Created in 1974 by Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax, Dungeons & Dragons established many of the core elements we now come to expect from fantasy role playing games.
This is particularly true of the customization options that are available for the game's characters - from choosing between various fantasy races like Dwarves, Elves, Halflings, and Half-Orcs, to which skills and proficiencies to focus on, to the spells one can cast. One of the cornerstones of the Dungeons & Dragons options is the Class system.
At its most basic, the class system of D&D establishes the "role" in roleplaying. Whether it’s the meaty warrior whose power is the weapon in his hand, to the stealthy thief, a devoted disciple that casts divine magic, or the arcane magic-user frail in form but mighty in spells. From these archetypes, other classes spring forth that add variety and specializations to what they bring to a party, as they quest for precious loot and tales of glory.
Built from that established and beloved mechanic, the MMORPG Dungeons & Dragons Online (or DDO) incorporates the class system effectively. In fact, it is the most comprehensive execution of the mechanic, although modified for the MMORPG sensibilities. This is quite impressive, considering another newer MMORPG, Cryptic Studios’ Neverwinter, fails to accomplish the same level of class variety and effective incorporation of such a signature core mechanic from the Dungeons & Dragons property.
To illustrate: a Fighter in Neverwinter is relegated to melee, while a Fighter in DDO can specialize in either melee or ranged. Another key difference is that characters in DDO can multiclass. Players can start a character as one class and at level up, may choose to continue with that class or branch out to a different class. The only limitation is that a character can have no more than 3 classes and special requirements, such as the Paladin requiring a Lawful Good Alignment or the Bard’s Non-Lawful alignment.
Dungeons & Dragons Online currently features 15 standard classes and 8 iconic classes. Most of the standard classes are free for everyone, but some classes and all iconic classes must be purchased on the DDO Store (although there are ways of unlocking a few premium classes through the Favor system). That can be a daunting task to wade through the plethora of choices for a new player to make.
For this guide, we will take a look at the 15 standard Dungeons and Dragons Online character classes (free and premium) and the key details of each. This includes their strengths, weaknesses, and how new-player-friendly they can be.
Note that all character classes in DDO are "good", but some require more thought and skill than others to enjoy them to the utmost. The more advanced classes should be attempted after a player has attained a level of understanding of the complex nuances in the game.
Free To Play Classes
The Barbarian is the embodiment of pure, unleashed rage. It is interesting to note that the Barbarian did not become a standard class in D&D until 1985 through the Unearthed Arcana supplement. Prior to that, the Barbarian was just a subclass of the Fighter. It would not be a true standard character class in the game until D&D 3rd Edition.
In DDO, Barbarians emulate the classic idea of the archetype. A powerful warrior that uses its unbridled fury in combat, the Barbarian possesses similar weapon proficiencies as Fighters but is limited to light and medium armor. However, the Barbarian gains the highest hit points per level of any class, has increasing damage reduction, and can use Barbarian Rage for short bursts to further increase its Strength and Constitution, and Will at the cost of a slight penalty to Armor Class.
Barbarians are already powerhouses in melee, but with enhancements, players can choose to be tankier, deal more damage, or focus on being more suited to counter spellcasters. It is best for a Barbarian to wield two-handed weapons and exploit the Strikethrough mechanic, which lets melee attacks hit more than one target. With its preferred attributes being Strength and Constitution, you can just dump points into these two stats and get by just fine.
The only drawbacks with the Barbarian class are that it is not a very good choice for ranged combat and it cannot wear the heavier armors. Heavy armor is also not suited for it, as some of its abilities such as Uncanny Dodge do not work if wearing anything heavier than medium armor. While the Barbarian is beefy, heavy armor offers higher Armor Class and damage mitigation, especially when paired with a shield. Thus, the Barbarian can be outshined as a pure tank by Fighters and Paladins.
Bards are the ultimate Jacks-of-all-Trade in D&D, although they didn’t exactly start that way. In fact, Bards in D&D started off as something of a "super-class". It had very stringent minimum stats (with a 15+ in Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom, and Charisma) and would have to progress first as as Fighter, then as a Thief, and then become a Bard. This made Bards extremely rare until 2nd Edition AD&D, though its power was lessened and closer to the idea of Bards in RPGs as we know them today.
Highly versatile in its role, Bards can be melee or ranged attackers and provide support with their spells and their trademark Bardic Music. The Bardic Music is the main attraction for adding one to a party. At first, the Bard provides a passive Inspire Courage to all members of the party within range, but as the Bard’s level increases, the bonuses from Bardic Music gets better, providing enhanced damage, resistances, and skill checks. With the addition of enhancement, a Bard can further improve the effects of Bardic Music for both offensive and defensive purposes.
Bards also get the benefit of very high skill points, second only to the Rogue. This provides the Bard a lot of options, especially with the Spellcraft and Use Magic Device skills being part of its class skills. Should the Bard multiclass, having a high number of skill points allows it to maintain pace with cross class skills.
Beyond the Bardic Music, Bards also have access to Bard Spells. While not as extensive as more dedicated spellcasting classes like the Cleric or the Wizard, Bard Spells are more varied, with spells from both the Arcane and Divine lists. Although the Bard spells are typed as Arcane, it does have access to spells like Cure Wounds that other Arcane spellcasters do not. This makes the Bard very self-sufficient. And the Bard can be very capable offensive spellcasters that focus on Sonic type spells. As the Perform skill adds to Sonic spell power, the Bard can deal respectable damage at mid to high levels.
With that said, the Bard only has modest combat ability compared to other battle oriented classes. Also, their spell list only has up to Level 6 spells. Another limitation is with regard to multiclassing. As Bards cannot take Lawful as one of its alignments (reflecting their happy-go-lucky nature), the Bard cannot multiclass to certain classes like the Monk or the Paladin.
The classic healer class, the Cleric in D&D actually started out as more of a cross between the Fighter (or Fighting Man) and Magic-User, which are the other two classes from the original game. It could only wield blunt weapons, but could wear armor. While the Cleric could cast spells, it had a smaller selection with more focus on healing and dealing with the undead. Later editions of D&D expanded the Cleric to have bonuses based on their chosen deity and spheres of magic.
The DDO Cleric continues this tradition, presenting it as a class that always has access to healing spells through Spontaneous Spellcasting. However, the Cleric offers more than that. Choosing certain deities, the Cleric can gain favored weapons and special powers such as Aureon’s Instruction or Blessing of Silvanus.
The Cleric spell list also goes beyond just healing magic. Nimbus of Light is one of the most useful damage spells in the game, as it does not have a saving throw, has high range, is very cheap to cast, and deals reliable damage even against bosses. Later on, Blade Barrier, Implosion, and Firestorm are all very powerful combat spells to use, especially against multiple hostiles.
Clerics are also unmatched when facing undead enemies. DDO has a LOT of undead monsters and many key quests will have them, particularly those involving the Silver Flame faction and in Ravenloft expansion areas. With the proper enhancements and gear, a Cleric can easily destroy waves of zombies, skeletons, ghosts, vampires, and such with a single use of Turn Undead.
Overall, the Cleric is one of the best classes for solo play and is always welcome in parties. Still, there are slight considerations with the Cleric class. It has a very small number of skill points, which makes it difficult to keep cross class skills with enough ranks. Furthermore, Wisdom and Charisma should be sufficiently high to maximize a Cleric’s effectiveness, leaving little room for putting points in other stats, though a high Constitution is recommended.
In the original D&D, the Fighter class was actually called the Fighting Man. It was supposed to encompass the broad spectrum of warriors ranging from the standard soldier, to mercenaries, to knights and cavalrymen. In later editions of the game, the Fighter became more refined, representing battle-tested combat specialists.
The DDO Fighter reflects this by having the highest number of native weapon and armor proficiencies, including tower shield proficiency. The Fighter also acquires bonus feats, with the first at level 1 and another bonus feat every 2 levels until level 11. This is why the Fighter is one of the most often splashed character classes, as the bonus feats can open many build options to explore.
The Fighter is also the only class with access to special feats that further boosts their weapon, armor, or tactical efficiency, such as the Weapon Specialization, Heavy Armor Training, and Tactical Training feat trees, respectively.
Fighters, however, have a very small number of skill points and class skills. This makes it difficult when you multiclass to skill-heavy choices like the Rogue or the Bard. Furthermore, while the Fighter can be a very powerful DPS or extremely tough tank, it does not have the ability to heal on its own. This makes the Fighter highly dependent on healing items or party members and hirelings to keep its hit points up. At higher and epic levels, this limits the Fighter’s solo play choices.
The holy warrior archetype, the Paladin was introduced in the Greyhawk supplement of D&D back in 1975 as a subclass of the Fighting Man. Later, it was added as one of the standard classes in 1st Edition AD&D to represent the romanticized version of the Christian Knights. Similar to the Bard, it had very strict requirements, and could only be Lawful Good.
In DDO, Paladins have similarities to the Cleric, but have a more martial essence. The Paladin gets as many of the same weapon and armor proficiencies as Fighters, though the Paladin does not immediately gain Tower Shield proficiency. They do, however, gain bonuses from their devotion to a specific deity as Clerics do. Paladins also gain divine blessings, such as the highest potential saving throws and the ability to Smite Evil, and immunities to the debilitating effects of fear and disease. Paladins can heal through their Lay on Hands ability and spells later on too. Because of their passive auras, they also give their party members bonuses for being within their presence.
Paladins are probably the best suited tanks in DDO, being able to heal themselves and having damage reduction benefits from their chosen deity. Their Aura of Courage passively boosts their allies as well against evil creatures. Paladins can also commit to damage dealing, as they can match the damage output of Barbarians and Fighters alike, especially with the Knight of the Chalice enhancement tree.
Paladins do have the drawback of having to spread their stats thin. While Strength and Constitution are key abilities, some points should be allocated to Charisma and, to a lesser extent, Wisdom. Skill points are also a problem, as Paladins are one of the classes with the lowest number and, due to the already spread out attributes, will have little to spare on Intelligence. Another point to consider is that a Paladin must have a Lawful Good alignment. Thus, it cannot multiclass to classes like Bard or Druid.
Rangers are the traditional hunters in D&D. It became one of the standard classes in D&D 1st Edition, being similar to the Fighter, but had tracking abilities and small access to druidic spells and bonuses against certain enemies. The DDO version of the Ranger follows this tradition, but also expands their specialization in either dual weapons or archery.
A Ranger gains bonus feats at certain levels that boost its ranged combat abilities and the ability to use two weapon fighting. Normally, these feats have requirements, but the Ranger receives and can use these feats as soon as the required level is achieved. Furthermore, Rangers gain bonuses against Favored Enemies at 1st level and every 5 levels after. These bonuses stack, thus making the Ranger more effective against their chosen enemies. As undead are some of the most numerous enemies in the game, it should be chosen as early as possible. Note that because these are cumulative, Favored Enemy feats gained from other sources count, thus a Ranger can deal very high damage when all the Favored Enemy damage bonuses are calculated.
The Ranger is also multiclass friendly, as it has a high number of skillpoints and has 9 class skills. Rogues, Paladins, Monks, Clerics, and Druids are very good choices for multiclassing with the Ranger. Even without splashing points into Intelligence, 6 skill points per level will allow the Ranger to maintain pace with its class skills.
A few caveats when playing a Ranger is that it starts out with only Light Armor proficiency. Plus, although you can gain Medium and Heavy Armor proficiencies through feats or by multiclassing, you might want to reconsider, as Evasion is one of the later Ranger abilities does not work when wearing armor heavier than light. Another point is that the Ranger does not gain spells until level 4. Even then, it does not have access to a healing spell until level 8. This keeps the Ranger from being truly self-sufficient until that stage.
The Rogue is the fourth of the vanilla classes in D&D (and pretty much most other fantasy RPGs). But it’s curiously not one of the first classes from the original. The first version of the Rogue was called the Thief class and was introduced in a Greyhawk supplement back in 1975. It did become a standard class by 1st Edition AD&D and it has been a staple ever since.
For DDO, the Rogue serves as the go-to class for dealing with environmental challenges. By that, we are referring to the plethora of traps to be disabled, locks to be opened, and hidden things, such as secret rooms and enemies hiding in stealth. With the Rogue possessing the highest number of skill points of any class, one can maximize its effectiveness, while also providing a lot of options for multiclassing. With the Use Magic Device Device being a class skill, Rogues can even be back up spellcasters through the use of wands and scrolls, even if remaining a pure class.
Rogues are also very good at dealing damage. Thanks to the Sneak Attack bonuses, a well-built Rogue can take down problem enemies fast if they can flank or attack from behind. Then with enhancement trees like Assassin and Mechanic, the Rogue can really shine in either close or ranged combat. Rogues can also create traps and other devices such as grenades and land mines, providing other options for area of effect damage or crowd control.
The drawbacks to consider when playing a Rogue are that it cannot wade into the middle of battle due to having a low hit point average and a limited choice of armor. Although feats and multiclassing can make heavier armor available, the Rogue’s Evasion/Improved Evasion and Uncanny Dodge are too good to waste. Another limitation is the Rogue’s dependence on party members or hirelings that can heal, though they can supplement this with Use Magic Device. On that note, a Rogue will need to keep enough gold on hand for their devices and traps, wands, and spell scrolls, particularly when solo questing.
Sorcerers are the proverbial glass cannons in D&D. Unlike other spellcasters, they are born with their ability to use magic. In game terms, they can spontaneously cast arcane magic and deal enormous elemental damage, but they cannot take a lot of damage themselves nor be as versatile as the Wizard, due to a limited number of spells that they can learn. Although variations of the Sorcerer class have existed in D&D, it’s surprising that it did not become one of the standard classes until D&D 3rd Edition.
With DDO, the Sorcerer has the largest spell point of any arcane spellcasting class and are able to cast spells at noticeably faster intervals than Wizards. This lets them spam their spells constantly, throwing Fireballs and Lightning Bolt spells to their heart’s content. Because they have enhancement trees for all four of the elemental types (Air, Water, Fire, and Earth), a Sorcerer can exploit the weaknesses that are inherent in a lot of enemies in the game. Plus, thanks to the Eldritch Knight tree, a Sorcerer isn’t completely without options for building their close combat choices and survivability.
Because the Sorcerer’s primary spellcasting attribute is Charisma, the Sorcerer can also supplement their arcane magic by putting points in Use Magic Device, letting them cast and use divine magic items for healing and buffs. With such high damage potential and a large spellpoint pool, the Sorcerer is arguably the most popular arcane spellcasting class in DDO for its solo ability, even at high epic levels.
The caveat with Sorcerers is their mediocre hit points. Constitution is pretty much a required secondary priority for allocating stats. Sorcerers also do not have a lot of weapon proficiencies, having only Simple Weapon Proficiency available. They have no armor proficiencies, which means only cloth robes and suits can be worn, though this can be somewhat mitigated by the Eldritch Knight enhancements. However, wearing heavier armor leads to possible Arcane Spell Failure.
Sorcerers also have a very small number of class skills, with only Concentration, Spellcraft, and Bluff. Although the Sorcerer can maintain the ranks for these class skills appropriate for their levels, this also gives multiclassing Sorcerers tough choices in which cross class skills to put points in to, unless they add a few points to Intelligence. Sorcerers also do not get a lot of other abilities beyond their spells (not even bonus feats).
Originally called the Magic-User, the Wizard in D&D is the classic archetypal arcane spellcaster. You know the drill: they read books and scrolls, casts a wide range of magic, and probably carries a staff and wears robes. And many will be sporting goatees or a graying beard, too. In the original tabletop D&D, Wizards were frail at the start, but at high levels, they can dominate the battlefield with such massively powerful magic such as Delayed Blast Fireball, Chain Lightning, and summoning powerful creatures to their side.
For the DDO version, whereas the Sorcerer is best suited as the nuker, the Wizard is more like a scalpel. Wizards can learn every spell on their list in the game, provided they can find the scrolls to use Inscribe Scroll for their spellbook. They can also learn the most powerful arcane spells in the game. Level 9 spells like Meteor Swarm, Thunderstroke, and Hold Monster, Mass are all extremely devastating and deal with swarms easily.
Although they cannot spam spells - the effect of having a lower spellpoint total compared to Sorcerers- Wizards can swap out their memorized spells by resting in taverns or at Rest Shrines. This gives Wizards more available selections as they progress through dungeons and quests, swapping out less useful spells for more effective ones, depending on the threats they face.
Wizards also get bonus spellcasting feats at 1st level and at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels. Along with the Archmage and Palemaster enhancements, a Wizard can enhance their spells even further. The Wizard has access to the Eldritch Knight tree too, the same with the Sorcerer, providing some melee and survivability options. Palemaster is of particular note, as it allows the Wizard to summon an Undead Bone Knight, which is a powerful Fighter and lets the Wizard take an Undead Shroud, which can heal using Negative Energy.
On the other hand, the drawbacks of Wizards are significant. They have even less hit points on average than the Sorcerer. It is not uncommon for a Wizard to get dropped by a single critical hit, even when their Constitution is relatively high. Weapon Proficiencies are also limited to clubs, daggers, heavy/light crossbows, quarterstaff, and throwing daggers. Finally, they share the limitation of only wearing cloth protection, sharing the possibility of arcane spell failure if they wear armor.
Skills are also a problem, as the Wizard class only has Concentration, Spellcraft, and Repair as class skills. Although this can be mitigated a little bit due to the key attribute for Wizards is Intelligence, which provides bonus skillpoints. But this means multiclassing Wizards should carefully consider which skills to rank up.
The most recently added standard class in Dungeons & Dragons Online, the Alchemist is a premium class which can be unlocked for 1,495 DDO points. The Alchemist is a spellcaster, but it presents a unique way of utilizing their spells. Historically, alchemy is the precursor of modern day chemistry. Thus, the D&D version follows a similar premise.
Alchemists create mixtures and potions that produce magical effects. Each of their spells has a Primer (Crimsonite, Ceruleite, and Gildleaf). Depending on the last Primer used, the Alchemist produces a Reaction that changes their status (Orchidium, Pyrite, and Verdanite). These Reactions can give massive buffs to an Alchemist for the duration. These Reactions allow Alchemists to play multiple roles, making it a very versatile spellcasting class. In some cases, they can produce even better effects than similar spells from other classes, such as healing and giving elemental protections.
Similar to the Wizard, the Alchemist uses Intelligence as its main spellcasting attribute. A little Dexterity should also come in handy, as most Alchemists will prefer to use ranged throwing weapons and adding to their Armor Class. However, the Alchemist also has many of the drawbacks of the Wizard, namely having only simple weapon proficiencies and only being able to wear cloth without incurring Arcane Spell Failure. Alchemists do have the ability enhancements to coat their weapons with poison and passive effects, so they are not completely reliant on their vials and bottles.
Artificers are another arcane spellcasting class that takes a scientific approach and theme. Whereas the Alchemist uses chemical mixtures, Artificers use technological gadgets and weaponry. The Artificer debuted as an available class on the tabletop version as early as 1996 for the 2nd Edition AD&D in the form of a Wizard specialist and as a Prestige Class in 3rd Edition (2001). However, the Artificer best known today is based on the standalone class from the Eberron campaign setting.
In DDO, the Artificer is something of a hybrid class. It has spellcasting abilty, but it also has strong ranged abilities thanks to enhancements that focus on using crossbows and the ability to use Rune Arms (which are special weapons that only Artificers can use). Furthermore, the Artificer is one of the few classes that can summon a pet in the form of an Iron Defender, and has abilities that allow it to focus on hirelings and constructs. Finally, the Artificer can find and disarm traps, and pick locks as well as a Rogue. As its primary attributes are Dexterity and Intelligence, one can maximize allocation to these to gain high Armor Class, bonus Skill Points, and Spell Points per level.
With so much versatility, the only real drawback is that it does not excel quite as much as other classes that specialize. The Artificer is also limited to only level 6 spells, whereas other spellcasting classes can reach level 9 spells. But with its broad range of utility, the Artificer has become one of the most popular classes in the game. It is also relatively easy to acquire, as it only costs 995 DDO points or unlocked on a per server basis by earning 150 House Cannith favor.
The Druid is another premium class that has a very wide range of abilities. Unlocking the Druid requires 1,495 DDO points or is a bonus for purchasing the Menace of the Underdark standard and deluxe edition expansion packs. Druids were one of the first supplementary classes in the tabletop D&D, appearing in the Eldritch Wizardry book in 1976. But from 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons onward, the Druid has become a staple class in the game.
The Dungeons & Dragons Online version of the Druid offers a range of combat and spellcasting options. A player can choose to focus on the Druid’s signature ability to Wild Shape either as a close combat machine or as elemental spellcasters. Choosing a melee specialization means the Druid will focus on enhancing its Wolf or Bear forms. As Druids can summon a wolf companion as well as spells and abilities that boost members of its party, it can be a very powerful pack tactics-style class. Wolf (and later Winter Wolf) forms deal more damage, while Bear (progressing to Dire Bear) forms have more tanking abilities. Adding the ability to cast buffing and healing spells, the Druid has extreme solo play survivability.
On the other hand, a more spellcasting oriented Druid can deal powerful ranged and provide crowd control. At higher levels, the Druid Wild Shape unlocks the ability to transform into either a Fire Elemental or Water Elemental. In these forms, the Druid gains bonuses for the associated elements. Moreover, these also provide access to specific spells such as Freezing Spray (Water Elemental) and Bondy of the Sun (Fire Elemental). Naturally, Elemental forms provide immunities and resistances, but also vulnerability to their opposing elements.
However, this does come at a cost of certain limitations. Druids cannot use equipment that have a lot of metal in it, thus barring it from the more powerful weapons and armor in the game. Even if you take a Feat or multiclass with a class that is proficient with other weapons and armor, the Druid loses its abilities when wielding these forbidden items.
A lesser concern is that the Druid in one of its animal Wild Shape forms will have longer cooldown times for casting its non-Animal spells. One should also consider that the Druid must have the Neutral alignment. Thus, a Druid must take Neutral Good, Lawful Neutral, True Neutral, or Chaotic Neutral.
The Favored Soul is one of the newer additions to the standard classes in D&D. Introduced in the Eberron campaign setting, they are something of an antithesis to the Sorcerer. Whereas Sorcerers are born with arcane magic potential, Favored Souls are the chosen champions of divine powers. This is also what makes them different from Clerics or Paladins, as they are more directly connected to their divine patrons.
Favored Souls in DDO can be unlocked using 995 DDO points, but they can also be unlocked by accumulating 2,500 Favor on each server. They share the same benefit of the Sorcerer, having the highest spell point pool per level, but instead attain divine spells. They also get to choose a deity, having the Favored Weapon and unique powers as Clerics and Paladins do. But they also get a special Damage Reduction once they reach level 20.
Furthermore, the Favored Souls are more capable in combat, with a better selection of weapon and armor proficiencies than the Sorcerer. They are also able to use either Charisma or Wisdom modifiers for their attack and damage bonuses. Other powers of the class include bonus hitpoints and spell points, the ability to leap great distances, and Energy Absorption that stack vs. Acid, Cold, Electricity, Fire, and Sonic effects.
With so many benefits, choosing the Favored Soul seems like a no-brainer. However, there are a few considerations. Favored Souls have a small skill point pool to work with, though their class skills list has more selections. Also, multiclassing a Favored Soul means sacrificing the higher level spells and the Damage Reduction trait. Finally, Favored Souls are limited to the number of spells they can use, which is unlike the Cleric that can swap them out after resting.
Monks have been a standard class since the 1st Edition AD&D, though a version was introduced as an option for Clerics since 1974. Its origins stem from the martial arts boom of that era, from the likes of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, as well as the westernized ideas from TV and film.
The DDO version of the Monk class is probably the most unique in its design. This premium class can be unlocked with 995 DDO points. Monks gain powerful martial art techniques, which can be used with special Handwraps or designated monastic weapons such as the kama and quarterstaff. The Monk is also the only class that gains or improves abilities at every level. They have the fastest attacks, movement speeds, damage bypass attacks, increased resistances to enchantment, immunities to natural poison, stacking Spell Resistance, progressive reduction to falling damage, the ability to evade most area of effect spells, bonuses to Armor Class, and more. Monks also have a respectable skill point progression and have a wide range of class skills.
In addition, Monks can choose to follow a Light or Dark path, which have associated bonuses, Choose the Light path and you can gain self-healing and buffs; on the other hand, choosing the Dark path provides more options for dealing greater damage and debuffing enemies. At higher levels, the Monk is one of the best solo play classes in the game.
It seems like the Monk would be overpowered, but it does come with some serious drawbacks. For one, Monks cannot wear any armor beyond cloth robes and suits. Wearing armor or even using a shield will make a Monk uncentered, negating all of its special abilities. This can also occur if the Monk is overencumbered.
On another note, Monks are severely limited with their weapon choices. Although certain feats like Whirling Steel Strike and Zen Archery provides some options, in general a Monk will not be able to use many of the best weapons in the game. Multiclassing is also limited as the Monk must be Lawful. Finally, using the combo system of Monk martial art stances requires dedication, as it is very easy to miss the cues and fail to fulfill the requirements to execute their Finishing Moves.
Warlocks are a special kind of arcane spellcaster. Whereas the Sorcerer gain their magic as a birthright and Wizards accomplish theirs through intense study, Warlocks acquire their power by making pacts with otherworldly beings. Introduced in the 3.5 Edition of D&D through the Complete Arcana, the Warlock would become a standard class later on with 4th Edition.
The DDO version of the Warlock stem from this, being an arcane spellcaster that chooses a patron they make their pact with, from Fey to beings of the Celestial Realms to one of the horrific Great Old Ones. The Warlock’s signature ability is the Eldritch Blast. This is a stance that, once activated, replaces the attack the Warlock makes, regardless of their equipped weapon (except for wands).
Eldritch Blast attacks start out at 1d6 damage and gets as high as 6d6. The Eldritch Blast also adds Pact specific bonus damage. While the Eldritch Blasts are not too powerful, they do not cost spell points and are fast, letting Warlocks unleash volley after volley of these blasts on enemies. This is further supplemented by a small number of arcane spells and bonuses to the Use Magic Device skill, giving the Warlock some support capability.
What the Warlock lacks is the brute force of the high level spells that other arcane spellcasters can do. Moreover, the Warlock only gains light armor as its base armor proficiency. Skillpoints are also sparse. Add to that the fact that certain Pacts require the Warlock to follow a specific alignment, and this puts a damper on possibile multiclass choices that will work well with the Warlock.
Dungeons & Dragons Online has added more classes to the game over the years. In fact, it surpasses another D&D licensed MMO, Neverwinter, in the sheer number of options for classes. With the most recent addition of the Alchemist class, the future may hold the inclusion of more standard classes from other D&D sources, including those from 5th Edition.
With the game celebrating its 15th anniversary this year and under a new owner, EG7 (which also bought the DC Universe Online, Battletech, and Lord of the Rings Online games), the game may just be only starting to hit its stride!
Plus, with a new movie and tie-ins to Magic: The Gathering on the horizon, Dungeons & Dragons as a brand will continue to be a pop culture staple for ages to come.
Keep your eyes peeled for further game guides, as we explore the different races, Iconic Classes, and other nuances of DDO here on Xfire.com. Adventure awaits!