what class to play. Unlike other MMORPGs, Everquest has a very static type of gaming system. If you play a tank, you can squeak by as a DPS but you'll never be able to come close to actually do the same as them. The same with DPS, sometimes they can tank.. but they don't hold a candle to a real tank.

    First I want to list the different classes in EQ:

    Bard (BRD), Beastlord (BST), Berserker (BER), Cleric (CLR), Druid (DRD), Enchanter (ENC), Magician(MAG), Monk (MNK), Necromancer (NEC), Paladin (PLD), Ranger (RNG), Rogue (ROG), Shadow Knight (SK), Shaman (SHM), Warrior (WAR), Wizard (WIZ)



    The moniker tank indicates someone heavily armored, like a military tank. Covered in armor they wade into battle and attempt to get the attention of every mob. The purpose of a tank is to control who has aggro and to make sure as much damage as possible is coming to them and not to anyone else in the group. This makes healing much easier. The healer does not have to look around as often to see who needs heals, and can concentrate on simply keeping the Tank alive. While anyone can technically tank, the primary tanks are WAR, PAL, and SK.

    WAR - Warrior is hands down the best at tanking, don't let anyone tell you different. They absorb damage the best, they currently hold aggro the best, and it is easier to heal/dps when a warrior is the main tank. That comes with a high price. The warrior does not receive much utility. He wades into battle. He holds aggro. If a heal doesn't come? He dies. He doesn't need as much gear as the other two tanks to tank the same mob, but he also has none of the nifty self heals that they have.

    PAL - Paladin is a very sturdy tank who uses his ability to heal himself and others, along with very powerful stuns to keep the mobs attention. He can heal his group, cure his group, and even has a nice instant heal called Lay on Hands. He is the epitome of the Holy Warrior/Crusader, and though he does not have the mitigation of a Warrior (no one does), he can tank almost as well with a skilled player behind the character. Given enough gear, he can even heal himself in group content, freeing up the slot for another DPS. Paladins can solo decently and have nice big hits against undead.

    SK- The Shadowknight. The anti-paladin of old. Dark, sinister, and very versatile. Shadowknight as of right now (2015) are probably the BEST group tank. While not as stout as the warrior, they can lifetap for damage+self healing. They can pull very well. They have their own utility spells (invis, levitate, etc). They have instant terror spells and given enough gear/items (epic 2.0), etc) can become an unstoppable force.

    Light Tanks
    As I said before, with enough gear almost any class can tank. I'm going to list a few of those here, because some are just better than others.

    Ranger – The Ranger can tank very well, and has many abilities that lend to being considered a tank. In the early stages of the game they were often tanks in the group game and while not as common, a raid geared ranger can tank almost all group content. He also has taunt, which most other classes do not, indicating that the original game design considered him to be a 'tank' of sorts.

    Monk – Monks tank through avoidance and blocking. Very stout, but more suited to the DPS role. They do though have many abilities (mend, stances, etc) that will allow them to fill the role more than adequately with proper gear.

    Beastlord – Beastlords and their pets can be a nice combo. Being able to step in and out of combat, to let their pet share the burden can allow them to tank many things. Once again it requires proper gearing and skill.

    Pet Tanks -

    Necromancers, Mages, and Beastlords can also use their pets to tank quite efficiently. While they do not have the versatility of the actual tank classes, with proper foci and AA the pet is a very stout tank and can handle most group encounters. The drawback is that the NPC will always hit whatever PC is closest. So with a pet tank, you cannot have melee dps unless they want to tank as well.


    Cleric - Cleric is again hands down the best healer. They have the most tools. The raw power. They have more Oh Crap buttons than any other healing class. If your goal is to simply power through something, a cleric is the way to go. The other classes do well but they will not be able to have the sheer healing throughput of the cleric.

    Shaman – An earth based healer, that centers around his ability to slow/Heal Over Time. Calling upon those spirits he can heal very efficiently, and combined with his ability to cannibalize his own hitpoints for mana, he'll never run out of mana. He also boosts melee tremendously with buffs. So if you want to be a healer and your friends are all playing rogues, monks, berserkers etc... this is the class to go with.

    Druid – Druids are nature healers, and decent nukers. They heal through direct healing, and nuke heals. They also have very powerful group heals, ports, nukes, dots, snare, track and many other utilities. The druid though has some limitations in their ability to regenerate mana (where as clerics get Quiet Miracle and Shaman get canni), druids (asfaik) do not get any sort of mana draw ability. However, of the three classes druid is probably the highest DPS damage dealer of the healer classes.


    There are many other classes that do get healing ability: Beastlord, Magician (pet only), Necromancer, Paladin, and Ranger. More often than not these classes will not be called upon to be the main healer of a group. However, there are times (raids etc) where it is necessary for them to fulfill that role. So if you pick one of these classses, be aware that you are a light healer and sometimes will have to fill in if the Healer is overwhelmed by adds, by aes, or just needs a moment to catch up. The real key to everquest is knowing EVERY ability of your class.


    I could simply lump all the other classes in here, but for now I'm going to simply list the pure DPS classes. I have a reason for that, there are a few more roles that other classes perform that are slightly different than the primary three. Every class, for that matter, can DPS... but these classes are more suited to it than the others and will provide the most DPS. (So if you're min maxing, when you want a DPS class or if you're the kind of person who just wants to blow stuff up? These are for you!)

    Beastlord - Beastlords are very acceptable at DPS. Between their pets, procs, and their own melee abilities; they can provide a substantial boost to the group. They have a ton of utility as well and are a very well rounded class. Be prepared to have a ton of buttons though, which I think is the case for all melee these days, but beastlords must be aware of themselves and their pets; and be ready to provide various abilities they have to the group. If you fancy having a big beast, and wading into battle with your lion/tiger/bear (oh my) at your side, then this is the class for you.

    Berserker – Berserker is the glass cannon of the melee world. They give up almost all utility in order to dish out damage. They carry big two handed weapons, and swing for massive damage. They go into a berserker rage and take damage themselves in order to damage the creatures. If you just wanna see big melee numbers, this is the one. But beware, they give up a lot of ability to do so.

    Magician – Master of the elements, the mage summons elemental beings to do his bidding. He has massive earth elementals to tank for him, air elementals to stun, water elementals to backstab, or fire elementals to range attack from a distance. The mage is another pet class but also similar to a wizard, in that he does most of his damage from nukes. He also gets a class defining ability (Call of Heros) that allows him to summon group members to his location in most zones. He, like the beserker, gives up a lot for his pet. The mage without a pet finds himself at a loss of defense, but with a pet is a very worthy opponent. The mage is also quite good at soloing things that usually take a group.

    Monk – Monks are the martial arts experts of the EQ realm. Flying kicks, dragon punches, tail rakes, and many other unique abilities make them formidable foes. Also, while many classes have the Feign Death ability, monks are the best at it. They provide very solid DPS while also retaining quite a bit of utility. They can solo well, work well in groups, and are very handy for raids.

    Necromancer – Necromancer is hands down the best solo class. The design of the class though is to DPS through DoTs (Damage Over Time spells). That lends to their dps needing time to work. In a high speed group against creatures that die really quickly, the necro doesn't shine. However, against the mobs with tons of HP (like in TDS) you find they do quite well in groups. They also raise the undead to do their bidding, much like the mage and the beastlord. So you'll find them with zombies, spectres, or skeletons. They also have a ton of utility, most of it self only. They can do some light healing (not as much these days), have their own mana regen spells, and are very self sufficient. On long fights, they are the BEST dps.
  2. silku Augur

    Ranger – The dual wielding hunter of the realm. Think of Legolas, Robin Hood, or Aragorn. They are superb melee dps, decent ranged dps with their bow (very good damage during a burn), and get a ton of utility. The ranger wields the elemetnal spells (fire and ice), entraps the feet of their foes with roots/vines, and have some very sought after buffs. They can track (as can druid and bard) to find the enemies. If you like the outdoorsy types and want to dual wield, or stand back and shoot arrows at your foe, this is the class for you.

    Rogue - Stealth and assassination are the keys to the class. They are the ones who sneak through the shadows and back stab their enemies, cutting the throats of the unsuspecting fools who have the audacity to cross them. Rogues are pure dps, with a little utility (including the best invisibility in the game.) Of the melee classes, rogues provide the most dps in most circumstances. If played correctly, with the right supporting classes on a raid, they should be in the top of the parses. So if you fancy picking locks, scouting, sneaking through shadows, and assassinating your enemies, go for it!

    Wizard – Last but certainly not least, the wizard is the glass cannon of the caster realm. Of all the casting classes they cast the fastest, the most damaging, and the flashiest nukes. The wizard can hit hard, hit fast, and hit often. They also have portal spells, group evacs, and snare. They aren't very tough though, so they need someone to take the blows for them, or runes to absorb them. While with raid gear a wizard can stand up to group mobs (with a good healer) and do ok, they can do a lot more damage if someone is tanking. If you want to just melt faces.. wizard is for you.

    Enchanter - The enchanter is seen by some as many other roles, but I am putting them under DPS as well. They have more than respectable DPS these days if played correctly, and if using a charmed pet can even rival some of the pure dps in the group game. They won't be performing this role on a raid (though they will from time to time be doing DPS there too.) Their primary purpose is ADPs/ CC in the raid game, and ADPs/CC/Pulling in the group game.

    Three more roles I want to mention: ADPS, Crowd Control, Pulling

    Pulling – While not as necessary as it was in the past, pullers are still very valuable to groups. A good puller can keep a mob in camp for fighting all night long, and minimize the downtime. They can turn groups of five into groups of 1. They do this in various ways, but do not underestimate the value of being able to go into a room of 15 mobs and come out with only one.

    Bards – Arguably the best puller. Bards have many abilities that allow them to separate groups into singles. If you want to pull a single mob out of a room or even all the way across a zone? The bard is the one who will do it the fastest and the easiest. He's also ADPS, which we'll get to later. A good bard puller is hard to beat. Bards have an instant fade that is also instantly reusable, this ability is very powerful and should not be overlooked.

    Enchanter – What I would say is right up there with bard at the moment. Enchanters, while not as suited to single pulls, can handle multiple pulls in a way that no other class can. They are also ADPS, DPS, CC. Very versatile, very powerful. A steep learning curve though and can take some time to grow into that power.

    Monk – Monks using their abilitty to AE mez/pull singles combined with the best Feign Death can really pull as well as either of the above, given a skilled player. This just adds to their utility which is already quite impressive. Monks can easily get a single from a group and bring it to the group, and even position it where he wants it.

    SK - I mention SK here as well because they are very powerful at pulling. They can single out of a pack with the push of a button, and still tank while doing it. With Feign death/Snare/other abilities, they are very much worth mentioning here.

    Beastlords – Beastlords come into their pulling ability later in the game. When they finally get playing possum (feign death), they can pull very well. Until then it's not as easy to get a single.


    ADPs means attributed dps. That is it is dps that a character adds to another character, but does not do it themselves. There are several classes that perform ADPs in different ways. This is just another thing to continue when thinking of those classes.

    Melee ADPs

    The following classes increase the melee DPS of all the people in their group in someway.

    Shaman, Bard, Ranger, Berserker, Beastlord (Rogue and Warrior to a minor amount.)

    Caster ADPs

    The following classes increase the caster DPS of everyone in their group.

    Enchanter, Bard, Druid

    Crowd Control

    Crowd Control, like pulling, is not as needed as it used to be but is still VERY powerful and helpful. The concept of Crowd Controlling is that you either stun or mesmerize the creatures on your aggro list so that they stand around waiting to die. This prevents people from taking damage from them, and allows the group to focus on them one at a time. While there are many classes that can perform this to some extent, Enchanter is the best at CC, and Bard comes in right behind them. A good enchanter/bard will make much difficult content almost trivial.

    So there you have it, for now. Take all of this into consideration. Decide what you want to do with your character: do you want to tank? Do you want to DPS? Do you want to heal? Do you want to be CC/ADPs/a puller? Do you want to do both? Then try them out for yourself. Remember the most important thing is to find a class you enjoy. If you don't enjoy it? You won't play it.

    And remember these roles are not static. Any class can do any of these abilities in some cases. I've been in groups with wizards or enchanters tanking, paladins/beastlords/rangers healing, and warriors/paladins/sks dpsing. If you have a good set of friends and/or a good guild, they'll find a spot for you in their group no matter what they already have. Just have fun, what is right for me may not be right for you.. think outside the box, learn everything about the class you choose, and you'll do amazing things.
  3. silku Augur

    So I'd like to see feedback on what you think about this, and eventually would like to compile a list of all the newbie sites/links that we can suggest to those who are trying to find their way. There is a lot of information to still be added, so please feel free to critique (my grammar abilities are lacking). Any other input as well, eventually we can compile a list together and sticky it.
  4. Fenudir Augur

    I don't know that I'd call necros the "hands down" best soloers in the game right now but it'd probably be close.

    Description of the berserker is bang on.

    As for site, new berserkers can go to http://www.goberserker.com/ for a lot of useful information.
    silku likes this.
  5. Cenki Journeyman

    On tanks: The part where you say the tanks job is lacking one of the two main jobs, the other being mitigating the damage, but I think everyone knows that so no biggy.

    DPS: Last but not least, the Wizard! Oh wait, also Enchanter :p Just a funny thing I saw.

    Bards: This guide doesn't sell bards to well :p If I didn't have a decent idea of what to expect I would of thought they were useless garbage!

    I'm still stuck between making a Ranger/Bard/Wizard/Cleric though. I want to be a Meleeing healing nuking blender, but I don't want to tank.

    I want to do everything but tank :p hehe
    silku likes this.
  6. silku Augur

    I'm probably not the right person to sell a bard to anyone. I have one, 105 and maxed AA. I don't find them very useful. If someone who really is passionate about bards would like to write up a section for this about bards that is more exuberant I'd gladly take the input. In fact, I'd love to see a community project here. Anyone who would like to write up a paragraph about their favorite class, it's pros it's cons, it's strengths and weaknesses, and it's ability to do each type of role; that could be very helpful.
  7. Drewie Augur

    Not anymore, there's the level 96 Nurturing Growth spell that summons a bear who taunts enemies around while giving back some mana. If the bear doesn't get killed, it gives a decent amount of mana. The recast timer is short (only 5 minutes) and it's even reset whenever the druid dies.

    Also Druid class is DRU in game, not DRD.
    Arraden and silku like this.
  8. silku Augur

    Thanks Drewie, will make changes to the document to reflect this.
    Drewie likes this.
  9. Cenki Journeyman

    Holy crap, you have a completely maxed out bard? Your the guy ive been looking for to be honest. the fact that you find them so meh yet you have an absolutely maxed one is a pretty good deciding factor for me.. Maybe a super bard lover might intervene but I think ill take bard out of my equation. ill make either a ranger/cleric/wizard :p
  10. Cenki Journeyman

    Funny, now i'm like "Okay I want to do a lot of stuff, so Ranger or Druid?" I brought Druid back into the equation. I know i'm going to be a human with the bushy hippy beard and the long hair, I just need to decide if I want to be a blender natureboy or a teleporting fire healing natureboy.. but then when I was chatting with folks in general they tell me how terrible a state both rangers and druids are in the game and to stay away from both. Hah. Everyone scares me away from classes I guess, and what I want changes every day.. though ranger always seems to be an option. Maybe I aught to just dive in and be a ranger.
    silku likes this.
  11. silku Augur

    One piece of advice I'd give above all of it, is to play what you think is cool and makes YOU happy. I hate playing rangers. My wife loves them. I hate playing clerics. Roxanna and Ombidian would disagree with me. I absolutely LOVE playing an enchanter. There are people who think they are the worst class ever to play.

    Play you.
    Your_Ad_Here, Zujilli, Silv and 3 others like this.
  12. Roxxanna Augur

    This x 1000
    Xianzu_Monk_Tunare likes this.
  13. Ratbo Peep Augur

    Agree with the part about a "better sell" on Bards and perhaps Druids.
    Rangers also need "honorable mention" the pulling class section.
    Innate runspeed, Cover tracks (fade), 2 lulls, and 2 punts make them a "decent" puller.
    Outdoors - they rise to "good" puller.
    "What would you like your tombstone to say?"
    Ranger is easy: "I think I can split these."
    Fallfyres, beryon and silku like this.
  14. Cenki Journeyman

    Yeah druids I have not seen good talk about these days. Over on the caster forum druids are being torn a new one on a guy trying to choose a class between Wizard and Druid. Apparently they are not wanted for healing or damage.
  15. beryon Augur

    Something you need to know about EQ players: every class has it better than the one they're playing.
    silku likes this.
  16. Silv Augur

    My "main" alt is a Druid - made her in 2001 and I've played her alongside my Enchanter ever since. Druids are in a bad spot. If someone tries to tell you differently then they are holding onto the days of old or in denial. That said, they aren't *horrible*... I actually find them quite fun and if you're doing a Caster-centric setup then you definitely want a Druid as your healer. However, their heals pale in comparison to Shaman and Clerics and their DPS is almost never appreciated because everyone expects them to heal. Yes, they have the bear mana regen now but it's a drop in the bucket... better than nothing I guess (especially since they previously had... nothing!). But like others have said, you could probably sell them a little better- could highlight things like their debuffs and how they help ADPS a bit more?

    Also, if this is truly intended to be a newbie guide, I'd suggest you either should add in footnotes for the abbreviations or define them once the first time they are introduced. I wouldn't be surprised if some people didn't know what DPS, mob, or aggro meant (and that's just the first paragraph of the tank section).

    Nice work though =)
    Yther and silku like this.
  17. Cenki Journeyman

    That brings me to a very weird question. I Played mostly everything up to planes of power release. Mostly a caster.Druids were mega populated and considered amazing. Curious, someone like me coming back to the game someday soon, what class if any would I play and say "what the hell happened?" In a good way rather then bad? Who has changed for thegrannd better since then? Sorry for goofy typos, phone doesn't let me delete stuff here.
  18. Brohg Augur

    Druids being "mega populated and considered amazing" didn't have to do with their real power then, nor does the disfavor expressed here & that linked thread have to do with their real power now.

    Clerics' game play has improved immensely over the past decade.
  19. Silv Augur

    [quote="Brohg, post: 3182813, member: 2545"nor does the disfavor expressed here & that linked thread have **** to do with their real power now.[/quote]

    How does it have nothing to do with their real power? Are you saying you think Druids are a very strong class right now? I would find that hard to believe.
  20. Ratbo Peep Augur

    It had all to do with "quad kiting" then. That simple.
    Now? They are truly "meh" overall.