Part 3: Class OverviewThe twelve recruitable characters are divided into three categories: mages, warriors, and rogues. Our four parties will contain one class from each of these groups, and no class will appear in more than one party, so we'll be using every class once.
Further Comments: A Druid's offensive power drops off pretty sharply as the game goes on. Poison and earth spells have limited usefulness and power in the long run, though they're still useful in the right circumstances. It is, however, easily the best healer in the game, and a good choice for a party whose other members are somewhat fragile.
Karla is traveling with Holdana.
Further Comments: A Wizard is a pretty useful party member for the whole game. It gets all the best offensive magic, and both the Intelligence and MP to make use of it. As its stat array indicates, though, it's very fragile, and not great when you just need a physical attacker.
Lina is traveling with Raj Ahtan.
Further Comments: A Mesmer, by itself, is not a very strong class. Its physical stats are low and its offensive magic is limited to Poison spells, which aren't the most useful. A Mesmer makes an excellent partner, however, as its buffs and debuffs can make the rest of the party much more effective. It also gets early access to some very convenient utility spells.
Curly is traveling with Akira.
Further Comments: The Warlock (male) or Witch (female) has a fascinating array of spells. It gets a little direct damage, but it also gains the ability to summon undead allies in battle, and can spend MP to craft consumable items by finding or buying the proper recipes. This gives it a little bit of everything, though the price of some recipes can be a setback.
Hexia is traveling with Zefiryn.
Further Comments: A Black Knight is about the best tank available, with a ton of Defense and HP. Its magic is mostly useful against enemies that resist physical attacks, since its Intelligence is low and it doesn't really get the MP to cast a lot. It does have decent attack power, though which lets the class hold its own in battle.
Moe is traveling with Akira.
Further Comments: The description above somewhat overstates the Paladin's fighting power. It starts to flag as the game goes on, and while a pretty good healer, it gains access to healing spells slowly. Its anti-undead spells are really good, though, and it's durable enough to tank for most parties.
Kali is traveling with Zefiryn.
Further Comments: Despite the lack of control that comes from its wolf forms, the Shapeshifter is actually a very good class. Its high Agility and Strength let it attack often, and while its armor options are lacking, it has enough HP to stay alive in most situations. And when it does transform, the power boost it gets is worth the loss of control in most situations.
Larry is traveling with Holdana.
Further Comments: The Ronin is essentially a more combat-focused version of the Mesmer. Its attack power isn't great, but dual-wielding definitely helps it keep up with classes like the Shapeshifter. Toss is pretty anemic, and gold is a precious enough commodity that it's not really worth using, but the rest of the class's skill set is still solid.
Yajirobe is traveling with Raj Ahtan.
Further Comments: The Bandit is a remarkably versatile class. Steal is a little weak, but its various Traps give it a good array of offensive and debuffing options. Being able to find money and chests after combat isn't game-breaking, but it is a nice bonus.
Alibaba is traveling with Raj Ahtan.
Further Comments: A Harlequin's Card effects are very feast or famine: they can turn around a losing battle, but they can also wipe out the whole party in one unlucky shot. They're a nice tool to have in desperate situations, but that's about it. Its Songs are more reliable, though they do cost MP and tend to be a bit weak.
Harley is traveling with Zefiryn.
Further Comments: The Engineer is a surprisingly good tank for a Rogue class. Its high Defense and unique selection of armors give it solid protection. Unfortunately, while its Tools start off very useful, they tend to lose effectiveness rather quickly around halfway through the game.
Shemp is traveling with Akira.
Further Comments: What the Engineer is to defense, so is the Ranger to offense. It uses bows, which are powerful and never miss, making it a strong physical fighter. Its Nature skills can also produce a wide variety of effects, though the class lacks the MP to use them too often.
Wolff is traveling with Holdana.
There are a few more classes as well, but they're not available to us now. We'll get to those another time.