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) Roles: Tank 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. Healer 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. Others 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. DPS 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.